Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12/22/10 -God's Will

Lately I've had this thought over and over: The safest place to be is in God's will.

Often I think I have some type of control over the safety of my kids or my husband. Or I believe I am safe if I go here or do this. But really there's only one place I am safe: in God's will!

I have a couple of friends leaving for the mission field in South Africa. As they leave, knowing they are in God's will, I know they will be safe. Being in His will isn't a guarantee of a pain-free life, but it a guarantee of a peace-filled life!

As you have questions about emotional purity, future relationships, or guarding your heart, the safest place for you is in God's will. Learning what His will is and following that is where you'll be the safest!

So yes, being in God's will is the safest place!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12/21/10 - Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS

God has continued to bless us with his GRACE, for which we are so undeserving!

Rest: We were able to take two vacations (one mini) up to the Dells. Vacations are a perfect time to bond as a family, and we were able to make some memories to last a life time!

Academics: This year we continued home schooling and have been able to enjoy watching the boys grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

Couponing: This year can be characterized by a year that we learned the art of “super couponing”. It’s been a fun way to save money!

Every day life is pretty basic. Often at the store when people see we have three boys we hear, “You have your hands full.” Yes, we do, but we wouldn’t want it any other way!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love,

John, Heather, Miles, Luke & Clark

(our Christmas card and letter this year)

Friday, December 17, 2010

12/17/10 - Not so "Merry" Christmas

This time of year there's joyful songs to be played, parties to be attended, gifts to be given, and family to visit, but do you feel this Christmas is not such a "Merry" Christmas?

There are people with deep pain and sorrow this holiday. I think about those who've lost loved ones, who have fractured family relationship, with dashed expectations, and those who have physical pain that plagues them daily.

Smile at a stranger for me and wish them Merry Christmas, you may just be the bright spot of their holiday season!

I am praying for those of you who aren't having such a "Merry" Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

12/13/10 - Time off Facebook

A few weeks ago my husband challenged me to stay off Facebook on Sundays. I am so glad that he did, because I took up his challenge!

Being off Facebook before church, and then afterwards (I do check after the boys go to bed, but am off all day) I have found that I am calmer. Satan was using Facebook to get me upset, annoyed, frustrated, or just unsettled, so I'd go to worship with a heart unprepared to meet with God.

Being off Facebook on Sundays I have found more peace and calm in my heart. My heart is also more prepared for worship. It's been a great tool in giving Sundays to the Lord!

Satan uses a lot of things to take our attention off worship, he's on extra alert on Sundays. What about you, do you find yourself being distracted on Sunday mornings? Are you more likely to be mad at your parents? Your roommate? Your husband? Your wife? Your kids? Do things agitate you more quickly on Sundays before church?

Please share ways you honor God on Sundays!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12/08/10 - Grace that Trains

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age Titus 2:11-12

God grace in our lives is not just the unmerited favor in which we have eternal life, but God's grace trains us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions! With the power of grace in our life we can be self-controlled and live in a God honoring way in this current culture.

It's through God's grace we have the training to live our lives with the message we proclaim.

I am so thankful for God's grace, in so many ways!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12/02/10 - Christmas

As the Christmas holiday is upon us what are some ways that you're trying to stay focused on the meaning of Christmas? What are you doing to remove some of the outside "clutter" and noise of this busy world and staying focused on Christ?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12/01/10 - Lying

Do you lie?

Maybe your first response is, "No, I tell the truth."

But ask yourself:
  • Do I ever exaggerate the truth?
  • When sharing a story do I paint myself in a better light?
  • When sharing a story do I paint another person in a worse light?
  • When filling out forms (taxes, documents, etc) do I always share the correct information?
  • When talking to my parents do I always tell them the things they need to know before make a decision, or do I leave out details in order to get my way?
  • Have I ever covered up part of the story out of shame or guilt?
  • Have I ever told someone, "Sure I got this or that done!" when you really didn't but plan on getting it done?
  • When talking to my mate do I share thing that he or she should know about?
We must be intentional about speaking the truth in all areas of our lives. We must strive towards total honesty with those around us.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11/30/10 - Battling Sin

How do you battle sin? What is your game plan?

If we have no game plan, it makes it harder to fight the sin in our lives, well near impossible!

One thing I learned early on in my walk with God was to use the Word in the battle. Sounds so simple and easy, but what I would do is write on 3x5 cards scripture that applied to whatever sin it was I was struggling with. I'd carry those scriptures with me or post them where I could read them. Then when that sin would rare it's ugly head, I'd pull out those verses, read them, or even just quote them in my mind.

I have found that it is a helpful battle plan in fighting the flesh with in! Most times sin starts in our thought life and if we're thinking and meditating on God's Word we have help in those "rubber meets the road" moments!

(God is promoting me to use this currently as I am learning self-control and selflessness!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

11/29/10 - Self-Control

I've been camped in the book of the book of Titus for the last week or so. Do you know that in chapter 2 there is a description of older men and women and also younger men and women? On those four lists there's only one quality that we all should be striving towards: self-control. (Actually it's the ONLY thing young men should be working on!!)

God is pointing out areas in my life I need to be, think, act, and live out a self-controlled life.

As I've been studying this, I am listening to a past Revive our Heart programs on Titus and really appreciated the day when the topic of what a self-controlled woman looks like, versed a woman who is not self-controlled.

I've have a long way to go to be a self-controlled woman!

Here's the link to that day's program on: Sound Thinking

Friday, November 26, 2010

11/26/10 - Homework

Since getting home from True Woman Fort Worth God laid out some really specific homework for me to work on. I think it may take me a year or more to dig through and study what He has asked, but I am enjoying this homework assignment.

I thought I'd share with you, my reader, so you know what types of things I am processing and learning.

Here was His homework:



3) Basically study any and all materials I can get my hands on that deal with biblical womanhood.
(Here's some of the radio programs I've been listening to: Revive our Hearts)

As I've begun studying the Word and studying other materials, I've seen even more clearly how much the culture has effected my mindset and view of womanhood.

What homework has God given you lately? What's He teaching you? How are you growing? There's almost nothing that's more powerful that the testimony of a changed life!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11/24/10 - My Testimony (Part 5)


In August 1996 I moved to Colorado and began my year long ministry at Doulos. There I was saturated in God's Word and had amazing fellowship with some even more amazing women. God was growing me, changing me, teaching me new things, and taking off some rough edges.

As I walked through that year I remember thinking how it was such a tough year...but really it was just practice for life!

One of the biggest lessons I learned that year was selflessness. Of course, I've not mastered this or even come close, but living with 20 other people you can't be satisfied and selfish! They don't go hand and hand!

At the end of my commitment I tried to get a job at Focus on the Family, but that fell through. My dad had asked me to move home to be free for ministry. I was bummed! A job at Focus on the Family seemed like a much better adventure than life with my parents.

But, God opened no doors in Colorado, so I moved back home. I had about $1,200 in credit card debt, so I took a job as a substitute teacher and gave my schedule to the Lord. I am thankful for those couple of years because they were years of study and preparation for what the Lord had for me.

In 1999 me and my two sisters were asked to run a motel in a tourist town about 45 minutes from our home. So for a year the three of us operated this motel owned by Trinity University. It was there that I began writing Emotional Purity and if you're interested in that story, I've written about that as well! Click HERE.

After our year commitment there was over, I focused fully on my book and in 2001 it was published. For about 2 years I did traveling and speaking. Then in 2003 I got married.

Since that time I've had three boys and life has taken on a whole new purpose. Being a mom is a wonderful, challenging season of life. But through it all God has continued to grow me and prune me. He's used my husband in a powerful way to smooth some of my rough edges. As a couple we continue to grow closer to God and closer to each other.

Over the past couple of years God has used Revive our Hearts to prod me to deeper levels of surrender and obedience. In more ways that I can recount, I've been challenged to let go of selfishness, stubbornness, the need to be justified to others, and pride. He's made me more honest, living with "the roof off with God and the walls down with others". He's brought people into my life to grow me and spur me on and of course He's used my marriage and relationship with John to fashion me even more to His likeness.

The longer I walk closely with God the more detailed His chisels becomes. He refines, challenges, grows, and never leaves us stuck (as long as we're willing and open to growth). At times it's painful and slow, but there's no short cuts to a deep meaningful walk with God.

My prayer is that my testimony was an encouragement to you. Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

11/23/10 - My Testimony (Part 4)


In the fall of 1995 I was a senior at the University of Illinois. I was a resident advisor in a dorm and God had revived my heart that summer.

God brought some strong Christian women to support me and help me in my growth as a believer. I also got involved in Campus Crusade that fall and have many wonderful memories of how God used that ministry to draw me closer to Him.

In the first couple weeks back to school, I remember sitting in my room, praying. I asked the Lord if I could do some type of ministry after college, but, and I clearly remember saying, "I only think I can handle a year of ministry Lord." My prayer also was that I would live with other Christians and work with troubled teens.

About a day or two later my mom called me, "Heather, I was in the car and I heard this man on the radio talk about this ministry in Colorado called Doulos. It's a year long, post college ministry, where you'd live with other post college grads and work with troubled teens."

I was speechless! She must have called about lunch time because I remember having lunch with two friends and I said, "Looks like I am moving to Colorado next year."

Sure enough, I did spend a year in Colorado in a ministry, living with other Christian men and women, working with some amazing "troubled" teens. (It's been fun to reconnect with many of them via Facebook and see how their lives turned out!)

But back to my senior year and the impact of Campus Crusade in my growth. At Christmas I drove to Indy for their Christmas conference. The only speaker I remember is Kay Arthur. Of course she taught on the message of really knowing God's word. That was powerful!

I also remember praying for my husband for the first time at the conference. (To read that story, check out how I met and fell in love with John) So there are some very fond memories, that are close to my heart from that year and my involvement in Cru.

As I reflect on that year the Lord began to peel away layers. He convicted me of gossip, which was a rather large problem in my life. I loved having a juicy story to share!

He also started to point out times that I would exaggerate the truth to sensationalize a story. I remember some painful, tearful confessions to friends.

These are just a couple of those major changes the Lord made in my life that year. I didn't have victory over these that year, but it was an on going process of letting the Lord revive and change my heart.


Monday, November 22, 2010

11/22/10 - My Testimony (Part 3)


One of the reasons I was promoted to write my testimony was through reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book: Brokenness. In her book she shares about the Campus Crusade Revival that took place in the summer of 1995. (I believe I found the link of her talk on youtube. Here's the first part of that talk: Brokenness)

I had never heard of this revival and until last week, was unaware of how this revival indirectly effected me!

During my junior year of college, at the University of Illinois, I had been living my life for myself. I made poor choices and was not close to God at all during this season. In the summer of 1995 I was at a breaking point, but I didn't realize it.

I spent that summer living at the campus taking summer classes, but on one visit home my sisters and friend went to a party. At this party I had a few drinks and by the time I got back to my parents house I was drunk. When we pulled into the driveway a deep sense of reality hit!

Getting out of the car, I didn't want to go into my parents home. What a shameful, disgrace to my parents. They raised me to know better!

I sat next to my parents garage, unable to face the embarrassment of walking into their home drunk.

I began to sob. The reality of how I had been living my life hit me.

In that moment I heard God, no I didn't hear Him audibly, but He asked me loud and clear: Heather, you need to decide are you going to be hot or cold. Choose now or I will spit you out of my mouth. (Yes, I knew the Word and God used it to convict me deeply!)

Oh the very thought of God "spitting" me from His mouth broke my heart.

The next morning we went to church and there was little graphic in the church bulletin that said, "Draw near to Me" from the book of James. I knew God was speaking to me, He hadn't moved, I had, and I needed to draw near to Him.

I went back to campus that afternoon and in my room that night I sobbed my confessions to the Lord. I asked for His forgivingness and I called my parents and confessed how I had been living my life.

I was washed anew! Praise be to God, my heart had been revived!

It was that point forward I devoured God's Word, I couldn't get enough. My heart was falling in love with God in a brand new way!

When the fall semester started back up, I got involved in Campus Crusade. Little did I know the staff had been part of a revival just about the same time God revived my heart!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

11/20/10 - My Testimony (Part 2)


For the few years after we left the church I grew up in, we jumped around trying to figure out and process the events that lead up to our ex-communication.

We home churched, we went to a very liberal church, we went to a bible church, we got to know other home school families, and we spent time digging deeper into God's Word.

Throughout this time, I do believe I was growing in my walk and relationship with God.

My first two years of college I went to a local community college and lived at home. I was involved in Student Senate, but wasn't involved in any sort of bible fellowship with other college students.

Because of my involvement in student government I met a guy, Tom (not his real name). Tom was from the town where I was moving and we became friends. Tom was good looking, nice, friendly, and a bit of a partier. When I finally moved to the University of Illinois I had become close to Tom and his family.

I in no way blame him for any of my poor choices those first 10 months of college, but I put full blame on myself and my silly need for peer approval. I wanted a relationship with him, so I went where he went and did what he did. (Oh ladies it's so not worth compromising anything to gain that peer approval.)

Those first 10 month of college I did party, drink and on two occasions tried recreational drugs...oh this is so embarrassing to write, how I want to delete this! But I can't delete my life...or this season of my life.

Throughout this time I continued to go to church, but I was not reading God's Word and had no growth in my spiritual life. I was living two different lives: party girl and church girl! Those two do not go hand in hand...but I tried!

God did spare me though. Oh I praise Him for His grace in my life. I remained physically pure even though I had placed myself in situations that could have been very dangerous. Actually although Tom and I had talked about having a relationship at some point in the far future, we never even kissed. We actually never became an official couple, but stayed in the stage of friends through out that year. (I am still friends with Tom and love him in a very deep brotherly love way!)

In the summer of 1995 God was about to ask me a very important question! His question radical altered my life!

To be continued on Monday....

Friday, November 19, 2010

11/19/10 - My Testimony (Part 1)

This week I devoured Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book: Brokenness.

As I read, I thought of my own road of brokenness, and my own personal testimony. I shared with my husband some of my thoughts and realized I was living in fear. Fear of people knowing my whole story, fear of having people think less of me if they knew of my "season of rebellion" in college, and fear of having someone else share my past.

So through God's grace, I've decided to dedicate a few days on my blog to share my own personal testimony. May God receive all the glory and may others see the power of brokenness before the Lord and others.

My parents Arne and Julie were married August 28, 1971. In 3 years and 2 months they had three girls! I was born on October 9, 1974 in Hartsell, Alabama. My parents moved a lot and before I got married I had moved 14 times! (I've lived in Alabama, Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Wisconsin.)

I have very sweet memories of my childhood. My parents were kids themselves and I actually remember my mom's 30's birthday! Crazy! (I didn't even have kids till after I was 30!) The first time I went to church I was 5 days old!

Growing up I went to church three times a week, Sunday morning and night, and Wednesday night. I grew up in a church that was very legalistic. Rules were the means of pleasing God. There wasn't much room for God's grace and there was little to no mention of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In 1985, while living in Texas, we met some other home school families and we saw a love for Christ that was new to us. My parents started really questioning the balance of God's truth and grace. (When you are only taught one of those truths you will be out of balance.)

Although the church was unbalanced on preaching truth and grace, I grew up in a church that encouraged bible study. They encouraged you to know God's Word and to really study the Word. I am so thankful I grew up with a foundation of His Word!

On May 25, 1986 I remember the first time I felt the promoting of the Holy Spirit. I didn't know it at the time, but I clearly remember being promoted to respond to the alter call that Sunday morning and become baptized. My dad baptized me and that was the time I do feel like I began to understand the Holy Spirit in my life.

Shortly after that, our entire family was ex-communicated from the church I grew up in because we would no long agree that it was the rules that saved you, but it was only God's grace! At 14 it was tough to lose all my friends and the church family I had known since birth.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/18/10 - Consciousness Raising

In the 60’s feminists used a process of “consciousness raising” to gather women together, talk about their problems, and stir a rebel against men or the establishment. Their goal was to make women feel connected to other women in their issues or problems.

As Mary Kassian put it on her blog: “40 years ago Chicago had hosted another “first”: the first-ever national Women’s Liberation Conference. Speakers challenged the 200 women in attendance to use the “radical weapon” of Consciousness Raising to spread bitterness and incite women to rebel.”

So the early feminist used consciousness raising as a way to gather women together to rebel. They'd assemble a small group of women and begin to complain about men and the oppression they felt. They’d complain about how unhappy they were “just” being moms, wives or second class to men in the workplace. They’d stir other women up and get them to be angry and upset along side of them. Then a woman who wasn’t really upset or unhappy would become unhappy with her life. (Here’s Wikipedia’s take on Consciousness Raising)

Since I first became aware of this tool: “consciousness raising” I hadn’t thought too much about it, other than it did work in the movement of the feminists. I mean think about it, through these C.R. groups an entire generation of women radically altered the culture we live in!

But lately I can’t help but think that consciousness raising is still taking place among women and not just in the feminist movement, but in our churches.

Women are created for fellowship and we long to be in community and I believe God created us this way. So we can easily fall pry to this dangerous outcome of fellowship.

We must ask ourselves some tough questions about our fellowship with each other and if we are stirring each other up towards godliness or selfishness.

When we get together with other women, are we prone to complain about our life, our children, our husband, our state of singleness, or our unbearable circumstances? Our complaining can lead to others complaining. Then we don’t feel so alone or isolated. We feel justified! Justified to be upset! Justified to be self centered!

If our goal in fellowship with sisters in Christ is to feel justified in sin, to look for affirmation in others rather than God, and if we’re not pointing each other to the Lord, then is what we’re doing any different than consciousness raising of the 60’s?

There is nothing wrong with sharing our burdens or concerns with our friends, but our aim in relationships is to be mutually building each other up, encouraging each other, and pointing each other towards Christ.

A fellow mom told me recently that she felt convicted after a play date with another mom. She said, “We spent the whole time complaining about our different situations and after that time together I felt worse.” She explained how she wrote her friend a note, asking to be forgiven for not bring them both to God’s Word and seeking His counsel together. This realization helped her see how easily you can fall pry to the consciousness raising of the early feminists.

As the writer of Hebrews says: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (10:24-25)

Let us be women of love, good works and encouragement!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11/17/10 - Simplify


Last week I bought a sign that says: Simplify. I hung it in my kitchen as a reminder to live intentionally simple!

After hanging up the sign my husband asked me, "What does 'simplify' mean to you?"

"To me living a simplified life is to leave room for God's to work and move in our lives. It's keeping our home, our calendar, and our minds clutter free in order to hear God's voice and His will for us." was my reply.

He initially thought that the sign meant I wanted to de-clutter my house. Sure, part of living a simplified life is having a clutter free home with just the basics, but more than that, it is leaving margins in my life so I can think, function, and hear God's prompting.

Friends, this takes intentionality! The world is SCREAMING at us: go here, do this, sign your kids up for this, be involved in this, run this ministry, send this, move here, go...go...go! It's spinning and we can so easily be caught up in this vortex of craziness!

Giving God control of our calendar can be saying, "No" to things, to leave room for those things God wants us to really do.

At True Woman Ft. Worth, Holly Elliff said, during the panel discussion: "We're so busy doing things God hasn't called us to do, we have no time for what He does want us to do."


Saturday, November 13, 2010

11/13/10 - Extreme

Someone can hear a message like emotional purity and take it to the extreme. When I hear stories of controlling parents or young girls who fear even having a conversation with a young man at the risk of "giving her heart away", I cringe!

We're not to operate out of fear or extremes, but a moderate, balanced life, where you see truth and grace as a perfect blend.

Anytime someone is extreme on one end or the other: only fear, failure, blame, insecurity, legalism, and bondage will follow!

Friday, November 12, 2010

11/12/10 - Jesus Draw me Nearer

I've been listening to this song, over and over this week: Jesus Draw me Nearer

Maybe it will minister to your heart, the way it has mine!

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

11/10/10 - Useless and Unfruitful

I've been spending a lot of time in 2 Peter 1:1-11.

This morning I was struck with this thought: If I don't exhibit and increase in: faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love, I will be (that's a promise there) useless and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus.

Wow!

Now to just work on that list! There's a life time challenge! ;-) So thankful for grace!

Monday, November 8, 2010

11/08/10 - Marks of a Godly, Mature Woman

I've asked God for many years to impress upon my heart the marks of a godly, mature Christian woman. I do so long to grow in my faith and not remain stuck at any level along the way. Lately some of the puzzle pieces are coming together.

There are four qualities that I believe are a mark of a godly, mature woman:

1) Wisdom
A Godly woman has pearls of biblical wisdom that pour fourth. All of her advice is filter through the wisdom of God. She uses the Word in all circumstances and issues of life.

2) Knowledge
A Godly woman knows God's Word. She knows it! She's studied it and she spends time in God's Word. Not only does she know the Word, but she loves God's Word.

3) Instruction
A Godly woman is able to receive correction and disciple with grace and thanksgiving. She sees Gods correction as a beautiful gift of purification and protection.

4) Self-Control
A Godly woman doesn't act on impulse, but is controlled in her words and actions. She also is able to control her thoughts and bring them captive to God's thoughts.

How I long to grow in these four areas of my life!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11/06/10 - Keeping Up

We've all heard the phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses". Who are these Joneses we trying to keep up with and impress, anyway!?!

All too often we compare ourselves to those around us wish we had what they had or we try to maintain their level of living.

Of course this breaks one of the 10 commandments, "Thou shall not covet". But why is it so easy?

Our hearts long to be satisfied and at times the world looks very appealing. It pulls for our attention and demands we pay attention to it! If we're not keeping our hearts "tethered" (as Nancy Leigh DeMoss has said) to God's word, we'll find ourselves tossed to and fro when issues, attitudes, and desires crop up.

Looking at other's standard of living can be very dangerous. Recently I was reminded how often we see what people have, how they live, the vacations they take, what clothes they buy, and how they spend their money and what we don't realize is that they are not living with in their means. They are deep in credit card debt, they have stress in their marriage over money, they fight and argue about the bills, and all the stuff they have and doesn't replace the peace that comes with being good stewards of their money.

So often don't get to see that back story.

So we long after a mirage, a false picture of what money buys. Actually, even if they are living well within their means, stuff doesn't really satisfy those deep longings that a relationship with God can buy.

Stop and ask God to show you areas of your heart where your comparing yourself to someone and trying to keep up. The ask how that striving is keeping your heart discontent.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

11/04/10 - The Art of Marriage

Maybe God has put Christian marriages on your heart. Maybe you'd love to do something in your local church about this burden.

Check out this link: The Art Of Marriage

Family Life today has put together videos that can be used as a Friday/Saturday workshop in YOUR church! Hosted by you or your pastor!

They are launching the video's on Feb. 11, 2010 and hoping many churches offer workshops that very weekend!

Pray, see if God is leading you to host this event at your church!

I've been praying, just waiting, and trying to not be too impulsive! ;-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

11/02/10 - Compassion

I will be first to admit I am not, by nature, a compassionate person. I always admire those who just over flow with compassion. This, Christ-like character is one I long for in my own life.

Sunday, in church, we sat towards the back of our large sanctuary and as I looked around I saw a couple who's son has asked to have no contact with them, I saw a young mom who is struggling with some deep in-law issues, another woman who caught my eye has just recently lost her mom, and finally another lady recently lost her young nephew.

My heart was overcome with compassion and these were just four stories of 100's in that room that day. I realized when God looks at His people He sees our deepest hurts, pains, needs, and sorrow.

How His heart must ache for us as He longs for us to place all our needs and pains in His almighty hand.

How I pray that we each look through the compassion of Christ as we look at our fellow brothers and sister in the Lord. I say this to myself as much as anyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

11/01/10 - Crawford Loritts

The first message at True Woman Fort Worth was from Crawford Loritts.

I've been processing his message and have listened to it three times actually. Even the third time listening, there was new insights, so if I kept listening I am sure new things would jump out at me. His message was: What in the World Do You Want?

Dr. Loritts unpacks worldliness for us in his message using the verses 1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

He points out that worldliness is a heart attachment, it's loving anything of this world the way we were created to love God. It's looking for this world to love us the way that only God can love us.

We pervert God's love when we look to other things to give us the type of love that only can come from our Father.

He clearly points out that "worldliness is a celebration of self".

He makes plain our need to go vertical for our definition and horizontal for impact. He challenges us to stay engaged in our world and in our culture, but wear our spiritual protection!

If you have a chance to read or listen, I hope you take the time.

I will continue to work through each of the True Woman messages in the days and weeks to come!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

10/31/10 - I'm a wimp!

Yes, I'll admit I am a wimp when it comes to the stomach flu!

Thursday I woke up feeling blah, but I thought it was because I had a short night of sleep. Well, that blah got worse and worse. So for three days I was down with the stomach flu...no fun!

Having the flu brings out my wimpy side indeed. I just wanted to cry, I wanted to crawl in bed and not come out! I wanted to be pampered! But I had no choice, I had to be mom! I had to make meals, do laundry, and just push through my own sickness (of course my house needed a lot of attention today and more tomorrow).

Again, motherhood is not for the faint of heart or the selfish of heart.

I've said this before and I'll say it again: if you want to be preparing to be a wife and a mom, practice being selfless!!!! Then practice some more! And then practice some more!

Purging as much selfishness from your attitude before marriage will make your marriage and motherhood way more satisfying! The more selfish you are, the more you'll be miserable! (and make those you live with miserable!)

I'm back to myself today thankful for my health!

Friday, October 29, 2010

10/29/10 - Trees/Wind/Life Lesson

I love when God shows up in the strangest of situations!

On Tuesday afternoon we experienced a lot of wind, up to 60 mph wind.

About 11:30 I was on the phone with my mom when all my power went out. I walked into my kitchen, looked out my back window, and discovered a large branch in our backyard cracked off the tree and pulled some wires loose.

Let me tell you something about my backyard. Last fall we took down three huge, over grown, sap producing pine trees. They were tall and towered over the one tree we left. We knew that taking down those three trees, left this one tree a bit exposed, so it didn't surprise us when a large branch cracked off.

This lonely tree lost it's protection from the wind. It lost it's support and was unable to stand alone against the harsh winds.

It's like us, we need strong friends to help us was through life. We need godly influences in our life, as protection. We need each other. We need accountability. We need protection. Yes we, like our trees, need each other in life's wind storms.

When we are not created to stand alone, this is why God gave us each other.

Are you like my lonely tree? Do you have no godly influences and friends in your life? If so, you may find standing up for God's principles a bit more difficult when the winds of our culture blow at very fast speeds.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10/28/10 - Two Sides

Do you really believe there's two sides to every story? Have you ever believed one side of a story and then later found out the other side? Maybe once you heard the other side, you realized that having all the facts painted a better picture of what was really going on.

Growing up my parents always taught me to let God defend me, let Him "battle" for me in one-sided storied. It's not very easy waiting for God to defend me, but He always does. In some areas it's taken 15 plus years to be defended....but it's worth the wait. I don't sell my character or reputation to prove I am right. I keep a clear conscience and trust God to take care of the rest.

I guess this is the reason I have a passion to always hear both sides of the story. How about you? When someone shares something with you are you quick to side with them alone without getting all the facts?

Do your homework, gather all the facts, and avoid being critical or judgmental of someone until you know the entire story!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/27/10 - Emotional Imtimacy in Marriage

Again today I was reminded of the importance of fostering emotional intimacy in your marriage.

Before I got married, I thought that: once married, I'd not lose that emotional closeness with my mate. But I realized, very quickly, that remaining emotional intimate with each other was going to take two things: intentionality and a commitment to our friendship.

Fostering a relationship and friendship with anyone takes time, but with your mate it's a bit easy to become complacent. So you start taking little turns away from each other.

Then 15 years later you look at your mate and it's like looking at a stranger. One may ask, "How did we get here?"

In most cases it wasn't a giant step away from your mate, but millions of little times you slowly turned your heart away. This can happen without even realizing it.

John and I have tried to put some things in place to remain emotionally intimate.

1) We have regular date nights. Now often times this happens in our home, after the boys go to bed. We'll set aside a night, shut down the computer, turn off the phones, and have a date right here at home. Of course, we do get to go out, but at home dates nights are easier in this season of life.

2) We communicate with each other, yes we talk. And we don't just talk about work or the kids, we talk about life, what we're thinking, how we're growing, what we're processing through, and everything in between. We don't let anger foster or grow, we nip it when it happens.

3) When we have our date nights we have a rule: we are not allowed to talk about the kids. The first time we ever left our oldest for a date we said, "Let's not talk about Miles at all." We didn't realize at the time how important that would be, but over the years I look forward to non-kid talk with my hubby.

4) We both feel that a happy, satisfied marriage will take two people completely selfless! Oh so true! When John's looking out for me and I'm looking out for him....it's a wonderful thing.

5) We prayer often for God to protect our marriage. We pray for a hedge of protection around us and we ask God to revel any area we're not safe guarding our marriage. This really is the most important thing we can do!

How about you married ladies...what do you do to foster emotional closeness in your marriage?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10/26/10 - Question

I received this comment in my blog post about being "Luke Warm":

"I feel like the "church" is full of ungodly people and are the leaven that God speaks of in 1Corinthians 5:6 and 5:9. It corrupts the whole conception of faith that misleads whole churches. I believe we are living in "strange" times but God is always working and never sleeps. He is shaking our "church" group and sifting out who is not His at the moment. It has been a strong "revival" and the experience has been painful but is building faith in those who are truly His!! I wonder what you believe about the people who claim to be God's people? Do you think that there are few on this narrow road and not the masses that claim they "believe" in Christ? I would like to hear your honest views on this. I can appreciate the topic of emotional purity since I have seen so much destruction due to the lack of it."

I am thankful for what God is doing in your local church and how my heart cries for this movement of His Spirit in the entire body of Christ, but we do see many christians that are complacent. We see in Isaiah 32:9-15 a call to "rise up complacent ones".

To be honest with you, I've spent too much of my adult life frustrated and annoyed at complacent Christians. People who honor God with their mouths, but not their lives. Who attend church on Sunday, but are just as ungodly as the culture around them.

Lately God is impressing on my heart a need to stop judging, stop being critical or annoyed, shut my mouth, and to just live out loud. Make sure the "roof is off with God, walls down with people" (Nancy DeMoss). To not fear what others think when God calls me to radical obedience and trust that those who are thirsty, will seek to purge sin and disobedience from their life.

And most importantly I feel a deep passion to pray earnestly for God's Spirit of revival to breath across His Body!

When a watch world seeing the joy that comes from a fully surrendered life to our Holy God, they will see the power of the cross and my prayer is that God will use whatever means He chooses to encourage others to seek to say, "Yes, Lord" to every area, thought, and action!

Revive our Hearts had a radio program about this issue on Oct. 6th, here's a LINK

Thanks again for your comment!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10/24/10 - Impulsive

God's been impressing upon my heart the importance of patience. Not just with my kids, but being patient vs. being impulsive.

There are times I get an idea or a thought, often noble and some sort of God honoring pursuit, and I run with it, creating dust in my path. Leaving no time for prayer and contemplation.

But the Lord is showing me to be a bit more prayerful and less impulsive. Wait and pray, seek Him before I make quick decisions, and make sure I am indeed doing what He's called me to do.

Learning self-control, learning to walk in line with the Spirit...yup, it's all apart of the process!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

10/23/10 - Obedience

Last week in bible study the topic was "obedience".

Here were some of my thoughts:

  • Obedience equals death to self, living for Christ and you have an absents of selfish tendencies
  • Obedience is letting God's "flashlight" flash into every area of our life, our thoughts, our motives, and our actions.
  • With obedience we have a purer view of God. Disobedience clouds our spiritual filter.
  • Obedience shows a heart that understand it's position under God's authority.

I have a lot to chew on and process myself.

How about you? What does obedience mean to you?

Friday, October 22, 2010

10/22/10 - Pre Conference

I had the privilege of attending the pre-conference of True Woman Fort Worth. This was a 4 hour session for women's ministry leaders, pastor's wives, bible study leaders, and for women who mentor other women.

The night before I left, about 6:30 pm, our door bell rang. It was a girlfriend from church, in tears over a situation that was tearing her up inside. We sat and talk for about an hour and work through some possible next steps in her situation.

As I sat in the pre-conference, I felt a little out of place. I am not a women's ministry leader or pastor's wife. I am currently leading a bible study, but it's been years since my last one. So I was feeling, "I don't belong?"

Then one of the speakers said, "Do women come to you for counseling? Then this session is for you." It was almost as if she was answering my question!

These bullets points are straight from my notes. These were some of what jumped out at me. Again this was for ministry leaders, but as we all grow towards becoming godly older women, we should desire these things in our own lives! Not only in our life, but in our relationships with other women.
  • The world's message is not fuzzy, we must not be fuzzy in our message of biblical womanhood.
  • The end goal of women's ministries is to: grow women like Christ and help women biblically navigate through life issues. It should be: word driven, Christ centered, Gospel drenched, spirit empowered, personally modeled, love motivated, servant hearted, prayer saturated, faith based and joy exuding.
  • Whatever is contagious in our life will be caught.
  • Share with other women out of your "hall of shame". Being authentic and transparency takes risks.
  • Most women were not mothered themselves.
  • Have prayer partners
  • Keep growing in our faith
  • Get relevant - never change the message, but methods
  • Don't waste your time on things not Word driven.
  • Do the most critical things first.
  • How do I live my life as a biblical woman?
  • Have a solid doctrinal foundation.
  • Actively teach biblical principles of womanhood.
  • Ask myself: am I being a life giver or a life taker in all situations.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

10/21/10 - Take aways

Not only was I impacted to be a woman of the word and have God-priorities, I also have had some other "take aways".

After going to True Woman 2008, I felt this passion to share this message with everyone I knew. I had a passion to host a True Woman event in my community. I wanted others to catch the vision of biblical womanhood. I wanted to share and grow this movement.

But, as I sat through the amazing sessions at True Woman 2010 in Fort Worth, I realized I had wasted much of the last two years try to do something God wasn't opening doors to do.

At every turn I ran into a brick wall. I got frustrated, annoyed with others around me, and felt a bit lonely.

I missed out on something...I missed out on spending 2 years in becoming a True Woman myself.

Oh sure I study God's word and I go to church. I honor and submit to my authority and my hearts desire is to grow into a godly old lady! But I spent way too much emotional and spiritual energy looking at people around me and not allowing God to change my heart. (It was a little humbling...which was good...just ouch, ya know!)

So, I will share the messages and my notes from TW '10, but God has given me some homework assignments. My energy is going to be in digging deeper, sharing as the doors get opened, and not expecting that I can really do anything for God!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10/20/10 - Luke Warm

The other day I wrote this as a Facebook status:

"We are living in times where we can not straddle the fence of faith. We must choose our side, we must stand our ground, we must decide what we believe and live it out. We have no choice! We must live out loud and if we choose the side of faith, grace and truth, we must not fear what others think. We don't have time to play games with our Christianity!"

I was taken to the verse in Revelation 3:15-16: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

After a conversation with a friend I was thinking of this verse. In college I had a short time of rebellion to the Lord. Thankfully it was a short season, but it was this verse that the Lord used to pull me back to His side.

I was straddling the fence. I was in church on Sunday, with a heart that was just going through the motion. I was living for my own wants and for the approval of man.

One night the Lord promoted me with this verse. The word "spit" literaly means: vomit. How I didn't want God to vomit me out of His mouth. That night I choose, I choose to live my faith out loud and to not fear.

We are living in strange times (of course much of mankind has felt that at one point or another), but I strongly believe, with all my heart, that believers needs to show a watching world the life changing joy of knowing God. Joy in trials, joy in pain, joy in whatever comes your way.

One way of getting that joy is to immerse yourself in God's word, study it, know it, memorize it. We're in a battle and you must choose what side you're on: God's side or the worlds side. Otherwise you will be vomited out of God's mouth!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10/19/10 - True Woman 2008

If you never have read my blog from the True Woman 2008 conference, I'd love for you to take time and read the 7 parts of my experience at True Woman 2008.

Now, if you want, you can watch each of the speakers yourself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

10/18/10 - Word and Priorities

This past weekend there were two words that I felt kept coming up over and over: word and priorities.

My heart was challenged over and over to dig deeper into God's word.

As a mom I often share with single women that when I was single I had hours to feast on God's word and now I do a lot of nibbling. Yes, as a mom I am busy, but that's not an excuse to not grow in my knowledge and study of the bible. I just have to have right priorities!

So word and priorities were two themes for the weekend.

I have time to study God's word, however my priorities are not always in line with God's priorities, so I make excuses! (I love God's gentle hand of correction!)

Holly Elliff, mother of 8 and a pastor's wife said, "Often women do what we're not called to do, so we're too tired to what we are called to do."

I am called to know God's word, to actively grown in knowing God's word more, to let His word change my mindset and life. I am also called to pass this on to my sons. It's a high calling and this weekend was yet another amazing reminder of what God has for me in this season of my life!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

10/17/10 - Post True Woman

After a wonderful weekend with other like minded women at True Woman, I'm home and today has been a bit of a reflective, quiet day.

Two of my sons complained of either a tummy ache or a sore throat. So I stayed home from church and just cuddled my boys.

I'm thinking of a few new things for the blog and would love to get some feed back.

Mary Kassian has written a new book: Girls Gone Wise There's 20 points of a "girl gone wise" to the "girl gone wild."

Also True Woman will be posting videos of all their main sessions.

So I am thinking...out loud here...of using "Girls Gone Wise" as a bible study for us to go through. Each week, I'll post my thoughts, Mary's video from her blog, and other insights about that week's chapter. I would hope that you'd buy a copy of Mary's book to read along and share what God is teaching you. What do you think?

I am also planning on sharing each of the session I attended. There was some great info and in 2008 I shared my notes. I think I'll wait till all the videos are up on the True Woman website.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10/13/10 - True Woman Ft. Worth

Tomorrow I am leaving for Ft. Worth! Can't believe how God worked it out for me to go, but I am thankful!

True Woman is an amazing conference and if the staff at True Woman blogs, tweets, and posts on their Facebook wall, as much as the did at TW Indy, you can follow my journey this weekend!

Here's all the links:
True Woman Facebook Movement
True Woman Blog
True Woman Twitter

I may also be twittering, just depending. I don't want my updates to get in the way of what God has for me!

Please be in prayer for this conference! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10/06/10 - Early in the morning

Lately two of my boys have been getting me up about 5 am. At first I was annoyed and had the worst attitude towards them...how dare they get me up so early!

But as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months of being up this early, I've discovered that, although two of them are up, my house is quiet, my heart is quiet, and starting my day with two boys running around, the bible in my lap, and a cup of coffee is my hand...is a great way to start my day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

10/01/10 - Holiness

Do you feel like your holiness effects anyone?

Maybe you think your secret sin isn't really causing anyone else problems, so you'll just keep it there, locked away?

How can the body of Christ not be effected by personal hidden sin? We're all the body of Christ and this is why humility, grace, revival, and honesty must be apart of our walk with fellow believers.

You know when you have a small hangnail on your toe and it effects how you walk because of the small pain. Well a day or two of walking "funny" your legs hurt, your back aches, and you feel out of sorts.

Yes, your little sin may be "small", but it does effect the entire Body! May we be open, honest, and transparent so our hidden sins don't effect the Church!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

09/30/10 - Girls Gone Wise

I am excited about Mary Kassian's book: Girls Gone Wise

On her youtube channel she has about 19 book blog spots!

Here's the link to the first one!

We all have a bit of wildness in our hearts and Mary has a way of shining the light to that wildness! May we become women of wisdom!

Friday, September 24, 2010

09/24/10 - Last day to enter

Tonight I will draw a name for two tickets to True Woman Fort Worth Convention Oct. 14th to the 16th.

This week I've highlighted some of the unique aspects of the True Woman conference. And there's so much more I could have shared. Currently True Woman Indy is taking place and last night I keep glued to my computer for updates and photos of the night on True Woman Movement Facebook page. I also was getting twitter updates on my cell phone.

Just watching from cyber space my heart was overjoyed at what the Lord was doing. I prayed for those there and for the speakers. Much fruit will come from these conferences.

So join me...that's right, I'll be there, in Fort Worth Oct. 14th to 16th. Add a comment and you'll be entered to win two entrance tickets to the convention (this doesn't include lodging and transportation) and also you'll win an autographed copy of my book and it will be delivered in person.

Enjoy this video of True Woman Chattanooga

Thursday, September 23, 2010

09/23/10 - Best of True Woman 2008

"Best of True Woman 2008" is hard to pin point because the entire conference was top of the line and very encouraging in my journey to biblical womanhood.

But, one of my favorite talks (and one I've listened to a handful of times since then) was by Mary Kassian "We've Come a Long Way Baby".

It was through this talk that I realized how much feminism has torn at the fabric of our culture and how, like the air I breath, it has filtered it's way into my life. It's powerful to break down the heart of feminism and to see the core of what it really is.

Mary Kassian (YIPPEE) will be at Fort Worth True Woman and if you want to win two tickets to the entrance of the conference (doesn't include transportation and lodging) then leave a comment.

Also, I will be at the Fort Worth True Woman conference and you'll also win an autographed copy of my book, delivered in person!

The drawing will be tomorrow (Friday) at 9 pm central time!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

09/22/10 - Teen Track at True Woman

True Woman is not just for older women! You can bring your teen or pre-teen to the Teen Track hosted by Dannah Gresh!

Here's a video to give you a bit of Dannah!

Again if you want to win two tickets to True Woman in Fort Worth Oct. 14th to 16th leave a comment!!

(Guess what...I'll be there!!! So not only will you win two tickets, but you will win an autographed copy of my book that will be hand delivered!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

09/21/10 - Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Invitation

Here's an invitation from Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Don't Miss this Historic Gathering

She gives you information on some of the aspects of this conference!

Again, to enter to win 2 tickets for Ft. Worth True Woman, please leave a comment and I'll draw a name on Friday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

09/20/10 - True Woman Giveaway

After a week away on vacation, I am back and have a special announcement to make!

In 2008 I went to a conference called: True Woman, which is a ministry of Revive our Hearts. This conference was top of the line, with speakers such as John Piper, Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This is one of those "must go to" conferences!

True Woman is hosting a conference in Ft. Worth, Texas October 14th to the 16th and have asked me to give away two tickets (a value of $129 a piece) to one winner!

Here's how you enter to win:

This week, each day, I'll blog about this conference. I'll share some of the speakers and some videos.

All you have to do is post a comment! I will write every name down and at the end of the week, Friday night, I will draw a name for two tickets.

These tickets are for entrance into the conference, not transportation or lodging.

Have fun and I know that the person God wants to go, will be picked! Can't wait to see who it is!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

09/08/10 - Honesty

All of these quotes are from "Seeking Him" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom, week 3.

"Honesty is liberating" pg 52

"We don't have to be trained how to hide or pretend - it comes naturally." pg 45

"God cannot bless or revive a heart that refuses to acknowledge the truth." pg 45

"The devil has successfully taught us that lying will produce some benefit...We will be more respected, more appreciated, live more comfortably if we just cover the truth. At all costs, we must never admit who we really are ('Think of how it would ruin our reputation')" pg 54

"Honesty about our sin opens the door for us to experience God's amazing grace" pg 53

"The longer we live a lie, the harder it is to come clean." pg 54

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

08/31/10 - Random Thoughts

Here's some of my random thoughts lately:

* If you speak the truth, in love, you'll either be loved or hated.

* We can become so blinded by our own lies that it's near impossible to see the truth.

* We need to look at our sin through the back drop of who God is and His word.

Friday, August 27, 2010

08/27/10 - Boundaries

Nancy Leigh DeMoss doesn't mince words! Her and Mary Kassian have a frank discussion about boundaries for married and single women!

Please listen: The Value of Boundaries

Monday, August 23, 2010

08/23/10 - Fallow Ground

I'm going through a bible study: Seeking Him with a three other gals. Last time I went through this study, I did it alone, so I am looking forward to going through it with other people. It's always neat to hear what someone else took from each lesson.

The first week's memory verse is: Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12

Fallow ground is ground that has once been plowed, but not laying waste. The idea that our hearts were once passionate for God, but have since become a waste land.

If you read the next verse: "You have plowed iniquity, you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors." Hosea 10:13

The section that jumped out at me was: you have eaten the fruit of lies.

Eaten...we've taken it in, digested lies, and they sustain us. How often do we believe a lie without really seeking the truth? How often do we even have a hard time telling the difference between the truth and a lie. Is it because we've "eaten" the lies?

May we be people who earnestly seek truth!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

08/17/10 - Cutting Corners

In life it may be tempting to cut corners or try to do the littlest, easiest amount to get the results you want. But what I've come to realize if you try to cut one corner, another one will poke you back. It just doesn't work.

Life is full of "doing hard things" (love that book by the Harris twins). Life is not easy. We're called to take the high ride, walk in integrity, and not cut corners.

The earlier we learn this lesson, the better off we'll be!

Monday, August 16, 2010

08/16/10 - Happy 1st Birthday Clark


Many of you walk along side me through my pregancy and if you can believe it, Clark is one today!

Happy Birthday Clark!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

07/24/10 - God Defends

If you walk in integrity: God will defend you.
If you walk in truth: God will defend you.
If you walk in uprightness: God will defend you.
If you walk in righteousness: God will defend you.

I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that God defends.

People may slander your name, they may gossip about you, they may try to hurt you, they may ignore you, they may believe a lie about you, they may not try to get all the facts, they may hate you...but it doesn't matter because God WILL defend you.

It may not happen on your time table. It may takes years, but trust me God will defend you.

If you're a professing believer and others around you know your take your faith in God seriously, then they are watching how you respond. They are looking for you to be cutting and cold, cruel and mean. But don't! Let God defend you.

Be a person who gets the facts. Be a person who knows there's 2 sides to a story. Don't believe what you've heard. Do your own homework. Don't be bullied. Don't live in fear of a bully.

There's people who live with pain so deep they act out, they lash out, build walls, give you the cold sholder and are down right rude!

Don't respond, don't react...rest in God. In His hands.

God will defend you!

My mom always used to say, "Truth crushed to earth will rise again."

If you know you're on the side of truth, trust that, with time it will rise again and God will fight for you!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

07/21/10 - My Boys

Someone asked if I'd post more pictures! So here's one of each of my boys:

Miles, age 5 eating cupcakes at Grandpa's birthday party

Clark, 11 months, eating pizza at a family party.
Luke, age 4, with a daddy long leg...he's always playing with bug!




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

07/20/10 - Acts 24:16

Acts 24:16: So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

Do you take pains to have a clear conscience?

For me, this verse means that I am to live my life above the board. To not be shady. Never look to cut a corner, in anything! To refuse to tell "little white lies". To live in honor before my Lord. To be humble with others. To confess sins and ask for forgiveness when needed. To not take advantage of others. To never fear "getting caught" in doing anything.

I will strive to teach my sons this...of course right not they're having a silly conversation about flying above poop...yes they are little boys ;-)

But in all seriousness, I want my sons to walk in integrity in all they do, in their relationships, in their work, with their friends, at their church, and in all other areas of life.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

07/08/10 - Our Attitude in Conflicts

Someone close to me recently reminded me of this passage of scripture:

" So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity" Colossians 3:12-14

This clearly paints a mature Christian's attitude during conflicts with others. How I fall short!

Monday, July 5, 2010

07/05/10 - Sono Harris

Yesterday, Sono Harris went to be with her Lord and Savior.

Sono Harris, mother of Josh Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Stop Dating the Church and other books) and twins Alex and Brett Harris (Founders of "The Rebelution" and authors of Do Hard Things) has left a legacy I can only dream to leave behind.

She served her husband and children faithfully and because of her service millions of lives have been impacted by her.

Gregg Harris was the first homeschool speaker my parents ever heard. He was at a Texas homeschool convention in 1985, when our family's homeschool journey began. Since then Greg, Sono and their children have been a force in the homeschool community showing God's truth and grace in a beautiful balance!

I am praying for the family as they walk through this valley, but stand in awe of the example she's left behind.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

06/29/10 - Trust

My husband read a story he told me about. I am going to paraphrase....

This young son and his dad were driving. The dad asked the son where they were. The son didn't know. The dad asked the son where they were going. The son didn't know. The dad then said, "Well, I guess your lost then." The son replied, "I'm not lost I'm with you."

Isn't that how it is with God? We're not lost, we just don't always know where we are going and we are to trust that He knows.

Child like faith is a precious thing!

Monday, June 28, 2010

06/28/10 - Daily Devotionals

Are you struggling with daily being in the Word of God?

My suggestion: read the Proverbs of the day.

So today is the 28th, read Proverbs 28.

This is something I've done for many years and this is what I read my boys at the breakfast table (not every morning, don't think I am that super of an amazing mom). Of course they are 4 and 5, so we read 5 verses on those mornings we read.

Find a topic that jumps out at you: your mouth, pride, marriage, money, friendships....and mark it as you read. You'll be so surprised at the themes and wisdom packed in those 31 chapters! I always read something that applies to my life that day!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

06/27/10 - Every Relationship

I believe every relationship we have should point us to Christ! Every relationship should cause us to grow more like Him.

I've warned Christian teens dating non-Christians: if this relationship doesn't point you closer to Christ, it will only point you farther away.

Be alert!

Do I believe you can't be friends with people who don't have the same faith as you? Of course not! I believe in those friendship we can be challenged to grow in our walk by being an example of Christ's love, grace, and truth to them.

I say again, "be alert!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

06/26/10 - Idol

We can make almost anything an idol in our life. We can turn a good idea or healthy expectation into an idol.

Has remaining "emotional pure" become an idol in your life? Are you more concerned with saving your heart than you are with becoming sold out for Christ?

It's easy to take a good concept, like saving your heart, and turn it into some way more than God intended it to become.

It's easy to look down on others who don't hold to your standard. But what's the difference, pride is still sin.

When people read my book I know it can open their eyes and help them see a new way of relating to people. But my book is not the "main thing". A single Christian's main goal should not be to remain pure emotionally.

The Main Thing is a pure, passionate, loving, all encompassing relationship with our Lord, Creator, and Savior! Make that your main goal. Putting anything above that is idolatry!

Friday, June 25, 2010

06/25/10 - Growing

Does it excite you to grow, change, and become more Christ-like? What are you actively doing to mature in your faith? Do you have someone who challenges you, who really challenges you?

The older I get, the more excited I get about growing up in my faith. I see God refining and working on very specific issues in my life!

I see God prodding me along and although it's not always fun, it is worth it!

Friday, June 11, 2010

06/11/10 -Parts of our life

What parts of our life are effected by knowing God?

Not just knowing God, but knowing and understanding what you need and what He did for you. We can know God, know of God, but remain totally unaffected in certain areas of our life. Maybe we put God over in this area of our life, our Sunday life, and other parts of our life we live as we please.

I am not exempt! I have areas that I struggle to surrender fully to God, areas I cling to. I am working towards making sure that not one area remains untouched by His love, grace and truth.

Sometimes I look at the church world around me and my heart is saddened. We have no shame in sin, we look just like the world, we have nothing better to offer. We have conflicts just like non-believers, we have unsatisfying marriages like unbelievers, we are joyless, and worry like the best of them.

Christ didn't come for this! He came to give us a new life! He came so that His light would penetrate every area of our life and be radically changed! He wants us believers to look, act, think so DIFFERENT that we're aliens and strangers in this world.

How I long for this in my own life!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

06/04/10 - 73 E-mails

I'm not ignore all of you or this blog! I got on my emotional purity yahoo account and had 73 e-mails...oops, it's been so long since I've check.

As summer approaches and as Clark is fully mobile I find I have less and less time at the computer.

In my free time lately I've been reading "Instructing a Child's Heart" by Tedd and Margy Tripp. This book has been a great parenting resource and came at the right time. I just want to share this quote, "The home is a place where we present a culture that is distinctly Christian."

As my husband and I enter a new phase of parenting with our older boys, we're more awear of this fact and need that this home is a place where a biblical worldview is taught, where Christ is seen through every action, and where they can learn to clearly see the difference between Christian culture and world culture.

This, my friend, takes a lot of time and energy! Thanks for walking along life's path with me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

05/20/10 - Proverbs 7 vs 31

Young men, grab your bible and read Proverbs 7 and then Proverbs 31.

Ask: What type of woman am I looking for?

Young women, also read Proverbs 7 and 31.

Ask: What type of woman am I?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

05/06/10 - Three Qualities

If I could teach my boys three things (outside of knowing, loving and enjoy God), I hope to teach them:

1) To be hardworking

2) To always be teachable

3) To be kind to the women in their life

These three things will help them be the types of husbands I pray they become.

Monday, May 3, 2010

05/03/10 - Life

Life sure gets busy...I mean it's not like I am running all over town, it's just busy with three kids.

Clark is almost 9 months old and of course crawling like crazy! He also puts everything and anything in his mouth. Which is a challange with two boys who love legos!

Luke is my spunky nearly 4 year old who loves bugs, outdoors, fish, whales, and sharks. He's best friends with Miles, who turned 5 last month.

Miles and Luke, although best buds, sure are different. Miles loves people and music. He's got a wonderful imagination and comes up with the best stories.

Being a mom to these three guys is such a blessing! I am amazed at my life.

But I'm busy. I'm not in God's word as much as I'd like to be. I'm not blogging as much as I'd like to be. But, I am having fun teaching my boys, watching them learn, being hands on, and being silly.

God is teaching me patience. He is teaching me to let go of expectations. He is teaching me to not be prideful in anything I do or anything my kids do.

Life...it's a wonderful journey!

Thanks to taking it with me!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

04/27/10 - The Culture of Facebook

Have any of you had hurt feelings over something posted on Facebook? Have any of you gone searching for a friend and discovered they "de-friended" you? Has someone made a comment that really didn't make sense or seem like them?

Ah, Facebook! I really do enjoy Facebook, I love connecting with friends and making new friends.

But Facebook can be hurtful, harmful, and destroy friendships and relationships.

Like anything in life we must be balanced in our approach to Facebook. It shouldn't replace real life conversations with friends. It shouldn't replace reaching out to new friends at school, work, or church. It shouldn't replace face to face interaction with those we live with.

Facebook should be look at as a tool of communication. Not the only tool in our "relationship tool box", but A tool. If there's been miscommunication in real life, we should seek to correct it and the same goes for Facebook.

So for all the positives of Facebook we must seek to avoid the negative effect it can have on relationships.

Monday, April 26, 2010

04/26/10 - Emotionally Modest

Someone asked me what it means to be emotionally modest after my post a couple of weeks ago.

As I've thought about her question these phrases and ideas came into my head:

An emotionally modest person:
  • understands what boundaries are
  • knows what's appropriate to share and what's sharing too much
  • understands that that circle of intimate friends is small
  • can control their emotions when necessary
  • knows what a "safe" friend is and can share honestly and openly with that person

In our culture of Facebook, Twitter, texting, blogs...etc...people have become desensitized to boundaries. We've become a culture of "over sharing". So when I think of someone who is emotionally modest, they understand that the "hidden person of the heart" is not for the world to see, but a select group of safe, close confidants.

Hope this helps! And remember, these are just my thoughts on the matter! I am far from perfect and not the final authority on this issue! ;-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

04/19/10 - Creating an Atmosphere

In our marriage and in our home I believe God has uniquely equipped me to bring an atmosphere of love, tenderness, acceptance, and safety to my husband and children. I believe that God has given this ability to women to be the "love makers" of their home. To be that safe place for their husbands to "fall".

In our culture women's tender emotions have been trampled upon by the feminist movement. We've been told to be strong, fearless, and bold. I have seen first hand how that attitudes removes this tenderness and compassion.

We get so wrapped up in protecting ourselves, our rights, our attitudes, we forget we are to be the tender women God created us to be.

I believe in allowing God's grace to flow through me in the tender, compassion manner I am strong, I am protected, I am free.

Why must be do things so opposite of God's ways! His ways are set up to protect us, not to harm us!

(Mary Kassian gave a talk on True Woman '08 about how the feminist movement grew, I belive it's helpful in understand why women do what we do. Hope you enjoy watching the video HERE)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

04/17/10 - Emotionally Modest

What does it mean to be emotionally modest?

Does it mean you never speak to anyone of the opposite sex? Does it mean you avoid all contact with guys? Does it mean you're scared to death of even opening up any emotions to young men (or young women if you're a guy)?

I don't think so!

Being emotionally modest mean you understand your own boundaries. You understand what's appropriate to share and what is inappropriate to share. You know your own heart and motives behind being emotionally connected with someone.

It takes work to be emotionally modest. It's not easy. It's totally counter-cultural! But oh so worth it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

04/13/10 - Planet Mom

I wrote this article for a MOPS newsletter. I just thought I'd share it here. It may or may not apply to you, but here's some of my thoughts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Planet Mom

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit,
but with humility of mind regard one
another as more important than yourselves
Philippians 2:3


Life on Planet Mom can be the greatest joy and the biggest challenge any of us will face. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart and most of us really don’t know all mothering entails the first time we hold our newborn. Yet, we’re surviving, breathing, thriving, and enjoying Planet Mom!

Self
As a mom, when I find myself the most annoyed, frustrated, irritated, or stressed out with my kids, I can normally point that attitude back to myself. Not just who I am, but my selfishness that comes from being human. In a nutshell, when I am not getting my way, I am not fun to be around!
Being a mom and being selfish don’t go hand in hand, if they do you will find yourself being very discontent on Planet Mom. Self can get in the way of really thriving on Planet Mom.

Our Culture
We live in a society that saturated with self. Everyone is looking out for number one. When you put yourself above your relationship with God, your husband, or your kids you will be frustrated. We told in the bible to “do nothing from selfishness”. (Phil 2:3 NSB) Do nothing! That’s a tough pill to swallow when we’re feeling overwhelmed with the demands that motherhood brings.

The Balance
In saying we must put others first I know your thoughts are, “Well, if no one is taking care of me, I’ll get lost in being a wife or a mom.” We’re not to get lost in anything we do, but who we are in Christ. When we look at mothering or being a wife through the lens of Christ and through His example of service to others, we see the balance.
Christ often took time to be with His Father, to renew Himself spiritually with God. But Christ poured out His life for people over and over and over. When He was tired He still gave. When He wanted a break and someone needed Him, He gave. But again, He knew time with His Father was the key to renewal.
As moms we must follow His example. In order to feel renewed and refreshed, it’s important that we take care of our spiritual needs. Taking care of our spiritual needs will rejuvenate our batteries for our husbands and our children.

Retreat

If you’re feeling drained spiritually and you’re barely surviving on Planet Mom, then I’d suggest you take time and "get away" with God. If you have the time and resources, I'd recommend a retreat. But if that's not possible, get a few hours away and alone with you and the Lord. If even a few hours isn't possible, take 30 minutes to have some quiet time with God. We all have 30 minutes, we just have to prioritize.
Getting away and taking care of that spiritual need will help you be a better wife and mom!