Friends that want to hang out

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Kids See God Through Us

Did you know that children form their earliest impressions of God from the way they interact with their parents? Our children get to know God through knowing us... We are the lens through which they first "see" him. We need to have a close relationship with our Heavenly Father (Parent) and know God as well as possible, so we can accurately reflect to our children who God really is and what he is like.. This is a huge responsibility for us as parents...
We need to show our children the unconditional love that God has for us. The Bible describes a woman whose husband and children bless and praise her. Among her noble attributes are these: She opens her mouth in wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue...How we treat our spouses is a big way our kids see love.... If they see love is hard to offend and quick to forgive...they learn that love and forgiveness go hand in hand...
Studies show that children that come from broken homes tend to make their own broken homes in life.... Children who come from loving parents tend to be more loving towards their own children... Our children are a product of us... they live their lives the way they were taught in their home..
Psalms 145:4-5 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. It is our responsibility as parents to raise our children in the Lord. Proverbs 22 “Train up a child in the right way and when they are old, they will not stray.”
I know I have made many mistakes so far in my "parent training" but you know what? When I tell my kids, "I'm sorry" I think they respect me more.. and they learn that I'm not perfect and I will make mistakes too...and that I try to learn from my mistakes.. I think that is a valuable lesson to teach our kids.. We all are works in progress and it is such a gift to have God teaching us every day how to love and how to praise Him..

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dangerous Surrender

I recently finished a Book study in my woman's ministry group. The book was by Kay Warren called Dangerous Surrender. You have already read a little about my experience with this book. It's the kind of book that makes you look in the mirror and ask yourself am I doing enough? Am I putting myself out there to help people in need? Am I picking up the cross and serving others? Am I dying to self and living for Jesus? Not everyone is suppose to go over seas in the mission field.. There is a huge mission field right outside our front door. Look at our communities... There are homeless shelters, AIDS Clinics, newborn babies addicted to drugs, children in Foster care homes that want to belong to a family, and so much more...There are people that need us.. and I really think we need these people too.
Kay Warren wrote that we need to get disturbed about what is out there.. Disturbed enough to help cure the problems..disturbed enough to love our brothers and sisters...enough to surrender to God's purpose for our lives..
Mark 8:34-37 Then (Jesus) called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
In the verse where Jesus says "take up the cross" what that means is saying yes. "Yes, God, I will do whatever you ask of me - whatever, whenever." It's agreeing with God that His way is best in every situation and choosing to obey Him over every other authority, regardless of how you feel about it. This is "dying" to self-will and self-centeredness...
This is a really hard one for me. I do not like getting dirty, sweating, and I don't like being out of my "comfort zone". My idea of roughing it is sleeping in a 3 star hotel.. Okay that's a little exaggeration.. I do like to camp out... but only on my terms.. fresh water.. clean toilets...tent with a blow up mattress... So I am asking myself why am I seriously considering flying all the way to West Africa?? Oh and I absolutely hate flying... since I am a control freak.. trusting my life to an airplane pilot is really hard..... but you know.. I'm getting okay with that..Why am I thinking about getting so far out of my comfort zone it's scary..? What is God putting on my heart? and why? Will I go to West Africa? I don't really know. My husband, Dusty thinks I should wait until the girls are in least that's what he thinks today...who knows if God will speak to him too... I never thought I would be where I am today...
Whether it's here or way over there..there are people that need us...People that are suffering and we can help... praying, giving your time, giving your money, and just giving yourself... Are you willing to be seriously disturbed?
*quotes taken from 'Dangerous Surrender'

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crack the Bible ....Find an Answer

Do you ever just open the Bible for answers... Questions on your heart? I don't do it often..but today I did.. I was asked to do something by a dear friend of mine. She wanted me to be a part of something big....In my mind and heart it felt like something huge.. something I am not qualified or smart enough to do.... she said think and pray about it... So I opened my Bible and this is what I read..
1 Timothy 4:6 "If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 7 But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that is now is and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 These things command and teach. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit , in faith, in purity......15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, all your progress may be evident to all.. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you...."
I'm thinking.....maybe I should pray on it some more...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pride and Forgiveness

I have learned many lessons in my Forty three years of life.. Most of them over the past few years... I have learned that My Pride has not permitted me to fully forgive someone. I was right, she was wrong.... she was right, I was wrong.. I'm sure you have heard many a story like that... When I think about the hurtful words said to me out of anger and confusion... I start to make myself angry all over again... I know that she and I have our own memories and truths... and I think no matter how many times we drive our versions into the ground neither one of us is going to budge.... I know that the words and memories I said to her were not words of kindness and love...they were meant to make her feel as bad as she made me feel... an eye for an eye. a thought for a thought.. a stab for a stab... she felt that she was the original victim and I thought I around and around we go.
What is truly sad to that she was my best friend for the past twenty years... we have known each other forever but became close after I got married. She and I have been to hell and back.. We had always been each others support system..and always a friendly voice at the other end of the phone...and with a few words of anger.. it's all gone...Never to be found again.. Once that kind of trust is broken there are too many scars left behind to go back to the way it was... Will we have a real relationship again? I don't know... Do I want a real relationship again..I don't know... My heart says yes....but my mind and my pride say I just don't know....I'm hurting... A very dear friend of mine gave me these words of wisdom. "You can forgive someone even though you are torn a part inside.. You can forgive through your tears... It does not mean that you go back to the way things were.. It does not mean that the pain will go away quickly...what it does mean is that we trust God enough to Forgive someone as he forgave us.... I don't know why my pride hasn't let me let it go completely....
As Christians, God tells us to forgive one another. Col 3:13-15 'bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another: even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all things put on love, which is the bond of perfection and let the peace of God rule in your hearts...'
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." [Proverbs 15:1-2] In other words, in this case, fully and uncontrollably expressing oneself while angry is seen as being not prudent, a sign of foolishness as opposed to a sinful action. Thus, in the Bible, anger is qualified based upon its context and consequence.
I have been a very foolish woman... I know that... and I know that with God's help I will get right on this... I need to completely forgive..not just "half forgive". God has forgiven everything I have ever done so if I want to follow Jesus and carry that cross... I need to forgive too....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Last Night - Woman's Bible Study

My Woman's Study group has been studying 'Dangerous Surrender' by Kay Warren.. This has been a very emotional and difficult study.. The study is about getting out of your comfort zone and making a difference.. In Kay's case she was seriously disturbed about HIV/Aids. She went on a missions trip to Africa and learned that she needed to surrender herself to God's plan for her. She is now an HIV/AIDS advocate. "God wins us, not by shouting, beating us up, or starving us into submission, but by asking for an invitation to enter. We are loved into Surrender. The more we accept that he operates out of love for us, the more we will entrust ourselves to him" excerpt from 'Dangerous Surrender'.
Not everyone is called to go overseas on a missions trip.. There are many opportunities right here in our own communities...
There were many disturbing issues that were discussed during this seven month study. I learned that Human Trafficking is alive and well in the United's everywhere. I have learned a little about how to detect it... Now there are many opportunities for me to get involved in helping to bring attention to this awful crime. I have found that there are pregnancy centers that help give women a different alternative to abortion. Horizon Pregnancy Center in Huntington Beach, California is trying to raise money to purchase an ultrasound. Studies have shown that women who see their unborn child show a 90% ratio of not having an abortion.. If you would like to donate to this cause please do to My husband took our daughter to a Purity Dance for this cause. It was a beautiful evening for the two of them.
Tonight's last class is on the last chapter of the book... The name of the chapter is 'Some May Die Today'... sounds kind of ominous don't you think? Matthew 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" One of the speakers we had during this study said that missionaries have to have "The body bag mentality" In the words of Queen Esther "If I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16) For most of us dying for Jesus' sake is not something we will be asked to do, but in the deepest places in our souls, we must come to the place where we are willing to die if it serves God's purposes...
Surrendering to God can be dangerous... dying to self is up our way of life and taking up the cross to bring God's children to Him is really hard...."But surrendering our lives to him and being willing to pay the highest price open up the certainty that justice will finally roll down like a river - every tear will be wiped away, mercy will triumph over judgment, orphans will have families, these fragile bodies that are sick will know health, and love will win." excerpt from Dangerous Surrender...
The final project for tonight's final study was to make a cardboard sign... One side saying what I was before the study and the other side what I am today after the study..Granted the picture is not of me holding the sign but my kid Nikki, why you may ask? Well.. I don't like my picture taken and she already had her makeup on!
The Last Question: Will you risk your life and all you hold dear for the sake of God's kingdom? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think......

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Journey Into Motherhood Part II

On Tuesday, September 6th the day of my appointment, I was admitted to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital I never felt more alone or scared. I frantically called Dusty’s dad Darrrell to find Dusty. I didn’t even know what hotel he was staying at. Somehow Darrell found Dusty. For some unknown reason Dusty decided not to go fishing that day and was relaxing in his room. For any of you that know Dusty. He DOES NOT RELAX especially in Cabo and free fishing was involved. Dusty packed his bags, hailed a taxi, and was on a plane within 45 minutes. I know now that God was with us that day. HE knew my needs and he took care of those needs. Even though we weren’t “church going” folks at the time God still LOVED ME Love us. Dusty was by my side within 4 hours.

The Two weeks I was in the hospital trying to keep the baby inside of me was a daily battle. Some days I was on contraction medication to stop contractions I did not feel but distressed the baby. I was on a drug called magnesium sulfate that made me almost cationic. I had shots of steroids to try to mature the baby’s lungs. I was on complete bed rest and most days not allow food because they thought I would have to be rushed into delivery. Every day that our baby stayed inside me was a miracle. I had to lie on my side only. Lying on my back put pressure on the umbilical cord and distressed the baby. So here I was lying on my side not allowed to get out of bed for any reason. Not eating and Dusty in a cot next to my bed for 2 weeks. My room became Dusty’s room he had his shaving kit, his business suits, and all the items he needed if he was lucky enough to go to work that day. One night the nurses rushed into my room and woke up because I had rolled onto my back and the baby’s heart rate dropped. That was very scary. Especially when these normally calm nurses are frantically yelling at you at 2 am to get off your back.

On the 13th day of my hospital stay things started coming to a head. My platelet count was dropping quickly. I started getting strong contractions. The drugs were not working any longer. I knew the baby would be delivered within 48 hours.

The next morning, September 19, 1994, the doctors came in and told me that the baby had to be delivered within the hour. My life was coming into jeopardy. I called my family. By the time I was wheeled in my whole family and Dusty’s family was there to support us and love us.

During my c-section Dusty kept kissing my forehead and telling me how much he loved me and how proud he was. Our daughter Krystal Dawn was delivered . When Krystal was taken from me there was a huge team of doctors for her. After a few minutes a doctor looked at Dusty and gave him the thumbs up. Krystal Dawn was breathing, her color was good, and she was kicking and moving around. Dusty cut her cord. He talked to her and when he did she opened her eyes and held on to his little finger. The doctor said that she had Dusty’s eyes. At that moment Dusty fell in love with his beautiful 1 pound ½ ounce baby daughter.

Krystal was immediately put into NICU where at first things were looking good. By the next day she wasn’t as good as the first day but not too bad either. For the first time Dusty could actually go home. After thinking about it Dusty decided to stay the night at the hospital. Again, I know God had a major role in that decision. At midnight the doctor came in tell us that Krystal was not doing well. She had 3 blood transfusions, she had to be revived several times and her lungs had collapsed. We went to the NICU to see our baby and doctors and nurses were working on her. One of my doctors that took care of me was there. He had his love invested in this beautiful creature he had been trying to save in my womb for weeks. He had been crying

Dusty and I had her baptized that night in NICU. A pastor from the hospital came in and put a little white dress over her blanket and blessed her and placed the sign of the cross on her forehead. I know now that she is in Heaven and baptism wasn’t needed but I needed it for me. I needed to do something as a parent for a daughter that I wouldn’t be able raise and nurture.

At 8:00 am on September 21st Krystal Dawn died. We had a Memorial Service for her that evening with our family. The Pastor who baptized her the previous evening sang Jesus loves me. Even though Krystal Dawn lived for 2 days she was loved by so many. When I was writing this story, I called my sister Debbie and asked her what her thoughts and memories were and her comment to me was “I do know that during the brief time that Krystal was here, she made a huge impact on her and others. She was brought here for a reason and she can’t wait to see her again in Heaven.”

The following year we tried to get pregnant again. I became pregnant right away with clomide only to miscarry my 2nd month. What happened following this miscarriage is unknown. Each doctor I visited had their own theory. After my miscarriage I developed a very high fever. The OB thought I didn’t pass the entire embryo so I had a D and C. The fever persisted for over a month. The fever ranged from 101 – 105. I took Advil and Tylenol to keep it down. I was at the doctors almost every week. I started getting weak, I couldn’t eat and I was out of breath. I had to sleep on the couch down stairs because I couldn’t make it up the stairs. I remember one day I went to the doctor and told him I knew I was dying and to please help me he just looked at me and said I will give you another blood work up and that’s really all I could do. I went home to the couch with an ice bag on my head. Dusty came home from work and saw me on the couch. His frustration was very obvious. He did not say a word. He changed into his swim trunks and went outside and sat on the diving board. I don’t know what he was thinking but I do know he was frustrated. The next day the doctor called me and told me my kidneys have failed and I needed to get to the hospital immediately. My body had become so toxic that if I had not gone to the doctor and had that blood test I most likely would have dropped into a toxic coma and died. I was put on dialysis. I was on it for a month and one night I had a high fever again I was rushed to the hospital. The doctor said I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that your kidneys are working for whatever reason (I think it was a miracle personally) and the bad news is that you have a severe staph infection from the shunt in my chest that I would have to take IV antibiotics for a couple of weeks.

After I got better the doctors all agreed that pregnancy should not be an option for me.

We decided to adopt. Adoption is another journey I have taken. There are many roads on that journey and someday I would love to share that journey with you.

Today I have 2 beautiful and perfect daughters Nicole and Kara. I was meant to be their Mom and they were meant to be my daughters. Whenever someone asks Kara how many brothers and sisters she has she answers I have my 2 sisters, Nicole who lives with me and I have a sister Krystal in Heaven.

Another thing my sister Debbie shared with me is that she truly believes that Nikki and Kara were born to be my daughters. That God had that planned for me and Dusty from the beginning of time. Your daughters are beautiful girls and are lucky to have you two love them just as you and Dusty are blessed to have them. It was simply God’s plan for us.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Journey Into Motherhood

My journey into Motherhood started in December 1991 when Dusty and I decided to start a family. We were both young and healthy and believed that pregnancy would happen right away. After we made the decision to start a family it seemed like all of my friends started getting pregnant. I was happy at first but when the same friend got pregnant for the 2nd time I was jealous and angry. Everyone was having babies around me. I started refusing to go to baby showers and visiting friends with babies. I was the first one in my group of friends to get married and all of them had a baby before me. It was just too much for me to handle and I was sinking into a depression.
At first we tried to get pregnant the old fashioned way. We made love at the “right time” each month after a couple of years of trying we went to the experts. It’s amazing the tests you can take to find out if you can get pregnant. First test I had was having dye put into my fallopian tubes to make sure that they were clear. I did not have any blockages and passed the test. Then Dusty got tested to see if he good. He assured me that he was a manly man and his little fellas were strong and mighty and he was right. He had a good sperm count and he passed his test. Then the test I thought was the biggest embarrassment of my life was the test where we had to have sex in the morning and rush to the doctor’s office to extract the semen from me to make sure Dusty’s sperm could live in my hostile environment. I just knew everyone in the doctor’s office knew what I had been doing and to say I was embarrassed would be an understatement Thankfully we passed that test too. Finally the doctor believed I was slightly low on my progesterone and recommended clomide. As some of you can agree that drug makes you nuts!!! Dusty was getting fearful of coming home and thought I might be hiding behind the door with an axe. He did bring home a lot of beautiful flower arrangement during that time. In addition to clomede I had to take Robitussin cough syrup and elevate my bottom for 30 minutes after. It was a lot of fun…. As you can image. Well on the 3rd month I stared craving garlic shrimp. Kind of funny because I hated shrimp. I also noticed I was very tired. I WAS PREGNANT!!!
When I found out I was pregnant I called Dusty at work. I was breathing fast. Dusty was in a state of disbelief. His only comment to me was that “I’m sitting at my desk and I am shaking”. We both were in shock and we were singing alleluias inside.
My first trimester was perfect. No morning sickness. I didn’t think I was emotional but Dusty would beg to differ. All my prenatal visits were positive except I was gaining a little too much weight.
On the 19th week of my pregnancy Dusty came with me to my prenatal visit. The nurse said that my blood pressure was a little high. I really didn’t think much about it except that Dusty was there and maybe it was his fault we had had a heated discussion on where we were going to have lunch. I being the pregnant one wanted Tommy Burgers and Dusty wanted a salad. I of course won. Right after the check up I had to get blood work done for the AFP test. Alpha Feta Protein Test. Not quite sure what the test does but most pregnant women have to take it.
A few days after my AFP test the doctor’s office called and said that the test was high and that I needed to go to the hospital for genetic counseling and an ultrasound with a possible amniocentesis I read all I could on the subject of AFP and I got myself all worked up. I called Dusty crying and he came home with flowers to cheer me up and told me to think positive thoughts.
I met with a genetic counselor who I immediately took a strong dislike too. She spoke with a pained voice and a look of utter despair on her face. She advised me of all the horrible things a high AFP test could mean. Down syndrome, brain defects, spine defects, and chromosomal defects. She showed pictures of what could go wrong. She made very upset.
Finally I was taken into the ultrasound room. We saw the baby suck its thumb, we its spine, its brain, its femur (Dusty liked that one) its kidneys. The legs were crossed so we couldn't’t see the sex. After the ultrasound tech was done The doctor walked into the room. He was very direct and did not color coat anything. He said typically there’s a 95% chance that everything is okay. But in our case it’s 80% because the baby was not easily visualized. The baby was very low near my pelvic bone. We said okay to the amniocentesis. After looking more closely at the ultra sound the doctor said my fluid level was very low and he did not recommend the amniocentesis at this time because statistics show that women with a high AFP and low fluid usually lose their baby. What a shocker!!! I became hysterical. The doctor proceeded to explain that this could indicate a bad placenta. I heard all the words the doctor said and Dusty remembered how beautiful the baby looked. Dusty had led a very charmed life. He was always lucky in all he did and bad things just didn’t happen to him. Dusty didn’t understand my outburst of hysteria. Looking back on that day I now know that God made women a little more intuitive about their babies than the father. The doctor wanted me to come back the following week. Over the next couple of weeks the baby was growing and my fluid was increasing. We felt that we were coming out of the woods. Doctor did seem pleased but he did say the baby was small about 2 weeks behind in growth.
On August 23rd I went for my regular prenatal visit and my blood pressure was elevated to 133/90 and I had traces of protein in my urine and I had gained 9 lbs in 2 weeks. I was admitted to the hospital immediately for evaluation. I was diagnosed with pregnancy induced high blood pressure and was sent home with orders to stay in bed for the duration on my pregnancy. I wasn’t even 6 months pregnant yet…
During this time Dusty’s corporate office called me to let me know that Dusty won District Manager of the Year out of hundreds of offices and that they wanted to fly me out to Atlanta to surprise him when he won. My heart was broken that I could not go and I was asked not to tell Dusty that he had won. I have to confess I did tell him before He left because I wanted to share this special occasion with him and I was a little selfish. He flew out to Atlanta for a week for business and I was stuck at home in bed. Only allowed to feed myself and go to the restroom. We did not have a church we belonged too and to be honest we were not walking with the Lord. We believed but we were too busy walking our own path. I was very lonely. All my friends and family worked and I had no one. Dusty came home from Atlanta on a Friday night and had to fly to Cabo San Lucas for a company trip he had won the next day. Again I would be alone. I asked him not to go because I felt that something was going to go wrong at my next doctor’s visit on Tuesday Sept 6th. Dusty wasn’t returning until the 8th. He refused to stay home believing that I was overreacting and that all would be fine.

On Tuesday, September 6th the day of my appointment, I was admitted to the hospital.

To Be Continued Tomorrow

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jesus and The Sugar Daddy

It was the summer of 1975... My friends and I would jump on our bikes and go on incredible adventures. We didn't have a worry in the long as we were home before the street lights came on...we were in good shape. Parents didn't worry like we do today.. It seemed safer..It felt safer..
One day my friends and I were riding our bikes on our elementary school blacktop.. It was great because of all the hills and was a favorite riding destination of ours...while we were riding, two adults came up to us..they seemed old at least twenty or twenty one.. They asked if we wanted to learn about Jesus and have fun playing games and things....My friends and I thought it was a great idea... We all found some shade under a large oak tree on the grass area.. We learned some songs and they read stories and we all thought it was a fun break on our summer vacation.. The best thing was the candy they gave us each day at the end of our time together.. I remember they put the candy in a plastic glove that explained how to accept Jesus as our personal savior on each finger.. as a kid, I thought it was neat... The grown ups asked if we would like to get together again and we all thought it would be fun...They asked us to invite other friends and the person who brought the most friends would win a Huge ginormous Sugar Daddy candy. We were all so excited..
The following day we all brought friends and by the end of the week there was probably fifteen kids all together and I won that Sugar Daddy! I don't remember the stories or the songs... and to be honest I don't remember which friends were there but I do know that in that one summer week... I met Jesus through a Sugar Daddy..
I am telling this story for two reasons... One reason is that those grown ups that approached us that hot summer day probably have no idea the impact they made on me. This shows me that we as followers of Christ do make an impact on others when we walk His path...even if we don't know it.. and the second thing is that every time I see a Sugar Daddy or Sugar Babies I think of Jesus Christ who made Himself known to a nine year old in the summer of 1975.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To Be A Beacon Of God's Love and Grace

When I travel through this blogger sphere I encounter many different kinds of blog sites. Many claiming to be Christian.... many claiming nothing at all... Many blogs I visit I feel right at home...and again some I visit...scare the spit out of me... I try not to stick to the same kind of sites over and over...sometimes I go outside my comfort I shared not too long ago.. I dared to travel into the atheist zone...silly me...that was so way over my head...I can see how new believers can get confused..but the commonality that I found in most of the atheist sites was the lack of kindness towards Christians... the lack of understanding and tolerance... My biggest impression was the sites were geared towards having unhealthy arguments... and mocking people of faith.. After my one and only encounter..I know better.. just don't say a word...I read some of the posts and it just makes me so sad..Sometimes, I just pray walk through the sites... I know God hears my prayers and I truly believe He is at work on these peoples hearts....He has to be...
There are so many amazing sites.. I have gotten some really good recipes and excellent advise. Discussed my faith and the faith of others. But one common thing I have seen on the sites I love is that they all are a beacon of love and hope for people who enter... That is my true desire...To share the gift of eternal salvation with everyone. I want to be a beacon of God's love and grace to anyone who visits my small spot in Blogger land... Thank you to all the people who have blessed me everyday.....
As Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Should We Lie To Be Politically Correct?

I have to give credit to Miss California, Carrie Prejean.... She stuck to her personal beliefs and answered a controversial question with her truths and her heart instead of being sucked into what is Politically Correct in today's society... here's the scoop in case you did not watch the Miss USA pageant on Sunday night.
Perez Hilton (a celebrity blogger) was a judge at the Miss USA Pageant. Why he would be a judge...I have no idea... I personally can't stand the guy... any hoo... He asked Miss California what her views were on same sex marriages and if every state should legalize gay marriage.... I am thinking her non PC answer shocked a few people...especially Perez.. Typically an answer in a pageant would be very non committal but Miss California respectfully answered the question...shows me that she can think on her feet..
Miss California responded, "Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what? In my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be, between a man and a woman. Thank you very much." After her honest answer - some audience members booed her... they booed... can you believe that?? This is another example how immature our society has become... to boo someone who truthfully answered a question... Who cares if you agree with her or not... I don't agree with same sex marriages but I would never boo someone that did.... Society needs to show respect to the person whether they agree or not...
Her honest non PC answer probably cost her the crown.... Miss California was first runner up in this pageant...To add insult to injury to Miss California, Keith Lewis an executive director for the pageants issued a statement to blogger Perez Hilton, condemning Miss California's remarks. He stated, "As co-executive director of Miss USA and one of the leaders of the Miss Family, I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belongs only to a man and a woman. Although I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit, I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone. Religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss Family."...kind of funny Miss California did not state her religious views...only her same sex marriage views.. I'm wondering if she said she preferred chocolate ice cream to vanilla... Mr. Lewis would send out a statement remarking how hurt he was that she did not like vanilla.....where does this PC stuff end?
What gets me is she answered a question.....what is she suppose to do?...Lie? If Keith Lewis and the Miss Family don't want religious beliefs or political beliefs in the pageants...then why don't they ensure that the judges don't ask politically charged questions.....
What are we to teach our children? To lie about their beliefs when asked a question because it might offend someone?? This is not about same sex marriages.. it's about saying what you believe... it's about respecting one another and our differences...and to you Mr. Hilton.....Don't ask a question...unless you can respect the answer.....and to Keith Lewis...shame on you.... and to Carrie Prejean, Miss California good for you to stand up for what you believe.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Language Of Love

I took a quiz today... The Five Languages of Love... Don't laugh...I took the quiz on FaceBook... But the results are so true about myself.. I thought my love language would be acts of service but no it is words... When I read the is me. Here is what it said...

You are a person of words. This means you are most touched when people tell you 'I love you', or when you read a poem. Even a song can make you emotional. Talking is your emotional tool and you will therefore also use this to connect to other people. Words are a great way of communicating, but when someone else you love doesn't necessarily talk the way you do, it doesn't mean they don't love you. What would be their primary love language? Too many words may have their downside, too. Some people may assume that if you talk a lot, you talk more than you do. You may also have been terribly hurt by what people have said, more than what they did. One last point to mention is that God also communicates in your love language. He uses words, too. He says in the Bible that He loves you, that you are the apple of His eye, and that He wants you to come to Him and talk to Him. He loves you and gave Jesus (God Himself in human form) to bridge the gap caused by the fall of sin through which we cannot fully obey the law He gave us. He made the solution through Jesus, and when accepting Him, you'll accept God Himself, Who loves you, and wants to communicate with you..

Well this explains all my late night, early morning, and middle of the day conversations I have with God.. and He likes it!!! Now if I can get my husband to talk....I'm thinking his (Dusty's) love language is acts of service.. I'll let you know.....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Confidential Prayer Request..

In my Sunday school class a couple of weeks ago we talked about someone having a confidential prayer request. Praying for someone but not knowing what we are praying for... At first, I thought it sounded a little strange..I think that was my immaturity peaking out..but then I thought about it. There are so many things in our lives that we don't want to share with the open world... Not that it's bad so much but we do have our privacy.....The power of the praying Christian is powerful...if we pray for a confidential is heard...God knows what is on the person's heart...
There is this pastor who lives in Atlanta... Each week he would go to his prayer warriors and they would pray for the needs of their congregation.. Pray for healing, a new job, a person coming to faith, and many other prayers...even confidential prayers in the church family.... During these prayer meetings he would ask his team to pray for his confidential need... They would pray together..not knowing what the Pastor needed. Every week the same thing...pray for others and then they would pray for the Pastor's needs..months went by...years went by....
One Sunday, the Pastor stood before his congregation and announced that he was getting married the following summer.. He also shared that every day he prayed that God would lead him to a woman that could become his wife to share his love and life with. He did not want to declare out in the open he was looking for a wife..he was afraid of all the well meaning parishioners introducing him to too many women.. He wanted God to lead him... So every week during the prayer meetings this was his confidential prayer request.
On a side note, the pastor had been happily married for forty years. His wife had passed away several years before...and he wanted to love again...and God answered his confidential prayer...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We Need To Go To Church

We need to have fellowship with other Believers. The Bible has no examples of anyone who was right with God but also stood alone and did not spend time with other believers. Hebrews 10:24-25 'and let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Gathering together in corporate worship also helps to feed your soul. "Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Public worshiping is the best place to give your soul the 'Word of God' nourishment it needs.

Going to Church regularly brings you closer to others who can love and encourage you. We all have troubles...Life can be very difficult but why carry all your worries by yourself..

It is a great place to pray and be prayed for. There is power when people of God pray. I know from personal experience. The healing of my own daughter.. The power of pray is an awesome thing to experience..

You don't need to go to a Mega-church to worship. Church can be a few people getting together and helping each other grow in Christ. This happens when we get together to lead one another towards love and good deeds. It does not have to be in a church building on Sunday morning. It could be any day of the any location...

I also want to point out that going to church does not save people..yes that's right it does not save people... People are saved by getting right with God.. But getting it right with God is only the start of being a Christian. We need to surround ourselves with other believers to stay on His path...and not fall off and go on Our own path...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Let's Get Out There!!

There are many people out there that need us. Need a friend, a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, and someone just to be there.. I was talking to a wonderful woman I know named Carol Williams. Carol was telling me that she just got too comfortable in her life. Her life revolved around her family and her church... God says to spread his word and his love but your not reaching people who need it when you are already surrounded by it. So Carol got out of her "comfort zone" and started volunteering at Working Wardrobes, a non-profit organization that helps people to get back into the work force.. She is the type of person that makes you feel like a million bucks after you talk to her. She sees the special person inside of you and she just loves you and it shows...there isn't one shred of falseness in this woman...Carol quickly became a favorite over at Working Wardrobes. She's helps men and women pick out outfits to wear on job interviews. She helps give back their confidence. She lets them know they are somebody... somebody special.. Carol glorifies Jesus in all that she does..
Carol is an example of what we need to do as followers of Christ. We need to get outside our comfort zone. 1 John 3:17 'But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?' Volunteer a day, a hour, a month...whatever you can spare. There are so many places we can go....hospitals, childcare facilities, homeless shelters, convalescent homes, and food banks just to name a few...Adopt a grandparent, an uncle, a child,or a family...give money anonymously to someone in need...donate can goods, clothes, and other things to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Jenny's house, or The Mac Donald house...there are a gazillion things you can do today....
Hebrews 13:16 'Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God'
Let's get out there!!!! and make a difference...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Freedom Of Choice Act

The "Freedom of Choice Act": Most Radical Abortion Legislation in U.S. History

The Pro-Choice American Foundation states "That by enacting FOCA, we will establish a federal law guaranteeing reproductive freedom for future generations of American women. This guarantee will protect women's rights no matter who occupies the White House or is in control of Congress"

Some say that FOCA would be similar to Roe v Wade- The Supreme Court decision that gives the "right" to abortion. There were guidelines regarding the abortion... but the FOCA is something even worse, if you can imagine that! The FOCA states that every woman has a "fundamental right" to have an abortion, and no government may deny or interfere with this right... Also, no government may discriminate against the exercise of this right when regulating or providing benefits, facilities, services, or information to the public. Which means, abortion may not be treated differently from live birth - if a public program supports motherhood it must equally support abortion.

FOCA will invalidate laws to protect a woman from unsafe abortion clinics and to ensure that she is informed about abortion. Roe permitted regulation of the facility in which the abortion is to be performed. FOCA actually removes the information informing the woman of alternative choices..

FOCA will require taxpayers to pay for abortions

FOCA will require states to allow "partial birth" and other late-term abortions. A woman would have the ability to legally abort her child until the moment of birth without any restrictions. In the last stages of pregnancy, a heath reason for the abortion would be required. However, "health" has been so loosely interpreted in abortion law as to include even mental stress. This requirement does not prevent any late term abortions. FOCA would overturn every state law that has been enacted to restrict abortion in any way.

FOCA will require states to allow abortions by non-physicians.

FOCA will bar laws protecting a right of conscientious objection to abortion - no physician, hospital, nor hospital personnel shall be required to violate personally-held moral principles. The current version of FOCA removes language found in previous versions of the bill to permit regulations to protect conscience.

FOCA will DENY parents an opportunity to be involved in their minor daughter's abortion decision. Our daughters can get an abortion without us knowing but they cannot bring a Midol to school...

The Supreme Court upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act on April 18, 2007. The very next day the Freedom of Choice (FOCA) was reintroduced in the Senate and House by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Other versions of the proposed legislation has been introduced over the years, beginning in 1989. Now, however, abortion advocates feared that the Supreme Court could add further restrictions on abortion and needed a way to insure this would not happen. Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading provider of abortion, immediately called for the passage of FOCA. Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion Congressmen want absolutely no restrictions on abortion. This includes everything - from minors having to tell their parents of their intention to get an abortion to taxpayer funded elective abortions through Medicaid.

When President Barrack Obama was running for President, he stated that the FOCA Bill would be a priority of his to sign... So far, he hasn't least I don't think so. Women need to know their options...they need to know that aborting their child can cause severe anxiety later in life...I know women personally who twenty years later are dealing with their grief... Women need to know that adoption is an option... I am a mother of two adopted children and if the birthmothers went to Planned Parenthood rather than a Christian facility...I may not be a mother today.....

One thing I do want to say, is I will never judge or condemn a person who chose to abort their child..That is not something I have a right to do...I do believe that women and men need to be educated on both sides and not go into something like abortion without knowing the facts and their options....

"Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born." Ronald Reagan

* information from Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities and NARAL - Pro-choice American Foundation

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Ten Commandments

Did you know that most people who call themselves Christians cannot even say the Ten Commandments much less live by them. I read this comment the other day and I thought do I know the ten commandments? All of them...? The main moral standard that God expects us to live by...hmmm

1. Do Not Kill... that one was easy
2. Do Not Lie
3. Do Not worship idols
4. Do Not want what others have
5. Do Not cheat on your spouse
6. Do Not steal
7. Honor your mother and father
8. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
9. Don't use God's name in vain
10. There is only one God

Okay, I had to cheat a little... Good thing, God has given us the gift of a conscience - knowing what is right and good. Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons families breakdown is the lack of moral standards and the lack of listening and following God's gift of a moral register "our conscience"

I wonder why The Ten Commandment can be such a threat to some people.. Take the ACLU for example. Why would the ACLU want the ten commandments removed from the Alabama Supreme Court Building...why remove something that represents the moral fiber of our country...our lives.... Our wonderful country was founded on these principles. I know this is an old story...but I have never gotten an answer that I agreed with. It all started in 1995 when Judge Moore was a circuit court judge. He was known for his practice of opening court sessions in prayer and for a hand-carved wooden plaque of the Ten Commandments that hung in his courtroom.. The ACLU sued Judge Moore for his praying and his hanging his plaque...they said it violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Later in 2001, when Moore was The Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, he had a 5,280 pound granite slab of The Ten Commandments placed in the Alabama Supreme Court. Moore said many times that he did not use taxpayer money....Well, the ACLU and Americans United for Separation Church and State filed suit demanding that the slab be removed... He refused and he was then suspended from his post and charged with six ethics violations for refusing to remove The Ten Commandments in August 2003 and later in November 2004 is was expelled from his position as Chief Justice.

He was charged with ethics violations.....WOW...How is following God's commandments - a violation? The vocal minority has done so many things to take God out of our country.... I think the quiet Christian majority needs to step up and say "We want to be heard too- We want prayer in school - We want prayer before a court session, and we want God in our country and our lives...without him...we are nothing..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Friend Sandy

I have a friend named Sandy. I see her at Church every Sunday and she is very active in our Church's outside activities. Two of her younger children play in our Upward Basketball program, they go to our Church's school, and she is always involved in Vacation Bible School and our Annual Harvest Festival. She is a Godly woman, who has an enormous heart for the Lord and for everyone around her. She is also very sad... Many things in her life are not good right now. Both she and her husband have lost their jobs and are having a hard time finding employment. Her eldest child has had many runs ins with the law and it has broken Sandy's heart... In many ways Sandy feels alone. Her husband David refuses to come to Church with her because he believes organized religions are after his ten percent and many people are hypocrites. Sandy does believe that David believes in God, he just won't accept God. I know Sandy spends many days and nights praying for David's salvation and many of us , her friends have also been praying. It is difficult to live with someone who you love with all your heart...but does not share your faith...or your gift of salvation.
God's word does give us hope... 1 Peter 3:1-2 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. I think the word submit brings up many ugly thoughts...especially in today's society. The Dictionary defines submit as "To yield. resign, or surrender to power, will, or authority. The words Yield, Resign, and Surrender... If you look at the word submit in the context it is used, you will discover that it does not mean to be a doormat to your husband...What Paul was saying in the Bible is that there must be a structure in the home for it to work. By making the husband authority of his wife is the same way as parents have authority over their children.. Christ has authority over the Church, which is to work together as an unified body with Jesus as the head.. Without having someone in authority than it would be impossible for there to be order, structure, or obedience. Another thought is God tells the husband to love his wife as Jesus loves the church - unconditionally... and we are to submit to Jesus and He showers us with blessings and love. So we all have our roles and when we follow them as God has described things just work....
It has been many years that Sandy has been praying for David. Sandy knows that she cannot convert David, but she is planting those seeds. The saying "Actions Speak Louder than words" is the very key, in my opinion to planting seeds. I also believe Sandy is doing exactly what God wants her do. She is that beacon of light in her husband's life, her friends' lives, and her children's lives.
So I say, Sandy, don't be sad...You are loved and God is not unjust - he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. God bless you Sandy, girl....

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is He Going To Heaven, Mommy?

We live in Southern California and our family is very much into watching sports..Okay, my husband is into sports and we all join him for the ride...mostly because he is in charge of the downstairs remote control! That's okay...most of the time. We have gone to many baseball games, The Los Angeles Dodgers, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and my husband's favorite team The California State University of Long Beach Dirt bags!! Yes, a college baseball team is called The 'Dirt bags'.

Last Thursday, we watched Angel's pitcher Nick Adenhart pitch a great six innings against Oakland leaving with a lead of 4-0 before a late-inning rally resulted in a 6-4 defeat. Later that same evening Nicolas James Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver. He was 22 years old. The police reported that a driver raced through a red light, causing a two car crash which killed three people, including Adenhart. The driver fled the scene but thankfully was later caught and charged with felony hit and run.

While watching the news report on this tragic event, my twelve year old daughter asked me if he was saved and if he was going to Heaven. My tendered hearted child was so concerned for this young man that she had tears in her eyes. "I don't know, Honey", I said..."Only God knows some one's heart." Well, she decided to pray for this baseball player she had never met... I was so proud of my "Little Prayer Warrior" and thankful for the many blessings she has given me and others.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter = Hope

In today's Easter morning sermon, my pastor talked about how Easter = Hope. In 1 Peter 1:3-4 it says, 'Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead....
When I was reading the news this morning there was a story about the Pope's Easter message. It said that Pope Benedict XVI sought to give a message of hope on Easter Sunday to victims of wars, poverty and financial turmoil, saying it was urgently needed to overcome the miseries that are plaguing Africa, the Middle East and other parts of the globe.
I was surprised on how negative and uninformed the comments to this story was. Here are a couple.
SOJJ said, "Funny how EASTER is all about the pope and not about the RETURN OF JESUS nor comments about that in the future!"

SOJJ also said, "This is quite backwards. The pope says EASTER
Jesus said,' Watch and be ready, I will come again and receive you'.
Our future is not about Jesus Birth, nor His death, But his return"

There were many other comments like this. I was amazed on how so many people do not understand the True meaning of Easter. Easter shows us how much God truly loves us. He sent His One and Only Son to die on the cross for our sins...Easter is the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.. This is the foundation of our faith. Jesus died so that we can be forgiven. He took the sins of our world and died and rose three days later..

There were three major points in today's sermon that I would like to share.
I There is always hope for us because Easter demonstrated that God is for Us. Romans 8:31-33 'What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?'
II There is lasting hope because Easter reveals the Poser of God's Forgiveness. Col 3:13-14 'Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.'
III There is hope because Easter demonstrates that Redemption is available. 2 Cor 5:17-19 'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.

Easter is all about the Resurrection, the forgiveness of sins, Jesus dying on the cross, and yes HOPE.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Creator

Written By My 12 year old Daughter Nicole

My Creator
My Lord, My Savior, all-powerful. He spoke the earth into existence
The beautiful Flowers,
The clear waters,
The wide blue skies.
How amazing, His creation is
His love is enduring
and His mercy is never ending
In a cave in Bethlehem,
You send Your Son to be born
forgiven for my sins.
Your Son died on a Cross for me
I am grateful
for all the generosity you show
When I see you in Heaven.
I will kiss your feet
and say "Lord Almighty"
I love you, my Creator

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jesus And The Criminals On The Cross

The word crucifixion is just a some people... It was to me.. not anymore.. When I think of the crucifixion, I think of the pain and humiliation that Jesus suffered.. Crucifixion, a practice probably adopted from Persia, was consider by the Romans to be the cruelest form of execution. This punishment was reserved for the worst criminals; Roman citizens were not crucified. The victims usually died after two or three days of agonizing suffering enduring thirst, exhaustion, and exposure. The victim's arms were nailed to a beam, which was hoisted up and fixed to a post, to which the feet of the victim would be nailed. The body weight was supported by a peg on which the victim sat....I think 'The Passion of the Christ' helps to give an idea what is was like. I just don't know.. I cannot imagine how awful it was for Jesus.. Many of the people He was sacrificing Himself for mocked him and turned their backs on Him...The pain and the just overwhelming..
After Jesus was sentenced to death..after he was beaten beyond what most men cannot endure, He was to carry His cross to Calvary... Because He was too weak and the pain so great, a man named Simon was ordered by a Roman guard to carry it. Simon must have been or later became a Christian; it is unlikely that he would be referred to by name if he were a stranger to the Christian community.
What is must have been like for Jesus to watch the soldiers cast lots of His clothing, listening to the people passing by Him and shouting abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "So! You can destroy the Temple and build it in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!" In His pain, he prayed to His Father and asked God to forgive these people.. Luke 23:24. It is hard to imagine anyone giving others grace when they are experiencing that kind of pain and rejection..
Jesus was being crucified with two criminals. One of the criminals hung there and yelled out insults to Him, "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!".. The other criminal spoke to the criminal and said, "Don't you fear God?" he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."
That is just an example of Jesus' grace and love he has for us. Whether we are a Pastor or Priest of a church or the worst of criminals... His love is always and forever.

He Has Risen!!! He Has Risen Indeed!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear , And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.
The world shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below, Shall be forever mine.
When we've been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we'd first begun.

This song was written by John Newton in 1779 while he was studying for the ministry in Olney, England. This song first appeared in The Olney Hymns in which Newton placed 281 of his own works, including Amazing Grace...Later this familiar song became an American tradition.
John Newton's life started not in a good way. He was a captain of a slave ship and was well known for being so drunk and obnoxious and his crew often rebelled against his tyranny. After a near death experience on one of his ships he realized he needed to get right with God. He realized that he had lived a wicked and loathsome life and it needed to stop.... The next fourteen years, John Newton dedicated himself to the ministry and at the age of thirty-nine became a pastor.

*The information for this story came from The Amazing Story behind Amazing Grace by Lindsay Terry.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lord Grant Me Patience and Grant It Right Now!

When I first got married my mom bought me a tea (I don't drink coffee) mug. On the mug it said, "Lord Grant Me Patience...and Grant It Right Now!" I have been an extremely impatient person my entire life. That is not a trait that I am proud of. A wise lady I know told me once.. "Do not pray to God for patience....because He will give you something to make you learn to be patient...and sometimes that is not a fun thing." I thought that was funny but also very true.

I think that being a mother to two very independent preteen girls has helped me to be some ways..not all. Age has also lent me more patience than I had at the age of twenty...I think as humans our first tendency is to be impatient when things happen that are not in our favor. When someone cuts me off in traffic or the car in front of me is too busy talking on their cell phone that they have not noticed that the light changed to green. I used to think that I had the right to get upset and give an incredulous face to the bad driver that made me angry...but that does not honor God.

Patience is defined as being steadfast despite opposition or adversity, not being hasty or impetuous, and bearing pains or trials calmly and without complaining... Obviously, patience does not just happen overnight. Our patience occurs when we are steadfast in our walk with the Lord. Patience is in many areas in the Bible. Patience is also a fruit of the Spirit...That kinda tells me that patience is pretty important. Today I like to say I have more patience than I did yesterday...and less than I will have tomorrow.

Psalms 37:7 "Be still in the Lord and wait patiently for him;
Romans 12:12 "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.

I have noticed lately as I get more into God's love letters to me that I have become more loving, patient, kind, and understanding... Not to say I am perfect...Lord knows that's not true...But I have found a peace that I had not had before....

I will leave you today with one more Bible quote that basically says it All...
1 Corinthians 13:4 "Love is always patient; love is always kind; love is never envious or arrogant with pride. Nor is she conceited"

Monday, April 6, 2009

A True Bond of Love

Last night in my woman's Bible study we talked about Kay Warren's book 'Dangerous Surrender'. The chapter we were studying was called 'An Unexpected Bond'. The study opened with a testimony of two of our group members. I learned that God wants us to share in the suffering of others and in this suffering we will be blessed and the person we are sharing with will be blessed. Okay...that's sounds good and all but I raised my hand and asked, "How do you do that? How do you share in someone else's pain and suffering?"
Peggy McDonald lost her husband a few months ago to cancer. A friend of hers, Kay lost her husband to cancer right before Peggy did. Although both women miss their husbands, Peggy has taken it upon herself to share in Kay's pain.. Peggy is helping Kay cope with day to day things. She is always there when Kay needs her and cries with Kay when Kay just needs to cry... Peggy feels Kay's grief and has helped to take some of the pain away from Kay...
A couple of years ago, my youngest daughter started fainting. She fainted several times in a two to three week period of time.. I took her to get a MRI. After her test, I asked the MRI technician if there was any red flags... he nodded yes and I sent my daughter to the restroom...He showed me where she had a large cyst/tumor pressing up against the front of her brain...I was scared out of my mind...I called my church and asked them to put out an urgent prayer request...the following Sunday many people came up to me and said that they were lifting her and us in prayer. During the service, my daughter asked if I would go with her to pray at the alter.. I did and when we stood up to go back to our seats.. behind us were many of our church families down on their knees praying too. What a humbling experience. The next day, the doctor's office called to say her MRI looked normal and everything was fine....the fainting stopped...
The fellowship of mutual care, of communion with each other, means that in the deepest sense possible we are truly never alone again - never alone in our pain, never alone in our joy, never alone in our shame, never alone in our success and failures. We belong to a community - the Body of Christ...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Boy, Was I Naive

Over this weekend I have received several emails regarding my comments on the 11 Myths and Truths of Atheism... I believed in my naivety that the author of the blog would in a mature way explain why he believes what he does.Silly me..I should have read the author's other postings on his blog. His blog was not to open a forum of discussion but to dismiss, criticize, mock, and basically put down anything in regards to God. It baffles me how people can hate a God that represents Love and Forgiveness.
The author pretends to be educated and knowledgeable about God not existing. Instead of explaining his beliefs - he decided to break down and attack every comment I made..not only that he took all my comments out of that he could twist what I said.
This was the first time, I had ever commented on any blog such as this one. I found it by accident. During a blog search on Technorati under faith and family. I find that very ironic due to the fact that this blog was so far removed from faith and family as you can get.
Not only was I attacked by the author..I was attacked my his followers. It's funny because I never once said anything to be construed as an attack, evangelize, or judgement... One comment I had made was about the recent death of my father. My dad was not a religious man by any definition but on his death bed he did make peace with God and he said that he saw his mom and dad who passed many years before him. My dad even said he saw Jesus and kept lifting up his hand..That experience to me gave me further proof (if I needed it) that God is there...Jesus is there... The response I received back was "Your father's death sounds like a plot from the Ghost Whisperer."
I am so dumbfounded that I just can not find the words to write back..I think the only thing I can pray..pray for their peace and clarity. Pray that they find Christ someday...
I never sought out to convert anyone...I know that I can not do that..only God can...I just guess that I was naive to think I could talk respectfully with these people...The reason I even made a comment was to learn...One day I want to go out into the mission field and I want to be armored with knowledge and God's grace..

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Atheist's Wager

I received this comment today from the author of 11Myths and Truths on Atheism

The Atheist's Wager:
“It is better to live your life as if there are no Gods, and try to make the world a better place for your being in it. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will be remembered fondly by those you left behind. If there is a benevolent God, He will judge you on your merits and not just on whether or not you believed in Him.”

Many people agree with the above statement. They believe that you if you have been a good person, you will go to Heaven. People say things like, "John was such a great neighbor, he gave food to the poor, he volunteered at the homeless shelters, and he always had a good thing to say - he will surly go to Heaven." Well, the Bible is very clear how to you can get to Heaven. The ONLY way is through Jesus Christ our Savior. You can't get to Heaven by just doing good deeds. You can't get a ticket on the Golden Highway to God because you were a good person. God, will not say, "Oh, you didn't believe in me that's okay... you were a good person, so come on up." If good deeds did earn your way to Heaven then Jesus died on the cross for nothing...

The Atheist's Wager unfortunately is a cope out. If a person is old enough to use this wager than they have been on Earth long enough to get know Christ. So saying, I will not believe in God because I just don't.... but if he does exist...I'm a good he'll let me in.. It does NOT work that way...

Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" this means that no one can live up to God's perfect way. We cannot save ourselves because as sinners we can never meet God's requirements. Our only hope is faith in Jesus Christ...

John 3:16 is another verse that spells it out "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.."

I did respond to my new atheist author friend, however, my comment has not posted....hmmm. All I said was basically what I said in this blog...but much less wordy... I also wished him the best in his research of religion.. ..Like I have said before...when he discovers God is real and accepts Jesus as his savior..what a mighty warrior he will be to glorify God's Kingdom..

Thursday, April 2, 2009

God My Imaginary Friend?

One of my favorite things to do is read other people's blogs. I have been intrigued, inspired, saddened, and confused by so many interesting people. Yesterday, I was looking for new blogs in one of my favorite blog sites Technorati. I usually look at a few of the top 100 blogs and then I go to my areas of interest, family, food, and faith. While I was in the faith area, I ran across yet another atheism site. I find that so confusing to have an atheist site under faith...unfortunately atheist do not have faith at least in God..I wish they did. Anyways, the site I read was titled "11 Myths and Truths about Atheism" and this is a portion of what it said.
1. Atheists are 100% convinced that there no God - the author said he is open to evidence to show otherwise.
2. Atheist are immoral: without religion, there's no basis for morality- author states they are not immoral, which I agree with to a degree. Can't lump all of them together just like we can't lump all Christians together. Even though the author called Christians trolls - which I found got to laugh...
3. Atheists are angry and unhappy - The author assures us he is very happy.
4. Atheists are disrespectful, intolerant , and mean - again we can't lump them all together but this author admits to no tolerance for other's beliefs. He liken Christianity to an "imaginary friend"
5. Atheists are whiny - this answer cracks me up. The author said that the Christian trolls whine to him about their childish beliefs and when he responds they call him whiny... when this author finally does find Christ...he's going to be great on bringing people to the Lord...
6. Atheists are just trendy - I think the author enjoys going against the "norm". You know those guys that just want to start an argument...
7. Atheists are just angry with God- the author assures us they aren't angry with God...he doesn't exist...
8. Atheists criticize the ugliest and most simplistic outdated versions of religion and ignore serious modern theology - the author again states that Christians worship an imaginary friend and it is impossible to worship an ethereal entity. There has to be a concrete person even if it's a Palestinian Jewish "savior" with a beard and blue eyes... I sensed major hostility on this one....
9. Atheists are responsible for the worst crimes in history - The author and I agree that is silly.
10. Atheists think science belongs to them - I don't think anyone believes that but I will say that Christians and atheists interpret science differently.
11. Atheists think they're superior-the author changed superior to arrogant...but denies both.. Reading his blog, I have to completely disagree with him - even if I was not a believer of Christ, I would find this article very arrogant....just calling Christians trolls who play with imaginary friends says it all...

Silly me, I felt compelled to say something to this writer. Even though my faith is strong and my heart is strong sometimes/many times the words I want to say don't come out the way I mean....The last thing I want to do is wear my Christian chip on my shoulder and attack someone who doesn't believe...that would never represent God's unconditional love nor would it make Christians look respectable and worthy to be heard... This is the comment I left

When I became a Christian I had a hard time understanding faith. Faith that God just exists.. I believe in history. I believe in facts. I thought Lee Storbel's books explained a lot. "The following is an answer he gave to why he went from being an atheist to a Christian
For nearly two years, I investigated science, philosophy, and history. I read literature (both pro and con), quizzed experts, and studied archaeology. On November 8th, 1981, alone in my room, I took a yellow legal pad and began summarizing the evidence I had encountered. In light of the scientific evidence that points toward a Creator and the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, I came to the conclusion that it would have required more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to become a Christian. Essentially, I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything; non-life produces life; randomness produces fine-tuning; chaos produces information; unconsciousness produces consciousness; and non-reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simply too big for me to take, especially in light of the affirmative case for God’s existence and Jesus’ resurrection (and, hence, his divinity). In other words, in my assessment the Christian worldview accounted for the totality of the evidence much better than the atheistic worldview.
From your post, I can see you are not criticizing others' faith - you just don't agree. There is historical factual documentation that proves the existence of Jesus..I'm sure you can find it. no need to write a book here :) but as CS Lewis states. Either Jesus was a liar, A crazy person, or he is who he says he is...The Son of God. I have no disillusion of converting you...I'm not that naive...or that smart. I do hope you would consider other ideas...Let's say if there was not a God and you believed in him and died..okay you're let's say there IS a God and you don't believe in'll have an eternity of regret..What do you have to lose? This post was written with all due respect and no judgment. I wish you only the best.

I left this comment so proud of myself for having the courage ... I want to be the person God has called me to be. I feel led to bring out his word... Of course this author has probably heard a million comments such as mine... From the comment he sent me, I can only conclude that he spends far too much time mocking faith rather than the research he claims to do... I believe that if someone really and truly went looking for the truth about Jesus Christ being our Lord and Savior he would find it. I believe they would have no other choice to believe in God whether they wanted to or not... Here is the comment he left to me.

I have also investigated, and continue to investigate, the claims of religions. And I have come to the exact opposite conclusion. Those "leaps of faith" that you say are insurmountable, are in fact small compared to the even greater leaps of faith needed to affirm Christian doctrines. The naturalistic worldview explains reality better than ancient myths and medieval philosophy.
C.S. Lewis is a good popularize of common Christian apologetics, but his arguments are not very good. The one you posited is called the lord-liar-lunatic-trilemma, which is fallacious and weak. And I see you also use Pascal's wager, and even less convincing argument. Sorry, but if those are the arguments that convinced you of Christianity, then I must say that your investigation is shallow.

Of course, I was very discouraged by the "shallow" remark and wanted to make sure he knew I was not such a person but came to my faith by much more than here is my final comment.

Thank you for your comment. I think to explain the complete reason I am a Christian would take much more than a "comment". As I mentioned before I have no illusions of changing any one's mind..I'm not that smart..But I do feel peace and I do feel loved. My reasons in my opinion are very deep and would take much longer to explain than a comment on a post. I wish you best of luck in your investigation.

Kind of funny I have no clue who Pascal is or what his wager is.....but I can say this....when this current atheist author comes to Christ, what a leader he will be to glorify God and His Kingdom...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Sister Debbie

My sister Debbie is a mother of two girls. Her oldest is finishing up her Master's Degree this May and getting married in June. Her youngest is a Junior in college and is a dancer in the Disneyland parade. Debbie has been married for twenty-eight years and is still in love with her husband. Debbie is my sister and my best friend.

For many years, Debbie has worked full time, raised her daughters to become incredible individuals, taken care of her husband, Kurt, and has stayed faithful in her walk with God. She is the person that people rely on to lift them up and to nurture them through their trials and tribulations...She is the person that will always say yes and lend a helping hand..even if she has to postpone something for herself... She has sacrificed her happiness on many occasions for others.... She never complains or whines...I believe she is happy to help. I believe her spiritual gift is serving others because that is where her heart and time go...

Debbie has been suffering in silence for many years... She started fainting... No one could figure out why. This went on for years. Then the fainting became worse... she would lose track of time and days. Still the doctors could not figure out what was wrong. In all this time, Debbie never complained. She was still taking care of others...never asking for help. A couple of years ago after a very bad "spell" she went to the hospital where a MRI discovered brain lesions... combined with her medical history and the MRI many of the doctors came to the conclusion that she has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). What is still very frustrating, after two years the doctors believing it is MS still have not Completely diagnosed it as MS. She fits all the symptoms...leg dragging, memory loss, stiffness, lack of motor skills, and list goes on... About six months ago she went in for another MRI to see if there were more lesions.. During that MRI, not only did they find more lesions...they found a brain tumor!!!

Today she is taking home her youngest daughter from the hospital who had her thyroid removed yesterday because of tumors..still waiting for the biopsies on that.. She is helping her oldest with finalizing the June wedding plans, She is helping our mom who has cracked her pelvis bone, and She is still waiting for yet another MS specialist to see her. She does all this without complaining and whining... She is still... She is quiet... She is waiting on God...While she is waiting she is calm...because she knows that God is in control.

I ask you friends and followers of Christ to please lift up my sister Debbie in prayer that the doctors will finally be able to treat her. That her brain tumor will be manageable without surgery, that she will be strong and healthy for her daughter's wedding, that her youngest daughter's tumors are benign, and to keep Debbie peaceful and in His embrace and love...


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin