Thursday, November 29, 2007


Well I had me some church yesterday right here in my bedroom!! I've been listening to Beth's Romans study online and I've caught up thru Oct. 8th. She started on June 25th (day before the NATIONAL holiday - my birthday haha) and we're only on the 3rd chapter!!! GOOD stuff! If you haven't need to!

Yesterday was a pivot point that started at vs. 32 of Chpt. 3. "BUT NOW...". From Romans 1:18 to 3:20 Paul has been "beatin' down" the people in Rome. I mean...BEATIN' DOWN!! Of course, every word applies to us too! OUCH! "But now" begins the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant in Jesus. I don't wanna give it all away, but land sakes people...GO LISTEN TO IT! Even if you don't listen to the whole series, go and listen to Oct. 8! You will shout!

So then I went to church last night and as much as I hate to say this Wed. night is starting to not be a blessing to me. ESPECIALLY this time of year! I work with the middle school choir from 5:30 to 6:15 then go to the elementary kids choir from 6:30 to 8:00pm. Now, don't get me wrong. I signed up for the job and love it -- most of the time! However, with the Charlotte Christmas Experience coming next weekend it's tough! (Would LOVE for ya'll to come if you can!!)

The next 2 weeks is going to be WILD and it all starts tomorrow night with our Sunday school Christmas party. Practice Sat, Sun, Mon, Wed and doors open Friday! SCARY!!! I'm singing with the choir, obviously, helping make sure the middle school kids are where they're supposed to be, leading the elementary kids with their "choreography" and singing with "One Voice" in the Christmas Village. WHEW...tired just from typing all that. All I can say is thank you Jesus for a man who loves it as much as I do and is willing to go and help me with MY kids!

So, pray for me during this time. My lupus tends to "act up" when I'm stressed so I'm doing my best to stay calm and to lean on the Father even more. Not sure how much posting I'll get done but I'll let you know how things are going.

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" =)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Desire of my heart....

As this holy season approaches I find myself with a new found desire to love Jesus more. Not to go deeper in the Word, not to do more studies, not to serve more, just to love Jesus more. (those things will follow) I remember after losing my 1st baby telling a friend that it made me fall in love with my boys (Kayley wasn't born then) all over again. I mean, when they came into the world - well, as soon as I heard their heartbeat, really - I was taken. They had my heart. But when I saw their was pure-T LOVE!

When all my kids were born one of the first things I did was sing to them. Now, I'd like to be all "spiritual" and tell you I sang to them about Jesus but all I could sing was "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face". I sang it to all 3 of them. The song still makes my momma heart cry. (I know it's about a lover, but it can be a baby too) Don't think too bad of me, I've been singing Jesus to them ever since! haha But after losing a child, after pain, after loss, after struggle to cope, my love for them grew deeper, richer and stronger.

This season, which is so difficult for me and my family in so many ways, I find myself clinging to Jesus more and more. He's all I have! He's all I want and need! I guess it's the very difficult "stuff" that makes me love Him deeper, richer and stronger. To want more of Him. To feel His touch. To smell His breath. To hear His voice. I have loved Jesus more years than I can remember but it just amazes me that after all this time it's like I've never loved Him more. That's the way loving relationships go don't they? Deeper and more fulfilling. This song that is sung as Mary means so much to me during this season and I pray He becomes your hearts' desire too.

How could I know I would love You so,
Looking at You now my precious child?
Tiny baby boy, the Father's sweetest joy,
Given to me for a little while.

Jesus, You are all the desire of my heart.
O, I never knew this longing in my soul could be filled.
O, Jesus, You are all the desire of my heart.
And I wondered what the purpose of my life was until
Today I saw your face and softly spoke your name - Jesus.

How could He know I could walk this road
That brought me to this moment here and now?
Whatever you must do, I can promise you
His grace will hold you up someway, somehow.

Jesus, You are all the desire of my heart.
O, I never knew this longing in my soul could be filled.
O, Jesus, You are all the desire of my heart.
And I wondered what the purpose of my life was until
Today I saw your face and softly spoke your name - Jesus.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

For Holly....

Sweet sister! I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties you're facing. Know that before the foundations of this world were made the Creator - our Abba Daddy - knew that this season would come in your life! He has a plan for it. The enemy is going to do his best in the coming months to try to distract you and your husband with the worries of this situation, with the strain of it and with anything else he can think of but PLEASE remember WE WIN! HE IS DEFEATED ALREADY!!!

My husband and I have been where you are. In fact, in the last year and a half we visited that place 4 times for a total of 9 months!! The enemy did his best to try and tell me to give up. Give up on staying home with my kids and my man when he needed me the most. Give up on my marriage, there was someone more stable out there for me. Give up on my church, no one there really cared about us. Give up on God, after all HE did this to me. All I can tell you is..GOD IS IN CONTROL! He put people in my path to encourage me, He sent me to retreats (that I CERTAINLY didn't have the money for, but HE provided) to strengthen me, He provided. Girl, He provided in ways that BLEW MY MIND!! I remember once getting a check in the mail from our insurance company because we had OVERPAID our premium! HAVE YOU EVER?! I just fell onto the bed laughing at God!

These are a few passages that I flagged in my Sword during all this time. Some of them are familiar, I'm sure, but they SURE breathed fresh life into me during our battle. James 1:2-4, I Kings 8:56-60 (this is about Israel, but read it and plug your name in), Matthew 6:25-34, Isa 50:7-9 and of course just about all the Psalms. Visit that book often, sweet sister! Send your man to those verses as well!!

I'll leave you with a Psalm that I read almost daily during this time. I love you and I'll be praying for your family! Pick up your Sword, have your man pick up his Sword and prepare for battle sister! It will be won when your souls are quiet enough to keep the enemy from distracting it with the "noise" of your situation.

"My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me (like worrying over this situation). But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Holly, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore." Ps 131 (with my inserts)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jacob's limp.

First I'll give a brief update on my holiday. It was REALLY good. There was ZERO drama with the family, ZERO fights with the little ones (they really did a great job this trip since all their cousins are much older), ZERO tears shed, except listening to my nephew talk about missing his daddy, and ZERO leftovers!!! haha God was faithful once again! As if He could be anything less. I prayed for the holiday to go smoothly, my friends prayed for my mom and I to well...just get along, I prayed for safe travel, I prayed for no drama and He answered!! He is good!

I will just ask that you pray for my sweet nephew J.R. I so often ask for you to pray for Rach but J needs it too. This time of year - especially Thanksgiving - is SOOOOOO hard on him! He always went hunting with his dad and since his death it's just tough. What throws a little salt into this still fresh wound is the fact that his grandfather has a ton of property for J to hunt on but will only allow him to come on HIS terms. Long story. His grandparents on his dad's side aren't Christians and have some "issues" let's just say. So that's a HUGE prayer request too!

So, we're doing this O.T. study and we're on the story of Jacob/Esau/Rachel/Leah/Laban. Don't you know that before I left I did my study that morning and the title was "Healing Broken Relationships". Now, don't think for one minute that wasn't a GOD-thang! I ASSURE you that it most certainly was! He was reminding me to not put that chip on my shoulder and that it's ok to have boundaries in a relationship - even with family - but it's the heart that He's most concerned with. Does He expect us to "take it" from our families? At times, yes, but often it's no. Sometimes it's for their good for us to take it - or for our own good - but sometimes it's ok for us to say "enough" - in LOVE of course and not anger.

So God wrestled with Jacob - changed his name - and left him with a limp. Here's the funny thing. Typically when there's "drama" with my family I get involved even when I'm not the target. I know. Stupid, but sometimes God has to just hit me upside this hard head of mine! Anyway, God wrestled with me all weekend before I left. I argued with Jimmy. I got annoyed with a friend. God was wrestling and I was avoiding. Finally, I wrestled back. (HE WON OF COURSE) Then all weekend I had to limp because of my hip! TRULY! Sometimes my lupus really hits hard when I travel and AS SOON as I got out of the car I started to limp. I limped all weekend and I'm still limping today. Will it be permanent? Only God knows. However, the impact of that limp wasn't lost on me this weekend. The times when comments could've caused me to "go there" my limp got worse! IT'S THE TRUTH!! God just cracks me up ya'll!!

Now please don't think I'm comparing myself to Israel, because by no stretch of the imagination am I, but God (LOVE THAT) did a work in me this weekend and I'm still just in shock from the whole thing. I'm still limping! He's so good ya'll.

Lord God, thank you for my limp. Whether I have it the rest of my days or it goes away this day, I thank you for it! I praise you for changing my name! Change it as often as it needs it!! I love you Abba Daddy and I will praise your name forever!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Give thanks....

Well I'm off today to WV. Going to my sister's to spend the holidays with the whole "brood". It's gonna be a tough weekend because Jimmy can't go with me and I just HATE being away from him - especially on holidays. My sweet friend Beth invited him to come eat with her and her family so he won't have to have a bologna sandwich. He's so awesome to let me go - with his blessing. He wants our kids to have that connection with our extended family and not miss it just because he has to work. He's so good to me!!

The Lord has been so good to me. I could spend hours telling you all the things He's done in my life, ways He's provided, prayers He's answered, protection He's given, on and on. As I approach this week I have so many things to be thankful for. My man! Can't believe he still loves me after all this time and all the junk I've put him thru!!! I'm not easy to live with ya'll. (goes back to that "drama" thing) My babies! Land sakes they make me wanna pull my hair out sometimes but I can't even imagine my life without them. They are so uniquely different but so loving, caring and down right funny! (not sure where that comes from) My family. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. JUST KIDDING! I'm anxious to spend some time with my sisters laughing in the kitchen. My brother in the other room making fun of us while we "serve" him. My mom giving directions from her spot in the dining room. Are we predictable or what?! haha

Most of all I'm thankful that God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Maker of the stars, the Redeemer of men chose to look on this dark heart and bara it! Change it, make it His!! I'm thankful that He loves and cares for me and gives me DAILY mercy - Hourly for that matter!!! I'm thankful that He's given me a church family that I love and an AWESOME place to serve Him. I'm thankful that He hears and answers my prayers. I'm thankful that one day He'll take me to His home and for all eternity I can say "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty"! (hang on, gotta run again...K, I'm back! haha) I'm thankful that He sustains me and cares for me. I'm thankful for the air He gives me to breathe, for the way He keeps my heart running. I'm thankful ya'll. Just thankful!! Take time this week to thank Him!

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thess 5:18

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ya'll better look out!!!

It's been a WILD day! Can't believe I'm posting this late! Getting ready to go to WV for the holiday so I've been climbing Mt. Laundry today and trying to find my son's project that he "lost"! UGH!

So, let me just tell all you "Grover's" who missed church last night...GET THE VIDEO!!!!!! Land sakes, Dr. Rummage brought it on!! He's been doing a series on Sun. nights about worship and last night was all about the continual worship we'll do in heaven. I won't even attempt to tell you about it, but if you can't get the video you can go to the site and listen to the sermon! WHEW!! Good stuff! After church I went to Dr. Rummage and told him that it was all I could do not to get up and run a couple laps around the sanctuary - or just lay down on the floor on my face!!! YA'LL, I'M NOT KIDDING!!! I even told Jimmy "I'm fixin to run" and he told me I'd better not because Dr. Rummage might throw something at me! haha Anyway, I told Dr. Rummage that and ya'll know what our little "proper" preacher said..."Well girl, next time you better take off! You know all we need is one person to get it started." So I go, "Is that my green light?" He goes "Go on girl!" So ya'll better just look out! I'm gonna take off on one side of the church and Melissa already told me that if I take off one way, she'll go the other!!! LOL!!! Can you imagine?! You know one of the deacons would either tackle us or trip us! hahahaha

Anyway, ya'll know I wouldn't do that right? (yeah right!) The ONLY reason I wouldn't is because I wouldn't want people getting caught up in the drama of it and not understand WHY I'm doing it! I just love me some Jesus ya'll! I think about what He's done for me. How He provides, how He forgives, how He loves, how He sustains, how He...I could go on and on! (Hang on, I gotta run right now!!....K I'm back! ;-)) For those who don't know me well I'm a bit on the "dramatic" side. (Nah, you say?) So it's difficult for me to comprehend that someone sitting in their seat, staring straight ahead with absolutely NO expression on their face is in a state of true worship. Don't understand it! Not saying it can't happen, but when I praise I do it from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.

Please don't think I'm putting down anyone who's different from me. I assure you that I'm not. My sister Regina, now she has some worship but all you see is a little tear trickling down her cheek. So, I know it can and DOES happen without all the "drama" - and believe it or not, I have settled down a LOT in my old age - but still when the preacher is talking about God on the throne and the four beasts around Him CONSTANTLY saying "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty..." and the 24 elders CONSTANTLY saying "Worthy, Worthy, Worthy" well that makes me wanna run some laps!!!! So, like I said, get the video or GO LISTEN TO THE SERMON, put on your running shoes and do some laps around your house!!! I'm going to! teehee

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Josh's favorite for Weekend Worship

I just love that my baby says "Mom, turn it up!" every time this song comes on!! Thank you Jesus!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weekend fun...

This weekend is gonna be great! I've been busy cooking and cleaning for some girlfriends to come over this evening. I have a group of ladies I sing with at church and we're getting some Christmas music together tonight and OF COURSE we have to have food! Can't sing on an empty belly. =)

Tomorrow I've got to work an inventory at a car dealership with my man and it doesn't sound like fun (and really it's not) but having 5 or 6 hours of my man undivided attention - well you get the point! I love that man so much I'm willing to go sit in a nasty parts department and count parts. (plus we get paid for it! haha)

Sunday is worship day AND I'm going back to the Christmas show after church. Is that bad? haha I LOVE that stinkin' place! I haven't bought a thing - and I've been there twice - but Sunday I'm gonna try to pick up a couple teacher gifts and other cutsy stuff! LOVE IT!

So I pray ya'll have a WONDERFUL weekend! I'll try to post some praise music at some point but right now I've gotta get myself cleaned up for my company! Love to all!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

21 Verses!

This morning as I spent time in the prayer room at church it was kinda quiet. I mean, I was kinda quiet. As ya'll know it's not been a great week for me, but I knew I needed to go and spend some time in that place. Needless to say, God was faithful!

It's hard to just walk in that room and switch gears into prayer. Traffic alone is enough to make anyone not pray! =) As I got in there, it's always quiet, so I got a hymnal and started singing some good ole' songs to get myself in the place I needed to be. So, after a few songs I was able to begin my prayer time. As I started to intercede for others I could feel the Lord telling me there was some things I needed to pray about for myself FIRST! I had already spent my time at home praying and this was "supposed" to be my intercessory time, but God had some other things in mind.

I don't usually take anything but my Bible and my prayer journal with me to that room, but today I "happen" to take my "Prayers that avail much" books with me. I don't usually take these because, as you all know, I'm never short for words, especially in prayer. In fact, I have to set my alarm on my phone to let me know when my hour is up! (That's why I said I was quiet) Anyway, the Lord led me to a prayer titled "Victory over depression". Now, if you've never seen these books they are simply Scripture for a particular situation linked together in a beautiful prayer. I began to pray this prayer, began to weep (obviously - that's what I ALWAYS do - haha) and I began to feel the Lord just wrap His loving arms around me. Not that I hadn't felt it before, but it was just a special time between me and my Abba Daddy!

At the end of each prayer the Scripture references are listed and there are 21 verses that compile this prayer for depression. 21 Verses! AMAZING!! God knows we battle with our emotions. He made us to be emotional people, ESPECIALLY the female people! He wants us to bring our depression, our anxiety, our fears, ALL our emotions to Him! He wants to free us from it. The end of the prayer says and I repeat it again now:

"Thank you, Father, in Jesus' name, that I am set free from every evil work. I praise You that the joy of the Lord is my strength and stronghold! Hallelujah!"

Don't you love that? I sure do! How many times do I end a prayer with Hallelujah instead of Amen? Not often enough! Amen, brings a close to a prayer but Hallelujah let's Him know I'll be back in a bit! LOVE THAT! Thanks for your prayers for me this week, the Father heard and answered! He is faithful!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tough week

We had an awesome weekend. Friday my sweet niece Rachel and her friend came down and we went to the Southern Christmas Show Sat. morning. LOVE IT! While we were there Jimmy's brother Greg, nephew Cody and his friend Brandon also came down. Yes, there were 10 people in my house Sat night and getting ready for church Sun morning! We had to be there at 7:00am (like every Sunday) and they all got up and went with us. I'm not sure why they would do that to themselves, but they did! haha

Sat. night Lisa had several couples over for an evening of prayer for our music ministry. We ate like pigs, we had some praise and worship and then we watched a video of Jim Cymbala preaching on "My house shall be called a house of prayer". GOOD stuff! Then we closed with some prayer time. My in-laws went with us and it was truly an incredible time with family, friends and the Lord. Church Sun morning was great as well. My group "One Voice" was singing that morning so the enemy did his best to distract me with some dumb stuff, but I prayed thru and was able to worship!

Mon. tough. I went to the Southern Christmas Show - AGAIN - with my friend Beth, who is a HOOT! It helped keep my mind off my daddy - for a while at least. Yesterday was not so great. I'm not feeling real good which doesn't help the blues at all! Then sweet Tracy calls to tell me her grandma went home to be with Jesus.. I wish I could go be with her. So today, I got the kids and the hubby out the door, I turned on some praise music, I opened up the Word and spent some time with my Abba Daddy! We spent some time studying Jacob and Rachel (in my Divine Encounters book) and then He took me thru some Psalms and then we ended up in Jeremiah.

We went to chapter 33 of Jeremiah. I love this verse. Jer 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." I wish some things were that easy. I wish sometimes I could say "God, why in the world did my dad have to get brain cancer and die?" "Why did Tracy's grandma have to get Alzheimer's and be confused?" "Why". Then I sometimes wish He would just say "Well, Val (He would call me Val - haha) it's like this..." Today though He showed me that's it's not the answer that matters but the searching and the calling. If I knew the answers would it really make a difference? Sometimes yes, but most times no. What makes the difference is communicating with Him. Asking Him, trusting Him, seeking Him. That's what He wants from me.

So today, I'm going to shake off these blues, get my praise on, clean this house and get ready for church this evening. It's the least I can do for Him.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Gone but never forgotten...

The 1st picture is me and my daddy at the beach. It was the first time we had ever been to the beach together. My dad was self employed so he worked so that my mom could take us on vacations but never got to go himself. The next picture is my dad with my Chase. He loved snuggling with babies and taking a nap and Chase was only about 3 days old in this picture.

I miss you every day Daddy! I can't wait to get home and spend eternity praising Jesus with you!! I love you. BiKay

Friday, November 9, 2007

Weekend Worship...

God cares about the details and He IS small enough and BIG enough!
Praying for you Tracy! Love ya girl.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Is anyone watching "Wednesday's with Beth" on Life Today? Oh land sakes! She's doing a series right now called "Lifequakes" - or God-quakes as she calls them - and let me tell you, it's some GOOOOOOOOD stuff! I think the main reason I like it so much is that I've had a few of those quakes in my life. Sometimes it was my own quake, sometimes quakes for my entire family, sometimes quakes for my friends, but a quake to me none the less.

Usually when a quake comes our tendency is to think it's a punishment. (and it can be) However, as Heb 12:26-29 tell us the things that can be shaken WILL be shaken. (my paraphrase, of course) That really fell fresh on me yesterday. God sometimes allows the quakes because there's some things that we need to shake off. Sometimes it's bad habits or lack of faith or misplaced trust or idolatry or pride. STUFF. Sin. Excuse me while I go on a tangent here but does it bother anyone else that in some churches today they are avoiding the word sin. I guess since it's not a positive, happy term they're not using it. WEARS ME OUT! Sorry.

Ok, anyway, quakes. When a quake comes into our lives - and they ARE coming - we have a choice. We can choose shame (the option the enemy give us) or we can choose freedom (the option the Father gives). That just blew my mind ya'll. I can look at some of the quakes in my life and see the times I chose the enemy's option and what a struggle it was to get out of that pit. Then I can look at the times I made the right choice and I can rejoice in the faithfulness and mercy of my Father. Amazing. Quakes = change. Change can be a scary thing. Change usually bring on anxiety and fear. That leads me back to sin. Anxiety and fear = sin. "DO NOT BE ANXIOUS about ANYTHING, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Phil 4:6 "DON'T be afraid; just believe." Mk 5:36b (emphasis mine)

As you all know I'm no Biblical scholar but as far as I can tell the Word doesn't say, "You know, it really would be helpful if you didn't get anxious." Or "IF you can, IF it's at all possible don't be afraid". Or "Well, in THAT situation it's ok to be anxious" "It's not really talking about being anxious over our kids". NO YA'LL! It's says "DO NOT BE ANXIOUS" "DON'T BE AFRAID". It's our human nature to go there. To go to anxiety and fear - especially where our kids are concerned - God knows and understands that. I think though, what He wants from us is that when that tendency to get scared or to get anxious comes up, to stop and say "Lord I lift your name on high" or "Great is thy Faithfulness" or "Thou Art Worthy oh Lord" or "How Great is our God, sing with me" or whatever praise songs comes to your mind. Maybe it's not a song, but a prayer, (which is what most songs are), the point is "Cast ALL YOUR ANXIETY on him because he cares for you." I Pet 5:7. Again, not some of your anxiety or just the BIG ones or just the ones you feel like you can't handle but ALL YOUR ANXIETY!!! He's a BIG G GOD ya'll! He can handle it.

I believe He doesn't like the quakes. I believe He holds His breath while we're in it because he cares so much for us. (ya'll know I mean, I hope) But I also believe when we are in it, it's because there's a "whole lotta shakin" that needs to go on. I believe He's shakin things down, sifting it thru the sand to make us the shining jewel He wants us to be. "It is God's will that you should be sanctified" I Thess 4:3 Sanctified - made more like Jesus. Shaken, stirred, sifted, broken, then polished, refined, shining brilliant in His glorious freedom!! Choose freedom sista's!! I will. Won't you?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

OUCH Scriptures...

Have you ever run across a Scripture that frankly, you wish you hadn't? Like you read it and initially you think of SOMEONE ELSE it applies to but then the Holy Spirit says, "Uh, how about you look again little missy." Ok so am I the only one He talks to like that? =) Anyway, I found one of those verses yesterday. I read it and went...OUCH!

Proverbs (that whole book is an ouch for me) 26:18-19 "Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking!'" OUCH! How many times a day do I say to people, I was only joking. Now don't get this verse wrong. God HAS a sense of humor - look at the platypus! But if we(I) say something and have to follow it with 'I was only joking' then is it humor? Sometimes with email you have to follow things with that because the intent of a statement can be misconstrued - but should I even be making that statement in the first place. (that's what the Holy Spirit was asking me)

Anyone who knows me knows that God gave me the gift of making people laugh. I do believe it's a gift because I do it so often it couldn't be anything else! Usually I do it even when I'm not TRYING to do it! I'm a goofball. I confess. But I also have a tendency to be a tad bit sarcastic. I know ya'll find that shocking! (see what I mean) Anyway, this verse just really hit me hard! I mean, it's not like I set out to deceive people. Not intentionally anyway. But how often do I mask stuff in humor - especially sarcasm - because I'm too chicken to just say what I really think or feel? Especially to my family!! Like I said, OUCH!!!

So my prayer is for some pure-hearted humor. Not the "Get 'er done!" variety, but just some good old belly laughs. I love the sound of laughter more than just about any other sound. I can walk into a room where total strangers are cracking up and start laughing too - even when I don't know what they're laughing at. (Like I said, it's a gift! haha SEE?!!) Please pray for me as I attempt being funny without being a madman shooting deadly arrows. OUCH! Sometimes the "TRUTH" hurts, doesn't it?

Father God, thank you for your conviction. Thank you that you love me enough to correct my behavior. Thank you for the "OUCH" verses. Thank you for refining me and making me more like your Son. It's in His name I pray.

Monday, November 5, 2007

To the test.....

We're doing a church-wide study of the Old Testament and in Sunday school (yes, we still call it Sunday school) yesterday we talked about Abraham's test. You know the story of Abraham taking Isaac to the mountain to sacrifice him to God but then God provides the ram. (Thank you Jesus for being my ram!)

Our teacher asked if we had ever taken a test that we were scared to take. (I, of course said a pregnancy test! haha) There were lots of examples across the room and lots of reasons why we didn't like the tests. However, when we look at Abraham's faith and his track record of being a liar, liar, pants on fire, it's kinda bizarre that God would put him to that BIG of a test. You would think, based on his history, that God may choose a test a bit easier. But that wasn't the plan. God knew how Abraham would handle this test. He already knew the outcome.

It's hard when we're being tested to think that God gave us this test because He knows we can handle it. I mean, when I was pregnant with baby #3, had a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old at home and then taking care of my dying father, plus honoring all my committments at church, I CERTAINLY didn't think I was up to that test. If God were choosing that test based on my track record, I was BOUND to fail. But praise God He knew the outcome. He knew how I'd handle that test. He knew I'd rely on Him for my strength, my comfort and my peace like I never had before. He knew that the test was meant to prepare me for an even BIGGER test in a few years. He knew. He knows.

I don't know about you, but I am learning to enjoy the freedom of my servanthood more and more each day! So many people think that following Christ is all about giving up. All about losing. For a lot of my life, I'll be honest with you, I thought the same thing. But thank God, He has been faithful and patient with me and has been showing me sweet release as I draw nearer and nearer to Him.

Freedom in surrender. That's the bottom line. That's the answer to the test. Whatever tests are in my future, I pray that I will remember the answer. I will remember to surrender. I pray the same for you...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

As we prepare for a day of worship....

Lord fall fresh on us as we join in your house tomorrow! Lord open the eyes of our hearts, we want to see you!!!

Friday, November 2, 2007


The Lord Provides

Lately I've been calling out to God using these names. I love them even if I'm likely butchering the Hebrew like crazy! Thank you that you live to intercede for me Christ!

My friend Nicki was having a bad day the other day and she was talking about God being our provider and let me just say that I could write a book about how often God has provided for my family and I in BIG ways! So it got me to diggin' into the Word about God providing and I stumbled on a familiar story but it really fell fresh on me this week. In fact, I've been sitting on it a few days before I attempted to blog because it really blew me away!

I Kings 17. Let me stop right here for a minute. For some reason I really had this preconception that Kings and Chronicles were - well frankly - not up there with the most exciting books in the Word. I know, it's really sad how dense I am! haha

Anyway, Elijah was hiding from Ahab (the Arab! sorry, couldn't resist) because he had just dropped the little bomb that their Baal had no power over the rain so the king was not real happy to see him. Anyway, Elijah was hiding near this ravine and God told him "You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." 14:4 Ok, I'm no Biblical scholar but I'm PRETTY CERTAIN God did NOT mean the Baltimore Ravens! In fact, I don't think the NFL was around! JK! Do you get that? God ordered ravens to feed Elijah! "The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." 14:6 Ok, I have to admit that I DO NOT like ravens. I don't like crows. I can't help but think of them as the "death bird". (I know, I can't believe I read Stephen King either! Grace, people, grace!) But if I'm gonna let God work I've got to get over whatever idea I have of HOW He's gonna do it!

Ok, back to the provision. THEN the brook dries up (remember who was controlling the rain) so God sends him to another town where a widow would take care of him. Now, last I checked widows weren't real high on the social scale but Elijah couldn't exactly be choosy. So he meets the widow she asks him if he's lost his mind because she wasn't about to give him the last of her flour and oil because she had a son, after all! (ok ya'll understand this is my interpretation right? haha) Elijah promises her that the Lord would provide and "She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah." 17:15-16 Do you get that? Her jars did not run dry. THE LORD PROVIDES.

Now if that weren't enough the story goes on that the widows son becomes very sick and Elijah cries to the Lord to spare him and the son lives. The chapter ends with the woman (who was a bit skeptical of Elijah's word for her) saying "Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth." 17:24 So, if you have a need, cry out to Jehovah-Jireh, claim His truth in the Word and then be ready to listen to Him. It may require some effort on your part (Elijah had to go to the brook and the widow - the widow had to follow Elijah's instruction and share her flour and oil) but that's what relationship is! You seek Him, He instructs you, you work, you seek Him....RELATIONSHIP!