Saturday, December 31, 2011

Discussion forum created

I have found a discussion forum that should make it easier to discuss with each other about the 365 days of Praise Challenge, bible study, what we are doing with our faithbooking and anything related to our walk with the Lord. This may be temporary until I can find a place that may fit better so that we can also post pictures of our scrapbook layouts, etc. If you have any ideas on this, I would love to hear them. The link to this discussion board will always be over in the Resources section on the right side of the blog. This will also take you to Bible Study which is another great resource for bible reading plans, studies and lots more. Check it out and have a fabulous final day of 2011!

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 37

My shoulder is feeling like 80% better! I have been praying for healing and guidance on what to do about it. I was going to go to my acunpunturist but when I was doing my research on surgery options I found that there may be natural options that need more exploring. In this research, I saw the word MSM which is a natural substance that I have used before when I had the injury to my sternal-clavical joint in Oct 2010. I stopped taking it because I was doing the powder form and it can taste extremely nasty and my shoulder issue back than had healed. So I took a quick trip to the healthfood store and picked it up in pill form because thanks to a networking buddy of mine I have learned how to swallow pills without the gag reflex issue. I was feeling about 45% better yesterday with just taking the one pill and after a full days worth of it, I actually turned on my left side early this morning in bed and it didn't start throbbing as usual! So, I am so thanking and praising God for this miracle of mine. It may not be a big thing like raising someone from the dead but when you have a low tolerance for pain like me, it's HUGE! So, I am praying it continues to feel better and will give all the glory to God.
Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Friday, December 30, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 36

My shoulders continue to hurt and I have delved further into researching surgery option and found there may be other options related to a particular kind of calcium. I will probably call my acupunturist today and get in and hope that some of those needles will be able to alleviate the pain at least until with God's help I can figure out what to do. I have been praying about guidance on what to try. I really don't want to have to do the surgery especially after more research and finding that there are way too many that have had negative things to say about the outcome of their surgeries. So I am praising God for this glimmer of hope to avoid the surgery but praying he will give me a definite answer that I clearly know is from him.
Psalm 62:5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone: my hope comes from him.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Faithbooking FAQ's

I am working slowly but surely on some faithbooking FAQ's and will create a page for this on the blog so people can get a better idea of what it is all about. I would love to hear your questions so I can have an idea of what's going on in people's minds when they hear the word faithbooking and find out it has to do with scrapbooking. So, please post your question using the comments here or email me directly at I really appreciate your help for this!

May our One True and Holy God of the Universe bless you this day with all that you desire and may you draw closer to Him. Amen.

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 35

The bible doesn't promise us an easy life or to not have challenges, difficulties, grief, fears and pain but God does promise to always be there. Today I am praising God for this promise that he will always be with me. Despite the extreme pain both my shoulders were in yesterday, I managed to tearfully make my way through the afternoon at my work desk. Focusing on my work and intermintent prayers when I was waiting for the computer program to do it's thing kept my mind from totally caving into the pain and just sobbing. I did a little research on surgery for shoulder bone spurs and found a lot of people wished they had done it sooner. So, my plans for things are a little up in the air until I go to the doctor on Jan 3rd and talk to him about surgery. It looks like a few days to a week out of work kind of thing and many months of physical therapy. My greatest concern at this point is that both my shoulders are hurting but I don't think that both can be done at the same time and that could create a lot of problems if I can't use my arms for any length of time. I am in God's hands at this point and we shall see where he leads me and this ministry.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 34

What a wonderful weekend it was! And back to work I go... But let me just say I am praising God for all the great memories that occurred this weekend starting with the fabulous and unique version of worship service we had on Christmas Eve with a re-enactment of the birth of Jesus in which any child that wished could dress up as an angel, sheperd, sheep or wise man and come forward to where Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were at the appropriate part of the story. It was quite the sight to see them all surrounding baby Jesus and all of us singing Joy to the World. Christmas eve dinner was super fabulous thanks to my brother's special taco shell preparations and reading the Christmas story to the kids was a very special moment for me taking me back to my teaching days and pulling at my heart strings to maybe get back to teaching Sunday school sometime and than there are the Christmas morning memories: Faith's reaction when she opened her American Girl doll she wanted, Tristan being taught how to make bacon for breakfast by Nathan and staying in pajamas all day. The weekend ended with a game night with our new Uno Attack game in which there was a lot of laughs and "your mean" by Faith. So, I am praising God for all these memories of my family just being together and sharing in the celebration of Jesus. Now, it's time to get my photos uploaded into Studio J and creating my scrapbook pages before these memories fade.
Luke 2: 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 33

Today I am praising God for giving us some visual symbols that remind us of him. The cross is the most obvious one but as I sat in my hot tub last night reflecting on the events of our Christmas day here at home, I found myself just in awe of the stars out shinning and thought of how Jesus is the bright morning star. I wondered where that term came from exactly. In my study of the bible I couldn't recall where it might be written but thanks to the concordance in the back of my bible I was able to look for 'star' and find the scriptural reference. It is from Revelation 22:16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. I thought about this symbol of a star and realized that it was the perfect symbol for hope. Morning star is the name given to the planet Venus when it appears in the east before sunrise. Jesus is this star that brings hope. They say that it is darkest before dawn. Jesus, The Morning Star is like a beam of light coming across the sky going off in the darkest of night and helping lead us to God who is the brillance of the rising sun. The star is our hope in our dark world. I am thankful to God for the gift of Jesus and putting that into a visual of a brillant star that we can hold on to. May our Morning Star bring you hope this day and all the days to come.
Numbers 24:17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob, a scepter will rise out of Israel.

Monday, December 26, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 32

My praise is for clarity! A lot of my answers and guidance from God comes to me early in the morning when I awaken, perhaps it comes in a dream or maybe my mind needs to rest through the night to mull things over and get the clarity. In any case, my best ideas, thoughts and guidance comes in the morning. My letter for the last couple weeks has been "P". The word that most comes to my mind has been "prepare". So, with January 15th looming over me for the first introductory crop, I realize that my preparation for this is far from complete. God took us through all the old testament times before he had Jesus born to us on Earth to save us. He was preparing the way for Jesus and he did it in his own time. I realized that I am running on "my timing" and I have concluded finally in my mind that that won't do. To be successful with this ministry, it has to be about God's timing and being prepared. Like any good business, the planning is the most important part to it's success and though I have had plenty of thoughts on this ministry I haven't yet really layed down the plans. God has put it on my heart that this is more than a one-person ministry. It will need to be a team effort to be successful so my first step in planning is to build up a body of Christ for this ministry. Each of us has gifts and this ministry will need more than what my gifts are in creativity. Do you have some spiritual gifts that can help this ministry? Do you have friends either in town or far away that may be able to not only participate but be a part of the team. This is a call to action to not only participate in this minsitry but become an integral part of it's success in reaching out to everyone for Christ.
Ephesians 4:12 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 31

One month of praises accomplished! The rest of my life to go...
Today's praise is for the greatest gift given in Jesus because of God's unending love for us. Thank you Lord for your priceless love for us that you would give up your son to save us so that we would have a choice to be with you forever. Thank you for leading us on the path and helping us find our way back to you. We pray today for all those in the world that have not made that choice or who may not even have heard of Jesus. We pray your love will lead them back to you and ask that all of us who do believe will be confident and steadfast in our believe so that you can work through us to bring more sheep to your flock. How amazing that our one true God sent his only son to Earth as a man to live among us! Emmanuel-God is with us! May we have feel and celebrate Jesus everyday of the year. I love you Lord!Merry Christmas to all and Happy Birthday Jesus!
Isiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 30

I don't know about you but I have gained a little weight since Thanksgiving. It happens every year. There are just too many good treats being made and shared. I decided to not worry about it this year and just try to have some self-control and not totally pig out. I have done okay. I have had moments like yesterday with the very larg box of chocolates some brought at work and I had three. I didn't feel so great after I ate them. You would think I would have learned this lesson after 46 years of over eating but that lesson doesn't want to stick. So, I have set the start date as Monday. It's back to reality and getting back my better eating habits and getting moving too. So, although the scale has gone up, I am thankful to God for helping me keep aware of it and not let it go up too much. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give me more self-control and help me get off to a good fresh start on Monday. So, enjoy your treats this Christmas weekend and remember that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and we have to take care of it.
1CORINTHIANS 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Friday, December 23, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-day 29

It looks like we are going to have a white Christmas. They said on the radio yesterday that a white Christmas by defintion is if you have 1" of snow on the ground. Well, we have had a double wammy with almost back to back storms and the weather will probably stay cold enough to keep a lot of it from melting away at least up in the north parts of town where I live. Do I still have Christmas shopping to do? Yes, a little but it will happen when God wants it to happen and it won't be today. At this point, I don't know yet that I will be making it to work, depends on if it's still snowing? In any case, my praise today is for a God who keeps us on our toes. Nothing is ever how we plan for it. You always have to have a back-up plan or Plan B,C,D,E... Some people handle the change in their plans very well and others not so great. I have been a mixed bag on my reaction to change so today I praise God for keeping the future out of my hands and helping me to react in a positive way to the plans He has for me. His plan my be for me to be to work late today or not at all? We shall see how God's plan unfolds.
Psalm 40:5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you have planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 28

Today I am praising God for something that may not seem so significant and important to others but to me it's made an impact. I found an ice pack at Walmart made of clay a few days ago that has a strap so it can be strapped to my shoulder. The clay makes it much more moldable and it also has an even cold through out and lasts longer. So, this isn't really a big thing but this little thing has made my life more bearable the last few days and kept the swelling down in my shoulder. It's a good lesson to see that anything we do or say can be of great significance to others. The impact we make on others by just loving and caring about them and maybe dropping a seed or two about Jesus can make all the difference if this person finally deciding to make the "choice" to beleive in Christ. We may never know the impact a word or action we take can have on someone or someones like the person who came up with this clay ice pack but he did it and it made a difference. So I am praying that today and all the days to come I can be more aware of my actions and words and that what I say or do can make all the difference to someone's hopeful eternal life.
2Cor 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 27

God's word is amazing! I have SO many times read a passage again and again and every time it is read I see something different. I think a lot of it has to do with the season of life you are in. This is a very good reason to never stop reading the Word of the Lord because He will speak to you wherever you are in your life. I am praising God for His word and how it is eternal. You can go on and on reading it and always come away with something new. In church on Sunday our prastor spoke about Matthew 2:13-23 which in a nutshell is about the escape of Mary, Joseph and Jesus to Egypt and about him coming out of Egypt and ending up in Nazzareth. I have heard this part of the story many times but our pastor brought out a very interesting thought as to why Matthew included it in the story. Jesus is living out the old testament. He is exhiled to Egypt because a certain king wants to see him dead and when that king is dead Jesus comes out of Egypt like Moses leading the Isrealites out of Egypt. We are doing the same thing! We are in exhile because of our sins. We cannot be near the Lord but Jesus like Moses leads us out of exhile into eternal life. My exhile was the sins of my past abortions and my secondary infertility issues I had brought a light onto those sins and made me face them for what they really are. I was led out of the darkness I faced every month when my period would show up again into the light and a relationship with God. I am not happy about where I was but I am very grateful and delighted with where I ended up. What drove you into exhile and how were you led out of it to Jesus?
Matthew 2:19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Isreal, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 26

Thanks to the help of technology it's easier than ever to get into God's Word at least a little bit everyday. I have the bible app for my Iphone called YouVersion but did you know they have a website as well and on the website they have tons of different reading plans. So, I signed up for the 29 days of Christmas plan and for the Memorize bible verses plan and set it up so they will send an email everyday as a reminder. So, I was reading the first verse yesterday for my 29 days of Christmas about Adam and Eve and the word that came to my mind was "CHOICE". I realized that our biggest issue is that God gave us the ability to choose and Adam and Eve started us off on our path of sin by making the first 'wrong' choice. Any choice that steers you away from God is 'wrong'. Than, I started thinking how God already knew from the get-go that we were going to make the 'wrong' choice and already had a plan in place, Jesus. So, out of his great love for us he gives us his son and he has to die for us and come back from hell so that we can be saved. Again, we have a 'CHOICE' to make. It says that after they ate the fruit from the tree they were NOT supposed to eat from, their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked and covered themselves. When God comes walking in the garden to talk with them, they run and hide from him. Why? Because, they knew they had done something 'wrong' and SHAME was born. Out of our shame, comes the desire to cover it up so it can't be seen. I covered my sin of the abortions I had up for many years and justified them because we are given "CHOICE". But I chose 'wrong' and it led me down a dark path but thankfully God brought a light to that path and I came to fully know and understand the meaning of Jesus and that I was forgiven. The shame that I had covered up for so many years could be bared for all to see without worry or fear. I was free. So, I am thankful for my freedom to choose that God has given us and I am very thankful that God gave us a way out from covering our sins.
Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Monday, December 19, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 25

I think it's been the usual case that in hindsight when looking back over a situation that has happened, I can see God in it but yesterday as I went through my situation, I felt God with me the whole of it and I was able to bring praises to my lips despite the circumstances. In the bad things that happen, there is always some good that God uses for it. So, here's a recap of my not-so-great situation that turned out to be a blessing. I headed out to do some errands and stopped first at my bank ATM to deposit a check and than headed to Walmart to pick up some things for baking, etc and when I went to pay found I did not have my credit/atm card. OH NO! Thankfully, I had some checks and paid with that than headed right back over to the bank. The checker had said that in those cases he heard the atm machine eats the card and you don't get it back. Ugh. Yep, that is what happened but Cindi at the bank was so sweet and helpful in getting me set up with a temporary card and than the suprising thing happened. "Did you know your driver's license is expired." "What?!" Oh yeah, not expected but she knew about getting a renewal and told me it was a simple go in and hand over your license, take the eye test, picture and pay the fee and your done. I was hurting considerably with the pain in my shoulder and it was past lunch time at this point so I was hungry too but despite the negative circumstances I was given this positive person to help me deal with it and was thanking God because it could have been SO much worse. So, I am really thankful to God for placing this person in my path and helping with this situation that ended up being a blessing since I did not know my license had expired a month previous on my birthday. I never saw the notice in the mail and I went over to the DMV office after my daughter's class party and was in and out in 10 mintues! Praise God for helping me maintain a positive attitude throughout this experience.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 24

Last night I was in the new spa with my daughter. It's not like we don't get plenty of opportunity to spend time together. That is her love language, quality time, so I make sure she is getting her love tank filled but there is something about relaxing in a hot tub at night with the dark sky and twinkling stars that just made it a very opportune time to really connect with her and see how things are going. So, she opens it up with 'let's talk' so I asked her how things are going at school with teacher, class and friends. Everything is good until we get to the friends part. She tells me one of her friends is hurting her. By this she meant she is getting hit, kicked and scratched by this 'friend'. Unfortunatley, this is not the first time with this 'friend'. They had this same issue back in either Kindergarten or 1st grade and I had to conquer my fears of confrontation and approach the mom at the bus stop and pull her aside to let her know what was going on. It seemed to have stopped but is now rearing it's ugly head. It may be because they are in the same class again but it apparently only happens at the lunch line in school, on the bus or at her house. Hmmmm... sounds like she's only doing this when she knows she can get away with it. Faith is a gentle and very-kind hearted person and says she doesn't want to hurt her feelings but also says she is afraid too because she doesn't want to hurt her more. Oh my... so for the first time probably ever, LOL, I told her I was going to pray about it and talk with Dad about it to see how to proceed. So, that next morning I was taking work off because my shoulder so I walked her over to the bus stop and afterwards walked the mom to her house telling her about the conversation I had with Faith. Of course, the protective defensive nature in a parent came up but we just discussed and decided to give the girls a break from playing with each other and she would talk with their teacher and her daughter. So, although I am not sure she is feeling like this is an issue with her daughter, as Nathan puts it, you have planted the seed and made her aware and that's all you can do at this point. So, I am thanking God for the opportunity to learn more about my daughter and her life and thankful for his guidance in how to deal with it.
Psalm 73:24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 23

It's times like these when I am in a lot of pain that my praying comes from the words of songs. The song that is playing over and over in my mind now is by Jeremy Camp. I think it's called "There Will Be a Day" but I will have to check on that. The words go like this: "there will be a day, with no more tears, no more pain and no more fears... The pain in my shoulder was the worst ever last night to the point of having a beer to take the pain away for a while. I don't drink much so that says a lot. 800mg of IB profin didn't do anything. I am staying home from work today just to let my shoulder have total and complete rest and will be icing off and on all day hoping to calm down the swelling. I got an appointment set up with Orthopedic doctor for January 3rd. It's not soon enough but in the end I am probably going to need surgery. So, I am off now to go ice it... I am thankful for my job but today I need a day of rest.
Jer 6:16 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.

Friday, December 16, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 22

I don't know about you but my getting older experience has been all about little things. Nothing life threatening, thanks to God but little things like my hormone imbalance, cists and now boils that come up on your body in places that are aggravating and my shoulder pain. It's been the year of the shoulder for me. First my sternal-clavicle joint was seperated in a fall I took on ice and not diagnosed properly for 3 months and than my right shoulder was hurt exercising on a machine at the YMCA and diagnosed as a shoulder bone spur and now I am in pain on my left side which has been going off and on for quite some time and I believe is another bone spur issue. I had a steriod shot the last time I was in to see the doctor and my whole body went into itch mode which means I was starting to have an allergic reaction. And for those that don't know, I am allergic to allergy medication so... Yeah, not a lot of options. I ended up at my actupunturist who helped me finally get rid of the pain from the first shoulder injury and she took care of the allergic reaction. Whew! So, now I am pushing through the pain because they next option is going to have to be surgery and I didn't want to have to go there. As I sat in the hot tub last night, trying to relax after a day of putting out fires at work and fixing other people mistakes, I was listening to the music playing and these words stuck out to me... "When it's all said and done, the only thing that matters is how we have loved." It's from the song Blink by Revive. At that moment, I smiled and thought it's not about my pain at the moment but how I respond to other around me despite my pain. I can always go the easy route and be a cranky witch or I can choose to not let the pain I am feeling cover over my feelings of love for those around me. So, today I am thankful for the words of others whether they come in a song, in an email or spoken directly to me that somehow give clarity and perspective and point you back into the direction that God wants for you. So, how have you loved? Haven't heard this song? Click on the iTunes button at top left.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have love you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 21

I came home yesterday to a pile of mail at my spot at the kitchen table including a big box from Hobby Lobby with some square picture frames I bought. One of those pieces of mail was a Christmas card homemade by one of my customers using a Christmas stamp set she bought from me from Close to My Heart. It was just a wonderful reminder that what I do with my crafting and sharing it with others does make some kind of difference, does inspire. So I am thanking God for the people that reach out and touch me back. There's nothing like good old snail mail especially when it's homemade! Have you gotten your Christmas cards in the mail? Me either, still working on them but hopefully you will get one in your mailbox this Christmas. Maybe it will be this one.

Matthew 10:8.5 Freely you have received, freely give.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 20

Today I am thankful for days of Rest. God had it right when he made creation and rested on the 7th day. We all need to have that rest time to reflect on what we have accomplished and to help us evaluate and set new goals. My days of rest are when I can be in my studio crafting. I can think, create, listen to music and just be. Here's what I created on my last day of rest in preparing for Christmas photos. Just a reminder to me of the reason for the season.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 19

Today I am thankful for a children's book that reminded me of a good lesson. The book is called Are you Grumpy Santa? by Gregg & Evan Spiridellis.

We have a collections of Christmas themed books that we pull out at this time every year and I read one of those books every night to my daughter. Sants is grumpy because throughout his day lots of negative things are happening to him like a stubbed toe, a plate of healthy food from Mrs. Claus, having to wear the itchy wool red suit, getting stuck in a chimmeny, etc. At the end, Santa sees a letter with a plate of cookies and milk and reads the letter which in a nut shell tells Santa, "we love you". Love can do and be all things. In the midst of my grumpiness from the pain in my shoulder to my hormones starting to go haywire again, I was reminded of the love that God has for me and a smile came over me. I was ungrumpified! So thank you God for reminding me of your love and helping me get out of the grumpy's.
Psalm 85:7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Monday, December 12, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 18

Yesterday was a push through the pain kind of day. Unfortunately, the tincture I started taking for my hormone issues ran out before Thanksgiving and my new shipment of it has been delayed for who knows how long because of customs. It's coming from Africa where it is made. Unfortunatley, my menapausal symptoms are coming back and yesterday I had a vice on my head all day squeezing it. Nothing really helps except my peppermint essential oil temporarily but even that wasn't doing a great job so it was on a scale from 1-10 a 9.5. I was supposed to be doing my Christmas card workshop and I didn't call anyone so I ended up with two good friends coming and that's it. I could have cancelled considering how my head felt but I didn't want to waste my afternoon lying in bed, I wanted to get MY Christmas cards done and was thankful for the company of my friends. What I really want to praise is the gifts that God gives each of us. My friend, Michelle, has a gift in that she is very technically savvy. She has been a technical advisor of mine for a long time and she came to my rescue yesterday and helped me get over 10 apps on my Iphone. I have had an Iphone for over 2 years so this is huge. Some of these apps are going to be so useful like the Christmas shopping list app to keep track of what you bought for who and where, etc. And the What's for Dinner app that will help you get a recipe and create a shopping list, etc. And the Womanlog which will help me track my menapause symptoms or lack of them eventually. So, praise to God for bringing this wonderful lady into my life who has these gifts that she very generously shares with others. If you are not sure what gifts God has given you, Google spiritual gifts inventory and pick a site to use the inventory to help you determine what those are. Be a gift sharer!
1Corinthians 7:7 I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 17

So, yesterday was a Christmas shopping day for me with my daughter. The looming deadline to get packages mailed out is coming so I had to get out there and find stuff. I got caught by surprise at the register at Michael's when my total got cut in half. Wow, what, why? It's buy one get one free! Yeah, more money to buy more presents! So off we went to Family Christian Book store. I could have stayed in there a long time but shopping with Faith is always a rushed thing. Later, as I was reading a book by Rick Warren called The Purpose of Christmas, he talks about one of God's characteristics of always being present. There's another "P" word to focus on this month. God's presence in our lives is constent and never wavers. He's always there no matter if we see or feel it. But how can we become more conscious and aware of God's presence in our lives. Most of the time, we are aware when we are in desperate need but what about those times when we are just shopping with our daughter or relaxing in front of the TV or cooking up dinner for the family? This month we celebrate the present God gave us in his son Jesus Christ so let's give a present back to God and let him know how much we love him and know that he is with us.
Take this verse from Matthew 5:20 and insert your name in the spot for 'you'. And surely I am with Janine always, to the very end of the age. Type it up and post it in your home, write it up on a prayer card to keep with you in your purse, car or at work. Be reminded often of God's presence.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 17

Today I am praising God for giving me a new perspective every now and than through my children, husband or a friend. My daughter Faith performed in the 3rd grade class musical The Nutcracker this week. She said she had 99% fun and was 1% embarrassed. She's been into percentages lately. The other day she said mom is 99% nice and 1% mean. Daddy is 95% nice and 5% mean and brother Tristan is 75% nice, 15% annoying and 10% mean. Out of the mouth of babes. I just thank God for these little opportunites like this where we can gain a different perspective. When you are feeling down about things or yourself, somehow God always reminds me that my perspective is so often not what everybody else thinks. I have the tendency to be more negative about myself than positive. So my new letter for the month has finally been decided thanks to my new persepctive from God. "P" More on the letter "P" in the days to come.
Matt 6:32-33 "Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

Friday, December 9, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 16

Have you ever wished for a do-over? Last night was one of those times for me. To make a long story short, I had to pick up my daughter from a Girl Scout meeting because my hubbie was busy with our new spa delivery, a very joyful thing! But. I drove into the fire station drive way and found it was not plowed so I quickly turned and tried to make my way back out and up but unfortunately got stuck. So, I went inside and told the father who is a co-leader for the troop and he was like no problem, I can give you a push. Unfortunately, his idea of a push turned out to be bringing his truck up against the back side of my car. You can already see where this is going, right? I was unfortunately brain dead at the time and just wanting to get home for the joyous celebration of our new spa. Let's just say it could have been worse. I told myself that all the way home after the truck did it's damage and the father figured I should try backing up and going sideways out which, of course, worked. I made even more of a mess of it by putting up my defensive wall thinking what I was doing was being calm about it so I could go home and tell my hubbie what happened. It did not go well. He got mad. I felt blamed. I got mad and stormed off which is my MO and always has been. So, we spent the rest of the evening in angry silence and the eruption occured after I got in bed and broke the silence with a thank you for all you did for the spa stuff today. He was mad but he was more mad at me for storming off and not talking about it. So, what do I find to praise in all this mess. In all the yelling and tears, I prayed for God to help me and I finally just sobbed, "I'm sorry". It really was something so simple. So, in looking back, I wish I could do it all over again and that I would have just picked up my cell and called my hubbie before doing anything but most importantly I wish that I had called on God at that point before the mess rather than in desperation after the mess. So, despite all the bad, I am praising God for helping me learn from it. I am thankful to God for a husband who can forgive me.
Psalm 73:24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 15

Today marks the birth of my son 15 years ago! So, as we celebrate the season and the greatest gift given to us in Jesus, I also celebrate the blessing that God has given me in my son, Tristan. My prayer life really began because I wanted to talk with God about my children and pray for their safety, health and especially that they will grow in relationship with the Lord. God has answered those prayers and it's wonderful to see my kids relationship with the Lord. My praying for them will never cease for as most of us are already aware, the devil is out there waiting for every opportunity to prey upon us and our children.

We just recently went to a conference at our church called Sticky Faith which is about helping create a faith that will stick with your kids especially when they go out on their own into college and beyond. The time will be here oh so quickly when my son leaves our home and so I pray that what we have done has been enough and that he will look to God for his guidance on all things.
1Thessalonians 5:16-17 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 14

50 more weeks of praise to go! I am thanking God to day for the opportunities he pretty much plants in my lap. I did a craft fair this weekend and it was starting off to be very discouraging. I have never done very well at craft fairs in selling much and afterwards have always thought why bother but I decided to do one because of my change to Close to My Heart and my love and belief in their products especially Studio J, the on-line digital scrapbooking program that has made my dream of starting a faithbooking ministry a reality. So, I knew I was probably not going to sell much especially Studio J in the fast-paced atmosphere of a craft fair but was hoping to make some good connections. I finally got my groove and started making book marks and giving them to anyone that stopped at my booth to look. This really has turned out to be a good ice breaker and I got some good connections. So I am thanking God for putting people in my path that I can share faithbooking, Studio J and scrapbooking with and pray that God will give me the courage and confidence and help me get out of my comfort zone and be successful. Are you connecting to whom God puts in your path? Faithbooking is an easy way to share your faith. If you have yet to try it or even scrapbooking, I would encourage you to start a free account with Studio J and see how easy it is to put together a scrapbook layout that applies to your faith. See my examples posted here and feel free to ask me any questions about Studio J or faithbooking. Access Studio J here:
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afriad or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 13

It's been almost two weeks of taking a few minutes to write out my praise and find a piece of scripture that applies to it. I am feeling closer to God! How about you? If you haven't made a comment with your own praise or just commenting on mine, I would challenge you to take those few minutes like I have done and write something back. I think the act of writing really engages our brain and can really help what you are reading sink in so it will be at the forefront of your mind which means the Lord will be there too. You can now follow me via email which may be easier. See the top right of the blog to follow by email. Today, I am praising the technology to be able to do this. I know there are many negative aspects to technology but there are plenty of good things that outweigh those bad ones. I always liked journaling but never kept it up because my journal would be placed somewhere and not found for months until the papers that got piled on top of it were cleared away or I just didn't have the time to pull out the journal and handwrite which does take a bit longer. So, thank you God for this medium that can be used to praise you, share about you and bring believers closer to you and each other. Please share this blog with fellow believers and be blessed.
Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind.

Monday, December 5, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 12

I got a great book about our love languages called God Speaks Your Love Language. I had heard about the love languages but had never read a book about them. What an education that was! I wish I had known what I learned from that book years and years ago. It really helped me to understand the people I loved and how the best way to love them and about me and what love language really speaks to me. I very highly recommend reading any of the love language books so you too can get in on this valuable information. After reading the book, I went through and tried to figure out the dominant love language for those close around me. My daughter was easy to figure out. She is 'Quality Time'. If I balance life well and give her some of my time her love tank is always full. My son was easy too! He is 'Physical Touch'. He loves to hug and be hugged so now into his teenage years I have found other ways to give him a loving touch without the embarrassment issue that teens can have.

My husband was a little more challenging to figure out. I think he is 'Service' which means he is always up doing and helping with any and everything but he read a summary of the love languages and thinks he is 'Physical Touch' so I have to try to give him love in both those ways to try to keep his love tank filled. I bring this all up only because hubbie has been a rock these days with helping me on things, he even becomes the 50's wife stereotype at times like last night and has dinner on a plate for me and has me come in and sit down and serves me dinner. So, today I want to praise my hubbie for all his service-oriented love for me. Although, it is not my dominant love language, having read the book, I am aware of how he shows his love. My husband loves me and I am thanking God for that and him.

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 11

As I was driving to work earlier this week, I realized from my behaviors recently that I have been acting much more like my good old self. I have been struggling with peri-menapause issues for the last 5-6 years and ended up doing biodentical hormones for the last 3 years with so-so results because my body was constantly changing still headed towards menapause. I believe I am officially in menapause even though I am still a young 46. You have to be without a period for a year for them to consider it menapause but because I have been on hormone treatment there is no real way to determine. I recenlty decided to stop the hormones and the high cost which were giving me little results and started with a natural tincture I found on the internet called Mellowpause. I have never felt better! I have a time or two of crankiness but I think that's more stress-related than hormone related. No headaches, no night sweats, no hot flashes. So, I am praising God today for a return to good health and getting out of what were very dark days for me.

2Samuel 22:29 You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 10

We watched the movie Super 8 last night and WOW! was that intense. The movie was very well made and directed with most of the cast being teenagers. It is well worth watching because of the messages within the movie which are truths in the bible one being that we are forgiven and we need to be forgiving to each other. I am thankful to God for the reminders like this we can find in entertaining movies and in all kinds of situations around us. The more open we are to seeing God all around us the more we do see Him.

From the Lord's Prayer: Matthew 6:12 ... and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Friday, December 2, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 9

I read the book The Three Trees to my daughter last night before bed. This book brought out the lesson within the genelogy of Jesus even more. The three trees have big dreams for themselves but in the end they become the manger, boat and cross that Jesus is in and on and they discover that despite their dreams that what really happens to them is the best thing ever. I am sure the women in the geneology of Jesus also had big dreams for their lives too and didn't plan on the sins they commited but the Lord took their lives and used them for the bigger picture. So, today I will ponder on who in my genelogy is like one of the women and one of the trees, who had dreams, sinned but were forgiven and part of the bigger picture of Jesus. I am thankful for the Lord's guidance in discovering even more treasures and truths in his Word.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who want all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 8

Our sermon on Sunday was about the often skipped through part of the gospel of Matthew on the geneology of Jesus. It's a lot of names to read through. A significant part to this geneology was the inclusion of 4 women. It these times for the Jews they did not include women in this type of thing with the exception of if they were godly women who in one way or another made the geneolgy better. The four women in Matthew's genelogy were not considered 'godly', some were obvious sinners like Tamar who plays the harlot to get her dead husband's father to sleep with her so she could get pregnant. Than, there is Rahab the harlot and there is another woman who is only named by her associations and we know to be Bathsheba who commits adultery with David. And finally there is Ruth, who was what we might consider a 'godly' woman but in her time she was only seen as a Moabite, a foreiner and enemy of the Jews. The inclusion of these women in the geneology of Jesus is already showing us the gift of grace in a suprising way. I am praising the Lord today for His glorious gift of grace and for seeing this truth in His Word. Though I am a sinner, I am forgiven.

John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.