Monday, July 21, 2014

My Rant Expanded

Today satan (yes, I refuse to capitalize his name)....was just TICKING ME OFF!!!!

So many of my precious friends are buying into satan's lies and I'm sick of it!  (Not them, but satan!)

You see, satan is enjoying telling everyone they are not worth it.  He is reveling in the words, "You're not good enough!"  Oh, he's getting a good old chuckle over this.

He needs to stop laughing and my friends, we all need to stop listening!!!!

HE LOSES!  IT'S TIME TO REVEL IN GOD'S VICTORY!

The master of lies may mess with us, but GOD WINS!!!!

He's also a master at making us forget!

*It is NOT what we do that make us worthy.  It is what GOD DID!  Do not diminish the grace of our Heavenly Father!
*Don't forget the men of the Bible!  The men I admire and really look up to them.  Man, they were SINNERS though!  David struggled with sexual sin until he KILLED A MAN!  Paul killed CHRISTIANS!  It's arrogance to think our sin is so much worse than these great men!!!

Today, I sat with these precious children...




 and talked about how God can speak to us.  We came up with six ways....His Word, visions, dreams, the Holy Spirit to our hearts, signs, and through other people.

It's hard to hear Him when satan is sitting there with his fingers in our ears and we are letting him.

STOP LISTENING TO THE LIES!  You are worthy, because GOD MADE YOU WORTHY!

I read today John 1:35-41.

Listen to this...

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see."

He's talking to YOU.  Come!
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
WE HAVE FOUND THE MESSIAH!  Friends, it's time to find the Messiah and ditch all the lies today.
Yes, my passion is at an all time high.  I hate seeing the havoc of lies.  God is so much bigger and so much better! He loves you! He cherishes you!
If there is just ONE that needs to hear this right now....
each one matters to God.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Given Reign To"

Just before we headed to Church an hour away (to answer an invitation to visit)...

I love pictures of sibling love.

We visited a mega Church.  HUGE!

I'm not sure I've ever seen as many motorcycles as I did on our way home! 
They were in front of us as far as we could see and in back of us. 
 We didn't get nervous until they started weaving in and out of traffic 
and doing stunts (standing, wheelies, etc.).  It was one of those things 
that turned from "Kids look! Cool!" to praying we didn't hit anyone.

...something popped up at home.

When I asked one of my children why they made a choice they did, they said,

"I was mad."

Lightening Bolt

Epiphany

Light Bulb

Anger given reign to usually leads to sin.

Yes, righteous anger exists.  Jesus showed righteous anger:

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,  and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ 
Mark 11:15

Most of my anger?  Ya, not righteous and really will serve no purpose or help someone to grow.  Most anger only serves to vent my lack of "taking my thoughts captive".  Righteous anger absolutely exists, but mine is only occasionally that.

I realized that giving a reign to most of our anger is really NOT bringing about the righteous life that God desires.

Shoot!  Yup, He told me this.  I just now got it.

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."  James 1:19-20

I never liked anger.  I never did a happy dance when I was angry.  I tried not to get angry.

I also never really thought about what anger leads to.  I made an excuse that I had a "right" to be angry.

 Why? Someone did something that was not right? Oh, I've never done that. (Nose Growing)

Anger that was given reign served what purpose? Did it teach the individual it was directed at? No, about 95% of the time.

I think the key phrase above is "given reign to".  Sometimes we do have a reason, healthy normal emotion, to be angry.  That is not where the sin often lies.  It's when we let anger have reign and takes root.

When anger takes root, often sin blooms.

In teaching my child I had a truth, a lesson I've learned all my life finally solidified.

Finally...I'm a slow learner.

"'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27

"Fools give full vent to their rage,
    but the wise bring calm in the end." Proverbs 29:11


"A person’s wisdom yields patience;
    it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Laughter and a Few Thoughts on Following God

Yesterday we joined craziness...or actually he joined us.

A friend from twenty years ago, Christian comedian, Bob Smiley (and his two REALLY cool boys Colter and Zander) stopped by our house to catch up briefly.  It was just a short stop on the way to his "engagement" with Tim Hawkins. (They have a very "special" relationship.)


I have to tell you, though he's always been funny.  His heart for God is what I believe draws people to him.  The fact that his sons were as impressive as they are is a testimony to he and his wife's parenting.

I hear they only use duct tape occasionally now ;-).


Laughing before the show...ya, it hadn't even started yet.

Tom, Bob, Scott (Tom's best friend) and my husband was being a crazy boy in front.

The teens got to be influenced by increased insanity. 


I don't often get to see old friends from the past, but am thankful for every instance we are able to remember our goofy youth.  We're sane now....with ten children....dogs, cats, fish, lizards, and  ferrets.  Goofiness is not allowed (pretend with me).

If you would like to spend some time comatose from laughing hard, check out the stuff of Bob Smiley.

All goofiness aside, we were thankful for the time.

So I woke up this morning (barely) and started the new day in God's Word.  Don't go running scared, I just want to share a little something.

As I started reading in 1 Peter this morning, I found a theme coming up...echoed in my heart.  Here's the thing, it's a message I think someone may be needing to hear.  I got that impression (no, it wasn't the voices in my head).

There are a couple of ideas, here in America, that seem to be spreading like wildfire.  Oh, They're not unique to the good ol' U.S.A., but prevalent.  These ideas (at times) can cause people to turn away from the path where God has directed them.

* It should be easy to follow God.  Hardship and adversity will not be present if I'm doing God's will.
*Others should understand my calling and support it.

We know the lies satan likes to tell (see "Epiphanies and Lies" and "The Lies satan Tell About Adoption" ).  He's not stupid.  The thing is, we know he loses.  God wins.

God never said following His will is easy OR will even sound sane at the time.  I would hate it if God fit in the box the world tries to put Him in.  If we really could fathom God's ways, I'd be worried.  He's GOD!

As our family has grown in size to the blessing it's become, we traveled through some serious muck/conflict with those not called as we were.

Though I've written about this before (see "The Alternative"), God led me through some verses today.  I hope they will be a balm to those in the midst of a battle to follow God's will.

God's word is bigger and more potent AND important than anything I could say.

"But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:20

"Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. 'Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.'  But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:13-18


"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." 1 Peter 4:16


"So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." 1 Peter 4:19


May God sustain you as you battle to follow Him...KNOWING that no man's affirmation can beat the affirmation of GOD.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First Fruits...and Not Being Able to Brain

I woke up at 4:00am this morning. 

Funnily, I wrote this post yesterday, but didn't trust myself to make sense with the sleep deprivation.  That led to me not publishing it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Ummm....no.   

My brain ceases to function after 1:00am and before 5:30am.  I can't brain today.  

Seriously....I can't brain.

I've already had to apologized to a couple middles.  Hate that! Not the apologizing part, but for not being proactive (instead of reactive).  It's rarer and rarer, but I hate it when that human side of my nature peeks through occasionally and I get snarky.  (Snarky is a funny word.  It makes me think of a shark in a top hat for some reason.  Told you, I'm tired.)

Today I SHOULD be sorting kitchen cabinets. What am I actually going to do? 

You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! (What movie is that from?!)

I'm going to sit on the couch and live as close to comatose as I can while still being able to watch the kids.  

That, my friends, is reality.

Our oldest and his friend are playing a used Guitar Hero that Tom just got.  

My second oldest is at work (after a morning of vomiting from allergies we think). Our third is with her grandma running errands.  The rest get a nice fun play day (since tomorrow will be a full day).

Yet, I did get to spend time with God this morning.   It was an interesting course of events (course of events, course of events, course of events....wow, that sounds smart....again, I'm tired). 

My husband got up around 5:00am when he noticed I wasn't there.  We started to get into discussion that was pretty deep.  Usually I love our early morning discussions.  This morning a pit formed in my stomach.  I racked my brain for what it could be. 

I heard in my spirit, "first fruits".  

I usually start my morning with a water bottle full of green tea, a Bible, my prayer journal, a pencil, and a book (by those wiser that I am) in parts of their spiritual walk.  It's beautiful, intense....and didn't happen first thing this morning.

God wanted my first fruits of the day.  

I stopped the conversation and explained things to my husband.  He was great and understood.

So what happened when I opened up to my reading of the day?

"He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created." James 1:18

Our Heavenly Father gives us such a gift when He reiterates the word the Spirit says to our hearts.

I've been thinking lately about "first fruits".  

The first fruits of our money~All our money belongs to Him and He asks that we remember that.  It's more than tithe, but remember FIRST that it is His.  Everything we have is.

The first fruits of our children~ Not only our first born, but also remembering that each child's life belongs to Him first.

Today was remembering that my first fruits of the day are not mine, my husbands, but His.  

I racked my brain for the place I had heard a discussion about first fruits lately.  My Facebook friend Kim Green posted this last week.  It's too good not to share.

"I was thinking about this on the way home from the airport: God wants our firsts and so therefore so does Satan. 

1- First day of the week

How many people don't go to church anymore because their kids play sports, they are working, they are too tired, etc?

2- First part of each day / first thoughts 

How many people check their email or facebook before they pray and/or read the Word?

3- First part of your life/your youth

Abortion. Institutionalized care.

4- First part of your money

How many Christians truly give at least a tenth of their income to what God is doing in this world? ... either through your local church or those who are serving Him throughout the world?

5- First born

How many of us feel we have made the most mistakes (usually because we are trying to be so "perfect" in our parenting) with our first born?

6- Head (first) of of the house ... fathers

How many fathers get lured by the world and leave their families? How many kids are born out of wedlock because he isn't willing to commit?

7- Israel - God's first born according to the Bible

How many of us have turned our back on/forget to pray for Israel?

By making a conscious effort to recognize his schemes... and make the right choice in each of these areas ... we can take back the Kingdom one decision at a time."


So this afternoon I'm contemplating what first fruits I am not giving God.  Sounds like a nice heavy conversation for my husband and I tonight.  If I can stay awake....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Terminal for Christ

Epaphroditus, you've heard of him right?

Ya, me neither, or at least I didn't remember.

He was a messenger (sent from Philippi) to Paul when he was on house arrest in Rome.  Epaphroditus came to help attend Paul and in the process became seriously ill.

Truthfully, I can barely pronounce Epaphroditus.  I had not even remembered reading his name before today (though I'm sure I attempted to sound it out at some point).

I literally devoured these verses this morning referring to him.

"So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me." Philippians 2:29-30

Though I don't think I'm to the point of naming a child Epaphroditus, this blew me away.  HE RISKED HIS LIFE to help a servant of God.

He was terminal.

Actually, we all are.

We will all die, yes, but it's more than that.

We are terminal for Christ....or at least we should be.

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21

We could call it death to ourselves....

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Galations 2:20a 

....but it's more than that.

We need to be terminal for Christ.

Our lives should be sacrificed for Him.  To live should be a privilege and to die an honor.  We should be willing to seek going beyond "comfortable" and "routine" to "fear inducing" and "crazy".

One of my favorite definitions of terminal is "extremely or hopelessly severe" (Mirriam Webster).

Are we extremely or hopelessly severe for God? Meaning we are so lost in Him and in eternity that there is NO hope to walk away in one piece?

Another definition? "predicted to lead to death, especially slowly; incurable." (Google)

Is our walk with God so relentless that it is incurable?

If it's not we need to evaluate our relationship with Him.  What have we given up?  What is God to our lives? What can He ask of us that we will not answer to?  

Then we need to fix it.

I never thought life would ever bring me to the point of telling someone that I hope they were terminal.  

I never thought I'd say it's time to get terminal with our faith.

Here it is though.  This is the day.

This is the day we announce we are terminal, relentless and incurable, so lost in Christ there is no hope of walking away.  It's time.  It's now.

Let's be terminal for HIM. 


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