Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update

I hope everyone has recovered from the effects of hurricane Sandy. We are also on the East Coast but thankfully all we personally had to deal with was two days and two nights of no power. 

Going with out power made me really appreciate the things that I usually take for granted. Like being able to turn on the lights, or hot water! I hope that you are all safe, and please know that we've been praying for you all and will continue to do so. 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Martha Moments

I hate to have to confess this but... I had a Martha moment. One that caused me to become convicted and have to repent rather quickly. About a month ago I told you all  about a homeless man we met, whom we'll call John. What I haven't shared is that we've been in constant communication with John. He said that he accepted Messiah at a previous time, so we've just accepted that and haven't pressed him. But he's struggling with an alcohol addiction. We've been taking him weekly to a program at our church for addiction help and discipleship.

Well to make a long story short my husband has been spending lots of time talking with John and trying to help him. Which is awesome! It's stretched us and helped us to really move out side of our comfort-zone. Recently we found out that John has an opportunity to move and go stay with family in the south. Maybe a good idea, maybe not, but I'm staying out of it. Ok so now here comes my Martha moment...

I was cooking dinner and my husband, who was just supposed to be running to the store really quickly, ended up getting a call from John. I was cooking and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Then I had the thought "I hope John moves because then we'll be free from this project!"

AHH I know! It sounds even worse than it did when I thought it. Immediately it was like the Lord said TEWAUNA SHANTE! (you know how you get the full name when you're in trouble?) Oh man, I had to go to my Heavenly Father and hash that one out. It wasn't that I didn't want to be a blessing to our friend. I just wanted my husband home so we could have dinner. We had things to do, and he was interrupting. It didn't matter that John was suffering through a loss in his family, or that my husband is the only access he currently has to Jesus. I wanted to serve dinner and needed my husband home. Oh my, I'm so ashamed of my selfishness and so thankful for my Father's correction.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? -Hebrews 12:7

When I was done getting chastised and repenting I realized something about myself. It's not revelutionary but it's the truth. I am wicked! Apart from Jesus I am no good not even a little bit! As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. -Romans 3:10

I know this shouldn't of shocked me, but it did. I guess I got to a place where I felt like oh look at me I'm helping random people, I'm awesome. When really I should be only looking to Jesus, saying what next Lord! I'm nothing special, but He is everything and it is a privilege to get to do His work. It's not burdensome, and I'm not the all star. It's so easy to slip into our flesh, but thankfully we have am AMAZING Abba, Who comes right beside us and reminds us of the truth. 

Martha moments and all at least we can always get back to what is needful. 

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. -Luke 10:41-42


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

I was reading in my Bible and I came across this verse. As I read it the Lord stopped me and brought a thought to my mind. The verse is Proverbs 22:8 "He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail."

My sins will get me nothing. That part is easy to grasp, the concept of sowing and reaping is something we can wrap our brains around. The part that was very big for me was the second half  "and the rod of his anger shall fail."

Have you ever noticed some of your negative traits showing up in your children? I know I have and when I do it gets me so frustrated, because it's like a mirror showing me that I have warts on my face! In my mind I'm a sweetheart, but then that little mirror shows me that I'm slougthful, or argumentative.

My natural reaction is to fight against that. But if that's my approach, scripture tells me that it will fail! Ouch... I'm guilty of reacting and not acting, and in those instances I see the least amount of change in my children. I see that they may seem like they were sincere in the moment, but that they will go back to their sin as soon as my back is turned.

I don't want to raise children who have "a form of godliness" I want to raise children who have a heart for the Lord and a strong desire to please Him. But that means it has to start with me. I have to be everything that I want my girls to be. I have to keep things in my life in order so that I'm not fighting what I see in the mirror. I must renew my mind and be transformed by scripture to be all that Lord has called me to be, so that my children can be all that they are called to be.

I don't want to make it sound over simplified because it's not. But the truth of the matter is the steps to being the best me I can are in fact simple. Pray. Read the Bible. Pray some more. Apply what the Lord has shown me. There is NO cookie cutter "you must look like this" answer. It's a process and it must be done the Lord's way.

I mentioned to a friend the other night that after I got saved I was like "ok Lord now make me like Michelle Duggar." Because to me that's what a godly wife and mother is like. But I expected it over night. I'm saved now I'm holy, boom. Thankfully it doesn't work like that. The Lord takes time and carefully molds us into exactly who He wants us to be. It's about the journey just as much as the end result. 

But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. -Isaiah 64:8

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Children and Ministry

I can remember back to not that long ago when I so desperately wanted to be serving the Lord with my family. Then it's like I woke up one day and realized I was! After we became members at our church my husband decided he wanted to help with the youth ministry (specifically teens). It has been so amazing to interact with the teens at our church and now I find myself trying to figure out how to balance family life with our ministry.  

The conclusion we came to was to just bring our kids along with us! Being that I mostly work with the teen girls it actually works out really well. The older girls love to play with our girls and our girls love them. Plus when we do fun things, like the corn maze we went to, then it gets to be family time as well as a time of service. 

In the future I would love to have the opportunity to serve the Lord full time (in addition to being wife and momma). But this is what the Lord has us doing right now and I want to teach my girls that it is a pleasure and a privilege to serve the Lord. My prayer for them is that they would boldly go anywhere and do anything for Christ. To me the best way to teach that is to be an example. 

When we go out soul-winning we take our children with us (unless only one of are going). It is not uncommon to see our three year old handing out tracts, or hanging John & Romans, and we like it that way. Not only are they seeing us give of our time, they are also getting to spend time around others who are committed to serving the Lord. Our prayer is that we will set the example and that they would follow the right path. 

That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. -Proverbs 2:20

I'm linking up with Women Living Well

Friday, October 19, 2012

Flat Tire Blessing

You may remember a few months ago when I posted about my hubby starting a new job. Well that didn't work out so well. It was about an hour away and the cost of gas was weighing on us. But we received such a huge blessing out of the time that my hubby worked there. 

We had watched a message given by Gil Bates awhile back where he was talking about how his family didn't make all prayer requests public. I thought that was crazy, but my husband said why not? So we decided at that point to keep some prayer requests just between us and God. One of the requests that we were quietly keeping was our need for new tires. Our tires were in bad shape and it was going to be a huge issue come winter. But we just continued to pray about it quietly as a family. 

One evening when my husband was on his way home from work he got a flat tire. It was a Wednesday so the girls and I were waiting for him to come so we could go to church. While changing the flat my hubby ran into problem after problem. The jack broke and the truck fell and it was just all bad. Then a man stopped to help him, followed by another man. The two men helped him and also told him he needed to get new tires. Once they were all finished my husband gave them Gospel tracts. Actually they weren't just small tracts they were the complete books of John and Romans. Everyone went their separate ways and we didn't make it to church that night. My hubby text our pastor to let him know what was going on, because we pretty much never miss church, and then we had dinner. 

About a week later our pastor text my husband and told him that he needed him to go and get a quote from a local tire shop, because someone wanted to bless us! He wouldn't tell us who, but it didn't matter, we were completely shocked and blown away by what was happening that we just began to thank and praise God. A few more weeks had gone by but nothing had come of the text. After thinking maybe it wasn't going to happen our pastor reminded my hubby of the flat tire incident and told him it was someone who helped. Which led to even more thanks, because it was clear that every step of the way God had orchestrated what was happening. We all know that God is in control, but on those rare occasions that He allows us a glimpse into what He is doing it just makes it that much more real.

It was about a week later that we did in fact get an entire set of new tires, as well as get a broken piece fixed on the truck. Turns out one of the men that helped my husband was a Christian and God had placed it on his heart to do this for my husband. Our church information was on the tract that my husband gave him and so he contacted the church to find out who my husband was. If my husband hadn't of let our pastor know about the flat tire situation, if he hadn't of given the man a tract, if God hadn't of been in control then we'd still have bad tires and not be safe going into the winter. But God knows what we have need of and He takes care of His own. 
And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. -Luke 12:29-31

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grace to Help in Time of Need

Have you ever gone through most of your day struggling. Barely being able to deal with all the issues that come up and wanting to hide somewhere? Please tell me you have so I don't feel even worse lol

Days like that are pointless, nothing really gets done and our homes suffer. But being a wife and mother is hard work. No matter how much you love your children it's impossible to "push through it" in our your own strength. I only know because I've tried, many times, in fact I had one of those days today. It wasn't until I finally slowed down and approached the throne of grace that I could handle the things that inevitably will come up.

 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

In my own strength it's impossible to be the parent that my children need, or the wife that my husband needs. In my own flesh I'm selfish, self-centered, and self absorbed. It's not until I call upon the Lord that I am able to do anything other than seek to please myself. But I am called to die daily so that Christ can live in and through me. 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

In my morning time with the Lord I pray over my day. But one time prayer isn't dyeing to self. Constant prayer in every circumstance is. That means when I finish moping and one of my girls spill juice for the 10th time that day, and my initial instinct is to be upset. I turn to my Heavenly father, who knew that this would happen, and ask for grace in the midst of my mess. 

It's only through turning to Him that I am even able to go on. I don't know where your mommy hiding spot is, but mine is in the bathroom. It's the only place where I know I can at least get one (literally) uninterrupted minute. If I'm not careful that minute can lead to bitterness. But if I choose to seek help, I can be freed from the stress and aggravation of the moment. I can receive the peace that I need to continue on in my day with a smile. I can love on my children and not get wrapped up in all the things that are fighting for my attention, seeking to bring me down. It's at the feet of my savior that I can confess my weakness and seek His strength! 

I think we all can pretty much quote Philippians 4:13, but there is truth there that sometimes we miss because of our familiarity with the verse. We can only do all things because of HIM. So next time you're running for cover from your day, go to your mommy spot and "boldly approach the throne of grace"and ask for strength from the King of Kings!

And remember: I {YOU} can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth {YOU} me . Phil 4:13

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Will Follow

At church this past Sunday my pastor was preaching about how Elisha dropped everything he was doing to follow after the prophet Elijah {1 Kings19:19-21}. Elisha left behind all that he had known to follow a prophet of God. He didn't waiver or hestitate, he realized the opportunity God was placing in front of him. Then as I've been reading this week I've noticed how the same holds true for the apostles. They always responded to Jesus' call immediately. Everyone knows Matthew 4:19 "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

But how much time do we spend recognizing the powerful truth of the very next verse? "And they straightway left their nets, and followed him." {Matt 4:20} They STRAIGHTWAY, quickly, immediately, stopped what they were doing and followed. They didn't respond by saying, ok Lord right after we're done. But how often is that our response? Lord I'll serve you after I'm done watching this show, or when I finish having fun. When we should be responding by saying, yes Lord I'll go. 

Another thing I noticed is how when Jesus called they were willing to leave behind everything. 
"And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him." -Matt 4:22
"And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him." -Luke 5:11
They left behind everything because things {and often people} can hold you back from serving God. If you are more attached to things than you are to God then how good of a servant can you possibly be? It's like the story of the rich man in Luke 18:22-23. 
"Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich."
This wasn't a rebuke, it was an invitation! Yet the man walked away sorrowful, because He loved his things more that God. Can you imagine that? Being asked by Jesus HIMSELF to come and follow Him, but then turning away sorrowful? It seems crazy right? Yet we do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. None of us are perfect we all have things in our lives that we've put before God. But I challenge you today to ask God to reveal to you whatever it is that you've made an idol in your life and ask Him to tear it down! Don't be like the rich man that walked away from his opportunity. Be like the apostles who recognized the opportunity that was set before them and followed the King of Kings. 

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