Tuesday, April 30, 2013

God wants us

He wants all of us.
Whole heartedly.
He wants our time.
Our money.
Our talents used for Him.
Our resources.
He wants our worship.
Our praise.
Our friendship.
Our love.
He wants conversations with us.
He simply wants us.
There are no regrets when you give your life to Jesus.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday's Verse & Prayer {Psalm 119:105}

I hope that you have found what I started last Monday encouraging! I pray that you all desire to be mature Christians like I do. Engrave His Word in your heart with me!

Starting in May we will be giving you a prayer each day to pray over your children (if you do not have children we apologize) but we are focusing on mothers for the month of May for Mother's Day. And I also heard something about a giveaway? So I'd be on the look out for that because I heard it's pretty bomb diggity. :)

Psalm 119:105 -- Your Word is a lamp to my feet & a light for my path.

I pray that I seek Your Word for guidance, always. I pray that I love out those clear instructions of Your Word. For I know when I walk in accordance to Your Word & ways my feet are guided by Your lamp & my pathway is lit from Your Truth. Help me to not sway into the devils dark path but to always to look You for my light.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bread Pudding

My easy make breakfast.

Not to mention I am sure everyone has these ingredients lying around their house!

Bread Pudding

9 pieces of bread
3 TBS melted butter
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 /12 tsp cinnamon
1 1/12 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins (optional) - in this particular batch I didn't use, but I highly recommend if you like raisins!

Preheat oven to 350
Break bread into pieces & place into a baking dish
Pour melted butter on top of bread
Mix eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon & vanilla in a separate bowl
Pour mixture over bread
Push down bread with a fork so that it is soaked 
Bake for 45 minutes

Friday, April 26, 2013

Love Deeply

Happy Friday girls of God's heart!

Lord I pray for each and every girl who sees this today.  I pray for blessings and protection for them and their families.  I pray for peace over any anxieties in their minds.  I especially ask that you would gently remind them to LOVE today for love covers over a multitude of sins!  Love you Jesus!  Amen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What are you thinking about today?

I personally am feeling challenged by this verse today. Sometimes the weight of the world around me and the situations I'm facing distract me from who God really is and what He wants for my life. I need to think on Christ!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fruits of the Spirit {Series} Gentleness


Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Welcome to week 6 of the Fruits of the Spirit series. In case you missed the last few weeks you can go back and get caught up.
Gentleness in the spirit of Christ does not mean being meek and timid. (although KJV specifically states Meekness) Being Gentle in the spirit means to humble ourselves. To be humble enough to place ourselves in specific types of situations so we can behave as Christ would want us to. A Pastor from Singapore visited my church a few months back and he talked about placing ourselves in the Market Place (to you and I that is anywhere and everywhere that needs Jesus). I believe that is what having a gentle spirit includes. Being humble enough to be out of our comfort zone. Humble to offer correction out of LOVE and not condemnation. Humble to FORGIVE. Humble to take in that
A Gentle Spirit is NOT: bitter, unstable, troubled, obnoxious, quick to get angry, careless, impatient, doubtful, foolish, irritable, proud, insensitive, self-absorbed, self-seeking, over confident.
It all ultimately falls into winning people to Christ.
Can we win people to Christ with the above qualities?


1 Cor 4:21 NIV

21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
Just as a child stands to be corrected. What are your chances of them learning their lesson if we come at them angry vs...out of love? Just as any sinner to be won to Christ...condemnation and harsh judgment will not win any souls. I want to be a soul winner.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You are never alone

Today I just want to remind you that you are never alone. No matter what you are going through in life, God is ALWAYS by your side.

Just when you are about to give up is when you are the closest to the finish line.

Have faith and know that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday's Verse & Prayer {Ruth1:16}

Since this blog has started I've always wanted to something weekly rather than just post. You will still get my posts but God has answered what He wants me to do.

This week I've had several moments during quiet time, a 40 fast I am doing, bible studies, a book I am reading & spending time in the Word, God has prompted me - "Tiffany, you need to start penning My Words on your heart." I know what the Word says, I read it, I soak it in but I tend to forget the exact wording & my actions show it.

In the book I am reading I was slapped in the face. I was slapped in the face because I didn't feel like the mature Christian I should be after almost 8 years. I still feel like a baby. But one thing is I am growing. Over the years I do not think I was growing at the pace I should have been. But now. I know I am growing.

Every Monday I will give you a verse I challenge you to memorize with me over the course of a week & a prayer to go along with that verse.

If you know me, you know this is my favorite verse & I thought it'd be a perfect way to start it out.

Ruth 1:16 -- Where You go, I will go. Where You stay, I will stay. 

I pray that my eyes are open to Your will for me. I pray that I have a mind of understanding & wisdom for when You say go with me, I go. I pray my heart stays when you tell me to stay & not to do things that are pleasing to me by taking matters into my own hands. Humble me, mold me so I can clearly hear your instructions.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

In the midst

In the midst of what the United States has endured in the past few days you can't help but to sit back & be thankful for every little second you breathe on this earth.

So many moments we take for granted. Like this instant, what you are taking for granted? I can think of a million things that I take for granted. I don't want to live like that.

Innocent lives exit this world without saying goodbye. I always think to myself - what if they just had a big fight with their spouse? Or their kids? Or their parents? Friends? Coworkers? What if they said some hateful things to those they love? All these what ifs.

My biggest fear isn't dying, it's leaving those I love behind. I don't want to imagine the pain those left on earth would endure.

This past week I joined the Overcome the Lie Challenge. It was perfect timing, or God's timing for me in this whirlwind of events going on.

It's a 40 day challenge & we were to pick anything that God prompted us to pick. So I picked 2 things to fast over.

No clothes shopping - this girl loves a maxi skirt when she sees one & I am yet to pass one by when I fall in love with it. So for the next 40 days, I do walk by & say I do not need this but God has already provided me with enough. Day 41 I can't promise anything :)

The biggest one - turning off my phone at 7pm. It's been 3 nights. These nights have not been hard to turn off my phone. The weekends I am thinking it'll be harder when I stay up past 9pm. I love my phone. It has everything I could imagine on it. Emails, texts, IG, facebook, the occasional twitter. Let's be serious it revolves around IG. But my phone is almost right next to me ALL THE TIME. I know God has been telling me to ditch it for awhile, but you know I am stubborn & kept saying well what if, what if, what if.

The past few nights I have been blessed. Putting my kids to bed I sometimes want to gouge my eyeballs out because welp, they are 1 & 3. What do you expect? I struggle sometimes because they don't listen then I get frustrated & I still have to get around for bed blah blah blah blah.

But I began to read to them more. Something I rarely do at night, more of a day time thing for us. Henry now has a favorite book (yes after 3 days I know) & he repeats "that's not my car" & "where's the mouse mommy?" I.love.it.

My husband gave our daughter a cross necklace (that was once his) & his old story time Bible. So Hadley & I have spent our night times in bed reading that. We've always prayed together randomly in the past, but she lights up knowing that after reading we pray. Listening to her pray makes me smile & giggle because of the sweet things she prays for. Last night she thanked God for our hands & arms. I can't help but to think well her mind is so innocent. I think, this is something I take for granted. My arms & my hands. I think it's the most utilized thing on my body.

Little things like arms & hands, we overlook as being thankful for, but my 3 year old not so much. I want to have a mind like a child to be overwhelmed, excited, thankful, & happy about every little thing in my life.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kicking The Enemy Out Of My Mind

On Sunday I was really struggling with my thoughts.  I like to think that I am generally a pretty cheerful, easy going person, but I have my moments where I struggle to be positive about my circumstances.  A few days earlier, I was confronted by my next door neighbor who had some harsh words for me.  I am a pretty non-confrontational person (unless I am really upset about something), and I really strive to live at peace with everyone around me so his attitude really shook me up.                                          
After that confrontation I could not stop thinking about it, turning it over in my head - what I wished I had said, what I would really like to say to him (not very kind things at all).  Every time I drove by, saw his car, went outside with the kids, I obsessed over it. 

Around the same time, someone posted something on Facebook that was insulting to me.  Darn Facebook.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.  Anyway, both things effected my spirit negatively and really got me down.  For whatever reason I also began feeling overwhelmed by housework and began having negative thoughts about my abilities as a wife/mother/homemaker.  I began feeling like I wasn't good enough at cleaning house, wasn't a good enough cook... I was in a tailspin of negative thinking and by Sunday it had caught up with me.  I was feeling exhausted by my thoughts and emotions - a true testament to how powerful our thought life is!  

In church on Sunday morning it hit me that I needed to make a choice.  In my first blog post I talked about my experience with choosing joy and I realized that I needed to practice this very principal.  It was time to make a conscious decision to stop the negative thoughts and tell myself the truth - God's Truth.  I knew that the enemy had found an inroad into my heart and spirit and was beginning to pick at my weaker areas.  I refused to give him the satisfaction of kicking me down anymore.  Just making this decision began to turn my mood around.  I have the power to choose what I will and will not listen to and I wasn't going to accept the negative.

When I got home I noticed the three notecards that I had just put up on my kitchen cabinet a few days earlier.  In our Beth Moore Bible study, we were challenged to write these three verses on notecards concerning our thoughts, our words and our deeds.  I love putting up verses around the house because I read them every time I walk by and it's the easiest way to commit them to memory.  These three verses spoke right to my current situation.  

THOUGHTS Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me oh God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.

WORDS Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight oh Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

DEEDS Psalm 15:12 Lord who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.

I have been reading them every day since Sunday and challenging myself to live by them.  It has been a challenge at times but it has also really helped me to stay on track!  I am especially trying to be careful that my thoughts are pleasing to the Lord.  I think we tell ourselves that dwelling on certain situations won't hurt anything as long as we're not actually acting on those thoughts, but I believe that if it's not pleasing to the Lord, it will begin to effect us negatively.  

I am really challenging myself to be kind to my neighbor if we ever have another confrontation.  As hard as that might be, I have a responsibility to show the love of Christ in my life to everyone - not just those that are easy to get along with!  I'd like to encourage you to write these three verses down and put them somewhere where you will see them every day.  What better way to start every day off with the right mind and heart than by praying each of these verses!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Forming Healthy Habits: Physical Life

We are continuing to work this week on forming healthy habits. Last week I wrote about our spiritual life, which is most important to our overall well-being. This week, we're focusing on our physical health. Yes, this is something that the world focuses WAY too much on. At any given time, 50% of women are "dieting". Take a look at some of these statistics:

According to the Calorie Control Council National Consumer Survey:
  • 54% of adults were currently dieting or trying to lose weight in 2010
  • 86% of those adults trying to lose weight were doing so by cutting on foods high in sugar as their primary choice of a healthier habit
  • 69% of those dieters, KNEW they weren't losing weight because they weren't exercising
And according to Marketdata, Americans spent $65 BILLION in weight loss products in 2012.

The sad thing is, 90-95% of all dieters, put that weight back on in 1-5 years time. 
It's time to start getting healthy.

Here what's God says: 
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."

I will be more than honest to start with myself on this one. I have ALWAYS been self conscious about my weight and body type. I have been 5'4 since 8th grade and weighed around 105-110 lbs throughout high school. However, I got a big booty. Some people wish for more junk in the trunk... I just wanna move the junk in the trunk up to the shelf, ya know what I'm sayin girl?! And I'll never forget comments that were made about my big butt. I was an athlete in high school and college. (Yes cheerleading is a sport, tumbling and lifting people in the air are involved. So yes, I was an athlete.) When I got married and stopped cheering, I lost a bit of my toned body. Then I moved to Arizona, where just about everyone is all about going to the gym, and dieting, and cleanses, and one girl even said to me my first day at work, "Oh my gosh are you really gonna eat that whole piece of pizza?" I was like, "Heck yeah, this is some dang good pizza! And I'm thinking of getting a Frosty's later too!" The mind set on the West Coast is SO body conscious, to an extreme a lot of times. I didn't understand why everyone was so concerned of how others thought of them. But I guess that's our insecurities, especially us women. Trust me, I have them too, ALL the time!

So then I got pregnant, and I loved being pregnant. I didn't care about stretch marks. I ate what I wanted, didn't care about the weight. I only gained about 25 lbs with my son Miles but afterward, it was tough to see how others looked at me, thinking of how they might judge me. Some people might have commented on how great I looked after having a baby or how my waist was so tiny. But trust me... I was hiding as much as I could...all the other faults under my clothes and as a burden on my shoulders. Even from my husband - I sucked in all the time (still do) and didn't want him to see the places of my body that had stretched and gotten a lot less firm. As time passed, I realized I was my own worst judge. I wasn't happy with myself and I was the one who could do something about it. Yet, time and time again, God would remind me that He loved me for my heart and my soul. Yes, I needed to take care of the body he has given me... but I didn't need to hate or be ashamed of something Christ loved.

So here's what I did:
  • Looked at the food in my house: About 2 years ago, I stopped buying (most) of the foods that were bad for me. If it wasn't in the house, then it was less likely of a chance that I was going to eat it. This included regular and diet pop, cookies, chips, sugary cereals, sugary drinks. It was kind of like an out of sight, out of mind. 
  • Made a conscious effort to change my eating habits: I started intentionally choosing healthier foods at home or out to eat. If you know me and my husband, we are picky eaters. We both hate veggies. But, we had to try to get healthy so we started with more salads and less burgers, edamame instead of chips, more chicken, more eggs. We choose frozen yogurt instead of ice cream (sometimes). And we stopped drinking pop and started drinking water as much as possible. I can honestly tell you what a difference that has made!
  • I got moving. For me that was outside. Now depending on where you live and what your weather is like right now, this may be tricky. But, since I live in Arizona and our weather is sunny and warm 95% of the time.. I had no excuse. I had a jogging stroller for Miles and I had tennis shoes. So now, I can tell you that every day in April so far, I have done some sort of exercise outside. I usually do a run, hike, walk pattern during the week and if for some reason I can't do one of those, I go to my backyard, or my loft, and do whatever I know will work my muscles and get my heart rate up. 
    • For example, I run or walk for a least 30 minutes. Or I hike up a mountain and down, with my son in tow. Extra 18lbs, let me tell you, that's a work out!
    • Lounges, Squats, Leg Lifts... easy things that don't require a gym membership or equipment
    • Abs - sit ups, crunches, planks. More things that don't require a gym membership or equipment.
    • DANCE - turn on some old school 90s hip hop/Jock Jams and dance! Do it while you clean or have your head phones in! Act like you're at a wedding reception without your kiddos and LET LOOSE! Get your hubby in on it! (Just remember to close your blinds.)
    • Quit looking for that closest parking spot at the grocery store or the mall... you can walk a little extra further, I promise it won't hurt!
Now listen, I'm not saying I'm never lazy.. or that I'd really like some Taco Bell. Trust me, completely changing your eating and exercise lifestyle is not easy. But I'm trying and I think that's what counts. My goal is not to necessarily lose weight, but to get fit! So... Now it's your turn - One step at a time. All I'm encouraging you to do is to take care the temple, the body, Christ has given to you. God loves you and wants what's best for you. Take a minute to think about what you put into your body... the kind of food, drink, candy, diet products. Think about how you choose to exercise, or do you? Take care of yourself. Be an example for your family. Be around for your family. Take care of your temple.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let it Rain

I think in height of what has happened with Boston. We would take a moment from our Fruits of the Spirit Series and say a prayer for all of those who were affected by the tragedy.

Heavenly Father, In this time of pain and sorrow we ask that you rain over us with your spirit. Open the Flood Gates of Heaven and drench us in your merciful healing. Smother those affected by this disaster, with your love and mend their broken hearts. I pray that those once dry specs of hopelessness be drenched in your spirit, lifting them higher and giving them hope. Let it Rain Lord. Let it Rain. ~Amen

Yesterday while I was getting ready for my day, I heard a song by Jesus Culture. Brought me to tears. All I could think about was those were were lost during the Boston tragedy. Let it Rain, God... Let it Rain.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Created for amazing things

( photo source unknown)
Have you ever thought about what you were really created for?
Our day to day lives aren't who we really are.
Why is it that when people meet us, one of the first things they ask is what do you do for a living?
Why do our jobs have to define us?
God places us in those jobs and the everyday lives that we live to create opportunities to share His love.
We were created to love and be loved.
We were created to do God's work here on earth.
If you really think deep, our everyday lives are meaningless unless it's about God's kingdom and us seeking God.
When we get to Heaven, God isn't going to ask us what kind of degrees we obtained, what jobs we had or who our friends were... He's going to ask what we did for His Kingdom!
Remember, you were created for BIG things. You were created for amazing things!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bible Studyin'

Going off Kelly's last post of Forming Healthy Habits I am going to share how I stay accountable as well.

I love my bible. Who doesn't? I love the way that 5lb book looks & feels. I love what it brings me every time I open it. Ask my husband if I carry it up & down the stairs about 50 times a day. I joke not. If I am upstairs 99% of the time it is upstairs with me & vice versa. As I stand here in the kitchen typing away on the island, guess where my Bible is.. 1 foot away from me, on the island.

Whenever I get that second, those 5 minutes of peace & quiet I snatch it up & read it. I work 40 hours a week & try to tend to a lot of household activities as well as being a wife & mother so every moment I get to be in the Word, I do it.

My friend told me this week I am such an inspiration, coming from one of my friends I look up to in my Walk with the Lord I was astonished. Flattered. It made my day to know that what I do, how I do it, someone else looks & thinks wow she is an inspiration.

I am currently reading the Bible in a Year in Chronological order. I started it back in October. I am 184 days in. Everyone says it takes 30 days to make it a habit and I did. Sometimes I chose to go elsewhere in the Word & pick up my daily read the next day. But this is one thing I am not behind on.

Also - Bible Studies. I am a baby when it comes to knowledge. I mean it. I know stuff but I still have to reference A LOT. I use Bible Studies to grow, to learn, to stay in the Word, spend time with friends, & be accountable. When I am in a Bible Study those are my strongest moments in my Walk.

Since October I've completed 2 studies & almost finished up a 3rd one & just started a 4th one.

I want to share the 2 studies I just finished & I highly recommend them BOTH.

1. When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore

2. Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
 This picture is bittersweet. It was my first study I ever did with my sister & those were the last few questions of it.

If studies intimidate you because I won't lie they intimidated me at first too, don't let them. I was afraid my answer would be wrong or I wouldn't want to share my answer that I poured my heart into. Guess what - other women are in that same boat. No one MAAAAKES you share anything. If you feel led my the Spirit to share things, do it. And guess what - not one single answer is wrong because guess who helped you answer the questions? God did. And oh He is never wrong.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

{DIY} Decorative Topiary


Styrofoam Ball (size up to you)
Styrofoam Cube
Spanish Moss
Glue Gun/Sticks
Newspaper for easy clean up
Stand for Topiary (mine is from Ross)
Rope or jute
Round Dowels
Green thread (optional)

Place the Styrofoam cube inside of your container. my cube was slightly larger then the container and I just shoved in inside. Nice firm fit.

Insert dowel inside sphere and cube (centered) Use hot glue to secured hold.

The rope I had on hand was larger then I needed. I unraveled the strands to form smaller stripes.
Jute would also be a good item to use here.

I wrapped the rope strand around the dowel for a "wood" effect. Gluing as I wrapped.

This is a must...you must watch Duck Dynasty while you craft. Otherwise, your whole project will be incomplete. (*wink) Add hot glue to any area on your sphere and attach moss. I started with the top of the sphere on my first topiary, but I would recommend the bottom by the dowel as the area to start with. I did this for my second topiary and it was much easier.

This project WILL be messy! To secure all the loose pieces I used green thread, wrapped it all over my topiary. You can only see the thread if you look really close.

Consider it a "hair net" for your topiary.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Billboard Outreach...{Funnies}

Do you ever read billboards when you are driving?
I do. My favorite ones are the huge black billboards that say..."I saw that...God"
I was on Pinterest tonight and I found these really good Church Greeting signs.
I love that...if people are like me...and read them, that sign may change their life.
A catchy quote on a sign gets stuck in your head and then you can't forget it.
Kind of like the McDonalds..."Fishy Fishy". If that just got stuck in your head...I'm sorry.
So here are some pretty neat/funny Church billboard signs I found.
What a way to step out of the box on outreach.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Forming Healthy Habits: Spiritual Life

The next few weeks I will be doing a series on forming healthy habits. Why you might ask? Because it's something I've been working on myself and this is one way to help me stay accountable. I'm a bit of a lazy person.. okay maybe not lazy, but yeah a little lazy. I try things like diets, exercise, bible studies with all the intention and motivation to complete them until the end. But let's be honest... that rarely happens! So far I've done 3 important things every day for the last week. I've been in the Word, I've run/walked/or hiked, and I have eaten healthy. So that's what I'm going to challenge you with too. Forming healthy spiritual, physical, and emotional/mental habits.

First and most important - is our spiritual habits. Our daily walk with God, our prayer time, and how we live and love others.

Daily time in the Word:
     This has always been one of the hardest things for me to do everyday. Whether I have time for it or not, I struggle with doing this daily. I don't know why... sometimes I don't have bible studies to do and don't know what to read. Sometimes I get busy or tired and forget. But here's some pointers that I have found helpful:
     1. Pick the same time everyday to be in the Word. Whether it's morning, lunch hour, or right before bedtime, choose the same time each day and work it into your daily routine. Make it a priority. Turn off the TV, get off the computer, stay off your phone and social media. Make your Bible, your priority.
     2. Get a book/bible study that applies to something you want to learn. I used to just pick a spot in my Bible and start reading. Yes, God can use anything in His Word to speak to you. But you are more likely to continue reading daily if you have a little bit of a guide. I am currently doing The Power of a Praying Woman (book and study guide) by Stormie Omartian and want to continue with Power of a Praying Wife and Praying Parent. It has challenged not only the way I pray but the way I think.
     3. Find someone to keep you accountable. I'm working on this. I need good friends to keep me spiritually accountable. I've been in different relationships where I'm the mentor and or I'm the mentee. I don't know where God wants me in this moment of my life, but I know that good friends who can keep you spiritually accountable in your actions, behaviors, and thoughts are a blessing.

     1. Prayer Journal A prayer journal as been a staple in my life. I can write out my prayers to God, keep track of the people and purposes I'm praying for. I can look back and see how God has answered prayers, write down verses that God puts on my heart, etc.
     2. Pray for Confession, Forgiveness, and Growth Another important component of prayer is confession and forgiveness. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 Not only should we confess and ask forgiveness but
     3. Pray for others  We all know family or friends that do not know Christ and one of the biggest reasons to pray for others, is to pray for their salvation. But praying for health, healing, guidance, relationships for others is important as well.

The Greatest Commandments
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-38

     1. Serve Others Christ calls us to serve others and a great example of this is washing of his own disciples feet, the dirtiest part of their body in their time. So humble yourself and serve someone. Be willing to help others in way that they need it without expecting anything in return. Do something because you know your spouse loves it, even if you don't. Help your church in their service day. Give of your time because it's for the glory of God. Just make sure your heart is in the right place.
     2. Love Others Christ's second commandment is to love one another just as you love yourself. This is simple. Love people where they are at. Don't judge them, don't gossip about them. You don't always know their story and it's wrong to assume things about their lives. Just be there for your family and friends... love them, respect them, and pray for them.

Follow along with me the next few Thursdays as we develop more healthy habits.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fruits of the Spirit {Series} Peace


Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Loves! We are almost done with the Fruits of the Spirit series. We only have a few more traits to cover. I shared with you Self-Control, Faithfulness, Goodness, and Kindness. Today we will cover PEACE.

When I think of Peace...Can hear the Gaithers singing Peace like the River. "I got peace like a river, Flowin' deep in my life, I got peace like a river And you know it feels so right". When I think of Peace...I think of the Prince of Peace. Which is what we call our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When I think of Peace...I think of my soul and heart at rest.

Learning to practice the Fruit of Peace...I feel is, having peace with yourself, your brother and sisters and peace with God.

Peace within one self: Brother or Sister, you have taken the step to accept Christ as your Savior. All you have done. and will do..is forgiven. Be at peace with yourself. YOUR GOD IS GREATER THEN ANY SIN YOU HAVE COMMITTED.
John 14:27 (NIV) 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Peace with our fellow Brothers and Sisters: Living life not holding a grudge. Walking in harmony with those we encounter. This is a biggie. I struggle with this myself. A crazy driver cuts me off on the road...immediately I am not a very nice person. A definite struggle with a peaceful attitude.
James 3:18 (NIV)18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Peace within God: TRUST HIM!
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Living without peace will only lead us to down fall. Why would we do that when we know all that God has promised us. I do not want the Lord to be disappointed in me when he returns. What say you? Can we STRIVE to live in Peace?
I leave you with this scripture.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Standing Still

Do you ever have those days where you feel insignificant? Like what you are doing with your life isn't enough? It can be overwhelming. I know my main priority in this world right now is my children, but when they are all grown will I look back and have regrets for not doing enough? Am I really doing what I'm called to do? How to we even know what our calling is?

I feel like something is missing. There are no big goals being accomplished. Motherhood is putting all those things on the back burner. I feel like I'm at a stand still. God are you there? I need you right now. I need direction.

John Bevere said it best. When you think God isn't speaking, HE is. He's telling us to stay where we are and keep doing what we're doing.

Sometimes when God is quiet, He's speaking the loudest. We don't always have to be changing and rearranging. It's ok to stay where we're at for a while. There is purpose in the stand still. It can be a time that we're going neither forward nor backwards. In these stand still times, God can change our hearts and mature us for what is to come.

In these periods of time, we can simply just focus on God's love and find peace in it. Seek His face and know He is still there in the midst of the silence.

Sometimes in the silence is where you find direction.

Just stay where you are. It's ok. Just stay and seek His face.

It's like I'm standing in the middle of a tornado. My balance is solid. The world is slowly flying by me as I stare at objects whirling across my face. I don't move. I trust that in the midst of the rushing wind, He will protect me. Stay still He says. I have plans for you but don't take a step yet. It's not the right time and you will get hurt. There is beauty where you are. You just have to see it like I see it.

Instead of worrying what your next move in life will be, just sit back and watch God move.

God will tell you to when to move, so as for me. I'm trusting Him in the stand still and I'm ok with it.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How can I move on my from my past?

We've all made mistakes, we've all sinned. Not one single person has walked a sinless life except Jesus. He walked a sinless life for our sinful lives.

We all have a past. Yesterday is our past, 4 hours ago is our past, 2 minutes ago is our past.

How do you move on from your past? What do you do? Who do you turn to?

My mom told me a few weeks ago - Changed by Rascal Flatts was made for you. I listened to it & cried my little eyes out. I thought, it was made for me.

But it was made for every sinner.

I became a believer in 2005. I've been a sinner since 1985. And I am still a sinner in 2013. In 2008 I made some pretty radical decisions in my life & became in my eyes one of the worlds biggest sinners.

I thought, who was I? How could I do that? Do I have any feelings?

I was emotionless. I don't even know who I was. I still have no clue. But the devil got a hold of me & I back slid. Back slid so far I never thought I'd be able to get up again.

But I did.

So how do you move on from your past? - Forgive. Forgive yourself. Forgive others that hurt you. Forgive each other, just as Christ forgave you. -- Ephesians 4:32b

What do you do? - Bury your heart in the Word. I have hidden Your Word in my heart. -- Psalm 119:11a

Who do you turn to? - God. Repent, then, & turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. -- Acts 3:19

So easily it's hard to run, run away when you sin. I mean I know I did. Now when I sin, I immediately take it to the throne. God's love for us is so unconditional, He will love us no matter what we do. He already knows what sin we will commit tomorrow & the next day. But if you do not seek Him out & repent of your sins you are going to live a life in bondage & in your past. 

Hebrews 10:17-18 -- Their sins & lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

Isaiah 43:18-19a -- Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Isaiah 43:25 -- I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, & remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 65:16b -- For the past troubles will be forgotten & hidden from my eyes.

Philippians 3:13b -- Forgetting what is behind & straining toward what is ahead.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Greatest Counselor

A little over a week ago we celebrated Good Friday... the moment in history when Jesus Christ gave the entire world hope for eternity with Him by giving up His life and dying a horrific death on a cross. He did this to pay the penalty for the sin this world commits and show His amazing love for us. And we know Jesus Christ conquered the grave, came back to life, and ascended into Heaven 3 days later. Praise the Lord!

Jesus had about 12 very close friends and followers, disciples, who heard His most important teachings during the last 3 years of Jesus's life and were given the mission on carrying on the Gospel. During the last night of life on Earth, Jesus sat down for a significant dinner with the disciples to pass on the last moments of teaching. During this supper, Jesus told the disciples that when He left the Earth, they would still have another Counselor with them to guide them. 

John 14:15-17 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you."

John 14:21-22 "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will beloved by my Father and I too will love him and how myself to Him."

John 14:23-26 "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teachings. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me, will not obey my teachings. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Love = faith = obedience. Love, like faith, cannot be separated from obedience. If you claim to love Christ, then He commands you to obey Him as well. You cannot just claim love without obedience and faith in that. And because God has sent His Holy Spirit to be a part of us, He speaks truth in our hearts. The Holy Spirit is our Counselor and guides us to make decisions and choices that will follow glorify Christ. When we are one with God and in tune with Him, we are more able to hear and feel His Holy Spirit. 

Have you ever noticed that? When you haven't been in the Word, haven't been in prayer, and have strayed away from God... you don't feel His presence as much? But when you dig in to the Word, you're following God's commandments and teachings, you're praying and have a real relationship with God... you feel His presence, His Holy Spirit, deep in your soul. You are lead to make decisions that you feel peace about because they come from the Holy Spirit. You feel conviction from the Holy Spirit when you know there is a part of your life that is not falling in line with Christ's plan for you. 

Don't ignore the greatest Counselor of all... The Holy Spirit.