12/31/2008

A New Blog

Yesterday I mentioned to a very dear & lovely friend that I might start a devotional blog. I really didn't give it much more thought after that...Until today.

As I sat for my quiet time...which wasn't very long (I leave work early on Wed. and have a shorter lunch time), I felt an urging to do just that.

It's titled Quiet Time and I will jot down my quite time moments with the Lord. I pray they become like devotionals to you. Maybe there will be one you think a friend or loved one needs to read. I pray they are encouraging and point you back to the Father.

Who knows, one day all my quiet time experiences may actually become a book. Only God knows and only time will tell. Check it out and be blessed...Quiet Time

Marriages Under Attack!

2008 has been a hard year for all of us with the economy going hay-wire and the job and housing market flopping. But I also realized that 2008 for some of my dearest friends and many others I don't know, marriages are under attack.

Please join me in prayer for your marriage, others marriages, and soon to be marriages. If some of our greatest Christians are falling prey to divorce, who knows what else will come about!

The enemy is after marriages because that is the building block of our society. If he can cause marriages to deteriorate then he has enough of an edge to begin to tear down the children and that then branches off into our neighborhoods, etc.

If you know of someone struggling in their marriage...first do NOT tell them you understand. Those are some of the most dreaded words, because even if you've been through marital troubles, you still aren't walking in their shoes. Even though prayer is the BEST thing you can do for them, don't say it, just ask them if there is anything you can do for them and then if it's within your power...DO IT. Maybe after a short time, you can let them know you are & have been praying for them.
Then, if at all possible, include the friend and children if they have any to your home or some of your outings. There will be times when that friend will want some alone time, take their children for the day.
For me, one of the worst feelings is being shut out of peoples lives because my marital status was in transition. It was like we had the plague.

If you've joined with me to fast(from breakfast & lunch)/pray on Tue./Thur., please lets make one day about you, your family, your circumstances and the other day for others.

We must cry out to the Lord for each other, the world isn't going to cry out for us!!!

12/30/2008

Isn't it...

beautiful to hear the Lord speak to your heart?!

Well, this morning I drank a sprite when I am supposed to be fasting. No problem...Lord please forgive me and bless the remainder of my time of fasting.

Lunch hour, I started out not really knowing where to begin. I prayed for God to be all over that hour with Him. I then began by reading some devotionals I received this morning. Good, but the Spirit didn't cause my heart to quicken. Oh the devotionals were wonderful and true and right on time. Hmmmmmmmm, did I say they didn't quicken my heart? God used them to get me where he wanted me. One spoke of spiritual curfews and why we must be obedient to the Word of God. The other was about being hungry for the Word of God. So as I prayed for myself, I also prayed for my children to desire and hunger for the Lord. I watch them walk around and they are so luke-warm to His Word. I prayed they would have a fire, zeal, longing for God and His Word; that they would remember what they once had and want that and more.
So then I'm just sitting there and I said Lord, I don't even know how to pray or what to pray right now. I've prayed over my "list", Nicole's "list", and Yvette's "list", Angie's "list", but it just isn't enough. Father you know our desires, you gave them to us. You know our hearts far better than even we do. You know what we long for. Your Word says it will not return void. You are not a man that You can lie. IF you gave us Proverbs 31 as an example to strive for and you gave us Titus 2 as well, then you will have to make it come to pass.
The tears began to flow...why Lord would you give us these desires if You did not intend to fulfill them? Why would You allow us to be tormented by these desires?
Then I just sat there listening to CeCe Winans, Throne Room (look up the words if you don't know them).
Enter into another place!!!!
Again I'm sitting there. Ok, Lord now what do You want from me? Look in my bag and pull out A Woman after God's Own Heart, by Elizabeth George. Ok, start reading but I really don't have much time left. I get to the 3rd page and SOMETHING jumps out at me. She wrote...
I was also comforted about my own life. After all, God knows the desires of my heart--indeed, He has put them there (Psalm 37:4)! I got no further than that. Joy leaped within me and the Holy Spirit quickened my heart. I looked up Psalm 37:4 and read it. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Then I read verse 3 & 5. MAN!!! I began to journal and this is what I wrote
As I sit & read A Woman after God's Own Heart, she mentions that God knows the desires of our hearts...He put them there. This has given me great comfort & I had just prayed along these same lines. God I know you hear me and I'm on your heart. These desires come from You and if they come from You, You will see them come to pass. Forgive me for my doubt, unbelief, & impatience to see the fruit You've promised. Give me comfort & strength as I wait for the Lord.
The word WAIT jumped out at me, so I looked it up in the back of my Bible to see what I could find. Ps. 27:14, 130:5, Is. 30:18, Acts 1:4, Rom 8:23 (wait eagerly), Tit. 2:13 (wait for the blessed hope). Please read a verse or two before or after the ones I've listed

My dear sisters, if we wait eagerly, yet patiently, expectantly on the Lord, He will cause our desires to come to pass. He is NOT a man that He should lie. He would not give us desires that are biblical and then torment us and not allow us to taste the fruit. Your desire Yvette to be in a church home where His Word is lived and taught is biblical, healing is biblical. Our desire to hear from Him is biblical. Nicole, our desires to be home with our family is biblical. Our desires for children is biblical. To have His wisdom and walk in His path, it is all biblical. So guess what, the desires we have are all from Him, found in His Word, and He will make them come to pass. The desires we have are not carnal and worldly...The world doesn't think those thoughts.
Oh but the waiting...is not easy. It will get hard and we will doubt, we will even give up. But I praise God for each of you; even when it sounds like I am whining...and I usually am, you each lovingly point me back to the Savior!!!!
I thank God for you daily, we are all disciples of the Lord and we encourage one another. I give thanks and praise for you.

I pray this has encouraged you as much as it has me. Wait on the Lord!!!!

12/29/2008

Christmas 2008

It went by so quickly! We enjoyed a quiet day. We did make a cake and sung happy birthday to Jesus. We didn't get around to cookies that day. I did cook, but my children's father took us to IHOP instead. That was fun and relaxing. We then went back to the house and played a couple of games and stayed up way too late.
Overall, it was a beautiful day. The weather was wonderful and the children stayed outside most of the day...something they enjoy but don't get to do much now that I'm working.
I was off for 4 glorious days and I enjoyed every minute of it. The day after Christmas, I stayed in bed ALL day long. I needed that time to just relax and have some down time. I really needed it. By Saturday evening, I had detoxed from having to come to work and got some things done that needed doing. As of Sunday, I had lesson plans made out and saved to my flash drive to be printed out later. We still don't have our foreign language program, but hopefully by Feb. either way it goes, school will be in full swing come 1/5/09!!!

2008...almost over!

It’s hard to believe that 2008 is almost over. When I was a little girl, I could not imagine ever getting to 2000 and here we are almost into 2009. Time seems to go by faster and faster. We start off a new year and before we can blink our eyes too good or rather, before we can get to comfortable, the year is coming to an end and we’re bringing in a new one.
I for one did not accomplish everything I had set out to accomplish. My walk with the Lord is not as deep as I had hoped and my goals are not completed. Nevertheless, I am still alive and unless the Lord has something different written for my life, I have the new year to look forward to as a new beginning.
Only God knows what tomorrow or the New Year will bring, but I do know who holds it all in His hands. My only resolutions for the New Year are to walk closer with God, to continuously steer my children to the Savior, and be a light to others. I pray that you don’t get caught up in resolutions that focus on you as an individual, but you as it relates to your walk with Christ.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

12/28/2008

2 Timothy 1:1-11...is your fire still going for the Lord?

How to tell if your fire is dying for the Lord

1. You neglect the Word of God
2. Your prayer life changes
3. Your church attendance changes
4. You give occasionally
5. You stop listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit

How to renew or rekindle your fire for the Lord

1. Be aware of where you are in your walk with God
2. Recall where you were when you were fired up for God
3. Repent of the things that have caused a void in your relationship with the Lord
4. Refocus your attention on the things of God
5. Read the Word of God, even if you start off by reading the short books of the Bible. Or read one Proverbs that correlates with the day of the month.
6. Prayer…begin to commune with God daily.
7. Get involved in the lives of others
8. Rely upon the Holy Spirit to enable you to do all of the above.

I shared this because I like many of you feel like my fire for the Lord has died out. I am not where I want to be, nor am I where I used to be, but I’m on my way. My heart is so void and I continue to try to fill that void with things and people, thus drawing my heart further and further from God. However, the void in my heart or your heart was only meant for the Lord God Almighty!!! Let’s each allow Him to fill the one spot in our hearts and lives meant for only Him.

12/23/2008

Tough Love

Would some of you leave me a comment and tell me your feelings about Tough Love?
I've been doing some reading and I'm just a little curious. Afterwards, I'll post
again and share what I read, then you can comment on that too. LOL




ADDENDUM: Ok, I was reading this book that said tough love was not Biblical. It referred to the passage that says Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Now I've never called it tough love, but I have said there are consequences for all actions; some good and some not so good. The consequences don't change my level of love, but I think it expresses my love. If I did not love, I would not allow for any consequences for any behavior.

Thank you all for your input!!! I appreciate your perspectives.

12/22/2008

Lazy Monday

Oh how I wish I were home with my children. It's so cold outside and I have many things I would love to be doing right now. However, I'm here at work, the children are home finishing up Christmas gift projects, and I'll go home this evening and call it an early night.

Christmas is just 3 days away and for the FIRST time ever, I'm not dashing about worrying about getting gifts and such. Finances have caused us to put our gift exchange on hold till January of '09. So on Christmas day, we will mostly focus on Jesus and being together as a family. We'll read about Jesus birth in the Bible, make cookies, drink cocoa, watch movies, SLEEP ;-), and talk. I have no idea what kind of meal we will have. I don't know what I want to cook. No one in my house wants turkey this year. I've got my New Year's meal planned, but no ideas cross my mind for Christmas!!!

I've gotten lots of great ideas for our Christmas' to come (if the Lord says the same). I had planned to do 3 gifts for each child and then after talking to several ladies and finding out that they do this because the Bible mentions 3 gifts that Christ received, I have decided that we will be switching to this as well. This will cause me to think carefully about the gifts I want to give them and make them really meaningful gifts. Everyone knows that books are my all time favorite, so my children will get a book to add to their collection. I want them to have books from days gone by, but that they will love to read over and over again. We'll also start a Christmas stocking for Jesus, which we will fill with letters of praise and adoration to HIM! Then, we'll do a birthday cake for Jesus, only ours will most likely become a pie (I'm not a big cake eater). I so would like to be able to adopt a family and buy a gift or two for that family. We also missed the deadline to do the shoebox gift for a child, so we will do that next year as well. In fact, for that one, we are gonna start buying a small gift each month so by Nov. we will be done with gifts for a boy and a girl.

I have to tell you, it is such a relief to not be out and about, rippin' and runnin' searching and buying gifts. To just relax and focus on the true meaning of Christmas!!! I'm lovin' it. Also to know that future Christmas, I only need to focus on 3 gifts per child...that takes a huge weight off my shoulders as well. Hmmmmmmmmm, now to find a few traditions for birthdays. Any ideas or suggestions? Leave me a comment and share.

Have a blessed Christmas!

What other traditions do you have as a family? Please share!!!

12/11/2008

Night One in our NEW home!

I so wish we had thought to take pictures, but in trying to prepare for and deal with the cold, that was the farthest thing from our minds. If you can envision, the house was moved out in September. All my furniture and things were moved in shortly after that. It’s been like a model home without water, electricity, etc. The only things missing were the few necessities we had in the double-wide. The things left to move are my exercise equipment, which I just might have to sell, and our clothes. The children have done a remarkable job getting things in order.
Well, I get home last night and it was colder in the house than it was outside!!! It really was cold. So we went to work putting up blankets to seal off the hallway and around the front door (LOTS of air gets through around the door). We won’t be going into the hallway area and back 2 bedrooms until we redo those rooms. Anyway, I digress. So we will all be sleeping on beds in the living room and utilizing the kitchen and master bathroom once we have water.
Only 2 rooms to really keep heated up at this particular time.
The children had all the beds made and TONS of blankets on each of them, along with sleeping bags. My oldest reheated dinner-Nacho Soup and we were ready to eat and snuggle in for the night.
But we get a phone call. My mother (yes, for those that know about that…you read that right), told my son to go over and get one of her small portable heaters. We get that set up and it really isn’t putting out much heat in that large of an area, but it’s something. Maybe 5 minutes later she calls again. She tells me to take her debit card and go purchase 1 heater at Wal-mart.
So two of my children go sit in front of her fireplace and one goes with me to Wal-mart. We pick out the heater and head home.

We get home, change into jammies, sit around eating our nacho soup and then prepare for a bit of talking and television. It was still very cold, but the heater did knock off the chill a bit. We just thought we would burrow down into our blankets and deal with it. Around 1:30 or 2 this morning, I woke up sweating!!!!! Yes, I was sweating. Looked over at the children and they had thrown their blankets off them as well. I thought well, this is now and it'll be freezing when I get up for work. WRONG. They sorta woke up a bit to tell me bye and to tell me how hot it was. All I could do was PRAISE the Lord yet again. We went from being able to see our breath to sweating.

Isn't God good?! He'll take simple things like that to bless you and you know it's no one but Him

12/10/2008

Have you ever wondered?

Why people blame Bush for the state of our economy and war? I’ve wondered that, not just about Bush, but every president I can remember. The majority elects the person of their choice and then when the man doesn’t do what they WANT him to do, the way they want him to do it, they blame him for all the mess!

But have you ever wondered that though we have elected any given person, God is the one who is in control. He is the one that orchestrates and maneuvers plans, decisions, etc.?
It just makes you wonder, because God has a BIG picture that none of us can see completely yet, and He utilizes everyone of us (to include leaders), to bring about His desired end.

Maybe instead of pointing fingers and blaming, we should be asking God…What is His BIG picture!!!

Coincidence? I don't think so!

For those that don’t believe in God or believe in “some higher power”, they would say that things that happen are good luck, bad luck, karma, or coincidences. However, for those of us that have chosen to believe in a Risen Savior and Creator of all things, we would say that Nothing Just Happens!!!!
Well, as I continue with my praises of what God is doing in our lives, I have to tell you that when my children called and said the power was NOT on in the other home, I was at first disappointed. Man, me and my selfishness!!!
So I get home and I look around. They wired their end, you can clearly see that. All looks to be in order. I walk around to the back of the double wide and sure enough, the meter is still there and walk back to the single wide and sure enough there is no meter there. I looked up and said, Ok God, you know what is best for us and I’m going to trust you. I’m walking around the house and I’m thinking…WHY am I disappointed? The single wide will have no heat. The double wide has heat. The temperature is supposed to get down in the 20’s and we’ll at least be warm tonight. WHAT is wrong with me? WHY was I disappointed? Because now at this point I begin to praise Him for loving us that much and being concerned that we would be cold, that HE chose to postpone the transition one more night…the coldest night of the season so far. Then I began to laugh, because Papa really does care and I was acting like a spoiled brat…wanting things my way, in my time.
Then my oldest daughter runs to the door. Mom, a man from the electric company is on the phone for you. I run (literally) in the house. I’m out of breath and I answer. It’s the guy that came out to look over what was done the day before. The other guys couldn’t find his tools where I told him I would leave them. While we are on the phone I said sir, was something wrong, because they didn’t put the meter on the other house? He said well they thought you wanted the meter to stay on the double wide and a new meter on the single wide. I explained that they will be picking up the double wide soon and we just wanted them to transfer it. He said oh, because for whatever reason they left out of the office without meters in their truck, so they were going to have to go back tomorrow (which is today). I said well, no need for a new meter; just have them transfer the other one. Not a problem, they’ll do it first thing in the morning. Ok, now what about the $50 charge for them coming back a second time? Oh, no charge ma’am, it was our error and misunderstanding. We’ll take care of it. And with that we said good-bye and I began to praise HIM all the more.
You see, those things were not just coincidental, happenstance, or luck. That was my Heavenly Father loving on me and my children. Saying put it in My hands and trust Me to do what is best for you. I love you with unfailing love and as My child I only want good things for you.
So we made dinner, talked for a bit, watched a little TV (yeah we’ve been indulging more this week; until transition is over) ;-) and then we went to bed in the warmth as we listened to the sleet on the windows.
Who but God could have orchestrated that so perfectly??!! I never could have in a million years. He’s just good like that!!! I mean, they work for the electric company and never leave without the proper materials they need, but on this day, they leave without meters? Nope, not just coincidental…that was all God!!!

12/09/2008

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had The Little Lamb
Mary had the little Lamb, who lived before His birth;
Self-existent Son of God, from Heaven He came to Earth. (Micah 5:2)
Mary had the little Lamb; see Him in yonder stall-
Virgin-born Son of God, to save man from the Fall. (Isaiah 7:14)
Mary had the little Lamb, obedient Son of God;
Everywhere the Father led, His feet were sure to trod. (John 6:38)
Mary had the little Lamb, crucified on the tree
The rejected Son of God, He died to set men free. (1 Peter 1:18)
Mary had the little Lamb, men placed Him in the grave,
Thinking they were done with Him; to death He was no slave! (Matthew 28:6)
Mary had the little Lamb, ascended now is He;
All work on Earth is ended, our Advocate to be. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Mary had the little Lamb - mystery to behold!
From the Lamb of Calvary, a Lion will unfold. (Revelation 5: 5,6)
When the Day Star comes again, of this be very sure:
It won't be Lamb-like silence, but with the Lion's roar. (Psalm 2:12; Revelation 19:11-16) (

Marv & Marbeth Rosenthal, Copies of this poem may be used without written permission from the authors.

PRAISE is what I do! LONG

Can you say Hallelujah?! I have to tell you we were doing a praise dance at our house yesterday!!
Hmmmmmmm, where do I begin? I’ll leave the tidbit about my stomach virus this weekend out. ;-) Saturday morning I was to purchase the electricity pole-box combo, dig a 4 ft hole, and a friend was to come install it and wire the house to the pole for me. Monday the electric company was to do their part and we would have electricity in the new house and finalize our move.
Well, what was supposed to happen and what did happen are two totally different things.
I ended up sick Friday evening and when the children called the friend, her husband was ill as well. WHAT? I don’t know anything about electricity…are you serious. Oh no! Then I had to stop because I was NOT being gracious or concerned for his health. I was being selfish.
Ok, so this means I can dig the hole, install the pole and reschedule everything else for the following weekend and week. Ok, no sweat!
Joseph talks to the sheriff to get an extension on the date we MUST be out of the house. He comes by with a friend and they finish digging the hole my big boy started (He did 2 feet!). Pole is in and then Joseph says where is the wiring? I said, they told me it all came with the pole. Guess what? It was the wiring for the electric company’s end. You purchase your wire separately. Oh My Gosh! Are you serious? I have 0 $. My account is overdrawn as it is and I need more money? Ok, well I go to Home Depot just to price everything that will be needed and a young man helps me out. He says, you can use aluminum wiring instead of copper, the only thing that has to be copper is the grounding wire. Ok great, aluminum is 3 times less expensive than copper. The total…a little over $95 bucks. I head back to the house and tell Joseph. Then I spot something; shingles and a few other things un-used from the new roof. Hey can’t we take that back and get store credit and buy the materials needed for the electricity? He does later that evening and guess what…it all comes to about $93 total!!! Yes, you read that right. There was $97 in store credit, when done we have $4 store credit left.

I don’t know the first thing about electricity, except it can kill you, oh and that’s how lights work and stove, etc.; and neither does Joseph. But we walk to the back of the double wide, look at how it’s done and figure, can’t be too difficult. The worse that could happen is the house burns down. That was a joke..Ha Ha. The electric company checks everything before they connect it. Joseph says he’ll be back Monday.

Sunday was a day of praise. I was literally at the door of the Holy of Holies and knew all would be well.

Monday I called and canceled the electric company coming out. Then I begin to bombard the poor man with 50 questions. He finally said, ma’am I’m going to send one of my men out to look at what you’ve got before you do anything. GREAT!!!! Then he says by the way, you can use aluminum wiring. What people don’t know is it contracts and expands and in doing this loosens up the connections and that is where the fire hazard comes in, but I’ll show you what to do, how to do it, and tell you when to do it and you’ll be safe. Again…GREAT!!!!

Joseph gets there a little after noon on Monday and goes to work connecting the wiring. Just as he is about done, a guy from the electric company drives up. He looks at what has been done so far and says “you’ve done a great job thus far”. He’s shocked to find out neither of us knows what we are doing. He stays there another 30 min. walking Joseph through the rest of the connections and even leaves some of his tools for us to use. We have the aluminum wiring all connected, but there is still that dilemma about the copper grounding wire. He says, you don’t need it. If you want that extra added precaution go for it. He used to do this stuff for a living. He said they did it this way with 3 grounding wires just to cover their butts, but it wasn’t necessary. He said you have 2 grounding wires, you’re good. If you get a little nervous later and have the money, you can add the copper wiring later. We look at him in disbelief, because up to this point we are both thinking me and the children will be without electricity again until Jan. (copper wiring was an additional $40). He again looked things over and said no, you have done a phenomenal job not to be an electrician. You did everything right and all is in order. Someone was guiding you. I’m thinking YEAH…His name is JESUS!!!!!

Sooooooooooo, now I really get into over gear, trying to plan and prepare what needs to be done. The fridge, washer, dryer, all still need to be moved. We can’t connect water and septic till the other house is moved. Inconvenient, but we’ll have to use the double wide for water and bathroom usage, but it’s just right out our back door. It’s not across the street like it was when we first moved out there. We’ve done this before, it’s like camping. The only difference is then it was August, 105 degree temperatures and now it is December, varied temperatures.

Our greatest challenge will be tonight when it is to get down to 28. Remember, I have no more money and we have no portable heaters right now. But guess what? I’m not worried about that either. We have sleeping bags and tons of blankets. We’ll all sleep in the living room and huddle together…we’ve done it before. We’ll be fine. God will provide, I’m sure of it. He already has!!!

12/01/2008

December? Already?

Can you believe it’s December already? Where did the time go? Man did I accomplish all I set out to accomplish in 2008?
Well, it is December, the time flew by so quickly, and no I did not accomplish all I had hoped in 2008. There were many set backs, but many opportunities to get closer to my Savior. I’ve complained and murmured because I sure as heck didn’t like the avenues through which God was molding me and making changes in my life. But as I look back I am so grateful that through it all God has not left me nor let me go.
I’ve had to go back and relearn some things that I learned and conquered (so I thought), but in this round of learning, I have come to appreciate the lessons learned.
I commune with God more fervently and frequently. I am still learning how to pray scriptures. I am also relearning trust!!! Now that is not an easy one.

I am back at work after 5 days off. I enjoy those 5 days and look forward to the time when the Lord calls me to be a full time mom again. Things I took for granted. Cherish your time with your children, it is priceless. We had a ball!!! We played games and talked, laughed, cooked, ate, and slept. We needed that time together.

Now to refocus and seek His guidance with our homeschooling. I don’t know what the Lord has for us, but I am waiting patiently!!! His will be done.

11/29/2008

Is it really Saturday already?

I have to tell you I am so grateful for another day and the ability to wake up and see it, but I really dread that I must return to work on Monday. I have enjoyed this time off.
We haven't done a lot, but to just be able to spend time with my children is a blessing. We've played games, talked, laughed, watched way too much television, and they have played the video game way too much as well, but it has been good to just veg. out and not have to get up early and go anywhere.
The brakes on my car are in need of desperate replacing and the inspection sticker must be replaced as well, so that has hindered us from doing much. We may try to get out of here and go to the park or library...not sure, it's still raining off and on.

The other thing is we will officially be in the other house next weekend. I won't have the money to get the heater connected and inspected, so I'm looking for room heaters, but we will be in it. Closure for this other journey is upon us and we are all ready. Our current home holds so many lovely memories, but they are over-shadowed when your family is torn apart and hurting. So we look forward to a new perspective and a new beginning.

There are also other decisions I will be making in the next few months and I ask that you all please pray for me, that I hear the voice of the Lord clearly and follow His leading.

Christmas will soon be upon us. We will do Christmas a little different this year. We won't exchange gifts until January. But the spirit and meaning behind Christmas won't change. We actually thought a few years ago that we would have this type of Christmas, but God stepped in and it was a miraculously, wonderful Christmas. He may have something like that in store for us yet again, and then again, this may be another Christmas where we just focus on HIM entirely. Afterall, He is the reason for the season!!!

11/28/2008

The Day After!

While thanksgiving is year long, or should be at least, the BIG meal to celebrate it has passed. We had a slightly non-traditional meal and it was great. It really was great!!!

WE finally sat down to eat around 5ish and to hear my children raving over the food and how good it was and so forth, was a blessing to me. They all really loved EVERYTHING. Then we did what most do, we fell asleep! Oh yeah, we did watch part of the football game and my children were able to see the Jonas Brothers during half-time. I still have no clue what is so great abut them, but I don't say too much, because I remember when...

We had to get back out of the house to take a movie back, but as soon as we returned, we enjoyed dessert. My baby girl made a cherry cobbler, cream cheese pie, and 2 pumpkin pies. So, seeing as to how we had a hard time choosing just one, we had a small piece of each. Warm cobbler, with vanilla ice cream on top, pumpkin with cool whip, and cream cheese with a glass of milk; LOL Delicious.

Then we just spent time hanging out together. We played Mad Gab and then they played the video game (weekends and holidays are when they get to play so they take full advantage of it).

For breakfast this morning we had pumpkin pie or cherry cobbler...which ever was prefered. Still Delicious.

I pray your Thanksgiving was a blessed one, but remember to give thanks all year round, not just on one day that man has set aside. Give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever!!!

11/26/2008

Disappointed

We were supposed to be in Houston by now, to spend Thanksgiving with dear friends. However, that was not what God had planned for us. It's hard sometimes, excedting God's Will, especially when you have one of your own and you think yours is far better. ;-)
So the children were disappointed as was I. We really need to get away from here for a while and just have some fun and not have to worry about all that is taking place and has taken place in our lives. You know, just a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, we stayed up way too late last night, ummmmmmmmmm this morning, watching movies and just hanging out together. The children thought I had to work today but when they discovered that I had taken the day off, they were happy. As much as I love being with my children, my children love being with me in return. That is a blessing!!!!

We made out our own Thanksgiving menu...nothing traditional I don't think, not much anyway. I never fry foods anymore, but they asked for fried chicken, broccoli & rice casserole, yams, pea salad, rolls, cabbage, dressing, cream cheese pie, pumpkin pie, cherry cobbler, vanilla ice cream, and sweet tea.
Makes me hungry just typing that down.

At any rate, we are still most thankful for much. I'll post tomorrow how our day went. We're gonna enjoy every minute of it.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and in all thing give thanks, even the disappointments!!!

11/22/2008

Awakenings

God is so truly amazing to me. His timing is unlike any others. I've been praying for the relationship with God that I had 3 years ago. And it's not fully restored, but I can see God working in me towards that restoration point and beyond.
I feel blessed to be at this place at a time like this.
I am so grateful to God for giving my dear friend the insight to even share The Shack with me and keep in mind that she had not even read it at the time that she told me about it.
I believe that God used that book to begin to speak into my heart once again as He had begun 3 years ago. The intimate relationship that I so longed for and missed so desperately, is becoming a part of my life once again.
As I was reading The Shack, God began impressing upon my heart to read the story about George Mueller. All I knew was that he had started orphanages and asked no one for anything, but through the Word of God and praying the scriptures, God provided all that was needed daily.
I thought that after I read The Shack, I would just ignore that prompting, but He laid it so heavily on my heart...as though He knew I would try to ignore his initial prompting (DUH He knows everything already). So I found a free ebook online and printed the Autobiography of George Mueller. I don't even know what chapter I'm on. I've read about his life before Christ and he was a mess and steeped in sin. But around the age of 21 he was with a friend that was saved, but continued to backslide. This friend told Mueller he was on his way to a prayer meeting with a few men. Mueller, not understanding why he had such a great urge to go, asked if it would be okay for him to go along. It was at this meeting that Mueller saw for the first time a man get down on his knees to pray. This began the awakening in Mueller's life. He, over time, fully gave his life to Christ and began to head the voice of the Holy Spirit. I am at the point in the life story that he has become a pastor.
He tells about this one meeting of believing women and the women ask him what does he believe about believers baptism. He basically stated that he had been baptized at a young age and did not believe that one had to be or needed to be baptized again once becoming a believer. One of the women encouraged him to not give his opinion again until he searched the scriptures for clarity. Which he did and realized that the scriptures never say anything about being sprinkled with water, but did speak on being fully immersed in water after becoming a believer in Christ. He then tells about pulling out of the London Society. This was a group that basically stated who could or couldn't do missions, where they could go, who they could minister to, if they were eligible to even do so and so forth. He read the scriptures and could not find where man has the authority to direct another mans path concerning being a teacher, pastor, or missionary. Thus he pulled out of that group and heeded the voice of the Holy Spirit and went where He led him to go. He speaks about letting scripture confirm scripture, instead of taking mans word.
To some, these things may seem like common sense, but to one who is relearning how to walk with Christ fully dependent upon Him and Him alone, these teachings are a bit profound for me.
I know I have my trust issues, so I'm wondering if this is why the Lord led me to read about George Mueller. I don't know at this point so I will just continue to read and allow the Holy Spirit to stir within me things that have been dead or lay dormant for some time.
I am eager to see the path that God has laid out before me. The path that He wants me to follow. I know I will stray and fall and stumble, but I'm so confident now that even when I do, He is never far from me and will guide me back.
On another note, I have taken to calling God- Papa. As I read the book I felt that Papa was just such an intimate name. A name that resembled such closeness and familiarity, such as I have longed for all my life. It feels and sounds so natural and flows so easily. I love the sound and it feels so very intimate. I'm loving it. Another thing I'm loving is the presence of the Holy Spirit. I've always loved it, but didn't experience it as much as I have in this last week or so. It is so...I can't even describe it.

I'll keep you posted as the Lord continues to guide me and lead me.

In His Grip

11/21/2008

BFF

WARNING: BITS OF TMI (Too Much Information)

I think everyone is aware what BFF means in this day and age, but for those that may not, it stands for Best Friend Forever.

Last night when I got home from work, I headed straight for the restroom (as I do every evening when I get home) and my 3 children immediately followed close behind (as they do every evening when I get home). I don’t think I have had many alone times in the restroom since I became a mom. The bathroom seems to be one of the favorite places my children like to hang out and talk to me in (I have a dear friend that can relate, as this was one of the places she spent time talking to her mother in as well ;->), the kitchen is a close second.

Anyway, we got to talking and I was sharing with them a bit of my prayer time during my drive home and then I asked them if they saw God as loving, nurturing, and caring or as a king on a throne spewing out orders, rules, laws, judgments, and condemning people to hell.
Two of them said the king on the throne and one said something slightly close to loving and nurturing. My heart broke into a thousand pieces as I sat there and could completely relate and understand what they meant.

I’m grasping for straws as I sit there and I’m thinking, how can I explain this to them so that they can grasp it and comprehend what I so desperately want to convey? And I mumble a prayer, Lord help me.

The words spill forth. I first ask them if they can imagine God as a mother and they all say no. Then I said, picture a mom nursing her baby and as she is nursing she rubs his cheek and hair. She talks to him and sings to him. She holds his fingers or hand and cuddles him close to her. She gives him all of her attention and can only focus on him at this moment. She cherishes this and wouldn’t mind if it went on for some time. This is what God wants to do with each of His children. The only way He can do that is if we take the time to get to know Him and become His friend.
Akyra is a lot like me and it’s hard for her to make friends. Ari is the social butterfly and Adrian does ok. So I said Akyra, have you ever cried because you wanted a best friend so badly? It seemed that everyone but you had a best friend. Yes, was her reply. I said, imagine God sitting there crying because He gave His only Son for you and now He just wants to have a relationship with you but you don’t give Him the time of day. Then I had to back up. I said do either of you realize that if just one of you were the only person on earth Jesus would have still died for you? They all said no.
If YOU were the only person on this earth, God would have still given His Son for you and Jesus would have still paid the price just for YOU and YOU alone. This was the concept I too had trouble grasping at first. But when I finally GOT IT, I could understand a portion of His love for me. When you hear God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…that seems like something totally different and foreign. But when you hear God so loved (your name), that He gave His only Son…that makes it more intimate and personal. Anyway, they still are wrapping their brain around that one, but I go on.

God wants to be your best friend. The one you tell everything too, every day. He cries when you cry, He hurts when you hurt; He’s elated when you are happy, etc, etc. You all are searching for something I have searched for all my life and I had it all along and continued to overlook it daily or push it aside for a weak substitute.

Now I have 2 best friends in this world and I have a hand full of my dearest, dearest, friends; all of which are family to me. But I remember telling stories and T-A-L-L
Tales in school just hoping someone would like me and be my friend. Then I would get a friend and got angry if they claimed to be someone else’s friend. (childish I know)
And all the time God was standing by waiting patiently to be that BFF. I pushed Him aside time and time again, and yet He continued to wait. Now, as I am emerging with some understanding and clarity, I see my BFF was there all along.

Then they say God must be mean because He lets bad things happen to good people. I explain how God is not a dictator but a loving God that gave each of us freedom to make our own choices. I said now, when you make a choice that hurts me or one of your siblings, do you think God is bad then? No, they said. God allows us to make choices and sometimes those choices hurt others or Him, but He still lets us make the choice. But even when we make that choice, He is not far from us and waits for us to return to Him.

So the conversation continues like this for a while and there are teary eyes and then there is mama on the toilet just flat out crying. Then I just feel the presence of the Lord in the room with us and I begin to pray. I began to pray earnestly for my children and their father and a few other people, as God began to show me how they too were substituting people or things for that relationship that can only be completed in, with, and through Christ. I believe chains were broken last night and some heart healing is beginning to take place. We are in the place God wants us to be.

On another note, God has laid upon my heart to read the autobiography of George Mueller. He opened orphanages and didn’t ask for anything, but received everything by praying and allowing God to be the Master Orchestrator of seeing the needs met through others. Mind you, when Joseph first left, for the first year this is exactly what I did. I did not work, but prayed earnestly about everything and my bills were paid for a year. Ironically, it was after I started working and stopped praying so fervently that our lights were disconnected for a little over a month. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

11/20/2008

Trust

Prov. 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart...

I’ve been struggling with this portion of this verse for about a year and a half now, maybe a little longer. I would have to say it was after being separated from my husband for 4 ½ months and he declared he wanted to reconcile. Then after about 2 weeks he declared he did not. That is when my trust in the Lord started deteriorating. Then after the 2nd declaration of working on our marriage and then not, that really ripped my trust apart. My questions were: How could God allow this to happen now a 2nd time? What about my children? Didn’t He care that they were innocent? Didn’t He care that none of us asked for this? Didn’t He care at all?

I began to see God in light of what Joseph did or didn’t do. I completely forgot about Matthew 5:45 (To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].)

I also forgot that God is love. He doesn’t cause the bad, but He does allow it; just as He did with Job. He used this situation to grow me and stretch me and I have bucked it at every turn except the first year of my separation. Clearly how could He determine that this would be for my good? But His word is right when it says His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts; Isaiah 55:8.

I’m still not completely sure what the lesson is in all of this, I’m having to start all over learning how to trust Him again. I am seeing Him in a different light…as a father and not a king with a set of rules. Though He is the King of Kings and He does rule everything, He is not standing there with a stick ready and waiting to hit me over the head each time I break a rule. He does grieve when I go against His Word, but He’s not standing there ready to condemn me to hell.

Let me just be honest, in the last couple of years, I have been a rule keeper. Just obey the law and it will be well with me. If you don’t obey the law He is angry, and look out because you never know when He’ll cut your days short. Sadly, I’ve dealt this to my children. And try as they could, it was getting burdensome keeping all these rules.

But now I know something different. He loves me. He really loves me. Just as I love my children and want the best, so does He. Just as it hurts my heart when they disobey or buck my authority, so it is with Him. God has never really had my heart completely. I gave Him what I wanted Him to have but not all of it. We can NEVER fully be in line with the entire Bible. We are flawed. However, when we love God and are in such a close relationship with Him, it will grieve our hearts when we grieve Him. We will also willingly try to obey His commands, not live by them as though if we miss one we are condemned forever.

Am I making sense?

In a relationship it pleases us to please the one we are in relationship with. It grieves us when we hurt the one we are in relationship with. I never looked at it that way. I saw God with this iron fist, ready to pounce.

The Shack is NOT greater than the Bible, but it did help me to understand relationship better and to understand what it is that God tries to get across in many of the scriptures.
He just wants to have a relationship with us and then from that we will clearly be eager to obey His Word and not grudgingly, but lovingly and willingly.

I know this is long, but my heart was so full this morning. We’ll see where God is taking me. So far I am just cherishing what He has shown me thus far.

Oh to have child like faith.
Lord bless me with the faith of a child.
So eager to trust, so able to trust.
Not looking at the things around them,
but trusting that they will be taken care
of and all their needs met. When someone
is holding them, they don’t worry or fear
that they will be dropped, they just have
faith that the one holding them will continue
to do so. That they will receive love unconditional.
Help me Lord to have this kind of faith once again.
AMEN

11/19/2008

Ahhhhhh, a teachable moment.

As I sit here Lord, my heart is heavy. I don't know how to fully release Joseph to You. I don't know how to let him go. How do I walk away?

This has to do with that trust thing. I'm still holding on because I don't fully trust you or believe that you can or will work things out for my good. I still feel & believe that I know what is best for me and that I not only must show you, but then I must help you out.

This is part of my journal entry for today. I don't share for the sake of sharing, but someone reading may be in the same boat I'm in. While I'm sitting here wishing someone could help me, maybe I am supposed to be helping someone.

This is one of the things I discovered about myself while reading The Shack. (this is a link to someone's review...please read all the comments that follow after his review) I say I trust God but if I am honest with myself, I don't fully trust Him. My trust was so full 3 years ago or even 2 1/2 years ago. But then I got sidetracked, distracted, knocked off course, and my trust or faith (whichever you want to call it) went so low, I have trouble locating even a glimpse at times. My one question was...How could or would a God who loves His children continue to allow these things to happen. My children are innocent and yet they are in such pain and agony. None of us asked for this journey but we got it anyway. And so as I questioned, my trust ebbed away. A scheme of the enemy? You bet. Now I am struggling to regain ground. I opened the door and let him in and it's hell to get him out!!!! Believe that.

God doesn't want bad things to happen to His children. He's just like any parent. He wants the best for us all. But because He is not a dictator, He allows free will and we often choose things against His will for ourselves because we "think" we know what is best for us. However, He never leaves us even when we make choices that will take us off the path He has for us.

This is what I am struggling with. I've judged God by Joseph's actions. I've judge His love for me by Joseph's wavering love. I've judged His commitment to me by Joseph's lack of commitment.

Oh to have child like faith once again. To be enveloped in His arms and love like a little girl on her father's lap. Show me how to get back to that Lord. Show me how.

11/17/2008

The Shack by William P. Young

The Shack, a must read is the first thing I must say. My dear friend was telling me about this book as we were walking through Wal-Mart and then we came up on it. She stated that it had been given to her but she hadn’t read it yet. However, she was going to pay it forward for me, with the understanding that I pay it forward as well.

As I began to read the book, I pondered who I would share this book with. About mid-way through, God laid on my heart 2 people. One of which is my mother and the other, well I will share who that person is in a later blog.

I read and read and then it got to the point where I didn’t want to put the book down at all. I love to read and can read a good book in a day if I want, but with me working now, my reading time is a bit limited. So it took me a week to finish this book. Besides, this is not one of those books you want to rush through at all. You want the pages to go on forever, especially when he gets to the point of the celebration.

I cried, laughed, got excited, felt the characters joy and pain, and even saw my own Great Sadness and began a healing process. There were moments I had to put the book down and pray and cry those big torrential cries, the kind that are so cleansing. I had moments where I wanted to be alone with a certain portion of the book, so I ran to the bathroom for some alone time.

This book has helped to draw me closer to God like no book ever has and I had to keep reminding myself that it was a fictional story.

Anyway, I finished it. Told my children about it and now they want to read it. However, it was such a good book and I want to read it again, that I will begin reading it aloud to them tonight.

Angie, I can’t thank you enough for blessing me with this book. It has begun a healing process for me that no one, not even the counselor, had been able to breakthrough. It was as if FINALLY someone related to my pain. I am looking at my relationship with God with new eyes and a more open heart. Mack asked questions and made statements I’ve held in for so long. But now, it’s as if a new light has been illuminated and I see things so differently.

So, that may not be such a great review, but if you haven’t read the book, I HIGHLY suggest you head to the nearest bookstore or Wal-Mart and pick one up and then after reading it, pay it forward and share this book with others.

I too will be passing the blessing on, with one request that they pay it forward as well and after they finish, they won’t hesitate to pay it forward.

11/13/2008

Foul Mood

I am in a very ugly mood right now. Full of anger and resentment and I'm fighting it as best I know, prayer, worship music, and shortly I'll find a few scriptures to hold on to for the day. Isn't that just like the enemy, to "allow" you to be blessed in such a way and then he tries to steal it from you? I'm fighting it though. Check out my playlist for the songs that are ministering to me right now.

11/12/2008

The Roof is DONE!!!

Can you say amazing? Man, my family-friends arrived late Friday night. We woke up early Saturday morning and they got started and worked until the sun was no more and did a repeat on Sunday morning, but were finished long before the sun said good-night.
I was so under the impression that it took longer than that. You see the men working on roofs and they seem to be out there for almost a week and I just knew that this was going to be a LONG process. But with God and men who know what they are doing and then to have so many helping hands, you can only expect the best and in a timely fashion as well.
I am so grateful to them for all the hard work they did. They have truely been a blessing in my life and not just because of the roof. They have blessed me through their friendship. They are my family now and that's for keeps! ;-)

My dearest friends took pictures and promptly went home and did some digiscrap pages. Check our her blog to see them. For her first time digital scrapbooking, she did an amazing job. She takes some amazing pictures as well. She is so gifted, as are several of my other friends. I am truly blessed to have them as my dearest of dear friends.

11/06/2008

This is good and a must read

What a wonderful day to see and behold. Election day, a black man crowned executive chief of the United States. Whether you are for his policies or against his policies, if you are black, you can't deny that there was a sense of accomplishment that we all could share in. It makes us feel that no level in this land is unreachable because of color. It proves to many that if we desire it, we can achieve it. It all looks and feels very good to any black person and it should. But there is much to be considered that comes with an accomplishment like this. When the celebration stops, we still have to deal with us and the mess that we have created in our communities.

Have we progressed as a people or did we just progress in the eyes of people? This landmark election event may have put us at the top for a minute, but the fact still remains, we have a long way to go. Now, we as a people must stand on our own 2 feet and make it regardless of racial barriers because Barack is proof that if you have what people want, your skin color doesn't matter. But I want us to examine this and understand that this election may have put one of us in office, but our families are still being destroyed because of immorality. We can chant blackness, throw up Barack hand signs, and be proud as we wanna be, but after the party is over, we are still 11 percent of the population and have the highest HIV death rate, murder rate, high school drop out rate, teen pregnancy rate, incarceration rate, abortion rate, etc. We have issues in our communities that many are looking for Barack to fix, but Barack is for some of the very things that are destroying us as a people. 1400 abortions everyday among blacks. Black women can't find good men because of homosexuality in the black community. We don't have the numbers that whites have so when our men turn gay, we lose fathers and husbands at an alarming rate. Add 1 million black men in the prison system and you have a lesbian firestorm in our communities because of the lack of good black men! And remember, Barack went to a church for 20 years that is gay friendly and even traveled with a gay pastor during his campaign earlier this year. This is why we should never look to the President for those kinds of things to be fixed. He is not God, he is a man. God is the only one that can intervene and fix this mess that we are in as a people.

Please people, do me a favor. Study the bible and get a good understanding of God's men. Understand who God supported in the bible and who he denounced. Understand who he was for and who he was against. You will see a pattern that is undeniable. When men killed the unborn or promoted homosexuality, did God use them? Has he ever? Why do we think that God is moving upon us as a people because we have a black president? Now understand, I'm proud of us as a race too, but I don't want us to jump in and drown just because we are in the big house now. I want you to take a good look at the bible and a good look at Obama's policies. Do they line up and should we put our faith in him?

We can be happy, but we still have an obligation to do better as a people. I see folks with grillz in their mouths chanting Obama. I see women with 6 kids by 7 different men, looking for their next baby daddy chanting Obama. I see preachers that are gay in secret and married in public chanting Obama. I see pastors that are sexually active with their own members chanting Obama! I see a nation of folks that are making very bad decisions in life walking around chanting Obama. The only thing these folks I'm talking about have in common with Barack is skin color and I'm sorry, but that's not enough to heal our communities. The bible says that "If my people, which are called by my name would humble themselves, pray, seek and then turn from their wicked ways...." He was not talking about an election people, that is a command to turn from your wicked ways. We can have an all Black White House and it will not stop the consequences of immorality! There is a price to be paid for sin and we cannot sit back and wait for Obama to pay it for us. Our people are perishing and we must do something quick or we will have a black president, but no black citizens!

Wake up America. Obama may look like the answer, but he is not. We don't need a person in position to point at and say "look what we did" We need our churches to stand up and say no to the gay agenda. We need pastors to say no to abortion and same sex unions. We need our men of God to stop standing behind Obama and start standing in front of him. He may be a leader in the natural, but in the spirit realm, God has the final say. This man is a President, not our daddy. He is not the missing father in your home. He is not the answer to your problems. He is not the savior for your sins. He is a man that was elected to public office and he needs leadership of strong men of God that can put racial prejudice behind them and show him God's way. But because many pastors backed him in spite of his immoral stances, so many of them have lost their opportunity to really be a light for him. So many just wanted to see him in office, that we forgot our greater obligation and that is to stand for righteousness at all costs. And as a people, we don't need to use this president as our trump card. We don't need to hold him up as our savior and answer. We don't need to feel like we are better now because we are not. We have a long way to go and if we don't turn from our wicked ways, and seek the face of God, we will yet be a slave to the system and be lost with a Black president in office.

Please people of God, pray. Not just for Obama, but for the mentality of our people of this nation. Obama could end up being the worst thing to ever happen to the black race if we continue on this path of unity in public but division in private. And though I don't agree with his stand on morals, I do hope he does a good job. But my confidence is not in man it is in Jesus. I urge believers to pray because America is sitting on a ticking time bomb. We are about to endure the rule of a very liberal congress and we as true Christians are going to have to fight like never before. And though we celebrate a black man in office, we must continue to fight his immoral policies and stand against the agenda of the antichrist. (please note, this is not calling Obama the antichrist)

2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Rev. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev. 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev. 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Until He Comes,G. Craige Lewis

New Chicks!!

My baby chicks have arrived and I go pick them up this evening.
We had 56 hens and 3 roosters a year or so ago, but as we let them free range, the dogs in the neighborhood got to them and plucked them up one by one (sometimes 3 by 3).
Well, we were given the opportunity to purchase some more when someone else was placing an order but didn't need the full minimum that had to be ordered.
They are exactly one day old and when K called to let me know they were here, you could hear them all in the background chirping.

So we are starting over. I will still allow them to free range...ONLY we have a smaller chicken pen on wheels that we will move them around the yard in. This will keep them safe from dogs, hawks, and other animals, but allow them to eat all the bugs and insects they want.

They won't start laying eggs for another 2-3 months, but I can't wait to have some fresh eggs again. In no way are store eggs good. Once you've had fresh eggs, you won't want the store bought kind. They just don't have the texture or flavor of fresh eggs.

We will add more hens as time goes by, this spring, the local feed store will be selling chicks and we'll pick up some then, but these will be laying eggs by then and we won't have to wait for the babies.

The children will be selling some of their eggs for their own spending money so if you are interested, let me know. They will be around $2 a dozen, but keep in mind they are fresh eggs.

Then be on the look out for another post announcing that we have sheep and goats. Yep, that's next. We will have meat, eggs, and milk to eat and drink, with the addition of a garden. Man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! ;-)

Titus 2 Woman

Titus 2:3-5 says: Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.


I have been searching for years now for that Titus 2 woman for my life. Always looking and never seeming to find her. Well, I spoke with my baby sister (she's not a baby, but well, she is to me) and she was telling me how she was doing some things differently and it had alot to do with me encouraging her to go to the scriptures to seek out truth. I also encouraged her to read a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe .
She thanked me for speaking truth to her and not wavering to just give her what she wanted to hear.

That was extremely encouraging to me and then it dawned on me...Hey, I was being a Titus 2 Woman!!!!

However God wants to use me, I'm willing. He just did that one so smoothly. Most likely so I wouldn't get a big head and think more highly of myself than I ought. HA HA

Please share with me how you have been a Titus 2 Woman in someone else's life or how someone was a Titus 2 Woman in your life.

I have to say that most of the Titus 2 Women in my life have been younger than me...go figure!!!!! LOL

Count down for a new roof

Well, tomorrow evening (night) the family that will do the roof will be here.
Saturday morning will be the day that demolition of the old will take place and a new roof will be erected.
WooHoo, we are all excited and ready to get a move on this. We are all tired of living in limbo, but we also know God has and is using this time to grow us.

We'll take pictures and hopefully post some.

Hope

Yes, I am on a roll today.
I love how God just gives me tidbits here and there. The only difference this time is I am sharing them as He constantly instructs me.
Last night as we were on our way home from church, my son sitting in the back seat said "mom, Obama is president and I know you didn't vote for him, but does that mean if one day I wanted to, I could become president"? My response...ABSOLUTELY!!!
Now, I've told him this all 13 years of his life, nothing changed with that. But for a child to hear one thing and see another speaks volumes.
My son knows why I voted the way I did, but he never thought it possible for a man of his color to become anything close to president. Now he can hope and dream bigger than he has before.
So you may not have voted for him, may not believe as he does, but think of how many black boys (and girls) now believe that ANYTHING is achievable. Sometimes they just need to be able to see it tangibly to believe it.

Just an observation

Ok, you all know who I voted for, but someone said something on the radio yesterday as I was heading home that just made me stop and think and get very honest with myself.

Now during Bush’s 2 terms as our president, I prayed for him more times than I can count or remember, but not often enough.
And yes, we must pray for Obama; that he would hear from the Lord and follow Him, etc.

But I got curious. Sooooooooooooooooooooooo many have complained about what he did wrong and his father, they praise Clinton even though his morality went out the window. But instead of criticizing what he (Bush) did or did not do or how you disliked him, How many times did you pray for Bush?
How many times did you lift him up before the Throne and ask God to lead him and guide him, protect him, etc?

We are called to pray for those in authority. I challenge you to do that for Obama, our local, state, and national leaders. Stop complaining, fearing/trembling, and realize that God is still on the Throne. He didn’t leave when Obama was elected. He knows what He is doing. Stop leaning on your own understanding and trust that God will do what He said He would do and you as a child of God will be protected for He is our refuge!!!!

How should we respod to the election?

I received this from a dear friend and wanted to share this with you all. I thought this was so very true and timely!

Tom Ascol:
My friend, Dr. Wyman Richardson, pastors FBC of Dawson, GA. He sent the following "True-False Test" to me yesterday. It is timely and very helpful in giving us perspective on the presidential election. Take the test, then ask yourself how you should respond to the election results.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, Jesus will still be King.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our responsibilities as Christians will not have changed one iota.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the greatest agent for social change in America will still be winning the hearts and minds of men and women through the gospel, not legislation.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my primary citizenship will still be in this order - (1) the Kingdom of God, (2) America, not vice-versa.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the tomb will still be empty.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the cross, not the government, will still be our salvation.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, our children will still be more concerned with whether or not we spend time with them than with who is President.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my neighbor will still be my neighbor, and loving him/her will still be the second greatest commandment. (Do you know the first?)
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see abortion ultimately overturned will still be winning men and women to a high view of life through the gospel of Christ.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, the only way to see gay marriage ultimately defeated will still be winning men and women to a biblical view of marriage through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, my retirement will still not match my treasure in Heaven.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, "Jesus Is Lord" will still be the greatest truth in the Universe.
True/False: The day after the election, regardless of who wins, we will still know that God is in control.

Analogy of why some Christians voted for Obama

We went to Bible Study last night at church and Pastor Evans has a Q/A session right before he begins his teaching. So you are able to write your questions out and he gives a biblical answer when warranted and if not warranted, a common sense answer.

Well, someone asked 2 questions. The first being her husband didn’t want to attend the church because he felt it was too large. Basically too many members and he felt the pastor should be able to know his members. I really liked the answer he gave and have to admit it as true. He said regardless to the size of the church, if the members are involved within the church, the size really becomes small. (I hope my repeating it is coming out like it should).
Anyway, he said when you have members that basically come to hear a message and leave and don’t desire to fellowship or get to know other members, then yes, you will not only see the number of members, but you’ll see it as large. He said it is not a Pastors job to “know” the members, but to teach them what God has instructed him to teach. God is the shepherd and He knows His sheep. Pastor Evans is not one of those stand-offish people. He talks with members, mingles, and is very sociable, as is his wife as well.
Now, why I find that to be true is this. I’ve taken 2 classes at the church and have gotten to know approx. 15-20 members. We see each other and it’s like seeing family. We are actually waiting on one of the ladies to close on her home and we will have a get together at her house and in the spring a cookout. After things are settled at my place, they want to come to the “country” and hang out (hopefully we will have all the animals then and the kids will have fun with that). Anyway, I’ve gone to LARGE churches and felt that disconnect, I’ve gone to SMALL churches and felt that same disconnect. So it’s not about the size (per Evans), it’s about the heart.
I know I am not doing his answer any justice so I will stop.
The second question was…Why would Christians vote for Obama knowing what he stands for? He explained one that we have the freedom to vote how we choose. He said, but let me try to help some of you understand. He said let’s pretend we are in America 150 years ago and we are all slaves. There is a candidate that says he will do away with slavery and make all things equal for everyone. The other candidate says he will outlaw abortion, gay rights/marriages, etc. (please don’t comment and say that these are not practical’s for that time period, I know.)
So he said to us now which candidate will you vote for? Needless to say, we all got it. He said MOST voted for him because he was black. However, a lot voted for him because he promised something that dealt with where they are at now economically. It didn’t make the other issues less important, but they could not even focus on them for focusing on their current circumstances. This, he said, also has a lot to do with their maturity in Christ. So instead of getting upset with them, it’s over, let’s get busy praying for God’s will and trusting that He is still on the throne.

11/05/2008

Interests or hobbies

Ok friends, I am curious. What interests do you have and would you be willing to show someone else how to do what you do?

I have a multitude of interests. I enjoy baking, spending time with my children, on and on.

Yet, there are a few other things I would like to try my hand at. I want to learn how to sew (not just basic stuff), quilt, digital scrapbooking, create my own website, photography, write books, play the guitar, harp, violin, and piano.
I better stop, the list could go on and on.

My children are interested in several of these things as well.

So my question is, if any of you reading this post know how to do any of the above, would you be interested in teaching me or anyone in my family? We don't learn fast, so patience is a must. Oh and for those things that require a computer, well, ours is from the dinosaur age and runs really slow. Let's see and as for the photography, well, our camera just died. And since the children don't read my blog, I can tell you that prayerfully they are getting a guitar, violin, and new cameras for Christmas. I would like to say that I am getting my laptop, but that doesn't look like it will happen until after my tubal reversal.

Thanks bunches to all...

History has been made!

Well history has been made. We have our first black president in office, something I never thought I would see in my life time.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless to who you voted for, please understand and remember that this president has no power that God does not give him. He has no authority that God has not ordained for him. And when it is all said and done, God is still in control!

Of course as you know, from my previous post, the candidate I chose did not get elected. But I am honored to live within a democracy where we can all freely vote. I keep in mind that I am not held accountable by man for the way I voted, but by God. I also am reminded that no matter what Obama does during his term, God will hold him accountable for how he leads HIS people.

Does Obama stand for all that I believe in? No.
Does Obama stand for all that God spoke in His Word? No.
But guess what, neither did or does McCain.
However, as a Christian, I can stand up for God's truths. We can no longer be passive Christians, sitting by and just allowing the world to move around us while we stay huddled within our safe congregations and belief systems. We did that and prayer was removed from schools. We did that and gay marriages are taking place. We did that and parental rights are being challanged. We must stand for God's truths and do all we can to let His light shine.

So whether your candidate won yesterday or not, remain humble and put all hope in God, not in man. We must do what we can for the one who was elected. We can pray. Please join me in 77 days of prayer for Obama up until his inauguartion. Lets not stop there, lets continue to pray for him throughout his presidency. We need a leader who will turn his heart to God and will listen and do all God directs him to do. Otherwise, whoever the leader would have been or is, still fails miserably if they aren't following God.

Let us all remember that it is IN GOD we still trust. No man can turn America around without Him. God can use any man He chooses for His will and purpose and that includes you and me, and it includes our president.

What should we all be praying for, first check out Daniel 9:3-19

Then check out what John Piper had to say about these elections.

11/04/2008

November 4 - Election Day!

WARNING: Do NOT take this opportunity to bash me.
If at any point you have an issue with how I voted, please take that up with Jesus!

Well, the day has finally arrived. The candidates have been on this trail for at least the last 2 years and it all comes down to 1 day and millions of voters.
Either way it goes, whoever becomes President; this day will go down in history. The first woman holding the office of Vice-President or the first black holding the office of President.

I casted my vote this morning and am glad to have gotten that over with. I am most grateful for the opportunity and privilege to vote and don’t take it for granted one bit, but I am obnoxiously glad that this day is here period. I’m tired of all the slander and back-biting, and lies that always circulate around during any kind of election time.

Some have asked how I would vote, others just sent emails that assumed they knew how I would vote (sometimes to the point of offense).
I can say that when I first started exercising my right to vote, I didn’t pay attention to all the news and mud slinging that would go on. I voted for whom I “liked”. Well, I have to say I have matured much in many areas, to include politics. I won’t profess to know everything about politics, but I’ve learned to pay attention and to do my best to find out what the candidates really stand for.

So, I voted my beliefs, convictions, values, and principals. It is my duty to vote this way as a Christian. I am well aware that no one candidate completely represents God. But I feel at peace with the one I voted for.

I am also very aware that the majority (please note I did NOT say everyone) of the black community may be voting for Obama. Unfortunately I believe that most of them are looking at the color of his skin and I think this is a great injustice. Many are not voting McCain because he of what Bush has done or the Republican Party (holding one man accountable for what another does or did)and still I think of this as a great injustice.

What do they stand for? What are their beliefs? What are the issues they stand behind? What morals or values do they uphold?

When I broke it down in this manner, I had a hard time considering voting for Obama. Financial and economic issues are an extremely important matter to me, but the sanctity of life and marriage, I believe are the foundation of it all. I believe that God will honor that. And getting the greedy out and stop over spending will be a plus in the right direction of the financial woes/economics…I didn’t say it would solve it but it is a start. I also took into consideration that several Supreme Court Judges would be elected during this term. Fact has it that the judges are usually chosen based on the beliefs of the current president. I have a lot at stake raising children in the land of the free. When speaking out against what God calls wrong could/would become a crime, I can’t vote for someone that leans in that direction. So that was another deciding factor. Now of course there were many, many, more but if I name them all my post would take you a few hours to read…so those are just a few.

However, if it all came down to one thing, AMERICA has gotten far from God and continuing to remove Him from more of our structure is NOT going to make things better, I don’t care who the president is.

So my bottom line is this, regardless to which you voted for, God is in control. None of this will catch Him by surprise and He doesn’t look at the outward appearance of any of the candidates. He will also use whoever is president as the tool with which to accomplish what He wrote out before time existed.

On that note, I voted for McCain. May the man God choose be the one that will fall on his knees, repent/confess, and turn from his ways and back to God. May he lead this country back towards God, that we may sincerely ask God to bless America and He will hear us and do just that. Otherwise, if the next president goes out on his own or tries to please the people rather than God, we are all in for a bumpy ride of judgment.

10/31/2008

Pray Without Ceasing!

1 Thessalonians 5:17: Pray without ceasing.
Ephesians 6:18: With all prayer and petition
pray at all times in the Spirit
and with this in view, be on
the alert with all perserverence
and petition for all the saints.

I learned 2 1/2 years ago what this really means, what it looks like, and how to do it.
Before that time I thought it impossible to pray all the time. What could one pray about all day? I wondered.
Then tragedy struck my life. My son was attacked by a pit bull, within the next twelve months my father in law, grandmother, and father passed away. Then two years later my husband walks away from our marriage and family. It was during this time that I truly learned what it meant to rely on God and to pray without ceasing.

I prayed about everything under the sun. I praised God, prayed for my children, prayed for other family members, prayed for friends, prayed for our nation, prayed for our policemen and firemen, prayed for those we passed in car accidents or having car trouble, prayed for those we heard about in car accidents over the radio or news, prayed for the military, prayed for judges, prayed for the president, prayed for the weather, prayed for cashiers as we stood in their lines, prayed for provisions, prayed for health, prayed for opportunities to share my testimony, prayed for others children, prayed for the children that came up on the television in other countries that were starving, prayed for…

Get my point? I found myself praying daily without ceasing. There were a multitude of things to pray for or about.
It got to the point that when someone called, my children often had to ask if I could call them back because I was praying. They would hear me in the bathroom praying or see me at the kitchen sink praying. At first they would ask me what was wrong, and I would tell them I was praying. It then became a normal thing for them to see and they stopped asking because they knew what I was doing.

Sadly, I have stopped that “norm” for me and I have to say that I no longer experience the presence of the Holy Spirit as I used to. Where did that fire go, that desire to be in His presence? I haven’t stopped praying, but I don’t pray without ceasing.

So will you pray with me that I will regain that fire, that desire, to be in His presence? His Word? I miss it more than anyone can imagine and I’m anxious to have it back.

10/27/2008

Time is drawing near

It seems like ages since I last blogged, though I know it really hasn’t been all that long.
The roof will get done on the house, prayerfully a week from Friday, October 31. I’m anxious and nervous. I’m anxious because then we can get the electricity connected, the water, and the septic system. Woohooo, then we can move in. I’m really tired of living in transition, but Highly thankful we have a home.
I’m nervous because I keep wondering if we will have enough money to cover the expenses. For example, I estimated one rate to cover the gas for those coming to help, only to learn that my estimation is just a drop in the bucket. Somehow, God will provide the funds needed. I’m not worried, just nervous.
I am also excited. My dear friend and her family will be down and we all enjoy spending time with her family. We love them so dearly. I enjoy the fellowship time we have. My children completely enjoy her children. In fact, my children have been talking about this project for months. Well, not the project, but the time they will get to visit!!!
I’ve planned some good, but inexpensive meals for the time they are here. I am going to have to rethink Thanksgiving. I so wanted to go to Houston and spend the holiday with them, but with doing this roof, I don’t think we’ll be able to financially. So I guess I better come up with a plan B, just in case. God could still work it out that we have more than enough financially and be able to get away for that holiday weekend. (Praying)

10/15/2008

Begin with the End in Mind!!!

Wonder what that title made you think of?!

Almost 3 Saturdays ago, I was listening to the radio early that morning. We were on our way to a mother/daughter tea. This woman being interviewed caught my attention...at first not because of what she was saying, but because of her voice. Her voice was so proper and I was trying to peg where she was from.

For those that know me, still most don't know that I love, love, love accents (along with food). Well, I never caught where she was from, but by that point what she was talking about had caught my ear...Homeschooling thru Highschool.
How to use the Bible, Math Curriculum, and a library card to do ALL your homeschooling from K - 12.
There were a couple of reasons this caught my attention. One was, that was not the first time I had heard that concept. Hmmmmm where had I heard that before? It goes back to what we are GOING BACK to. For one year we used this curriculum called SOW. Student of the word SOW . Everything, except your math comes from the Bible. We used that and that was our BEST year of homeschooling ever.
Why did I stop? Naysayers!!! It's as simple as that. Friends and family alike said, there is no way you can use the Bible to teach your children. You'll ruin them and their education will amount to nothing and they will never be able to attend any college.Well, stupid me, pleasing man rather than God, changed the curriculum and I've been searching for the right one ever since.
Well, 4 weeks ago, it was like the Lord said to me as I was driving home...What are you doing? I said Lord if you just show me how to teach my children and what to teach them, I will obey. He said...I already did and you didn't obey, so what are you wanting me to show you? So I drove about 10 min. more and then the light bulb went off. Ohhhhhhhhh You mean that?! You really want me to go back to that? I can do that.
So when I got paid, after taking out my tithes and before paying any bills, I ordered the remaining 2-6 volume. (and I've been checking the mail every day ever since) We will use the Apologia Science and the book Keeping a Nature Journal to supplement science, Teaching Textbooks math curriculum, TruthQuest to supplement history, and finally Rosetta stone for foreign language (Latin/Spanish).
Bible will be the MAIN focus and we have two library cards (Terrell & Mesquite). I'm excited, they are leery (and I totally understand, we've changed so much since first using SOW). However, they all agree as well that, that was the BEST year we had!!!

So if it ain't broke, don't fix it!!!

She had many key points for me. I will try to put them all here and pray you don't get bored. The one that was the most interesting and intriguing to me, was one I've been saying lately over the last 6 months or so. "Who cares if your child goes to Harvard if they are going to hell? I would rather have a godly garbage collector than an ungodly brain surgeon." And you know what, I feel the exact same way.

She said "Readers succeed, non-readers don't." That is something I've been telling my children...just not in those exact words. I believe that if they can read, there is nothing they can't do. They can pick up ANY book that any teacher, professor, etc. can pick up and learn ANYTHING their hearts desire to know.

She, I keep saying she but gave no name; Carole Seid Joy, spoke about television. Now even though I have one of these time wasters in my home, we very seldom watch it. She said after watching a show, ask yourself-Did it bring you closer to Jesus?
According to a study she had, television is directly linked to ADD. Hmmmmmmm, you know when I was little we seemed to stay outside. Now you have to pry children away from tv and video games to get them outside. Read: Amusing Ourselve to Death, by Neil Postman.

I wish I could tell you everything, but I wouldn't do it justice. She gave some statistics such as,
91% (2002) of children in the church who claimed to be born again, do NOT believe there is absolute truth.
82% of homeschooled children plan to homeschool their children.

Anyway, she is an advocate of reading. As am I. I LOVE books and if you put me in a bookstore or library, I start drooling all over myself! LOL
She, like Dr. Raymond Moore (Better late than early), does not believe in rushing academics. She wants parents to read to their children. I love reading to mine!!!!

Anyway, she gave a list of books that she recommended. Sorry, she asked that we not make copies of those lists. She also gave a typical daily schedule...that I can share.

Quiet time for mama
Kids up-dress, make bed, etc.
Breakfast
Clean-up
Bible
Math
Handwriting (she recommended Italic workbook, or journaling)
Break (eat some type of protein to help with energy)
History with literature - mom reads and kidlets illustrate during this time
LUNCH
1 hour of COMPLETE sacred quietness-pray, sleep, read, think (one of these but no talking)
Nature walk-2 times a week/Science for those days not doing nature walk
Freetime - listen to classical music, prepare dinner, gardening, baking, sewing, scrapbooking, music lessons, community work, etc.
45 min. before dad arrives-clean the castle

Carole said high schoolers can keep track of their own lessons, writing in a lesson plan daily what they have accomplished. don't use grades, colleges don't really look at those. Use pass/fail or credit/no credit (google carnegie credits). High schoolers should write their first term paper in their first year and 2 in their second year. When filling out college applications, add reading lists of all books read and a resume detailing every activity.

There is no way for me to get it all in this blog, so if you think of something, leave me a comment and I'll look through my notes to see if she had anything to say pertaining to that question.

I'm excited and ready, surprisingly so are my kidlets. I'll keep you posted.

9/27/2008

Debt Free...I'm on my way

God does all things for a purpose, nothing is coincidental, nothing just happens.

I am watching the puzzle of my life come together, though God had the puzzle all together before I was even formed.

I am beginning to understand why God directed us to OCBF and more recently, the urge to take the financial freedom class at church. He wants me out of debt and free so that I can begin to do the work I was born to do.

How many of us go through life thinking we are here on this earth for our own purpose?! Reality is that we were born and live to fulfill the purpose He has for us. There is a greater purpose for our lives, and much of it we cannot do as long as we are strapped with debt. God so wants us to be debt free so that we have the freedom to do whatever it is He wants us to do or go where ever He wants us to go.

I know at this point there is much debt that must be erased so that I may go to the orphans. I looked at this task as daunting until today. God has called me to do something and He knows what is hindering me from going now. I so deeply feel that I will be sharing testimony after testimony of how God has miraculously deleted my debt, as well as provided finances for me to go where he sends me.

I think from this point since I have realized what He wants from me and have openly said YES Lord I will go, that He will open doors that no man can close and close doors that no man can open, in an effort to pave the way for me to be a servant on the mission fields.

What has God called you to do that debt is hindering you from doing? May I challenge you to seek the Lord and tell Him you are ready to do what He is asking you to do and then watch Him go into action to prepare the way for you to go.

Missions...Pray, Give, Go!

I have come to understand that God does everything for a purpose. My being a member of The Potter's House was for my salvation. I learned to worship, tithe, etc. It was the beginning of my growth and deep love for Jesus.

I am learning in Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship God is grooming me and preparing me for my calling. I have felt or sensed for most of my life that I would be involved with orphans. Children are my passion. In more recent time, God has revealed to me a vision of opening an orphanage, but not like any other I have seen. Sorry, I can't reveal the specifics at this point.

I am having a strong urge, desire, or longing to go on a mission trip. OCBF is a strong advocate of missions. My oldest daughter has had an urging or desire to go on the mission field as well, since she was about 7 years old.

OCBF had what they called A Taste of the World on Wednesday night. There was a missionary there that helped to translate the New Testament for a group of people in Papua New Guinea. Her testimony was awesome. She has spent 24 years of her life as a missionary and 11 of those years in Papua New Guinea. We then went to several booths where they told you of different places of the country to go to for short term mission trips. My heart was opened and receptive. I know I want to do a mission trip and I really want us (my children and me) to do it together. I think it will be a life changing experience for each of us.

Well, for the month of September, 91.7 FM-KVTT collected shoes for children around the world. I thought it was on going until October and had planned to buy a pair of new shoes to donate, however it ended today. The finale was a final shoe drive and concert. They had warehouse tours so that we could see how they collect, sort, label, box, and ship the shoes out all over the world.

My heart was moved like never before. I knew in that instant, that this had to do with a portion of my calling. The mission trips we heard about at church on Wednesday were touching and just what God began to use to soften my heart and to get my heart to be receptive to what He has in mind. This information that was given is what moved me to tears and made me say YES Lord, I will go! I want to take off the old socks/shoes (if they even have any to begin with) off the feet of these orphaned children and wash their feet, as Jesus did with the disciples, and place on them a new pair of socks and shoes.

Well, we are first going to volunteer to help at the warehouse to help sort and package the shoes for shipping. Then we will begin to save the money up to GO!!!

Please pray with us and for us that we may do what the Lord is so obviously calling us to do.

Church

November will mark a year that we have been attending Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church (OCBF). Early spring we became official members.

I've not shared the journey with many of how we came to be members of OCBF, but after class, I felt compelled to sing it from the roof tops that I LOVE MY CHURCH & PASTOR!!!!

We were members of The Potter's House for 10 years, but I began to feel restless. We briefly left when money was tight and attended a small church closer to home. This church was really nice. I didn't agree with everything that took place in this church...there were some things that God shielded me from, but for the most part, the church and the members were wonderful! I believe this was the beginning of God showing me what a part of a church family is like. We made some great friends and I came to love them dearly and still do.

When money increased, we returned to The Potter's House, but there was just something missing. I can't really explain it, but there was something. So I began to pray earnestly. Now please, don't misunderstand me, I loved TPH. I loved Bishop Jakes. Yet, there was something that was incomplete for me. I tried being part of various ministries so that I would feel like part of the family, but nothing helped.

When we joined the church I had made a vow to God that I would not be a "church hopper", but that I would stay with this church until He moved me. I had remained faithful to that vow, except for the time frame of 8 months when we took a hiatus due to finances.

One evening as I was driving home from work, I was listening to 90.9 FM, KCBI. The Urban Alternative was on. Tony Evans was speaking and to be honest, I can't even remember what he was speaking about. I was only half listening, for the most part, I was praying and seeking the Lord in what to do for Sunday. I was actually feeling burdened about going back to TPH in just 3 days and I didn't know what to do. I couldn't understand why I was feeling this way either, my mind was not able to wrap around what was going on within me. There was this struggle, this war and I didn't know why. Suddenly it was as though a faint whisper was being said in my ear...go there. I turned the radio down, sure I was not hearing correctly, but again I distinctly heard a faint whisper...go there.

Ok Lord, I will go there.

That following Sunday, I was obedient and the moment we walked in the doors, I knew within my spirit that this was our new church home. I haven't looked back for one moment. I LOVE MY CHURCH & PASTOR. Did I say that already? ;-)

I have heard many in my circle of friends searching for that "perfect" church only to be disappointed time and time again. I have heard many say they don't like youth groups and that they are unbiblical, that women should not preach, that leaders and elders of the church that are married must have been married only once, on and on it goes. Now I believe these things to be unbiblical as well, so please don't leave me comments giving me scriptures that show this to be true and please don't leave me comments bashing me for what I believe.

OCBF has leaders and elders and they have all been married ONCE, Women do not preach to men, and they do have youth groups and children's church. My children are part of the youth ministry, but Pastor Evans as well as those that lead the children's church are very adamant that they are not the main spiritual teachers of the children. OCBF strongly believes that the parents are the first avenue and what they do is help to reinforce what the parents have done and are doing.

This church is alive! The members love the Lord and are sincere in their concern for each member. There is no such thing as a perfect church. I have found that following the Lord's leading in going where He directs you is as close to perfect as we will get here on earth. Perfection is not on this side of heaven. Again I have made a vow to God that I will not leave my church until He moves me.

What was the deciding factor in your church membership? Please share...

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