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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Prayer changes things

I first started teaching Youth Sunday School maybe, 3 years ago. We started out with one student ; now we have between 15 to 19 students and I've been there through it all. I've taught some really great kids and some not so great kids but I have to say I've loved them all. Maybe two years ago a child started coming to class that was a HUGE challenge. Honestly, I almost gave up teaching because of some of those challenges. This child's mother is a drug addict. She has not been a very good parent to him and it really showed. He had a HUGE chip on his shoulder and was very disruptive. A family at our church took to this child and I slowly started seeing him loosen up. I will never forget the day I saw a true smile from this boy and it lit the room up! I really worked so hard to make him feel welcome but he was very disruptive and I was constantly having to get on to him. One Sunday it came to a head and he told me he thought I was prejudiced. He thought that I was getting after him because of the color of his skin and THAT had NOTHING to do with it!! I was so hurt and that's the day that I almost gave up teaching. I knew that I was not helping him, especially if he thought that the reason I was getting after him was racially motivated.

The family I spoke of earlier took him in and he lived with them for awhile. They are a GREAT family and the change I saw in him was significant. I finally saw him smile...and I couldn't help but exclaim, " You've lit the room up with your smile!" He was beautiful when he smiled. I couldn't believe the transformation that a simple smile had on him. It was amazing! His shoulder chip was cracking, he was loosening up and he was really taking a part in class. If I saw him start to get that "look", I would just ask him for a smile and he'd give it to me. It was great.

One day he came to class and he was like he originally was, withdrawn, sullen and cranky. Just biting everyone's head off. I quietly asked him if I'd done something to upset him and he just wouldn't answer. So after class, I went to the family , they spoke with him and then gave me an opportunity to speak to him. Then they asked him to give me a hug...that was a tense moment. I didn't want him to hug me if he wasn't comfortable! So I said, You don't have to... He hugged me and held on so tight, I thought I was going to cry. But I was also about to fall so I had to let him go...have you ever gone into a hug and your feet weren't right? I literally thought I was going to crash into him and knock him down...I hate that I had to end that hug!!

Eventually he went to live with his aunt and uncle. I heard reports that he was making the honor roll and looking at colleges! I marvelled at the change in this young man. At one time we were worried that he was going to be another statistic but he turned his life around and made a HUGE change in his future. He's recently moved back and it's such a joy to see him. There's no burden on his shoulders, he smiles all the time and he's....HAPPY. Wow.

I went to the grocery store today and as I was checking out, an elderly lady came up to me and asked if she could cut in line in front of me. She was very old and almost bent double because of her back. The lady had already started ringing me up , so I couldn't help her but as I was explaining it to her, the young man we 've been talking about came up to her and he said he'd seen her drop a $5 and he handed it to her. She took it but I never heard her thank him, maybe she did but I didn't hear her. As we were walking out of the store I looked and that same young man was at her car unloading her groceries into her car! Then he took her cart for her! What a gentlemen, how impressive. I was so pround in that moment, proud of him and the young man he's become. To see all those frantic prayers answered in him is amazing. I praise the Lord for the changes I see in him.

I told him, "That's awesome what you just did" He answered back, "I try"

He helped that lady, the way others have helped him and he even did it with his beautiful smile.
To God be the Glory!!


Friday, June 5, 2009

The Lesson Plan

This blog is mainly for Chele as we are partnering to teach a youth Sunday School class. Please feel free to comment and read it but it might be a tad boring to others. I apologize for that.

Okay, I've gone over the lesson and it's about Moses and the burning bush. I'm sticking mainly with the book. I like the suggestions they have this week.

After the role and the "fruit" readings/snacks, I'm going to have them close their eyes and I'm going to read to them the "guided imagery" that is under "Say What?" in the book. I'll ask them:

Where were you?
What did you see?
What did the voice sound like?
How did you feel?

I've reread about Moses life and I'll do some explainations about how he got to Midian and how this is really the first time that he's probably had any contact with the Lord. Actually, for what is in the bible, I wonder if he even knew of the Lord at all. But then again he did know that he was a Hebrew, so...anyway, after that we'll read the lesson straight through, I won't interrupt!! I promise :) Then I'll ask them:

How was your vision similar to what Moses experienced?
How was it different?

I think we'll do "Not just a Job" since that really shouldn't take much time. But since the Take-Away is "God calls all of us, regardless of age, to find our vocation." I think it's necessary.

After that we'll play Pictionary on the dry erase board. I would love to play it the way that they have it in the book but with only one dry erase board I'm not sure how we would do it. I've already written out the words. I guess we need to come up with the rules BEFORE we play it. I'm thinking they draw a word, we need a timer...I'll check my games for a sandtimer, and they'll keep drawing until they miss one. The other teams can NOT answer unless it's their turn. If the team doesn't guess it and the play switches, they can be given a chance to "steal" the point?

Also, I've looked at the lessons we are going to be doing this month and I think our new "fruit" needs to be patience. God shows patience with Moses this week when Moses asks God, Who am I that I should go to Pharoah...and we will be in Exodus for the whole month and I KNOW the Israelites didn't show patience while they were in the desert.

I really want to stress to them that they need to be praying for the fruit for their Prayer Pals. They should have been praying for peace for their Prayer Pals last month and patience for their Prayer Pals this months....I forgot about drawing the new Prayer Pals this week....I'll try to remember my watch this time and if I see we're running out of time I'll drop the "Not Just a Job"....not sure if we'll make it to the game or not...hmmm. I've got to do a better job of getting started!!!!

Anyway, that's what I've come up with...let me know what you think or what you don't like or whatever!! LOL


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Here a cell, there a cell, Everywhere a cellphone!

Last night my son had youth group and he didn't want to go. My aunt and her family have decided to make our church their "home" and she has a daughter around my son's age. She wanted to go to youth but didn't feel comfortable going without my son there too. All that is sorta funny because they aren't close and barely know each other, so I was amazed that she called wanting to know if my son were going. He kept telling her no but I stepped in and said, "You need to do this for her. That's part of the Christian walk ; putting others before yourself. " He decided to go and when I dropped him off he was laughing with his friends.

I was so proud of him. He didn't complain about going, he didn't get mad, he really stepped up to the plate and did the right thing. I was also proud of him because he is a shy person, he isn't the type to put himself out there. He waits on others to come up to him and sometimes that means he's left sitting there by himself. But with his cousin there, he had to make some moves, he had to lead her to meet other people. Now, I wasn't there to see how he managed that but he told me when he got home that she had made two new friends and they weren't boys!! YAY! (She is a very pretty girl and the boys just went gaga over her the first time she went to a youth function)

So he gets home and he's telling me all about youth. He's glad he went (YAY) and he had a great time (YAY) but....then he starts the old argument that leaves me angry all over. I held my temper but inside I was seething. My son is 11 years old, he's always with me or adults, he's never unattended. He doesn't drive yet, he doesn't have his own job but he wants a cell phone. Now, I'm sorry if I step on any toes here but I HONESTLY don't understand why parents are giving their children cell phones. I just don't get it.

My daughter had a friend come over the other day ,the friend is 9, but she had a cell phone. Why does a 9 year old child need a cellphone?

One of the smartest ladies I know, so my son is telling me, has given her son, who's 12 at the most, a cellphone. He broke it yesterday and she REPLACED it!! It makes my blood boil.

Chele and I teach Youth Sunday School. These kids come to ss class with cellphone. Their parents are in another classroom not 20 feet away but they have to have a cellphone?

It is my opinion that parents have lost their minds. To a kid a cellphone is a status symbol. I hear it all the time. They are like the IZod shirts we used to have to wear to be cool, which my mom never would allow me to own because she thought they were so ugly.

They are incredibly rude with them. They are either talking on them or they are texting. They are not paying attention to the people around them or what is going on because they are too busy texting or talking to someone else who isn't there! It's ridiculous to me. I can only think of two parents right now that agree with me. One has a 15 year old and guess what?!?! He doesn't have a cellphone! Shocker!! AND he's one of the most well rounded individuals I know. He hasn't lost anything because of not having a cellphone. It's amazing! The other parent allowed her kids to get a cellphone when they had a job and their drivers license. That makes sense to me. That's when I, personally, can understand them having one.

What are we giving our children to look forward to? We give them everything so young now that they don't even understand what it means to wait and long for something. I remember that going to high school was awesome because we could go to the prom. Now they have proms in middle school. What's the big deal with the high school prom now? It's not the big deal anymore. They don't have to wait to have a cellphone, we give them one when they 5 and don't see a problem with it. It's so sad to me.

Okay, I'm sorry if I've stepped on your toes, I'm sorry if I've offended. We all have our opinions and I just had to spew mine all over you. :)

Peace and May God bless you always


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Me and My Big Mouth

Lately I've been reading "Me and My Big Mouth" by Joyce Meyers. It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to "grow " in their spiritual walk. I bought it a few years ago and never finished reading it but one night while I was doing my bible study, the Lord placed it on my heart to start it again. So far I've "re-started" it about 3 times because it is so full of great information and I didn't notice a change in myself. Anyway, last night as I was reading it I discovered this:

Matthew 12:34-36
Jesus saying:
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

Ouch! I'm not sure how I've missed this but that was the first time I had read those verses or at least truly HEARD them and FELT just how important our words are.

Every word we speak is so greatly important! The Lord is using this book to open my eyes to that. Those careless little words in anger that we speak, that really don't mean much to us, they are HUGE! How many times have my words changed a persons life, good or bad, that I didn't even know what I was saying? I can't tell you the number of times that in my anger or my temper tantrum mode that I've said things I didn't mean, only to have my children still asking me why I said that months later! Those words stayed with them long after I had forgotten them. That should have been evidence to the importance of words but still I didn't truly "get" it until last night.

One line in the book that I especially love is "Some people are trying to live in the blessings of the Lord while still talking like the devil." The funny thing to me is she hasn't even mentioned curse words yet, she's speaking of being negative in our speech. Since we are created in God's image we are supposed to act like Him AND speak like Him. We need to train our mouths to speak what is good and to always speak BLESSINGS over ourselves.

Every negative word we speak, even in joking is huge to our life. Every "I'm crazy", "I'm losing my mind" etc. , to us it's in jest but to our enemy it's an opening. According to Joyce :"We are reaching into the realm of the spirit and drawing our according to our words. We can reach into Satan's realm, the realm of curses, and draw out evil, negative things or we can reach into God's realm, the realm of blessings and draw out good, postive things. The choice is ours."

I choose this day whom I will serve with my mouth and as for me and My mouth, I will serve the Lord!

May God 's blessings rain on you,


Monday, June 1, 2009

All in the Name of Peace

Sometimes we get too comfy in our spiritual lives. We decide, wow, I've GOT this. This is no problem...

Once upon a time there was a lady who taught Youth Sunday School. She and her friend decided to teach their youth the Fruits of the Spirit. Every month they would pick a fruit and focus on it. Well, one month the word was joy. Well this lady had been taught about joy but she just couldn't say that she truly had experienced it. So she prayed that the Lord would show her in a mighty and powerful way the experience we call joy...He did and she marvelled at how wonderful true joy was.The next month the Fruit was peace. Now this lady had been a worrier all her life. She just couldn't figure out how to stop worrying but she knew that she couldn't have peace with worry. Because basically to worry means that we do not think that God can look after the details of our lives. If we worry, we don't trust the Lord. The lady knew that so she went to the Lord again and prayed that He would send His Spirit to show her what peace meant. He did. Almost immediately, her husband lost his job of 20 years, her son ended up in the hospital with an obsessed tonsil and her daughter got sick. But through it all the Lord gave her peace. She didn't worry how they would pay their bills. She didn't worry how they would do anything. She was truly trusting the Lord to take care of their needs and He did INDEED :)All was well but the lady got comfy in this feeling of peace. She thought she had it all figured out. Don't worry, trust and give it to the Lord. She did all this ...with the big stuff. She never even noticed the little areas where peace evaded her. She never noticed the moments of outbursts over bad school grades, the driver that didn't turn his turn signal on or the worse one, the person that didn't put their grocery cart away, grrrrr. The people in the grocery store that take over the whole aisle and don't seem to notice or care that you're standing RIGHT there!! Oh...I mean that SHE's standing right there.One night it happened. She had taken her son to a baseball game. This son who she watched the year before win games with his last minute catch and moments of hitting the ball so far it almost went over the fence...this same son was stepping out of the box, wouldn't even TRY to hit the ball, he was actually putting the bat down BEFORE the ball was past him!! She was so upset. She wanted this baseball thing for him for so many reasons! She was searching frantically for something that her son is good at that will keep him involved so that in the teenage years he'll have a focus. Something to put his all in, so maybe he won't be lead to girls or drugs or whatever. And those dreams of HERS were fading as she watched on that cold, hard, bleacher. On the ride home she and her husband talked to the boy to try and figure out why he had quit trying, what was wrong. He admitted that since he had been hit by a baseball he was afraid. He was afraid of being hit by that ball. The lady heard his words but inside she was angry and frantic. The exact opposite of peace BUT she didn't see it. All she saw were baseball dreams being dashed. All she saw was her son failing at something that she thought at one time he was so good at. All she thought was what am I going to do now?Well that night she did her evening devotion. Little Mrs. Comfy got a HUGE eye opener.

The verse was Matthew 6:25:"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body what ye shall put on."

The devotion revealed alot to her but here's the part that REALLY hit her square in the face...

"It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the word He puts in? The devil? NO, the cares of this world. It is the LITTLE worries always. I will not trust where I cannot see, that is where infidelity begins."

Wow, conviction just swept over her. The little worries were getting her and SHE DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE! The Lord had done HIS job but SHE was too comfortable in HER ability to have peace. She had stopped asking for the Lord's help with peace because she had it under control. We can do nothing apart from the Lord and we need to always remember to stay on our toes. Be diligent and keep our eyes open and peace is wonderful but don't forget the small stuff ;)

May God bless you and give You peace in ALL things.