Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Being Prepared


My sister is 37 weeks pregnant and having contractions every night. When she has her baby I am planning on being at the hospital with her. Each night I talk to her she tells me of her contractions and I think, "Okay I could get a call in the middle of the night and be prepared to go."


Being prepared means that my phone and camera are charged, my boys clothes are ready for the next day, my husband knows what to feed them, their bag is pack to go to my best friend's house for the day, and there's plenty of gas in the cars.


Last night I thought for sure that she was going to call me at 2 am telling me she was in real labor. So I did my preparations and went to bed. I guess I do my best thinking those few moments before I drift into sleep because I started to think how we are called to be prepared as Christians.

We should be prepared to defend the gospel, to preach the Word in and out of season. Or be ready for whatever God calls you to. It may be a change in work, it may be a change in marital status. Whatever it is, we should be prepared.

This requires us to not be lazy. To be proactive and intentional with what we do. Getting prepared for my sister's baby has made me add many more steps to my bedtime routine. However, it's worth all the extra work!

Ask God to prepare you for what He has in store for you. I see, as I look back on my life, how God prepared me for the things He has called me to do.

One way to know God's action plan for you, is to get in His word and seek Him. He will reveal himself to you...it may not be in YOUR timing, but it will be in His perfect timing!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Are you satisfied in God alone?

Yesterday in Sunday school we watched part two of the John Piper Blazing Center DVD. If you have never heard of John Piper I'd recommend you check out his web site.

The main point of yesterday's message was: God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.

The more we find all we need in Him and in Him alone, the more glory goes to God!

What things do we try to find satisfaction in?

* Relationships
* Work
* Looks
* Power
* Ego
* Food
* Acceptance/Praise from others
* Marital Status

God wants us to be satisfied in Him alone. When we are not looking for those things listed above(I am sure I could add a lot more to that list) to satisfied, God can not shine through us. When we are finding ultimate satisfaction in Him our lives will be an overflow of what He gives us, thus He will receive all the glory!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Feeling So Frustrated at Myself!!!

We have two laptop computers. One is our main Internet computer and the other one we have just begun to use it for the Internet. The second computer doesn't have a firewall and just recently my husband was saying that we need to get a firewall on the computer.

Last night I was on that computer and this Anti Software program popped up. I thought, "Oh, I'll take care of this and John will be so happy!" So I ordered it, gave them my credit card, and began scanning for viruses.

John called from work and I proudly told him how I took care of this problem for him. He didn't respond the way I would have wanted him. He said he was completely uncomfortable with that and asked me to stop scanning the computer and get off line.

When he got home, a quick Google search showed that this was no anti firewall at all...it was a virus, a hoax! I got snickered!!!

I was so embarrassed, annoyed, frustrated, mad, and just plain upset at myself. I immediately called my credit card company and changed our card number. The lady on the other line said that the order had already been processed! UGH!

So after realizing that we can get rid of this (I am off to Best Buy this morning to buy Nortons)...at least we hope, we went to bed. I was still very frustrated at the whole situation, but as I was laying in bed, unable to fall asleep, I began to realize how this "innocent" pop-up on my computer was like sin in our lives.

We are just going along and Satan throws us a "pop-up". It looks like a real program, doesn't really look like sin; but at the core of his tactics is sin. It's taking away the glory of God at some level.

So we "buy" into this pop-up, thinking we've done something right, well maybe not right, but we don't feel like we've done anything wrong. Now this is where we run into two, two choices: we can begin to rid ourselves of this sin as quickly as we can. Scratch and fight to get rid of sin, to be pure, and to enjoy God. To fight the good fight of faith and throw off anything that gets in the way of us being right with God.

Or we can just go along with the sin, not really aware of the damage it is causing us. We may even begin to justify our sin. "Oh at least it's not as bad as so-and-so." "It's not hurting anyone, so why is it a problem?" "Well, it makes me feel good and really, what's the big deal?"

So we allow this "virus" to fester in us. We let the sin grow. A "little" sin will get larger with time. Before long we're keeping a distance from those who would hold us accountable, we start having secrets from people we normally don't hold secrets from, we find ourselves figure out a way around get "caught", and we just don't feel the joy from the Lord.

We rob ourselves of the sweet fellowship with the Lord. Of course there are many more side effects of sin and it depends on this sin you may be battling with.

Today as you spend time with God, ask Him to revel the areas of your life He wants to purify. He is a gentle, patient, and loving God, so thankfully we know that, although pruning doesn't always feel good, He is doing it for His glory.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thoughts about another post

I was reading Brett and Alex Harris' blog today: Known for what we do. This is what has brought forth these thoughts!

All day long I have been thinking about this concept. The main concept of their blog is that we should just avoid doing sin, but be proactive and intentional about doing the things God has called us to do.

In our culture we have a tendency to think that if we are not out drinking, smoking, doing drugs or anything that is obvious sin; that we're okay in God's eyes.

Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

This isn't a prideful way of doing things to make others think about you. What you do should point people towards God! It's all about His glory.

When people look at your life, is your light shinging in such a way that you are pointing people towards God, for His sake and His glory?
Are you being intentional about showing off God through your actions?
What are you known for?
What do you want to be known for?

All these questions have been stewing around in my brain all day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day of Service

The past few days I have been helping my sister and brother-in-law pack up their house and clean up their new house (they're moving this weekend). My sister is also 9 months pregnant and has had some medical issues, plus she was having contraction for 10 hours yesterday. Needless, to say, all she can do is sit and watch us!

So I have been helping out as much as I can.

When I have times like this I wish I could do more, but I am limited by the fact I have a home and a family to care for.

Paul talks about this in 1 Cor. 7:33-35 He says that the married person's interested are divided. He also says the unmarried person is free to have undivided attention on what the Lord has for them.

Are your interested fully devoted on the Lord? How are you serving the body of Christ?

Fully enjoy this season of your life to serve distraction free!

Monday, July 23, 2007

God's Grace

Who are we that God even gives thought of us? We are but a speck of dust, yet God, creator of all that is seen and unseen, cares for us. Not only does He care for us, but He loves us! He loves us enough to send His Son on our behalf!

Ps. 40:5 says:
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.

"Too numerous to count" Did you catch that? God thinks about us alot!

When we think about God's grace, His love towards us; we can only be humbled!

Yet, what do we tend to do?


"God why are You making me wait?"
"God why did You allow that person to treat me so badly?"
"God why is life so hard?"

Whine, whine, whine!

What must God think of us when we whine at Him?

I do believe that God wants us to pour our hearts out to Him, yet when it is about us and not about His glory...what must He think?

Praise God for His gentleness and faithfulness in our lives!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Discussion Board

Just wanted to let you all know I have added a discussion board! Check out the link on the right side of this blog!

See you there!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Rebelution

Last night I just couldn't sleep. Not fun when I knew I'd be getting up early today.

I grabbed my laptop, plopped down in our comfortable recliner, and surfed around on the Internet.

I came across this website: http://www.therebelution.com/ hosted by Brett and Alex Harris. These are two 18 year old brothers who have a vision and a passion to see other teens raise the bar in their life.

The Rebelution: A teenage rebellion against low expectation!

How refreshing! In the Internet world of site after site of those claiming Christ, yet their actions show otherwise, this site was amazingly refreshing and exciting.

On the side bar of my blog I put a video of The Rebelution Promotion and a link to their site!

They host conferences nationwide and I am sure there is one coming to your area.

I am convinced that people rise to the standard you set for them. I have seen mom's who won't use certain words with their young kids because they're afraid they won't be able to say that particular word.(I had one mom over with her two year old. The two year old brought out a saxophone toy. She said to him, "Mommy isn't going to tell you what that is because it is too hard of a word." I was flabbergasted, I mean at least set the bar high.)

When do we start setting the bar higher for children, teens, and young adults? We don't expect enough out of young people these days, so they raise to the level we have called them to, which doesn't require much effort on their part.

How I pray for this ministry to impact the lives of teens and young adults all over the nation. That they will rise up a mighty army for the Living, Almighty God, who is worthy of all our praise.

Make sure you check it out!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Book of the Month

There are just so many good books out there and starting in August I will feature a book of the month (or two)! I want to see what the interest level is and we'll go from there.

In August we'll be looking at Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Trusting God with a Hope Deferred by Carolyn McCulley. Make sure you get a copy! The link is on the right side of my blog.

I will be interviewing Carolyn, talking about the book, and highlighting some of my favorite parts of her book throughout the month!

Make sure you check out her blog, also linked on my site: Solo Femininity!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day of quiet

Yesterday early morning I got a call from my sister who is 8 months pregnant. She was having pain on the right side of her tummy. I told her to call the Dr. and head to the hospital.

By 6 am I was at the hospital with her and her husband. My husband took our kids to my best friend's house for the day and I spent the day waiting for Doctors, nurses and answers.

I was in the quiet waiting room with nothing to read, nothing to watch, and no kids to take care of...what was I to do with myself???

It's amazing how little time I normally = have to myself and in my days of being busy with two kids I say, "If I only had an hour of quiet time to just read God's Word or prayer."

So that's what I did: pray! It was almost too quiet for me, I guess I have gotten used to the noise of kids, phone, and other distractions. It was hard to stay focused. Sure was quiet!

Anyway, my sister is doing much better (thanks to the prayers of many people) and her baby is fine! Praise the Lord.

Do you have quiet time today? Take advantage of it and enjoy the peace of a quiet moment or two!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Proverbs 16

This morning our two boys slept in till 7:30! So my husband and I actually got our devotional in before they got up...you have to know this rarely happens!

So we turned to the Proverbs of the day, 16.

"The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord." vs. 1

"Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established." vs. 3

"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." vs. 33

Today as you go about your day cast all your plans into the Lord's hands. He will direct you and is intimately involved in your life choices.

No matter your material status we are called to commit our plans to Him.

What plans do you have that you want to give to the Lord?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Keeping your eyes fixed

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely:
What sin is clinging closely to you?

Discontentment
Anger
Bitterness
Impurity
Unforgiveness

We are called to lay aside these weights. They weigh us down. They cling to us! Keep us bogged down with earthly things.

When you're swimming and someone is weighing you down, you can't move freely to swim. It's frustrating to not be fluent in your movement.

That's what sin is in our spiritual life.

How do we get rid of the weighty, clingy sins in our lives?

Look to Jesus!

Practically, what does that look like in daily life?

Recently I have been struggling with forgiving someone, so how do I throw that sin off and look to Jesus? I get into scripture, I write it on 3x5 post cards, and I read it all day long! When I find myself going over the situation in my head, I stop my thoughts dead in their tracks, and I meditate on God's word.

I look to Jesus, or as it says in the NAS, "fixing our eyes on Jesus." I make every effort to put all my energy into Jesus and not whatever sin is weighing me down!

Today if you find yourself with some clingy sin, throw it off, and fix your gaze upon the only One who can make a difference!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Evan Almighty

Today my husband I and went to see a movie. We haven't been to a movie alone in ages!

We decided to see Evan Almighty, which in a nutshell is a modern day Noah story. God asks Evan to build an ark and there's one scene where God and Evan are talking. God tells Evan all His plans. Evan says in a whining voice, "Those aren't MY plans, God." God just laughs, "You're plans, oh (sigh, laugh) you're plans!"

How often do we have "our plans" and if we could have an audible conversation with God what would God say? Would He say, "You're plans, what about My plans?"

Evan has to give up (or so he thinks) everything to follow God: his reputation, his career, his family, his money, his pride, and his friends. He had to have radical obedience. What would we really think of a modern day Noah?

We may think he's crazy to say that God literally told him to build an ark. We may join him in building his ark...who knows.

The other scene that really touched me and actually made me cry was when Evan and his family (along with all the animals) were on the ark and all these people are laughing and mocking him from below.

He was telling people to get on the boat, that the flood was coming. They were just laughing because there was not a rain cloud in the sky. He was just begging and pleading with them to get on the boat and be saved.

It was just so profound about how I feel about those who don't know the Lord. I just ache for them to "get on the boat"! It wasn't until the flood waters came that the people ran to the boat for salvation!

It was a good movie and I'd recommend seeing it! However, there are many inside jokes only Christians would really understand.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Glasses

Yesterday I was reading a friends' blog about the freedom's we experience in Christ. Christ came so we'd be free.

After reading her blog I posted this comment:

"Being free in Christ can look sinful to those looking with legalistic glasses on!"

I don't believe that we flaunt our freedom, but have you ever looked at something someone was doing and been judgemental. I have! It's easy to think our way is the right way, but how do we know that God not granted that person freedom in that area.

I firmly believe that we are not to give the appearance of evil in anything we do or say. However there are those areas that we can each be called to a different levels. We are called to extend grace to each other.

A couple can be out one on one and totally maintaining emotional purity with each other (although I would not suggest you spend tons of one on one time because it can be easy to cross lines that don't need to be crossed).

Then there can be another couple out in a big group of people who are not guarding their hearts. It's not the form of what someone is doing, but it's the spirit. If someone has the spirit of purity, their lives will follow what their heart believes.

I don't believe in a list of rules for people when it comes to courtship or dating, yet when people have a desire to remain pure their actions will follow. It happens with any area of our life.

Hope for Heaven

How do I long for heaven? I long to be free of the sin in my life and the effects of sin in others life. Heaven, to be a perfect peace with the Lord and others.

Just recently I was hurt by a person I know. You can't say that someone hurts you intentionally, you can never judge someone motives, but it's hard not to take things personally when you feel they are so directed at you.

After I spent a night sulking over this hurt I was in bed sleeping. My husband rolled over and said, "You know why we suffer?"

This was an awfully deep question to be asking after my brain had shut down for the night.

He said, "When we suffer we long for heaven even more. If we sailed through life with no suffering, we'd be content here on earth and God doesn't want us to be content here on earth."

I said, "Well, then I am really longing for heaven!"

Are you longing for heaven? Do you feel the weight of suffering in your life? Are you tired of the sin around?

As the old hymn says, "This world is not our home, we're just passing through." Thank God above that we have a hope of heaven.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

MySpace.com

With our new high speed, super fast Internet I have finally gotten over to myspace. I had an account mainly to check my friend's site, but I never really surfed around because with dial up it took so long. If you're interested in it: www.myspace.com/emotionalpurity

Yesterday, I spent some time just looking at people's sites. My heart is so sad. Most of the people I can view are people I know and then their friends, and their friends...and on and on. Just is so sad what people will put out there for the whole world to see.

Sex, swearing (well with a * placed in such a way to not have the real swear word), rude comments, gross animated pictures, and shady activities filled site after site. I want to stand up and scream, "Are you really living for Christ!?!"

God wants us to not be lukewarm, stop being a fence rider!!! Choose the world or choose God. Living 100% for Him or for the world. What kind of an example are we to the world when our profile says we are Christians, yet our sites look no different! No wonder people think Christians are just full of hypocrisy!

Today is 7-7-07 and it's the seventh day of the week. Lots of talk about how seven is a lucky number and the biblical usage of 7. Last night my husband said, "What if Christ comes tomorrow?" This was before I spent time surfing the net. But what if Christ did come today?

What would Christ think of my life if He came today? Would He be pleased? Would He look at my blogs and say, "Thank you for spreading my good news around." Or would my life displease Him. Would my thoughts displease Him? Would the way I treat others make Him smile?

What would Christ think of your life? Your blog? Your myspace account?

Remember: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." Revelation 3:15-16

Be HOT for God!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Improvement

Well, I am working on improving my blog. We just got high speed...I know call us crazy! I felt like with dial-up I was living in the dark ages! Amazing how things change.

You know it wasn't until I was in college, my jr. year at the University of Illinois, that I actually even had e-mail!!! I only had one class in college where I had to do something on line! Amazing. I have been out of college a short 11 years and the Internet has radically changed the way we as a society live.

So now we have high speed and I am having a ball!

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Vacation

We just got home from a much needed vacation last week. How wonderful to get away, relax, and just enjoy each other's company.

We went to a cabin in Northern Wisconsin. I have been there a number of times, three times as a married woman and four times as a single. I wrote some of my book in that cabin! So of course there are plenty of good memories there.

Time away with two kids sure is different than time away as a single woman and the trip we made up there when we were celebrating our one year anniversary.

I have been praying for all my readers. Praying that the new edition is impacting people across this nation. That it is changing people's direction and causing them to lean more on Christ. I need this for myself as well. Of course not in waiting for God to bring me my mate, but throughout life learning to rely fully on God is so hard for us humans!

Learning to not take one step alone, but looking to Him for everything, to supply all my needs. To look to His fresh water springs for satisfaction. So often we look to dirty, yucky well water to satisfy us...yet that does nothing for us. We keep drinking, yet remain unsatisfied! Why do we do this? Why do I do this?

Once you taste and see how good the Lord is, why ever look back? God will richly supply all our needs.

What are your needs today? Are you lonely? Frustrated? Just plain tired and worn out?

Seek God, get in His Word, drink His living water and you will be satisfied!