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Showing posts from January, 2007

Blogging Break!

I am headed off to another FLAME class. I will be in South Carolina and looking forward to warmer weather and better yet.....not having to shovel any snow to get to my car!!! I will be back in a week.

Golf ball or pennies?

It's been a crazy week and last night as I was feeling the exhaustion and pressure of it all when my son called me from his room, the microwave buzzer went off and the dryer button was buzzing all in the same second. I looked at my husband and said, "I think I'm gonna go crazy!". We kind of laughed about it, but it really reminded me that I need to stay focused on the tasks at hand and do only what I am supposed to be doing and let the rest go. Priorities. What things are important and what do I need to let go of?

I spoke to the teens about this very issue yesterday. We played a game, but you will have to imagine it.........put one hand behind your back and put a golf ball in your other hand and with the golf ball hand, try to pick up as many pennies as you can off the table without dropping the golf ball. It was fun to see the kids try, as many could only pick up a few. Just as you had what seemed like a bunch of pennies in your hand, you would either drop t…

Eusebius of Caesarea

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Personal prayer times we expected of the early Christians. They had more than just a quick morning devotional. Many times these prayer times would end up being prayer and praise gatherings and they would pray and sing praises. They were devoted to prayer and praise. They didn't expect "church" to give them what they needed for the week. They gathered to pray personally, and the outcome was an assembly of prayer and praise....each person giving of themselves to the Lord.

Eusebius (263-339A.D.), often known as the "father of church history" says this: "Throughout the whole world in the churches of God hymns, praises, and true divine delightsare arranged for God at morning sunrise and in the evening...."

"True divine delights are arranged for God". How do we approach our devotional time with God....or our church services? Do we come expectant to see God. Is it a delight? If we only got what we expected, what would you be getting out of your wors…

Dreaming........

How time flies by this week (what am I thinking THIS week? every week) This week has really gotten away from me. I have had a couple of board meetings and last night was for H.O.M.E. (Homeless Outreach Ministry Exchange) It's an organization that provides housing for the homeless. The Goodwill Inn is always full and so a friend of mine got a burden for the homeless the last couple of years and rented homes in his own name and charged guys by the week. It birthed the ministry of H.O.M.E. They are now housing over 40 guys, which is more than Goodwill Inn's capacity. How amazing! H.O.M.E. not only houses them, but also helps them with life skills and getting back on their feet. When you look at what monies these guys get and many times half of their money goes to child support, it's a long road. Praise God for one man's vision and following through on that vision. A few years ago, I am sure he never dreamed it would be what it is today.

So, is there any dream that just see…

Bread or Toast?

I find that there are so many lessons we can learn just by listening to our children. This morning, my daughter wanted some toast with her breakfast. So, she popped the bread in the toaster and when it popped up, I grabbed it and said "would you like me to butter your bread?" She replied "Mommy, that's not bread, it's TOAST!" Somehow her bread had changed into toast in the toaster. I explained to her that the toast was still bread but had changed it's form.

When I became a Christian, I was still Joy, but I had changed forms. It changed the places I went, the way I thought and talked and the friends I had. Everything that I did changed. My priorities were different. When I am baked in the presence of God, it changes how I look, just as bread being baked in the toaster changes how it looks.

So, when you look at your life, is it obvious that there has been a change in your life? Have you allowed the Spirit to change you from bread to toast (or sp…

Valued!

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On the way to school this morning, my daughter found an old tattered dollar in the console. She asked if she could have the dollar and I told her no. She replied, "But Mom, it's old and torn." I asked her if an old dollar and a new dollar were worth the same amount and she said "yes". I explained that just because it was old and torn doesn't change it's value. She is six, but she understood that and still wanted the dollar.

I am reminded that it doesn't matter where we have been and what has happened to us or by us. God still sees us as valuable in our torn and tattered state. He wants to use us for His glory. Just like the torn and tattered dollar, we still hold our value.

As I got done explaining this concept to my daughter, the Mark Schultz song came on the radio "Broken and Beautiful".How appropriate. Read these words or click the link to the song and listen from his myspace page....

Mark Schultz - Broken & Beautiful
There’s a busines…

Passion of the Christ

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I watched the Passion of the Christ movie for the very first time today. We had it at our church a few times, but I always helped with the kids and never actually got to see the movie. Here are the notes from my journal:

So much to say and yet no words....



He offered pardon and received none.
He offered love and received hate.


(and then after a time of intense prayer....) these songs:Jesus, I love you! I worship and adore you! Glorify your name in all the earth!
Glorify your name! Glorify your name! Glorify your name in all the earth!

Spirit, I love you! I worship and adore you! Glorify your name in all the earth!
Glorify your name! Glorify your name! Glorify your name in all the earth!

Father, I love you! I worship and adore you!
Glorify your name in all the earth!
Glorify your name! Glorify your name! Glorify your name in all the earth!

Lord, I come to you. Let my heart be changed, renewed.
Flowing from the grace that I've found in you.
And Lord, I've come to know, the weaknesses I se…

A New Thing!

I spent about 5 hours at the church yesterday between a meeting and cleaning out the ministry office. There are (or should I say were) books in that office about how life is changing and and how to deal with all the new changes happening in life. I checked the date and it was from the 1970s. Hmmm???? Hot off the press and a must read? Not exactly. Every "new" thing that book talked about is outdated. I threw out a lot of stuff as well as have a huge pile to donate to Goodwill.

You and I wouldn't think of using the "new" material I found today, as things have changed so much it isn't relevant. I wonder how many times God wants to do a new thing in our life and we are still hanging on to the old thing he once did. The "amazing work" that God did in our life at one time is great, but wasn't meant to be the only work God wants to do.

What amazing work does God want to do in your life? He wants to use you. What do you need to throw awa…

Trading My Sorrows!

Have you ever had one of those days where you just feel kinda down? You might be a little overwhelmed by the busyness of life and giving everything over to God. I had a day like that today. I wanted to find an excuse to not go to small group and just veg out for the night, but I knew that wouldn't be healthy, so I went anyhow. It was good to be there and our opening activitity was to talk about one of our favorite hymns or worship songs. The song "Trading My Sorrows" came to mind. I have many favorites, but this song has been on my heart all night. Look at these words..........

I'm trading my sorrow
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying it down for the joy of the Lord

And we say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen

I'm pressed but not crushed
persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed b…

Faith of a Mustard Seed

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Today I started back working with the Teens. It was good to be back, and they were happy to see me too! (or maybe it was the doughnuts that they were excited about, hmmm???)

I shared a story from the book Jesus Freaks, a book about being a martyr for Christ. We discusssed whether or not they would still come to church if they knew that they could go to prison or be tortured for coming. Many said "no" they would not come and others said "yes", but probably more because it was the right thing to say rather than what would really happen.

At this point, God isn't calling us to be a martyr here in our comfortable USA, but we are called to be witnesses. We then moved the discussion to the mustard seed. A tiny seed when planted, but fully grown, one of the biggest trees in the garden. Do we have enough faith that we trust God can change the heart of one of our friends....or even our enemies? I asked them to think of a friend and pray over that mustard seed. We then went…

Pure Genius?

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So I took one of those crazy IQ tests, just for fun! Here are my results! For those of you who think I've lost my mind...well, proof that I have a brain!! Take the test and comment your results! Have a fun day!

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Is compartmentalization a sin?

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I've been pondering this word for the last 24 hours. Compartmentalization. I like the word, because it's such a big word. It's a fun word to say. As a kid, we like little compartments. They are fun to discover and hide little things in. You can buy a frog for your garden that has a secret compartment for a key to your house. I love a purse with lots of little compartments. A jewlery box with lots of compartments helps us organize our precious little things. But in our life, our hearts, is compartmentalizing a sin? Is it ok for us to separate out or hide little things in our heart in the name of organization? When I gave my heart to Jesus and received His free gift of salvation, I gave my whole heart. When someone dies for their faith because of persecution, they give their everything. He has their whole heart. So, why as we go through life and issues and circumstances come up, do we think it's ok to tuck things away in a part of our heart just for us. We once gave all, …

My Resolution!

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It's 2007 and time for New Year's resolutions. But what is a resolution anyhow? I looked it up in the dictionary and there are many definitions, depending on what you are talking about: a computer screen, the law, music, optics, or a solution. The definition I liked for the occasion is "firmness of purpose". When I look ahead at the goal, my purpose is defined and I can press on toward the goal.

So, as I look at this year, I have a few goals. The normal things like, more exercise, eating less and healthier, reading my Bible, yada yada yada....good things, yes....but the goal is "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. (Phil. 3:14) Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us RUN with perseverence the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of th…