February 26, 2013

1000 Gifts

946. Saturday at the Gores
947. God conversations
948. Writing letters to friends
949. Dust cloths
950. Thermal blankets
951. Sunday afternoon with Joel and Phoebe, riding bikes exploring the town where we live
952. Chicken spaghetti
953. Bolts
954. My inspiration wall
955. All Glory Be to Christ - King's Kaleidoscope
956. Missionaries serving the beautiful people of France

957. Mr. Steven aka "Santa Claus"
958. Paper
959. The faithfulness of God
960. The book of Romans -- such conviction, such encouragement
961. Grandma's cooking
962. My Uncle Abe and his passion for Jesus and holy living
963. Lemons
964. Field stone

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.   

February 23, 2013

Sucker punched...


I am reading through the book of Romans in my personal bible time, and as I was reading / listening (love my Bible app) to it again this morning, the first two chapters really "punched" my conscious!

I used to think that Romans 1:18-32, was just for unbelievers, but if you think about it, even professing Christians, those who have been Born Again, can still commit the sins mentioned below. 

Now, of course, it should be our aim, to lay aside all sin once we have been purchased with the blood of Jesus, but we should not forget that we are still capable of falling into those sins that are named in this passage. 

Aaaand, if you look at Romans 2, which is written to Jews and those who are Born Again, you will see how Paul is pointing out to those who claim to be "Of Israel" are judging those who aren't, of sins against God, that they themselves are committing! 

Whoa!  That's where it got my attention.  Because, while I say that I am Born Again, and like to point out others faults, am I myself sinning in the same ways as those who I am judging? 

Even if I am not having homosexual relations, am I being unmerciful?  Disobedient toward my parents?  Proud?  Unloving?  Am I a whisper?  Backbiter?  Violent person?

God hates my sin, no matter what "kind," because He is perfect and holy, and calls me to be perfect and holy (see Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:16).  Therefore, I cannot arrogantly scoff at those "unrighteous" people who may or may not realize the severity of what they are doing, from day to day (see Proverbs 24:17).  Their life style should instead, call forth my compassion, not my condemnation.  And inspire me to walk all the more blamelessly, because I do not want to be a cause for the "Gentiles to blaspheme the name of God," (see Romans 2:24). 

Something to think about Abby. ;)

--------------------

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them."      Romans 1:18-32

"Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,  an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?  You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?  For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.  Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?  And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?  For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;  but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God."       Romans 2:1-29

February 22, 2013

Not My Daddy's Helpmeet {re-blogged}


A friend of mine wrote this wonderful blog post about daughters and their roles in the home, and I couldn't help but pass it along to you, my readers, as recommended reading. 

"Now I am 22 years old and after 4 years of trying and failing over and over again, I am still not married and I have only in the last year or so really begun to understand that my purpose is not to serve a man but to serve God and not to serve God by serving a man necessarily, (although that may be part of it someday) but to just simply serve God whether I am at home with my parents, on my own with roommates, with my husband and children or alone on the mission field. I have often thought, "What if I don't ever get married?" and I always brushed the thought away. Of course I'll get married, that's God's will for me! Now I actually consider it. It is not terribly unlikely that I could remain single the rest of my life. I've spent the past 4 years with the goal being to get married, how am I going to spend the next 4 years if I'm still not married? What I'm still single at 40? Do I really want to remain in my parents' home, working 40 hours a week to help pay their bills and buy material things for myself? Is that what I want to do with my life? More importantly, is that what God wants me to do with my life?"
 She closes out the post with this serious reminder to parents and children:

Parents, teach your sons to look for a woman who fears God and honors her father, not a woman who obeys her father and "honors" God.Sons, look for a woman who loves her Lord first and submits to Him and you will have found a woman who can submit to you...whether you find her at home in her father's house or on her own.

Take a few minutes to read her post, and hear her heart.  I think you will be blessed and challenged, as I was.  


February 15, 2013

I don't wait anymore {Re-blogged}


When I was 16, I got a purity ring.
And when I was 25, I took it off.
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it — it wasn’t a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day and, before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.
“True Love Waits.” Waits.
What’s it “waiting” for, anyway?
--------------------------------------

Thus begins a thought provoking article by a thoughtful young woman, who has, as I have, experienced the whole "waiting for prince charming to come" mindset, and rejected the notion that single young women, should wait.

What about using our single years to cultivate a deeper relationship with Jesus?   What about serving others in our communities, in Christ's name?  What about gaining a better understanding of God's word?  What about pursuing the gifts God has given us?

Our lives, as single women, should not be wrapped up in waiting for the perfect man.  Because, honestly, he may never come.  Our time should instead, be used to revel in the fact that if we are in Christ, we already have the perfect One in our lives.  We need to learn to rest in His presence.  Learn to treasure His love, His favor, His esteem. 

I am done waiting.  Because I have found the One whom my soul loves... Jesus!

"My beloved is mine, and I am his."  Song of Songs 2:16
----------------------------

I hope that you'll take a few minutes to read her article, and see her heart.  

February 13, 2013

A dancin' we went

On the first Friday of every month, a local group gets together and practices various English Country Dances.  

One of the things Johanna wanted to do for her birthday, was attend the dance.  It had been a few months since we had last been able to make it, since we no longer live in the city where the dance is held.  So, mid Friday afternoon, Phoebe, Johanna, Jaden and I took off for our old hometown, to run errands, and eventually, end up at the dance.  We picked up our good friend, Stephen, and brought him along for a night of enjoyment.  

Smiling quite cheesy grins (l-r Johanna, Abby, Stephen and Jaden)


One of the many enjoyable dances

A four hand star

Setting right and left


Changes of rights and lefts 


Our wonderful and knowledgeable caller - Tiffany


Siblings spotted!  (Johanna and Jaden)


Turn your diagonal


Some of the attendants actually engage in conversation (*gasp*) ;)


Half figure eight, please


Forward and back


Glances


I believe that Sophia Bella receives the cutest baby of the day award. :)  She is an absolute doll!


Conversation during a much appreciated break


Lovely ladies conversing


Mother, daughters and friends


Some of the stellar young gents


Silly picture (l-r Stephen, Phoebe and Johanna)


This was such a sweet moment: Jaden adores Ryan (guy in the red shirt, kneeling) and he attended the dance that night.  Well, Jaden found an opportunity to speak with him.  We looked over in time to see Ryan and our other friend, Angela, kneel down to Jaden's level... so thoughtful of them! 

We had a lovely time, dancing the night away!  Next practice is on March 1st. :)

February 12, 2013

German Homeschool Case May Impact U.S. Homeschool Freedom {reblogged}

The U.S. government says that Germany’s ban on homeschooling does not meet this standard because, of course, the family can change—they can simply stop homeschooling and let their children go to the public schools. After all, the U.S. government says, the children are only in public schools 22-26 hours a week. After that the parents may teach what they want.

The prospect for German homeschooling freedom is not bright. But we should not reserve all of our concern for the views of the German government. Our own government is attempting to send German homeschoolers back to that land to face criminal prosecutions with fines, jail sentences, and removal of custody of children. 

We should understand that in these arguments by the U.S. government, something important is being said about our own liberties as American homeschoolers.


You can read the rest of this article, and consider what you can do, in the cause of freedom, here.  As a homeschool graduate myself, this topic is of great concern to my life, and to the lives of many I care about deeply.  

1000 Gifts

925. Lasagna
926. Natural Grocers
927. White board by my door
928. Surprise boxes in the mail
929. Considerate friends
930. Romans 12
931. Toilet paper
932. Filtered water
933. Stamps
934. The finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross
935. Rain drops
936. My chacos

937. Sweaters
938. Remotes
939. Crushed Yet Conquering
940. Straight pins
941. Rebekah M.
942. Edible Magazine
943. Herbs to pick and cook with from our garden
944. Midnight prayers with Jesus
945. Hearts

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.   

February 10, 2013

Sunday Meditation



For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.  And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Romans 11:16-24

February 9, 2013

1000 Gifts

901. Thumbs
902. Ice
903. Johanna
904. Essential oils
905. Striped shirts
906. Soap
907. Texting apps
908. Oranges
910. Post-it notes
911. Mud boots
912. Plaid
913. Button down shirts

914. Father Brown mystery series
915. Magnets
916. Bow ties
917. Pillow cases
918. The loving kindness of God
919. Salmon
920. Colored pencils
921. The Book of Romans
922. The ability to write
923. Tires
924. Long-sleeved shirts

My list will continue to grow as I praise the Lord each week here on my blog!
To join in the praise click here.   

February 8, 2013

When you're stuck in the hallway

(this is from a journal entry I wrote on Feb. 6, 2013)

"There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears.  There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face.  But until that day we'll hold onto You always."  Jeremy Camp 




Really struggling with anxiety and concern over my family's current financial situation, which is, to put it bluntly, quite bleak. :p

What do you say to your children when the money is all gone, and your small savings has been exhausted?  How do you purchase groceries? fuel? insurance? medicine?  To whom do you turn?

In this instance, it is easy to fear.  So easy.

On the other hand, however, it is much harder to have faith.  To completely trust that God's promises are not just empty words, but are actually full of life, hope and peace.

"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:4-7

Paul isn't just suggesting that we try not to fear or worry; no, rather he is giving us a simple command: Do not be anxious about anything!

Notice the "formula," if you will, for presenting my petitions to God:

Prayer + Supplication + Thanksgiving = the correct way to approach God with a request.

Instead of lying there in a heap, complaining about how "bad" my situation is, when I am feeling discontentment creeping into my heart, I think of all the blessings I do have, and I recount them to myself.  Because, when we offer up thanksgiving to our Great and all powerful Provider, we ourselves receive a blessing.  We might be skeptical when we first start listing our blessings, but it always works to be a wonderful time of praise, to God.

And, God does answer our prayers.  Though it can seem an eternity before we receive an answer.  As if the "I'm in the hallway, waiting on God to show me which door to step through" phase will never end.

I've been there.  Let me restate that, I am there.

Waiting.

In the hallway.

Clinging to the person of Christ as portrayed in the powerful words of Holy Scripture.

And praying.  A LOT.

Sometimes at the oddest hours, I'll awaken, and feel this urge to just dialogue with my Abba.  Thankfully He is, as Psalm 121 describes, a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps.  And my sleeplessness comes as no surprise to my Father.  Many times, I've discovered, He awakens me to pray, when something serious is happening and I'm not even aware of it.

But that's okay.  It is my job to simply obey.  I don't have to know why I was awakened.  I just have to pray for whomever, or whatever has been placed on my mind.  Obedience is definitely key, especially when it seems God isn't listening to our prayers.  That is when we should press into Jesus all the more.  When He seems far away or unconcerned.  Just press into Him, and He will prove that He is there, and has been all along!

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" Philippians 1:3-6

Press on, even if you're in the hallway.  And don't lose heart.  His promises are not in vain.

"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding..."  Colossians 1:9-14 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He is there
and
He is not silent.

Francis Schaeffer   

February 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Johanna!!


Today I am thankful to God for my beautiful sister Jo!  She is turning 15. :)  I am amazed at how creative, musically gifted, photographically talented, children loving, Spirit sensitive, book worm(ish), smiley, goofy and caring, she is. 

I love you Jo!  You are an amazing blessing to many. 

Happy Birthday to you hun!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 3, 2013

Sunday Medition

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.
11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Jude 1:3-16