Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Pilgrim Begins His Journey

"...I saw him open the Book and read out of it, and as he read he wept and trembled....He finally revealed to his wife and children what was going on in his mind, saying, 'Oh, my dear Wife and Children, I'm suffering from inner turmoil because of a burden that lays heavily upon me....He started talking to them again, but they began to be hardened to his words. They thought they might be able to drive away his insanity by harsh and bad-tempered behavior toward him. Sometimes they would make fun of him, at other times they would criticize him, and sometimes they would simply ignore him. Because of this, he began to withdraw from them to his bedroom to pray for them, pity them, and comfort his own misery. He would also walk by himself in the field, sometimes reading and sometimes praying. He spent his time doing these things for several days." (The Pilgrim's Progress. Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2001. 3 & 4.)

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Daddy: The Missionary

In the course of daily school studies with the younger children in my home, I visit the subject of Geography and recently have been hearing names like Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Costa Rica. With these countries comes a flood of memories from when I was growing up. My daddy delighted in going on mission trips with the church of which they were members. But as a child I did not grasp the importance or magnitude of missions and God’s people who carry them out.

Though my dad was never gone for long (usually just a couple weeks at a time…if memory serves me well) the work he did, people with whom he served, and individuals he met are unforgettable! I remember gathering with other families one day and watching a slide show of one of the trips (though I can't remember which one.) And I even think there is video of at least one of his journeys. (I’ll have to ask him to make me a copy.) This is a picture of his sand collection he started when he went on missions. (It continues to grow with each new place he goes though he hasn't been able to go on a mission trip in years despite his heart's desire.)


Regarding missions, John Piper says the following,
“…if the infallible Scriptures promise that all nations will one day bow down to Christ, and if Christ is sovereign and able by his Spirit to subdue all opposition to his promised reign, then there is good hope that a person who goes as an ambassador of Christ to one of these nations will be the chosen instrument of God to open the eyes of the blind and set up an outpost of the kingdom of Christ….

“The Word of God - the gospel of the Kingdom - is the weapon that God designs to use in penetrating the kingdom of darkness and gathering the children of light from all the nations. His whole redemptive plan for the universe hangs on the success of his word. If the preaching of the Word aborts, the purposes of God fail.

“But that cannot happen,

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

“God is sovereign. Though he make all his plans hang on the success of his Word proclaimed by men and women, his purposes cannot fail; whenever he wills, his word stands and none can stay his hand.” (Prayer: The Work of Missions. Piper. 1988.)


God's word says,
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14. ESV.)

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14. ESV.)

Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. (Hebrews 13:13. ESV.)


Some websites regarding missions are:
Joshua Project
Youth With a Mission (YWAM)

Crazy Love

It is absolutely CRAZY to me how God works everything for the good of those who LOVE Him! Last week a dear friend of mine mentioned she (in her new bible study group) is starting to read a book called CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan. I had never heard of the book and did not put much thought into it at the time as my friend said she would let me know how she likes (or dislikes) the book when she is finished with it.

Yesterday (Sunday) was our church picnic. Being our worship services ended at about 11:30 a.m. and the picnic was not scheduled to begin until 4:00 p.m. I had some time to kill. (I did not want to drive the 45 minutes home and waste time, gas, and money.) So, I headed to the local bookstore where I scanned the shelves to find something to occupy my time. THE LOVE DARE book caught my eye but I am almost finished with that one at home so I bypassed it. Then another book (sitting next to THE LOVE DARE) caught my eye. Would you like to take a guess which book it was? Yep…CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan. I sidestepped it as well initially but found myself coming back to it so I picked it up.

Though I did not make it very far into the book given my time constraints, I do want to say the part I did read was FABULOUS!!! I did not want to put the book down. When it came time to leave the store and head over to the park for the picnic I wanted to bring the book with me however I felt $15.99 was a steep price to pay (being I have very limited funds) so I had to leave it behind.

Throughout the book Chan references various videos on his crazylovebook.com website that go along with each chapter and point about which he is writing. Not to mention his “Balance Beam” video that gives (in my opinion) an excellent analogy.

I think the most striking point Chan made in the few pages I was able to sit and read was God made all of His creations to suit Him! So who am I to question Him? He does not work things to accommodate selfish me!!! And really, who do I think I am believing I have any right to even suggest He do so?! Wow, PRIDEFUL!!!! Ick, the ugly wretch that I am!!!

Further, (God has reminded me yet again this weekend that) He is so faithful at reassuring me He is doing things (that glorify Him) yet are for my good! Though I throw such tantrums (going before God in a huff in prayer) every time I do not understand why something is the way it is (though in my heart I know it is to bring glory to God) He still shows me he has my eternity in mind. For example, Saturday I was upset about a situation and felt disheartened. But, instead of causing strife I went before God in prayer. Each time the circumstance challenged me I consulted God before responding. In (what I thought was) the end, my feelings were hurt and I fell to pieces before the throne. However, the conclusion had not yet been reached! God stopped sin in its tracks and remedied the issue at hand. All without my hand in it! God’s work was so blatant to me it left no question in my mind. God sorted it out! He had it worked out from the beginning (the very beginning before the foundations of the earth) and it was going to transpire in His perfect timing…NOT MINE!!! (The timing, however, on this one just happened to be close to my own…so I did not have to wait long.)

God is so good, just, all knowing, and all powerful! And I think Chan’s book does an adequate job of removing the sleep from human eyes so God can be seen more clearly by those who truly love Him!

Shine by the Newsboys



Dull as dirt
you can't assert
the kinda light that might persuade
a strict dictator to retire
fire the army,
teach the poor origami
the truth is in
the proof is when you hear your heart start asking
What's my motivation?
And try as you may
there is no way
to explain the kinda change
that would make an eskimo renounce fur
that would make a vegetarian barbeque hamster
unless you can trace this about-face to a certain sign

shine
make em wonder whatcha got
make em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let em see good works and then
let em glorify the lord

Out of the shaker and onto the plate
it isn't karma it sure ain't fate
that would make a deadhead sell his van
that would make a schizophrenic turn in his crayons
Oprah freaks
and science seeks
a rationale that shall excuse this strange behavior
when you let it shine
you will inspire the kind of entire turnaround
that would make a bouncer take ballet
even bouncers who aren't happy
but out of the glare
with nowhere to turn
you ain't gonna learn it on 'What's my Line?'

Shine
make em wonder whatcha got
make em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored
shine
let it shine before all men
let em see good works and then
let em glorify the lord

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Love Believes All Things

Love Believes All Things

New Addition to Our Family?

This is Wall-e. The younger children in my home saved up their money (and I did some web surfing to find the best price possible) to get Wall-e here. I have to admit he is pretty groovy though he totally goes against my "do not treasure the things of this world because they will pass away and only God's word is forever" teaching! He has a little, wireless infrared controller, he dances, talks, turns, moves his eyes, he has moving treads, moving arms, his eyes light up, etc. And yes, Wall-e now goes everywhere with us...sheesh. (I tried to post a video of Wall-e but the sound was not working for some reason.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Difficult Situations and the Faithfulness of God

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105. ESV.)


When faced with very difficult situations I have to look to God’s word for direction (especially when I feel like I am immersed in a fog, deep in circumstances). In order to make split second decisions I have to know God’s word well. And the only way to be familiar with the word of God is to study it regularly! (I never know when the knowledge He gives me is going to be called upon.)

God gives excellent instruction. He even prioritizes things for us…(i.e. God, government, city, & state authorities, spouse/parent, the body, etc.). So, when the flesh screams at me to address life’s occurrences one way and prickles with sin (i.e. frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, etc.), I am held accountable to act biblically no matter what!...regardless if it is witnessing (or involvement in) a car accident, dealing with an abusive boss or coworker, or confronting a loved one or friend who struggles with a gambling, drinking, or drug abuse problem, etc. Battling sin head on (whether someone else’s or my own) is never a pleasant experience…but God is still faithful!

You shall not…1) have any other gods before me, 2) have idols and worship them, 3) take the name of the Lord your God in vain, 4) murder, 5) commit adultery, 6) steal, 7) bear false witness against your neighbor, 8) covet your neighbor’s things. You shall…1) remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy and 2) honor your father and mother. (Exodus 20:3-17. ESV.)

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8. ESV.)

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1. ESV.)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude.… it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6. ESV.)

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."…he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:6-11. ESV.)

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37. ESV.)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13. ESV.)


I am held to God’s laws and guidelines for His word says,
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15. ESV.)

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3. ESV.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Person of God, the Promise of God, the Power of God, the Provision of God, and Perseverance

Last week God’s word was encouraging, empowering, replenishing, and an abundant blessing to my life. (More so than usual.) It started earlier in the week and was wrapped up on Sunday with a fabulous sermon by pastor, Jim Smith. As always, God stayed faithful from start to finish and I am going to write it down here to help me remember His beautiful, loving encouragement!

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8. ESV.)

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8. ESV.)

Author Martha Peace writes, “You develop a “meek and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 2:3) by humbly trusting God while being submissive to your husband. Your motivation comes from placing your hope and trust in God just like the “holy women” in “former times” (1 Peter 2:5).

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15. ESV.)

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3. ESV.)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way;… it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love… endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7. ESV.)

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27. ESV.)

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."…he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:6-11. ESV.)

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37. ESV.)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:2-5. ESV.)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13. ESV.)


And, in conclusion, here is the link to Pastor Jim Smith's excellent message on Sunday based on Hebrews 11:17-19 entitled "Faith Tested"!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

FL Gator Tim Tebow: Glorifying God


Missionary Works


One media member at SEC Media Days asked Tim Tebow if he is "saving himself for marriage".....Tebow says, "yes".

Friday, September 18, 2009

Full Hands In. Full Hands Out.

When I was working outside the home a few years ago, in a restaurant, the kitchen had a rule. “Full hands in. Full hands out.” What this meant was, a server had to have “full hands” coming into the kitchen from the dining room (i.e. used dishes and silverware for the dishwasher, condiments, etc.) and had to be carrying stuff going out of the kitchen (i.e. prepared trays ready for service, soft drinks, etc.). I use this same rule around my house.

There are ALWAYS items strewn about the house that need to be returned to their proper places. When I go into the laundry room, I bring in with me dirty clothes that need to be laundered. When I leave, I take with me (into the bedroom) clean clothes to be sorted and folded. When I depart the bedroom, I carry with me used water glasses to be washed in the kitchen. When I go from the kitchen I bring toys that should go back in to the children’s bedroom. From the bedroom I have in my arms dirty clothes that need to be cleaned. And so it continues from there.

When I fall short on the organization of my household, it can take a whole day to get it all sorted out again! But I have found just staying on top of this simple task contributes greatly to a clean and relaxing home.

I am also on a cleaning schedule with the Flylady who has the residence divided up into “zones” and encourages that a little goes a long way. In other words, do not stress and try to do all the heavy cleaning in one day but rather spread it out over the course of the week for each “zone”. This week’s focus was “Zone 3” the bathroom and each day posed a new challenge not to mention the daily “Swish & Swipe”, emptying the dishwasher, and “rebooting” the laundry. Oh yeah, and addressing the “Stash and Dash space” and shining your sink. For someone with a loaded schedule, the Flylady is a good match. Thanks Rebecca for the tip! It has been such a blessing to me and my family.

…[she] works with willing hands….She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness…. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:13, 27, 30-31. ESV.)

House Guidelines

I thought these were great and wanted to share! I even printed out a couple copies for around my house. (I have two lists though because I had to modify one just a touch for the unbelievers in my household...but all the principles of God's word are still intact!!!)

Please click here for the "Duggar House Guidelines".

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Have You Seen Jesus My Lord?

This is one of my favorite songs ever!!! We used to sing it in "Youth Group" every Sunday evening and I can still remember all of the words!!!



Have You Seen Jesus My Lord?
Words and Music by John Fischer
(Written during my summer as the first music director at Ponderosa Lodge, the new high school camp at Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center.)

Have you seen Jesus my Lord
He's here in plain view
Take a look open your eyes
He'll show it to you

Have you ever look at the sunset
With the sky mellowing red
And the clouds suspended like feathers
Then I say you've seen Jesus my Lord

Have you seen Jesus my Lord
He's here in plain view
Take a look open your eyes
He'll show it to you

Have you ever stood at the ocean
With the white foam at your feet
Felt the endless thundering motion
Then I say you've seen Jesus my Lord

Have you seen Jesus my Lord
He's here in plain view
Take a look open your eyes
He'll show it to you

Have you ever looked at the cross
With a man hanging in pain
And the look of love in his eyes
Then I say you've seen Jesus my Lord

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Note of Hope

A Note of Hope

A Quest for Godliness

Why do I always have this unquenchable nagging in my mind that I can be doing better? When I am schooling the children I feel I should be cleaning the house. When I am maintaining the home I think I should be working for an income. When I am striving to help provide for my family financially (as requested by my husband) I am convicted about being in God’s word. This dizzying mentality usually continues throughout the day, every day. There is a constant thought that says, “I should be doing something else right now to glorify God.” When I try to multitask, sometimes it works out well and other times it does not.

But I think I am missing the point of that nagging feeling and wonder if J.I. Packer has the answer. I am drawn to his ebook A QUEST FOR GODLINESS: THE PURITAN VISION OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. Packer writes,
“…Between 1550 and 1700 [Puritans] too lived unfrilled lives in which, speaking spiritually, strong growth and resistance to fire and storm were what counted….the mature holiness and seasoned fortitude of the great Puritans shine before us as a kind of beacon light, overtopping the stature of the majority of Christians in most eras…the teaching and example of the Puritan giants have much to say to us.”


Packer goes on to say,
“…the Puritans have taught me to see and feel the transitoriness of this life, to think of it, with all its richness, as essentially the gymnasium and dressing-room where we are prepared for heaven, and to regard readiness to die as the first step in learning to live….The Puritans experienced systematic persecution for their faith; what we today think of as the comforts of home were unknown to them; their medicine and surgery were rudimentary; they had no aspirins, tranquillisers, sleeping tablets or anti-depressant pills, just as they had no social security or insurance; in a world in which more than half the adult population died young and more than half the children born died in infancy, disease, distress, discomfort, pain and death were their constant companions. They would have been lost had they not kept their eyes on heaven and known themselves as pilgrims traveling home to the Celestial City….Few of us, I think, live daily on the edge of eternity in the conscious way that the Puritans did, and we lose out as a result….

“…the Puritans shaped my churchly identity, by imparting to me their vision of the wholeness of the work of God that they called reformation, and that we would more likely nowadays call renewal….The Puritans gave me a concern for all these things together, as all sustaining each other, and all bearing on the honour and glory of God in his church…

“…the Puritans made me aware that all theology is also spirituality, in the sense that it has an influence, good or bad, positive or negative, on its recipients’ relationship or lack of relationship to God. If our theology does not quicken the conscience and soften the heart, it actually hardens both; if it does not encourage the commitment of faith, it reinforces the detachment of unbelief; if it fails to promote humility, it inevitably feeds pride….

“…the Puritans are giants compared with us, giants whose help we need if ever we are to grow….The great Puritans, though dead, still speak to us through their writings, and say things to us that we badly need to hear at this present time….”


I am certain I too can learn much from the Puritans. I already enjoy their prayers in the book edited by Arthur Bennett entitled THE VALLEY OF VISION: A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS. I think I am going to start with the above mentioned ebook by Packer and then work my way from there learning all I can about the Puritans.

Jewish Facts of Life

Jewish Facts of Life by Jews for Jesus

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lost in Translation?

Every once in a while something will strike me in a profound way and throw me into somewhat of a tailspin until I can work it out in my mind. Today this occurred when a lovely lady, to whom I enjoy talking, challenged the translation of the bible I study regularly. (Actually I generally gravitate toward two translations more than others…the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New King James Version (NKJV).) Hers was neither and made my head swim. By the end of our conversation I was more confused than anything else and felt as though I had caused her to think a bit in return.

Throughout the day I replayed our discussion in my mind (…well, what I could remember of it) and carefully tried to sort through the details that caused me to feel a bit icky. But why was I feeling bothered? Was it because my flesh was rebelling against what she said or was the Holy Spirit offended?! Though I was leaning more toward an offense that could not be overlooked, it still made me wonder…how accurate is the translation of the bible I use??? I do not read nor understand Hebrew and/or Greek so really, how would I know if my version was mistaken or incorrect? And then the ball quickly gathered speed as it rolled downhill from there. If my rendition is wrong then what I am teaching my children is untrue and their souls could suffer because of it!!!

Our conversation began with Ecclesiastes 3:20-21 which says, “All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?” (NKJV.) From here we went to Genesis 3:19 which reads, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” Here is where the conversation started to get a little cloudy. This is where I should have directed the discussion to Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it,” as I would be very interested in what her translation reads. For throughout this conversation it sounded as though her version focuses more on the dust returning to the earth and less on the spirit returning to God. In fact, each time I brought up scripture like Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise,’ the focus was returned to the body as opposed to the spirit. Not to mention a debate about where the comma appears in the Luke 23:43 passage (i.e. Is it “I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” or “I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise”?) and what is being referred to when Christ says, “Paradise”. Even when I pointed out Elijah and Enoch was I met with a dust to dust answer.

I never did get a clear response on what her bible says about what happens when we die other than our body returns to the earth. But then what? And what of our spirit? When Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” isn’t He referring to eternal life and the soul? Aw man, I guess I’m going to have to get a Hebrew/Greek copy of the bible and one of those handheld electronic translation devices/ pocket translators.

Excellent Resources

Okay, so I was feeling creative and decided to make up a list of my absolute favorite books which I highly recommend! (The colors did not turn out right though. The picture is not supposed to be blue and the side bar is supposed to be lavender. Oh well.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

God and Me!

After church on Sunday I went to the local Christian Bookstore to find two books. Though I was unable to locate the first: John MacArthur's A FAITH TO GROW ON BIBLE, I was blessed to pick up the last remaining copy (on the shelf) of this book: GOD AND ME! 2.

Though it states it is intended for girls ages ten to twelve, I have actually gotten it for one of the teenagers in my home. Being I am using it as a "shepherding" tool, I did not want it to be too overwhelming for her so I think despite the age specification it will work out nicely!

This book was met with an interest for God and the stories of the bible. My prayer (of course) is our King will use it in ways I could never imagine to shepherd this precious little lamb's heart so that she may have faith that leads to grace and receive a new heart of flesh and the Holy Spirit!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Building Endurance

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1. ESV.)

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. (1 Corinthians 9:24. ESV.)

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (Hebrews 10:36. ESV.)


In any sport, I assume, there comes a point in a workout, practice, game, etc. when the athlete feels completely exhausted. When the muscles are spent, perhaps the body aches, and the athlete feels as though they can push no further. Then, from the sidelines the coach, teacher, instructor, etc. says, “Push it now, just a little more so you can make it even further next time.” Possibly it is at this point the athlete thinks to him or herself, “There’s no way! I can’t go on!”

I have noticed as I walk with God and fight the good fight there are days when I feel so tired, overwhelmed, burnt out, overworked, etc. I begin to doubt I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and I desire to rest, lie still, and catch my breath. I reach my hand toward the ground to catch my body as it falls to the earth because flesh and bones can only go so far. I cry out in pain, “I can’t take anymore!” and yet God has other plans. He directs my steps. His conviction and the Holy Spirit urge me to press onward…to fight through the hurting, the weakness, the fatigue…to push through the tears, the stress, and the labor... to stretch just a bit further, with His grace, to build up endurance.

The following quote is from ASSURED BY GOD: LIVING IN THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S GRACE which was edited by Burk Parsons with a forward by R.C. Sproul.
“We learn to love truly only when we are placed in close quarters with someone who is difficult to love. We learn true joy and peace only when we experience circumstances that in themselves tend to rob us of our joy and peace in the Lord. We learn patience only by being in the continual presence of someone whose actions try our patience. We learn to trust God only when He places us in circumstances in which we are forced to depend on Him. All the admirable traits of Christian character then are formed and grown through the discipline of adversity.”


God's word says,
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews6:17-20. ESV.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Home Sweet Home: Part Two

Despite feeling discouraged I decided to go ahead and do my "Love Dare" for the day (yesterday). I returned to our motor home and worked on cleaning it further. I focused on the lower cabinets and the "bowels" of the Recreational Vehicle (RV). The only thing left is to vacuum the floor and steam clean the carpet! Yippee!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Proverbs 31 Checklist

Based on my post yesterday I have made up a "Proverbs 31 Checklist" for myself and thought I would share it just incase anyone else was interested. (Click on image to enlarge.)



(Hopefully it will print out well.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Orphan Care: An Opportunity to Make Much of Jesus

Orphan Care: An Opportunity to Make Much of Jesus

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Q: Will it matter in eternity?
A: Yes.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16. ESV.)

Colossians 4:5: Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

Proverbs 15:21: Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.

Ephesians 6:13: Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.


Today was the first day of my new weekly schedule and I found myself welling up with anxiety as I stared at the agenda on paper. The house timetable is divided up into hours of the day and my personal calendar goes in half hour segments. Now, I feel I do not have to tell you (and yet I am) that the entire itinerary is full…completely booked! What’s a gal to do when juggling schooling children, financially helping out the family, and completing chores so the household can function smoothly?! Not to mention, I also have temptations with which I struggle throughout the day (like catching up with friends/socializing and/or reading) when I am supposed to be doing something else like studies with the children, working for an income, and/or duties around the home.

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9. ESV.)

…that the LORD your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do. (Jeremiah 42:3. ESV.)


The Proverbs 31 wife…
> Does [her husband] good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (v. 12)

> Works with willing hands. (v. 13)

> Provides food for her household. (v. 15)

> Dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. (v.17)

> Perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. (v.18)

> Opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. (v. 20)

> Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. (v.25)

> Opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (v. 26)

> Looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. (v.27)

Whew, that makes for a very busy day!!! And I suppose this should be my day by day checklist that demands to be marked off each time a requirement is complete. Did I do my husband good and not harm? Check. Did I profit off of my merchandise? Check. Did I make my arms strong today? Nope, that still needs to be done…I think you get the idea here. Prayerfully, I will keep Proverbs 31 in mind when going through my days so as not to overwhelm myself on “folly” but rather bless my family tremendously!

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:30-31. ESV.)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Will it Matter in Eternity?

This is the new question I have started asking myself everyday, each time I find I have to make a decision. In regard to this inquiry I look to the following scripture:

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:2. ESV. Emphasis added.)

For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me." (Romans 15:3. ESV. Emphasis added.)

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29. ESV. Emphasis added.)

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8. ESV. Emphasis added.)

"I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me." (John 5:30. ESV. Emphasis added.)

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. (John 6:38. ESV. Emphasis added.)

For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:15. ESV. Emphasis added.)

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21. ESV. Emphasis added.)

...whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:6. ESV. Emphasis added.)


In other words, I have to ask myself who is going to benefit from the words that come out of my mouth, myself or the soul of the person to whom I am speaking? For example, who gets the parking spot closest to our house? Now as ridiculous as this is, it is honestly a spat in my household. Our driveway, garage, and one of the spots in front of our home are already full so that just leaves the second spot at the front of our house for parking. My worldly response to this is the space available should be MINE!!! My selfish reasoning being: I alone do the grocery shopping and cart the children and their stuff around so I “need” that front spot as a loading and unloading zone. Now to ask myself the all important question, “Will it matter in eternity?” Nope!!! So I have since let this quarrel go and park elsewhere when this particular spot is unavailable.


Presently, I woke this morning to a messy bathroom and dishes in the sink (when the dishwasher was available). My first response was to just clean up the disorder without biblical appeal or reproof. But, will it matter in eternity? Yes! I feel not addressing this matter is not the God honoring thing to do. Why? Because I believe it promotes laziness. Currently I am reaping the harvest of “spoiled” seed. You see, in an effort to be a Proverbs 31 wife I have inadvertently spoiled my family rotten! Instead of sowing seeds of “serving others”, “doing all things for the glory of the Lord”, “obedience”, and “working with willing hands” (to name a few) I have instead planted the seeds of idleness.

Who is benefiting from the fruit of slothfulness? Surly not the soul of the people I am supposed to be teaching and neither am I!!! In my opinion I am called to walk like Christ and uphold God’s word and instruction…NOT promote sin! I need to be building up not tearing down! And I am convicted to say, “No!” to myself and, “Yes!” to God...to be diligent in training up, consistent with discipline, and aware of my own sin of frustration when having to address attitudes which say, "Why should I do it when someone else can do it for me?"

Well then, I feel as though I have been all over the map on this post so I am going to summarize to hopefully pull it all together. The bottom line here is, I need to serve others. In part that means giving in when it's not an "eternity" or "sin" issue. The other side of that is I am required to make a biblical appeal, give a biblical reproof, and train up my children in the way they should go so that even when they are old they will not depart from it. That means not letting the sin of laziness slide because yes, it will matter in eternity. Not to mention it will determine what kind of relationship each child in my home will have with his or her spouse on a serve or be served level.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2. ESV.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Home Sweet Home

As a "need" my spouse has I was able to meet...yep, you guessed it, yet another "Love Dare"...yesterday (Tuesday), my chore (of choice) was to clean our recently acquired motor home/ recreational vehicle (RV). In the eighties this RV was used by my husband and his family to roam the U.S. Evidence of this remained in the form of road atlases, eighties magazines like MAD magazine, comic books dated 1980, horse shoes, softballs, and Cricket like paddles.


In 1991 my in-laws lived in the RV as their new home in Colorado was being built. However, the last time I saw it used was in 2001 when they came to visit our family for Christmas and the birth of one of our children. Since then it has been left in storage and invaded by mice who did not hesitate to leave their mark…all over the place!



Everything from within first had to be removed and sorted. This included camping supplies (like plastic eating utensils; Styrofoam plates; reusable plates, cups, silverware, etc.), RV tools (like oil, filters, jack, extra waterline hose, etc.), miscellaneous materials (like paint cans, toilet seats, headlights, shop lights, a garage door opener, circular saw blades, etc.), sporting goods (like the ones named above and Frisbees), and garbage. (P.S. the back of the truck pictured is FULL of stuff that came out of the RV too!)


Next it was time to scrub, scrub, scrub. (Lots of elbow grease and five or six hours of non-stop cleaning only got the chore halfway finished.) I brought home linens, place mats, etc. to launder and the reusable place settings to throw into the dishwasher. Not to mention plastic draws to clean up for supplies; refrigerator shelves and draws; a camping coffee pot and kettle; silverware tray; a roasting pan for the oven; serving utensils; etc.


Finally, I will have to return a second day to vacuum and steam clean the carpet; scrub the lower cabinets and spaces under the couch and dining area (there is a lot of mouse urine and feces on top of the water tank which is stowed under the sofa); and to restock everything. It is with great delight I get this home away from home ready for my family and camping season!


"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31.ESV.)

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