Thursday, July 31, 2008

Believing God Thursdays

Believing GOD

This is so much better than I could have ever imagined. Ladies, if you have not yet done this study, DO IT! If you feel God's calling on your life in any way at all, DO THIS STUDY. I am simply in awe at how much meat is in this on-line study!

For week one, it really is about one thing: We had to write out a pledge of faith, memorize it and say it often. Here it is:

1) God is who He says He is.
2) God can do what He says He can do.
3) I am who God says I am.
4) I can do all things through Christ.
5) God's word is alive and active in me.

We hold up our fingers one at a time as we say each one.

Seems easy enough, and at first quote I thought, I believe this. But then the clincher. She challenges us to step up our level of sanctification over the next nine weeks.

It just so happened that God was dealing with me in an area where I've fallen short for as long as I can remember. So I knew in my heart that this was the area I should be committed to step up in.

The first thing I began to say was, "I can't do it, I've tried so many times before" But the Holy Spirit stopped me and I looked at finger number 4 on my hand and instead I said, "I can do all things through Christ!"

If you quote these five things often then you will begin to believe them.

This is going to be an exciting nine weeks ladies! I'll be posting each Thursday, so be sure and check in. If you want to start the study it's not too late. Just go to the lifeway site to sign up. It's not too late.

Also, if you want to read what others on-line are saying than go to Diane's blog and check out the comments. :) God Bless you all.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday Update

I wanted to give you all an update on how our last two Sunday's have gone. If you aren't familiar with what I'm referring to, please go back and read my post titled, Looking for Patterns.

The first Sunday we were armed and ready for battle! We had the kids set out their outfits for church and we all went to bed at a descent time. Then we woke up and my hubby said, "lets home church today". That was weird but we went with it. Turns out he wanted to take us all on a nature walk through the woods to a beautiful field where we had church. It was a special bonding time we will all remember.

It was during this last week that we both realized maybe God was trying to move us away from our current church. We had experienced such difficulties getting there and no one seemed to really miss it, not even the kids! After much discussing and praying we've decided to look for another church to call home.

Looking for a new home church is not fun, and not easy. This past Sunday we went to one of four possible churches. We were still prepared for battle and we had the kids set out their clothes and we all went to bed on time. The morning flowed so smoothly! We were actually laughing instead of bickering! It had been so long since we've had laughter on a Sunday morning. Turns out that this first church isn't the home for us. That's OK, we intend to keep searching until God shows us where He wants us to worship on Sunday's.

The exciting thing is that we have BROKEN the evil pattern that had gripped our lives for so many weeks! Victory is in Jesus! YEAH!!

Folks, if you have found a similar pattern of attack, pray and ask God for a plan to overcome the enemy. God is faithful to do according to His word!! Hallelujah!

Please continue to pray for us as the search for church is on. We will be out of town next Sunday and the following two we will be serving in the children's ministry at our old church. (We wanted to finish out our commitment there). So, I'll keep you all updated as the Lord shows us where to hang our hats.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Friendships Part 3

We've been looking at some of the characteristics of Jesus' friends according to the New Testament. Today we'll finish up by looking at one more friend.

Let's take a look at Thomas.

John 11:16 Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow disciples, "Let us all go along with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!"

This sounds like a very loyal friend. He was actually willing to go with Jesus even if it meant dying with Him. We all need friends like this! Let's see if there's anything more about Thomas:

John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe."

Unbelief! This is where the phrase, doubting Thomas, came from. So how did Jesus handle this situation:

John 20:27 Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!"

Jesus gave Thomas the proof he needed in order to believe. We need to remember to be encouraging to our friends when they are going through times of unbelief in their lives. There was a time when I struggled with unbelief. Thankfully, I had encouraging friends, like Chatty Kelly, who came alongside me to lift me up!

Here is an important group of verses that can help us learn to be better friends ourselves:

John 13:12-15 After Jesus had washed their feet, he put his outer garment back on and returned to his place at the table. "Do you understand what I have just done to you?" he asked. "You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.

John 13:34 And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

What a powerful example of Love Jesus has left us with. No matter how our friends might treat us, we are to show them unconditional love. Encouraging them, and even cleaning their feet - a servant kind of love.

I hope this leaves you looking at your friendships and examining your own hearts to see if you are showing the kind of love Jesus commanded us to.

I'd love to hear if you've had to encourage one of your friends in a time when they were doubting, or maybe you were the friend in need. Please share with us so we can all learn from your experiences. Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

If you are a part of this blogger world eventually you are bound to get tagged.

Yesterday, Amy Jo over at Living a Blessed Life tagged me. Amy Jo is a precious sister in the Lord. I met her at the She Speaks conference in June and we are in an on-line writers critique group together. Since then I've enjoyed reading and sending long e-mails, just getting to know each other. She has a sweet heart and loves God with all of her being. We are connected through the wonderful journey of adoption. The Internet is so amazing, God is able to connect people from all over the world!

O.K. Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you (see above)
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up (Thanks Amy Jo)

Six Random things about me......

1) I never got into reading books until this year. Now I can't seem to get enough reading in. I'm reading 3 books, and multiple magazines all at the same time (sort of). I feel like I've deprived myself for so long that I must make up the time.

2) My favorite animal is the bird. Any and all birds, I love them all! I'm an avid bird watcher and I own 3 parakeets and 19 chickens. For some reason I can just sit outside and watch my chickens for long periods of time, it seems to be a soothing thing for me.

3) My husband is my closest friend. I long to tell him everything that's going on in my life. Just hearing his voice seems to give me strength and make me feel secure. I love just being in the same room with him. He really does complete me.

4) I am truly blessed to have six children. I love spending time with each one of them. I enjoy studying their differences and encouraging them in the Lord. I home school them and while it is difficult, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

5) I long to become a published writer. It is the thing God has called me to do this year! I am finding out that writing takes a great deal of work and commitment. Because God has called me to do this, I will persevere and move forward in His strength.

6) If I don't have my quiet time with God first thing in the morning (before my sweet kids wake up) I won't get to it. Life gets busy very quickly at my house! If I don't have any quiet time with God, I just feel frazzled the rest of the day. For some reason when God is my first priority, He seems to stay on my mind all day long. (You should try it sometime!)

Here are the six people I am tagging (Really ladies, this is just for fun and optional!):

1) Anjanette at Anj's devotionals. She is a passionate woman of God. We are in the on-line writers critique group and I've enjoyed reading her insightful posts. So deep for such a young lady.

2) Linda over at 2nd cup of coffee. Linda's blog is where I go when I want to laugh! I mean laugh out loud and spit your coffee across the room! If you haven't been there, go check it out. (If you spit your coffee on your computer, don't say I didn't warn you!)

3) My ADHD Me. This is my friend, Chatty Kelly's sister. I am so glad she has started blogging. I always smile when I go to read her posts. They are real life laced with humor. Laughter is medicine to the soul! Keep writing.

4) Starr over at Threshold Moments. I met star at She Speaks and she is a sweet sister in the Lord. She has an interesting family with an older teenager and a young son. Never a dull moment! Her extended family needs prayer right now as they are going through a physical crisis. If you get a chance pop on over to her site and encourage her with your words of encouragement and your prayers. The more prayers the better! Love you Starr!

5) Sue J over at CREATE: Making something of today. What an encourager you are, Sue. I love reading all of her encouraging comments on others blogs. Her own blog is full of great ideas and real life lessons. She has an amazing love for her family and for God. She has a servants heart, it really shines through!

6) Jennifer over at Summer Missionary. Jennifer is my newest bloggie friend. She is a young lady who Loves God and wants to serve Him any way she can! So young and so precious. I'm enjoying getting to know you and I always appreciate your sweet comments on my posts. I'm glad we're bloggie friends! :)

Ok, that's six bloggie friends. I encourage you to check out all of their blogspots. They are all fun and encouraging.

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony.

Friday, July 25, 2008

On-line Beth Moore Study

Believing GOD

Hello to my bloggie friends and family.

I am going to start participating in a Beth Moore study called, Believing God. It will be an on-line study. How fun is that! Linda, over at 2nd cup of coffee; and Diane at Meyers on the hood, have invited anyone who was interested to join in on the study. They will post about it each Thursday and we can add what we've gleaned, as well.

Sounds like a great opportunity to grow in the Lord and in friendships from the convenience of our own homes!

If you are interested in joining us, please click on this link and sign up.

Each week you will go to the Beth Moore site to watch the video, then download some homework papers and then stop by and leave your comments on what you've learned. Sounds like fun! You can also go to Linda's site (click here) and copy the button if you have your own blogspot.

I hope you are interested in growing in the Lord with us this summer!

Friendships Part 2

On Wednesday we looked at the criteria that Jesus set for His close friendships. Today we are going to look at what to expect from the friendships in our lives.

Lets start out looking at Judas Iscariot. If you are at all familiar with the Biblical account of Jesus that name will send goose bumps down your spine. What was He thinking picking Judas as one of the 12? Jesus already knew he would betray Him so why pick him? Because the Father told Him to! It was all a part of the grand plan that God had for the salvation of the world. So we know from Judas that friends can sometimes betray us.

Matthew 10:4b Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

The next friend we will look at is Peter. He was the first of the twelve to be picked and also the one that Jesus renamed saying, "upon this rock I will build my church". Sounds like a better friend. Let's look at some key verses:

Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned around and said to Peter, "Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don't come from God, but from human nature."

Here we see that our friends are not always going to have all of the right answers. Peter was feeling caught up in the emotion of the moment and I think that can happen to us all at times.

Matthew 26:34 Jesus said to Peter, "I tell you that before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not know me."

Denial, it makes you wonder why He wasn't more selective with His friends, doesn't it.

Now lets look at a redeeming trait of Peter's:

Mat 14:29 "Come!" answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus.

Faith! Peter had great faith and that is a trait we should expect from our close friends.

I am seeing a pattern for friendships. We can hope for a solid faith in God, but still expect them to make mistakes. Through all of this it is important to note that Jesus never rejected any of them. Not even Judas Iscariot! I wonder if I even know how to love friends with love like this?

I would love to hear a story of how a friend of yours has either showed great faith in God or has been vulnerable to sin and how you handled the situation.

Monday we'll continue to look at Jesus' friends.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friendships Part 1

In light of my last post titled, "The Goal", I've decided to look at friendships and what the bible has to say about them.

Proverbs 18:24 says, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

This is a verse I use with my kids whenever they are going into a situation where they don't know anyone. I tell them to be friendly so that they will make friends.

What should we look for in a friend? In order to find this out lets look at Jesus and see how He chose friends. There are a few things we know:

1) He prayed every morning for the Fathers direction. God directed Him to the men he was supposed to become friends with. (The 12 disciples)

2) Jesus only chose friends who were Christians. They had to believe in Him before they could be close friends. (See Matthew 4:18-21)

As far as I can tell these were the only two things He looked for in friends, having God's approval and making sure they believed. Based on these two criteria, we can evaluate those we are close friends with.

I am not implying that you shouldn't be involved with non-believers. Jesus was chastised for eating with the worst of sinners!

Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.

The fact is that He chose believers to be His close friends, you know, the 12. So we should have two groups of friends, those whom we associate with, and those we hold close to us, as confidants. It's kind of like not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Jesus takes friendships seriously.

Let's look at Matthew 12:48-49 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

The world says, "blood is thicker than water", but according to this verse, Jesus' blood is the strongest bond of all!

So now we know what the bible says about choosing friends, on Friday we'll look at what to expect of these friendships.

If you have an opinion on this post, I'd love to hear it. As I was typing it, I could feel that there may be controversy on the idea that our close friendships should only be with Christians, and I welcome your comments.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Goal

My husband and I went to a friends house for dinner and a movie the other night. Our friend told us that this was not a professional movie, but rather, an amateur drama put on by a church in Florida. It was called, "The Bema Seat". The word Bema means judgement and it was about the final judgement seat of Christ, you know, the judgement that the Christians will have to go through after His second coming.

This was an AMAZING movie. The pastor was "talking" to us as if the rapture had occurred and he was describing everything about heaven and the final day of judgement. I had not thought much about this upcoming day until now. I'd like to share with you just a few of the important things that I took away from this drama.

First, this was not a time to judge us for our sins. Our sins are already washed in the blood of the Lamb. This was a day to judge us for anything we did of eternal value. All of the other stuff, even if it seemed good, will be burned up. Only things that will work toward eternity will stand, and we'll be given rewards for our good works.

Second, sowing into the lives of others is the only thing of eternal value. Saving souls is one of the few things that will stand through the fire. Encouraging others in their christian walk is another thing that will be rewarded in heaven.

Third, we don't know when the end will come. It will happen so suddenly and so fast!

Fourth, what others think of us doesn't matter on earth. Our economical status, our position in a company, our wealth, none of these things play any role in the final judgement day.

What a life changing movie! I left realizing that I don't have the kind of unconditional love for others that I need. I knew that I needed to start looking at every encounter with others from the perspective of the Lord. How will this conversation look on "that" day? It has been very enlightening.

1Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.(KJV)

Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (KJV)

When was the last time you gave the final judgement seat some serious thought? My friend over at Streams of Living Waters has a post that shows us how to live for the day. Please take a few minutes and go to the link (just click on streams of living waters)you'll be blessed for it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Looking for Patterns

Do you enjoy Sunday's at your house?

Our Sunday's can be really relaxing and fun, or stress filled and exhausting. It all depends on whether or not we plan to go to church. Let me clarify a little. If we plan on staying home and just "home churching" due to a sick child, or vacation, our day will go pretty smoothly.

The minute we decide we will go to church on Sunday, the dark cloud seems to roll on in! For a long time now, our Sunday mornings have gone something like this:

Mom wakes up in a fairly good mood. She lovingly encourages her children to wake up and start getting ready for church. When mom finishes in the shower, the first child comes into the room wearing a pair of ripped jeans and a t-shirt.

"Is this Ok to wear to church, Mom?"

"NO, you may NOT wear jeans to church!"

My children seem to be in bad moods and they begin to bicker amongst themselves. Mom is needed to stop the quarrelling.

Now my son comes into the bedroom wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Mom says, "Son, we're going to church today, you cannot wear that."

My son, "Ok, Mom, I'll go change."

Then another daughter comes into the room griping about not having ANY clothes in her drawers, so how can she go to church when she'll be in her PJ's? AAAHHH!

By this time, Mom's pleasant mood is gone......grumpy Mom has entered the building.

About this time my hubby is getting out of the shower. The kids are banging on the door complaining about being hungry and wanting me to fix breakfast, braid their hair, and tie their dresses. I'm feeling irritated!!

Now my husband and I try to have a conversation. Every Sunday, my husband will end up saying, "are you just trying to start an argument today?"

I reply, "NO!" It's true, I'm not trying to start an argument. It's just that by this time in the morning I'm not in a good mood!

This past Sunday was a revelation day for me! God turned on the light bulb in my mind. I realized that on the Sundays when we were going to church, the enemy was attacking us. He was using the same ammo each time, so I was able to see the pattern. Yeah for God!

I got into the car and told my husband that in the past weeks, he asked me every Sunday if I was trying to start an argument. I told him that it wasn't me, but the devil who was trying to start an argument. I pointed out that the enemy had been attacking our family in the same way each week! He then had a light bulb moment, too!

We are now armed with the right weapons to fight back next week! Saturday night, the kids will be setting out their Sunday clothes. My husband and I will end the day reading a scripture and praying together, and we will begin the day the same way.

It's all about knowing your enemy and being able to defeat him by using the right weapons. I am hopeful that next Sunday we will break this cycle. Please pray for us.

There is a battle going on out there, it's a battle for our marriages, and our families, and our souls! If you have a repeating bad day in your life, ask God to show you if there are patterns you can see, and then fight back! Let's win these battles.

Ephesians 6:12 We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. (Contemporary English Version)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Do you have animals? We have an abundance of them! There are 5 outdoor cats, 4 dogs, 3 parakeets, and then 19 chickens! With ownership of these animals comes the responsibility of taking care of them. This can be a daunting task, at times.

One of the issues we have in our home is that our children want us to buy these pets, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of taking care of them, they are suddenly uninterested. This is quite frustrating from a mothers perspective. What happened to the promise they made right before purchasing them, "Oh Mommy, I PROMISE I'll help take care of this pet". They even get specific, "I'll walk him even in the rain." So where are they now? What happened to those little helpful hands? Are they liars? NO! They just didn't realize how much work it would actually be.

In an effort to build character, we do hold them accountable to taking care of the animals. They take turns getting up early to feed and water the chickens, and they take turns walking and feeding the dogs. We want them to learn that when you take on a new responsibility, it is going to require hard work and perseverance.

Aren't we like that with God? Don't we love to make the upfront promises, "Just bless my ministry, God. I'll be so faithful to you if you just give me a bigger ministry." Like my children, we often find ourselves overwhelmed at the new responsibility that comes with a bigger ministry.

That's how I've felt lately. God has given me a new calling to write this year. I started out so excited, ready to work on this no matter how late at night it was. But now...... Now that it's down to the hard work of editing and submitting, I'm feeling weary! I'm finding myself procrastinating, saying things like, "life is just too busy right now", or "I'm not in the mood to write today."

In an effort to build character in me, God has been prompting me to get busy with this ministry no matter how I feel, and no matter how busy I am.

My 12 year old daughter fights us the hardest when it comes to waking up early to take care of the chickens. You see, she likes to stay up late at night and sleep in. This was the week that my husband and I decided to wake her up, attitude and all, and teach her how to take care of the chickens.

The first morning was hard, and she did a little stomping around while she worked. Tuesday was different. As we were taking care of the chickens, listening to the glorious sounds of the morning, feeling the warm glow of the rising sun, we had a precious moment. She forgot how tired she was and she stood there with me enjoying the chickens. We ended up petting them and talking about the silly things they do for almost 30 extra minutes! It was a sweet time, a bonding time for us.

I am going to submit 2 articles next week. No matter how busy my life is, I feel like God is telling me that next week is the deadline for me. I am excited, now. I am looking forward to having a bonding moment with God through this. I hope to have a day when I just linger with Him and share in the little things that make me (and Him) smile.

Where are you in your life today? Are you in the promise making mode, or are you in the throws of responsibility that seems overwhelming? No matter where you are, press on and look for some bonding moments with your heavenly Father.

Friday, July 11, 2008

What's in a name

After changing the name of my blog I've started on a journey to consider, "what is in a name". The Bible says, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches;"(Proverbs 22:1). These are powerful words.

I know that there have been several incidences in the Bible where someones name is changed. The first one I can think of is when God changed Abram's name to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), which means the father of many nations.

Another name change occurred in the New Testament with Peter(Matthew 16:18). He starts out named Simon, but then God changes his name to Peter, saying, "upon this rock I will build my church."

What about the MANY different names of God:

El - Means God, mighty, strong, prominent

Elohim - A plural noun, meaning more than two

El Shaddai - God Almighty, or God sufficient

Adonai - Lord, Master

Jehovah - Yahweh - Lord in our English Bibles, this is His covenant name

Jehovah-Jireh - The Lord will provide

Jehovah-Rophe - The Lord who heals

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord our banner

Jehovah-M'Kaddesh - The Lord who sanctifies

Jehovah-Shalom - The Lord our peace

Jehovah-Elohim - LORD God

Jehovah-Tsidkenu - The Lord our righteousness

Jehovah-Rohi - The Lord our shepherd

Jehovah-Shammah - The Lord is there

Jehovah-Sabaoth - The Lord of hosts

El-Elyon - Most High

Abhir - Mighty One

Branch - The Branch

Kadosh - Holy One

Shaphat - Judge

El Roi - God of seeing

Kanna - Jealous

Palet - Deliverer

Gaol - Redeemer

Magen - Shield

Eyaluth - Strength

Tsaddiq - Righteous One

El-Olam - Everlasting God

El-Berith - God of the covenant

El-Gobhor - Mighty God

Zur - God our Rock

Yeshua - Savior

Exodus 3:13-14 And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the sons of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they shall say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, "I AM THAT I AM."

After seeing the many names of God, I can see why God said to call Him, I am that I am. If you need anything, He is there for you! What are you going through in your life today? Look over the many names of God and find the one that most fits in with your needs.

For me, Jehovah-Nissi is the one that I need right now. It means, The Lord our banner. I need to know that He is my covering as I walk in my new calling as a writer. There are as many names of God as there are needs in our lives. If there's a name you want to call on today, I'd love for you to share it with me. :)