Saturday, December 31, 2011

I wrote a post for New Year's on my other blog "Freedom NOW Ministries" - please stop by and check it out. While you're there, I'd love it if you'd join my blog.

Wishing you all a blessed 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday Humor by Anita Renfroe

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I want to wish ALL my wonderful blogging friends a very Merry Christmas!

I hope you each have a chance to spend time with family and friends, eat a lot of delicious food, exchange gifts, and get some probably much needed rest.

If however, you are not able to have the "ideal" celebration here at Christmas...I pray you will STILL celebrate the greatest gift of all...God the Father sending His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.

He humbled Himself and came as a baby, lying in a manager, so that you and I could experience true joy, and peace, and ultimately have everlasting life.

I am grateful for the many gifts the Lord has given me - my family, friends, church, good health, a hope and a future...but nothing compares to the gift of knowing that Jesus is Immanuel, God with me. He will never leave me or forsake me. He won't leave or forsake you either if you've accepted the gift of Salvation.

I pray you will experience His presence today and everyday throughout the New Year.

Merry Christmas & a Blessed 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Holidays Expose the Heart

Today my family and I were out running some errands after my son’s basketball game.  As usual this time of year, my patience is tested with the crowds and the traffic. I was given evil stares as I made room for a man in his minivan to go by – even though HE was going the wrong way down the lane in the parking lot!

 I told my boys that this time of year brings out the best in some people, and the worst in others, depending on what’s in their hearts.

True intentions of the heart are often exposed during the holidays (due to the focus on family, friends, celebrations, and giving – all this coupled with stress, social and financial obligations, and sometimes dysfunctional relationships)

For example:

·         Generosity flows a little easier at Christmas, as people participate in a variety of different outreach programs. Whether it’s “Angel trees”, “Shoeboxes through Samaritan’s Purse”, donating to the “Salvation Army”, or just baking something extra for your neighbor - a lot of people live out the message “it is better to give than to receive”.

·         Selfishness is brought to the forefront, as witnessed on Black Friday when shoppers trampled one another to get a good deal.

·         Impatience is easily recognized as drivers, and long lines make the busiest of people do something they don’t normally do…WAIT.

But one secret of the heart that is often brought to light this time of year is depression.  Whether it’s due to loneliness, the loss of a loved one, absence, distance or division from family & friends, or financial stress…depression comes knocking on the door a little louder & clearer during the holidays.

My errands later led us to Wal-Mart. By this time, my husband and kids couldn’t take anymore – so they opted to stay in the car while I did my shopping.  When I returned, Bobby told me what he and the boys witnessed. 
A lady came out of the store, loaded up her groceries, got in her car, and laid her head in her hands and began to cry. They have NO idea what was upsetting this dear women!  By the time I came out of the store, she was gone.  Bobby didn’t feel at liberty to approach her by himself, but he said his heart really went out to her. 

Thankfully we can pray to a God who knows exactly why she was crying – AND knows exactly how to help her!

Interestingly enough, we just spent some time yesterday with two of our precious friends, discussing the topic of compassion verses pity.  As you see people hurting this Christmas, for whatever reason, make sure you offer them true compassion (which comes from the Holy Spirit) and not just pity. Compassion is usually backed by action – The Bible talks often about Jesus being “moved with compassion.” We don’t have the capacity in and of ourselves to have compassion, only pity.  Believe me, people can tell the difference!  The only person who appreciates your pity, is someone who insists on staying a “victim” and craves attention anyway they can get it. Otherwise, people want authentic/ genuine, from the heart, compassion! 
So keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open for those who may need some extra encouragement, fellowship, or prayer.  Ask God to fill you with His compassion and listen for how He might have you act it out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A New Spin On An Old Classic

My family was driving home from church last night and we were listening to Christmas music.

My oldest son, Jay, was singing in the back seat - the song was "Let it Snow". 

We had just pulled in the driveway and as I turned off the ignition we were at this point in the song:

"in the meadow we can build a snowman..."

Instead of the original lyrics, this is what Jay sang "and pretend that he is Carson Brown"

Bobby (my husband) and I started laughing. Jay said "What? What's so funny?"

and we were like..."who is Carson Brown?"

We had to explain to him that it was "Parson Brown". 

He laughed and answered, "Oh, I thought it said Carson.  Wait, what's a Parson?"

These young kids just don't understand the old Christmas classics.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Christmas Treasure Train Blog Hop. For those of you who won, I hope you enjoy the great give-away prizes.

Please stop by often and see what's going on here at Laugther Does the Heart Good - as well as at my friend and co-host of the Blog Hop, Anitra at The Mama Zone.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Treasure Train

Today is the LAST Day of the Christmas Treasure Train blog hop give-away.

I hope you've all enjoyed it and you win a lot of great prizes. Tomorrow we will announce the Grand Prize Winner.

If you haven't visited all the listed blogs, don't delay because time is running out. Sign up now to register for the prize drawings.

Thank you so much for participating in the Christmas Treasure Train. Please continue to stop by and see what's going on here at Laughter Does the Heart Good, as well as my good friend and co-host of this blog hop give-away, Anitra at The Mama Zone.

Have a great week.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Train Featured Stop & Bonus Prize 12/2

Today's featured blog is Savings in Seconds where Dianna is giving away a 50 Holiday cards from ($80+ value)!

While you're there, check out her online deals and printable coupons. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train.

How about another bonus prize? You can win a beautiful hand painted vase and a set of thank you cards by artist Eleatta Diver here.

If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Featured Stop 12/1

Today's featured blog is Dirt Cheap Diva where Tabitha is giving away a pink Vtech V. Reader ($59.99 value)!

While you're there, check out some of the great deals she's discovered and don't miss her "New? Start here" tab. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train.

Look for another bonus prize soon and find the others here.

If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Train Featured Stop 11/30

Today's featured blog is Eco-Crazy Mom where Terri is giving away a beautiful Bright Rainbow Star Mandala playsilk from DesertDyeWorks and a Conscious Box filled with wonderful earth friendly treats

DesertDyeWorks Giveaway

While you're there, read about her obsession with green living and don't miss her eco-reviews tab . Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train.

Look for another bonus prize soon and find the others here.

If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Monday, November 28, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Train Featured Stop 11/29

Today's featured blog is J4C Home where Jan and Sarah are giving away 2 wonderful praise cds in time for Christmas.

While you're there, check out some of their recipes and visit their Etsy shop. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train.

Look for another bonus prize soon and find the others here.

If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Train Featured Stop & Bonus Prize 11/28

Today's featured blog is At The Maple Table where Terri is giving away a $25 giftcard!!
While you're there, enter her other giveaways and check out her "Quote of the Day section. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train.

Ready for another bonus giveaway? Find a great one from UncommonGoods here.

If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Madness

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Many of you are probably sleeping in this morning because you were very brave actually faced the phenomonon that has become known as "Black Friday". I tried it a few years back (you can find a post on this blog about it somewhere) Needless to say, I've never done it since.

I was watching the news this morning and heard about all these people who got hurt at stores fighting for the "earlybird deals."  I think one man was tackled by the police because someone yelled out that he was stealing an XBox. He was actually hiding it under his shirt to protect himself from the crowd.

Another report told of a women who was fighting for an XBox and peppered sprayed the people around her. There were riots as the stores opened, an uprising because a store actually didn't open right at midnight as promised. The people pushed their way through and overwhelmed the employees. The news channel showed footage of a mob of people fighting over a waffle maker.  I think a man actually got shot in the parking lot of the local Walmart where I'm visiting.

On and on it goes, stories of people acting crazy for a bargain...all hyped up by the media and advertising world, to make them think that they won't get a good deal if they don't show up at ungodly hours on Friday morning.

What they don't understand is...the Monday after Thanksgiving has now become known as "Cyber Monday". If you were one of the smart, I mean unfortunate ones who missed Black Friday, never fear - just go online on Monday and check out the probably even lower prices!

I marvel at the state of people's minds as they fight and claw their way through the store to get what they want. As much as I appreciate a good deal, I can't imagine trampling someone to get it. I couldn't take out some pepper spray and use it on another person unless I felt my life was being threatened...not to get an item on my child's Christmas list.

I wonder if when these same people get up on Christmas morning and they're watching their precious little ones open all these fought after presents, if they'll feel at all guilty for the arms and legs they crushed on the way in to get it???  Just wondering...

There are 29 more shopping days until Christmas - please be safe out there! Word of advice - don't do anything that you'll regret as you wake up on the 25th and hopefully realize "it's not about the gifts!"

It's about someone who came to be the ultimate gift!  His name is Jesus "Emmanuel - God with us"
James 1:17 - "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks No Matter What

because Thankfulness is a choice...

This is a time of year to reflect on what we're thankful for - I thank God for Thanksgiving - A holiday who's very purpose is to cause people, who may not otherwise stop and take the time, to think about and count their many blessings.

But I understand that there those who are facing such terrible trials, that it's hard to find it in themselves to be thankful for anything. I've heard people say "there's always someone who has it worse than you" and somehow that's supposed to make you feel thankful? I've never understood why misery loves company, or how knowing others are suffering more can bring us any comfort in our own mess.

Let me please share with you something I've learned over the years as we've faced our share of challenges. God wants us to be thankful, even in the midst of our trouble! I'll prove it...
Phil. 4:6 - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
1 Thess. 5:18 - "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
In both of these verses, it tells us to be thankful - in vs. 16 & 17 of 1 Thessalonians it says "rejoice always, and pray without ceasing". So to paraphrase, God is saying "pray, rejoice, and be thankful no matter what!"

Remember...thankfulness is a choice.

Choose to be thankful no matter what you're facing, knowing that as you pray and give it to God, He will give you His peace in exchange for your burdens.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Train Featured Stop & Bonus Prize 11/23

Today's featured blog is Susan Heim on Parenting where Susan is giving away a Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure Starter Pack (for Nintendo Wii) -- a $69.99 Value!

While you're there, visit her authors' site and take a peek at her great work on the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train.

And, how about another bonus giveaway? Enter to win Teleflora's Harvest Stripes Bouquet.

If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

#ChristmasTreasure Featured Stop and Bonus Prize 11/22

As you travel on the Christmas Treasure Train, keep your eyes peeled for these special posts featuring a stop you don't want to miss. Who knows, you just might find a hidden code that will bring you one step closer to winning $100 in CASH. If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Today's featured blog is Random Thoughts where Tawna is giving away a $50 Health prize that includes 3 chocolate shake samples, 1 shaker cup, 2-workout videos, 1 Beakthrough DVD, & a book!

While you're there, read about how she made 68 pounds disappear and check out her great coupons and freebies. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train. Tomorrow’s stop? Susan Heim on Parenting

And, how about a bonus giveaway? Enter to win a $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card from 

Christmas Treasure Train Featured Blogger 11/21

As you travel on the Christmas Treasure Train, keep your eyes peeled for these special posts featuring a stop you don't want to miss. Who knows, you just might find a hidden code that will bring you one step closer to winning $100 in CASH. If you haven't climbed aboard, get over to the list of train stops and enter to win some wonderful prizes in time for Christmas.

Today's featured blog is Energizer Bunnies' Mommy Reports  where Marina is giving away this gorgeous pair of pearl and silver earrings from Lauren Nicole Gifts (a $65 value).


While you're there, enter a few of her other giveaways and don't miss her HUGE Giving Christmas Away event in partnership with World Vision. Leave a comment (or two) and remember to let her know you're riding the Christmas Treasure Train. Tomorrow’s stop? Random Thoughts.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Welcome to the Christmas Treasure Train!

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All aboard…The Christmas Treasure Train is leaving the station! I'm thrilled to be joining my friend, Anitra from The MamaZone as one of your conductors on this wild ride for gifts and cash!

This giveaway hop is a little different than most because it has the added element of a cash treasure hunt! As you hop through entering the giveaways on these fabulous blogs, keep your eyes open—you just might find some hidden cash! Here’s how it works:

  • Visit each blog listed below and enter to win.
  • After you enter on a blog, look for the image of the Christmas Treasure Train.
  • If the train contains a three digit code, make a note of it.
  • Once you collect all 10 randomly hidden codes, enter HERE to win the Grand Prize of $100 paid via PayPal.
  • As an added bonus, if you enter every giveaway involved you’ll earn 25 extra entries into the Grand Prize drawing (Sweet!).
The hop and hunt will run November 21st-December 5th and the Grand Prize winner will be announced on the 6th. Ready to win? 

Here’s what I’m giving away:

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Southern Living at HOME much so that I used to be a Consultant for over two years. I especially love what I chose as my give-away because of the many ways you can decorate it for every season and occasion. I'm giving away a Southern Living at HOME "Hemingway Hurricane" (a price orig. valued around $30).

Of course yours will be new and in the box! Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. The giveaway ends December 5th at 11:59 p.m.

Now, visit the other great blogs below!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Orderly Mess

Well, it's time for what has become my annual yard sale. Only this year I was too busy to do it in October as in years past, so it's this coming Saturday. Starting each Fall, I begin to feel like my house is closing in on me and I need to purge all the junk. I'm cleaning out the toys the kids NEVER play with (to make room for Christmas presents), and my closet from the clothes I could only hope to fit into again (let's face it, if I lose that kind of weight, I'm going to celebrate by buying new clothes!) 

This year I went a little overboard and decided to tackle the attic and my husband's shed (neither have been cleaned out in years). So it's out with the old and in with the new.

I had to store the stuff that I'm going to sell at the yard sale in my living room. Needless to say, my house is a mess right now! Coming from a person who likes everything in it's place, this has been a real struggle for me to walk past this mound of stuff. I feel like everything is out of order.

Just when I think it's all too much, I remind myself it's only temporary - this weekend it will all be out and hopefully sold. Then I can restore order in my home once again.

Honestly this experience has made me think about where I am in life right now. From the looks of things, it's a complete mess. The Lord is taking out all the junk and I know He's going to replace it with something new and beautiful. This mess that's all around me is just temporary and it's unto a purpose. It's a season where God is saying "don't look at the junk piling up, look at me, the one who can clean it out and trust that you'll come out profitable through it all." Life often looks the bleakest right before the "Son" comes out.

Thank God that He can and does make order out of my mess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bloggers Wanted for the Christmas Treasure Train Hop and Hunt

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I am so excited to be hosting my first giveaway blog hop. I’m joined by my friend Anitra from The MamaZone and we hope you’ll join us as we host the Christmas Treasure Train Giveaway Hop and Treasure Hunt.


This hop is a little different from most because it has the added element of a treasure hunt.


Readers will hop through each blog entering your great giveaways while hunting for 10 special codes that will allow them to enter to win a cash prize. The codes will be hidden randomly among all entered blogs guaranteeing traffic to every blog participating. Readers will enter the codes on a special entry page.


The amount of the prize will depend on the number of bloggers participating but will be no less than $100. The entry fee is just $2 plus whatever great prize you decide to give away on your blog.


Here are the details:



  • The Hop & Hunt will run from November 21st midnight until December 5th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.
  • Sign up for the hop will close November 15th at noon Eastern Time.
  • If possible, please have your prizes shipped within a week or two of the end date to ensure delivery by Christmas.


  • Pay the non-refundable $2 entry fee—this allows us to offer the cash prize.
  • Sign up for the email updates in order to stay informed.
  • Provide a prize to be given away on your blog during the event ($25 is a good minimum value).
  • Your prize must be family-friendly. No Adult themed items.
  • Start and end your giveaway at the specified event date/time.
  • Display one of the event badges or banners on your blog throughout the hop.
  • Prepare to see an increase in your traffic and follower counts!


  • If you are chosen to be one of the random blogs that will be given a code, the code image must be included at the bottom of your giveaway post.
  • You will need one post for your giveaway and a second post that includes the list of participating blogs and the entry form for the cash prize.
  • Include a Disclosure Statement at the bottom of your giveaway post.
  • Keep your entries simple. I recommend only one mandatory entry if at all.
  • Follow Facebook contest rules—i.e., you cannot use posting on your wall or uploading to your page as an entry. (Click the link if you have questions about that).


  • For an additional $3, be a featured blogger on the hosts’ sites, facebook page and twitter accounts for one day of the hop. This will give you additional exposure and go towards adding to the prize amount and covering administrative fees. This benefit is limited to the first $15 bloggers who pay.
  • If possible, please use Rafflecopter for your giveaways. I have invitations available if you need them.


Signing up is a quick two step process

  1. Send payment through PayPal using the form below.
Choose Your Payment Amount

Leave a comment or email me with questions. Look for additional updates and explanations once you’ve signed up.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Christmas Treasure Train Grand Prize

Christmas Treasure Train

All aboard… by now, you should be cruising along on The Christmas Treasure Train. If you’re ready to enter the treasure hunt codes for the grand prize, this is the place to do it.

Before entering, be sure you’ve followed these instructions:

  • Visit each blog listed and enter to win.
  • After you enter on a blog, look for the image of the Christmas Treasure Train.
  • If the train contains a three digit code, make a note of it. 
  • Once you collect all 10 codes, enter to win the Grand Prize of $100 paid via PayPal
  • If you enter every giveaway you’ll earn 26 extra entries into the Grand Prize drawing

Enter below using the Rafflecopter form. The codes do not need to be entered in any particular order as long as each individual code remains intact. Extra entries will be verified, so follow all of the instructions on each individual blog. For additional details, visit my original post.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Parenting Payback

It's funny how things you did as a child come back to bite you when you're a parent.

I remember how my Mom finally gave up the battle for me to keep my room clean. When I was a teenager, she would keep the door to my room shut and whenever friends would come over she'd announce "you might need a "Tetna" shot before you go in there".  She was smart enough to know that eventually even I would get disgusted with how bad it was, and clean it up of my own free will.

I'm still not the greatest housekeeper, but I am a stickler for the "appearance of clean". You may see dust bunnies floating out from under the furniture, and don't even THINK about looking in the closets, but I do like things in their place. Papers, toys, clothes, shoes, etc. left in the dining room, on the steps, or in the family room are not allowed! If the "catch all" basket on the kitchen counter gets overloaded, it's time to start throwing things away.

This brings me to my youngest son, Josh's room - it's small to begin with, so even the smallest amount of stuff left out makes it look really cluttered. Right now, however, it looks like a tornado blew through it. I've told him to clean it up, which he does, only to mess it up again fifteen minutes later. I bought storage containers for all his little action figures and tiny Lego pieces, so that everything has a proper "home". But do you think he puts things back where they belong?

I've tried hard to ignore it for the past few days, just closing the door. You know, out of sight, out of mind...every time I catch a glimpse of his room, seeing the huge pile of toys and clothes where the floor once was, I think to myself "this is what my Mom must have felt like".

I didn't say anything about him cleaning it up yesterday, even though it was hard. Instead I made comments like, "it looks like a bomb went off in here", or "did we have a tornado and it only hit your room?"  He of course thought these comments were funny. I wasn't joking!!! 

Last night when it was time to say prayers and tuck the boys in their bed, I refused to go in Josh's room. I told him I didn't want to risk injury by stepping on all the junk on the floor. I made him pray in his brothers room and I kissed him goodnight in the hallway.  He wasn't too happy about it cause he's still young enough that he likes me to tuck him in at night.

Let's see how long this stand off will last...I'm not sure I have the same patience my Mom had with me, to wait on Josh to take the initiative...he might not crack as quickly as I used to.

Yes, sometimes parenting is life's payback to your childhood. But I still wouldn't  trade it for anything in the world - messy room and all.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Smelling Fragrance

As I'm sitting here at this moment writing this entire house smells like cinnamon apples! It's almost an overwhelming aroma. No, I'm not baking, even though that's what it smells like. I was browsing through the store yesterday when I came across some of those scented bottles with the sticks coming've seen them, I just don't know what you call them??? Anyway, there was a box of cinnamon apple scented two for $4.00 package, so I grabbed it up, brought it home, and strategically placed them at opposite ends of the house. Now, you can smell the sweet scent drifting up the stairs, filling almost every room of the house.

Don't you think a sense of smell is the most under appreciated of the five senses? Everyone wants to taste good things, I for one wouldn't enjoy life nearly as much if I didn't get to taste chocolate! I have to be able to hear, because after all, faith comes by hearing, the Word of God...seriously, I would never want to lose the ability to hear worship songs, or a sermon, or the sound of my family telling me they love me. It's a proven fact that we need touch...I was told that babies who were born in an orphanage in the Ukraine and never picked up or loved on were observed to have lost the ability to have any emotion, other than perhaps anger. I couldn't imagine losing my eyesight! Not only could you not watch your children as they grow and change, or see a beautiful sunset or the majesty of God's creation, be able to drive...but I'm certainly NOT going to trust my wardrobe & hair to my husband and boys! It was bad enough when I depended on them to help me get ready while my arm was broken! Did you know that we put off a smell as a Christian? No, it's not anything like holy body odor, LOL
2 Cor. 2:15-16 says "Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?" (NLT)
I want my life to be a sweet smelling offering to the Lord, and nothing else matters. My husband and I recently tried to befriend a couple who's son is friends with our oldest. We knew they were unbelievers, and we didn't have a whole lot in common, but we enjoyed their company and were just beginning to build a friendship...or so I thought. Then it was cut off abruptly for no apparent reason. They won't talk to us, or even look our way when we pass by. I couldn't imagine what brought on this change, until I started thinking back over what all had taken place before this new attitude toward us. It all became very clear to both myself and Bobby....their son was spending the night one weekend. He's very into rap music, and rather than have him bringing some of those bad lyrics into my house, I suggested he listen to Toby Mac, a Christian rapper. My boys taught this friend of theirs a Christian rap song. I didn't explain any of the lyrics, hold a Bible Study, try to have an alter call in my house, or anything! All I did was introduce him to a song that had a good beat, and wasn't filled with filthy language, violence, or sex. It was shortly after that, the parents did an about face and we haven't seen them since.

I'm sad about this incident, but I make no apologies for the aroma I put off, as long as it's pleasing to the Lord. If it smells sweet to some, and they are drawn closer, praise God! If it's offensive to others, then I can not do anything but still praise God.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Psalm 20 - A Psalm of David

(According to my NKJ Study Bible, this Psalm was thought to be a congregational prayer used with sacrifices offered just before going to war)

1 "May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
(many of us are facing a 'day of trouble')
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
(The God of Jacob refers to the fact that God delivered Jacob in times of distress - read Gen. 35:3)
2 May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion
(may we get help from others, especially the Church body in our time of need)
3 May He remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice.
(Our offering now is our time, talent, tithe, and of course, our worship, which is done in spirit and in truth.)
4 May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose.
(I LOVE this! He wants us to abide in Him and He in us so that we can ask whatever we wish, and it will be given to us. He knows that if we abide in Him, we want ask frivolously, but according to His will because our hearts will desire what pleases Him.)
5 We will rejoice in your salvation, and in then name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
(They are rejoicing over their victory before the battle is even fought! They are asking God to answer all their prayers)
6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven, with the saving strength of His right hand.
(This is showing confidence and trust in God's ability and willingness to save His children)
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember (some translations say "boast") in the name of the Lord our God.
(Because of confidence in vs. 6, they are able to trust in the Name of the Lord to save them. While their enemies have more advanced weaponry, and chariots & horses to advance against them, the people of God boast in their ultimate weapon, the Name of the Lord Most High!)
8 They have bowed down and fallen; but we have risen and stand upright.
(People of God don't hang their head in defeat, or get lost in despair. They raise their heads up and claim victory of their enemy!)
9 Save, Lord! May the King answer us when we call."

Thank you Lord that in our day to day battles, some big and some small, You are defending us. We thank You that while the world grasps for different "weapons" to fight their battles, we gain victory in no other weapon than trust in Your mighty Name. Thank You in advance for granting us according to our heart's desire (vs. 4) and that we WILL fulfill all our purpose, in Jesus name I pray.

Monday, August 29, 2011

You Can't Shake This Kingdom

Here's a quote from a friend of ours that I loved, so I decided to steal it,
"We survived an earthquake and a hurricane in the same week here in North Carolina. There's something we can tell our grandchildren one day."
After Bobby and I were married in 1996, we came back from our honeymoon just in time to experience Hurricane Fran. It was a long night of wondering if our new home would hold up under the intense wind and rain. We watched our creek become a lake, getting uncomfortably close to the house, and we lost power for a week and a half. A giant tree fell in our backyard, but thankfully it landed sideways and not on the house. We had no cash, no food, not much gas, no water, and no ice. We ended up eating the top of our wedding cake (that I was going to freeze and save for our first anniversary).

So, when I heard Hurricane Irene might be headed our way, I decided I was going to be prepared. I shopped for food, water, flashlights, batteries, everything they tell you to get. Thank goodness we didn't end up needing any of these things here where I live. But I did stay glued to the t.v. to see what was happening just east of our town. My heart goes out to all those who lost a loved one, and/or had damage to their property.

There are many crisis going on today, whether it be natural disasters, or the economy, unemployment, divorce, etc. I can not stress enough the importance of praying for our Country (starting with our own homes, the "Church", your community, local government, on up to the Government...pray!!!) I'm not always in agreement with the direction of our Nation, but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I can't always say I'm proud of our decisions, but I am very loyal and patriotic. However, when I saw this picture of the damage from Hurricane Irene, it reminded of something very important. . .
We are first and foremost, children of the Kingdom of God, and secondly, Americans.

No matter what happens in the present or future, it's good to know that I am a part of a Kingdom that can not be shaken! (Hebrews 12:28)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We Caught Each Other

Fifteen years ago on this very day...I married my best friend! The man the Lord picked out for me, in good times and in bad (and we've had our share of both) to journey not only through life with, but more importantly through our walk with the Lord.

One of the best things about our marriage is that we think so much alike. I know people say "opposites attract", but for us, it's like we share a brain, LOL. Once again this was proven to me last night...

Bobby was working late - I knew our anniversary was the next day but I hadn't gotten him a card yet. My son needed a new lunch box because he'd lost his last year, so I used that as an excuse to run to the store at almost 8 p.m.

I'm standing in the card aisle marked "Anniversary" and had just started reading my first card, when I hear someone behind me laughing...I knew immediately that I was totally busted!

My husband, Bobby was coming to the store for the very same reason (so he'd been caught as well). He walked up while I had the card in my hand and all I could say was
"Here is the card I would have gotten you. Go ahead and read it now and we don't have to buy it".
We must of looked ridiculous standing in the card aisle laughing.

Okay, so we're not the most thoughtful, or romantic couple. We're not big on planning ahead (obviously). We don't spend a lot of money on gifts to show how much we care. But after 15 years, we still manage to laugh...a lot, and that to me, is priceless.

P.S. We will go out to dinner tonight (thanks to my brother for babysitting!), and he did surprise me this year with a Day spa massage that I haven't redeemed yet, but I'm looking forward to.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't Settle For Good Enough

It's been nine weeks since I fell and broke my arm and wrist. My stitches are out, I've done away with my sling, and I'm going to physical therapy once a week. I'm slowly but surely getting back to normal. For the most part, this is a good thing, although I must confess, I wasn't looking forward to having to cook again!

I am, however, very excited to be typing this post with BOTH hands. Last time I blogged, it was with one finger on my left hand...not fun! Which explains why it's been so long since my last post.

I've learned many lessons through this whole ordeal - I will share one with you today. I've learned to persevere.

One of my biggest obstacles is to fight the "it's good enough" attitude. I have a tendency to do things half way and say "it's good enough". So when I got most of the use of my hand/arm back, and was able to do some things for myself, I noticed that I started slacking off on my physical therapy exercises. But I absolutely can NOT go through life with a weak, partially working right hand! So, I will have to exercise self-discipline and keep at it. Maybe this lesson on perseverance will help me with so many other areas in life where I've settled for less than my best.

If that is the case, then it will ALMOST make braking my arm/wrist worth it. I said ALMOST!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who Do You Say He Is?

I'm writing/typing this post with one hand (my left hand), and I'm right handed...all because of a stupid accident that has changed our Summer and threatened to throw us temporarily off course from where God was leading us. I broke my arm and wrist on the last day of the kids school.  Since then I've had surgery, but more importantly, I've had the Word of God, telling me I am healed. Not only am I healed, but I WILL have full mobility of my arm and wrist, and I will show the Doctors and Physical Therapist that it didn't take the year that they predicted. I will have a speedy recovery in Jesus Name!

How can I make these bold statements?

Because that is what I believe, and the Word backs me up.

I was spending time in worship this morning and I heard a song that was quoting this Scripture:

Matthew 16:15-17 -  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven." 

As I  thought about how Jesus asked the Disciples what they believed about who He was, I began to imagine Jesus asking me, "who do I say He is?  

The answer is, like Peter, He is the Son of the most high God. He's obviously my Savior, but then I began to add a long list of attributes that I believe Jesus is to me.  It included my Healer and Provider, two things that speak to my situation right now. One of my favorite Old Testament names that described God was "El Shaddai", which means "the all-sufficient One". Whatever you need, it's found in Him! Bring that over to the New Testament and it's the same...whatever you need, it was provided for on the cross!

I love how Jesus told Peter that he didn't come up with his correct answer based on any human intelligence. It was truth revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. I think the same has to be true for me today when it comes to really living what I believe.  After all, I believe everything in the Bible because I know it is God's holy Word.  But I may only walk in a certain percent of that belief, based on what I really have in my heart, and not just believe theologically.  The Holy Spirit revealing that truth to Peter, is what is talked about in Ephesians as "revelation knowledge", or back in the day Christians called it a "Rhema" word. It's where the truth of the written (logos) word is revealed by the Holy Spirit and it becomes a personal word that you apply.

So, now I really must examine this question more carefully..."who do I say Jesus is?", and not just by my words. Does my life display evidence that back up my testimony of Jesus?

One thing is matter what religious people, society, false teachers and god haters have to say in answer to this question, it doesn't change the truth of who Jesus really is. Furthermore, it is only revealed by the Holy Spirit. The world can never understand the ways of God by trying to figure it out with their carnal mind.

What about you? Who do you say Jesus is?