Monday, September 26, 2011

Backdoor Bluebird

Saw this little cutie out my new backdoor...





Blessings on your day,

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Do You Do When....

....you have a 2-car carport that weighs a ton and needs to be moved a couple of acres away?

Dismantle it and put it back together where you want it? NO! Of course not. Silly.


You chain it to itself and then hook it to the John Deere and drag it where you want it!




Here you can witness hubby pulling it backwards and already about 1/4 of the way to where it needed to be...











WHOA Nelly!! A little too close for comfort. (Don't tell the parents - that's their trailer.)




Then hubby had the idea to pull from its sides...it was just like tractor skiing!




Here's where it ended up. Yes, it did bow in a little bit but was easily corrected once the chains were removed.



Blessings on your day,

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Friday, September 2, 2011

A Lesson In Godly Friendship ~ A BFF Chat Transcript


BFF: .....when you look at it through God's eyes
you are going to be able to see that 'greater love has no man than this... that he lay down his life for a friend"
you are getting to sacrifice for your husband.
you have the honor of laying your life down for him
and what satan would have you do is to focus on getting your needs met
instead of trusting that God will meet all your needs according to his riches in Christ's glory

S4J: you are being rude.

BFF: (that was a bunch of stuff that earns me a punch in the nose)

but honestly, that is the truth and you know it
every time it goes through your head that people aren't meeting your needs or considering you, you need to take those thoughts captive because satan is trying to take from you the joy of serving your husband

S4J: you have left me with no choice but to order pizza
with extra cheese
and pepperoni

BFF: of this great sacrifice you made for him...

HAHAHA

...and he is using the same thing that you did to bless your husband as a device to make you bitter toward him
so remember that you are not fighting your husband
you are fighting satan
when hubby asks you to walk one mile, you are going to walk two.
and then satan loses
and God can be in charge of what you need

S4J: you have lost your mind

BFF: hahaha. i have not.
you know i am right.
you know it as well as i know you would say the same to me
because i love you




Blessings on your day my friends,
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

116 Degrees And An Epic Update

Hi y'all! It's been a long time hasn't it? I know you mostly know the bits from being friends on facebook, but I thought I would dust off the old virtual stationery and sit down and give an update.
The weather here in North Texas (as in everywhere else in the nation) has been hot! Yesterday the thermometer on the back porch read 116 degrees! It's all that people can talk about (including me.)
It has been about a year since the kids and I moved from Fort Polk while hubby was finishing up his final months of a 20 year career in the Air Force. When he retired, we had been married for 15 years. Added all together, the deployments and separations due to his job equaled 4 solid years. 4 years of our 15 year marriage spent apart. This past year has been such a blessing of having him home and the sure knowledge that we won't be facing those kinds of separations anymore. I would never undo those years and I am thankful to be in a new phase.
During the past year we saw many changes. We have already moved 3 times. Our second Daughter joined the Air Force and was medically disqualified and sent home after several months of making a go of it. She moved in (next door) with Grandma and Grandpa and is working several jobs to save up to get her own place and waiting for school to start this month so she can work on getting a degree in physical education. 18 is proving to be a lovely and difficult age for us to watch her be. I say, "watch" because that is all we can do now. She's a precious girl, finding her way and making some choices that make us wince and duck and get on our knees in prayer. I remember those years in my own life and thank God every.single.day that He pulled me through and out of those onto a solid foundation of believing and trusting in Him.

Our oldest daughter will be leaving her teen years behind next week. You want to talk about pulling through. Her son is 2 1/2 and she is a good, good Mommy. Again ~ a child making choices that sent us to our knees. Of course, we would love for her to be married and we are very fond of her boyfriend. Even so, we are ever thankful and proud that they are working together in love to raise their son and making him a priority.

The twins. Oh my the twins. They are starting their sophomore year in High School. And their second year in North Texas. They will be 16 in November and will be learning to drive soon. TWO of them. Learning to drive. Aaaaannnnnddddd back to my knees I go. :) Boy twin stands 6'3" and girl twin 5'4". No, they are not identical. Yes, people still ask me that.

Along with our daughter, Hubby will be attending college in the fall to earn a degree in welding. He has been wanting to do this for many years, and thanks to the GI Bill, he will begin working that dream into reality in just a few weeks.

We are coming upon a challenging life situation, which, of course, is nothing new. We have been living in the rental house next door over to our property for the past year and we received a letter stating that we are required to sign another year rental agreement or move out. We will be moving out.

We are making some bold choices about what to do next that will certainly take dedication, patience and prayer. (Is there a theme here?) The ideas that we had about what life would be like on the outside aren't the reality that we are living. Although I do have 3 jobs, they are not providing the income that we thought I would be able to achieve once I could work outside the home full-time and although Hubby's retirement pay is enough to live on if one has no debt and is not trying to build a new home, it is not enough to live on if you do have debt and are trying to build a new home.

So, we are now entering the beginning phases of plan "D". We are outfitting the barn with some living space and looking into bringing a travel trailer to our property to supplement that living space and we are moving onto our own land. Finally. Plan D allows for us to be investing back into our own future, rather than the neighbor's future and will allow us to easily live within our means. The plan is to work our debt elimination plan to completion and then build our house. Now don't get all wound up about, "Living in a barn?? Living in a trailer?? With four people and two dogs???" I did say it was going to be challenging. We have agreed that we will do it as long as we can possibly stand it and we are trying to make it as comfortable and doable as possible while staying within the budget we have for this endeavor and when the day comes that we can no longer deal, we will make other arrangements.

I celebrated my 39th birthday. I tell you what folks, I have really enjoyed my 30's. I will live this last year of them with joy and look forward to my 40's being even better!

I have had amazing blessings in this last year that I have been able to travel for photography and worship and although these trips have not been money-makers, how many people get to go to Hawaii for free and spend a week taking pictures of their friends and making new ones? And how many people get to say, "I got to travel to lead women to Throne of God in worship and all needs were taken care of." Well, I suppose a lot of musicians get to say that, but not me. 'Til now.

We have been attending a local church for some time now and I have begun to sing with the Praise Team. This is a church in transition and we are treading carefully on letting our hearts get too deep until we know for sure this is where we are supposed to be, but the people are so dear and the doctrine is sound. We shall see.

Blessings on your day my friends,

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cohabitation

How cute is this?




Blessings on your day,

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did I mention....

Not sure if I mentioned that my in-laws bought the laundromat in the next town over. For the time-being, I work there. It's a good clean living. Hahaha. :) I had to.
The problem is - we are located right next to a donut shop. Um. Yum. This is no good for my waistline OR my allergy to soy. Today I had this idea....
I am going to take myself over there and see if she can make me a batch of dough without soy that I can freeze at home and fry up in canola oil ~er~ once in a while.
Worth a shot right?



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Monday, May 16, 2011

Alabaster Box

Heard this song at church yesterday. Really struck me.


" You don't know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box..."

You can watch the video here and find the lyrics below.

Cece Winans
Alabaster Box lyrics

The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There's no place here for her kind
Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of alabaster

Refrain

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren't there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

I can't forget the way life used to be
I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound
And I spent my days
Poured my life without measure
Into a little treasure box
I'd thought I'd found
Until the day when Jesus came to me
And healed my soul
With the wonder of His touch
So now I'm giving back to Him
All the praise He's worthy of
I've been forgiven
And that's why
I love Him so much

Refrain

And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And dry them with my hair (my hair)
You weren't there the night Jesus found me
You did not feel what I felt
When He wrapped his loving arms around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
Oh, you don't know the cost of my praise
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box




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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Well, I tried...

This is part one of my very healthy, completely soy-free, low calorie lunch on my lovely fiesta dinner plate. (Part two is in the oven)

Green beans soaked in chicken stock, grapefruit with one packet of stevia for sweetening, scrambled egg whites and iced tea sweetened with Stevia.


I have been craving those fried green beans that you can get at TGIFriday's that are absolutely delicious, and, well, to be perfectly honest, not all that healthy for you. So I took it upon myself to attempt to recreate these things using only ingredients I could have. This is the result...





It took me an hour to prepare and cook these.


They were awful. I think I can modify my recipe in the future and they will be good but I may just decide to follow the fried recipe (using canola oil) a great once-in-a-while so that I can have quality over frequency.

Please don't ask me for this recipe. You will not like it.





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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Strays!

Haven't we all had a stray dog in our yard? Us too!
Guess who visited us the other day....

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We had a stray pig!!


Blessings on your day,

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 6


This week we read through Joshua chapter 6. Now here's some fun. So, up until this point, the Israelites have been working pretty hard to gain ground in life. Fighting or struggling through every forward motion. Well, except at mealtime. Now, they have crossed the Jordan River and are ready to take the city of Jericho and all that is in it. This is a mighty city with mighty warriors in it and it is shut up tight like a bank vault. How on earth are they going to even get through the fortifications, let alone taking over the city itself with mighty warriors protecting it.

"No worries Joshua ~ just walk around the city once a day for a week, blowing horns. Then on the last day, go around 7 times, blow horns and yell. The city is yours. done."


Um.

What?

I imagine the people of Jericho, although they have heard about God and the blessings He has bestowed upon Israel, are watching from atop the wall on the first day, turning to each other in disbelief, "This is what we've been afraid of? Have they had too much wine?" "Seriously? They're making a parade and that's how they're going to defeat us?" I also imagine that at least some of the Israelites felt silly presenting this 'attack' and must have wondered if God wasn't just trying to humble them or even have a laugh at their expense.

What I find really really cool is that they obeyed anyway. At least there is no mention in chapter six of naysayers or ill-behavers.

Our focus this week is that God is omniscient. He's a know-it-all. No, not like S4J is a know-it-all, or your teenage son is a know-it-all. He is THE Know-it-all. He really does, know.it.all.

(m-nshnt)
having infinite knowledge or understanding

God knows, understands infinitely. So when He is prodding you, or even giving you very clear, step-by-step directions you can be assured that He already knows everything that will follow. He already knows how my seemingly strange and useless actions will affect the circumstances and people I am surrounded by at any given time. So that's the big stuff - God knows how to win wars, take down walls, stop rivers.

And He knows the small stuff. Be still my heart. He knows every grain of sand on the shore. He knows every star in the sky. He knows every time my heart has been broken. He knows my secretest secret dreams. He knows my strengths and weaknesses (He made me!) and how to use them to His glory.

Who do you want in charge of your life? Someone who read, "Being in Charge for Dummies" or someone who knows every word of every book ever written? I'll take door number two.

Uh oh, here comes application. If God, the greatest kindle of all times, is in charge of me, then I have to submit to His leading. When He asks me to do something outrageous or completely ridiculous in my mind, I can and should obey in full confidence knowing that He's 'got this'. The best part of applying this truth is the comfort I can take in knowing that, along with the big stuff, He knows the little stuff too.
P = Putting it out there

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done for God's glory? Washed the dishes. Yes, I think washing the dishes is ridiculous. But, to glorify my Father in heaven, I will do it.


Have you ever NOT done something you knew God wanted you to do? Yes. God wanted me to apologize and ask forgiveness of someone who had tortured me for nearly my entire adult life. He wanted ME to apologize. ME to ask forgiveness. Um. No.

What was the result?

For a couple of months I refused. I stopped taking communion, I nearly quit music ministry. I knew I was wrong, I knew I was being a hypocrite, and I knew that I could not serve in that condition. But I was willing to live the consequences rather than be the one to say, "I'm sorry." What a mess. I 'knew' doing so would not change any behavior on the other end and felt I was justified in the things that God was asking me to confess and repent of. What a mess. Did I say that already? Then God said this to me, "I suffered a horrible, excruciating, death on the cross for you and you cannot say two simple words to someone I love?" Um. Yes.
So I did.
It went down pretty much like I had expected but the thing I have to remember is that I do not see everything. I do not hear everything and I do not know everything. God knows how He is working in this person's life and how He used me in it and I certainly hope it brought Him glory that one who professes to know and love Him, put down her pride and humbled herself before someone who does not.

W=Worship









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Friday, February 11, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - Wk 5



Focus: God is holy


P = Putting it out there


  • ·Have you ever met someone that you could tell was a Christian by first impression?
This has been a tough question for me to answer.

I can't say that there has never been anyone who I could tell by first impression, was a Christian, but I can tell you that I can't think of one. Been trying all week. Let's be honest, if you take away settings that you meet people in, such as church, or at Bible study, or prayer shawl knitting ministry; if you take away outward physical markers such as jewelry, bumper stickers, long skirts, long hair, white collars, etc.; if you take away activities such as handing out tracts, preaching in the town square or huge crusades, what first impression indicators are you left with? A smile? A certain 'light' in the eyes? A soft but sure posture? The fact that they didn't curse in the first 3 sentences they spoke in your presence?

I've met people who I thought were Christians and found out I was wrong. I've met people who I thought weren't Christians and found out I was wrong.

Just don't remember meeting someone without any of the outer physical indicators that I knew was a Christian by first impression. Which brings me to the next part of that question.

  • Do you think you are easily recognizable as a Christian? Why or why not?
I suppose, you could easily assume I am a Christian when you see me at church. You could assume from the cross hanging from my neck that I am a Christian. You could assume because you only ever hear Christian music playing in my car that I am a Christian. As far as by first impression, I don't know what people would say about me in this area.

Except for this one lady.

She came through my line at work and after a bit of conversating about I don't even remember what, she said to me, "I can tell you're a Sister." I thought she meant that she could tell that I have a sister! Then she clarified, "I can tell that you are a Sister in the Lord. You just have this way about you." I told her that indeed I was, I thanked her for her kind words and told her that I hoped I would see her again.

Lord, please help me to always have that way about me.

  • ·Modern Christianity tends to value ‘blending in’ more than standing out– agree or disagree? Why or why not?
This one is also a toughy for me. I suppose it depends on your surroundings and what you view as "blending in" and "standing out". And how do you measure "blending in" or "standing out" against being set apart, holy, salt and light? I can stand on a box and yell to all who will hear that Jesus loves them. People have been reached this way. I can quietly listen to someone talk about their deceased love-one with earnest interest and care. People have been reached this way too. I say, in answer to this question, God has gifted us all differently, given us different temperaments, different 'hot buttons' and aside from direct directions, like the ten commandments, has set us to reach the lost in different ways. We cannot ever discount or sideline Scripture that doesn't fit into our idea of how things should be, but if we were all flies, there would be no bees to make the honey to catch us.

We can reach the lost. Some will do it by blending in. Some will do it by standing out.




W = Worship
The first two songs are about personal holiness, being set apart for God. The second 2 are songs of worship to a most holy God.
















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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Results Are In

It is with a tinge of let-down that I announce that Sing 4 Joy did not place in the Department of the Army level of the 2010 Digital Photography Contest. *sigh*
Can't wait 'til they open the 2011 contest!

On a less let-downy kind of note, Sing 4 Joy is getting branded! Pretty soon I will have my very own custom logo. Yahoo!


Thank you all for your encouragement and well-wishes!


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aloha With A Kiss

Did you even know that Hershey's makes Kisses with macadamia nuts in them??





I selflessly bit into one to prove it to you...





and look at the little banner!





Have I mentioned that I am going to Hawaii?

Aloha my friends,
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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 4


This week we are reading out of Joshua Chapter 4; but before I stop at camp, I was so excited to read Amber's encouraging comments today about making it to week 4. I know that I have felt pressed against and pulled away from my time in God's Word while doing this study, so it was especially excellent to have that acknowledged and addressed by our head backpacker! Remember - we wrestle not against flesh and blood....take a few moments, get your groove on and remember we serve a mighty God, a powerful and holy God.....




Week 4's Focus - God is Unchanging

So, the Israelites have crossed over the Jordan and God tells them to erect a stone memorial so that this event can be remembered (paraphrase strictly mine) "that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever."(Joshua 4:24)

Amber says this in our text, "Sometimes I lose track of my experiences with God's unchanging character and start to do a 'Peter in the middle of the sea who forgot to look at Jesus and started sinking' style panic attack. But when I remember that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow I can weather storms much better." Then she lays it out there....
"I'm looking forward to hearing how you intentionally remember what God has done in your life and how you use that to teach your children or the other people in your life when we reach CAMP."

...intentionally remember....gulp.

It is now Thursday, and I have been unable to post anything, save for 2 worship songs. I have struggled all week with answering this week's questions because I continually draw a blank.

  • How do you keep your memories of the Goodness of God alive?
  • Do you feel comfortable sharing the things God has done in/through/for/to you with your children? Your friends? Your family? Your coworkers? Why or Why not?
I have been picturing all week the lack of stone memorial in my front yard. The lack of 'Jesusfish' sticker on my car. The lack of Billy Graham style crusades I have led.

And I was all prepared up until just a few minutes ago (after adding a couple more worship videos) to come humbly before you all and admit that I cannot think of one.single.way in which I keep my memories of God's goodness alive, of how I share these memories with my children or those around me and then it hit me.

HELLO WORSHIP!

I SING 4 JOY! *jumps up and down and giggles and claps* I sing all.the.time of God's goodness, His faithfulness, kindness, love, patience, power, greatness. I sing to my children. I sing to my family. I sing to my friends. I sing to my coworkers. I share, with you, the bloggy world, how I am moved by God to repentance, good behavior, forgiveness, loving others, etc, through the music that I share with you.

And so-----without further ado----

W = Worship













Blessings on your day,

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Seasons

I remember when she fit on my lap.....






Today she walked through the door to her future...




Our daughter has committed the next 6 years of her life to service to this great nation. Aim high and Godspeed!



Blessings on your day my friends,

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 3



Here we are in week 3. I had a little more steam this week. Conviction will ^hopefully^ do that for you. I say "conviction" not "guilt".

Focus: God is our leader

M
= More to read
Follow God
Week 3 ~ here we are at the banks of the Jordan river "at the time of harvest, when the Jordan overflows all its banks" (Joshua 3:15). God says, ' okay guys, its time to get this done. See that overflowing river? The Levites are going to carry the Ark into that river and stand in it while you all cross to the other side. Get clean. GO!' (paraphrase strictly mine). I'm a visual sort of girl so I wanted to SEE what I am reading about to have an idea of how big their following-faith would have to be. I found this picture of the Jordan River, although I don't think it is yet overflowing its banks.

'Sooo, You want us to step in and then stop? In that river there? And be still? While holding the Ark?' I don't know about any of you, but I have had a couple of unpleasant experiences with being swept away or pulled under by water that otherwise seemed fairly benign and I have a little idea of what it can do. I can already tell you that I would have a really hard time with this instruction. I can feel the fear taking over and causing me to list all the reasons why this is a bad idea.

fol·low
v. fol·lowed, fol·low·ing, fol·lows
To come or go after; proceed behind
To go in the direction of; be guided by
To accept the guidance, command, or leadership of

Aha. This is not God telling the Israelites to go into the Jordan River. This is God telling the Israelites to proceed behind Him, to be guided by Him, to accept the leadership of Him.

Also, let me make this clear ~ this is not ME telling the Israelites to follow ME into the Jordan River. That would be stupid. Plus, I really would be frozen at the banks. We have already established that the God who is leading the Israelites is a God who keeps His promises and is worthy of our trust. The Israelites already know that God can stop a mighty water from flowing because He has already proven it. I suppose I could make the argument that the circumstances of the Israelites' faith in the time of Joshua, and the circumstances of my faith are very different. I do not have God, through a cloud, leading me and I do not have manna showing up daily for me to pick up and eat and I did not SEE the Red Sea parted, blah blah blah. I HAVE however chosen to believe in God and, through His Son Jesus Christ, receive forgiveness of my sins and live in eternal relationship with Him. I believe that God is who He says He is and does and has done what He says He does and has done. Therefore, my faith should be no less equal than that of the Israelites. If God led them, He will lead and is leading me. Now where's that river??

P = Putting it out there

1. Are there some areas in your life in which you allow God to lead more than others?
  • Most definitely. To be perfectly and, well, embarrassingly honest, I do not ask God to lead in most areas of my life. Sure, the big stuff I go to Him about. And I do mean, BIG. We're talking crisis level. The rest of the time(and the reason I am in this study) I just.handle.it.myself. ~working on that~
2. Tell of a time you followed God's leading into an unfamiliar territory.
  • Several years ago I was asked to pray about taking on the role of Worship Leader for our military women's Bible study. So, I laughed. Then I agreed to pray (although, I really felt that the answer would be a resounding "You are not qualified!"). You know what? I prayed and God said, "You are who I want to be there at this time." (notice the period? end of sentence?) You know what else? I WASN'T qualified. I couldn't even read music OR play an instrument. How does one LEAD worship in these circumstances? You don't. You step aside and let God lead. I heard once that God does not call the equipped but that He equips those whom He calls.
  • Ps ~ where my journal pages started for week 3, the scripture quote is this, "For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:26
  • Thank You God.


Worship =

By His hand He leadeth me. Ahhh.





Where You go, I'll go. Where You stay, I'll stay...




Blessings on your day,
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 2



Well. Here we are in week 2 of our hike through the Old Testament book of Joshua. Can I be real here for a second? Is anyone else already losing steam? I hate this unruly pattern I have of being so, so excited about a Bible study and then, gradually finding more and more things to occupy my time.

So ~ isn't it interesting that this week's focus is about how God is worthy. Worthy of what? Well, specifically in the lesson this week, worthy of my efforts to be a good witness to who He is. And you know what else He is worthy of? He is worthy of my undivided attention. Do you think that God was distracted by facebook when He was creating me? Of course not. Did He take the time every.single.day to feed the Israelites when they were wandering in the wilderness before we picked up their story in Joshua? Yes He did. Did He, knowing full well every sin I would ever do against Him, create a way from the beginning of time for me to be forgiven of those sins that I might be in full relationship with Him. In awe, I say to you, yes He did.

And where does 'your witness' come from? Is it in your countenance (your facial expressions)?. Is it in your tone of voice? Is it in your willingness/unwillingness to forgive others? Is it in your reactions to circumstances? Is it in the way you treat people? Is it in the time/effort you devote to getting to know your God better?

Yes.

Really poking at my heart tonight. What does it say about my God to the outside world that I am caught up on all my friend's statuses on facebook and I have the reigning score on Zumablitz AND Bejeweled Blitz, but I cannot even list all of the books of the Bible? Not because I have tried and lack the memory skills mind you, but because I have barely tried and then moved on to other things. Don't get me wrong, this is, by no means, a post about the evils of facebook, blogging, tv or whatever else. Nor is this me shaking my finger at you because, you also cannot list the 66 books of the Bible because you have the reigning score at a game I have not played against you :). (Or maybe you can) But I do have to ask the very real question of what of ME is my God worthy of? Answer = everything. Next question = Would people, through knowing me, believe that my God is worthy, like Rahab did, of turning from everything they have grown up doing and believing and rest their very survival in Him? I can't answer that question. But I can say this...I wish that is true.

Wishing is not enough.

Is our witness important? Fo shizzle. Are we always going to get it right? Of course not ~ there is no one perfect. Not one.
But being a sinner is not an excuse. We still have to try.

Geez. Did I even address this week's questions?

Worship =
In addition to You Are My God, which I posted at the beginning of the week, take some time to ponder this song...







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Friday, January 14, 2011

You Are My God

Got the material for Backpacking Through Joshua week 2 and the focus for this week is "God is worthy"

Get your praise on backpackers! (And any one else who wants to praise too!)



video


Blessings on your day,
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua (C)




(P.S. ~ I started writing this post last week.) Today is an exciting day. A good friend of mine heard the heartbeat of her little bundle today. She is an amazing woman and you would be blessed to be friends with her. Some of you are. :) You can get to know her here, where she is Standing On Hope.

Also, today I embark on a Backpacking adventure with a huge group of women. So huge, in fact, that we had to be divided into smaller groups. I am in the Red Group. Go Big Red!!




Some of these women I have never met, which is okay because our leader, (I would say fearless, but I won't because she is not, but she IS faithful) is my BFF, and more importantly our mighty and patient and faithful God is at the helm.


You might not know this about me, but I like tools. And sometimes, accessories. Here are my supplies for Joshua...



There are four components to Backpacking Through Joshua...

C = Commentary (This is where the author speaks a bit about the material we will cover that week)
A = Asking God (This is where we ask God ~ in our quiet/prayer time ~ specific questions about where we are and how we can improve)
M = More To read (Further study)
P = Putting It Out There (Answering group questions with the group)



M = More To Read

I decided to do a word study on Faithful, as it pertains to the faithfulness God has shown, not the faithfulness I/people have shown.
I didn't get very far in the breakdown of the word from the Hebrew, etc etc but as I was researching this, I heard a sermon referring to Joshua 1:8 - specifically where God talks about meditating on the Word, ~let it never leave your lips~ and it struck me that right here, in the very first chapter of our study, God is repeating a command that so many of us in the study have admitted to failing at; being in the Word, meditating, studying, sharing. To me that shouted of God's faithfulness when He says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" and personal knowledge of me (and all of His children). It's as though He said, "Yes, you do struggle with this, and yes I know it. And right here, in the study that I have brought you to, we will address it." God even felt it necessary to remind Joshua to keep His Word in his mouth and mutter it (meditate) day and night. Joshua had already proven himself faithful to God's commands and God STILL reminded even him. (That makes me feel like less of a dolt and, somehow, more motivated to do better.)

P = Putting it out there

1. What made you decide to join this adventure? There are lots of factors I could list ~
  • I know the author,
  • I am not currently in a group study,
  • I need to do more studying in the Old Testament,
  • Lots of my friends are doing it,
and they would all be true. However, the bottom line is that the Holy Spirit has been seeking me on the issue of making decisions based on my own knowledge, out of my own understanding and reasoning, rather than my knowledge of God and His character and commands. Amber addressed this issue IN THE INTRODUCTION of this study. So there you go. God reading my mail again. What do you hope will come from the study? Less of me. More of God.

2. In what ways have you found God to be faithful recently? read here

I have decided that I am going to add one more component to my study each week (without author permission or approval) :) and that will be

W = Worship (I will post for my benefit and yours a song that goes with the week's study)
Today is a song called He's Always Been Faithful by Sara Groves. (Thank you AR for teaching me this song!)






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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Years



Today marks 2 years since the birth of our first grandchild. This year we had the privilege of visiting him and celebrating with him (last weekend). It has been a beautiful two years of healing a relationship that was in tatters before this little guy came along. He is the light of our lives. A bright, handsome, sweet and funny boy who loves his Mommy and Daddy and just about everyone else he comes in contact with.


When I first saw this, I didn't believe I would ever see it in person or hold it for myself. Although I prayed and prayed that it would be so. I was already in love with him. He came into the world about 2 weeks later.




And his hand was even more beautiful...

Then, somewhere in there, God manifested the miracle of healing in our relationship with our daughter and then I got to see this hand in person. He was almost a year old.


Then he came to see his Auntie graduate and we got to take him on his first trip to the zoo. Of course, he had to try his hand at driving the safari jeep.




This is his hand today; which I got to watch use a fork and eat his birthday cake with. His Mother and Father are both so gracious to allow us to be a part of his life and theirs. I love this boy. And his Mama.


Today marks two years since the birth of our very first grandchild.




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