Thursday, October 29, 2009

Don't be a Pharisee

I'm sure we've all met someone in our lifetime that had a superior attitude and acted as if you were beneath them. But there is no more irritating a person as a "haughty" Christian. Really, if we are "Christians, we are supposed to be "Christ-like". Jesus' nature was a loving, compassionate servant, who humbled himself even unto death. He is the Son of God, sent down from Heaven, and yet he was born of humble beginnings, washed his disciples feet, lived patiently with some very imperfect minister-trainees, and ultimately subjected himself to be mocked, stripped, beaten, and killed, all because of the Father's great love for us. So, a "haughty or prideful Christian" is an oxy-moron. You can't call yourself a Christian and think you are better than others. In fact, the Bible clearly says in Rom. 12:3 " not think more highly of yourself than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith that God has given you." You've heard the parable of the Pharisee who prayed like this "God, thank you that I'm not like this tax collector here..." (Luke 18:9-14) but Jesus explained how the tax collector would be forgiven because he admitted he was a sinner in need of a Savior, while the Pharisee counted on his goodness to give him right standing with God.

Unfortunately, I must confess, I've been on BOTH sides of the fence before. I've been the humble tax collector, so grateful for God's grace to save me. And, at times in my life, I've been the Pharisee, acting as if God loved me more than everybody else. God has a way of humbling you if you don't humble yourself. That was not a fun time in my life, but I am grateful that I am free from that judgmental spirit. When I feel that ugly spirit trying to raise it's head again, I must quickly confess it and not give it a foothold.

Besides being annoying, there are some real bad affects of a prideful Christian:

1. The world sees them as hypocrites and tends to lump all Christians in the same basket. It's a real turn off to evangelism.

2. It causes a legalistic mindset and is especially harmful to baby Christians.

3. It brings about condemnation, as opposed to the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit.

4. It opens oneself up to a divisive spirit, wanting to separate the "holy" ones from the rest of the world & luke warm Christians. Many a church split has resulted in a group of believers who have taken it upon themselves to "get everybody straight" for God or "come out from among them".

Let's always remember that we are all in this together, each member making up a part of the Body of Christ, with our own unique gifting and testimony. Also, we are all on different levels in our walk.
  • We have those who have been born again for years, growing in knowledge & understanding, applying what they've learned (mature Christians).

  • You have those who are learning the Word, realizing they have authority in Jesus name over the enemy, and beginning to see God's purpose for their lives, but are still sometimes led by their emotions and vacillate between being a responsible, mature Christian, and a baby (teenage Christians).

  • You have Christians who are just beginning to find their legs in this walk of faith (toddler Christians),

  • You have Christians who are just born again and hardly know anything but are alive in Christ and determined to grow (baby Christians).

God loves each and every one of these Christians the same, just like we love our kids at each stage of their lives. It's not like we say to our newborn, I will love you one day when you're all grown up, or to our toddler, I can't believe how many times you keep falling down, I wish you'd just run already! So, we must be patient with one another, realizing we grow line upon line, and precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. Praise our Heavenly Father for all of His children...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm on a winning streak!

I can't even believe this...honestly, I usually NEVER win anything, but this week I have discovered I won a free blog makeover (thank you Nan!) AND an Honest Scrap Award (thank you Beth!). I am so blessed by all my blogging friends. So, keep your eyes out for my new blog design that is coming soon. And, in keeping with the Honest Scrap Award, I am supposed to write 10 honest things about myself. Here goes:

First of all, thank you to Beth at "I'm Heading Towards My Destiny" for honoring me with this award.
Now, 10 honest things about myself. . .
1. I don't eat any kind of beans (except maybe french style string beans, but only in a
2. I am very afraid of spiders, even if they're small.
3. I still have to count on my fingers sometimes, I'm really bad at math
4. I buy junior mints because my kids & husband don't like them so I get them all to myself.
5. I've always dreamed of being an author but never had the guts to go for it after I was told
at an early age that I'd never be able to make a living at it.
6. Whenever I watch a good, clean love story, if the characters are fighting and just about to
get back together again, my fingertips start to tingle. I have NO idea why?
7. I've had the same best friend since I was 3 yrs. old - she now lives about 10 miles from me
and our children are good friends.
8. I'm actually an outgoing person, trapped in a shy person's body. I have to push myself to
venture out in social situations. This will be remedied when I get free from my insecurities.
9. I have been a Christian all my life, but I seriously committed my whole life to Jesus in
1990, and I haven't looked back since.
10. I'm really a big kid at heart and sometimes feel like I'm not a responsible mom. I LOVE
going to Chuckie Cheese, I love to play video games, I enjoy playing sports in the yard with
my kids, but I NEVER let them win because I'm very competitive, I run through the house
chasing the kids and I play hide & seek with the dog.
Now, I want to share this award with 7 people, but first, I will explain the rules. 1)You must thank the person who gave the award and list their blog and link it. 2) You must share "10 Honest Things" about yourself. 3) You have to present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you. 4) Last, you must tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
Here are my 7 people:
Congratulations ladies and thanks for all the inspiring posts. Please accept this Honest Scrap award. If you have time and you feel like participating, that's great. If you're way too busy posting about other things...I certainly understand.

Anointed Songs

I survived the fair, thanks to my "fair prayer", haha. I've been so busy ever since, I haven't been able to write. However, many people wondered how we made out at the fair, so I wanted to let you know that it was actually fun. We were later getting to the fair than I had intended, which probably helped my patience and my wallet. My husband did complain briefly about the cost of parking, but since we were teasing him about how predictable he is, it didn't last long. The kids rode 3 rides, we ate a quick meal, and then it was time for the 1oth Avenue North and Jeremy Camp concert.

My youngest was less than thrilled about leaving the many attractive rides to scarf down a meal and head into a concert for the next couple of hours. Especially since you could see the rides and the lights going on outside of the coliseum. I guess to a 7 yr. old, that was pure torture. So, he voiced his disgust every 10 minutes of the concert, which I must admit, did try my patience. I was quick to point out to my beloved son, a rather important newsflash that will serve him well in life, which is...the world doesn't revolve around him. He didn't seem to agree. As the concert went on, he became more and more impatient and he constantly wiggled in his seat. The others were all enjoying the music and the wonderful ministry time going on. Jeremy Camp was awesome, not only in talent, but his heart really came through.

Just about the time I thought it was rapping up, Jeremy began to sing the song "Our God is Mighty to Save". It was very powerful as the packed auditorium joined their voices and we all sang about how Mighty a God we serve. I looked over at my son, now sitting quietly in his seat, and his eyes had welled up with tears and he was wiping them away with his sleeve. Being the spiritual super mom that I am, what do you think my reaction was? Nope, not even close. I rolled my eyes because I thought he had finally given up on trying to bug me into leaving, and had now changed his tactic to crying. I assumed he was sitting there sulking about how unfair life is for a 7 yr. old boy and how mean his family was for objecting him to such treatment. I think I even mumbled "oh for goodness sake", but it's all a blur now, so I can't be certain...haha Just about that time, he leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Mommy, I really feel God's presence." was like someone slapped me right upside my head! I said, Oh, that is so sweet....and I hugged him...more tears fell.

After the song was over, he was better behaved, but the moment seemed to have passed. Which got me thinking. Are there songs that have such an anointing on them, that it seems to usher in the presence of God? I believe so. I know that there are songs that touch a nerve with me, songs that minister to my situation, songs that edify and build me up, songs that glorify God...but then there are songs that catch you by surprise, and for no reason you can explain, just feel like you are singing right along with the Heavenly choir and you seem to somehow sense God's pleasure with the worship you are offering.

I have always thought that the Revelation song was just one of those songs. It doesn't matter whose singing it, although Kari Jobe is my favorite, but I've heard it by others, and in different arrangements, but no matter what, I always feel God's presence. And no matter what kind of day I'm having, I can hear that song, and it lifts me right up out of my circumstances and into the "throne room" of God!

Out of curiosity, do YOU know of a song that carries a special anointing on it? If so, please share with the rest of us. And may you all experience "God's presence" today.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Prayer before the Fair

Yes, we're going to the NC State Fair tonight. Here is my prayer before the Fair...

Lord, please give me self-control to pass by the fried Twinkies,Oreos, snicker bars, elephant ears, and anything else they stick in the deep fat fryer. Help my husband not to freak out over all the germs that will be represented there. Let me have the fruit of the Spirit of patience as we slowly make our way through the crowded, narrow grand stand of people pushing and stepping on my feet. Help me to bare it with a grin, and not be offended. Help us to be protected from the multitude of people that seem to come around just when they feel the urge to light a cigarette and share their second hand smoke with me and my family. May the kids not be afraid of some of the characters that we will see, including the many men and women working the rides, and help us not to judge some of the outfits we're likely to encounter, or the language we're liable to hear. Bless us with a good parking space, even though it will probably cost us $10, which might cause my "thrifty" husband to hyperventilate a little, especially considering the cost of the food & rides once we get in the fair.

Most of all, thank you for the opportunity to go see Jeremy Camp & 10th Avenue North perform tonight. And lastly, thank you for my kids, who I love so much and I will go through all of the above for, and more, just to hear them say "that was so much fun".

P.S. Lord, help me NOT to lose my temper if they don't say "that was so much fun!"

Addictions Come in all Forms

You say the word "addiction" and most people automatically think of drugs & alcohol. Of course there are other bad things people are obsessed and addicted to, but I don't want to go down that path right now. There are all sorts of reasons why a person develops an addiction, and I don't want to open that can of worms today either. What I really want to confess one of MY addictions. Yes, I said one, because I have a few, okay, several...for example, I'm addicted to Blistex. I can't help it, it's medicated and I like the little tingly feeling I get when I know it's working on my chapped lips. I've been using it everyday for the last 20 years or so. Another addiction is Junior mints. I LOVE them, I eat way too many of them, I find eating popcorn without them almost unbearable. Again, it's not my clearly says on the box "a low fat candy", almost begging me to eat it! There are some other things, but I said confess one of my addictions, so I should get back to the addiction at goes....I must confess my addiction to the social websites. Even as I sit here typing on this thing, I am taking part in my new addiction.

It all started with email, but that wasn't good enough. I had to get a second email for my Southern Living at HOME consultant business. Now I have two emails to check everyday. Then I discovered "Myspace" and spent hours setting up my profile. But much to my surprise, most of my friends were on Facebook. I had no choice but to switch to Facebook so I could stay in touch, right? Facebook in itself is an absolute, all consuming entity, but then, my brother joined Twitter and urged me to become a member as well. Now I have a Twitter account. Then I read a friend of mine's blog (I'm not holding you responsible Beth, I'm just saying...) and became an instant blog fan! But like any addiction, it wasn't enough to read other people's blogs, no, I had to join them. Now I have a blog of my own (obviously as you sit reading it) that I must attend to everyday. Not only that, but I add almost daily to the blogs that I read because you are all so good at what you do. Have I mentioned how it's not my fault? If you all didn't write such interesting and captivating things, I could probably have a life!

You see where this is going? I rush to the computer in the morning, check my two emails, where I see that I have Facebook messages, so I must go to FB to respond or it would be rude, right? Then, before I can get in and get out fast, like I promised myself I would do, low and behold, someone on FB IM's me! Now I have to spend the next 30 minutes talking/typing to them. I have actually been IMing two people at the same time about completely different topics. It's enough to make my head spin. I occasionally update my Twitter out of the guilt of not wanting to neglect it. I have since given up the Myspace account, simply because I forgot the password and don't care to find out what it was. I am at the point where I need a journal to remember all my usernames & passwords (why I didn't make them all the same is beyond me???) I spend countless minutes a day reading other people's blogs, plus writing them myself.

I'm not complaining, I love keeping up with people. I've come in contact with friends I haven't spoken to in years on FB. I am meeting all kinds of new and inspiring ladies on these blogs. I run a business on one email, and I respond to family and friends on the other, while also using it as a ministry tool to keep up with the ladies from the life group I lead, as well as the prayer requests that come in from church. It is a tool that I need and I wouldn't trade it for the world. The only problem is, I need time management and self-control. Honestly, when I was first learning to set up my blog, I didn't shower all day. My husband came home and there was no dinner, no snack, no trace of food for him to eat. I even went to get a cushion to sit on to make the chair more comfortable as I sat for hours.

Okay, it's gotten a lot better since then. Things I have learned...I am learning that I don't have to write a book every time I answer an email, I am not going to disappoint anyone if I don't renew my blog everyday, and I can ignore some IM's on FB if I don't have time to chat. I limit my FB time to morning and maybe a quick glance at night after the kids go to bed. I check my business email twice a week, and the other email in the morning. My house will be a little cleaner, and I will too for that matter (I'll take showers), now that I've set limits for myself.

But, if they come out with any other social websites, please, I beg of you dear family & friends...don't tell me about it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cancel Credit Cards Before You Die

This is so priceless, and so, so easy to see happening, customer service being what it is today. A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00 when she died, but now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank. Here is the exchange:

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you she died back in January.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

Citibank: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been.'

Family Member: So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

Citibank: 'Either report her account to frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Citibank: 'Excuse me?'Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you - the part about her being dead?'

Citibank: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died back in January with a $0 balance.'

Citibank: 'The account was never closed and late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Citibank: (Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.' (Lawyer info was given)

Citibank: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member: 'Sure.' (Fax number was given)

After they get the fax:

Citibank: 'Our system just isn't setup for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. She won't care.'

Citibank: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

Citibank: 'That might help...'

Family Member: ' Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.'

Citibank: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'And what do you do with dead people on your planet???'

(something similiar happened to my dad when my mom passed away. I can't remember all the details, but I know that there was no outstanding bill that needed to be paid, and yet they were trying to collect something, and I remember my dad asking the person if he could send the bill to Heaven) I guess this is too close to home to be really funny...

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's not about how you feel

I must admit, I haven't felt much like laughing the past couple of days...I have some stuff going on that I can't control. I'm a little bit of a control freak, I like knowing what's going to happen, I like being secure, I'm not adventurous, I don't know like get the picture. So not being able to "fix" my circumstances, really opens the door for depression & hopelessness to try to come in.

Hopeless really isn't an option for me as a Christian. To be without hope, means to buy into the lie that God can't or won't help me. I'm not willing to believe that. I know He'll help me in His way and in His time, but one thing is for sure, He is always working in my life for my good!

However, I have this image in my mind that describes how I feel. It's a picture of me walking across a tight rope. I'm stuck in the middle, where I've come away from my past, but I haven't reached my future destiny. I'm stuck in the middle on this thin little wire, trying to balance everything. Meanwhile, I feel like every now & then, the enemy will blow really hard and a wind will come try to knock me off of this trapeze act I'm living. That was how I felt when I woke up this morning.

Thank goodness the Bible has instructed us that we are to walk by faith and not by sight. I take this to mean that we are to trust God and not our emotions or senses (what we see, hear or feel). I may feel hopeless, but I choose to believe the Word of God. I am claiming that Jesus is the umbrella I hold in my hand, that helps me keep my balance. He is the person standing on the other side, cheering me on and bidding me to come, even reaching out His hand to grab mine when I get close enough. But most importantly, He is the net underneath me, in case I feel like I'm going to fall. He won't let me hit the ground, He will catch me, and hold me in His loving arms, and never let me go. Psalm 91:11-12 "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone."

So, now that I've confessed how I felt, opened the Word of God, sang some songs of praise "to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all I could ever ask or think..." (Eph. 3:20), I feel His presence and joy! Thank you Lord.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Free Makerover Blog

Hey all you bloggers out there - I wanted to let you know about a "Free Blog Makeover" that my friend, Nan is doing. Hop on over to her blog and check it out at You may also go to "blogs I follow" and see her button displayed there.

Although, I must warn you, I really want to win, so I'm not even going to wish you "good luck". I know, that's very unsportsmen like of me, I apologize. So, break a, really, good luck (kind of), okay, may the best person for the makeover win....but whatever you do, go check out her blog.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

You Never Know What Your Kids Will Say

My kids are notorious for saying the wrong thing, at the wrong time, or blabbing on & on without giving all the details, thereby making a big mess of things. . .

My oldest son is the observant one. When he was younger, he would watch and listen to someone, and then make comments. I am leaving out the names of the people to protect the guilty (I mean, the innocent), but it usually went something like this...."so & so, why do you talk like that?", or "How'd you get those wrinkles on your face?...", or "why do you always jiggle when you run? - you're really squishy". Don't get me wrong, he's not mean spirited...a little too honest at times, and very inappropriate. Thank goodness he has grown out of that stage.

Now, with my youngest son, the problem is more severe. He rambles on to anyone who will listen, giving waaaayyy too much information, and usually leaving out crucial points. For example, my brother is always kidding with the boys about getting them a "girl" toy for Christmas, just to hear them yell "NO, we don't want a Barbie Doll!". So as a joke, we decided one year, to get my brother a cheap, "Dollar Store" doll. We wrapped it up, and on Christmas morning, the boys presented him with the doll, and we all got a good laugh out of it. My brother left the doll at our house, and it didn't take too long for them to destroy it. The dolls leg was torn off in a matter of minutes.

Many months later, my son was riding in the car with my sister-in-law, just talking about random things, when he explained that his Uncle was probably going to be mad because he tore the leg off of his Barbie. I got a phone call that afternoon from my sister-in-law wanting to know why my brother had a doll.

Then there was the classic time, when the boys were ages 4 & 2. I had to go to Alabama to my grandmothers funeral. I wanted to go, but I didn't want to leave my kids (I had never been away from them for more than one night). So against my better judgement, I brought them with me. They couldn't sit still for the service, and I ended up in the break room listening to the service over the intercom. I didn't let them in the room where the casket was displayed because I didn't think they could handle seeing the body.

When it was time for the graveside service, we rode in the car up to the graveyard, and as soon as I opened the door, they spotted my brother with the other pal bearers, carrying the casket over to the grave. Much to my horror, they climbed their way over a couple of small tombstones, my oldest boy screamed "hey Uncle Marty!" I was trying to run to my son and cover up his mouth, people were starting to gather around the tent where the grave had been dug. And before I could get to my children...the youngest yells out "hey, what's in the box?" I guess I don't need to tell you how devastated I was...but I have to admit, it was so innocently funny, I couldn't help myself, I had to laugh!

Kids - you just NEVER know what they're going to say. . .

Joke of the Week

Going Out for the Evening

A couple was going out for the evening. The last thing they did was to put the cat out. The taxi arrived, and as the couple walked out of the house, the cat shoots back in. So the husband goes back inside to chase it out. The wife, not wanting it known that the house would be empty, explained to the taxi driver "He's just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother." A few minutes later, the husband got into the taxi and said, "Sorry I took so long, the stupid thing was hiding under the bed and I had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Never Too Busy to Pray

Life is full of ups & downs, and every now & then, a little sideways too! I know that I've been so busy lately, it's all I can do to handle my own stuff, most less pray for all the people I know who are really going through some serious trials. I also know that the enemy would love for us to be so bogged down in our own lives, that we don't lift up our brothers & sisters in Christ and stand with them until they see a breakthrough.

So, once again, I'm reminded that 1) I don't have to have all the answers before I pray. It's not like I have to figure it all out so I can tell God how I want Him to move. Sometimes the best prayers are "God please help"...right? 2) I am not always the person He wants to use to bring about the solution. Sometimes my prayers alone are sufficient, other times, He will tell me to get involved. So I don't have to hold back praying for someone just because my own life is extremely hectic. I can pray in the car while I'm waiting to pick up my kids, under my breath at the grocery store (even though someone might think I'm crazy if they see my lips moving), or at home while I'm doing the laundry. The point is, prayer is a powerful, but too often neglected tool that we have to make a difference in a person's life. The Bible says in James 1:16 "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much". I have been convicted about saying "I'll pray for you" and not following through. So I make it a point to say a prayer right away for anyone I give that promise to. I also think that we could all benefit from spending a little more time praying for others, and getting our eyes off of ourselves once in awhile. I know that if I'm lifting up someone else's needs, God probably has someone praying for me.

Last, I am so impressed with all the men & woman in my life, including all my new blogging friends. I hear about, or read about all the things going on in each of your lives, and I'm amazed at the strength and the grace you all display. The lessons that we're learning and passing on to one another are truly life changing. I can clearly see how God is moving, teaching, and stretching His children, through life's ups & downs, and even sometimes, sideways. . .

Top 10 Things That Make You Go...Ummhh?

1. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?

2. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?

3. Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?

4. Why do we sing "Take me out to the ball game" when we're already there?

5. Why are they called " stands" when they are made for sitting?

6. Why do "overlook" and "oversee" mean opposite things?

7. Why is "phonics" not spelled the way it sounds?

8. How come abbreviated is such a long word?

9. Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

10. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Church Bulletin Bloopers

"Thursday night - Potluck supper. Prayer and medication to follow."

"Don't let worry kill you -- let the church help."

"For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs."

"This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends."

"There will be a baked bean supper next Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Music to follow."

"The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals."

"The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'"

"Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands."

"The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict."

"The Rector will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing: 'Break Forth Into Joy.'"

(The above is from

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Parents Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my sanity to keep.
For if some peace I do not find,
I'm pretty sure I'll lose my mind.
I pray I find a little quiet,
Far from the daily family riot.
May I lie back and not have to think
About what they're stuffing down the sink,
Or who they're with, or where they're at
And what they're doing to the cat.
I pray for time all to myself
(did something just fall off a shelf?)
To cuddle in my nice, soft bed
(Oh no, another goldfish--dead!)
Some silent moments for goodness sake
(Did I just hear a window break?)
And that I need not cook or clean
(well, I've got the right to dream)
Yes now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray my wits about me keep,
But as I look around I know,
I must have lost them long ago!
written by Anonyous

Parted Waters Part 2

I've always been fascinated by the story of how God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. I love how God displayed His awesome power by parting the Red Sea so the Israelites could go through on dry ground. Moses was leading God's people out of bondage and captivity. This was a foreshadow of how Jesus would later set us free on the cross from the bondage of sin.

After 40 years of wandering in the desert, it was finally time to enter the promise land. Leadership had now been passed on to Joshua, who was in charge of leading the Israelites into the promised land. Some people may not realize that God parted the waters once again, this time of the Jordan. Joshua 3:15-17 "now the Jordan is at flood stage all during the harvest. Yet as soon as the priest who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing..." "The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by, until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground." Then He commanded them to build a memorial so they would always remember.

So why would God part the waters again? Joshua 4:23-24 says "For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when He dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God." God wanted everyone to know that He was with Joshua just like He was with Moses, AND to know His awesome power that was available to them.

Let's compare the two events - the first time the waters parted, God was bringing His people out of something. They had been in bondage and He was setting them free. The second time the waters parted, God was leading them toward something, the promised land, the place of blessing and destiny. Both times, God showed off His great power to assure the people He was with them, and He was able.

The same experience is available to us today. Whether we're in need of God to deliver us out of some sort of bondage, set us free from some sin that we can't overcome on our own - Or if we're trusting Him to lead us to our on personal "promise land" of destiny and fruitfulness in our lives. God wants us to remember His awesome power and know He is able.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Young Love...or Not!

I am very concerned these days...tell me if you can relate. You've heard me talk about having two boys - my 9 yr. old is in 4th grade, and my 7 yr. old is in 2nd grade.

Here's my dilemma - I have two good looking boys! Not to sound conceded, because God made them that way...and honestly, they don't look anything like me! So, other than birthing them, I can't take much credit. People keep saying "the girls are going to go crazy over your boys!" I just didn't know it would start so early - YIKES!

My husband wanted boys because he has 3 sisters and 5 nieces. He said over and over again that he didn't want to have to worry about guys chasing after his little girls. I've caught enough episodes of talk shows to know that now days, girls can be aggressive too. My how things have changed. oldest is NOT interested in girls whatsoever, even though some of his friends are starting to like them. I'm fine with this, he has plenty of time. He told his dad the other day that a little girl in his class said "I know someone who likes you". Instead of the expected response of "who likes me?", his answer was "Yuck!" So, no problem there for now.

My youngest is a whole different story... He had a little girlfriend from our church while he was in kindergarten. He stuck up for her in children's church when someone called her a name. He shoved her much bigger, older brother when he made her cry. He pushed behind the toy car while she sat in the drivers seat, and appeared to be very heroic & devoted. She was cute and had long blond hair. One day we were over at their house, and she came in from getting her hair cut. My son took one look at her short hair, and everything changed. He no longer wanted to be her "boyfriend". Of course I am not encouraging a relationship at this young age, but I was curious, so I asked "why don't you like her anymore?" He said "I don't like her hair." How typical! What is it with guys and long hair?

He went on to like this little girl from his kindergarten class. Again, blond hair, not really long, but not short. She chased him everyday on the playground. He told me one day that the girls were chasing him and trying to kiss him. I told him to run fast! No one is allowed to kiss him but his family. Honestly, where are the teachers? I noticed after awhile, he didn't talk about this little girl anymore. Again, I was curious, so I asked him what was going on. He explained that on "picnic with your pajamas" day (they wore their pajamas to school & had a picnic, don't ask me why?), he said she was no longer his girlfriend because she wore stupid looking pajamas. I know what you're thinking, I NEED to talk to my son about being so superficial! I agree.

First grade, another girl caught his eye, but this time he wasn't sure if she liked him. On the last day of school, I pick the boys up, and Josh informs me that he asked this girl to be his girlfriend and she said yes. I laughed and said, "you aren't going to see her again for 2 months!" We all made jokes about his timing. The closer we got to the beginning of school this year, the more he talked about dumping his "girlfriend". Sure enough, 4 days after school started, he said he told a friend of hers he wanted to break up. Thankfully he decided he was too young for a girlfriend!

I thought the whole matter was behind me. I went to chaperon his 2nd grade field trip to the police station last week. I was meeting the bus at the designated spot, and there was another mom waiting as well. I recognized the lady as the mother of my son's now "ex-girlfriend", haha. I introduced myself to her as Josh's mom. I said nothing of the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. She began to tell me how her daughter came home from school upset for getting dumped, and explained how she had talked all summer long about how she couldn't wait to get back to school to see Josh. The girl's mother laughed, but it still felt very weird. Can I just tell you how uncomfortable I felt? I almost thought I should apologize for his behavior, but then I realized, their 7 years old! Plus, I was such a tomboy growing up, my idea of hanging out with a boy at 7 yrs. old was to beat him up!

What is a mom to do? Should I tell them that girls in fact DO have cooties? Maybe I should send them to an all boys school? Any moms out there who have been through this, feel free to give me some advice. In the meantime, pray for me to be a good listener to my boys, stay on top of all that's going on, and that the Lord will give me WISDOM.

Deep Thoughts & Funny Quotes

1. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

2. I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

3. For Sale: Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.

4. Do you have trouble making up your mind? Well, yes or no?

5. Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

6. I poured Spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.

7. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

8. Before borrowing money from a friend, decide which you need more. (Friend or Money!)

9. Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

10. Where there's a will, there are five hundred relatives.

(above from

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Kid's Perspective

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

5) POLICE # 1
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

6) POLICE # 2
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked... 'It sure is,' I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, 'The tooth fairy will never believe this!'

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, 'Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit.'
'And why not, darling?' 'You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning.'

While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Father, and unto the Son, and into the hole he goes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible.. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. 'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out. 'What have you got there, dear?' With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam's underwear!'


Beth Moore's daily devotion on The Parable of the Great Banquet

I read this today and thought it was too good not to share. I absolutely LOVE Beth Moore's Bible Studies! In between taking her studies, I like to look at these quick daily devotionals. Plus, I've been way too busy to post a blog of my own. Hopefully things will settle down a little in the next few days.

Beth Moore wrote:

If you've ever done a jig-saw puzzle, what do you think is the most important piece? The corner? The last piece? Actually, the most important piece of the jig-saw puzzle is...the box top! Without the boxtop, you can't see the "big picture". And without the big picture, how can you make sense of all the little pieces?

If the Bible had a box-top, what do you think it would be? Isaiah 7:14 says, "...Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel," which translated means, God with us. That's it! From Genesis to Revelation, the boxtop reads, God with us - God wants to be in relationship with YOU!

The parable in Luke is about an invitation - an invitation to dinner, but really, an invitation into relationship - relationship with the Father. Notice the excuses some of the guests give:

  • "No thank you. I just bought a piece of land..."
  • "No thank you, I just bought five oxen..."
  • "No thank you, I just got married..."
Sadly, no one accepts the invitation. Look closely at their excuses. They allowed possessions, career, and human relationships to get in the way of the invitation into relationship with God. What is getting in your way? What excuses do you have for not accepting the invitation to dine at the table of relationship? Take a moment to meditate on that question and let the Holy Spirit reveal anything that has been taking precedent over your time with God.

Isn't it time to stop making excuses, and to start saying "yes" to God's big picture boxtop - relationship? Accept the invitation and let Jesus put together the puzzle pieces of your life. It's why He came - to be with us, to be with you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let's Get Honest

I was at an intersection the other day and I glanced over and saw a man sitting on a bucket in the median, begging for money. This has become quite a normal sight, as you can see at least two beggars at every intersection off the highway where I live. This particular man caught my eye because he wasn't standing up and walking back and forth showing off his sign like so many of the others do. As I said, he was sitting on an upside down bucket, holding his sign in his lap. I looked at his sign thinking it would be like so many of the others I've read. Usually they say something about being homeless, hungry, some have said that their wife has cancer and they can't pay medical bills, or they are a veteran who can't find work, and they always end with God bless you. I'm not passing judgement on any of these people, I certainly have no idea about their situation. However, this particular man's sign said this..."Too ugly to prostitute, too stupid to steal". I sat in my car at the red light in total disbelief at the words I was reading. The man saw me reading his sign and he had a little twinkle in his eye and I could of sworn I saw half of a smirk on his face. I couldn't help but grin at this man's take on his situation. You have to say to yourself, if I was in this man's position, would I still maintain even a glimpse of humor? I kept thinking about it after I drove off. What makes a person who is obviously at an all time low in life, still be able to laugh at their circumstances? One answer I believe is that they are honest. They don't live in a facade, there are no preconceived notions about life, no one to put on air es for or try to impress.

Let's take an honest look at honesty.... it's almost a lost art in our culture today. What would it be like if we could all just be honest with ourselves and take some spiritual inventory? I used to write in an "Anne Graham Lotz" journal everyday. Each day you would read a story, a Scripture, and then it would ask a question based on that day's lesson. After years of growing up in the Church, listening to sermon after sermon, attending numerous conferences, Bible Studies, Sunday School, etc., I KNEW how to give the right answers to my journal questions. Long after I finished my one year journal, I picked it up one day and began to read over my entries. A feeling of disgust came over me as I realized what a bunch of junk I'd written. For the most part, it was biblical and doctrinally sound, but it was so far from the truth, it was ridiculous. The purpose of a journal is to share your thoughts and take an honest look at where you are, and then make corrections to get to where you know you need to be. The real reason I didn't answer honestly, was because I was aware of people reading my journal after I'm gone. My Mom had been battling cancer and passed away in 2007. During that time, I was able to read all of her notes & journals she'd written over the years. So I began to think about what people would read if they found my journals. Heaven forbid anyone see my true emotions or hear about my real struggles. What pride! I told my husband that my journal was fake and he laughed and said he knew already, he'd read it! He admited that he knew I was just saying the right things. I was horrified to think that he could see through me so clearly but hadn't said anything. Now I make a point of being honest with others and MYSELF. I can pray to God and bare my soul, the good, the bad & the ugly, because He already knows it all anyway. As a result, I am much more transparent with others, and surprisingly the more transparent I am, the more acceptance I get. I don't think anyone enjoys being around someone who acts like they have it all together.

Back to the beggar - what he said was ridiculous, but it was honest. It was the same as saying "I just want you to give me some money", no excuses. I found that more refreshing than someone trying to manipulate my emotions who may or may not really need help. In the same way, I would rather be brutally honest with myself and take a good look at whatever ugly thing I need God to forgive & deliver me from, than to be like the pharisees and pretend like everything is perfect and only other people have problems.

Things My Mother Taught Me

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION...
"Just wait until your father gets home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING....
"You are going to get it when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE...
"What were you thinking? Answer me when I talk to you! Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me LOGIC...
"If you fall out off that swing and break your neck, your not going to the store with me."

5. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE...
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

6. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD...
"If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job."

7. My Mother taught me HUMOR...
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

8. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT...
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

9. My Mother taught me about GENETICS...
"You're just like your father."

10. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS...
"Do you think you were born in a barn?"

11. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE...
"When you get to be my age, you will understand."

12. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE...
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you....Then you'll see what
it's like."

(The above text is from