Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Craziness

I had all these great intentions of writing Christmas memories on my blog and then got busy with other things.
We made our traditional rounds to all the family for Christmas this year and it was even more crazy than usual because we had some bad winter weather. It was the 1st time Texas had a white Christmas in my living memory.
My fun new memory for this year was reading the Christmas story as we drove in the snow and ice to my parents to celebrate Christmas and then getting to go sledding. We had a white Christmas for the 1st time in my memory and got to go sledding and play in the snow. It was lots of fun and we enjoyed it but it reminded me why I don't love cold weather! Jonathan was glad to go back inside because he really doesn't like the cold!
It was a lovely way to spend Christmas and to celebrate Christ's birth!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Memories of Christmas

Winter time is here again in North Texas! I have to admit that this time of year is hardest for me because I am not a big fan of cold weather, dead landscapes or rainy days! It makes me not want to go outdoors and I find myself wanting to be lazy which is never a good thing. The idea of running in the cold takes some will power and more clothes too!
Now I love Christmas, decorating the house and being focused on the birth of Christ as well as time to enjoy with friends and family. That part makes me smile and think back on many blessed Christmases in the past! So with determination to be full of cheer this time of year in my heart, I am going to blog about some happy memories of Christmas as often as I can between now and Christmas!
Today's simple memory that stands out to me is sitting with my family in our living room watching the tree lights flashing on the ceiling and talking about Jesus. We always had a live tree with tons of multicolored lights that flashed in random patterns. You could watch for hours as the tree branch shadows flickered on the ceiling and we laughed and talked about why Christmas was so wonderful! That memory has me smiling right now!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

December 1st Verse

It is December already! Can you believe it? This year is flying away way to quickly. Here is my next to the last verse for 2009.

1 Samuel 1:27 NKJV
"For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him."

This is a great reminder of how you pray for specific things and God answers your prayer!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nov 15th verse

John 8:47 NIV
He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason that you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November 1st Verse

John 14:21 NIV
"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. "

Friday, October 30, 2009

Freedom of Grace

God is so awesome in the ways that He deepens my understanding and reveals Himself in new and exciting ways. God showed me something yesterday from a new angle and I just had to share it.
I have always thought that Paul understood grace much more than many others because of the depth of his sin from persecuting Jesus and His followers. I have always imagined Paul being deeply grieved by what he had done and his understanding of grace stemming from this. But I was studying Galatians & Acts where it tells of Paul going to Jerusalem to once and for all get a decision about whether gentiles had to convert to Judaism and be circumcised. He brought the issue before Peter and the apostles and they deliberated over whether righteousness was from faith or from something we must do. The decision was that faith alone restores you to God and that this is it in order to experience salvation.
When I was studying this it occurred to me that Paul had grown up becoming the perfect Jew, following all the law, being groomed to be the best, zealously persecuting those he felt were wrong and forcefully obeying the rules. When Christ came to him and set him on a new path on the road to Damascus, he encountered God and it completely revolutionized who he was. I realized that his understanding of grace came from feeling the burden of the law ("doing & performance") being lifted from off of him. Suddenly the weight was gone and he understood Jesus saying that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
So instead of it just being sorrow and repentance for his sin (which I am sure he felt deeply) being the basis of his understanding, Paul understood grace and freedom because he personally experienced it. He no longer suffered and groaned under the law. No wonder he was so passionate about not putting the yoke of slavery on gentile believers. He knew that his own people were breaking under the burden and refused to lay that burden on others.
I am a gentile believer and I have not been put under the law but under grace. I can glimpse a bit of Paul's passion for grace and understand even more how Christ has set me free and blessed me beyond my wildest imaginations! What a thought! Praise You God for Your wondrous blessings and love! I will be meditating on this verse.
Galatians 5:1 Amplified
IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Big 30...

Today marks the beginning of my 30th year!

Lots of people have been asking me if I will stay 29 forever and I even remember my mom wanting to be 29 for a little longer. But now that I am here, it really isn't that big of a deal. Or maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet. ;-)

I have been mulling over where God has brought me in the last decade and thought I would share a few things.

20:I was newly married and going to school full-time at Tarleton finishing up my bachelor's degree in Dietetics. I was also working for the 1st time in the hospital and enjoying living in our own tiny little apartment. This was a really peaceful and fun-filled year!

21: I was in graduate school at Texas Woman's University and living in the big city. This was a switch and I had to deal with traffic, new types of professors and a whole new world but quickly came to love it! I found a great running friend and started running more seriously. Jonathan and I found a wonderful group of friends and a church home this year so spiritual growth really took off!

22: I was finishing my dietetic internship and getting ready to become a dietitian while finishing my master's degree in nutrition. This year was very busy with work as I also started my 1st full-time job in a hospital. I quickly determined I wanted to work for myself again! I also started teaching exercise classes for the 1st time. I also became very active in my professional associations.

23: I trained for and ran my very first Marathon. Jonathan started his own financial business this year and I decided to go back out on my own for work. God began to bring contract jobs in and build some fun opportunities for us. I really began to expand my exercise class part of my career and start putting nutrition and exercise together in my work.

24: I started working in sales for the 1st time and had a lot of fun traveling all over the south and mid-west. I also added a lot more exercise classes to my work schedule. Jonathan's business started hitting some roadblocks but we both continued working for ourselves. We got another lab puppy and had to start the training process from the beginning. It was like having a kid that you could crate! ;-)

25: This was the 1st birthday where I realized I wasn't a little kid anymore. I truly was a grown up! ;-) We climbed the tallest mountain in Colorado and in Mexico with some friends this year and I ran another marathon. We also bought our 1st home and this was a complete God miracle!

26: I began and ended working in sales full time this year. God seemed to open and door to what I thought I wanted to do and quickly showed me that I was not following Him in complete obedience while trying to do sales too. He shut that door and sent me out there to work on my own again. Jonathan started a different job for someone else and God worked on both of us a lot. I met some new running friends and ran another marathon this year. We also started going to a new church and God began to take us through a spiritual transition.

27: I decided that I wanted to try and qualify for the Boston marathon and started training harder than I ever had before. For the 1st time in my running hobby, I started to race and try to get faster! This was fun and exhausting. I also started running the employee wellness program for our city and found something that I loved doing with both nutrition and fitness. Jonathan started his own business again and we continued to grow in our faith. Many of our friends started having families and babies were everywhere. I started the Centurion Program with Chuck Colson and really started deepening my learning with God.

28: I continued to attempt a marathon to qualify for Boston. I continued to race and started coordinating a running program to inspire others to go for their running dreams. We quickly became one of the only couples without kids of our friends. Jonathan's business continued to grow with lots of time, sweat and tears. Jonathan turned 30 this year so I got to tease him about getting old! I finished the Centurion's program and became a mentor for new Centurions. I started teaching bible studies for the 1st time.

29: I continued to attempt qualifying for Boston and still didn't make it. This was one of the most discouraging years for my race goals because I felt like I had worked as hard as I know how and still hadn't met the goal I set for myself. God and I had to really work on this one together. Then I had to rediscover my love of running just for running. Jonathan's business really grew with the addition of many more employees and the headaches that go with that. Sometimes we were just ships passing in the night. I really started digging deep into theology, original language word studies and lots of in-depth bible study and could feel God pushing me beyond head knowledge to action and obedience.

So here I am. Continuing on in the grace that God has given me daily and waiting to see what He will do next! Come on 30, let's see what God will do!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15th Verse

Matthew 22: 37-38 NIV
"Jesus replied; ' "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment.' "

Monday, October 12, 2009

Staying Focused on the Truth in Our Circumstances

I am going to borrow some concepts from my "Experiencing God" study today because I really felt like God was speaking to me!
I have been having some Job moments the last few weeks- tough circumstances in my life right now that have been leading me to question "Why is this happening God? Did I do something wrong? Did I miss You?" and I have been earnestly seeking some answers. Like Job said in JOB 3:23 "Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?"

Then today God once again spoke to me in my time with Him. If I have accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, doesn't He have the right to be the focus, initiator and director of my life? This means that whatever circumstances I am in, whether good or bad, I have to trust, obey and look to God for His perspective on what I am going through. My human nature is to question myself, God and the circumstances to find the fault. In my mind there must be something wrong if life isn't going along peacefully. But what He said is that I need to come to Him when I don't understand and am struggling and ask for His perspective instead of my own. Here are some progressive steps for facing confusing circumstances:
1) Don't begin blaming God
2) Don't abandon following what He told you to do
3) Go to Him
4) Ask for Him to reveal the TRUTH of the circumstances
5) Ask for His perspective on them
6) Wait for Him to answer and to move
By following this model, I can feel secure in my faith, circumstances and direction. I can trust God. Maybe His desire is to deepen my relationship with Him in a new way, reveal His awesome deliverance in such a huge way that He receives all the glory, or perhaps He is working through my life to minister to someone else because they need it. I must maintain seeking God's perspective so that I can stay God focused and others oriented. Then God can accomplish His work through and with me and I can grow in Him!
Now I am praying for God's perspective and am trying to wait on Him! Hang in there with me and remember...
Philippians 4: 11-13 Amplified
Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1st Verse

Matthew 22:37-38 NIV
"Jesus replied: ' "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. " This is the first and greatest commandment. ' "

Monday, September 28, 2009

Obeying God

God is sequential and orderly in nature so when he communicates with us, he remains consistent with this nature. When he asks something of us, he leads us down a sequential path to get to the obedience he is looking for. Not because of something he wants but for our best in life.

God invites us to experience of and with Him --->
Through experience with Him, we grow in love for Him--->
We learn to believe Him because we have a foundation of love --->
Trust grows out of our belief in and of God --->
Trust and belief lead to obedience to God, whatever He asks we will do!

If you love Him, you will obey Him!

Deuteronomy 10:12-13
"What does the LORD you God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

August 15th verse

Psalm 20:7 NIV
Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some great quotes

I am working on "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby again. It is very thought provoking and I can already feel a crisis of belief coming along as God requires some major adjustments in me to follow after him. Here are just a few quotes from today's lesson that really got me thinking.

"The essence of sin is a shift from God-centeredness to self-centeredness. The essence of salvation is denying self instead of affirming self."
Wow, what a deep truth. I could spend all day just mulling over this. We shifted our view from God to self with the fall and only through God's provision of redemption from ourselves can we be set free. I am a trap for my own soul! Self always leads to destruction!

"God never asks people to dream up something to do for Him. The pattern in scripture is that we submit ourselves to God. Then we wait until God shows us what He is about to do, or we watch to see what God is already doing around us and join Him."
Once again the focus is off of self and completely on God. When we look around us at the world and see what God is doing, we have a choice to join him or keep living in the disaster that is our self.
Potent thoughts for today.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1st Verse

Hebrews 6:10 NIV
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Are you feeling discouraged???

I was thinking and praying this morning and some thoughts came to me. Someone dear to me is struggling with some discouragement and burn-out during a tough time and God laid these things on my heart. I know that we all feel these things often so I know they apply!

1) Sometimes you may have reason to be discouraged by all that is behind and before you but you also have the ability to choose your response to the circumstances. You may not be able to control everything but you can control you!

2) Satan is trying to make things more and more bleak for you so that you get discouraged, get down and give up. He is actively fighting against you and using the same old tricks to affect you because he knows they work! Only you can change the rules and throw him a curve ball by choosing to deny his tactics and turn away from his end game!

3) When you get discouraged, it is essential to pull closer to God even if you feel like running from him. Often my personal response is to pull away because I get frustrated, angry or resentful at him. Sometimes I get so caught up in my woes that I get lost in the dark valley and can't see beyond the present struggles! But we must pull closer or we will get stuck in the dark.

4) Only victory is found in Him! We can't do it alone- there is no physical way that we can be victorious. There is no physical way that you can keep going under this heavy burden. There is no physical way that you can maintain your sanity and energy without total burnout. But Christ can do all things through us! He can supernaturally meet our needs to get us through. So don't forget to ask and then do. He will come through. I know because I have experienced it!

Some scriptures that I found were a great reminder to me.

Psalm 84:11-12 Amplified
For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, and that without fear or misgiving]!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 15th scripture

God is impressing on me that seizing the day and being wise with my time and opportunities is a key theme for this fall. "Don't waste it!" My scripture verse directly applies to this theme. I am posting several different versions because they each have a powerful message but I am memorizing the NLT verse. The Message really spoke to me so here is the whole passage.

Eph 5:11-16 Msg
Don't waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times

Ephesians 5:16

NLT: Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

Amplified: Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tough Circumstances demand a response

I read some great stuff this morning in my quiet time and wanted to share it with you. All of us will hit tough times and difficult circumstances in our lives that we cannot control or prevent. But all of us can control how we respond to them. God is teaching me and leading me along in this area of my life. He spoke so clearly to me this morning that I couldn't miss the chance to write about it!

"When you are confronted with a circumstance that challenges you, you have two choices. You can say to your soul, "Get depressed." Or you can say to your soul, "Hope in God." Place your expectations in the goodness of God." J Rothschild

A few scriptures came to mind to go with this:

Psalm 42: 5 NASB
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

Psalm 27:13 NIV
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 1st scripture

Psalm 29:11 The Message
God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Be Still

Today in my quiet time I was brought to some scriptures about being still before God. The thoughts and challenges of digging a little deeper delighted me and I wanted to share them with you! I will focus in on 1 scripture to keep things short!

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

The Hebrew word for "still" in this verse is (Strongs- KJV- raphah) has some great meanings- sink down, relax, let drop. To quote Jennifer Rothschild, the Hebrew word "pictures a physical position. It's like letting your body go limp or relaxing the grip of your hand. It simply means you quiet yourself by acknowledging He is God and His ways rule... The reason stilling our souls brings peace and calm into our thoughts is because it puts us in a posture of acceptance rather than anger and deference rather than defiance."

So dwell on that today and be "still" before God!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Life of Greatness- Some Thoughts

I have always felt like I was called to be and do more and have often cried out to the Lord on the subject of mediocrity vs. greatness. Sometimes he answers in the most subtle of ways and sometimes he slaps me on the forehead. Today in my bible study time, I was slapped on the forehead in a loving manner. Here are some of my thoughts and quotes from others on the subject that really got me thinking!
I reflected on where this push for greatness started for me- when I was young I felt like I was different and weird because I was home schooled, came from a larger family and my parents were not typical in their beliefs about church and the body of Christ. I felt like I stood out in a bad way. So I think I reacted by deciding to be different but in a "great" way and became consumed with going above and beyond to prove myself and to be great. One of my greatest fears is to be mediocre!!! I have to lay this down at my heavenly father's feet all the time because I struggle with it daily. What I am beginning to see is that my quest for greatness and perfectionism is a huge burden that weighs me down and I break under the stress and burden of that load.
"If your identity is wrapped up in the magnificent things you're destined to achieve- as a great writer, musician, scientist, politician, chef- the thought that you might produce something mediocre can be devastating."
My So Called Genius- Author Laura Fraser

If you constantly feel the pressure to do great things, you sometimes disdain or become too prideful to do good things. The small things in life are what really make up our days and lives. If I am too full of pride to do them, I miss out on much of what God has put me here on earth to do.
"Couldn't craving to do something great keep you from doing something good? Living just to be great will prove at least empty and maybe even deadly." - Beth Moore

God has called me to get up each day, greet it with an attitude of thanksgiving and get to work on what he has set before me to do that day. There may not be any accolades or the notice of man in the mundanes of life but God is there watching. What I have to ask myself is "Who am I living for? Do I seek man or God's notice with all that I do?". In God's economy being least is the way to be great- humility and putting others above myself always wins!
"Spending ourselves for something infinitely greater still fans our parched soul with the God-given need to matter, but relieves us of the relentless pain of being the "It" person at the center of it. To live for the greatness of God is to live the great life. Every one of us who embraces the glory of God as our purpose will end up doing great things precisely because we do God things. Those with presence of mind and semblance of health are called to pour out the drink offering of their lives until the cup is overturned and every drop of energy slips- perhaps unnoticed, uncelebrated- into the vast ocean of earthly need. "- Beth Moore

In putting off my pride and dying to self, I can let God rule in my and shine through me out to the world. This makes me think of Matthew 5:16- "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." It is not about me, it is all about him!
"In effect Christ says, "I'm great enough for both of us," relieving the willing of their woeful burden. "Just Follow Me."- Beth Moore

Praise the King- Let it ring- Praise the King! I was burdened but now I am at rest.
Father, help me stay at rest; not to pick up this burden again and when I do, remind me to put it back down at your feet!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15th verse

Psalm 139: 23-24 (NLT)
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

God's Rest and the Sabbath

I studied the concept of Sabbath rest this morning in the old and new testament and a new thought really hit me. This is fresh in my mind so if it doesn't make much sense to you, I am probably not making it clear. I'll just pray that God reveals it to you because I can't!
1) In the 10 commandments God told us to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy- setting aside a day of the week that we rest and put him first in our thoughts and lives. This hearkens back to God resting on the 7th day after creation. When it (his plan for his creation) was finished, he rested! This was a part of the old covenant and law that the Jews lived by in order to follow God.
2) God's people in typical fashion took a day made for their rest and enslaved themselves to it by creating laws to bog it down. The Sabbath became a day of religious restriction and was anything but restful for his people. God saw that his people were burdened down and he knew that they could not keep the law so he made an escape!
3) Jesus came to fulfill the law and in so doing also fulfilled the Sabbath. He illustrated that God's intent for the Sabbath was to point us to God and away from ourselves. With Jesus coming and setting up the new covenant of forgiveness and salvation, the old law was fulfilled. Jesus showed the Jews that they no longer had to keep the law or the Sabbath because he came to set them free. Jesus healed, taught, worked, cast out spirits and displayed the works of God on the Sabbath while he was here on earth. Suddenly the Sabbath became about doing things for the benefit of God's people and not about holding up destructive old laws full of bondage. As Mark 2: 27 says "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
4) By believing in Christ and becoming a child of God, we are not bound to the old covenant and keeping of the Sabbath but to the new covenant and to display God's works here on earth. So instead of being stuck with honoring 1 day (the Sabbath) believers should honor God in their hearts and lives each day. The Sabbath is no longer just one day but all day every day for the believer. While we may still meet together as a collective body on 1 day during the week, we are no longer in bondage to the Sabbath.
5) As believers we can rejoice in the true freedom of the Sabbath and literally partake in God's rest. Because he did all the work for our salvation we are under grace and not under the law so our hearts can always be at rest. This is eternal, deep, fulfilled rest! So even though I may be bustling about externally, I am always at rest internally because of the cross. Do you grasp the magnitude of this? I am at rest!!! I am always at Sabbath with God! These famous lyrics come to mind:
Jesus did it all; all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain; he washed it white as snow
Hebrews 4 sums it all up perfectly! Here are verses 9-11 (ESV): "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience."
Enjoy some of God's rest today!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st Verse

Psalm 33:11-12 NLT
But the Lord's plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Destiny

I am doing the "Esther- It's Tough Being a Woman" study by Beth Moore right now and learning a lot. I have read this book so many times and it is a personal favorite but I have missed many details that this study has been bringing out. It makes you slow down and savor the drama and the story. This was her life- not just a story but real life covered with warts, crowns, power and jewels.
So today I was reading Esther 4:14
"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (ESV)
This is the most famous verse of the whole book and I love and have memorized because of it's deep meaning. But today I stepped back and spent some time dwelling on how it applies to me. It seems that our destinies and purpose are always bound up with the hardest things in our lives. Often when you feel God calling you to your destiny, you are stuck in the meat grinder of life. God does not call us to comfort and security but to an on the edge life of faith and selflessness. To quote Beth "As much as I wanted relief, I knew that when all was said and done, I'd sit on that side of glory having much rather fulfilled my calling than served myself all the way to meaninglessness. I had to accept that I was not called to an easy life. I was called to a purposeful life." WOW- amen to that.
Jonathan & I know that we have been called to life of purpose and doing what God desires but I have to admit that sometimes when you are in the vice grip and you are screaming for relief, that self absorbed life of comfort beckons you. It seduces you with promises of ease, rest and enjoyment. While you are in the meat grinder, that sounds wonderful. But to quote Beth again "What if this is a critical moment? What if this very thing, this very decision, is the most important piece of the puzzle comprising my purpose?"
At those times of critical decision, I must call out to God for perseverance and the power to make the best choice- his choice! Other lives may depend on my small decisions of faithfulness. Although I may never understand the scope of the choices that I make, God has a plan and a purpose that goes far beyond me. At the worst, what can happen? Like Esther I must conclude- "and if I perish, I perish." I am honored that God has chosen me as his own and asked me to participate with him in the work.
Father, help me to remain faithful, not lose sight of the big picture and not become self possessed to the point of missing out on your work! Give me a glimpse of your glory and help me to act on faith when there isn't any!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day Fun

We headed up to Arkansas this past weekend to celebrate Father's Day with Dad. My parents requested a gift for Father's/Mother's Day, Anniversary, Birthdays, Christmas and any other holiday combined- "Come paint the outside of the house". So that is what we did! Poor Dad was kept running for us the whole time. "Dad I need..., Dad can you get me..., Dad do you know where.... is?"
But we got all the prep, painting and clean-up done in 1 1/2 days which was very fast. You can accomplish much when there are 7-8 adults working at the same time. The best part at the end of each day was jumping into the frigid fresh water creek off the rope swing to cool off! Here are some fun pictures of the results of the weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Here it is the middle of June and I can't believe that I haven't been on here in a while! With life and being busy, I haven't posted as much as I have wanted to.
I am enjoying some summer bible studies but other than that, my schedule has been as busy as ever. When you don't have kids, aren't in college or a teacher, summer is pretty much the same except for more heat! This is the time of year when you don't want to wear too formal of professional dress for work each day! Thank goodness I can wear workout clothes when I am working some days! ;-)
But really I am blessed and thankful. Last week we had a big storm come through the area and our power was out for a few days. It quickly reminded me of how thankful I was to have air conditioning and a working fridge. Thankfully work is in the AC and I could borrow a fridge for most of my groceries. It could have been much worse. God was gracious to us and the weather wasn't too hot! The storms were awesome to watch and always inspire me to worship God and be awed by his creation.
By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent. And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?"
Job 26:13-14 NIV

June 15th Verse

2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wishing my husband a Happy Birthday

Today is June 2nd- one of my favorite days of the year because it is the day that Jonathan was born. He is not big into celebrations or big fusses (which immediately means that I want to give him some) but I love doing something special for him on this day every year. Sometimes it is big and sometimes it is small (depending on if he can keep me from making an occasion out of his day).
This year I wanted to say "Happy Birthday my love" in a new way. So here is to you Sweetie- my forever love. Wishing you the best birthday and a blessed new year. May God richly connect with and infuse you this year!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1st Verse

Here is my verse for June 1st!

1 Peter 4:10 NIV
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in it's various forms.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

10 years of wedded bliss- part 2

10 years of marriage and I can't hardly believe it. I thought a few pics would be fun to celebrate this occasion. Here we are in a quick pic that Jonathan put up with!

A hilarious story of our 10 years together is portrayed in a poor old recliner. We were blessed with some furniture from some friends when we were married. We still have the couch and lazy boy recliner and they are really comfy. But over the years the recliner has gotten more and more relaxed shall we say. It literally had bolts drop out of it and was almost able to lay horizontal. A few weeks ago one of the side brackets of the back sheared off the bolt and it leans severely to the right now. So Jonathan got creative to keep his chair around for a little while longer. It made me laugh so I had to share.

It just goes to show that creativity, laughter and ingenious ideas can make anything work! That is how our marriage has been with lots of laughter and God's glue. When you make a choice to love, God really blesses it!

So hopefully I will be able to show you pics of the new chair in the near future too!

Friday, May 22, 2009

10 Years of Wedded Bliss

I thought it would be fun to reflect on the top 10 memories of our 10 years of marriage today. Since it is our 10th year anniversary, it is always good to look back and dwell on the great times God has blessed us with.
Year 1- The simplicity of living together in a small apartment with little or no worries and the adventure of a new life together. It was very worry free and relaxed even though we worked and studied very hard.
Year 2- Moving to the big city for graduate school and embarking on the adventure of finding a new place to live, worship and make friendships in a place we had never been before. Connecting with a church where we made some of our lifelong friends was the biggest joy.
Year 3- Traveling to Arizona and getting to spend time exploring Phoenix, Sedona and the Grand Canyon was a great time together. It was our 1st major vacation after our honeymoon and holds some cherished memories.
Year 4- Enriching our marriage through our small group studies and groups and Jonathan starting a new business made this a busy yet exciting year. We really faced some of our first major opportunities to lean on each other and depend on God.
Year 6- We traveled to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate our anniversary. We learned many of the rules for beach volleyball in other languages and laughed at the funny nightly entertainment. We also bought our 1st home and were so blessed with how God provided it for us.
Year 5- We traveled to Mexico and climbed the tallest volcano with our best friends in a wild adventure of a lifetime. This was a fun marriage builder!
Year 7 -We traveled to the Dominican Republic and stayed on some of the most incredible beaches in the Caribbean. It was a restful and relaxing get away. We learned a lot about how we can encourage one another as business changes continued.
Year 8- We skied together for the 1st time and I was terrible! Don't know if I will do that again. :) We also got to go on our 1st cruise with some friends and visit some new locations in Mexico.
Year 9- We really grew in our dependence on each other for support through some tough times and challenging decisions in our businesses. It deepened our sense of commitment to each other and to the hard purpose of God. Reaching for the best even when it was hard strengthened us because we learned to work together!
Year 10- Patience... patience with work, our life stage, moving forward in God's time, trusting Him for His best and many more areas. But also the fun of making it 10 years and laughing a long the way ( I have cried some too). It has been a grand adventure with great, good, tough and rough patches but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Can't wait to write all about the next 10 years! I love you Sweetie!
Thanks God for your indescribable gift of our marriage.

Marriage leading to family- have I missed God's intent

I am taking a little survey of an article that I read and I am curious what you think. If you have time, first read the article below and then answer the following questions:
1) What was your 1st reaction to the article?
2) What was the hardest thing to agree with?
3) What was the easiest thing to agree with?
4) Do you think the authors are correct?
5) What does this challenge in you?
6) Would you read the book or recommend the article to others?

Here are my answers:
1) What was your 1st reaction to the article? I was a little uncomfortable at first because I find myself in that category of getting married and being determined to enjoy married life but unsure about the kid question. We have been married for lots of years and I know that God has not laid the burden for children on Jonathan's heart or has the timing been good in the past but I am still wondering about my decisions and the motives of my heart.
2) What was the hardest thing to agree with? That I have been in the wrong and have been being selfish with my life and with my time. I see myself portrayed in this article and it is a ugly picture.
3) What was the easiest thing to agree with? God is working on all of us and He can give us the love and desire for children!
4) Do you think the authors are correct? I do agree with several of their points and will have to do some serious praying and seeking God about this topic now. I do think that we can easily get off balance about it and go towards legalism too!
5) What does this challenge in you? My own selfish nature and buying the lie that I have to have it all and children are a burden rather than a gift.
6) Would you read the book or recommend the article to others? I am intrigued to know more and make look into this book. I would love to have a discussion group about it with others.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quote for Today

"You may have a fathead about Jesus but a skinny relationship with him."
~ Pastor Harold Bullock

I am mulling over this concept my pastor discussed yesterday. Knowledge without action means nothing. Do I walk out my faith in obedience to God or do I just love knowing about it? I do love studying God's word and learning more about him. But at some point, you have to shelve the books and put on the running shoes because God does not desire knowledge but obedience and service to him!
Where does the knowledge become transforming lifestyle? How does it? I have to plug into God's power so that He can do it in me. This takes self discipline and obedience- two of the hardest things for me to choose!

James 2:14-26
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15th verse

Here is my verse for May 15th
Matthew 5:23-24 NIV
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Persecution- are you ready?

I was thinking and reading about persecution this morning and am almost timid to write about it. In my mind, I think of persecution looking like other countries that would kill you for your faith or put you in prison for sharing the gospel. Somehow persecution for God has always felt distant and separate from me here in the states. In fact I am surprised when I encounter persecution here. "Isn't this America, home of freedom (freedom of speech, faith and belief)? We shouldn't have persecution here, that is one of the founding principles of our nation" or so I think.
But I was mulling over it more this morning and something occurred to me. We have some active examples of persecution right now. Take the Miss USA debacle going on with Ms. Prejean (learn more at or the hate crimes legislation that is before the senate to prosecute those who might take a stand against certain sins and moral wrongs. These are persecutions that we are confronted with here on the home front and we have the opportunity to rise to the occasion or to drop off God's band wagon.
Instead of being surprised or feeling put upon and astounded that we would be persecuted, God tells us that we should feel blessed because this means we are really one of his own. Especially as God's time line advances and the world progresses towards his grand conclusion, we will only see more persecution and confrontation.
So my honest feelings are a little dread and fear, "will I stand for him or fall for the world?" I am not looking for persecution but I don't want to run from it either. I don't want to stumble into self pity when it occurs either. I want to learn to praise and look for what I can do for God in the tough times, learn to make it about him and not about me!
Father, help me choose to stand for you and not give in to fear or a pity party for my woes. You have overcome and will help me live this out daily if I turn to you. May I learn to worship you in the hard stuff as well as give thanks for the restful times. Help me to love you more each day so that I can say like Paul...
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:19-20

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday night update

Hello and long time no blogging... Sorry about that. It has been a little nutty the last few weeks but I wanted to catch you up on some fun and great blessings.
-Last week we had a benefit concert with Natalie Grant for the Mid Cities Pregnancy Center and God blessed it so that it went very smoothly. The whole event went over beautifully, mainly due to the wonderful volunteers we had for the event. We could never have done it without all of you and may God bless your time and service greatly!
-Thursday Hurst gave some employee awards and the wellness program won an award for excellence and team work for the employees. It is such a blessing to see that the employees are benefiting from the program and it is making a difference in their lives. That makes me know that God has me here for a plan and a purpose and that He is working in this program. It brought tears to my eyes because I know that they are the ones who do the work and take to heart what they are learning. Thanks for the encouragement!
-Yesterday we had employee giving day for the city and it was incredible to watch employees turn out at 4 homes in Hurst to transform them into something better than before. It was such a joy to serve the seniors who can't do the work for themselves anymore and to watch all of the employees bond together to work for others benefit. I was moved at the team work (and it was hard work) and generosity of each employee.
Each of these events brought to mind how blessed and awed I am to know each of you and to serve God in all that I do. It inspired me to work harder and to never give up. To make each encounter count and to enjoy all that God brings my way through life. Even the mundane is a gift we can give to someone else!
Psalm 144:15
Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1st Verse

Sorry I have been a little MIA- tonight is the Mid Cities Pregnancy Center's benefit concert with Natalie Grant. I have been a little busy with work on that for the last few weeks. We are pumped to see what God is going to do tonight for the centers and as we get to worship Him together with Natalie. I will update you on how it goes!

Here is my verse for May 1st:
Heb 3:13 NIV
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4/15/09 verse

I just have to say thanks to God today that I had the money to pay my taxes even though I hate paying taxes. God graciously takes care of us year after year! Praise the Lord.

Now onto the verse for April 15th:

Ephesians 4:25 NIV
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy Week

It is Holy Week and I was wondering what you think about and what traditions you may have to celebrate this crucial time of remembrance?
I can't think of many easter traditions other than going to an early morning service on Easter to celebrate Jesus coming out in all his glorious countenance from the grave! We never did easter egg hunts or ham but we would often do a sader supper as a family.
That is my most potent Easter memory- celebrating a sader supper as a family. We made our own head coverings and matzo pillows, the whole 9 yards of tradition. Then we would go through the ceremony and talk all the while about why we were celebrating it. After we finished, we then got to talk about how Jesus came and fulfilled all the traditions and law requirements and that we get to live in freedom and grace now. Those are precious memories for our family.
This week I just finished reading a book about how Caiphas (the high priest that tried Jesus before the Sanhedrin) might have experienced life, especially that last holy week before Jesus was crucified. It got me thinking about the deep richness of our Jewish heritage of faith and the depth of symbolism and meaning that Jesus represents to us now. How it is a joy to learn and grown in the understanding of the scriptures and who God is! So I highly recommend you taking some time this week to dwell on our Saviour, holy week and what traditions you have to celebrate Him in your heart. And read a great book or watch a movie that brings this message home to you this week too!
Hebrews 1:3
"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Friday, April 3, 2009

God's grace- teaching me gently

This week I had some hit you in the middle of your forehead, conviction moments from unexpected sources. You know how God sometimes uses ways and means you don't expect in order to reach you? Well, I had some of those.
In my exercise classes this week God used some of my students to speak truth and conviction to me without them knowing it. The first was something I said about a role model they were talking about that I don't particularly agree with. Instead of being winsome and loving in my words I said something harsher and they were amazed. "Esther never says anything harsh or mean towards anyone, surely I didn't hear her right" said one of them. OUCH!!!!! Can I say that God got my attention with that one. The fury of the tongue!
Then the second happened a few days later- God gave me a chance to try this again. We somehow got on the subject of politics and one of my students said something that I strongly disagreed with. But instead of jumping right in there, God caught my mind and I reined in the tongue and said something (hopefully) different and winsome to make all of us think. My student didn't feel poorly and everyone had a great rest of the class (I hope).
So the power of the tongue is another lesson God continues to help me learn. Little by little, step by step I pray I am becoming more like Him!!!!
Psalm 15
O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent.He who does these things shall never be moved.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1st verse

Phil 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Praise the Lord

I just have to say thanks Lord for being with me today, for revealing to me my wrong thoughts and understanding and revealing truth to me!
I can change when I see You holding up the the mirror of Your truth and setting me straight! What a gift from the Giver of all good things. I love God more each day! Thank You for Your promises.

"They that wait on the Lord on the LORD will renew their strength, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not grow faint."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hobbling Monday

This weekend was filled with a whirl of activity due to attending a continuing education conference I had to attend and working on taxes etc. We have been busy being responsible adults but I had to share a funny story. ;-)
We went to the park yesterday afternoon for a little break and played some 2 on 2 soccer with my brother and his girlfriend. The 2 girls guarded each other and the 2 guys. While the boys certainly had more skills, we girls made up for it in aggression. I knocked over my opponent lots and we both have huge gigantic bruises on our shins and calves. Then both of us rolled our ankles and I was bowled over- head over heels- by my own loving husband and team-mate (I guess we both wanted the ball). By the time we hobbled home (with the dog leading the way), we could only laugh in utter dismay at our legs! While the men swore we wouldn't be allowed to play anymore since we were obviously bent on self-destruction. This morning I can barely walk with my ankle but it sure was fun! God must be laughing even more than we are!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Re-thinking worldviews

I have been mulling over a powerful and convicting thought this week- judging others because of their sin and false worldviews. I am not sure I have final thoughts on it yet but I wanted to share where I am and what God is doing! After all it is all about bringing Him glory!
Personally I struggle with a judgemental black and white perspective when looking out at the rest of the world. It is very hard for me to separate the sinner from the sin and I have been becoming more and more aware of this. I think I am more like the older brother in the story of the prodigal son than I ever want to be. It is hard for me to see beyond the choices that someone makes- the sin they commit.
Then God brings the world crashing back in on me by showing me my own sin and judgmental heart. This time it was the passage in Matthew 18 about the unmerciful servant who was forgiven his debts and then held a fellow servant who owed little accountable to a higher standard than he personally met. I have done this very thing and it hit me hard. God forgives all of us so who am I to hold my fellow human to a level I can't reach?
With all my thoughts and learning about biblical worldview over the last few years, I have learned why other worldviews don't make sense and why they lead to deception and destruction of many lives. But at the same time, I have to remember that we are all on a journey and God is drawing us to Himself. My heart and mind are being renewed and brought back to the way God created them to be and only when I finish my journey at home with Him will I be complete.
So back to all the other worldviews and the people that hold them. I have to separate how I see people from the way they operate in the world. If someone has not found Christ, they are only operating in the way that they know how- themselves. If someone has found Christ, they are like me, still learning and being transformed. Suddenly, the person comes back to the forefront of my view and not the sin. I can begin to see a glimmer of how Christ looks at the world.
I have to let go of the need to be right and see the fault in others and just love the person. After all the essence of a biblical worldview is seeing the world through God's perspective and that begins and ends with love. I am praying that God will grow my love for others and help me be more winsome in sharing His worldview. God brought a fantastic verse to my attention that really helps me and that is what I am memorizing for this time.
Acts 26:17-18 NIV
I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

March 15th verse

Acts 26:17-18 NIV
I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Are you communicating???

Sorry I haven't been very faithful about posting of late. Work has been a little nutty and I have been doing lots of other stuff, not that this is a good excuse.
I had dinner with a friend from grade school last night. We stay in touch and try to see each other regularly. As we were sitting at dinner last night we were talking about funny moments with technology. Both of us had funny stories about texting and e-mail miscommunication. Then we were also talking about how our parents use technology and how we have relate to them through it. My parents are not the best at staying in touch so I have found that I do best if I take responsibility for that. I send e-mails and call them regularly. But sometimes I will contact them and they never get the message or don't know how to respond. That always makes me laugh. Then I think "If I have kids some day, how are they going to laugh at me about technology?" We are constantly inventing more methods to interact and stay in touch but are we succeeding? With more and more ways to communicate, am I really listening and growing with those around me?
This got me to thinking about how God must feel communicating with us sometimes. With my generation, I think we don't stop long enough to hear him (not that he is can't speak to us through ways we hear) or use methods that truly connect with him. For example- I have this calendar that I change daily that has a scripture verse on it. I read it daily and then go on to the next thing. I really appreciate the scriptures and they speak to me but often I don't take the time to truly read, dwell or meditate on what the verse is saying.
I know we all know the verse "Be Still and know that I am God" (Ps 46:10) but I did some digging into the root meanings of this verse today to deepen my understanding and challenge myself to get back in touch with God. Still is the Hebrew word- raphah- some of the meanings are: sink down, relax, be quiet, let go, let alone. Know is the Hebrew word- Yada'- some of the meanings are: to know by experience, perceive, distinguish, recognise, admit, confess, be acquainted with. So plugging in these deeper meanings, suddenly this verse takes on a new depth.
Psalm 46:10a
Be still (sink down, relax, let go and let alone) and know (perceive, recognise, admit, confess, be acquainted with, know by experience) that I am God;
WOW! I am challenged to do this today! How about you?
Father, help me to be still and to know you by experience. Draw my heart to yours so that you become all that I desire!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1st Verse

It is the 1st of the month and that means a new verse (or verses in this case).
Eph 6:14-17 NIV
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I forgot to post my next scripture for the 15th!

Ephesians 6:13
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

And an update since my last post. Yes, God has had us in the pressure pot but He has come through in big ways. God is so faithful to give you a burst of hope and lighten the burden just when you think you can't handle anymore! He reigns and He is good all the time! ;-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just some fun pics

Jo smiling for the camera The happy Newlyweds- John & Hannah Sales

Sam playing Rockband & jamming ~

~Jonathan & I dressed up for an event

~ Jonathan rocking the house!

Some beautiful daffodils in front of our house ~

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In the Vice

Do you ever feel as if your eyeballs are going to pop out of your head because of the pressure? This is a great analogy of our life this week. First just let me say that God is good, all the time (I have to remind myself) but it can be tough to hang on. So don't take this post as complaining or anger with God. I am just sharing some real life, rubber meets the road situations!
I am burdened for 2 people in my life right now.
1) My husband- he is working so hard for his business right now (and has been without a break for years) and burning the candle at both ends. Just when it looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel for a few things, something comes crashing in! God has been faithful and is growing our faith with the waiting but I don't think he can make it much longer without some relief. I know that we can't rely on self and that God is teaching Jonathan a lot in the refiners fire right now. But I also see the difficulty and it breaks my heart!

2) My brother- he is frustrated with life because he wants to make a difference in the world and yet doesn't know what that is or how he can. Part of the problem is finances and part of it is needing God's clear direction. In the last 24 hours, it seems like things have come out of the wood work to cost him money and hinder forward progress. It is hard watching the suffering of another without getting righteously upset- why God????

Yet even with this tough things and burden for them both, I know that God is working. I kinda feel like David in so many of his Psalms- calling out to God for relief, calling down curses on the wicked, crying out in anguish and then praising God because you know He is at work and it doing His will. Especially when it is tough. So I will keep praying, crying out to God for His relief and solutions, seeking His guidance and asking for perseverance. Especially for those who are in the fire.

2 Samuel 22:7
In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.
Psalm 69:13-15
But I pray to you, O LORD, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters. Do not let the flood waters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me.
Psalm 17:6
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Feb 1st verse

By the way,
I have been super busy (I know no excuses) but I am doing another verse for Feb 1st and here it is. Better late than never.
Psalm 143:8
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Biblical worldview perspectives

As many of you know, I have a passion for biblical worldview and how there is not an area of the human experience that God has not spoken about and provided all I need to do right in it! Much of my thoughts and studies have revolved around this so I am constantly learning more. I read this quote in my daily devotion and I thought is was too good not to share!

"the way to genuine openness and inclusiveness lies through the narrow gate. In renouncing all for Jesus' sake, we become heirs to the entire universe. But those who deny God's reality and cling only to the visible world shut themselves up in a box with a tightly closed lid." -The Truth Project Daily Travelogue.

Isaiah 44:20 NIV
He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

And our response as servants of Christ should be:

2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Winter blessings

I just had to get on here and say that God has come through with some beautiful weather for the weekend after our dreary beginning to the week. He is so faithful to give me sunshine and warm just when I think I can't handle more cold. I thought I would share that with you today!
Praise the Lord for this is the day that He has made!

Psalm 7:17
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter Weary

Today is cold and dreary. Gray skies, gray trees, gray houses, gray roads. Everything is dull and muted. I have to admit this is my least favorite time of year because I don't want to exercise (due to the cold), I want to stay indoors, and I don't like being cold. And I don't even have it bad here in Texas because our winter is relatively warm. I know I am whining a little bit so please excuse me, I am done now!
But it got me to thinking about the purpose of winter. The obvious reason is for creation to have a time of death, rest, conservation and preparation for the spring. It allows the plants and animals to renew themselves in the spring after they have died or hibernated over the winter. Cold and wet weather also allows the land to renew and the bugs to be cut down in number. All good things.
Winter is also a time of reflection for the soul. God opened my eyes to the analogy of how we all have winters in our lives like aging, our spiritual walks, death of loved ones or hard times. We can easily relate to that in America right now with the economic situation. I have personally experienced winters in work, relationships and my spiritual journey. All these times are difficult but not bad because they have helped me to deepen my character, look beyond myself, appreciate the little glimpses of sun radiating through the gray and know that God is my only source of support and provision. They are hard times but really good all the same. God is ever faithful to give me tastes of spring right around the corner and the new thing that he is faithful to do! I have a hope and a future that He has made!
So now I can look out my window at the steely sky and know that while winter seems to linger, hope of spring and God's new thing is right there waiting to break through the surface and burst forth into full bloom!
Genesis 8:22
While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.
Psalm 52:9
I will thank you forever,because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good,in the presence of the godly.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today is the anniversary of celebration of MLK, his life, his message and his death. As I have been reading and thinking about it today, I wondered..."How many people that celebrate him today really understand who he was, what his message was and what he would say to our country today?"
I am not an MLK expert and neither would I dare to put words into his mouth about what he might say to America today. But I do think he would be proud to have a black man about to be inaugurated for the 1st time in our history. I do think he would caution and counsel that man about some of the positions and moves he desires to make for our great nation. I do think he would continue to challenge our whole nation to rise out of this self loving, careless, destructive lack or morality and justice to become the nation we have the potential to be. I am going to continue to ponder this today and as history is made tomorrow.

Here are some powerful quotes for you to think on too:

I am aware that there are many who wince at a distinction between property and persons--who hold both sacrosanct. My views are not so rigid. A life is sacred. Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being. It is part of the earth man walks on; it is not man. The Trumpet of Conscience, 1967.

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. Strength To Love, 1963.

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. He is distinguished from animals by his freedom to do evil or to do good and to walk the high road of beauty or tread the low road of ugly degeneracy. The Measures of Man, 1959.

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority. Strength to Love, 1963.

If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live. Speech, Detroit, Michigan, June 23, 1963.

To be a Negro in America is to hope against hope. Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 15th verse

I am onto my 2nd verse of 2009 and am going to memorize the one I posted on earlier because I really need it and find it so profound for 2009.

"He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom; He gives all this to those who fear Him." Isaiah 33:6 NET

Now on to memorizing it! :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New opportunities for service and watching God work in 2009!

I am excited to write about something new today. Jonathan began a business a few years ago with a heart to impact the community and work with some fantastic people. As the years have progressed, God has added more people and broadened the vision of this business.
I just finished meeting with the wives and members of Vendigm for a brainstorming session about what the future looks like as we all desire to follow God's leading and serve him. It is so exciting to see that all of us, even though we are different and have very different interests and lives, desire to follow God's leading. We all want to make a difference in the world for God's glory and his service. We are just beginning to get a glimmer of what that might look like for 2009. Although nothing is set in stone yet, we are already working hard and I will be keeping you up to date with what we are doing!
But at this point, I am mainly praying for wisdom, unity, integrity and commitment as we seek to follow after our Lord and Savior! May he be blessed in all we do and say! May our lives and service point to him!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,and he is to be held in awe above all gods.
1 Chronicles 16:25

Monday, January 5, 2009

Great verse for your 2009

Jonathan and I are claiming and praying this verse for our 2009. We are specifically praying if for our work, families, friends and the body of Christ. I thought I would share it since it is such a comfort, strength and promise of hope! I will be praying it for you too!

"He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom; He gives all this to those who fear Him."
Isaiah 33:6 NET

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Goal

I am writing this on my blog so that I have one more source of being accountable this year. I am setting a goal to memorize 2 verses a month for the next year. That is a very manageable goal and one that I really want to complete. Feel free to check on me and see if I am keeping up my goal!
So my first verse for 2009 is:
Galatians 6:9 NIV
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

Today is a new beginning! Maybe you need one of those. We all do at times and I am excited about this one.
Jonathan and I were talking last night as we drove home from celebrating. God took us through some tough stuff in 2008 but the cool thing is that he brought us through it. Sometimes the worst things you imagine seem so impossible until you are walking through them and hanging on to God by the skin of your teeth. Then as you see ahead and begin to understand what is behind, you can look up and see how real God was through it all. He will carry you through!
So as we move forward into 2009, here is my prayer for you and for us!
Father God,
Thank you for bringing us this far and for your faithfulness! You are sovereign and able to do all things. You know the desires of our hearts and the perfect timing for bringing all things to pass. May you give us an extra portion of patience, perseverance and trust to follow you through to the end! May 2009 bring you glory. Help us to keep our eyes, hearts and minds focused on you alone. May your truth continue to triumph and may we point others to you. Bless this year, draw us to your heart and bring your will to pass! We can't wait to see the awesome things you are going to do and to give you all the praise and honor for doing them! AMEN!!!!
Isaiah 43:19
Behold, I am doing a new thing;now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.