Jul 31, 2008

Arte y Pico Award

My first award! Given to me by my blogging buddy Angela. I wish we lived near each other, we could get into so much trouble have so much fun together. Visit her blog Redemeed and be blessed by her heart. Thank you Angela!

“The “Arte y Pico” award was created to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative abilities, whether it be writing or artwork in all media. When you receive this award it is considered a special honor. Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to at least 5 others.”

I have found the creator of the Arte y Pico award to be a blogger named Eseya who lives in Paraguay. She created a blog for the sole purpose of giving this award to other bloggers who’s art she admires. The award has sincerely been given to many bloggers. Some, I consider worthy of receiving this award and I do not see they have been given. So, it is not that the person's blog is unworthy, they have just not been discovered by the barer.

Here are the rules:

1. You can copy the picture from my page and save it to your picture file on your computer. Then when you are ready to present it on your page, you may find it is easier to use your page elements function to paste the award to your page. And now give thanks to the person you received this award from by posting a link back to the award presenter.

2.Link to the originator of this award.It originated here . The expression is difficult to translate to English accurately. It translates to say something like, “Wow! The Best Art! Over the top!”

3. Please pick 5 blogs that have artistic accomplishment of some sort, for inspiration, design and creativity. Pay this award forward to these five persons by stating their blog title by link on your acceptance statement. Notify that person and ask that he/she accept your request to allow you to honor them. Then ask that they link to five blogs they wish to bestow the award to in the following manner on their page.

And the Winners Are...
Drumroll Please \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Nancie at More than Conquerors - In addition to her beautiful heart and thoughtful ways she has some Great photography. Stop by her blog and say hello.

Lea at Shabby Olde Potting Shed - Her heart is both cheerful and imaginative. You'll see it as soon as you get there.

Iris at Sting My Heart - Inspiring thankful hearts all over the blogosphere. Join her in offering thanks to the King of Kings.

Heather at Mumblings of a Mommy Monk - Heather has a pretty creative writing style. You should read the Toad story! :o

Renee at Drink Offering - Renee thinks outside the box. I love that! There is creativity and wit in her posts.

Each of these ladies draws you nearer to the Lord in their own unique ways and are appreciated for doing so.


Thankful Thrusday - July 31


I'm joining Sting My Heart for Thankful Thrusday this week. Won't you join us too?

I'm thankful for this community of Christian bloggers who are always there to offer a kind word of encouragement, a few pearls of wisdom, a laugh to lift spirits, and loving fellowship. A little taste of heaven in the blogosphere.

I am thankful that my Wonderful LORD does not give up on me.

I am thankful for what God is revealing to me about how He designed me and is leading me into His plans and purposes for my life.

I am thankful for the ways He continues to provide for me.

I am thankful for the comfort of my bed every night. (Really, I am.) :D


Jul 30, 2008

Psalm 25

Word Filled Wednesday

Recently I have been under strong and frequent spiritual attack. Today was especially hard. The enemy brought me to my knees in tears with a spiritual beating against my self esteem and my trust in God's love for me. Psalm 25 was the prayer of my heart tonight.

O Lord thank you for your Unfailing Love - In Christ


Jul 26, 2008

Internet Cafe Question - Book Title

Internet Cafe

Today's question from the Internet Cafe:

What would be the title of a book about your life?


I like this question and boy it sure does make you think. It's very difficult to sum up a whole lifetime in one title. I think (on short notice like this) I would say the title would be "Stepping Off - One Cliff at a Time". I say this because, as I mentioned in my previous post, Great Faith in God is probably my greatest desire and was my desire even when I was a young girl just learning about God.

It takes courage to put all your Trust in a God you can't see. This doesn't come easily to me. I am Not a risk-taker at all! I'm a planner. I have to consider every possibility and plan out how to handle all the options (at least 3 times) before I step into something. Even then I often step slowly and cautiously. Faith is like stepping off of a cliff and knowing that His hand will be right there to hold me up. This is the picture I see most often these days and God has prompted me to step off of the cliff a few times. When I do, it is the most Awesome thing in the world to be held up by the Hand of God. It is something I want to spend all of my life doing without a second thought.

When I gave my life to Christ over 18 years ago, I had never heard of sinners prayer or anything along those lines. I grew up in a completely secular environment. That night as I prayed, my prayer to Him was that I wanted to live my life to please Him.

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)


I've Been Tagged!

What a privledge. My blogging buddy Angela, with an awesome, on-fire heart for the Lord tagged me when I wasn't looking. Be sure to pay her a visit at Redeemed. She has some very thought provoking posts.

Ok - so here are the Rules (and I'm such a rule follower). :)

1) Link to the person who tagged you. (If two people tag you then link to both.)

2) Post the rules on your blog. - Doing that here.

3) Write 6 random things about yourself. - Look just under the rules.

4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. - Here I come!

5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. - Quick go look.

6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up. - Angela!!!

Six random things:
1) I'm a California girl originally (a valley girl if you want to get specific). I moved to Texas in August, 1993 after much prayer. I drove with my daughter in my very, very, tiny, little Toyota Celica.

2) I am a project person. I love to be creating something all the time and seem to want to try my hand at almost everything creative.

3) I seem to be fascinated by very small things. When I was a little girl I used to try to write my name teeny, tiny just to see how small as I could write it. What can I say?

4) I absolutely Love God's creatures. I am just spellbound by watching them, the power, the detail, the design, they have His signature all over them!

5) I think my greatest desire is to have Great faith in God. The kind that will step out into the unknown and truely Trust Him with all that is within me. I'm not there yet but working on it. "For without Faith it is impossible to please God..." (Hebrews 11:6)

6) I Don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I Do believe in Jesus Christ.

The Chosen Ones:
1) Sam at Journey through Faith. A very dear sister in the Lord.
2) Cristine at Journeying Forward. It's always a pleasure to visit her blog.
3) Alene at Positively Alene. I'm always blessed by her devotions.
4) Lelia at Write from the Heart. My praying partner this last week. Thank you Lelia!
5) Lea at the Shabby Olde Potting Shed. There is always something exciting going on over at the shed!
6) Lorie (JoyfulSister) at Encouragement from my Heart. Beautiful poems from a truely beautiful heart.

Tag Sisters - You're it!


Jul 19, 2008

Internet Cafe Question - Priorities

Internet Cafe

Name what you think should be your first 5 priorities in life? Then order those priorities the way they actually are at present in your own life. Do they match up? Why or why not? If needed, what is one thing that you can do today that will help your two lists match up?

The first thing this question brings to my mind is Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Knowing this I have to put these as top priority in my life, then as it says, if I do that everything else will fall into it's proper place. So as I considered this, here is what came to mind:

1. God:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (Proverbs 3:5)

I can say that I certainly strive to make these my first priority in life, but have to admit that I need more practice! Sometimes I put myself, my wants, my desires, out in front of what God may want for me. Sometimes I don't even want to ask Him what He thinks cause I might not like the answer. Then there are the times when He just doesn't move fast enough for my satisfaction and I feel it is necessary to get the ball rolling. Or I think I can do it myself, just like a little child who refuses to allow her father to help her with some tasks that are so clearly beyond her. Yes I have to admit that trust doesn't come easy to me and not trusting Him reveals a lack of love for Him. Ouch. I am so thankful that He is a patient and loving Father.

2. Others:
Treat other people as I would want to be treated. Yes that is one of my top priorites. Oh dear how I fail at this. It's easy when other people see things my way, and when they let me be in front, and when they are kind to me, but when someone has offended me in some way this becomes a serious challange. I am very thankful that God has brought forth some fruit in me in this area. I'm still a work in progress but there has been visible growth over the years.

3. Me:
While He does not want me to put myself before Him or before others, He does want me to have a right view of myself. I have a tendency to either elevate myself to high in my own opinion or too low. Neither is right so I must ask Him to give me His view of me to keep me in line.

4. Material Things:
All things come from the hand of God and He wants us to enjoy everything He gives. I think most of the time I keep this one at the bottom of the list but I still have to guard myself against the temtation to move it closer to the top.

I can't think of a 5th priority that doesn't already fit into one already mentioned.


Jul 16, 2008

Bumping into Walls


So often these days my life has felt as though I am walking through a maze in the dark. There are lots of pathways to choose between but there is only one path. It's dark so I can't use sight to find my way. I've never traveled the path so nothing is familiar to me. Sometimes it seems that no matter which way I turn, I keep bumping into walls. It can be confusing and frustrating. I just want to find the openings. I want to walk straight to my destination without the obstacles, without bumping into walls!

I was thinking about this a few days ago, trying to make sense of things and the next day God spoke a word of encouragement to me through Spurgeon's daily devotion: "Sometimes their way seems to be a labyrinth, and they cannot imagine how they are to escape ... What they do not know, their LORD knows. He knows whom to deliver, and when to deliver, and how to deliver. He delivers in the way which is most beneficial to the godly..." A treasure hidden in the darkness just as He has promised.

Because I cannot see, I must put all my faith in my God. I must trust that He will do what He promises; lead me, light my path, and make the crooked places straight. As I thought about what God was speaking to me through the words in that devotion, it struck me that a labyrinth is not actually a maze. It is one straight path. Yes it curves, but there are no openings that lead one to bump into walls. He will make the crooked places straight.

O Lord help me to trust you, to not grow impatient and irritable but to walk where you lead remembering that you really do know the way.


Jul 12, 2008

Pass It On Fun

I found this on Sam's blog, Journey through Faith. It looked like fun soooo...
...since she gave permission to use it, I am. Feel free to use it on your blog too! :D

A is for age.
I keep forgetting, but getting "wiser" every day. :-)

B is for burger of choice.
Sourdough Bacon Cheesburger. Mmmmm mmmm mmm

C is for what car you drive.
I prefer to call it a truck but technically speaking it is an SUV. GMC Envoy to be specific. Hand picked by my Wonderful Provider.

D is for Dog's name.
Tobi - The Best Dog Ever! (She is a girl. The boy is spelled Toby.) ;)

E is for essential item you use every day.
There are two items that if they stop working I must stop everything and immediately go to the store to buy a replacement. The hair-dryer and coffee maker.

F is for favorite tv show at the moment.
I almost never watch television. If I do I am likely to choose Animal Planet and Myth Busters. I do like the frequent explosions in Myth Busters.

G is for Favorite game.
I love lots of games. Board games, group games, computer games (but not the violent or evil stuff). I guess I like group games best. It's fun to team up with others and have a good time with lots of cut-throat... I mean friendly competition. ;-)

H is for Hometown.
Born, raised, or living now? I choose raised - Southern California Valley Girl. (I wasn't one but was raised there.)

I is for instruments you play.
None now. I played the cello in middle school (we called it Jr High). Would Love to play the violin.

J is for favorite juice.
I like orange, grape, and grapefruit (not pink) best. I also like V8 but not tomato juice.

K is for who you'd like to kiss.
The face of my Savior.

L is for last restaurant you ate at.
Cheddars - For some strange reason they always seat us in the way far back. Hmmm

M is for your favorite Muppet.
Not a big fan of the Muppets.

N is for number of piercings.
Only one in each ear. Nothing else should ever be pierced. :0

O is for overnight hospital stays.
Only once when I had my daughter.

P is for people you were with today.
No people, just dogs.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time.
Pray, study God's Word, create graphics, google stuff I want to know, blog, learn something, work on projects or creative stuff, think, dream, take a nap.

R is for biggest regret.
Running ahead of God and into sin.

S is for status.
Above Ground!

T is for time you woke up today.
Woke up or Got up? There is always a vast time difference between these two. Got up at 8:00 am.

U is for what you consider unique.
My Tobi has a very unique personality.

V is for vegetable you love.
Avocados. Straight or as guacamole, I'll take either.

W is for worst habit.

X is for number of x-rays you've had.
Don't know.

Y is for yummy food you ate today.
Nothing especially yummy today... I'll have to fix that.

Z is for what you are zealous for.
Many things but mostly, helping believers to become diciples.


Jul 10, 2008

Hidden Treasures

God is so Wonderful! In these last few weeks He has been calling my name, drawing me nearer to Him, and creating a hunger and thirst for Him that, if I'm honest, I haven't had for some time. Nothing is sweeter than His Voice, His Touch, His Attention. Nothing is more humbling than to come into the Light where all the dirt of my life is more than evident. Nothing is Greater than His Unmerited Favor.

He has repeatedly brought Isaiah 45:3 to my attention and directed my meditation to this scripture over that last several weeks, and I have come to realize that this is my life verse. Now I have a long list of favorite scriptures that have had great meaning in my life at various times, but I have never had a life verse before. This one scripture ties so many things together.

He has been bringing me further on this journey to discover His plans and purposes for my life. I have been on this particular path for several years now, learing a little bit along the way but things are beginning to escalate. This weekend I decided to pick up a little book that had been sitting on my bookshelf for several weeks, "5 Little Questions that Reveal the Life God Designed for You" by Dannah Gresh. At the end of each chapter Dannah asks a question pertaining to that chapter's topic and encourages you to pray and journal about it. Now, I began praying even before I started reading the book, asking God to please give me something I can apply to my life. He is so answering! He already had this journey planned out! I can see God going ahead of me throughout this study. He already has answers prepared as soon as I ask them.

The "treasures hidden in darkness"? Some translations say "treasures of the darkness." Doesn't sound so appealing that way, does it? Oh but it does! In those dark times of our life there are secret riches, hidden treasures to be found. The darker it is, the greater the treasure. In Dannah's book she talks about being driven into a cave, like David when he was running for his life from Saul. She pointed out that this is where David found his purpose, in the darkness of the cave. This is where he wrote so many of the Psalms. He might never have discovered his purpose if he had not been forced into the cave. I have been in the darkness of a cave for a very long time. But my King is with me and I am so very aware of His presence. The journey is no longer a boring drudgery, but is becoming an exciting adventure.

My LORD, my GOD, you are .... Everything .... I am speechless.


Jul 5, 2008

Bed Jumping - Sport or Art?

Do you remember jumping on the bed? The best time for this is, of course, right before going to bed. I think God instilled this knowledge in little children in an effort to get them to use up that last bit of energy so they will go to sleep. It would be a great idea if it worked! (kidding Abba.) :)

This is Emily. She just explodes with personality, doesn't she? Can you tell that she enjoys this sport?

I can't even look at these pictures without cracking up. She is such a little nut... and I love her.


Internet Cafe Question - Godly Mentor

Do you have a godly (woman) mentor in your life? If so, describe your relationship with her… If you don’t have a mentor, would you like one and what would you hope to gain from the relationship?
1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

I think this is an interesting topic. I have heard lots of talk about having and being a mentor, but honestly I don't think I know anyone who has ever referred to another person as their mentor. Now I did once hear a woman refer to herself as a mentor to someone else, although, I'm not convinced that the other person viewed the relationship from the same perspective.

I think I have to say Yes and No to having a mentor. By definition I have been mentored by a number of godly women at different times and in different ways. I love to read and most of my mentors have been authors. I would say that Elisabeth Elliot was definitely my first mentor. God really used her to grow me for a couple of years. I have read almost all of her books and learned so much from her counsel. I also have a couple of friends that I will go to at times when I want counsel. These are the ones that I know will give me godly counsel and will be honest even if it is something I may not want to hear. But I don't think of them as my mentors but as my friends, and I know they view the relationship the same. We mentor each other as God has given each of us wisdom in different areas. I think this is the best kind of mentor, a godly friend.


For a really great post on the mentoring relationship visit Tracy at Thirsty for Him.


Jul 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day - These days most of us refer to this day as The 4th of July. I think that in doing so we have managed to misplace the reason we are celebrating. What is it you are celebrating on this day? What I mean is, do you think about it? Do your children know why we are setting off fireworks all across this great nation of ours? I have to confess that throughout most of my life I didn't give it much thought. It was more about picnics, barbeques, and fireworks. These are great ways to celebrate, but... they are not what the celebration is all about.

On this day, July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. We formally announced our independence from Great Britian and became America, the Land of the Free. We are a free people. We are not oppressed as so many are in other countries. We are not run by our government, but rather we run our government. Or at least we should. We have the right to voice our thoughts and maintain our freedoms, freedoms meant for all citizens of the United States of America.

Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

From it's beginning, this nation recognized, and built it's foundation on the Truth that our "Rights" are given by our Creator. The Declaration of Independence refers to that Creator as God. It is God, and God alone who made this nation great. It is because we recognized Him and Honored Him that He did so. Now today there are many who are fighting hard to remove Him from this nation. Do we really want God to lift His hand off of this nation and turn us over to ourselves? I do not. So today as you celebrate, choose...

Choose to give thanks to the Creator for the freedom you have today.
Choose to fight back to keep this a Nation Under God.
Choose to submit to His authority.
Choose this day whom you will serve.

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)

O LORD - You are magnificent beyond words. You deserve so much more honor than I even begin to think about giving you. Choose for us LORD. Choose leaders for this country who will honor you and submit to your authority. Choose your people and call us out of slumber and into your service. Choose our words, as we pray and as we speak on your behalf. Be the ruler of our hearts and of this nation. - In the Name of Christ Jesus

The Declaration of Independence - Click for zoom functionality if you would like to read it. Then be sure to click the Back button to return to this page. :D