Monday, February 27, 2012

God's Grace

A few months back a friend told me about this God's Grace blog.  I signed up to receive their emails each day and I have to tell you I have been blessed by them.  This was from yesterday's email.    

When you are the neediest, He is the most sufficient
When you are completely helpless, He is the most helpful
When you feel totally dependent, He is absolutely dependable
When you are the weakest, He is the most able 
When you are the most alone, He is intimately present
When you feel the most useless, He is preparing you 
When it is darkest, He is the only Light you need
When you feel the least secure, He is your rock and fortress
When you are the most humble, He is most gracious
When you say that you cannot, remember that He can

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 19

A Heart That Shows It Cares
1 Corinthians 15:58 ~ Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Learn to Reach Out
Again and again Jesus tells us to give-to give to everyone (Luke 6:30); to give hoping for nothing in return (verse 35); to give in the generous way God, who is kind to the unthankful and evil, gives (verse 35); and to care for others by giving (verse 38).

  • Your presence and sometimes a single touch are worth a thousand words
    • When it comes to reaching out, remember this principle of ministry: 
      • Your very presence is a source of comfort.
      • Your touch an bring comfort far greater than words.
  • Be a giver
    • we can give a smile, greeting, warm question, touch, hug, and name (always use the person's name!)
  • Be bold
    • be bold and give to the people God places in your path.  If, however, you find yourself avoiding a certain person, ask God to show you why.  
    • Sin in our hearts-hearts meant to overflow with care for others-keeps us from being confident in our relationships.  So find out what is going on-or not going on- in your heart that's hindering your ministry.
  • Become a generous soul
    • Don't just give, but give liberally, cheerfully, bountifully, hilariously, extra, above and beyond (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
    • Who can I give to today?
    • Who, Lord, is in need?
    • How can I bless others with what You have blessed me with?
  • Determine to withhold nothing
    • Proverbs 3:27 exhorts us, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so."  
    • What are some of the good things "in the power of your hand"?
      • praise
      • encouragement
      • thanks
      • a greeting
      • kindness
      • good deeds
      • a note of appreciation
Learn to Look Out
  • Develop a "generous eye"
    • People all around us need a tender word--or more.
    • Do you see why you and I must be developing and overcoming selfish tendencies?  That way we can give to others.
  • Be direct
    • Whenever you see a person in need, be direct.  Walk straight up to the wounded sheep and see what she needs and what you can do.
    • Don't hope someone else comes along.  Don't run looking for the pastor.
    • God has allowed you to find this person in need.  Now allow your heart to overflow with care.
Go to Give

Missionary and martyr Jim Elliot once said, "Wherever you are, be all there.  live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."
  • Be all there
    • While I'm at Bible study, I don't want to be thinking about what I'm going to fix for dinner that night.  
    • During my pastor's message, I don't want to be planning my week. 
    • I don't want to be concerned about what happened before I got there or what will happen after the event.
    • I want to be all there.
  • Live to the hilt!
    • Not only do I want to be all there, but I want to also live each moment to the hilt.
    • As long as you're there, as long as you've given an evening or a morning to an event or Bible study or worship service, give totally.
    • Minister to as many people as you can in as many ways as you can.
  • Divide and conquer
    • Agree with your closest girlfriends, mother, or daughter not to sit together, walk together, share coffee time together, or visit.
    • Remember, you came to give!
    • You'll find yourself doing a lot of receiving--you'll find yourself quite blessed--as you let God use you in this way!
Develop Your Prayer Life
  • A woman after God's own heart is a woman who prays.
  • Her heart naturally overflows in prayer as well as care.
  • Since praying for people is a powerful way to care for them, you and I should want to join with God in a ministry of prayer, a ministry that makes a huge difference in people's lives.
  • Prayer isn't easy!
  • It's definitely a discipline, but it's also a ministry that flows from a full heart.
  • Three decisions can help you place yourself before God so He can fill your heart with concern for others.
    • Determine a time
    • Determine a place
    • Determine a plan
    • These practical steps enable us to fulfill God's desire that we be "praying always...with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Leave It on the Desk

I read this on Sara's blog and i had to repost it... it's that good!
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There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States. Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously. This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class.

One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. 

"How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know.... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve. "Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it."

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts. No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?" Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second! aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?" Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten pushups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Dr. Christianson said, "Look!, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten... Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now there were 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut"

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?" Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut." 

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?"

Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?" Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.

Then Dr Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry. "Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone, I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not. When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"

As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he! fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father, 'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten." Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding "Not all sermons are preached in words." Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not only His Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

P365~ Week 7

What a difference a week can make!  Monday I was still sick but at that point I was in the process of getting better.  I must say Thank You to all of you who prayed for me to get better.

Tuesday ~ Getting ready for my cruise....all my paperwork is printed out and ready to go.  It'll be here before I know it!

Wednesday ~ I planned a monthly prayer time for the church ladies.  Most of them work and have children they are schooling but these two sweet ladies were able to make it and I am so thankful!  We had a fabulous time talking, sharing prayer requests, praying, stamping and eating.  They stayed 4 hours and it was such a blessing to me.  

Miss Wylma
Miss Betty
Thursday ~ Miss Betty brought Kathy's favorite pie for us to enjoy...and enjoy we did!  
She is an awesome pie maker!

Friday ~ For the long weekend Paul, Kathy and I went on a little getaway.  We drove to Ontario California...stayed at my favorite hotel - Hyatt Place... and we enjoyed some delicious Chick-Fil-A!
Saturday ~ Kathy and I spent some time shopping while Paul worked on some homework.  In the afternoon, I hit the fitness center at the hotel.
Sunday ~ We went to the Orange County Zoo.  You actually go into Irvine National Park to get to the zoo.  At the park, we rented this bicycle (I don't remember the official name for it) and we peddled all over the park.  We were so tired when we were done but we had a GREAT time!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 18

A Heart Enriched by Joy in the Lord

Ephesians 3:19 ~ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

What can you do to be filled with all the fullness of God so that He can use you in ministry?
  • Spiritual Growth is Aided by Discipleship
    • we teach other women the "good things" we've been learning, that we mentor or disciple them, that we pass on all that God has taught us (Titus 2:3-4)
    • classes are ours for the taking (Bible studies at church or correspondence Bible classes)
    • books offer another avenue for growth and help you develop skills for ministering to women.
    • counsel from fellow Christians (trusted and godly person) is also a valid form of discipleship.
    • interviewing other Christian women
    • observation is another biblical means of growth.
    • reading plays an important role in spiritual growth.
  • Spiritual Growth is Aided by Goals
    • Goals provide focus
      • It's definitely true that if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.
    • Goals provide an opportunity for specific measurement
      • Setting goals that are specific helps you move forward in the direction you want to go.
      • So when it comes to making goals for yourself, stay away from the vague.
    • Goals provide encouragement
  • Spiritual Growth Depends on Choices
    • Once you've settled on some specific goals, you'll have to continually make the right choices if you are to reach those goals.
      • Choices based on priorities
      • Choices based on goals
  • Spiritual Growth Requires Time
    • God's perspective on time is different from ours, and we may question His use of time.
    • God alone sees us on bended knee in the heart-wrenching work of prayer, work He uses to prepare us for ministry.
    • Success comes when preparation meets opportunity.
    • God is responsible for presenting the opportunities--in His time, place, and manner--but we are responsible for cooperating with His efforts to prepare us.
    • That preparation happens when we spend time alone with our Lord.
    • Treat yourself to a privater retreat and wait on the Lord.
    • Let God prepare you to mount up with wings like an eagle so that you one day burst on the scene in vital ministry to His people!
  • Spiritual Growth Results in Ministry
    • You cannot give away what you do not possess.
    • Involvement in ministry requires that you be a full vessel
  • Spiritual Growth: Experiencing the Joy of the Lord
    • real joy comes from--time spent alone with the Lord as He enriches you and prepares you for the ministry of helping others.
God has done His part--He has saved you (2 Timothy 1:9), given you eternal life (1 John 5:11), blessed you with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), gifted you for spiritual ministry (1 Corinthians 12:11), and prepared a place for you in heaven (John 14:2).  And now He calls you to do your part--to catch His vision, to set aside time, to make growth in Him a goal, to spend time and energy so that He can prepare you for ministry, and to trust Him to provide you with opportunities to minister to and enrich His people out of the overflow of your own joy-filled and enriched life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pineapple Curry Chicken

I got this recipe idea from a Taste of Home magazine.  I adapted a little and it was voted a "do again" so I'm blogging my version of it.

Pineapple Curry Chicken
1 large can of pineapple chunks, undrained
6 bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (I added them this time but I don't think I will next time)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 can coconut milk
4 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp curry powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp lime juice

Drain pineapple, reserving the juice. Place the chicken, beans, vegetables and pineapple in a 6 quart slow cooker.  In a small bowl, combine coconut milk and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in the sugar, curry powder, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, lemon juice and pineapple juice; pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is tender.  Serve with rice.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

P365 ~ Week 6

What a week this has been.

Sunday ~ The week started off great.  We went to our favorite pizza place Grimaldi's for dinner and we were the only ones there.  I guess they aren't considered a good place to go for the Super Bowl.  As usual, we received great service from our favorite waitress, Holly but we did feel bad for her because we were her only table and it didn't look like she would be getting any others.
 Monday ~ Kathy and I decided to make taco salad for everyone at work (which really means 2 other people)  In the process of making the salad I cut two of my fingers.  How in the world I was able to cut both fingers at the same time I have no idea, but somehow I did.
Monday afternoon, my throat started hurting which was the start of the rest of my horrible week.The rest of the week I have been coughing, blowing my nose, drinking lots of fluids but as I sit here Saturday night I am still feeling horrible.  Every time I cough my chest burns.  My head is so stuffed up it feels like it's going to explode and I am so tired of being sick.  I haven't felt this bad in a LONG time.
Heading over to Sara's blog now and hoping no one else has had a week like this.

TSMSS ~ Heaven Came Down



Heaven Came Down

O what a wonderful, wonderful day - day I will never forget;
After I'd wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend - He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Chorus: 
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God's fam'ly divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary's love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer of grace He did proffer - He saved me, O praise His dear name!

Now I've a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;
I have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime.
And it's because of that wonderful day when at the cross I believed;
Riches eternal and blessings supernal from His precious hand I received.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 17

A Heart Strengthened by Spiritual Growth

Our spiritual growth in Jesus Christ -- growing to be more like Him strengthens our hearts, fill them, and empowers us to open His commands.

Spiritual Growth Begins in Jesus Christ
  • You and I have two options for how we live.  We can live our lives with Jesus Christ or without Him.
  • 1 John 5:11-12 ~ And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
  • Without Jesus Christ there is no life!
  • What did I find in Jesus, my Savior?
    • A new beginning - When you and I come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, we are given a new beginning, a fresh start, forgiveness for the past, wisdom for handling life, and power for doing what's right.
      • 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
    • God's love and acceptance - Whenever I am down, discouraged, doubting, depressed, defeated, or dismayed, I stop and remind myself, "No matter what has happened, no matter what life looks like, no matter what you're feeling, you are accepted in the Beloved - and nothing else matters!"
      • Ephesians 1:6 ~ to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
    • God's power in the Holy Spirit - Can you imagine having the power of God at work in your life?  When Christ is your Savior that's what happens.  God empowers you through His Holy Spirit to do good, to effect change in your life, to make your life fulfilling and meaningful, to help others, and to minister for Christ.
      • Acts 1:8 ~ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
    • God's total sufficiency - No matter what the problem, the hurdle the struggle, the suffering you face, God promises, "My grace is sufficient for you" 2 Corinthians 12:9
Spiritual Growth Involves the Pursuit of Knowledge
  • Jesus is our model for how to live a life that pleases God.  When we look at His life, we see that "Jesus increased in wisdom" Luke 2:52
  • Proverbs 15:14 ~ The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.
  • What are you and I feeding our minds?  Are we heeding this biblical warning about the danger of "garbage in, garbage out"?
  • May we purposefully seek knowledge and guard against spending precious time on things that have no value.
  • Create five fat files
    • Aim at expertise - select five areas you'd like to become an expert in and label a file for each of them.  A word of caution: choose areas from the spiritual realm.  Remember the proverb?  You don't want to feed on pursuits that have no value.  Instead choose topics of eternal value.
    • Fill the files - start putting information into your files.  They'll get fat as you follow the exhortation to "read everything on [your] subject...articles, books, specialized magazines, and news clippings...attend seminars...teach on the subject(s)...spend time with those who are the best in these areas, picking their brains...seek and sharpen your expertise."
      • Most importantly, read your Bible to see firsthand what God says about your areas of interest.  
    • Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.
    • 2 Timothy 1:9 ~ He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time
    • "Nothing going in equals nothing going out!"
Spiritual Growth Includes Stewardship of Your Body
  • 1 Corinthians 9:27 ~ But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
  • The goal in the physical realm is discipline, the self-control that is a gift of God's grace (Galations 5:23)
  • His spirit in us gives us strength to resist temptation, to control our appetite rather than allowing it to control us, and to train our body into obedience.
Spiritual Growth Means Becoming Like Jesus
Luke 2:52 ~ And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
  • Increase in knowledge
    • Colossians 1:10 ~ so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
    • 2 Peter 3:18 ~ But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
    • Philippians 1:9 ~ And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight
    • James 1:22 ~ Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
  • Have a plan
    • When it comes to increasing your knowledge of God, you have to do a certain thing (sit down) in a certain place (your place) with certain items (pen, paper, reading schedule, study guide, whatever you need) at a specific time (your time).
    • When you do, you'll enjoy a feast from God and His Word!
  • So something
    • Develop a plan, remembering that something is better than nothing.
Spiritual Growth Blesses Others
Three ways to improve my relationships with people.
  • Mind your mind
    • Your actions will reveal your attitude toward people.
    • Proverbs 23:7 ~ For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
    • Thoughts that are critical, negative, harmful, and jealous not only go against God's Word (Philippians 4:8), but they spawn actions that are critical, negative, harmful, and jealous.
    • Train yourself to think loving, positive, sweet thoughts when it comes to other people.
  • Mind your mouth
    • Proverbs 31:26 ~She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
    • If her thoughts weren't wise or kind, her mouth was shut!
  • Mind your manners
    • Romans 12:10 ~ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
    • Philippians 2:4-5 ~ Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus
    • We are to become other-oriented.
    • 1 Corinthians 13:5 ~ It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
    • Are you a "There you are" person, looking around for how you can encourage someone with God's love?
Am I purposefully filling my mind with knowledge from God's Word, knowledge I can give away to others?

Does my body belong to God, to be groomed, card for, and disciplined for maximum usefulness and His glory?

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's Time...

...to share my surprise I posted about two weeks ago.

I am overwhelmed and humbled by how good God is to me.

Three weeks ago Kathy and I walked into Aaron Lelah jewelry store to see about having a custom ring made for me from my wedding ring, engagement ring and Mike's wedding ring.

I had never had custom jewelry made before so I didn't know what to expect and I definitely didn't know how much it would cost.

I had an idea of what I wanted the ring to look like but I wasn't sure if I would be able to describe it well enough.  I was also concerned that I wouldn't be able to afford a nice looking ring.

I had seen on their website that they buy gold so Kathy and I had gone through all our jewelry at home and grabbed any broken pieces we had.

When we arrived at the jewelry store, the owner was talking to a customer, so a nice lady came and talked with us.

I pulled out my rings and I explained to her that I wanted to take the three rings and use them to make one ring that I could use on my right hand.

I wanted to have my heart diamond set a little differently than it was before because I didn't want it to look like an engagement ring.

I also wanted to add amethyst stones on either side of the ring since our wedding was in purple and purple is my favorite color.

We were shown some rings, all of them beautiful in their own way. And we narrowed it down to two rings that basically combined together would give me what I wanted.

Once the owner was available she introduced us and explained what I was looking to do.  At once he started drawing a ring on a piece of paper.

It was amazing, it looked so beautiful and it was perfectly what I had imagined.

Our broken gold pieces that we brought to sell were weighed.  The total for the gold was given to us and it was just shy of what I would need to make the custom ring.

Mr. Lelah said he would make it an even swap.  I was so excited.  Not just that he would be willing to count it even when really according to his estimate I would have owed him more money, but I was overjoyed by how God worked it all out.

When we picked up the ring Saturday I couldn't wait to see how it turned out.  And let me just tell you...

I LOVE IT!  

The ring is perfect and I am so happy to have a ring to wear all the time on my right hand.  A symbol of the 8 blessed years of marriage to Mike.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

P365 ~ Week 5

It amazes me that we are in February already.  Here's a summary of my Week 5.

Sunday ~ this month I helped out in the children's Sunday school class.  This is my last Sunday for a little while.
Monday ~ This is a one of a kind card I made to include in a pack of Thinking of You cards that I sold in my Etsy store.
 Tuesday ~ I spent the day with my dear friend Cammy.  We had such a fabulous time talking that I totally forgot to take a picture.

Wednesday ~ I spent the morning dusting a friends house.  Fuzz kept his distance but he watched me the entire time.
 Thursday ~ After cleaning our house I decided to iron Paul's shirts.  I don't normally iron because he has so many clothes in his closet that it doesn't make any sense to iron and then stuff them in the closet but he does like an ironed shirt so I took out all his shirts from the closet and started ironing.  I ironed and hung up a reasonable amount so the shirts aren't overcrowded.  All the extra shirts I stuffed in his other closet which will hold all the non ironed shirts.  I think this system will work much better than Kathy ironing every morning.
 Friday ~ Back to work for me.  Second day of work and I needed to focus on the back desk.
Before
It feels so good to accomplish so much!
After
 Saturday ~ We had to go pick up the car from the dealership this morning so we decided to stop and get breakfast first.  There is this one plaza that we like to go to.  When we get there, we split up.  Paul goes to the french bakery and gets some delicious pastries.  Kathy goes to Einsteins and gets bagels.  And I go to Starbucks and get our coffees.  We all meet at Einsteins and enjoy our breakfast.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 16

A Heart That Weaves a Tapestry of Beauty


Titus 2:3-5 ~ Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
  • To be a homemaker means to be a stayer-at-home, to be domestically inclined, a good housekeeper, and a keeper at home....simply put - be a "home lover"
  • Weaving a tapestry of beauty in our homes also calls for action.
  • The project called "home" takes effort and time each day.  The effort and the activity--the time, the work, the care, and the mental and physical muscle--combine to make a home beautiful.  Such beauty comes when I am active at home, busy responding to the call and challenge and joy of weaving a tapestry there.
How?
  • Understand the beauty and blessings of God's will for you--God is teaching us His will when He calls us to be homemakers.
  • Understand that homemaking can be learned
  • Be home more often
    • The wise woman realizes the value of being home.  But the foolish woman is always looking "out there" (in the mall, in the outlet stores, in a friend's home, etc.) for fulfillment, excitement, activity, and meaning.
  • Organize your outings

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Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for reminding me that I am to be a stayer-at-home, a home lover.  I do enjoy staying home but sometimes I get side tracked of what I should be focusing on.  Lord give me wisdom to know what I need to keep, what I need to give away and what I need to throw away that I may become better organized through out the entire house.
In Jesus Name,
Amen