Monday, December 31, 2007

12/31/07 - A look back, a look ahead

Today is a day to review 2007 and prepare for 2008! Most of us, at some point today, will have a conversation with someone about New Year's Resolutions!

If you are a fan of New Year's Resolutions or not, ask yourself this: What can I do in 2008 to grow in my Christ likeness?

This is a resolution worth basing your actions upon everyday!

This year I have seen God continue to peel away layers in my own life that do not bring Him glory. I have seen Him convict me of the little actions in life that tarnish His work in my life. It's exciting when God is at work in our lives and we can see it!

My prayer for myself and for you, is that 2008 will be a year that you grow more Christlike!

Happy 2008!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

12/28/07 - Communication

As a single person it is important to learn how to communicate what you're really thinking. I have seen that there are some women who struggle with saying what they really want (yes, guys are rolling their eyes, shaking their heads, agreeing with me).

But we, as women, can tend to be "people pleasers", so we get involved in a relationship or friendship and we aren't honest with our feelings. We don't communicate what we are really thinking. Then we end up in situations we're not comfortable with and with guys we don't want to be with.

A girlfriend was sharing with me how she ended up engaged with a man she didn't want to marry (they didn't get married). She said she almost just let other people convince her that she was to marry him. Through the process of breaking off the engagement, and dealing with all these emotions, she has realized she lacked good, healthy boundaries. She didn't communicate what she really wanted or what she was really thinking.

I am a huge advocate of speaking our minds. Most of my friends know that I will say what I am really thinking. I have no problem saying, "no" if it's something that I just shouldn't put into my calendar, or if it's not the best for my marriage, family, and ministry.

Married women can take this bad "habit" into a marriage. They don't share their true thoughts or have just accepted the way they interact with their mate and end up frustrated with the lack of communication.

Knowing your own healthy boundaries before your married, will greatly enhance your marriage.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

12/27/07 - Thank You

For Christmas this year, my mom framed this letter I wrote when I was about 6 or 7.

"Dear God,
I love you thank you for me.
Thank you for my Mom.
Thank you for my Dad.
Thank you for Colleen.
Thank you for Lesli.
Thank you for my dog.
Thank you for night.
Thank you for Jesus.
Thank you for the church.
Thank you for my granma.
Than yo fo light to.


What a sweet reminder to be thankful! What a wonderful present my mom gave me!

As 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us:
16 Be joyful always;
17 pray continually;
18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12/26/07 - The day after

Well, I hope you had a blessed Christmas!

My Christmas wasn't what I thought it would be. I ended up being sick all day. It was no fun! I had some stomach/intestinal virus. I got up about 4 this morning starving and so sore! I laid around all day yesterday. I took two naps and when I wasn't in bed and I was on the couch.

It was just plain ol' rotten way to spend a holiday with my family!

This morning I am feeling better, but I am so sore from all that laying around. My sides and back ache from doing nothing.

It reminded me about our spiritual muscles. When we are lazy and do nothing spiritual do we get "spiritual sore"? Or are we so used to being spiritually lazy that we get sore when we do too much?

Just a thought this early Wednesday morning!

Monday, December 24, 2007

12/24/07 - Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve. Many of us are busy with family activities, opening gifts, eating, seeing people we don't see that often, going to church service, and enjoying some time off of work!

Whatever you're doing in the next few days remember that God's has a plan for your life. He's in control. He's got everything in His sight. Remember that, although, you have no idea what the future may bring, He does!

He's not going to keep you single a day longer than His plan. He's not going to forget to introduce you to your mate. He knows the plans He has for you!

Trust in His faithfulness!

Friday, December 21, 2007

12/21/07 - This time of year

How many of you are running around like mad trying to get everything done? How many of you have had a to-do-list a mile long this week and still are only halfway through it? How many of you are worn out and the parties have just begun?

I want to encourage you to take a 10 minute break. Find a quiet stop, grab your bible, and just rest in the calm fellowship with God. Pause to reflect on all the Lord has done for you.

These few minutes may reinvigorate you to finish your to-do list with grace, peace, and the joy that only knowing Jesus brings!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12/20/07 - Who Started Christmas

I received this story in an e-mail, and thought it was worth sharing:


This morning I heard a story on the radio of a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable. And after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year.

The overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don't forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.

Finally, the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn't take it anymore and stated:

"Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."

From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond,

"Don't worry we already crucified Him."

For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Don't forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.

-- Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/19/07 - Christmas Traditions

My favorite family tradition is our prayer stocking. This started with my dad and mom about 8 or 9 years ago.

On Christmas Eve we each take time to write out things we want to pray about in the coming year. We put them in a special "prayer stocking" and then pray about the things we each wrote privately.

We commit to pray for the "prayer stocking" requests throughout the year.

Then we read the prayer requests from the year before and see God's faithfulness! It has been amazing to see what God has done throughout the year. Normally I forget what I wrote, which makes it more fun to read!

What are your favorite Christmas Traditions?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12/18/07 - Modesty

What does it mean to be modest in our dress?

As I look around the culture we live in I am amazed and what women wear. Shirt are too low, skirts are too high, clothes are too tight, and jeans hang so low we see underwear!

Ask yourself this: Would I be comfortable wearing this outfit to have a face to face conversation with God? Yes, if you and Jesus were talking, how would you feel in what you're wearing?

Would be have to pull at your shirt, tug your pants or feel uncomfortable at all in what you're wearing? If you would be, then maybe reconsider your outfit!

Just my random thought of the day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

12/17/07 - Being Intentional

About a year ago I heard a speaker talk about raising godly children. One thing she said was, "Be intentional." That little phrase has stuck with me: be intentional!

I knew I wanted to make sure that I was enjoy each moment, making them count for the future, for God! I don't want to get to my sons' 18th birthdays and feel like it was one big blur! I want to know that I (we) intentionally trained and raised them with a clear vision and purpose!

You can go through life and just let the currents take you when they may, or you can be intentional with each moment of your life.

Be intentional with your walk with God.

Be intentional with your friendships.

Be intentional with how you respect your parents.

Be intentional with how you respect your husband (or future husband).

Be intentional is how you carry yourself.

Be intentional with pointing people to Jesus!

Be intentional about what you eat and how you care for your body.

Be intentional in how you enjoy your life.

Be intentional......

What areas of your life do you need to "be intentional" with?

Friday, December 14, 2007

12/14/07 - Draw Near

James 4:8: Draw near to God and He'll draw near to you.

What does drawing near to God look like in your life today?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

12/13/07 - Christmas Blues

Do you have the Christmas blues? Are you wishing for a family of your own, a family to start your own traditions with? Are you wondering when it will be your turn?

I remember holidays were a hard time of year. I mean, I love Christmas, but it would just make me long for my husband, having kids, and having my own Christmas tree and traditions. I especially struggled with waiting patiently this time of year.

Last night my husband and I were out on a date! I was telling him how I used to get so blue around Christmas. I told him how I always wondered when it was going to be my turn. He said, "Well, it's your turn now!"

Let me encourage you that he was worth the wait. I wish I could say I waited more patiently for him! God's timing is perfect and even though I had some Christmas blues along the way, God showed Himself faithful.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12/12/07 - Good Works

Lately, the discussion of "good works" has come up with a few different friends, church members..etc.

I know there is the idea that if I do enough good things in life, I'll have a ticket into heaven. Or if I am just a good person, that's entrance into the pearly gates!

However, there are no amount of good things we can do to earn a ticket into heaven. We can never be good enough! It's a free gift of God's grace that we are allowed to enter into heaven. It's through the work of the cross.

When you truly understand what Christ did on the cross, you can only help but respond with an intense desire to serve, enjoy, and please God all the days of your life.

If you're struggling with being sold out for God, ask yourself if you really understand your eternal state of being without Christ?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

12/11/07 - Dry Bones

Last night I listened to Nancy Leigh DeMoss give a message about Dry Bones from the book of Ezekiel. If you have a chance to listen to it, I'd recommend it!

What I took from it was how in my own personal life I need daily revival. I need to daily be made new and fresh by God's Word in my life. I want my heart to be soft, open, and willing to hear what He is saying to me.

I want God's Spirit to be so present in my life that my bones never dry, that my life is alive with God's Spirit. I cry out to God for my heart to be so sensitive to Him, that I daily walk in love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control!

I pray you are encouraged today to seek God with a heart open to personal revival!

Monday, December 10, 2007

12/10/07 - Can I find you?

My 2 1/2 year old son, Miles, has realized that he can ask to come and find us in the morning. This last week I've heard each morning, "Mommy, can I come find you?!?"

To my delight I say, "Yes!"

He comes running to our bedroom, jumps in our bed, and proclaims that it is morning.

I just have grown to love that sweet time with Miles in the morning. Of course, Luke yells from his crib to come get him as well! It's been fun family time before the day gets started.

It reminds me of how our Heavenly Father must feel when we take time in the morning to come and find Him. "Lord, can I come find You?!?"

"Of course, come and find me, seek me, and you will find the joy, peace and love you're looking for."

Saturday, December 8, 2007

12/08/09 - Please Pray

I come to my faithful readers and ask you all to pray for my friend's daughter: Morgan Bliss. You can read her story here!

Friday, December 7, 2007

12/07/07 - Are you overflowing?

Colossians 2:6, 7:

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

Are you overflowing with thankfulness?

I read this yesterday that question popped into my head. Am I overflowing? Not always! I let things (selfishness, unmet expectations) steal my thankfulness! I tend to whine and complain about what I am not getting, not focus on what I have: Christ Jesus!

Do you know someone who is always complaining? I do! I think this person just wouldn't be happy unless they are complaining about something! It's very depressing to spend time with this person! I just want to say, "Be thankful for all you have!"

Today as you go about your day, ask yourself if you are overflowing with thankfulness that comes from knowing and being known by Jesus!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

12/06/07 - Matter of the heart

Last night I was reading through part of the sermon on the mount. Such amazing teaching by Jesus!

I read Matthew 5:16:

"...Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Then later in Matthew 6:1 I read:

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."

Reading these reminded me how God desires our actions to come from our heart. He wants our hearts to be right. When are motives are pure, our actions will point people to the Father and not to ourselves.

At times I am asked how you go about becoming emotional intimate without over stepping any inappropriate boundaries. When you ask God for a heart for purity andwhen you are seeking purity, the overflow of your actions will follow. It's a matter of the heart. God wants your heart and motives to please Him and not yourself or others.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

12/05/07 - Snow Globe

I woke up this morning and when I looked out my window it looked like I was living in a snow globe! This photo was taken looking north on the street I live on!
Big, fluffy flakes are falling and everything outside is coated in white. It's a winter wonderland!

All the grass, trees, fences, cars, houses, and bushes are white and beautiful.

I love how a new snowfall makes everything look so clean.

It reminds me of Isaiah 1:18b:

"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."

Thank you Lord for your grace to make our sins as white as a crisp, snowfall!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

12/04/07 - Gossip

Want to know if you're gossiping?

Ask yourself: Would I say this about this person if they were standing here listening?

Let's put an end to gossip in the body of Christ!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

12/03/07 - Hangnail

So over the weekend I had this annoying little hangnail! It was on my thumb and it happened to be in a place I use a lot.

It hurt every time I used it: to do dishes, laundry, cooking, changing diapers, dressing my boys, to type, washing my hands...almost anything I did I felt it!

As I was doing one of my normal activities, and felt the pain of this little obnoxious hangnail, I thought about the body of Christ.

We are all different parts of the body of Christ: arms, eyes, toes, ears, and fingers! We all have different functions and we are all important to the healthy function of the whole body.

You may feel like your luke-warmness in your Christian walk is not really effecting anyone. You may rationalize that just because you're not growing in Christ likeness, is not changing anything.

But each and every one of us has a purpose, from God, to be healthy, growing in Christ likeness part of the body. The body functions at the best we can be, and to be growing closer to God.