Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm reading "The Shack". I have a question...I have spoilers in this post, so if you don't want to know, close now.
Sure you want to see?
I'm reading The Shack. This book really takes God out of the box and personifies the Trinity in the forms of an African American woman for God, an Asian woman for the Holy Spirit, and a Hebrew man for Jesus. I don't have a problem with this (yet). I believe that in Mack's case, it was probably better to do the women because of his past with his own father.

What I'm not understanding is this. God tells Mack that He never abandoned or forsook Jesus at the cross. The implication is that when all you see is your pain, you lose sight of God. God tells Mack,

"Don't forget, the story didn't end in his sense of forsakenness. He found his way through it to put himself completely into my hands. Oh, what a moment that was!"

Matthew 27:46 reads, "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"

Sabachthani, the Aramaic word, means "thou hast forsaken me", according to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon.

Our perfect and sinless Christ was bearing on His shoulders the sins of the world so that we would not have to pay the penalty for our sins. The enormity of the pressure of do you say, sense of weight, despair, agony....He endured immense pain and suffering. But Christ, being perfect, took His eyes off God because of His pain? Because of sin or a character flaw? So many questions.

If sin is separation from God, then Jesus was separated from God on the cross, right? I mean, I get that they are One. But separate still. I alway thought the Father turned His face away during that time. Abandoned Him.

Jesus never misspoke. He is perfect. Did Jesus just "feel" forsaken? Did God not really forsake Him? I always thought He had. Why wouldn't Jesus have said, "...why does it feel like You've forsaken me?"

I'm feeling pretty clueless. I'm not doubting the Bible. I'm not doubting the Father and I'm not doubting what Jesus said on the cross. I just now have this "uncertainty" nudging at me and making me feel confused and am suddenly aware of how much I really don't know at all.

I guess I'm not understanding the book's take on this section. I'm sure it's not the only time in the book I'll be confused, but this is the first thing that's just "speed bumped" me.

If you've read The Shack, what was your take on that?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Date Night

We had "date night" tonight. Date night can mean anything from going to Baskin Robbins for ice-cream to going to dinner and a movie. It could be a drive down the Natchez Trace. We don't have a set thing we do.

Tonight was an impromptu thing. Steve knew I didn't feel like cooking (achoo! I am still down with a cold), so he asked me if I felt like going for a bite to eat at Mellow Mushroom, and to Borders, right beside it, and maybe pick up something to read. Hmmm...let me think about that (for half a second) "YES!"

Mellow Mushroom is a nice place. They do pizza, hoagies, etc. It's kind of a throwback to the 60's/70's theme as far as decorations go. We haven't been in forever (over a year, I think?), and if someone else is going to cook & clean, I'm all for that! We both ordered the Mushroom Club, which was divine. I don't do lettuce, tomato or sprouts, so they were kind and left those off my order. Their sweet tea is *really* good, too. The good chat over dinner was really nice. Somehow we got on the subject of flatbread. Do you know how much there really is to say about that? Apparently a lot, because we talked about it for a while. Yeah, we're that crazy.

Borders, Borders, Borders. Put me in a bookstore and I am in Heaven. I bought a copy of The Shack, by William P. Young. I've been hearing a lot about it lately (today, especially) and it just seemed to be the book for me. As always, I had to buy a bookmark, too. I chose a "Book Rug" design.

This Date Night was really good. My husband is dreamy for doing this for me. He's the man! He's also already sacked out. I think the combo of a busy day plus a full meal wore him out! Off to start the book....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Irene chose a wonderful part of Philippians to use for Thankful Thursday.

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I
still have.” ~ Philippians 1:27-30 (ESV - emphasis Irene's)

I've thought often about my manner of life lately. I want to live a life that is pleasing to God. I want my life to be worthy of Christ's death for me. I know that it is by grace that I am saved and not by my own merit, but that sure doesn't mean I can't "strive" to live a life "worthy". I want to stand firm, and when I am called to do so, count myself worthy to suffer for His sake.
This week I'm thankful for so many things.

I'm thankful for the gift of salvation.

I'm thankful for the Word of God.

I'm thankful that I was raised in a home where I was introduced to Christ at a young age.

I'm thankful for my Uncle Jimmy's optimistic doctor and the protocol she prescribed to treat the cancer.

I'm thankful that there is no sign of cancer in his body right now.

I'm thankful for my sister Jenn's good report on baby Ethan, her first child, due at the end of August.

I'm actually thankful for this cold. It's slowed me down and given me time to reflect and read God's Word.

I'm thankful for all the Bloggers out there and how their posts and meme's encourage me daily.

My heart has been blessed reading the devotions, musings, meme responses, etc. Truly blessed!

I'm thankful for She Speaks. I didn't go but I've read so much about the ones who did and it seems God was right smack in the middle of it. My heart has been blessed by reading about it.

Philippians 3:13-14 - "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Please visit Irene, the host of Thankful Thursday. There you'll find not only her thankful heart, but also a list of the other ladies participating. It's a joy to read their posts. They are so uplifting!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Then Moses said to Him, 'If Your Presence does not go up
with us, do not send us up from here.'"
Exodus 33:15

Moses knew things. He knew if God's presence didn't go with him as he led the Israelites through the wilderness, whether they were driving out the inhabitants of the Promised Land, building the Tabernacle God had given specific instructions for, or just picking up and moving camp from one place to another, they were in trouble!

After the children of Israel left Egypt, God gave them a visual symbol of His presence through a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When the cloud moved, the people moved. When the cloud stayed, the people stayed. Day or night they knew that God was there. They traveled and set up camp under the presence of the Almighty God.

While God doesn't give us a visual symbol quite as obvious as a cloud, He does dwell in our hearts.

Like Moses, there is nowhere I want to go if the Lord isn't going with me. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if God is not in a situation I am going into, I'm doomed. I simply cannot imagine facing crisis without Him, and I long to share my joys with Him.

Do I give Him the space He needs in my heart? I pray I never crowd Him out with the things of this world.

Do I feel His presence daily? Admittedly, sometimes closer than at other times.

What should be my response?

~ Be more focused on godly things - I should never allow things that aren't true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, to crowd my heart to where I don't feel God's presence as closely as I should. Philippians 4:8 - "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

~ Stay focused on God's Word. The more I read His Word, the more aware I am of His presence in my life. Psalm 1:2, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night."

~ Stay connected with God throughout the day in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray without ceasing." James 4:8 - "Come near to God and he will come near to you..."

~ Keep a short-timed account of my sins to God. When I sin, I need to 'fess up and ask forgiveness, and a pure heart. (1 John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Heart to Heart - Has there been a time in your life you felt God's presence so closely it just made you gasp? Has there been a time in your life you missed the nearness of God?

Heart Reflections - Claim Moses' prayer as your own. Be that child clinging to God's leg, going where He goes rather than going off and leaving Him to pursue things that are less than noble.

Visit WFW's host at for more WFW's.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This week's In Other Words Tuesday is hosted by Debbie of Chocolate and Coffee.

By perseverance the snail reached the ark.

~ Charles Spurgeon~

Psalm 5:3 - "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

Psalm 27:14 - "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."

Psalm 33:20 - "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield."

Psalm 37:7 - "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes."

Psalm 37:34 - "Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it."

Psalm 38:15 - "I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God."

Psalm 130:5 - "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."

That's my kind of waiting! I long to wait for the Lord per-fec-tly in prayer. Wait. Perfectly? Let me go back and re-read!

Perfectly? No. In expectation, with courage, strength, hope, and assurance, yes.

God's Word is timeless. It is as relevant yesterday as it is today and will be tomorrow. The Psalmist knew a thing or three about waiting. He spent time waiting to be king, time waiting to be delivered, time waiting for the Lord to come to his rescue from the miry pit, time waiting to have his feet set back on terra firma.

I have waited on everything from a book to arrive to biopsy results, babies to be born to watching for my husband's best friend to take his last breath.

Tapping my foot, wringing my hands, watching the clock, trying to live this way and that (if I'm a better person, He'll hurry up!)....In all the things I've waited on and waited for, especially in prayer, I have found a word in Charles Spurgeon's quote to be key - "perseverance."

One of the definitions of perseverance is "Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness." - American Heritage Dictionary.

Putting my hope in His Word, His promises, and His perfect timing, I have learned to be steadfast, adhering to God's Word. There are instructions and guidance through the Psalmist's wisdom on waiting. Through reading them and meditating on the Scripture, I have gone from being a toe-tapping waiter to being able to remain relatively calm while waiting on Him. Probably because once I had to wait 8 LONG years for an answer to prayer. And when I got the answer, it wasn't the answer I wanted, but accepted nonetheless. (What else do you do when God says, "No?" You don't argue with God, do ya?)


In expectation
Being strong and taking heart
Knowing He is our help and our shield
Be still before the Lord
Waiting patiently for Him
Waiting for the LORD and keeping His way
Knowing the Lord his God would answer
And putting his hope in His Word.

His Word never fails us. He never fails us. Being still before Him, humbling ourselves and admitting that there are things beyond our control that only He can do are vital keys to waiting. After all, God promises us this:

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Heart to Heart - What is your favorite Scripture on waiting? What is your normal attitude in waiting? How has it changed in the last few years?

Heart Reflections: Think back to a time in your life that you knew God's timing was perfect and cling to that time the next time you find yourself waiting.

Memory Lane

Last night as I was praying, I tried to remember a Scripture I have known since childhood. It was probably the first memory verse that I ever learned. I thought about it and thought about it, and could only remember the first part of it. I had a Bible on the bookshelf beside my bed, so I turned the lamp on and turned quickly to that Scripture. Ahhhh...I couldn't believe I had forgotten it! Am I getting old, was I just sleepy, or.....had I just not kept my mind sharp with God's Word?

There are often times that I think of my favorite verses and do remember them; however, how long has it been since I've devoted time to really drilling God's Word down in my heart? I read His Word daily, yet I have to admit that I haven't worked to memorize new Scripture in a long long time.

There are many times that we don't have Bible's handy when we need to be able to recall God's Word. God is our foundation and has provided a rich store of wisdom and knowledge in His Word. We have only to be willing to draw from it.

Isaiah reminds us in Isaiah 33:6, "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."

It's important to not only read the Bible, but to meditate on Scriptures that we can let God use through us. God's Word speaks power into our lives, comforts others (and ourselves!) and combats the enemy when he's dragging us down.

Heart to Heart Questions: Is one of your great treasures God's Word? What was one of the first verses you remember memorizing? What's the easiest way for you to memorize Scripture?

Heartbeats: Meditate on Isaiah 33:6 and ponder the rich store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge God has made available through His Word. We have only to open our hearts and flex a little brain muscle to memorize a verse or two to store up for safekeeping.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Irene, over at Thankful Thursday, hosts this wonderful meme. It's such a great time to honor God with thankfulness for what He has given us.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! ~ Psalm 30:11-12 (ESV -
emphasis Irene's)

Give me calm and steady. I don't like the balance of my life to be upset. My heart is disturbed when loved ones suffer or tribulations come my way. I don't like my boat to be rocked.

It's easy to be thankful when life is going great, there is no sickness in the body, loved ones are doing well and you have a roof over your head and food in your mouth. What's hard is praising God in the hard times. It can be done, though.

Habakkuk 3:17-18 - Though the fig tree does not bud and there
are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and
the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the
pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the
LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Didja know that the fig tree symbolizes Israel throughout Scripture? I didn't know that until a few weeks ago. They faced tremendous hardship, whether this was a vision of what the land was to be like during the invasion or if this was literal (Habakkuk was a prophet, and I sometimes have to go back and figure out if it was a vision or real when I read the prophets books of the Bible.)

Think about it. This is lower than low. Yet Habakkuk was willing to praise God. He had a right view of God.

We don't have to understand why bad things happen, and we certainly do not have to enjoy them, but we do need to understand that God loves us and we are to praise Him regardless. He is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. When we look at how much God loves us (He has redeemed us through His Son, grace personified!!!) and really think about things in light of eternity, the bad things get put into perspective, don't they?

While things in our lives change, God is unchanging. He is still holy and He is still God.

Psalm 46:1-2 - "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."
He is our Rock. We can run into His arms and be safe.

I'm going to stop here. I could go on and on all day long about things I am thankful for, but knowing Jesus is the Anchor of my sometimes rocky boat helps me praise Him in hard times....

Disclaimer: Medication for pulled muscles in my back may disorganize my thoughts and not make them flow as coherently as they should. I sure wish I could use that excuse when I'm not "muscle relaxed".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To visit more Word-filled Wednesdays, visit 160AcreWoods.

Romans 7:19-20 "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."

Oh, ARRRGGH! Like Paul, I find that what I don't want to do is the very thing I find myself doing. Through reading God's Word, I have discovered that there is forgiveness, though. I don't have to stay down low with my eyes covered, thinking, "Lord, please don't look at me!" Paul knows we aren't perfect. I'm so glad he admitted his struggles and that he diagnosed the problem. It's all about the sin that remains in our fleshly bodies.

The promise of 1 John 1:9 is comforting, though.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

When we say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing or even think the wrong thing, we can confess it to our precious Savior and He will purify us from all unrighteousness. We are washed "all clean". We can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try our hardest not to go down that path of sin again.

Are we blessed with a loving God or what? Dive into His Word. Find the promises of love and mercy He has for you. Ask Him if there is anything in your life you need His forgiveness on and He will reveal it to you and wash you white as snow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This week, Chelsey is hosting "In 'Other' Words" on her site, Joyfully Living for His Glory. I encourage you to go there and read what others have to say about this week's quote:

Chelsey chose:

"As Christian women, we must repudiate the world's agenda for women and seek to understand the Word's agenda for women... we must determine to be obedient to the Word of God no matter what is says, with no compromises. This is what is means to be a woman of the Word. We must find out what the Bible teaches about marriage, about children, about men and women and their roles, and then we must be obedient with no apologies, no matter what the
cost. Is this radical Christianity? No. This is basic

What an exciting call to duty! We absolutely must hold true to God's Word for our lives. We need to search the Scriptures daily, dive into them and let them permeate every fiber of our being.

As Colossians 3:16 puts it, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Emphasis mine)

God's Word will give us the instruction we need as women, whether in marriage, raising children, our roles as women, etc. It will never fail us, and if we never fail it, we are guaranteed to win the battle.

What is the battle? The lines get blurred on our role as women and Christians in the world. We are told to act one way by a popular self-help guru, but we find no fulfillment in it. Whether we read the latest book because "she said to" or attend some online university that promises enlightenment, basically...we look to ourselves or others to fight through this thing called life.

We need to be looking toward Christ. He has equipped us with all we need!

His Word contains...

Life - "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

Hope - " 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

Instruction - "Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him." Psalm 25:12
Wisdom - "Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 24:14

Truth - "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

If you're not in the Word, I encourage you to devote some time to it every day. Whether it's a chapter in the Psalms or Proverbs or picking out the Words in red in the Gospels of the New Testament or perhaps reading Paul's letters, please, take that dive with me and develop a passion for God's Word.

When you become a woman of the Word, life gets interesting, I can promise you that!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My friend Twinkle Mom blogged on a study from the book Lies Women Believe. While I'm not doing the study and I haven't read the book (yet), I wanted to discuss my answers for the 2 questions she posed.

1) What is your current view of determining the size of your family? Is this the same view you held in the past or is it different? Explain.

My current view of determining the size of my family is this: God will decide. We just have to be open to listening to His Holy Spirit as He speaks to us and gives us the size family He wants us to have. For some women, that might mean a one-person family - herself. God might call her to remain single so she can fulfill whatever purpose God has for her that might not be possible with a husband and children. For other women, God calls them to be joined to a husband, and never have children. Whether it's through infertility, child loss via miscarriage, or doors shut during adoption processes, these husbands and wives don't have children of their own. Whatever the reason, God has determined that children are not for them. For other women, God opens their wombs and blesses them abundantly with children. Whether it's 1 or 11, or more, God fills the quiver of the husband full of sons and daughters to raise to honor and glorify Him one day.

I was the in the group where God determined that I wouldn't have children. I didn't know this right away, and though sometimes I wish I had to save myself some heartache, I have learned through God's Word that He works in His timing for His will and His purpose.

When I was going through infertility, one of the Scriptures that I found comforting was Hannah's story in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah had a need, she prayed, Eli thought she was drunk, realized she wasn't drunk and blessed her, the Lord remembered Hannah, hearing her prayer, and she fulfilled the vow she made while praying.

My story is a lot like Hannah's, although it doesn't end exactly the same way. I had a need. I prayed. I begged. I pleaded. I stated my case for what I wanted. The Eli's in my life knew I was on a quest from God and at first thought me mad, then joined with me in prayer as I sought God's will for my life. The Lord remembered me, hearing my prayer, and I fulfilled the vow I made to God. What was my vow? Simply that whatever God's will was for my life, I would accept it, no questions asked (of God's power or will).

God never once let me down. He never promised me 3.5 children. He never promised me one. What He did promise me was that He would meet all my needs according to His riches. He promised me that He loved me and had given His Son to die on the cross to pay for my sins. He promised me that when I died, I would spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Am I okay with that? Yes. I have to be. Why? Because God is still God. He exercised His will in my life, and whether or not I understand it, I trust that He did it for His glory. Not mine, not Steve's, His.

That's why I personally think that God determines the size of our families. I can't decide it on my own.

Are you going through infertility? Have you lost one or more children in miscarriage? Are you just getting started in your journey? Trust God. Pray. Leave it in His hands. I promise you that if you seek God's will for the size of your family, you will save yourself a lot of heartache if you completely and totally turn it over to Him. When you pray, lose that precious time devoted to sleeping and eating and couple it with fasting. Pace the floors, but do it while you are clinging to God, not blaming yourself, doctor's or battling man in the long road of adoption. Give it all you have, yet while you are giving your all, let God be God and give His all to determining the size of your family. He will not fail you if you seek His will. I can promise you that. His will is perfect and something you can live with, whether He blesses you with children or not.

(2) Think about how you view the issue of birth control. Does your view line up with God’s view of birth control? Give Scriptures to show God’s view.

Oooof. I'm not sure what the Scriptures say on birth control. Can you show me one that gives a clear-cut answer? I know what many religions believe. I can tell you what Laurie Ann believes. No amount of birth control is going to stop a child from being conceived if God wills it. I sat in the doctor's office once when I was going through IF treatments. The walls were so thin that you could hear conversation in the next room. This woman was sobbing, asking the doctor how in the world she could possibly be pregnant since she was on birth control pills. There was some discussion about forgetting pills and ultimately how antibiotics could render it obsolete. Laurie Ann's wisdom says, "God has a plan."

These are personal feelings. I respect yours if they're different and welcome your comments. This topic has the potential for such sensitivity. I hope I was respectful to everyone in voicing my opinion and thoughts...

Visit for more Cafe' Chat...

I'm late. Why? I spent Father's Day with my dear husband and really wasn't online very much at all to speak of. Better late than never (in most cases), though.

The topic was:

What is one of your favorite attributes of God, and why? As individuals we all have unique qualities. It would make sense then that for each of us our FAVORITE attribute of God would be different. Some attributes to ponder would include:


Lately, I have been praising God for His holiness and sovereignty. I love how throughout the Old Testament God reminds us of these attributes. The Ten Commandments, the exact design for the Tabernacle and the articles that went in it, the Ark of the Covenant, oh, I could go on and on....

He alone is the Most High God. He alone is worthy of praise and adoration. He alone is worthy of worship and devotion. There is no other God but He.

God alone has absolute dominon and power over us. We are ruled by the King of kings and Lord of lords. We follow respect and defer to the law of the country we live in, but we adhere closely to God's law and instructions.

I love this passage from Revelation 15. It sums up what I'm so inadequately trying to say...

"...and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages. Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Caught Between Rock and Sand

You can't take yourself out the world you live in and you can't isolate yourself in a plastic bubble, but you feel in your heart that you do have the responsiblity to make an effort to live in a manner that's pleasing to God.

How far do you go in removing the things of the world without being a "fanatic"?

Have you ended friendships that have been toxic? Have you changed your television or movie viewing habits? Made changes in what you read? How do you maintain contact with the world without being "of the world"?

What's the key to balancing it out? How do you explain changes you've made in your life to others who notice it and comment on it?

Day 31 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Day 31Pray that your husband will recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Pray that his attitudes and actions will be guided by the truth as he brings his thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. (John 8:44; 2 Cor. 10:4-5)

Father, I pray that You would guide Steve to recognize the lies of the Enemy in his life. Help Him bring every thought captive to You and recognize when he's under Enemy attack. Help him stand firm and be guided by Your truth and You will.

I have enjoyed praying for him every day for this period of time, and will continue to pray the Word over his life.

Be sure to visit the website above for more songs Then Sings My Soul Saturdays songs.

The song I chose for today is a song that I believe glorifies God because I feel like I'm just caught up in praise to Him when I'm singing it. I know it's what Heaven will be like. Just praising Him from every tribe, tongue, nation....

He Reigns by Newsboys

It’s the song of the redeemed
Rising from the African plain
It’s the song of the forgiven
Drowning out the Amazon rain
The song of Asian believers
Filled with God’s holy fire
It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation
A love song born of a grateful choir

It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
It’s all God’s children singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns

Let it rise about the four winds
Caught up in the heavenly sound
Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals
To the faithful gathered underground
Of all the songs sung from the dawn of creation
Some were meant to persist
Of all the bells rung from a thousand steeples
None rings truer than this

And all the powers of darkness
Tremble at what they’ve just heard
‘Cause all the powers of darkness
Can’t drown out a single word

When all God’s children sing out
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns
All God’s people singing
Glory, glory, hallelujah
He reigns, He reigns

Friday, June 13, 2008

From Melly's Mini Pauses Blog...


Do you consider yourself to be an optimist or a pessimist?

I'm very much an optimist. I believe things will
work out the way they're meant to work out and I always see the glass half-full. I'm not a worrier or pessimistic.


What is your favorite color of ink to write with?

Pink, purple or blue.


How often do you get a manicure or pedicure?
Do you do them yourself or go to a salon and pay for them?

I haven't had a manicure in about 6 months. I let
my real nails grow out and keep them myself. I don't do a full manicure. I just try to keep them filed and clean. I like to wear clear or pale pink fingernail polishes. It's time for a pedicure. I have them done during the summer regularly. I haven't had my first one of the season yet, but I will this weekend.

Main Course

Have you ever won anything online? If so, what was it?

I won 2 ebay auctions, LOL. Does that count?


In which room in your house do you keep your home

Our computer is in our bedroom. I love it being
back there because Steve likes to watch television in bed at night while I'm on the computer. We feel comfortable at the thought of being in the same room

Day 30 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will serve God and others with pure motives. Pray that he will obey the Lord from his heart, and glorify Him in everything. (1 Cor. 10:13; John 7:17-18; Col. 3:23-24)

Father, I pray that Steve will serve both You and others with pure motives. Help him to be obedient to You as he hears You speak to his heart, and may he glorify You in all that he does.

Melly tagged me for 8. Visit her Eight at


8 Things I'm passionate about

  1. reading the Bible
  2. reading - I am an avid reader
  3. trying to live a life that glorifies God
  4. being the best wife I can to the most awesome husband in the world
  5. my grandson
  6. some family and friends
  7. blogging
  8. WOW Gals Group

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  1. serve God better
  2. be a better wife, daughter, friend, etc.
  3. retire
  4. have more grandchildren
  5. overcome my fear of elephants
  6. fly/overcome my fear of flying
  7. live in a cooler climate
  8. blog better

8 Things I say Often

  1. get out!
  2. not so much.
  3. Wilson!!!!!!
  4. did I tell you what Baby No did last...
  5. is it time?
  6. yikes!
  7. dad gum it
  8. oops

8 Books I've read recently

  1. The Bible
  2. Ice Bound
  3. Paul by Chuck Swindoll
  4. David by Chuck Swindoll
  5. Moses by Chuck Swindoll
  6. Escape by Carolyn Jessup
  7. His Favorite Wife by I Can't Remember Who
  8. The entire Left Behind Series, pre-quels and all

8 Songs I could listen to over and over

  1. I Can Only Imagine
  2. God is in Control
  3. Tears of the Saints
  4. The Story
  5. The song where the feather is floating in Forrest Gump
  6. All Rise
  7. Bring the Rain
  8. Amazing Grace (Chris Tomlin)

8 Things that attract me to my best friend

  1. his Christian heart
  2. his strength, emotional and physical
  3. his outspoken and unconditional love for me
  4. his intelligence
  5. his willingness to listen
  6. his putting up with my illnesses
  7. his fatherhood abilities
  8. his humor

8 Things I've learned this year

  1. no matter how unworthy I feel, Christ died to make me worthy - it's a fact
  2. to pretty much stop caring what others think about me
  3. when God says, "No," He has His reasons and I'm just to be thankful for His grace
  4. never to give up in prayer
  5. blogging rocks!
  6. the WOW Gals are wonderful
  7. you can't pick your relatives
  8. grandchildren are some of the most awesome gifts in the world

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Irene, over at Thankful Thursday, hosts this wonderful meme. It's such a great time to honor God with thankfulness for what He has given us.

Irene posted the verse "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word! Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, and teach me your rules."~ Psalm 119:102-108 (emphasis Irene's) (ESV)

She asked us what we were thankful for. I, too, am thankful for God's Word. There is so much life in His Word. It's full of hope and encouragement, as well as instruction and wisdom.

This week I have been wrestling with a flare-up of an illness I have. It's painful, time-consuming, inconvenient, and worrisome. Like the apostle Paul, I have prayed for this "thorn in the flesh" to be removed, yet God has told me "No."

I'm thankful this week for God's message through Paul in 1 Corinthians 12: 8-10.

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when
I am weak, then I am strong."

I find it so hard to delight in my weakness. I am reminded that God's grace is sufficient, though, and I know that I pray more because of the "thorn". If it wasn't there, would I pray as much? Would my time in prayer that I use begging God for release and mercy go further into praying for others? Would I be as close to God as I am without that weakness? I am strong in Christ because I am weak.

It doesn't matter to me if God never delivers me from the clutches of IBS. His wonderful grace is sufficient for me. I will keep clinging to Him, spending time in the Word, spending time in prayer, and most of all, glorifying God.

The weaknesses that come with this mortal body are one day going to be stripped away. That's the result of grace, my friend. Illness will not last forever. Praise God for His Word that I can cling to for hope!

Day 29 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will surrender his time and talents to the Lord. Pray that his spiritual gifts will be manifest in his career, at church, and in your home.(Eph. 5:15-16; 1 Cor. 12:4, 7)

Father, Steve is such a good husband. I pray that he would surrender his time and talents, of which I sing his praises, to You. I pray that in all the walks of life he visits, whether at work, church or home that you would bless him and help him honor You, Lord.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Click here to visit Amy, the host of WFW.

"This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls..." Jeremiah 6:16

I remember when I was about 16 years old. I asked my grandmother if she would drive me to a friend's house after school. She said, "It's just right through the woods." The woods? Um, there were hundreds of acres of woods behind the house. I hadn't played in them since I was about 8 years old. No way was I going on a nature walk that would take me...well, I had no idea where I would have ended up.

The look on my face must have evidenced my skepticism at trekking throug the woods. She grinned and said, "Laurie Ann, all you have to do is ask me." I remember thinking, "I just asked you...oh, wait! You want me to ask how to get there!" Yeah, I was that dense, but I was only 16. There were lessons to be learned!

I asked her how far it was. She said, "Oh, about 10 minutes." My next question was, "Are there really wild boar in the woods, Maw Maw?" She (unconvincingly) said, "There are deer but they won't bother you if you don't bother them." My next question was, "Which trail do I go down? The one we used to ride bikes on when I was little?" She laughed and said, "I suppose." I gulped and finally said, "Okay. Will you show me the way?"

That's the question she wanted to hear. She not only showed me the way, but walked most of it with me. All I had to do to find the trail was ask. When I was ready to come home, all I had to do was call her and she met me halfway down the trail and walked home with me.

I learned a lot on that walk. I learned where the property line was for their land, I learned that there was a firmly trodden trail because of all the times she and my friend's grandmother had walked it to each other's houses through the years, and most of all, I learned that my grandmother enjoyed the walk through the woods *with me* in the cool part of the day, before the bugs came out but after the sun.

I trusted her during that walk. I knew she knew where she was going, because, well, she was old. She knew where the good path was. I found rest for my soul during that walk and talk.

That was 21 years ago. She is now 86. She has Alzheimer's and trusts others to lead her down the paths she walks, but she's still Maw Maw. I'm filled with love for her by writing about her today. Think I'll give her a call tonight. She may not know who I am, but I know.

Day 28 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will be a man of prayer. Pray that he will seek and pursue God in purposeful quiet times. (1 Thess. 5:17; Luke 22:46; James 5:16)

Father, I lift Steve up to You this morning and pray that he would begin having quiet times again. I pray that You would strengthen him through this time of prayer and devotion and help him to glorify You through being a strong man of prayer and dedication.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

10 Minute Tuesdays is hosted on Faithful Chick's site. Pop over there and check it out by clicking here...

God's Word For You Today:
Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his
path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. -Psalm 37:34 (NLT)
Traveling steadily along God's path...there's a wonderful vision of hope. Do you envision God's path like I do?
I'd like to see it as a straight shot, clean and shiny, no clutter, no pot holes, no speed bumps, no S curves.
The fact is that God's path is not always like that. On the path I travel there are construction zones everywhere. Obstacles on that road, slowing me down as I try to press on.
Putting my hope in God has made the path a lot more manageable and easier to travel. Where I used to not see the signs warning of the obstacles ahead, they seem to be more visible to me now. I see the speed bumps before I hit them most of the time, and with God's leading, I take those hairpin curves on both feet rather than just falling over.
God promises to honor us if we will put our hope in Him. What are some ways we can do that?
1. Make prayer your priority, and the first thing you do each day if you can. I'm not talking about having your quiet time for 30 minutes and spending an hour in prayer with God the minute your feet hit the floor each morning. I'm just recommending breathing a prayer and a promise to God, letting Him know your hope is in Him and to keep you mindful of what He wants you to accomplish.
2. As soon as you can, get in some time with His Word. It's refreshing, it's recharging and it will give you the fuel you need to travel the path He has for you.
3. When you're faced with an obstacle, view it as an opportunity. Don't let it throw you off the path. Assess it, then either climb it or burst through it or ask God to remove it. He'll let you know how to tackle it.
4. Thank Him. Honor Him at the end of the day, thanking Him for leading you down the path you traveled today. Thank Him for being your hope and for promising to honor you for staying hopeful in Him.
May God bless you as your journey down the path God has for you, keeping your hope in Him as you face the obstacles, er, opportunities, with the grace and faith He has so richly given you. He will never abandon you. In fact, He's the one who carries us down that path!

This week, Nina is hosting "In 'Other' Words" at her site, Mama's Little Treasures.

This weeks quote is:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

God's handprints....they're everywhere. I blogged on this yesterday when I was thinking about curtailing what I watch on television.

It's a garbage in/garbage out decision. What I watch stays with me. I'm still thinking about that severed head I saw on CSI the other night. I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing such an image.

What do I put in my mind? If I use the above Scripture as principle, my choices should be things that are: true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, to think on those things.

My foundation is in Christ. I need to read and watch things that honor Him.

I also need to use this as a guideline for my speech and for my conversations with friends. If it doesn't bring truth, honesty, etc., I do not need to go there. I am a new creation in Christ. The old is gone. Well, it should be gone, and I'm doing some clean-up in my life to help.

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my
heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my
Redeemer." Psalms 19:14

Am I doing this to bring focus on myself? A thousand times, NO! This is to honor God. He is honored by my attempted reflection of Him. I want Him to see "lovely" when He looks at me. I want Him to see "pure" and "good report". I want Him to see Him.

Day 27 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will understand the importance of taking care of his body—the temple of the Holy Spirit—for the glory of God. Pray that he will practice self-control by making wise food choices, and get sufficient exercise to stay healthy. (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:19-20, 9:27)

Father, this is my prayer for Steve. Help him take care of the body You have given him and to use it for Your service. May he glorify You with his physical well-being.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I've been thinking a lot about the things I watch on television and the books I read.

I made a decision several months ago to stop reading secular fiction. For a bookworm like me, that decision was a hard one, but a necessary one. I realized that I was devoting more time to reading secular fiction than I was to reading the Bible and literature that honors God and helps me to grow in my relationship with Him.

Now I have to tackle the shows I watch on television. While I don't watch things on HBO (we don't have it) I do watch some movies and shows that definitely don't honor God.

When I mentioned to a friend in the not so distant past that I was strongly considering giving up some of my favorite television shows and stations, she said that it seemed too over the top. She said there was no way I could totally block out all the bad things, for then I wouldn't be living in the real world.

Today I'm thinking about that more and more. Maybe I don't want to live in the real world. Maybe I want to be over the top for God.

I Peter 1:13-16 says, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

I know I can't be perfect, but I can prepare my mind, be self-controlled, and not conform to the world. God has called me to holiness.

Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

Using Philippians 4:8 as a guideline, I can monitor what goes into my heart. I believe that what I see filters down into my heart, taking root and growing.

I want a clean and pure heart before God. I want to try my hardest to live a life that is pleasing to Him. If it means giving up some television shows for the sake of decluttering my mind and heart, I will do my best to do so.

Pray for me as I embark on this journey. It's a conviction God has placed on my heart. Does God call everyone to this? He didn't call my friend to do it but He has called me.

Will it be easy? I doubt it. Will I miss the mark? Probably. But I can try. Will it make a difference in my life? Definitely.

Psalm 27:9: " My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek."

Day 26 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will discover and live his God-given purpose. Pray that he will offer all his dreams to the Lord, and pursue only those goals that will bring God glory and count for eternity. (Jer. 29:11; 1 Cor. 10:31)

Father, please enable Steve to discover and live the purpose and plans you have for him. Help him offer everything to You and pursue only what brings You glory and counts for eternity. Strengthen him and make his feet stand firm and stay on the path You have for him, Lord.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

God speaks....

Yesterday, I talked with Jimmy, my uncle (pictured with his wife and twin boys, age 7), about his recovery process from brain surgery he had to remove a melanoma tumor.

He mentioned how evident God's handprints have been throughout this entire opportunity (I refuse to call it a crisis, stomping my foot in defiance).

He was telling me that he knows it's all God's doing that he's doing so well. While he acknowledges the skill of the doctors and thanks God for them, Jimmy knows that God is the one who deserves the credit for everything. Jimmy says this is not about him at's all about God. I couldn't believe that he hasn't had to have anything stronger than extra-strength tylenol for pain (other than 2 darvoet that they made him take, he did not ask for them).

God has also been so at work reminding Jimmy of how much He loves him and is there for him as His Protector. One of the ways was that he was reminded recently was that a friend texted a scripture to him. That same scripture shows up in two places later. He was reading the Psalms before bedtime as his devotion and Susan was reading a devotion from a book.

Even in the small things, God reminds us that there are not coincidences.

The Scripture he mentioned that was showing up in the incident he talked about was Habbakuk 3:19. And it showed up for me today. Guess what biblegateway's verse of the day is?

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”- Habakkuk 3:19
Thank You, God, for the reminder that You surround our family with Your ever-present strength and hope. Your love is eternal and timeless, it is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I love seeing Your precious handprints, reminding me even in my own day to day opportunities, that You are my strength, You make my feet strong and able to stand firmly.

Day 25 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will be courageous in his stand against evil and injustice, and that he will stand for the truth. Pray that he will protect you and your family from Satan’s attacks. (Ps. 31:24; Eph. 6:13; Ps. 27:14)

My dear and most gracious Heavenly Father, please enable Steve to be courageous in standing against all evil and injustice. Help him to stand for the truth, representing You well and praying for us against Satan's attacks. Enable Steve to put on all of Your armor and to stand victorious because not only of who he is but Whose he is.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Day 24 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will have a balanced life—that he will balance work and play. Pray that he will fear God, but also gain favor with people he knows at work and church. (Luke 2:52; Prov. 13:15)

Father, this is my prayer for Steve. Help him to balance things well and to live a life worthy of You, reflecting Your love to the people he comes in contact with. Help them see his reverence and fear of You and help him gain the favor You so richly want to bless him with.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Day 23 - List at Revive Our Hearts

Pray that your husband will be a good father—disciplining his children wisely and loving them unconditionally. If he is not a father, pray that he will find a young man to mentor in the things of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21; 2 Tim. 2:1-2)

Father, thank You for providing such a wonderful earthly father in Steve for Kristyn. He loves her unconditionally and I believe that before she married and moved out that he disciplined her and raised her in such a way that You would be pleased with him. We all make mistakes along the way, but Steve is a great father to Kristyn. Thank You so much for giving him the patience, love, mercy and wisdom he so richly used in rearing her.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Thankful Thursday is hosted by Irene. Please visit her page by Clicking on the link and be sure to participate in this wonderful meme.
Irene chose gentleness as the theme for this week. The verse she picked is precious.
“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip. I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. ~ Psalm 18:35-37
(emphasis Irene)"

Our precious Heavenly Father provides us with all the things mentioned in the verse above. What a loving and gentle thing to give us. Eternal protection from separation from Him. He extends His shield of salvation to us lovingly, with His precious gift of grace. We have only to reach out and accept it.
How many times I have felt the hand of God in my life. I wrote recently on how God demolished the brick wall of infertility in my life, but what I didn't write was that there were times when I measured the wall, prepared for the demolition of the wall, and even years after the loss of Sydney, I wound up in the pit of depression.
God's right hand supported me then and lifted me out of that pit. He was so gentle. I never felt His anger at me for feeling so wounded. I never felt His impatience with me as He waited for me to call on Him and reach up to Him as I felt so alone. He was gentle.
How gracious of God to provide such a wide place for us to step. Have you ever tried to walk on a balance beam? It seems so narrow, yet with God's power, it's as wide as our hearts and minds perceive it to be. God doesn't want us to lose our footing. He's so gentle and loving and coaxes us across those steps He has made sure and firm.
Thank you, God, for Your gentleness. May I become more and more like You in spirit, having that gentleness in my heart and mind.