Thursday, July 28, 2011

Choosing to Believe

My husband and I are both very skeptical people.  It is not that we mean to be, we just don't believe stuff that sounds too good to be true, and we try not to be gullible.  We have discussed a few times if we thought we would be a follower of Jesus during His walk on earth if we were alive then.  Have you ever thought about that?  Or, if we were not raised in church and raised to know the abundant and free love of Christ, would we be Christians today?  Would we choose to believe?

Salvation is a free gift.  It is a gift that is offered to everyone, you just have to accept it.  But, as we discussed salvation last night, we talked about it is so simple it is hard.  It is so easy a child can understand, but it sounds too good to be true to some people.  It's not about works; it's not about how good or bad you are; it is just about choosing to believe.

We were both extremely blessed to be raised in Christian homes.  We were both saved at the age of seven and gave our lives to Christ as teenagers.  I am not in anyway saying we were perfect or made the right decisions are all of our lives, I am just saying we chose and still choose to follow Jesus.  We met in college (and it was a secular university - GO PACK!), but God had a perfect plan for our meeting.  We were meant to be together without a doubt.  But, if our lives had not taken the same paths, if God had put us on a different journey, would we choose to believe in the salvation offered from the One who created us?

I was studying Luke chapter 8 today.  Wow, that is a lot of parables and miracles in one little chapter! He tells of the sower and the seed; He speaks on not hiding your light; He calms the storm; He casts out demons; a woman is healed by her just having the faith to touch His robe, and to end with, He raises Jairus' daughter back to life!  All these teachings and all these miracles and still His 12 closest friends, His ultimate followers, still had problems believing it all!  After He calms the storm He has to ask them "Where is your faith?" (vs. 25).

Would I have had the faith to believe in His teachings and miracles if I was an onlooker in Luke 8?  Which seed would I be that He speaks of in verses 4-15?

Verse for Today
2 Tim 1:12 "...nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

I love that verse and love singing it in the old hymn.  And well thankfully, I have the faith today, and I am a believer and a follower today.  And, my prayer is you are to.  Are you feeling out of touch today?  Where you raised in a Christian home, but turned your back on your faith?  Are you searching?

In that same university I took a World Religions class.  Interesting to say the least.  I saw the young people searching.  I just wanted to beg all of them to cling to the last and true religion that we studied - Christianity!   It's the only one that provides true forgiveness, true peace, and true miracles!  Choose to believe!  The lyrics are below to the old hymn by Daniel W. Whittle with 2 Tim 1:12 as the chorus.  As it says, I don't know why Christ redeemed me, but He did, and I am sooooo thankful I chose to believe!

  1. I know not why God’s wondrous grace
    To me He hath made known,
    Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
    Redeemed me for His own.
    • Refrain:
      But “I know Whom I have believed,
      And am persuaded that He is able
      To keep that which I’ve committed
      Unto Him against that day.”
  2. I know not how this saving faith
    To me He did impart,
    Nor how believing in His Word
    Wrought peace within my heart.
  3. I know not how the Spirit moves,
    Convincing men of sin,
    Revealing Jesus through the Word,
    Creating faith in Him.
  4. I know not what of good or ill
    May be reserved for me,
    Of weary ways or golden days,
    Before His face I see.
  5. I know not when my Lord may come,
    At night or noonday fair,
    Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
    Or meet Him in the air.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Be sure your sins will find you out!

Have you heard that before?  My mom was a pro at saying that to me. "Be sure your sins will find you out" Numbers 32:23. And, I have to say, it worked.  I had a conscience that prevented me from getting into too much trouble.  I am of course not saying I never did anything wrong, because that was a daily occurrence, but it did make me think twice.  I think Macie might have that same conscience.  She will come and tell me immediately if Daddy slips her a treat or lets her do something I usually don't let her do.  I pray she keeps that conscience!

I tell my kids (the youth group) that someone is always watching, even if they don't think so.  We all know God is watching 24/7, but chances are somebody on earth is watching as well.  I tell a story from high school.  I walked into Calculus class and my teacher said, "I saw what you did this morning. I would expect no less of you, but I am proud of you."  For the life of me I couldn't remember what she could have been talking about.  While I worried about it through class, the thought hit me, she could have seen me do something bad just as easily as she saw me do something she was proud of.  I had no idea she had even seen me that morning.  I had not seen her.  So, what had I done?  I asked after class, and she told me it was when I helped a little seventh grader pick up his books that he had dropped during class changes.  I hadn't done it because I thought someone was watching, I did it because I hope someone would have done it for me.  But what if I had done something else?  I could have been talking negative about someone, having a bad attitude about my teacher, being a stuck-up seninor.  She could have easily witnessed those not so finer moments that a high school girl could let herself get into.  If I let the devil get the best of me it would cause me not be the light God called me to be. 

Verse for Today
Phil 2:15 "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; "

Our actions and words may be the only "witness" someone ever sees and hears of God.  We are called to be "lights in the world".  Is your light shining today?  

Recently I was once again reminded that someone could be watching.  My daughters and I were having snack and were singing a silly song to the top of our lungs.  Now the only people that would call what comes out of my mouth a "joyful noise" is my daughters and the Lord.  Everyone else would simply call it unbearable noise.  Now we were to the chorus and loud as ever.  I then hear a tap at the side door.  I look over to find our teenage neighbor laughing.  She had been there a while and needless to say heard and seen it all.  She was laughing and so were we.  I was just slightly embarrassed.  Now our neighbors do not attend church and later that night I thanked God for letting her catch us in a joyful situation.  What if I had been yelling at my girls?  It is hard to say, but that does happen sometimes.  What would she have thought?  Would our "witness" be totally ruined forever?

Please remember that someone could always be watching.  When you think of it like that, you may always think twice before you speak and do!  Your life may be the only godly example someone around you has to follow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spiritually Minded

Are you "spiritually minded" 24-7?  Do you ever let the devil sneak in a rob you of your peace?  Do you ever say things you regret or yell when you should have remained calm?  Does the Holy Spirit rule your life?

I ask God to guard my heart every morning before I get out of bed.  I want to resist the devil (James 4:7) and be slow to anger (Prov 16:32).  When I feel the devil creeping in and causing me to choose a bad attitude over good one, I start saying, "Get the behind me Satan" (Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33, and Luke 4:8).

So what does it mean to be "spiritually minded"?  Romans 8:6 says "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."  Choosing a bad attitude is a human instinct sometimes.  Things aren't going our way, or we are just having a bad day, so we go with the carnal side and are plain old grumpy about it.  To be "spiritually minded" is to chose the attitude of Christ and be guided by the Holy Spirit.  When we are saved, we have to strive to be "spiritually minded" daily, no matter our circumstances.  

Being "spiritually minded"  EQUALS  "life and peace".  Does anything sound better?  A life of peace knowing we are choosing to follow the Holy Spirit.

2 Tim 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

When we choose to let the Holy Spirit rule our lives we have nothing but power and love and a sound mind to offer.   We do not let the devil get in our heads.  Lets choose to live "spiritually minded" today.  We could be witnessing to someone and not even knowing it just by the way we are living.  

You never know when someone is watching how we (as Christians) are living our lives!!!!  ( I feel a topic for tomorrow coming to mind )

Monday, July 25, 2011

Signs Signs Signs

So last Friday I talked about Gideon.  I was going to talk about the signs he requested and debate whether it was ok to ask God for certain signs, but thankfully God redirected my typing because I was leaning towards the wrong thing.  Now, I know some people depend on signs of comfort after someone has passed on and is in their mansion in heaven.  I believe it is perfectly fine to seek those signs and I know they are provided.  I have 3 very specific cases where I know there were prayers answered for signs after a death.  But, were Gideon's sign request necessary?  Can we ask for signs in our lives to point us in the right direction or do we simply pray and seek God's will through reading and depending on Him?

All these questions have to deal with the fact that we are planning to put our house for sale this week.  We have found our dream home.  Although I know it is nothing in comparison to the home I have waiting for me in heaven, it is everything I could dream of on earth.  I am debating is it ok to want this house.  Is it ok to pursue this house?  My husband and I have agonized for weeks about this.  We had finally come to the conclusion to just put our house for sale, and if the Lord wants us to have this house, it will happen.  He provided this house for us and He can certainly provide again.

In a moment of weakness though, I prayed for a specific sign.  I just knew that I had read about Gideon to tell me it was ok to ask for this specific sign.  Then, during Sunday School, my husband was in the nursery with our youngest and started reading the story of Gideon in his Application Study Bible.  This is what it had to say about Gideon's requests.

"Was Gideon really testing God, or was he simply asking God for more encouragement?  In either case, though his motive was right, his method was less than ideal.  Gideon seems to have known that his requests might displease God (6:39), and yet he demanded two miracles (6:37,39) even after witnessing the miraculous fire from the rock (6:21).  It is true that to make good decisions we need facts.  Gideon had all the facts, but still he hesitated.  He delayed obeying God because he wanted even more proof.
Demanding extra signs was an indication of unbelief.  Fear often makes us wait for more confirmation when we should be taking action.  Visible signs are unnecessary if they only confirm what we already know is true.
Today the greatest means of God's guidance is his Word.  Unlike Gideon, we have God's complete, revealed Word.  If you want to have more of God's guidance, don't ask for signs; study God's Word (2 Tim 3:16, 17)"

WOW!  That's all I can say.  We had decided to trust in God knowing everything would work for good, and I (like Gideon), decided to doubt and ask for more signs.  We know we are in His hands and on the way home my husband reminded me to remember Proverbs 3:5-6


Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Do you know you are suppose to be doing something today?  Are you afraid and asking for more signs?  Take a step of faith and put it all in His hands.  I am so thankful for the comfort that HE WILL DIRECT OUR PATHS!  

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Strength only HE can provide

Well once again this week a story from the Bible has been brought to me through different devotions more that once.  At the beginning of the week it was Solomon, and now it has been Gideon.  Gideon's story is found in Judges 6-8.  What a wonderful and brave story.  To think 300 soldiers brought down 135,000 Midianites, it could only be the power of our Heavenly Father.

What a wonderful story of overcoming self-doubt and putting complete trust in the One True God.  The bravest of the brave still has a human side that is going to doubt their ability.  But, we all have to remember it is not our ability that gets us through anything.  It is only by God's strength that we are able to accomplish anything.  We all know Phil 4:13 and oh how it rings true everyday in my.  "I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me" (emphasis mine).  Not some things, not a few things, ALL THINGS - EVERY SINGLE THING.

What are you thinking about doing today?  Do you want to stand up for something you believe in the way Gideon did?  Will it take an army to help you?  God can provide that army and the ultimate strength.

Ps 29:11  "The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace."

Not only will He give us strength but peace.  Peace from the doubts, from being afraid, from feeling inadequate, from all the darts of doubt the devil can throw our way.

Ask for that strength that is always available and know that peace can be yours through HIM!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Maybe Monsters

We have a lot of decisions to make in our family coming up.

Should we move?
Where should the girls go to school?
Should we start a new business venture?
What is going to happen with my husbands' job?
Should we stay involved in so many things at our church or are we overdoing it?

Just to name a few questions that have been floating through our house over the last month.  We know everything will go exactly according to His will and we are in His hands, but it is hard not to get a little anxious.

That is when the "Maybe" Monsters and the "What-if" Woozles (Pooh fans will understand) can really creep in.  We can come up with a lot of scenarios of how things could go and our mind can just whirl with craziness.  And the devil will throw those darts of doubt straight at us.  How can we conquer these things?

Thankfully during this time the Lord sent relief in the  form of a great message on Sunday and a devotion for my girls that was about the same subject on Monday.  When the Lord puts the same story in your path two days in a row, I know I am suppose to gather something from it.  It was the story of Solomon and his unselfish request of wisdom and discernment "Give therefore thy servant an understanding (hearing) heart...that I may discern between good and bad."  1 Kings 3:9  This was the key verse both Sunday and in the girls' devotion on Monday.  So it is my prayer today.  Discernment is the ability to reason.  My family needs to reason between the pros and cons of the questions above and ask for discernment from the Giver of everything.  My husband's favorite verse is Jer 33:3 "Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."

He will show, we just have to call.

Verse for Today:
Ps 32:8 "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:  I will guide thee with mine eye."

How do I sleep through the night without the "Maybe" Monsters and the "What-if" Woozles keeping me awake?  I lean on this verse.  He will teach me.  He will lead me.  He will give me the gift of discernment.  He will guide me with His eye.  He will fight the monsters and woozles.  I have nothing to fear.  If you are battling these monsters and woozles, ask for discernment and lean on the One who can guide you with just His eye!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart

My oldest daughter asked Jesus into her heart yesterday.  Do you hear the angels rejoicing?  
I do!  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  Luke 15:10  

Oh how my family is rejoicing along with the angels!  Yes, she is young, and I realize she may have questions when she is older, but she is able to explain the death of our Savior for our sins and His resurrection.  I know she is saved!  It is so simple, a child can do it.  I think that is what makes it so hard for adults to understand.  It is free.  It is a gift.  Nothing is required except for you to ask Him to be Lord of your life.  We can come just as we are.  We have not done anything that is too bad for Him to forgive.  ANYONE CAN ASK!  

She got up excited this morning and was asking me about what heaven would be like.  4 1/2 years old and is asking about heaven!  She said she knew from Sunday School that there would be streets of gold, and she asked if she would have a bed.  It is so wonderful and even unimaginable to think about what it is going to be like!

Ex 10:2  "And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son... that ye may know how that I am the LORD."

As I have said before, it is our responsibility to teach our children all about the One who gave it ALL for us!  But it doesn't stop at our children.  We need to teach our grandchildren, our nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, neighbors.  As Mark 16:15 says "every creature" needs to know the Good News, and we are responsible for sharing!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Failure is Not an Option

The Lord is really telling me to keep on keeping on, and He is speaking through my daughters' devotion book.  Today it was about "Failure"  I can't say it any better than the actual thing so here is a quote from "God and Me - Devotions for Girls".

"Sometimes failure can be a good thing...failure can make you work harder to succeed.  Everything that happens to you happens for a reason.  When you fail, Jesus may be actually helping you by making you work harder.  The next time you can't do something, remember that it might be good that you failed the first time, and don't give up."

Do you feel like you are failing at something today?  Maybe your job, your marriage, a friendship, a new venture or even just being a servant for God.  Maybe you just don't feel like you are living up to your expectations.  Remember it is the devil throwing his darts of doubt at you.

Verse for today
Phil 3:14
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I told my husband just last night that I was feeling like a failure in some areas of my life.  I had no idea God would speak to me through a devotion book for 2-5 year olds this morning.  When He closes one door, we have to know He has our best interest in mind.  We are not failing, we are just getting more prepared for His tasks He has planned for us.  And, as the saying goes another door or maybe even a window will open up!

Monday, July 11, 2011


Do you ever feel like you say "No" constantly?  With my 1 and 4 year old, I know I say it 100 times a day!  I know there are the child psychologists that say we shouldn't say "No" to our children.  I am not here to debate that.  I just "know" that "No" works on stopping my children from hurting themselves, watching too much TV, eating cookies before dinner, and all the things my little ones can get themselves into that is not in their best interest.  My girls are already becoming pros at how to react to some of these "No's".  My 4 year old is the queen of poking her lip out and holding her head down as she pouts and walks away like a sad puppy.  My 1 year old is the queen of running in place as she wrinkles her brow.  Cute to some, but not to this mom :)

This brings up a question.  How do we react when God tells us "No"?

Sometimes, I want to pout and there is even the occasional longing to throw a fit.  We know that the Lord knows what is best for us.  He has His reasons for telling us "No" or sometimes "Wait" - which can seem like a "No" to us.  

Romans 8:28 
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

We know He has it all in control.  Our lives are in His hands.  What a comfort?  What a relief?  Yes, there are times when we want to stomp and say "Please do it my way", but I promise "my way" wouldn't be for the best.   

The girls' devotion was about "perseverance" today.  Oh how I needed it just like they did.  It taught to never give up and try, try, again!  Later in the morning we were playing a guessing game.  When I told my 4 year old I didn't know the answer, she looked at me and matter-of-factly stated, "Mom, you can't give up, keep trying to guess!"  I had to laugh.  Yay, she remembered the lesson, but man was it going to get me sometimes :)  

When God tells me "No", I have to keep trying, keep seeking His face, keep seeking His will, keep persevering!

So be patient with me today!  It is going to work out "for good".  

Friday, July 8, 2011


Oh how I love devotion time in our house with my two little girls.  To see my one year old already singing and doing the motions to Deep and Wide and to hear my four year old rattle off Bible verses that we have been learning over the summer, it just warms my heart.  I can imagine God is smiling too as He watches.  Our actual lesson today was about learning.  We are to give our children a love for learning and especially a love for learning about Jesus.

But, I also took the lesson to heart myself.  We are to always continue in learning from God's Word.  I promise we will always find something new, or a verse will touch us in a new way every time we pick up our Bible!

Today's Verse
Judges 2:10 "...and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel."

I can't imagine not knowing the Lord.  It is our responsibility to teach this next generation about the greatness of our Lord and the miracles He has done not only in the Bible, but for us as well.  Let's continue to learn and soak up God's love through reading His Word and teaching our children about His love EVERYDAY!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Life

After speaking with a friend expecting her first child, I am overcome with emotion.  Oh the joy of being pregnant.  Not understanding completely what is going on inside of you, but knowing it is a complete miracle.  It amazes me that anyone could ever think that a baby just happens by chance.  How can everyone not see that it took a Masterful Creator to produce life?

I am so thankful today that I know the Creator of everything and to know He is still working on me.  I am teaching my girls that song, and oh how true it is.  He is making me what I ought to be and will be working on me until I reach my mansion :)

Today's Verse
Rev 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him...

If you don't know the Creator, He is waiting.  You just have to ask, and you will receive a new life and an eternal life!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

He Cares

Feeling like nobody understands?  Not knowing what to do about a certain area in your life today?  What a privilege to give everything to our all-knowing, all-understanding, all-loving Heavenly Father.

Verse for Today
 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 
1 Peter 5:7

Do you need to cast something at His feet?  Give it to God and trust that it will work out just how it is suppose to, in His timing!  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


"Almighty God, who slung a billion galaxies into space, cares about you. He knows everything about you, yet He loves you. And He wants you to trust Him with your problems and worship Him with your heart."  - From today's Moments With You email by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.  

What a comforting thought for the day.  He has us on His mind today and everyday.  Is He on yours today?  Have you talked to Him today?  He knows what we need before we ask.  He loves us with a love so unimaginable.  Make sure He knows you love Him in return!

The verse for today is "The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey."  Joshua 24:24 

Serve the One who loves you and knows you better than you even know yourself!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Good Morning

I cannot believe I am typing this.  Yay!  I only have a minute before it is time to make the mad dash for the door to get to church on time.  The verse for the day is Ps 118:24 "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."  

Rejoice today and my prayer is you take time to honor the Lord in a House of Worship today!