I have been tagged by Swallowing A Moose 's Heather. Heather is a new friend that I met at She Speaks 2008. She has one of the most amazing testimonies I have ever heard. Check out her blog for a sure blessing. I absolutely love this girl and hope to see more of her this side of heaven. She has tagged me and now I have to tell six random things about myself.
1) I love to dance! I am not a dancer nor am I graceful at all. But I love to dance with my husband.......and I love to dance in worship. I think I was born to dance. When I get to my heavenly destination I hope there will a time set aside every day for dancing.
2)My husband just bought me a new car! It is a Nissan 350Z. A two-seater convertible. I always said when my five children were small and I drove a full size conversion van, that when I was a grandma I was going to drive a two-seater car! I am not a grandma yet.......just old enough to be one. My husband surprised me and got me this car. We are having soooo much fun! I am loving this mid-life stage.
3)I love missions. I have been to India twice. This year I went to India and Sri Lanka. I took my sixteen year old son and his best friend. We were gone for three weeks. I left part of my heart on the other side of the world. I hope to go back to both places someday. My husband and I would love to travel and do missions together in the future.
4)I love to lead Bible studies. I have led every Beth Moore study, plus several others. Presently I am teaching a Bible study from the book of John. We are covering chapter 11 tomorrow. I will cover three areas; believing, waiting on the Lord, and resurrection. I am putting it together this morning. There is some really good stuff in there! I have been unearthing treasures! I can hardly wait to share them!
5)I have a dream to go on a Mediterranean Cruise with my husband. One of these days!!!!
6)I look forward to the day when I see my Lord Jesus face to face! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
1)Corrie @ How Fair the Realm is one of my very dearest friends. She writes about homeschooling, her family, and Jesus! She writes so well. I tell her that I will say "I knew her when" someday when she becomes famous for her talents. You will love her wit and wisdom.
She is amazing.
2)Joy @ Ponderings is amazing! Her blog is a wealth of beauty, wisdom, encouragement and love. She has a passion for the Lord and His ways. I wish every Christian woman in the world could read her blog. They would reach higher, breathe deeper, and long for more of Jesus! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Joy!
3)Laura @ The Well Blog will bless your heart. She is a delight. Laura has one of the most beautiful spirits of anyone I have ever met. She just published her first book. She is an artist with words. You are in for quite a blessing when you visit her blog.
4)Cheryl @ Tugsaxiom is deep with rich wisdom. I met her at She Speaks 2008 and I knew that we were kindred spirits immediately. How refreshing to spend every bit of time that we could together at the conference. She lives in Michigan. I live in Kansas. Jesus keeps and the internet keeps us close at heart. Let her bless you, too!
5) Paula @ His Ways....Are Not Our Ways is a new bloggy friend. She has blessed me greatly. I think you will find her wisdom rich. She is going through some amazing things with dignity and grace. Be blessed by His Ways in her testimony!
I hope you will be richly blessed by my dear friends.
James tells us to persevere for the crown. Paul says to run so as to win the prize. Oh that prize!
Shouldn't we keep our pace just so we can see the Lord's face? To hear His voice? To hear Him sing over us, not just know that He does, but hear Him? Maybe His embrace should be our prize? To hear Him say, "Well, done" . Just knowing that we are eternally safe........That is a benefit!
Why run as if to gain something more? Haven't we gained already? Having Him in our lives.....isn't that the greatest joy? Genesis 15:1 the Lord says to Abraham: "I am your portion your very great reward." (NKJV)
Way back in my day there was a popular song by Andre' Crouch called, "If Heaven Wasn't Promised To Me". The words of that song are still with me.......well, some of them.....
"If heaven wasn't promised to me, neither life's promise to live eternally, Its' been worth just having the Lord in my life, walking in the darkness, He brought me the light........"
It has been worth it. I run because I know that He is with me. I run because of all the reasons I listed before. I run because I can't imagine life without Him.
And, like James and Paul, I do run for the prize.........for the crown! I run for it so that I will have something to lay at His feet!
His grace will help me win the crown. His faithfulness will carry me when I am having leg cramps or cannot breathe. His joy will empower me until I get a second wind. He will help me make it.........until I reach the finish line.........and then He will give me the prize.
And I............... I will lay it at His feet.........
When I was in high school there was an advertisement that often ran in magazines that really left an image stamped on me. It was a picture of a blue violet blooming through a crack in sidewalk. Beneath the picture was the caption, "Beautiful things are seldom easy".
Isn't that the truth! That is why it is so important to persevere......We are pressing toward something beautiful.
The things we must endure to arrive at our beautiful destination are worth the struggle. There should be joy in the endurance period. We should always be looking forward to what lies ahead for us! James 1:12 NLT "God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him."
Can you imagine with me what that will be like? We have never seen anything like it! Think of the most beautiful thing you have ever seen! It will be more glorious than that!
Another truth is that the Lord will bring beauty from .............Well...........Everything! Yes, everything. The Lord loves to take a void and make a masterpiece! He is not intimidated by a flawed canvas either. No, I believe He is thinking, "Just wait and see what I can do with this one!"
Nothing is impossible with Him. And He doesn't feel obligated to make it all look beautiful in the end, it is His delight. His name is Redeemer. He loves to restore all things. Renew all things. "He makes all things beautiful in it's time." Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV
He is believing beautiful things for our lives. We cannot even imagine the wonders that will soon be unveiled for us. When looking back upon our past, the beauty we were blinded to while traveling through will be delightfully obvious.
It is not always easy! Neither is winning an Olympic medal. Or running a marathon. Or raising a child. How about nurturing a marriage or being a Christian in a fallen world. Not easy! Not at all!
Beautiful things are seldom easy!
But don't you love beautiful things?
I pray you will have a glimpse of His beauty today and it will empower you to keep on running toward the prize!
In 2007 I attended a She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, NC. This was my third time to attend. Before I left for NC, I made a decision that I would not come home with a miniature library this time. All those books sure make for heavy luggage!
Of course when I arrived and began to see all of the wonderful books they had displayed on the book table, I had to tweak my decision a bit!
I attended a class by Lysa Terkeurst called "The Power of a Story" (which is a fantastic class). It is a very entertaining class and full of information. I really enjoyed it. She read an expert from a little book she had written titled "Capture Her Heart". That chapter is a beautiful work of fiction that did capture my heart. I had already passed my quota of books, however another trip to the book table was necessary. I purchased both of Lysa's books "Capture Her Heart" and "Capture His Heart".
"Capture Her Heart" is written for husbands to help them in their marriage relationship. "Capture His Heart" is written for wives to help them in their marriage relationship.
I had a plan. I put both of the little books in our bathroom and I thought I would just wait and see if Scotty would pick the one up for men "Capture Her Heart" and read it. Well, girls, I just have to tell you, it didn't take him long. I was soooo happy. I know that my cheeks flushed and my heart raced at the thought of what we was reading. I was sure that Lysa would educate him with the best information that would build our relationship into quite the romance.
Scotty read that book about halfway through and then it just laid open and upside down marking his place for the next time he reached for it. I was watching and I was so thrilled that he was reading this book. I just new it was going to bring about some home improvement!!!!
Let me bring you up to date. Yesterday I decided to wash the sheets on our bed. When I went to put the sheets back on the bed there was the book "Capture Her Heart". My husband was sick with the flu yesterday. He stayed home from church. While he was resting, he picked up that little book again and was reading it!!!!!!
When I first picked up the book, my heart did it's little dance! He was reading about ways to capture my heart. Can you believe it? I was delighted all over again. And He didn't even feel good!!!
All of a sudden my heart stopped dancing. I stood holding that little book that is becoming worn and realized with shame that I had not even cracked open the little book titled "Capture His Heart". Do you believe that? I couldn't! I was so ashamed of myself! I had planted those little books there. Both of them. The one for me to read still looked brand new. I was not participating in the home improvement plan. Conviction took over!
I could not get to the bathroom fast enough to pick up the little book that I should be reading. I began to read. Wow! I read the first chapter! And then the second! And the next........! I wished that I had begun to read it sooner. There is such a wealth of wisdom on those little pages! Wisdom that will make a struggling marriage better. Wisdom that will take a good marriage over the top!
May I recommend these little books to you? I know you will be very blessed by the wit and wisdom that Lysa has painted on those pages. I think it has the power to spark something special in every marriage.
Those books are available through Proverbs 31 Ministries. I hope that you will purchase them. I know that you will be blessed!!!!
I am the new girl on the block in this bloggy town! Every day I learn something new!
I really love all of my new friends. It is a fun way to connect with my forever friends as well. You know the ones who have been around forever!
But, oh my, it is humbling to learn something new while so many are watching me!
For instance, I was not happy with my title yesterday! Not at all! So I changed it. But I went back in to edit another place in my post it did not save my post with the changed title.
I really liked my title after I changed it, but I didn't want to go back in because I was not saving my changes and I was losing everything I had edited previously. So I left it as it was !!!!
Could I just share with you that title? It was How To/Want To/The Way I Ought To.
The reason for that title is the Lord revealed to me a new way to pray for my marriage........How To........ Then He changed my attitude from "I don't even want to" to "I Want To"........ Then He helped me do what I Ought To...........the way He wanted me to........
I have to praise Him for doing those three things! I have a feeling that my marriage might have been destroyed if He had not stepped in to help me.
The Psalmist wrote: "In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer."
The power is in prayer. When I give myself to prayer, my deliverer comes! He comes to restore my soul. He gives me strength to stand. He comes to be my helper and my advocate. He comes to be my friend.
"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer."
I am preparing my soul to be attentive today because my Lord might whisper something in my ear and I don't want to miss it! Shhh! Did you hear something?
My husband and I have reached the most incredible place in our marriage! It is like we have found our first love all over again. What an adventure! We did not arrive at this plateau over night. We have been on this journey for nearly thirty years! I will spare you the grief of all the ups and downs along the way.
What I would like to share is that there was a time when the season we are in now seemed unattainable. Discouragement met me at almost every turn. We didn't have a horrible marriage, but it wasn't fun! It was tough! We weren't really very happy.
I remember at one point being in complete despair. Hopelessness overwhelmed my heart and I truly did not know if our marriage would survive.
I know what you are thinking. The problems were all his fault! Of course!!!!! NOT!!! I might have said that at the time, but not now.
Even though I was at fault, I can tell you for sure that his faults were a lot easier for me to discern than my own.
One day I began to change my focus when I prayed for our relationship. I began to pray for my husband. I didn't pray that the Lord would make him into someone else. Someone I liked! I began to pray that the Lord would show me ways that I could bless him. I would lay across our bed and cry out to God, "Lord, how can I bless this man today? Please show me ways that will touch his heart."
Whatever the Lord would show me, I would do. Well, almost every time.
Did I say that I didn't feel like praying that way? The words hurt my ears at first! Like fingers on a chalk board! However, my prayers became sincere after a very short time.
The Lord was so faithful! He began to show me various ways to bless my husband. My focus began to change. I wasn't thinking about myself so much. I was thinking about Scotty and how I could meet his needs. One of my biggest desires was to become his favorite blessing.
I have changed! Scotty has changed! Our marriage has changed! We have become the very best of friends. We are having the time of our lives! I don't ever want this season to end. Scotty is constantly blessing me! I couldn't begin to list all of the ways he finds to bless me!
Long ago, I had a very difficult time imagining my marriage being a great marriage. Now I can't imagine it getting any better! But it will. It will!
If you are married, I hope that it is a time of bliss for you! There is nothing like a great marriage!
If this is a time of frustration in your relationship, I hope that you will hang on with prayer. It is worth it to fight in prayer for the one you love and a marriage you can enjoy. I know that you will find blessings on the other side of your prayer time!!!!
My sons are on a continual quest to find my favorite song. One of them will say, "Hey, mom, I found your favorite song!" Then they will play it for me and wait for my response. Sometimes I really like it. Often it is okay. Once in awhile I don't like it at all (and they know I won't!).
It is a very hard thing to find my favorite song. I wouldn't even know where to start. I love so many.
Recently I found my favorite passages of scripture. Okay, one of my favorites. It is so good I just keep mulling it over and over enjoying it every time I think of it.
It is found in Psalm 119. Verses 110-112 say, "The wicked have laid a snare for me, yet I have not strayed from Your precepts. Your testimonies I have taken as a heritage forever. For they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the very end."
Verse 110 is a miracle. To be kept out of the snare of the enemy is nothing short of Divine. It is proof that the Lord has blessed me with grace. I have heard grace defined as "the power and desire to do the will of God." Oh, for grace to keep me out of the grasp of the enemy.
Verse 111 speaks of the Lord's testimonies. The Psalmist says, "I have taken Your testimonies as my heritage forever." There is overcoming power in that verse. And then it says, " for they (the Lord's testimonies) are the rejoicing of my heart."
This made me think about my favorite things. What makes my heart rejoice? Do the Lord's testimonies make my heart dance?
Finally, verse 113 says, "I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes........forever, to the very end."
"I have inclined my heart..........." I have purposed. I have bent my heart on doing Your will. I choose to celebrate the life that is in Your statutes.
He says, "I am not going to change my mind! This is an eternal decision. When I meet you at my eternal destination, my heart will be in the position it has always been, bowed to Your will and Your ways."
These verses challenge me. I want to spend time with them. I want to remember them. I want to live them.
Now I just want to ask you, have I found your favorite verses?
"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." 3 John 1:4
It was a moment that I will never forget. I remember every detail about it.
Some of my memories that are so ingrained in my mind are not pleasant. I wish I could forget them, but not this one. When this memory comes back to me I delight in it and rejoice all over again with even greater emotion than I did the day it happened.
It was such an ordinary day. I was on the run! I was always on the run. I had my four year old son, Caleb with me. We were going to a friends house to pick something up. She lived thirty to forty minutes from our house so it was a bit of a drive. I had my praise music blasting, worshiping as I drove. The song that was playing was a Dennis Jernigan song, Worthy is the Lamb.
My son, Caleb suddenly broke into my praise and asked, "Momma, what does that song mean? What does it mean that the Lamb is worthy?"
I began to explain to him that Jesus is the Lamb. The gospel message unfolded from my heart into my little boy's heart. Then he asked, "Momma, can I pray that prayer? I want Jesus to save me. Can we do that now?"
So I led my son, at the age of four in a prayer of salvation. It was Divine.
Two weeks later, he brought his one-year-old brother, Luke, to me saying, "You have to pray for Luke, Momma. He is not saved. Please pray for him to accept Jesus into his heart, too." So we prayed. I honored Caleb's faith and we believed for Luke's salvation. (Since that time, Luke has asked Jesus into his heart with understanding).
Two years later, Caleb brought his little brother, Josiah, who was one-year-old at the time, to me saying, "Momma, Josiah is not saved. We have to pray that prayer for him to accept Jesus into his heart." So we prayed and believed for Josiah to be saved. ( Josiah has also prayed with understanding since that time to receive Christ).
Caleb is an evangelist and his ministry began at a very young age. I would pray with my children every night before they went to sleep. Often times Caleb would weep over the homeless, the dying, the hurting, the lost. Not just pray, but weep. He has led many to the Lord.
Who would have known that a song and a time of praise could lead to so much? Caleb is twenty-two and his work continues. He has never strayed from the foundations of the gospel. He is not perfect, but he has a testimony of faithfulness and a deep love for the Lord.
I marvel at the work the Lord has done for him and through him. I could not forsee his future when I prayed with him to receive Christ that day. I did not know if he would even remember what I shared with him. He has walked in that truth since the day we prayed it into his heart.
Do you have a child that needs to know the Lord? Be encouraged. The Lord has a plan. I have five children and they all have a testimony. They all have come to know the Lord is various ways. The Lord has been creative in drawing them to Himself. I praise Him for that. Caleb is one that I had the privilege of leading to Christ. That one moment in our history will be carried into our eternity. It is a memory I will always treasure.
I have met a giant of faith! She has impacted my life in powerful ways in such a short time. I wish I would have known her way back when I began my journey with the Lord. I think I might have chosen an easier route at times on my walk with her faith and wisdom to help instruct me.
However late our meeting, I have gleaned a huge amount of wisdom from her. One of her bits of wisdom that has made a definite impression on me I would like to share with you.
"Whenever you encounter trials and tribulations, do not ask 'why?' or 'why me?' instead ask 'what'. SUE TAYLOR
Life would be so different if we would simply learn this principle.
Instead of a, "why is this happening to me?" focus, imagine life with a "what" focus.
"What do you want me to learn from this, Lord?"
"What can I do to make this situation better?"
"What is Your will on this matter?"
"What can I do to bless You, Father?"
If others are involved:
"What can I do to love them more?"
"What can I say to them that will bless You, Lord?
"What will impact them the most and reveal Your love to them through me, Lord?"
It is so easy to fall into the trap of self-pity when we are encountering difficult situations. Self-pity will never bring about a victory in our lives. It will only increase suffering and prolong our stay in the troubled season. Something as simple as redirecting our thoughts can bring about great change. Even if our circumstances remain the same, our hearts will be lighter and our joy will be full because our focus will be different.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What are some ways you have prayed to keep your focus in the right place during difficult seasons? I know your thoughts will empower many!
I have a new friend and she is in a difficult situation. In the natural it seems that it will take years, even decades for every area of her circumstances to work out. She shared her burden with me about the situation and I just couldn't get it off of my heart. I rolled it over and over in prayer until finally I said, "Lord, expedite this process! You created the earth in seven days! Nothing is too difficult for you! I believe that you can hurry up the resolution to all of the problems involved in these matters. Hurry, Lord! Hurry!"
That was the cry of my heart. I opened my Bible soon after that prayer to Psalm 70:1 & 4-5 "Make haste, O God to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord!" and "Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, "Let God be magnified!" But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay." I wasn't searching for that scripture, that is just where I was in my daily reading.
I was very excited to share this word with my friend. I knew it was from the Lord and that it was just for her. The trouble was we were at a big conference and I didn't know if I would be able to find her. I looked all morning and she was not to be found. Just when I had given up, I saw her walk by. She was going out the door to go home. I gave her the scripture and shared that I felt the Lord was going to expedite the process and bring just what she needed to pass.
I know that scripture was for my friend for that moment and for her situation, but I have grabbed onto it and let it linger in my meditation! You see, I have some areas that I have been pounding on the door of heaven about for some time now and I would love to see the Lord begin to expedite some situations in my life. I think it must be okay to tell the Lord to hurry because David did!
The Lord has His own timetable and I don't want to seem impatient, but I don't want to be lethargic either! I want to believe for big things and expect them to happen.........in my lifetime! I know that it is good to wait upon the Lord! I will continue to do so.........but there is another phrase that I remember from scripture, "and suddenly!" I am ready for some of my requests to have a sudden act of God upon them! I want His fingerprints all over it so that only He could possibly receive the glory for it!
Keep watching! I hope to report some "suddenlies" soon!
I want a makeover! Have you ever watched those shows on television where they take you in at your very worst.......you know you are in your sweats, hair needing color, no makeup, wearing your husbands jersey from high school and they make you look like a million dollars? They help you look ten pounds thinner, they cut your hair or style your hair like a movie star, they help you find clothes that are just the right color and size for you and "Wallah!" there is a new you! They form your outward appearance to the very best you can be.
I don't expect that I will ever get one of those much needed makeovers, not for my outer self anyway! I am seeking an inward renewal though. I want the Lord to shine so much on the inside of me that my heart cannot contain it and the glow radiates through my eyes and my countenance! I want that His glory on my face that I have seen on other's faces. It is more beautiful than anything else I have ever seen.
You can't buy it.........Wal-mart could never stock it on their shelves, but it is the best you could ever find! It brings a beautiful glow to the face so that the most simple of faces become so magnifying. You are just drawn to look into their eyes. You know there is a Presence there. It is indescribable. You have to see it to believe it.
Those makeover shows would never work on the radio. You have to see the transformation to believe it. They do an amazing job! It fascinates me and makes me wonder what in the world they would do with me!!!!
It cannot compare with a heart that has been made over and a countenance that has the glory of the Lord's presence all over it. It really can't! That is the makeover I am seeking. One that will radiate the Lord's presence. It is free. It cannot be bought or sold, but it is costly. It takes time in the presence of the king. So I must close for now. He is waiting for me!
Don't you love fireworks?! I don't really care for the ones that boom and bang and invite me to jump out of my skin. I love the ones that imitate meteorites and falling stars. I could watch all night as their beauty illuminates the heavens.
My favorite display I ever saw was in St. Louis at the Arch. The lights in the heavens were reflected in the Mississippi River and it was double the splendor. We were awestruck!
At Walt Disney World there is a firework display every night. I wonder if those who get to see it all the time become very familiar with it. I wonder if they lose the awe of it.
Have we lost our awe of the Lord? The Word says that the heavens are declaring His glory.......everyday! Creation shouts of His wonder! Have we noticed lately? The lilies of the field, the birds of the air, they speak of Him.
He demonstrates His glory in creation every day. Do we miss the wonder of it? Perhaps we need to pray for renewed childlike wonder.........eyes that see as if for the first time the glory of God.
He demonstrates His awesome ways to us in a variety of other ways as well. Have we noticed? Are we in awe of them?
Acts 2:43 NASV "And everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many signs and wonders were taking place through the apostles."
What would happen if we had some "awe" in our lives? Maybe we should ask the Lord to renew some "awe" in us! Be aware, amazing things follow an attitude of awe!!! I am going to ask Him to stir it up in me!
Lord, I want some awe! Would You give me the grace to be in awe of you! Don't let my eyes miss the ways You demonstrate Your glory to me today. Open my eyes to Your wonders! I must see! I know that if I see my soul will dance with delight! Oh, yes, I am in awe of You! Amen!