Friday, February 27, 2009

Please click on the button above to visit with me At the Well.

Friday Funnies are posted below...


Welcome to Friday Funnies, hosted by Kim at Homesteaders Heart. Fridays are always a good day for a chuckle! Thanks to Kim for hosting this meme each week. Be sure to visit her sight for more funnies and link up and share your own by clicking on the button above.
As I was reading down through these, I was surprised at how many I've actually used! If it's in italics, I've said it before myself. I've heard all used at one time or another. Enjoy!

Southern Sayin's
“It’s so dry, the trees are bribing the dogs.”
“My cow died last night so I don’t need your bull.”
“This is gooder’n grits.”
“If things get any better, I may have to hire someone to help me enjoy it.”
“Living high off the hog.”
“Slow as molasses.”
“Grinnin’ like a mule eatin’ briers.”
“Happier than a fat tick on a skinny dog.”
“As full as a tick.”
“Feel like I’ been caught between a dog and a firehydrant.”
“Finer that frogs’ hair.”
“Cuter than a speckled pup.”
“If I was any happier I’d be twins.”
"Who blew out your pilot light?"
"It's so good, it'd make a freight train take a dirt road!"
"My stomach's full, but my mouth ain't satisfied!"
"Well now! Don't that just fry your tater?"
"That steak's so rare, a good vet could save it!"
"That's about as easy as nailin' Jell-O to the wall."
"That feller ain't nothin' but an appetite with skin drawn over it."
"You can't chew with somebody else's teeth."
"That's like tryin' to sneak sunup past a rooster!"
"I'm as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers."
"Sexy as socks on a rooster."
"Mad as a mule chewin' bumblebees."
"Now that he's sowed his wild oats, he's hopin' for crop failure!"
"He's all vines, and no taters."
"He'll never drown in his own sweat."
"It's like tryin' to herd cats!"
"If you shake his hand, count your fingers."
"If she heard that, she'd lay square eggs."
"He's about two jumps ahead of a fit."
"If it costs a dollar to go around the world, I couldn't get out of sight."
"That chili's so hot, it can make a cat pass a motorcycle!"
"I think the butter's slipped off your biscuit."
"He's as happy as a puppy waggin' two tails."
"You're goin' up fool's hill on the slippery side."
"Folks who get all wrapped up in themselves, sure do make small packages."
"You'll never get indigestion from swallowing you own pride."
"Who licked the red off your candy?"
"That’s about as useful as a trap door on a canoe!"
"Well, if that don’t put pepper in the gumbo!"
"Well, slap my hand and call me silly!"

Things Southerner's Know

The difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit.
Pretty much how many fish make up a mess.
What general direction cattywumpus is.
When somebody's "fixin" to do something, it won't be long.
Ain't nobody's biscuits like Grandma's biscuits!!
A good dog is worth its weight in gold.
Real gravy don't come from the store.
When "by and by" is.
The difference between "pert near" and "a right far piece."
Never to go snipe hunting twice.
It only takes once to learn what happens when you swallow tobacco juice.
Never to assume that the other car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
You may wear long sleeves, but you should always roll 'em up past the elbows.
Rocking chairs and swings are guaranteed stress relievers.
Rocking chairs and swings with an old person in them are history lessons.
The best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'.
You don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart"...And go your own way.
A whistling woman and a crowing hen never comes to a very good end. (be who you are)
Ain't that the berries! (that is great!)
As easy as sliding off a greasy log backward. (very easy)
Barking up the wrong tree. (you are wrong)
Be like the old lady who fell out of the wagon. (you aren't involved, so stay out of it)
Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly time. (very busy)
Caught with your pants down. (surprised and unprepared)
Chugged full. (full and over-flowing)
Do go on. (you must be joking)
Don't bite off more than you can chew. (attempt what you can accomplish)
Don't count your chickens until they hatch. (first know the results)
Don't let the tail wag the dog. (the Chief is in charge, not the Indians)
Don't let your mouth overload your tail. (talking too much)
Either fish or cut bait. (work or make way for those who will)
Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. (everyone is sometimes lucky)
Every dog should have a few fleas. (no one is perfect)
Fly off the handle. (angry and lashing out)
Get the short end of the stick. (treated wrong)
Give down the country. (give someone a peice of your mind)
Go hog wild. (have a good time)
Go to bed with the chickens. (in bed early)
Go whole hog. (go for it all)
Gone back on your raisin. (deny heritage)
Got your feathers ruffled. (upset and pouting)
Happy as a dead pig in the sunshine. (doesn't grasp or worry what's going on)
Have no axe to grind. (no strong opinion)
Holler like a stuck pig. (someone mislead you)
I do declare. (usually means nothing)
In high cotton. (rising up in society)
In a coon's age. (been a long time)
Like a bump on a log. (lazy and doing nothing)
Like two peas in a pod. (act and think alike)
Mend fences. (settle differences)
Scarce as hen's teeth. (no such thing)
Sight for sore eyes. (Nice to see you!)
Stomping grounds. (familiar territory)
Sun don't shine on the same dog's tail all the time. (you'll get what you deserve)
That takes the cake. (surprised)
Too big for one's britches. (someone taking themself too seriously)
Two shakes of a sheep's tail. (done quickly)
Well, hush my mouth. (shocked and speechless)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Praying for Melly

My dear friend Melly is in dire need of prayers. She has a mass on her lung and has been told what it "most likely" is. I cannot say the word. There's just too much of it in the world today. I am heartsick but I am convinced that God will work this situation out for His glory. I'm praying that His will matches mine. Won't you agree with me in prayer that His will be done? And join me in praying that the PET Scan rules "it" out and even if it is that God heals her. He is Able!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Basics

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.”~ Psalm 57:9 (ESV)

The basics in life are often the very things we take for granted. I'm so thankful for God's provision of the basic things I need.

Air - How often do I stop and think how thankful I am for the air that I breathe? Not often enough. As thankful as I am to be able to breathe good air, I am reminded that my very life's breath is in the hand of God.

"In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." ~ Job 12:10 (NIV)

Food - I'm so grateful that I do not suffer hunger. True hunger is something I have never experienced. I grew up eating food from both the garden and the grocery store. We not only had real food, but the little extra's like chocolate and snacks to eat. Tonight I'm grateful for sushi. I never thought I'd say that! I have discovered that all sushi is not raw. Tonight was date night. I had dynamite rolls (steamed shrimp and crab wrapped in a pressed seaweed and rice) and eel rolls (steamed eel with cucumber and zucchini and some other stuff wrapped the same way). I tried octupus and found it chewy and a bit fishy tasting. Fortunately we have been married almost 18 years and it didn't gross him out when I had to spit it out. I am really thankful that I have never known serious hunger. I was reading in Genesis about the famine in Egypt and how they gave their lives in slavery just for food. How sad is that? I see pictures of poverty-stricken third world countries where children are starving (and it goes on here in the USA, too, sometimes intentionally, sad to say) and it breaks my heart! I'm so thankful that a good harvest of food comes from the Lord and that we live in a land of prosperity where we do not lack nutritionally.

"Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." ~ Acts 14:17 (NIV)

Water - I'm extremely thankful for water. It's the best and only thirst quencher for me nine times of ten. Sweet tea is made with water, too, and you know I cannot live without that! I'm so thankful for showers and baths, making me feel all clean and relaxed. Water to cook with comes right from the tap for us. We are blessed with good water. I love how God provides the water for the earth through rain and snow and even how He shows Himself off with beautiful dew on the ground and flowers. His splendor is great and His mercy in sending our water is so faithful. Sometimes it seems we get too much, other times not nearly enough, but God always provides.

"I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit." ~ Leviticus 26:4 (NIV)

Shelter - I'm so thankful for a home to live in. We live in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home made of brick and wood. We are comfy cozy and safe. We're warm in the winter, cool in the summer and the elements are only brought in when my dearest forgets to close the back door. (I so need a screen door on the back!) We are blessed to have lived here for over 15 years now. Kristyn was raised here from age 8 - 20. We've had many pets come and go and now the Grands play here more often than not. I love my nest and I'm so thankful for it. My home is a sanctuary to me. It's peaceful and I love it. I know that living here is nothing of my own making. God has provided for us more than we ever deserved. I think of those without a home for whatever reason and my heart breaks. Not just those with no place to live, but those without a home-home. I am blessed beyond measure and so grateful for what I have been given. More than the shelter of my home, I'm grateful for the shelter of the Almighty God. It's a shelter that cannot be shaken. No tornadoes, no hurricanes, no straightline winds or floods can shake me from His hand. Oh, what faith to have!

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." ~ Psalm 91:1 (NIV)
Clothes - You have to be thankful for that! I love the different styles of clothes and the fact that I can usually find my good friend Clarence lurking among the racks, ensuring I get good discounts. One store I love to shop at emails me coupons on a daily basis. Oh, I could go wild with that. I have comfy clothes, casual clothes and dressy clothes. No matter what I decide to wear, or if I can't seem to find that just-right outfit, I know that I'm covered in this promise from God.
"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!" ~ Luke 12:27-28 (NIV)
More than material clothes, I long to and pray that I wear these daily.
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." ~ Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

Love - Love is not one of the basics but it has been a part of the life surrounding me since I entered this world some 38 years ago. Love of family and friends sustains me and the love of my husband is awesome. After nearly 18 years of marriage I am more in love with Steve today than I was this time yesterday, and probably little bit less than I will be tomorrow. My love for him continues to increase and grow. He's a fantastic husband! I'm so grateful to have him in my life. My love for God is also growing and growing. I have always loved Him, too, but it seems lately as I pull close to Him in prayer and faith I have that feeling of contentment that can only come from knowing that the Lord loves me. He loves you, too. He's not some cruel taskmaster, waiting with a ruler behind His back to condemn you for every little thing you do. He longs to impart mercy and grace to you.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." ~ John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Yes, I'm thankful for the basics. The basics are what see me through each and every day. They include more than just what I've listed above. I could write all night and still not cover what I feel are very basic things I'm thankful for. I think the very basic things are very grand in the scheme of things, don't you?

Iris has chosen a great theme this week. The basics of life are really the biggest things we needto be thankful for. I'm so glad she hosts Thankful Thursday each week. Be sure to visit her by clicking on the button below and link up, leaving a Thankful Thursday post of your own.


WFW - Prayer of Surrender

One of the most precious prayers we can pray is a prayer of complete surrender. As we surrender ourselves to God, He reveals things about us to ourselves, causes us to repent of the sinful ways hidden within, and leads us down a path with Him far better than any we could ever imagine for ourselves. David prayed such a prayer.

Total surrender in this type of praying will bring to light anything we need to know about ourselves. Sometimes we fall back into old behaviors or old hurts may be stirred up within us, reminding us that we haven't dealt with forgiveness, jealousy, or matters of pride. Often we don't know what issues God will bring to mind when we pray this prayer. We may not feel particularly sinful or we may be doing something so routine and habitual that it doesn't seem like a sin to us. We must invite God to search our hearts and free us. The Psalmist invited God to do just that in the verse above.

Search Me

The Hebrew word for search is chaqar. It means:

1) to search, search for, search out, examine, investigate
a) (Qal)
1) to search (for)
2) to search through, explore
3) to examine thoroughly
b) (Niphal)
1) to be searched out, be found out, be ascertained, be examined
c) (Piel) to search out, seek out

Inviting Him to do this kind of intimate search and knowing requires alot of trust and faith in the One who loves you so dearly. He will never use what He reveals to you to lead you farther into the bondage of sin. What He might just do is reveal to you the way that is keeping you tangled.

Know Me

The Hebrew word for know is yada`, and it means:

1) to know
a) (Qal)
1) to know
a) to know, learn to know
b) to perceive
c) to perceive and see, find out and discern
d) to discriminate, distinguish
e) to know by experience
f) to recognise, admit, acknowledge, confess
g) to consider
2) to know, be acquainted with
3) to know (a person carnally)
4) to know how, be skilful in
5) to have knowledge, be wise
b) (Niphal)
1) to be made known, be or become known, be revealed
2) to make oneself known
3) to be perceived
4) to be instructed
c) (Piel) to cause to know
d) (Poal) to cause to know
e) (Pual)
1) to be known
2) known, one known, acquaintance (participle)
f) (Hiphil) to make known, declare
g) (Hophal) to be made known
h) (Hithpael) to make oneself known, reveal oneself

This is not a request to be ask God if you aren't ready to totally surrender to Him. He will truly reveal and make known to you and to Himself your heart and mind.

Test Me

The Hebrew word for test is bachan. It means:

1) to examine, try, prove
a) (Qal)
1) to examine, scrutinise
2) to test, prove, try (of gold, persons, the heart, man of God)
b) (Niphal) to be tried, proved
c) (Pual) to make a trial

The Hebrew word for anxious thoughts is sar`aph. It means:

1) disquieting thoughts, thoughts

The Hebrew word for offensive, or `otseb, means:

1) pain, sorrow
2) idol

While we are never to put God to the test, we should certainly ask Him to test us. In surrendering to this examination, we are tried and often refined during the process.

He longs to free you, just as you long to be freed from any anxious thoughts or offensive ways.

Lead Me

I love this portion of this prayer. After our hearts and minds and anxious thoughts have been tested and the wicked ways are exposed, we can truly mourn over our sins, confess and repent them, and be led in "the way everlasting."

Ways, or the Hebrew word derek, means:

1) way, road, distance, journey, manner
a) road, way, path
b) journey
c) direction
d) manner, habit, way
e) of course of life (fig.)
f) of moral character (fig.)

God leads us in His way. We follow His example and with freshly cleansed hearts we are prepared to journey down a road of holy conduct. We have a fresh new start! Our manners and habits are back on track and we, in our total surrender, are set back on the path once again.

What is this path? The everlasting path. The path we lost sight of in our sin. While our eyes were on the world and situations around us, they were off God. They were off the goal.

The Hebrew word for everlasting is `owlam. This means:

1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world
a) ancient time, long time (of past)
b) (of future)
1) for ever, always
2) continuous existence, perpetual
3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity

Our eyes are back on God and on the eternal life set before us. Make no mistake, we do not lose eternal life just because we've backslidden, but we can lose sight of it.

In Closing

Total surrender in this prayer reveals the things we need to cast aside, give to Christ to carry, or move beyond. It removes the sin set before us and sets in place forgiveness and moving beyond our sin into hopefully a more constantly surrendered life with Him.

Father, search me and try me and know my anxious thoughts. Cast them far from me and remove the transgressions You reveal to me. While I mourn over the sins I have committed, I rejoice in Your forgiveness and am ready to be placed back on the path You have for me. Help me continue to keep my eyes on You and the eternal life You have promised me through Jesus Christ my Lord. In His Name I pray. Amen.

Are you ready to surrender to God in prayer, letting Him examine your heart and mind? Join me in inviting Him to search my heart and lead me in the way everlasting.

S - Submit to God in your surrender. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." ~ James 4:7 (NIV)

U - Untangle yourself from anything that keeps you from total surrender. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." ~ Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

R - Respond with surrender to God's call on your life. "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" ~ Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

R - Reject the world and surrender to God's ways. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." ~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)

E - Earnestly surrender to God daily in prayer. "pray continually;" ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV)

N - Never lose your joy as your surrender in trust to God. "In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name." ~ Psalm 33:21 (NIV)

D - Determine to let God lead you as you surrender to His plan. "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;" ~ Psalm 25:4 (NIV)

E - Examine yourself to make sure you are surrendered to Christ. "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?" ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

R - Reinforce God's Word in your life by reading it daily, surrendering to Him. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." ~ Psalm 119:11 (NIV)

The purpose of WFW is to share the Word of God through photo's and a verse. Amydeanne, over at The 160 Acre Woods, is our hostess. Be sure to link up and share your own, and drop her a thank you for hosting this wonderful meme each week. It always blesses my heart to read all the posts and see the photos and verses. This is a wonderful way to minister to others and to be ministered to by reading others posts. Please visit by clicking on the button above.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Note: IOW Tuesday post below.

Welcome to to TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD). We are reading through the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs this year and sharing what spoke to us on Tuesday's.

For all that I read for this plan this week click here. (I'm also reading in the OT, too. I'm fixing to start Genesis 45 later today.)

Nugget #1

Paul is the man. Of God! While Paul's crusades are covered in so many books of the New Testament, including Acts, He gives God all the glory for speaking through him. I love that about Paul. His humility is a shining example. For example:

"Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas." ~ Acts 16:6-8 (NIV)

See? They were ready to preach the Word in Asia and God said, "Not yet." Instead of going anyway, they passed by and turned around. Oh, to be that aware of the Holy Spirit's promptings, to be that obedient, and to be about God's business wherever He chooses to place me!

Nugget #2

Lydia worshiped God before she made her relationship with Him real and personal.

"On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us." ~ Acts 16:13-15 (NIV)

I grew up worshiping the Lord before I received Christ as my personal Savior. I sang the songs, prayed, read my Bible, went to church, etc. Lydia apparently did, too. Worshiping God isn't enough, though. We must open our hearts to Him and receive His grace and mercy, just as Lydia did, and respond.

The Greek word for open is dianoigō. This verb means:
1) to open by dividing or drawing asunder, to open thoroughly (what had been closed)
a) a male opening the womb (the closed matrix), i.e. the first-born
b) of the eyes and the ears
c) to open the mind of one, i.e. to cause to understand a thing
1) to open one's soul, i.e. to rouse in one the faculty of understanding or the desire of learning
The Lord is the One who opens our hearts to receive Him. He is the one who stirs our soul and opens the eyes and ears to understanding. Our response to this is the response that receiving Him as our Savior.
The Greek word for respond is prosechō. It means:
1) to bring to, bring near
a) to bring a ship to land, and simply to touch at, put in
2) to turn the mind to, attend to be attentive
a) to a person or a thing: of caring for, providing for
3) to attend to one's self, i.e. to give heed to one's self
a) give attention to, take heed
4) to apply one's self to, attach one's self to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing
a) to be given or addicted to
b) to devote thought and effort to
We truly take heed and apply, cleaving to Christ as our Savior and Lord. We devote our thoughts and efforts to moving toward accepting His grace and mercy in our lives and thus, move into Christianity. We are redeemed and live as such. We study His Word and are born into eternal life.
I truly enjoyed this reading and pray that you'll join us. Jump on in and share with us TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD). His Word is powerful and I find new truths revealed to me each time I read the Bible.
For more TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD), click the link and visit each participant's blog.
Thank you, DeeDee, for hosting this wonderful meme each week.

IOWT - The Joy of Salvation

Today's In "Other" Words Tuesdays is hosted by Michelle at Because I Love You - A Life Lived Out Before the Lord. She has given us a great quote to ponder and write on.
“Is it possible we could experience the joy of our salvation if we mourned [over our sin] as if someone had died? We cannot experience joy without mourning.” - by Pastor Robert Morris, from Sermon: “Those who mourn are happy”

The very word salvation implies that we are saved from something. It's a very important word in the Bible. It is used 120 times in the NIV Bible, 158 times in the KJV.
"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." ~ Psalm 13:5 (NIV)

The Hebrew word for salvation used here is yĕshuw`ah and means:

1) salvation, deliverance
a) welfare, prosperity
b) deliverance
c) salvation (by God)
d) victory

In the Old Testament, the Psalmist rejoiced in the deliverance, welfare, and victory the Lord had been so loving to give him. God led the Psalmist, and many more to be sure, to victory and even righteousness obtained through faith, as we learn in Hebrews 11.

The Psalmist mourned greatly over the sin that was before him. Regarding his sinful ways he said:

"I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning." ~ Psalm 38:6 (NIV)

The Hebrew word for mourning is qadar. This verb means:

1) to mourn, be dark
a) (Qal) to be dark
b) (Hiphil)
1) to darken
2) to cause to mourn
c) (Hithpael) to grow dark

It is in this mourning that he found joy in the salvation that came from the Lord, I believe. He knew the Lord provided salvation to all who call on His Holy Name.

In the New Testament, we learn of another salvation - the salvation that comes through confession of sin and belief in Jesus Christ our Lord. Surely we are to feel sorrow and mourn over our sins, but in a Godly way, not a worldly way.

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." ~ 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)

How can we rejoice when we have not mourned? How can we be made perfect when we were not imperfect to begin with? We cannot. In the Sermon on the Mount Christ said:

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." ~ Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

The Greek word for comforted is parakaleō. It means:

1) to call to one's side, call for, summon
2) to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.
a) to admonish, exhort
b) to beg, entreat, beseech
1) to strive to appease by entreaty
c) to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation, to comfort
1) to receive consolation, be comforted
d) to encourage, strengthen
e) exhorting and comforting and encouraging
f) to instruct, teach

Christ has comforted us in our sin. We, who were once dead in our trespasses, are made alive in Christ.
"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross." ~ Colossians 2:13-14 (NIV)
We can rejoice in the salvation that comes from the grace of our Lord and know that He remembers our sins no more.

How can we rejoice in the salvation for the sin we once mourned for? We have comfort from God in this promise.
"as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." ~ Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

We have peace and joy that comes from knowing we have been reconciled to Christ. In mourning our past sins we find the how deep God's grace and mercy for us are, but we need not keep mourning. We have been reconciled, redeemed, renewed.

"Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." ~ Romans 5:11 (NIV)

Today is the day to rejoice in the Lord's salvation, my friend! How can we not? Our debt for our sin was paid by our Savior and we may be sure that He wants us to rejoice.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" ~ Philippians 4:4 (NIV)

The Greek word for rejoice is chairō and means:

1) to rejoice, be glad
2) to rejoice exceedingly
3) to be well, thrive
4) in salutations, hail!
5) at the beginning of letters: to give one greeting, salute

How can we truly rejoice in our salvation?
R - Remember that Christ has set us free and the rewards that come with it. "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." ~ Romans 6:22 (NIV)

E - Exalt the Name that is above all Names. "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." ~ Philippians 2:10-11 (NIV)

J - Joyfully tell others of the salvation of the Lord. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." ~ Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

O - Openly praise Him for the blessing of salvation. "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." ~ Exodus 15:2 (NIV)

I - Intentionally keep an attitude of joy and praise for your redemption. "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful." ~ Psalm 68:3 (NIV)

C - Consistently find joy in reading His Word. "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty." ~ Jeremiah 15:16 (NIV)
E - Erect a guard around your heart, keeping out the bad things. "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

To visit more In "Other" Words Tuesdays posts, click on the button above. Be sure to link up and share your own.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Gathering at the Well this morning we find the talk about motherhood and children, a topic I'm not well-versed in.
As many of the regular readers here at A Magnolia's Heart Beats know, I never had biological children. Oh, the desire was there for a time, but after an eight year period of prayer, a time of infertility and miscarriage, it wasn't to be and I had a hysterectomy at age 29.
I had the pleasure of assisting in raising my bonus daughter, though, from the time she was six years old until she flew the nest, married, and made grandparents out of us. I learned alot about motherhood, mostly from the example of other women. I wish during that time I had taken my cue from the Bible and had the resources available now that I didn't have back then. You can't go back, though, and all in all, she turned out to be a great child.
I had a wonderful example to follow through watching my own Mother raise my sister. My little sister is a year and a half older than Kristyn, and since I was almost 13 when Jenn Jenn was born, I got to see alot of what went on in the proper care of children. Momma is a great Mom and I love the way she loved us. She always had time for us and never shooed us away. I don't know how she ever had any kind of a personal life while raising us because it seems we were her life. Her love never waxed cold.
It isn't exactly like that for mothers in this day and age. As Sherry, our host for today, says, "We need a transformation; we need the power of the Holy Spirit to be released in us. It starts with repentance and forgiveness, then continues through prayer and the study of God's Word. If you are struggling--confess it to Him and ask for help. Include Him in your questions and challenges--ask for His help to develop new heart-habits that will reap a harvest in this world and the world to come."

I would encourage any struggling mother to seek God to transform her heart. My nest is empty but I still pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to be released in me. I have struggles in other areas of my life and need His precious guidance. My nest fills up quite often with visit from the Grands, Kristyn & Corey's precious wee ones, Nolan and Liam. I saw them briefly Saturday and they'll be there tonight I'm sure. Next weekend we'll likely keep one or both of them at some point overnight. For the brief time I have them with me, I want to be the best I can be for them. I want to make sure I am the best Nonnie I can be, and the best example I can be to Kristyn.

On to the discussion questions. Sherry writes:

Are there areas of hardness and coldness in my life? What are the roots of these? Do I need to release someone who has hurt me in my past?

I think many of us bring some kind of baggage into motherhood. This baggage can weigh us down and settle us into a hardness that rivals concrete. If someone from our past has hurt us, now is the time to forgive them.

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." ~ Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

This speaks to me and says that sometimes we have to forgive people in a very large way. Forgiveness isn't always easy, but it is a matter of obedience. It doesn't mean letting someone keep hurting you, it's a matter of the condition of your heart and letting it heal. You can forgive someone but still keep them at arms length, not giving them the chance to hurt you again. While God removes our sins as far as the east is from the west, we simply are not wired that way.

The Greek word for forgiveness used in the verse above is aphiēmi. This word means:

1) to send away
a) to bid going away or depart
1) of a husband divorcing his wife
b) to send forth, yield up, to expire
c) to let go, let alone, let be
1) to disregard
2) to leave, not to discuss now, (a topic)
a) of teachers, writers and speakers
3) to omit, neglect
d) to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit
e) to give up, keep no longer
2) to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person
3) to leave, go way from one
a) in order to go to another place
b) to depart from any one
c) to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned
d) to desert wrongfully
e) to go away leaving something behind
f) to leave one by not taking him as a companion
g) to leave on dying, leave behind one
h) to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining
i) abandon, leave destitute

Look through these descriptions above and see how you can forgive someone in a way that is freeing to you.

Do I need to confess and release myself from the bondage of sinful patterns in my own life?

We have to let go of anything that is holding us back from being a mother to the wee ones in our lives. If we don't, our hands will be so tied that we cannot touch their lives and shepherd them the way they need to be. Whatever sinful patterns we have need to be removed. We may not even know what they are. We may not feel particularly sinful or we may be doing something so routine and habitual that it doesn't seem like a sin to us. We must invite God to search our hearts and free us. The Psalmist invited God to do just that.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." ~ Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

Once we have our hearts and minds turned upright, we can lead our children, grandchildren or whomever our charges are in the way that God leads us, the way of the everlasting.

What are some ways that I can turn the conversation around when other women begin to gripe and complain about their children?

I think one good way would be to listen carefully and let them know that you will be in prayer for their child. Just as we do not engage in husband-bashing, neither should we engage in child-bashing. Simply do not go there. Your child's dirty laundry does not need to be aired. If you have concerns, have a talk with a trusted friend, don't air the concerns in a group. Leading by example is a good way in this case. I can tell you that I griped and complained about some issues regarding my bonus daughter that skewed the way family and friends thought of her for quite some time. I missed my sister's wedding over it. Cultivating a harvest of bitter words is something that you don't want to do.

Pray for God's wisdom, ask if you can change the subject, get up and leave, lead by example, sit in silence, do anything but participate in a conversation about negativity regarding children. Revealing personal indiscretions skews views. This I know.

Name some creative ways we can create warmer, more inviting environments for our children.

Oh, this is easy! I love this one. TURN OFF THE TV. Have a family game night. Have supper in an unusual place. For example, if you usually eat at the kitchen table, serve pizza and drinks (with lids on them) in the kids room on the floor. Get into their space and be "cool" with them for a night. Always be open for interruptions. If you are truly working and don't need any distractions, go to them before you sit down and ask them if there is anything they need. Let them know that you're going to be busy for a while and don't need to be interrupted, but you're here for them now. If you're simply surfing the net or reading emails make time for your kids. You can always come back to what you're doing. They grow up so fast, ya'll. I am amazed at how quickly Kristyn went from 6 to 20. I think I know how fast in the twinkling of an eye is. Make time for them, love them, be affectionate and hug them, tell them you not only love them but like them, spend one-on-one time with them if you have more than one child, the opportunities are limitless.

At the Well is hosted by Sherry today at - Please be sure to visit and gather with us...


Saturday, February 21, 2009

I heard this song tonight and it just spoke VOLUMES to me...I hope it touches your heart, too.

Please visit
Amy for more Then Sings My Soul Saturday music. Be sure to link up and share your own!

Blessings & Love,


Friday, February 20, 2009

The One Word Game - snagged from Melissa at Multi-Tasking Mama
It's harder than you think. Here is what you are supposed to do - copy and paste into your own note, type in your one word answers and tag a bunch of people (including me).
Where is your cell phone? foyer
your hair? thick
your father? chatterbox
your mother? compassionate
Your favorite thing? grandsons
your dream last night? cold
your favorite drink? tea
your dream/goal? writing
the room you are in? bedroom
your fear? elephants
where do you want to be in 6 years? here
muffins? cranberry
one of your wish list items? starbucks
where you grew up? jackson
the last thing you did? read
what are you wearing? clothes
your tv? off
your computer? sluggish
your life? blissful
your mood? peaceful
missing someone? momma
your car? sportage
favorite store?
your summer? swimming
your favorite color? pink
when is the last time you laughed? today
last time you cried? hmmm...
three people who email me? harriett, wow-gals, jennifer
three of my favorite foods? shrimp, bread, chocolate
three places I would rather be right now? Gatlinburg, Memphis, reading
Tag...You're it. Leave me a comment so I can come read your responses. Let's have some Friday night fun. Yeah, I's my bedtime so I'm going to read and lay down, but I'll read them tomorrow!

Crown of Righteousness

(Friday Funnies post is below)

Christ was present before the world was even formed.
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world." ~ John 17:24 (NIV)

Centuries later the Word became flesh and lived among men.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." ~ John 1:14 (NIV)

Christ performed many signs, wonders and miracles and taught so much about the Father's love. He assured us of so many promises and truths. He bore our sins and died for us on the Cross, forever redeeming us by His grace.

"And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" ~ Philippians 2:8 (NIV)

Death did not defeat Him, though. He rose again on the third day, just as prophesied long ago.
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve." ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (NIV)

Again He lived among humans, appearing to many and performing signs, miracles and wonders.

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." ~ John 21:25 (NIV)

Can you imagine, given all that is written, the things we do not know? How precious it will be to sit at the feet of Christ, learning and knowing all the things He did say and do while upon this earth. In the days before His ascension to Heaven He promised:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." ~ John 14:1-4 (NIV)

He also promised to send His Holy Spirit until He came back for us with these precious words.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live." ~ John 14:16-19 (NIV)

Forty days after His resurrection from the crucifixion, He ascended into Heaven.

"When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God." ~ Luke 24:50-53 (NIV)

That is not the end of the story, my friend! Just as He promised us, He is preparing a place for us, that where He is, there we may also be. 2,000 + years later, the signs are everywhere that His return is going to take place soon. Do you long for His appearing?

"Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." ~ 2 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

The apostle Paul tells us that if we do long for His appearing there is stored up for us a crown of righteousness. What is this crown of righteousness and what does it mean to long for His appearing?

The crown is in storage for us. The Greek word for in store is apokeimai. This verb means:

1) to be laid away, laid by, reserved
2) reserved for one, awaiting him

It's there with our name on it. It isn't something we have earned but a gift, a reward. This crown is appointed for us and is on reserve! This crown is waiting to be placed on those who long for His appearing by King Jesus Himself.

The word Greek word for crown is stephanos and means:

1) a crown
a) a mark of royal or (in general) exalted rank
1) the wreath or garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games
b) metaph. the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ: the crown (wreath) which is the reward of the righteousness
c) that which is an ornament and honour to one

What a privilege it will be to have placed this prize upon our heads by our Savior. Will we wear them for eternity or return them to our Savior as the saints in Revelation do, casting them at His feet? I don't know. But what a privelge it will be to have it given to us. What an honor!

This Greek word dikaiosynē, or righteousness, describes the crown we will be given. It means:

1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God
a) the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God
b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting
2) in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

Our righteousness comes from believing and accepting Christ's precious gift of grace, the penalty He paid via death in our place.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." ~ 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

Although He died and rose again and ultimately ascended into Heaven, He is not finished yet. He will appear yet again at the Rapture for the believers and the second return of Christ to the earth for the final time, to rule and reign for eternity.

The Greek word for longed is agapaō. We recognize this as the word for love. This means:

1) of persons
a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
2) of things
a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

This is a longing to be with Christ in the highest sense possible. We entertain the thought and welcome the future appearance of Christ. We long to be with Him and we have faith that we will be, based on His promise given in John 14 above.

The Greek word for appearing is epiphaneia and means:

1) an appearing, appearance

This will be a glorious appearing, one that shines as bright as the dawn. One that shines as brightly as only Jesus can. This world is not all there is. Heaven will not be a place where we sit on clouds and strum harps as depicted in many cartoons. We will be with Christ, in the new Heaven and Earth! The curse of this world will be lifted and we will live an active and restored life with Him.

Spend some time in Isaiah 65:17-25 and in other areas of the Word, reading about our lives with Christ.

I also encourage you to read Revelation 21-22 by clicking here and seeing what the new Heaven and new Earth will be like. The promise of knowing we will be with Christ forever in a resurected body and a world with no more sin is what makes me long for His appearing. No more wars, no more famine, no disease, no sickness, violence or evil.

To be with Christ forever should be our ultimate goal. It's one thing to have the assurance of eternal life and to know that we will be, but to have the promise of receiving a crown of righteousness just for longing for His appearing is a sweet, sweet gift, isn't it?

Father, thank You for reserving for us the precious gift of a crown of righteousness as a reward for longing to be with You. We know this crown is nothing we could earn on our own, but is a reward given by You based on the faith we have in the coming of Christ to bring us into Your kingdom. We rejoice that where He is, there we may also be. Set our hearts on fire to seek Your face, Lord, and to reject the things of the world in favor of the precious promises of eternity. Come, Lord Jesus, soon. Though no man knows the day or the hour, You have given us in Your Word signs that point to Your return. May we look forward to it with fervent hope and longing. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

If you enjoyed reading about the Crown of Righteousness, you might like:

Crown of Life


Welcome to Friday Funnies, hosted by Kim at Homesteaders Heart. Fridays are always a good day for a chuckle! Thanks to Kim for hosting this meme each week. Be sure to visit her sight for more funnies and link up and share your own by clicking on the button above.

Free Will

A young couple came into the church office to fill out a pre-marriage questionnaire form. The young man, who had never talked to a pastor before, was quite nervous and the pastor tried to put him at ease.

When they came to the question, "Are you entering this marriage of your own free will?" there was a long pause. Finally, the girl looked over at the apprehensive young man and said, "Put down yes".

The Passport

Before she died, an old lady wanted to visit England, the home of her ancestors. She went to the Federal Office and asked for a passport.

"You must take the loyalty oath first," the passport clerk said. "Raise your right hand, please." The senior citizen raised her right hand as the clerk asked, "Do you swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, domestic or foreign?"

The sweet old face paled and the voice trembled as she responded, "Well, I guess so, but ... will I have help, or will I have to do it all by myself?"

Hair Treatment

Trying to control my dry hair, I treated my scalp with olive oil before washing it. Worried that the oil might leave an odor, I washed my hair several times.

That night when I went to bed, I leaned over to my husband and asked, "Do I smell like olive oil?"

"No," he said, sniffing me. "Do I smell like Popeye?"

And you know I have to throw in some redneck ones...
You Might Be A Redneck If . . .

. . . your front porch collapses and four or more dogs die.
. . . you think that Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.
. . . you’ve got more than three cousins named “Bubba”.
. . . you think the last words to The Star Spangled Banner are “Gentlemen, start your engines.”
. . . you’ve ever taken reading material into an airplane restroom.
. . . you vacuum the sheets instead of washing them.
. . . the strongest smell in your house is butane.
. . . you think paprika is a Third World country.
. . . you have a bumper sticker that says, “My mother’s an honor student” at the local junior high.
. . . you think potted meat on a saltine is an hors d’oeuvre.
. . . you have no hubcaps on your car because you’re using them to feed your hunting dogs.
. . . you’ve ever been to a wedding reception at the Waffle House.
. . . your kids’ favorite bedtime story is “Curious George and the High Voltage Fence.”
. . . you time your belches to achieve a personal best.
. . . there’s graffiti on the bathroom wall in your own house.
. . . your best coon hound gets a birthday present and your wife doesn’t.
. . . you think a manicure is some kind of French doctor.
. . . you took your coon dogs on your honeymoon.
. . . you think the theory of relativity has something to do with inbreeding.
. . . you quit your job because deer season’s fixin’ to start.
. . . your gene pool doesn’t have a “deep end.”
. . . the UFO hotline limits you to one call per day.
. . . you think beef jerky and Moonpies are two of the major food groups.
. . . you and six of your neighbors split a cable bill.
. . . you prefer car keys to Q-tips.
. . . any of your honeymoon plans involve a deer camp.
. . . you always thought “Guns and Roses” was something you get for your anniversary.
. . . your deer stand has an address.
. . . you’ve ever taken a date flowers you’ve stole from a cemetery.
. . . your favorite cologne is Deep Woods Off.
. . . your toothbrush is a hand-me-down.
. . . you’ve ever had a conversation about truck tires that lasted more than an hour.
. . . you think people who have electricity are uppity.
. . . there are four pairs of pants and two squirrels hanging from your clothesline.
. . . the auto junkyard calls you to get spare parts.
. . . you consider tattooing a do-it-yourself job.
. . . you buy a police scanner to keep up with your relatives.
. . . you’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.
. . . you select a date’s corsage to match her tattoo.
. . . your Christmas tree has a deer stand in it.
. . . chiggers are included on your list of top five hygiene concerns.
. . . the best 5 years of your life were in the second grade.
. . . you have the bail bondsman on speed dial.
. . . you have more insurance on your hunting dog than you do on your house.
. . . you've been on TV more than 5 times describing what the tornado sounded like.
. . . your lawn mower gets better millage than your car.
. . . you shop lift from a yard sale.
. . . you miss your 5th grade graduation becasue your are called for jury duty.
. . . your sister is also your aunt.
. . . the library in your city ran out of the book "The ABC's of Belching".
. . . you know exactly how many cans of spray paint it takes to paint a 1976 full size Chevy truck.
. . . your Sunday vest is green and consists of three different fishin' lures.
Happy Friday, ya'll!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine," ~ Proverbs 17:22a (NIV)