August 3, 2015

Rain, rain, go away...

So, this is day #20 of rain for us. Not the refreshing rain we usually get during the summer months in FL, but rain that lasts for hours on end! Every.Single.Day!
We are all about to float away!

Hubby and I took Andrew out to dinner with us on Friday to hear all about his summer! : ) Sounds like it was an awesome experience.

Sunday night he was asked to play electric guitar in church for the first time ever. (his favorite!) Usually, he plays the bass.
I love watching him do what he loves
for the One he loves! : )

Nathan comes home tonight and I can't wait! If I thought Andrew was gone too long, Nathan hasn't been home in 7 months! Hubby still had cancer when he was here last and Zac wasn't even in engaged! A lot has happened in those months!
Can't wait to see Nathan's sweet face!

Hoping all this rain doesn't delay his flight! And we may have to find an alternate route to the airport because this morning the highway had some flooding!


July 31, 2015

Five weeks was too long

Andrew's flight landed at 6:00 AM this morning! YAY!!!!
(insert happy mom dance here)

Joy and I made fun signs to hold up when he got off the plane and I planned to bring donuts along. But guess? Apparently, Krispy Kreme doesn't open until 6:00 AM and I was there at 5:00 AM!!! How lame is that?! ; )

the donut-less siblings ; )
I'm positively sure this was the first time I've ever left my house at 4:45 AM!

It might be a wee bit embarrassing to be one of our kids getting off a plane or waiting for one. ; )
Zac felt the need to pretend he didn't know us, once the sign holding began. LOL

But he told Andrew that getting up at 5:00 AM on his DAY OFF to be there was better than any sign. Agreed! : )

On mornings like this it is hard to be the only non-coffee drinker! -Everyone was sooo with it, except for me.

At baggage claim my kids informed me that my shirt was on inside out!
-Sooooo, maybe I need to rethink the lack of coffee consumption in my life! ; )

Soooooo glad to have my baby back!

And on Monday, Nathan is flying home and we get to do this all over again!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!


July 29, 2015

Wednesdays in the Word

I'm reading in first Samuel which is always fun because I love reading about Hannah and how she prayed for a son.
Then I always smile at the part where her husbands says "Aren't I better to you than 10 sons!?" LOL
And who doesn't love how sweet little Samuel thought that Eli was calling him during the night but it was really God?

But what struck me today was how the enemies of Israel seemed to have MORE honor and respect for God than His people did!
Israel was shocked that they lost a battle with the Philistines, so they decided to treat the presence of God like a good luck charm of sorts and brought the ark of the covenant into battle with them. They said "that when it comes among us, it may save us from the hand of our enemies." They completely forgot WHO the ark represented.
It amazed me that even though God's people had forgotten, the Philistines had not! When they saw the ark of the covenant, they cried out
"God has come into the camp! Woe to us!" Now, that is respect!
They brought up the fact that mighty wonders were done by God in Egypt when He sent the plagues and because of that they thought they were toast for sure. ; )
Maybe that honor is part of the reason that God gave them the victory that day instead!

But it really is no wonder that the people had lost their focus on God because they were under some pretty corrupt leadership.
-Hebrews 4:14 refers to Jesus as our Great High Priest. So, glad that He is the One who intercedes for us now! But back then the descendants of Aaron were the priests. Eli was the high priest at this time and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas served under him in the tabernacle.
1 Sam. 2:12 says "Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord." ('know' meaning to fear or obey)

For one thing, and I'd say this is a big one, they "lay with women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle!" Ugh! And chapter 4 tells us that Phinehas was a married man!

Secondly, they were also guilty of letting their greed cause them to rob God and the people during their practices of worship which caused everyone to hate coming to the house of God. (I think that will preach)

The Bible geek in me had to study ALL about the offerings so I could understand this. I'll try to make it brief. The people came to the tabernacle with what were most likely, peace offerings. These were optional offerings being made as 'a vow, a confession or an offering of gratitude.' How beautiful is that?! A portion of these offerings were to go to God, the priests and the worshiper!
The fat was the Lord's portion and was burned up (Lev 3:16) for a sweet smelling aroma to Him. In Lev. 7:31 I learned that "the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons (priests) and also the right thigh you shall give the priest."

The Bible is very specific about how things went down when Eli's sons were in charge of the sacrifices. They took a "three pronged fleshhook" and while the meat was boiling "they thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up." No breast or just a thigh for these guys!
It also hit me that the sizes of the animals they could sacrifice varied, so the containers they boiled them in, we see, varied. But that fleshhook didn't vary in size. Imagine how much meat you pull up when you 'thrust' that sucker in a 'kettle'? LOL Probably ALL the meat!
So, the worshiper was being robbed while making their sweet 'vow or confession or offering of gratitude.' How sad.
They also didn't have a problem robbing God. 1 Sam. 2:15 says that they stuck that fleshhook in "before they burned the fat." (which was God's portion) And if the people complained about that, then the servants of the priest would say 'we will take it by force.' v.16 (not very reverent priests)

Here's a sad verse;
"Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord."
Their corruption made people despise going to worship the Lord.

Was Eli an oblivious old man who was busy raising Samuel? No.
"Now Eli was very old and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel..." 1 Sam. 2:22
And Eli said to his sons "Why do you do such things? For I hear of all your evil dealing from all the people."
Eli, obviously worried for their souls, said:
"If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?"
Awesome question! Let's take moment to thank God for Jesus who solved that dilemma for us! Amen?
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Tim.2:5 : )

Next it says "Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father."

Personally, I always thought that Eli was ONLY guilty of bad parenting, but we are about to see that that wasn't the case.

If all of Israel hated to come and worship and were complaining about these two priests why would a high priest put up with these two?
The first reason, was because they were related!!! (do we turn a blind eye on what the ones we love are really doing?)

God asked Eli two things.
 "Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place,
and honor your sons more than Me to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people."
Wait! What?
I always got my soul-searching on for ways in which I may be 'honoring my kids more than God' (ouch!) and never really finished that verse before. What a revelation!
It basically said that Eli knowingly made himself fat with the best of the offerings of the people.
So, he might have slapped their hand for it but was really all for it.
And this would explain why his sons "did not heed the voice of their father." Kids know! Telling them to "do as I say and not as I do" never works.

I know this sounds silly but it made me think he had a weakness for dark meat! LOL
As we read, the priests were suppose to be given was the breasts and a right thigh! But these priests' came up with a new 'custom' one differing from God's.
And oh, how many of our churchy 'customs' keep people farther from the Father instead of drawing them closer to Him?!

So, these guys were extracting WAY more than their God ordained amount. And that wasn't lost on God. He asked why they were making themselves fat with the best of the offerings! Eli's weight literally ended up being apart of his downfall.
"Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate: and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy." 1 Sam.4:18
He honored his sons and his appetites more than he honored God. As a result of this, the people despised going to worship and lost sight of God causing His tangible presence on earth to be captured and taken by a people who didn't know him but honored Him more and remembered His mighty wonders.

Speaking of food, here's a little food for thought, brought to us by Eli:
How do we let our appetites rule us? Do we honor those appetites more than God and turn people off to worshiping Him? Do we let love for our family members come before honoring God?

This study has reminded me that it is lunchtime! ; )
Have a great week!


July 28, 2015

All the showers

There were showers of all kinds this weekend!
Especially the wet kind and even flooding! -I checked the weather, and there will be thunderstorms at the beach for the next 10 days. Boo hoo!

But those didn't keep people from attending other showers! There was a baby shower for a friend at church, who is having her very own Samuel. A child she has definitely prayed for. Yay, God! Such a fun celebration!

And there was a beautiful bridal shower for Tiffany given by her sweet bridesmaids at this really cute tea lounge. Emphasis on CUTE!

The food was fabulous!

And so many sweet friends and family members came
 and showered her with gifts!

Joy made this for counting down the days! It won't be long now!
Photo credits to Kaylee and Joy!

July 27, 2015

A really bad hair day

So, the other day I dropped Joy off at work, (actually she drove) and as she was getting out of the drivers seat, I was standing by it with the car door open, waiting to get in. Then I noticed that the window was down, so I pushed the button to roll it up
 my hair
 went up with the window!
It isn't even that long!
When I tried to move I was totally stuck!
Then I tried pushing the window button again but I pushed the wrong ones and both back windows came down!
Apparently, I was standing there with my arms out to Joy looking totally helpless which caused her to loose it! She was laughing SO hard her face was turning bright red!

Oh my stars! I think that counts as a really bad hair day!


July 25, 2015

One amazing man

A year ago today, we sat in Room 23 fully expecting to hear the word 'benign.' 
But instead, a grim faced oncologist came in and had to tell us that my hubby had stage 3 esophageal cancer.
My hubby took the news with all the peace and the joy of the Lord that he always exhibits in life! This reaction was probably not what the doctor was expecting. 
Apparently, he thought he must have misunderstood or something because he then repeated the diagnosis!
(trust me, you catch the 'C' word the first time it is mentioned!) 
Then the doctor said emphatically, "This is really serious!" 
(we knew that it was but isn't it wonderful that God is the one with the final say! Hallelujah!) 
The doctor told us our options etc... And then my hubby started ENCOURAGING the doctor! 
That is just who he is! Even in his darkest moment!
He told him how well he was doing his job and how much we appreciated all the useful information that he was sharing with us etc...
He is amazing! 
I'm soooo blessed that I get to do LIFE with him! 


July 22, 2015

Wednesdays in the Word

Oh, the practicality of the book of James! Gotta love it!

Here's the verses that stop me dead in my tracks every time I read them in James:
"But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. For where envy and self-seeking exist,
confusion and every evil thing are there." James 3:16

Have you ever experienced the feeling that confusion is reigning supreme and every evil thing has been let loose to wreck havoc in your home life? I have and it is awful.
And what makes it even worse is knowing you opened up that Pandora's box by being envious and or self-seeking...

I love what Beth Moore says about her "self stuff" as she calls it, in her book: Jesus the One and Only.
 "I ask God to help me address any active 'self stuff' and nail it to the cross. I literally name anything He brings to mind and look it straight in the face..." And she lists these examples:
"self exaltation,
self protection,
self righteousness,
self will,
self loathing,
self serving,
self promotion,
self indulgence,
self absorption,
self delusion,
self pity,
self sufficiency"

-Wow and ouch!

"The wisdom that comes from above" combats envy and self seeking!
And it makes a great prayer:
'Lord, make us "pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." ' James 3:17

May He give us all the victory over our 'self stuff' in Jesus' name.