Monday, January 30, 2012

Psalm 119 - Week Three


I am loving the journey of studying this Psalm with you all! Thanks for sharing thoughts. Feel free to keep coming back and interact with others comments through out the week. I love building relationships this way and growing together this way.

Memorization update for us, we are only on verse 5 as of now! We have fallen behind but I was encouraged by the comments of this being something that we don't rush through but memorize it for the long haul. We are taking it slowly.

However in this next section I am very encouraged because it is all prayer! It is written as a fellow sojourner like us who is traveling along on this earth like us trying to follow God. I love that because we all can relate well. We are in the same exact place.

Gimel17Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.

Literally this means to deal out generously to your servant (or slave) so I may be sustained or quickened to keep God's word.We chose to follow but God opens our hearts to do so.

18 Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

It is God's grace and mercy to open our eyes to see His word and fall in love with it. He moves and directs our hearts. May we pour this prayer out to Him. May we consider His word wondrous because it is His very words spoken to us. May it be our treasure.

19 I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!

Let us always remember this is not our home, our true home is in Heaven with God yet while we are here on this earth for this short time may God's commandments not be hidden. These are the words that give us hope! They encourage us on the journey.

20 My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.

Wouldn't it be a beautiful thing if we all were like this all the time. I pray desperately this in my life and yours and my family. Not legalistic rules and regulations but a love for following God's law as a delight.

21 You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. God will rebuke the proud. That is a consequence of wandering away from His commandments.

22 Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. 
Any scorn or shame is asked to be taken away because he strives to keep God's law. When we do right in His eyes, He honors it. It is not a prosperity gospel but sowing and reaping principle. It will not always look the way we think it should but the way God does.

23 Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.
We do have a real enemy of our souls roaring around like a lion ready to devour us. The Bible is clear that the word of God is our sword against him. In James we are told to resist him and he will flee. We are given Jesus example of testing in the wilderness and He defeated satans temptations by God's word. No matter who may plot against us we must keep our eyes fixed on Him and His word. They are our guide.

24 Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors. 
 I love this verse because it shows us that God's words are our counselors. There is good in godly counselors but where is the first source you run to? It should be His word first! Then wherever else He may lead us. Do you practice this? Often for me it is easier to pick up the phone and call someone then to pick up the WORD. I do not want that to be. Can you relate?

1-What stood out to you the most from this section?
2-Does it encourage you that this is all a prayer? Let us use it to pray back God's own words.
3-What were you most challenged with above?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adoption - Not Completely

This journey is so incredibly hard. I am hearing and seeing things about life that this precious baby boy has been through and it is emotionally unbearable. I cannot put this suffering in another box like I could all the cases I had in social work. This is more real because I am making it part of my home. I cannot just get up and leave work. It is now a part of my 24/7 life. Emotionally this is too much to bear yet my Savior has taken it all on the cross for baby boy and for me. So hard to imagine. Just this piece of it that I cannot bear is only a small part Christ Himself bore on the cross.

I think of adoption, sometimes I just wish we could fully adopt him and keep him from that life forever. Yet we want his family to have a chance. We know our God is the God of redemption and if it is possible we want to see it happen. Yet we love this guy like crazy and the thought of giving him up one day is also unbearable.

However, we are reminded that even the biological children we are given are not our own. They really belong to God first. He has a plan for each of their lives. We must remember this and never hold on to any of them too tightly. We are charged to guard, protect, and train them in the instruction of the Lord but there is a time we are to let them go. We are never guaranteed a certain number of days. We must cherish each one we get with them. They are God's children and one day hopefully our friend.

This journey is teaching us a lot. We are better for being on it. It requires a lot of trust and prayer but that is how life is anyway, right? Christ does equip us for whatever He calls us to. So we will walk in that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Remind Me to Float

Have you ever been in the deep end of the pool, overestimating your strength then realize the length you have to go is much farther than you estimated? You can respond in several ways.

1-You can freak out and kick quickly wearing yourself out which makes things much worse.
2-You can cry and feel sorry for yourself and just give up, causing you to go under and drown.
3-You can decide that the situation is what it is and let go and just float. Eventually you will regain strength or maybe even coast over to the side in time.

These are the three choices I have been wavering with on our new journey. Unfortunately I am going under way more than I would like to admit. God is calling me to surrender and float. He has me under His wings, however again and again I try to do this in my strength. I try to make things look the way I want them. I want control and comfort. Yet really it is an illusion. I have no control of this situation just as it started. Sure I could have said no, but the Spirits conviction made it clear that in doing so would be sin. So I have to make the right choice, float.

Please excuse me for a while. Please pray for us. I will not be who I was, I hope this is a good thing but when you see me going under please remind me to float. Please don't let my raw honesty repel you. This is truth in life. We need it. We need to be vulnerable and honest in order to grow with one another. We need to encourage one another and be honest without fear. Christ was not afraid of raw honesty. In fact He is the only reason I am safe to be this way. He knows. He is acquainted with our every grief. He went to the cross for it. David poured out this type of honesty in prayers all through the Psalms.

So as you pray for me to let go and float, let me do the same for you. Where do you need prayer now? Where do you need to learn just to float?

LORD, my heart is not proud;
      my eyes are not haughty.
   I don’t concern myself with matters too great
      or too awesome for me to grasp.
  Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
      like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
      Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
  O Israel, put your hope in the LORD—
      now and always. ~Psalm 131

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Psalm 119 - Week Two

Beth (Second Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet) Second section of eight!
How is your memorization going? Ours is coming slowly but we are not giving up.

If any verses were good to memorize regarding wisdom these next are my favorite! It starts with a simple question that many need to know. How can you keep your way pure? If we are sinners naturally how can we keep ourselves pure? Well, this answers it. So let's follow this instruction with our lives.

Read verses 9-11.
Q-How can a young man keep his way pure?
A-By guarding it according to your word.
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

So based on these three verses let us ask some simple questions.
1-How does the verse tell us to keep our way pure?
2-How do you guard our way, by what standard?
3-How can we know the standard?
4-How should we seek His word? Wholeheartedly or half heartedly?
5-What does the Psalmist do with God's word?
6-Why does He do this?

This is one reason why I like the Awana program so much because they are teaching kids to store God's word in their heart. Even at the youngest ages. His word will never return void but it goes out to accomplish what is was purposed for (Isaiah 55:11)

12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! 

This is another beautiful prayer of praise for God and a desire for Him to teach us. He wants us to know Him and His word. This is a prayer that is according to His will. Let's pray it for ourselves and one another.

13 With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. 

May this be! What a joy if we could declare all the rules of God.

14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 

This is a prayer I often pray as well. I want to delight in God and His word more than anything my heart is drawn too.

15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.

When we really do love something it is what we think about. Meditation on His word is what we should be doing and in turn keeping our eyes fixed on it. It will bring most satisfaction.

16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Wherever you are now regarding God's word, may they be words we delight in because they are from our God. May we never forget them. They are the path of life.

Be sure to check the comments through out the week and add anything based on what other commenters in the community say. Let us take time to personally encourage one another.

Recaps on comments from last week:
Deborah said she loved the word of God and the power it has to set us free.
I love this from Patti "Verse 4 really stands out for me: "You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently." In light of this verse I see that holy walking should be so desirable to us, because God demands this. This is so the desire of my heart."
Judy encourages us to memorize these verses! I think this is a great idea too!
Sarah struggled with getting to it because of interruptions, hope you were able to glean something! :)
Liz shares and encouraging testimony from her marriage, go check it out if you missed it. 

I appreciate you all taking the time to really dig into this and share your lives. I pray His word will change us more into His image and that we will be able to memorize it!

How has this section encouraged you?
How has it challenged you?
Praying your week is blessed and you will delight in His word immensely!

Friday, January 20, 2012

God's Hand in our Journey of Opening our Home

This whole journey we are on with this little guy is surreal. It has happened so fast and all along I have seen God's hand. God cares for the little children. He uses them as examples to teach us, He wants to spend time with them, God assigns angels to look directly after them. I think this is all significant. Children are a blessing we are told all through out the Bible. I see God's hand on this little guy.

First, I see him being protected. God has provided a safe stable home for him. I am thankful to be part of his story.

Second, I got well just a few weeks before we started praying about helping this little guy. I mean supernaturally well. Lyme disease is so tricky and this is the second time God just miraculously took it away from me.

Third, At court before we even met the parents we were given a court date for permanent custody. Before a "home study". We did not even go into the court room. They did not need us in there. This is the part that is supernatural. This is unheard of. I worked for several years in the juvenile court system. I have not seen this kind of thing happen and this fast.

Fourth, As we left the courthouse God produced the most magnificent full bow of a rainbow across the highway. It was a frigid, flurry like, dark cloudy day. This rainbow was a sign I will never forget. The Lord is my Banner. He is pleased with this whole situation.

Fifth, Little man has adjusted so very well. This is a miracle in itself. Often there are attachment issues that come in these situations. Yet he has attached supernaturally well. This is only by the hand of God.

Sixth, God is exposing in my own heart how selfish I am. This is coming to the surface. I now have all special needs children. Working with an emotionally sensitive gifted child, asperger child, and speech delayed/at risk child seems overwhelming but God has given me supernatural strength and peace. It is really a joy in my heart to teach them all at the places they have needs. Yet at times I want to escape! God is allowing me to run to Him. He is providing insight and strength. He must be my wisdom and strength in this.

Seventh, I did not think I could love someone the way I do this child because I did not birth him but God is providing supernatural love. I am amazed at how full my heart is in this.

Eighth, My children are displaying such fruit of the Spirit as we adjust to a little man in our home who likes to get into everything. He had no boundaries so it is a slow process of teaching. But their hearts are like gold in it. I see evidence of their walking in the Spirit. It is a blessing to this mother's heart. In fact in all honesty I am seeing my entire family surpass me in faith and maturity.

Overall this story God is writing in our lives at this time is amazing because it is not of our doing but the work of God. I love seeing His hand all over things. I yearn for it and I am so blessed to be able to see it so clearly at this time. That is grace.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Pinterest and a Yummy Creation gluten and dairy free

This is a try I found which I really like. My daughter with sensory food issues would not try it because she saw me prepare it and had an issue with it being coated in Corn Flakes. However, it was really good. Here is a pic of mine.
Of course my camera is not as good as the professionals but I really liked this and it was not too terrible to make seeing how I will remind you that I do not like cooking. These are also gluten and dairy free.

I wanted a side to pair with it so here is my new try. It was really yummy and gluten and dairy free.
This is squash casserole. Many of the recipes I found required a cream of chicken soup or sour cream. However I did not want that in mine.

This is the recipe.
1 and 1/2 green squash
Half of an onion
12 gluten free crackers
1/2 cup milk (use the dairy free kind) beaten with one egg
1/2 cup grated cheese. I used the dairy free shredded.
1/2 cup of rice (added a mixture of brown and white)
Salt and pepper as desired
Butter melted. The butter is optional.

I started by cutting the squash up in small pieces along with the onion and steamed them for 20 minutes.

Also while you are doing that you can cook the rice you will add. I do mine in the microwave.

Then when rice and squash/onions are done put them in casserole dish and mix in 6 crackers, milk with egg mixture, and cheese.

Crumble the remaining crackers on top. I melted some butter and poured on top of the crackers.

Bake at 350 for an hour.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Psalm 119 ~ Week One

I am so excited about our journey together through this Psalm! This Psalm is divided into 22 sections. Each section is preceded by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and includes 8 verses. Each week we will look at a section. Because of that this will take us 22 weeks. But do not let that scare you. We will really learn to love Scripture with our whole hearts as we study and pray this Psalm for one another.

However let us not lose site of seeing Christ, the Word who came in the flesh. We do not worship the Bible but the author who spoke it. Derek Kidner said this, "This untiring emphasis has led some to accuse the psalmist of worshiping the Word rather than the Lord; but it has been well remarked that every reference here to Scripture, without exception, relates it explicitly to its Author; indeed, every verse from 4 to the end is a prayer for affirmation addressed to Him. This is true piety: a love of God not desiccated by study but refreshed, informed and nourished by it.” Derek Kidner

That is what I hope we get out of studying this, to be refreshed, informed, and nourished by God's word to us. Of course just studying the word and getting fat is not enough. We must take it and let it change us by doing what it says as God works it in our heart. As we do we honor God and are blessed.  

This study can be at your personal level of commitment that you are comfortable with. Some weeks you may have more time then others. Answer the questions you can. Come back in the comment section and interact with others posting. This is a great way to build fellowship and grow together. Another thing to enhance the study is trying to memorize it this Psalm. My girls and I are going to try to memorize this Psalm. Many have in the past and found it a blessing in doing so according to a commentary on Enduring Word Media. We are simply pondering and memorizing one verse a day. Because there are eight verses we will have to double that up once a week.

So let's dig into the Word! I will probably be referencing the ESV translation. If I vary I will note that. 
I will go verse by verse and write up some things about it and ask questions. Answer as you go and study.

Psalm 119:1-8
Alef א (First letter of the Hebrew Alphabet)
"Blessed are those whose way is blameless who walk in the law of the LORD!"

Blessed means Happy or Blessed. When we are truly wanting to be happy this verse tells you the way. Many try many things in order to be happy but walking in His ways are best. They bring you peace and joy.

The word for way here means a path or journey. We are fellow sojourners on this earth, aliens and strangers waiting for our Heavenly homes. Our real home is in Heaven. As we walk our journeys here together His word is instruction on how to walk.

1-Give an example telling of how you have been blessed by following God's way instead of your own?

Being blameless means keeping ourselves from willful sins. Psalm 19:13 says it this way, "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression."

Walking in the way of the Lord (Jehovah) refers to walking in His laws. Following His commands.

2-Give an example that you have been blessed by following God's way instead of your own?

3-Do you have any sins in your life that are ruling your life? You must get rid of them. Habitual sin is a dangerous cycle. Please talk to someone about it. You miss out on this blessedness when you are stuck in intentional sins. This is a place you can share a personal testimony if you wish.

4-In what ways of walking out life God's way is your biggest challenge now? How can we lift you up in prayer?

"Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,"

This verse is referring to the counsel of the word. Back in the day it was the first five books of the Bible. But now we have the entire book. You are also blessed if you keep God's laws written in His word. This is not a legalistic thing, it is truly joyful when you obey the law of the Lord with all your heart. When you do this you are just drawn to Him, you obey because of your love for Him and are secure in His great love for you. Our hearts cannot be divided here. God deserves our all.

5-What is one way you can give your whole heart to God? Maybe it could be in an area you have been holding back?

"who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!"

When you really love God you want to please Him. It is not following man made rules but His holy laws. Though we come with faults and quirks we will seek to please the Lord and not sin intentionally. Of course we do fail in many ways and along the way it is good to remember the cross. Jesus took all our sin, past, present and future. We are clean in Him. So when we do mess up there is grace when we come to Him. However, we are greatly blessed when we say no to sin and walk in His ways.

If we were capable of following the whole law without stumbling a bit we would be without sin, however because we are flesh and do stumble we must be thankful for Jesus. He released our chains of sin that gripped us and has given us a way to say no to sin.  

"You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently."

God desires that we keep His commands and diligently. If we have made a new year diet plan or workout regimen then we are diligent to keep it. We must sacrifice and do things that are not always convenient. This is the same with keeping God's law we must do it diligently and at times it will not be easy or comfortable but we must determine to do it.

6-Give an example of a time you  or someone else you know followed God's commands even though it was not easy.

"Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!"

I love this verse because it is telling us to be firm or fixed in keeping God's law. It is a prayer that we all should pray. That our hearts desire to keep His statues.

7-This would be a good prayer to pray for yourself. Have you ever considered this?

"Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments."

When we obey Him and His commands we cannot be filled with shame. That is freedom. Yet it can only be fully obtained through Christ who is the only one who was without sin. When we receive Him we exchange our lack of righteousness for His. That is the amazing thing about the cross!

8-Have you received Him and what He has done?

"I will praise you with an upright heart,when I learn your righteous rules."

When we truly learn to follow God's law we learn to love it and praise Him for it and the great protection it provides!

"I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!"

God promises us that He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) though there are times it may feel this way. He is faithful! We should make it every aim of our own to be faithful in return! He who works in our hearts is faithful! Trust in Him.

9-Did any verse in particular stand out to you in these 8 verses? If so share it. The Spirit will quicken us differently as we read His alive and active word. It will speak to us personally and be an avenue that works change in us.

Lord, may our ways be steadfast in keeping your law, may we learn to love it and thrive in it.


Gift Card Winner

The winner of the Amazon Gift card for themselves and a friend is JenMom! Congrats! My daughter Kaitlyn read all the stories and picked the winner. It was hard for her to choose because you all had great hearts. Thanks for participating and keep an eye open for the next contest next month!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Our New Family Dynamic - Quickly Entering The World of Boys

I am sure many of you have questions about our exciting news! Our family of four is quickly turning into a family of five. It is an exciting turn of events for our family because we have been praying about adopting a boy for some time. When God starts opening your heart to something it may not always take the form that you originally thought.

As you know our initial adoption process came to a halt when we finally realized our youngest daughter had aspergers disorder. You can read about that here. We needed some time to process and figure out how to work together well as a family within autism. Yet adoption always remained on our heart. Knowing God would work it out in due time if it was part of His plan.

Then here recently at random times the girls started asking when we would adopt? They wanted us to start the process again. It was strange how it kept coming up. Again, we started praying about it. This has to be something the entire family is in agreement on for us.

Then busy, sweet, three year old Dakota crashed into our lives. A week ago we felt impressed by the Spirit to pray about bringing him into our home. He is not able to stay with his parents at this time. If someone did not step in he would be going into state custody. We stepped up in faith and now he will be with us. We are so excited to add him to our family. We already love him and see him as part of our family. It is crazy how full our hearts are of love for him. This is only possible because God fills us with His love, in turn we can pour out that same love. It is not quite adoption or fostering. It is something we never considered before, taking custody with the hopes of family reunification. The family has some work to do to be considered a safe place for him to stay.

Over the next two weeks he will be transitioning into our home. Then on the 26th legally and officially part of our family in the eyes of the court. For the past three months he has been at my friends home with two of his other brothers. You can read her post about that here.

In our unique situation we must take things one day at a time, pray for the families involved and trust God's plan. After all Christ promises us,  "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18). It is for the sake of the gospel. It is grace. It is a new adventure that will be life changing for us all. It will make us more like Him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pinterest - Round Three

Here is what I tried this week. In Cooking I tried zucchini fries. They were good however not something I would like to eat often. This is what mine looked like
This smoothie was next. Smoothies are always easy. I love them because I would rather drink my meals than eat them.This one is seriously good! I was not sure since it was milk (I use Rice milk with vanilla), peanut butter, strawberries, and banana. But YUM! Give it a try.
This is a great idea to help me with organization this year. My tabs read differently. However, I am hoping it will help me stay more organized in the things that are more important. I am using it some too as a prayer journal of sorts. It is a great idea. We will see how it goes as the year goes on.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Six Months of Generous Giving - $25 Giftcard for you and also a Friend

We are so honored if Refresh My Soul Ministries has blessed you in any way. It is just a little place for one girl to express herself freely. I write thought better than I can ever express it in speech. We are blessed if it has helped anyone grow closer to Christ at all.

With that said, we feel lead to do a six month period of giving to you all. Each month starting this month til June we will be hosting some sort of give away. It will be during random times during the month and different things.

This month we want to do a dual giveaway. You can win an gift card in the amount of $25 dollars for yourself and one also for a friend. To enter I would like you to leave a comment telling us what you would do with your gift card and who you would chose to give the other to and why. Maybe it is a friend in need, maybe a friend who has blessed you. Entries can come in until Next Saturday the 14th at midnight. Sunday afternoon the 15th I will announce the winner.

Here is the deal, I will read your comments to my children about the friend you chose to give the other gift card too. Whichever one they pick will be the winner. (Most other contests I will just do random drawings.)

So share the contest, spread the word. Let's be generous toward one another!

James Week Nine - Walk It Out

Well this has been a fun adventure as we explored James together. I just love digging deep in God's word. Thanks for joining in. Please join us for the next study on 1/9 over Psalm 119. A new year and a new study to help us renew our minds by saturating our hearts with His word.

James has been so packed with great stuff. Over and over it has challenged me to trust God in all things.

Verses 1-6 go on to state that all truth will eventually come out. It is condemning those who live as if this earth is all there is. When we live that way we are very selfish and overindulgent. However, as believers we have a hope that our treasure is in Heaven, an inheritance waiting for us. This earth and everything here is only temporary. It is not even ours. The earth and everything in it is God's. We must not forget this. We must live with open hands, not grasping anything too tightly. We must also live with open hearts, intentionally loving others well. We should not take advantage of those who are weak, poor, or challenged.

Verses 7-12 encourages us to be patient for the coming of the Lord is near. We must take hope in that while life here is hard. But this is only temporary, what is to come is going to be amazing. We must learn to be patient as we wait on HIM.

The verses encourage us to look at the prophets and how they were steadfast. They patiently endured. They suffered all kinds of troubles but their hope was in the Lord where ours should be also. While we wait we should not judge others or grumble. God is coming our hearts must stay fixed and focused on this.

Then we are encouraged to look to Job and God's purposes there. Job was able to say He knows His redeemer lives before the cross, how much more should we be able to see it on this side of the cross? We are reminded that God is compassionate and merciful.

Then we are told to simply state what we mean. Our yes should be yes and no should be no. We do not need to swear by anything else.

Verses 13-20 conclude this way.
These are practical answers to questions for living out life. I love how James is so practical. I also love that these things are to be done within community. We need to depend on one another. God made us for community. I also love the emphasis there is on prayer. We must take note that prayer is very powerful.

Then it ends with the advice that if we restore a wanderer from the faith it will save his soul and cover a multitude of sins. We must keep our eyes open for those wanderers.

1-What has been the most challenging thing you discovered through this study of James?
2-Are you involved in community currently? Do you practice life with community? Why or why not?
3-Do you consider the power of prayer in every situation?
4-What encouragement can you take from keeping our eyes fixed on our lasting inheritance in Heaven?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pinterest - Round Two

Again, here is the sock curl. Last time I posted a pic of what it did to my hair. Not super impressed however I tried it again with damper hair. It worked real well this time. I also put my pony tale higher up on my head. Here is a pic of what it looked like in the morning.
This week I also tried this great beef broccoli crock pot meal. I have to be honest too. I am not a great cook or do I really enjoy cooking. I am testing these things to see how they turn out for someone like me. So far it has not been terrible.
Source: via Angela on Pinterest
It was really good. It got six thumbs up out of eight. However, those missing two thumbs rarely go up. This is mine.
I also made this desert which was so incredible. Unfortunately it has lots of butter and brown sugar. Not something I need to eat much of. However they are really good! Since I am not much of a cook I believe if I can do these recipes most anyone sure can too! Here is a picture of mine.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fear of Transitions - Learning to be Content in All Things

It is really strange to type this now but I am feeling a bit afraid because I seem to be phasing out of my health battle. I fought it so fiercely when it appeared again but now that I have learned to embrace it and trust God through it coming of out if is now frightening.

Why? First I think partly it is because I have now become comfortable with what is going on. I have surrendered it to the Lord. I am okay at the place He has had me in. It is a place that I am so often forced to return too with no prior warning.

Yet at this moment it is seeming to lift again. I feel like I can breathe and feel some light at the end of this thing. Maybe it is in my head but the last few days I have felt much stronger than I have in a long time. This is so good and what I longed for and prayed for but now that it is becoming reality I am unsure.

Second, it hurts to get your hopes up to only fall back in soon. Yet I am learning to take each day as a gift the strong days and weak days. Both are a gift. God is so good either way. He is always sustaining us.

Third, I fear moving out of this constant struggle will give me freedom to wander. I pray He binds my heart to Himself so I will stay close. Prosperity is a big test and harder than being in great need. I see my desperation and know my great need. I never want to forget that.

Fourth, this time in this weakness has really birthed a passion in me for those who are in my situation. I want to help others understand how to best minister to us and in my strength minister to them.

Fifth, this phase if I am truly coming out of it takes more discipline because it means I now need to condition my body little by little again in better health by working out.

No matter, what I do know that like Paul, God is teaching me to be content in all circumstances. This Lyme may remain in my body and pull me back down or flare up again but for now I am receiving some healing again and I cannot worry about what tomorrow will bring. I know that now things are looking up.

Paul went through so many crazy life events but he knew God was training Him in contentment in them. So I must trust the same. I have not been through all Paul has been through but there are other thorns as well that will work to keep me humble. Thorns that may or may not be removed though I plead continually for them to be. I must walk, trust, and be content. Our Father only allows what is for our good and His glory in the end. I trust that.

Now, I will continue on this health course I am on. I think these naturals antibiotics and supplements and better eating has contributed greatly to what is happening. All things God uses. I like this biotic silver a lot. I have a week left on it. So we will see what happens. No matter what my hope is in Him not health. For I know my "normal" in this area will be variable and not like anyone else.

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need."~Philippians 4:11-12

Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review: Healing is a Choice by Steve Arterburn

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

First, I must say I am a little biased toward Steve Arterburn, Every Man's Battle and Every Woman's Battle were amazing books. Also he founded the Women of Faith conferences which I think is also an amazing resource for women. Women s ministry is near and dear to my heart. I breathe it and pray it. I desire women to grow in the word wherever they are in their walk so whoever is able to pull that off deserves my respect. So going in I was a little unbiased.

Also, I was a little skeptical of this book because of the title. So those two thoughts going in are conflicting. I have heard so many times the false statement that I can "will" myself physically well which is a lie. God is in control.  However I really did enjoy this book. It was full of the wisdom I expected it to have. Healing was really about emotional healing in this book.

He lays out 10 different lies that we tell ourselves to prevent our emotional healing. Then provides truth that will set us free. He also shares many great stories from his own life and the lives of others. This book also comes with a workbook attached to it. It was really informative and if someone is ready to really heal and work through their issues this book would prove to be a very helpful part of that process.

You can get a copy of this book from Amazon here.

Psalm 119 Study - How it will work

I am so excited to have you join us on this study of God's word! It will be a fruitful study that will grow us greatly in HIM. It will renew our minds and give us a greater passion for His word. I am praying you will be greatly blessed by His word and a fire will burn in your bones for it.

I will post the study on Monday's starting January 9th. You have the week to read the section and comment. Please leave comments because we learn so much more from one another. I would love for us to do this to enhance our study together.

Each week we will just look at a section at a time. I encourage you to get a special notebook and make note of Scriptures you can pray for yourself, others, and us as we study. This notebook will be nice as well to keep record of how God answers these prayers. As we write out some Scriptures it will benefit you to memorize those that just stand out to you personally.

If you are looking to be free this year and passionate about His word then join us! It will be a great adventure and it will only take as much time as you want to invest in it.
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