Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Praise ye the Lord

Well, I wish I had pics to share from a fabulous birthday, but sadly I don't.  With my oldest daughter getting sick the night before, we had to cancel.  Thankfully my little two year old didn't seem to mind.  She was happy as anything just to have a cake all to herself and her first, very own, Barbie (or Bobby as she calls it).  Her big sis was feeling better the next morning, but with the rain and storms, God knew it would be best to postpone.  We are shooting for a Thursday evening gathering...but as we have said before..."if the Good Lord willing!"

Thankfully the little one did not feel bad on her birthday, but she was sick Sunday afternoon.   But in no time she was bouncing back with playing and singing.  I love to hear her sing, "Praise ye the Lord".  Her Hallelujah's are so cute.  So her little voice rang in my ears as I was finishing a study of Psalms over the last few days.   I discovered something that I had never really pondered.  It was the wonderful phrase of "Praise ye the Lord".

Now yes I knew this phrase was found in the Bible, but you see, these four little words appear at the beginning and the end of each of the five last chapters in Psalms.  There are so many songs and hymns and Bible verses that remind us to praise Him, but how often do we really focus on praise?

I had a rough day yesterday...I mean pretty rough.  And to be totally honest, I wasn't feeling much praise in my heart.  As I sat down to pray for strength, I realized I started the first few sentences of my prayer with "Lord I need.....".  I stopped.  I realized how selfish I sounded.  I realized I was not beginning my prayer correctly.  I realized I needed to "Praise ye the Lord."

We can praise in song.  We can praise in prayer.  We can praise out loud, any time and any place.  We can never praise God too much.  My KJV Women't Study Bible asks and answers the following questions...

1)Where should God be praised?  Everywhere... (Ps 150:1)
2)Why should God be praised? ... for His inherent greatness (Ps 150:2)
2)How should God be praised?  With every suitable instrument...(Ps 150:3-5)
4)Who should praise God?  Everything that breathes. (Ps 150:6)

Today's Verse
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:10-11

There will come a day when every thing will "Praise ye the Lord".  Every single person will bow to Him and will confess His name.  But as Christians today, let's make sure we are praising Him every chance we get.  Yes on the bad days it is difficult.  On the, "But Lord I worked four hours on this cake and cupcakes that nobody will be able to eat" days it can seem impossible to praise.  But it is essential to life as Christian, because if nothing else we have God's love and forgiveness...and that is EVERYTHING to offer praise about!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Not Guilty

We are in the midst of party planning.  My "baby" is turning 2 this weekend - sniff, sniff, sniff, and presents need to be wrapped, eggs filled for a good old fashion Easter egg hunt, goodies made, cakes to be baked, and the list is endless.  I am trying something new (with fingers crossed).  I will be baking cupcakes inside mini ice cream cones.  We did a practice run last week and they were scrumptious if I say so myself!  I hope to have pics next week.  I also need to be adding some tasty recipes we have been trying.  Hope to get to that next week as well. Please pray for no rain on Saturday, or at least for it to hold off until the late afternoon!

In all the business, I wanted to share the link for the Proverbs 31 Devotion for today by Renee Swope.  It really spoke to my heart today and I hope you will take time to read, reflect and enjoy...


Today's Verse
"THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  Romans 8:1

As the devo talks about...Christians fail.  We will make mistakes everyday...even though when we are following Jesus closely and doing the best we can.  But, we are promised that no matter what, when we are "in Christ Jesus" there will be "no condemnation".   I love what my husband's KJV Life Application Study Bible says about this verse..."He has declared us not guilty and has offered us freedom from sin and power to do His will."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sprinkles and Sparkles

I am sure I have said it before, but in a home with two small girls, there tends to be lots of glitter.  So much that it can drive Daddy a little crazy sometimes, but hey, as girls we like sparkly things!  This was ever more apparent when my daughters named their stick ponies Sprinkles and Sparkles. Can you get any more girly?

One of my oldest daughter's favorite book series is Fancy Nancy.  I like it because it helps improve her vocabulary by giving the definitions for bigger words.  She likes it because...well simply, Nancy is "fancy".  Nancy loves glitter and sequins and dressing up and all things girly, just like my two little ones.  It is dress up like your favorite book character at my daughter's preschool this Thursday.  We have been thinking and planning on how she can best portray Fancy Nancy.   I am excited to see the final results.  I am sure there will be lots of bows in the hair and jewelry to wear and lots of sparkles!

This weekend we had a small accident that involved glitter. The girls both got snow-globes for Christmas this past year from their Daddy.  They had little ballerinas inside, and as any good snow-globe does, they play beautiful music.  Well, one globe was utterly destroyed on the kitchen floor Saturday morning.  It was dangerous with all the glass.  It was sad because they were cherished items, and it had the date engraved on it, so it is not necessarily replaceable.  But it was also very sparkly.  The kitchen floor was covered with glitter water and it was quite a site.

The sun shines in our kitchen bay window so beautifully in the morning.  Each little flake reflecting the sun's rays causing the entire floor to light up.  My husband and I labored long and hard cleaning up the mess, but the way it all glistened in the sun stayed on my mind and especially during the end of the sermon on Sunday.

The Pastor read some of my favorite verses...

Today's Verses
"In my Father's house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  Matt 14:2-3

Do you ever imagine what heaven is going to look like?  Doesn't it make you smile?  It is going to be more gorgeous (a Fancy Nancy word), more magnificent (another), and more splendid (still another) than our wildest imaginations.  The glitter on my kitchen floor was pretty, but heaven will be unbelievable.

I have to share what my KJV Women's Study Bible says about these verses and "Heaven" in particular...

"Heaven is a place and the eternal hope of the saved.  Scripture describes it as a beautiful city where the redeemed will live for eternity.  The activities in heaven include singing (Rev 15:3), worship (Rev 5:9), serving (Rev 22:3), ruling (2Tim 2:12; Rev 22:5), fellowship with others (Matt 17:3), and eating (Rev 2:17)  The quality of existence in heaven is a life of fellowship with God (Rev 22:4), a life of rest (Rev 14:13)...The glories of heaven belong only to those who have personally trusted Christ for their salvation..."

The joy and the fellowship that will be never ending, and oh the glitter we will see up there in that beautiful city.  It is exciting.  It is refreshing to imagine it.  It is humbling that God sent His Son for us so we could enjoy a life with Him in eternity in heaven...full of all the sprinkles and sparkles we can think of.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tired and Sneezing

Did you ever think one hour could affect us in so many ways?
Have you recovered from "springing forward" last week to Daylight Savings Time?

I have to say, for some reason, I am dragging still today.  I have felt like I can hardly put one foot in front of the other.  I definitely haven't caught up on my sleep debt, and I still feel like I haven't adjusted properly.  To me, this Monday has seemed even more difficult than last Monday.

Studies show that there is an increase in traffic accidents, work related injuries, and even heart attacks the Monday after we loose an hour to DST.  There are tips for avoiding the tiredness, none of which my family adhered to. They included not napping over the weekend, not sleeping in all weekend, and begin to go to bed fifteen minutes earlier every night the week prior to the time adjustment.  Hopefully next year I can try these tactics...but in all reality we probably will not!

As drowsy as I feel, I do love the extra daylight time.  We are experiencing warmer than usual weather here in NC for the month of March. This leads to more time at the park, in our own yard, and even the first picnic of the season on Saturday night.

One hour...so much fun, but so tiring. 

There are also other down sides to the spring season...and the big culprit is POLLEN!  I stepped outside Saturday morning to one of the most beautiful days on record, only to sneeze six consecutive times.  I thought my head would pop off.  I thought my nose would run away.  I thought my eyes had sprung a leak.

Beautiful weather...so much fun, but so much sneezing.

There may be a little bad that comes along with the good in our lives sometimes.  Which do we focus on?  Do we rejoice in the good or do we dwell on the bad?

Today's Verses
"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; and the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:  Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The LORD God is my strength...and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Look at all the bad in verse 17.  There appears to be no fruit and the herds are gone...but Habakkuk chooses and instructs to still "rejoice in the LORD".

I'm tired and sneezing, but I am happy and rejoicing for all the good that outweighs those symptoms of my favorite time of year, and for the God of the universe that has given me this time!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Practice what you preach!

So as a Mom, I am constantly remind myself to "Practice what you preach"...

Don't have a bad attitude!
Don't pout and whine!
Always smile when we are out and about!

Just a few things I say to my girls and frequently remind myself to do also.  I do not want to be a Mommy that says, "Do as I say, not as I do".

Well, the phrase took on a whole new meaning yesterday.  I had a little voice whispering that phrase to me regarding the Tuesday post.  We talked about watching out for leaks in terms of watching out for anger and not forgiving in our lives.  Now I had honestly asked the Lord to show me any area in my life where I might be harboring bad feelings or maybe even needing to do some forgiving myself.  Our family has suffered some enormous hurts over the 2011 year, and I wanted to make sure there were no leaks in my own heart.

Well, little did I know or even realize...a leak had sprung!!!!

It was not from the hurts I had on my mind.  It was completely different.  It was very unexpected.  It was a very bad attitude, and it was in my heart and mind.

We made the long drive to my husbands work yesterday.  The further down the road we went, the sadder I got.  His plant is closing, and this would be one of the last times making the trip.  It would be one of the last times seeing his coworkers.  This would be one of the last times watching the girls run through the offices and conference rooms, and trying their best to escape to the sewing machines.  My mind then started racing with the why's and the how's?  Why were they closing the plant?  How could this happen?  We prayed so hard.  This was affecting so many people.  Oh it is not just the 100 employees losing their jobs and lively hoods.  But this effects the surrounding businesses that depend on those employees to buy lunches and get gas and all the other little stores and shops near by.

I started to realize I was harboring lots of resentment and even anger towards people I have never even laid eyes on.  I have not met the executives that made this decision.  I do not even know their names.  But, I was mad at them, and not just a little mad...the further I drove the more mad I realized I was.

That's when the Voice started, "Practice what you preach.  You just talked about this yesterday.  Do not become hard hearted towards these people.  Forgive and move on.  There is a plan."

Yes I know God has a plan and reason for this happening.  I had accepted that part.  But, I needed to do some major forgiving to the unnamed people who announced the decision to shut the doors.

Today's Verses
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaved and earth."  Psalms 121:1-2

We depend on God to get us through this.  We depend on Him to show us our next steps.  And I depend on Him to help me forgive the people I do not even know, and to not harbor any resentment towards them.  He will help me forgive.  He will provide answers.   He will help me seal the leaks before any damage is done!

We left, and yes I had shed a few tears with coworkers.  The girls had sung songs and had their picture made with a few of the ladies.  My heart was heavy, but I was also relieved the Lord had shown me an area I needed to work on.  The reason why I chose the popular verses above is because the peace that washed over me as I got on the road came from the playing of my most favorite Contemporary Christian song ever!  It was Casting Crows' "I will praise you in this storm".  I was so thankful for that song at that moment, and oh how thankful I am He reminded me to "Practice what you preach."

To enjoy the song and lyrics just click here...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Watch out for leaks...

So just as spring has sprung, a leak has sprung in the Allison household.  It was discovered last week and is progressively getting to be more and more a pain in the neck.  I had noticed a few weeks ago that one of the tiles in the laundry room was trying to pop up.  No big deal.  We had actually been discussing replacing some of the flooring in our home.  But, then last week I noticed the rug feeling damp.  I knew I had not spilled anything.  The girls had not been in there.  My husband was out of town.  What in the world was going on?

So upon further inspection, after my husband got back, we discovered a leak from the washing machine.  It was quickly fixed and we assumed the problem was taken care of.  A few days went by and we checked to make sure there was not any moisture remaining.  Only then did we find that it had not dried and it looked like we now had a bigger problem.  To make the rest of this amazingly not so fun story a little shorter...my laundry room is without any flooring at the moment.  Yes we had to rip it up over the weekend and we are now waiting for the actual wood to dry out.  Thankfully there is not any rotting, but like I said, a pain. (And in case you forgot, our house is on the market...YAY for having to explain this!)

Just a small drip... a tiny bit of water.  We are not talking gallons.  We are not talking over flowing.  It was just a little but frequent drop.  And something so small caused so much damage!  And it could have been worse!  If we had not of caught it when we did, the floor would have rotted and the whole thing would have to replaced.  It could have caused complete structural damage...just a little leak!!!!

Yesterday we talked about the little "Oh this won't hurt me" things that can cause us to slip.  Well what about those little leaks in our lives...say like with forgiveness and bad attitudes.

"I just can't forgive them.  They just hurt me too bad."
"I am so mad at them.  I cannot believe they would say any such a thing."
"They don't care about my feelings, why should I care about theirs?"

Those small pains; those little hurts...it can all lead to a much bigger problem.  We can form resentment, which can lead to anger, which can lead to not forgiving, which leads to bad attitudes, and we can end up with a hard heart. 

Today's verse
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."  Matt 6:14

Think of everything God has forgiven us for.  If we are truly His, He has forgiven us for our past sins and our future sins.  It makes me shutter to think of the amazing significance of that thought.  Yet, it is 100% true; He has forgiven us 100%.  It is the least we can do to forgive others who have hurt us.

Peter asks Jesus in Matthew 18:20 how many times we should forgive those that sin against us.  Peter thought seven times should be sufficient.  But, Jesus' response was "seventy times seven" in verse 21.  In other words...we should never stop forgiving.  Yes, our feelings get hurt.  Yes, it can be so painful when we have been wronged.  Yes, it may seem impossible to forgive.  But we are instructed to forgive just as God has forgiven us.  And we are to remember we can do anything with God's help.

If you have sprung a little leak, and there is a little resentment or unforgiveness in your life right now, ask Jesus to soften your heart and help you forgive.  It will feel so good to let go of those feelings before any big damage is done!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chilly toes

So I have to wonder if last night was the end for the chilly weather here in NC.  It looks as if spring has sprung, and although I know there could be one more cold snap, I have to say I am excited for spring.  My family was a little upset there was no snow this winter, but I do love my flip-flops and they have been calling my name! 

We played outside yesterday, but there was a slight chill in the air as we headed in.  I put on my fuzzy socks and one of my hubby's old sweatshirts as I prepared supper.  I wondered out loud if that would be the last time for that outfit this season.  Something is so comforting about being at home with the whole family, in our sweats, playing games or reading or watching movies.  That doesn't happen as much with warmer weather.  The girls would much rather be outside running and playing, than held up inside!

As I got in the cold bed last night, I did what I do every chilly night.  You see, I would love to sleep with an electric blanket, but my husband prefers to get into a chilly bed with cold sheets.  So on those chilly winter nights, I jump in the bed and pull the covers up real tight, and I get in the tightest ball formation that I can get in.  Slowly as the bed warms up, I creep my toes down slowly.  Sometimes if I go too fast and hit a real cold spot, I will jerk them back up quickly and get back into a ball. 

Last night as this ritual played out, I thought about how sin in my life can be the same way as my bedtime game.  I slip.  I let my guard down.  I slide my toes in just a little too far and let the devil drag me in all the way...
It's just the little things...you know like the saying says, "little white lies won't hurt."  That's the way the devil tricks us and gets us...we slide our toes in and he can pull us and cause us to fall in way too fast!

"Oh I will just watch this show that is not good for me just this once.  It will not affect me."
"Oh I am just going to skip church this once.  I will not make it a habit."
"Oh I just don't have time for devotion today.  I will do double tomorrow."
"Oh I have to tell somebody what I just heard.  I will tell them not to tell."
"Oh I don't need to bother God with this situation.  I can handle this one my own."
"Oh nobody will ever find out if I ________________"
All these "Oh's" can quickly lead to Oh-Nos.  We can soon find ourselves out of step with God when we let our guard down.  We let our toes slide a little too quickly down into those tiny, small, little, "this won't hurt me" habits.  And those habits can quickly overtake our lives and cause our fellowship and walk with the Lord to be lacking.

Today's Verse
"Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."  James 4:7-8a

When the devil tempts us with the "Oh this want hurt you" ideas, we have to resist him.  When we resist the devil, it is promised to us in God's Word that the devil will "flee" from us.  But when we let our guard down and slide our toes down too far and too fast (and we have all had those times), we must pray for a way out.  God promises He will provide a way out of any temptation(1 Cor 10:13).  This is why it is so important to hide God's Word in our hearts, so when the devil does tempt us, we can throw those verses in his face and make him flee.  We will in turn draw closer to God when we resist the fleshly urge to sin, and He in turn will draw closer to us and thus continue strengthening us even more. 

Further down in James 4, in verse 10 we read, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."  We must call on God and let Him know when we are weak in a certain area, and He will lift us up again!  I am so glad I can turn to God and know He will lift me up anytime.  I am so glad I can throw verses at Satan and he will flee.  I am so glad I can keep my heart guarded and my toes warm!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Bright and Morning Star

Since receiving this by email, I cannot help but sing  "The Lily of the Valley" hymn.  Please take a minute to read the comforting lyrics from the song by Charles W. Fry.  I hope it speaks to your heart today like it has mine.

I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll.

He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tower;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart and now He keeps me by His power.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal.

He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessèd will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessèd face,
Where the rivers of delight shall ever roll.

He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

Today's Verse
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.  I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."  Rev 22:16

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Had to share...

With the recent posts concerning salvation, and a busy busy day today, I felt led to share this recent devotion from "Momets With You" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.  I hope you enjoy (And for my frequent travelers reading, please do not do this, it is super embarrassing)...

It’s always dangerous to make assumptions. I am reminded of the businesswoman who found herself with an extra hour of airport down time. She bought a magazine, a coffee and a small package of cookies, preparing to pass the time as best she could in the crowded waiting area.

Absorbed in her reading, she reached over and picked up a cookie to nibble on. To her great surprise, a stranger two seats over reached into the same packet and began eating the second cookie. Stunned, she tried to ignore it. Only after 20 more quiet minutes did she reach in to take the third cookie.

The stranger took the fourth. Then he picked up the near-empty package and sarcastically asked, “Would you like the last one?” Infuriated, she marched off in a huff to the airline gate, reached into her bag for her boarding pass . . . and found her unopened package of cookies! Her anger had been based on a wrong assumption.

Some assumptions are much more dangerous than that. It occurs to me, for example, that one of you may never have actually taken the step of faith to surrender your life to Jesus Christ. You may have the wrong assumption that your good works will get you into heaven. You can change that at this moment. Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life, died on a cross to pay the divine penalty for your sins and was raised to life to defeat death forever, is as near as your next breath. He offers eternal life to you in His open hands.

If you are not sure you are a follower of Christ, if you’ve never received His gift of salvation, would you confess your sins to Him right now and, through faith in Him, receive His forgiveness and ask Him to become your Lord and Master?

Today's Verse
John 3:17 "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Forgotten Son

The next few weeks may be sparse as far as posts are concerned.  We have a few projects we are working on; my husband is traveling so much more than usual; the girls and I will be staying with my parents a few nights, and the list of things keeps on going and going (every mom knows the list is always endless).  So, hopefully I will not get too far behind, but it is definitely quite possible I will not be as able to post as usual. 

Thursday I used one of the most popular verses from the Bible as our verse for the day.  My mother says I could say John 3:16 before I was two.  She tells the story of how we would go to visit my great-grandfather in the nursing home, and he would call all the nurses in to hear me say that verse and sing Jesus Loves Me.  I am sure it may have been the first memory verse for many children.  I know it has been for my girls.

Both my daughters still do not quite get every single word right, especially my youngest.  But even my oldest daughter messes up in a few places on occasion.  One of her mistakes is saying "that he gave his only 'forgotten' son"  instead of "begotten son".  We always correct her, but it really sticks with me every time she says.

In reality, He is the "Forgotten Son".  Jesus came into this world as God on earth.  He came for everyone.  He suffered for everyone.  He died for everyone.  Yet the world as a whole has "forgotten" Him.  We as Christians are no longer able to celebrate His birth without being considered politically incorrect.  And as Easter approaches, I fear we will soon see the actual word Easter vanishing just as the word Christmas has vanished.  I was heartbroken over the number of towns surrounding us that just had "Egg Hunts" and not the usual "Easter Egg Hunts" last year.  And I know that will be the norm before too long.  Everything that has to do with our Savior is slowly but surely being taken out of society.

How do we stop Him from being "forgotten"?

For starters, we must begin at home.  We teach our children about Jesus.  We talk about Him daily.  Yes, they may have questions we cannot answer, but that is an opening to teach them about faith.  Continue to tell them of His love and grace and most importantly how He died and arose again for them.  As mothers, we love our children unconditionally, but we know that God loves them even more than we do.  God has placed these little ones in our care, and the most important job we have as mothers is to make God and Jesus real in their lives. 

We not only are responsible for teaching our children, but we as Christians have to tell others of God's love and forgiveness. We have to share what He has done for us, even with complete strangers. We have to live so that His light may shine through us. We have to pray for the missionaries that are out there spreading His Word and Truths with the world. We have to support and pray for our churches and pastors, the church leaders and workers. We have to; we have to; we have to prevent Jesus from being "forgotten"!!!!

The girls and I like to watch "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" sometimes while we are cooking lunch. Last week I decided to turn it on because it had been a while. One of the questions was how many federal holidays were associated with someone's birthday. I started naming them...Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day...and it took me a brief moment to say..."Oh I cannot forget Jesus' birthday!!!". I was ashamed that I had not said His birthday first. The correct answer was 3 holidays, but as the host listed the holidays, the contestant looked confused as she said Christmas. She had to explain to him that it was Jesus' birthday. The contestant looked as if he had never heard the name Jesus. It was as if he knew nothing about Him. My heart broke, and I felt the warm tears fill my eyes.

Is that not a heartbreaking reality that Jesus is becoming the "forgotten" Son? 

Today's Verse
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

It is not enough to just believe that God exist; we have to believe in His Son Jesus as well.  Without Jesus salvation would not be possible.  Without Him forgiveness is not possible.  He paid our debt, and that cannot be forgotten.  As this verse plainly states, no one will enter into heaven to be with God the Father without accepting God's Son, Jesus.  He is the only way and the truth.  He should never be "forgotten". 

My daughter's mispronunciation has burdened me for some time.  It has made me want to share my love for Jesus and all He has done for me...I hope it will inspire you to make sure He is not "forgotten" in your home, your community, and our world.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Totally Free

I wanted to order some of the pictures that the "professionals"  took of us when we were at Disney.  They hand you this neat little card called a Photo Pass.  You hand it to the photographers stationed throughout the parks, and they can snap your memories for you.  You don't have to worry about getting that all important picture if someone else is taking care of it, right?  Well this was my way of thinking when the girls were busy hugging their favorite characters and princesses.  Oh I took lots of pictures, but I wasn't concerned about getting them to look my way.  I just figured I would order some of the better ones when we got back home.

Well, there were about 80 pictures all together.  I sorted through.  I reminisced.  I slightly longed to be back there.  I sighed and started picking out the best ones.  I had chosen about 25 pictures all together.  I went to check out and my total...are you ready for this???  It was over $450.  Yes, you are reading that correctly...four hundred and fifty dollars for a few photos.

I literally grabbed my chest and said out loud, "You have got to be kidding me!"

I am not spending that much on pictures.  It is fifteen dollars for a 4x6 photo.  And let me just tell you, there are some good ones.  There are some great ones as a matter of fact, but I can't justify paying that much for a picture.  Oh my heart is a little heavy. 

For those of you that don't know me as well, I am a picture fanatic.  I have albums upon albums.  Yes, I have to admit I am a tad behind since the birth of my second daughter, but I still take pictures all the time and order them as soon as I can.  I place them in albums where you can journal beside to write down little reminders about what we were doing and where we were at.  I love it.  It is so comforting to me to look back and remember fun things.

Now I am stuck with trying to narrow down 25 pictures to one or maybe two to order.  So much money for a reminder of the happy trip we took.

Soon after I had walked away from my computer to wrap my mind around how it could cost so much, I found myself humming a song the choir used to sing when I was a little girl.  It was always my favorite choir special growing up.  The chorus goes like this...

O, His grace is sufficient for me.
And His love is abundant and free.
And what joy fills my soul,
Just to know, just to know
That His grace is sufficient for me.

Did you catch that second line?  "His love is abundant and free"

Free, free, free!!!  His love costs us nothing!!!  His love is abundant!!!  His love is for anybody and everybody that is willing to receive it.  There is no charge.  We can have all His love if we accept it.  It will make us full of joy.  It is a perfect love.  It is the best love.  It is FREE!!!

Today's Verse
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

A verse we all probably know by heart.  But there is that word love.  God loved us so much, He sent His only Son.  We can believe Him and have everlasting life with Him.  All for free.  Totally free.  As another song say, "Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe."  His love and the gift of salvation is free!

Oh I still wish I could buy a lot of those pictures, but I am simply not going to spend that much.  But, now when I  think about the high prices of so many things in life and I start to get angry, I'm just going to remember that the MOST important thing in my life is FREE!