Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Philippians 4:8

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Last night on Facebook (my favorite website), a friend posted this Bible verse. You know how I told you yesterday that when something happens, God has a way of giving you an answer...well this once again was mine. It was beautiful last night, so I decided to grab the laptop, a blanket and do some writing on the patio. The sky was so clear as it was getting darker outside and I laid the laptop aside and just started talking. I am a really big fan of talking to God outside, it calms me down for the most part, but as I was talking, I got this overwhelming sense of dread. I mean literally, my stomach started hurting and I wasn't really sure why. There have been so many good things happening to me lately, one in particular and at that very moment, I felt like it was all going to be taken away and I had no clue as to why.

Maybe it is the fact that sometimes I don't think I am deserving of good things in my life, maybe it's that for so long I was use to Satan having his way with me and that was all I knew and "good" just didn't make sense in my life. I don't know but I looked down at the computer and saw the FB page was still up and it said one new post. I clicked on it and it said " Philippians 4:6-8".

I remembered the verse very well and I just started crying.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

I told this same friend earlier today that I trust God, but sometimes I don't "trust" Him. Does that make sense? I know He is God but I like to HELP OUT if I can in my situations because after all I know me well right???? But He doesn't need my help and God doesn't want me (us) stressing about things that are out of our control. He wants us to trust Him and lay it all on Him, no matter what it is. He is really interested in what we think, say and feel. He's our dad, and what child's dad wants them to hurt?

So as I sat there, my talk changed. I just told God, "it's on you now, I am done cause this worrying will kill me for sure if I keep on. Whatever you think best, that's what it will be." And then my phone rang...... it was perfect timing as usual on God's part and he knew exactly what I needed, even though I wasn't quite sure myself, and he gave it to me. The night was good.

I pray that you all have a wonderful day and try not let the worries of life get to you. I know how hard that can be, trust me, but I know God is listening to you (and me) so just talk to Him. Doesn't have to be formal (I rarely do formal). Just talk to Him like you would your best friend, because that's what He is anyway. Tell Him what you want .. you may not get it exactly how you would like, but knowing Him like I am starting to, it will be much better!

Have a blessed day and Lord willing, we will talk again soon! Love ya!

P.S. - CONGRATS VALERIE on the new grand baby!!! Can't wait to see pictures!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Restoring relationships

Last week a friend an I had a disagreement.. one that was pretty much based on what we "thought" some e-mails "sounded" like. You know what I mean.. you send and e-mail and the person on the other end THINKS you mean one thing, but you really meant something else?? Those! And that's what happened, and let me tell you something about me that I work on, that is probably not gonna go away anytime soon, and is pretty much just me.... if I feel pushed, confronted or something like that, my first instinct is to push back. Not something I am proud of, it really is something I work on, but it is what it is. But as the e-mails got to the point where something was said about being and acting Christian, it pretty much stopped me in my tracks and I decided it was enough. So I got on the phone and called.. figured it was better to say exactly what each other meant than to keep going back and forth. I by no means am perfect and I think we all want our opinions and voices heard and honestly, want to be right, but when your Christian life is being called into question by your actions.. well, like I said, I decided it was time to talk. The conversation went well and talking it out made a whole lot more sense than what we started out doing... it ended ok. I think the relationships we build inside the church help set the tone for what we do in the world around us. People see how we interact with each other and as good or bad as that may be, it effects how they view the church and whether or not they want to be a part of it. When people see or hear us disagree, they watch us. I mean really, who wants to be a part of something where there is discord? We are not always going to get along, but as Christians we are commanded to go to each other if we have a problem. After we discuss it, we may still not agree, but because we are God's children and we strive to be like Him, we do what we need to do about it and its done.

When I got home that night, I had this e-mail from the Purpose Driven Life website:

And once again, all I could do was smile because I knew God was talking to me yet again. Perfect I am not, opinionated..well, yeah that would be me. But I know God is still working on me, I get confirmation every day and believe me, I listen!

Today I have to have an MRI for some possible surgery soon. I will find out the end of this week for sure. I would appreciate a few prayers cause you know me and surgery : ) I hope you all have a great day and Lord willing, we will talk again soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deeper Still - Session Two

Ephesians 3: 20-21 - "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen"

I think this is my new favorite Bible verse and I will always remember when Priscilla said " God goes BEYOND beyond."

Priscilla Shirer is an awesome speaker and the verse above, she took word by word and broke it down. Funny how we can just read some thing and not really understand what it means. We serve a God who is just ABLE. With everything that is going on now, it is time for us to start considering everything God has told us. In the midst of any and every thing going on, when things seems impossible, God is the only one able to do something right now with just one word. I think sometimes we look at the President on TV and always want to say something, good or bad and talk about how he isn't doing this or that...well, maybe he's not the one we need to be relying on. Yes, he is the leader of our country, but even he doesn't know everything and won't get it all right. Like him or not, we need to be praying that God give our President the wisdom and knowledge to lead our country down the right path.

No matter where we are now, it is time to turn to God. We tend to concentrate on our problems rather than on the one who is able to FIX our problems. We need to fix our eyes on Christ and give it all over to Him. There is no situation that we can control no matter how much we think we have it all together. We will start to live and have an abundant life when we can praise God in the midst of any problem we have going on.

Everything God tells us is true. I cannot think of one place in the Bible that I have to question. I may not like everything I read and normally that's because it's something I have done and don't want to get called on it, but its true and God keeps His word. And when God tells us something, it is our business to know that He can do it, but it is HIS business to choose to do it. Not everything we ask of God will happen. God, in His wisdom, knows the plan and how it is suppose to work, and just because He does not answer us when we would like, does not mean God does not have the power.. God IS the power and is able to do anything.... for you! I think it is hard for some of us to realize that some things just ARE, but I do think like the verse says, all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. God is working to build His kingdom and he loves us.

OK.. this is the part I love..... she said... God is able to do exceedingly beyond our beyond!! Think about it. When we think we can't walk another mile, we can't handle one more late bill, one more upset from someone we love who hurt us, one more problem, God has our backs and He can keep going when we can't. I think that's gonna be my new saying thanks to Priscilla... God goes beyond, beyond!!

All we have to do is ask for the things we need. The verse above says so. Anything we ask or IMAGINE to ask (imagine now, think about that!), He can, if He chooses to, do something. God cares about everything that is going on in our lives, even the little things. If it concerns you, it concerns God. God sees us, He hears us, He cares and He can do just what we need Him to do.

Like I said and have said before, not everything we ask for, we are going to get. God knows better than we do about the things we need but we can't keep God boxed in. We can't call on Him when we think we are unable to handle things but when we want to try to control the situation (which we can't) we do it on our own. Doesn't work that way. God is predictable in His character, but sooo unpredictable in His activity. We don't know if He will always answer us like we want, but be sure that the answer we get is one that will be in our best interest.

Two little verses, so many wonderful ideas and thoughts! The conference was great!

God goes beyond beyond.

I hope you all have a great day. Lord willing, we will talk again soon! Love ya!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Deeper Still... Session One

" I really don't have time to get my Bible studying in. I have so much going on... ball practices, work, cleaning the house, homework with the kids, grocery shopping... just so much going on, there is not enough time in my day to sit down and study anything from God's word"....

Ever said any of those things before? I sure have. I always found/find and excuse as to why I can't sit down for 30 minutes and study God's Word. And although those things are very true and I do have alot going on, what is gong to happen on the day of judgement when God Himself asks me the same question " Why didn't you take the time to study my Word"? Are you going to tell Him about your ball practices and work schedule? We make time for everything BUT God....

I never thought about it like that until Kay Arthur, one of the speakers at the Deeper Still conference ask that question. It really made me think. How will we ever get deeper into God's Word without commitment to studying and applying the messages we read? As I listened to Kay tell her story of marriage, depression, falling away from God, doing what she wanted when she wanted, trying to find what she thought was love and then comingto realize that God had always been there waiting on her to come back... I listened to her and if she had inserted my name in there, it would have been ALMOST identical.

When we live without faith,we walk in destructive ways. Nothing really matters to us, we kind of do things at the drop of a dime and just hope it works out for us. God is never brought into that equations. She spoke of a relationship that she was involved in after her separation from her husband. It wasn't good and as she spoke I got chills thinking of how this relationship sounded like one that I myself had been involved in. As she told her story of how for a really long time she was in it but finally realized that it was going no where good, she decided to call it off. One day as she was in her apartment, the phone rang and it was him and at that point she had to decide what she wanted to do. Let Satan take hold and drag her back down the path or walk in faith, the kind of faith that says" Ok God, I trust you and I know you want what best for me and I am giving it all to you".... she chose the latter and has never looked back.

Hebrews 11: 6 - "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him".

If we want to go Deeper Still, we have to keep out eyes on Jesus and pay attention to what God has said through the examples He has given us through Christ. There are so many things happening in America today. You can't turn the news on without seeing something negative. In the time in which we are living, we as Americans are being and are going to be tested. As Kay said" God is going to shake what can be shaken and then things can be seen for what they really are." Are we ready? Are we ready to stand up for what we believe in even if it means we get stares, or ridiculed or even persecuted? The only way we can be fully ready is to take time to read and study God word. We have to be able to stand up to the enemy wearing the full armor of God and know that He is going to do for us just what He promised and long as we believe and have faith. Seems rather simple to me... it amazes me though how often and how much I forget that.

The conference was the best thing that I have been to in a very long time and I still have more I want to share this week. My mind is so full of information, I hope I don't get it all mixed up! I left there with another sense of peace, calm.. something that a few years ago I didn't even know could ever exist in my life.

I hope you all have a blessed day! And tomorrow, Lord willing.. I can tell you about Priscilla Shirer.. AWESOME speaker!!! Until then....I love you all!

Deeper Still Conference

This past weekend I got a chance to go to Orlando, Fl and attend the Deeper Still conference with Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur and it was great!! It's one of those things that I wanted to go to, but then decided I had alot to do so maybe I shouldn't go, but now I am so glad I did go!! From start to finish, I learned way more than I had anticipated. Once I get all my notes and thoughts together (tonight) I plan on telling you all about it!!

I hope you all had a great weekend and have a great day today. I love you all and Lord willing, we will talk again tomorrow!

Friday, September 4, 2009

You know, there have been times in my life where I have felt I had lost everything: every dream I had, All my hope that things would get better, I thought nothing would get better, that God wasn't listening to me when I prayed, that my life was OVER! And at that point I honestly didn't think I wanted to go on. Lately, God has started placing people in mt life who were just like me. And its not people that I personally know all the time either, but they are coming. and honestly, I am excited about that but it also scares me a little. By no means am I am expert on anything or any topic but the words are just coming out of my mouth and I know that can only be God.

I know we all have days when things are just not going right and we just want to give up, but listen, we have got to keep on truckin! As Christians, it is our job to help each other keep going too... we have to cheer each other on so that we don't give up or in. You may have to yell and scream it sometimes because I know I have a thick head sometimes and don't like to listen, but God expects us to not give up on each other. When you say your prayers today and this holiday weekend, pray God send someone for you to encourage and for you to show that God is really on there side!

I hope you all have a great SAFE holiday weekend. I know alot of you are traveling, so be careful!!! My baby's birthday is tomorrow.. he will be 8... and let me tell you, I remember the day I had him and they handed him to me.. all I could do was cry.. I'll probably be doing the same thing tomorrow.. LOL

Love you all and Lord willing, we will talk again Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yep, prayer again! :)

So we finished our lessons at church Sunday on Prayer and I have to agree w/ what Greg said. I think this is the first series we have done that has gotten so much feed back. Not sure if its because so many people started taking prayer seriously and started to actually see change or what, all I know is it was good! During that series, I was surfing the Internet and came across this quote that is now the signature on my e-mails:

"God has editing rights over our prayers. He will... edit them, correct them, bring them in line with His will and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted.” ~ Stephen Crotts

And when I read it, I was like yep, that's about right. I cannot tell you how many times I have prayed, and some of them have been really good, and I think I even had good intentions, and God was like " Nope, but how about this" and took me in a whole other direction. I was not happy, I admit that. I mean I KNOW how my life should go, what makes me tick and what makes my world go round. How dare He wanna change it up on me like that right?? Doesn't he want me happy?

But you know, God gives us answers, maybe not in the way we want them, but we get them.

Does God answer prayers:

Yep - He sure does. In the Bible it says plain as day, ask and it will be given to you. Sounds simple huh, but I think that if it lines up with what God wants and His plan, then of course, if we ask with the right heart and motives, its gonna happen.

Does God answer prayers:

No- We can't always get what we want. I tell my kids that all the time. God is so big and all knowing, and maybe our prayers are not in line with what He wants and guess what... there may be and probably is something bigger and better waiting on us if we just trust in Him.

Does God answer prayers:

Maybe, but not right now- Okay, this might be the hardest one for me. I don't like waiting but maybe the prayer request is in line, but just not right now. God is not ready for us to have what is it we want. Maybe its to test our faith and trust.. I don't know but I do know that when He is ready, it will happen.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - 'Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.' Things are not always going to go like we want. It seems for some reason, now in our nation, things are getting really bad. I think maybe its God's way of saying.. Alright, here I am, I'm waiting on you all to come to me and talk to me, you can fix this if you want. But we get so caught up in the fact that we DON'T have and not look at what we do. I have a friend who lost her job yesterday. Company layoffs, she wasn't the only one and I told her that I would be looking out for her and praying. She said.. thank you and she knew God was working on something better for her and this was His way of showing her that.

Isn't that the attitude we all need? Even through something like that, still having enough faith and trust in the One who can do all things. I ask that you all still pray for my friend and also pray for the good stuff. We are all awake this morning, have eaten breakfast, jobs to go to, cars to drive, bills paid.. we may not have all we want, but we sure have more than most.

I love you all bunches and Lord willing we will talk again soon!