Monthly Archives: December 2008

Where I’ve been and where I’ll be…Updated

Well…for starters, busy. Haven’t you as well been bogged down—or up to your eyeballs? Food? Laundry? Housework? THE job? What about the LORD? Was He participating in all the activities of your life…or was He patiently waiting for you to pick “that part” of your life back up after all the other had been tended to.

I find myself many times so busy that I rush about and forget my Partner. Actually, my Boss. Him. The One. The Giver of the life I so hurriedly live. When I slow down enough to gather my thoughts and keep HIM in the forefront of all my activities, everything goes smoother. As the conductor said on “The Polar Express” (watched it a thousand times) (almost), “it runs like welled oiled machinery.”

So, you know I’ve been busy. Too busy to check e-mails or blog. BUT, as I have squeezed in some time last week and then again tonight, on Sunday I was at the Cafe` having my coffee before church—I enjoyed having you join me!

Then, on the LAST day of this year—TODAY, I am over at Laced with Grace. As for changes….I am seeing some in almost every blog I visit! You might see a few changes here as well!

I am finding there are areas in my life I need to change. I am giving Him free rein in my life to direct me and if necessary—push me in the areas where the change needs to take place.

I hope to be able to catch up with the happenings in your life too!


Merry Christmas!

The grand kids stockings were all hung
by the chimney with care
in hopes that something would soon stir the air.
Not a be-hind gets spanked
in Nana’s house these days,
Nana and Papa’s house is real good for play!
‘Course once Christmas is over
and tree is packed away,
Grand kids all go back to their homes,
Not Nana’s to stay.
Crumbs are swept up,
what Jason didn’t eat,
For with him around,
You had better guard your meat!
So if you ever get bored
with the life that you have
call my girls at home
but you will have to talk loud.
For the ones in their houses
all have huge lungs,
just ask us…
Wait, I’m still sweeping up crumbs…

I pray safety and blessings from God on each heart and life who stops by here!


And the Winner is….

By random selection of the following names:

1) Gail

2) Denise O.

3) Regina

4) Bernadine

5) Denise W.

6) Janice

THE winner is (drum roll please…..)

Denise Oldham! Congratulations dear sister-friend!

I am sorry it took us so long to do this! We had GOOD intentions…but have been bogged down with many life issues! Aimee is hosting their church board members and families tonight for their annual Christmas Supper! She is busy!

Your package should be mailed this week—-Aimee is in charge of mailing 🙂 hmmm, did I mention she was busy busy busy today??

We love you all girls! We had a great time! Another one to come soon!

Keeping the Faith,

The Sisters!

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~Thankful Thursday~

Iris has given us a wonderful assignment for Thankful Thursday~Christmas Day. BE SURE you visit her and find out more about it!

Now on to today~

“As Christians, we are called to convert our loneliness into solitude. We are called to experience our aloneness not as a wound but as a gift–as God’s gift–so that in our aloneness we might discover how deeply we are loved by God.”

~ Henri Nouwen ~

I was all set to give you dictionary details on solitude and loneliness….but you already know what they both mean. Let me instead share two scripture verses, among many that I found where Jesus Himself sought solitude with His Father.

Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Luke 5:16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

I remember a time in my life, I will call it a horrible hormonal time, when I did not want to be around people. I felt miserable. Have you ever been there? Noise bothered me, smells of food bothered me, people bothered me.

I couldn’t put my finger on the Problem. I went to the doctor. He counseled with me (he was a wonderful Christian physician) and prayed with me. He also prescribed me medication. It helped somewhat. But like all medication, I didn’t take it long. I needed a long term fix. I needed something fixed in my heart. I took it to the Great Physician.

My needs were met at an old fashioned altar at my home church. Yes, I confess there are times in my life when some of those old feelings threaten to over take me again, but I rush back to the throne, on my face before my Lord. He gives me what I need in my soul. Restoration. Peace. Balance. (This is something we need to address. Each of us….well, maybe not you…but I know I’ve been sort of out of balance these past few weeks.

Since we are instructed to follow the life of Christ, to pattern our lives after His, we should “seek” after the place of solitude to spend time with our heavenly Father as well. I enjoy time alone for different reasons than before. My husband enjoys his time alone as well. That alone place is where I am able to gather my rapidly running thoughts and corral them into prayers and praise to God. Like when I am driving alone. I am not alone. I am most always conversing with my Father. If not actually talking with Him, then I am listening to His Word, or listening to wonderful praise and worship music. But then there are those times—like every single day this week…when my patience in driving has been sorely tested. I must have had a sign on the front of my truck that said “Please slow down if you get in front of me!”

Sometime back while driving, I was listening to a book on tape by Jan Karon called “Light from Heaven”. While listening to that book, I conversed with God. I wept at the weepy parts and rejoiced and laughed at the rejoicing and laughing parts. God intends for us to live our lives in such a way as to include Him in every area. Why don’t we do that more often?

Why do I let the cares and troubles of my life get me so bogged down that I feel lonely inside? I have friends…I have precious family. But when I get so overwhelmed by circumstances, and even friends and family—as much as I love them—can’t fix my problems. They (my problems) become veritable mountains that I cannot fathom how to climb. Are you like that?

Instead of focusing on the mountain….let’s sneak off to a place of solitude….where instead of “concentrating on the feeling of loneliness, we feel His presence. In the solitude we seek Him. The Bible says that when we seek Him, we will find Him. He will inhabit our praises. He will dwell with us. As He dwells within us!

I want to feel Christ Jesus dwelling with me every minute of the day. I need Him—as the song says, “every hour, I need Him”.

I love my solitude, my quiet times with Jesus. I often told my girls, you are never alone (I especially reminded them of this when they were dating!) It is a comfort to me to know that Jesus is here. Every hour of every day. In the “hormonal months (maybe even years)” of my life, God has used those times to teach me things. He is always there.

There is another an old song that says this:

“I’m never alone,
no never alone.
Christ Jesus is with me,
wherever I go.
I hold to His Hand,
lean on His strong arm,
He’s ever with me
and I’m never alone.”

For that, I am thankful and for all other blessings, I am thankful! I love and thank you all for your kindness to me this year—for prayers prayed—sweet notes mailed or e-mailed and phone calls too. You are all incredible blessings—and I thank you!


Party for a King!


I have always loved the time of year from November 1, all the way through to January. I love times of gathering, fellowshipping, and most of all loving one another. This year, I will admit to the truth of the difficulty of these events.

Planning what we’re going to prepare to take to mother’s house was always top discussion between Wanda, Aimee and myself. We’d call each other every day to see if who had come up with some new fangled recipe. —To delight the others.

God is all about delighting us. I love what Beth said in her study, 90 Days with the One and Only, “In the Jewish calendar, the fourteenth day of the first month is called the day of conception. If our God of perfect planning and gloriously significant order happened to overshadow Mary on the fourteenth day of the first month of His calendar, our Savior would have been born toward the end of our December. We have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not He did, but I would not be the least bit surprised for God to have sparked His Son’s human life on one Passover and ended it on another.”

Me either Beth. Aren’t we planners as well? When planning a celebration, don’t we try to work it out so that “everyone” can attend? I don’t know about you…but I like to think that the “taking names” (for tax purposes!), was something that God used as well.

Joseph and Mary had to travel back to Joseph’s home town. I kind of imagine that he had a few friends there. Perhaps some relatives. Just for my own contemplative thinking, I like to imagine that he couldn’t go to them at the late hour for a bed for his bride because maybe he wasn’t sure of where they lived now…maybe he didn’t know if he had anyone left in town…one thing is for sure….there was no room for them in the Inn. But God provided.

By the time the wise men arrived on the scene, they were in a house (Matthew 2:11). Perhaps of a relative? I don’t know…but I do know…..God provided.

This is something I read while searching out more on Mary. What her life may have been like up to the point of leaving home and going with Joseph. “Mary had up to this time been living at the wrong place for Messiah’s birth. A little longer stay at Nazareth, and the prophecy would have failed. But lo! with no intention certainly on her part, much less of Caesar Augustus, to fulfil the prophecy, she is brought from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and at that nick of time her time arrives, and her Babe is born.”¹

The plans God has for you and me are just as detailed. When we leave the plans and directions to HIM, the Master Creator…we will find that it all works out. The pieces of the puzzle all fit together with a click as they snap in place.

The job.

The marriage.

The finances.

Even down to the decision of where to go to church. None of these are beyond His expertise!

When I read the page for day 5 of the 90 Days with Jesus Study, I immediately thought “party”.

I smiled thinking that we (or at least in our area), will turn any event into a party. Hurricane coming? Gather everyone in a safe place and let’s eat! Let’s play some games! What is that, if not a party?

Bible Study time? Gather them all together in the living room, get out some cups, plates, forks, napkins, make some coffee, have some juice or iced tea ready, plead with Jeff to make a cake with extra thick icing….and you have a Bible Study Party! You learn from the very heart of GOD and you have you some rejoicing in the kitchen with cake!

Baby about to be born? The waiting room is OURS! When waiting on that new arrival—there is MUCH prayer—some eating if he/she takes a while getting here…and then once that lusty cry is heard—it is all out party-time!

Christ’s birth is a day to celebrate! While we don’t know the exact day, we do KNOW He CAME. He lived. He died. He was resurrected. He lives TODAY! I think that is worthy of a celebration EVERY DAY of the year!

This is the LORD’S doing; it [is] marvellous in our eyes. Psalm 118:23 KJV

Father God…thank you for tending to each and every detail of my life. All the way from the difficult ones I can see…to the miniscule ones I might not notice. I praise You, for even in the difficult days as yesterday was, I felt Your presence. I KNEW You had me in Your sight. Nothing escapes Your notice. Thank You for following so closely my heart. Take tomorrow and make it YOURS. For Your glory. Not mine. I love and praise You forever. In the precious name above every name…Your Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ~ Amen.

Thank you girls for being patient and coming back here to visit. I may not get back again for a few days! Life has been busy here, as well as I know it is for each of you. Please visit and be in prayer for my friend, Julie of Jewelz Sightings. Her dad will have major surgery tomorrow.

Thank you each one for reaching out to one another. We need each other as never before—-for it is when we gather in prayer that we are encouraged, the enemy is pushed back and we continue on in our faith! Stronger than before.

¹Jamieson, Robert; A.R. Fausset; and David Brown. “The Gospel According to Luke.” Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Blue Letter Bible. 19 Feb 2000. 4 Sep 2008.


Scroll Down for the Christmas decorating!


What He Wants for Christmas…

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the
desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4

If we truly delight in the LORD with all we are—His desires will become our desires. We will long for more of Him in our lives. More of His Holy Spirit operating in our hearts and lives on a daily, moment-by-moment, continual basis.

Take a moment—this moment. Don’t rush to make a comment to be counted. As I have told you before, comments is not what it’s all about. It’s about getting the message of Jesus Christ out there. To those that want HIM. To those that NEED and desire HIM. Close your eyes and sing along—go to the throne in your mind and give yourself to Him —ask for more of His Spirit. He will gladly pour His Spirit out on your life in such a way—you will be amazed…and so will those around you…

What about your lost loved ones? What about those watching your life? We all have those. Ask God to be WHO they see.

I love you girls! I am truly glad you came by.


Gettin’ Ready for the PARTY! UPDATED**

http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf

First—girls, I apologize for being away so long! Life has been hectic! To say the least! If you know me…then you know a bit about how hectic! BUT I have thought about you ALL! Here’s a quick and crazy video—and a slide show of my Christmas decorations—for those that can’t come to the Women’s Ministry party tonight! I will post another slide show with the house full of guests/food/fun! So…girlfriends that feel more like SISTERS to me—-ya’ll come back!

**Technical difficulties with the slide show/video…sorry. ALSO—I arrived home to find a bunch of my sweet sister/friends from church already at my house! Setting up for the party! I FORGOT about getting my camera!

The food was fabulous! I will try some of the recipes and share them with you! We had several door prizes and then played an ornament exchange (dirty Santa) game! We had great fun! I sure wish you could have joined in!


The Name

Jesus.

What do you feel when you hear His name?

Power?

Peace?

Comfort?

For me, all of those and more. Beth Moore asked the question in her book, “90 Days with the One and Only”, “What hope does He stir up in your spirit?”

I listed out several things —-as just saying His name in my mind pushed the play button of my life’s tape. I saw myself at various times “relying solely” on His name. Remembering lying prostrate on the floor crying out His name, is usually first in my heart and mind. I felt the peace that only His name brings.

It is hard to fathom what might have been Mary’s feelings being told the news that she, a young woman having known no man, would bring forth the Emanuel of the world. Trying to “place myself” in her shoes, I think I would feel completely unworthy. Totally aware of my own human nature—afraid of failing El Olam, the Eternal God, the Everlasting God.

El Roi–the God who sees. Nothing is hidden from His view. Aimee and I shared a recent devotion from Psalm 139. The psalmist David said, “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise.” That is the perfect picture of God’s all seeing, all knowing eye. His eyes are omniscient. I wrote in the margin of my book, “nothing is hidden from His view.”…Nothing. He had been watching Mary’s life. He knew the way she was brought up. He watched and knew her obedient and willing heart. It was not one put on for show. It was honest. Sincere.

Considering that nothing is hidden from His view, I wonder if Mary tried to recall any part of her life for closer examination. I know that every single time I have been asked to participate in a project—or take on a new assignment for the LORD, my shortcomings and all the areas where I feel unqualified, always come rushing to the forefront of my mind, like the ocean waves crashing on the shore. I wonder if this happened to Mary.

Beth reflected a bit on the “whereabouts” of Mary—suggests what she might be doing. I don’t know why I have always thought this—but for some reason, I have always pictured Mary in the barn–doing her daily chores. Going about her daily routine…perhaps she was contemplating God. Maybe–singing a song of praise to the top of her lungs!Or quietly humming to herself.

No matter where she was—it is evident—she was alone. As Aimee and I discussed recently—knowing that Mary was alone gives us reason for reflection in our own lives. Aren’t we usually “alone” when we feel the Lord speaking to our hearts? We feel that nudging in our spirits—that causes us to pause and lean in to Him for a listen?

Has He ever told you something in the deep part of your heart/spirit that took your breath away? I imagine that for Mary—this visit from Gabriel—simply made her catch her breath! I can almost hear her intake of air as she realizes that she is no longer alone!

“Highly favored”, were the angel’s words. I have recently witnessed two different fathers expressing to their daughters their love and complete admiration for them. Not only for what they have accomplished in their lives…but just because they belong to them—they are part of them. They are proud of them—and it shows in the smiles—the love—and the words of affirmation. I think that is something that God was expressing through the angel Gabriel, “Mary, you are highly favored!”—Sort of even saying “He’s been watching your life!”

The exchange between Gabriel and Mary has always intrigued me. Many years ago I wrote a play for our church for a Christmas production. I found myself longing to have a “hidden camera” for the scene between this pair! Her racing pulse must have been evident to Gabriel because he quickly assured her with “fear not”. And, I like to imagine, when he spoke aloud the Name the infant was to be given —peace swept over her like a warm blanket. It does for me.

Jesus

A more powerful name does not exist. But not just because of the name itself—Beth relayed that it was a commonly known/used name in those days. However, it is the Owner of the name that brings the peace and power!

I was so blessed by this study—as we joined Mary in the “barn” —(or wherever you have pictured her!) I was glad to be privy to this intimate conversation between the messenger of the holy God and the daughter He chose to bring His life into the world.

I have really thought much about my own life—and how I conduct myself on a day-to-day basis. I know there are many times I fail. But as the microscope is targeted on my heart—I am allowing HIM to peel away the pain from the past years and create clean flesh—remove the stone—and the areas where I may have begun to harden due to some harsh realities of life. I WANT to be USABLE! I want to be considered “favorable” by Him.


Our Faith

We learned by example.  Our mother was our example…and she lived Jesus.  Every single day.  Good times and bad–Jesus was there.  She still lives that example today.

We were raised in the Assemblies of God faith.  We stand firmly planted in the belief’s of the fundamental truths today.

These are nonnegotiable tenets of faith that all Assemblies of God churches adhere to. This list is derived from the official Statement of Fundamental Truths. Click links below to see the complete original statement with scriptures. (Taken from the General Counsel of the  Assemblies of God website.)

  1. WE BELIEVE…The Scriptures are Inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind.
  2. WE BELIEVE…There is only One True God–revealed in three persons…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity).
  3. WE BELIEVE…In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God’s son Jesus was both human and divine.
  4. WE BELIEVE…though originally good, Man Willingly Fell to Sin–ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world.
  5. WE BELIEVE…Every Person Can Have Restored Fellowship with God Through ‘Salvation’ (trusting Christ, through faith and repentance, to be our personal Savior). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  6. WE BELIEVE…and practice two ordinances—(1) Water Baptism by Immersion after repenting of one’s sins and receiving Christ’s gift of salvation, and (2) Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation.
  7. WE BELIEVE…the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a Special Experience Following Salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service, just as it did in New Testament times. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  8. WE BELIEVE… The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles.
  9. WE BELIEVE…Sanctification Initially Occurs at Salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christlike.
  10. WE BELIEVE…The Church has a Mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe ‘the Church’ is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
  11. WE BELIEVE…A Divinely Called and Scripturally Ordained Leadership Ministry Serves the Church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, to build up or edify the body of believers–the Church and to Meet human need with ministries of love and compassion.
  12. WE BELIEVE…Divine Healing of the Sick is a Privilege for Christians Today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  13. WE BELIEVE…in The Blessed Hope—When Jesus Raptures His Church Prior to His Return to Earth (the second coming). At this future moment in time all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  14. WE BELIEVE…in The Millennial Reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel and the establishment of universal peace.
  15. WE BELIEVE…A Final Judgment Will Take Place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire.
  16. WE BELIEVE…and look forward to the perfect New Heavens and a New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’