A Children’s Christmas Gospel Story in a Box

THEN AND NOW… TREASURE EACH MOMENT WE ARE GIVEN. I never would have imagined this project we did together when they were little would be used all these years later for a beautiful writing assignment for Christmas. Beautiful writings that reflect, with God all things are possible. Reflect in simplicity the understanding of the MOST important eternal things… THE MOST beautiful gift EVER-knowing JESUS. Motherhood is a gift. A miracle from God. Motherhood started for me with not even knowing if I would bring my baby HOME to have another day, after his traumatic birth, life support and stroke. We have been GIVEN the miracle each day for 15 years with him AND his little brother. Every day IS A BLESSING – no matter how difficult or not. Treasure each moment we are given. Invest in the Kingdom.

When the boys were little the Lord put on my heart this craft idea.  A way to give them a keepsake visual of the story of Christmas.  Each their own box labeled:  TO: Isaac, Max  FROM:  God.   Our firstborn son, had a stroke before he was born.  For a long time there was a lot he didn’t understand.  I was determined to point him, along with his little brother to the Savior in any and every way possible.

 

I wanted them to understand this Christmas story is personal for them.  That they each need Jesus.  That God was specifically thinking of them, before they were ever created when He sent the Savior.  For a few years these boxes somehow got lost in the shuffle of putting away decor at the end of the season.  I am so excited to find them again this year!  I really wasn’t planning on doing anything with them, except sitting them under our little tree for reflection.

 

This morning I awoke, seeking God of how to go about our school for the day.  Hoping to have the focus on Christmas.  I have been recently focusing in on writing assignments for our boys.  This morning, the Lord took my eyes to those precious gift boxes from a few years back as I  realized we could use them again today!  Using the visual cues inside the box, along with 3×5 word prompts, each boy sat down to write their own story of Christmas.  Amazing how there is the similarities of course, with the truth of the scriptures, but also, their own SPECIAL way they were led to write!  It is beautiful to see.  I believe in miracles!  The miracle of the Savior.  The miracles God keeps doing in our lives.  This was their greatest stretch and effort they have extended  in putting together a written work. It might seem simple.  But it is truly profound.  And it ONLY gives me great hope that we are onto something that is only going to increase!! Might I say how beautifully intent and focused they were??!!  There was once a time this was not.  Give these guys time. Writing in the simplest form has been difficult for our oldest.  I am so blessed by God’s gracious gift of Jesus.  Relationship with Him and our family.  Seeing Him overcome in weakness.  Seeing him take little boys, and overcome obstacles.  Seeing him take all of us, willing, and overcome!

How beautiful to see this little box of goodies would be used now in their life to reveal so much to my heart.  Please know, that while home schooling is difficult.  It is ALWAYS a blessing.  The joy and the journey is a work of JESUS in the hearts of the whole family.

 

The story, and a way  I told it to them when they were 6 and 8:

THE GREATEST GIFT EVER – OUR SAVIOR – JESUS

  1. Angel – appears to Mary and later shepherds – Luke 2:9-13
  2. Sheep – Reminds us of the Shepherds.  Their eager response to visit the King.  Their eager response to tell the world. – Luke 2:15
  3. Star – Follow the star to Jesus.  – Matthew 2:20.  Follow Jesus the Morning Star – Rev. 22:16
  4. “J” – Candy cane upside down – Jesus is born!  Luke 2:7, Isaiah 9:6.  Red: The blood He would shed on the cross for our sins.  White:  our sins washed away, white as snow.
  5. 3 Gifts – Wise men traveled a long journey to bring gifts to the King. Gold, frankincense, Myrrh.  Matthew 2:1-10
  6. Cross- Jesus came as a baby into the world, grew in wisdom and stature.  Died for sins.  Luke 2:25, John 3:16
  7. Heart – God loves me – John 3:16
  8. Empty Box – Empty tomb.  Jesus died and rose again!  “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”  Matthew 28:6

The story they NOW, in their own words tell and live, 7 years later!!

 

The Christmas Story – by Maximus

Before I was born God sent a Savior to save people from their sins.  God loves me so much that he gave His one and only Son.  That first Christmas, Jesus was born lying in a manger.  The angels came to the shepherds, sang songs, and told them a new King had come to this world. Jesus is like our shepherd.  Whenever we wander somewhere else, He will bring us back.

Wise men from afar followed the shining star to see the newborn King.  They gave three gifts which were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

When Jesus grew up, He went to the cross to take all the sin from those who will believe, so we don’t go to hell.  When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, she found it empty because He resurrected from the dead.

The things that Jesus did after He resurrected were preaching, eating breakfast and talking with His disciples.

When I was born in a hospital I didn’t know very much yet.  I NOW know God’s wonderful works.  I believe that Jesus is my Savior, my Helper, my Hero.  I am filled with the Holy Spirit so that I can preach, help and tell about God’s truth.  I live for Him to give Him glory by whatever I eat or drink or whatever I do.

He is preparing a place for me and whoever believe in Him will go to that place, and that place is called… heaven.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

THE STORY OF JESUS – by Isaac

Before I was born God sent a Savior who loves me.   That first Christmas God sent angels to the shepherds to tell that the newborn King has come.  God gave the wise men a star to follow because they were in a faraway place.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  The wise men arrived later to Bethlehem and gave  Jesus gifts called gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Later on when Jesus was a grown man He was crucified on the cross.  He was buried in a tomb and three days later He resurrected from the dead.

Jesus stayed down on the earth for forty days with His disciples and walked with them.  He went back to heaven.  Years later I was born.  I now believe in Jesus and I”m filled with His Holy Spirit.  Now I am living for Him and I know He is preparing a new earth for me.

 

 

(we know that those who have received Him as Lord will enter heaven. Where He is preparing a place for them.  And one day heaven will be brought down into a NEW EARTH where we will dwell, free from sin and full of beauty forever)

“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.” Isaiah 65:17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wise Men Follow – Are We Seeking?

It was a long, difficult journey.  It is uncertain just how far and how long it took them to leave their homeland and arrive in Bethlehem.  It could have been months.  These wise men were not wise in God’s sight because of what they could do, or what they knew from many books, or abilities.  They were wise according to what God calls wisdom.  Whether their referenced name was truly “WISE MEN”.  Or “magi”, or… I think we can learn valuable insights into the WISE WAYS of these men pertaining to Christmas and the King.

Their decision was made.  Minds were set on the goal.  No turning back.  Focused.  Determined.  In the city seeking and asking where to find the newborn KING. Shunned and turned away from evil of the world. (Herod in the story).

Overjoyed by God’s provision of the star to light the way.

Eventually they made it to their destination to SEE Christ the Savior and King!

Their response should be the response of anyone today, who experiences the presence of the Savior.  They SAW.  In humble, reverent, adoration, they worshiped the King!

Anyone can come to Christ the King this very day.  Jesus told his disciples, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). He did not merely point the way to God. He Himself is the only way to the Father and the source of eternal truth and life. The way to God is through personal faith in Jesus Christ.

The Word  became flesh.  Jesus!  Like the star was the provision for the Wise Men to find their way,  God has provided the WAY to the Father for all eternity, through the gift of His Son.  The Perfect Lamb of God, who came to die and live again, so that we might have life.

Just as the star showed the way,  God has provided His Word to light the way each step on this journey.  “thy Word is a LAMP unto my feet and a LIGHT unto my path”.  Psalm 119:105

His Word makes us wise.  His Word lead us.

Follow in determined, focus, with joy.  Seek, seek to be nearer and nearer to the King. Recognize His provision.  Jesus the Lamb.  The empty tomb that conquered death and hell.   The Holy Spirit to be our Helper. The Holy Bible/Word of God to light the way.  Make that commitment.  Turn away from evil, no turning back.  Intently focused.  Humble submission, reverent awe and wonder.  Worship in the inward motives of our hearts and outward actions that follow.

We are wise to leave everything familiar as the WISE MEN of Christmas did.  Apply the holy scriptures at every thought, decision, action, in obedience to His voice that leads moment by moment, day by day.     Turn from  evil, (sin is evil and “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23) and follow the difficult path. Commit to a promised difficult, long, and yet joyous journey that leads to an eternity of joy, wonder, worship in the presence of the King.

Jesus committed to a long, difficult journey from the prestigious homeland of heaven.  Humbly submitted to the Father.  A long, painful, difficult journey to the cross in order to save.  Are we wise and recognizing the real meaning of Christmas? This journey the King of heaven took down to this darkened, selfish, sin stained world?  Wise to fall in submission and worship, as we  recognize our empty and weak state? And worship each moment, day by day, until eternity the One Who came to save?

Will we be WISE MEN and WOMEN who follow all the way to our destination?

Jesus isn’t some “make Him who you want Him to be God” in our lives. That’s a deception of the evil enemy.  Will we turn from that lie and evil?  The Jesus Who was the babe in the manger, the WORD that became flesh and dwelt among us, is the same JESUS of the Old Testament, New Testament, and today speaks to us, through His WRITTEN WORD and tells us how to  FOLLOW  all the way to eternity.

 

Holding forth the  WORD OF LIFE; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:16)

 

The written Word that I gathered this Christmas story  comes from Matthew 2:2-12.  Have you read it?  Will you read it? Rather than place it here, I will leave this reference so that  as a WISE person you may read and SEEK for yourself.  (don’t take my word, take the WORD -that is wise!).

 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jer. 29:13

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As I planned this little reflection for our home school time with our boys today, the Lord gave me this wonderful literature as well.  So pertinent to what I wanted to relay here about JESUS the WORD:   (please enjoy from the Day of Praise)

 

 Living Word/The Word of Life

_________________________________________________

by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. | Nov. 29, 2017

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:16)

There is such beautiful correlation between the Living Word (Christ) and the written Word (the Bible) that certain Scriptures could well apply to either one. Such is the case with our text. The Philippians were exhorted to hold forth the Word of life, which presumably could mean either Christ, the Living Word, or else the Scriptures, which speak of eternal life.

The same dual meaning can be discerned in such texts as 2 Timothy 4:2 (“Preach the word”) and Hebrews 4:12 (“The word of God is quick, and powerful”). In fact, there are many beautiful figures of speech that are applied in the Bible to the ministries of both Christ and the Scriptures in a believer’s life.

For example, Christ is “the light of the world” (John 8:12), but also “the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light” (Proverbs 6:23). Similarly Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), but He also said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37). God also promised that “as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, . . . So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Both are described as the very personification of truth. Jesus said, “I am . . . the truth,” and He prayed to the Father, “Thy word is truth” (John 14:6; 17:17). Finally, both must be received: “Receive . . . the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21), for “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). HMM

 

 

“Anointed”

After watching a bible movie the other night with our boys, Isaac asked why Samuel was pouring oil over David’s head.  The Lord prompted me to inquire scriptures.  I was  so touched by the history of the ancient shepherding and treatment of the sheep with oil.  How God used that shepherding to apply to His own Shepherding and anointing oil throughout the pages of scriptures, that we made it a study for the next day.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anointing Oil

 

Symbolizes
Blessing, Protection, Empowerment

 

Oil anointing came from the ancient days of shepherding. Oil was used to pour over the sheep’s heads.  The oil started at the head and ran over the body covering the wool with an oily substance.  This protected the sheep from insects going into it’s ears and nose.   The covering of oil made it impossible for the nasty, icky, bugs to enter the sheep.  A sheep not covered in the oil, was traumatized by the horrible infestation.  They would run about  frantic, frustrated, distressed. When the oil was poured over their heads, a transformation in behavior took place as the sheep became calm, peaceful and content. The sheep received blessing, protection, and power to be still and content when the Shepherd poured out the oil over them.

 

In the bible:

Oil was used to anoint Kings, Prophets, buildings, things consecrated to God.

Set apart for His service.

As well as
used to anoint people before praying for their healing and deliverance.

 

There is nothing powerful in the oil itself.  Only a symbol of God’s anointing power.  There were reasons in the Old Testament, that God specifically required obedience in the anointing with oil.  Even New Testament refers to this use of the oil.  We know Jesus eventually came, and He is the Anointed One.

 

God gave Moses a Recipe for the Holy Anointing Oil
Exodus 30:22-25 says:

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take the following fine spices:

500 shekels of liquid myrrh
half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon
250 shekels of fragrant cane
500 shekels of cassia
A Hin of olive oil.
Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer.
It will be the sacred anointing oil.

(shekels a weight measurement.  Hin a liquid measurement equivalent to about 8 qts.  Also, note the math God involved.  500 and half of that.  I love the presence of the Lord in our education)

 

Anointed also means: Chosen one

Anointing is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit

 

All Christians are anointed. We are BLESSED, PROTECTED, and  EMPOWERED by the Holy Spirit. Like the actual sheep, we are God’s sheep.  We receive  peace and contentment from Him.  THE GREAT SHEPHERD, the HOLY SPIRIT came upon us,  when we believed unto Salvation.  Anointed by Him. CHOSEN for a specific purpose, set apart in service to Him  in furthering the kingdom.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
1 John 2:20

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
1 Cor. 1:21-22

 

In the Psalms we read of this oil that was poured on the head, flowing down into Aaron’s beard and onward covering his garments.  What a beautiful picture of the covering and protection of our Savior upon our lives.

 

~This Oil is also referred to as the OIL of GLADNESS~

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the OIL OF GLADNESS
Psalm 45:7

 

The oil of gladness that saves us.  Brings joy!  Keeps us from corrupt things, coming upon us and entering our lives.  The oil that purges out the yuck, sanctifies us, and continues to cleanse.

 

We had the most special OIL of GLADNESS study.  As we took turns, anointing each other with oil, remembering this was the GREAT symbol of the HOLY SPIRIT poured out on us, giving us all we need.  What beauty to anoint each other and pray for one another.  It was also special for the boys to present the oil as their dad reclined back when he arrived home from work, offering him  an oral report of our studies.  Each of us then, dipping into the oil and praying for him.

 

 

This morning, I awoke with some issues causing me anxiety, fear, and a lack of peace.  I think I was acting like those sheep without the oil treatment.  Yuck entered me, and  was struggling to shake it.  Recognizing I was not peaceful.  The Holy Spirit reminded me, of the OIL OF GLADNESS study.  I began to thank Him that HE BLESSES, PROTECTS, AND EMPOWERS ME.  Ha!  Amazing!  Guess what happened.  I once again had peace.  I was that sheep, touched by the cleansing oil of the Holy Spirit, coming again to peace, joy, and contentment.  He is a mighty God.

 

“Thank You Lord for Your oil of gladness. Poured upon Your people running down from Christ the Head onto the Body of Believers, covering us.  Thank You for Your Holy Spirit within us Who  cleanses, blesses, protects, and empowers Your people. May we live in greater joy, boldness, unity and faith. In Jesus, name, Amen”

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
It is like precious oil poured on the head,
running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
even life forevermore.

Psalm 133

 

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the OIL OF JOY instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3

 

That Path Ahead Seems Impossible – How Will I?

 

I’ve heard many mothers with little ones, mostly boys, look at the long journey ahead and fearfully wonder how they can possibly home school their children through all those grades.  The higher the grade, the more fearful they become.

 

We look too far ahead and it just seems impossible.

 

I’m here to say, I understand those thoughts and fears.  I understand little boys and looking at them “now” and imagining the future and the all the concerns for them.  Looking at myself and seeing how I “know” nothing about home schooling little boys.  I know “nothing” about schooling through stroke and special needs.  Looking at myself and seeing how inadequate I am.  I also, know what it is like to stop looking at myself, and look at God.  He calls us to fix our eyes on HIM.

 

I am here to say, I was the mother who said to the guests at our home, when my Isaac was 3 1/2 years old and barely communicating, as an older home schooled boy said: “will you home school your boys?”  I remember my response being something to the effect of,   “I don’t know how I would possibly do that.” As I looked at so much need. Their lack of focus.  Their inability to sit still for very long.  Looked at myself and saw so much inadequacy.  It was that older boy’s father, who spoke words that day, that took my eyes off of myself, and onto JESUS.  Onto His truth. His promises.  His special plans.  His ways!  His word!  Words that went something to the effect of, “love that child.  Embrace who God has made him.  Give him time.  Don’t rush him to that special needs preschool to learn to communicate.  Love those boys, in relationship with them, pointing them to Jesus.  Relying on Him, not comparing him to the standards of the world”.

 

I am here to say, embrace the journey as God leads in FAITH!  Take seriously your call to this in similarity to Moses  call, doing that which he knew he was not equipped to do.  Yet he obeyed the voice of God and went.  We know what happened.  We know what God did.  A long journey, with all kinds of unknowns.

 

Take seriously in BELIEF that JESUS is the SAME yesterday, today, forever. The God Who led Moses, parted the seas, is faithful as well to you and your family.

 

You will witness the power and presence of God as He overcomes in miracle after miracle.

 

“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”

Lev. 26:12

 

Obey Him.  Listen to His voice.  He WILL DO IT FOR YOU.

 

“I WILL lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I WILL guide them; I WILL turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I WILL do; I will not forsake them.”

Is. 42:16

 

Moses wasn’t comparing his story to any other.  He had no story like it to compare.  It was a one of a kind story, specifically for God’s great purpose and faithful plan.

 

Don’t compare to others.  Seek God for His story for you and the life of your family.  Ask for wisdom for your specific children.  He promises to give it.

 

Embrace the brothers and sisters who have gone before you and consider their wisdom through experience.

 

Glean!  As Ruth gleaned the field for provision and sustenance.  Be a Ruth.  Be willing to go, to foreign lands in living outside the typical, familiar “systems” of the world.  Glean from others.  Take those parts and bless your household as Ruth gleaned and blessed.  As Ruth was blessed!

 

Believe in the God Who delights in MULTIPLICATION.  A humble heart, giving what little we KNOW we have, but offering it.  Watch and see God multiply it as the boy with the loaves and fish humbly gave little, Jesus blessed that and multiplied to His praise, purposes and glory.

 

Most importantly, make it about JESUS!  Imagine each step through the lens of God.  When you fear the comments from others about socialization, view it in light of God’s view.  Does He sit in heaven shaking his head… “oh my, those children are not socialized?”  NO.

 

When your child is 6 or 7 is still hasn’t grasped… this or that, etc.. and so on… sure we have work to do, but does God say “oh my….. I’m so concerned he isn’t keeping up with the systems man created” NO!

 

Who are we living for?  Are we not pilgrims passing through?  Are we not called to live to please God and for His glory?

 

Believe the truth our children are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made by God.  Believe in the truth in HIS TIME He makes all things beautiful.

 

We can feel so much pressure by standards of others, educational systems, and miss entirely the beautiful purpose that is NOT of this world, but for the kingdom to come,  that God wants to do in us and through us.

 

“walk with your children …” As Deut. says.  Introducing them to real relationship with one another and Jesus.  Over and over in everyday living.  Work vigilantly on their character.  This world is lacking character.

 

Our world is desperate for a model of God design relationships.  If Christians don’t stand for the ultimate design and purposes of God, what will our world be left to look like?

 

Relationships with Him, our spouses, our children, it’s declining quickly in this culture.  Home schooling is an opportunity to challenge our faith.  To stop relying on our minds, and abilities, and learn to trust more and more in God alone.

 

Your kids will learn.  He made your child.  He made you to be their mom.  Our character and theirs is the utmost value of our education.  He is for you.  He will never leave you or forsake you.

 

Now to Him Who is ABLE… for His glory! Amen.

 

Sometimes we fret over the fact our children haven’t grasped something yet.  I am simply here to say, it just doesn’t happen the way we think it should happen, or in the time we think it should happen.   At least in our story.

 

Pray about it.  Believe His ways are HIGHER than yours. Ask yourself who told you by this age she or he should be doing this?

 

What brings your kids joy?  What do they love?  Race cars, jumping, running, super heroes, board games, wildlife, legos….???  Use those things they are connected into to connect WITH THEM, their education, and with JESUS.  (if you want to know more of what that looks like, ask me).

 

Make small goals. So you can see and feel and experience a sense of accomplishment.  So that your child and you can rejoice together.

 

Adjust as needed.  Switch up the schedule.  Tone it down for a  week.  Take a break.

 

If I could give you a movie of my life, it did not feel pretty at times.  My body hurt.  I was exhausted, felt overwhelmed, felt alone in certain seasons.  I worried I wasn’t doing enough.  But I fought my way out of that numbing, ugly mindset quickly.  I was committed to this call, and knew I must find my joy and peace again.  Abiding in Him.  Obeying Him.  Praying and believing He CARES about the desires of my heart.  Seeking Him.  Saying no to the other voices.  Taking my thoughts captive.  Fixing my mind and eyes, and heart and soul on HIM.

 

Our boys are teens and I write to tell you, the joy grows daily in schooling them.  There is a new, fresh, exciting joy in these teen years. To see what God has done.  Reflecting on His faithfulness to keep me going onward in belief.   That seems a rare thing I hear about teenagers.  I often hear of dread, gloom and negativity about the teen years.  I am experiencing amazing relationships and seeing our boys take flight, in their own special way, in a relationship with Jesus, others, and embracing academics.

 

This past year, I was asking myself again, HOW WILL I?  This seems impossible, with the moving in of my dearly treasured mother-in-law.  How will I truly love her? Care for her?  As well as manage my own challenging health issues, and school my children?

 

Through difficulty, God grows us.  And shows us the WAY to life!  He has blessed.  And making a beautiful flow happen in His love overcoming, His grace sufficient in our utter weakness, we are experiencing the JOY of the LORD and the beauty of His plans.

 

God’s love is committed to us.  We can grow in an understanding of His love and grace as we march on committed to Him.

 

(I wrote this in a whirlwind of emotions.  It’s how it came flooding and I just wrote.  No time to critique, move it all around into proper paragraphs and such.  I have much to be about.  But wanted to share, in hopes to encourage, and give God glory!)

 

 

Sacrifice

 

Today is Veteran’s Day.  I think about sacrifice.  Our family will join together in a day of thanksgiving for sacrifices made for our freedom.  In our hearts honoring in gratitude the men and women who have served, fought, and are still serving for the freedom we enjoy daily.

 

Freedom comes at a price.  Sacrifice.  Understanding many have gone through bloody battlefields, death, trauma, loss, difficulty, and so much more for the cost of our freedom.

 

My husband served three years in the United States Army.  He was young.  Although he never went to war, he has shared how he recalls thinking if he was called to war, plain and simple, he would go.  Fear wasn’t a factor, the call was there, the order given, he just matter of factly knew he would march into it because that is just what a soldier does.  He obeys and goes.

 

I didn’t know him at this time in our lives.  I see how God was preparing this young man to be a spiritual soldier as my husband and as father to our two boys.  As a spiritual soldier, he understands Who his Commander is.  As he enlisted years ago into the Army of our Lord.

 

He sacrifices daily for the sake of our family.  Through the zillion ways he serves us.  As he is serving His Master Commander Lord and Savior.  He gives generously.  During difficulty.  During times of my own weakness, when he is tired, he offers more to me.  It is evident, under Christ, that “I” his wife, and our boys are his greatest treasures.  He equips the boys spiritually through the battles  of life.  Teaches, trains, and prepares them for life.

 

He is humble as well.  He wouldn’t say any of this is a “sacrifice”.   “It’s just what “I” do.”  Rather the way I see it, as he was matter of factly ready as a soldier to go into battle and simply do what he was called to do, he is the same in his position as a soldier for the Lord as husband and father.

 

Ultimately, I point to Jesus.  Who calls us into battle.  To die to ourselves, sin,  and live in spiritual sacrifice to Him.  Jesus the ultimate Sacrifice.  Saving sinners from death.  Giving it all because that is JUST what the LOVING GOD of the universe is all about.  Jesus went to the cross, and through the bloody battle, He won.  We are free.  Free from sin and free to live in newness of life. Under His command.

 

As our family reflects through a special dinner, dessert, teaching time, and movie night centered around our grateful hearts for this country God has blessed us with, as well as the people who gave so much for our freedom, those who continually still serve,  we also and most importantly will reflect on the ONE WHO gave it all so that we are free today, tomorrow and most importantly for all eternity.

 

My husband is my hero.  I yearned for a life living in HIS LIGHT and stepping away from the darkness, in serving the Lord in my home with our children.  It seemed impossible in every way.  Yet when it was time to enter into this call, my husband has labored and toiled and made every effort through some difficult seasons to keep me here in my call.  As I press on too, along his side, a soldier in the battle for what is right for our family.

 

I just think it is super important to reflect on sacrifice. Super important that we realize we have a high calling in a real battle to offer sacrifices daily.  While it may not seem like some “super hero” achievement, and while truly our SUPER HERO JESUS is the strength to give us the ability to keep moving forward in the battle daily, sacrifice is something as a Believer we are called to do daily.  The war against family, roles, and order by God’s design is real, and incredibly important to God.  We may never go to the actual battlefield, but we know we are truly in a Spiritual Battle everyday against the enemy of hell.  We are thankful we know our victory is secure, because of what Christ secured for us on that cross.

 

So as we honor what we have been given today,  I thank God for  all my brothers and sisters in Christ, Who have been saved through the precious sacrifice of the Savior.  Who are soldiers in the call, in obedience to the Commander of heaven and earth. I hope and pray, others will find the TRUE SACRIFICE of LOVE through JESUS.  Understand the depth of the price He paid to give freedom, and enjoy serving for the KINGDOM to come.

 

 “But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God,  and since that time He waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.  For by ONE sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, “

Hebrew 10:12-19

 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”

Romans 12:1

 

SOLDIERS FIX THEIR EYES on the COMMANDER’s ORDERS

Hit rewind
Click delete
Stand face to face with the younger me
All of the mistakes
All of the heartbreak
Here’s what I WILL NOW do differently

Love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on You, on You

I learned the lines and talked the talk
But the road less traveled is hard to walk
It takes a soldier
Who knows his orders
To walk the walk I’m supposed to walk

The things of Earth are dimming
In the light of Your glory and grace
I’ll set my sights upon Heaven
I’m fixing my eyes on You, on You

 

What’s In the Pie? The Greatest of These Is Love

 

It’s Fall.  An easy crock pot dinner, which means time and opportunity for wife and mama to put her love and energy into blessing her family with apple pie.

 

Isaac watched and wondered why the “heart?”.   Immediately after those words, he saw the look on my face and said, “I know.  You have something biblical to share to go with this pie don’t you?”.

 

After sharing with him, that this heart is a symbol of LOVE.  That I made this pie for the people I love.  The heart is a way to express that love, I decided to go further and yes… make it into an evening devotional time.  Great idea Isaac (he was actually ahead of me on that one).

 

How sweet it is!  Abide in Him.  Without Him I can do nothing.  I recently immersed myself into the pages of John chapter 15 again.  Reminded of the minute by minute walk with the Savior, in obedience, in prayer, in recognizing His grace each step of the way in each day.  Savoring the time with the Savior and the blessed call as wife and mother.  God’s grace today, through an evening of apple pie baking.  Look for the GRACE and EMBRACE what God is lavishing each minute of the day.

 

~LOVE ~

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

 But the greatest of these is LOVE”  

1 Cor. 13

 

LOVE IS…  doing what we know is right, even when we don’t feel like it. It’s remembering Jesus on the cross. Who died to save me.

The night before He went to the cross, He dreaded the cross before Him. Afraid, worried, and knew agony was on it’s way.  Beaten, bruised, bloody, crying and struggling to breathe.  Mocked, spit on, shamed, rejected.  The whole sin of the world, God’s wrath upon Him. The Father turned His face away.  Alone!  Jesus alone!  A Holy Father could not look upon the Son who was covered in my sin and shame.  Jesus showed the GREATEST act of LOVE.

 

So is love always a FEELING?

NO.

What can we remember about LOVE?

WE CHOOSE IT.

 

The GREATEST ACTS of LOVE happen when it is the hardest thing for us to do, yet we do it, out of obedience to the LORD.  Jesus submitted to the Father’s  will.  He WENT.  IN LOVE. To the cross.  Produced the GREATEST GOOD that ever will be.  Life forevermore! God’s power raising Jesus back to life.  He went through it.  All for LOVE.  Knowing for certain the glory that awaited.

 

As we offer acts of love, no matter how difficult, we have the blessed assurance, there is glory waiting on the other side.  To Him be the glory, in ways we may never know until eternity.  His love.  His power.  He produces life!

 

So now, each day, because of what God has done for me,  I get to learn & grow in LOVING God and LOVING others.   As Christ loved me. Obeying the Father.  I learn to die to myself, and CHOOSE to LOVE.  Believing in Christ’s power that WILL produce LIFE.  Above and beyond in ways I can not even imagine.  For His glory.  For His kingdom.

 

And that’s what an apple pie baked with love for my family means to us.  God’s love that never gives up on this family.  God’s power that has overcome time and time again.  God’s LOVE that called me to be in this SWEET place called home, many years ago.  When it seemed impossible financially, emotionally, physically, all these years with our children, His power and love has overcome.  God’s power making LIFE happen.  His LOVE covering our sin and weakness. Dying to our fleshly ways, and continually being resurrected to LIFE in HIS POWER and LOVE.

 

~LOVE IN ACTION~

 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[c]

 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Rom. 12:9-21

 

LOVE IS…

SINCERE.  GOOD.  DEVOTED.  HONORING OF OTHERS.  ZEALOUS FOR GOOD WORKS.  SERVING.  JOYFUL. HOPEFUL. PATIENT IN AFFLICTION.  BEING A PRAYER WARRIOR! SHARING AND CARING.  DESIRING TO BLESS.  HARMONIOUS.  HUMBLE.  ON THE MISSION TO OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.  TRUTHFUL.  HOPEFUL.  DETERMINED. KIND…. and SO MUCH MORE…

 

LOVE IS JESUS!

Who calls us to repent of our sins and RECEIVE His gift of life forevermore.

Love is His commandments.  Love is obeying Him.

 

 

How Our Son Is Overcoming in Communication & Relationship – I Am A Child of God

God gave us the Bible for our instruction manual for life.  Below are some scriptures and practical application we are using to help our sons overcome.

For those  who may have a child that has been given a label.  Falls into patterns of communication and relational barriers similar to Aspergers, high functioning autism,  neurological struggles.  A label isn’t always necessary.   We see our children’s struggles.  We as Believers, know the help for all of our struggles is Jesus.  Through His Word, and loving, repetitive, practical applications, we can watch and see Jesus move mountains in each and every intricate part of their lives.

I have a son who had a stroke at birth.  He is 15.   I have had a few people comment on his confidence.  In particular his confidence in communicating and relating in relationship.  People who have seen him transform in just this past year in this area. I have had that comment come to me again and again.  “I am amazed.  Whatever you have done, you have done well”.

I do not share this to brag.  Boast.  Or toot my own horn.  Quite honestly, this whole journey I have felt completely inadequate every step of the way in being his mother.  Focusing on the ONE Who is adequate to meet all our needs.  God called me to be a mother for our two sons.  Both have needed help in these relational areas.  In different ways.  Home schooling.  Walking and talking them through this life, God’s Word.  Beauty.

 

I do share this to boast.  Boast in the the Lord.  Boast again in His perfect Holy Word.  That He calls us to obey.  Calls us to listen to.  Calls us to use for everything that pertains to life and godliness.

 

Stroke, special needs, attitudes, behaviors, actions, struggles, challenges – there is nothing that His word cannot cut through in loving relationship with Jesus Christ and one another.  Parent to child.  Family.  Sibling to sibling.  Walking together.

 

With stroke has come many challenges.  Communication and relating to others has been one very hard hurdle. Each hurdle  has been overcome, in time, patiently, with the Bible and varying techniques to teach, instruct, train in the way the way they should go.

 

Last Fall I set goals.  Quite honestly, I forget half the time the actual specific goals I write down.  I forget how it all came to be, that we stand here a year later with many people seeing, what has happened for our son.  Once again.

 

As I prepare for goals for this Fall, I am blessed to find the written goals from LAST year.  Now I remember what the LORD specifically showed me to do in this area that was still stuck, that I yearned for freedom in for my son!

 

The Lord gave me SCRIPTURES for each detail of communication and relationship. (I’m sure there are many more.  But this is what we used for this season) We went through each piece.  Showed by example.  Role played with family, friends, people out and about.  Practiced each and every way through living life.

We have to get to the heart of our child.  For them to know, that though coming out of “their world” their “comfort zone” feels extremely uncomfortable, God’s grace is with them, and His will is the best thing for their lives.  Though this is extra hard work, and most likely will always be, they will find it is worth it, to be walking God’s way.

 

COMMUNICATION/RELATIONSHIP- SCHOOLING ON THE ROCK 2016 – 2017 

 GREET – 

“I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.  Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.”  3 Jn. 14  

God created us to speak to one another face to face.  With friends.  With family.  With others. How special it is when we do a simple greeting and use their name.  It makes it all the more personable and special.  Different greetings for men and women.  Different ways of greeting children, adults, strangers, friends, family.  Greet mom when she wakes in the morning.  Stop what you are doing, greet dad when he walks in the door from work.  Greet the neighbor who walks by the way.  Etc…

LISTEN – “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”  James 1:19.  Practice listening, and responding back in varying ways.  With a nod.  With an “I see”.  An “oh…”.   Showing you care.  This can be done with younger children too.  Celebrating with a small reward after they have listened for such and such amount of time (make attainable goals.  Grace!  Grace!  This is hard for our kiddos!)

SPEAK –  “I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge…” 2 Cor. 11:6.  “…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say…”  Matthew 10:19.  We can walk confidently in the way God has created us, to speak.  We may not always please men.  That’s okay.  We are here to speak and please the Lord.  He will give us what we need to speak.  Do your best.  Trust God.

“The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” Exodus 4:11-12

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  Col. 4:6.  God created us for conversation.  Pay attention that we are  kind in our conversations.  That tone of voice can be VERY difficult for some.  For my son, everything sounded like one tone for a long time.  I had to gently instruct for LONG time to notice the tone.  Brash, gruff was his natural way.  Most likely it was the way to get it out when it was so hard.  Extra work to collect one’s thoughts AND…. pay attention that the tone goes with the moment.  God wants me to learn how to converse and communicate back to each person who comes my way.

ENCOURAGE – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  1 Thess. 5:11.  God  created us to use our speech to be an encouragement to others.   To see outside of ourselves.  Obey God’s word, and look for something good to say on another’s behalf.  Again, this will require mom to be “there” to direct him and help him to see those opportunities.  This will require patience for mom to not grow weary in doing good. This will require mom to be abiding in Jesus.  Praying without ceasing.  On the spot, moment by moment. There are times I wondered if this was ever going to stick.  It does!  Just keep going.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Eph. 4:29

REJOICE! – “Rejoice with those who rejoice…”  Romans 12:15.  Rejoice when someone else shares or does something good.  Pay attention to our tone of voice.  Varying a bit higher tone for excitement.  And so on.  Our tones, communicate.  Say words like “that is great”.  “very cool”.  “oh neat”.

WEEP – “…weep with those who weep” Romans 12:15.  When someone shows and communicates they are hurting, sad, etc.  Use a quieter, gentler tone of voice. Words like “I’m sorry.”  “I’ll pray for you”.  “that would be difficult”.

FELLOWSHIP – “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”  Phil. 2:1-3.  Be excited for what others can do.  Be humble.  Pay attention to what others are into.  What they get excited about.  What is happening with them.  Make what they have to say as really important.

TALK – “My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long…”  Psalm 71:24.  God created us to bring Him glory.  As we speak to others.  Listen to others.  As we speak about the Lord and all He has done for us.  We are doing exactly what God created us to do.

 

“He lifted me out of the  pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand….. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.  Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”

From Psalm 40:2-5

 

God created us.  He makes no mistakes.  He knows everything about each of us.  He is our help and strength.  He is ready to perfect His plans for the lives of our children.  He gave us His Holy Word to be the help that we need.

 

“… but I have put my hope in your word.”

Psalm 119:81

Train our children… God’s Instruction Manual for LIFE!

 

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Deut. 6:5-11

 

 

 

 

 

What Is Purity? ~ Raising Boys ~

 

Train up our sons in the way they should go. What is purity? How do they walk through this world? This culture? We have had to come to terms with what we know about us. And how God is directing us to walk through this life, knowing who we are.  Saying no even when it might not make sense to others.  Continuing to be awakened in our own complacency to the environment we are surrounded by and how to set the boundaries, and what tools to use, to walk through this world.

 

This isn’t about judging others. This is about knowing the sin nature of oneself. This is about wanting to please God. This is about a deep, passionate desire to live a holy life in obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord. Understanding this is a very real, present and spiritual battle every single day until we meet Jesus. This is about confessing I am sinner. About doing that which God is calling me to. This is about honoring God. Honoring others.

 

God says, “You should be holy, because I the Lord God am holy” (see Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16). In other words, holiness is built into the character of God. He has a separateness and hatred toward sin. God does not want to be near sin, and He does not want us to be near it either. The greatest argument for sexual purity is God’s holiness. If we wish to be godly, we must wish to live in sexual purity. ~Randy Alcorn Eternal Perspective Ministries

 

Sexual purity begins in the mind, not the body

“Above all else, guard your heart [mind, inner being], for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

 

“But we have to recognize that we live in a world that is under sin’s curse, and therefore must be very careful as God’s people to separate ourselves from the behaviors of the world around us where immorality is routine and even celebrated. We need to be sure that not only are we avoiding celebrating it, but also that we are separating ourselves from it to be God’s pure people, holy in His sight.

And be careful what you expose your mind to. If you’re on a diet, don’t go to Baskin & Robin’s. If you do, your resistance will break down. If you want to abstain from lust, you don’t go places and watch movies and programs and read things that stimulate lust. Don’t give your mind junk food. Be sure you’re getting spiritual nutrition.”
Randy Alcorn – Eternal Perspective Ministries

 

There are many scriptures on purity, guarding minds. So many things to consider. Be careful lest you fall.

This is about living with the future in mind. Each choice today, we consider how that is going to impact my walk with God.   How it will affect others.  For our sons in their decisions and conduct.

 

As well as myself as a woman. In my example in dress and conduct. As a mother to young boys. I confess. I have been convicted. I have made changes as I have been made aware of how my actions can be a stumbling block to others in my dress.  Realizing that a woman’s actions in how they carry themselves, dress, and so much more are signals that communicate something.  It starts in the heart.  When our hearts are willing, God will be faithful to show us areas of sin, or ignorance and more.

This week I was with our sons on a little history adventure. This women’s swim suit caught our attention from 1920’s. My youngest in pure honesty, believes this should be the fashion today for all women. He is the same boy who said there should be a wall around the lingerie departments in stores (this should be a law), and turns the magazines around in the check out aisle of grocery stores with barely clothed women. He desires to keep his mind pure.

How far we have come in our society. Sin can start with a small step forward of leniency in allowing thoughts into our minds, growing us numb to the sin, and making us think just a little bit more is going to be just fine. That good old question, “how far can we go before we have crossed the line into sin”.

I so appreciate these two articles and wanted to share. (below).  Although at this point, we are taking precautions with our boys hearts, they  knowing we are on their side to train them up with the idea of courtship rather than dating.  To keep that ever important accountability.  Our little boys, are now teenage boys, growing into young men, with eventual hopes to be husbands someday.

We are learning the boundaries needed for our lives, to keep our minds pure. So that we keep our whole beings pure. So that we are honoring God. Honoring young ladies. Honoring that one who is their future wife.

It’s a lot to figure out in this crazy world. We continue on our mission. Praying fervently. Examining our own lives.

With our hearts set on… not worrying about fitting into the world or pleasing men. But striving to please God. Servants of Christ. Gal. 1:10

 

http://www.epm.org/blog/2013/Sep/23/sexual-purity

 

http://www.epm.org/blog/2012/Jul/23/how-do-you-define-purity

 

 

Today… I Will…

As long as I have breath…

 

Preparing for the day.

In the morning when I rise give me JESUS.

His mercies are new every morning, Great is THY faithfulness.

 

Today… I will…

 

  1. Sing and Worship – Psalm 96:1
  2. Be thankful in all circumstances – 1 Thess. 5:16
  3.  Pray continually – 1 Thess. 5:17
  4.  Put on the full armor of God – Eph. 6:10-20
  5. Take every thought captive – 2 Cor. 10:5
  6. Watch over the ways of my household – Prov. 31:27
  7. not eat the bread of idleness – Prov. 31:27
  8. Serve others in worship to the Lord –“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
  9.  Abide in His commands – Abide in His love – John 15
  10. Honor the people around me – Romans 12:10
  11. Do all to the glory of God – 1 Cor. 10:31
  12. Ask for wisdom – James 1:5
  13. Love in truth – ” speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Eph. 4:15
  14. Rest in Sovereign God – Romans 8:28
  15. Stand firm – abounding in His work – 1 Cor. 15:58
  16. Fix my mind on things above – Col. 3:2
  17. Thank Jesus for all He has done for me – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18
  18. Receive the gift of His grace as I fall short, fall on Him, and am resurrected again and again to new life.  Today!  Eph. 2:8-9

 

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[a] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

 

Draw Near My Child

 

On our trip to a wildlife sanctuary in Bandon, Oregon, a couple years ago, this was one of my favorite moments.  We watched these two walk together.   The child under the shadow of his mother’s wing. At one point, mother was up ahead and baby was lagging behind. Baby was desperate to catch up and be near once again.

 

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

 Ps. 91:1

 

Thinking of all the beautiful places God the Father has taken me in my life journey with Him. Calling me out of the darkness and depths of despair a long time ago. Walking me daily to greater and greater light. Opening my eyes to more of Him.

 

How often I want to hold on emotionally those beautiful places where He has provided manna from heaven in the midst of desperate need. “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Ps. 107:9 I am so elated, I want to be in this place forever. I forget so easily, that He is with me wherever I go.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

 

That this filling is HIM, Christ alone filling me. No matter where I am.

When I’ve been in a satisfying place after a long journey through the dessert, and he would call me out of this place, my emotions would flood. I would lose sight momentarily clinging to the provision… rather than the PROVIDER. Forgetting the PROVIDER always has greater and more for me. My emotions have gone to fear of what is to come next. Rather than faith, in simply believing wherever I am, He is with me and that is all that I need.  He is leading me to bless me.

 

Over many years of walking with Him. I realize, each and every stop for a season has been His provision to fill. And every new place He has called me to follow Him, I am always once again in awe and wonder of  greater, more beautiful, provision. Necessary for His purposes and plans to be completed in me and the life of my family. I am thankful for every single place He has taken me and filled me. In His faithfulness He leads me out and onward, and upward to more of Him. Each step of the way, the highs and lows, has been time of growth, challenge, and immense blessing.

 

If I had not followed Him, I would have not reaped the blessings. I would have not grown. I would have not seen the beauty of His holiness shine forth. Would not have met the beautiful people in my life along the way who have given much to increase my faith, and encouraged me onward. I think of one move we made a few years back. How God provided richly a friend and sister so beautiful and perfect for my life. I think of an older lady in Christ who God used in a desperate season of desert to refresh me with her loving touch and helpful hand. I think of another older lady in Christ who has walked the walk with boys on the spectrum. A refreshing flood of goodness to my soul in the midst of what had been a very dry and weary land. Someone who understood completely, who knew, who lived it, walked it, breathed it. A special gift to be so in sync with another, when our experience with most of the world not able to really understand the depth of the emotions, experiences, obstacles, and needs. That can feel lonely. Someone who had yet another piece of “LIFE” to add to my life to cheer me onward in my calling. He brings refreshing through the Body of Christ. He brings refreshing in staying near in following Him.

I’ve realized as time has gone on in my walk, as He calls us onward to step out and go… there has been a change in me. While sure I wonder about the unknowns, but there is a greater over ruling hope and peace … knowing… God is up to something once again. I know it is going to be good.

 

There is a bit of less resistance.  Less lagging behind with my emotions trying to resist the move forward. More contentment in following Him. Like the child in this picture, lagging momentarily.  And mother who is leading and yet not too far to be reached.  I draw near to God.  He is there.  We walk on together.

 

Less fear, less holding so tightly to my surroundings, my emotions, and more faith in a faithful God Who is leading our family on towards His next blessings. Though it may be a walk through a difficult place…  (I even saw this parent-child in the picture above maneuver together under and over a high fence – being squeezed and pressure applied to their bodies)

 

We know that through difficulty God is with us,  refines us through the fire of His Holy perfection. Setting us freer. Taking us beyond the obstacles. Taking us deeper to more of Him. Seeing the blessings and His provision, manna from Heaven. Satisfying our longing souls. For our longing is for more of Him. Seeing His glory and power.

 

I remember Jesus’ love.  Graciously obedient to the point of death on a cross to redeem me of my sins.  I am raised to life with Him.  This steadfast love calls me onward to trust and obey, without hesitation.  “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”  Rom. 12:10-11

 

Oh how beautiful and magnificent and truly overwhelming it will be when for those who follow Jesus, when the journey is complete and we move upward for eternity in His perfect LIGHT forever.

 

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings..”

Heb. 10:22

 

 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

Lady Lampstand

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness 

~Proverbs 31:27

1 3/4 eyes,  3/4 of my mind,  3/4 of my heart.  Is not true obedience.

To fully be in obedience to the command to watch over the ways of my household, I need two eyes, a full mind and heart fully engaged.  Free of distraction.  Fixed here.  Committed to this call.  Nothing else takes priority over this call in this specific season of life.

For me this season, includes:  the honor of serving my husband, two sons, and  mother-in-law in our home.

Recently recognizing God was calling us to order again.  He convicted me to tend to first the order needed in my life.

With my soul I have desired You in the night,
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
~Isaiah 26:9

So I sought Him.  In His word.  In prayer.  Removing distraction.  Shutting off the screens.  Facebook.  Stopped looking at what others were doing.  Cutting out everything in my mind except the yielding of my mind to obey His commands in His Word.

Actively seeking God for how He wants to transform me in particular areas of my life.  Seeking the well being of my family.

God calls me to LOOK DEEP, DEEP, DEEP, and seek Him for the needs of this home.  The caring of this home is not just the physical needs.  But caring for the emotional, spiritual, needs of this home.  I must be present with not just my physical but with my whole heart and mind.  Undivided.  Fully committed.

This watching over the ways of my household, looking to see the needs, isn’t like a quick surface cleaning that I can do to make my actual house “appear” lovely, yet leaving the hidden and deeper places of the home left in disarray.  This is a deep, attentiveness, that requires time, tenderness, patience, a listening ear, and more.

It can be advocating biblically for order again in the areas of life and relationships that are in disarray.   Advocating in fervent prayer.  Bringing in the word to stand up for truth and light.  Speak when I ought.  Be still and quiet when I ought. Leave it in the hands of God.  Trust His will, will indeed be done.  Waiting and trusting God that He will produce the order.

Jesus says:

you are the light of the world…they do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the

HOUSE!

~Matthew 5:14-15

I cannot help but see the correlation of “she looks over the ways of her HOUSEHOLD”  and how much I do desperately want to be a light in this world.  I am a spiritual lampstand in this very HOUSE.  I am called to

Let your light so shine before men,  that they may see your good works

and glorify your Father in heaven

~Matthew 5:16

So the Lord gives us women Titus 2.  Which again ties in so beautifully.  Called to love my husband, children, and for me, my mother-in-law in this HOME.

Physically, mentally, spiritually, investing all of myself as a spiritual lamp stand.

 to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed

~Titus 2:4-5

For certainly to be opposite with my investments, ambitions, time, energy, out there, everywhere else, attempting to make a difference…  My very light inside this home would be snuffed out quickly.

Glorify God in being a keeper at home in Titus,  let your light shine… that God may be glorified in Matthew.

God provides many opportunities to share his truth and love, encouragement through the natural flow of friendships, fellowship with Believers, and everyday out and about.  He provides ways for me to be out serving together with our sons as well.

However, the very mentoring that should be the focal point and consuming my days should be foremost the mentoring of  our sons.

I want to keep the priority of my existence in this season of life as a lamp stand shining bright in this home as I serve my family.  I want to renounce those temptations, the lies of thinking too highly of myself, trying to do more than I should in all the wrong places.  I want to forbid myself day after day to allow my mind to be too busy about everything else so that I don’t have the focus, energy, ability, to do that which is my foremost call.

Beware, lest I  fall in mixing up the call…making disciples in the mentoring of my children, IS INDEED following Jesus.  This is the Proverbs 31 woman God has made me to be for this season.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens

~Ecclesiastes 3:1

There are ways to bless without becoming obsessed with trying to reach out to the world while losing the very world and souls inside this home.  I am called to love under the command of the Almighty One Above.

Bless are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

~Matthew 5:3

This week I knew I was bankrupt in my ability to transform myself, and truly live in the ways God calls me to live here in this place.  God says in the very recognition of my inability, I would be blessed.  So this brought me hope and joy in the process.

Blessed are the meek (controlled strength), merciful,  pure in heart, peace makers…

“Heavenly Father,

You’ve been merciful to me.  I want to be merciful to others.  Help me to be a peacemaker.  I pray that my light would shine before men-first and foremost in the heart of my home. May my light shine for my husband, children, mother-in-law.  Father show me what these good works are you are calling me to.  May my conduct be honorable in my heart, speech, and actions.  That I would walk in the fullness of all the fruits of Your Spirit.  I pray I be lovely, gracious, excellent.  Pure.  That I would be meek.  Oh Lord enable me to walk confidently in You in truth and love. Father in heaven I desperately want to be “watching over the ways of my household” not be idle, complacent, distracted.  I want to see the need.  Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual.  I want to recognize things that need to be put in order.  Whether it be the literal caring of the home in cleaning and organizing or it be the recognizing the need for proper order in my own ways and attitude.  Help me to see the order needed relationally, communicate effectively the concerns of my heart, submit myself under the leadership of my husband, commit to prayer over all, in order that we would  all   flow and dwell together in unity by Your will.  I need Your help.  I am desperate to break out of the immature mindsets and live more Godly with a more Christ like character.  Help Lord I pray.  I know that You will.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

This was the prayer I prayed one day.  Situations came.  Issues to be addressed.  Relational needs in need of fine tuning, and so much more need.  I saw, saw, saw, so much need to greater degree.  I was blessed to be here.  Amazed at every opportunity that displayed itself.  Boldness in truth and love.  Meeting sweet needs of my boys. The Lord heard my cry.  As I was able to address even the more challenging details of life with everything I asked for – the fruits of His Spirit. It was a totally different and wonderful experience this time deep within my own being, addressing some specific matters at hand. My husband and I  together in unity to do that what God calls us to do.     It was truly the Lord at work all the way around.

What a wonderful next morning to wake up, flip to the Psalms and read this:

I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name
For Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.   In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.
~Psalm 138:2-3
Along with this morning scriptures,  notations sent me to another scripture related because it coincides with David’s heart cry for the HOUSE the LORD PROMISED TO BUILD:

For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.

 “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.  Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

~2 Samuel 7:27-29

 

“May Your blessings Lord, be upon this house, and my friends house who is reading this today… blessings today, and forevermore.  In Jesus Name, AMEN”

 

Who am I without your grace
another smile, another face
another breathe, a grain of sand
passing quickly through your hand
Id give my life, I’m not afraid
take it all, take everything
Let them see you, in me
let them hear you, when I speak
let them feel you, when I sing
let them see you,
let them see you, In me
with every breathe I breathe

 

 

 

 

To Give A Reason

 

 

These two go together rather perfectly…. and really hit me.
“Abstain from every form of evil.”

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Is. 5:20, 1 Thess. 5:22)

 

I’ve been prayerfully sifting through how to approach this writing.  In fact, I actually had to do a bit of digging, research, and detective work to compile my conclusions to share.

 

We have never read the Harry Potter books and never seen the Harry Potter movies.  We never will.  My children have never really asked much about seeing them.  I had heard this and that, and knew there was an element of magic in them.  We simply detoured away and have never really given a solid reason to our children of why we have made that decision.  I am thankful they have simply trusted our decision.

 

Others have asked.  Have you seen Harry Potter?  I felt that I should educate myself enough in order to share with our children, so that they could understand our reason.   I guess I could say, I already had a conviction just from the small snippit of understanding I had of the books, but wanted an overall better and more biblical answer for them.  So they could learn and grow, and understand the reality of the need to be on guard.  To be discerners.  And hopefully for them to be able to then share, if  they choose, should another time come when their peers ask them – “why not?”.

 

I confess, I have not done this well at times in the programs they have viewed.  I have spent time repenting, asking their forgiveness, and we have all grown.  After researching Harry Potter, it has led me to being on guard and even more prayerful about the choices we make overall.  Realizing a level of ignorance on my part at times, in not digging enough before really thinking about what we are allowing our minds to be entertained with.

 

Recently God has been convicting me, through a study of Peter.  Jesus challenging Peter to examine his heart, in not casually or ignorantly claiming “I love you Lord”.  But examining do “I really love him?”  Am I really ready to forsake all of this world and my affections to follow Him?  Also reading through the rich young ruler again, I was captivated by the question… “Lord what do I lack?”  Jesus informed him what he lacked, challenged him, and  he failed to surrender every aspect of his life to the Lord.  He held onto the things that were dear to him.  So I am learning to ask the Lord, “what do I lack?” and be ready as God gives me the answer, to receive what the Lord may show me I am lacking.  And ready to forsake all, let go of the comfortable, complacent living and really be willing to “come follow Jesus”.

 

And so as I share with my children my findings on Harry Potter,  I think of the scripture…

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”  1 Peter 3:15-17

 

The first point I want to make right off the start!  

What I’ve found that seem to all match up in resources is that the many of the statements, practices in these movies is not simply pretend.  This is real!  Active and being used in forms and ways and practiced at this very moment in real life.

 

Keeping in mind I have not seen the Harry Potter movie.  I am going off the findings that seem to be common among the many websites and a friend I chatted with as well on this matter.

 

What I have discovered is Harry Potter is a clever vice of the enemy to lure children/others into a seemingly innocent and fun movie using very real practices of real wiccans today.

From one source:

“One of the easiest ways to know whether a fantasy book or film has real world magic in it is to just ask a simple question: “Can my child find information in a library or bookstore that will enable them to replicate what they are seeing in the film or the book?”   If you go to something like Harry Potter, you can find references to astrology, clairvoyance, and numerology. You can actually replicate these exact things in real life.  And witches do.  It takes seconds to go into a bookstore or library and get books on that and start investigating it, researching it, and doing it. In fact, that’s why real Wiccans, real witches, and real occultists are using the popularity of Harry Potter to lure kids toward real world occultism. They actually have advertisements for their own books that use Harry Potter as their appeal.”

 

I spoke with a Sister in Christ the other day, who actually confirms  this.  Within her local church years ago, a video was shared with real wiccans claiming they hoped others would watch Harry Potter so they would be captivated into the magic and witchcraft.  It was a tool they were thrilled to use!

 

We know that children are copy cats.  And imitate, perform, practice, and quote the things they’ve seen and heard.  We may say we can walk and talk our children through these things.  Our children are mature enough to handle it.  Is that what the bible says?  “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 cor. 10:12

 

What about being a stumbling block?  And what about:? “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

 

More things I’ve read:

” We might see some symbolism in the Harry Potter books that might be able to be interpreted — if you pushed it — in some sort of Christian way, but these same symbols also have occult and pagan meanings to them. Within the framework and the context of Harry Potter we see that this is probably what she is dealing with.

There is this whole movement within Christianity where people are trying to say that the Harry Potter books are Christian novels. And that is just untrue. You can’t interpret it that way. That is not the context of the story. That’s not what Rowling is in her real life and what she is trying to put across. And what is interesting is that these people who are saying that the Harry Potter books are Christian, are interpreting all these symbols in a Christian way, but in the exact opposite way that J.K. Rowling has herself explained. So they are contradicting the author herself, which is sort of silly.

Parents are unaware at how easy it is to get books on witchcraft and spells, many of which are located right next to the Harry Potter books at bookstores.   Parents don’t seem to understand first of all what is in Harry Potter.  I don’t think parents understand how closely what is in Harry Potter mirrors what is in the real world, and then how the real world books are being sold right up next to the Harry Potter books. There is this crossover where the Wiccans know it, the occultists know, the practitioners of all these things know it, and they are using that curiosity that kids have for all of this stuff now through Harry Potter to attract readers to their real world how-to manuals.”

 

This is serious business. We would do well to remember Jesus’ sobering words: “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

 

I actually found an article from an ex-witch.  Who is now a professing Christian saved and set free!  Shares of the dangers of Harry Potter.  Confirming the practices within Harry Potter is very much real, alive and active in this world today.  That there is a deceptive reason these books and movies are being produced.  “be on guard the devil seeks who he may devour”.

 

In the name of fun and pretend….

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  2 Cor. 11:14

 

I visited our local library today.  It was an eerie feeling.  AS I prayed my way to the shelves for witch craft, and more.  I guess I just wanted to see the real deal books in non-fiction after seeing the Harry Potter books on the shelf in the children’s fiction.  Supposedly pretend and yet very much real.  Not only did I see the witchcraft books, but sitting the next book over was the satanic bible.  I’d had enough and prayed my way out of this place.

 

Deuteronomy 18: 9-11 gives us some  crystal clear guidance. “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire (human sacrifice), or that useth divination (fortune telling such as using a sorting hat), or an observer of times (charting your life by astronomy or the stars), or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer (a person who uses information, music or physical items like jewelry to seduce another person), or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”

 

Acts 19:18-19  “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.”

 

A  serious matter.

 

While Harry Potter is not one we have put before our children’s eyes, I am reminded of how important it is to cry out to the Lord, and ask him to search and examine me “See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24

 

The apostles were called to “come Follow Me”.  Leave behind everything that was near, familiar, and dear to them. Deny themselves.

 

“do not be conformed to the patterns of this world..”  Romans 12:2

 

Our comfy cushy lives with entertainment can often go to our heads.  The disciples were leaving behind families, occupations, everything… and we grit our teeth when we have to say “no” to entertainment?  Oh my.

 

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:17

 

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Eph. 5:15-17

 

Blessed On a Drive by A Radio Talk Show Host

By Isaac: A child of the King – Fearfully and wonderfully made by God!

GOD  KNEW the ENCOURAGEMENT I NEEDED AS HE PROVIDED THROUGH A RADIO TALK SHOW HOST.
ASPERGERS. The autism spectrum. The truth of socially awkwardness. Trying to fit in. With seemingly random, quirks, and the world that they navigate with wired brains to absorb in the special interest God has placed within them. We find balance of embracing “they are fearfully and wonderfully made” with the other truth of the God of our salvation calling us to not “think about ourselves… but the other person”.

So as this Christian man, walking the walk with the life of Jesus and the unique way in which He is created, he shared this same truth for his life!!!! Exact scripture and perspective! IT is hard, hard work. He must be intentional and learn to set aside his own “interests” (that he could easily talk non stop on) at times to simply inquire of another. And grace. He having grace on the one who may not want to listen to his topic for hours on end, and the other talk show host chiming in to explain how grace is important for the typical person as well to exercise. Grace to recognize the effort one is putting forth to ask “how are you doing…” and so forth and make that effort to respond in kind. Grace to look at the person as God does… not to focus in on their random, or impulsive moments, and deem them as “random”, “odd”, “out there”.

Truth is, there isn’t anything random about what they are thinking. Their minds are full of inquisitiveness, curiosity, exploration, and taking in so much.

And this is what I found when I came home on their website by this same man:
“I’m a radio host and a writer. It turns out radio is wonderful for me because I don’t have to worry about anyone’s body language… but mostly I’m a radio host because I’m convinced God makes us the way we are for a reason. He even tells us why – it’s so HE can be glorified. It’s funny, because all the years that I went through difficulty trying to understand social life at school… and I could never quite fit in… all those experiences have helped me… You may not realize it, but the very things that make you stick out right now can be wonderful things later. I never thought it would be so, but a look back now on my life and I say, “Thank God.” Thank God for the difficulties I’ve gone through and thank God for autism.”

I’m so grateful for the life God has given us. Meaningful Monday was a “class” I taught here in the headquarters of Schooling on the Rock of Jesus (but not only on Mondays, but everyday). Relational skills. In varying settings of at home. Outside these walls. Varying situations. And for many years that was focused primarily at home between one another. Varying between the relating with young ones to old ones. All the ways we relate in communication. Helping. Serving. Hugging. Who, when. This is hard, hard work. This desperate need has only pointed and forces us into being more intentional than we would have been apart from this “life”. Recognizing a deeper awareness of our need for Jesus and relationship with Him. It has forced us to work REALLY, REALLY, hard to do that which God calls us all to do as His followers, in the tiny, simplistic, everyday living of life with one another.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 … and we are definitely a work in progress.

Thankfully He Who has begun a good work will be faithful to complete it.

Courage that Counts …

 

God instills and equips the courage to do that which He calls us to do. Sometimes there is no earthly preparation for the real life battles.  Walking with Jesus prepares us for anything.

 

I am not down playing skills, or sports. Our sons have learned a lot from the varying sports they have participated in. And He prepares us with skills to be used for His purposes and plans for our lives. Ultimately it is Christ alone where we find the ability and strength to do that which He calls us to do. He is our provision.

 

For a young boy who trains in a sport, still working on skill, and perhaps struggling to keep up with the physically “strong ones” – “seemingly” more reserved to putting it all out there, God showed me something amazing today. The HEART of passion when ignited, for that which is truly purposeful…resulted in boldness, bravery, courage, ready to protect and fight in the REAL LIFE battles. No reservation.

 

“mom, I purposefully stood next to her side. I was concerned for the stranger nearby and wanted to protect”.  He wasn’t distracted.  He was aware and sensed the need to do that which God created boys to do.  In an instant of REAL life I saw the true courage that rules his heart. There’s something special in seeing courage rise, in evidence it is there because of a heart of passion and great purpose. This heart might not be stirred by competitions, and practice skill fights… but in the matter of real deal, God sheds a light on the truth of the courage deep within his heart. Fully ready and able to stand and protect.

 

The heart that rises to protect, defend, honor another. Relationship. It matters. This is purpose. That’s what matters to my mother’s heart. Fight for what’s right. To protect the ones he loves. This is no game. This isn’t about mastering a sport for fun. This is no competition. This is where the fire, the passion, the ability explodes into a beautiful display of courage within the heart of young boy.

 

Trained up by the Word of God. It’s the heart of the matter. I think of my own life, at the onset of my pregnancy of our firstborn son, we attended those classes. Did everything possible to be ready, to prepare. All that came to absolutely NOTHING.  None of what we learned prepared us for this adventure. In the day of the battle. The day he was born lifeless. No training prepared me for this. Courage welled and it didn’t come from my preparation of classes and techniques. The only preparation was the walking with Jesus I had done the years prior, growing in Him. The onset of the battle, fear turned to faith over and over as the Lord gave me courage.

 

That’s what I want for our sons. Courage to do “well” in the strength of the Lord. Moment by moment in the real life that matters. Courage to speak up for what is right. To defend, protect, and care for others.

 

Not skill as the ultimate prize. But courage day by day to do the things that matter to our King.

 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness” 2 Tim. 4:7

 

What Places Am I Holding Onto In My Heart?

 

“it’s easy to get sentimental about a location-We do not find God in a place but in a Person.”

Places. A physical place, our surroundings, or a comfortable place in our hearts and desires, our activities, routines, and more. Secure. Holding “places” within the heart so dear, we depend on them rather than DEPEND on the ONE we are called to Follow.

The flesh leans to what is seen. The Spirit calls us out to unknowns. “walk by faith, not by sight” To “let go”. “come follow me” Jesus called to His disciples. Obedience to His Word.

Below are some pieces (along with my own notations and experiences) from an article from the Institute of Creation magazine. Taking me to new places in His Word-as HE calls me to new places in my life.

“DO NOT SEEK BETHEL OR GILGAL OR GO INTO BEERSHEBA — For Gilgal shall utterly go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing. SEEK THE LORD and LIVE.” (Amos 5:5-6)

GILGAL, BETHEL, BEERSHEBA, once places of great IMPORTANCE- this importance dwindled in time. These places ONCE the GOOD place, were no longer the “good” place to be.

Flesh will linger in places no longer called to be. God will lead His children out, whether once good, never good, or not good specifically for the specific plans for his individual children…

I’ve been convicted, and still being convicted of the places in the past and currently in my life where I have fleshly gripped onto what is “familiar”. Feeding on the surroundings – rather on HIS FAITHFULNESS.

How often I cry out for the desires of my heart. He reminds me, this very call “out” of the “comfortable” is His very faithfulness in leading onward to the VERY cries and desires of my heart.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:3-4

1) God LOOKS Forward, not backward.
He calls His children to do the same. Where once was a place He had us (even good places) – we must move forward with Him. Seeing the victory that awaits.

2)God wants obedience. Not activity.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what feels good. Called to obedience, not holding on to any “thing”, “activity”, “way of life” for our fulfillment.

3) God demands Truth, Not compromise.
Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Letting go of what we know. Moving forward in Him. Not compromising, remaining in the comfortable place, rather than follow JESUS in the hard place that promises blessing. “DIFFICULT is the way that leads to life.” Matthew 7:14

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting” Ps. 139:23-24

Living Stones

 

Been so blessed to glean from brothers and sisters and Christ in my walk with Jesus.   In my desperate desire to know His ways, others speaking the truth to me through God’s love and faithful word.  In home schooling and snagging ideas, and visions here and there, to add to the building of our academics,  relationships, and more.  He has placed a person here and there, to speak truth, encourage, and be that nugget of gold, precious stone to lead me in the way everlasting.  I am grateful.

 

Recently a dear friend of ours, gifted our boys with these beautiful stones.  Today, I was able to present a wonderful message of being Living Stones under the headship of Jesus the Chief Cornerstone.

 

In this picture we see varying stones.  With the cross the center of it all.  Each of us, chose a stone to represent “me”.  The remainder of the stones, we agreed were varying brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

“you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house.” 1 peter 2:4-5

 

God is building His church.  All who follow Jesus according to His word, He calls living stones.

 

We visited a little virtual home school tour of how a real stone is transformed.

 

 

Each began with rough spots, and much needed cutting away necessary to bring about a shiny, perfect, complete gem.

 

This is the necessary work for my life, as well as for all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

HARDSHIP-DIFFICULTY-TRIAL-AFFLICTION-PAIN –

 

Words to describe the Christian life.  And with JOY.  The joy of what is to come.  With these words, like hardship, come words of immense promise.  God is faithful to continue cutting away all that is wrong so that Jesus will shine more and more in me. This work will continue until the day I meet Him, and I have been deemed perfect and complete.

 

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 1:6

 

The cutting away of sin is painful.  Going God’s way and not my own is hard.  Suffering in pain and affliction, grueling.  God promises that any difficulty we go through will produce good.  And that the reward is beyond what I can imagine.  Immense pleasure and goodness forevermore.

 

 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17

 

When it hurts, when the pain doesn’t stop, we hold onto the truth “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

 

Now Jesus, He is the Chief Cornerstone.  Each Living Stone Believer is being fit together and into a holy temple.

 

“with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”  Eph. 2:20-21

 

 

We are thankful that each one of His chosen living stones has an important and specific spot to be placed within this Holy building.  And the building would not be a building without the rest of the precious stones.

 

As Christ Jesus is building His church, He calls believers to also build up one another.

 

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..” 1 Thess. 5:11

 

 

~Another day in Schooling On the Rock Of Jesus~

 

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Following Paul’s Example

All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

 

Philippians 3:10-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today Is What Matters

Today is what matters. And TODAY, I awoke feeling well. And the lesson my Isaac gave me yesterday… according to Isaac – “TODAY, mom, you feel well, so the way I see it you ARE healed”. He lives in the moment. What is before him. What a gift I have been given. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” Matt. 6:34 ~Embrace TODAY. With what I am given. Given – the presence of Jesus TODAY and every TODAY.

 

Realizing how he lives in the moment. Content. I was hit by this today. The quiet one, speaking a FEW SIMPLE and yet powerful words to me. Just speaking “what is”. Today. Right now. This moment. He taking note that I am feeling well today. I didn’t realize how a bit of me was worrying about “tomorrow”, until he said: “today, mom, I see you “are” healed”. Talk about turning my perspective around. God’s perfect holy perspective . <3 In awe and wonder of our God

 

Imitate Jesus

Unrelenting painful circumstances, that wage war. Suffering, suffering. Begging for relief. Receiving blessed encouragement from others, YET.. YET… in a “moment” when it almost becomes too much to bear. Surely in this “moment”, empathy, compassion, will be exercised.

In this “moment”, Alone. “So it seems.” Surely compassion is fitting and right, this is suffering. How could this be missed? Perhaps it isn’t being missed, but my own fleshly perspective. A need only the Father is meant to meet.

Run to the Father. Cry out to Him. Remember His love. I am convicted as I see Jesus. Bloody and broken on that cross for me. Repenting as I realize I am thinking of myself.Demanding my own way. What I deserve. Then the reality of what I deserved, before GRACE entered my life, through JESUS. The torment and suffering He endured, I never will. The loneliness that was real upon Him, will never be my reality. Praising Him for the compassion of others. Yet reminded of the dying I must do, and the dependency on Him for all my needs. That I am called to love and show grace not when it is convenient, but even in the most difficult, painful times.

This suffering of the Savior could not be relieved. There was a holy work to be done. This SUFFERING had to happen, and He must endure this cross. Something glorious waiting on the other side of this. Beautiful life.

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In SUFFERING, not one millisecond of looking out for Himself. Grace, love, forgiveness. Humility. Looking only out for others. For me. For you. ALONE! TRULY ALONE! The Father turned away not able to look upon this wretched sin that Jesus became. IN order to impart His own righteousness into the souls of those Who will Believe.

Because of this sacrificial offering of the Savior, I will never be alone. I am not alone. Christ’s power in me. Choose to believe in His love. Choose humility. Choose forgiveness. Choose grace. In the most painful moments of suffering… Be imitators of Christ and walk in love, give grace, forgiveness. Choose dying. Choose to receive the Ultimate Comforter. Choose life. Choose transformation. As Christ Jesus knew He must go to this cross, it had to happen. Thus, my flesh must die. As Christ Jesus rose victorious, each dying I die, I will indeed rise victorious. Believe it or not. I believe.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:17-18

Island of Quiet – Not Alone – Just Abide

SOMETIMES JESUS CALLS US TO EXTRA QUIET PLACES. AS WE REMAIN THERE. THIS IS NOT WRONG, THIS IS NOT ODD, THIS IS TOTALLY RIGHT.

Ever been in a place where it seems you are not “able” to do what “everyone” else is doing – even in the simplest of ways of life? You are not odd or misplaced on that island. You ARE ABLE to do exactly what God wants you to do where He has placed you. John on the Island of Patmos. God placed him there. This was a season where He would ABIDE in the quiet, MEET WITH JESUS in a spectacular way, for specific KINGDOM purposes.

The enemy tries so hard to deceive us women into believing lies of where REAL JOY is found. Sometimes Jesus just calls us to extra quiet places. This is not wrong, this is totally right.

Jesus provides-His Word encourages-Proverbs 31 He has washed over me. Earlier this week, in the middle of doing life, considering what I will wear for the day, feeling weary and rugged, God flooded me on the spot with WORDS from Proverbs 31. “STRENGTH(not in body, but heart, mind, soul) & HONOR ARE HER CLOTHING”-the beautiful clothing that matters.

When I consider the paring down of life through many circumstances, including snow that has remained for 5 days… “she is not afraid of snow for her household..” content for no matter how many days I am snowed in here, not frantically saying, I cannot stand one more day trapped in here, is that what the Apostles did, when placed in the brutally harsh callings? Thanking, praising, and listening to Jesus that’s the example they set. To remain where Christ had them in His presence- in the RUGGED – in JOY.

“rise while it is still night..” I did rise earlier than the rest today. Grateful for an amazing night’s sleep… I hear ” do not eat the bread of idleness…” Honored to place my hand across the doors of our sons bedrooms and pray over their lives.

“be content with what you have, I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) has been washing me, for weeks!!!!!! Content – coupled with PROVERBS 31 WORDS – So ENCOURAGED.
Sharing this ONLY to magnify the name of the Lord – because God gave me a song a few weeks ago, “take it all, take it all away, magnify no other name, open up my eyes to SEE MORE of YOU!” Isn’t that what happened to John on the island He was placed? He wasn’t able to do much of what “everyone” else was doing, He saw the GLORY OF THE LORD! He was ABLE to do exactly what GOD wanted him to do -write the BOOK OF REVELATIONS!! In God’s economy – that is SO VERY MUCH!!!!

THIS is where JOY is FOUND. This is where we see MORE OF JESUS. ABLE to do exactly what He wants us to do, for His greater purposes and glory.

In HIS presence, in HIS will. The Lord, husband, children, home… We can hold our heads up as women, wives, mothers, Sisters in Christ, encouraging one another… confident that while we experience days of rugged, doing less than the “rest” of the masses, that may not “seem” so beautiful- TRUTH PREVAILS we are in the BEAUTY OF HIS STRENGTH AND HONOR.

Digging Deeper – The Glories of the Unseen

Huge thank you to my son Isaac for standing in shorts, in 20 deg. temps and 10 mph winds to snap this shot

God is always doing much, much, much, more than we can see with our eyes.  That is what this week’s lessons have been about.

 

Through the gift of snow that visited our home, we have once again been able to incorporate living and learning.

 

That snowflake, and then another, and another and another….and to infinity and beyond… each snowflake has been commanded by God to fall.

“He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’…”  Job 37:6

 

We decided to “dig” deeper to understand the snowflake.  What is happening in the unseen to make this beauty happen?

 

We needed to go back before the snowflake – to water.  Well, back EVEN further.  What a joy to introduce my children to the basic concepts of atoms, molecules, and the underlying elements of creation that we do not see with our eyes.  The unseen parts of creation, that science reveals.

 

As God is commanding that snowflake to fall, He has a specific number of atoms of hydrogen, oxygen, he  bonds together to create, first – water.  Water turning to vapor, then frozen vapor, attaching to a piece of dust in the clouds, where then nearly 100,000 molecules of frozen water conglomerate to build ONE gorgeous snowflake.  Specifically each snowflake unique in it’s design, yet every single one commanded to form a 6 sided hexagon!

 

(Might I note, this was all new to me.  In a matter of an hour on a Tuesday morning, I set out with what God had provided before me in my home, first energy (praise God!) to pull together this study.  Bible, computer, board game chips, candy, etc…  and the night before I must include, prayer!  Asking God to direct my heart and mind to His leading for this week.)

 


In a nut shell, we did indeed dig deeper to comprehend the power, control, authority, and care the Lord orchestrates in the making of one tiny snowflake.  Multiply that by a number we cannot even conceive of every snowflake falling around the world, that is some serious deep, intricate work, carried out at ease by our God.

 

God is in control. God is always at work.  He is creating beauty.  He is constantly at work orchestrating everything in our lives.  As each snowflake so specifically designed, so are we.  And yet, the love and care of the Creator and Savior  runs vastly deeper and stronger for us.  He revealed this love through the gift of Jesus, His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf.  Desiring relationship, and intimacy with us forever.

 

As we look upon snowflakes, we understand that  we do not see all that is happening to make this beauty possible, likewise this applies  to our own lives.  We do not see all that is happening, the pieces He is fitting perfectly together, and VERY specifically,  the constant work He is orchestrating every second of our lives, to make us perfect and complete.

 

What He promises for His children, is the faithful work He “WILL” complete.  We can count on, even through the times when we don’t SEE what HE is doing, that He is indeed actively orchestrating every tiny detail in the unseen to work all things together for  good.  Just as He works to bring each atom together to form molecules, to produce the results we see through rain, snow, and beyond… He is working ALL things together for good to produce results – fruit that will be evident and seen one day.  It may be now,  it may be later or  in eternity.

 

We are called to live by faith, NOT by sight.   2 Cor. 5:7

 

A strange thing  to see and read articles in the realm of secular science.  Concluding that even though atoms are not visible and maybe only “possibly” in very recent day, actually able to be seen through special equipment,  they indeed believe atoms are real and do exist.  They cannot see them, yet they believe… in atoms.  All because evidence points to this.  Yet, they do not acknowledge in faith the Triune God, the Creator of atoms, and all, when clearly evidence indeed points to Him.

 Let us magnify the Lord and exalt His name forever.  Though we cannot see Him, there is much evidence He is real.  The Creator of the unseen atom.  Creation itself,  Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, the Holy Word, all are evidence- let us believe.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”  Romans 1:20

 

Those who acknowledge Him as Lord,  will stand before Him, enter into the kingdom forever,clothed in a robe of righteousness.  Through Christ Jesus our Lord we have the blessed gift  to be EVEN whiter than snow.

 

“…wash me, and I will be whiter than snow…”  Isaiah 51:7

To conclude our study today.  For a fun little notation, we compared a water molecule to the trinity.  After all 3 atoms join together = WATER!   Father, Son, Holy Spirit = GOD!

 

Jesus said:  “if any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”  John 7:37

 

JESUS is my H 2  O  !!!!!!

A walk to and through our local neighborhood park. Not as much snow under the trees. Oh so beautiful.

 

Seek and you will find…