Jan 24, 2009

I met Tuesday evening with the women from my small group for some bible study on the attributes of God. We were studying his Goodness. It was a really good study. One of the things that we love about God is that he is all about relationships. We all felt very blessed and thankful for the women in the room.

I recently read an article in Today's Christian Woman that described great reasons to keep up with our friendships. Let me share them with you:

  1. Girlfriends let us whine. Isn't that so true? I don't think most men understand the great healing effect that whining has on us women, but it sure helps ease the burdens sometimes.
  2. Girlfriends take pressure off our husbands. When you think about it, we usually do consider our husbands to be one of our very best friends, but he wasn't meant to carry the load for both of you! Besides, he may want to fix whatever we are whining about (see #1), when we really may just want to vent.
  3. Girlfriends make us laugh. I don't think I have laughed as hard with anyone but some of my girlfriends. They just "get" us, don't they? And only women can relate to each other through the childbirth stories, the toddler stories, the dating stories, etc.
  4. Girlfriends ask hard questions. And we need them to! Having someone keep us accountable can help in so many areas. It helps keep us on track with God and with our family and husbands.

So if you are lucky enough to have some really good girlfriends, go out and celebrate with them and be sure to make the time it requires to nurture those friendships.

And to all my girlfriends out there.......thanks for encouraging me, loving me, and listening to me whine! Love to you all!!


What fellowship can Light have with Darkness?

Jan 19, 2009

A couple years ago I hung out with a group of high school girls for bible study. I knew what they would be facing in their coming years as young adults, and there were several subjects that I kept coming back to in hopes of steering them in the right direction. We talked about it often, and they always had great questions: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?" II Corinthians 6:14-16.

How I pray that every young Christian could grasp this commandment. If only they could see that a relationship with an unbeliever will only cause separation and heartache. Why can't they see it? A lifetime of frustration and heartache will certainly follow. Think about the following:

  • a believer will most certainly be going to church alone
  • a believer will be making friends with other Christians, of which their spouse will not relate
  • a believer, when faced with a crisis, will seek their Father's comfort and direction, of which the spouse will call foolish and not participate
  • a believer will want their children to go to church, and again the spouse stays home, creating a division within their family and constant questions and confusion to the children
  • a believer has values based on their beliefs of God and his Word, while an unbeliever lives by the standards of this world
  • a believer will celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and Easter(alone), while an unbeliever will want to celebrate Santa and the Easter Bunny
  • a believer & family will need the spiritual leadership of a Godly man, but will never get it
  • a believer will be constantly torn between choosing their spouse or their God

My heart aches for those who don't see the merit in this command. Over and over in the Old Testament God told the children of Israel to not co-mingle or inter-marry with those from foreign lands. In their disobedience, they fell away from God and angered him many times as they began to worship other idols because they were yoked with unbelievers.

I ask that if you are a parent, don't let this be a one-time conversation you have with your children. Keep discussing it, show them examples, find teachable moments to bring this truth home. And above all else, pray, pray and pray some more that they will obey this command and settle for nothing less than a Godly spouse. Their future depends on it.


Being Who God Made You To Be

Jan 15, 2009

Being who God made me to be is a lifelong journey. Since yesterday was my birthday, I took a little inventory to see what had transpired over the last year. Had I changed? Had I allowed God to work in me? I don't think I gave him much room to work because I had my own plan. All three semesters last year I was in college, and had little time for anything else. (See my last post!) I must confess that God did not come first, maybe not even second. Not much to be proud of.

That is not to say that I didn't see where God was working in me. In the summer of 2007 I had another deep struggle with depression. For anyone who has been through that before, you know of the darkness found there. As I looked deep within myself to determine what had taken me to that dark place once again, I discovered that I was allowing the world to shape me, not God. I was seeing myself through the world's eyes and not as God sees me. It was a huge revelation to me, as I saw that I worried and tarried over what others thought of me. So much so, that is guided my conversations, and I talked with people based on what I thought they wanted to hear. It is very difficult to explain, but I was not in a good place.

But the amazing thing that was different about this bout with depression was that I knew without a doubt that God was right there with me. So many times during depression, I would blame God and yell out at him for "doing" this to me. But this was different. I knew this time He was doing an incredible work in me, purging my heart, and shaping me into something different.
My garden was a healing oasis that summer. I spent hours
on a chase lounge reading my bible, and enjoying the beauty that surrounded me. By his grace, the most amazing butterflies were in my garden that year. Ones that I had never seen before and have not seen since! My garden was in it's full glory. And I know that these were the greatest gifts sent my way as I healed and searched for answers.

A lot of time has passed since that summer. But the memories are still so fresh of how God cared for me in my very own garden. "He brought me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and the mire, and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2

So who is God making me to be? I don't know yet. But as Joyce Meyer says, "You will never sense fulfillment in life unless you reach the goal of being yourself." I've been working on that the last couple of about you? I'm sure that is who God wants you to be....YOU!


Solitude and Quietness

Jan 14, 2009

"We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today." AW Tozer

conviction: the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth.
I don't like New Year's resolutions. Mostly because I have no self-discipline, and therefore they don't work for me....I fail every time, so why bother. But how could anyone read the quote above and not feel convicted? Who among us spends enough time in solitude and quietness before God? What is quietness anyway when you have a family of five? Tozer is right, it is all but impossible to find.
So I'm thinking.....maybe that is why the treasurers will be great if we simplify. Because it isn't easy and God will reward the extra effort it takes to find solitude with Him.
As I have pondered how I am going to make this lifestyle change, I decided to look up the definition of resolution, just out of curiosity. I am shocked. Look what I found:
resolution: the act of reducing to simpler form; the act of determining; firmness of resolve.
Many have made New Year's Resolutions that they won't keep. But I have DETERMINED that my life will run much smoother with more time set aside for solitude and quietness before God. And I have every confidence that He will meet me there and our time together will be awesome.


"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

Jan 13, 2009

Our 8 year old daughter Katie is seeking God. There is nothing more exciting for a parent than to see their child searching for Truth. It all began on Christmas Eve. We decided to do something different this year, and we didn't go to church. We rented the movie "The Nativity Story" and watched that with our two youngest girls. It took quite a while to get through with many stops and pauses to answer questions, but after all, that is why we wanted to watch it with them. It was amazing to watch the bible story come to life. Ever since that evening, Katie has been asking some great questions:
*How did God make Mary pregnant?
*Was Jesus really born just to die later?
*Killing Jesus on a cross is pretty random, why would we believe they did that?
*Doesn't God have more to worry about than answering my prayers?
*Why do I need to pray if God already knows what I need?
*How do I know if God answers my prayer?
As you can see, Katie is a pretty deep thinker. To say I am impressed is an understatement. She is asking questions that most adults don't even understand. So by the grace of God, we keep trying to answer them. And guess what....the next day after Kate asked the question about answered prayer, her church service was about exactly what we had been discussing the night before! God is awesome. He is responding to my little girls curiosity and skepticism in the most awesome ways. She now has a notebook next to her bed to write down questions for us. And she was mad the other night when she didn't get her bible study done before bed! Now that is awesome!


Awesome Devotions

Jan 12, 2009

Frances J. Roberts is a favorite author of mine. She writes devotions as though God were speaking directly to me. I really need that sometimes. She usually chooses a bible verse and then expands on how God might deliver that message if he were speaking to you. Here is an example based on the verse Genesis 1:31:

"I make no idle strokes. What I do is never haphazard. I am never merely mixing colors out of casual curiosity. My every move is one of vital creativity and every stroke is part of the whole. Never be dismayed by apparent incongruity. Never be alarmed by a sudden dash of color seemingly out of context. Say only to your questioning heart, "It is the Infinited wielding His brush; I know He does all things well.""

Doesn't that make perfect sense? We marvel at beautiful sunsets and amazing gardens but sometimes forget who is behind the paintbrush! Watch for something today that you can see God's creativity in and praise Him!

My friend Kelly captured this beautiful sunset as a testimony to God's creativeness. See more of her beautiful sunsets at

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