Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"Every day should be a cause for celebration. By celebrating the gift of life, you protect your heart from the dangers of pessimism, regret, hopelessness, and doubt."
Monday, August 24, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Habits can either be crippling to us or it can strengthen us.
Habits such as drinking too much, gambling or having the inability to manage money can be crippling. In fact such habits, oftentimes, take control over us instead of us controlling it. But not all habits are bad...
Jesus had a habit. He had a habit of going up the mountain to spend time with God.
LUKE 22:39 "And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples also followed Him."
Jesus formed a habit of communicating with God every morning. It is said that if you do something consistently for 30 days, it will become a habit. You can either make or break a habit by consistently doing the same thing. We can follow Jesus example and form a positive habit by spending time with God every day!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Maybe you are like me, and how much you like a surprise depends on WHAT the surprise is!
Surprises like an unexpected bill in the mail or a mouse running across the floor is not what I call a good "surprise". However, if someone were to send me an unexpected check in the mail ... now that would be a wonderful surprise.
Yesterday was my daughters 14th birthday. And we had some surprises planned for her. I hyped up to her that we had a really big surprise planned. The anticipation and the waiting began the moment she got out of bed yesterday morning. But I told her she would have to wait until the family came over for dinner.
Dinner time arrived, family had arrived but her surprise had not been delivered yet! It was late. Her anticipation for her surprise was welling up in her, she could hardly stand it.
Dinner was over, the dishes were cleaned up, cake and opening presents commenced...but yet still the "surprise" had not been delivered.
All throughout the evening, the same question could be heard ... "when can I get my surprise?" However, we could not answer her question since we did not know the time of the delivery. All we could do was be ready for the call that the delivery had arrived.
The Bible warns us that we, Gods people, will be surprised at His second coming. None of us know the day or the hour that He will return, but as Christians, we know that the time is coming and most definitely the time is near.
I wonder how many of us are waiting with great anticipation for this moment. How many of us are like Anna who was waiting for her surprise ...Are we looking for His return? Waiting for it? Wondering about it?
2 PETER 3:10 " But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up."
Anna's birthday surprise did not come at the time that we expected, in fact it arrived 7 hours late, it was delivered in the middle of the night. But it was well worth the wait!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Have you ever been sucker punched by Satan???
1. PLEASE TELL US YOUR NAME AND WHERE WE CAN FIND YOU ON THE WEB?
Lee Ann Sturch…pleeanns.blogspot.com…Brokenness to Beauty
2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING AND TELL US YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BLOGGING?
I have been blogging since April of this year….. I love being able to share what God has placed on my heart. It is sort of a journaling for myself. Even if no one else reads it, it is great documentation of where God has brought me from, and the things He is doing in my life. On days when I am down or struggling, I can read some of my past blogs, and I truly remember how good God is.
3. WHAT ARE THE MAIN THINGS THAT YOU BLOG ABOUT?
So far, it has been about my experiences and observations. I pray before I blog, and sincerely try to post what God has laid on my heart.
4. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF...if you work ~where? ...have a family ~ tell us about them?
I work for an investment firm full time, and I work for a large retail store part time…. I am not married, YET! J But, I pray most every day for my future spouse. I have no biological children, but have many I call adopted children. I help with the kids at church, and have fallen in love with them.
5. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SERVING THE LORD?
I have claimed to be a Christian my whole life, but have only recently (last few years) really served the Lord with my whole being. I was very good at being a “church girl” on Sunday, and different the rest of the week…. At first, you only think about how much you have to give up to serve God, but until you give it up, you never realize how much you gain. Once you come to that realization, the trade-off is nowhere near worth it.
6. CAN YOU GIVE US A TESTIMONY OF HOW GOD HAS PROVEN HIMSELF FAITHFUL TO YOU?
Wow! An easier question would how has God not proven Himself faithful, because my answer would be that he hasn’t. He is always faithful, though many times we don’t understand His ways or His timing…. I guess a big testimony to me, is in what most would consider the little things. He has called me to ministry, which can be a scary thought at first, but He has been faithful to put AWESOME mentors in my life. He has asked me to go on, when I don’t have any strength left, but He has been faithful to carry me in those times. He has asked me to give when I don’t have it to offer, but has been faithful to bless me more than I could imagine. He has asked me to praise when my heart is broken, but He has been faithful to lift my Spirits. He has asked me to minister when I am weary, but He has been faithful to restore my joy. He has asked me to love when my pride has been wounded and hurt is buried deep inside, but He has been faithful to overflow my soul with His love and grace.
7. COULD YOU SHARE WITH YOUR CIRCLE OF BLOGGING FRIENDS YOUR FAVORITE SCRIPTURE?
It is actually a chapter.. Psalm 63… It blesses me so much, each time that I read it.
8. HOW HAS THAT SCRIPTURE MINISTERED TO YOU RECENTLY?
It is a prayer of how we should seek God, a praise to how awesome He is, a realization of how much we need Him, and reminder of the power that comes from Him…. It ministers to me each time I read it… God is so very good, and I never want to lose sight of that fact.
9. WHAT ADVICE ABOUT BLOGGING WOULD YOU OFFER TO YOUR CIRCLE OF BLOGGING FRIENDS?
Seek God in all that you do. Let it always be about Him, and not about you… We tend to like the spotlight and want big numbers and lots of followers…. God convicted me of this. I realized that if God uses my blog to touch one person, then it is worth it. It is not to honor Lee Ann, but to honor God!
"AMEN to that Lee Ann! What wonderful words of advice for all of us to take to heart. When I first started my blog I often took time to look at that little ticker that showed how many viewed my blog but in all honesty if God speaks to just one person thru my writing than He will be honored and glorified and that little ticker really doesn't matter! What an awesome encouragement to me to see younger women like Lee Ann picking up this mantle and running with it ... the mantle of putting God first in all that they do! Lee Ann...thank you for being an encouragement to me and to all WOMEN WHO ARE TAKING A STAND!" -blessings, Laurie
I WOULD LOVE TO FEATURE YOU in a future CIRCLE OF LOVE segment. Please CLICK HERE to see how your blog can be highlighted!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Many times over the years of serving Him, I have found myself in situations where without Gods intervention, I just don't know what I would have done. While we were on vacation a week ago, I found myself in a real situation that I needed God's power in a mighty way!
WE FOUND OURSELVES IN A REAL PICKLE!!! We were driving from Arkansas to Gulf Shores, Alabama. We were about a block and half from our condo when we noticed the air conditioner in the van was not working. Thinking that maybe the air went out, I tried to roll down the window and that is when we discovered the problem. All of the electrical power in our vehicle was gone! When we turned onto our road to our condo ... the van begin sputtering out and we coasted into the parking lot. It was here that our vehicle died.
It was late in the day, not much we could do. So we checked into the condo, unpacked and scrounged around for some leftover snacks from the trip. The nearest grocery store was about 2 miles. Without any transportation ... we were kind of in a pickle. (thank goodness for pizza delivery!!)
The following day, my husband began to call around for help. The first place he started was calling a local church (of the same denomination as ours). He told them he was a pastor and stranded on vacation with car trouble. They gave him a phone number to call. Upon calling that number, the guy could not tow us or help us. That was the end of that help. (okay ...strike one)
We then began to call around to car garages and Ford dealerships. Nobody could tow us. And the earliest anybody could look at the van was in a week! (that was strike two)
Our only other hope, was to call a car rental place and try to rent a car. In just 3 more days we had to have our daughter in Orlando for Fine Arts Competition and we had to find a way to get there. But not to our surprise, the car rentals have no medium size cars or vans to rent. (now that is strike three)
Now what? "What are we going to do" - I remember asking my husband. We have no car. We have no food. Nobody will help us. We have no way to get to the store. We are simply stranded, feeling hopeless (and helpless).
Well, I'll tell you what we did ... we did what most people do in such a pickle ... after we tried to fix things our way ... (Have you ever had pickle faith before?) - WE PRAYED!
And that's when God showed up!
God quickly reminded me that if we would just place our lives in His hands, our faith will be rewarded in ways that we can scarcely understand. We look with clouded vision and limited understanding...but if we seek to rely solely upon Him and His ways, we will never be disappointed.
The end to this story is that we were able to rent a small car for a day so we could at least get to the grocery store to purchase food and other necessities for the condo. Two friends from our church drove from Arkansas to Alabama to help us. They brought us another vehicle to use for the remainder of our trip and they towed our van back home.
WHAT ARE YOU IN NEED OF TODAY?
Trust God, not just today but every day of your life. Trust Him with every aspect of your life, your future is secure when you put your trust and faith in Him.
MARK 11:23 "I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea', and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him."
"FAITH IS TRUSTING IN ADVANCE WHAT WILL ONLY MAKE SENSE IN REVERSE." -PHILIP YANCEYand that is a piece of my heart today;
Monday, August 10, 2009
This past week while we were in Orlando, this very thing happened to me! We had gone to Universal Studios / Islands of Adventure and I could not believe how many other people had the same idea as us. There were so many people ... everywhere!
I told the kids to stay close by otherwise we were going to get separated. The kids and I saw Emerils Restaurant and we went over to look in the window where the chefs were cooking but when we turned around ... my husband was nowhere to be found. When I looked out among the people I just knew there would be no way we were going to find him. He was simply lost.
When I was thinking about how we got separated for a brief moment at the amusement park, God pricked my heart and showed me how easily we, His people get lost.
We take a wrong turn.
Make an incorrect decision.
We proceed without Him.
When this happens to us, many times we feel like God is nowhere around. We often times say out loud "God ... where are YOU??" But even in the times that we get turned around and lost ~ God is still there. He never loses sight of us. Never!
PSALM 33:13 "The Lord looks down and sees all mankind."
While we were at the amusement park, it didn't take me long to find my husband. Even though I couldn't see him in the crowd, he was very close by.
Today, you may be in a situation that you can't see the answer or even see God ... but I assure you He is very close by!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
You've heard the saying ... "the family that prays together stays together" - It is also true that "the family that fishes together stays together"?