Aug 31, 2008
I've been tagged by my blogging buddy Angela from Redeemed.
I’m supposed to share an Alphabet story, the A to Z 's of me...so...here goes but I'm not looking too exciting here.
Attached or Single? Single
Best Friend? Jesus
Cake or Pie? Cake
Day of Choice? Friday night. The beginning of freedom for the next couple of days.
Essential Item? Hair dryer and coffee maker. If either one stops working, immediate replacement is mandatory.
Flavour of Ice cream? Mocha Almond Fudge. If this is not available then a Hot Fudge Sundae made with coffee ice cream and almonds instead of nuts. (Do you see a pattern?)
Gummy Bears of Worms? No thank you.
Hometown? The Valley
Indulgences? Hot Fudge Sundae with coffee ice cream and almonds.
January or July? July...January is waaayy to cold.
Kids? Do grandchildren count?
Last Movie I saw in a Theater? About 7 years ago, and only because I didn't really have much choice in the matter. The content in most movies and TV is "objectionable" and there is soo much more to life. I do have to say that I am pleased with the recent Christian influence in the entertainment industry and I actually want to see Fireproof.
Middle Name? Yes. When I Google it the only results are from very old obituaries.
Number of Siblings? 3
Oranges or Apples? Apples.
Phobia or Fear? Fear.
Quote? “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” Charles H. Spurgeon ... (Plus the other 15 in my favorite quotes list on the sidebar.)
Reason to Smile? A good friend, the innocence in the face of a child, watching God at work.
Season? Spring (the whole week)
Tag five more: Chatty Kelly, Lily of the Valley, Shabby Olde Potting Shed, I Know He Watches Over Me, hmmmmm ... still thinking another who won't be tagging the same people these lucky tagees will...... Found her! Leaving a Legacy (thanks for stopping by Chel. :))
Unknown Fact About Me? How much gray hair I really have. Only God knows this one.
Vegeterian or Oppressor of Animals? God told us to eat meat, I'm obedient.
Worst Habit? Wanting to do too many projects at the same time.
Xrays or Ultrasounds? Oh, don't make me choose either...
Your favourite Food? Steak - Ribeye to be specific (now I'm hungry).
Zodiac? I threw out all the books, charts, and astrological paraphernalia when I became a Christian.
So there you have it, a snapshot of me (sort of), written quickly, A to Z.
Aug 29, 2008
Wow I was plesantly suprised by the response I had to last week's question and that so many of you continued to participate throughout the week and not just on Friday. My purpose with this is just to provide a topic for discussion, help us all to turn our thoughts to the Most High God, and make a few friends along the way. I really enjoyed reading about your passions all week.
I had several questions come to mind as I wondered what I should ask this week. (BTW, I'm open to suggestions for future questions.) Here is what I decided on this week.
What quality of Christ's do you most see in yourself? Tell us about it.If you're thinking that this is a tough one well I just have to say "me too." I thought that it would be good to put some focus on the positive and reflect on how much He has brought about in lieu of how far we still have to go.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (Psalm 139:13-14)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6)
I think the Christ-like quality I see most in myself is that I am an advocate for the underdog. It's funny but I see this played out as God's strength in my weakness. Not that I am doing any great deeds mind you, but that I will quickly step forward to stand up for someone who is being mistreated in some way, where I would endure it if it was being done to me. I hate injustice and my heart just breaks when I see someone, especially someone weaker, being crushed. That's what mistreatment does, it crushes.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in
spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Maybe because I know how it feels to be pushed around and treated like I don't matter, and I know how it feels to have someone come alongside of me and defend me. When I was a little girl one time I was riding my bike in the neighborhood and made some new friends. One little girl had a new bike and offered to let me ride it. I left my bike with her and rode hers around the block, when I returned there was a huge commotion. Well it turned out that she and a bunch of other kids told this girls mom that I had stolen her bike.
I left them and rode my bike home crying and they followed me in their car. Apparently there was quite a ruccus as I stood in my driveway being yelled at by a car full of people, because a neighbor who lived two houses over came over to me, told off that car full of people, and made them leave. I had never met this neighbor before that day but she was my friend from then on. Her name was Debbie Sanford (so if you're out there Debbie, I remember). We have all been mistreated in our lives, and likely have not experienced being defended as much as mistreated.
I have found myself in some situations in life where another person needed to be defended, and my automatic response was to do just that. One time when I was about 17, I was at some new friends' house and was sitting next another girl my age on the couch. At one point her boyfriend, who was standing on the opposite side of me but facing us, raised his arm to hit her and without thinking, I reached up and grabbed his arm. As if I had any strength to stop him. But it caused him not to hit her.
When Christ lived as a man, He reached out to those who were being oppressed and mistreated. Those who were crushed in spirit. He was and is our advocate and Defender.
O Lord - Thank you that you do not leave us to fend for ourselves. Thank you that you do not allow the enemy to crush us. Thank you that you have brought me through these trials in order to make me more like you. I love you my God. - In Christ
Write about your Christ-like quality on your blog and include a link to this blog, then come back here and use Mr Linky to automatically link to your post. Be sure to leave a comment here too!
Aug 28, 2008
I am here to present this One of a Kind, Highly Unique, Certificate of Achievement to an individual who meets the same description. This High Honor Certificate is being presented for her hard work, diligent efforts, and positive attitude during an extremely difficult and stressful course. Hang this certificate proudly on your blog for all to see (you do know how to do that, right?)
If you want to have a great time just being yourself, having fun, and laughing your socks off (and you can't make it to the WOF conference) then by all means, go visit ADHD at (insert link here) Monkeys are Funny. You will not be disappointed!
Aug 27, 2008
Angela and I had a great time at the WOF Conference! We have gone for the last three years to the preconference and the main event and it is always Great! Of course there's so much going on and so much emotion that I come back feeling foggy and have a terrible time remembering it all.
Angela picks me up Friday morning (early!) and we head for the train station with a quick stop on the way for an egg mcmuffin and LARGE coffee. Riding the train in to the American Airlines Center is sooo much easier than trying to fight the traffic.
The speakers at the preconference entitled "I Second that Emotion" were Patsy Clairmont, Anita Renfro, and Jan Silvious. Anita taught us that we no longer have to concern ourselves with PMS because everything stems from a Thyroid problem. For instance, she pointed out that the thyroid can make you suddenly, gain weight for no apparent reason... do you see? If you have this problem then you can simply say "It must be my thyroid." Of course she named off quite a number of thyroid related symptoms that we could all relate to and so many women discovered that they have a thyroid problem. :D
When the preconference ended Angela and I grabbed the train back to the car and went out for Mexican food. We had just enough time to eat, hop a train back to the AA Center for the start of the conference. We have been WOF association members so we could get association seating and had really great seats just off the floor and 5 rows from the stage.
Nicole Johnson did a couple of her drama skits. I love watching her. She is really good. Sometimes funny, sometimes serious but you are never disappointed. One drama she did was "The Case of the Missing Mind." I feel a little like the victim in that one just now. :)
Sheila Walsh told us about how she found herself in a circumstance that led her to the place where her father drowned. She talked about her fears, God's comfort, and the ultimate freedom she experienced. She was quite transparent and you could see that the wound had been freshly opened again but you could also see the healing.
Marilyn Meberg talked about abandonment and reminded us that God does not go away and does not forget us. She had a lot to say that touched my heart.
Nicole C Mullen and her youth team just danced their socks off! Nicole talked about how she was in an abusive marriage prior to this marriage and how God has brought healing to her. You can see she has a great passion to encourage the younger generation.
One of the things that stuck with me the most was when Natalie Grant said that when she began her singing career, she had $200.00 and no place to live. But God... This is the kind of thing that gives me great encouragement. Watching God do what only He can do and only He can receive the glory from it. Natalie has a MOST INCREDIBLE voice and a very humble heart.
Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and founder of WOF too. He talked of healing but what he said that stuck with me was that just before he founded WOF he had worked on some other conference in his own strength and how, in an arena about the size of the AA Center only about 35 people would be there. In other words, he proved himself a huge failure at organizing conferences. But God ... again. I just can't get enough of stories like that and the hope they offer as they remind us of God's neverending unmerited favor.
Ok, I think I've talked enough for the moment. I put together this little slideshow video if you want to see the pics I took. Don't get too excited, I was very tired when I put this together.
Click on the box to watch/view slide show.
Aug 22, 2008
There are so many great writers and deep thinkers and huge hearts for God in this blogosphere. I just love reading your thoughts on experiences and lessons learned. So I thought it would start a random question meme. I plan to post this on Fridays and I do hope you will join us with your thoughts.
What's your passion or passions? What has God given you a heart for or about?
How is it revealed in your life?
I have a passion about Faith. I am always in awe of those who step out in Faith. I try to place myself in their shoes and wonder how I would respond in their situations.
Can you imagine what Abraham must have been thinking as he walked up that hill with his dearly loved son trying to make some sense of it all? Why would God have me do this? Didn't He promise me this son? Didn't He say my decendents would be like the grains of sand? Isn't He a loving God? Yes He is, and I will trust that He knows best, I choose to have Faith even though I don't understand.
Then there's Elijah. He's my favorite. I am really looking forward to meeting him one day. So he goes to Mt Carmel. He is alone!! There is no friend encouraging him, telling him this is the right thing to do. No one to back him up. He is in the spotlight of his advesaries as he challenges them to prove their God against His God, the All Mighty. Now, in all honesty, would you really have the courage to do that? To create a situation for the sake of His Name, and in public, that only God can get you out of and trust Him for the outcome? I know that I would be praying my heart out as I poured water on that carcass and expecting God to set it ablaze without even the help of a match. But Elijah chose to trust God. To have Faith.
And David, what about him? Not the mighty warrior King David, the gentle shepherd David. He is the one who God said was a man after His own heart. Think about this. An entire army of "mighty warriors" were too afraid to go into combat with this giant, Goliath. By the way, Goliath was only 9 feet 9 inches tall. Granted that is taller than anyone I have ever met but I am pretty suprised that not one "mighty warrior" in that army had even a hint of courage or Faith in that situation. So here's David, a youth, still considered a young boy or a child, and he steps up to the challange. So what would you be thinking after mustering up the Faith to accept Goliath's challange? How about... Oh my goodness, what did I get myself into? God? You are going to fight this one aren't you? I know you fought that bear for me, and then there was that time when you rescued me from the lion too. Will you do it again? Have I pushed it too far this time? No! It is for your Name that I do this. You did not fail me in the past and you will not fail me now. I choose to trust you. I will have Faith.
I have read many biographies of missionaries that had this kind of Faith and it just creates a deeper desire in me to Trust God that much. The Bible says we should have the Faith of a child. Have you ever seen or heard of a little child standing up to a "giant" to defend their mom? I have. What about trying to teach your child to jump to you in a swimming pool for the first time? You may get a lot of "Are you sure you'll catch me!?" type questions, but ultimately they jump. They choose to trust you. They have Faith.
This year God has had me take some pretty big steps of Faith. He is having me trust Him with pretty extreme circumstances. The freedom I have received from this is Awesome. I want to do it again and again.
So what is your passion?
Post about it on your blog with a link to this blog, then come back here and use Mr Linky to link to your post. Be sure to leave a comment here too! I will be at the Women of Faith Conference Friday and Saturday so I may not get a chance to see what you write about until Saturday but I am looking forward to it! (I really hope I do Mr Linky right. Here goes.)
Aug 19, 2008
I'm joining Chatty Kelly today for her Tuesday Tips meme. Visit her blog and join in.
These are my grandaughters, Olivia, Emily, and Ashleigh. Whenever they are here they are very good at taking me in several different directions at once, and then changing that direction mid-stream too! I can't handle that kind of chaos. I need to take everything one step at a time. I'm about structure and efficiency. Besides that, I get dizzy easily.
One day God brought to my mind to teach them First Things First! Of course! Why didn't I think of that sooner! Every time they start moving too fast, talking all at the same time, and spinning me in circles I just stop them and say First Things First. Then I ask them what is the first thing. They think for a minute and tell me the first thing that we should focus on and chaotic activity stops.
Thank you Father for your wisdom.
Almost every Sunday my 3 little grandaughters go to church with me and then come to my house to spend the afternoon with me. This one is Ashleigh. About a week ago after they left to go home, I walked in my bedroom and this is what I found.
I knew immediately which one had these little bears comfy cozy as soon as I saw them.
Aug 15, 2008
Bear hugs are nothing compared to Christian hugs!!
Aug 14, 2008
What is integrity? Have you ever thought about it? Stop for a moment and define integrity.
I am about to begin an eight week study on integrity and I am very excited about it. This week as I am preparing the overview of the lesson I realized that I had never stopped to really think about what integrity is. I can name some acts of integrity, but it is so eye opening to define a word, so I went to dictionary.com and looked up the definition and synonyms for integrity. Read these slowly and thoughtfully. Consider how these apply to what it looks like to follow Christ.
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: as in to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: as in the integrity of a ship's hull.
character, completeness, decency, entireness, honesty, honor, sincerity, soundness, virtue, wholeness, fiber, entirety, oneness, totality, honorableness, incorruptibility, upstandingness, durability, firmness, solidity, stability, strength
Wow! Did you get that? Integrity is the very fiber that should define the character of every follower of Christ. It is that point where we are whole, one with Christ and with His Church. When we are walking in integrity, we are glorifiying God. We are doing so at that very moment, not we are working toward it but we are in the midst of it right then! A person of integrity stands out. Yes different, but it is a difference that shows Jesus to the world, that makes His light shine brightly from within us. It is choosing to do what is right even if we can get away with what is not. It is choosing what is best over what is good. It is Hard!
Jesus walked in integrity even as He lived as a man here on earth. He was tempted in the same ways we are, tempted to satisy the flesh over submission to the Spirit. On our own we are unable to fully walk in integrity. Oh we can achieve it sometimes, maybe even often, but there are still areas where we will struggle and yes, fail.
Walking in integrity is a process of change that is a work of the Holy Spirit. Still we must remember that the Holy Spirit does not force change in us. We must cooperate, we must submit to His authority over our lives. That is over all areas of our lives. Are you a woman or a man of integrity? Do you want to be? Are there areas within you that you have not allowed Jesus to change?
I would like to encourage you to go back to the day, the moment that you gave your life to Christ. Close your eyes and experience it again. Remember the love you had for Christ at that moment. Remember the desire you had for Him, to please Him, to live for Him, to give yourself completely to Him. Do it again right now. Fall in Love with Jesus.... now give Him those areas ... completely. Ask Him to make you a person of integrity.
O Lord you are all I need. I love you my God and my King. Only you can change me and make me complete. I give myself totally to you. Make me one with you. Make me a woman of integrity. ~ In Christ
Aug 7, 2008
Well it seems that I'm running late as usual. But I'm here and reflecting on my blessings. This is something I really need to do more of.
I am thankful for the income that God has provided. Even though it doesn't seem to work out on paper, my bills always get paid and on time. God has done amazing things in the area of my finances this year. My income has decreased substantially but I have not felt the loss. Thank you Lord, and forgive me for not always being as grateful as I should.
I am thankful for being able to get together with my friend Kathie for dinner this week. She is such a sweet lady with a deep love for the Lord. We didn't get to use up all our words that night so we're going to try again this weekend. :)
I am thankful that God shows up to encourage me so frequently. I am so prone to sink but He picks me up, gives me a hug, and tells me to take another step. All the while He stays right there ready to do it again. Thank you Lord. Please forgive my whining and help me to see you more clearly.
I am thankful that my grandaughter Olivia got to go to Bible Camp this week. I pray that she is having a great time, drawing nearer to Christ, and comes home safely tomorrow.
I am thankful that God can always be trusted, even when it doesn't feel like it.
I am thankful that the weekend is almost here!!! :D
Aug 6, 2008
Lauren (Isn't she cute!)
For a period of time I had the pleasure of teaching a Kindergarten Sunday School class. I just loved it! We played games like "Follow Jesus" and "Jesus Says" (cause we don't know who Simon is and Jesus gives second chances). We had our Bible lesson, and snacks, and of course I took lots of pictures to make a class yearbook for each of the kids (parents) at the end of the school year.
Usually my friend Angela (not my blogging buddy) taught the lesson, but one Saturday afternoon she called me to tell me that she was sick and wouldn't be able to make it on Sunday. So I did what I could to quickly prepare for the lesson. Now, I had already studied the lesson just wasn't prepared to teach it. This lesson was from Acts 8, Phillip and the Ethiopian. I just love that when you prepare to teach a lesson, God always speaks to you personally about it first.
Overview of Acts 8:
God sends an angel to Phillip to instruct him to to go to a certain road in the dessert that travels from Jeruselem to Gaza, and Phillip does what he is told. When he gets there he meets this Ethiopian traveling along reading scripture and not understanding. He invites Phillip to ride with him and explain the scripture to him. Phillip presents the Gospel to him and just as he finishes they pass by some water. The Ethiopian wants to be baptized and so Phillip obliges, then God whisks Phillip away and the Ethiopian goes on his way rejoicing. (Keyword)
Now there's a lot in there worthy of discussion but what God impressed on me as I prepared for the lesson was that He always goes ahead of us and prepares the way. ALWAYS! So we sat down in our little group and just when we got to the part where the Ethiopian said "Why shouldn't I be baptized?" little Lauren, who was sitting right next to me, looked at me and said "I've never been baptized." So I asked her if she had ever asked Jesus to be the boss of her life and she said no. So I asked her if she wanted to do that and she said yes. (WooHoo) So we prayed and she asked Jesus to be the boss of her life. When her mom came to pick her up and I told her what had occured, she told me that she had been in worship praying for Lauren. Of course we both cried and we have a special friendship over this as do Lauren and I.
It was an awesome experience to watch God go ahead of me and prepare all of those circumstances just as he did with Phillip and that He prepared Lauren's heart to ask about baptism at the same point that the Ethiopian asked. God is Always Amazing!
So I wonder if the Ethiopian might have approached the baptism water with the same enthusiasm as this young boy in this video...