Friday, August 27, 2010

Just a little "Friday Funny" to make you smile

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Praying the Word

There's such power in praying, confessing & decreeing the promises from God's Word. Not only speaking them out loud, but personalizing them. I wanted to share some of my favorite Scriptures out of Ephesians to pray:

Ephesians 1:17-19
I pray "that the God of MY Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give ME the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, I pray that the eyes of MY understanding will be enlightened; that I will know what is the hope of His calling (for ME), what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance (for ME), and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward ME, who believes, according to the working of His mighty power."
Ephesians 3:16-19
I pray "that He will grant ME, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in MY inner man, and that Christ may dwell in MY heart through faith; that I, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, length, depth & height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; and that I may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 6:10-17
"I will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. I will put on the whole armor of God, that I may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, I will take up the whole armor of God, that I may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, I will stand therefore, having girded My waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod My feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, I will take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And I take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God..."

Let's pray these prayers & confess this over our lives this week and see what awesome things God does & reveals to us.

I'd love to hear some of your favorite Scriptures to pray & confess as well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Stuff outweighs the Bad

In the powerful and insightful words of Stan Lee, the author of the comic book series "Spiderman",
"With great power, comes great responsibility"
Deep thoughts...

So why am I thinking about power & responsibility? I'm actually reflecting on God's power, and MY responsibility to reveal it here on earth. We've each been given gifts and a measure of faith. We are to sow seeds of faith so it can grow, and we're supposed to use our gifts to glorify God.

Often as we are on our journey with the Lord, even if we're in His perfect will, we will face conflict with others who either don't know God, or who don't like that we are pressing on to a deeper level of intimacy with Him. Jesus warned us this would happen in John 16:33,
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

I was reading in Jeremiah this morning where it says he was lamenting to God about how people were treating him. Then God answered him in Jer. 12:5
"If you have run with footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?"
I thought this was so interesting - instead of answering Jeremiah by assuring him that it was all going to be alright, cheer up, it's almost over; God basically says, "if you thought that was bad, just wait until you see what else you're going to have to go through. This has just been a warm up". How many would like to hear that?

I was thinking about how most people want more of God, more of His presence, more blessing, more anointing, to see more of His glory...more, more, more (of the good stuff).

We don't however, want ANY more battles, complications, problems, obstacles, friction, whatever or however you would describe tough times. I can't tell you how many prayers I've prayed asking God to give me more...and when more problems often accompany that prayer, I spend the rest of my days & energy begging God to get me out of it!

I've learned three important lessons over the past several years of real struggle in my life.
1) God uses obstacles to show you His faithfulness & power,
2) God uses our circumstances to tear out the worldly things in us, and renew our minds & hearts. To become "partakers of His Divine Nature" (2nd Pet. 1:4)
3) Just like God has a plan for you, so does the enemy, and he will ALWAYS try to discourage you from God's plan.

This unwelcome accompaniment to God's blessings, these "problems" were so severe at one point in our lives, that my husband & I were almost afraid to pray for any more of God. Yet, that's not the answer, it only leaves us empty & unfulfilled. I have come to understand that I would rather have more of the Holy Spirit working in my life, even with all the junk the enemy will try to throw my way, even with all the junk the Holy Spirit Himself will bring up in my life so I can deal with it, I still wouldn't trade hearing His voice and having His Spirit lead & guide me for anything in this world!

If we are going to ask God for more of His great power, then our responsibility is to also trust Him to handle things when great trials arise, and not to grow weary in well doing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"I Don't Need No Ed-u-K-shun"

It's exactly two weeks from today that my boys go back to school. They are NOT very happy about it.

I've done my best over the summer to refresh their memory about school work. I made them read books, write reports, do spelling tests, review their math, take a "historical field trip" to Ft. Fisher. As you can imagine, they've complained and cried, "why should we have homework over the summer?"

Today, I found proof in the form of a picture of exactly why I put them through all of this torture...I will tell my kids, "this is why you need to stay in school, work hard & do your best!

Every kid should at least learn how to spell SCHOOL, LOL! The sad thing is, this happened in NC, my home State.

Hope you all enjoy what's left of the Summer.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Trust & Obey

Do you remember that old hymn "Trust and Obey"? I grew up singing that song, but never really grasped the great significance of those simple little words.
Trust and obey
for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus
but to trust and obey

Could it really be that simple? Yes!

Is it easy to do? No!

No matter how many times I face challenges in life, and I struggle, and I worry, and I pray...then I FINALLY give them over to the Lord

and He takes care of me again, and again, and again...always faithful

the next time I face another obstacle, I go through the same process all over again.

When will I learn?

TODAY! I will learn today!

I was praying this morning about some things that have been heavy on my mind - then I started thinking about what it is that makes us fear and fret over our circumstances. It's not just a matter of needing more faith - I KNOW that God can do the impossible. I never doubt His power to handle anything that comes my way. What it really boils down to is, do I trust that He will do it for ME?

Whether we want to believe it or not, we all to some degree, suffer from the feeling that God is going to reject us. Every time we pray pleading prayers, hoping that God will somehow intervene, we're really feeling that God might not listen to us, might not come through for us.

I lived for years believing God was "testing" me. But now, as a parent, I can't really expect that God is testing us that much. I mean, I love my kids and I want to teach them valuable life lessons, but that's not all I do with them.

Sometimes I bless them just because I love them.
Sometimes I do stuff for them, even though they probably should do it themselves.
I always take care of them, and want what's best in their lives.
They trust me everyday to love and look after them.
They never say "I hope Mom feeds me today"
or "I wish she would listen me when I call out for help".
I couldn't imagine ignoring them if they asked for my advice,
and if they genuinely wanted to please me, I wouldn't hide my will from them.
"If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Matt. 7:11

I know that I don't always trust God because I don't like being out of control. I feel like I NEED to know every detail and see the full picture. How many know that God doesn't work that way? It doesn't require any faith if we always knew what He was going to do.

I realized that I have to trust the character of God, when I don't know the plans of God. So I started confessing over & over again, "Lord, You are a good God. You have good plans for my life" (Jer. 29:11).

Joy & peace flooded my heart immediately.

My only responsibility is to cast my cares on the Lord, and then leave it with Him. After that, whatever happens is up to Him. He has promised to give me wisdom when I ask, direct my steps, equip me for everything that pertains to life & godliness, to never leave me or forsake me, to provide for all my needs according to His riches in glory...on and on the list of promises go.

I just need to trust & obey!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wow - it feels like FOREVER since I've posted anything...did anyone miss me? I missed you all. I am trying to catch up on everyone's wonderful posts, but I would literally have to sit at my computer ALL day. Stop writing so much interesting stuff so I can get a life!

I've been at the beach - but before you think I've become a total beach bum, you must know that I am still keeping it "educational". While we were at the beach, we took a "field trip" to Ft. Fisher.

We drove to Southport, NC, which is the cutest little town (I really must find some time to go back in the fall, when it's cooler, and explore this little antique infested, cafe on every corner, town!) We took the 30 minute ferry ride across to Ft. Fisher, NC, known for it's battle during the Civil War.

We spent time in the Civil War Museum, bought hats from the gift shop. My husband was very bothered by the "house divided", because one of our sons wanted a Union hat, while the other wanted a confederate. I guess we got a little taste of what it must have been like back in those days to have "brother against brother" in some cases.

I would have taken more pictures outside of the actual fort, but my camera battery ran out. I forgot to charge it.

They will at least have something to write about when they go back to school and the teacher makes them give a report on what they did this summer. I have to admit, I learned some things as well.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!