Saturday, January 31, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
His next question was quite courageous. “Mommy, is there a tooth fairy? And is Santa Claus real?” Trying to get a read on where Joshua’s heart was with this question and wanting to reply to him truthfully, I began answering him in a long-winded kind of way. We want our children to be respectful of what other families traditions are (we never made a big deal out of Santa Claus), and I wanted to be sure he really was seeking and ready for the truth at that moment.
After a few minutes of my discourse, Joshua interrupted me with urgency and asked the question again, “Mommy, is Santa Claus real?” I said, “Well, Joshua, before I answer, what do you hope the answer will be?”. His passionate and sincere reply caused my heart to rejoice. “Mommy, I don’t care if Santa Claus is real or not. I just want to know the truth!” Oh, yes! Music to a parent’s ears! “I just want to know the truth!” I rejoiced and told him that our prayer is that he always just wants to know the Truth!
This unexpected tête-à-tête with my son continues to linger in and challenge my heart. Living in and by the Truth is genuinely freeing. “Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (NIV) However, it is very difficult, and it requires courage. It requires abiding in Jesus, the Truth. It requires that we hold to His teaching and that we trust Him. We must ask the Lord to allow our hearts, words, responses, thoughts and behavior to be based in His truth and love. If we live in the truth, our own hearts will be clear of any debris and we will enjoy His light and life. We will respond to nonsense with God’s grace and wisdom. Our speech will reflect His gentleness and love.
Faithful Father, cause me to live in You, abide in Your truth and continually seek Your truth. By Your grace and with Your courage, may my life reflect a life lived in truth for Your glory alone. Gently expose to me areas in my life where I may not be living in the truth. Graciously help me to grow in your Truth daily. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6 (NIV)
“But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13 (NIV)
“Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for Your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in Your truth.” Psalm 26:2-3 (NIV)
“…guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior.” Psalm 25:5 (NIV)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
more than my daily bread."
In reading through the NIV Chronological One-Year Bible, I have spent the last several days in Job. The book of Job is so valuable because it discusses the subject of theodicy -- the justice of God in light of human suffering. No small subject. Christians and non-Christians alike have considered this. Admittedly, Job is not my favorite book in the Bible. I pray and ask the Lord to give me His truth and treasures from this book, and He does.
For several days in my chronological reading of the Bible, I listened to Job's "friends" rattle on and on, often presumptuously, ABOUT God. Literally, they made my brain hurt. Here Job was in the midst of his greatest desert experience having lost everything, in pain physically, emotionally and spiritually, and his friends were pontificating rather than giving him some practical help or even offering him a cup of cold water.
After the first few days of reading Job's friends' words, I was so tempted to skip to several chapters ahead to Chapter 38 titled "The Lord Speaks". I just wanted to get to what God said because I knew His words would be pure truth. Refreshment. But I didn't skip ahead. I persevered and stayed on course wanting to glean whatever treasures God had for me.
Observing the difference between Job's words and his friends' words, it's important to note that Job spoke TO God, determined to speak honesty before Him, even in his suffering. Job's friends spoke only ABOUT God. In Job 42:7, the Lord tells Job's friends "...you have not spoken of Me what is right, as my servant Job has."
Job inquired of the Lord and knew He alone had the answers Job was seeking.
This weekend, I finally reached chapters 38-42 in Job. Aaaahhhh....God's voice speaking....a conversation between God and Job. Refreshment. Restoration.
In the end, after Job has prayed for his friends (42:10), "...the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." His relationships were restored, and the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. (42:10) Amazing. Job spoke to God and sought His truth only. And the Lord blessed him greatly.
Note the Lord had Job pray for his friends. Yes, pray for the friends that didn't seem too friendly or supportive, and actually they were downright nasty at times. Hello...life application for sure. Pray for your friends, even when they are behaving like Job's.
More life application: I asked the Lord, "Please, if I ever sound like one of Job's friends, please cover my mouth and change my heart!"
The book of Job does give us precious treasure for our hearts and lives. Persevere reading through the tough spots. He will bless you with His truth.
"The Job replied to the Lord: 'I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You."
Job 42:2,5 (NIV)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
And these are but the outer fringe of His works; how faint the whisper we hear of Him!"
Usually once a year, a few friends and I head down to the beautiful shores of the Chesapeake Bay to a retreat center in Maryland for a Creative Memories Scrap Booking Weekend! Our cars are packed with more scrap booking supplies than clothes and toiletries. With one weekend a year dedicated to our role as "Family Historian", we are serious about accomplishing as much as we can in our memory books, while enjoying fellowship and eating meals we did not prepare, nor will we clean up. From Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, it's a fun and productive weekend.
Pentagon-level planning is required for a wife and mom to get away, even for a few days. While our hubbies were enthusiastic and supportive about us getting away this past weekend, still some high-level preparation and management strategies were required to get us to the retreat with all we needed and also leave our families prepared for their weekend activities. Once we gals arrive at the retreat center and set up our table with all of our supplies, we can exhale and get to work!
The order of packing priorities:
90% - Scrap Booking Supplies; 10% - Clothes and Personal Items
Thanks for stopping by!
"The memory of the righteous will be a blessing..."
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
"If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." Matthew 10:42 (NIV)
As my husband and I spend these precious parenting years in the trenches, our desire is to train our children how to apply 1 John 3:18 and be mindful of the needs of those God has placed in our paths. We prayerfully trust the Holy Spirit to gently nudge our children's hearts and fill them with the joy and peace that accompanies obedience. All around us are opportunities to love with actions that bring honor to God.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24 (NIV) A few years ago, we were inspired by another Christian family in our community who put love into action. So, following their lead, for our birthdays that year, rather than receiving birthday gifts for ourselves, we requested new library books for a Christian school in New Orleans that had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In total, our little family received almost 200 new books for the school after we had celebrated all four of our birthdays.
Seemingly small expressions of kindness can soften hearts and bear eternal fruit. As we love others with actions and in truth, He is faithful to bring forth a harvest. When we extend His love and kindness to others, they can see His perfect love, salvation and provision. Our rewards blossom in our soul as He fills us with His joy and peace.
Monday, January 5, 2009
As my hubby and I were carefully packing away another year's worth of Christmas memories yesterday, we both were reflective and so thankful for the many ways the Lord has blessed us. Our lives are rich in His love and truth. We are blessed beyond measure with fabulous family and faithful friends.
In the midst of the wonderfully sentimental and nostalgic ambiance of carefully packing up Christmas decorations, I suddenly went into "practical momma mode" when it came to emptying the bowls filled with Christmas chocolate! I am serious about my chocolate! Each year, we inevitably have many leftover Christmas Hershey Kisses and Christmas M&Ms.
You may already do this yourself, but just in case....here's a little tip. I sort the Christmas Kisses and M&Ms into three piles...silver (for our foyer candy dish); red to use for Valentine's Day; and green to use for St. Patrick's Day. (St. Patrick's Day is big in our home as Jim and I both have Irish heritage, and a certain someone's birthday is on St. Patrick's Day.) I feel rather pleased with myself after doing this little chocolate-sorting chore, and I am just certain my hubby and cherubs are going to rise up and called me blessed for this brilliant good stewardship of chocolate!
Here is Gabrielle's hand-made bowl (filled will silver Kisses!) on our foyer table that welcomes guests and visitors to our home. The red and green Kisses are now stored in our pantry for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day respectively.
Please do share your brilliant stewardship ideas with us! Hugs and KISSES to you!
Friday, January 2, 2009
As I took in the tasks ahead of me this morning, I paused to take some "before pictures".
It is indeed time to seek the Lord.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
Thursday, January 1, 2009
While I love my current inductive and topical Bible studies I am doing, I am also looking forward to reading through God's Word in chronological order in one year. To be honest, I've already started! God's Word is a treasure. He is faithful to give us our portion as we meet with Him, regardless of our mood, our circumstances or our feelings. He is faithful.
I pray He makes my heart continually like that of a Berean...receiving His message with great eagerness and examining the scriptures every day. Interested in joining us in our journey through God's entire Word in 2009? You can click on the Bible pictured above to order your copy today!