I like to grab a verse from the devotional I do that catches my heart but tonight I couldn't really decided. I always try to read all the inspirational message on the side of the pages as well. I found this one to share instead of the verses I read tonight. I find it to be true and comforting to me at times of stress and hard times.
"A life of faith isn't about being happy and popular, but about aligning ourselves with Jesus. Picture Jesus carrying each stress in your life to the cross, one by one, as each thought of a personal or family conflict comes to your mind. Finally, picture yourself being baptized---dying with Jesus, then rising to walk in newness of life."
Deut 7:6 "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession."
For where His treasure is, His Heart is also! (Beth Moore)
This makes me smile inside and out!
Beth Moore Devotional:"We were created by God to be inhabited by His Spirit. We were not created to be empty. The vacuum in every human life doe not yearn to be fixed. It yearns to be filled. God can deliver us from a terribly oppressive stronghold and we can truly clean up our lives and put them in order, but if we don't fill the void with Him, we are terribly susceptible to relapse"
Philippians 3:7: "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8: What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9: and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith
in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."
"Satan is strong, but Christ is far stronger. Victory is not determined as much by what we've been delivered from (ex: any form of abuse, addiction, etc.) as by what we've been delivered too (Jesus Christ Lord)."
John 15:12-17 12:" My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13: Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14: You are my friends, if you do what I command. 15: I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16: You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit---fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17: This is my command: Love each other."
Just a small part of what was in my devotional with Beth Moore tonight :0). It's so comforting to know we aren't just followers of Jesus but in his eyes, his friend.
Just wanted to share something I read last night in my Beth Moore Devotional, "Jesus the One & Only" She got this from Oswald Chamder's book, "My Utmost For His Highest." "The great enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but the good which is not good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best."
What are you thoughts about this?
In my Beth Moore Devotional tonight I came across so MANY things I'd like to share! I'll only share one tonight & hope it moves you like it moved me.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; 17: pray continually; 18: give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
I don't know about ya'll but when I would hear, just pray about it, it didn't quite register with me on how I could pray about everything and sit back a wait. I'm an instant person and waiting isn't a strong trait of mine. For one, I want to just move on to the next and not let my life revolve around that one situation and as I get older, I'm afraid I'll forget what I just prayed about! Well, as I read in my devotional tonight, I read out of Mark 9:14-32 about "The Healing of a Boy With an Evil Spirit"
and how the disciples that were trying to heal the boy couldn't even after Jesus had gave them the power and authority to do so. Why ? Well, Beth Moore had gave several reasons behind it such as their most powerful influences were absent (3 of the leading disciples were with Jesus up on a mountain praying), some of the strongest negative influences were present (those more educated were present) & Prayer is the critical element of faith. Which leads me to what I wanted ya'll to think about. How quickly I tend to forget that Jesus prayed about everything and every situation. The disciples were trying to heal the boy through their strength instead of seeking the greatness and power of God through prayer and asking him to demonstrate His authority. Beth Moore went on to saying: 'You see, without prayer, we return to our own ability rather than to God. True prayer, not just mindless, half hearted petitions, is what digs the well God wants to fill with faith.'
Another food for thought: Our life with God is filled with ups and downs, with passions and problems, and we cannot see the big picture. By the time God answers a prayer, we have forgotten we asked! What seemed as impossible (Genesis 17:19 Abraham & Sarah have a baby late in life) has happened, and we take it for granted rather than receive it as a gift. One of my New Years resolutions is to pay better attention to the gifts I receive from God daily, weekly and month and thank him more and more.
I know I haven't been posting on here lately. I have started posting on facebook a lot. My postings are getting very LENGTHY!! So, I'm going to grab the recent post and post each on here. If you have anything you want to add, feel free to comment or leave words of encouragement. Thanks!
Whew!! I finished week 7 in Beth Moore's "Jesus the One and Only." I still have to listen to my Cd however, that's more of a treat to hear. As I finished the last paragraph on Day 5, I thought back to how deep this week has been trying to dig out of me. Although, I thought I'd never get it and give it up before the end of the week, I'm glad I didn't. I realize that maybe the reason I had to dig deep within this week is because I had some questions on decisions I needed to make that I just didn't know what to do. Some of you may know that Jon is going on his first mission trip in a few weeks over to Russia. He has always had this pull from within to go to Russia and now he gets to go and discover what God has in store for him spiritually. Our oldest went on a mission trip last summer to an orphanage in Honduras and it gave him a different perspective on his own life. He's going again this summer and I have the chance to go. I'm nervous and unsure of going. I have flown and I don't fear others flying. I just prefer to keep my feet on the ground.
"The Cost of Following Jesus" Luke 9:57-62 Touched on my ordeal. Besides the flying, my other hang up is leaving my 4 yr old twins for so long. I've never been apart from them for long. I don't like too be away from any of my children but my twins are my babies. Luke 9: 61- Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family." 62- Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." I'm pretty much saying the same thing to Jesus. I want so much to follow Jesus and surrender my life to him but lets wait until the twins are older. With strong drugs, I'll get over my fear of flying for the moment. In researching what the two verses meant. I came across this: To follow Christ is to loosen your grip on the things that normally provide physical and emotional security. Jesus made it clear that He must be the top priority in our lives, even above one's family. "Put his hand to the plow and looks back" means looking over your shoulder while plowing, making it impossible to plow a straight furrow. We must focus on serving Him as we move ahead at His command. My children and husband give me that security. I worry with the up coming decisions I will make on going on the mission trip. Day 2: Luke 12: 22-26 is titled " Do Not Worry"
22- Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. (skip to) 25-"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26-Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" Just as I was starting the next day, I was getting a little discouraged on what I was suppose to be understanding and learning. Well, the topic was "Keep your Lamps Burning." It's not only so you will be ready when he comes but it's also so you will know him when you see him. In the New testament, it talks of scholars' of the Bible and the law but yet when he was right there in their face, they didn't know who he was. They didn't believe him. They were threatened by him. It reminds me of when Hunter, our oldest was having pain in the lower part of his tummy. I felt there was more to it than what the lead surgeon thought. He made me feel so low on my ability to know there was something wrong with my own child that I almost walked out with Hunter and took him home. I was just a momma and he had the education to KNOW Hunter was ok and I was just being crazy. I'm thankful for the Surgeon's education because 4 hours later, he was the one using his education to remove Hunter's appendix. He might have the knowledge but Hunter was a part of me and I KNEW my son. Jesus wants us to know him like I KNOW my sons, my daughters and my Husband.
How do I know them so well? Because, I spend time with them, I talk to them, I want to know EVERY part of their live, I love them and most of all they are a PART of me and I'm a part of them forever (eternity). I do pray that when the day finally comes for our Savior to come back, I will know him without any doubts.
We had our first vacation of the year this past week. It was supposed to be our second vacation but because God has his hands on my oldest son, Hunter, it ended up being our very first for the summer. His timing was perfect the night before our huge Disney trip when Hunter had to have emergency surgery. Now the next day after our return I’ve been battling with unsettling feelings. Nothing unparticular, just female emotions I chalk it up to. Summer vacation for the kids will be ending this week and the twins will start K-4 :( and Braydon will start middle school. Three of our kids are hitting milestones in their lives this week. Next year will make both Jon and I feel really old because Hunter will start HIGH SCHOOL! AHHH!
I had planned on all last week reading in my devotional books, Bible and coming back with five or more blog post. I came back with one written and hardly anything read but I thought about where I was in my faith and where I wanted to be in a few months. I got a chance to break away from all the stress in my life, reconnect with my husband, kids and great friends and just to clear my mind. Maybe that’s what God had planned for me so that he could open my eyes to what it was that is really taking me under and keeping me from being totally committed to him the way he needs me to be in order to use me for his purpose. On the route I was going, I wasn’t any good to anyone including myself!
Tonight, I picked up my good old faithfull book, ‘The Resolution for Women’. For some reason I have a hard time keeping up with where I last left off at so I find myself flipping through the last chapter I’d underline things in and pick with the next chapter. But, for some reason tonight, I reread the chapter name ‘Divine Appointments.’ It never fails lately when I have missed church, bible school, Wednesday nights or reading, I feel so alone and distant from everyone, most importantly God. The Bible verse, the author opens up with is out of Psalm 27:8
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds. “Lord, I am coming.”
Oh, Lord, I’m here! So powerful to read that verses when you feel alone. In the NIV version it states it this way: My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.
As I grow in my faith and listen to my heart, I notice that when I’m at my most unsettling times and I feel alone, it’s when I’m not crying out to God to lead me out. Instead, I’m trying to pull myself out. To be faithfully his, I have to lean into his voice, live with Heaven’s purpose in view and Heaven’s whisper in my soul.
Heaven’s whisper? As a mother of twin girls, I know what a whisper is supposed to sound like and what 4 yr old girls thinks a whisper sounds like! I wish God’s whisper was more like a 4 yr old’s is whisper at times but I’m thankful he does whisper to me and I hear it (not always but my hearing is getting better with his whispers). The author uses Moses as her example of how he might not have seemed faithful but was. She says in her book how he seemed to have all kinds of problems in the execution of God’s plan he still held tight to the calling God had on his life.
‘Even in the noisy wind tunnel of guilt and regret, even with loud music inviting him to dance with the decadent, he could still catch the faint whisper of Heaven compelling him to forsake temporary feelings and pursuits for the sake of God’s will. And herein lies what separated him and his people from all others. He was not perfect, but he was purposeful. He wasn’t without mistake, but he was marked by God’s presence.’ The Resolution for Women pg 71 (Good old faithful)
All last week, I had a chance to think about what I thought my purpose was in life and prayed about God’s purpose for my life. I’m not perfect at anything I do but I do try when I have the energy. My heart is my children and everyone elses but lately you couldn’t tell I enjoy it because of being bogged down with the daily stress of being torn between work, kids, life, my wife duties and my momma duties and let’s not forget what society thinks a woman should look like and be able to do! At the end of April, I made the decision to get out of Awana’s and try my hand at the youth because our oldest is in youth and he was at the age where he needs guidance and parental contact. After all, I only have him for 5 more years at home. I have always been stand offish to the youth age because I didn’t get to experience my youth the way normal teenagers did. My parents were very strict and sheltered me just as I’m going to do with my daughters. Maybe not as strict and sheltered, but close. For the past few months, I have felt a little lost finding a place to fit in at church. We had Vacation Bible School. For the first time in three or four years, I didn’t participate. My kids did but I didn’t. The next week, the youth went up to the mountains on a mission trip to put on a Vacation Bible school up there for children that wouldn’t have it otherwise. Jon took Hunter and I stayed behind because of work and our younger children were doing Music camp at church. I have helped out twice with the youth girls Sunday school and I liked it. Because of vacation last week, I missed the last two Sunday mornings. It seems like I’m missing a lot of great opportunities to serve in each age group! That bothers me so I turned it over to God to help me get through.
I go onto read in my old faithful about ‘Heaven Calling.’ I really would rather put it in my own words but she words it so well. So here is the last piece from the book.
‘It’s the call of the faithful. You and me. To fix our eyes on Him and His plans for us, and then--- with the empowerment of the Spirit----to go about achieving them in our various relationships and endeavors.’
I’m in constant prayer that he will lead me in his plans for me and that he gives me the strength to move past people, earthly wants, finances and outside obstacles that might and will stand in my way. I know that what God wants me to do will bring me happiness because I will be serving him and not myself. My focus has to be on him and I have faith that he will take care of the rest. My Heaven Calling will keep me feeling a bit unsettled, sensing an internal ache I can’t quite shake until it moves me in his direction of serving his purpose for my life, not my own. That’s Heaven Calling.
As a person we just want to be wanted and loved. As a parent, we just want to give our children the best, the world. We want them to feel loved and never to suffer pain, loss or want. But also as a parent, we know we cannot prevent any of that from happening nor need too. In order for our children to grow up into a well-rounded adult, we have to set guidelines and structure. When I became a mother for the first time, I knew what I wanted to do with my life for the first time. I have always wanted to be a mommy and wife but for the first time ever I felt I had direction for my future. I wanted to be a teacher. I went to the tech school and started taking classes for early childhood development. I even got a chance to take Hunter in and use him as a college type show and tell. While in school we were also building a daycare for my mom and I to run. Once it was built, I taught 3 yr olds and I loved it! I went on to have our second child, Braydon. Right after I had Braydon, my parents sold the daycare and shortly after that I got fired. The new owners did not think I could grow with their company and my ways weren’t their ways. In other words, my words, the families like me and came to me with a lot of problems and not them. We had developed a bond and when it comes to your children you are cautious on whom you let watch your child all day long. Shortly after getting fired, a few of my families called me and asked if I’d watch their children at my home. I did and continued for almost two years. Then one day I received a call from the owners that had bought the daycare. Long story short, he had ran the daycare into the ground and wanted me to come back and run it. I did and was pregnant again with my third child, Gracie. However, it wasn’t just me that came back. I was not about to jump into the daycare business without my assistant director that I had before and who is now the owner of not only that daycare but another one. Both daycares are doing great! After running the daycare, my career choice has not really been my own and my fulfillment for my job hasn’t been the same. Children are my heart. Maybe that’s why I have so many!
There are a lot of nights I go to bed wondering if I was too hard on the kids for something they did wrong. Could I have been more understanding, more patient, more loving? Could I have not let them slide just this once for that behavior? After all I don’t blame them I probably have done the same thing at one time or they acted that way because I act that way. The answers are a mixture of yes and no’s. Yes, I should have bit my tongue a few hundred times to the point I probably shouldn’t have a tongue left! I’ve learned being patient comes with time and being in the word daily. Being in the word, doing my devotionals and blogging requires discipline. Being more loving grows more and more every day. Every limit I set or punishment I give to them is done in Love.
One of my favorite verses about Discipline by our Heavenly Father is out of Hebrew 12:3-11
3-For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart.4- In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.5- And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:
My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly or faint when you are reproved by Him,6- for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives. 7-Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8- But if you are without discipline---which all receive---then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9- Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? 10- For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness. 11- No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
God does not discipline us to harm us but to bless us in fellowship and receiving His peace and righteousness. We, as parents do the same for our own children. As I’ve stated in a previous blog, I understand God more and more each and every day I raise my own children. I understand why God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, why he flooded the earth, the plagues he sent and the list can go on and on. We just weren’t listening and he had had enough! How many times as a parent have you felt like you have repeated yourself so many times you felt like a broken recorded and you were just about to blow your top. We are at present battling with the boys to finish up their summer reading books and as much as we want to just let them fail and take the grade they get, we have a hard time doing that! But, the right thing to do is explain that if they don’t do the work and make a bad grade then they will be grounded. It’s just so hard to sit back and see your child fail when you could have done something to prevent it. However, what one teacher told me was it is better for them to fail now and learn from it than have them fail when it really counts. Today’s parents don’t have the freedom to discipline their children the way our parents were allowed to. We have so many children raised by two parents in different homes, one parent, by grandparents and by strangers. It’s not like it was when we were growing up and the children are paying for that. I love my children more than my own life, I want my children to have the security of structure and discipline that I had known growing up. They are counting on me to not be their friend all the time and to direct them in the way of the Word.
In closing I want to share a few more items that are straight out of my Bible on the way the authors interpreted the verses. It helped me to understand it better and I hope it will do the same for you.
Familial language appears throughout the book of Hebrews. The First person of the Trinity is God the Father, and the Second Person of the Trinity is His Son. The Son became a human being in order to unite Himself with His believing “brothers.” The Son can then bring His brothers into the presence of the Father, who will consider them His “sons.” The believers in Christ are sons of God, they have a superior source of comfort. They are more than mere servants; God addresses them as sons. And yet, a father displays his love for his sons by disciplining them. Just as the readers have accepted discipline from their natural fathers, so too should they receive discipline from the Father of spirits. God does not discipline His sons to harm them, but to bless them. The benefit of the Father’s discipline is fellowship in His holiness and receiving His peace and righteousness.
As I’m growing in my relationship with Christ, I try and apply my own feelings with how I feel about my own children to how God might feel when I, myself do a certain behavior that might upset him. When my children are fighting with each other, when they hurt, when they want something that I can’t give them or just how I feel when I love on them, it’s so many emotions. Now, imagine the powerful all in one, God, the creator of the whole universe. I can picture the birth of a baby making rain fall from the skies from his tears and the discipline he hands to his children can shake the world.
11-Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe His discipline; 12- for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, just as a father, the son he delights in.
To ask God to refrain from giving us discipline would be to ask Him to love us less.
Have a blessed day!