Saturday, March 31, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 128

Some fears can be a good thing. My son had his first driving lesson with Day yesterday. Apparently, he was doing pretty good so Dad asked him to drive home. They were at the parking lot at his school which is about 2 miles from home. Dad apparently had to do some pushing to convince him that he could do it. I asked Tristan about it after dinner and he said he was terrified. I loved the honesty! I asked him if he broke out into a cold sweat. Oh yeah. He spewed out something about people could die. Ahaaaaa. Like I said some fears can be good. Let's just call this more of a very healthy respect for life and the possible consquences of your actions. Thank you God for giving Tristan the courage to conquer the fear but always keep in him that healthy respect.
Genesis 28:15 "Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go."

Friday, March 30, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 127

My son has started the process of learning to drive. He's taken his classes, passed the written test and now has his driving permit. He continues with driving time with an instructor and than driving with either myself or Dad for at least 50 hours in the next year. I have been excited for him about it all and I wonder if at some point maybe when he really does get behind the wheel when the worries and fears will start creeping in. So, I am planning ahead which is not like me. LOL. I am going to be prepared for these worries and fears and head them right off with the power of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. I am going to make a list of scriptures and create a prayer card too that I can review and read everyday to help put those worries and fears in their place. Is there something on your horizon that you can prepare for?
Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 126

One word can mean so much. I have a workshop all ready to go based on John 16:33 that I originally designed to be used for Easter photos. The constructive critisim at my master mind group on this workshop was it's after Easter, why not do something geared towards Mother's Day so that people could make a gift out of it if they want. That was a good point as they want this first workshop to be successful. So, I went home feeling these doubts and wondering how I could tweek this workshop. I didn't come up with much after a while so I told God that I would let him work on me in my sleep. A fresh perspective in the morning with a brain that is awake and ready to go can do wonders along with the Holy Spirit leading me. The word "overcome" which is a stand out word in this verse and the workshop project started coming into my head again and again so I looked in the concordance for overcome and overcomes and read each verse with that word. That word right there is the gift! I am excited about this first workshop and will keep praying that God will lead others to it and that it is successful.
Rev 3:21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 125

Today I am praising God for me, who I am. It's so easy to get caught up in negative thinking about yourself. Those what you think are not so great character traits or physical traits but we are all created by someone who loves us through and through, in and out, all of the above. So, we have to stop from time to time and remember that no matter what we may think of ourselves, our creator totally loves all of me and all of you and all of everyone. Celebrate the unique creation of yourself today! Being unique is a wonderful thing.
1Timothy 4:4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 124

To celebrate Faith's birthday, we planned a day of surprises. Traditionally, we have gone out for breakfast to IHop but she was introduced to Mimi's Cafe this year and we decided we needed to go and try breakfast there. That was a good decision. They have the best breakfast and she got a chocoloate muffin for her birthday which never happens at IHop. Next, we took a long drive up Northeast of Denver to the Wild Animal Sanctuary. She got really excited once we pulled up and she realized where we were. As we were getting out of the car, she asked whose idea was this and I said it was mine and she rushed over to me once out of the car and gave me the best hug ever saying 'thank you, thank you, thank you'. This animal sanctuary is unique in that they have built a walkway above the animal enclosures so you can see down on out over the huge areas without any fencing in the way. I think the black leapords, the African serviles and my personal favorite the white tiger were the favorites. The best part was her picking out a huge stuffed cheetah in the gift shop spending her own birthday money. Our next surprise took us over to the Parkmeadows Mall and the American Girl store. Ugh. It's almost painful to see the prices of these dolls and accesories but that store was packed with people. Faith ended up spending the rest of her birthday money along with some extra from us as our birthday gift to her. She walked away with a few more stuffed animals and some things to go with them. She was a very happy girl with her big cheetah and American Girl stuff. And to top it all off, she finally got the coveted Webkin and of all things it was a white tiger. Purrrrrfect! Our day full of suprises ended up being a wonderful day for her. There are always suprises in our lives, some good ones like what Faith had and some not so good nor expected ones like 'sorry you no longer have a job today' but in the end no matter what our reactions to the suprises may be, he will make it a good thing. The next time a suprise hits you, stop and just praise God that he will take it and make it a good thing and let that thought make it a good thing for you.
Job 12:9-10 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Monday, March 26, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 123

Birthdays have always been very special to me so I like to do it right. But this year my daughter had her heart set on doing it a Build-a-Bear Workshop so I went with it. That was the easiest birthday party ever! The leader takes the girls through the motions of creating their stuffed animals, etc, takes a photo, has the girls sign an autograph bear for the birthday girl and we were off to dairy queen for our treats. Sometimes it's okay to break with traditions and just go with it. At bedtime we read from Alice and Wonderland and Faith commented about the unbirthdays part from the tea party in the story. It was her last day of being 8 so we celebrated her unbirthday. That's the attitude I think we need to have everyday. Celebrating who God created in us and celebrating that we have another day to share the Lord with those around us. Let's all celebrate each day!
Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 122

Nine years ago today my daughter was born 3 months early at 25 weeks. There was fear and worry but there was also God's presence with us. He helped keep those fears and worries at bay and helped us just love our daughter and have faith that she would be alright. God brought us through that time of tribulation of 3 months of hospital visits and the trauma of watching her struggle to breath after the second attempt to get her off the ventilator failed and after at a month old having to have surgery for an opening in her heart that normally closes at birth. Despite it all, the one thing I am always reminded of is the time I came to visit and she had a mark on her back. The nurse said sometimes these birth marks appear and later will go away. I looked more closely at it and it looked like a small fingerprint. I knew right than that God had put his hands directly on Faith and comforted her through her struggle to live. The fingerprints of God are all over our lives. Open your eyes and hearts to see what God has been doing in your life. Happy Birthday Faith! Thank you God for the gift of this amazing child!
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 121

Faith and I were in the spa last night for a breif time. I say breif because she is having fears that creep out when we go outside into the spa at night. This time it was different noises she would hear. So, I asked her are you afraid and she shook her head 'yes'. I told her than we need to pray so I started praying out loud. At one point she said, "can I talk now". That brought a smile to my face. It was a wonderful moment to see her praying out loud about her fears with the stars shinning down on us. She even prayed for a friend of hers who does not believe in Jesus. What a joy it was to hear her heart. Thank you Lord for these joy-filled moments of seeing into the heart of my daughter and seeing you in there.
Ephesians that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

Friday, March 23, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 120

My acupunture appointment last week did help. The swelling in my foot had gone away but I was still feeling the numbness so I knew that it was not all better. It was great to be without the swelling for 5 days but yesterday I think I set my foot down in such a way coming down the stairs at work that it set off the swelling again. By the time I was sitting in my class at church that night, my foot was throbbing and my shoe was feeling very snug. I held back the tears as I came home and got right to the IB profin and ice pack which helped releive it but it came right back in the middle of the night. With the pain returning, discouragement was starting to seep in but this morning I just looked down at a sheet of encouraging scriptures that I had come up with and read Romans 8:18. It was exactly what I needed so I am praising God for his help and presense even in the midst of the pains of life.
Romans 8:18 "...consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 119

Excitement is running through my veins. I have my first outside workshop set up for April 15th. It's a one-time kind of workshop based on John 16:33. The photos used for this workshop can be of your Easter celebration. God has even provided a great song to go along with the workshop by Jeremy Camp. My dream is becoming a reality! God is so good. Anyone can attend these workshops so if you are here in town, you are welcome to join us on April 15th. I will post more details on my calendar of events page or you can email me. This isn't the most optimal photo of the project but you get the idea. The photos in the project are only temporary until we go through Easter and I can add my Easter photos. I have other paper options to suit your tastes as well. I am praising God for his continual guidance and faithfulness as I go along this journey with this ministry.
John 16:33 "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 118

Every night during the week, I come home and my daughter joyfully runs to greet me with a clinging I have missed you kind of hug. Sometimes I have been annoyed by it only because my hands are full of my stuff I am bringing in and I haven't had the chance to put it all down so I can properly hug her back. I think that when we enter the next life, Jesus will be there waiting for us with his arms open wide ready to give us a big welcoming hug but how ready will I be to give that hug back. Our hearts need to be constantly worked on in this. Because life throws at us all kinds of challenges and tribulations, we can let our hearts go sour or be hardened. We can choose to let life rule over us or be focused on the one true God of the universe who gave us his son so that we may be with him forever. Are you ready to greet Jesus with open arms?
Psalm 79:13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 117

A little bit of finacial worrying go to me yesterday. It's one of those months with my upcoming workshops to prepare for, my daughter's birthday and my trip to visit with my sister and mom coming up next month, I was feeling a little worried about how I am I going to manage all these extra expenses. By bed time last night, I finally realized what I had been doing and said a prayer asking God to just take it away. He has always provided so I don't know why I worry about it. Yes, we may have to cut back on eating out and the little extras like a trip to Coldstone Creamery but 'tis just a season of less to help us appreciate the mores. So, thanks to God for helping take the worries from me. Is there something you are worrying about? Take it and put it in God's very faithful hands.
Phillipians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Monday, March 19, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 116

Growing up in the Catholic church, I was not exposed to the differences that other denominations have. My experience yesterday at the leadership meeting at a non-denominational church was so wonderful. The thing that really stood out to me the most was when someone was leading us in prayer, the rest of them were saying little things along with the prayer. Amens, hallelujah's and all kinds of other things. It actually felt like we were all participating in this prayer because of the action of speaking out. I am again profoundly aware of the power available to us by being in the body of Christ. I had a friend who always told me her church was being outdoors in the mountains with God. I always thought that was nice but not enough. God created us to be in relationship with others and to work together in his plan for the world. Whether it's in a more conservative church atmosphere or in a more action-oriented church atmosphere, we are all one body. Have you tried a different church lately or ever? It can be an enlightening experience that will stir your soul. Give it a try.
Genesis 28:15 "Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 115

My daughter participated in a Girl Scout event last evening called Thinking Day. All the various troops had to put together a booth about a specific country and put together a skit of some kind. Faith's troop did a dance from Portugal. It was delightful trying to take photos and video of this dance. She is currently in a my mom takes too many photos stage and would look at me as she danced and give me a big frown so I subtly made faces back at her to get the smile back on her face. It was one of those fun mother-daughter moments. At the end of the event, the troops gather in one big circle and one by one went around the circle making a wish or saying a prayer silently then would put their left foot forward. In thinking about this today, I am again reminded of the power of the body of Christ. It's within the body of Christ that we can gain wisdom, discernment, clarity, inspiration, ideas, resources and on and on. Being within this body of Christ can be a powerful tool the Holy Spirit uses to help us in our lives and in our purposes that God gives each of us. I am heading this morning to a leadership class at another church but am comforted by this thought, the body of Christ is not just one church but all believers. So, no fears today going into an unknown church with unknown people. We are all of one body. Thank you God for this reminder that I needed today!
1Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit, into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 114

My mind has been cluttered lately with negativity, dealing with pain in my body, stressful workloads and the list goes on... It's a cycyle thing! Thankfully! I know I am in a part of my cycle that I just don't think and feel the same as my normal self. I have not been fully engaged in my praising efforts and not inspired. I hate that but I know it will end so I push through. In my effort to push through this morning, I pulled out a daily devotional book for women sitting on my desk. I ended up at a page that has this quote at the top: The body is healed only as the thought is healed-Connie Fillmore Bazzy. Wow, thanks God! It proceeded to talk about visualizing God healing everything in your body and ends with a short affirmation, I celebrate and give thanks for God's healing life. I will be saying that in my head all day as I head out to my job that is definitely been a sore spot lately and will be saying it at my acupuncture appointment I have today in the hopes that by God's will it will heal my foot pain. Do you get into negative ruts? Keep going to the bible and Him and he will help you get out of it.
Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you."

Friday, March 16, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 113

Value. How much do you feel valued? I know that I am of great value to God because of what Jesus did on the cross for me and that keeps me grounded. I realized how much of a struggle it is at my job because I don't feel valued. I don't think they realize all that I do and if I was suddenly not there anymore what that would do. Not that I would ever just up and quit but the time has definitely come to seek out other job opportunites that will not be a hinderance to my goals and dreams for this ministry. I leave for the day with a sense of pride in all that I did but am discouraged at the same time because I don't feel like they care or value me or my work. I feel like God has been slowly but surely trying to tell me it's time to go elsewhere. Have courage and get into a part-time job that will not hinder my ministry efforts and know that God will take care of the financial side of providing. I have to get past the fears of what's next and how will it play out for me and my family. God values me and I will go wherever he leads me.
Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 112

I have been putting together my three designs for a workshop about the body of Christ. Being in fellowship with other believers is one of the great ways that God works in our lives through these wonderful people. We get new incites, see things from another’s perspective, get great ideas and resources, are inspired, encouraged, supported and cared for. We are loved through the body of Christ. I attended my mastermind group last night and our focus was on obstacles that are getting in our way of progressing with our dreams and goals. I have had to re-evaluate my goal of connecting with 5 churches to three simply because I don’t have the time to commit to 5 churches. My full-time job is an obstacle and my dream is to being doing my ministry full-time. So, I have to start the process of evaluating how much money is needed to off-set not having a full-time job. The group already provided the idea of doing an engagement scrapbooking party where the guests come and using kits, put together a scrapbook ready for the bride and groom to fill with photos from their courtship through their honeymoon. It would be another avenue to help me earn the income I need so that I can keep pursuing my dreams. So, I am thankful for the body of Christ and being among them and praising God for providing us with all we need.
Romans 12:4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not have all the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body and each member belongs to all the others.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 111

Yesterday was a typical day at work. I was deep in work for hours before I realized I hadn't taken my morning break and it was now past lunch time. Mondays are always like that it seems... I along with a couple others got a duo-monitor set up this past weekend. It is such a good thing. With all the programs I have to have open and be in, this should have been a reality a long time sooner. But I have it now and am thanking God for this little blessing that makes my work productivity that much better. It seems like such a little thing in the scheme of things but when we can praise God for the little things too that's when you really start seeing God's handiwork in every aspect of your life. Find a small thing today and give praise to God for it.
Proverbs 15:16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 110

Yesterday in church, our pastor was on fire with lots of passion. He will be leaving our church soon which is sad but he has to go where God is calling him. He was continuing with a sermon on the Gospel of Matthew which we have been into since last fall. We were at the part when Jesus is arrested. Pastor Singleton suggested that like him most of us at some time or many times have thought about 'what if'. What if Judas didn't betray Jesus? What if Jesus didn't have to die on the cross? And the what if's in our own life... What if I communicated better, we wouldn't have had that fight? What if I was more on top of Faith's homework, she wouldn't have missed doing and turing in a big assignment? And the list could go on and on... Singleton shared a story of his from 20 years ago when he said to his congregation 'you need to be bringing your own bible to church'. Later he was reamed by his congregation because as Presbyterian we don't bring our own bibles, we just use what's in the pews along with some other excuses. He doesn't remember why he said that or what context it was in but in his mind he had made a big mistake saying that to his congregation. Fast forward 20 years later... A man who was at that sermon 20 years earlier by chance ends up in our town at our church now and sees it's the same pastor from 20 years earlier. He goes up to him and tells him this story: I was not true believer when I was in church that day 20 years ago when you told us we need to bring our own bible to church. I went home and your words stayed with me. I finally went and pulled out my old bible from my childhood. It opened up to a page in Proverbs and out fell a letter from my mother explaining more about the verses on that page about God's love. I became a believer and have gone on to have a wonderful family and have adopted multiple children. What Singleton had thought was this mistake he made, God turned into something very good. There are probably thousands of stories around the world of examples like this. God can take the worst that happens, the worst we could do and make something good come from it. What we say or do no matter if in our minds comes out good or not so good, God will take it and use it for his good purpose of bringing others to his Kingdom. We don't have to beat ourselves over and over again for our past mistakes. God has used them for his good. No more 'what if's'.
Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Monday, March 12, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 109

Commitment is a wavering thing in our culture today. That word has been on my heart the last few days. The definition of commitment is the act of commiting or the state of being committed. Interestingly, the second defition is dediction and application. When I look at the things in my life that I have been dedicated to, I have grown more and that 'thing' has been successful. My first mememory of dedication goes back to my high school days when I was in drill team. I didn't make the drill team the first year I tried out but all my friends did. In looking back, I can honestly see I am a late bloomer in most things. I was dedicated in that next year to perfecting my skills and getting on the team and I did it with flying colors. I ended up getting awarded with the Most Dedicated award in my second year with drill team. My marriage is another thing that both Nathan and I went into with hearts that were committed to endure until the end and beyond. On a smaller scale, I went to a dentist cleaning appoitment one time and they said things weren't looking so great, I needed to do more. So, I committed right than to flossing every night. I have only missed two nights in the last two years. It made a difference! Committment brings success, blessings and growth. Committing to doing this praise challenge has been a glorious thing. I am in His Word everyday, thinking about Him all the time and am more open to seeing Him in everything. It is an amazing blessing. Commitments can be challenging but they are worth the effort. Have you committed to doing something to help you on your faith journey? Reading the bible everyday, praying more, memorizing scripture, bible study, faithbooking. Pick something today and say I am dedicated to doing this everyday and enjoy the fruit of God's blessings upon you.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose herts are fully committed to him.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 108

Good News is always a wonderful delight. I got some unexpected good news at my job this week when one of the IT guys came and told me I was getting duo monitors this weekend. I have never worked with duo monitors so it will take a little getting use to but I can imagine how much easier it will be to navigate between all my windows and opened programs. I am sure my productivity will increase with this new feature. This good news made me think of the ultimate good news of Jesus Christ. I felt that same way after accepting Christ, giddy with excitement. I am so grateful to God for not giving up on me and for finally receiving and accepting the good news he offers all of us. Just like God, we cannot give up on giving the good news to those around us. It may not happen today or tomorrow but we have to continually help fertilize the ground where the seed has been planted. Share some good news today and share in their delight.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 107

Last night I was tired. Not an exhausted kind of tired but I just felt like curling up in bed kind of tired. I got into bed about 8pm and started reading a book by Billy Graham about angels but I struggled to get through the chapter as I kept dozing off. I finally got through it and put it down and rolled over curling up on my side and fell asleep even though my daughter was right there in the middle of the bed playing on the laptop. My wonderful husband came in at 9pm, our usual bedtime and found me in a solid rock sleep so he took care of getting Faith to bed. This morning he tells me he was a little worried because he woke up later in the night and I was in the same position. He said he laid there trying to listen to see if I was breathing. Yep, still alive! I don't know where that solid kind of sleep came from as it is very rare these days but I am thankful for it. My husband says I think God was looking out for you because tonight we have to spring forward and lose an hour. Aha! That's it God was taking care I got enough sleep. I will go with that! Thank you God for a good nights sleep and for the cozy bed I have to sleep in.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Friday, March 9, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 106

At our class called Jesus in the Movies last night, we watched a couple clips from The Last Temptation of Christ which I think was made in 1964. This week we were looking at movies of Jesus that were controversial. This one is more than just controversial. I was appalled that the true story of Jesus was twisted in this kind of way. The premise was that Jesus was saved from the cross by a guardian angel and that he goes on to lead a normal human life complete with marriage, kids and getting old. When he is old, a few of the old disciples come to him including Judas and who basically says you betrayed us. It portrayed Jesus as a nut case. I am sickened by the whole movie and know that the devil was at work in its creation. I am just praising God for his help in dicerning what is true and what is not. The Father of Lies got a film out that who knows how many saw and who knows who were corrupted by it. It does make me think of how very careful we need to be in what we are choosing to view in the movies and on TV. If it is taking you away from God, it is most likely not a good thing to be watching. If you feel anything negative about what you are viewing, put a magnifying glass over it and ask God to help you discern and decide what to do.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 105

Spring is definitely on it's way. We have had a couple of days of fabulous warm weather. No coats needed, no icy roads, no freezing wind chills, just the wonderful warmth of the sun on your face and the comfort in the air. Of course, it will all change back to cold but for a breif time we were given this blessing. It is an analogy for hope. The warm weather gives us a glimpse of the better days to come. Jesus and the cross our our hope of better days to come. With Easter approaching, it seems so appropriate to have Easter in the Spring although I am not sure that is accurate to the actual timing of Calvary. In any case, praise God for the hope he gives us and hold onto it during those freezing wind chills and icy roads that life will bring.
Isaiah 40:31 ...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 104

I am word person whether it be spoken or written. Words can pierce my heart like nothing else. Words when spoken in a sincere way really have a way with me. Not so much if someone says 'good job'. But something out of the norm and sincere can be really a powerful encourager. God worked through my manager yesterday during our meeting about my overloaded workload. She praised me saying, "Wow, Janine I am really impressed!" Apparently, despite all the extra stuff loaded onto me I am handling it all very well. Oh no does that mean nothing will change. Thankfully, yes and no. The workload isn't going away but we did brainstorm some ideas to help alleviate some of it. So, I am thankful for these words of praise that are encouraging to me and thankful to God for letting me know through my manager that I am doing well. It's time to pay the praise forward... Who am I going to spot light today and sincerely praise?
Proverbs 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 103

On Sunday afternoon our congregation gathered to do a straw vote on leaving the PCUSA. Our church is the largest Presbyterian church in the country and has been working on this move out of the PCUSA for 10 months. We have had several meetings with Pastor Singleton as he explained the fundamental issues the PCUSA has and what we as a church believe. I was very excited about it especially after we saw a sermon from a Pastor in a church in CA that was at a big meeting in Florida recently. He explained what the new denomination is. It is called Evangelical Covenant Order or ECO for short. You can view the video at The meeting on Sunday was a straw vote to see where the congregation as a whole was at in terms of this move. A final official vote will be taken in a month. It was interesting to hear some of the questions and concerns and I realized that most of them had to do with fears. Fear of what others will think of our church, fear of breaking up the unity of the church, fear of the unknown future of the church and on. But as was said by a few others, it is risky and new but where we are at is dying. Apparently, the Presbyterian church has not grown at all in the last 50 years and is apparently loosing people. We just want to believe the Word of God and believe that Jesus is the son of God, died for us, went to hell and came out of hell and returned to heaven. So I am thankful today for the courage of people to finally stand up and make this move away from beliefs that don't jive with ours. The newspaper said that over 90% voted to leave. We only needed 80% so that is huge. I am excited about the future of our church and of this new denomination.
Mark 5:36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."

Monday, March 5, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 102

I attended a church service at Sunrise Methodist Church last evening. I went to pick up a couple of books on scrapbooking bible studies and decided to stay for the service. The sermon was about the ten commandments. The first question was could you name them all? I think I could have done that although they may not have been in the order they are written in the bible. The pastor discussed how you can go by the letter of the law or as you read it like 'do not kill'. Got it don't kill anyone or as the very funny video they showed us said 'don't pull the trigger'. The pastor pointed out that there is also the intent of the law which is not the act of doing it but the thoughts and feelings of doing it. Ultimately, we are all sinners. I have realized I am sinning much more than I would have thought. I think when you put a magnifying glass over your life and look at each thing you do you will find that you are sinning more than you want to realize. So, I am intensely grateful for the gift of Jesus. He has freed us from the bondage of these sins. Although, I am free and saved that doesn't mean I shouldn't put the magnifying glass over my life and become more aware of the sins I am doing so that I can ask the Holy Spirit specifically for help in whatever area I need it. Take a look at the ten commandments over the next couple of weeks as we prepare for Easter and become aware of all your sins. It will make Easter morning be that much more glorious.
Exodus 20:1-3 And God spoke all these words: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before me."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 101

I have to confess I have a hard time with mistakes. When I make them, the world turns up-side-down. I treat each mistake like it's a deep canyon that I have fallen into and I have to try to climb my way out. Thankfully, I have my faith and all the tools that God provides to help me climb my way out. That first tool, is the bible. I found myself deep in the canyon the other night after choosing to react in a disrepectful and not-listening-to you kind of way to my husband. To make a long story short, I let the stress in my life direct my actions. After storming out of the room, I flew down straight to my bible. It was already open to Pslams so through my tears, I read and started to feel myself calming down. Prayer is another tool God give us to help us get out of those canyons but sometimes our minds are not capable of even forming the thoughts directed to the Lord. That's where I found myself the other night, trying to analyze the situation but not getting anywhere and just needing to cry out to God. My bible was opened to Pslams so I just started reading and came to Psalm 121: 1-2 which I know from a Christain song on the radio. That became my prayer, singing it in my head over and over again until I could relax, breathe, listen and finally head back to bed and to sleep. I am thankful to God for three things based on this experience the other night: the tools he gives me to help me, knowing that he loves me no matter what, and a forgiving husband. This, unfortunately has been one of those mistakes I have made over and over again so I am praying for God's help to just love my husband in all ways, respect him no matter what and let my love and respect direct my actions. Are you using the tools God has given us when you make those inevitable mistakes in life?
Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 100

It's Pajama day! My daughter was so excited about this day that she got into her pajamas right after dinner last night. She had a tough decision to make. What stuffed animal was she going to bring to school? Faith's personality is exciting to be around. She is just over-the-top excited about things and it can be delicious to watch. We have our own kind of pajama day at work today. We can wear sweats and t-shirts and are having a special team-building lunch. So despite the wear and tear the last couple of weeks have been, I am going to celebrate that I have survived and will continue to do so because I know God is with me. Today marks 100 days of praise!!! It's a mile marker on journey of faith. Praising God each day in this way has been a great blessing to me and I am thankful to be able to share it with you. I hope today will be a Pajama day for you and you can see all that you can celebrate in your life.
Psalm 34:1 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

Friday, March 2, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 99

Ever feel like someone is trying to keep you from doing what you are supposed to do? I have been getting that sense a lot lately with all that has been dumped on me. It seems like when one body part that's been hurting starts getting better another starts hurting. I discussed this a bit at my mastermind group as we talked about any obstacles that are getting in our way. I know the devil is working overtime to stop me from moving forward with this ministry. And when you are really trying hard to work for the Lord, the devil does that much more to you. Having an awareness of this is probably the most powerful piece to keeping my sanity at this point. My Lord can give me all the strength, peace and resilience that I need but I have to be continually asking for it and putting my focus onto God. It's tough to do when you have too many phone calls to return, emails to go through, answers to find, training others to help you and keep it all organized and keep them prioritized. Ugh. It a giant juggling act and things are going to fall to the ground but I have to keep my focus on God and let his strength and peace fill me so I can be the best juggler I can be. Do you feel pulled at both ends? Open your bible and find the strength and peace to endure.
Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who give me strength.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 98

Change has been happening a lot lately especially at my work. I have never been afraid of change but rather embrace it but too much change at once can create a feeling of being out-of-control and wreak so much havoc and cause a lot of stress. That's how I was feeling last week, I let the changes at work overwhelm me instead of taking it to God which I finally did. I have been much more at peace and less stressed about getting the amount of work I have done. But again as I said early this week after my friend died unexpectedly things can change on a dime. Yesterday, I along with a few others from my department were called into the break room for an unexpected meeting. Unexpected meetings are almost always not good. I big red flag went up when I walked in and saw a lady I didn't recognize and noticed that my team lead looked like she had been crying. Something Not good was up and I was starting to feel a bit sick at heart. Half of my department was laid off yesterday. Thankfully, I wasn't in that half but here come more changes. So, I will be asking God continually throughout my work days for peace and comfort to help me and the rest of what's left in my department to get through these changes with grace and a sense of calm in our hearts. Things can change in a heart beat, death of a friend, getting laid off from work, slipping on ice and hurting yourself, and the list could go on and on. How do you handle change? As with EVERYTHING it is best placed in the hands of God who never changes.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.