Friday, December 21, 2012

Joy to the World

What a wonderful way to share the good news! Merry Christmas to all! Jesus is come!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gift ideas for Christmas- Tavin style

Just in case you are having a hard time finding the perfect gift for that special someone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The nativity from social media

I enjoyed this and thought it was worth sharing with you. Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday humor

So after some more serious posts lately, I thought it would be fun to share some Monday humor.

I love the movie "Princess Bride" and pretty much memorized is when I was a teen. When I saw this clip off ESPN, I just couldn't pass up sharing it with you!

Enjoy and say a line for me too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vote & Pray for our Nation

Yesterday was the presidential election. This one and the election of 2008 have set our nation on a course that is not very hopeful and I have found myself getting angry, frustrated, helpless and a bit depressed. Then I saw a post yesterday that made me think:

November 6th, 2012:
Two things you can do today that will make an impact for generations to come: VOTE and PRAY.

2 Chronicles 7:14 promises that God will forgive our sin and HEAL OUR LAND if we will humble ourselves, pray and seek his face.

Five Things You Can Pray (from our pastor):
1. Protect us from oppressors
2. Confuse the plans of the wicked
3. Protect from, expose, and

prevent fraud in the system
4. Strengthen what is right and good in our nation
5. Across our nation, in every state, grant us leaders who will do what is right
Believers, let's get on our knees today, and ask God for mercy and help as we choose our leaders!
Now the election last night did not go how I hoped but God spoke to my heart that He is no less in control than He was yesterday or at the beginning of time. I can take comfort and courage in this. 
Yes, God is just as in control today as He was yesterday, He knew what would happen and each day is bringing us towards His end and His glory. 

But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:4-5

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Engaging in meaningful conversation

Having a toddler who is learning more and more speech and actually wanting to engage in conversation is lots of fun! But it can be exasperating sometimes too! Sometimes I find myself wanting to share the meaningful stuff with him but I am not sure what makes sense and how much he is actually getting. Now I know he won't understand deep theological concepts yet but I find myself wanting to share ideas with him and engage him in a way that connects with him anyways.
A few things I have found fun and helpful are:
~ Simple coloring or drawing together
~ Reading
~ Prayer together in the car, at home, at bedtime and anywhere we can fit it in
~ Singing and music to share concepts
~ Asking questions
~ Dancing

But here is a great post I read about how to engage with your kids and it got me to thinking. How do we engage with our children and others around us in meaningful ways? How do you start a spiritual conversation that makes sense to the other person, allows them to open up and you have a great time sharing together?

Suddenly I am more aware of how I engage or wanting to engage others. I would love to hear your ideas out there too!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I thought this was a really great video that explains the basic fundamentals of our faith. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One Cent Solution

I thought this was such a hilarious video and a simple way to address the out of control debt here in the US! Check it out and go see them at

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pray for our Nation

There has been a lot of media initiative for our nation and all the political change coming with election season. Lots of voices from both sides of the issues have been talking (and talking and talking and talking) about issues, what our nation ought to do and who has the right to have a say.
With all the words flying it is easy to get overwhelmed, frustrated and perhaps discouraged. I know I have been some of these emotions and more!
God was whispering to my heart this morning about this and one command keeps coming ... PRAY.
So I have been thinking about prayer. God asks His children to pray as a method of communication, supplication, intercession, praise and thanksgiving and so much more. But in order to reach out to Him in prayer, there has to be some sort of relationship. Whether that relationship is being explored for the 1st time or is a long term friendship, God hears us when we talk to Him. So no matter what... PRAY.

No matter your understanding, persuasion or feelings, God says PRAY
No matter is you are worried, fearful or excited, God says PRAY
No matter is you don't know what to do, God says PRAY

2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Law of Liberty

I have been studying the book of James since the beginning of the year and digging into the challenging and straight forward little book. Just because something is concise and small certainly doesn't mean it doesn't pack a powerful punch!

This week I have been digging into the concept of the "perfect law of liberty" found in James 1:25 and 2:12. My first question was "what is the perfect law of liberty?" And my second question was "haven't we been set free from the law and following rules?"
So as always, the only way to find true answers is to dig into scripture to interpret scripture. Here is just the surface of what I am finding and what I am learning.

1) What is the "Perfect Law of Liberty?"
When looking at the original language it appears that the law of liberty is referring to the word of God as seen in its completeness from Genesis to Revelation (the law of Moses fulfilled in Christ Jesus) which brings us freedom.
This leads right into my second question and I think of John 8:31-32a (ESV)
 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus used "logos" when speaking of His word which means the Divine expression- Christ himself. So when we abide in him and are truly his disciples, we will know the truth and it will set us free. But wait...

2) Haven't we been set free from the law and following rules?
Simply the answer is yes and no! (Ha Ha Ha, simple right?) We have not been set free from any and all authority as the human heart desires. God made us so that we would always have a boss (or master as He put it). We can either have sin as master of have God as master but we are never our own master.
I have struggled with this concept because I think that the basis on the human condition is the desire to rebel and throw off all authority and be our own boss. So when you accept Christ as the new boss of your life, it contradicts this innate mar on the human heart. I don't want a boss so I have fought in my sin nature with my new spirit to find an out from this new "law of liberty". But what I find is that if I truly abide in Christ, get to know God and walk with Him in obedience, I am living in the law of liberty and it has set me free! Yes, I am choosing to do life God's way (which is really the only way that makes sense and makes it worth living) and that could be viewed as following rules but it is all about my heart. With Christ, I follow and obey because I want to and love him. Sometimes my love for him creates my want to and it is a choice rather than a feeling! This obedience from love is an act of freedom, I am not coerced or forced but actively choose of my own free will. What could be more free than that???

So perhaps we need to redefine freedom and come to a deeper understanding of the "law of liberty". I know that I have only scratched the surface and will continue to learn more!

Just remember:
 Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.
 ~ John 8:36 ESV

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

If you love running or hate it...

I thought this was too hilarious not to share! I laughed and thought you might like a laugh today as well!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Let Go and let God today

Thought this message in this song was too good not to share! Be encouraged!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quote for the day

This was too good not to post!

"You can't rush God. You can't push Him, You can't pull Him. You can't tug Him or taunt Him. If He has a mind to linger right where He is, you can't budge Him one inch. You can, however, try to go without Him; but, chances are, you'll come back because, if you really have a heart for God, you'll be miserable beyond His blessing. "
~ Beth Moore- James- Mercy Triumphs ~

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Giving is so much better than getting

I was reminded today that giving is such a gift to the giver even more than the gift is a blessing to the recipient!

I have and continue to try to follow God through living a generous life that aims to invest in others any way I can. Sometimes I must confess this is a really hard thing because it goes against my selfish sin nature. But when I walk in obedience to God and operate in the spirit, He blesses in so many ways! I saw this demonstrated so precisely when we were expecting our little man. We had so many baby showers and people that showered us with gifts and loving gestures that I was blown away. At first I couldn't imagine why everyone was so generous to us then my hubby reminded me that they wanted to give back to us because we always tried to love and give to them. So their blessing of gifts to us was a chance for God to illustrate to me how my obedience to Him was reciprocated! It made tears come to my eyes as I saw God loving us through them! It made me want to endure in living generously and loving others well.

But here I find myself getting lost in the busyness of life again and miss how significant this essential obedience is in my life and in others. God surprised me with a joyful reminder this morning as I taught my exercise class. I have a lady who is expecting her 1st child and I have gotten the chance to love on her by gifts and friendship. I have been able to share much of what was so generously given to us with our baby! This morning as our whole class had a mini baby shower for her and gave her a group gift, she was so excited and I realized that generosity just doesn't stop giving to both parties! What a bountiful blessing from God!

Proverbs 11: 25 NASB
The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Good Kind of Ouch

Ever tear off a scab and it stings a little but also feels good because you can tell the tissue is healing? I had one of those moments this morning with a spiritual scab (one I will be sure to need to pick again).
I was reading James 1:19-21 NASB

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

and I realized that I really struggle with the 3 commands we are given here.
1) Be quick to hear
2) Be slow to speak
3) Be slow to anger
These aren't suggestions but commands that are continuous, meaning I have to do them all the time without stopping!
So as I read this again and started thinking deeper on it, I concluded that the first 2 imperatives ask me to put others ahead of myself and be kind and respectful. The last one demands that I set aside my pride and self absorption to act with humility and patience towards others. If I don't I am acting out a terrible habit that smacks of narcissism. OUCH!!!
Here comes the scab picking and a good kind of OUCH. Thanks God for peeling off another layer of this selfish heart. Help me to walk in obedience to these commands because only in you can I obey!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Trials vs Temptations

Do you know what the difference is between trials and temptations? This is a question all of us should ask ourselves now and then.

Trial- seems to be something that is externally affecting us and challenging us to change, die to self and or trust God in a deeper way. If we stay sure through the trial, we develop endurance and stronger faith that leads to completeness (perfect in God).

Temptation- and internal desire gone astray (I saw it described as a deformed desire) that leads to sin if followed through. This is something we can choose to walk (or flee) away from.

Trials lead to good results if we stay the course but temptation leads to disaster if we don't flee away! Now I need to remember to that!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Joy & Trials Part # 1

I have embarked on the study of James for the next few months and am already done in by the first 4 verses. (Not sure how I will ever make it through this book but I am being blown away by God's goodness already)

James 1:1-4 NASB
James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

The 1st words of James to consider it all joy when we fall into various trials is a concept that blows my mind. I know that we are "supposed" to do it as Christians but I never have felt like I could succeed at this. Then I started digging into the Greek words and God clarified for me and stupefied me all at the same time.
We are to consider it joy because these trials are things that we happen upon completely unplanned and unsought. So not consequences for sin or disobedience, trouble we chose to dive into. These trials, because they blind side us, are even tougher to be happy about because we can easily feel overwhelmed and unjustly burdened. They act as pirates in our lives stealing, robbing, taking and often leaving us destitute. But wait, James tells us to consider it joy when they catch up because... if we are operating in the Holy Spirit, they can't take anything of value from us and they only benefit us by growing our endurance and strength for the next time! So I need to change my view of trials to the spiritual, eternal one and not my tiny, short-sided temporal one.
Here is a great quote by Beth Moore
"You were simply on your journey, trying to get from here to there, doing your job, and minding your own business then it happened... you fell into the hands of robbers. You see, left alone, that's just what trials are; robbers. Takers.... Unless you're in Christ. Trials don't get to steal from followers of Christ unless we hand over the goods. "

Now that is some meat to chew on and I feel encouraged!