Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Bible...just a book or a treasure?


I have a beautiful diamond ring that I love to wear. 
 It has been handed down through the women in my dad’s family.  We can trace it back to my great great Aunt. You can imagine that it means A LOT to me.  I treasure it not just because it is beautiful but also because it is a part of my history.  I don’t wear it very often, and keep it in a red leather pouch in my jewelry drawer.   

One day, I went to wear it for a special occasion and it wasn’t there, the whole pouch was gone!  I panicked.  I always keep it in the same place. I searched all through my jewelry and everywhere I thought it might be.  I was literally sick to my stomach for days and searched everywhere I could think of. I even analyzed who had been in my house, could someone have stolen it?  I looked and relooked for it and completely emptied my jewelry drawer…but could not find it.  I was beside myself.   

Days later, I open the bottom drawer in my dresser to get out an old sweatshirt and as I lifted it out I found a red leather pouch stuffed under the clothes in the corner…and then I remembered…I was going on a long trip and had hidden my special jewelry in that drawer away from my regular jewelry in case we got robbed.   

Oh, how I love menopause!   

I can’t tell you the relief I felt when I found that ring that I treasure!!!

Take a look at this video…


This is a group of Chinese Christians receiving their very first bibles.  Pretty emotional isn’t it?  Convicting.  Did you see how each person caressed and kissed their new bible, most all of them were crying, and it was very obvious that they considered this bible a most treasured gift. 

How many bibles do you have in your home?  I’m a pastor’s wife…I have a lot.  How often do you hold your bible, God’s Word, like it is a treasure worth more than gold and diamonds?

Over the next several posts,  I want to share with you, through the lens of my life, how holding fast to God’s Word will provide you with the comfort, courage, care and conformity to Christ that will hold you up in difficult times.

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 2:16 to "hold firmly to the Word of Life"

If I hold out a rope to you and ask you to hold it FIRMLY what will you do? 
yes, you will grasp it with BOTH hands.  If I hold out something else for you to hold at the same time, you no longer have a firm grasp on the rope.  I want to share with you why it is important to hold firmly to the Word of Life. Because when a hard, and I mean gut wrenching hard, time comes, if we have not spent the time getting to know God through His Word, if we have not allowed him to prove himself trustworthy in our lives….we will loosen our grip, let go of God’s promises and grasp fear and anxiety instead.

About 3 years ago, I felt God calling me to a deeper study.  I have most always been in some kind of Bible study but I had a desire in my heart to just go deeper and so I joined a precept study.  They had been going through the old testament and were starting Isaiah at the time. If you have never done a Kay Arthur precept study, it is what they call an inductive study…studying scripture word for word, precept upon precept.  
 
Shortly into the study I read Is. 5:13 "Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding" and was impressed with the importance God put on knowing Him.  God says in that passage that his people, Israel, were going to go into exile for their lack of knowledge (of Him). Their lack of knowledge of God had caused them to turn to idols and other kingdoms for their comfort and security.  They didn’t KNOW God and therefore did not trust in Him.

The most effective way we have to get to know God is through His Word. We see every side of his character within the pages of our Bible.  And as we study that, it affects our life…

.... in my next post, we will see how God's Word provides comfort in hard times.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The importance of God's Word...

I have been MIA from this blog for quite a while. I am sure many of you wondered if I was ever coming back....I wondered it myself.

Life has been hard lately.

But God has been good.

My husband was let go from his job.
Our church was facing financial difficulty and was at a point where it couldn't support 2 full time pastors.  The elders decided they wanted to move forward with the younger pastor.

Losing a job in the ministry is different from losing a job in the working world.  In the working world when things are difficult or you lose your job, you have your church family to come along side you and under gird you, encourage you, pray with you. 

But in the ministry, that support is connected with your job. 

You can't always share the difficulties you are encountering and when you lose your job, you also lose that community of support and it can be hard.  

Yet, God is always there.
  And if we turn to Him in those times, He will provide that support we need and more.

So in this tough season, I have been spending more time drawing close to Him.  Finding my strength in Him.  And in doing so, also finding JOY in Him too.

We have been struggling in our ministry for a while, but as I have turned to God and have been digging into His Word over that last several years, He has provided the care, comfort and courage I needed to walk the path He has laid out for me.

Over the next few posts, I want to share with you how God has encouraged me, molded me,  challenged me and sometimes chastised me through His Word.  You'll see how He has been faithful to who He is in my life and how He even prepared me to deal with losing our job...


I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Six hours one Friday

I have borrowed this from my good friend Lisa today....



Six hours.  One Friday.

Let me ask you a question:  What do you do with that day in history?  What do you do with its claims?

If it really happened....if God did commandeer his own crucifixion...if he did turn his back on his own Son...if he did storm Satan's gate, then those six hours that Friday were packed with tragic triumph.  If that was God on that cross, then the hill called Skull is granite studded with stakes to which you can anchor.



Those six hours were no normal six hours.  They were the most critical hours in history.  For during those six hours on that Friday, God embedded in the earth three anchor points sturdy enough to withstand any hurricane.


ANCHOR POINT #1  My life is not futile.

This rock secures the hull of your heart.  Its sole function is to give you something which you can grip when facing the surging tides of futility and relativism.  Its a firm grasp on the conviction that there is truth.  Someone is in control and you have a purpose.

 ANCHOR POINT #2 My failures are not fatal.

Its not that he loves what you did, but he loves who you are.  You are his.  The One who has the right to condemn you provided the way to acquit you.  You make mistakes.  God doesn't.  And he made you.

ANCHOR POINT #3 My death is not final.

There is one more stone to which you should tie.  Its large.  Its round.  And its heavy.  It blocked the door of a grave.  It wasn't big enough though.  The tomb that it sealed was the tomb of a transient.  He only went in to prove he could come out.  And on the way out he took the stone with him and turned it into an anchor point.  He dropped it deep into the unchartered waters of death.  Tie to his rock, and the typhoon of the tomb becomes a spring breeze on Easter Sunday.

There they are.  Three anchor points.  The anchor points of the cross.


~Max Lucado Six Hours One Friday: Living in the Power of the Cross

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Frags


Is it really Friday again already?!!!

**My schedule lately has been CRAZY busy and I (the person who hates to be home for long) am feeling a bit overwhelmed and wanting to just hole up in my house for a while.

**I just got back Sunday from my MILs and I leave again this Sunday for my parents.  When I get back, I have 2 weeks and then I leave for a speaking engagement with some time with my best friends on the heels of that.....like I said, crazy!

**my message for my speaking engagement is not coming together easily and I am frustrated.  I know I am over thinking it (mostly my nerves are getting in the way I think)  and just need to allow God to give me the words.  But I am having a hard time getting it from my head to the paper in a cohesive way.  prayers would be appreciated!!

**I have a new grandpuppy.
My son rescued a 7 week old boxer puppy that he will be adding to his fiancee's aussie puppy when they get married.....yes, I think they are crazy!  But he is so very cute!

**I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that my son is getting married.  

**looking forward to tomorrow when I get to keep TWO babies while their mama goes to a foster/adoption conference.  we are going to have so much fun with these cute boys!!

**have I mentioned that I leave Sunday......I have not packed a thing or done one thing to get ready....ugh.  I have a feeling I will be packing the hour before I leave.  Sometimes, ok most times, that is how I role.

**I'm excited to have dinner with some very dear friends tonight.  They are heading back to China this weekend and this will be the last time I get to see them for awhile.  I am sad that life has gotten in the way of me spending more time with them while they were home, but I can't wait to see them tonight, enjoy their company and their sweet baby, pray over them and let them know how much we love them!!
 
**I have been studying Ezekiel since sept.  We are in the last three weeks of the study.  Ezekiel has completely changed me.  I had never really studied this book and God has broken me, in a good way, through it.  He has exposed so much pride in my life.  It has been a somewhat painful process but so beautiful in the end.  I am grateful.

**Ok, time to get ready and go have breakfast with my son and his fiancee (I really enjoy typing that!) before they head back.

Have a GREAT weekend!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good Words this morning..

For those of you who don't read Blackaby, here was his devotion this morning:

Be Reconciled!

"leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." Matthew 5:24

It is useless to give offerings to God while you are at enmity with your brother. Jesus said that His followers should be reconciled with anyone who has something against them.  The world seeks reconciliation on limited terms.  Christians are to be reconciled, whatever it takes.

You say, "but you don't know how deeply he hurt me!  It's unreasonable to ask me to restore our relationship." or, "I tried but she would not be appease."  Jesus did not include an exception clause for our reconciliation.  If the person is an enemy, Jesus said to love him (Matt 5:44).  If he persecute you, you are to pray for him.  If she publicly humiliates you, you are not to retaliate (Matt. 5:39).  If someone takes advantage of you, you are to give even more than he asks (Matt. 5:41).  The world preaches "assert yourself."  Jesus taught, "deny yourself".  the world warns that you will be constantly exploited. Jesus' concern was not that His disciples be treated fairly but that they show unconditional love to others regardless of how they are treated.  Men spat upon Jesus and nailed Him to a cross.  His response was our model:  "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do: (Luke 23:34)

If there were ever a command that is constantly disobeyed, it is this mandate to be reconciled.  We comfort ourselves with the thought, "God knows that I tried to make things right, but my enemy refused."  God's Word does not say "Try to be reconciled, " but "be reconciled." Is there someone with whom you need to make peace?  Then do what God tells you to do.


Lots to think about here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It happens so fast....


How did this little guy....



Grow into this young man....


And be old enough to propose to this young woman.....


She said YES!!

We are so excited to welcome Kristen into our family.  She is beautiful inside and out and a perfect balance for our son. And yes, she plays games!  I know y'all were wondering that! :)  Alyssa will now have a sister she never had and the estrogen in the house will now not be out numbered by the testosterone!!! whoop!  

This is one of the new beginnings God has for me this year!!
And we couldn't be happier!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Frags


Friday.....


Trying so hard to get my blogging mojo back but just can't seem to get there..ugh.

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To be honest, I was very glad to say goodbye to 2013.  It was a hard year for me in a lot of ways.
 My theme for 2014 is new beginnings.  I feel like God is closing the door on some areas in my life and pointing me in new directions and I am expectantly looking forward to what He has for me.   
As God reveals them, I plan to share them on here.

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I am SO tired of our weather!!!
We live in the south people...13 degrees is not ok!!!

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I am enjoying my quiet house.
Yes, me the "more the merrier girl" is taking the quiet in!!
I LOVED having all my kids home for the holidays.  We had SO much fun together and every night was filled with some fun game....but I have realized that I have become accustom to the quiet of empty nest and I never thought I would say that!!! 

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So after Thanksgiving, I passed 2 kidney stones.....worst pain in my life.  They did a CT scan and told me they didn't see any more stones in my kidneys....thank you Jesus!  But now every time I get a twinge of pain in my back or a funny feeling in my lower abdomen, I panic.  I am wondering if I will ever get over that...ugh.

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I was introduced to Stitch Fix.  An on-line personal stylist.  
I just received my first "fix" and was very pleasantly surprised at how well they did with my size and style.  A post is coming on this soon!!

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Last year, I read the book "Anything".  And through that book and some deep conversations with God, I told him that I would start actively looking and be ready for things He had for me.  I wanted to be so ready that when they came my way my first response would be YES.  Well, you have heard the saying "be careful what you pray for"?  

ya.....

God quickly brought an opportunity my way......speaking at a women's conference.  My first response was honestly to laugh....I am NOT a speaker.  But as I formulated reasons why I couldn't do it, God gently reminded me of my commitment and prayer.  So, at the end of February, I will be speaking at a women's conference in Florida.  I would covet your prayers that I would be open to God's Words and not my own as I write my talk and that the fear I feel would go away as I trust God to use me!!

Happy Friday!!