Monday, April 28, 2008
1st Corinthians 12; 7-10
7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So what was Pauls thorn? We dont know, because it doesnt tell us. We just know that He was tormented by it.
I have something in my life that torments me, a thorn in my side. I have pleaded with God to take it away more than 3 times. I have fasted and prayed about it. I have been anointed with oil, and had hands laid upon me. It's still there. So whats my thorn? I'm a smoker. There you go, the dirty rotten truth.
I think if we are all honest though, we all have a thorn in our side. For some it's food, others it's gossip, etc...we all fall short of the glory of God. That is why we need a saviour.
I try really hard to not make others stumble because of my addiction. This weekend I walked away from our campsite every time I wanted to smoke. There just happened to be a 14 year old boy in our camp that made it his mission to try to save me. He's a PK, (Preacher's Kid). Evangelistic PK. Every time I went to smoke, there he was. He kept telling me how I was opening the door for satan to come into my life and that I was going to hell, etc... I took all of this very well. He is a young kid, full of fire for God, and tenderhearted. For the most part I listened to him condemn me, felt ashamed, and vowed not to quench his spirit. I felt as if I was up against something bigger than me, and didnt know how to handle it. That doesnt happen to me very often. Well I finally got mad. This kid had pushed me about as far as I was going to allow. I knew his intentions were good, and knew what he was trying to do, but I AM A CHRISTIAN! I have asked Jesus into my heart, and I know that there is NO condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. When I couldnt take it anymore I prayed "Lord please call off your messenger. I've taken all I can, and I'm getting ready to blow. Lord, I dont want to do that, and I need your help."
Right after I said that prayer, up walks another PK. This one an adult, a mature PK. He listened to this little guy talk to me for about a minute, then he jumped in. He said "I used to be just like you. I am a PK also, but I have learned a thing or two. I want you to remember John 3:17. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
He told him the story about casting the stone, and how Jesus could have, but did not. He counseled this little guy with a Godly approach, using the scriptures to rebuke him and teach him. All in love. Something I was not able to do, though I too know these scriptures. It was like I had a hand over my mouth and fluff in my brain for awhile. I see the reason now. It was not the job God gave me in the whole process. My job was too be kind, and not quench his spirit. The Lord gave His lesson through someone else that could connect on this little guys level.
I was at a point where I could take no more temptation to have my say.
1st Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
I prayed. God was faithful. He provided a way out by means of another. I was able to stand up under it. I found my voice, and was able to use it to encourage the little guy. I think he learned a valuable lesson. I know I did. I am glad God used me.
About the smoking? I will NEVER give up trying to quit. I know I have the power, it was given when the veil was torn, when my Saviour shed His blood on the cross for me. But I also have the grace of God and His grace is sufficient for me. For when I am weak I am strong.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
It has not been a bed of roses for me lately. I have had my share of disappointment, heartache, and stress. Not all things have gone my way. I have cried, and worried, and pleaded with God over several things. That is just life.
However, since starting this blog, things have been changing drastically for me. I am in God's word alot more, and my spirit is open more to His voice and leading. He is putting people in my path that need to hear my story. Just this last Sunday I got to witness to a fairly new Christian. She had just been baptised, and at prayer stood up with a request. Immediately I knew she needed to hear what I have been through. If I hadnt been in the will of God with my particular situation He would have never sent me to encourage her.
More people are starting to read my blog. Some strangers, some people I go to church with, some are people I know from other places. I have decided to not be ashamed about who I am, and what I do. I guess ashamed is not as correct as maybe "timid". God has not given me a spirit of timidity though. He has given me a spirit of power and of love and self discipline. Each day I feel more powerful in Christ.
This has been a season of serious growth for me in my walk with Christ. I have went from a babe drinking milk to eating a more solid food. The transformation I feel everyday is amazing. Thats what is getting me through the disappointments and heartache and stress. I have learned to rest in His perfect peace. I am learning more and more to trust him. I am slowly laying my life down and allowing Him to take over. (this is my definition of sanctification.....am I right?) I have made alot of decisions lately on changes that I need to make in my life. Some days they are overwhelming. However, I know what the end result will be. So I will keep pressing on.
I have some issues right now that I am struggling with, most of them relational. Repairing, growing closer, or developing. That is hard for me because of the person that I am, but I know it is God's will, and I dont want Him to bring me any storms for not doing what i know He wants me to. Pastor D gave a challenge at church last night to find verses that talk about God bringing storms to people lives. There was a lady who questioned whether God brought storms from our disobedience. I can think of several of them myself. He has to get our attention sometimes, and His ways are higher than our ways. We may not understand at times, and maybe never, but He is not against us. He loves us, and wants us to fill up on Him. Thats what I have been doing lately. Filling up with God. When you allow Him to fill you, even the heartaches and disappointment seem to be less. He replaces that empty feeling, the yearning for something more. His perfect peace. Jesus said "peace I give you." Accept it. Rest in the Lord.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
"When it snows, she has no fear for her household, for all of them are clothed in scarlet."
Hmmm......I pray every day that the Lord would show me how to become a Proverbs 31 woman. I posted the verse where I can see it in my house. I read it everyday. Now I have to follow where God leads me with it. Oh, the pain. It hurts!
I have had to pick up a sewing needle more than once this week, more than twice, and I am going to have to do it again. I am investing in a good thimble, I can tell you that. I dont know how to use one, but after pricking myself under the fingernail and in several other fingers, I am determined to figure it out. Do they make whole hand thimbles??? No, Im NOT joking.
My boy wore jeans to school this morning with holy knees. Usually I would just go and replace them, but guess what? There is nothing in the budget for new jeans. Shame on me. However, I have found that a good patch is relatively cheap. Of course that requires dusting. I'm talking about the iron I havent used for awhile. Oh my. I'm really more of a mess than I first thought.
If you havent figured it out, this is about being a better steward with money. I am in charge of the finances, and I am failing miserably. THATS BECAUSE I AM IN CHARGE. No more, I dont want it. I'm putting God in charge. Guess what? He's cheap! LOL. I am kidding about that, I know he knows best.
It's snowing in my house. I do have fear for my household! I had a few unexpected expenses this week, and they caught me way off guard. I have been working on being a better steward, but I guess God thinks I'm not doing it fast enough. So I am making changes NOW. Drastic ones. Oh the pain.
What am I doing? First off, our monthly food bill is through the roof. We eat out way too much. I have discovered how to stop that. I have to cook. Oh the pain! I do cook, and I am pretty good at it if I do say so myself, but I have to cook more. Freeze it. For a snowy day. This could save anywhere from 2 to 3 hundred $'s a month. Sometimes more. Also going to the store with a list and making a menu before I begin. And leaving hubby at home.
There are alot of other things I can do to save money also. Here's the kicker though. You have to actually save it! Put it in the bank, or stash it away somewhere and dont get into it. Every family needs an emergency fund for when those unexpected expenses arise. I am determined to have one. I want a vacation fund. And a retirement fund. If we have no money in the vacation fund, we dont go on vacation. Same for the retirement fund. That makes me exhausted just thinking about it! The whole process is just renewing your mind and retraining yourself on how you spend your money. I want my family clothed in scarlet. The kids are learning too. Mom actually does know the word "NO". If I teach them now, hopefully they wont struggle like I have.
I may never make my own laundry soap or bake my own bread(I know I'm going to regret saying that again) but I am determined to be ready for it snowing in my house. I will be alot happier with myself, the kids will be happier, and hubby too. Mostly though, it is pleasing to God. Everything belongs to him, not me, and I need to treat things like they are His.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"You do not have because you do not ask."
Monday, April 14, 2008
"but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is now even in the world."
Yes, I'm going there.
I have done alot of prayer over this post. I have searched my Bible through and through. It is a tough one. I am outraged over the video I have posted. I could go alot of different ways with this one. I have even tried writing it several times only to hit delete, because I didn't feel God was pleased. I could pull out so many scriptures to rebuke Oprah and Tolle, and put a hole in their bucket, but that's not what God wants from me. I had an idea to start this post several days ago, and in my anger I got side tracked. The Lord will humble Oprah, and He will do a much better job than I ever could. I am just very saddened by the 2 million plus people she is deceiving. Oprah knows the truth.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me."
Not even Oprah.
Have you ever caught somebody in a lie? You knew the truth, yet they continued to lie. Your standing there looking at them, watching them lie through their teeth, and what they are saying makes NO sense, and wouldn't add up even if you didn't know the truth. That's how I felt watching this video. I couldn't wrap my brain around half the stuff that was said, because I know the truth. They were chasing rabbit holes. The truth as I know it is simple.
The truth is that God is uniting His army. On the flip side, so is satan. I believe we are being called to "choose for yourselves this day who you will serve"(Joshua 24:15) Our family has chosen.
Mark 9:40 says "Whoever is not against us is for us." I take that as "if you're not for God, you are against Him."
Mother Earth can't take much more. There is flooding, and drought, famine, wars, global warming. The seasons are changing, the ice caps are melting. There is pornography every where you look, drugs, drunkenness, false teachers, etc.. If you read the book of Revelations, you will find many more signs. The day of the Lord is near.
Heaven is a real place.
"In my Fathers house are many rooms; IF IT WERE NOT SO, I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME BACK and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
I am not taking any chances. I have been set free in the truth. I have kicked Oprah out of my home, along with many other things. It was hard, because I love her. I grew up with her. She has done many good things. But I don't agree with what she is promoting. I don't agree with her beliefs. And I refuse to get pulled in.
God is preparing His army. He is separating the wheat from the chaff. He is preparing for the final battle. I think the devil knows this, because he is putting in some overtime.
My family is in training for the battle. I know lots of people who are. I also know lots of people who are not, and even more who choose to water down the Gospel. They make it to fit their lifestyles. The road to Heaven is a narrow road, and many will choose the wider path. You can't ride the fence anymore. You cant be lukewarm. You must choose a side. If you are still riding the fence, you have chosen satan. That is the truth.
I am sure I will take criticism from this post. I don't care. I am not out to please man. Maybe at one time I was, but not anymore. I would much rather take the persecution and insults from people rather than the alternative, which is going to hell. It is a real place as well.
I am standing up for my God. The God of Abraham, and Moses, and David. I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery. I may never zoom o'er the enemy, but I'm in the Lord's army.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I found this on my Sister in laws blog this morning and knew I had to post it to mine. I have been working on something that goes along with this. I'm not sure when I will post it, I am still praying over it and trying to make sure my words line up with God's words. The truth.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Thank you, Master Burleson, and Ms. Stowers!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Our baby niece Emily passed away February 10, 2008 and was laid to rest on Valentines day. She was 7 months old. I will never be able to tell of every way in which this has touched us, but I will do my best to live it everyday. I want you to SEE Jesus in me.
On Christmas night we went back to my Father in law's house where we were staying, and all of us in the house laid awake praying for Emily. It was a desperate cry to the Lord. In the back of our minds though, we knew. That is just something you don't talk about, and you don't even like to think it, because the pain of it is just too sad. I am just so thankful that the Lord allowed her the time with her family that He did.
We arrived at their house late Sunday evening after getting that awful phone call. Our normally noisy children sat and played quietly in the backseat of the car for the whole 6 hour drive. There was no fighting and arguing, they shared all of the toys, and they didn't ask not once, "are we there yet?" We had talked to them before leaving the house about how Emily's 4 other brother's and sister's must be feeling right now. At one point my girls clung to each other, and for a little while the animosity between them was non existent. Emily had done for them in minutes what Dad and I have been trying to do for years. Still today, when issues arise between them and the anger gets the best of them, I remind them of their little cousins who have lost a sibling. The girls are learning to heal.
One of the first things my hubby did after that call, was to call our Pastor. He asked for a verse for his little brother. It was one of those times that my normally take charge, able to fix ANYTHING hubby was brought to his knees. In loading up the car, he made sure the Bible was in the front with us. We were not sure what the situation would be when we got there, but he wanted to make sure he was ready for whatever. This is his part of the story to tell, and one day when he does, I know many lives will be changed.In my last post I talked about how my Brother in law and his wife were like PB&J, Oreo cookies and milk, and pizza with extra cheese. That being said, my brother in law is the peanut butter, the outside of the Oreo cookies, and the crust of the pizza!
Ephesians 5:23 "For a Husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; He gave his life to be her saviour."
Our Husbands are our spiritual leaders. They will be judged one day on how they lead their families. I was not prepared for what we saw when we got to their house. In the middle of the grieving, I saw my brother in law rejoice, and praise, and worship his Lord and saviour. In the midst of losing his child, he chose to worship. It immediately made me think of David's story. (2ND Samuel 12:15-23) Throughout the week people from their church stopped by. They brought food, kind words, and lots of kids! I believe at one point I counted 15 kids in the house, though it was so quiet you would never have believed it! One family had 8 of them! We saw the hand of the Lord in that house. God had been preparing this family for the death of a child, and in preparing he put people in their path that would help them through this. I've never seen anything like it.
The first few days we witnessed were NOTHING compared to the service for Emily. They wanted to honour her, and in honouring her, they honoured the Lord. My brother in law got up and spoke. Their youngest son went up there with him. My brother in law held him most of the service, and wiped the sweat from his brow. Most people would have had someone else take charge of the little tyke, but not my Brother in law. That spoke volumes. He spoke of Emily and her short life here. He told stories that made us laugh. He stood TALL and the words flowed out of him. He told us about Jesus. He talked to the unsaved, and told them how Jesus has went to prepare a place for us.
In the last post I told how they were a quiver full family. They have put God in charge of how many children they will have. They fully believe that their children are a blessing of the Lord. They are. These parents are warriors who have shot one of their arrows. They want their life to be a testimony to the Lord. They wanted to keep her. I believe the Lord gave Emily to them for a season, to sharpen her. So she would be able to pierce the hearts of those the Lord has put in her path. The ones who are not saved. ALL of us our God's children, but in the end what matters is who we CHOOSE to call our Father.
This is what it is that fascinates my hubby and myself about these 2. They don't care what the world thinks of them, they care what God thinks. In the service my brother in law asked the question, "Where do we go from here?" His answer: "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) That is faith.
We have witnessed the strong faith and trust this family has for the Lord. There is a commandment that says, "You shall not covet", but I want what they have. It brings peace, and joy, and contentment in all things. They don't just have faith, they truly live it. They will always love and miss their baby girl, but they have secured a place in Heaven for themselves. One day they will be reunited with her, and their will be no more suffering, and no more tears. Until then I want our life to be a testimony that Emily's was not in vain.
1Peter 1:7 The trials and challenges of your faith are more precious than gold that perishes, even when tested by fire. So if your faith remains strong after being much tested, it will bring praise and glory and honour."
I wanted to give you a glimpse of my sister in law in all of this, because my brother in law would not be the man he is today if it weren't for the way she lives. It's true for the other way around as well. They compliment each other. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he will eventually take his seat among the elders of the land. (Proverbs 31:23), while her works will bring her praise at the city gate. (Proverbs 31:31)
I may never bake my own bread, or learn how to sew, but one thing is certain. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be submissive to my husband, and allow him to be the leader of our family. I want to instill the word of God upon my children, and write it on my doorways. I want people to see us and want what we have. On February 14Th, 2008 my hubby and I both decided that "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord".
Upon closing I would like to say that I cant even imagine the sorrow and heartache my Brother in law and his wife and children are having to bear. I pray that I may never know. For those of you who do know, I have asked permission of my sister in law to give a link to her blog. She has allot of good stuff on there, and is a very talented writer. She has written things that will step on your toes and also things that will encourage you. If you must leave her a comment, do so in love. Her blog is raising-arrows.blogspot.com
We love you, Emily. We will never forget you. I can't wait until the day we get to see you again in Heaven.
I would like to introduce you to my most favorite Brother in law and his wife. My hubby's little brother! It's actually his wife I want to introduce, but I thought I would score more points if I began that way! He is actually my ONLY Brother in law! I can still play favorites though. :) However, the pair of them together are PB&J, Oreo cookies and milk, Pizza with extra cheese. You get the picture. They compliment each other.
Yes, my Sister in law fascinates and intrigues and inspires me. I love going to their house. I'm like a little kid in a candy store there, because I know I am going to learn something. Part of it is the fact that they have a quiver full of children. (see Psalm 127) Five to be exact, and I'm sure there will be more to come. They came up to our house shortly after number 5, Emily, was born, and I couldnt stop counting them! I was intrigued with this!
My sister in law also homeschools the kids. They dont have television in their house. They dont go to a "traditional" kind of church. They go to a church where the MEN lead the worship and service, which I found strange at first, because my Sister in law has a beautiful singing voice, and used to lead worship. The women do not talk, I dont think. The kids do not run off to Sunday School and Childrens Church. They sit QUIETLY with their parents. I asked them about this, because I genuinely wanted to know. She told me it had something to do with going back to the first church in the book of Acts. I am still learning about this, but I think I partly understand now.
She makes her own cloth diapers, and at one point she was even selling them to other moms. She makes her own laundry soap, and hand soap. She bakes bread from scratch. She scrapbooks, makes curtains, and dresses for the girls. I will never forget her "play dough" and watermelon! That is just one of her intriguing little recipes I have tasted! The best one I have found so far though, is the little pieces of paper taped to her walls in various places with Bible verses that remind her how to be a VIRTUOUS WIFE. I could go on and on. In short, she IS a model of the Proverbs 31 woman in training. I could write a book here, and someday I plan to, but I dont want to lose my focus right now.
I think she has taken alot of criticism in her life from other women. She just does not conform to the ways of the world. Matter of fact, I have questioned the way she lives. My husband and I have both thought that the pair of them were crazy at one point. But we kept watching them. What was it about them that held us fascinated? Little did we know God had a message in here for us.
We went to their house at Christmas time. It had been a hard few weeks for them because Emily had been really sick and in the hospital. She was 5 months old or so. She was actually still in the hospital when we arrived. I am not real good with medical jargon, so I will take my Sister in laws' words and say that Emily had a congenital defect that caused her bowels to be in the wrong place. She had surgery a couple of different times. They convinced the doctors to let her come home Christmas Eve. We spent Christmas Day with them. It was bitter-sweet, and we all have memories we will cherish forever. Baby Emily was with us for Christmas. Her first Christmas.
She was still not completely healed from her surgeries, and she was hurting. I wanted to hold her so badly, but I didnt want to take away time from Grandma and Mom and Dad. She was just so beautiful. Later in the day I got the chance. I snuggled her so close, as close as the tubes she still had in her to administer medication would allow. She had been crying the whole day. Not a loud, overbearing, drive you crazy, sort of cry. It was more like a song that she just continued to sing to us all. I cant explain it. I only know that it was just ok. That was the best Christmas we ever had.
That was also the last time we got to see baby Emily. She went to be with her Jesus on February 10th, 2008.
I wanted to write this post to give a little background to the next post. I will be sharing how Emily's short life here on Earth has touched and changed my family, in only the way the Lord can do.
Right now I think I will go have a good cry, and pray for my Brother and Sister in law.