Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lenoir City TN....What a Speaking Event is Like for Me

So here is the low down on speaking events for me. I do not know if it will ever get easier. The fun part is really digging deep into God's word. I LOVE this part. Praying and listening to what God wants to speak. This part is the greatest. But then the thoughts of the women I will be sharing with come to mind and then I start to get super nervous.

I do like that nervousness because I think it speaks many things in my heart that I must evaluate. First are my eyes on Jesus? Obedience to Him is more important than anything else. Because of that I can press through it. However, am I concerned too much about  what others will think of me? Will that be more important to me than obedience? Am I handling the word of truth correctly? Am I depending on Him alone for this task? After all all He calls you to He equips you for. Do I trust Him to speak through an ordinary and simple girl like me?

That last question is probably the hardest one. Do I trust that God can use even me for any part of His plans or purposes? I want to please Him. Will I trust Him? In Lenoir city He showed up. He always brings me back to the disciples. This verse is what happens to me, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus," Acts 4:13. I can have courage, Jesus in me through the Holy Spirit does the work. It never ceases to amaze me AND I can never take credit for it. It is a beautiful thing to accomplish a task through HIM. All for Him and all for His glory.

God connected me with some amazing women. He also used it to encourage others dealing with chronic medical conditions. At any event I will never know all that God did, His ways are amazing to me. In whatever way we serve it is a blessing indeed. Our Father in Heaven loves us and allows us to work alongside Him. That never gets old. What a privilege.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review - Captured by Grace by Dr. David Jeremiah

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Captured by Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God, is exactly what it sounds like it should be. The book takes a look at the lives of John Newton and the Apostle Paul both me who became aquainted with amazing grace. John Newton is the writer of that famous hymn, Amazing Grace.

Newton was a slave trader who later influenced and started the movement toward the abolition of slavery in England. The Apostle Paul was a strict Pharisee on a spree to get those who joined the movement of the WAY. On his way to Damaucus God got ahold of Him. Both me see themselves as great sinners, both men received amazing grace.

Dr. David Jeremiah unpacks with great detail some of the most famous grace passages in the Bible. With his amazing detail and insight this topic is explored indepth. This book is challenging forcing you to take a look at your own life along the way. I greatly enjoyed this book and am so thankful to the Lord for His amazing grace to all who will accept it.

If you would like a copy of the book you can get it through the publisher here.
To get a copy from Amazon go here.

If you would like a copy of the book you can get it through Amazon here.Captured By Grace: No One is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God

2:21 Autumn issue is out today.

Check out the issue of 2:21 today here.
Love this ministry for teens. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review - Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

I received a copy of this book at no charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Max Lucado is always a good read! I just love how the author helps me expand my imagination. He writes with such an amazing flow of words that it is incredibly easy to read and enjoy. I could have read this book in one. I enjoyed every minute of it.

This book is great in several ways. First all proceeds from it go to charity. Now that is a great reason to purchase it. Second, it takes a look at the book of Acts, which is what the early church looked like. Reading through the book of Acts always spurns my heart to desire more of God's movement in the church. The people in that time were so moved by God that they did not forget those who were hurting and poor among them. They helped out equally. They did not just turn their heads and buy a new million dollar building or sports car but instead sold all they had and gave that money to help. They didn't depend on government officials to help these problems. They saw the problems as real human beings suffering who needed to see the love and mercy of Christ tangibly. They not only saw it but did something about it. So often today we turn our heads and comfort ourselves with things when the majority of the world is living at poverty level. Something is truly wrong with that.

Max never rights in a condemning way. He addresses these issues and challenges us to take action. It is my prayer that we would take heed to those words and grow in a deeper understanding then make our faith real by walking it out and taking action. God has given each of us passions and as the author says, "we may not be able to help everyone but if everyone helps one" then that makes a huge difference.

To get a copy of this book from Amazon go here.Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference
To get a copy of this book from the publisher go here.
To see more about the author go here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Parenting the OCD child


Hey all. I am over at the Heart of the Matter today talking about parenting a child with OCD. It comes with certain challenges and blessings. Check it out here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review - Daddy's Delight by Karia Bunting

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I really want to be encouraging in all the things that I write. However this book was not what I expected at all. I thought it would be all about the Father's delight in us and ours in His. This book was just a lot of information about living life.

It is good information for a newer Christian. It seemed to address women in most life situations including singleness (which I really appreciated). I could not  say I actually agree with all that was said in the book either. Just minor issues that I did not agree with but did bother me some.

To get a copy of this title from amazon go here Daddy's Delight: Embracing Your Divine Design
To see what others are saying about this book go here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Review: Coffee Shop Conversations by Dale and Jonalyn Fincher

Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I found this book to be very interesting. It is a helpful tool that teaches you how to talk to other people about Jesus. Not your typical book on this subject. It  addresses us all as humans created in the image of God whether we follow Jesus or not. On this journey we are all just trying to make things work to the best of our ability. As we walk along we will come in contact with tons of people. How do we share? How are we helpful in this sharing? I appreciated the way this book challenged me personally as well as methods used in the past that did not work. It centers on Jesus and His way.

So often Christians get a bad rap because their only interest is in converting people. I often feel frustrated in sharing my own faith. I have been taught so many different ways to do this. Yet no certain method is right. We are all different. God is the one who draws peoples hearts. We are just responsible for sharing where God allows us too. There should not be any pressure here.

This book takes a look at different religions or belief systems and how to ask questions that will promote further conversation. I especially enjoyed this section of the book. I learned some new things about different religions that I did not already know.

This book is written in conversational style that makes it easy to read. It also gives many examples of conversations the authors have had. I found that very helpful.

See what others are saying here.
Visit the authors website here.
To get a copy of the book from Amazon go here.
Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts on Ruth 3

Ruth 3 can be read .here.

Remember the movie Fiddler on the Roof? That song, match maker? This scene reminds me of that movie! (Off subject this song (If I Were a Rich Man) is my favorite from the movie!!)

In Ruth 3 we see Naomi planning a scheme for Ruth. The purpose is for her to go and ask Boaz to redeem her. It is a very peculiar scene. Something that you really need to understand Jewish customs to understand fully. We must remember that this period of time is the time of the judges. Israel was not in its prime as far as following God goes. There was lots of sin that abounded. Because of that Boaz had to stay with his harvest. It was a good time because famine had once plagued the land but now a plentiful harvest had come. It was not uncommon for field owners to stay with their crops all night to guard them from theives.

The plan was for Ruth to quietly approach Boaz on the threshing floor after he was asleep. She was to then uncover his feet with the corner of the garment that covered him. She would have laid down at his feet in a T position. That is where a servant would usually sleep. Something startled Boaz and he woke up seeing a woman at his feet.

Ruth revealed who she was to him. She then asked him to redeem her. The symbolism was covering her with his cover like God covers us with His wings. This was such an important thing in these days. A redeemer could purchase land back for a widow and carry on the name of the deceased spouse by providing children. The redeemer would be a husband to the widow and provide and care for her. In these days that security was important for a woman. Ruth's mother in law knew Boaz was a redeemer who could do this so that is why she sent Ruth to him.

This was a risk for Ruth. Boaz agreed. He was humbled because he knew she could go after any man. She also could go after younger men, apparently Boaz was older. Ruth continues to think about her mother in law and caring for her. Ruth is not selfish. Boaz speaks of her noble character and how all the townspeople know of it. He tells her he will handle the matter the next day at the city gates (which was like the court system). However, Boaz knew that there was a redeemer that was closer than him. Redeemers were people within the family and there was an order of who is closest. This other man had the right before Boaz. Boaz would settle the matter the next day.

What an exciting and anxious time for Ruth. She now knows she will be married to someone. Either Boaz or this nearer redeemer she does not know. Wonder how that made her feel? She slept the rest of the night the same way in a servants position. Then before it was light enough for anyone to recognize her Boaz sent her away with lots of grain for her mother in law.  This was to show his intentions of handling the matter. Ruth then goes home and tells Naomi all about it. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on that wall?

Over and over we see Ruth displaying great and noble character. She never expects anyone to take care of her. She provides for herself and her mother in law. She is a hard worker. She focuses on the important things. She is brave and obedient to her mother in law. She has a good reputation. She seems to embrace the culture of the Hebrews. She is a Proverbs 31 woman.

Just for fun! This is my second favorite song from Fiddler on the Roof. Do you love me?
Do you have a favorite song from the movie??

Friday, September 10, 2010

compassion bloggers


This is Bereket. She is from Ethiopia, Africa. She is my Compassion child. A trip is scheduled to visit her May 2011. The cost is $4000.00. There is no way I could afford this trip but Gods resources are limitless. I submitted my blog for consideration for being a blogger for Compassion. It would be an amazing adventure of a lifetime. It is in Gods hands.

Do you sponsor a Compassion child? Tell me about them.
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I Will Rejoice Anyway, Trials will always exist

 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" ~Philippians 4:4

It is easy to say rejoice in the Lord when all things are good. But what about those times when things are bad? How do you rejoice in even this? It is learning to trust and lean in on God. Believing He alone is enough whatever the circumstances. Knowing beyond a doubt that He is there, for you, and lives in you.

Most of you know my "thorn" is various health issues. I have been fighting this awful staph infection for six months now. It is painful and on my face so it is not easy to hide. For six months I have tried fighting it different ways but nothing has worked so far. Thankfully I see a dermatologist next week and I hope with their knowledge of skin issues they will be able to help. However, my hope is in Christ alone.  I will rejoice in Him. My circumstances never change who He is. He is everything to me. 

This morning I woke up with a painful, swollen lip from this stuff. Plus my stomach is very weak from it. It may not seem like a big deal to you but to me it feels like another defeat. So I cried out to God in it. He gave me His peace. I have this quiet assurance that He is with me and He delights in me. I am learning contentment with Him alone. Nothing else matters. Nothing. Sure good health makes things easier but all I want is Him.

Trials have a way of forcing us to make a choice. Will we draw close to Him or will we turn from Him? It is a choice that is personal. Only you can make it for yourself. I chose to draw nearer still. May these trials deepen my relationship with Him. I will wait in Him. 

How about you? Are there any present trials you are enduring? Are you drawing near or pulling away?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

And the winner is....Dealing with sibling rivalry

It grieves my heart so much when these sweet girls fight. It has seemed to be increasingly worse these days and really I just want to give up. Finally today a break through came. Not from threatening or yelling. Not from taking anything away. Not from guilting or manipulating them. I confess I have tried all methods. God has been showing me sin is a heart issue. These matters are matters of the heart. I cannot change them. He alone can mold and shape hearts.

I have been crying out to God over this. I basically have to trust Him in this. I do what I can as a mom and make it very uncomfortable for them when they act bad toward one another but I cannot change their hearts. Today we received a great word about God. We have been reading through the Proverbs together and this is where we ended up:

 There are six things the LORD hates,
       seven that are detestable to him:
 haughty eyes,
       a lying tongue,
       hands that shed innocent blood,
 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
       feet that are quick to rush into evil,
 a false witness who pours out lies
       and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.~Proverbs 6:16-19

This struck a cord with them. They are doing these things that the Lord hates. The Lord does not hate them but the things that they are doing. Jesus died for those things and gives us the power in Him to overcome them. We asked forgiveness and prayed and asked the Lord to break our hearts with the things that breaks His. Today has been great since then. 

I am so amazed at how God's word is "living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" Hebrews 4:12.God's word changes things. Prayer and His word is what will change hearts. I am so thankful for His lifesaving word. I hope I continually remember this when issues arise again.
How about you? Have you seen God's word to be effective in this way?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I should NOT have eaten this...

Tuesdays are rush days for us because I have to get the girls home from P.E. class and rush myself to Awana. This leaves no time for dinner prep. Unfortunately this is where we ended up. This is what I got. No I did not eat it all but how much do you really need to eat of this meal to know it is just plain bad for you?!

I am paying for it today by stomach discomfort. I stepped on the scale to see if I gained 5 pounds from it and I did not. But I just feel bad. It is definitely not worth eating it. Please don't think I am judging you if you love this meal.

My solutions. Detox today. Next week prepare a crock pot meal that will be waiting at home for us.
Do you have busy days like these where there is no time for meal prep? What do you do?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Two Weaknesses

It is coming to the time that I have to face one of my weaknesses head on. I love two types of candy so much that it is hard for me to stop eating them. They are:
And a Easter time favorite:
There is just something about these candies that I cannot resist. So I have to walk past them. If they had a tiny bag for me to enjoy then it would be okay but unfortunately they only come in a big bag. I have been known to buy a bag eat a handful and then throw it away. This attraction is that bad. If I keep it I know I am not strong enough to resist.

That is like certain sins in our lives. God made so many good things. Good flavors. Good desires. However we can take those good things and turn them into bad things. We can commit sin like gluttony. Or abusing our bodies by filling it with things that will hurt it.  In small amounts it probably is not too bad but in large quantities I know it has a bad impact.

Any candies you have a hard time resisting?

Thoughts on Ruth 2

You can read Ruth 2 here.

You can clearly see God here as provider and protector. Ruth and Naomi are back in Naomi's homeland with her people. Life for widows in this time period was very difficult. They would need a way to support themselves. God provided laws for this. Ruth heads out to do what she needs to for the family and she "happens upon" a field belonging to Boaz. You can see God all over this.

Boaz turns out to be a kinsmen redeemer. He is someone who can buy back their land and marry Ruth (though she does not know this yet). They are just meeting for the first time in this chapter. Boaz is a good guy. His mind is focused on God. He knows his workers well. He inquires of Ruth when he sees her working.

They meet. Ruth and Boaz. He knows of her reputation. She has worked hard all day in the fields. She left everything she knew to accompany her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem. He has heard. He tells her to stay in his field and he will protect her.

An interesting note about Boaz: His mother was also a foreigner. Boaz's mother was Rahab who helped the spies at Jericho. I think this is noteworthy because he probably learned from his mother to be sympathetic toward foreigners.

Ruth replies with great humbleness and thankfulness. She realizes her position as a foreigner. She does not expect anything. Yet Boaz treats her with great kindness. He invites her to dine with them. He also tells his men to purposely drop some pieces that Ruth can pick up making it easier for her. She takes all she collected home to her mother-in-law.

Naomi inquires of Ruth what field she went too. When Naomi finds out it was Boaz she reveals to Ruth he is a kinsmen redeemer and tells her to stay in his field like he offered. Ruth stays until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. Things seem to be looking up for Naomi and Ruth.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bear Fashion Show


Life with girls....Bear fashion show! Music of choice...Every day heros. Good times.
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Seriously I can blog from my phone

I am testing a blog from my new droid 2.
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Join Me in Lenoir City, TN

Hey if you are in the area of Lenoir City, TN. I would love to meet you at Dixie Lee Baptist church. The event is September 16th at 6:30pm. It is their WMU annual Ladies Night Out. More info can be found here.
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