Friday, October 30, 2009

In a heartbeat!

As many of you know, I married my high school sweetie over 28 years ago. (if you are trying to do the math ... yes I was just a mere young miss when that happened!) I will never forget one of the most memorable things that my husband said early in our marriage.

We had gone to a revival at a church (not our home church). I don't remember what the evangelist preached about that night, but I do remember the evangelist coming off of the platform and coming down to where we sat. He came straight over to my husband and asked him this: "Would you die for her?" and he pointed straight at me. It almost seemed like everything in the room got still, because I swear you could hear a pin drop at that moment.

"In a heartbeat!" - so said my husband of just a few short months.

Thank goodness over the past 28 years he has not had to demonstrate this deep affection for me in this particular way. But just knowing that my husband loves me so much that he would take a bullet for me, he would jump in front of a speeding car for me, and he would go to the ends of the earth for me is such a soothing feeling. What a hero my husband is to me!

Some people long for what I have. They long for a husband that is devoted. They long for someone to love them so unconditionally. They long to have an assurance that someone really does care. It's nice to have a hero like my husband, but in reality my #1 hero is Jesus Christ.

He has already died for me. He took my pain and my anguish. And He took yours too. If He had to do it all over again, I am confident that He would do it again in a heartbeat. All because He loves us so much.

Isaiah 43:4 "I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you." [The Message]

Do you long for a love that is true and lasting?
God has already given His life and now He waits for our hearts ... let Him be your hero today!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY ... being second fiddle

When my son played in band in jr. high, I remember him talking about "which" chair he had moved to in the trumpet section. The goal was to become first chair, unfortunetly he never made it that far. In an orchestra, the first-chair position is the most prominent and most high-profile place to be. This position usually means that this person is leading the rest by playing the main melody. While there are other trumpets in the horn section, they are not as honored as the lead trumpest.

Nobody likes to be "second fiddle" to anybody. It goes all the way back to grade school for some of us. We want to be on the winning team. We want to be picked first. We do not want to be left behind or worse yet left out.

However, in the spiritual world being "second fiddle" means that we are doing exactly what God has called us to do ... and that is to put others first. When we focus on someone else's achievements (or hardships like I posted about yesterday) while we stay back in the shadows, this may seem like second fiddle, but in God's eyes you have just taken first chair. He is keeping account and your selfless acts and unconditional love will be rewarded.

"Do not look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too." PHILIPPIANS 2:4

So today, be thankful that you are second fiddle ... your recognition will come from the Father!

TT is hosted by LYNN today, stop by to see more grateful hearts today.
Next week you can find Thankful Thursday over at Iris's, see my sidebar for the upcoming schedule for TT hosts. HAPPY TT!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ... having a meaningful life

As I get older, I often look back and reflect on the strides and the accomplishments that I can see. Some are good but so many fall short of what I had intended for my life. When it is all said and done, I want to reach the end of my life and be able to say, "it's been meaningful".

Many people think that to have a meaningful life it is all about keeping life ... but in reality it is quite the opposite. Meaningful living is "giving your life away". That is what Jesus did and it is exactly what He taught us to do.

LUKE 9:23,24 "Then He said to them all: If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. (24) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it."

In this self centered, "grab all you can get" world - this message probably is not very well received. But if we look at this teaching that Jesus was giving, it may be what we need to obtain the most meaningful life possible.

Putting others before ourselves. Here is a new concept. If we looked around, what we would see is alot of people trying to "fullfill" their needs and usually at the expense of another. If a person is "unfullfilled" in their marriage and someone else comes along that seems to meet a need, they feel obligated to make sure their needs are met. This only comes with a huge cost. It will cost them everything.

What Jesus is asking us to do is be self-giving. This is different than the self fullfillment I just spoke of. Self giving is not done out of a feeling of unworthiness, selfishness or obligation, it is based on love and commitment modeled after the kind that Christ has.

Putting others before ourselves will make our life more meaningful. We will find meaning because life now has a purpose and in each of us God has given a purpose.

All of us have from time to time have regrets for decisions that we have made. Last week in YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question: "What have you denied yourself pleasure of being a part of?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 28% of those polled said that they denied themselves of contributing to a cause in their communtiy.
2. Another 28% of those voting said that they wish they had become involved in ministry at their church.
3. 14% voted and said that they denied themselves of going on a missions trip.

What I noticed about this week's poll is that all of the top list of things we have denied ourselves with has something to do with giving of ourselves to other people. There is so much joy, fullfillment and meaning in giving to others as Jesus has taught us. Read this story:

"There is an old chinese tale of a woman whose only son died. When she asked the local holy man to bring her son back to life, he responded, "fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life." So the woman began to search for such a place, the first place she came upon was a mansion. But they told her "You have certainly come to the wrong place" and they began to describe to her all of the sorrow that they had endured. After hearing their story, the woman said to herself, "who is better to help these poor unfortunate people than I?" So she stayed awhile to comfort these people before she moved on. But wherever she turned, she just found more people filled with sadness and misfortune. Soon she became so focused on helping other people that she forgot all about her original quest to seek the mustard seed that was to help her in her sorrow. It wasn't the mustard seed at all that she needed, but it was helping others that drove the sorrow out of her life."

Pick up the cross daily ... and have meaning in your life!
 Someone is dependent upon it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART...Becoming a BIG girl!

We live in a world that teaches us such things as:

"The early bird gets the worm."
"No pain No gain."
"There is no such thing as a free lunch."
"You get what you pay for."

It seems that we buy into the the theory that people get what they deserve. But how many times do we endure hardships and trials and find ourselves saying, "I do NOT deserve this!" We all believe that we have a right to fairness and when we don't get it - we feel violated.

When difficulties come my way, I often find myself saying:

"This is not fair"
"I don't deserve this."
"I work too hard for this to happen."
"Why is this happening to me?"
(whine ~ whine ~ whine)

Deep down what I am really doing is being a little girl that wants to live in a perfect little world where everything is perfectly fair!

Would I really want to live in such a world?

 After all, living in such a perfect place would  mean there is no room for grace (receiving what I don't deserve). And there would be no room for mercy either (being spared from the punishment that I deserve).

Realizing that I won't always get what I deserve and most importantly I won't deserve some things that I get will move me into a more mature thinking of what "fairness" is all about. Fairness is not what I seek from God. Giving me fairness (what I really deserve) would mean that my sins would not already be paid for.

Psalm 51:1 "Have mercy on me, O God, because of Your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins."

Is life fair all of the time? no
Is God just and merciful? always

Today, I started out as a little girl hoping for a perfect world but I am praying that tomorrow I can mature and move on to becoming a big girl! Because of His unfailing love ... I know I can do it!

 And that is a piece of my heart today!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lighten your load

I have a favorite pair of dress shoes that I love to wear with dress slacks. They are tight on my feet though and after a few hours of striding around in them, I am ready to take them off.

Getting rid of things that bind us...

I am reminded of the times that I have traveled with my husband and we have had bags overpacked. It takes two of us to drag all of the luggage thru the airport, but many times the bags are so heavy and awkward that I cannot carry my load. Almost always, my husband has to pick up the slack for me and not only carry his but mine as well.

Isn't this the perfect picture of what Jesus does for us? Look at Matthew 11:27, 28:

If you continue on in Matthew chapter 11, the verse reads "Take my yoke upon you, for My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

A yoke? Now that is something that we don't hear about much. In study, I learned that a yoke is actually a bar of wood that attaches to farm animals so they could carry their load. Being a carpenter, I would imagine that Jesus knew exactly what a carpenter had to do to adjust the yoke that was made for the oxen. I am sure that the farmer would bring their oxen to the carpenter, who then would measure the shoulders so a properly fit yoke could be made. Each yoke would fit just right.

Perhaps this is what Jesus is saying in this passage in Matthew. That His hope, His love, His mercy fits just right! He has promised that He would not put more on us than we can handle and when we trust in His yoke ... He will lead us into rest and not misery.

I need His yoke about you?

Friday, October 23, 2009

LWG - Mr. Postman

“Wait a minute, wait a minute … Mr. Postman!”

I am showing my age alittle bit with quoting that oldie of a song. But if you recall that song, it was a love song about someone waiting for a love letter from their sweetie. But the postman comes by and doesn’t deliver the letter as expected.

You know the kind of love letter that I am talking about. The kind that you keep in an old shoe box and the envelopes are covered with xoxo and as you pull out the parched paper with the words of your sweeties soul, you can still smell the fragrance of the hand that wrote it.

If you have such a shoe box full of love letters, most likely the paper is worn thin and the words are almost unrecognizable because of the times you have read those heartfelt words over and over again. Each time, no matter how many times you have read the words, they touch your heart and warm your soul.

Such letters are almost a rarity these days because we live in a society of technology. Today we use the computer to send e-cards to express our love or we send out a quick “I love you” on our facebook pages. You know technology is great but when it comes to receiving a love letter, I personally would like to receive one that I could hold in my hand and gaze upon over and over again.

We don’t have to wait on the postman like the song says ~ Each of us has such a love letter … the Bible is God’s love letter to the world. It is a personal message to each of us. Even though we share the same love letter and the message is the same, God’s intimate relationship is unique for each one that reads it.

I wonder how worn and tattered the pages of your love letter have become? Do you read the words of love with the same passion as you did the first time you read it?

“You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.” – Isaiah 43:4

God’s love letter to us should be cherished and read over and over and over again. When is the last time that you picked up your love letter and read it?

This is a devotion that I have shared today over at the LACED WITH GRACE site. I am honored to share devo's with a team of great writers over there and you will be blessed by them five days a week (monday-friday). CLICK HERE to find out more about this great ministry!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY ... horseshoes

One of my favorite things about having cookouts with family and friends would have to be the activities that go on out in the backyard. Our backyard is set up to initiate family fun! We have a firepit in the middle of the yard and off to one corner is a tetherball. Oh the games, the fun and the laughter that have been had around that pole! One of the newest things that we have added to our "fun" backyard is the game of horseshoes.

Now, the first thing that you will notice about horseshoes is when you pick one of the horseshoes up, it feels quite weighty. But my favorite part is when you throw it, hearing that "clank" sound. (that is if you get it close enough to the pole). Often times when I play horseshoes, I do not hear the "clank" sound often enough, and what happens real quick is that I get frustrated as my throw attempts get further and further from the target.

Isn't that just like life sometimes? If the horseshoe represented our cares and the pole represented Christ, how frustrating it would be if throwing our "weighty" cares out did not get close to Christ. With alittle bit of concentration and alot of motivation, with each throw - we would not miss the mark!

If we could just imagine ourselves casting one of our problems on the Lord with each toss ... imagine how much better we would feel by the end of the game! I think hitting the mark, or casting our burdens on the Lord is all in the release. Sometimes it may feel more like a boomerang than a horseshoe, but the key to the game is all in the release.

Have you released your burdens upon Him today? I am thankful today for the promises that God gives us causes us to cast off what we don't need so we can hold onto what we do need!

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." - Psalm 55:22

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

"In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." - Psalm 94:19

What are you thankful for today? Lynn is hosting THANKFUL THURSDAY this week, stop by and join your grateful heart with ours! Find more thanks HERE!

You can also find a devotion that I have written for AT THE WELL today. It is entitled, "GROWING OLD TOGETHER". I would love for you to stop by and read it. CLICK here to find this devotion.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD ... get your game face on!

We have all heard it before ... "If it feels good ~ do it!" Now there is a slogan that our society has grabbed a hold of. Our world is full of temptation and the sad thing is that people don't even try to resist temptation, it is easier to just give in.

There is not one person who is not tempted by something. What I am tempted with may be different than what you are tempted with, but no matter what, the old saying is true ... "I can resist anything, except temptation."

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "Which bargain would be the hardest to resist?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 50% of those voting said that they would not be able to resist a free airline to Hawaii.
2. Another 50% who voted said that they would have difficulty resisting  a buy one/get one free at their favorite restuarant.
3. 30% of those polled said that a buy one/get one free at a local clothing store would be hard to resist.

Temptation. Why is it so difficult for us to resist it? The answer for today is the same as it was for Adam and Eve in the Garden...

Genesis 3:1a "The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made."

Not only is the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden the story of the first temptation, but I believe it is also the prototype for all temptations. If we know the tactics of our opponent ~ we will know how to beat them. Look at what happened in the Garden that day...

"Did God really say that?" (Genesis 3:1)
Temptation will often make us question what God has really said to us. If we are not sure of what God has said, then why should we restrain ourselves? The "why" is found in His promises...He said that we could rely upon His Word to guide us. Having confidence in Gods Word is the first step for fighting temptation!

"You will not surely die!" (Genesis 3:4)
People too easily allow themselves to believe that consequences are for other people and not for them. The serpent used this same tactic to lure Eve. If we deal with consequences in a naive kind of way, it does not eliminate the consequences or make them easier.

"and they hid from the Lord God". (Genesis 3:8)
So many times the reason that we fall into temptation is because we think we can get away with it. Nobody will notice, nobody will know. But that is such a lie, because someone does know ~ God sees and He knows.

It was not Gods idea for Adam and Eve to disobey and fall into temptation. It is not His plan that we slip and mess up and fall into temptation either. The Psalmist described exactly how we can know that we do not have to face temptation alone. God is with us, guiding us and leading us and encouraging us to be strong in Him.

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a weekly post designated to highlight thoughts of a recent personal study. This week I was reading about temptations and I came across this passage in Genesis and considered how facing the one who tempts us is much like facing an opponnent in a sports game ... we must put on our game faces and seek God's strength daily!

Do you have your game face on?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART ... Asking the question "Why?"

When children are small, they are prone to ask mommy and daddy "why" questions...

"Why is the sky blue?"
"Why don't fish wear shoes?"
"Why do bears live in caves?"

So many questions ... but yet few answers. I recall my kids being very inquisitive, our second son Jeremy was very inquisitive, always asking the "why" questions and no matter what answer I gave him - he wanted to know more.

There were just some things that I did not know the answer to and all I could simply say was "because...that's why Jeremy...just because."

Sometimes that was enough to satisfy him and sometimes it wasn't. I was reminded this week that even as adults, many times we are still asking the "why" questions. Except this time we are asking God ..."Why God, why?" Jeremy, the little inquisitive boy called me up from his home in Utah and asked me that very familiar question this week ...."Why Mom, Why?" This time he was not asking because he was a youngster, but he was asking as a man, a husband, and as someone who just needed to know God's answer to his question.

I couldn't answer him how I would like to of, because I did not know the answer. Sometimes we are hesitant to ask such questions out of fear that God would look at us to be unfaithful or have unbelief. Perhaps we find ourselves in a desperate situation that causes us to put God's Word to the test.

My son found himself to be in a desperate situation this week, and he found himself looking for answers. Some questions in life just go unanswered. There are some "Whys?" that just cannot be explained. We can love God with all of our heart but yet seek to ask desperate questions.

It is ok to ask God questions. It is even ok to ask God "Why, God why?" Sometimes the only answer we will hear is "Be still and know that I am God".

Be still? Yes, that is a promise that we can put to the test  ~ for His Word says He will never leave us nor forsake us. "But why?" ... because "Nothing can separate us from His love, nothing!"

and that's a piece of my heart today;

Monday, October 19, 2009

AT THE WELL... changing seasons

I love this time of year. The temperatures are getting cooler. The leaves are changing colors and falling. The change in seasons is upon us.

The changing of the seasons requires us all to do things differently than what we did in the past season. For instance ...we dress differently and we even cook differently in the fall than what we did in the summertime.

God gave us the beauty of having four seasons. Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter. Each season has its blessings, each season has its changes and each season has its diversity.

Same could be said of the seasons of life that we all go thru. When I was young and it was just me and my hubby (before kids), it appeared that our entire life was mapped out. We knew exactly where we were going and how we were going to get there. But somehow along the way, we came up on snares and delays and detours.

All along the journey though, God had a specific destination in mind for us. Our destination all along was always in the palm of His hands:

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps" - PROVERBS 16:9

On this journey that I call LIFE, it is easy to ask ourselves...

 "did we mark the map correctly?"
 "did we make the right turn?"
"something is wrong - nothing seems familiar!"
"This is not the direction we are supposed to be going - we must be lost!"

Instead of allowing panic to set in during these moments, we must remember that God gently leads us through different seasons of life. With each season, we may be required to do things differently. Some seasons of life will shower blessings and changes, while others we will experience diversity.

The neat thing about season changes, (weather changes and changes in life) is that God is always with us. He is there to calm our fears and to help us understand exactly what He is doing in our life. Sometimes, we just need to fold up the map that we are trusting and ask God to show us the way.

No matter what season you find yourself in today, whether it is a season of just getting started, or a season of raising your family or the season of empty nest or the season of growing old ... God is with you each step of the way. No wind, nor rain nor sleet or snow can keep Him away.

Your seasons may change ....
but God will always be the same!

I have entered a new season of life personally, as a mother of 3 grown sons and 1 teen daughter, I often have asked God "now what?" and over and over He reminds me that He has created me for "such a time as this!"

What season are you in today? Join us over AT THE WELL as we discuss "Embracing the seasons". Find more thoughts on todays subject HERE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wild "GOD" Chase

Have you ever been on a wild goose chase? I would say that most of us have. We run here, we run there, and everywhere and we just do not seem to accomplish what we set out to accomplish!

Recently, I attended the Beth Moore Living Proof Conference in Memphis. Beth spoke to us (over 13,ooo of us!) about having a "Wild GOD Chase". It is no wonder that after Beth disclosed some facts about God that we were compelled to chase after God!

~ He is compassionate!
~ He is gracious!
~ He is abounding in love!
~ He maintains His love!
~ He forgives!

I was challenged, along with the other ladies that attended with me to go on a "Wild GOD Chase!", pursuing Him like never before. I loved the question that Beth asked us..."When was the last time you were altered by God's vision?"

So I ask you, when? When were you last altered by God's vision and when is the last time you chased after Him?

(Amy, Kristy, Laura, Sherry, me, Edith, Sheri and Barbara...missing from pix were Kristin and Sandy)

Come on ... let's all go on a "Wild GOD Chase!"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY...flashing lights

Earlier this week, you may have read about how my son and I got stuck in traffic for 3 hours. We were on our way to meet his friend, who was going to give him a ride back to college in Texas. Jordan had been home on fall break visiting with us.

But an hour and half from our meeting place, we came upon an accident on the highway and the state troopers had the road closed and we got stopped in traffic. We were surrounded by semi trucks. One in front and one in back. After the first hour of waiting, the truck ahead of us still had his red blinking tail lights on.

(see the red lights ... they were like the energizer bunny: just blinking and blinking and blinking!)

Going into the second hour of waiting ... the blinking red lights really were starting to get on our nerves. By the third hour of waiting, the blinking red lights now were an irritant to us. So much so, that my son wanted to get out of the car and go knock on the truck drivers door and ask him to PLEASE turn his red blinking lights off as we were now permanently blind from them!! But after reasoning with my son, we decided it might be a bad idea ... the driver might be compelled to alittle road rage due to the long delay!

We were in a real tight spot. There was nowhere to go. We couldn't go forwards or backwards. We really needed to get to where we were going, Jordan's friend was waiting for us. But all we could do is wait. And wait. And wait.

(Here is Jordan reading a book during our 3 hour delay)

Nobody likes to wait these days...not at traffic lights, or in checkout lanes, or at bus stops, and certainly not in a traffic jam. Waiting is even harder when we are waiting for someone to return home from a far away trip, or wait for the money to come in that is needed to pay a bill, or waiting for a dear loved one to accept Christ.

Waiting on the Lord to act or provide or even heal is really, really hard. But waiting has a purpose. Waiting upon God reminds us of just how much we depend on Him.

I am not really sure what the purpose was for me and Jordan to have to wait in that traffic jam for 3 hours, but I do know that there WAS a purpose. Possibly, we were spared from being in that accident or possibly God knew that we (Jordan and me) needed a few more hours together before he went back to college.

I was thinking about all of the people in the Bible who had to wait...
  • Abraham and Sarah
  • Joseph
  • The children of Israel
Just a few examples of people who were dependent on God showing up. When we wait upon the Lord patiently, He does something really important inside of our souls. Waiting teaches us dependence on God's promises. Often times, God sends out flashing red lights to us, but we ignore them or get irritated with them and continue on our way. Forgetting that God has a master plan and He has our best interest at heart.

"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry."  Psalm 40:1

Dear Lord, THANK YOU for the flashing lights that you put in front of me to slow me down. When I try to do things in my own power, I get in a hurry and oftentimes do not seek Your will. You always know exactly what I need, and when I need it. Thank you for the delays and the detours that keep me from swerving from your plan. AMEN.

LYNN  is our THANKFUL THURSDAY host this month,
please visit her and other grateful hearts HERE!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...keeping it real in a phony world

Last night I watched  the TLC channel on TV. I had no idea just how many reality tv shows there after another, shows about real people were being advertised.

I have to wonder about people who would let cameramen and TV producers come into their living room and film each and every step they take. For instance, last night I was watching "18 and counting", the show about the Duggar family who have 18 children and one more on the way. Last night's show was following the Duggar's married son and his wife, who were about to have a baby. We then were able to watch not only the labor, but the delivery and the cutting of the cord.

Awww... everyone sighs.

But reality is ... who lets a cameraman and the entire world watch such an intimate moment? Think about it...what would YOUR reality show be like if a camerman followed you and your family around? Would your house always be clean? Would your children always be well behaved? Would you always be speaking kind words with the right attitude?

Sometimes what we depict to be true is not really reality. I often wonder on some of those shows how much of it is real and how much of it is planned or acted? The recent break up of reality show guru's Jon and Kate reveals that possibly what we are watching on those reality shows may not be actual reality! In fact, I would guess that the producers jump on depicting the ugly side of things just to boost ratings, so what is "real" now becomes "fake".

Jesus sought to encourage people to be real in a much more genuine way than anything on "real" TV. He looked at the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees and the experts in religious law, and He saw many of them were play acting. Without mincing words, He laid it on the line to them saying..."learn to be genuine or you will never enter the kingdom of God".

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "If you could have the best seats ...where would that be?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 42% of those voting said they would like to have best seats on a Caribbean Cruise Ship (ocean-view).
2. 28% voted and said that they would like seats in front of the stage for a favorite singer in concert.
3. Another 28% said that they would like seats near the orchestra pit at a Broadway Musical.

I don't know if any of us will ever get front row seats like mentioned above. But I do wonder what it would be like to have the best seats to sit near Jesus? Wait...we already have that offered to us, but for so many we don't reach out and take it. Some people attend church and even do all of the right things but when it comes down to it ... reality is that their faith and chrisitanity is not genuine.

If a bright light was shining on our heart and our faith, one much like the camera light in the reality shows, I wonder what would be revealed? How can we make sure we live a more genuine and "real" christian life?

~ Keep Jesus as the central focus of all our actions.
~ Face our weaknessess with honesty and openness by confessing to God on a regular basis.
~ Be gentle with others in their weaknesses, pray for them.

I am striving to keep it real!
How about you?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


"This is the day that the Lord has made and 
I will REJOICE and be GLAD in it!"

 Certainly I will today, some days are harder to do that than others. Like yesterday...I ventured out to drive my son 4 hours to meet his ride back to college in Texas. But we came up on a bad wreck and got stuck in traffic for 3 hours. This delay caused my son to miss his ride back to college so we had to drive all the way to Texas last night.

10 hours on the road to get here.
8 more hours on the road today to get back.

Today IS the day that the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice in it. Every day is an adventure...I am glad that God is in it with us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

AT THE WELL...raising a godly daughter in a NIKE world!

Raising a teen daughter is so much different than raising a son. The life lessons take a totally different turn. Our 3 sons are raised and living on their own and we are left with just our daughter at home. She is our only daughter and is 14 years old now ... the adventure has begun!

I love each and every day with her. She is such a blessing and a total wonder to watch as she flourishes and grows into the godly young lady that God is molding her to be. Along the way, we have hit some bumps and snares in the road, but with each sudden stop we try to assess the situation and see what life is trying to teach us.

Yes, you heard me correct ... teach US! As God teaches her, He also teaches me. I am learning so much by going thru the growing pains with my daughter. Just since this past summer we have learned that most boys at age 14 are morons. We have also learned that girls are just downright mean. Another lesson we learned is that true friends aren't always the ones you think are true. And the biggie ... we have learned that growing up as a teen girl today is NOTHING like being a teen back in my day!

My daughter and I ...
We talk about everything.
We shop together.
We pray together.
We laugh together.

Today, over AT THE WELL, we are discussing how we encourage our daughters in their walk with the Lord. There are two very important ways that a mother can encourage her daughter to be godly in a very mean spirited and ungodly world...

1. be an example to her.
2. share God's example to her.

"I will make your faithfulness known through all generations." (Psalm 89:1)
I have been trying to teach my daughter that not only is God faithful but He desires us to BE faithful! Nike has had for years, a famous slogan ..."Just do it!" We need to get back to the basics of learning and passing on the mentality of "Just do it!" when it comes to loyalty, trustworthiness and character in our relationships.

As I journey thru this adventure with my teen daughter, we have been learning about faithfulness. Being faithful not only to our word but also faithful in our relationships. It is a tough thing, when a 14 year old experiences a friend who is unfaithful. A friend who gossips, or betrays a trust is often found to be unfaithful not only in loyalty or trustworthiness but in character. And this is where NIKE has more influence than a shoe to wear in our family.

It's not always about what the other person does or does not do as it is about what YOU do or don't do. Faithfulness must start with you. And the only way to do it is to "JUST DO IT!" Teaching your daughter this godly principle and more must come first from God's Word and secondly, it must be taught thru your example.

So what does faithfulness in action look like?
~you follow thru...if you say it, then do it.
~you come matter.
~you deliver the goods....on time.
~you show up ... early preferrably.

~you keep your word ...your "yes" means "yes" and your "no" means "no".
~you keep your appointments and commitments ... don't cancel unless it is an emergency.
~you are a regular attender at your don't neglect worship.

Faithfulness means doing matter what. What are you teaching your daughter when it comes to faithfulness? Are you faithful with the things God has entrusted you with? or do you lack in an area of being faithful? Why not decide today to "just do it!" and allow God to give you strength and a purpose in doing all that you can for Him and for your daughter, whose eyes are upon you.

I want to be found to be faithful in all that I do!
How about you?

Join the discussion today over AT THE WELL

Friday, October 9, 2009

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Falling down is no fun. I can remember when my kids were toddlers, they would fall down all of the time. Sometimes they would get so frustrated when they would fall down that they would just sit there, cry and not even try to get up.

Life can be just like that for us grown ups sometimes. We fall. We fall again and we keep falling. We get so frustrated that we just want to give up, stop trying, throw in the towel and just quit!

Occasional disappointments and failures are an inevitable part of life. Some setbacks are just simply the price of growing up and learnng about life. A toddler who falls down over and over again because they are just learning to get their balance just needs to get up and try again. Along the way, he/she may need mommy or daddy to come along to give them a hand, to encourage them and to pick them up.

When life gives you disappointments, instead of being a frustrated christian...
be a faithful christian!

God is faithful, even when we fall down. Perseverance not perfection is what He is looking for. So if you have fallen (and you will) .... get back up, dust yourself off and try, try and try again.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

THANKFUL THURSDAY...take my hand

"I am always with You; You hold me by my right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory." -PSALM 73:23,24
It starts with a tiny fist wrapped around a new mother's finger. It continues with a young hand held gently in a Grandfather's much larger grasp. It endures puppy love, adolescent crushes and courtship. If we are wise, it even extends into marriage, middle age, beyond the golden years and to the very end of our time.

Holding hands...It is the most intimate expression of love between two human beings.

I have been married for 28 years and I still enjoy holding the hand of my husband. This beautiful act of affection should never be taken for granted. Be careful that it does not slip away from you.

Holding the hand of someone that you love is such a beautiful and deep connection. It requires no words but yet relays such a profound and meaningful message.

One of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed is a man holding the hand of the woman he had been married to for over 50 years. He had done it so many other times but this time it was different ... she laid in the hospital bed, he was at her side, just holding her hand. No words were spoken, but a tear rolled down his cheek as he held her hand in his and caressed the top of her hand with his other hand.

This would be his last time to hold her hand. But there was nothing to worry about because as she faded away and her hand slipped from his...another strong hand grasped onto hers and held it tight. It was the hand of God and He was leading her just like He had promised.

Today, I am thankful for the love and affection that rests simply in holding hands ... God is simply waiting to say to each of us ... "come, take My hand".

You can join other grateful hearts today
Lynn is our host this week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...the lone ranger

We are living in a society where people are becoming more and more isolated from each other. In fact, with the convenience of internet these days, it is possible to not get out of the comfort of your home for hardly anything anymore.

Many of the things that people used to do together, now do in the privacy and isolation of their own homes.

~ Instead of going to the movies, we rent a video and watch it at home...alone.
~ Instead of going to the mall to shop, we shop online or on ebay right from the living room of our homes .... all alone.
~ Instead of going into the office to work, we work from our home office, all equipped with a fax, a phone, a computer and a copier...we work all alone.

Seems like people are becoming accustomed to living life within the four walls of their homes. Isolating themselves from the stress and danger that the world offers. Some people even take this isolation to the extreme of how they worship. Instead of attending a local church service, they turn their living rooms and dens into a house of worship. Turn alittle bit of TV preaching on, insert some gospel music into the cd player and open your Bible up, all while sitting in the comfort of your lazyboy recliner.

Isolation. Why is it not good to isolate ourselves like this?

First reason....lonliness. Isolating yourselves from others may or may not keep you from the stress of everyday living. Ultimately the cost of isolation will be lonliness. Everybody needs somebody. Talking to people on the phone or even thru email is nice, but once in awhile it is nice to have some skin to a smile or a hug.

Secondly, and most importantly, God did not make us for isolation. Genesis 2:18 says, "It is not good that the man should be alone." Ordinarily this passage is quoted when we reference marriage, but the context is also true when we talk about all of our relationships. I can't think of any other better place than the house of God to bring together people. The church is God's tool for bringing people together focusing upon Him.

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question: "If you were asked to be on a committee to name the ideal church, what would the name be?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 28% of those voting said that they would name the ideal church, "THE OLD TIME GOSPEL CHURCH", a place to return to traditional values.
2. Another 28% voted and said the ideal church would be called "THE HOUSE OF LOVE", a place where the light would be left on.
3. 14% of those polled said that they would name the ideal church "COME AS YOU ARE", because it's not what you wear but who you are.

I know people who say that they can be a Christian without going to church. And typically that statement is true, because your salvation is only based upon your relationship with Christ and not how often you attend a church service. And for many homebound people, attending church services is impossible...but does that make them less of a Christian? Absolutely not.

Alot of people choose to not attend a local church for different reasons. One reason may be because they just haven't found that "ideal" church. When looking for a church, I think there is no better description of what a church should be and can be than the description we find in Acts 2. Keep in mind, that a church is not a perfect organization of perfect people.

Only one person walked this earth that was perfect and He gave His life for us at Calvary! If you read the Old Testament, you will find that even the church in Bible times had conflicts and shortcomings.

ACTS 2:42 "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."

ACTS 2:43 "Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles."

The church described in Acts was a place where exciting things were happening! People did not want to miss church because they did not want to miss anything that was happening. Compared to today, that would be like sports fans not wanting to miss the World Series Games or the Superbowl game. No matter would want to be there. This is how the people in the church of Acts were.

Not only was the church of Acts exciting, but it was also a place where people's needs were cared for and people were loved. Look at what verse 45 says of Acts 2:

"Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need."

Belonging to a local church has many rewards but looking at the church of Acts, I see that it would be very difficult for me or you to reap the benefits of experiencing the "aweness" of God's power if we did not attend church. More importantly, we would not be able to meet the needs of others or have our own needs met if we did not come together with those of like faith.

God's design for us Christians is not to go it alone .... there is a reason He encourages fellowship among us and it is more than just sharing a potluck dinner. Fellowship with believers will not only strengthen our faith in Him but it will encourage and build us up, especially when we are in need.

Don't miss out on the awe and the wonder of the fellowship of believers!

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...a weekly post devoted to share my thoughts on a recent personal study. This week I have been looking at the reasons for fellowship. It is my prayer that you are part of a great fellowship of believers. There is so much blessing in serving others and being a part of building His Kingdom.