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Monday, July 30, 2007

The Hiding Place


Girls,

I have just finished reading The Hiding Place. I loved it. There is so much wisdom in this book. The Ten Boom family were all great examples of people who truly put God first and loved others before themselves.
There are so many lessons for me in this book that I think I am going to have to go find a copy to buy so I can mark the quotes that spoke to me and read and reread it to see what else it has to say. As I am sure that each time I read it there will me more wisdom and new lessons.
For today, here are a couple of lessons.
I guess the first lesson is just how much they trusted the LORD. These people set up a "hiding place" for the Jews who were being persecuted in their home and ran an underground network to try and help them out of harms way. As a result they ended up in concentration camps and living the unspeakable life right along with those they were trying to help. And inside the camps, they were still about God's business. Corrie and Betsie led worship services in their camp for the women and led a lot of them to Christ. They trusted that the Lord would give them strength to endure whatever was coming their way. And he always did . What trust. Let it be also for me Lord, Jesus that I trust you for the strength I need to endure whatever comes my way.
Second, they cared more for others than themselves. What a lesson for us all! In this day of being all consumed with "looking out for #1", we'd all do well to remember that Christ's command is to "Love others as we love ourselves and even our enemies!" Betsie Ten Boom was always praying for the guards at the concentration camp. Before she died in the concentration camp, she would often speak of opening a home for them once they were all released so they could learn that love is better than hate. What a sermon that preaches. Let it be me, Lord. Let me care for my enemies who press down on all sides more than myself. Show me how to love them with YOUR love and forgiveness.
In Corrie Ten Booms later years, as she traveled around in Germany and spoke of what she had learned in the concentration camp life, one of the German guards came up and thanked her for showing him that Jesus had also washed his sin away. This man had been one of the jailers who laughed and mocked her and the other women in the concentration camp, and here he was wanting to shake her hand. She tried twice and couldn't do it. Couldn't forgive. She prayed twice that the Lord would give her the forgiveness and was finally able to shake the man's hand. And here is what she said she learned.
" And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness anymore than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When he tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself." What a sermon is in that one quote. OH, that I, Lord, will rely on you so much as to receive the love you have to give me to forgive. I don't have the strength without you Lord. Please, let it be.
I think that is enough to really ponder on this day. If you've not read this book, I encourage you to read it. Have a great Monday everyone!
Dear Father in Heaven,I pray that you will keep these lessons in my mind as I go through this day. Remind me to constantly rely on you and only on you. NEVER on my own strength but yours, Jesus. Bring the Ten Boom's words to my mind and let them speak your wisdom to my heart this day. I love you Lord. Grant I will ever be learning to love you more! Amen.

Friday, July 27, 2007

See ya'll on Monday!

My girls and I are heading to Cumming, GA (near Atlanta) for my sister's big 3- 0 birthday party =).
She and two of her friends are having a big 30th birthday celebration together. It will be quite an event I am sure. Hopefully I will bring home lots of great pictures for you all to see =)......
Anyways - have a fabulous weekend and once again thank you all for the prayers --
I can feel them working!

See ya'll next week!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I think in times of feeling pressed down, it is important to be thankful as it is always important to be thankful. It is good for me today to remember my blessings. Today's theme is joy. Here are some of the things that bring me joy this day.

1. I am thankful that the Lord gave me three wonderful gifts in my little girls. Each of them is a blessing to me in many, many ways. Even when they aren't acting as I would like for the too, I should count it as a blessing because it is a teaching moment. I can teach them and the LORD can teach me. My daughters bring me great joy!

2. I am thankful for my husband who seems always able to withstand the battering from the world around us. It seems that someone is always upset with us at church for one reason or another and I am joyful that God gives my hubby such strength to endure.

3. I am also thankful that the Lord gave my hubby to me as an example and a rock in my life. We truly compliment one another and seeing that brings me joy.

4. I am thankful that the Lord is sovereign. I am thankful that I am finally starting to learn this fully and see that HE is in control no matter what. That should be a source of great joy in all of our lives.

5. I am thankful for friends - personal and out there in blogland - who pray for me and talk to the Lord as I am in this current battle. I hope one day you can see the answered prayers and know how much it has meant to me! YOU bring me much joy as I battle through this war. Thank you.

Have a good Thursday.

If you want to join Thankful Thursday, go on over to Sting My Heart and link up!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I AM - Lesson 11

Lisa, The Preacher's Wife, has been busy as a bee preparing for her mission trip that if memory serves she is headed out for today. So, if you are like me, you've been waiting with baited breath for this lesson. It's here and it is NO disappointment! Lisa doesn't know it but I believe this lesson was really put off by God for a HIS purpose. She might have been busy but God had everything in ordered just as he wanted it to be. This lesson was hard in some ways, but spoke to me and I believe as I go through this day spending time thinking on it, it will continue to speak volumes if I allow the Lord use it!
If you haven't joined this study, go on over to Lisa's and do! It is a good one!
Without further ado, here are the burning questions of the week.

1. When is the last time you encountered a Fist Shaker? This may be a stranger to you or as close as a loved one in your own home. Does anything in our description help you to understand their animosity towards God? Are you able to have more compassion towards them?
As I considered this question, it occured to me that I don't encounter very many Fist Shakers. But I do know one in particular who is close to me. I love what Lisa said about holding her hands so she can stop shaking them at God......that is a great image and a great thing to do for her! I hope I can do that.
I also wonder about the times when *I* might be shaking my own fists at God. Just because I am a Christian - who believes that Jesus came to save me from my own sin, doesn't mean that I don't have moments where I am shaking my fists in anger at GOd. That makes me quite ashamed of myself!

2. Does anything about Rahab's redemption strike a nerve? This may be a question you would like to ponder privately. Sexual sin and/or victimization can be an area where Satan has an enormous stronghold because it can hold so many painful and shameful memories. If Rahab teaches us anything, please know God can redeem any life and any situation, no matter how heinous it seems, and plant you unashamedly 'in the midst of Israel'. Rahab deserved death according to Mosaic Law, however she was shown nothing but lovingkindness by the God and nation of Israel.
As someone who was sexually abused as a child and that led into area's of sexual sin in my own grown up life - yes, Rahab's story strikes a nerve. I guess I haven't really thought a lot about this story before in regards to what it has to do with me. BUT, if she can accept that the LORD above can redeem her life then he can and does redeem mine. Satan does his best to keep me in a place of shame and guilt that says I don't deserve to be redeemed by God. I need to choose to believe that while I will NEVER be good enough - it isn't possible - that God has redeemed my life! The spiritual battle that is raging around me is fierce - but in the LORD I will be a victor! And I believe your prayers are helping !

3. Is there an area of your life in which you feel you have come full circle? Where you've come to a place where everything and nothing are the same? (I'm thinking Lord of the Rings when Frodo goes back to the Shire after his long adventure. You have no clue what I just said if you are not an LOTR nerd so just ignore this if it doesn't make sense! :)
No, I don't think I've come full circle yet. BUT I do think that I may be getting close because the warfare in my life has heated up and I think Satan is doing his best to keep me from becoming who God wants me to be........and wouldn't that be full circle?

4. When you were born again, did you gain a new appreciation for your surroundings as Rahab did when she received the Promise along with the Promised Land? Has some old place, object, or relationship been redeemed by now serving a 'high and holy purpose'?
I am not sure about this one......

5. Believers can still be Fist Shakers. Do you have circumstances in your life in which you find yourself shaking your fist at God? Something He has asked you to endure, asked you to do, seemingly taken away from you? Can you see how shaking your fist is keeping you from your Promise? (I'm not talking eternal security here - Only abundant living.)
As I stated above. I know I can be a Fist Shaker. It keeps me from my promise because it is keeping my from abundant living by keeping me in constant fear. I, with all of your help. am praying my way through it. SLOWLY but surely and I do believe that when I come out on the other side, Satan is going to have taken a bruising because I am going to have learned what it is to FULLY trust, FULLY believe, and FULLY love and focus on my LORD......(If you can't tell this has been the theme in my life for a while and I do believe it is the lesson God is teaching me. I am hoping I learn it quickly because the battle is fierce at times it seems!)

Go on over to Lisa's now to read other's responses and link up to the study yourselves!
Have a great Wednesday! May you (and I) walk with HIM all through this day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Worry........and Fear.

How do I give up worry?
How do I lay it down at his feet?
I desperately WANT to have faith and just lay down my worries for him. As I write this I hear, "It's a choice to be made." It's a choice. HARD choice.
Yesterday morning I heard Charles Stanley say that we cannot fret and REST in the Lord at the same time. WELL - I don't want to fret anymore! I want to rest totally in the LORD.

But, ya'll - I have this spirit of FEAR that I cannot seem to get rid of. I don't want to be fearful and I KNOW that this fear isn't from the LORD above. I cannot figure out how to just lay it all down to him and not worry.

Can ya'll pray for me, please? Pray that I can learn to lay down my fear and fully have faith and trust in the LORD above.
Trust isn't something I learned as a girl. I learned NOT to trust. I listen to Beth Moore and see who she has learned to trust in the Lord despite her childhood trauma and that is totally what I want. I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that God hears me, loves me, heals me, will bring me to HIM when I die.
BUT satan has put a fear in me that I cannot seem to get rid of.
I've resisted posting much about this really. Lest anyone see my huge weakness......
but I cannot go on. I NEED some prayers girls.
I think that the more people praying about this the better!
Pray for me this day if you get a chance.
THANKS!

******Edited to add: While this is going to be a journey through fear that is going to be long I think, I can so feel the prayers you all are sending up for me. My day yesterday became better and I did feel HIS peace on me. THANKS and please continue to pray as I fight this battle. I will be an over comer!********

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pondering On........The Hiding Place


Hi girls! I have just recently begun to read the book The Hiding Place (I don't know how to underline the title - if you know - please tell me =)). It is story of Corrie Ten Boom. I have only read a few chapters so far but already there are many wise quotes to ponder on.

Here is one that really struck me in the first chapter.


" I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do."


I have been thinking on this and I do believe it to be true. No matter if the experiences in our lives are good or bad, they can and will be part of what God uses if we allow that to be so.

As a girl who was sexually abused as a child I KNOW this is so. That experience was very -VERY bad and definitely NOT something God wanted to happen to me. However, if I allow him to - HE can use it and it will be a part of the work He calls me to do.

I believe that God is calling me to become a Christian Counselor. I've always had a strong interest in psychology and can remember even in high school contemplating it as a career path. Back then, I allowed others to convince me that there weren't many jobs out there in psychology (I ask you, "WHO do you know that DOESN'T need a counselor?").

So, I opted, instead, to become an Exceptional Education Teacher. I did this for only a year and a couple of months before my first child was born and I became a stay at home mom. I absolutely LOVE getting to be home with my daughters but I also feel that God has another purpose for me. The longing to be a counselor has not diminished, it has, in fact, become stronger.

I also now know that God is calling me to not just be a counselor and work in the field of psychology but also be a BIBLICAL counselor - who counsels using the bible as my primary guide. NOW, there are many things left that have to be worked out for this to all come to fruition.

But, I KNOW the Lord will work them out. In the meantime, I just have to be patient. Yeah, that is so hard!


I'd love to hear from you ladies! What do you think of this quote?

Do you agree with it? How does it apply to your life?


Looking forward to your comments!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Couple of Meme's

I've been tagged lately for two different meme's so I am going to take a few minutes out from housecleaning (I know you all think that is all I do and you would be right.) and before lunch to do them.
The first one came from Kim, at Lifesong. This meme instructs me to list 5 things I love about Jesus. SO, there are many many reasons to love Jesus. These are the first ones to come to mind.....

1. HE had NO problems with speaking the Truth to people and He loved them all. I can easily rattle off to people what they did wrong to me. However, doing it in love and speaking the Truth may not come out of my mouth together. I also tend to avoid conflict (especially with folks that aren't immediate family) so I have a hard time saying to someone that their attitude is sin.
I want to be more like him and LOVE all so that I can help other's in love.

2.HE loves me. He will always love me. He loves me with his agape (in my best interest) love.

3. HE give me life everlasting. What more can one ask for? I remember seeing The Passion of the Christ movie. The whole time I was watching it I kept thinking how UNDESERVING I am of his suffering for my sake. I am sinful and even though hopefully I will become more like him everyday of my life - I will NEVER be sinless. I am in awe of my LORD who suffered for people who won't achieve perfection in this life.

4. HE is my friend. I can talk to him any time I want to! That is awesome!!!

5. HE waters my soul.

And the second meme I was tagged for came from Cyndi, at One Day More. The meme is for me to answer the 5 questions she posed and then come up with 5 more questions and tag more people.....
Here goes:
1. When is a time you felt especially close to God? There are two different times I have felt like I could've touched God he was so close to me. One was when I was on a mission trip with my church to Ecuador. He was there in our devotion time. He was so thick that we could hardly breathe. And we didn't want it to end for sure!
The second time was when I was trying to become a lifeguard. I had learned to swim long ago as a child but I'd never had any swimteam experience or any need to learn strokes of any kind. Nor had I ever had to swim 500yds before at one time. So, I got some help with the strokes but I was very worried about the 500 yards thing. A friend of mine at the camp I was working for -- who was also becoming a lifeguard -- reminded me of this verse. "Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me." Brian, my friend, and I reminded one another of that right before we began the long swim. He finished faster than I and then walked the length of the pool with me - back and forth --as I finished the long swim. Cheering me on and reminding me of our verse!
I KNOW that God did that for me! He was there with Brian and I both that day. It was great!

2. If you could learn another language (easily), what would it be?
If I could learn it easily, I would choose to learn 3 actually. Hebrew and Greek so I could read the bible in it's original text *and understand it*. And then I'd like to learn Aramaic, too. Just to know the language Jesus spoke!

3. What house chore is your least favorite and why? I despise mopping! The reason is I feel like I am not doing any good. Just spreading the dirt and germs around instead of getting rid of them.

4. If you could have any animal (tamed) as a pet, what would it be? A cocker spaniel puppy. I had a cocker as a child and I LOVED that dog and he loved my siblings and I. I'd love to have one to grow up with our girls!

5. What's one thing about your life now that would've surprised the "teenager you" to know? This one is to easy. I'm a preacher's wife. As a teenager I told my then pastor's wife that I would under no circumstances "EVER become a preacher's wife!" OH - that is just one of many times I've had to eat my words!

Here are my 5 questions:

1. Favorite bible character and why (besides Jesus/God)?
2. Favorite book of all time (whatever genre you choose!)?
3. From where you are in life now, what advice would you give the teenager you?
4. What do you believe is God's purpose for you? Is it your job?
5. What is the best thing about your church?


I tag Deborah, Deidre, Lots of Scotts,Tracey, & Ginger. I hereby, tag you to do my 5 questions for sure and if you've not had the What I love about Jesus one, please do it too! =)

Friday, July 13, 2007

El Bethel

Hey, girls! Some of you know that I am doing Beth Moore's The Patriarchs study at our church right now. I cannot begin to tell you how much this study is doing for me and all of us who are in the study I think. I remember telling you all about Melchizedek and how I'd missed him along the way somewhere. There have been many other ways God has used Ms. Beth to speak to me along this journey through Genesis.
As I always do when I begin my bible study, I pray and ask God to open my eyes, ears, heart, and mind to what he has to say to me that day and to give me HIS understanding to apply it to my life.
He is always faithful to have something to say to me with each lesson. This morning he had a bunch of somethings from one lesson. This was a lesson on Jacob from Genesis 35:1- 15. It is when God tells Jacob to go back to Bethel where he met God and wrestled with him the 1st time. While he was at that place the first time, Jacob named the place Bethel which means house of God.
There are LOTS of things that Beth brought out in this lesson and God used her to speak directly to MY heart. And I am so excited (and a little nervous) about it that I had to share these lessons with you!
First lesson is this. I need to make myself ready to meet God every day!
When God told Jacob to go back to Bethel, Jacob first had everyone in his house prepare to meet the Lord. He had them get rid of any idols they had, to purify themselves and even change clothes. I began to wonder - "Do I do this? Do I get rid of my idols by laying them down to him? DO I purify myself by asking his forgiveness? Do I change my clothing -becoming spotless before him? DO I really PREPARE myself to meet my GOD each and every day?
See, I think there are many of us, me included at times, who don't really prepare to meet God -- not even on Sunday's much less any other day of the week. It is easy for each and every one of us to go to church on Sunday and NEVER prepare ourselves to meet our maker. We go and sit for whatever reason we are there but that reason may have nothing to do with meeting HIM that day. I don't know about you, but I want every opportunity I can get to meet the Lord. NOW, I know that God can have me meet him any time he wants even if I am not prepared but I want to be prepared. I want to search myself and get rid of my idols and ask his forgiveness and even change my clothes if need to be be fully prepared to have an awesome encounter with the Lord above. Let it be, Lord!
Second lesson is this. I need a good "housecleaning"!
Not only good, but a thorough house cleaning. I need to spend some time searching myself and asking God what are the things that are standing in the way of HIM being able to reconstruct me. I want to change and become more like God and be WHO he intends on me being! In order for me to do that, I need to ask him to help me clean house! I need to get rid of the idols, habits, character flaws and anything else that is standing in the way of purity in my life so that God can begin to sow his character in me and I can be a light for HIM! I have to give it these things completely over to him in order that he can reconstruct them in my life. Let it be, Lord!
Third Lesson is this. I need a change of focus!
When Jacob first met God, he named the place Bethel. As I said above it means "house of God". When Jacob returned to Bethel he named the place El Bethel which means "God of house of God". Now, when that first came up in Beth's lesson I was like, "Huh? What does that mean". It wasn't long before God had Beth explain it to me. She said that God changed Jacob's focus from the things God had for him -- his blessings, protection, and land to focus on GOD himself. OH, did that hit hard on me?!!? How often have I been focused on what I get from having a relationship with God instead of being focused on HIM for being HIM? I mean, we get to go to heaven when we have a relationship with God for goodness sake and what could be better than that? Especially for a girl who fights against the fear of death every day lately.... OH, how I feel ashamed that my focus has been only on what I can get and NOT wholly on the giver. I want my focus to be on the Giver of all good gifts and not on the gifts themselves. Let it be, Lord.
The last lesson? A new season is coming for me!
Beth ended this lesson saying that a new season was coming for Jacob in which he would need to know above all things that "God was his mighty mountain, and that HIS promises were true". I am here to tell you that I feel a new season coming for me. In my present struggle with anxiety and fear, Satan whispered that the new season coming was a bad one -- maybe even sickness and death. I rebuked the devil when he whispered that to me and prayed to God that NO MATTER what the new season is that is coming for me that I will remember always that he has plan for me. A plan for good and not harm. And I will continue to pray this every time the devil whispers things to me because he is sure to try and get me NOT to trust my God above. The last thing the devil wants is for me to FULLY trust and focus on GOD. BUT that lion is NOT going to devour me. He will not win! I will be victorious in the LORD.
I do believe I heard the Lord whisper to my heart also about what my new season is to be. It is excited and will take a lot of work but I am excited about it. I will continue to pray for HIS certainty on this as it will lead to lots of life choices for me and my family in the near future. It has to do with what I believe God is leading me to do. I will write about what the ministry is I believe God is calling me to, as he leads me. For now I need some more prayer and listening time.
But for now, I want to say that God is using the Patriarch's to speak to me about trusting him and I am learning ever so much. I am thankful that God uses Beth to teach me so much. And I hope that if you ever get the chance, that you'll do this study. It will be life altering! I hope also that these lessons I've learned today and shared with you will be used by God for someone out there. What about you?
Do you need to make yourself ready to meet the Lord?
Do you need to have a good "housecleaning"?
Do you need a change of focus?
Is there a new season coming for you?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Getting to know me.....and you (or 50 things about me)

I was tagged by Deborah, at Deborah's Encouragement to do this. And since I didn't have anything fascinating to discuss with you today I thought it woudl be fun! PLEASE join in the fun! I LOVE getting to know you all!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My Mom's friend from highschool - linda. My real name is Melinda
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?this morning
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?yes
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? turkey
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? 3 girls
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I think so.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? When it occurs to me
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? nope
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? not likely
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? frosted mini wheats?
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I rarely wear lace up shoes but if I have them on - yes I untie them.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? ONLY with God's help
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Butter pecan
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? I would say body language and whether they look happy or not.
15. RED OR PINK? I"m partial to both
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? my temper
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Pa and Granny McKaig
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Absolutely
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Still wearing pj's - so pink pants no shoes
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Breakfast - a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with Vanilla Soy Milk and Coffee
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Wonderpets on the TV....the girls are watching it right now.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE? red
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? the smell that says it's about to rain, coffee, FALL
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? my friend Wendy yesterday I think.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? SURE - I am loving getting to know Deborah . She is a great source of encouragement to me
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Braves baseball
27. HAIR COLOR? dark brown with blond and red highlights
28. EYE COLOR? hazel
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes
30. FAVORITE FOOD? all of it! I love food.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? The Last Sin Eater
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? tshirt
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter
35.HUGS OR KISSES? depends on who it's from!
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? NOt sure - but please pleaes do!!!
38. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Family Trust ( I can't remember the author's name)
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? roadrunner
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Nothing was at church til 10pm
42. FAVORITE SOUND? my girls laughing together
43. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles.
44. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?Alaska, Ecuador
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? no
46.WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Fort Oglethorpe GA in USA
47. WHAT SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU LIKE? none
48. FAVORITE HOBBY? decorating having parties
49. A FRIEND THAT YOU WISH YOU COULD HANG OUT MORE WITH? all of them.
50. IF YOU COULD BE ANYWHERE RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE?on a vacation with my family.

I don't have time to tag anybody specifically this morning, but please join us and let me know that you did! Cause I love learning about you all!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I AM - Lesson 10



Here we are again! I am excited about this weeks lesson and can't wait for you to join us in it. IF you are one of the few who aren't taking part in Lisa's study yet - please know, that it isn't too late!
Hop, skip, jump, run on over to The Preacher's Wife and join us, won't you?

I am doing this study in a "sort of " new way today. I always read the scripture before continuing with what Lisa writes but I usually have no comments at all - just answer the questions because - as usual my life seems to be set at a mad pace and it is no different today. The thing that is different is that I wanted to comment on something in the passage. I find the wording in verse 14 very interesting and something I'd like to spend some time looking into. It says, "Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened."

Are you as fascinated by that word, relented as I am? I NEED more information here. I am hoping Lisa has much to say.....let's go see....
OK - so Lisa says that God is allowing the punishment to wait for a while.........at least I think that is what she is saying. Like when our children REALLY misbehave in public and we say "Just wait til I get you home!" kinda thing, right?

On to the questions of the day:

1. Have you ever experienced trials that were best dealt with "in the family" for either your reputation's sake or God's? You may still choose to leave them there, but you are welcome to share if you are comfortable.
Haven't we all had some trials like this? I, too, believe that God often allows me to have trials that will allow me to better relate to the people he puts in my path of ministry. The abuse I suffered as a child, my parents divorce, my current struggles with anxiety along with a few other things.....all will be able to be used for his glory in the future. I am sure of it even when it doesn't seem so obvious in the moment.

2. Have you ever found yourself in a bizarre circumstance and later were able to walk someone through the same/similar situation? Did you recognize the hand of God in it?
My current anxiety issues seemed to come out of nowhere.....so I see these as bizarre in a lot of ways. People (doctors) explain them away be telling me things like "in 7 years you've married, had 3 kids, and moved twice. AND you are a pastor's wife and are mothering 3 small children". That is all true, and yes - rationally - it makes sense that I am stressed. BUT - I was handling it fine until about a year ago and suddenly I had anxiety attacks. SO - I do find it bizarre and I SO believe that God will use it in my future. IT is his hand in things. Girls, God has a plan for my life and I have struggled with whether or not it is from him for a while now. I believe it is and am still working to get to the place of no doubt about it.....maybe I will post about that later in the week.....get some feedback from you all =)-- All that to say - all theses things will make me better at doing that job for HIM!!!! HE is definitely in it all!

3. I was in my late twenties before I ever let myself believe God was for me instead of waiting to smack me upside the head every time I made a mistake. Do you truly believe God is on your side?
This can still be a struggle for me. BUT for the most part I see God is for me.

4. If God has ever had you in the Holy Spirit Chokehold (and who hasn't He?), how have you reacted to God's chastisement? Were you bitter? Brokenhearted? Grateful?
I'd say I felt all of that and more. It is usually a process to be worked through. I'd like to say I am getting better at being grateful for trials....and I am very slowly but surely - I AM and that is because of HIM. I used to stay bitter and brokenhearted a whole lot longer than I do now.

5. Write a brief prayer of Thanksgiving for God's longsuffering.

Dear Father Above, my El Roi,
You are the one who most certainly sees me. God, the fact that you see everything about me is sometimes a scary thought. It is also a very encouraging thought, too though. YOU see me when I am ugly and bitter. You see me when I am obedient. You see me when I have my heart shattered and when I am overjoyed. You see me when I am acting like a spiritual baby and when I have grown in YOU. You see the 1/2 steps forward and 10 steps back and I so thankful to you. Lord that you stick with me through it all. Gently encouraging me to continue ONLY in YOU.
I love you Lord!
Amen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Just checking in

So sorry that I've been so quiet lately. We just returned home late on Saturday. Then, of course, Sunday is always a full day and then yesterday the girls an I went to the library for story time and then to the park with friends.
Today we went to the free family movie in our town which was The Wizard of OZ. We've all seen it before, but what fun to see it on the big screen. If you don't know if your town does free family films in the summer, you should check it out. It's been great fun this summer. Here they show two movies (one G and one PG ) at 10 AM every Tuesday and Wednesday. We then drove to a town near by to see another friend.
It has been an action packed time since we've returned home from our trip to Georgia. I will do my best to get some of the highlights posted from our trip asap.
Right now --- I have to go catchup on the housework.....I'm off schedule and it is driving me mad!

I promise I will be back soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

1st ever baseball game ....or is it soccer?



Hey girls! I had a few minutes to sit while my children are napping and thought I'd let you all know what is happening in our world.


We drove to Georgia on Sunday afternoon to visit my family. Yesterday we decided we should go to a Chattanooga Lookouts game. Hubby and I were excited to be going and I asked my girls each separately if they wanted to go to the game. Now - remember that I spoke to each of them separately.....and the following are the conversations....




Me: A (oldest child), do you want to go to a baseball game?


A: OH, YEAH!


Me: What's baseball?


A: It's where you kick the ball into the goal.


Conversation with middle daughter:

Me: M, do you want to go to a baseball game?


M: Yeah!!!


Me: M, what is baseball?


M: The one where you try to kick the ball.




And since, daughter #3 is only 2 and had no idea what I was asking, she just said she didn't know what baseball was.


Ya'll, maybe you don't know it - but I am a HUGE Atlanta Braves fan. Matter of fact, that is what I was doing when I went into labor with the first two daughters - watching the Braves on tv. I feel I have failed at teaching them to be American somehow. Isn't baseball supposed to be America's favorite past time? Seeing as how tomorrow is the 4th of July - I thought we needed to teach them some some patriotism.


SO, off we headed with my Dad, the 5 of us and my cousin, N who just loves us enough to go to a baseball game with 3 small girls. And boy, did they ever rack up for their 1st baseball game. We had front row seats and got there in time to see them warming up. The star player (we were told by the man sitting next to us) gave the girls his warm up ball. Then the middle girl got to go and play one of those games in between innings. She got to do the "Mooing competition" sponsored (of course) by Mayfield.


She and two other kids were placed on top of the dugout and each had to moo. My M, who is 3, went last and she WHISPERED "moo". I need to tell you (and you need to visualize) this little girl standing there on top of "the letters" (as she called the dugout--again, lack of baseball knowledge) with her arms crossed looking not so happy to be up there (I PROMISE I did not force her to do the game -- she wanted to). Well - they had a recorded "MOO" so they played that for her "moo", the crowd voted, and she won....

Hubby says that is what you call getting the cute vote because she certainly didn't win for her "mooing" capabilities.


What did she win? This t-shirt
and a FREE 1/2 gallon of Mayfield ice cream. Now I know that if you aren't from the area, that may not be a big deal to you (Or if you are from Texas you will choose Blue Bell) but Mayfield Ice Cream is the best. I cannot wait to get us some free ice cream. HOORAY for the cute vote!
After the game we got the "star" player to sign the two baseballs that we ended up with (the man sitting next to us gave us a second one). Hubby is hoping the star player is getting the call up to Cincinnati really soon!
We really did have a great time at the game, girls - and I am hoping my girls know the difference between soccer and baseball now.....but I'm not so sure --
This morning the middle one was talking about it and said, "You know he took that thing and tried to hit the ball" Somewhere along the way she missed that that "thing" is called a bat.....
WE might need some more work on that one.
Anyways, I hope you all have a fabulous 4th of July and I will get back with you when I have a chance!