Brotherly Love

 

007005

Brotherly Love

Maximus pushing with all his might. Lawn mowing is new to him. Isaac stands to be a “help” to his brother if need be.  At one point, Maximus is stuck and says.. “OH LORD You are the POWER IN ME”.

And then Isaac comes to his aide to help steer on.  Patiently, gently with his voice, yet strong with his muscles.  A brother in need. Maximus received the gift from the Father through his big brother. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Rom 12:10

The Father loves so much.  He patiently instructs, helps, and guides us in His strength to the path we should take.

I often, too thank the Father, for  my mentors in Christ, my Sisters who pray and share what God is doing in them. Who humbly submit sharing our weakness, our struggles and are there as the body of Christ to spur each other on to victory!

 

 

 

The Tree that Stands Strong Forever

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man…whose heart turns away from the Lord. He shall be like a shrub in the desert… inhabitting the parched places in the wilderness… BLESSED is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. ” Jer. 17:5-9

 

This was our devotions today with the boys.  The Lord gave me this idea for a visual connection to this wordy passage.  What a beautiful opportunity to lead them to understanding and truth.

Apostle Paul lived for preaching the gospel.  And he went to any means necessary to reach the lost.  This spurs me on to go to whatever need there is to reach my children’s hearts, minds and souls.  Then praying for the Spirit to grow that seed!

“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”  1 Cor. 9:22

 

 

011 012

 

014

The Light Shed on Disability

grace

Ever walked toward an extremely hard situation knowing you cannot do it alone? Asking God for wisdom, help, strength, and in the moment silently asking the Spirit to keep leading? Only to experience with every breath, you realize He is making this happen!!! That you are breathing in HIS Grace!!?

 

Communication is relationship. And with a special way in which that language is processed, the need for connecting to emotions, and words – I have been given the immense privilege to be the vessel God uses to bring out the ability in my SON! With every conversation and the deeper ones, I am called to walk into with him, my initial response is I NEED YOU JESUS!

 

Who is not able? Apart from HIM – I am the disabled one. Who is able? Christ in me! He gives wisdom, He provides! AND for you who have walked into the hard situations God has called you to, relying on Christ’s power to overcome… you know. And I know there is NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING more beautiful than relying on Him over and over and over daily in these times… and simultaneously over and over experiencing HIS GRACE abounding!!!

 

Connecting with my Lord, and connecting with my son! I knew I had not the ability, my SOURCE of STRENGTH – JESUS does!

 

Looking at disability in the LIGHT. And seeing the disability in me – apart from Christ…. he gives me all that I need to make me ABLE to my call in this life. Don’t MISS out on the GRACE daily the Savior offers us as we confess our weakness and believe in HIS POWER.  As we die to our”selfish” we get to live in HIS GRACE ever so beautiful!  May we remember what Christ has done for us.  Denying Himself.  And pressing on through the pain, He rose victoriously.  May we remember dying is painful, yet being resurrected daily is exhilarating!  I SING!

 

So I’m breathing in Your grace
And breathing out Your praise
There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes your grace finds me
Your great grace
Oh such grace

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  2 Cor. 12:9

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. ”  Matthew 16:24

 

 

 

The Word Saves, Short Children’s Sermon by Paul Washer, A game to Play – Morning Devotions

jesus

We listened to a short and powerful 10 minute sermon for our devotions today.

REALLY APPRECIATE THIS PASTOR FOR MANY REASONS. BUT I LOVE THAT HE TAKES TIME TO SPEAK TO CHILDREN IN A WAY BOTH MY CHILDREN UNDERSTAND– WATCHING THEM COME TO LIFE AND FULLY ENGAGE WITH HIM – A JOY!!

Church can be challenging for a Pediatric Stroke Survivor-our family is the first Body of Christ our children will relate with- and He supplies all our needs!

 I find small increments that are power packed are the best way to absorb learning into our boys’ hearts, minds, and souls.  A wonderful sermon by Paul Washer directed to children.  I often push the pause button along the way to explain if I think it is needed.  Here it is:

 

Today we were blessed with a wonderful game he mentioned to play with our kids.  I love games and I teach often this way.  It engages our boys in a way that I believe will stick in their memory, bring joy and an opportunity to apply God’s word through experience, visual, and relationship.   I think the brain, and especially for boys often works best when they are able to move with what they are listening to and being taught.

BLIND FOLD GAME – Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105

I Blind folded each boy.

I had previously charted out a path I would have them take.  Noting the amount of steps and turns.

Each boy took his steps, not being able to see, or understand where he was going.  They simply had to trust me and obey my every word.  At one point, the instruction was to stop,  bend down, and reach for a blessing.  They felt around,  found a candy cane, and stuck it in their pocket.

 

Eventually they reached a tapestry of Jesus and a boy sitting together.  I told them to take off the blind folds and look up.  Here is the talk I took them through, along with them sitting down and writing the experience and lesson in their personal journals.

JOURNALS

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.  Psalm 119:105

  1.  WHO loves me?   JESUS!!!  John 3:16
  2.   God has given me His word as a “light” to show me the right choices to make every day.  Jesus and His every word tells me the right way to go.  Just like my mom blind folded me and I obeyed her words, I got a blessing on the way.  God blesses me when I obey.  God also saves me from many dangerous things when I obey my parents, and Him.  Paul Washer spoke of that in his sermon today.  The boy who almost was killed by a venomous snake.  He obeyed, not seeing the snake, but obeying the voice of his father, it saved him from trouble.
  3. My blessing today was a candy cane turned upside down  “J” for Jesus.  Red = the blood that spilled out of him on the cross for me.  White = I am clean.  He washes me everyday with His forgiving love.  And when I get off the path, through my repentance I am clean again and again.
  4. Jesus says:  I am blessed when I believe Him.  I am blessed when I believe and obey His word.  Even if I don’t “SEE” why I should do the thing He tells me to do, if I do it, I am blessed.

(and in cursive they wrote:)

Jesus said…..blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.  John 20:29

I may not always understand why my mom and dad tell me to do certain things.  I may not understand why God says to do certain things.  When I honor and obey my parents I am obeying and honoring God and I will be blessed.

I may not SEE why I am told to do this or that…. blessed I am for not seeing and yet still believing.

I AM SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Authentic Joy

joy
Authentic Joy isn’t the absence of difficulty and pain. It is the presence of Jesus walking with us through it all. Jesus is the example. With Joy He went to the cross. Where just prior, He was pleading with the Father in agony for what HE was about to do. He submitted. And with JOY He went. With Joy for the sake of saving souls. Because He went with Joy into the most horrific circumstances, because of His sacrificial love, I will never endure the pain my Savior went through. And I have no greater joy than to hear that my children will walk in the truth.
Speaking on behalf of this season of my life. Homemaker and motherhood. This is why, for me in my calling as a wife, homemaker, busy at home, I have JOY in what I do everyday. In being a wife, a home schooling mom and discipling my children. People ask. I want others to know the scope of it. What joy is to me. Some days are really hard. And in that same day, beauty. Amazing thing about His amazing grace, through everyday, His grace shines forth beauty!
How could I not have joy seeing God at work for His Kingdom? And yet when I awake confessing how incapable I am, desiring Him to resurrect me again to another day, HE DOES! To experience this day after day – Oh the JOY of the LORD is my strength! HE delights in the desires of our hearts. When the deepest longing of my heart is for salvation of my children’s souls, I get to see His kingdom purposes at work before my eyes. I get to experience God moments every single day. I die to myself over and over (and yes, dying is painful), I am resurrected (resurrection is glorious) again and again, and He does more than I could ever imagine. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave lives in us. After all “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20
As we set our hearts and minds fixed on His kingdom purpose, there is nothing more beautiful to be living for. So dying to self, is purely being resurrected to truly living for eternity. “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Heb. 12:2-3
As I reflect on this verse in the role God has placed me I can , “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Through the trials, the joy of knowing sovereign God is working, my faith is tested big time, and my faith has increased abundantly more than I would have ever imagined , seeing miracles over and over in hearts, minds and souls. And we press on for the glory of the Mighty King who we will live with forever all because of HIS JOY in giving everything so that I might gain everything – Christ JESUS my Lord. Amen!

Listen My Son – Trust Me

me and boysThere is something truly exhilarating sitting by my boys’ side, learning a new math concept that requires many steps, he is overwhelmed, to remedy that anxiety, for weeks I speak every single step to him, he follows along.

Most parts he is in the dark about. He doesn’t understand what I am telling him, or the why’s of it all. Me being that extra part of his brain that he isn’t able to process at the time, I reassure him “it might not make sense now, but eventually you will see”. Then expecting to go at it again yesterday, I look over and realize he has accomplished it all on his own. He can now see! He now understands!

Many reasons this is special to me. Mostly I think because it speaks all about relationship. First, the immense privilege and joy I have in this relationship with my Pediatric Stroke Survivor – he wasn’t expected to live at birth.  But of course both our sons in walking them through life.  This resonates so deeply as the relationship with our Heavenly Father. The vital importance of listening to His every word, receiving the instruction, how it remedies our anxiety. Often not understanding the why’s of what we are being called to do, the steps we must take.  Just trusting and doing.

As we walk by faith by His every Word He speaks to us, directs our steps. (A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? Prov. 20;24) Not seeing, it doesn’t make sense. Yet believing His love runs deep on our behalf, we trust, obey, we achieve victory.

Whether we eventually see it all so clearly here and now, or later in eternity, we will SEE. And in my walk with the Lord for many years, I can testify to a million beautiful things HE has blessed me to eventually SEE, still here and now on this earth, as I walk this journey. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29).

I am thankful for this life with both our boys. My youngest will often say, “mom I know you love me and I know how you prayed fervently for us and to be our mom”.

I am thankful for my Heavenly Father. Whose love never fails and never gives up on me.  For boys, now ages 11 and 13, like all of mankind, one time or another in our lives, have struggled with instruction,  obedience, trust.   Resistance in those earlier years.  With my boys in MANY forms and creative ways.   Back then, the days of instruction was in a different form.  Shaping the character of their hearts, preparing them for these days in instructing them in new ways.    I  too, in my walk with God in my immaturity, have resisted God’s instruction and done just the same as my little children.  God shaping my character and preparing me for greater things.  As we grow in our relationship,  submission, we understand the love more and more, we see the reward of following those instructions.  There is a peace that rules.   God is reigning.

 

And ultimately what I desire,  that through the instruments of mom and dad,  the hands and feet of Jesus, in instructing our sons,  as we point to HIM daily as our provision – the Spirit will make Himself more and more known to them… as they learn to TRUST HIM!

 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Prov. 1:7-8.

Meekness Is Not Weakness

meekness

Isaac is a powerhouse on the basketball court. Everything with force, fiercely and passionately, which is amazing.  One night at practice, the coach instructed him to be “gentle” in those few seconds when making a shot near the basket.  He wasn’t making many shots because his forcefulness in his body strength was too much.  He needed self-control, that came from the inside that would help him to overcome on the outside.   The power of God to help Isaac’s mind switch gears to practice gentleness/meekness in those moments.  Over and over he practiced gentleness. Gaining self-control as he had to slow his pace inside himself and CHOOSE gentleness in this way.

Strength!

Isaac saw the result of gentleness, meekness, as he was able to make so many more baskets.  He experienced victory!

How awesome that what the coach taught him that night, would be an opportunity to point both the boys this morning to spiritual application and living each day.

First recognizing those times when we need to slow down the pace inside ourselves.  Isaac is filled with adrenaline.  And this is NOT an easy thing for him.  When he is in this mode, he is stuck there.  But none of us who belong to Jesus are stuck.  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.  And the fruit of the Spirit are as we keep asking and praying for them are :

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Gal. 5:22-23

 Isaac must have someone (his coach) remind him in those moments to pay attention to that energized feeling inside of him.  To point out what he cannot see at that moment.  With all his heart, mind and soul, he must work hard to slow down for those few moments to gently toss the ball to gain the victory!  After all God’s greatest command is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, minds and souls….  this is how we show our love for God.

Jesus replied:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  Matt. 22:37-38

In everyday living, every human being often has energized emotions that arise inside of us.  And God will show us how and when to use these emotions in the right balance.  God always calls us to meekness and gentleness.  It’s a goal in this Christian life.  It isn’t easy.  And it isn’t easy for Isaac on the basketball court.  It’s REALLY hard.   It will take training, the coach repeating himself.  Giving kind reminders.  And it will require Isaac to have desire to submit to the coaches authority.  It will require Isaac to not give up.  It will require Isaac to desire to receive the instruction over and over again.

For our boys, in their walk with the Lord.  They are children.  Learning.

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” Prov. 1:8

We all will need to desire with everything within us to go God’s way.  Allow him to correct us, instruct us, help us, and teach us.  We will need God’s reminders through His word everyday.  We are called to perseverance.  Jesus persevered for us, to save us from hell.  We can be energized with a grateful heart for what Jesus has done for us, so that we will want to say “thank you Jesus.  Now please give me the strength to persevere in obedience to you.  Thank you that you will forgive me when I fall, and that you will help me over and over again.”

Isaac on Friday night, played his best game yet. He started out with a great balance.  HE was energized.  HE made 10 points for the team.  HE stole the ball and made many saves and was on fire.  He began to feel weary towards the end, and his energy inside him just got  stronger, he was no longer making as many shots.  He was driven with emotion that was overtaking him, and the coach instructed Isaac out on the floor… “Isaac you need to slow down just a bit”.  Isaac received that correction humbly.  Knowing the coach is there to help him because he cares about Isaac, he is for him.  And so our God is for us!

How much God cares for all His children.  Nothing is too hard for God to help us with.  Even a brain affected by neurological challenges.  God created men to be hard workers for His glory.  And what better way for young boys to get that started then in working hard to the instruction of their Godly parents who love them with immeasurable love.  Parents who are working for the Lord, as they are assigned by God.  A God who LOVES with every instruction He gives, every correction, every discipline, and every encouraging word and deed.  A God who is faithful to complete His work.

It’s a journey.  Isaac learning basketball, improving, becoming better, overcoming, seeing VICTORY. Our walk with the Lord is a journey, and as we look at it that way, perhaps we won’t become so weary when there is more to do.  Jesus is simply preparing us for His kingdom forever.  So this journey of growing, learning, is a love gift from God.

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”  Phil. 2:12

Meekness (gentleness) is actually great strength, under God’s control!

Power in gentleness! Meekness is not weakness! “

“…Thy gentleness has made me great” Ps. 18:35 Victory!

There is great blessing we are winners!

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5

I Look to the Mountain – You Are My Help

002

I lift up my eyes to the mountains.  Where does my help come from?   

My help comes from the Lord,   the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalms 121:1-2

 Hiked to the top of this mountain top today.  Brain, lungs, beating heart!  5 senses to experience it all.  Taking in God’s creation.   Feel the cold air (it was in the upper 30’s..brrrrrrrr)  Hear the rushing water and singing birds.  See the magnificent mountain and the waterfall so powerful, mighty, strong.  Smell the fresh air unpolluted by worldly things.  Taste the sweetness of a warm cinnamon roll at the little bakery cart at the finish line.

011

Bring it home.  The Maker of beauty all around us.  The Maker of all the inward parts of me.  The Maker of taste buds, and all the senses.

027

A notebook full of 21 questions about our experience today.  Relating everything mighty, beautiful, lovely, pleasant, and good in our experience today to describe just Who our God is!

And lastly the question that matters beyond all questions.  God put within us a brain, heart, and lungs.  What is the greatest thing that lives inside you?

THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Pointing them to Jesus not only the Maker, but the Savior who came to give us life here and forevermore, the Holy Spirit Who lives in us because we believe.

So WHERE does our help come from?  Who can we trust with every single detail of our lives?

YES!  Our HELP comes from the LORD!

032

Written prayers.  I’ll share mine.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for another day to point our children to Jesus.  Thank you for all that you have placed around us, and created within us to remind us of your power, love and might.  Thank you for sending Jesus to save us from our sins.  Thank you for giving us abundant life. Thank you for the promise of everlasting life with You forever.  We deeply anticipate the day we will live with you forever.   Deeply anticipate the soon and coming King!  Thank you for the Helper, the Holy Spirit, the greatest One- Who lives in us.  Because of Your great gift.  We keep trusting and believing in You to give us strength to keep moving forward.  No matter how steep the mountains are we must climb, may we see You all around on the journey.  As we saw today, Your beauty on our upward travels to the top, You gave us rest, a drink, and hope that we would be there soon.  Even an encouragement from a stranger passing by, “you are so close, keep going, it’s not much further”. You are our Rock, our Hope and our Salvation.  May we fight the good fight and finish this race.  Looking unto You Jesus, the author and Finisher of our faith”  In Jesus Name – Amen

023