Saturday, November 28, 2015

Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans

Do you "Elf on the Shelf"? What kind of mischief does yours get into?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Once again, the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15. ESV.)

First, I rejoiced with a lovely lady celebrating her beloved child’s first birthday! Next, I delighted in the arrival of another wonderful lady’s beautiful infant. Then, on Wednesday and Thursday, I wept for a cherished tiny soul that left this world on Tuesday evening.

Three little lives. All three, so very precious.

I cannot help but think of Revelation 21 which says,
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4. ESV.)
My hope is in the Lord.

Is there any doubt as to why? Who would not want no more pain, suffering, sadness, and death?

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:1-8. ESV.)

A year or so ago, I wrote a piece which was faith based. And, I posted it to a public site. Within seconds, nanoseconds, it was flagged. When I read as to why it got flagged it said, “This may be offensive to some.” What? Why? I did not bash anyone. I did not compose hateful words. I did not call names, slander, or use profanity. I did not write a graphic, provocative love scene. They were soft words. Why is the amazing grace and love of God and Christ Jesus, which are so insanely beautiful, so offensive to some? I do not understand. Nor will I…ever. God, and His miracles, are breathtaking and indescribable. I have seen them first hand.

Adalie Grace. I love you! I never got to meet you, in person. I was hoping to in the next few days but God called you home…and His timing is perfect. I knew you in your mother’s womb. So, I guess we did meet in person, actually. And, I look forward to seeing you, again, one day. Your incredible family shared you with me, and others, for the miraculous 111 days your light shined on this earth. Most of those mornings, for me, began in God’s Word and then seeing your sweet face in pictures, and sometimes video. My life is all the better because of it. I am truly thankful I got to know you…even though my heart is sad now. You are, and always will be, dearly missed. So, for now, I say, “See you later, gator.” Until we meet again. I love you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15. ESV.)

Emotional Outpouring: Tossed To And Fro By the Waves

There has been so much emotion floating around the past five, six days or so. I use Facebook to keep in contact with family and friends, who mainly use that social network to stay in contact, and it has been flooded with an outpouring of sincere feelings. I always find it interesting, though, how Facebook seems to be the only social network that is so charged and dare I say, heated. I honestly do not find that on Google plus or Instagram. I cannot really speak about Twitter because though I do have an account, I do not check the stream often. Perhaps it feels this way because on the other networks, there are more lurkers and less commenters? Or it could be because I have heard Facebook described as being engineered to feel like a “college experience” and my university years, the first time around, were a bit more intense I guess you could say. I am not saying anything is “good” or “bad”…just different. For that reason, I generally limit my Facebook time and stick to Google plus and Instagram when things get a little too heightened for me, personally.

Otherwise, I almost feel tossed by the waves in the ocean…pulled or pushed one direction or another. This, of course, brings Ephesians 4 to my mind.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16. ESV.)
Do you ever get that feeling? It may be you are more solid than I am.

Monday, November 16, 2015

It was Just a Friday Night at a Rock Show: Isobel's Account of Her Experience in Paris

Have you read Isobel's post on Facebook? Admittedly, I am not a big fan of Facebook but this, that Isobel has written, I want to share with you. It ended up in my "feed" when a friend of mine saw and reposted a "condensed" version. Here is the link to the original in its entirety. I did not seek permission to place it or her picture here, otherwise I would.

Isobel, thank you for sharing your heart with us. I am so sorry for your heartache. My words are so inadequate but my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you, your family, friends, and those you love. Best wishes.

Isobel , merci pour le partage de votre cœur avec nous . Je suis tellement désolé pour votre chagrin. Mes mots sont insuffisants mais mon cœur , les pensées et prières sont avec vous , votre famille, vos amis, et ceux que vous aimez . Meilleurs voeux.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16. ESV.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Spirit Fest 2015 in Pictures

Today, my children and I had the pleasure of attending Spirit Fest, Austin 2015! We arrived after the performances already started. We got to see Danny Gokey, Brandon Heath, Mr. Talkbox, Francesca Battistelli, Matthew West, Matt Maher, and Crowder. The lineup was amazing, though, also including Hannah Kerr, John Guerra, Dan Bremnes, I Am They, Sidewalk Prophets, Peter Furler, Trevor Morgan, Tenth Avenue North, and Third day. I believe it is safe to say we thoroughly enjoyed our day with some of the body of Christ's finest musicians and singers!

Our seats were fairly close.

Danny Gokey

Brandon Heath

Francesca Battistelli

Matthew West

Matthew West

Matthew West

Matt Maher


Friday, November 13, 2015

Please, Pray for Paris!

Please, stop whatever you might be doing, this very moment, and pray for Paris!!! Thank you!

Paris attacks: 60 reported killed; hostage situation ongoing

Photo by @sarabethmusic via @RepostWhiz app:
(#RepostWhiz app)

Praying for My Children: My Father, Who Has Given Them to Me, is Greater Than All

I am definitely crazy about my kids! The good Lord blessed me with four of His little lambs after who I feel entrusted to watch and guide. I pray for them each day…that God will place His hedge of protection around them and about each one’s heart, so sin cannot take root. Most importantly, however, I ask that each one may know God fully, hear His Son’s call, recognize His voice, and follow Him through the door (John 10:3-18). My heart is heavy for them as they maneuver their way in this world. It can be so difficult, at times, and I ask no one and/or nothing be able to pluck them from His hand, once they are His (John 10:28). Which, of course, is one of God’s promises in His word.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one. (John 10:28-30. ESV.)

This morning, our oldest sprang forth in my mind as I was driving home from dropping off the younger ones at school. I was beseeching God, in my usual fashion, regarding the salvation of my children and she was foremost in this moment. They rotate around in my thoughts as I implore God at His mercy seat. I bring each of them with me before His throne of grace. And there, in this minute, she was front and center.

Each of my kiddos is uniquely wonderful! All four of them, of course, have their strengths and challenges. Her vulnerability, to the disheartenment of my heart, is her belief in God. Once so on fire for Him, one of His biggest advocates, lover of His word and singing praises to Him, she has given way to doubt and perhaps even anger toward Him. Her proclamation of, “Our God is an awesome God!” has become one of, “There is no God.” And I stand, convicted that I could have/ should have done more or better, humbled before God.

But, I know God is the only one who changes hearts.
26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27.)
And, the words to the Hillsong ballad "I Stand in Awe of You" play in my mind,
And I stand, I stand in awe of you.
Holy God to whom all praise is due.
I stand in awe of you.
And, all I can do is plead harder and thank God for his wisdom, blessings, mercy, and abundant grace!

"Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)" by Crowder

"I Stand in Awe of You" by Hillsong

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Introduction: Additional New Contributor

I promised to introduce you to the, hopefully, new contributor to this blog.

She has such a beautiful love for God and her family. And, her encouraging words of wisdom and experience are sure to inspire you! I have had the pleasure of spending a little over a week with her, recently, and the conversation and fellowship was amazing!

As we speak, she is preparing to embark on an awesome adventure of traveling around the United States. She feels God calling her and this is just the first step in the direction of where He is leading.

I am not quite sure what she will write, here. But, I can tell you, it will be incredible, supportive, and uplifting! I am very excited for her to get started but I know she is quite busy, at the moment, starting her new trip and season of her life.

But, I did want to introduce her to you!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Steadfast Under Trial

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:12-15. ESV.)

“It’s not enough!”

Do you ever find yourself thinking that?

I do not believe I ever do enough. There is always more I can, and should, do. I had a law student relate that to me about how she feels doing law research.

“You will never feel ‘finished’,” she said.

I assume that pertains to most of us about some areas of life. Which raises the question, “How much is enough?” Do I hug my children bountifully? Do I tell people, “I love you!” abundantly? Do I look after widows and orphans sufficiently? Am I in God’s word and communing with Him adequately? Do I give to others generously?

The above scripture was yesterday’s bible study with my kiddos. Admittedly, James 1:15 has been one of my favorites since the first moment I read it, years ago. “Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” What a heavy passage! My earthly body almost buckles under the weight of it. How many times have I entertained thoughts of desire?! Too many…which easily could have grown into sin…and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)! I must re-enforce taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).


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