Sunday, April 26, 2009

Compassion Bloggers in India

Please pray for the Compassion Blogger team that is in or well on its way to India. You can follow their blogs here and can see their widget on my sidebar. Pray for their safety, for wisdom, and for favor. This will not be an easy journey for any of them but they are being obedient!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

God's Gift of Spring to My Home Town

I am always quick to admit that fall is my favorite time of year. I just love it. But I also really love spring. And God send the best spring to my home town! I probably think they are the best because the are the only springs I have ever known. So I have been driving lately with my camera in the car to share some of God's beauty with you. As you scroll through these pictures, I pray you will take a moment and think about all the blessings God has given you!

My Emma Gets Ba-bi-tized!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Look What I Read Today

I am trying to keep in tune with God while at work and keep my focus right by reading a psalm and a proverb while at work every day. Psalm 1:2-3 from The Message says,
Instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You're a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.

I WANT THIS! I want to thrill to God's Word and chew it day and night! I love that choice of word: thrill. I visualize feasting on the Word of God and loving what I'm reading so much that my heart is racing and I am covered in goose bumps! Can you see it?! And Proverbs 1:33 says,
First pay attention to me, and then relax. Now you can take it easy—you're in good hands.
Can it be any simpler?
For Ian's birthday, hubby and I took him to his first concert to see Chris Tomlin with Israel Houghton. The Holy Spirit was in that coliseum and you could just feel it.

Can worship get much better than Chris Tomlin? Oh my, it was like a glimpse of heaven. All those voices and hands raised in unison singing holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!

At the start of this blog I explained how God just keeps confirming Isaiah 43:18-19 as a life verse for this season of my life? I just keep hearing about God's new thing and I just cling to it for all it's worth! I had never heard of Israel Houghton until this concert but boy did he rock the house! And what song did I just fall in love with...? Pause the song list at the very bottom of this page and listen to this song. The video is actually two songs but at least listen until 4:50 to the song "Moving Forward." At the concert, we just sang the chorus over and over... I'm claiming it!

I highly recommend both their new albums if you don't have them already. "Hello Love" by Chris Tomlin and "The Power of One" by Israel Houghton. Oh, and check this out to see if you'd like to support these ministries.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My thought: God has called us to love people.
The Bible says: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 NIV

My thought: I know this is true.
The Bible says: Sanctify them in truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 NIV

My thought: So how do I love someone and get them to be responsible/accountable? For example, should Tom buy Jane food when Jane won't get a job?
The Bible says: The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40

Remaining question: As a follower of Jesus Christ, where does Tom draw the line? Is there a line?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Telling It Like It Is

So I've been avoiding my own blog for over two weeks. I have had some things on my mind, weighing me down, and sometimes it's scary to put those things in writing, ya know? I mean if I actually write down that I'm mad at So-and-so then I might really mean it. Or someone might read that I wrote it and tell So-and-so. Or... they might even ask me about being mad at So-and-so. And knowing myself as well as I do (it just makes me chuckle to write that-lol), I knew I would write about it if I came here. So even though I had all last week off from school for Spring Break, I avoided. But so many other things have happened since then that I want to tell you about so... let me just tell it like it is.

I'm scared to say I'm mad at God. If I say that, the lightning will surely come and I'll be one crispy critter. Not really of course but you know you've thought it too!! But whether I say it or not, He knows the truth. Before a word is on my tongue He knows it completely. (Psalm 139:4) He knows me inside out, upside down, and backwards. So let's just get to the heart of it. I'm mad, hurt, disappointed, and confused.

Even before marriage, and up until last fall, I have struggled with money. I had no idea how to budget or save and even the simplest things were hard for me because I lack self-control. This is my thorn in the flesh. But last fall we experienced a significant event in our family and it allowed us to get on our feet financially and through seeking God through that time, the way I think of money has really come to change. We've turned the corner onto the right track and things are going really well. We've been obedient in making committements to support things He's asked us to support. And almost simultaneously there were layoffs at hubby's plant and shift changes/loss of hours for hubby, and now I won't know until May if I can return to the school where I work in August. I know God loves me. The Bible tells me He'll surely care for me since he cares for the lilies and the sparrows. But why NOW? Why when things are finally good and we can breathe a sigh of RELIEF?

That state paired with the fact that we thought a tough situation was ending April 8 and it is seemingly going to continue, and continue even thougher, and I'm just in a state of confusion with God. Maybe mad, sad that things aren't going to be as easy right now as I had thought, disappointed that these struggles are continuing, and confusion over why. And I know, truly know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God could take all this pain away and that He could settle these situations in the blink of an eye. BUT HE HASN'T. Why? I finally told him last week, "Lord, I don't know what you want me to learn through these two issues, but I'm ready. I'm listening. Can we get on with it?" This has been my attitude for almost a week now. And it's constantly on my heart and mind. I'm wondering what I'm missing. I'm wondering what God's trying to teach me or tell me. Then I get to worship Sunday morning. It was kind of busy cause my Emma girl was getting baptized (look for detailed post in the near future) and my focus was not on Him. Until He showed up and tapped me on the shoulder.

My pastor is doing a series called "Lies We Believe" and this week's sermon was "Lies We Believe About our Circumstances" and he and God double teamed me! Lie #2 I have fallen for is that suffering is never God's will. Why not? Jesus suffered! Hebrews 5:8 says that although Jesus was a Son, He learned obedience through His suffering. Jesus learned from suffering... I am no better! Pastor Steve taught that I can deal with my circumstances by:
  1. keeping my focus on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  2. committing myself to God daily (1 Peter 2:23)
  3. experiencing daily spiritual renewal (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  4. remembering my future (Romans 8:17-18)
  5. cooperating with God (Romans 8:28-29)
  6. growing (Romans 5:3-5)
I practically ran to the altar in surrender! God is so good and no matter how mad or hurt I get, he is BIGGER! Do you hear me people?! HE'S BIGGER THAN ALL MY CIRCUMSTANCES! THAN ALL OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES! What a release to confess to Him that I could not do it and that I needed Him to come and carry this load for me. God is so good! Reminds me of that song... (pause the playlist at the very bottom before watching/listening to the video)
Jesus, lover of my soul
Jesus, I will never let You go
You've taken me from the miry clay
You've set my feet upon the rock
And now I know

I love you, I need you
Though my world may fall
I'll never let You go
My Savior, my closest friend
I will worship you until the very end

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Ian!

Today is my oldest child's and only son's birthday! And - OMGosh! - I have a real teenager now! Happy 13th baby. Have a great day! I love you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I have four mostly-wonderful children. My only son is 12 and his name is Ian. Then I have three daughters (go ahead--have a moment of pity for my husband...) Jennings, 10; Kaci, 8; and Emma, 6. All I have to say is that life is busy! Before I tell you my story though, I want to offer a little background if I may. (And I guess I may since it's my blog! HA!) I have been a Christian all of my adult life but I have not always been actively growing like I am now. So although my three older children have all asked Jesus to be their Savior, it has been all His doing and not-so-much from me. I mean I cared but I was not active in modeling Christ-like behavior, using the teachable moments for His glory, or showing them what being in love with Jesus looked like. And I know what it looks like 'cause my Mamaw showed me. But that's another story for another time. But I am at a new place in my life and loving Jesus is everything. Everything I could ever want or needs stems from loving Him and that has to come first. Anyways...

Emma came up to me Sunday afternoon and she says, "Mommy, when can I get babitized?" Now, you just need to know that I did not spell baptized wrong; that's how Emma says it! I explained to her that she can get baptized once she asks Jesus into her heart. She promptly tells me that that's exactly what she did while she was at the alter this morning. So I quickly send up a silent prayer (God please guide my thoughts, give me focus, and speak through me. Touch her heart so that if this is her time to come to you she'll understand and be ready.) and asked her if I could draw her a picture. I know I have told y'all that I'm a visual person but have I told you I can't draw worth a lick?

I used that good ole stand by of Emma on one cliff and God on another cliff. By folding my paper, you can see that Emma could walk with God before sin entered the world. "What is sin, Emma?"

"Sin is when you do something bad Mama."

"That's right. Sin is when we disobey God. The Bible says that all have sinned. Do you sin?"


"Do I sin?"

"Yes." She went on here to list all the people who sinned so if you see your name on her picture, you'll know why.

"So guess what happens when we sin?" Open up the fold to see the great chasm that separates us from God. Can you hear the gasp as she realizes she can't get to God now? We went on to discuss what a wage was. I offered her a dollar to fold a towel. After she folded the towel, I gave her the wage. The wages of sin is death or being separated from God forever! I caught her studying the picture and I said, "Emma, what do we need?" She looked, and looked, and I could amost see the wheels turning and then BAM! The light went off!

"Mama, we need a BRIDGE!" I have tears running down my face as I just sit here and remember. Yes my sweet, spunky, often-naughty girl!! We need a bridge. Praise you Lord for her understanding!

"And do you know what baby? God gave us a bridge. Who's our bridge?" I began sketching a cross across the gap and as I finished she whispered, "Jesus!"

She just looked at the picture for a few minutes and I finally asked her if she understood. She nodded and I told her when she is ready to talk to Jesus, there are just a few things to do:
  1. tell Jesus she's a sinner
  2. ask Him to forgive her sins
  3. believe that He died on the cross for her sins
  4. ask Him to come live inside her
  5. tell me or Dad
When she's ready, I also told her that me or Daddy or anyone at church would help her pray. I looked at her expectantly, trying not to be pushy, and all she has to say is, "Can I keep the picture Mom?"

"Of course you can baby."
P.S. The big "V" looking mark at the top is where she checked what she wants (heaven) and she X'd out what she didn't (sin/death)!!