"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

February 27, 2019

Wednesdays in the Word

Some encouragement from Psalms 77 today:

"In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord."

"Has His mercy ceased forever?" 

"I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed." 

"Has God forgotten to be gracious?" 

Ever feel this way?
I love that the Psalms express the wide range of emotions that we go through.

The following verses remind us that all the comfort we need on our blue days, is found in His story and ours!

1. "I will remember Your wonders of old."

Look around you at all that He's created.
Remember that there was once a day when He made the sun stand still.
One time He had a whole bunch of people shout and a brick wall fell down.
Another day, the Red Sea stood up in a heap on both sides and His people walked across it on dry land.
And on more than one day, He made people who were dead, come back to life!

2. I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High 

His 'right hand' refers to the powerful acts of the Most High.
Some of my favorite power acts of His have to be conquering sin, death, hell and the grave for us through His death and resurrection.

3. "I call to remembrance my song in the night."

I think these are the desperate times in our lives maybe or maybe not at night, where we saw Him intervene in some amazing way. I've got lots of these!
On the floor of a hospital room for one. Another time when I was so ill I should have been in a hospital room, for another..

"I will meditate on all Your work and talk of Your deeds." 
"Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders." 

So remember your story and His.


February 20, 2019

Wednesdays in the Word

My Bible reading plan recently had me reading in the book of Numbers.
In chapter twelve, God said that Moses was "faithful in all my house, I speak to him face to face. And he sees the form of the Lord."

And then God asks Miriam and Aaron (Moses' siblings) why they weren't afraid to speak against His servant. Yikes!

And it made me wonder why we aren't afraid to speak against God's servant today, who we know have His presence dwelling on the inside of them! Ouch! 
(mic drop)  ; )

Have a great day! 

February 10, 2019

That moment you live for

The other day held one of THOSE moments!
One of those moments you look forward to from the minute your kids are born, and certainly all through the terrible twos, and the ornery elevens (I'm sure that's a thing) and the tumultuous teens!

One of my kids relayed a conversation they had with someone else,  in which they said "the greatest thing my parents ever taught me was how to love Jesus for myself." 😭 I grabbed that kiddo in a huge hug before they could finish. LOL
Then they said  "Instead of saying how to do it, you guys modeled your love for Him."
 πŸ’— Oh my stars! That was a banner day.

If you are in one of the seasons mentioned above, just know that you will blink and they will be adults, who appreciate you and what God helped you instill in them.


February 6, 2019

Wednesdays in the Word

Be a Caleb! 
Speak out your faith in spite of the circumstances!
We all know that when the spies came back from surveying the promised land, Caleb is remembered for saying "Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it." 

He saw the same giants everyone else saw but he declared his faith and the power of God. 
The others gave "the children of Israel a bad report of the land they spied out." 
Isn't it impressive that even though their words resulted in a 40 year delay in the wilderness, we never hear of Caleb hitting the road on his own. Or saying 'I told you so.' He walked in unity and patience in the process, as he awaited his promise. 

"Surely not one of those men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give... except Caleb, he shall see it and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the Lord." Deut. 1:3  I love that phrase. In Numbers 14, it says, "My servant Caleb has a different spirit in him and has followed me fully and I will bring him into the land where he went." 
And in Josh.14:8 Caleb said "My brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God.

Pray to wholly follow
Be brave enough to have a different spirit than everyone else! 

Guess what didn't happen? At year 40, a deed wasn't signed and dropped into his mailbox and that land did not suddenly become Caleb's. Wouldn't that be nice if our promises all dropped into our laps without any work on our part? 
Caleb had to fight for his promise! We often have to fight for ours. 
But he literally had to fight. LOL 
Because those giants he saw, still lived on his promised mountain. 

Apparently, there was a 5 year delay! But Caleb doesn't sound bitter. 
Here's what the guy with the "different spirit" had to say:

"The Lord has kept me alive and well as He promised for all those 45 years since Moses made this promise...Today, I am 85 years old and I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me!"

I used to think that verse was figurative for some reason and that Caleb wasn't actually the strongest 85 year old guy ever. But according to Deut. 29:5, God kept the people's shoes and clothing from wearing out for those 40 years and apparently He kept Caleb from wearing out too! ; ) 
Caleb was 'given' his mountain, but that wasn't the same thing as possessing it. 
He had to go with God's help and actually drive out the giants that stood between him and his promise and he did! 

I hope you fight for what God has promised you! I hope you have His help taking down spiritual giants and taking back territory! 
And may we all be patient during the delays because a different spirit is in us!  


February 3, 2019

January inched by

One of my goals for this year is to read 12 books. I’m feeling incredibly accomplished because I finished the first four in the month of January, so that’s a great start! I hope to read a mixture of spiritual, historical and fictional books. This was the first one and I loved it.

I usually run from books or movies that involve a cancer theme but this one was a fun, sweet read. And a bit therapeutic as I was reminded of our days in the Infusion Center and what it was like to cook for a chemo patient, who felt like everything tasted like metal. I love how the characters in the story dealt with that. Gotta love a book with lots of Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis quotes! πŸ’•And it wasn’t even too sad!

The beach is my absolute favorite happy place but not so conducive for winter. And it has actually been quite a cold one here in Florida! So Joy and I decided to get annual zoo passes! It was the cost of one visit, so you can't beat that! Great place to exercise on my days off! I walked 3.5 miles the other day, in between laughing at some of the sights! 

For 21 days in January, our church did a time of prayer and fasting. What you fasted was optional, of course. Some of us fasted food and others fasted social media, TV, video games etc. I was basically a sugar-free vegan who didn't watch much TV, which is the reason I could finish four books. LOL 
It was a great time of drawing closer to the Lord and getting refocused on His plan for my life.

The other night, I babysat my friend's 9 month old and her 3 year old. It was so much fun! I got my baby fix with so many cuddles! -And seriously wondered how I ever cared for my 4 kiddos when they were all 6 years old and under. Obviously, I was once Wonder Woman! πŸ˜‚ Who knew!? 

This is the first year that I can think of that I'm not hosting a Super Bowl party. But I'm OK with that. I haven't ever really cared about who won it, just what I was serving and that people had a good time. 
Instead, I have been asked to go dog sit the 'grand dog' during it and I'm happy to do it. Here's hoping that maybe in the next 5 years or so, it will be a grandCHILD and not a dog! LOL 

Well, it is finally February! I don't why but January felt 3 months long!  Maybe it was the fasting! 

~Happy February! 

January 9, 2019

Wednesdays in the Word

I have lots of 20-somethings in my life!
And I love that a bunch of them regularly hang out at our house.
Reading about Hezekiah, who became king at age 25, recently impacted me and reminded me of what I would like to pray for in the lives of my 20-somethings.

Here are some powerful snippets about his life from 2 Kings 18 and 20

Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king

He  did what was right in the sight of the Lord

He trusted in the Lord God of Israel,

After him was none like him nor were any before him

He held fast to the Lord

He did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments

The Lord was with him

He prospered wherever he went

He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him

He subdued the Philistines

He made a pool and a tunnel and brought water into the city

He walked in truth with a loyal heart

He did what was good in Your sight

Hezekiah wasn't perfect. But what a life to be proud of!

He was obedient, innovative, courageous, and described as one of a kind! 
He trusted God, he subdued giants and he rebelled against a king! He chose what was right over what was easy and he held on to God!

His rebellion was inspiring! It included laying a letter open before the Lord in the house of God and praying and begging God that the situation that his nation faced would result in the kingdoms of the earth all knowing that "You are the Lord God, You alone!" Wow! When you care about making God known on the earth and praying to that end, I'm pretty sure He backs you  up! 😊
In fact, God came through for him in a mighty way!

God, I pray that the 20-somethings in our lives would be like Hezekiah and do what is right in Your sight. May they remove idols from their lives and have a faith that believes You for the impossible. May they be uncompromisingly devoted to making Your name known on the earth. May they keep Your commandments and subdue spiritual giants.  May rebellion in their lives be against the status who and the easy way outs. Help them do hard things. May they see you intervene when they pray and see great supernatural deliverance. May they care about Your fame and Your glory going forth in the earth and not their own. May they desire that all people know You as God and God alone.


January 2, 2019

Christmastime was here

Hi Friends! 
December was pretty special for our family and I hope it was for yours as well! 
Since I am on staff at a church, it was a busy but fun season. One amazing gift that we received, was two weeks off, starting on Christmas Day. What an incredible gift to all of us since I've been able to spend so much time with my adult kiddos!

On December 11th, Zac graduated from Arizona State University, Summa Cum Laude with his bachelors in Communication and a 4.1 GPA. It was a long road. To this day, I don't know if I am more proud that he stepped away from college to spend time with his dad, who had cancer, or if I'm more proud that he went back, worked two jobs and graduated with honors. I guess I'm just plain PROUD! He's a hero in our family and the most hard working and determined human we know. 

On the 17th, Nathan came home for Christmas! He is always our favorite gift, for sure! 
He has been here for 16 days and we have had a blast the whole time. 
When he arrived, the first thing he wanted to do was take his mom on a date. How sweet is that? And he told me to order anything I wanted and not to look at the price! What a sweetheart! We had an amazing dinner and happened to walk up to a movie-on-the-lawn event that was taking place downtown. It was A Charlie Brown Christmas and at the very best part, when Linus explains what Christmas really means. So fun! Then we went out for dessert.

At the beginning of December, Joy's brakes stopped working and the fix was going to be $2,000! (that Prius life) 
Y'All, buying a car is not for the faint of heart! Super thankful for our 'village' and all the input we received and especially for my boss and dear friend,who knows how to haggle! Joy came away with a good deal on a 3 year old car, which is a Toyota but not a Prius. Oh happy day! She is thrilled to have a safe, reliable car and happy to make the payments on it.

Andrew's best friend asked him to baptize him while his family was in town for Christmas. What an honor it was for Andrew. He had been praying for his friend for many years and it has been one of the high points of our whole year to see God moving in this friend's life.

We had dear friends from CA stay here with us for the week of Christmas which was fun. 

Our church always does the most beautiful Christmas Eve service and this year was no exception. We all went and were blessed. Due to some food allergies we found out about this year, our Christmas Eve dinner menu changed a bit, but it was still fantastic. We thought we would be without two family members that night, which was a little sad but when your kids are grown, you learn to go with the flow during the holidays and not mind who can and can't be present. Anyway, it was great fun that those who couldn't, suddenly popped in the door, right before Christmas Eve dinner! What a gift! 

On Christmas day, we slept in a bit because grown kids aren't as excited as little ones!
 We had a nice Christmas brunch and opened presents and enjoyed being together. It was actually the very first time in 365 days that just our immediate family had been together to share a meal.
 That was the best part for Nathan.. He had been looking forward to that moment his entire trip home. I'm so glad my kids love and appreciate being together! We always feel that we are "better together" and that is really pretty special! 
We saw Mary Poppins Returns later in the day and some of us loved it and some got a goo d Christmas nap. LOL Then Zac and Tiffany hosted a Christmas dinner party that night that we all went to, along with her family.

A Christmas coma resulted and mainly just relaxed the next couple of days.

On New Year's Eve day, some of my kids and one of my extra kids and I went to our favorite local, coffee food truck and talked about all that God had done in our lives in 2018 and what we hoped for in 2019. It was a really special time. I love hearing their hearts! And I always feel blessed that my 20 something-year olds want me hanging out with them in the first place. Yay!!!! They are the best!
That night, I went to two New Year's Eve parties and made it home before midnight, therefore avoiding all the awkwardness of not having someone to kiss at midnight. Mission accomplished!

On New Year's Day, Nathan had us up and out of the house EARLY for an adventure he had been planning for days. We went to swim in a natural spring in the Ocala National Forrest. And being that this is Florida, it isn't odd when it is 81 degrees on January 1st. The spring is always 73 degrees, so the kids really enjoyed it once they got used to it. I think 73 is a bit nippy and chose to sunbathe. It was a gorgeous spring and Nathan used his iPhone X plus something something, : )
 to  make  UNDERWATER VIDEOS without even a waterproof case!!! 
It has a water ejection system! How crazy is that?! He could take it down in 7 feet of water for 30 minutes! He got some incredible footage! There were lots of fish, snorkelers, a turtle and plants and beautiful rock formations. He was in heaven! 
Then we cleaned up and went for coffee and then drove to Disney Springs for dinner. Great memories were made by all! 

Looking back, I'm so grateful for all the hard parts of 2018 and all the blessings! 
God is always faithful!  
Here's to living everyday of 2019 for the applause of Heaven!