Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Let's Talk! Tuesday

Random thoughts for Let’s Talk! Tuesday

1. I haven’t taken the time lately to sit down and compose a blog post, so sharing some random thoughts sounds good. I’ve had many blog posts whirling through my head, yet the words never quite seem to make in onto my blog. Hmmmm…maybe someday soon. If I didn’t have to sleep I could get so much more accomplished in a day. :-)

2. Did you know that when a baby is born it has 20/400 vision?  By 3 months old it’s more like 20/50.

3. Last Tuesday we had a Rise & Shine Women’s Retreat team meeting. We took some extra time at the beginning of the meeting to pray together. It was amazing how the meeting flowed, how much we accomplished with the short time we had left after our prayer time. It just goes to show when we give God the time He deserves, He is faithful to multiply the time we have to accomplish our goals, and His!

4. My boys are growing like weeds…very cute weeds!! :-)

5. Maybe it's more appropriate to say they are growing like corn...Andrew (3) and his daddy (my dear husband) planted two rows of corn in his sandbox. They even fertilized it a couple of weeks ago.  :) My little farmer in training...


6. Wonder what my boys will choose to do with their lives…doctors, pastors, chefs, architects, pilots, professional athletes…the possibilities are endless. No matter what they do, I pray they will find their worth in who they are in Christ!

7.  I’ve been thinking lately (scary, I know!), what good is our “faith” if every time something “big” happens in our lives we loose it? That’s not really faith at all. As Christians (Christ followers) what should set us apart from the rest of the world, is the hope and peace we feel and exhibit to others when things don’t go as planned. I’m not talking about being fake. I’m talking about making the choice to praise Him even when life doesn’t make sense. This can be extremely difficult, I know, I’ve been there. Still, we have to keep the bigger picture in mind. Remember His faithfulness, “keep the faith”! God is in control…always has been, always will be! AND we can trust Him…even in unsteady times!
“Let all that you are wait quietly before God, for your hope is in him.”
Psalm 62:5 (emphasis mine)

8. My little Noah (2 1/2 months) laughed out loud for the first time this past week.  Oh, the joy! :-)

(appropriately his shirt says, "Little Sunshine!" :-)

...my heart is filled with joyI burst out
 in songs of thanksgiving. 
Psalm 28:7

 9. Feeling overlooked?  Underestimated?  Insecure?  God told Samuel (in I Samuel 16:7), "Don't judge by appearance or height...The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."  Praise God we are loved, significant and worthy in HIS sight!  Can I get an Amen?!

10. Better get off the internet, Andrew is outside and I can hear running water! Yeah, better go check on that…

Until next time… remember to keep looking UP, friends!! :-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Second Chances

I’ve heard it said, “God is a God of second chances.” I agree with that, but at the same time I don’t. I’m a person who has had second chances, third chances and chances upon chances, so I know all about God’s abundant grace. Still, there are times when we don’t get a second chance.

That encounter with that person today may be your last or only chance to share Christ’s love with them.

Someone you love may leave this world, making this your last chance to say, “I love you”, “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you.”

If you speak words in anger (or just carelessly) you could really hurt someone, you can’t take them back and no matter how sorry you are the scars still exist.

If you’re not obedient to follow God’s lead, that door of opportunity may not open again.

If you make bad decisions you will experience the consequences.

If you break the law you will have to pay the price. Note: have you ever heard national author and speaker, Carol Kent’s story? Her son boldly shot and killed another man in a moment of rage. He is serving a life sentence in prison. Not only can he not take back that day, the other man doesn’t get a second chance either.

If you die you will not have another chance to make it right and you will also have to stand before God and answer for the decisions you made. (Rom 14:10)

Sometime, someday it WILL be your last chance!

That’s why God’s Word says, “Today is the day of salvation.” (II Cor 6:2)

That’s why we must “make the most of every opportunity.” (Col 4:5)

That’s why we must share Christ’s love with the world, being His ambassador. (II Cor 5:20) Really loving them. (Rom 12:9-10)

We may get another chance, we may not. God is not required to give us another chance. It is only by his grace that we get one. We should be grateful for every moment God gives us and not waste it! (I Tim 1:4) Each day is a gift from Him.

We don’t know when it will be our last chance. Whether we die tomorrow or years from now, we will never get THIS DAY back again. This is our one chance to live this one day!

What will you do with your chance today?

Thank God for His grace and forgiveness. Commit this day...and your life to Him.  Thank Him for your second (or third or fourth or whatever) chance today. Then live THIS DAY to the fullest, seeking ways to honor Him…and I will choose to do the same!  Let's not waste this day of opportunity!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let's Talk! Tuesday

Thought I'd give this a try...joining Shelly over at Is That You Lord? for Let's Talk! Tuesday

Random thoughts for this week:

1. Can hardly believe my little Noah is 8 weeks old today. The time after the baby arrives definitely goes faster than the weeks before delivery. :) Thankful for a sweet, contented baby!

2. So thankful for the rain. We needed it. Our corn is saying, “Aaaahhhh, thank you, Lord!” It is amazing how God always provides just what we need, just when we need it. He is faithful!

3. It can be rather stressful taking 2 young children to Wal-Mart. :)

4. Reading the book, “Growing Grateful Kids” by Susie Larson (one of my favorite authors). Funny because I thought I was going to be reading a book about my kids, but really the book is about me…about my personal walk with Christ and then how to apply that to my parenting. Susie says, “You cannot impart what you do not possess. Our kids need to be grateful, but we cannot teach what we do not know. Therefore, we must become sincerely grateful people first.” Amen. I highly recommend this book!

5. It hurts when your kids hurt! I’m really just starting to understand the depth of this.

6. They are having a Fire Fighter themed VBS this week at our church. Yesterday evening they had a real fire engine there along with all the gear and 2 decked out firemen. Andrew was so excited! He even got to take a ride and he thought that was pretty special! Neat to hear how they applied fire fighting to the Christian walk of faith as well.

7. So thankful for the peace and quiet of country living. Sometimes I don’t appreciate it enough. It’s such a blessing to be surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation.

8. Looking forward to our summer book study of “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl” by Lysa TerKeurst. YOU can join the online study too. If you’re interested click here for details.

9. “Proud to be humble.” God has been working in my heart lately. First about humility, then grace and now forgiveness which all tie in together. You really can’t have one without the other. I wondered where God was going with this at the beginning of this journey, but now the pieces are all coming together. I think I have a new blog post brewing!

10. Appearances. I use to be way more worried about my appearance than I would have ever admitted. It dawned on me the other day that, that has changed quite a bit. Although I want to do the best with what God has given me, I am now more concerned with what is in my heart, than what is on my body. Thankful for a better focus!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Study Opportunity!!

The Rise & Shine women's ministry team would love for you to join us on a journey to become more! In a couple of weeks we will begin reading Lysa TerKeurst's latest book, "Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl."   Each week plans are to read a chapter and then visit the Rise & Shine blog to share thoughts on what her words spoke to your heart.
* Learn how to make a Bible passage come alive in your devotion time.
* Replace doubt, regret, and envy with truth, confidence, and praise.
* Stop the unhealthy cycles of striving and truly learn to love who you are and what you've been given.
* Discover how to have inner peace and security in any situation.
* Sense God responding to your prayers.

If you would like to learn more about the study go to the Rise & Shine blog by clicking here.

Would enjoy connecting with you...and looking forward to what God will do through this study!! :)

Have a blessed day, friends!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Fog

Bright and early this morning, before my guys woke up, I snuck out of the house for a brisk morning walk down our quiet, gravel road. The grass was still covered with dew; fog filled the air. The fog was so thick, in fact, that the normally picturesque view of pastures, fields and woods along our road was hidden because of it. I couldn’t see very far ahead, behind or around me.

Normally, one of my favorite parts of taking a walk is taking in the view along the way. At first I didn’t like not being able to see. However, it only took me a little while to realize I didn’t need to see where I was going. I have walked (and driven) this road many times. I could remember what sights surrounded me, even if I couldn’t see them this time. They hadn’t changed and I knew that. So instead of focusing on what I couldn’t see, I found myself soaking in other senses.

I stopped on the road to listen…really listen…to the massive variety of birds chirping, the rooster crowing, the creek water flowing. I loved the sounds!

I took in the smell of fresh, clean country air, appreciating it when normally I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.

Before long I touched my naturally curly hair only to feel the moisture that had settled on it, making it even curlier. I walked in deep fog, but didn’t think much about what it was that obstructed my view. What I felt reminding me of what it really is, moisture in the air (and in my hair).

Not only did I learn to bear it, I actually started to appreciate the fog.

You know, sometimes life is kind of like that. Sometimes we go along taking in the view and it’s good. Then, one morning we wake up to find ourselves walking around in a fog.

The question is, will we stop to take in all that God has for us during these foggy times?

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a

Do we stop to listen…really listen? Asking what He is trying to teach us during these times? Asking how He wants to “grow” us? Pouring our hearts out to Him, knowing that He is listening and cares. We may be surprised what we hear from Him, what He reveals to us about Himself and us. We may be surprised the blessings we experience that we would have otherwise missed. If only we will be still long enough to “see” past the fog.

"As for God, his way is perfect. All the Lord's promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection." Psalm 18:30

Sometimes what we see and feel during those foggy times is far from the truth. That’s why we have to remember what is true. The same God that was there when things were going well, when we could see clearly ahead, is still with us even in the fog. His promises prove true. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn’t changed. We must remember even if we can not see!

So, dear friend, when foggy time come (and come they will), when we can’t see what He’s doing, when we feel alone, we must remember He is there. Remember His faithfulness in the past. He hasn’t changed. We don’t have to be able to see Him (or understand what He is doing) to know He is there, working on our behalf. We can trust Him. We can stand on His promises. We have to be still and listen. If we seek Him, we will find him…feeling His presence all around us. If we do this, when the fog lifts again (and it will eventually), we will be thankful for all that He showed to us there.

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. …O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5-6,8

What will we learn, where will we turn in the fog?