Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy B-day!

Excuse me while I gush a bit.  I have to say a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the love of my life, my true Boaz, the man only God could have placed in my path...thank you honey and happy birthday.  We are just returning from the long treacherous trip to his job.  He travels 62 miles one way everyday of his life, and we are very thankful for all you do for your girls! We do not make the trip to his job very often, but it is a definite treat when we get to go.  Our oldest daughter got to stay for the rest of the day, and I know she is feeling like daddy's true princess right now.

I must be brief, seeing as how we are having our usual "surprise" party for Daddy when he gets home.  The usual ice cream cake is in the freezer; his favorite beef roast is in the oven; the party hats have been made, and balloons and signs adorn the kitchen.  We just need the man of the day and his biggest princess to arrive home to enjoy.  I wanted to share an email I received this week.  Take the time to look up the verses for a true blessing.

Ten Ways to Love
1) Listen without interrupting - Prov 18:13
2) Speak without accusing - James 1:19
3) Give without sparing - Prov 21:26
4) Pray without ceasing - Col 1:9
5) Answer without arguing - Prov 17:1
6) Share without pretending - Eph 4:15
7) Enjoy without complaint - Phil 2:14
8) Trust without wavering - 1 Cor 13:7
9) Forgive without punishing - Col 3:13
10) Promise without forgetting - Prov 13:12

Today's Verse
"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet (a helper comparable to him) for him."  Gen 2:18

I am honored to be your help meet my dear!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scars that heal scars

We all have them.  Those little, or even big in some cases, reminders of a boo-boo or burn that occurred, or a surgery that had to take place.  I am talking about scars.  There is a chicken pox scar by my left eye, a scar on my big right toe that happened at a pool when I was three, and my most precious scar that is from the birth of my children through a c-section surgery.

There are emotional scars as well.  Those past hurts and pains that have come along in our lives.  We all have those as well.  Some are deep.  Some can still cause us to wince and cry when we think about them.  Some are fresh.  Some are possibly decades old.  It may seem that we will never fully heal from some scars, and in all actuality, we won't.  That is why they are called scars.  Scars last forever on these earthly bodies.   One of the definitions of the word scar is "the lasting aftereffect of trouble".  It is "lasting", never going away.

What can help with our scars?  Who can help us handle the pain they cause?

There is only One who can truly comfort us in times of pain.  He will carry us through the hurts.  He will listen when we cry, even if we are crying over something that happened twenty years ago.  In our times of need we can turn to Jesus, the One who has the ultimate scars.  His scars can help heal our scars.

The disciple Thomas has the reputation of being a doubter.  In fact, we could say Thomas, A.K.A - Didymus, A.K.A. - Doubting Thomas, when talking about him.  He had not been with the others when Jesus had first appeared resurrected.  John 20:25 says, "The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord.  But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Talk about lack of faith?  Thomas had to see the scars to believe.   I have thought to myself before, "Would that have been  my reaction?  Would I have doubted the others too?"

When we keep reading we find that Jesus did appear to him eight days later.  In verses 27-29 it says, "Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:  and be not faithless, but believing  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed:  blessed are they that have seen, and yet have believed."

Have you believed?  Do you know He died for you?  Have you accepted Him and placed your life completely in His hands?

Why do you think Jesus appeared with His scars?  He was God; He did not have to keep His scars.  He was perfect, and He could have appeared in perfect body before them.  I personally think that it is a reminder that He was God made into man.  Jesus was God on earth.  He faced trials; He faced temptations.  He remained perfect through it all, but we can relate to Him because He has scars as well.  We can rely on Him to help with our pain because of the ultimate pain He experienced.  Hebrews 2:18 says, "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor (aid) them that are tempted."  He can help or aid us through any situation because He walked this earth as well.

Today's Verse
"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."  John 20:31

We have to give Him our lives.  We have to believe in Him and know He can and will make a difference in our lives.  We have give Him our scars.  We have to ask Him to help us through whatever has caused scars in the past or whatever is causing scars right now to form in our lives.  Let His scars heal your scars today!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Keeping HIM first

I trust everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our's was full of food, fun, family and fellowship.  We are forever grateful for all our blessings!

For our family, the days after Thanksgiving involves decorating for Christmas!  What a joy and what a dread, all wrapped in one pretty package!  I dread dragging down the boxes of decorations, but the joy and beauty of it all after the job is complete is priceless.  My oldest daughter really got into the decorating this year.  She played a vital role in decorating her great-grandmother's tree, her aunt's tree, and of course our own tree.  I love to see her enthusiasm and excitement; it reminds me so much of myself at that age.  I can tell you memories from every Christmas starting at the age of three.  I always loved decorating, and my ornaments played an important role in my excitement.

My ornaments did not cause excitement  for my husband when we were first married.  You see, my mother and I collected the "Keepsake" ornaments.  Every year after Christmas (we were frugal and always bought on clearance), we would head to Hallmark to pick out an ornament or two.  I loved this tradition and have started it with my own girls.  I also had a collection of Coca-Cola, ballerina, painted glass and homemade ornaments.  The problem was, I liked to keep my ornaments in their original boxes, much to the dismay of my husband.  Thankfully we made a few compromises, and after eight years together, we now have an ornament system that works for us both.  Some stay in boxes; some are simply wrapped and stored. :)

I do cherish my ornaments, and this year my daughter really got into the stories about them.  I teared up when she brought one to me and said, "Mommy this is my most favorite!"  It had been my favorite too as a little girl.  It was from 1989, and though it only looks like a small walnut, when you open it, there are Santa's helpers working inside.  She truly understood just how special these little treasures were to me.

Unfortunately my youngest daughter does not quite understand how fragile these special things are.  She proceeded to take two of the painted glass ornaments and bang them together.  And yes, one did break.  Thankfully she did not get hurt in the process, but we are definitely going to have to keep an eye on her this year.  She has been told of a couple of plastic ones she can play with, and it seems to be working.  She has a favorite nativity scene ornament that "moos" and plays music that has been deemed "hers".

All this decorating caused me to look up some of the reasons why we put up the tree and things...I wanted to share what I learned.  I found a lot of interesting and historical information.  Below is an excerpt from an article "True Meaning of Christmas Symbols" by Sherri Osborn.

·         The Star: A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long, long ago - The shining hope of mankind.
·         The Color Red: The first color of Christmas, symbolizing that Savior's sacrifice for all.
·         The Fir Tree: Evergreen - the second color of Christmas shows everlasting light and life. The needles point up to heaven.
·         The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold, signifying that all are precious in His eyes.
·         The Candle: A mirror of starlight, reflecting our thanks for the star of Bethlehem.
·         The Gift Bow: Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.
·         The Candy Cane: Represents the shape of the shepherd's crook, used to bring lost lambs back to the fold.
·         The Wreath: A symbol of the never ending eternal value of love… having no end.

Share these symbols with the little ones in your life this Christmas.  As we are decorating our homes this year, let's not forget why we are celebrating to begin with.  As I told my girls this morning during devotion, yes the toys are exciting, the decorating is fun, the goodies are delicious, but we are doing this for our Savior's birthday.  It is easy to get caught up in the glitz of this season, but we are to always remember we are celebrating the One who came to save us!  As the parties start, the gift buying begins, the baking has to be done, and the church cantatas have to be sung, let's remember to keep Christ first during this Christmas season.  

Today's Verses
"Thou art my God, and I will praise thee:  thou art my God, I will exalt thee.  O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:  for his mercy endureth for ever."  Ps 118:28-29

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Copy Cat

My oldest daughter did an absolute wonderful job in her Thanksgiving performance yesterday...if I can brag just a little.   The song her class sang about being thankful for all the Lord has made, was cute and so true.  Not soon after she was off the stage, her little sister was trying her best to mimic the moves and words she had just watched her big sis do.  We had not been privy to the song's lyrics or motions before the haaaaad to be a this was the first time we had even heard the song.  I couldn't believe after one performance my littlest was copying her sister to a T.

She is really getting into the copy cat mode.  She wants to do and say everything "Sissy" does.  Unfortunately, she has even recently learned how to cross her arms and "HUMMMMPH" just like Sissy.  I constantly say "Be a good example for your sister".  I know my oldest daughter does not like this responsibility all the time, but truth of the matter is, her little sis is watching.  She is learning from her.  She has to be the good example so the copy cat can learn how to listen and obey and not pout and disobey.

I did not have true full-time sisters when I was growing up.  But, thankfully, the Lord did bless me with cousins to serve as my part-time "sisters".  I had three little sisters following me around and copying me constantly.  I can remember getting frustrated with the girls in one minute, but then laughing with them the next moment.  I also had one older sister to copy as well.  There are stories I could tell about playing the copy cat or being the one who is being copied.  There are funny stories and even some sad ones.  But, I will share my favorite copy cat story...the one that has to do with me asking Jesus into my heart.

I was seven years old and it was Promotion Sunday.  I was going to move up to the second-fourth grade class.  My oldest "sister" was a fourth grader, so I was going to be with her.  I was excited to say the least.  I can still remember the flannel graph picture of Jesus standing at the door knocking.  The teacher talked about how easy it was to let Him in and be the Lord of our lives.  The invitation came, and like a lot of seven year olds, I peaked my eyes to see what my cousin was doing.  She raised her hand that she had asked Jesus into her heart, so in true copy cat fashion, I raised my hand as well.  A few others raised their hands that they had not asked Jesus into their hearts, and they were able to leave with a teacher to learn more about asking Jesus to be their Savior.  Craft time started, but I couldn't get the uneasy feeling out of me.  My little seven year old heart was telling me I needed to go with the others.  I had not done the things we had just discussed.  I ran to the other teacher and told her I had to go with the others.  I wanted; I needed; I HAD to ask Jesus in my heart.

I can tell you all the details of that day...but I wouldn't want to bore you!  I am just so thankful for that day.  I am so thankful to be brought up in a Christian home.  I am so thankful for my family.  I am so thankful for all my Sunday School teachers.  I am so thankful for a loving, forgiving, wonderful, I could go on and on, but simply magnificent God!  I am thankful the Lord kept tugging at my heart, and I was not a complete copy cat that day!

Who is watching us?  Would we want others copy catting us today?  Do our neighbors see our love for the Lord?  What about the children in our lives?  I have two sets of little eyes watching me constantly.  Would I be honored that they copied me, or would I be ashamed of what they have seen me do or heard me say?

In Joshua 24, we read Joshua's farewell address.  In verse 15, we have the famous quote to live by, "but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."  The following verses have the copy cat response from the God's chosen people, "And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD...therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God."

Is He your God?  Can other's copy cat you and know that by your actions?  Are we serving Him today?

Today's verse
"And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey."
Josh 24:24

I was reading in the book of John earlier today.  One of the applications in my Women's Study Bible said, "Christians should allow Christ to live His divine life in them, so others will see His influence and glorify God."  The Only Perfect One to ever walk the planet, should be who we are striving to copy.  He is our only Perfect Example.  Let's copy cat Him today so other's can see His love shining through us!

I hope everyone has a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weathering the storm

Tragedy has struck our neighborhood.  In a matter of minutes, our neighbor has lost his home due to a horrible fire.  It was scary for us just watching.  I cannot imagine what it was like to live through it.  Thankfully he is ok, but the house and all its contents are gone.

The tragedy occurred this morning.  The girls and I were in a back room and had no clue as to the happenings just two doors down from us.  We had just finished our devotion.  We had been learning about the wise builder and foolish builder.  We had been singing the song, "The wise man built his house upon the rock, and the rains came tumbling down."  The words had just left my mouth, "If we have strong faith in Jesus, our family can get through any storm.  No matter what happens, we know He will take care of us.  That is why we have to build our house on The Rock. With Jesus's help, we can handle anything."

The statement kept ringing in my ears just a few minutes later.  While we were praying, we heard the fire trucks.  We went to the kitchen to see the flames and smoke starting to shoot through the door.  Seconds later, the roof was raging in fire.  My daughter said, "Mommy let's pray now", and we did.  We prayed for the man who lives there (he was outside, so we knew he was ok), we prayed for the Lord to show us how to help him, and we prayed for the Lord to keep us safe.  I couldn't help but think to myself, would I be living by the words I just said to my girls if this was happening to us?  If we were loosing everything, would I be weathering the storm like the wise man, or would I be falling apart like the foolish man?

How do we weather the storms in our life?

I know I need to make improvements on how I weather the trials of this life.  I know now more than ever, I need to make sure my faith is built on The Rock.  Tragedies happen, and we have to be prepared knowing that with God's help we can get through anything!

We heard of another tragedy just last week, that involved a three year old who had to be admitted to the hospital.  The circumstances are horrific.  My husband and I talked about how anybody could go through something so tragic without God to lean on?  Is He the center of our life, our Cornerstone, our Rock, our Strength?

The girls' verse for last week was Psalms 18:1 "I will love thee O Lord, my strength."  It was hard explaining to my oldest daughter not to say "with my strength" but simply "my strength".  We have NO strength without Him.  He has to be the strength of our lives!

Is He "my strength" or am I relying on what I think is my own strength?  If we lost it all today, would we "Rejoice in the Lord always" (Phil 4:4)?  Would we "In every thing give thanks" (1 Thes 5:18)?  Or would we crumble like the foolish man?

Today's Verse
"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."  Matt 7:25

Please be in prayer for our neighbor.  He does not have many people to turn to.  Please pray the Lord will show us how to best help in the situation.  I will only say that this situation is delicate, and we must seek the Lord's wisdom in how to help.  Please pray he will be able to weather this storm and find the healing power of God's love in the midst of this tragedy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Take a deep breath...then another...and another

This is sad to admit, but I was voted "Most Stressed" as a Senior in High School.  And unfortunately the title fitted me well.  I WAS stressed and did stress out about everything.  Every possible scenario was played in my head, and I came up with things that never would happen.  But those big "what-ifs" were always lurking and I was a stress magnet.  I was constantly worried about tests, friends, work, and all the other problems involved with being a teen.  I worked long hours at a very hard job; I took hard classes like Physics and Calculus; I stayed up late studying and worrying.  I do not regret the hard work, it has help make me who I am today, but I do regret not having a better plan to handle the stress.  I did have faith in God to get me through, and I would post Phil 4:13 everywhere in my site, but I still overreacted time and time again to the worries of life.

In college the stress continued.  There was a class every semester that made me cry on a regular basis.  It was a computer class the first semester, Biology the second, Accounting the third, Chemistry the fourth, an Economics my fifth and sixth and seventh.  I was not an Economics fan, but for my major 4 courses were required.  Now, keep in mind, 5-6 of any one course could gain you a "Minor" in that subject, but I refused to take one more of those hideous classes.  I could do without a "Minor" in the dreaded subject. (No offense to any economics lovers out there.)  

But, the last few semesters, I found my reliance on God strengthening.  I realized in my maturity (I know, you can't really be too mature at 20, but I was definitely more mature than I was at 17) that He did have it all under control.  I am not saying I let my "stressing out" moments completely vanish from my life, for there are times even now that anxiety can rear its ugly head, but I really started handing my stress over to God.  I took a Stress Management course my very last semester, and the techniques I learned truly did help as well.  The problem with handling stress is, you have to practice those techniques in order for them to be effective.  I could not just learn them and expect them to help me without any effort on my part.  My favorite stress relieving exercise was the deep breathing...and with all that said...our final step 8 in our healthy V-8 plan is taking 10 deep breaths every day!

Try it now...10 long, deep and cleansing breaths.  

I know you have to be patient...but it will relax you!

Breathing is vital for living.  But are we so busy living in warp speed that we never slow down and take the deep breaths needed to relax and focus and stop stressing out.  When you feel stress or anger or anxiety creeping in...STOP...PRAY AND THEN BREATH DEEPLY!  

A few years ago my husband had to have a simple outpatient procedure involving kidney stones.  I had thought I was handling everything well, but when they rolled him away I couldn't stop crying.  I prayed and calmed down.  I decided to go to the gift shop to get my mind off of things and the Lord put a little book in my hand that was perfect for that time in my life.  It was called "Your're Late Again Lord" by Karon Phillips Goodman.  She explained a breathing technique that got me through many trials that were ahead in the coming year.  It involved breathing in deeply and saying "In with His peace" and breathing out and saying "Out with my worries".  I used it constantly in stressful situations and still use it to this day.  I have expanded on below are some phrases you can use when you are taking your daily deep breaths.

1 – In with His peace, out with my worries!
2 – In with His grace, out with my sins!
3 – In with His guidance, out with my anxieties!
4 – In with His forgiveness, out with my shame!
5 – In with His mercy, out with my guilt!
6 – In with His fellowship, out with my loneliness!
7 – In with His comfort, out with my strife!
8 – In with His love, out with my hurt!
9 – In with His joy, out with my anger!
                       10– In with His strength, out with my weakness!

I hope these phrases fill your hearts with a calm and gladness, knowing that our GOD loves us unconditionally.  Let Him help you today.  Give Him your stresses and worries today.  Breath in His Peace today.

I added a new tab with a cheat sheet and verses for each step we discussed.  I hope you will take the time to breath today, and I hope you have enjoyed the eight healthy steps.  

Today's verses - I had to share two
"My meditation of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the LORD." Ps 104:34
"Seek the LORD, and his strength:  seek his face evermore." Ps 105:4

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

3 Special Steps

For those of you with little ones that love Disney Junior, you may be singing the OSO theme song right now.  For those of you who are not familiar with OSO, he is a "special agent" bear that helps children figure out their problems or tasks in three simple steps.  There is a song with every episode, "Three special steps, that's all you need, three special steps, and you're ready to succeed, your special assignment is starting now, three special steps will show you how, yes three special steps."  So we do have three more simple steps to go over today in our V-8 plan.  I can hear the cheers in the air!  We will discuss step 5-7 today, and then tomorrow we will go over the very last one!  It is my favorite with the exception of reading and praying of course!

Step 5 is all about the dreaded E word or EXERCISE.  Does anyone schedule to workout regularly in your week?

Well, in our steps of the daily V-8, we are talking about just 10 minutes a day.  This is an easy place to start, but again, we have to pray for the time and the motivation to do this.  I love to march in front of the TV while I watch the news in the morning or the evenings.  I am also a big fan of exercise videos.  There are a ton to choose from, so you always have variety, and there are plenty that are simple, easy to follow, and quick. Another thing we also enjoy as a family, is playing the Wii.  Our daughters even has their own Wii Fit game with little cartoon characters.  We have a blast, and the whole family is improving our health while have fun!
Fit exercise wherever you can into you day.  You know some of the suggestions like park your car farther away from the entrance, take the stairs, do leg lifts while you brush your teeth or squats while you wash the dishes.  We have a big window at the kitchen sink, and I do not have any blinds there.  It faces our neighbors' house, and they are outside a lot.  I laugh and tell Gerrad I know they think I’m crazy if they see my head going up and down while I do my plies squats (a ballet thing) while washing the supper dishes.  I know I look silly, but I love to multitask, and every minute counts.  Exercise can make us have more energy and feel so much better!  I can tell a big difference in my energy levels when I am not doing my videos or marching.  Every little bit helps!

Does anybody have any tricks for sneaking in exercise?

Does anybody know what the best exercise is for burning calories and upping your metabolism?  

Weightlifting.  It is not just for men, ladies.  I like to use 2-5 lb weights while I march in place.  

In a recent Women’s Health article by Adam Campbell, he listed 12 reasons why every woman should lift weights 2 times a week.  1 – You’ll lose 40% more fat,  2 – your clothes will fit better, 3 – you’ll burn more calories, 4 – your diet will improve, 5 – you’ll handle stress better, 6 -  you’ll be happier, 7 – you’ll build stronger muscles, 8 – you’ll get into shape faster, 9 – you’ll be healthier, 10- you’ll be more productive, 11- you’ll live longer, and finally you’ll be smarter.  So, let's get to marching with those soup cans in hand!

Step 6 is not one to be overlooked.  We have to have someone to be accountable to if we are serious about getting healthy.  I decided my accountability partner would be my husband.  We can talk about anything and I know he never judges me.  Some people do not have that kind of relationship with their husband.  Lysa Terkhurst says in her book "Crave" that she does not like to talk about this topic with her husband.  Everyone is different.  But you have to find someone.  You will be so much more successful if you have someone to share your struggles with and someone who will pray with you through it all.  It is also nice to have someone pat your back along the way.  

James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” We have to support one another.  Lysa says in the "Crave" book “when we determine to get healthy, we will have to give up certain things and change our habits.  Doing this can make us feel anxious.  That is why we must have friends to help us remember that what we’re giving up in the short term will help us get what we really want in the long term.”  Find that person and be each other's cheerleaders.  

Our next to last step is all about rest.  WE NEED IT.  This is something I truly struggle with daily.  I am terrible for staying up extremely too late.  I feel like I just can't get everything accomplished, and I tend to stay up until at least 11.  This is not healthy!  Studies have shown that if you rest more, you will have a healthier body including a higher metabolism.  Below is a devotion from Our Daily Bread by Dennis Fisher...

Many people like both the sweetness and the energy they get from chocolate. Yet British auto technicians have found a surprising use for this sweet food. Scientists at the University of Warwick have built a racecar that runs on vegetable oils and chocolate. The fuel provides energy so that the car can reach top speeds of 135 mph.
The Bible also records a surprising source of energy from a food. When Elijah had been used by God on Mt. Carmel to call fire down from heaven, this spiritual high was followed by persecution and melancholy. In response to Elijah’s depression, God sent an angel to provide food, drink, and rest for the weary prophet. The sustaining power of that food from heaven was remarkable: “So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God” 
Just as we need food to sustain our physical lives, we also need nourishing food for our spiritual lives. God’s Word is “sweeter . . . than honey and the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:10) and feeds our souls. It makes "wise the simple" (v. 7) and provides both nourishment and energy for life’s long journey. Take time to feed on it.

This ties everything together.  We need God’s Word and fellowship with Him; we need healthy, nourishing food, and we need rest.  Even Elijah, one of the greatest prophets, experienced depressed feelings.  God used this time to bring Elijah closer to Him. Some might say, “well - when I am feeling down - that is when I eat all the bad things”.  I know that is the case with me.  Like when my husband is traveling, or when I feel overwhelmed, I just want to fill the void with chips and candy.  But those chips are now baked chips, and I have to learn to depend on God for my strength instead of chocolate.  When I lay down and I start beating myself up, thinking what I could have done better in my day, I have to say “Get thee behind me Satan” for I know he uses that time to rob me from my rest.  And next, I say one of my favorite sleep verses Ps 4:8 “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”  God will provide us with the rest we need, if we ask.

So to recap - Exercise, Find an Accountability Partner, and REST!  We are doing this for our health, but most importantly we are doing this FOR HIM!

Today's Verse
"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Col 3:17

Monday, November 14, 2011

Change my light bulb please

So my fingers are itching to do some real typing.  I have loved the refresher course for myself, but  I know there has been some disinterest in the getting healthy V-8 plan.  It has been a lot of cutting and pasting from the lesson already presented, and I have been overflowing with new things to write about.  So, we will take a quick intermission and finish up tomorrow and Wednesday.  With the whirlwind weeks ahead as the holidays are fast approaching, there will be fewer posts and more time preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  

This time can be a happy time, but it can also be a stressful time.  We can feel overwhelmed.  We can get bogged down in all the details.  We can downright be crabby when we start thinking of the millions upon millions of things to do in the coming weeks.  At least, that is how I can feel sometimes.  There is even added anxiety and disappointments that comes with our holidays this year, with us not having a church home.  We feel homeless but thankfully not hopeless!

When I hear my oldest daughter pray for a new church family, I want to run and cry in the other room.  Today I had to scratch out the dates we had set for Christmas parties with the youth, and it absolutely crushed me.  I have felt so lost not having parties and outings to plan with the youth group or play practices to direct and props to has made me just crabby.

Do the holidays, with all the hustle and bustle, ever put a scowl on your face instead of a big ol' smile?

How can we get a better attitude with the "the most wonderful time of the year" bearing down on us?

As Christians, this is our extra special time of being thankful and rejoicing for the blessings we have and for the birth of our Savior.  Our attitudes while we are preparing meals and out shopping, reflects the love of Christ to others.  Are we reflecting His light as we get in the holiday spirit, or do we need to change our outlook?  I know in the last few days my attitude has not been one of glorifying Him as it should be, and I know I need His strength to change it!  In other words, I need a new light bulb!

What can we do to change our light bulbs and be fully prepared to show His light in the coming weeks?  Plan Ahead - that means planning meals, stocking up the pantry, deciding when to decorate, choosing which special events to attend (and not all of them), making lists concerning buying and wrapping presents, finding time to bake those cookies, and MOST IMPORTANTLY scheduling those devotion times.  We have to plan, plan, plan.  If we don't want to be running around not knowing what to do next, we have to schedule our days.  To-do lists are key in the coming weeks.  And the most important thing to schedule, is spending time in prayer and God's Word.  We will not be able to have a fresh light about us if we are not spending time in His Light!

Today's Verse
"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."  Proverbs 16:3

We commit our time and works to Him in this busiest time of the year, and He will establish us with a good attitude and a fresh light to shine to others.  Christians are suppose to be happy people, and yes I know we are all going through something right now that makes us not so happy, but we give it to Him and continue to rejoice in Him.  We count our blessings and not the negatives.  We can shine for Him if our thoughts are in Him!  Let's change our light bulbs and be renewed as we celebrate the ONE who was put on this earth to die for our sins.  It is HIS birthday and we want to make sure everyone sees that is what we know and believe!  Without Him our lives would have no light!  Just as I know we will be changing those tiny little bulbs in our light strands for the tree, let's change our lights and attitudes to shine for Jesus in the coming weeks.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two for the price of one...

Catch up day...are you ready for not one, but two steps?  YAY!  

Today we are going to talk about two more of our eight healthy steps.  They are in no particular order...but we must discuss resisting temptations and having patience.  These are my two big downfalls.  Goodies and treats are everywhere...especially now that the holidays are a coming. YIKES!  What can we do?  Also, as those of you that know me well may know, patience is a virtue I need help with.  So, let's look to the Lord for extra strength in these areas today.

The fruits of the Spirit are listed in Galatians  5,  and the last, but not least "fruit" is temperance which means self-control.  We have to practice that self-control when it comes to the temptations to eat the unhealthy stuff.  Now I am not saying lets never have treats.  I am just talking about planning for them and not going overboard.  

Does anyone follow or write out a meal plan for the week?

I try to plan our suppers for the week on Sunday night.  This helps not only with the panic of "Oh no, what's for dinner?", but I can make sure we are eating healthy foods at home as a family every night possible.  Planning ahead helps us to resists temptations.  Planning ahead can save us money.  Planning ahead can make us think about making healthier choices in advance.  Just search the internet for plenty of meal planning websites or ideas.  There are tons!

I like the website for some revised recipes that are a little healthier but still very tasty.  We can also track what we do eat everyday.  This can make us more conscience of our choices if we have to write down everything we choose to put in our bodies (or excuse me His body).  We again have to go back to prayer with this one.  We pray to have  the strength to resist temptation.  We can also pray for the Lord to show us how to use our time wisely so we CAN plan for our healthier days.  Also, keep more healthier things on hand.  I love 100 calorie packs of popcorn for my salty snack or edemame dipped in soy sauce.

Quick commercial break.  Sorry honey I have to share your story.  The first time my husband ever tried edemame, he was on a business trip.  He was popping the whole pod in his mouth and eating the whole thing.  That is a no no.  You are suppose to eat the beans inside and discard the pods.  We had a huge laugh about it.  You can find edemame pods in your frozen food section.  Delicious with a little sea salt or soy sauce!

I also like to make ice cream sandwiches for a cool sweet treat.  You take 2 graham crackers and spread with fat free cool whip and freeze.  Very delicious and very few calories.  The girls and I also love dried cranberries and granola bars.  Just watch how much sugar the bars have.  Healthy things on hand and lots of planning sure is helpful in resisting temptations!

Step 4 can be sooooo hard for me especially...but I try.  We have to be patient!  We all know the song “He’s still working on me”.  He is making us what we "ought to be", BUT it is going to take time.  In fact, it is going to take the rest of our lives.  He is never done until we are walking with Him in heaven.  When we are His - He is constantly working on us.  But, with patience, we can accept our shortfalls and move on, knowing we are doing all we can to live for Him.

We are going to have our bad days if we set out to be healthier.  The devil will try everything to throw us off course.  But patiently, with our Heavenly Father's help, we will trek on.  We will do our part to the best of our abilities, and the Lord will certainly hold up His end of the bargain to strengthen us and help us.

 In today's society, it seems we can get anything we want NOW.  We are just NOW kind of people.  But, there will be no overnight successes here.  Getting healthy will take time, but we can get there.  Remember to continuously go back to step number 1, which is prayer.  That is how we will have the patience we need to continue this healthy journey.  

Two...yes two verses for the day...

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  1 Cor 10:13

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry" Ps 40:1

These versea are great for memorization.  They can work in so many difficult situations, not just our healthy journey.  1 Cor 10:13 can help with any temptation the devil puts in our path, knowing we will have a way out.  And the Psalms verse is helping our family in our current situation of finding a new church home...which is definitely going to strengthen our patience.  I encourage you, if you are in a trial or feeling a little down, to continue to read Psalms is surely to "put a new song" in your mouth.

So 4 steps down and 4 to go...woohoo!  Have a good weekend and know I will be praying for you !

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Step 2 - This is NOT your body

So, we have read our Bibles; we have talked to God.  What is the next step?  Step 3 - We have to realize this body we are trying to take better care of, is not even ours!  This body belongs to God.  This body, if we have asked Him to be the Lord of our lives, is the "dwelling place" for the Holy Spirit.  We must make choices for our bodies that honor the Lord.

If you read in Exodus chapters 25-27, you will see the details that went into building the tabernacle.  Sooooo much detail went into the planning and the building of this holy place.  Everything down to the candlesticks had a purpose and precise way to be made.  I remember reading theses chapters and wondering why this was important now?  Why do we need to know the "cubit" of the curtains and what kind of wood the altar was made of?

In verse 25:8 we read, "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them."  The Lord wanted a place to dwell among His people.  Just as this "sanctuary" was the actual "dwelling place" for the Lord in the Old Testament, our bodies our the "dwelling place" for the Lord now in the New Testament time.  He put so much detail in building the actual tabernacle, but think about how much time He put into designing and forming us.  We are so much more intricate than a golden candlestick.  Our bodies are living miracles.  We are His living and breathing tabernacle in which He dwells.

We read in 1 Cor 6:19-20 “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and yea are not your own? For ye are bought with a price therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  This clearly states we are His.  Our body is His.  We have to honor Him with every aspect of our life.  We have to glorify Him with our choices. We are responsible for taking care of this body.  It is difficult because it is our sinful nature to do what we want and not worry about the consequences.  Yet we must take care of ourselves.   

Do you ever think about the fact that our bodies are not actually "ours"? 

Today's Verse
"I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.”  Romans 12:1

It is our "reasonable service" to take care of our bodies.  The application in my Women's Study Bible says, “The believer should evaluate every decision on the basis of biblical principles, knowing that obedience brings God’s blessing.”  While we are on earth, we must honor Him in everything, including taking care of our bodies.  It is exciting to think about our heavenly bodies.  We will not have any pains.  We will never have to worry about staying healthy.  We will be made whole.  I believe whole heartily that God will reward us  if we seek to take care of this body, "His" body to the best of our abilities.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Step 1 - Prayer

So, you might could have guessed the first step of the "your daily V-8" steps.  It is only logical that we spend time talking to God after reading and learning more about Him.  It is also a good idea to say a quick prayer before you get started with your V step (Bible VERSE reading).  Pray for wisdom to understand what you are reading, an open heart to the lessons you are learning, and the strength to apply the knowledge gained to your daily lives.

Prayer is so powerful.   Prayer is so necessary.  Prayer is a privilege not be taken for granted.

So how does prayer apply to our physical health and not just spiritual health?  Just ask for help with your overall health!  A few months ago I was praying one morning.  I pray daily for the Lord to guard my heart, help me to watch what I say and how I say it to my husband and my girls.  I do not like to yell, but unfortunately I can loose my patience sometimes and raise my voice.  I have to constantly ask for my bridle!  I had also been asking recently for the desire to get back into a healthy eating and exercising plan.  I sincerely said, "Lord, help me to watch what comes out of my mouth as well as what goes in my mouth."  I felt a calming peace after I said it that way.  He can help me do anything, including being mindful of how and what I eat.

We can pray for time to take a quick walk and for the desire to want to eat better.  Just as we pray for strength and wisdom regarding our time in His Word, pray for strength and wisdom to make good choices for your health.  We know "with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27) so saying, "but I can't do this" is not an option!  We can do this.  It is possible!  We just have to pray to make it possible!

Today's Verse
"If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."  John 14:14

Does that verse say "anything"?  YES.  Is the Bible true?  WITHOUT A DOUBT!  Does that include making healthy choices?  YES.  Can you ask for this and receive help?  OF COURSE YOU CAN.

This was the first verse my oldest daughter learned after John 3:16.  I remember discussing the "anything" factor.  To a little girl, this can be a big WOW factor.  We all know God might say yes, no, or wait to our prayers.  You also have to be mindful that making healthy choices is not going to be easy no matter how hard you pray.  There will be temptations everywhere, and the devil will throw everything in your path to make it seem impossible.  This is why Bible reading and prayer time have to come first in the V-8 process.  It is the only tools that will help us to stay on track!

I have included some "old" favorite verses regarding prayer and a few newer favorite ones regarding prayer.  The Bible is full of prayer promises!  Together lets learn them and put them to use in our healthy lives!

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Ps 5:3
Matt 6:6-13 -  Jesus provides instructions and a sample prayer to the disciples
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”  Matt 7:7 and Luke 11:9

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itselth maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.”  Rom 8:26

 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:6-7
“Pray without ceasing” I Thes 5:17 

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  Ps 55:17
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"  Matt 7:11
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  Matt 21:22
“Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  Mark 11:24
 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.”  Luke 18:1

Friday, November 4, 2011


I am procrastinating on something I vowed to do on Fridays...yes I am a procrastinator.  That is why this is my second Friday post.  It is also the second cold and rainy Friday in a row here in NC.  The weather is just plain yucky outside, so us girls are staying in.

I wanted to share two things.  First, today's Proverbs 31 devotion went so well with what we talked about yesterday, so I had to share the link.  It is by T. Suzanne Eller and is called "Letter of Love".  She discusses the joys of reading our "love letter" from our Heavenly Father.  I hope you will take time to read it for it is a true blessing.

Next, I wanted to reveal the answers to the Hymns game.  Did you know some, or all, at least one answer?   Were you singing some of the songs through the day and weekend?  I don' know, maybe I am the only one that loves humming and singing hymns!  What an uplifting habit!

Today's Verse
Psalms 100:2 "Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing."

1) Light
2) Glorious
3) Voice
4) Potter
5) Sweet
6) Song
7) Blood
8) Friend
9) Mansion
10) Blue

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Give me a V...

Give me a V...Give me another V...And another V...What's that spell? VVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Are you ready for our "V"?

I started this Bible study lesson having all the ladies standing up and marching in place for one whole minute.  They laughed and thought I was joking...I wasn't.  So we marched...we laughed...we wanted the minute to be over sooner than it was.  A minute can seem like 15 minutes when you are exercising!  Why not stand up now and march for a minute?  It is good to get your blood pumping...especially if you have been sitting at the computer for a while!

Did you do it?  How do you feel?  Are you ready to start improving our health together...not just physical  and emotional health, but most importantly, our spiritual health?

I had serious doubts all night.  Should I really write about this?  Should I really share what the Lord laid on my heart?  Maybe now is not the time.  But, as always, God provided solid evidence this morning that makes me certain I should share my daily V-8 story.  It also proves, once again, that our Heavenly Father has a sense of humor.

For starters, the girls' devotion this morning was about praising and not pouting.  We have a few pouters in this house, and yes I am including myself, and I knew we were going to need this lesson.  After the introduction and Bible verses, we got down to the story.  Would you believe it was about when the Israelites complained about not having meat to eat?  I couldn't believe it.  I laughed out loud.  (If you didn't read yesterday's post, you must go back and read to understand why this was so funny.)  If you know the story, God provided them with meat and they had to eat it every day for a month, until they were literally sick of it!

My second reason for believing I should still share my story, happened shortly after completing our devotion.  The girls picked out the books they wanted to read.  They both love reading and the book stack was really high.  I told them to pick out two favorites.  My oldest daughter picked "The Berenstein Bears, Too Much Junk Food", which we haven't read in a really long time.  I couldn't help be laugh again and say, "OK God, I get the picture.  I will share the lesson"

So, as I said yesterday, our daily V-8 begins with V.  The "V" stands for verse.  We must spend time in our Bible everyday.  To grow as Christians, to grow closer to God, to memorize verses to use in times of trials or temptations, Bible verses are essential in our everyday lives.  John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God."  One of the applications listed in my Woman's Study Bible for this verse says, "Christians need to study the written Word of God to learn more about the incarnate Word of God."  Or, even more simply, read our Bible to learn all we can about God and Jesus.

I know some things you might be thinking....I don't have time; I won't understand it; It is too hard.  But, I promise if you just dive in, the Lord will bless you.  He is longing for you to learn all you can about Him.  It is the devil's darts of doubt that are stopping you!   I find that the more I read my Bible, the more I WANT to read my Bible.  It is comforting and reassuring and always provides me with an Ah-ha moment.  It can cover us with peace and point us in the right direction.  God's Word is a Christians' instruction manual.  Just like you can't operate machines without a manual, you shouldn't try to operate your life without reading our manual.  God can provide us the time to spend with Him, if we just give Him your time.  Allow Him to direct our days, and He can show us when and how to accomplish everything.  He can also provide the wisdom needed to understand the verses that we read.  We just have to remember to ask for that wisdom.  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God."  James 1:5a

If you haven't been faithfully reading your Bible, and we all go through those times when we slack off, start again with a simple Psalms.  I know personally, a Psalms a day can do a wonder for my outlook on life.  Also, find a devotion book to follow.  This can help guide you through verses and applications.  Or join a devotion or Bible study group.  (I know I have enjoyed the first week of the Hebrews study with Wendy Blight If there is a favorite childhood Bible story, find it in the Bible and study it more in depth.  There are so many ways to get into God's Word.  His love will shine through on us even more, once we spend time learning more about Him.

You might be thinking "What does learning verses have to do with my actual health?".  I have been reading the book "Crave" by Lysa Terkhurst.  She talks about learning verses to help fight the cravings of other things.  Lysa says, “When we feel deprived and frustrated and consumed with wanting unhealthy choices, we too can rely on God’s Word to help us.”  Once we spend time in the Bible, and engrave the verses that speak to us on our hearts, we can use them to fight temptations.  I have said my favorite verse many times over, and it can help in so may circumstances.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengeneth me." Phil 3:14.  I can read my Bible; I can try to exercise more; I can control my temper; I can make better food choices; I can make better choices in general.  I can pull that verse out is so many situations and there are so many other verses to draw strength from.  We just have to take the time to read and learn them!
Today's Verse
"Be still, and know that I am God:"  Psalms 46:10a

Find the time to be still.  It is so hard for me to sit still some days, but I know God uses that time with Him for my benefit in so many ways.  I hope you enjoyed "V" with me today.  Monday, Lord willing, we will dive into the first of the eight other steps in our V-8 lesson.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Have you had your V-8 today?

So I am asking for your forgiveness before I even begin.  Some of you might not like my topic for the next couple of weeks, and I do apologize.  I just feel like with the holidays coming upon us quickly, that now would be a good time to talk about having our daily V-8.  Now I am not talking about the actual drink, although it is a healthy choice to have, but I am talking about a little healthy V-8 program.  The Lord laid this idea on my heart this past summer to share with a ladies Bible study class.  Now I am not talking about dieting here; I am simply talking about getting a little healthier for ourselves, our families, and most importantly, for God.  We are to take care of these bodies He has blessed us with and this is a way of doing that.

The "V" stands for a daily verse, or in other words, daily time reading our Bible.  From there, we will go into the 8 steps to take to make little improvements in our daily lives.  I am doing this for me just as much as anything, because I have really been slacking in some areas recently.  I have not been taking care of myself and want to get back into these good habits before the rush of the holidays!  

I love the V-8 commercials where somebody is making a bad food choice and somebody else knocks them in the head.  Oh if only someone would follow me around and do that!  Anyway, I have of course put the link to a commercial, so go watch if you want a good chuckle.

I will begin tomorrow with our "V" and elaborate on having our daily Bible reading and how it can impact our lives.  Then through the next two weeks, I will discuss the eight steps on making healthier decisions.  There will be verses to share, and I would LOVE any discussion you might have on the topic.

Even though I said this is not a diet at all, I wanted to share this little diet joke I read in a Reader's Digest...
The teacher in our Bible class asked a woman to read from the Book of Numbers about the Israelites wandering in the desert. "The Lord heard you when you wailed, 'If only we had meat to eat!' " she began. "Now the Lord will give you meat. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, or ten or twenty days, but for a month -- until you loathe it." When the woman finished, she paused, looked up and said, "Hey, isn't that the Atkins diet?"  - David Martino

I thought that was funny!  

Today's Verse
Romans 8:13 "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live"
A note from my Study Bible regarding this verse says, "Christians should glorify God in their physical bodies as well as in their spirits, since both belong to God."  

This is our chance to glorify God every way possible. Get ready to have your V-8!  I really hope you will enjoy this venture with me!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where's my bridle?

We had a lovely Sunday and Monday at my parents house.  We went to a church that we have visited with a few times before.  The assistant pastor spoke on Psalms 101.  It was a very good sermon and made me think of a story I wrote about a year ago.  The pastor preached on how we should make sure we are being good examples for our children.  He also challenged us to evaluate our lives, to be sure we are doing as God would have us to do, even in the comfort of our own home.  It is so easy to act one way out in public and at church, and then act completely different at home.  We have to strive to please God 24/7, because even when nobody else is watching, He is!

This story was written before I was blogging, so I really had nobody to share it with besides my husband. (Thanks for reading all my silly stuff honey)  So, I thought I would share it today.  It is a little long, but it contains a very fond memory for me!

Today's Verses
James 1:19-20 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God."

Where's my bridle?

Horses are such beautiful creatures.  I have always loved the animals, yet it has been fifteen or sixteen years since I last rode a horse.  My Grandfather, or just Pa as we called him, raised horses.  He used to take us grandkids to the horse sale on Friday nights.  I remember one night I got to go all by myself with Pa to the sale.  I wore my pink satin cowgirl shirt and felt so special just to be there.  There was the most beautiful paint horse for sale that night.  I begged my Pa to please buy the pretty horse.  He told me to go ask the man how much he wanted for him.  My little six year old self marched right up to the man and asked him what he would charge for the paint horse.  He told me twelve fifty.  I could not believe it!  I knew my Pa would buy it for me with no hesitation.  Of course he would have twelve dollars and fifty cents in his pocket.  When I ran back telling Pa the cost, Pa just laughed and said we’d have to think about it.

Well, fast forward a few years, and my Pa did get me a beautiful paint pony.  It was not the same horse, but she was pretty and perfect.  Her name was Patty.  She had been born on St. Patrick day.  I loved my pony.  My dad made a spot for her in our yard.  We lived on a small farm, so there was plenty of room.  She had a shelter and plenty of running space.  I would feed her and brush her.  I didn’t like the fact that someone had to help me ride her.  I could not put the saddle and bridle on myself.  A bridle consist of the bit, which goes in the horse’s mouth, and reins, which is held onto by the rider to “steer” the horse.  I would dream about the day I could ride Patty all on my own.  One day, I decided to try and ride her bare back before my dad came out.  I don’t remember all the details, but I know I ended up on the ground.  I brushed myself off and waited for my Daddy to help me.  I found out that day that the bridle is an important tool when it comes to riding horses safely.

Bridle has a different definition also.  It can also be a verb which means to control or holdback; restrain; or curb.  Knowing this really hit me hard one day recently as I was reading in Psalms.  It had already been a rough day of dealing with many issues and it was only 9:30 in the morning.  I knew I had raised my voice with my oldest daughter, and I was beating myself up about it.  I had lost my temper and was very short with her.   In other words, I had sinned and I needed to ask for forgiveness.  I was rocking my youngest daughter  and reading my “old” Bible, my pink one from high school, that I keep by the rocking chair.  Psalm 39:1 all of a sudden leapt off the page at me. “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” 

There are many ways to sin with the tongue, and yelling in anger is one of them.  I immediately thought about how we often make sure we have on our “bridle” of restraint when we are out in public.  We try our best to show the Lord’s light so others can see His love through us.  We make sure we have a great attitude, a nice smile, and perfect speech.  But does it stay that way in our homes.  Do we wear that bridle twenty four hours a day, or do we throw it down at the door when we take off our shoes at our own house.  I know I am guilty of sin with my tongue when I am confined to the walls of my home.  It seems that I can’t help but yell sometimes.  I am a mom, and that is what we do to get our points across.  “Surely my family has to forgive me” and “nobody is perfect”, are some of the thoughts I have after a long day.

God wants us to show His love through our speech all day long, no matter who is watching, and especially with our little ones.  Our little ones, and even our husbands for that matter, do not need to hear us raise our voices in anger or frustration.  They need to hear us voice our love for our Heavenly Father and our love for them.  We are to use edifying speech so as to minister grace to our family and any others that hear us (Eph 4:29).  I need to make sure I “sin not with my tongue” and make sure I “keep my mouth with a bridle” from sunup to sundown. 

So my prayer is to never have to ask myself again, “Where is my bridle?”  My prayer is that my bridle will be in my mouth where it belongs…unless I am asleep… that might simply be uncomfortable!