Sunday, May 31, 2009

Compulsary Praise - I just have to

Sometimes we praise because we choose to;
other times we praise because we want to.
Occasionally we praise because we have to -
because, if we don't, the rocks will cry out!
That's compulsory praise!
~ Beth Moore
Jesus the One and Only

When I think about the journey that I am on,
the places you are leading me,
the tenderness with which you guide me,
I just have to praise you!
When the waves are crashing down,
and the clouds are trying to hide your glory,
I just have to praise you!


When I'm surrounded by darkness,
in the quiet of the night,
I see your bright, shining light and
I just have to praise you!


When the silence ends,
the dawn breaks on a new day,
and the whole world is filled with wonder a new
I just have to praise you!


When peace is like a river gently flowing,
and the earth bursts forth with the fragrance of You,
I just have to praise you!


My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

I praise You for your pardon-filled grace,
I praise You for your over-flowing joy,
I praise You for your heartfelt compassion,
I praise You for your priceless forgiveness,
I praise You for your quiet peace,
I praise You for your powerful strength,
I praise You for your long-suffering patience,
I praise You for your affectionate love,
I praise You for Jesus, my Lord, my Savior, my God.

How about you?

Don't let the rocks steal your thunderous praise!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #11

Steps of Faith
What are you believing God for?

Do you trust God enough to take Him at His word? Not only for your neighbor or friend..., but for you?

Saturday Steps of Faith is our opportunity to publicly claim His promises for our lives. It is the place where we believe God for things great and small.

The promise I am believing this week is found in Psalm 48:14.

For this God is our God for ever and ever;
he will be our guide even to the end
For the friend facing cancer, He will be her guide.
For the parent struggling with a rebellious child, He will be her guide.
For the man struggling in pain, He will be your guide.
For the family struggling with financial issues, He will be your guide.
For the one who is overwhelmed and doesn't know which way to turn, He will be your guide.

Others may leave you. They may turn their back on you. But Jehovah GOD will be our GOD for ever and ever. He will be our guide until the very end. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He will always direct our path. Because with Him, even the end of this life is just the beginning of eternity for those who know Him.

Father for each of the situations mentioned above, I have the face of someone I love to go with it. People who are looking for answers to difficult circumstances. Lord, be their guide. Draw them close to you. Show them your way. Guide them along the path that leads them straight home to You. May you be glorified in each and every one. Oh how I love You Jesus. It's in your matchless name that I pray ~ Amen

How about you? Will you please join me? Leave a comment or write a post.

All you need to do is copy the button located on the left sidebar. Paste it into your post. Next write down the Promise from the Word of God you are taking a step of faith and believing. Maybe it's one you have stood upon in the past. Last, come back here and link up with Mr. Linky. It's that easy.

What are you believing God for?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday #15

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30:11-12

I love Thankful Thursdays! Although I have not been wailing or wearing itchy sackcloth, my heart is singing and cannot be silent.

Thank You God for unexpected blessings. God blessed us with a new TV that cost us nothing. After years of holding an American Express card I decided to see how many points I had and what I could get (just for fun). A new 26" HD TV was delivered yesterday. Thank You God!

Thank You God for adding to that blessing. The picture was not as clear as I hoped. So I called about upgrading our satellite receiver. It was going to cost me. So I called a competitor and I upgraded, added another room and for the first 6 months my bill is cut in half from what I'm paying now and after that I will still save $17 a month. Thank You God!

Thank You God for giving me a great 3 day weekend. I stayed close to home but I just really enjoyed myself. We cooked out. We spent time together. We had a good day at church and visiting with friends. Thank You God!

Thank You God for Christian Authors who teach truth. God has used great teachers like Beth Moore, Kay Arthur and Jill Briscoe to fill my heart and my mind with the Word of God. They teach and write with integrity and honor. Bless them today Lord!

Thank You God for meeting my every need. I just can't praise Him enough for all that He has done, all that He is doing today, and all that He will do in my future. My life is in the palm of His hand and I trust Him to fulfill His purpose. Thank You God!

How about you? What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coincidence.., I think NOT!

I was reading today in Luke Chapter 1 where Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she would give birth to a son. Now this was not going to be just any baby. This baby would be the Son of the Most High. Mary received this news by saying, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said."

Let's think about this. She was an unmarried girl, probably around 13-14 years of age and the daughter of a Jewish father. She was betrothed to a honorable man by the name of Joseph. To be betrothed would be more likely compared to being married today, but without the physical intimacy.

Can you imagine what went through her mind the minute the angel left? Shocked and yet thrilled by the news. Excited to know that the Messiah was finally on His way. Scared to death about what might come next. Mortified to have to tell her father and mother; and then there was the small detail about telling her fiance Joseph.

And yet God had already provided for Mary. If you look back just a few verses to verse 36 you will see that right in the middle of the angel telling Mary the good new about the coming Savior, he mentioned her relative Elizabeth.
Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month.
There are no coincidences in this life. God is always working and moving according to His purpose and in His time in each of our lives.

God knew that Mary would need a friend, a confidant, a righteous woman who would love on her and share her joy. Amazingly at the same time God was fulfilling the desperate longings of an old, barren, woman who was 3 months from seeing her faith become site. Elizabeth's child would be "like a voice crying out in the wilderness". He would be the one who the Prophets foretold would prepare the way for the Messiah to begin His earthly ministry. How cool is that!

I love what comes next. Verse 39 says,
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth.
Don't you love that! The angel told Mary (no coincidence) and she immediately got ready and hurried to Elizabeth's home which was 50 to 70 miles away in the hill country of Judea. When she entered the house she greeted her relative and look what happened next.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
Mary didn't even have to tell Elizabeth. The Holy Spirit revealed to this dear, righteous woman everything that she needed to know. Elizabeth knew that Mary was with child and not just any child. Mary would be the mother of our Lord.

Just like God was working in the lives of both Elizabeth and Mary, He is working in your life and mine. Do you realize the word "coincidence" is not found in the Bible? There's a reason for that (duh, I guess it's no coincidence that the word coincidence is not in the Bible).

My God is a God of purpose. My God is a God of order. My God is a God of perfect timing. I believe what He says, "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

How about you? How is God working in your life?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Now is The Time

What if today was the day?
The day you had been waiting for all of your life?

Zechariah was a Jewish priest and it was his divisions time to be on duty in the temple. This was a responsibility that was theirs twice a year as well as during major festivals. Zechariah was a righteous man who took this tremendous responsibility to heart. You see, he was a righteous man.

During this time of service, one priest would be chosen by lot to go into the temple and would enter the Holy Place of the Lord and burn incense. This was a once in a lifetime experience - literally. Only once in his lifetime could a priest offer the incense at the daily sacrifice. Now was his time.

As Zechariah was praying, the incense was burning, the smoke was wafting heavenward, the people were outside praying and an angel of the Lord appeared and said to him
"...Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard." Luke 1:13
Doesn't your soul just revel in those words?

What was this righteous man praying? As the priest burning the incense he had a responsibility to pray for the nation of Israel - God's chosen people. Inherent to that plea was their desire for the Messiah to come - come Lord Jesus come.

Now was the time! After hundreds of years of the priests and the people praying, the God of the universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all living things was going to answer the prayer offered by Zechariah. But God who draws from a bottomless well of love did not stop there. In addition to supplying their need for a Savior, He was going to give Zechariah and Elizabeth the child that their hearts had longed for. The one who would prepare the way for the coming Messiah. Now was God's perfect timing according to His perfect plan.

Oh don't you long to hear those words, "Your prayer has been heard?"? I know I do. Sometimes when you pray for something for so long and you are unable to see the answer with your own eyes you grow weary. Don't get discouraged.

God assures us in His Word that He hears us when we pray and that He answers!
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24

If God said to you today, "Now is the time" what would you ask in prayer?

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Veterans Voice

Memorial Day 2009
Thank You to all who have served and to
those who have given the ultimate sacrifice
so that I could live in freedom.
Let us never forget,
Freedom is Never Free.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #10

Steps of Faith
What are you believing God for?

Do you trust God enough to take Him at His word? Not for your neighbor or friend..., but for you?

Saturday Steps of Faith is our opportunity to publicly claim His promises for your lives. It is the place where we believe God for things great and small.

This morning I can't get Philippians 4:19 off of my mind.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I love how in this verse Paul is making a declaration of faith. It wasn't his friends, it wasn't his church, it wasn't his jailers who would supply his needs. Paul declared "my God" would do it. It was personal for him and it is personal for me. He is my God and I trust him.

Another thing I love about this verse is that I can trust Him with "all" of my needs. Whether it is physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, He can be trusted to supply exactly what I need. Why does He do it? Because of His unfailing love - for me and for you.

This week I want to allow God to take the chisel to my heart and make me into His original masterpiece. In order to do this, I need to give up control. I need to quit looking to myself, my husband, my friends, my co-workers, my church, whoever, to do what God wants to do in my life.

Father, I am believing you and trusting you to meet all of my needs. Whether it is physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, You are all that I need. I love You and I trust You! You are my supply! When I needed a Savior, You sent Your very best. You sent Your Son, Jesus. What love! In His name I pray ~ Amen.

Will you join me? All you need to do is copy the button located on the left sidebar. Paste it into your post. Next write down the Promise from the Word of God you are taking a step of faith and believing. Maybe it's one you have stood upon in the past. Last, come back here and link up with Mr. Linky. It's that easy.

What are you believing God for?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday #14

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Don't you just love Thursdays? I look forward each week to joining Sonya at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday. Here are my five:

  1. Thank You God for the words, "Cancer Free" for my friend Debbie. Father I thank you that she knows you, loves you, and gives You all the glory each step of the way.
  2. Thank You God for blogging friends who have a passion to pray for those in need. Via the Internet the needs at time are so many, but the prayer warriors rise up and take the needs directly to the throne. What a awesome privilege to participate and see You respond in all of your glory.
  3. Thank You God for the promises that flood Your Word. For every need there is a promise, a hope, a word of encouragement that shouts out to my heart just how much you love me. May I live to bring you glory.
  4. Thank You God for White Rock Fellowship. Oh how I've missed the closeness of a church family. You have heard my hearts cry and responded in a big way. May Your glory shine as I seek to serve you.
  5. Thank You God for the trials that turn into opportunities to minister. Teach me Lord to not ask why, but instead to ask you to show me how this can be used to your glory.

How about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chipping Away

I viewed a video this morning that absolutely gripped my heart.
Thank You to Dori at for sharing this today.

The title is God's Chisel. I don't know about you, but God continues to pull out His chisel and chip away at who I am today to make me who He wants me to be.

Who He wants me to be is a true reflection of His Son Jesus.

Like Dori, this really leaves me speechless....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sent to the Principal

I'm just sitting here minding my own business this morning when the phone begins to ring. I glance down at the receiver and it says M Community School. The thought that immediately runs across my mind is, "What did he do..."

I pick up the phone and hear the voice of a man identifying himself as the Vice Principal. He says, "I have someone here who need to talk with you. Jonathan, tell your mom what you did."

After a few moments on the phone with Jonathan, the VP was once again on the line laying out for me what would happen next. Jonathan had shown poor judgment..., and it now was judgment time.

As I sit here tonight typing my mind wanders to the many, many times in my life when I too have shown poor judgment. Did I know what was right? Absolutely. Did I still choose to do what was wrong? You betcha. The Apostle Paul had this same struggle and spoke about it this way:

Know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:18-20

But there is good news! I do not have to live a defeated life. Yes the struggle with my sinful nature is still there. But through Christ Jesus, victory is mine!

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

And the news just keeps on getting better!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, Romans 8:1-3

I have been set free. Free from the guilt of the law. Free from the grip of sin and death. Because of Jesus, I am free to live a life of victory over the desires of the flesh. It's by His power and in His strength that the enemy is defeated. No more guilt. No more shame.

Jonathan is a 13 year old boy and still has much to learn. His struggle between the flesh and the Spirit is no different than mine. For we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I am so grateful to know that like me, Jonathan's sins are forgiven and tomorrow is a brand new day of promise and victory.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Atmospheric Change

Do you realize that just by walking into a room you cause the atmosphere of that room to change?

Bet you didn't know you had that much power!

Think about it.., your boss, your friend, your family member enters the room in a really foul mood (it's always them and never us.., right?). What kind of a change does that cause in you? Do you avoid them, try to see what's wrong? What is your response? By their very entrance into the room, they changed the atmosphere.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:14-15)
As a Christ follower, I carry the light of the Lord Jesus with me every where I go. By carrying His light into a dark room, I can immediately change the atmosphere of that room. In fact, it is my responsibility to allow His light to shine through me no matter what my situation may be.

How seriously do I take that responsibility? On a day when things are going my way - not a problem. But how about when things are going badly? Let's face it. Life is hard. We don't always feel like Mary Poppins dancing and singing around the house. Sometimes it takes more than a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.

How can you change the atmosphere in those difficult situations?

  • If you've messed up - show those around you how a Christ follower responds to messing up. Take responsibility and do the right thing.
  • If you've heard bad news - show those around you how a Christ follower responds to bad news. Choose faith over fear.
  • If you've hurt someone - show those around you how a Christ follower responds when hurting someone. Ask forgiveness and seeks to make things right.
  • If you've been hurt, show those around you how a Christ follower forgives. Forgive even if they never ask you to.
What our world needs to see is that Jesus really is the only answer for all that this life has to offer. My friend, my family, my neighbors, my co-workers are all watching to see how my light shines regardless of the situation. How can I carry this huge responsibility? Where does the power come from?

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
I am able, because God is able!

How will you change the atmosphere today? Let the love of Jesus shine through, no matter what comes your way!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #9

Steps of Faith

This week I would like to change things up a bit. I would like to use today's Saturdays Steps of Faith for each of us to choose a Promise from the Word of God to take a Step of Faith and believe.

I invite you to join in. All you need to do is copy the button located on the left sidebar. Paste it into your post. Next write down the Promise from the Word of God you are taking a step of faith and believing. Maybe it's one you have stood upon in the past. Last, come back here and link up with Mr. Linky.

Here's the verse that I am choosing for this week:

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.
Psalm 138:8
Nothing in my life just happens. There are not accidents. There are no coincidences.

The Everlasting God, who was and is and is to come has a purpose for my life. Can you believe it? Little old me. I love how it says He "will fulfill" it. Not might, not will try.., He will fulfill his purpose. I serve a God who never fails. Quit is not in His nature. He never leaves a project half done.

Why does He do it? Because He loves me! How long will He love me? Forever! Will He ever walk away from me? Not on your life!

As I dream about the future, as I make plans, Lord direct my path. I want my plans to be Your plans for me. I want each step today and every day in the future to be a step of faith and obedience. Father I am trusting you to fulfill Your purpose in me! Thank You for your lavish love. At times it truly overwhelms me just how much You love me! You are a Father like no other. I love you! In the matchless name of Jesus - Amen

How about you?

What promise are you ready to step out and believe?

Won't you please join me?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday #13

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

Don't you just love Thursdays? I look forward each week to joining Sonya at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday. Here are my five:
  1. Thank You God for leaving your hand prints all over our lives. You continue to amaze me as I see things happen that could only be accomplished by you. Beth Moore has said, "Our part is to believe God. His part is to be God and do what is ultimately and eternally best". Thank you for being God in my life!
  2. Thank You God for the promises in your Word. It's been said there is one promise for every day of the year. As I glance through the list, I am overwhelmed by your love for me. Thank God for being faithful to your Word.
  3. Thank You God for leading me to a Church where I can belong. Looking for a Church can be so discouraging. But when you find the right place, it's home. Thank you God for leading me by your Spirit.
  4. Thank You God for returning laughter to my life. More than any time in recent days I have been keenly aware of laughter in our home. Oh how I love to laugh with the ones that I love. Thank You God for the joy and laughter you have given.
  5. Thank You God for providing for our every need. Although I list this one often, I don't ever want to take for granted the basic necessities and beyond that you supply. Thank You God that providing is not just what you do, but Provider is who you are!

How about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Extol and Exalt

I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;

let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 34:1-5

I just feel like extolling the Lord and exalting His glorious name Lord today. God has been so good to us. When I take a step back and look at His hand prints on our lives..., how can I not Praise His Name?

As I've written about on my blog before, these have been difficult days for our family. Randy has been virtually in bed since September with chronic, debilitating back pain. For weeks and weeks on end we hit brick wall after brick wall while trying to get him some help.

But when God begins to move..., things move in miraculous ways. In late February we really became discouraged. Led by God we went back to the Dr's he had before we moved to CA seven years ago. What a blessing these men have been. Men of wisdom and compassion who are willing to "fight for" their patients.

From one referral to the next I can see how God is moving, working everything out! Pending the approval of the insurance company (which is really up to God and not them anyway), Randy will have a spinal cord stimulator implanted in just a matter of weeks. This is a device that introduces low levels of electrical current to the lower portion of the spinal cord to block the sensation of pain. Basically, it causes the brain to sense a positive stimulation instead of the negative pain. Pretty amazing stuff.

One of the hoops the insurance company requires is a Psych evaluation to make sure that the pain he is feeling is actually physical instead of emotional. No problem! We figured he could go do his time, get the required signature and be on his way.

But God had so much more in store. What an awesome experience this was. The Dr.'s father was a Methodist Pastor. The events of the last 2 years of our lives were very similar to a situation that his father had gone through. He had seen first hand the toll that this took on his dad. The conversations they shared were not only about the physical, but also the spiritual. God used this Dr. to minister to Randy. But our God didn't stop there..., He also used this visit to minister to the Dr. at the same time.

God your praise is on my lips. No one can orchestrate these types of encounters but you. Proverbs 19:21 says,

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

I praise you God for fulfilling your purpose in our lives today! Thank You for directing us to the right Dr.'s at exactly the right time! You are never too early. You are never too late! You are always on time!

Praise Your Holy Name! There is NONE like YOU! You give strength to the weak, wisdom to the seeking and your Spirit to lead the way. You are our Rock, our Refuge, our Strong and Mighty Tower! You are our Shelter in the midst of the storm. You protect, redeem, guard, heal, raise up, restore and rescue! My soul boasts in YOU and YOU alone! You are so worthy of my praise!

Does anyone else feel like lifting up the name of Jesus today?

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tenatively Firm plans

I'm a planner by nature. If we are going to set out on a trip I like to know where we're going, how we're going to get there, where we're staying, how long we're going to be there. My motto has always been, "We don't plan to fail, we fail to plan".

I have a friend who is very much a "fly by the seat of your pants gal". I won't name names..., but she knows who she is. Every time we plan on going somewhere she is always at least 15 minutes late. Me, 5-10 minutes early.

Whenever we make plans, they are always considered tentative until you see her face to face. Even then, they more than likely will change just a bit. Though it's often an adventure, it can be a bit frustrating.

But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11

Aren't you glad that there is no guess work when it comes to God. How long do His plans stand firm? FOREVER! What are His plans for you?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
What is the purpose of God's heart through all generations? For you and I to love Him. For you and I to accept His free gift of eternal life. Oh it's free to you and me. We only have to choose to turn from our sin and choose to follow Him with our whole hearts. But that free gift cost Jesus His life. He shed His blood on the cross of Calvary so that we could live - forever. He paid the price for my sin and for yours.

How long has this plan been set into motion? Since before the foundations of the earth. My God is completely trustworthy. He is consistently consistent. He is always faithful. His intentions toward you have never changed.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love
for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed
," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
As we walk the face of this earth, often our plans change from day to day. I am so grateful that I serve a God who never changes. He was the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His heart is always for me, never against me. He loves me like no other.

Father I thank you that I was on your heart before the foundations of the earth. Thank you for having a plan and a purpose for my life. Thank you for never running out of compassion for me. You are always "for me", always drawing me to you. I surrender to your plan Abba Father... In the name of your precious son Jesus - Amen

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Perfect Day

Yesterday we had the best time! We got up early and drove to church in Noblesville. The hour drive didn't seem long as we talked and things that were going on in each of our lives. We attended White Rock Fellowship which is currently meeting in a brand new movie theatre. The nursery, children's church and the main worship are all in different theatres. The entire service was awesome. My son enjoys the comfy seats and the cup holders. He thinks every church should have them.

I've been told that when it's time to baptize, all of the members brings jugs, coolers, whatever they can find to haul as much hot water as they can bring. They then dump the hot water into a horse trough that has been placed right out in front of the theatre. It's quite the attraction.

In fact, the time they baptized a young man who had been saved during his time in Iraq was coming into the theatre to see a movie. He stopped to see what was going on. After several believer were baptized he asked if he could too. Revival just about broke out right there in front of the theatre.

When the service concluded we headed off to BD's Mongolian Barbeque. Now that may scare a few of you off..., but it is so yummy. You create your own stir-fry. They have a buffet line set up with 3 stations.
  1. The first is filled with raw meats of every kind including, prime rib, NY strip, pork, lamb, chicken, shrimp, scallops, crab to name a few.

  2. Next you add all of the fresh veggies you want. The selection is wonderful. You fill your bowl until it is heaping.

  3. Then you head to the third stations where you fill a little bowl with your choice of sauces, Black Bean sauce, terriyaki, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, fajita sauce, mongo marinara, pad thai, and the list goes on. Then comes all of the spices you can think of to finish off your own personal concoction.
This is what my bowl of raw ingredients looked like. Shrimp, Crab, pea pods, pineapple, lots of sliced mushrooms and an egg that will be cooked and folded in.

Now it was time to have the "Grillerz" dump my bowl on the grill and start cooking. They use these really long metal bars to stir fry the ingredients.

And here is the finished product. Trust me it looks so much better in person than in these pictures from my cell phone. (I see a curly noodle on my plate. Hmmmm, must be from the person whose food was being grilled next to mine.) One thing I don't recommend, getting between a 13 year old boy and his stir fry. He polished off two great big bowls. He is very adventuresome with the spices. Why is it that his always tastes better than mine?

James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

If the Word of God is true - and it is! Then my son was given to me straight from the heart of God! No question about it!

Thank You Abba Father!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mom like Jochebed

I want to be a mother like Jochebed. Your first thought might be Joche who? Let me tell you.
1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid
him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus
basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:1-4
Her Heritage
Jochebed was a woman of faith, married to a Levite man named Amram. Through Levi, she learned of the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Her faith would be both tested and rewarded. What kind of heritage do you have? What kind of heritage are you leaving for your children and grandchildren?

Her Situation
Mother of a newborn in a very tumultuous time. Was it any more tumultuous than our times? Pharaoh, the ruler of the land had given the order that every Jewish born son would be cast into the Nile to their certain death. What? You've got to be kidding me! The son they prayed for, a gift from the Lord. How could she allow this to happen? She couldn't just let him die.

Her Faith
Motivated by her faith in God and her love for this child, she took a giant leap of faith by hiding little Moses in a papyrus basket made from the reeds of the Nile. Hebrews 11:23 tells us
By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they
saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
Don't you love that where faith is exercised there is no fear!

Her Decision
Her faith in God gave her courage to disobey Pharaoh and not to fear him. Jochebed's faith was in her God. His will be done. Her precious baby was given to her through birth and she lovingly gave him back to God in faith. God had great things in store for her Moses. He was no ordinary child. Have you given your children back to God in faith believing? Do you trust them into His care?

What I love about this story is that after giving Moses into the care of the Lord, we find that Moses was given back to Jochebed for her to nurse until he was older. God reunited this family so that God's purpose could be fulfilled Moses' life. He needed to learn about his Jewish heritage and the faith of his family. It was critical to God's plan for Moses the man to be the deliverer of His people.

When Moses was older, once again Jochebed would be called upon to give over her son to the Egyptian Princess, Pharaoh's daughter. Once again, she trusted her child into God's care.

What faith! What love! I want to be a mom like Jochebed. One who leaves a strong Christian heritage. One of faith that has stood the test of time. One who meets here fears with faith. One whose answer to God is YES before He even asked; no matter how difficult the request. As Beth Moore says,
Our part is to believe God.
His part is to be God and to do
what is ultimately and eternally best.

God make me that kind of mom. May I walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Thank you for Jonathan. May he be a young man who loves you with all of his heart, a young man after your own heart. Teach me to teach him the way he should go. May he honor you with his life.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Steps of Faith #8

Steps of Faith

Welcome back to Saturday Steps of faith. This is the time, this is the place where believers can come together believing God for things great and small.

I believe God hears me when I pray!
I believe God answers every prayer.
Sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait....

This week I am believing God to lead us to a church with a Youth Group for my son. During the time that we have been looking for a church, Jonathan has not been involved regularly in a Youth Group. I know how important this is for a young man. He has tried a couple, but it is just so hard to be the new kid. This Sunday we are going back to a church that our dear friends attend. I have recently become acquainted with the Youth Pastor's wife and they truly have a passion for young people.

Will you pray with me about this?

Do you believe God answers prayer? If so, what are you believing Him for?

If you'd like to participate, just copy the button on my sidebar and paste it into your post. Next write a post about something you are believing God for. In doing so, we can read and join with you in prayer. Finally, come back here and link up with Mr. Linky. It's that easy!

If you don't want to write a post, please leave a comment and so that we can join together in prayer.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Legacy of an Adopted Child

There are several times a year that I think about a young woman I have never met. One who changed my life forever. This young lady, now an adult woman gave birth to my son. Through the selfless gift of adoption, she gave me the most precious gift; one that brings me joy each and every day of my life. His name is Jonathan.

Legacy of An Adopted Child
Author Unknown

Once there were two women,
Who barely knew each other.
One is in your heart forever,
The other you’ll call mother.

Two different lives,
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
And the second taught you how to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you a family,
It was what God intended for her to do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me
Through your tears,
The age old question
through the years.

Heredity or environment…
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling… neither,
Just two different kinds of love.

This Mothers Day I would like to pay tribute to the courageous, young women who give the precious gift of life first to a child, and then a family. Your sacrifice of love has changed the course of each of our lives. May God give you a special blessing this Mothers Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday #11

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

I'm so grateful to be joining Sonya once again for Thankful Thursday. I have plenty to be thankful for this week (like all weeks).
  1. Thank You God for speaking my heart at the ladies retreat last weekend. What a blessing for my heart to be moved, challenged, encouraged, blessed and refreshed. The ladies of White Rock Fellowship truly ministered to my soul. They were a reflection of You!
  2. Thank You God that my friend Debbie did GREAT with her surgery yesterday. The Dr. is pretty confident that they got all of the cancer. She was up and sounded really good this morning with the praise of God on her lips.
  3. Thank You God that we as a nation have a day set aside for prayer. A day where we can come together and humble ourselves in prayer, seeking the face of God and turning from our wicked ways. I know that He heard our prayers today and I am watching for the healing of our land.
  4. Thank You God for challenging me to memorize scripture this year. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to put into practice - wielding my sword - the Word of God. What a weapon you gave us to defeat the enemy when he tries to attack. Thank You for building up my faith.
  5. Thank You God for being true to your Word and for meeting all of my needs. You are so trustworthy! Faithful is your name!

How about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sand Dollars and Rough Seas

Growing up in California, the one thing I always wanted to find when walking on the beach was a sand dollar. Dozens upon dozens of trips and I never found a single one.

Years later as an adult I remember walking down the beach and praying, "God, if I could only find one sand dollar..." Again, nothing.

On a subsequent trip to Pismo Beach I finally hit the mother load. I began to find sand dollar after sand dollar every couple of steps I took. In light of my find, it's funny how my prayer suddenly changed. "God, if I could only find a sand dollar that isn't broken..."

You see, I was no longer satisfied with just any old sand dollar. In a matter of moments, broken sand dollars were no longer good enough. I had to have whole sand dollars. If I stumbled upon a sand dollar that was broken or cracked, it was tossed right back to the ground. I didn't want it any more.

In my life there have been times when I have been like that broken or cracked sand dollar. Carried by the waves of life and at times even bashed upon the rocks. Battered and scarred, bruised and broken, unattractive to those passing by; not worthy of even their time.

And yet Jesus loves me. He calls me His own. Battered and bruised He draws me close and speaks words of healing to my soul.

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;
Psalm 34:17-19
Jesus always hears me when I call to Him. He will never leave me. He will never walk away from me. He will never toss me back.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 188:29

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. Psalm 125:2

Lord, I thank you for picking me up and placing my feet upon the firm foundation of You. I thank you that I am no longer being tossed by the seas of life, but am instead clinging to You. You are my Rock, my Shield, my Fortress. You are my ever-present help in my time of need. I am so deep in love with You! You overwhelm me with your love and grace. May I never forget the price that you paid so that I could be called your child. In Jesus name - Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

25 Years Today

Twenty five years ago today I made one of the biggest commitments of my life in the presence of God and in the company of our family and friends. It was then that I spoke these word,

"I, Lisa, take you Randy, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."

I remember that day looking into your eyes and saying those words with a trembling voice, trying to contain all of the emotions that were bubbling up from deep within my heart.

So much has changed in 25 years. We definitely no longer look like the wide-eyed couple who thought they were ready to take on the world. So much in love, a little bit naive, but ready to begin building a life together.

Today we have served together, side-by-side in 6 churches in California and Indiana. We've traveled across this country and in parts of the world we never thought we would see. Like the Apostle Paul we can say, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty". We've seen and lived both first hand.

Our son Jonathan to this day remains one of the greatest miracles we have seen - straight from the hand of God. What a gift in such a miraculous way. I look forward to seeing the man of God he will one day be.

Our life together has definitely not been easy..., but it has been worth the hard work. Looking back today I can tell you one thing for sure, I would do it all over again. I am still proud to be called your wife and I look forward to seeing what God is going to do in the next 25 years of our marriage.

I love you Randy! Thank you for always seeing more in me than I sometimes see in myself. You have been my greatest encourager, my closest friend and my faithful companion as we've journeyed through this thing called life. I have learned so much from you - how to love with abandon, how to give beyond what you thought you were capable of, how to share Jesus with anyone who will listen. You have taught me how to laugh at myself and to love people even when they hurt you. You have helped me to become a woman of deep faith and love for God.

Thank You Randy for loving me all of these years! May God grant us many, many more years to come.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Deep in Love

I am so deep in love today that my heart is overflowing. Yes I am in love with my husband of 25 years tomorrow and my son..., but nothing compares to how deep in love I am today with my Lord.

After taking several days off from blogging I ended my week by attending a retreat with the Ladies of White Rock Fellowship from Noblesville IN. These ladies not only love Jesus, they proved themselves to be in love with Jesus.

The ladies who led in Worship were incredibly talented, amazing, and passionate about Worship. There was one song in particular that really grabbed hold of my heart and to this moment will not let go.

I hope that you will listen to it, thinking about the words. I promise you, your heart will be drawn right into the throne room of God where Worship is at it's best!

Deep In Love With You
(lyrics are written by Michael W. Smith, Debbie Smith, Christa Black)
Sitting at Your feet is where I want to be
I'm home when I am here with You
Ruined by Your grace, enamored by Your gaze
I can't resist the tenderness in You

I'm deep in love with You, Abba Father
I'm deep in love with You, Lord
My heart, it beats for You, precious Jesus
I'm deep in love with You Lord

Humbled and amazed that You would call my name
I never have to search again
There's a deep desire that's burning like a fire
To know You as my closest friend

Lord, my redeemer, Your blood runs through my veins
My love for You is deeper than it was yesterday
I enter through the curtain, parted by Your grace
Oh, Your the lover of my soul

If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, if you don't know this kind of love, what are you waiting for? He is deep in love with you! Say yes to Him today. I would be glad to tell you how.