Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hickory Run with the scouts















First Day of School - 2010

I now have a seventh grader and a third grader. Where does the time go?







Friday, August 27, 2010

I have great expectations for you!

It's not who you know, or who you are married to, or who your parents are. It's Who you Know.

Why do people think they are going to the big Eternity party without knowing the guest of honor. Isn't that a little arrogant?

Click Here for your invitation.

Click here and listen/read these words carefully. It's a life and death
matter.

Steven Curtis Chapman

The morning finds me here at heaven's door
A place I've been so many times before
Familiar thoughts and phrases start to flow
And carry me to places that I know so well
But dare I go where I don't understand
And do I dare remember where I am
I stand before the great eternal throne
The one that God himself is seated on
And I I've been invited as a son
Oh I I've been invited to come and

Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond my wildest imagination
Lord I come with great expectations

So wake the hope that slumbers in my soul
Stir the fire inside and make it glow
I'm trusting in a love that has no end
The savior of this world has called me friend
And I I've been invited with the son
Oh I I've been invited to come and

We've been invited with the son
And we've been invited to come and

Believe the unbelievable
Receive the inconceivable
And see beyond our wildest imagination
Lord we come with great expectations

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As I am listening to this song, it occurs to me that this is not the song I was thinking about. The other song is called Invitation (I love both equally!) I guess the Holy Spirit wants you to listen to both.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand, extraordinary things begin to happen.

Loretta Girzartis

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm taking a stand

I don't really know where to begin. As I was having quiet time this morning, thoughts were swimming through my brain. I was reading Psalm 119. There are 176 verses in Psalm 119. I was going to read Galatians 3 because it was mentioned at the Joyce convention but Psalm 119 was what I opened to so I thought that is probably where I need to be. A few stuck out more than others. The words leap off the page. Does that happen to you?

Verse 28

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

Verse 50 - 51

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law.

Verse 67

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.

I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life in 2001 sometime just before my 33rd birthday (March). I struggled unmercifully for five years until I met someone who taught me how to read the Bible. She brought me to "her" church...which is now "MY" church. Once I started reading God's Word my eyes were truly opened. I have been saved for almost 10 years...TEN. I didn't get to where I am overnight. I have struggled for TEN YEARS to walk with the LORD.

People who don't "know" me think that I have been a "Lifer". Not the case. My faith really started getting stronger when I started reading the Bible. No one saved me. God saved me. People can't save people. We can encourage but the rest is God's job. He wouldn't give us that glory anyway. Having a church with a firm foundation on the Bible is the most important thing in growing with the Lord.

But I have a past (33 years, I said), just like all of you. I am a sinner. I will always be a sinner. Getting saved does not change that. I have the same temptations you have. I struggle the same way you do. I have only 24 hours in my day also and I need to "fit" quiet time in somehow.

What I have been made is righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. "What can take away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus." I don't want to get in to details but I want to paint a clear enough picture for you. I was in the pit and Jesus pulled me out. I had drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, and deceit in my life. If I didn't do the sin, I thought of the sin...which is a sin. I was in the dark.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

But, here's the kicker, I didn't even know it!

I spent much of my youth trying to fix my friends. I could see clearly everything that was wrong in their lives. And I felt the need to fix them. Even after the Lord was in my life, I would recognize the sin and instead of just changing me, I had to point it out, analyze it, talk it to death and make everyone who was doing that sin feel guilty. That is called self-righteousness.

The Holy Spirit will convict my heart and then almost always someone will call me on my sin. The Lord has placed good people in my life who can discern. I am thankful for you, grateful, even when I don't seem like I am. It's never easy to hear that but correction is necessary as long as we are backing it with the foundation of the bible.

I've single handedly destroyed many relationships. I humbly come to you and ask for your forgiveness. Because I am moving forward.

I'm not going back, I'm moving ahead
Here to declare to You my past is over
in You all things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ
I'm moving, moving forward


Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope Psalm 119:49.

I am taking a stand. I have decided to stand out and stand up for my Jesus. I will be baptized at Core Creek on Sunday September 19th. You are welcome to come.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beautiful Canvas



The Coddingtons are a family at our church. I met them in 2006 at Bible study. That is when I first learned about Carmen, their niece. God's timing is so amazing.

Click here to read the beginning of a beautiful love story about Carmen.

Here is the part that I remember and hang on to when you just have nowhere else to go:

"We are so thankful that Carmen came home early and that we had six months of simply enjoying our daughter without knowing her future. We also realize that if Carmen had not come home earlier than expected, she might not have come home at all as she would have been considered too sick to be adopted. We are amazed that God orchestrated the events in Carmen’s life to bring her home at just the right time."


Click here to read about how the family is doing now that Carmen is in the arms of Jesus.

Looking ahead

When school begins in just two weeks this is what we have to look forward to:

Monday nights - Daniel has two hour baseball practice. "Fall Ball"
Tuesday nights - Amanda has piano practice
Wednesday nights - Amanda has Breakaway for two hours.

Thursday (aka Crazy Night)
Amanda has Irish Dance.
Daniel has two hour baseball practice
I have Breaking Free with the women's bible study group.

Friday nights - Daniel has AWANA

I am not sure about games for Daniel. I guess we will squeeze them in on our free day, which would be Saturday...not so free any more.

Sunday is the day of rest/worship and it will remain so. If it is not your rest day and your schedule is this busy or busier, then you need to rethink your Sundays. Even God rested!

Then we have to fit in homework, dinner, housework (!?!), grocery shopping, quiet time and sleep. And no, sleep is not suppose to be our quiet time. Sleep is over-rated anyway. Television won't exist, which I am soooo happy about. There just won't be time.

Just thinking of all this makes me want to go back to bed, ha ha. Just kidding!

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

The effect of one good hearted person is incalculable.

Oscar Arias Sanchez

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friends








Do you have friends that you talk to every day? Do you have friends that you see every day? That's not me. I rarely get to see my friends. Talking on the phone is sometimes even harder than actually seeing them.

But when I do visit with that special person, it's like no time has passed. We just pick up from where we left off. With these special friends, we left off August of 2008. But you would have never known it. For five hours, we talked, played, ate and enjoyed each other's company.

The mommies will meet up again after the new year. Unfortunately, the best we can do right now is every six month but I'll take it seeing that the last gap in time was two years.

Thank you for opening your house and your hearts to us. We love you!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Memories in the Making



Erin's Garden - 2009 (above)

Since 2007, Theresa has been helping me with a memorial garden at my work for my angel girl Erin. Erin passed away in 2005 from a brain tumor. This year was a little different.

First,we usually do it right around my birthday in April...this is also when Erin passed away. This year it was postponed due to school commitments and reconstruction of the playground. Then, I also considered the cost and thought I really didn't have the funds to do it this year :( But then I found out that Erin's littlest sister Vivian will be changing schools and this is their last year with us. So, after getting the financial backing of my bosses, I started to plan the make-over.

Next, Theresa usually comes on a Saturday and we go out to eat for my birthday. The next morning, we get up real early, hit Wawa for coffee and work in the blazing heat for a couple of hours until the job is done! This year, she came on Sunday afternoon. We took her son Daniel with us to both Walmart and Home Depot to buy the supplies. Instead of the heat, we had rain...and lots of it!!! Afterwards, we returned to my house where I made dinner. No coffee but we did have chocolate pie (a big let-down though because it was Sugar Free...what's the point of that!)

Also, since we usually do the garden in April, it's color bursts with spring time flowers. But if you wait until the end of August, you get mums and that's about it! Which is fine, Theresa loves mums and they're so "hearty" (her words, lol). So, my vision changed but it's just another lesson for me to be flexible.

The garden is not complete because the garden stones and decorations were inside the school and I didn't have a key..they will have to be done tomorrow. But I am very happy with the end result as it stands right now. The heart shape was new this year and I think very fitting...I loved Erin so much!

Bible 101


A brief conversation with a friend last night really got me thinking. It doesn't matter which bible you use. There are many translations but as you can see, the message is the same. There is a "Catholic" bible that I have never seen or experienced. And honestly, the curiosity is just not there.

I like the Amplified bible. LTM uses the New International Version (NIV). My friend who taught me to read the bible uses the New Living Translation (NLT). But my Sunday School teacher would advise all of us to be Bereans and not take anyone's word for it. We need to be seeking for ourselves.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

There are so many great on-line sources but I love the BibleGateway.com site the best. I was a little surprised that my friend didn't know John 3:16. This is called the Gospel or Good News. It is the first verse that the children learned in AWANA. It's the first verse that Kids for Christ camp teaches.

See for yourself what I mean about different versions. The message is the same.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (KJV)

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (NLT)

"For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life." (Amplified Bible)


OK...there is a such thing as a Catholic Bible. I don't know what that is nor do I have any curiosity in me to find out. I have finally come to terms with my Catholic background. I know that God did not make a mistake when I was raised in a Catholic home. I use to think that no religion would have been better than all of the misconceptions that I learned in the first however many years. But I have let the anger be replaced with the Knowledge and Comfort of my Jesus.

Now I need to get ready for Service. "Church" should not be a burden or a commitment. I cannot wait to get there on Sunday. I see people that I only see once a week. Everyone is smiling and talking to each other and hugging. It's family. I feel like I am home. I learn something new and leave a changed person. That's the purpose, to change you, to make you more like Jesus.

If you are reading this and wondering what I am talking about, then you are not being fed. Or maybe your church may not fit you. Keep looking. It's out there. Trust me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

Treasure the one who thinks of you when all others are thinking of themselves.

James Gunn

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Healing Heart

Ok...can someone tell my body that I am on vacation? Yesterday I was awake at 3:45 am! Today I am awake at 4:45 am. That's not sleeping in. I laid in bed for a little while and then I remembered that Beth Moore is on Life Today on Wednesday mornings, at 5:30 am. It was 5:20 so I quick checked Facebook. I couldn't shake the knowledge that four of my FB friends, maybe even more, had posted something very negative about someone else. Well, at least that was the insinuation. I felt their HURT. Did you read that sentence and hear that I said FOUR, (sigh).

Many people look for the healing rather than the Healer. Why are we not living the lives that we should? You may be holding that person in prison but, People, you are in the cell next door!

Anyway, with a heavy heart, I made my way to the couch. Beth Moore is spectacular. If you don't know who she is, check her out at Living Proof Ministries (lproof.org). She teaches with "energy, passion and humor." I've completed four of her bible studies. I am very excited to start another in September. Beth has a heart for woman...and so do I.

So why am I surprise when the topic of Beth's teaching is "The Healing Heart"? If you have time to watch the episode, please do. It's only about 18 minutes, Click here.

But if you don't have time, please take a minute because something she said this morning might be exactly what you need to hear today.

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Are you nursing an old wound that you never let God tend to?

You took the wound deeply. Did you take the healing deeply?

A consistent over reaction is a sign that the wound has not been dealt with.

There's a present situation but you react with the wound history of it.

Do you wonder...why is this not healed?

Or transfer our feelings on to someone else due to a similar situation.

You can do all the Bible studies (but I took Breaking Free...)but are you still reacting the same way. Are you still doing it?

Instead of the bucket we go after the whole well.

Jesus can do anything He can heal it!

Something will go down so deep. We will take the wound extremely deeply but we will take the healing superficially.

We will let God go right over the surface of it but never go down to the depths of it.

Did you take the healing deeply because that's how a broken heart heals?

ARE YOU TIRED OF IT!

It heals when we allow the healing to go as deeply as the wounding went.

If it doesn't we remain broken hearted, wounded people.

Someone kicks the scab off of it and it hemorrhages again.

My wounds fester and stink because of my foolish sins. Psalm 38:5 NLT

"From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness" Isaiah 1:6 NIV

If you do not allow God to get to the bottom of your wound it won't just fester but it will spread. You will be a walking wound.

We will either become victims or victimizers.

If you look back and have then broken hearted relationships something is wrong! Quit looking at everyone else. You are the common denominator.

You're hurt and then you are going to hurt someone else because you are a walking wound.

No human being can heal you. HE WILL HEAL YOU!


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I watched the show and immediately came to the computer to find it. Then I watched it again on-line. TWICE. I could listen to her all day teach.

So now I am turning to prayer for these woman in my life. If you are posting your hurt on Facebook, then you are crying out for help. Cry out to the Lord. I am praying for you, praying that you find that healing from the Healer.

W.O.W

BECAUSE OF YOU...celebrating the difference you make.

People who matter most are most aware that everyone else matters, too.

Malcolm Forbes

Monday, August 2, 2010

A New Beginning

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34

Many changes. New responsibilities. Much excitement. But most importantly, such encouragement!

Job Description:

To accomplish the expected goals, it is necessary that all employees personally strive for excellence in the performance of their responsibilities. An employee's commitment to this standard of excellence should be demonstrated with a loving spirit, a cooperative attitude and a whole-hearted dedication to Christ. Employment at WCELC and LTM is not just a job; it is a ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ and His church.

I will spend the next few weeks reflecting on and praying about achieving this goal...expectation.

AMEN.