Monday, October 24, 2016

For Heaven's Sake~ Put Down Your Stones






I want to share a little story I once heard. This most beautiful young lady was standing with her hands full of rocks following the crowd. She was ready to throw those stones. This person was wicked the crowd said. She had done the most horrible of things. She was guilty and caught in her guilt. After all, she deserved to have stones hurled at her  ~ to hurt her reputation~ cause her to bleed~ kill her soul. This beautiful lady was ready and the stones were heavy in her hands. She raised her hands to cast the stones at this chief of sinners. BUT when the sinner turned to face her~ it was one of her very own. She loved this person. This person shared the blood that ran through her veins.  Her stones fell from her hands and tears streamed from her eyes as she watched the crowd one by one cast their stones.

What if the person others are throwing stones at was your sister, your child~ your mother or brother. You see God does not punish to kill or destroy but to restore His children. Who do we think we are to throw stones? As high and mighty as we may think we are~ we can all look no further than to our own blood to see those who have sinned. Better yet~ we only need to look in the mirror.

1 Timothy 1:15

 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 I am not saying to overlook wrong. But it is not our place to be judge and jury. It is not our place to kill and destroy. It is not our place to ignore our beam in our own eye.

Luke 6:24
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

With all the stones flying~I think I need a social and  media detox. This morning~I am heading off to church and turning off the media~ care to join me?

Life Creative ~ Book Review

       
Our God is an awesome artist with the most beautiful masterpieces of all time. God has blessed us all with artistic flares, talents, and Wendy and Kelli have done a wonderful job encouraging mothers. Being a mother is hard work and time-consuming. These girls have compiled many examples of mothers who have been home decorators, jewelry designers, and authors  along with motherhood. They share how they balanced it all. Being a mother doesn't mean we need to give up our dreams. It really is a good thing to still use our creativity for the glory of God and also be an example to our children to do the same. This is a wonderful read and would be a great gift for any mom especially new moms. 



I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pray For America and Be Nice~



The news said over the weekend (not sure I believe much of what they say at this point) that this election has caused severe stress and anxiety. It has divided family and friends. I suppose it is so by watching social media. If I were honest it truly has caused me some worry and concern~ I have even needed to repent of my own anger. This election just has me angry at the whole mess.

Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe we Christians need to be awakened from our slumbering state and spend more time begging God for His mercy and grace on our country.

When I pulled up to church yesterday this is what I read~ Pray for America and Be Nice.   Amen, and Amen! We should be spending all the time we can on our knees. Prayer is the best defense to the hot mess our country currently finds herself.  The be nice part is becoming harder and harder for me. Just keeping it real here. I am still so angry that in our day and age this is the best we can come up with~  somebody say it isn't so.

An unknown poet wrote ~ 
" A careless word may kindle strife;
 a cruel word may wreck a life. 
A bitter word may hate instill;
 a brutal word may smite and kill.
 A gracious word may smooth the way: 
a joyous word may light the day.
 A timely word may lessen stress; 
a loving word may heal and bless."


We all learned this in kindergarten but somewhere along the way we seem to lose our compass especially at election time. God ~ forgive us all. Starting at the top! If nothing more than this lesson we are learning maybe this election can remind us that once words leave our mouths they can never be taken back and all the "I'm sorrys" in the  world can't fix it.

Yesterday our Pastor preached on The Anomaly of a Good King. He reminded us that 1 out of every 5 kings in Isreal in the Bible were good rulers. Are you with me? It gave me a little hope. The message was on King Josiah and what makes a good leader. King Josiah was only 8 years old when he became king. Yet~ he was a great king because his main priority was focusing on God.  The outline below is from our service from Dr. Monty Shinkle.


  • Good leaders are rare. (II Chronicles 34)
  • Good leaders surround themselves with good people. 
  • Good leaders do what is right in the sight of the Lord. (II Chronicles 34:2)
  • Good leaders respect and respond to the Word of God. (II Chronicles 34:18,19)
  • Good leaders are consistent in private and public. (II Chronicles 34:31)
  • Good leaders finish what they start. (II Chronicles  34:33)
  • Good leaders may not ultimately change hearts and people . ( II Chronicles 34:33)



 Let's vow to use our words to be nice. I am going to ask God to help me throughout the rest of this election to just pray and be nice. Care to join me ?


Psalm 39:1

 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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Christian"s Hope~ OH MY STARS I LOVED THIS BOOK





Oh-my-stars..... I loved this book. I mean from the first word. This is the story of Jacob Hochstetler. It is written by Ervin Stutzman who was born to an Amish family in Kalona, Iowa and spent his days growing up in Hutchison, Kansas. Today he and his wife are members of the Park View Mennonite Church.  This is the third book of the series and now I must go buy those other two books. The book is a product of much research and is based on stories passed down.

Jacob is known as a hero of the faith because he stood firm on his pacifist convictions during the French and Indian War. His family was attacked by the Indians and the account has been passed through many of media forms through the ages.

This book recounts the story of Christian who was Jacob's son. When the family was attacked by  an Indian Tribe his mother, his 19-year-old brother and six-year-old sister were all killed.  He, his father and his brother were taken captive by the Indian tribe who were angry at the white men for lying to them and taking their land. Christian and his brother, Joseph were taken in by the tribe and were adopted into Indian families. Their father escaped and returned home after a few months but the boys were raised in the Indian tribes. When they became men the British government made them return to their Amish families. The book shares Christian's story of hardship being Indian in his thinking and  yet knowing the Amish were his people. This is a true story of love, acceptance, redemption and loving our neighbors. You just don't want to miss this historical story brought to life in this book.

I have never read any of Ervin Stutzman's books but I am hooked.  I loved this book!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Need A Little Love? 66 Ways God Loves You~ Book Review



 Sarah Rothschild shares how her Grandma Sarah gave her a red leather Bible  when she was a young girl. She carried it to church each Sunday. She states, "Something deep within me knew that just like the glue on the binding held its pages together, the truth in its pages would somehow hold me together." Such profound truths for a small girl. And it did hold her together. When she turned 15 she lost her eyesight. She no longer could read her beloved Bible but the truths still held her together. She now listens to her Bible on audio or on apps on her computer or her phone but it still holds her together and  it still makes her feel loved. 

Sarah wants her readers to feel loved too. In her book, she summarizes each book of the Bible and how God records His love to us in His Word from Genisis to Revelation. 

The book starts with chapter one~ Genesis. Chapter one tells us of how God loved us when He fashioned us with his hands. In Leviticus ~ He grants access to Him. In Numbers ~ He shelters us in cities of refuge. 66 ways through 66 books of the Bible~ ending with Revelation sharing how God receives us as His treasured and beloved bride. 

This is a wonderful book of encouragement and love. It truly reminded me just how much God loves me. Thank you, Jennifer! What a wonderful book. 

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. 
   




Ready, Set, Find Christmas ~ Book Review




What a cute little book for chubby little hands. The story of Jesus' birth is told on bright colorful pages. The book features seek and find pages of items for the young ready to find on the story pages. There are 48 hidden images to find along the way to Bethlehem.  It is such a cute idea and is sure to engage your child in the excitement of the book, The book has thick cardboard pages to endure a little wear and tear from toddlers. This is a must for Christmas stockings.

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest opinion.


Flash The Donkey Makes New Friends~




The author of this beautiful children's book is an artist, writer, and friend to a stray donkey named ~ Flash. She is the author of an adult book called ~ Flash The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith and Second Chances. Flash is a cutie in real life. Rachel Anne Ridge is very talented. 

This book is so sweet. Flash the donkey really loves his travels until he meets some barnyard friends and then finds out just how comforting having friends can be. They teach him how wonderful having his own bed is and he loves his new pajamas. They help him and he helps them. This book is a wonderful way teach your little readers how to make friends. 

This book has been provided to me by Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. 

All Is Bright~ What A Great Way To Celebrate The Birth Of The Messiah



What a very sweet way to celebrate the season of our Saviour's birth. This book is a devotional ~ coloring book. It features 31 days of short devotions and coloring pages for each day of December. Along with the daily devotions and corresponding coloring page are family activities and conversation starters. Additional coloring pages contain cut out bookmarks and paper ornaments.  


 As you can see the coloring pages are really neat and the devotions are great. This is just a fantastic way to study the coming of the Messiah. I love this book and I highly recommend it to any family with children or even those who love to get away from the hustle and bustle with a fun coloring book for adults.


Here are a few sample pages for you to see~ click here.

Tyndale’s Inspire Creativity board on Pinterest has downloadable samplers and shareable coloring pages from our coloring and Bible journaling line, the Living Expressions Collection!
Pinterest Creativity page on Pinterest here.

 Check out www.livingexpressionscollection.com for the latest news and information on our coloring and journaling products.

This book has been provided to me in exchange for my honest opinion from Tyndale.

Stop Trying To Fix It~





I hate to see hurting people ~ or even animals down to the smallest little creatures. I  am that crazy lady who will stop and move the turtle to the other side of the road. I want to fix everything and make everything just peachy.  I would rather live in "Sunnyville" all the time. The movies I watch and the books I read need to have a happy ending. It is true of me to a fault.

My husband often times held me back when it came to our children because sometimes they needed to feel the consequences of this crazy and broken world without me softening it. My oldest daughter told me not long ago that I often made everything ok and when she entered into her own world it was hard realizing the world was not gonna treat her like her momma and make everything ok for her. NO matter how hard I wish I still could. We mommas never want to see our babies hurt now, do we?

Yet ~ as I turn on the news this morning my momma's heart is heavy. I want to right the wrongs and fix the broken. Yet, these days "Sunnyville" seems to have slid down the slippery slope along with the beloved "Mayberry."  No matter how hard I look for them they are nowhere to be found.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5King James Version (KJV)

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

So what are we to do in the current mess we find ourselves in today? This is what I am asking my Heavenly Father. Here is the answer I found in His Word this morning.  I am Christ's child and my life belongs to Him. Even though I am walking in the flesh I am not to war according to my flesh. That means even though we live in this world we are not to wage war like the world does. We are not to fight with the world's weapons but with the divine power of our God. We need to realize that our powerful God has the power to pull down strongholds . We need to take our thoughts captive and look at this war through the eyes of God.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Have A Morning Glory Kind Of Day~



Look at this sweet little morning glory~ hanging on for a little longer. I am sitting on my patio this morning doing my quiet time. It just seemed to be reaching for the glory of God. God's glory is all around us even in the midst of the mess. May we stay focused upward today.  Have a glorious day.  
Truly my soul waiteth upon God: 
from him cometh my salvation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

GOOD NEWS~ Read All About It





I am have become glued to the media and news channel~ trying to make sense of this crazy place we find ourselves. It is so conflicting and really just dismal to even turn on the news. Yet~ I am drawn to it like a magnet. I am not sure we can even believe anything we are hearing. As I was doing my quiet time this morning with God I confessed my addiction to trying to figure it all out. I am a researcher and fixer. Guess What? There is only one fix for this mess our country is in. Really it is true. Our President, our Congress, our Senate .....you name it~ they can't fix a thing.  We are all looking for answers and solutions in all the wrong places. 

Good News~ read all about it. Are you ready?

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.


God loves us with an everlasting love. In His loving kindness, He is constantly drawing you.The God of the Universe is crazy in love with you. 

Wait there is more good news. 

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


We don't have a God that can not be touched with our infirmities. That means He knows I am troubled and in turmoil over this crazy election. He knows it is completely blowing my mind and driving me crazy. I cry out~ Lord is this the best we can do here? Is this the best we got? Surely, Lord ~ you see our options here at best are horrendous. God have mercy on my soul and my land that I love. I am losing sleep over this~ really I am. 

Then I read ~ wait ~ hold on. There is more good news. 

Psalm 3:3-5 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

The Lord is my glory. He is the reason I can lift my head up each day. He hears me out of His holy hill~ that place where My God is still in control of this out of control world. He hears little ol' me. He is the reason I can lay my head down to sleep at night.  When I wake up tomorrow He is the one who will sustain me ~keep me going and putting one foot in front of the other. Trusting Him~ obeying Him.

Still need some more? 

Psalm 91:2-4I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.


The God of the Universe ~ He is your refuge. He can be trusted. Even when it looks like all hope is gone. He can deliver us from snares and pestilence~ even phony baloney politicians. He can cover us with his feathers just like a momma bird shields her babies. And under His wing, we are safe and secure. 

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

You get the picture~ I encourage you to keep looking because God has a whole lot of good news ~ we just have to read all about it!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I Confess~







Father God in Heaven, I confess my sin. Please forgive me for not loving You with all my heart, mind,  body and soul.  Forgive me for not loving my neighbor as myself.. for my selfish pride and arrogance in living my life independent of you . Forgive me for allowing the little "gods" of this world to distract me and steal my dedication to You. Please forgive me for being judgmental and not loving the fatherless and widows. Forgive me for making life all about ME. Forgive me for the sins of my land and my generation. Forgive me for not standing when opinions are against YOUR WORD. Forgive me for having my own agenda. Forgiving me for not loving You as I should . Forgive me for my anger and bitterness. Forgive me for not humbling myself in Your sight. Father most of all forgive me for my self-righteousness instead of walking always in Your ways. Father, please forgive me of my sin and heal my land. Please, Father God, heal my land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

King James Version (KJV)

Friday, October 7, 2016

I Can Do It~ Really I Can





Our first official outing in Jefferson City. 
Happy Beautiful Friday!




This is my oldest baby girl. She has always been her momma's best critic. When she was about five years old I was moving heavy furniture and she said, "Momma, you think you can do anything but you can't."  I have spent my life trying to prove to her I could. She has spent her life reminding me that there are some things in life that I really can't. 

I can do all things through Christ. I can't tell you how many times I have said that in my life. We throw that verse around for every mountain we need to climb ~ for every valley we walk through. But this morning God is speaking to my little stubborn self.  I am a type-A personality. I can get a lot done when I set my mind to it. I come from a long line of get-it-done women. If it is difficult  ~ I am inspired even more.  If you need a responsible, hard working girl ~ I am your girl. 

Yet this morning the still small voice in my head is telling me there is one area in my life that "I" can't "do" very well.  I am not good at being still and knowing that God is God. I would much rather be doing than sitting at the feet of Jesus. I am much better at running instead of resting and I am the busy Martha's twin rather than the be still and know Mary.

God has brought me through a long journey. He has more or less placed me in my own little wilderness for the past several years. I know deep in my heart He is preparing me to do a task that He has not yet given me. Why? Because He has worked me over and over ~ remaking me so that I learn to rest, trust, listen, obey and be still and just know that God is God. 

You may be like me and find your worth in what you "do." But God loves you no matter what you do. He loves you with an everlasting love. We don't have to earn that love. This beautiful ~ crisp Autumn morning I am sitting still at the feet of Jesus learning to be still and know that He is God. 



Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How Are You Doing~ ?





Happy Glorious Day~ It is Autumn and I love the sights and sounds of this crispy, crunchy and yummy time of year. As I am sitting here in my quiet time out my window it is turning all shades of fall. It is a breathtaking sight. My mornings are rather busy with my current Bible Study and I have joined a sweet group of ladies in my community called "Woman on Wednesdays." I have begun my studies to complete a certification in Biblical Counseling also.  It is as if God is preparing me and I am just waiting for my marching orders. What does that mean? Basically, God is working me over, stretching my faith, growing me, and speaking to me. 

Sometimes it helps to take a break and look at life. Find out what's working and what is not, and what needs to change.  As you all know we have moved to a new city, we have new jobs and a new church. Not a thing is the same in our lives except our Lord Jesus Christ. 

It is easy for me to get distracted by all the noise that is around me today. The issues of our day, the election, trying to make new friends, trying to figure why God brought me here and on and on it goes. 

Yet this very morning ~in this very spot ~in this very new place I find myself ~ this is what God is calling me to do.  


Luke 10:27

 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.


In light of this verse, none of my life changes really matter at all. It stands to reason that anything in this life that clutters my mind is not so important. Most of the life's problems could be cured if we all loved God with all our heart, mind, and soul and loved our neighbor as ourselves.  So I am asking myself and maybe you too~ How are you doing? 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy Pumpkin Spice Time Of Year~



I don't know about you but I am  excited that this month has finally arrived. I have my house stocked with every Pumpkin Spice flavored~ scented thing possible. I love the Pumpkin Spice time of year. The leaves have just begun to change her in our little patriotic city.  The sights and smells are in the air of the happy ~ wonderful October.   My Brian and I are loving our new home, He loves his job, and we love our new church. We are finally feeling like we have come home. Our boy will be moving here with us this next month and this momma is so excited about that. I am feeling so blessed.

"Even if something is left undone, 
everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."

-   Elizabeth Lawrence


Isn't that just so! I try to capture every moment I can this time of year. I am as giddy as a child. I love watching all the leave swirl to the ground and get  excited that the holidays are soon to follow. 















That Day Is Coming~

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Last night at church our Pastor spoke on this subject. Even the best person in the world will let us down. Even the people who have been instrumental in our lives will not be on this earth forever. Many in my life have already sailed on home to be with the Lord. We can't place our trust in our political leaders~ that is becoming more of a joke every day. There is only one sure foundation for us to stand on~ only one place to put our confidence and that is the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Pastor Monty said that 90% of success is showing up. That has been true all my life. "God has promised if I stay faithful to show up..... God's going to get me somewhere." -Pastor Monty Shinkle. 

Life has not always been easy. In fact, there have been some pretty hard things but God has never once let me down. He has been holding my hand since I was a young girl and placed my trust in Him as my Saviour.  Every difficult day has been a process of learning to trust Him more. Every trial has been a stepping stone to take me further down the road. There have been challenges in my life and there will be more up ahead of me but God has made my life sweeter than I ever could have imagined. 

I am so thankful on this beautiful Autumn morning that God is still working in my life to complete that which He started the day I gave my heart to Jesus and decided to follow Him. He is still at work in my life ~ and that is just something to celebrate on this beautiful day.  


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