Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A PIECE OF MY HEART...oscar the grouch

someone who in your mind was a total grouch?

For years, I can remember watching Sesame Street with my kids when they were young. One of my kids favorite characters was OSCAR the GROUCH. Oscar has come to be a most beloved American icon thru show biz, but that hasn't helped this most famous grouch to make his attitude more pleasant.

The most amazing thing about Oscar the Grouch is not the fact that he insults everyone he meets, nor is it amazing that he lives in a trash can. (by the way...I never understood where he got all of that trash that he threw out from his can???) The most amazing thing to me is HOW Oscar got his name.

In the early days of Sesame Street, Jim Henson and the Sesame Street director, Jon Stone would meet together at a Manhattan restaurant to discuss the show. The restaurant was called, "Oscar's Tavern". Consistently, the two were waited on by a man who was rude and grouchy. This waiter made such an impact on the two that he became famous (and probably didn't know it) thru the character of Oscar the Grouch.

I read the history of the show some time ago, and recently when I was waited upon at a restaurant by a seemingly unfriendly waitress - I remembered this story. God reminded me how important attitude is! As a Christian, we represent Jesus - in everything that we do. If we decide to be a "grouch" for the day - this will be the witness for Christ that will be displayed for all to see.

PROVERBS 15:15 " When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong; when he is cheerful, everything seems right."

We all have "bad" days - but with God's help, we can control our feelings and behavior. If a television producer was watching you ...

  • what kind of character would they model after you?
  • Would your Christianity be seen?
May we all watch our attitude - someone may be watching!


Monday, September 29, 2008

AT THE WELL...spiritual dryness

  • Today, we are gathering over AT THE WELL with our lead host Heather from emotional purity. To start us off in the the discussion of SPIRITUAL DRYNESS, Heather has posed two questions to us today to consider:

    1. Have you noticed a pattern of when you find yourself spiritually dry?

    2. What do you do to move quickly through that season of dryness?

When I think of the word "dryness", I automatically think of the "wilderness". The wilderness is a place that is dry and deserted. A look at Webster's definition:

WILDERNESS (wul--der-nis) n. 1. An unsettled , uncultivated region left in its natural condition esp: a.) a large wild tract of land covered with dense vegetation or forests. b.) an extensive area, as a desert or ocean, that is barren or empty; waste. c.) a piece of land set aside to grow wild.

We all, as Christians, desire to remain on the high peak when it comes to our emotional and spiritual well being. Nobody desires to be in the valley when we can be high up on the mountaintop! Jesus was pursued by the tempter and we too, have an enemy that pursues us.

In the book of Mark, we read how Jesus goes immediately from a mountain top spiritual experience to the lowest of valleys.

MARK 1:12-13"The Spirit immediately drove Him out into the wilderness. (13) And He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And He was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to Him."

In this passage, a strong word is used to describe the Spirit's leading of Jesus into the wilderness ~DROVE~. The spirit of God who had just come on Jesus in a special way, now immediately compels Jesus into a place of danger. The Spirit did not lead Jesus into temptation, but He did lead Jesus to a dangerous place that temptation was found.



I think the answer would be YES. The safety of our family and friends should be of utmost importance on our prayer list, but, we must understand that God's glory comes first to God. Without Jesus being confronted by Satan in the wilderness, we would find it difficult to understand Christ's victory over sin and death.


Mark reminds us of the incredible journey that these 40 days in the wilderness was for Jesus. In the wilderness, there were wild animals. When you think of animals, I hope you are not thinking of the Disney characters that sing and dance and are actually gentle. These animals were wild! The Bible tells us that David fought off bears and lions. This WAS the wilderness that the Spirit led Jesus to. In addition to the wild beasts that Jesus must have encountered, the environment He found Himself in was extreme: it was hot, it was dry, there was no shelter, no bed or covers. There were no weapons or tools for protection or for survival. Jesus was alone and in constant danger.

(what is your pattern?)

  • Are there animals that you wrestle with?
  • Does your spirit feel dry?
  • Do you feel unprotected, unloved?
  • Do you feel defenseless?
  • Do you feel alone?
~ When we find ourselves in this place of "wilderness", what do we do?

~ How do we move from it?

If "wilderness" is defined as a place that is barren, empty and wasteful. Described as a place that will grow wild - this is NOT a place that a Christian wants to remain. When Jesus was in the wilderness, it was incredibly amazing all that He had to endure. He also was fasting during this time. If you have ever fasted...then you know Jesus was constantly hungry and He must have been growing weaker physically day by day.

Can you imagine...the danger of the wild animals, the hot and dry climate, and becoming weak from hunger - the entire time, the wilderness presented danger and in the middle of ALL of this - Jesus was being pursued by the most fierce enemy and adversary ever. Satan was relentlessly attacking Jesus through constant temptation.


Mark tells us that angels were with Jesus while in the wilderness, ministering to Him. Even while Jesus was in the wilderness, He was not alone! God was there with Him, ministering to Him and equipping Jesus for His mission.This is the hope we have when we find ourselves in a dry place spiritually.
  • We are not alone!
  • God is our strength!
  • God will not lead you to the front lines of battle and then leave you there alone to fight!
There is a tempter who is pursuing us - but, Christ has the power over sin. He is the victor! Satan WILL be defeated!

It is my desire to NOT be like the Israelites (found in the book of Exodus) and wander for 40 years. If you find yourself in a dry spot, in the wilderness - seize the mission that God is leading you to!


Thank you for gathering AT THE WELL with my friends, please CLICK HERE to listen to the other chatter around the well about this topic. Thank you Chelsey for leading us to become more like the Titus 2 woman.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


"Even though I can't see you - I will trust the unseen"

Today on THEN SINGS MY SOUL SATURDAY, I would like to share with you this video by Barlow Girl. The first time I heard this song, it spoke to my heart.

HEBREWS 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

To enjoy other worshipful hearts and songs, join Amy over at Signs, Miracles and Wonders for todays THEN SINGS MY SOUL SATURDAY. Find more songs HERE!

Friday, September 26, 2008

WORD POWER...hupomone

there is power in the words we speak!


DEFINITION: (noun) Steadfastness, constancy, endurance

-in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings patiently, and steadfastly

-a patient, steadfast waiting for

-a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

HUPOMONE is the Greek Lexicon
for the word PERSEVERANCE.

"And not only this, but we also exult in our
tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about PERSEVERANCE;"

According to the definition of Hupomone... we are to enter our trials patiently, with endurance, and with a deliberate purpose and trust (or faith) - this will cause a godly characteristic in us called PERSEVERANCE.

Now thats a WORD packed with CHARACTER!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

THANKFUL THURSDAY...love is a choice

Welcome to THANKFUL THURSDAY. The day that my blogging friends give thanks to the Lord for all the wonderful things He is doing in their lives. We have so much to be thankful for, I pray not one day, not one moment is taken for granted.

I was thinking back over the summer and reflecting on all of the weddings that took place. We had four weddings in the past couple of months, one being my son's. I just love weddings. The feeling of love is found everywhere. You just can't help but smile when you are at a wedding.


(who are these people????!?)


That is the exact thing I remember on my wedding day.

In today's society, divorce is on a rampant up climb. It seems that couples enter into their marriage relationship with the idea that "we'll give it a try and if it doesn't work out...we tried!" Marriage is NOT to be entered into lightly. God hates divorce. It is NOT His plan for any couple. So what happens between that moment of love, commitment, joy to the day in divorce court. What happens to love?

Do you remember the song several years ago..."50 ways to leave your lover"? My guess is that couples have bought into this idea that love doesn't last forever. Leaving is easier than staying.

That is what people think.

Quite contrary to that belief...God's design for marriage is one man for one woman. That means staying IS better than leaving.

Love is a choice.

Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I am grateful for all of the couples that have led the way by staying together for 50, 60, and 75 years. To know someone who has been married that long today is a real gem. a rare gem.

This week my hubby and I are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary. People often say to us when we tell them how long we have been married, "Wow...Congratulations! That's great!" As if 27 years is such a milestone. I guess in today's society it is. For me, it is just a beginning to our lifetime together.

"We've only just begun!"

Thank you for choosing to love me!

Today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I am thankful for YOU, for your love, for your commitment to me and our family and thankful for the joy that you bring me each and every day!



1 JOHN 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."

IRIS over at STING MY HEART is our host each week. CLICK HERE to view other thankful hearts! Be thankful today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WEDNESDAYS WEEKLY WORD..."believe or not believe...that is the question"


We believe that electricity will flow to the light switch and when we flip the switch the light will turn on ...or we don't believe!

We believe that each day will turn into night...or we don't believe!

We believe that a baby is created at conception...or we don't believe!

We believe that God is the creator of all things...or we don't believe!

We all believe in something. Think back to when you were a teenager, who believed in you the most? Was it ~

1. Your Mother?
2. Your Father?
3. Your Best Friend?
4. Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend?
5. Your Boss?

How did this one person PROVE that they had faith in you?

PROOF...now there is something many of us are looking for. And seemingly, when we don't see the proof we tend to have unbelief. Unbelief or what I would call lack of faith.

Tragedies will often times make us have a lack of faith. Tragedies and hard times will make us wonder if God is even watching. If He even cares. When guilty parties get away with their evil actions...we wonder "Why God?" And when the humble get stepped on, we ask "God, are You even there?"

PROVERBS 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path."

Unbelief or failing to fear God, is the source of a lot of misunderstanding about life. Those that do not believe in God or fear His power can be in one or two places: 1. they do not KNOW the truth or 2. they do not UNDERSTAND the truth. Why else would someone not have belief in God?

Oftentimes, people become bitter with life, they see no purpose. If people knew there was a purpose, if they knew that there is a God who sees all, they would at least have comfort in suffering. People complain that God is unfair because they do not know His justice. The injustices that they see will be made right. People who sin without any thought of the consequences do so because they do not really believe that God sees and cares.


Wisdom can take you a certain distance without God. People can learn to get along better when they make wise choices such as overlooking insults. People can follow much of the wisdom that is in the book of Proverbs without God, BUT, Godless wisdom can only take you so far!

More than having wisdom, we must also believe that God exerts influence over the outcomes of this world. Unless you believe in God's influence over His creation, you will not be able to see an ultimate purpose in your life.

PROVERBS 16:9 "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

PROVERBS 20:24 "A man's steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way?"

God did not choose the madness that we experience in life. We chose it. Yet, God redirects the madness and moves it in the direction that He desires. Life, at times, may seem random to you. Like a dice being rolled. Einstein famously made this remark, "God is not playing dice with the universe." In the old testament, you see people who used lots (or a kind of dice). Solomon tells us in the book of proverbs that God even decides the outcome of the casting of lots. (Prov. 16:33)

Even when we plot and scheme, we cannot control life. It is not random. It is not in our power to control. It is ultimately under God's influence and control.


In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question: "When life hits hard, how is your trust in God?" The top 2 responses are:

1. 78% of those who voted said that their faith in God is the only thing that gets them through hard times.

2. 21% voted and said that they know God is in control but they fix their minds on their circumstances.

I am pleased to see that our faith in God is strong. I ask you to look deep in your spirit and answer this question:

"Why do you believe and what do you believe?"

When I look around and see God's creation, it is clear to me that our world is far too complex to be an accident. But, it is not enough for me to just say "I believe in God" ~ when I am faced with the unbeliever questioning God's existence and power, I must be able to explain not just WHAT I believe but WHY I believe.


I am studying the book of Proverbs and it is my prayer that this post today will cause you to dig deep and understand what you believe in. Believing in God and fearing God is the beginning or the foundation of our wisdom. To help you better understand what you believe, will you join me this week in writing down 5 truths that you know only because God (not someone else) told you in His Word. Knowing WHAT you believe will now make it easier to share with others WHY you believe!

I love to hear your comments, and welcome your thoughts on this study as well as your 5 truths. Have an awesome week!

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: Please take time to vote in this weeks poll, located on the side bar of this blog. This week I am asking, "how would people describe the way you live your life?" Thanks for voting. YOUR OPINION MATTERS!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A PIECE OF MY HEART...the rug jerked me under!


This very thing happened to me this past week.

  • Out of the blue!
  • It came from nowhere!
  • It hit me right between the eyes!
  • The rug was jerked underneath me and I fell flat on my face!

Yep...I came down with strep throat and was seriously sick. So what...if I had weekend plans, if I had responsibilities around the house, if I had better things to do besides lay in the bed.

But in the bed is where I laid. With the covers up over my head because I was cold. With the fan blowing on high gear because I was hot. Hot, then cold. Cold, then hot.

I share this lovely event of my weekend with you because I am reminded that this is exactly what happens to some Christians. As we walk along in our Christian walk ~right out the blue; seems like it comes from nowhere, the enemy throws a dart at us and it seems to hit us right between the eyes and before we know it, the rug is jerked from underneath us and we fall flat on our face!

It happens to the best of Christians. We get busy with the kids and work and we tend to put family devotions on the back burner. We slept in too late so we didn't have time to read our Bible. Pray? well maybe tomorrow - there was simply no time today.

Just like this sickness crept up on me, so will the enemy creep and sneak into the Christians life. We leave open huge entrances when we slack on our devotions, our prayer time and bible reading.

In order for me to get better, to kick this illness I had to go to the doctor. It wasn't enough for the doctor to TELL me I was sick, I had to DO something to get better. I had to get a shot and I had to take 3 different kinds of medicine. The medicine would not work if I did not take it everyday. I couldn't just take it when I felt like taking it - but each and every day until the prescription ran out.

For a Christian, our doctor (God) has prescribed us 3 important prescriptions also. 1. His Holy Spirit. 2. His Word and 3. Fellowship with the Father.

Without a daily dose of these things, you will become a weak and feeble Christian. This prescription works best if taken daily. No need to refill the prescription, it is available to all who will partake of it.


Don't be a hot/cold Christian.

Don't let the rug (enemy) jerk you under.

REVELATION 3:16 " So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

Maintain a healthy walk with the Lord.

And that's a piece of my heart today;

Monday, September 22, 2008

AT THE WELL...the words we speak

I am joining my good friend, LAURIE ANN today over AT THE WELL. Laurie Ann is leading us today in the topic of "The Words We Speak". Be sure to jump over to her site today and check out her thoughts, she always inspires me and I know that she will share something great about this topic with us.

Laurie Ann has led us in the following discussion questions today:

  • Do the words you speak reflect your reverence for Christ?
  • Would you consider your speech to be self-controlled and pure?
  • Do you find gossip and slander hard or easy to avoid?


The words that we use can either kill and destroy or build up and encourage. It is my desire that the words that come out of my mouth would be that of encouragement and building up and edifying. But if I was honest with you, I would have to say that not at all times do my words do that. I find it much easier to speak well of strangers, but sometimes my honesty and my frustration may come out in the words I use to those that I love the most, my family. As I come more in tune with the words I use, I find that my reflection of Christ will come thru my speech more often.

Do you know the definition of the tongue?

TONGUE: 1. The tongue is the large bundle of skeletal muscles on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing and swallowing. It is the primary organ of taste. Much of the surface of the tongue is covered in taste buds. 2. The tongue, with its wide variety of possible movements, assists in forming the sounds of speech. It is sensitive and kept moist by saliva and is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels to help it move.

There are two things our tongue is useful for….

The tongue is an amazing thing. Try putting something sweet in your mouth such as chocolate, or ice cream, or some juicy fruit. This is a pleasing taste. Now try putting something sour in your mouth such as pickle juice, or vinegar, or spoiled milk. Your tongue with its taste buds enables you to smile or immediately spew something out.

Having control of your tongue is allowing those sweet, pleasing things instead of the sour, spoilage spew out of your mouth.

Prov. 21:23 “Whoever guards his mouth
and tongue keeps his soul from troubles”

Without a tongue, we would not be able to form sounds and be able speak. At a young age we practiced forming sounds and syllables and with practice we mastered this thing called “speech”. The control of our tongue is something we need to practice. Practice encouragement and praise with your tongue this week.

Ephesians. 4:29 “ Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

When it comes to answering the questions posed to us today, it is hard for me to imagine anybody being able to say that AT ALL times their speech depicts this character posed before us today. For there is nobody perfect, no not one. Only Jesus Christ was perfect. It is our desire and our goal to be more like Him, so controlling the tongue or taming it is a goal that we should all as Christians have.

If one of the purposes of our tongue is taste - I am reminded of what Christ tells us in Matthew: “You are the salt of the earth, BUT IF SALT HAS LOST ITS TASTE, HOW SHALL ITS SALTINESS BE RESTORED? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” ( 5:13 )

There are various ways in which salt has its usefulness ~ it adds flavor, brings healing, preserves, etc. As I look at this passage in Matthew 5:13, I not only see that Christ is comparing the impact that we have on others with the analogy of salt but He also poses a question to us. Look ...

"But if salt has lost its taste, HOW shall its saltiness be restored?"

I think this part of the passage gets overlooked.

In order to understand the tongue and how it works we must understand this warning that Christ gives. This warning is implying to us that there is a possibility of losing the QUALITY that influences others. If the quality of our tongue, (or the salt) is lost, then what good is our life then? What benefit would we be? Could our life not also be described as being “no longer good for anything”?

Though salt’s saltiness may not be restored once it is lost, praise God, He is able to renew His intended qualities back into our life as we turn to Him in genuine repentance. Nevertheless, we must still take the warning to heart, acknowledging that completely losing our salty influence could be reached if we are not careful. We must be careful with the impact and the influence that our tongue, (our words) have on others.

This means we ought to always strive to maintain the qualities of Christ so that we may carry on the godly impact and influence this world so desperately needs. Jesus said, “You are the salt.” Let us continue to BE THE SALT to His glory and for the benefit of those around us!

May we not lose the TASTE for those things that are sweet and pleasing, those things that come from the Lord. May our words be considered the salt that we pour out onto those around us. When we do this, I believe Laurie Ann's 3rd question will be easy to answer.

Why not join us over AT THE WELL where more of our friends are chattering about this topic of THE WORDS WE SPEAK. Find more postings HERE! You can also visit CHELSEY who leads all of us over AT THE WELL with her organizational skills. If you have a topic that you would like to see us discuss, let Chelsey know.

Friday, September 19, 2008

WORD POWER..."Elpizo"

I have heard it said that there is power in the words that we use. Not only "which" words we use, but "how" we use them and "knowing the right time" to use certain words. Timing can be everything. I am doing a study about words. I hope to share with you some words to ponder on...so we can all strive to have power in the words that we speak!

This week's word....
ELPIZO (el-pid'-zo)

~ to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence.

~ to trust in.

HOPE defined is...
1. to wish for something with expectation of fulfillment
2. to have confidence; trust
3. one that is a source of or reason for hope

"For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers." 1 TIMOTHY 4:10

There is one source of hope or (Elpizo) that will give us complete confidence and that is the hope that we find in Jesus Christ.

When all others leave us feeling hope-LESS, (the doctors; the attorney; the bank; the IRS) - the confidence we are looking for rests solely in the reassurance that Jesus Christ has already paid the penalty, the debt has been paid, our mistakes are thrown into the sea...

He has given us "ELPIZO" (or hope) -
the answer is on the way!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

THANKFUL THURSDAY...thanks for giving to the Lord!

Once in awhile you come across a person who exemplifies Christ in every way. I have come across one or two of those kind of people in my short 44 years of life. One particular person came into my life 16 years ago and today on THANKFUL THURSDAY, I would like to give honor to him and celebrate his legacy and at the same time encourage each of us to be givers...to give to others unconditionally!

A few years ago a song became real popular by Ray Boltz. "Thank you for giving to the Lord". It was such an awesome message how throughout our life ~ there are many people who invest in us and mold us and sometimes we aren't even aware they are doing it until later in life. Many times we miss out on the opportunity to express our "thanks" to those kind of people until we meet up with them again in heaven. Certainly the streets of gold will be lined with people that invested in each of us.

When I think of such a person who invested in so many here on earth - I think of my friend and longtime neighbor, Frank. Brother Frank was a man of such Godly character and reputation. It wasn't just something he lived on Sunday morning....
  • I saw it in him in our neighborhood.
  • I saw it in him when he went above and beyond to help others.
  • I saw it in him when it came to loving his family.
  • I saw it in him whenever he spoke of God and His blessings.
  • I even saw it in him when it came to how he took care of his lawn.
~ Everything Frank did ~
he did in love, he did with excellence and he did it unto the Lord!

Sixteen years ago, Frank and his family invited our family over for a bbq in their backyard and ever since they have been our "family". Frank and his lovely bride taught me so much about servanthood: serving God, serving others and serving your family.

This past weekend, just two days before God took Frank home, I visited and prayed with Frank for the last time while he was on this earth. I thanked him and his family for loving us, and I now look forward to seeing him on the golden streets where I will grab his arm and say..."THANK YOU FOR GIVING TO THE LORD!"

(please mute my blog music, by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of this blog, and then listen to this song "Thank you for giving to the Lord". If you don't mute my blog music you will have two songs playing at one time!)

" Always giving thanks for ALL things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Lord is looking for more "FRANK'S" in this world. Giving unconditionally is a condition of our hearts. Are you giving all you can to the Lord?


For other THANKFUL hearts, please join my friend IRIS over at STING MY HEART! Find it all over HERE!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"The root of evil" - Wednesdays Weekly Word

This week's devotion is "The root of evil". I have been studying the book of PROVERBS and I invite you to join me and see what God has stirred up in my heart. It is my prayer that somehow my writings will lead you closer to God and understanding His Word!

MONEY is a window to the human heart. This is why Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (found in Matthew 6:21) Our attitude toward money is a spiritual issue as much as anything else.

~ Our values can be reflected in our spending ~

  • Some families spend only to survive...Others have barely enough to survive but find small ways to give!
  • Some families spend only to enjoy things...While others make a lot of room for enjoyment but also make room for giving!
  • Some scrimp and save and keep as much for themselves...while others foolishly give away and never save!
God cares what we spend and how we save. He cares about how we view money. He cares how much we trust in it and how much we use it for good or for bad. God demands our heart, as well as the things we treasure!

Having God's philosophy of money will save
a lot of pain and anxiety in life.

PROVERBS 11:24 "There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want."

So many times the verse in 1 Timothy 6:10 is misquoted. Many people think it says that "money is the root of evil". However, it actually says the evil is the LOVE of money. There is nothing wrong with money in itself, it is the improper love of it that leads to all kinds of evil.

Have you ever considered why a person who works long hours just remains exhausted and poor while another barely tries but still becomes so successful?

Many of us dream of being the second, but Solomon reminds us that this kind of dream is not worth a great deal of our time. "Don't wear yourself out to get rich." (Proverbs 23:4)

There are certain things in life worth wearing ourselves out about, but, wealth is not one of them. Having wealth is not a bad thing, but if all of your time and effort is focused on making the money, you won't have any time or desire to be generous with your money.

I love to see Christians who have attained God's blessings, turn around and give back to someone in need. Have you ever considered what it would be like to just write someone a check for ...

  • $5,000 just because you could and just because you saw a need?

  • Maybe you can't for $5,000 but what about $1,000? Wouldn't that be awesome to pour a blessing into someone because God has blessed you.

  • $1,000 is out of your reach? how about $500...certainly that would be incredible to do.

  • You can't do $500 ~blessing someone with a $100 would be awesome!

To be a giving Christian such as what I just described does not take an overabundance of wealth, instead it takes a person who is wise and generous. It is difficult to be generous if you are not in the position to be generous. In other words... are you unable to be a giver because of the debt you find yourself in. Society makes it easy for us to get in debt and remain in debt.

PROVERBS 22:7 "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender's slave."

Many people are stunned by their financial situation they find themselves in, "I just don't know where the money goes."

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTER'S POLL, I polled the readers about their financial wisdom, "how do you rate on financial wisdom?" The top 3 votes were:

  1. 53% of the readers voted and said, "I DO FAIRLY well, but I won't be able to retire until age 105."
  2. 23% of those polled said, "I'M PRETTY GOOD but I have enough credit cards to play a hand of rummy."
  3. 15% polled said, "MONEY disintegrates in my wallet and disappears."

We all NEED money but the solution to becoming WISE with your finances will take alittle hard work: make a budget, balance your accounts, reconcile your statements and keep records. Solomon tells us that we should "know the condition of our flocks, and pay attention to our herds" (Prov. 27:23)


If you fall into the 15% bracket and have that "evaporating" kind of money, don't worry, you too can become like the giver I mentioned above ~The one who writes a check to someone in need. Finances will not take care of themselves, so don't bury your head in the sand. Create a plan to place yourself in a position that giving abundantly will not cause a financial uproar in your life and in your pocketbook!

PROVERBS 19:17 " Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender."

If you need help in the area of your finances, Larry Burkett was a great Christian Author of financial management and has several resources available. You may also consider a financial accountability partner to help you stay in tune each month with your finances. This should be someone you trust and who is impeccable with their finances (and a Christian!). God wants you to not only be a giver ~ but a cheerful one at that!

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL....Please take time to vote in this weeks poll! It is located on the side bar of this blog and check back next Wednesday for the results! YOUR OPINION MATTERS!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A PIECE OF MY HEART...do you remember?

Have you given any thought TODAY about this tragedy that hit our country 7 years ago?

You might be saying to yourself...ok Laurie...you are alittle late with this posting. The anniversary of 9/11 was five days ago! YOU ARE RIGHT. I knew that.

Anyone can remember the ANNIVERSARY but how many can remember the loss, the lives, and the change that took place 7 years ago on September 11?

In order to remember all these things, one must remember more frequently than once a year.

It's one thing to remember what you were doing on September 11, 2001 but have you remembered the lives that were lost that day? Have you given it any thought since five days ago when it was plastered all over the news channels reminding us to remember?

  • When is the last time you remembered the children that were killed that day?
  • Have you thought about the firefighters that gave sweat, tears and for some, their lives lately?
  • When is the last time you remembered the families of those who perished in this tragedy?
Was it today? Was it yesterday? Was it 5 days ago? Has it been 7 years?

The 9/11 tragedy is not an anniversary rather, a memorial. A day that we remember what was lost, but may it not be just a remembrance one day a year.

Please remember the sacrifice of the lives given that day and since that day.

  • The sacrifice of the children.
  • The sacrifice of the emergency workers.
  • The sacrifice of husbands.
  • The sacrifice of Mothers.
  • The sacrifice.
We have another opportunity to remember the 9/11 tragedy and that is coming up on November 4th, 2008.

On Election day...Remember the sacrifice.

  • Remember the sacrifice of my son who is overseas in the Air Force.

  • Remember the sacrifice of someone's daughter who is in Iraq with the Marines.

  • Remember the sacrifice of the little girl's daddy who is in Afghanistan with his Army unit.

  • Remember the sacrifice of the grandson who is with the Navy in Iran.

  • Remember the sacrifice of your friend who is serving right here stateside with the National Guard or the Coast Guard.

Remember those that laid their lives down for the freedoms that you enjoy today...

...for the ones that died for your freedom!

...for the ONE who died for your salvation!

ROMANS 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Please remember the sacrifices of all the Americans before entering the voters booth on November 4th.


Monday, September 15, 2008

AT THE WELL...Purity is Power!

I am meeting my friends over AT THE WELL today where we discuss some great topics each Monday. This week, TRACY is our discussion leader and she is leading us in the topic of purity.

" How do we teach the next generation (both our daughters and other young Christian women) how to live a life of purity?"

WEBSTER defines Purity as...
...1. The quality or condition of being pure.
...2. Freedom from sin or guilt; innocence; chastity.
...3. The absence in speech or writing of foreign words, slang or other elements deemed inappropriate to good style.

So how do we apply Websters definition to our Christian values as a young woman in todays culture?

First and foremost...being pure is exactly what God would want our young ladies to be! Just as Webster says...it is a quality or a condition (or A CHOSE) that we all have the ability to make. Society screams something different at our daughters, but God makes it clear that He desires us to be pure in our thoughts and in our actions.

Secondly... Remaining pure will save our daughters from a life of regret, a life of sin and definitely a life of guilt. Advertisement is selling our daughters this..."Everyone is doing it!" But that is not true...NOT everyone IS doing it! So don't listen to that lie! And if you have already fallen for it, if the enemy has already entrapped you...Webster got it right when it said there is freedom from sin...God washes our sin whiter than snow. You can't erase what happened yesterday, but from the day of repentance you can go forward with a different tomorrow.

Thirdly...Webster says to be pure - you should be absent of inappropriate speech and actions. Purity begins in your mind and in your heart. The old saying is true..."what goes in must come out!"

What are you allowing to penetrate into your mind?

  • with the music you listen to?
  • the movies you watch?
  • the friends you hang around?
Usually whatever you fill your mind with will eventually come out thru your speech and your actions. I have heard young ladies say that they are not affected by those type of things. The nudity in movies, and magazines. The foul language their friends use. But yet, what starts out as a thought (in our minds) will eventually penetrate to our hearts and what is in our hearts will come out in our actions and our speech. What goes in must come out!


1. PRAY. We must pray for our daughters and young women in our lives that God would protect them from these things. The enemy will not give up easily until he has our young ladies.

2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE. We must teach our young girls what God has to say about the issues that they are bombarded with. Sex before marriage. Same sex marriage. Being unequally yoked together. Being set apart from the World. We cannot just tell our daughters that these things are right or wrong - we must show them in God's Word and explain it. "Because I said so" just does not wash with this generation of young people. It may have been enough for you in your generation, but this generation needs to know WHY! Tell them!

3. GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. Once a year our church hosts a "Purity is Power" retreat for 5Th and 6Th grade girls. Why this age? We target this age group because they need to know about purity guidelines PRIOR to Jr high. In Jr. high we have girls having babies! I think waiting until then might be too late. This retreat gives an opportunity not only for godly women to mentor these young ladies into godly purity character but it also gives the girls an opportunity to ask questions that they may have like ....
  • my boyfriend says if I love him, I will give in, what should I do?
  • at what age is it OK to date a boy?
  • my Mom won't let me shave - how old do you have to be to start this?
  • I have a friend that is a different color, is that OK?
"Purity is Power" is NOT a sex education weekend...however, it is a time to let girls express themselves and ask questions that they may not otherwise ask. It offers an opportunity to guide these girls towards Gods plan for remaining pure. At the end of the retreat, our Assistant Pastors wife, who leads this each year, has each of the girls to sign a "commitment to purity" contract, stating that they will strive to lead a pure lifestyle with God's help.

With guidance and help from godly role models, and the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit I believe that THIS is the generation that is going to break that mold "If it feels good ... do it!" It is time to SNATCH our girls back from the clutch of the enemy!

1 TIMOTHY 4:12 "Let no one despise our youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

P U R I T Y .......IS..........P O W E R ! !

To get in on more discussion on this subject of PURITY, please join us over at THIRSTY FOR HIM. Find the chatter HERE!