Monthly Archives: May 2012

Words of Wisdom from the Hobby Store…

Standard

I was working on a project last week and spent part of an afternoon running errands.  One of my stops was Hobby Lobby, my favorite stop when it comes to decorative and/or craft items.  While wandering in the clearance section, I came across several signs with quotes.  Those who know me know that I LOVE a good quote.  I could literally line all of my walls with them.

Many of my favorites are passages of scripture and THOSE are on the walls and flat surfaces of my living room, bedroom and even the door to the garage at my house.

I didn’t buy the ones I saw this last week.  I may go back and get them, although eventually I’ll run out of places to put them!  😉

The ones I saw this week were reminders that have been very timely for me.  But isn’t it often the case that the things that stick out most to us are reminders of the place that we find ourselves in life?

The first was this one:

I’m not sure anything else needs to be said about this one.  It’s usually easy to “do the right thing” when we know someone is watching.  We too often forget, though, that whether someone is physically standing right next to us or not, Someone is ALWAYS watching.

The next said:

This one speaks SO LOUDLY to me.  My greatest desire is to make a difference in the lives of those I “touch”.  When I really stop to think about it, I think this is WHY that desire is so great in me.  I don’t have children of my own.  But I can make a difference in the lives of every child that I have opportunity to minister to if I am willing to invest in others.  And in the end, isn’t that what we are called to do?

Some days, you just NEED to go to the hobby store and wander the aisles!

 

 

Advertisements

Don’t Tell ME My God Won’t Answer My Prayers!

Standard

I have seen God provide for my needs.

I have seen God provide for my WANTS.  (See this post.)

I have watched God restore families that were broken “beyond repair”.

I have seen couples have children that weren’t supposed to be able to have them.

I have watched doctors find solutions to medical needs that had stumped others for years.

I have seen friends live YEARS past their expected death dates.

I have watched sons and daughters restored to families that thought they had “lost them forever”.

I have seen a much-loved family member of a friend leave a homosexual lifestyle after YEARS of commitment to prayer for his release from the bondage of same-sex attraction.

I have seen family members accept the Lord.

I have seen cancer go into remission.

I have watched grieving family members walk through their grief and have blessings bestowed on them for their faithfulness.

I have seen ministries thrive because of their faithful walk.

I have watched “the truth come out” after years of misunderstandings.

I have seen broken friendships restored.

I have seen broken lives repaired.

I have watched as just the right jobs were provided at just the right time.

I have seen housing come through at just the right moment when situations were becoming “desperate”.

I have seen soldiers protected while they were in battle and away from their families.

I have watched as people were released from the grip of the abuse of alcohol, drugs, nicotine, pornography and other addictions.

I have seen marriages restored after affairs.

I have held babies that were saved from “crisis pregnancies”.

I have watched women choose life for their babies over abortion.

I have seen money provided to restore my church building after “the great Nashville flood“.

I have watched people come out of great struggles with depression.

I have seen babies adopted into homes that desperately wanted a child.

I have seen successful surgeries restore health to those in need.

I have been provided a home when I shouldn’t have been able to afford it.

So when someone tells me that prayer CAN’T change something, do you think I believe them for ONE SECOND?  

NOPE!

What prayers have you seen God answer in mighty ways?  Please share them in the comments below!  We all benefit when we see what God is doing!  

OK, Now It’s ON!!!!!

Standard

Have you ever seen the movie “Mousetrap”?

We’ve got a real-life version of that going on at my house.

I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned this on my blog, but Doug and Amy and their kids are living with me temporarily.  We’ve been doing yard sales and have some of their stuff in the garage and Amy recently discovered a new friend in the garage.  At first we thought it was a mouse.  Now we think it’s a shrew or something in that family.

Whatever it is, it’s a sly little thing…it keeps getting the peanut butter out of the traps without springing them.  We’ve tried different KINDS of traps and combinations of traps, etc.

Doug is about to lose his mind, I think, trying to catch the little rascal!  He came in the first time it took the peanut butter out of the trap without springing it and said, “NOW IT’S ON!!!!”  😉  It’s become a challenge now.

That got me thinking.  I have so many close friends struggling with big things right now.  And in some of those instances, in all honesty Satan appears to be winning.  In some of the instances, there is no doubt that it is downright spiritual warfare going on.  Sadly, in some instances the participants are actively fighting “the Roaring Lion” themselves, but in others, friends are doing their best to fight him with what appears to be little or no impact – things are getting worse instead of better.

Maybe I’m trying too hard here, but I think fighting these battles parallels catching the “critter”.  Satan knows just the little tricks needed to sneak through the cracks of our lives and make some headway, just like the little guy in the garage appears to have figured out how to get what he wants from the trap without snapping his little neck.

BUT

Both the “critter” and that “Roaring Lion” are messing with smarter, higher powers.  We all know who will eventually win if we just persevere.  It’s the persevering that is so incredibly exhausting.  But we don’t have a choice.   Because we love, we persevere.

And that’s why I say, NOW IT’S ON!!!!

What about you?  Who do you need to spend some focused prayer time on?  They might not appreciate it now.  But that doesn’t give us an excuse to give up.  We serve a great God and in the end, my Bible says HE WINS!

Blessed

Standard

This Mother’s Day weekend, I am truly realizing how very blessed I am.

Image

We so often hear Proverbs 31 referred to on Mother’s Day Weekend.  And we should.  It truly teaches the attributes of a wise and virtuous woman.  I am very blessed to have had a mother AND grandmothers who were truly women who fit into this description of a wise woman.  

Verses 10-31 speak of so many of the traits that I saw in my Mom and my Grandmothers.  If you know them, you’ll see that in these verses:  

10-31 A good woman is hard to find, 
   and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, 
   and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously 
   all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, 
   and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places 
   and brings back exotic surprises.
She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast 
   for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it, 
   then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, 
   rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work, 
   is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, 
   diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need, 
   reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; 
   their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing, 
   and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected 
   when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them, 
   brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, 
   and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, 
   and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, 
   and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her; 
   her husband joins in with words of praise:
“Many women have done wonderful things, 
   but you’ve outclassed them all!”
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. 
   The woman to be admired and praised 
   is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves! 
   Festoon her life with praises!

But as I pulled up the passage because I wanted to do a blog post of thankfulness for the blessings that I have experienced in my “heritage”, I chose to pull the passage up in The Message translation.  I must admit, it has been a while since I have gone to that particular chapter.  Too long.  I didn’t even remember the way the chapter STARTS.  It says:

 1The words of King Lemuel, the strong advice his mother gave him: 

 2-3 “Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of! 
   Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women, 
   promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders. 

 4-7 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves, 
   gulping wine and swilling beer,
Lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong, 
   and the people who depend on them are hurt.
Use wine and beer only as sedatives, 
   to kill the pain and dull the ache
Of the terminally ill, 
   for whom life is a living death. 

 8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice, 
   for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice! 
   Stand up for the poor and destitute!”

And I realized that I am even more blessed than I thought I was.  Because I have parents and Grandparents who have taught us what SCRIPTURE says.  My parents especially go to God’s Word as their guide.  I remember meals growing up and other times as well when either Mom or Dad would read from Proverbs or another passage to pour words of wisdom into us that we draw from even today.  

I was just talking with a friend earlier today who reminded me how very blessed I am to have been nurtured and taught, from CHILDHOOD, to turn to scripture for my guide to life.  It isn’t always easy to follow the instructions given there.  To be honest, we might miss out on some things that others consider to be fun or pleasurable, but just as a parent has rules for his or her children that they don’t always appreciate or understand, there is purpose in EVERY word.  

We can choose to question some of those things, but ultimately, as I have gone through life I realize that there is purpose for EVERY instruction given.  There are also consequences for every one broken.  Just as a parent disciplines their child for the good of and instruction of their child, the Lord has purpose and reason for the “rules” that He has set forth.  

I am SO GRATEFUL to have had parents that have taught me from a very young age to honor and respect the Word of God for what it is – our guidebook for life.  

My mom especially is KNOWN as one who doesn’t just “read what it says”, but digs to REALLY see what it means and she did her level best to instill that in her children.  I remember many afternoons of copying passages of scripture as “punishment”.  I now realize that it was MUCH more than discipline.  Doing those “exercises in discipline” actually built a knowledge of scripture into my life that I still refer back to today.  

I do not take for granted the fact that I was truly blessed to have that kind of teaching built into my life.  When others around me struggle for answers, I often have a base to go back to or at the very least a knowledge that I can RUN to scripture for my answers and that, in VERY large part, is because of the Godly Heritage that was passed down from my parents and especially Mom!

As Proverbs 31 says, I can truly “Rise up to call her blessed.”  

THANKS MOM!!!!

What about you?  Does your Mom need to hear a word of thanks from you for bringing you up with a similar belief system?  And if not, remember, you STILL have the opportunity to learn and build those truths into YOUR children and/or the friends and other family members around you.  Start today!