Monday, August 31, 2009

New Beginnings

I'm linking my blog with the Titus the well today. The topic for today is change. I shutter at the sound of the word. But let's put a positive twist on change and say... change is the equivalent of new beginnings. My family and I our currently going through a huge unexpected change in finding a new church. It is no what we desired at this time, but feel led and pushed to do so.

Change is also equivalent to the word adjustment. Most of us are getting our children ready for back to school. Perhaps for some, today is the first day or your kids have already begun. It's time for new wake up and bed time routines, stricter rules for TV watching and Wii playing, and making sure they get out the door with a good breakfast and some prayers from mommy.

Change can also equal stress or more trust. We can choose to "stress out" or we can choose to "trust God" in every circumstance believing and knowing He always has our best interest in mind.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and
lean not into thine own understanding,
but in all thy ways acknowledge Him
and He shall make thy paths straight."
~Proverbs 3:5-6
Lord, I pray for each person who reads this today that they would take just five minuets and sit quietly in your presence. May they hear your sweet songs, feel your deep compassion, and leave desiring more time alone with you. May they trust you and not themselves to make it through yet another change! ~Amen

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mind Tug of War

I’m in a battle between the dark spaces of my mind and where the light seeks to push through the darkness. The light is there…I know it is…but why has the bleakness of humanity squelched my drive to find the light. I hear the taunting laugh of Satan as he pulls his end of the rope thrusting my body forward. I mumble through my clenched teeth,

“I’ll never return. You can not have me!”

I regain my grip though my hands sweat with blood and feel the strength under my feet return. I pull with all of my might, but only to gain such little ground. My hair drips with sweat, my chin nearly touches my chest in defeat, and my arms tremble with infinite weakness as I fear I must give in and let go.

When my burning hands released their grip from the rope…another set of hands come from no where. They are the hands of my Master. The Prince of Peace. Satan’s cackle becomes very faint as if falling into a hole that reaches the center of the Earth. Before my body flings to the dirt in gut wrenching pain, His hands, they pick me up. They cuddle me. They brush the dirt away. The gentle hands of my Healer made my wounds disappear. He held me for a long while and sang over me. His sweet voice soothes the battle within my mind.

Lord, please help me with the battle that rages from time to time within the confines of my mind. Satan loves to put me down, tell me lies, and make me feel unworthy to be called a child of God. Remind me to fight the fiery arrows of the evil one with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and not with my own strength. Please catch me when I fall and then sing sweetly over me and replace confusion with your sweet peace!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Danger Ahead

After reading the piece, "Danger Ahead", at the Titus 2 ministry blog, I've linked up with them today to also let parents and even grandparents know how important it is to plant seeds of Godly truth and wisdom into our children and grandchildren. It is equally important to protect their heart and minds from a sin sick society whos norm has become sexually explicit and violent.

My own kids have gotten angry at me for not allowing them to watch certain TV shows or movies. I have strict rules and guidelines. I am always aware of what they are watching and have never allowed a TV in any of their bedrooms. I hardly ever buy magazines any more and if by chance I see one of interest and do buy it...I go through the entire magazine taking out any ads that might influence my boys mind in a bad direction. Even simple ads for bras or underwear can make a mans mind wonder into shameful areas of sin.

I remember when my kids were little, Disney movies were all the rage, and probably still are today. I use to think if it was put out by Disney it must be family friendly. Don't be dooped as I was many years ago. Upon watching "101 Dalmatians" with them, after the first twenty-five minutes of the movie the words dumb, stupid, and idiot had been repeated so many times between the characters in a mean and derogatory manner, I had to get up and turn the movie off and declare it unfit for my children to watch. My children did not like my decision, but it did not sit right with my spirit for them to continue to watch this movie.

My oldest son is now fourteen years old and a freshmen in high school. He is a gentleman who does love the Lord and knows as a man he needs to protect his eyes from things that are unbeholding to the Lord. A book I would like to suggest for mothers of teen boys to get for their sons is, "Every Young Mans Battle" by Stephen Arterburn. Mr Arterburn has also written an adult men's version called, "Every Mans Battle".

None of us has all the answers on how to raise our children. Each of us will make our fair share of mistakes. But one thing I know for sure, God does have all the answers and I must seek Him daily and ask Him for the wisdom in guiding my children to grow in the knowledge and love for the Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank You and Hello

I reached high in my bedroom closet for the fire proof box. We keep all our important papers in this box. I specifically needed my youngest son’s birth certificate for proof of his age for football. When I opened the box, I saw first, a yellowed letter with the date February 20th, 1987. It is one of my most prized possessions. It was my 20th birthday letter from my most precious grandmother. The letter reads…

Dear Shannon,

Are you having your birthday with Scott (my oldest brother)? I was with Scottie when you were born. Also I saw you before you were born and knew you were a girl. And you had a Gold Star shining over you. I don’t think of it often but the Lord brought it back to my memory this morning as I got your card ready.
Shannon, if you commit your ways, your studies, and works unto the Lord, He will direct your every step – “literally”. Romans 8:28, “And everything; everything works together for good to those who love God.” The Living Bible says; “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plan!”
I love these scriptures. God is ever faithful and never leaves nor forsakes us. He is a very present help in time of stress. May he ever be with you Shannon, and keep you!
I pray all is well with you Shannon and that you have a blessed birthday.

Always with Love,
Grandma Bowser

I praise God for the wonderful gift He gave me in my grandma Bowser. She didn’t have much, but she was very wealthy because she knew Jesus. She prayed often for me. She encouraged me through these wonderful letters my entire life until she went home to be with her Lord six years ago. I miss her. I miss her prayers. I wish she were here now so I could talk awhile with her.
I thank you Lord for my Grandmother’s influence in my life before her grand entry through the gates of glory. I know it was not by accident that I opened that box on this day. Her letter penned over twenty years ago brought encouragement to my soul when my soul needed it most. I miss her Lord. Please tell her thank you and hello for me this night. Amen.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My oldest son has got me hooked on Jeremy Camp a Christian contemporary vocal artist. This song, over the past month, has become one of my favorties! I hope you will enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting for God

They were jealous of the “little dreamer” and wanted to kill him, but decided to throw him in the cistern. I’m sure Joseph was terrified, bewildered, and asked God why as he sat in the empty pit. At the time, Joseph just didn’t understand the plan God had for him to become King of Egypt.

We all have also been in the cistern from time to time terrified, bewildered, and asking God why. We need to realize that God puts us in the cistern not to do us harm or hurt us, but to rejuvenate us with his refreshing rain. He desires to fill us up with “spiritual rain” and when He is ready…He brings us out of the cistern more capable to walk through the challenges, trials, and joys this life brings our way ready and able for the work God has planned far in advance for us to do…just like Joseph.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Don't Forfeit Grace

I sat, eyes still tired from the restful nights sleep. I was a groggy soul, but the smell of the fresh brewed coffee lifted my eye brow. The aroma pulled me up and drew me to reach for my favorite cup, add cream, and then pour the hot java into the mug. I am convinced the coffee bean was one of God’s greatest creations.

I returned to my chair and after a few sips of the morning brew, I set my cup on the table beside me. I reached for my Bible to begin my day in some quiet moments with my Lord. I truly did not know what to read. I flipped through the pages of my Bible and considered Zephaniah, but realized I had already read this wonderful book. I flipped to Jonah. Who hasn’t heard the story of Jonah? But I hadn’t ever read the book of Jonah. So the decision was made…Jonah it was.

Now everyone I’m pretty sure knows Jonah was trying to run away from God because he didn’t want to do what the Lord had asked of him. Run away from God…yeah right! Jonah what were you thinking! He got on a ship with some men and out to sea he went. A terrible storm hit. All the men thought they were going to die and realized the cause of the storm was because Jonah was running from God. They threw him out to sea, the storm calmed, and Jonah was swallowed by a “big fish”. Three days and three nights Jonah was inside the stomach of that fish. Could you imagine the slime, goo, muck, smell, total grossness of this situation? I for one would probably loose myself self control and freak out, but Jonah prayed to the Lord. I’m sure Jonah learned some pretty important lessons during his time in the belly of the fish, but one lesson he said in his prayer struck a cord with me.

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”
Jonah 2:8

Do I really need to say anything more?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray this day you would make me aware of the things in my life which I have made an idol over you. Help me to see the chasing of worthless things are not your desire for me and when I do selfishly run towards worldly treasure, I forfeit your grace in my life. I need you Father and ask for forgiveness of my sin sick heart. Please bless me this day with a full measure of your grace that peace may abound in my heart.