Missing Blessings?

Aug 31, 2010

Imagine with me that we are traveling with Caleb and Aaron and the other spies to check out the land of Canaan that the Lord had promised the Israelites.  We've been traveling for over 30 days, and all of a sudden we come up the peak of a mountain and look out, and we see the image above.  We see this land flowing with milk and honey and fruit-grapes, pomegranates and figs.  Caleb and Aaron are excited to report back to Moses the bounty of the land, but the other 10 spies speak first and are afraid of the people living there.  But despite the report of the bounty in the land, the land promised to them by God, the people complain, weep and wail.  God had heard their grumbling many other times throughout the journey and it angered the Lord (Ch 11).

The Lord is always gracious to forgive, however in the latter part of Chapter 14, we see that God is also jealous and just.  As a result of their continued testing of the Lord, he sets down the following rebuke:

"I have forgiven them as you asked.  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times-not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers." (vs 20-23)

"The Lord said to Moses: How long will they refuse to believe in me?" (vs11)

The continual doubts of the nation of Israel caused an entire generation to miss out on God's blessing.

Has my unbelief caused me to miss out on God's blessings?  

Why would I distrust my Savior, who offers new mercies every morning?  Why do I doubt that my God will care for me?  Has Jesus ever given the slightest ground for suspicion?  

If I truly trust the Word of God and my Savior Jesus, it will change the way I pray.  I will not pray from a position of weakness, but a position of strength and confidence, knowing my Lord will respond to me each and every time I encounter His presence.

Does this give you pause as you reflect on how you interact with Jesus?


Hello Mornings

Aug 30, 2010

Ah, the backslide. 
It hurts.
It is disappointing.
It is maddening.

I was so excited for school to start, with the hopes of finally getting a schedule to stick.  I was anxious to continue getting up and enjoying my quiet times, as I had during the summer.  I was so ready to get a daily schedule put together for cleaning, computer time, menu plans, and the like.


I did get up earlier than the girls, but it just wasn't early enough.  About all I accomplished was getting the dog out and reading a quick devotion.  I had thought that after the kids got out the door for school that I could then finish up with my prayer time.  But instead, I found my mind had already raced ahead of me with all the things I needed to accomplish in the day, and the prayer time suffered.

So it is back to the drawing board this week.  I need to reassess what time to get up in order to have a sufficient quiet time.  You know, my friends, that I am not a morning person, so this continues to be a struggle.  I was so proud of myself for getting up at 7:00!  I can hardly bring myself to type the numbers and the statement that it might need to change to 6:30.  Oh the pain!

You may need to pray for me!


Can I Catch Time in a Bottle? Happy Birthday Wishes!

Unbelievably my oldest daughter is celebrating her 20th Birthday today.  I remember her day of birth so vividly, as if it were just last week.  How did 20 years pass me by so quickly?

As with any August, it was hot back in 1990!  My little one was a week overdue and I was miserable!  I gained some 35 pounds and was very anxious to lose it!  My doctor recommended doing a lot of walking, and so I did.  I had just taken a stroll around the block and when I got home my water broke.  My beautiful little girl arrived at 12:36 am.  Can I just say that I vowed that night to never again choose natural childbirth!  You KNOW what I am talking about! Enough said.

It has been such a joy raising her, watching her and loving her.  She is a beautiful young woman and we all just love hanging out with her!  It has been hard to loosen the grip and allow her the freedom to find her own independence.  Are Mommas ever supposed to really let go?  I think not!

Our family headed over to Bradley University to take her out to dinner.  We had a great time catching up, shopping, and hanging out!
As always, it was hard to say goodbye.  My hugs get longer and longer each time!  I love you D!!


Faith Filled Family and some Randomness

Aug 27, 2010

Today I am guest posting over at The Tuckers Take Tennessee and we're talking about how to make these cute little prayer starters for kids.  Come join us!

...and a little randomness from my week:

  • Don't you just hate when teachers put supplies on the list that no one can find in town?
  • Our one lone tomato plant finally yield a few fruits and I have inhaled several tomato and bacon sandwiches this week that were absolutely fantastic!
  • The weather has finally cooled down a bit and we are enjoying the low 80s for highs....whew.
  • Husband is remodeling our bedroom and it is taking far too long!  I love that he has the skills to do it, I hate that it takes much longer!
  • Three of my favorite christian artists came out with new albums this week and I can't wait to listen to all of them today:  Big Daddy Weave, Jeremy Camp and Phil Whickham
  • It is only the first week of school and I already have A home sick today. :(
  • Enjoy your weekend!


Praying for the Persecuted - Iran

Aug 26, 2010

Pray that God may open a door to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.

"100 million Christians around the globe are currently suffering persecution for their faith.  Most often persecution takes the form of imprisonment, abuse, and hostilities. In some cases, however, Christians are asked to face more than scorn, prison, or the loss of health—they are asked to face death.
These individuals are the Christian martyrs of our faith. Jesus said in Matthew 10:39 “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” 

During the first century, almost all of Jesus’ disciples suffered martyrdom for his sake.  Peter was crucified upside down, Mark was torn to pieces, and Paul was beheaded. As Christianity spread throughout Europe and the British Isles, countless numbers of Christians were tortured and burned at the stake. And few can forget the moving story of Jim Elliot and four others who ventured into the Ecuadorian jungle, never to return.
This history reminds us of the great price that belief in God may demand and the great impact that such a sacrifice can have. 

But that history has not ended. 

Today there are still many Christians martyrs, those who give their life for their faith.  Every year and on every continent men and women face death because of their belief in Jesus Christ.  They are the Christian martyrs of this century; the fathers, mothers, grandparents, and children who have lost their lives for the sake of the gospel.  Around the world the light of their testimonies continues to shine.  Their impact is immeasurable and their stories should not be forgotten." (from Open Doors USA)

Persecution is real and it continues to plague the nation of Iran.  Of the 71.2 million people who call Iran home, only .35% are Christian.  They live in an Islamic run government, where christians are regularly harassed, abused, and imprisoned.  Read a few accounts of the persecution happening to believers:

  • Ali Golchin, an Iranian Christian, has been held in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison since he was arrested several months ago.  His wife has been warned to not attend church and told that she will not see Ali until she converts to Islam.
  • Ali Kaboli (51) converted to Christianity as a teenager and has been serving in lay ministry for decades.  Over the years, he has been repeatedly arrested, threatened and interrogated and has faced travel restrictions and an arson attack on his home but has remained undeterred.  On May 2, secret police arrested him in his carpentry workship in Gorgan. With the exception of one brief telephone call, he has been refused contact with any visitors since his arrest. Since his arrest, several of the Christians who attended Bible studies in his home have been questioned by police. Though he has not yet been charged, Kaboli faces the possibility of prosecution for holding "illegal" religious meetings in his home. He could also be charged under Iran's apostasy laws for converting from Islam, even though it took place thirty-three years ago. Kaboli is married with five grown children.(Source: persecutionblog.com) 
  • On July 18, 15 newly converted Christians who were travelling to the north eastern city of Bojnoord to meet and to fellowship with believers were arrested in the city of Mashhad, the capital of Razavi Khorasan. Government security forces reportedly had previous knowledge of this trip and, in a pre-planned and coordinated effort, forced the bus carrying the Christians to be stopped en-route to their destination. The security then boarded the bus and arrested the believers.All 15 detainees were transferred to the Ministry of Information's central detention centre. In the days that followed, they were subjected to harsh and inhumane interrogations. After one week, 13 of the believers were conditionally freed, after they agreed to sign promissory notes and post bails.Two remaining detainees, 48-year-old Reza and 23-year-old Ehsan Behrooz, refused to sign any forms or post bail and thus remained in detention at last report. (Source: Farsi Christian News Network)
Would you please join me this week in praying for the nation of Iran and the Christians who call this country home?


Praise Him in the Morning, Praise Him in the Evening

Aug 25, 2010

There seem to be many traditions and examples of praising God in the morning and in the evening.  Several songs even come to mind:

"Praise Him in the morning, Praise Him in the evening, Praise him when I'm young and when I'm old."

"From the rising of the sun, til the sun goes down, let the name of the Lord be praised!"

I was recently introduced to the book by Charles Spurgeon called Morning and Evening, and I absolutely love it!  Each day has a morning and evening devotion.  When I read first thing in the morning, it immediately awakens my mind to the depth of my relationship with Jesus.  In the evening, it sets my mind once again on my Father above, not on my earthly circumstances.  Charles Spurgeon has a way of blowing your mind wide open with only one sentence!

What does Spurgeon have to say about praise?

"It is not an option for us whether or not we will praise God.  Praise is God's most righteous due, and every Christian, as the recipient of His grace, is bound to praise God from day to day.  With every morning's dawn, lift up your notes of thanksgiving, and let every setting sun be followed with your song.  Belt the earth with your praises; surround it with an atmosphere of melody, and God Himself will hearken from heaven and accept your music."

Can I get an Amen??



Life Lessons from Blogging

Aug 24, 2010

"Our life's journey of self-discovery is not a straight-line rise from one level of consciousness to another. Instead, it is a series of steep climbs and flat plateaus, then further climbs. Even though we all approach the journey from different directions, certain  journey's characteristics are common to all of us."   Stuart Wilde

Deep within my soul there has always been a desire to be more. It is not a desire for success, for more money, to be famous, or the like.  It is a desire to be a woman of God,  submerged in His love, abounding in grace for others, deeply immersed in his Word, confident and strong in my faith.

As my journey has led me through the blogging world, I feel ever closer to my heart's desire.  Blog writers that I have encountered over the last six months have encouraged me in ways that they will never know.  The blogging world is full of incredible talent, inspiring, Godly women, committed moms, courageous homeschoolers, and new friends.  And they have each impacted my life in incredible ways.

I have broken through a glass ceiling in my prayer journey that I have longed to shatter.  I am in the process of breaking down strongholds that have imprisoned me for most of my life.  I am reclaiming the responsibility of training my children daily in the Word of God.  I've been inspired like never before to dig deeper into the Bible with my family.  I am more determined than ever to shield and protect my children from the pollution of this world.

To those blog authors, I am deeply thankful: for your dedication to writing from your heart, for your transparency through life's difficulties, and the example you set to keep moving forward in the journey of faith.

I pray that while we all as blog writers will go through those slower and discouraging valleys, that we continue the climb, not giving up on the word's that God places on our heart to encourage those we've never met.  The ministry of blogging encourages so many on a daily basis and has the opportunity to work as God's hand in changing lives.  I'm so thankful that he used it to change mine.


First Day of School - New Beginnings

Aug 23, 2010

Summer has come to a close with the first day of school for my two youngest daughters.  Morning came early today for them, as our summer schedule had allowed them staying up far later than usual.

Going back to school this year is a little different because our schools were redistricted.  Both girls have lost some very good friends in the transition.  Many new families are joining our school this year.  One family happens to be very good friends of ours, and their youngest is A's best friend.  They will really enjoy going to school together.  K will have some adjusting to do.  Even though she is at the top of the school in 5th grade, she lost many girls in the transition, so she will be working at being a great hostess to new children in her class.  I was so proud of her when she asked how she could witness being a Christian.  That question just makes a mother's heart swell!

Appropriately enough, our devotion this morning was about New Beginnings.  Back to school is always a new, fresh beginning for all involved.  A chance to start fresh.

God gives us this fresh start each and every day.  I am reminded of the old hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness:

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfufness, mercy, and love.  
Great is thy faithfulness!  
Great is thy faithfulness!  
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed they hand hath provided;
great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

I've prayed my children into God's loving arms this morning because He is faithful.  Can I challenge you to do the same?


Applause for Dayspring-Back to School With a Purpose

Aug 20, 2010

It is that time of year again when every mother is frantically trying to get all of her children ready to go back to school. I think sometimes the teachers are playing tricks on us because there is always that one illusive item on the list that no parent can find anywhere in town!  The hunt can be frustrating!

Our entire family went out on our Back to School shopping trip last week.  Husband is a teacher and oldest is in college, so we were ready for a big dent in the checking account!  We headed to WalMart, and imagine my complete surprise and utter thankfulness when I spotted these bad boys on the shelf:

I was jumping for joy in the aisle as my family ran for cover as to not be totally embarrassed by their mother making a scene!  Were my eyes deceiving me?  Are those Christian binders, notebooks, pencils, pencil pouches and lunch boxes?  DAYSPRING I LOVE YOU!

A frequent question around the blogosphere lately has been asking how we prepare our children for school.  How do we prepare them to be salt and light in a world of darkness?  There is no better tool than sending them to school with Christian supplies with scripture all over them!  What a great conversation starter for kids.

They have an incredible line of products, as seen in this photo from Dayspring:

And better yet?  Dayspring is donating up to $5000 to the Adopt-a-Classroom program!  Want to help them do that?  You can participate as well, but hurry, it must be submitted by TOMORROW!

  • Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
  • Create a blog post about what it means to you to go Back to School WithPurpose and identify others who you feel are Living With Purpose in their lives - you can recognize as many individuals as you want.
  • Link back to person who gave you a DaySpring Award
  • Let each person you are recognizing know you have recognized them.
  • Leave your link at btswithpurpose comment section. You can also find the official rules of this #WithPurpose blog campaign, and more information about Back to School with Purpose with DaySpring there.
  • DaySpring is donating $10 for each blog participating in the Virtual Bag It Forward Donation to Adopt-A-Classroom (up to total of $5,000 for blog posts written by August 21, 2010).
  • Please note that only one blog post per blog url will count towards the donation
A few days after our glorious trip to WalMart, I received an email inviting me to participate in the Dayspring Affiliate Program.  Of course, I had to say yes!  They are doing an amazing job of helping families live their faith out loud.  Now that is the kind of program I can promote!!


Praying for the Persecuted in North Korea

Aug 19, 2010

Today is our first look at the world's most persecuted countries where Christians are hunted like animals, tortured and killed because of their belief in Jesus Christ.  These brave warriors for the Lord need our prayers like never before.

At the top of the list again is North Korea.  From the Open Doors website:

"The first position of the World Watch List in 2010 is again reserved for North Korea, the country where every religious activity is recognized as an insurrection to the North Korean socialist principles.

The situation for Christians is extremely harsh at this moment, even though the North Korean regime is slowly and steadily losing her iron control on North Korean society, and Kim Jong Il’s physical health worsened after his stroke.

Through mobilizing every resource of power, North Korea is desperately trying to control society in order to eradicate Christian activities. By means of a 150 days and a 100 days combat campaign, the North Korean government has and is trying very hard to demolish the street market system.

Furthermore, during North Korea’s strict searches considerable numbers of Christian believers have been exposed. During the mentioned campaigns, the North Korean regime especially targeted secret Christians all over North Korea to arrest and kill them.

They have used various horrible ways of torture against arrested Christians. Christians were sometimes used as a means of testing biological or chemical weapons. In spite of these inhuman circumstances, Christianity is growing and the chances to hear the Gospel are growing especially for those who live in cities nearby China."

It is hard for us in the United States and other rich countries to believe that this kind of treatment of Christians exists in our world today.  But in truth, there are few nations that have the freedom of religion that we enjoy.

Would you join me in praying for the nation of North Korea for the next week?  Our family is praying through the month of Ramadan for many nations.  You can print the prayer calendar here.

Two websites have devoted their resources to highlight the needs of the persecuted church:  Open Doors USA and Every Home for Christ.  You can download many resources and prayer calendars from both sites.

Join me again next Thursday as we learn about our fellow believers in Iran.


Word Filled Wednesday

Aug 18, 2010

"The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook."
Proverbs 18:4


Learning from Lepers

Aug 17, 2010

"As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him.  They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!'  Taking a good look at them, he said, 'Go show yourselves to the priests.'  They went, and while still on their way, became clean.  One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God.  He kneeled at Jesus' feet, so grateful.  He couldn't thank him enough."
Luke 17: 11-17 Msg

I was very struck by this passage in church this past Sunday.  Our Pastor was focusing in being thankful, noting that later in the passage, the Samaritan is the only one who returned to thank Jesus.

But I was shown much more.  Did you notice the text says they kept their distance?  Yes, the rule of the time was they were seen as unclean, but I see even more.  Do you ever shout your prayers to Jesus from a distance?  How many times do we rush through our prayer list without really coming close to Jesus?  How often are do we shoot "drive by prayers", without stopping to listen or soak in the presence of the Living God?

These men also showed incredible faith.  They address Jesus as Master, showing their respect for his position and authority.  Their cry wasn't long and labored, it was a simple request that cut right to the core.  Have mercy on us.  When Jesus tells them to go to the priest, they go.  Did you catch it?  They didn't look down at their disgusting sores and open wounds to see if they had been healed already.  They didn't wait until the healing began.  They started walking to find the priest even before the healing had started or was complete.  Do I do that?  Do I make a request and move in faith, preparing and anticipating that God will hear me and answer my prayer?  Or do I stay stuck in mire, waiting without faith, stuck where I am?

My favorite part of the story is when the Samaritan realizes he has been healed.  Can't you just seem him hurrying along in excitement and anticipation, trying to find the priest, when all of a sudden he realizes he is no longer in pain?  He stops abruptly to push up his robe sleeve to see completely healed skin.  His leprosy is gone.  He turns and runs in the opposite direction, seeking to find this Jesus again, throwing himself at his feet in gratitude and thanksgiving.  I love the text says he was "glorifying God" as he ran, shouting his gratitude and praise to Him who had healed him.

I have many lessons to learn from the lepers:
  1. I need to stay close to my Lord, as to be able to have intimate conversations with him, not drive-by shouting and irreverent requests.
  2. My simple and heartfelt prayers are heard by my Savior.
  3. My faith needs to stay in motion as to not allow doubt to settle in.
  4. When my prayer has been answered, I need to stop what I am doing to praise my God.
  5. Jesus deserves my thankfulness for every good thing in my life.
  6. Don't be like the other 9 lepers who did not return to thank Jesus for their healing.
Take a few minutes today to pause before your King and offer him your thanksgiving and praise!


Hello Mornings!

Aug 16, 2010

At the beginning of the summer, I had written a post about getting up early  to be more consistent with my quiet times with the Lord.  My friend Michelle over at So I Married A Mennonite has trouble getting up in the morning too, as neither one of us are early birds.  We had discussed it a few times and tried to encourage each other.  Recently Michelle discovered a great website, Inspired to Action, that sets up some terrific action plans to help you be successful at maximizing your mornings.  Michelle started a great challenge a couple weeks ago, Hello Mornings!  It is to help us all come together to encourage each other on this journey of getting up early and getting work done!

I was on vacation the first week of the challenge, so I can say I got up early most days because we were on the run all week!  Then it took me a few days to recover...whew!

I must say I have been pleased with my progress so far throughout the summer.  I have been successfully getting up between 7:30-8:00, which I know isn't early for most people, but it is still earlier than most of my family, so it worked!  I have enjoyed many quiet mornings on my back patio, and some mornings I have invited my furry friend, McKinley on a walk while I prayed in high gear!

I just selected some great songs to incorporate into my morning quiet for worship, so I am really excited about that.  The exercise, on the other hand, might be more of a challenge!  Does anyone else agree it is really hard to get motivated to go out and exercise when the humidity is near 99% and the temp is 95 degrees?  I love summer, but this month has been brutal!

I haven't selected my study for the year, but I have a couple here at home that I can choose from.  I just need a few minutes to look over each one to decide what looks good right now.

There is still time to join the challenge! Be sure to check out all the details over at Michelle's blog!


Faith Filled Family

Aug 13, 2010

Today is my first day of guest posting twice a month over at The Tuckers Take Tennessee.  I hope you will click on over to join us as we discuss teaching our children to pray.


Praying through Ramadan and the Persecuted Church

Aug 12, 2010

Today marks the first day of Ramadan for over 1 billion Muslims around the world.  "This year Ramadan runs from August 11 through September 9. During those dates, most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to shed away their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self control."

"Violent demonstrations against Christians commonly increase during Ramadan.  During this time of spiritual severity, however, many have miraculous visions of Jesus and put their trust in Him.  This is why it is so urgent for Christians to be united in prayer throughout Ramadan." ( from Open Doors USA)

Can I urge you to pray for both Muslims and Christians at least once a day through this season?  Go to the site Open Doors USA  to learn more about Ramadan.  You can also print a Prayer Calendar to guide you through the month of prayers.  This is a great way to expose our children to the difficulty many Christians face because of their faith.

For the next 10 weeks on Thursdays, we will explore the Top 10 Nations on the World Watch List of the Persecuted Church.  I hope you will join me as I present each country so that we can continue to pray for so many who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.


Praying for Prodigals

The term "prodigal" can mean many things to people.  It is certainly a term that can be defined by personal experiences.  I know for many, it is a gut wrenching experience through which the whole family is exposed to drugs and alcohol or other life-altering behaviors.  But for others, their prodigal may simply be that one child in the family who has left everything their parents have taught them behind, and walked away from God.

I am experiencing the pain of watching my oldest find her own way.  I always thought as a Mom that I could teach her the way so that she wouldn't have to face the pain of making her own mistakes and finding her own path.  But I was wrong.  She is nearly an adult now, and my instruction and encouragement is but a mere whisper compared to the loud voice of the society around her.  She has always been and continues to be a very responsible and level-headed child.  She hasn't gone off the deep end, by any means.  But my heart hurts because she has turned her back on her God and her Savior.

It is difficult for this Mother to not blame herself.  What could I have done differently?  Where did I go wrong?  Maybe I didn't spend enough time teaching her and discipling her.  Maybe I haven't prayed hard enough or long enough for her.

But these thoughts would be from a woman trying to hold on.  These are my thoughts when I forget that she is God's child, not mine.  These are thoughts that carry me away when I want to have control over the situation.  These are thoughts that can eat me alive and Satan uses to accuse.  These are my thoughts, a Mother, grieving that her oldest child can't or won't find her way back to her Savior.  And I weep for all that she is missing.  I grieve that God is longing to hold her again in his arms and take it all away. 

And I pray

Prayers for my prodigal

Scripture for any prodigal

  • Turn to the Lord God with all her heart & soul
  • Turn from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it - Romans 34:14
  • God, rescue her and deliver her in your righteousness, turn your ear to her and save her - Psalm 71:2
  • Turn her heart toward God's statutes and not toward selfish gain - Psalm 119:36
  • See, hear, understand, turn and be healed
  • Sweep away her offenses, that she may return to God redeemed - Isaiah 44:22
  • She is God's precious child
  • God will rescue her as a lamb who has strayed from the flock
  • She would long for her relationship with God to be restored
  • Open her eyes to God's truth
  • Receive God's love and forgiveness
  • Take back what the enemy has stolen
 And I lift her before the Throne of the Almighty God.  She is His. 


Homeschool Bible Curriculum

Aug 11, 2010

I've had an interesting epiphany in the last several days.  Ready?

Even though I don't homeschool my girls, I can still purchase some great Bible curriculum from a homeschool vendor.  

Isn't that profound?

This issue always seems to be a hot one because many feel so very strongly about one side or the other.  But I have come to realize that there is no reason a public school family can't reap the benefits of some fantastic Bible homeschool curriculum.  It doesn't matter if it is marketed for homeschooling.  I can find some excellent resources to be intentional about training my children in Bible theology and disciplines.

So here is my problem.  Since I don't homeschool, I am really not sure where to look or what companies are the best in this field.

That is where you come in!  I know many of my online friends are homeschoolers, and I just know that you will have some recommendations for me.  My girls are 10 and 8, and I would like to get curriculum that fits both of them so I am not trying to do two different grade levels.  They are both very intelligent young ladies, so I know the younger can keep up with the older.  I don't think I will be able to commit to doing a lesson every single day, but would like to choose possibly 2-3 days per week that we do lessons in the evening after their regular homework is done.

Would you leave in the comments what you might recommend and the website information?  I would be so grateful for your input!!

On another note check out my other blog, Capturing Beautiful,  to see my entry for Word Filled Wednesday.


Seven Nights, Six Days, 1,648 Miles & A New Friend!

Aug 10, 2010


For the first time, our family decided that this vacation would be a road trip through some parts of the country we had never seen before.  It would require more time in the car than we are used to, and everyone would have to be patient.  It was a beautiful week!

We started with two days in Lexington KY (1) visiting the Kentucky Horse Park.  It was a very cool place and A got her fill of horses, both real and artistic!  The girls both loved this horse with the beautiful piano motif.

Our next stop would be Townsend, Tennessee,(2) a small town at the base of the Smoky Mountains.  We stayed at a lovely cabin, where K got to learn lots about gardening from our hostess, and they both got to ride horses.  Our big day was a trip up the mountain to visit the highest point in the Smoky Mountains called Clingmans Dome.  The scenery was absolutely breathtaking.

Our final stop would be near Huntsville, Alabama(3) to visit the Space & Rocket Center AND my special blogging friend Myra from My Blessed Life!

Myra and her family were our gracious hosts for two nights in their home.  We had such a great time getting to know them.  Myra cooked some fantastic food that I will be trying myself.  She and her husband took us out to her family farm and introduced us to her family and animals.  My girls had a blast discovering goats, chickens, kittens and dogs.  I was even privileged to meet her 95 year old grandmother!  We enjoyed great devotions and prayer time in the evenings, and the girls requested that Myra play some piano, which led to singing some great hymns together!  Her piano playing is absolutely fabulous!!  We can't wait to be able to get together with them again.

We were sad to not be able to stay and join them for church, especially because her Dad is the pastor, but we had over 10 hours to drive home.

We had a fabulous week and were able to admire so many of God's beautiful creations.  But the biggest blessing to me was a new friendship with a beautiful woman of God.


Joining the Tuckers

Aug 6, 2010

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I will be writing twice a month  over at The Tuckers Take Tennessee with Meghan.  My feature on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month will be Faith Filled Family.  I'll explore and share all the many ways that we can build our families up to be followers and servants of Christ.  I believe so strongly that we need to be discipling our children to build their own faith that they can stand on in any time of trouble through their entire lives.

My first post will be August 13th, so I hope you will come on over and join me!  In the meantime, be sure to go check out Meghan's site.  I know you will love getting to know her!

The Tuckers Take Tennessee


Visiting the Kentucky Horse Park

Aug 4, 2010

"Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?  Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting?  He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray."  Job 39:19-21


God's Paintbrush

Aug 3, 2010

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!


A Beautiful Welcome to Horse Country

Aug 2, 2010

We arrived in Lexington Kentucky after a six hour drive today.  As we were finding our way around looking for dinner we happened across this beautiful park.  The artistry was stunning.

Tomorrow we are going to the Kentucky Horse Park where we will see lots and lots of these:

And since it such beautiful country here, we decided to look around for a summer home.  What do you think of this one?  Could all my blog friends meet me here next summer?  It's on the market!


My Mission

MISSION:  a strong commitment and sense of duty to do or achieve something
I'll be honest.  I have newer been big into setting goals or creating mission statements.  If I were being brutally truthful, it would probably be because I didn't want to be held accountable.  I also have a bad habit of not always finishing what I start.  So I have typically avoided these very Type A Personality endeavors in exchange for my laid back style of going with the flow. 

I have a favorite section of verses in the first chapter of Colossions (10-14) that I reread every now and then because they have always been very encouraging to me.  I sat down this weekend with my Bible and turned to that section of scripture, and God revealed something new.  Paul had already written my mission statement:
  • Live a life worthy of the Lord that pleases him in every way.
  • Bear fruit in every good work.
  • Grow in the knowledge of God.
  • Be strengthened with God's power according to his glorious might so that I might have great endurance and patience.
  • Joyfully give thanks to the Father who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
  • Praise God for my redemption and forgiveness of sin
 I love how God's holy scripture is always alive, waiting each and every time I read it to learn something different, even in a passage of scripture I have read hundreds of times.
Would you share with us a time this has happened to you?

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