Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Need a Hero

Yesterday we finally resumed our weekly Bible study at church. We are currently studying the book "Captivating". We had a great and fun first day back, as we discussed our childhoods favorites. It was great to think back to those days...

As I read this book one of the greatest mysteries of my life is being explained to me. You see, when I started liking boys I seemed to gravitate to the "rebels", I wanted the boys that my mom didn't approve of, the ones I had to sneak around with to date and til this day my mom is always asking me why. I didn't know why...

One of my favorite movies growing up was Grease, I loved it! I had the soundtrack and listened to it over and over. I loved Danny and all the hoods. I also loved Fonzi, from Happy Days, he was so cool to me.

In seven grade I remember riding the bus and I noticed this tall, blonde guy and my heart skipped a beat when he actually spoke to me. That day I decided I like Johnny, everybody else called him John but he was Johnny to me. He was the guy in school that all the boys feared, all the girls wanted to date and he was SO cool and of course, so goodlooking! My mom didn't like Johnny AT ALL. SO my answer was to sneak around with him. We dated on and off from the end of 7th to the middle of 9th. He was my Fonzi or my Danny. He wasn't afraid of a fight and he stepped in when a guy at school was harrassing me. The boy never spoke to me again after that. I remember one night I met him at the beach and we were talking with his friends who were spewing filthy words every breath...he put his arm around me and said, "HEY! Don't talk like that around my girl!" Can you see me swooning? I did! Believe me!

But Johnny had a dark side, he hid it from me, but it was there. I heard tales of him doing drugs and cheating on me constantly. He would deny it all but looking back on it I knew it was true but I wanted that excitement, I loved the feeling I had when I was around him, that feeling of protection, the way my heart fell to my feet when I saw him, the way he treated me like I was so special when we together, the way he would throw his arm around me and we were "the" couple, ya know, it was all rather romantic, for the most part, as we were Romeo and Juliet, of course ;)

Then came the breakup, we were at the beach one night, he broke up with me and I was so angry at him! He already had a girl waiting for him in a nearby car. I pushed him and HE PUSHED ME BACK. My head hit a light pole and I looked up at him with tears and stars in my eyes and I could see the look on his face was one of regret but before he could say anything, another guy came from nowhere, grabbed his arm and said,"I better not EVER see you do that again!" And he just held onto Johnny's arm and as I looked in Johnny's eyes, I saw fear there. WOW! Meet my new hero, who as it turned out was the local drug dealer, he was WAY too old for me and he actually lied to ME about his age. I'm not going to say his name because frankly this relationship is a complete embarrassment to me now. I will say however that during this time that he never exposed me to them and threatened all the kids in our school that he would beat them up if they ever gave me drugs. I found all this out later from a guy on the bus that had always been a real jerk to me but one day he said, Erika, I'm really worried about you because..... And he told me, he begged me not to ever tell my boyfriend who told me because he would beat this guy up. Wow, I wish I could say I broke up with him at that point, but, I didn't. I was in 9th grade and too stupid to see clearly, I was addicted to the game, the game of sneaking around, I was addicted to the adventure and the romance of it all. And I was incredibly naive, I believed him when he told me that he didn't deal drugs...but luckily I noticed David one day (he was the only guy I ever dated that my parents approved of! lol) and that was the end of that guy. Whew!

In 1984, when I was 15 a song came out that explainrd me to a T! It was "I Need a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler. I played that song over and over again, loudly, and I recall dancing and spinning around the room with stardust in my eyes! I truly wanted a hero! Someone that would save me like I was a damsel in distress. One that was fresh from the fight; one that was larger than life. What I ended up with were criminals. It turns out that Johnny married that girl waiting in the car for him and one night he beat her to a pulp. When she left him finally, he shot himself to try to bring her, scary. He is now, from what I hear, a crackhead with so many kids that I've lost count. I was so close to being that girl. The other guy, I see him occasionally, I think he's straightened his life out but he ruined so many young kids lives in our area before he did...definitely neither of these guys were ever "Hero" material.

I now know that I've found my true hero and He can outdo all other heroes! I've found the one good man, I've found the street wise Hercules to fight the rising odds. I have my white knight upon a fiery steed. He is strong, He is fast, He's sure, He's soon and He's definitely larger than life! He's always reaching back for me. He's definitely a superman and He's definitely swept me off my feet! His name is Jesus and He is somewhere watching me, protecting me, guiding me, loving me, He actually died for me and He is the only hero we need! He was always there, He was always just a prayer away...

Thank you Jesus for being my hero and thank you Father for loving me no matter the cost! Photobucket

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Answered Prayers

I had to write today because last night I had the most miraculous thing happen....

In Sunday School, our teens are praying the Jabez Prayer for a prayer pal whose name they drew in class this past sunday. Last night, it hit me that my son, who's in the class, hasn't been praying for his prayer pal. So, I did what I've always said I wouldn't do and I asked him about it. I feel that the other kids don't get this special treatment at home so, I shouldn't give my own son that special treatment...however, I really want him to learn that verse and prayer!! So, I broke my rules and I talked to him about the prayer. We spoke of all the many miracles I have encountered with it. He said the prayer for his prayer pal and we both tried to recite it...I won ;). It was rather funny as he was amazed that I knew it, which is hilarious because I've been reciting that prayer to myself for months now! LOL Anyway, I tuck him in and say goodnight.

I then head to the garage. In the garage we have an old desk and chair, where I sit and read alot. I'll take a glass of drink, a book and go read several time during the day and night. It's like my break spot I guess. So, after tucking both kids in bed, I get a glass of milk, my book and head to the garage. My cat runs frantically in the house just as I open the door. I pay her no mind, head to the chair, sit down and preceed to read. (I'm currently reading a book that actually belongs to my son and it's not bad for a kids book :)

The door opens, out walks my husband who stops adruptly and says, "Someone is going to get hurt out here!" HUH? What is he talking about? Shaking his head he points to the floor and there on the floor is a HUGE pile of shattered glass. Someone had evidently left a glass outside and my cat had knocked it off the desk, where it shattered in a million shards. I looked down at the path that I had to take to get to my chair, I looked under my chair, and I looked under the desk...HOW IN THE WORLD DID I WALK THAT WAY AND NOT STEP ON GLASS? My husband and I shook our heads, I'm not exactly sure how I didn't cut my feet wide open getting to the chair. It was hard to manuever once I knew it was there to not get cut. I checked myself to be sure and there were no cuts anywhere. How did I not see the glass? How did I not get cut? Good grief what if it had been a snake?!?! lol

As we cleaned up the glass I started thinking about the prayer my son and I had just uttered not even five minutes before I stepped out of that door. Wow, talk about an answered prayer!! AND I had to break my rules to do it...hmmmm, I don't know what to make of that one but I do know that I'm sure glad that I said that prayer and I'm oh so thankful that God's hand (and feet apparently) was with me as I walked out of that door :)

May the Lord bless you indeed, may He enlarge your territory, may His hand always be with you! May He keep you from evil, so that you will not cause pain, In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN!

PS!! While I was writing this, the phone rang! It was Rusty saying that he has another interview at the phone company in the morning!! Thank you Jesus!!! And thank you for always blessing us INDEED!!!!


Thursday, September 3, 2009


As most of you know my husband has been out of work since April. It's been trying at times but not too bad. God has provided and He's used this time to teach me so much. He has truly taught me the lesson that HE is the provider and Oh, how He loves us. How faithful He is! We've only had one month where we were worried about paying bills. I have learned to lean on HIM more, to trust Him and just to know that He is in control. I've told my husband the whole time that if it's God's will, he'll get this job or that job. My faith remained strong, my joy was in tact, I truly wasn't worried about it. I was just trusting.

Well, my husband was called to the local phone company to do an interview. He made it through to the third round, there's only the fourth to go. I was so excited about this prospect and truly thought THIS is God's best for my husband! This job brings great pay, great benefits, a place to grow and move up. This has to be the job we've been waiting for! God has saved the best for last! The way it all came about was another God-incident. If Rusty hadn't applied at a local computer repair center, his resume wouldn't have been looked at. It just felt RIGHT, it felt like God's doing.

Rusty was told that they would call him the first of this week...they haven't called. I've been fine during this whole process until yesterday. Yesterday is officially the middle of the week and as the day progressed and all the well meaning people kept asking me if we'd heard anything...well, my hope left me. I finally saw for the first time that what if this isn't what God wants for Rusty? What if he doesn't get the job? What if, what if...I fell like a sack of bricks. God kept saying to me, don't you trust Me? Why don't you trust Me? I was overwhelmed with worry, overwhelmed with fear and just plain not trusting Him.

A friend called me last night to see if we wanted some lasagna for our supper. Lasagna is my favorite all time food. I LOVE lasagna!! LOVE IT!! It was such a sweet thing for her to do. She brought it to me and she was even in her pajamas! I started talking to her about my problems and what I was feeling. Just out of nowhere, just bowled her over with them. She didn't even see it coming, lol. Somehow me telling her what the Lord had been asking all just hit me and stuck. It was like the Lord had personally sent me lasagna and a friend to listen just so I could get over it. Just so I could truly give it to Him and NOT take it back.

We still haven't heard anything but I know now that if this isn't the job that the Lord has for Rusty, God is still in control. He won't let us down. He knows all and His ways aren't our ways. If Rusty doesn't get this job who knows the mercy that's just been extended to us? We won't be able to see it of course, but I believe that it will be mercy and not rejection.

Oh Lord, I thank You for Your patience and Your faithfulness! I thank You for guiding us and for Your provision. I praise You for Your unending mercy and Your neverending blessings! Lord, help me to cling to You no matter the outcome, use it to make Rusty and me stronger in our faith and us to see Your loving grace all around us. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Wall of No's

I have some great news!! The A/C is back on! WooHoo!! However, I was given this heavenly breeze yesterday that made it bareable. That, my friends, was a blessing from God, INDEED!

This morning as I sat down in my very cool A/C, I decided to do my devotion. I had attempted this same devotion yesterday but just couldn't focus. The current devotion that I'm doing is incredible but sometimes it's over my head a little. Who says it's only blondes that are airheaded? LOL I'm here to prove that theory wrong. ...Okay, so I sit down, I pray and I try it again. The Lord just opened it up for me and I'm going to share that "opening up" with you :) Aren't you glad? LOL

"By the miracle of Redemption Saul of Tarsus was turned in one second from a strong-willed, intense Pharisee into a humble, devoted slave of the Lord Jesus" *

Well, for me it hasn't been a "one second conversion" at ALL. I'd say the belief has been a lifetime but the living it...well, the first thing I noticed being changed was my taste in music. Certain music made my skin crawl and I just couldn't listen to it anymore. So much for all those Pearl Jam tapes that I listened to at the time. That was over. Next came my mouth. He cleaned that up rather quickly, as far as curse words are concerned.

But my faith walk came in stages for the longest time. I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was around 14 but I didn't start trying to live for Him til I was in my early twenties. Then came a lull where I walked away. I didn't go to church, I was surrounded by people that believed but didn't LIVE it and there IS a difference.

Next, came The Weigh Down Workshop and WOW that totally sparked the spark again. I was in my late 20's at that time. I thought God had made a complete turn around and this lady was discribing someone completely new. This God was amazing and wasn't there with a pointed finger in your face and angry at you all the time. I grew closer to him with each passing day. He removed some things from my life that definitely needed to be removed, my love of food, another addiction that I needed to give up and I did. But then he asked me to give up cigarettes. Are you kidding me Lord?!?!

"But woe be to me if when I see HIM (meaning Jesus) I say---I will not. He will never insist that I do, but I have begun to sign the death warrant of the Son of God in my soul."*

And that's exactly what happened. I stopped the Weigh Down Workshop and stopped my nightly bible study. I picked everything I had lost back up again and lost Jesus in the process. I had said no, Jesus, I won't.

Fast forward several years, mid thirties, I believe, and I'm lead to a wonderful church. I fall in love with this church and the Lord let me know that this is where He wants me. I eventually fall in love with the people. The Lord brings new friendships to my life, a new love of church to my life and an actual ministry to my life (youth Sunday School). Everything is running smoothly, nothing stands out really until we hit the line on the timeline of a certain bible study that I took. I can't recall the name of the study but I remember it was about prayer. We were told to pick two people to pray for, people that we thought needed the Lord in their life. I picked them and then the next assignment was to send a card to those people telling them that they are being prayed for...Are you kidding me?!!? These people don't even LIKE me...I will not. And I didn't. It wasn't long after that a truck ran over my mailbox, just plowed it down. LOL I KNEW I had done it again, I had said no, Lord, I will not. I still believed, I still went to church but honestly, I didn't study His word like I should, I didn't pray like I should, I wasn't walking in His ways like I should. I was in a rut.

Fast forward a few years to now. We did the Jabez study as the last study before summer and boy did I LOVE that one. I decided to do what it said to pray that prayer for a month. It was amazing, my earlier blogs speak of that time. Everything was running so smoothly, my relationship with the Lord had been rekindled, I was flying HIGH and I was on the mountaintop again. I couldn't get enough of His word, I devoured it like I devour lasagna =0 and I could feel the Lord moving me, molding me, shaping me, making me truly His again. Well one night I got the thought to start going to prayer time on Tuesday mornings at church. The problem was, they started at 8am and I was normally getting up at that time on days I don't have to work. I didn't go...and things weren't terrible but I could feel a pulling away that I can't describe. I didn't know what it was but eventually it dawned on me. I had said it once again, Lord, I will not.

I will be at that prayer time next Tuesday morning, sleeping til 8 is just plain lazy anyway. I want to go where He sends me, I want to be His hands, be His feet and I don't want to ever say "No, I will not" to the Lord ever again. But above all, I don't want to lose Jesus again. There's a freedom and joy that you only experience when You are truly walking with Him that I don't want to not have. It's not the blessings that He rains over my life, it's HIM being IN my life, that I love. It's the fact that I can feel His pressence; that I know HE's in control if I will just do what He says! Ahhhh, the freedom of that, the fretlessness of knowing that He's in control!!

"It is a matter of indifference to God's grace how abominable I am if I come to the light; but woe be to me if I refuse the light."*

Oh Lord open our eyes to Your ways and Your will. Help us to see clearly the paths that You choose for us to take. Teach us to always say YES when You call. We ask that You give us the courage and the strength to stay always in Your sight, Your light and Your will. In Jesus Name we pray! Amen.


*Quotes from "My Utmost for His Highest"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Heat is On!

If there is one thing that stops me in my tracks, it's the heat. I live in the south, at the beach but I don't like the all! When it gets hot, I sweat....alot! I know you've heard that southern women don't sweat but I'm here to tell you...that's NOT true, this one does. It starts at my hairline and my hair is ruined for the entire day. It pours down my face in a way that is most embarrassing. I recall a time, at church, that it had happened to me and as I'm sitting in the sanctuary, someone that I considered being a close friend, started making fun of me and my bad hair. I looked and all the friends, that I considered closest to me, joined in the laughter. Wow, I was so hurt. Especially with the one who knew of the true way I felt concerning it. If I could have left I would have but I was sandwiched in and there was no retreat in site. Don't you hate it when you are being made fun of and you can't even leave?

I learned last week that there was alot of making fun of each other and calling each other names. All this at church. I was even a target...I didn't have to hear it but my son did. Unfortunately, for myself and my kids, I have alot to be made fun of, about me. It hurt me so bad that my son had to deal with something I've had to deal with all my life. What and how do you handle it when you are being made fun and your child has to deal with it? Talk about a heart breaker and a reason to be down on yourself. I did go there with the "guilt" thing but I didn't stay there. I explained to him that I was sorry but I can't help that, if I could I would...believe me! We discussed different stategies to handling it when it happened again. Because it will happen again. I'm sorry I'm talking in circles...but it's not something I like to talk about, it's rather embarrassing but something the Lord has given me to deal with.

One thing I've learned over my lifetime of being the butt of jokes is I don't make fun of others. I really try NOT to make fun of others and I don't laugh when someone else is being made fun of. Because when you laugh, you are giving the bully a huge high five and you are helping the person being turtured go lower and lower. You would think as adults we have fine tuned this area but I've noticed, some of us, haven't. We get it when it's us who are the victim but not always when others are the victim.

The Lord calls us to a higher standard than the world. He calls us to love our neighbor as ourself. There is not one of us who likes our weaknesses put on display. We need to watch our words constantly so that we are constantly aware of what we are saying and to whom. Would what I'm about to say hurt them? Embarrass them?

I realize I fail but I DO try. I never want to make someone feel as I have felt over the years. We all fall short of the Glory of God however, we should never stop trying, til our last breathe is drawn. Here's to lifting others up instead of tearing them down!!!

Today , at work, the A/C is off and I'm currently melting as I sit here typing. I have a pencil in my hair holding it up and I'm wishing I had my visor so nobody could see the damage being done to my hair. Please, if you happen to come by...don't make fun of my hair OR my other issues. The heat in me can't take it ; )

May the Lord make the words of your mouth pleasing in His site and may He restore all broken A/Cs asap. Praise the Lord for A/C!!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Women Only.

So far 2009 has not been the best for my health.....or has it?

In January of 2009 I ended up at a doctor's office with chest pain. Turns out it was an ulcer. That night I was in the ER because the pain was so great I couldn't deal anymore. They, too, said it was an ulcer. Two EKGs in one day confirmed it wasn't my heart. As the month wore on, it got better and better. I weaned myself off the meds like the Doc. said to. I was left, however, with this burning pain in the center of my chest everytime I did something the slightest bit strenuous. I didn't tell anyone for quite awhile but it happened when I walked fast, just to the mailbox and it just got worse over time...

I also deal with an issue that most women have no issue with but for me it's rather irritating, neverending sometimes, or never coming at others. It seemed to have straightened itself out in 2009, it was rather normal but incredibly heavy. Move forward to July....I had a terrible experience with it this month. As a matter of fact it sent me to the ER because of the pain. I'm not kidding the pain was horrific. I was writhing in pain and actually drove myself to the ER at 3:30 in the morning, my husband wasn't very happy but ...I had my reasons. Once I got to the ER and explained, through the pain and believe me it was intolerable, my symtoms they took me back to the who I believe must be the meanist nurse in exsistance. She was so rude to me. She informed me that I should be telling my Gynecologist about this and not them. Wow, it's sorta hard to reach him at 3:30 am...Anyway, she could tell she had mad me angry, I'm sure by my facial expression but I was as nice as I could be under those painful and rude situations. The ER doc came in, gave me some pain killers and sent me on my way...

Well, this incident really scared me, not the ER but the experience with the pain. It scared me enough that I actually made an appointment, with the Gynecologist, that was nine years overdue. Once seeing him, I explained the chest pain and he sent me on to a general practitioner for that.

Turns out the chest pain is still the ulcer!!! YAY! My heart is fine. YAY!

What I went to the ER for this month however left me severely anemic. He said that if it hadn't stopped when it did I would have been back there for a blood transfusion. He said if "it" comes back anytime soon to head back to the ER, my body can't take that right now. Turns out I'm not just being lazy, I truly don't have the energy to do anything. That was a relief. Because since then, I haven't done much of anything. I feel drained and sleepy ALL the time. And now I know why and I can tell my hubby why =)

So, 2009 started out with a BANG. An ulcer BANG. But, 2009, has also sent me to some much needed doctor visits and I'm praying that the ten pills I'm currently taking will get me back on track. I still have August 10 to look forward to with a return visit to the Gynecologist and reports of tests taken. He did make me feel better, however, because he told me he didn't think it was anything serious, just something we needed to get under control.

God is good and He sent me where I needed to be. He also sent me where all I need, except meds, aren't costing me anything. WOOHOO to free medical care =) And yesterday I found out that it's possible the meds might be free too. So the Lord is taking care of me and He's trying to get me into shape...He's got His work cut out for Him but I know He's perfect for the job.

Here's to your health and to going to the Dr.!!


Monday, July 27, 2009

A Split Second

The other day at work, I was so bored. I had done my devotions, read my Bible, done a blog, read those that I follow, which honestly aren't many and the boredom set in. I went to Facebook and started looking around there. I started seeing what all the fun was about. I hung out there for quite awhile. Then I noticed my ex-boyfriend, over 20 years at this point had posted something. I went to his page to see how he was doing. I saw the cute wife, the cute kids, the nice house and the trip to New York. I then went to another ex's page and saw the same thing there and just for a split second I started wondering what if...

It didn't last long because as I thought of those past relationships and honestly they were high school relationships so they weren't that serious, I started remembering mine and Rusty's beginnings.

I remembered, with a smile on my face, the time we were hanging out at the beach and he pointed up at the sky and saw a shape in the clouds. I think that was the moment I knew I loved him and the reason for that was my first boyfriend had told me I was immature the time that I pointed out a shape in the clouds. I remember looking at Rusty with stardust in my eyes and I remember his returned look of what?

Then my memory jumped to the Christmas that he gave me my dream jewel. Basically I had wanted a blue topaz ring for as long as I could remember. I mentioned it once, he remembered and surprised me on our first Christmas as a couple with a blue topaz ring and the cutest teddy bear you've ever seen. He had even cut the ribbon off and replaced it with a blue one so it would match the ring...

Then there was the time we were in a very heated argument. The place I was staying had huge holes in the ground because the landlord was adding on. As I screamed my point at Rusty, I stepped in a hole and fell face first...I was humiliated and it made me even angrier. But HE, my knight in shining armor rushed to my side and asked without the first hint of a smile, Are you okay? Wow. Even I thought it was funny deep down but he didnt' because he was afraid I was hurt.

I remembered the time he took me shooting and the rifle kicked and almost knocked me down. He was so scared that it had hurt me and rushed to my side once again.

I remembered the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me, he did. It had snowed here one year and we never get snow. We got inches and inches (I don't remember how many) and we had been snowed in for days. We were dating and couldn't stand being apart so long. So he made the trip. He got stuck on that long dirt road (surely it was two miles or longer) twice before we made it safely to the paved main road. We stayed out til after dark and when we reached home, he offered to walk me all the way home. I took him up on it because the thought of walking all that way in the dark, by myself, didn't appeal to me. I've never forgotten that act of love he showed me that night. Not only did he have to walk there but he had to walk back on that dark, snowy, freezing night. And he did it without one single complaint.

The Lord shined brightly on me the day I met Rusty. He makes me happy like no other could and he loves me like no other would. He loves me in spite of all my many faults and flaws. We dated for six years before we said I do and I can honestly say I've never regretted it, in our 15 years of marriage, not even for a split second!


Friday, July 24, 2009

What a Difference

Oh what a night! Last night was the perfect VBS experience. WOOHOO!! As a matter of fact last night one of the victims of my venting sessions said, " Aren't you glad it's over?" And I can honestly say that No I'm not. I'm sorry that I didn't have last nights experience all week. I hate that my attitude ruined the whole thing and that the problem wasn't fixed sooner.

It's amazing how God works because my devotion this morning said "The test of our spirituality comes when we come up against injustice, and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual sluggards." OUCH I was a spiritual sluggard this week and I failed the test. However it also spoke of how God will put you in situations over and over again until you get it right! WooHoo! A chance to redeem myself, Thank You Lord. Although I'm truly not looking forward to being overwhelmed again I pray that the next time I will be able to handle it better.

I learned so much this week. I realized last night that your attitude is half the battle. I realized that things don't bother you or ruffle your feathers as much when your eyes are on the Lord and not on the situation. With the attitude change and problem solved I was able to see the Lord working in the youth. I was able to spend time with them, cut up with them and glimpse the Lord working through them. That is such a beautiful thing!! Some examples of this was students including Amber, a downs symdrome child who is an absolute pleasure. I saw kids sitting with her at supper, I saw kids talking to her and helping her at crafts. I even saw one certain Austen praise her when she colored all over a picture he had worked so hard on. That's when you are so proud of them. OH it was great. Several others that were a "problem" all week shone when I got the chance to speak with them and cut up with them.

After everyone had left, we had a pizza party for the workers and the biggest gifts of the night were revealed to me. One was when a young lady who is blind gave a braille thank you letter to the director and her husband. It was so beautiful, watching her read it and hearing the words of her heart come through on that page. I don't think there was a dry eye to be found from those who were blessed to hear it!

The other gift came from a parent of one the Youth Sunday School class that I coteach. This girl wasn't able to be there this week but her mom came up to me and told me that her daughter had truly been listening. It appears that all the talk of doing a daily devotion and daily bible study wasn't lost on her. She is currently after her mother to get her a teen devotion that she can do daily! WOOHOO!!!!! She is also taking praying for her prayer pal very seriously which just so happens to be ME this month! And YOU know how I need those prayers =)

It's gifts like these that make it all worthwhile and with all that was learned and taught I'd say that this was the best VBS ever!

I thank You Lord for teaching me this week at VBS. I thank you for showing me the error of my ways and for opening my eyes to not only the problem but the solution. I thank You for opening my eyes to the fact that "I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus". Please make my aim be to "secure the realization of Jesus Christ in EVERY set of circumstance I am in". In Jesus name I pray. AMEN!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh What a Night!

This week has always been my favorite time of year. It's VBS week and I LOVE VBS!! WooHoo! I have worked with the youth for probably 3 years and I've always enjoyed it... until this year. I will not go into the details and I will not explain any further but let's just say it hasn't been a very good week for Erika.

One of the songs that we are currently learning is Psalm 100 that our very talented director put to music. If we learn the song, we learn an entire Psalm. I think that was brillantly put together and brillantly chosen.

Last night was really rough and at the end of the night we sang the song. As I sat there fuming, I heard the words "Serve the Lord with gladness" being sung all around me and although I Heard them, they bounced off me and didn't penetrate. I was too angry. I didn't come before Him with singing either, I was too angry. I also, in that angry moment didn't know the Lord or that He is my God, I was way too angry.

I was so angry that I vented to my husband, my friend, and yet another friend. I woke up this morning Still angry and I was still venting to yet another friend, to that friend, to this friend, everywhere a friend, friend.

I was in some kind of funk let me tell you. Well, I think this morning after the 5th vent session it hit me like a lead balloon...when are you going to go to the Lord? Remember Him? The one you are doing this for anyway? The reason you are there at all? What about Him? Did I call on Him in the midst of the chaos? NO. I didn't. I never called on Him at all. I called just about everyone but Him.

I realize now that it wasn't the ratio that was the true problem although, it would have been a major help if the ratio had been better, the true problem was I was relying on myself. I was relying on my skills and abilities, I was relying on others to provide mercy, myself to be able to handle it all and guess what? I never even called on the Lord for help, not once. He was the reason we were all there but I forgot about Him. That was the true problem.

I have also realized another problem. Instead of consulting others, I should be consulting the Lord. When we vent, it really doesn't help us, it fans the flames. Not only does it fan the flames but it "poisons" those that we are venting to.

Last night I was revelling in my anger. I was seeking justice for the way I felt that I had been treated. Not that I realized that at the time but now looking back, I can see it. And the Lord doesn't call us to seek justice for ourselves. He calls us to give justice to others . I felt like I was being punished or something, crazy I know, but I really felt like it. No more finger pointing. Maybe the finger does need to be pointed at me? I can't see it yet but I now realize that it's unimportant who was at fault. The problem was there, it needed a solution and it has been solved.

So, tonight, I will actively choose to serve the Lord with gladness. I will actively choose to close my mouth and pray instead. I will not point fingers, I will not seek justice for myself
and if arrows are thrown in my direction I will take them head on and turn the other cheek.
I will accept my part of the blame and I will truly put into action: humbleness is strength. Tonight, I will actively work to make this truly an "Oh what a night" night.

May the Lord open your heart to your life lessons and may He truly change you with each revelation.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finding Freedom in the Valley

I have a great friend that I actually know in the real world. She also has a blog and she's started something fairly new called Friday's Blessings that I rather like. You can check it out here: (I think I figured it out Michele! Yay me!) I especially enjoyed it this week because I have had a pretty rotten time of it lately. I haven't been blogging because my positivity seemed to have got up and went. It appeared to me that a friend's joke of a curse on me and my family had actually not been as funny as previously thought. Everything was falling apart, my car, my computer, my body, my banking account, was all just falling down around me. I tried to praise the Lord in the midst of the storm however it seems my praise kept waxing and waning...where was my faith, where was that positive attitude that I'm fighting to learn? I had it when God was pouring His blessings down around me but when things started to unravel, I plummetted off that mountaintop and found myself in a valley that was filled with this ugly voice that kept magnifying the bad NOT the good.

As the friendship felt threatened this same voice (surely that's not me?!?!) kept recalling past hurts and blows and bringing to light new ones, trying to keep me in this pit of bitterness. Trying to put the focus on the bad things instead of the truly great things that I've learned during this friendship. Which in turn probably didn't help this 'ole body and as the worry/anger stirred in me over that issue my body started to scream loudly and I ended up in the ER one night this week due to the pain. I don't truly believe it was related but...who knows.

However the light at the end of this tunnel is shining brightly. My husband repaired the computer(I didn't realize he could even do that and the repair was completely free, can't beat free!) the night he returned from his mission trip (that was free for my son and him, talk about a blessing!). The car runs, it needs tires, an inspection and the check engine light is on BUT it runs!

The banking account isn't what it once was but the bills are being paid, there isn't any money left over for fun stuff but we've done just fine this summer without spending money on entertainment. We just entertain ourselves. It's actually been nice and the Lord has provided some free entertainment, like concerts, river digging, a week mission trip for the boys and an almost all girl week for us girls.

The body is going to a much needed Dr. visit on Monday and that is a good thing.

But HERE is the blessing that I couldn't believe this week. We sat down to dinner one night and I couldn't believe it. We had:

Fish = Rusty caught Mahi Mahi while fishing on my Dad's boat.

We used Limes - free from a friend

and Lemon Thyme - a plant which was given to me by my Mother-In-Law

to season it.

Fried Squash = Squash, grown in our garden and seed for that garden given to us by my in-laws.

Oil to fry squash - free from a friend

Eggs and flour - free from same friend

Green Beans = grown in our garden and seeds given to us by the in-laws.

Flavorings- free from a friend

Pepsi = left in our cooler from the mission trip, free to us

Mountain Dew = "

Sweet Potato Pie = free from the friend

The ONLY thing that cost us money for that meal was my husband's glass of green tea! But the sugar used in that tea was FREE! We were eating a meal that was completely and utterly provided by from our Lord and Savior! Oooh what a night when I realized that! We were being shown just how He will provide for us when we rely on Him. My kids marvelled, my husband and I were in awe. I realize everything we get is from the Lord but when you didn't even have to BUY

I am currently back on my feet(as of this morning), I've rebuked that curse (just in case ;), I'm no longer stressing about the outcome of the Dr. visit, the friendship or the tires on my car. The Lord has provided, He will provide and He's currently lifting me up and out of this valley. Wow, freedom again! There's nothing like it ;)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Learning to share...

My husband has been out of work since March. It's been interesting having him home ALL the time. I love it and don't love it all rolled into one! LOL He's gotten so much accomplished while he's been home...

He's planted us a garden and all summer we've had yummy fresh veggies to eat. That's been truly wonderful but next year we need to plant a bigger garden so we will actually have some to share with friends and family.

He's completely cleared the back yard and where there was this wild woody area in our backyard it's flat and we've actually discovered some trees that we didn't even know we had!! That was awesome, I love an unexpected tree ;)

He's organized the garage, he's made a compost pile, he's made a scarecrow and something for the beans to grow on. He's helped friends with projects, he's fixed the driveway by weeding it and fixing the rocks so that we actually have a rock driveway again.

Our plants, flowers and grass have never looked this good.

He's cooked supper most of the time and boy he's a great cook! He's even learned to go on a grocery store run on occasion.

He went on a week long mission trip to Kentucky with youth from church.

He repaired my broken computer the day he came home from the mission trip. He replaced three capacitors...who knew he could repair computers too?!?!

He's made several items out of my son's old bunkbed and it currently working on a weight bench.

However, I think the best thing about him being home is the time he's spent with the kids. He's done more with them and for them than he ever has before. He's always been a great daddy but now that he's home, he's taken them places. It's not unusual anymore for him to load them up and take them to the beach for an hour or two. He did the annual waterslide trip and I didn't even have to go! He's taken them fishing AND to the grocery store. C'mon you know what it's like taking two kids to the grocery store, it's not fun.

It appears that the more he's home the more wrapped around my little girl's finger he becomes...

Tuesday he finished the land clearing project and he was exhausted! My little girl decided that she needed her school supplies THAT very minute! It was 5pm and time for me to start supper, I wasn't going on a school supply run that day. One little pout and she honed in on her daddy. She ran, got him a shirt and said ok Daddy, let's go! And HE WENT!! What?!?! =0 OH Yes, my hubby that isn't the "run to store type" went! They came back after leaving me at home, by myself, for a little over an HOUR!!! WooHoo!!!!

It's been a joy having him home. I know my kids have loved it and have been so blessed by it. Now, if we could just get him away from my computer...


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Magifying the good!

"...but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Jesus Christ is calling us upward."
Philippians 3:13,14

Today, as I'm really trying to finish the Me and My Big Mouth book...I'm really trying ;). I was taught alot about handling situations or problems in our lives.

I've always been a very sensitive person and the things people say can really set me off, knock me down or pick me up. I have this need of approval from others than is very sad and can be very debilitating. If I think I've upset someone and they are angry with me, it will literally eat me up inside. So much so that I've actually, literally given myself an ulcer. Some might say that it's stuff I've eaten, my lifestyle but I just KNOW it's from worrying so much. I can be rather easily offended and it's just plain annoying.

How many of us say things the wrong way on a daily basis? I know I do, daily if not hourly. So why am I taking what someone says so personally? It's rather silly and actually can be a pride issue. A "how dare they treat me this way" or "how dare they speak to me this way" problem. What I do is magnify the bad in the situation and not the good. That is not what the Lord calls us to do. We are to magnify the GOOD in every situation.

As I was reading today I was being bombarded with a thought that honestly I hadn't even noticed....On Monday my son had his tonsils out. He's done rather well and is healing nicely. We had several people stop by and call us to check on him. Some brought stuff, others offered but due to a failed freezer we couldn't accept the offer (thanks Michele!) we were very blessed with love and I knew people cared. But as I'm reading today, my mind wondered a tad and it hit me that my sisters, whom I've always considered myself close to, hadn't called at all to check on their nephew. They hadn't done a thing. Ouch. I was just before letting hurt take over when I read,
"Our fallen nature naturally gravitates toward the wrong side of things. It wants to find fault with others and magnify problems. But our born-again nature wants to bless others and to magnify the good. As always, the final choice is up to us."

So I'm writing today to say that I'm choosing to magnify the good in this situation. I am not going to even thing about who wasn't there, who didn't call but I am going to magnify the good and realize just how blessed we were with the ones who did. What a blessing and a relief it is to do that. I don't have to carry this hurt feeling around, this in the gut anger that I normally would feel, I'm going to totally forget it! As of this minute....because I am going to magnify the Lord which is what we should always do. Because the choice is always ours.

May we always lean on the Lord and may He teach us to always magnify the good in every situation!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Go with the Flow!

About a month ago our family drove 3 1/2 hours to Green Mill Run in Greenville, NC to dig fossils in the little creek. Mallory's teacher had invited the kids from her class and their families to meet her up there. We were digging for bones and shark teeth. The day was perfect, it was maybe 70 degrees that day, there were no bugs, the creek was loaded with finds and it was so pretty. There was maybe 15 of us there and we did end up finding some really cool stuff. Lots of whale bone, plenty of shark teeth, one kid found a HUGE shark tooth and it was in perfect condition. I found lots of pretty stones to go around an outdoor fishpond we have. It was a great day, the kids loved it, Rusty loved and I loved it.

At the time I considered this outing an expanded territory for me. I, of course, had reservations about going. I decided that it was going to be really hot, mosquitos everywhere, and snakes swimming by. I envisioned my whole family loving the adventure and me hating every minute of it. I realize that I'm a wild and crazy girl, it just seems the older I get the less adventure I seek in my life. So when I looked back on the great time we had, I thought, wow, the Lord has done it again. He took me out of my comfort zone, made me trust Him and He never let me down. He's building my trust in him. He's giving me something to look forward to occasionally and giving my children some experiences they can grow with.

That's what I thought until today. I was at work and reading, Me and My Big Mouth (I know you wish I would finish that book already). She started talking about when her children were small how everytime they sat down to eat, they would spill their drink. Then she would throw an adult sized temper tantrum as she cleaned it up. She considered it her children ruining supper because of obvious reasons. She said that one night as she was on her knees cleaning up the spilt milk and ranting and raving the Lord spoke to her. He explained to her that it was just spilled milk and that no matter how mad she got, no matter how angry she became, no matter how impatient, no matter the rage she got into or what kind of fit she pitched she was still going to have to clean that milk up. She might as well accept it with joy and SHE should stop ruining their dinner.

I sat there squirming in my chair and recalling yesterday morning when I had to get Mallory to tennis practice in 15 minutes and she still didn't have all her stuff ready. She was whining and getting frustrated over what I put her water in and before I knew it I had done the terrible! I told her to just shut up! I still hear those spitefilled words as I sit here cringing just thinking about it. I lost my cool and was extremely ugly over a water bottle. What difference does it make now what water bottle she took? I've got to learn to accept the situation with joy, take a deep breath, not speak until I'm under control and GO WITH THE FLOW. Instead of getting angry and arguing with her, I should have fixed the drink and told her to let's go. Of course, that's a little different situation than spilled milk but you get what I'm saying...don't you?

As I was recalling the incident and reading the Lord called to my mind the day of the Green Mill Run trip. My friend Mindi took her three children too and her oldest daughter was sick of it all and wanted to go to the car. Mindi handed over the car keys to her 14 year old and said "Be careful with those and don't lose them! It's a long way to have to walk home."

After everyone was done the daughter ran up to Mindi and told her frantically I can't find the car keys! What was Mindi's reaction? Nothing. She didn't say anything. She walked purposely to the car, ignoring her daughter's frantic explainations and finally she turned to her daughter and said, "Let's get our stuff and change. I'll bet we'll find them when we clean up the back of the car." Wow, I was in shock. I would have flipped my lid but not Mindi, she was cool as a cucumber. She didn't speak immediately, she had to do some breathing and get herself under control and honestly once she said those words to her daughter she wouldn't speak for awhile BUT she didn't say one word out of the way. Impressive. I was impressed then but as I read this morning it hit me why I had witnessed that. That's the way we should handle our little frustrations. Her daughter didn't mean to misplace the keys and if Mindi had freaked out it wouldn't have helped the situation at all. It would have made things worse.

They did find those keys after they had straightened out the back of the car. They were just buried under drinks, snacks and clothes. Mindi was right and I was right there to witness that Godly wisdom.

Angry and impatient words lead to trouble and hurt feelings. They don't do anything else. We never know who we are teaching and changing when we act out in anger. I pray that the Lord will teach me to act as Mindi did. I praise the Lord for sharing this wisdom with me and I'll be in constant prayer that the Lord will teach me to be "Slow to speak, slow to anger, quick to listen and to go with the flow!"


Friday, June 19, 2009

Meet my blessings, Rusty, Parker and Mallory

As I review my week I am astonished by all the many blessings the Lord has practically rained down over me. It's been amazing and a little humbling to say the least. I've received so many blessings but I'm going to narrow them down to three to be nice and maybe I won't have a novel when I'm done?

My daughter, Mallory, is VERY shy. She's the type of child that when you speak to her may not answer at all or if she does you probably won't hear the answer and she'll grab onto me or my husband. I noticed it last night especially. She answered but she immediately looped her arm through my husband's arm.

This week a neighborhood church was having their vacation bible school. Mallory, 9, had a very horrific experience there two years ago, through no fault of the church's, BUT she wanted to go! Every night she would come home and tell how much fun she had that night but she always said that she hadn't made any friends. The last night she came home and she was SO pumped up! She had made TWO friends! Not only that but they did something at the end of every night called "God Sightings". The kids were to get up in front of everybody and tell of something they did to help someone or tell of how someone helped them. They had to talk in a microphone and then they were given a prize. Mallory did it EVERY night!! My little shy girl got up in front that room full of people and talked!! WOW! AND she did it when she didn't have any friends "holding her hand"! Amazing!! Not only THAT but she helped someone ALL those nights :)

The BEST part of VBS was she told me that she had said the sinner's prayer. She said, " Mama, I asked Jesus into my heart tonight." Those are a mother's favorite words or at least THIS mama's!! Wow that VBS was a HUGE success for our family :)

Yesterday was my son, Parker's, 12th birthday. He wanted a surfboard for his birthday. In our home they can have a really nice present OR a party. It's their decision to make but one that financially we've always had to make them decide. Well, at least once they were old enough, you know what I mean. This year money was tight and the thought of getting him a surfboard was a little bit frightening. He said used but everyone I talked to said you were still talking $300-400. Wow. My brother surfs and he has lots of boards. He asked me how much I was willing to pay and when I said $150, he said nevermind. So I was so afraid that we'd have to break his heart over that one.... Wednesday my husband went on the hunt and found him a used board for $160! YAY!

It's also a tradition in our home to fix them whatever they want for supper. He wanted I haven't been able to buy steak, even on sale, in a LONG time. We decided that we'd take him out to eat instead. It would still be pricey but we all needed a night out. It's been a LONG time since we've gone out to eat. He chose Chili's. He had wanted salsa and chips for an appetizer and a friend gave us a coupon for that! So, free appetizer. Then he wanted a desert and they give you a free desert if it's your birthday. So that was taken care of. But still we were left with a $50 bill. I wasn't expecting it to be THAT much....

When we pulled into the driveway our neighbor was outside and he was yelling for Rusty (my husband). Rusty had fixed his lawnmower the day before and had mowed and weedeated his yard for him. Rusty came back and in his hand was a check guessed it! $50!!

God is SO good! I can't praise His name enough, He'll outbless us EVERY time :)

May the Lord's blessing rain down upon you this day,


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Caught in a Trap

When I was a baby my parents got a divorce. I was so young that I never knew what it was like to have them live together and honestly I never really wanted them back together. What I wanted was for my dad to show me he cared. I wanted a relationship with my dad. I wanted to see him more than twice a year especially since he only lived 45 minutes away.

Both of my parents remarried. My dad married a girl that was at least 10 years younger than he was. He was in a band and they played at bars on the weekend. He met his new wife there. I remember my grandparents picking me up from my mom's house and I couldn't wait for my dad to get there. However when he got there I was told that he had a new wife and I was introduced to her at that time. I was young, maybe 5 or 6? Maybe a little older but even at that young age I was hurt that I wasn't at the wedding or asked to be IN the wedding. I was hurt that he hadn't introduced me to her first or even let me know he was getting married! It was like a bomb shell was dropped and I was just supposed to accept it.
Well, turns out that the new wife didn't like that he had a child. I didn't see him for over a year after that. My mom finally called him and told him he had to come see me. So one day while he was working he came by , picked me up in his work truck and we rode around. He told me that day that he hadn't come to get me, called me and basically ignored me because she didn't like me. Wow. Thanks dad. That was great for my self esteem and whatever relationship that she and I could have had.

They had a baby together. She was beautiful and I loved her. As a matter of fact everybody loved her. My dad loved her, he spent time with her, he doted on her, SHE was the best thing that ever happened to That's also great to say to a child. Your sister is the best thing that ever happened to me.

The wife left my dad. I remember going to see him and he wouldn't get out of the bed. He told me all the problems they had, how she had cheated on him and destroyed him. That weekend I was virtually alone and I didn't see him hardly at all as it was.

When I was a teenager and I got my license I went to stay with he and my sister alot. The reason was because he was in a band and would leave me alone at night to keep my sister. He bought me beer and I got drunk for the first time at his house. Basically I went to his house when I wanted to do something I knew my mom wouldn't allow me to do.

I had alot of anger and resentment built up towards him. I never understand why he didn't care about me. Why he didn't take the time to spend with me. Why I wasn't the best thing that ever happened to him. Why weren't WE the best things that ever happened to him? He put the time in with her but he never did with me. I felt like he didn't love me, like I was unimportant. But through that, for me, a pattern emerged. I saw him twice a year. I would see them always at Christmas and then maybe once in the summer. That's the way we'd always done it, except for the short time I was a teenager.

I'm not sure when it all shifted to being my fault. I can't recall what happened that made THEM the victims. Maybe it was because my sister didn't feel I was a good sister to her? Maybe it was because I had my drivers license and I should be the one to make the relationship? But somehow the blame shifted and the fact that I only go twice a year to see them, like HE started, determines that I'm after their money. I heard my sister say that once in her sleep. "She only comes for the money." I'm not sure if she was talking about me or not but it sure felt like it! The fact is they aren't wealthy people! They are just good, honest, hardworking people that chose to give me a lot at Christmas. I didn't start that or ask for it or expect it. Actually the one Christmas I didn't call him first, he got angry with me and left me irritated message on my answering machine asking me why I hadn't called him. I returned that call and explained to him that we were all adults now. For us to have a relationship they had responsibility too, including my sister! She was an adult exactly like I was. He didn't know what to say to that truth.

Last Christmas was the first Christmas without my granddaddy. He passed away at the beginning of last year and since he was the head of the family that made it extremely hard on everyone. My granddaddy was as close to a saint as I've ever known. He was a great man. Anyway, I called the day after Christmas to see about getting together and they wouldn't return my phone calls at first. It ate me up. I called my dad AND my sister each three times before they would talk to me. It wasn't my sister that talked to me it was my dad. He said that he needed to call my sister to see when a good time was and asked me why I hadn't called before that. Now I had left two messages on his answering machine but anyway he calls my sister. He calls me back and tells me a time. Our conversation drifts and I started telling him about my mom's dad and that his bark his worse than his bite. Then my dad says, I know I just got off with you sister and I told her, I talk big but when it comes down to it, I can't go through with it. My mind starts spinning because he had just got off the phone with her and it was about me. I really feel like they had every intention of cutting me and my family off but he couldn't go through with it. However, we went, visited and all was great.

Now, the new dilemma, my husband is currently out of work, as you know. I called my dad to catch up with him and I mentioned that to him. He immediately started wanting to know my address so he could send me a check. I told him no and refused to give it to him. I am not the type of person that he thinks I am. I'm not after their money and what I want is somewhat of a relationship with them. I just wish that it wasn't left solely up to me. We are all adults now, why is it solely my fault that we don't know each other? Anyway, I digress, the current problem is Father's Day and his birthday are coming up this weekend. I want to send him a card with a gift certificate. I would love to go see him but I feel like if I do, they will think I'm coming for the check or sending the card so he'll get my address. I'm so confused as to what to do!!

Also I think I should let you know that they are good people. I've finally figured out that my dad does love me he's just not going to make the effort to form a relationship with me or really anyone. He was a good parent to my sister but he had no choice in that situation. She was dumped on him and honestly she was one of the best things that ever happened to him. I don't think that he would have ever grown up if it hadn't been for her and the responsibility she brought to his life. I have closure on everything from when I was a child. I've let him know how I feel about the past and he was very upset with himself...
I'm just lost as to how to handle the new development. I don't want to force myself on them...I don't want them to think I'm the type of person that is after just money because I'm not like that. I've never sent my dad anything for Father's Day but I feel like it's the right thing to do...I've never acknowledged his birthday but I feel like it's the right thing to do. Now just how do I do all that? Any ideas?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Two Hands

Complaining is a sin...that's what I read last week in "Me and My Big Mouth". Wow. Ummm, are you SURE Joyce? I mean come on...really? So I decided I was up for the challenge, with God ALL things are possible, even me not complaining! So, off I went about my day and not only did I have to be positive in my speech BUT I couldn't complain either. No biggie!

LOLOLOLOL Okay, I started off GREAT! I had several customers come in and they all started talking about negative aspects of life. I tried turning it around, I found something positive to say. It stopped them in their tracks and they didn't quite know how to respond. That was great. I LOVED it. It energized me and I thought this is awesome, not only did I let their negativity bounce off me, I threw positive words back at them and they finally went with it. I was doing SO well that first day.

The next day I woke up itching ALL over... I had red bugs. YAY. I announced it to my husband but I wasn't negative about it and I didn't complain. I rubbed my itching, red, huge bumps down with Chiggarid and off I went to work. About mid morning the Chiggarid wore off and as I'm sitting there trying to deflect the negativity that's bouncing at me by a customer that honestly, I must say (in Christian love, of course) DRIVES ME CRAZY, I stayed true to the positive, the no complaining and tried to scratch in secret. He left after only 10 minutes! A true miracle!! He's normally here for at least 30 minutes. I'm thinking wow this stuff REALLY works :0

I got home that afternoon and my husband landed a bomb on me. We were given 4 free tickets to see Jars Of Clay at the House of Blues on Thursday night. He was so excited and I...wasn't. My fretting, worry wart mind started thinking of all the things that could go wrong. I wasn't focussed on the positive, I was definitely in the negative, in my mind. My mouth said, " OH that sounds awesome!" But my mind was thinking of the extremely crowded House of Blues I went to to see Keith Urban. I was thinking of the nowhere to sit with a 9 and 11 year old, the can't hardly get to bathroom due to the drunken crowds in your way, the LOUD music that makes your ears ring long after you leave, the fact that it was way after their bedtimes AND did I mention there would be NOWHERE for them to sit? How you can't even see the artist due to huge crowds in the way. I was thinking whiny, cling on tired little girl and irritable, don't look at me little boy. I never saw the "gift" in it, I saw the "oh but what about this...that could go wrong...what are we going to do about..." Have you noticed the crowds that are leaving, the way they talk, what they are yelling? Do you remember the long lines in the extreme heat? I have to work the next day ya know, we'll be home LATE!

I never voiced it but my mind was there. I kept hoping he'd change his mind, I was hoping that my daughter wouldn't want to go so I could stay home to keep her. I know it's sad but that's where I was. God revealed so much to me through that concert...

1. Sometimes my husbands blessings might be a widening of territory for me. Meaning to my husband it's a dream come true, to me it's a get out of your shell and trust the Lord to handle things.

2. Your mind needs to be as focussed as your mouth to receive the true blessing of positivity and no complaining. Give the Lord your fretfilled worries and KNOW He'll handle it!

3. Men with naked women tattoos on their forearms should NEVER be putting the arm tags on people in line at a Christian concert. I'm thinking of calling HOB about it, that was the most obscene and disgusting tattoo I've EVER seen and my kids were there!!

4. If you are going to eat at the HOB, save up your $ for a while before you go. This ole wallet ain't what she used to be.

5. Jars of Clay are awesome in concert!

6. Trust the Lord always! If He gives you a blessing realize that blessing. HOB wasn't that crowded, we actually got 2 barstools and took turns sitting on them. The crowd was mainly Christians and I didn't see even one person with an alchoholic beverage. It was very kidfriendly that night. We were able to get to the bathroom without any trouble and we had a GREAT view of the band. It wasn't too loud, it was perfect and my kids were amazing! They loved it and so did we!

7. This concert was the only Christian concert I've ever been to that they didn't mention the Lord, didn't pray, didn't give Him the glory...I wonder if that could be why they weren't sold out? I was a little bit disappointed in them for that. Their songs sang of Jesus but their mouths didn't speak of them. (Sorta like my mouth was positive but my mind wasn't...hmmm, food for thought)

8. I think I want the Jars of Clay cd now. They are very talented and high energy. It was a great night for the kids and us.

Lessons learned. I need to stop fretting and KNOW that the Lord is in control! I also need to be more open to new experiences...but that's another blog for another time. I need two hands doing the same thing. I need not only the mouth but the mind working as well. They need to work together and then that's when it'll look like a brand new day or a brand new me.

Have a wonderfully positive and no complaints day in the Lord,


Friday, June 12, 2009

The Lesson Plan for June 14

It's that time of week again. Once again, I apologize for this but this is a good way for Chele and I to communicate about our weekly lesson.

This week the lesson is on Exodus 4:10-16, 27-31.

I think the first thing we'll do is Famous Matching. I had no idea that Albert Einstein couldn't tie his shoe laces or that Kristi Yamaguchi was born with club feet! I was fascinated by these. Then we'll go to what it says to do under No Excuses. I love this because it's making me stop them during the reading. LOL So we'll go through those questions as we read. The question that asks What is God's response to Moses and the one about his anger I really want to delve into. I was intrigued by God's anger here. I'd never noticed it before and haven't had a book point it out but if they didn't add the part that He was angry I wouldn't have known that He was angry. I find that even in His anger He's in control. There are no exclaimation points, so He wasn't yelling, there was no name calling, He was calm and even in His anger, He helped Moses with what he was uncomfortable with. I was very inspired by that. God is so good :) I also want to point out just how patient the Lord was with Moses and honestly even in His anger, He showed patience by not yelling and such. So cool.

I guess after that we'll move on to the other questions in No Excuses that talk about what calling the Lord is placing in their lives and we'll talk about different ways that they can serve God at their age. This is where I'm going to tell about what Tyler did the day that he was shopping at Food Lion. I think it's great that's he's on a shopping trip and he found a way to serve the Lord right there. Maybe we'll talk about different ways they can serve wherever they go? Remember the email that went around talking about the lady with the baby at the end of the long line. When the man at the front of the line made it to the teller he switched places with that lady. Such a wonderful thing to do and something ALL of us could do :) Stuff like that?

After that....I'm sorta lost about what to do. The Finding Gifts in Others is cool but I'm reluctant to do that for fear of someone not being able to come up with a gift for another person. We would have to come up with gifts too and I'm so afraid that if our mind locks...that won't be good for that kid, AT ALL. Tell me what you think about it. It's on page 12/13. If we don't do that, I was thinking about doing charades with that list in the book under that title. I don't know the rules to it so I'd need to google that. Actually I've never really played charades but with that list I'm not sure we could do Pictionary, maybe Hangman. I don't know but we would HAVE to take the books up first or it would be too easy.

Let me know what you think.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Declare His Word

Romans 4:17 (NIV)
17As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."[
a] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Lately, as some of you know, I have been reading "Me and My Big Mouth" and "Thy Word". Wow, both of these books are awesome and truly life changing. The Lord has used both of these to bring me a new "theme" in my life. This "theme" is :calling things that are not as though they were. He has opened my eyes to the awesome power of His word. I know that His word is our sword in defeating the enemy. Jesus showed us that when he was in the desert....

Matthew 4-4
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'[

Wow, it is written. The devil moved on to something else after that. He didn't stop but he stopped with THAT trick. The devil then quoted scripture back at Jesus but never fear Jesus stopped him in his tracks again with another verse from the bible. The third time was the charm. Jesus's answer to him was, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only." The third time was the charm. Satan left Him and the angels came and attended Him. So I knew that the word was our sword.

What I didn't know is we should be using it to "call things that are not as though they were". In other words use God's promises from His word to declare things into existence. Like let's say you are having a hard time forgiving someone or something. To quench that you should declare, OUTLOUD, "I do not hate or walk in unforgiveness" (1John 2:11; Eph. 4:32) Speak it into existence! Jesus said to him, away from me! And Satan fled. Jesus didn't pray it in his head, he answered outloud. He let the devil know what was up and the devil fled. The enemy can't hold up against God's truth, he has to flee. But we must rely on God's word, like Jesus did and we can't forget that the devil knew the scriptures too. He even quoted one to Jesus but he used it in the wrong way and Jesus outsmarted him. We must outsmart the devil and use our Godgiven sword to defeat him.

God calls things that are not as though they were and we as imitators of Christ should do the same. There is power in God's word. The first time I starting declaring God's word, I felt a feeling of joy sweep over me. I felt freedom and God's power all around me, it was incredible!!

In Thy Word there are prayers for protection: Father, I keep myself from calamity by guarding my mouth and my tongue, in Jesus' Name" Proverbs 21:23
Prayers for our children: In Jesus' Name, my children give heed to instruction, therefore they prosper. Proverbs 16:20

Prayers for Divine Health: Thank you Lord, for keeping me free from every sickness and disease, in the Name of Jesus. Deuteronomy 7:15

Prayers for finances : Father, I bind a spirit of debt, lack and limitation from operating against me, in the Name of Jesus, and I loose Your prosperity in my behalf! Matthew 18:18

Prayers for Direction & Guidance: Father, I thank You that You teach me to know Your will and Your Good Spirit leads me on level ground, in Jesus' Name. Psalm 143:10

Prayers for Restoration: Thank You Lord, for restoring the joy of my salvation, in Jesus' Name. Psalm 51:12

Prayers Over Ourselves: In Jesus Name, I am the blessed and highly favored of the Lord.
Some I found are: I have stopped polluting myself with idols and my other sins for the Lord has saved me from all foulness! Ezekiel 37:23

Lord, I live by the Spirit and I do not gratify the desires of the sinful nature, in Jesus' Name. Galations 6:16

God's Word is full of so many promises and it is chock full of beautiful prayers. We should search His Word and pray His word outloud. It shows the enemy whose side we are on. We are DECLARING the Word of the Lord and there is power in THAT!

Start using one of the greatest privileges of being one of God's children and start calling "those things which be not as if they were"!

May the Lord bless you and keep you

PS. Let me know if you try it, which promises do you declare and what are the results.