Thursday, May 31, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 188

I had some photos already printed from our Memorial Day in 2011. We went to Territory Days which is a street fair that happens every year over Memorial Day weekend. Last year they had a petting zoo. So, with my animal loving daughter, we went in to feed the animals. There was one little goat that was being a little shy which is unusual for goats. Faith took a real liking to this little one. These photos got me thinking about the concept in the bible of feeding the hungry. So, I searched and found a verse about Jesus telling us to feed his lambs. Hungry is not just in the physical sense, is it? I think since the day we are born we are hungry for knowing if there is a higher power who created us and all of it. I found it interesting that Jesus says to feed the "lambs" and take care of my "sheep".  Lambs, as we all know, are baby sheep. Jesus was telling us to feed the children.  Children are like sponges and will soak up whatever you expose them to. We should be in the word everyday with them, feeding them from the Word of God. Are the children in your life being fed?
John 21: 15 Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." "Take care of my sheep."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 187

Hallelujah! I know we have all been there and done that. Been in a funk where you just aren't motivated or can't focus or think. I am in a bit of a funk this morning... I have a few random thoughts about things but nothing enough to inspire me. With my Christian radio station on in the background, my mind went to the song and singing it rather than thinking about what to write. Our brains are not perfect either. Sometimes they don't want to work the way we would like. Today is a brain-malfunctioning kind of day and that's okay. On days like this and in moments I have had where I can't even speak the words to pray, God hears me anyways. He hears me in my heart or in the song that is currently stuck in my head and it's all I can think of. My stuck song is now from Aaron Shust... Savior please, keep savin' me...Praising God for his heart hearing ability and hoping to be out of the funk tomorrow morning.
Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 186

I am so not the perfect mother and I am so thankful for forgiveness from God and my family. My idealist expectations bubble was burst yesterday with my frustrations of doing stuff as a family on my day off of work. My daughter wanted to play the Wii so after a lazy afternoon nap while watching the movie The Patriot, I was all ready to do some family stuff but not everyone was on board with that idea.  My attempt to get the game started without my husbands help ended up in a frustrated mess and pushed me to lose my self-control and get angry. In my anger, I told my daughter we weren't going to play but instead go outside and practice riding her bike. She was not kean on that idea since her last practice ride and her fall. She's also becoming aware of how it looks with a 9 year old riding a bike with a parent next to her and training wheels. I turned my anger into what I thought would be productiveness in getting her on her bike but it ended up being a disrespetful mother pushing her daughter to do something she wasn't ready to do. It broke my heart as I saw her go into the house and start crying. My bubble burst at that point in a big way. I saw what I had done and realized how wrong it was. My parenting has always been with a healthy respect for my kids. I have always thought respect needs to go both ways. I did not respect her fears and feelings at all. I went upstairs and hugged her with 'I am sorry's' for a while and than I asked her to come watch me ride my bike that I got for Christmas. In the end, it's probably a good lesson for my daughter to see her mother struggle with her own sins but to turn back and ask for forgiveness but I still wished it hadn't happened. Thank you Lord for your mercy, forgiveness and love.
Matthew 6: 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Monday, May 28, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 185

Today as you know is Memorial Day. It is a day designated for us to remember our fallen soldiers and the sacrifice they gave for our country. They fought wars for our country that gave us the freedoms we have and have helped preserve our freedom and spread it to others. But there is a spiritual war that we have been in since the first man and woman in the garden of Eden. Satan would like to keep all of us in the pit of hell with him but God came down to Earth in Jesus and made it so we could have a choice. Because Jesus took on our sins, we are now reconciled to the Father; we can be with the holy presence of God. Many soldiers for Christ have sacrificed themselves for Christ, for us; to let us know that the choice to make is with the one who has already won. Let's reflect on the Christian martyrs who have paved the way for us and helped spread the gospel to the ends of the Earth. Learn more about Christian martyrs at's%20Corner/christian_martyrs.htm 
Acts 7:55-58 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, an Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  "Look, " he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."  At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of th ecity and began to stone him.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 184

I was reading from a chidren's bible story book at bedtime last night to my daughter. We read about David and Goliath. I know that I have heard in sermons about how the old testament is a foreshadowing of what comes in the new testament with Jesus. I was reminded of this last night when I read this story and saw the word "overcome". David had overcome the Philistine, Goliath. He won and he did it without a sword. The devil is the Goliath in the new testament. Jesus overcomes and is victorious over the devil not by sword but because of his love for his father and us. The jewish people at the time were thinking that Jesus came to do real battle and take over as ruler but they missed the foreshadowing of their own King David. David overcame because of his faith in God and Jesus overcomes satan because of his love for God and us. Faith and love will be victorious in the end. This is the truth that brings us so much hope. Through our faith and love for our savior and the Father, we, too can be victorious. I know competition can fuel people's motivation but we don't need to compete. We have already won. What we need to do is let other's know that they too can have that hope and win over sin and satan when they believe in Jesus. So although the final battle in the war is won, we need to keep letting God work through us to bring more soldiers of Christ into the realm. David and Jesus won by faith and love. They are the examples of how we should win over the lost. Does your faith and love for Christ shine out to all around you?
1 Samuel 17:37, 45, 50 David says, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. " David said the the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, who you have defied.  So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 183

Summer is here! School is out. Grades were good. Summer camps are set-up. My daughter asks, "where are we going this summer?" Unfortunately, we are staying home. Finances will keep us close to the home as it may be for many people. Thankfully, we live in a beautiful area with plenty of hiking trails and parks. Camping may be an option as long as it's in a cabin with air matresses. Summer is a time of action. Do this-go there kind of attitude. We have to keep in mind that it's not about the places you go or the things you do but it's about being together. Let's go with whatever God plans for us and be content. Enjoy God's creation and your summer but remember it's about being together and God's plan.
Proverbs 14:22 But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.

Friday, May 25, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 182

Today marks a half year of praise for the 365 Days of Praise Challenge! I am not only celebrating this but also celebrating an answer to prayer. My sister yesterday emailed me that she had finally heard from her son who has been out in the world without communication for many weeks. She got a phone call from him and found out he is in Kentucky, got a job and has been going to a church for a month. We were praying the Lord would help guide him back on a path that included Him. Praise God for hearing our hearts and helping lead this lost sheep back to his shepard. Do you have someone you know who has lost their way or has never been on the journey with the Lord? Keep praying and keep trying to be an example of what having Jesus in your life can be.
1John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

365 Days of Praise-Day 181

It's amazing how a simple compliment from a stranger can fill up your tank! I deal with so many alarm companies everyday who are often frustrated, angry or confused for various reasons but every once in a while I get to talk with an alarm company that is new to us and who doesn't know how anything works in their jurisdiction. I think that in the past alarm companies were given the alarm company packet and were left to completely figure it all out themselves. Since becoming the alarm company liason for the company, I have taken this aspect more to heart and given them some good highlights and tips on what they need to do to comply with the law. Yesterday, the alarm company ended our conversation with, "you're a sweetheart." I hung up the phone and pronouced to all co-workers within hearing he called me a sweetheart. It really did fill up my tank. Encouragement and words of praise are a wonderful ways to build up people which is what God wants us to do. Do you voice your compliments, encouraging thoughts and praise to the people around you that need to hear it? Thank you Lord for the gift of words that can build us up. Amen.
1Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 180

Last night I was attempting to load some photos from my camera of the latest designs in God's Good Gifts faithbooking workshop series but I was having some trouble. It wasn't showing my camera in the drop down to select where to get the photos from. I tried closing and turning off the camera a couple of times without any success. "Bedtime" I heard from above, so I left without successfully figuring out the problem. As I got into bed, I asked my hubbie if he could take a look at my computer in the morning because I couldn't get my photos onto the computer. The first thing out of his mouth was, "did you check to make sure it's plugged into the computer. Oh no! I knew immediately that that was the problem. I have done this before but had forgotten until now. This makes me think of how people may think they are connecting with the Lord by going to church every Sunday but do they walk through the rest of their week truly feeling connected. Jesus said "remain in me and I will remain in you." Connection to our savior is meant to be a constant, not a one-hour a week kind of thing. The Lord has a camera of photos to share with us but we have to be connected to him to receive the photos. Are you making the connection to the Lord everyday, every moment?
John 15: 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

God's Good Gifts-Freedom in Christ Design Sample #1

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 179

Have you heard of the concept of 'paying it forward'? There is a good movie by that same name that shows the concept in action. Recently, I heard of a friend who was in the drive-in line at some fast food place. When she got to the window to pay, she was told the car in front of her paid for her meal. She expressed her surprise and briefly learned that it started ten cars ago. She nor any of the 9 in between her will know who started this kindness but they will have taken that kindness into their day and passed more blessings on to others. One act of kindness can reap so many blessings. The person who started it all is smiling in his or her heart just thinking of the surprised smiles he/she created by this thoughtful act. We have the opportunity everyday to express our kindness and to act thoughtfully towards others but how intentional have you been about it.  I know I haven't but I will start a prayer card to use as my reminder to pray everyday for my heart to open up to acting out in kindness towards someone in ways they don't expect.
Ephesians 2:7 order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Monday, May 21, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 178

There are things that people say that are so poignant, so right on, so touch your soul. I love words and what can be done with them that can create such feelings. I heard a quote in our sermon yesterday that literally made me gasp I was so 'wowed' by it. It's a quote from Mother Teresa. "I am a pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world." Did that not do something to your soul? As you already know, I am in love with analogeis and this one is now at the top of my favorites. We are the instruments of spreading God's love.  Here's my 21st century version of this analogy: "I am a keyboard with the hands of a typing God who is emailing a love letter to the world." Are you spreading the love of God in one way or another?
1John 3:23 And this is his command:  to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 177

Expectations can let you down but in the end what happens is all part of God's plan. My first workshop meeting at Church of All Nations was yesterday and only my friend Julie showed up. I knew about a couple of them but the rest had not communicated to me so I don't know what happened. I felt a little teary-eyed about it at first but than just got started with Juile and we had a good time discussing the scriptures and learning more about each other. In the end, God has solidified for me the direction I should take with this ministry. There are hurting people out there that would greatly benefit from a group of others who are going through the same things. They would be able to look to God  in the scriptures and be in community with others while creating their faithbook pages. It is a form of art therapy. So, I am now compiling a list of the kinds of groups of people that could benenfit from doing faithbooking bible study workshops. Here's my list so far: mother's of preemies, mother's of children with disabilities, mother's of children with mental health issues, women facing cancer, women dealing with grief, women dealing with family member with alzheimer, and women dealing with abuse. There are more that can be on this list. If you think of any, let me know. I know that in many cases women cannot participate because of the cost. I have kept the cost down as much as possible but there will always be women that cannot afford to do it. I know there is a way to help these women to but I am not sure how to go about getting the funding for women who can't afford to do it. Perhaps, I need to become a non-profit? It's a mystery to me at this point and one that will take some research. If you have any ideas about this please talk to me about them and help me find the way to help women that can't afford it. Thank you Lord for giving me the gift of creativity and being able to share it. Continue to lead me where you want me to take it and use my friends and family to help me figure out the details. I know you will open the doors and I will keep my heart open to seeing them. Amen.
Ephesians 1:11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 176

As my daughter and I soaked in the hot tub last night, I looked into the sky and found I couldn't see any stars. Maybe it wasn't quite dark enough yet, or maybe its some haze from the fire up north in Ft Collins but I got caught up in this feeling like I would never see the stars again.  Than, I caught a glimpse of a star and felt relieved to see it.  When I moved my position in the hot tub, I found the bright star that I always see. It was in the same place but I wasn't, the Earth wasn't. The stars are like God, always there whether we can see them or not.  It is where we are that determines if we see God in our lives. Are you truly committing to focusing on the Lord in your life or are you letting the day to day and the challenges of life turn your focus away from the Lord. Everything is a choice. You have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God who came to the world and took on our sins on the cross and conquered death. But have you chosen to committ to focusing on the Lord.  Whether it is with prayer, worship, songs of praise, reading the bible, participating in a bible study, memorizing scripture or anything that makes your focus on the Lord, have you committed yourself to consistently doing it? I committed to doing this praise challenge on my blog for a year and have found it to be an incredible compass that points me in the direction of the Lord. Find your compass that you can committ to doing everyday and let the blessings of the Lord raining upon you.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Friday, May 18, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 175

I prepared myself yesterday as I was about to call back the alarm company that left the angry message the day before. I put a smile on my face and in my heart and had an attitude of serving and caring. The man, from the get-go, was aplogetic and embarrassed by his words in the voice mail the day before. Together, we went on to solve his issue and discussed how things have been changing and I am looking for ways to improve the process of communication with alarm companies. Attitude is everything! We all can let the angers, frustrations and challenges in our life take away the positive attitudes like forgiveness and having a servant heart.  Our emotions can really dictate our actions if we let them. Thankfully, we have the power of God on our side. We have to work with the Holy Spirit in us to cultivate these positive attitudes everyday. In this way, we can be prepared for the emotions we may face in the day ahead and be able to maintain the positivie attitudes. Make it a committment to pray every morning as you are brushing your teeth, in the shower or some other day to day thing asking for the Holy Spirit to fill you with the fruits and all those positive attitudes that come with them.
Galations 5: 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 174

As I was driving home yesterday in heavy traffic, I was thinking about the voice mail that a man from an alarm company left. Lets just say he was not very happy. Because of the way we are doing things now, an alarm company can't just call and directly talk to anyone. It's voice mail or email.  This in itself is frustrating to many. But I thought about all the people I have called back who have left not so nice voice mails or emails in all CAPS and realized that when they are confronted with a real live person that genuinely wants to figure out what's going on and help them out, their frustrations and anger are stored away inside rather than being directed at me for the most part. Not everyone has a filter on their anger and frustration. It's just not nice to take your anger and frustration out on an innocent person that is stuck in the middle. I wonder how well I have been with my angers and frustrations. Am I letting them spew out to innocent people or am I calmly talking my anger and frustrations out to the appropriate person? Self-control is probably one of the toughest things to master.  For some of us, it's the self-control with our emotions; for others it's the self-control of eating, drinking, smoking or some other physical thing that ultimately hurts us. The Holy Spirit can give us all we need, including this self-control but because each day is a new day, we need to ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us with all we need to face the challenges of our day ahead. Let's say a prayer: Father, we thank you for this gift of the Holy Spirit to be with us until the time when Jesus will return. Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and souls today with all the fruits of the spirit and especially that of self-control. Help us to look at each new challenge we face today through your eyes and ears and face them with fruits you alone can give us. Amen.
Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 173

This time last year, I was on a mission to discover that my daughter did not have ADD. We were told late in the school year of how Faith was having focusing issues, mostly daydreaming. Because this was the first time that this issue came up, I was pretty sure this was just a phase or something. We went through all the medical stuff with her to rule out anything medical just to be sure. I ended up with a very good book about natural ways to conquer ADD or ADHD. The writer spoke of how a lot of kids are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD and medicated but there are many ways to help children that are natural ways. The truth was Faith is a hands-on visual learner, combine that with her love of cats and you can get her to focus. I really think it was just a phase or that she wasn't being taught to her individuality as she has blossomed in this last year and her teacher says she doesn't have any focus issues at all. We are all unique creations and that is to be celebrated. We have to learn what our strengths and weaknesses are and utilize those things that God gave us. Faith is apparently a math whiz. She got that from her Dad for sure but she also has a creativeness that defnintely comes from me. In the end, God has given her some wonderful quirks and strengths that will be with her throughout her life. She is a blessing to us and we thank God for her. Know that what God has given you is to be celebrated!
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's workmansip, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God perpared in advance for us to do.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 172

I don't think I will ever get use to hearing the threats people make in the anger and frustration. My job brings those threats to me every so often. This time it was from a man that had once again received an invoice for an alarm company. We apparently have the wrong address. I was miffed enough myself because I had emailed the alarm company to give us an up-to-date address without any response so I tried the phone number. I ended up with a dead line with the first number so tried the 800 number and was told that I couldn't speak with the person listed as our contact. I pretty much laid it out for the person I was talking to saying I needed an accurate mailing address and that they had several outstanding invoices. I had to call the man back who had threatened to call his lawyer if he continued to get harrassed by these invoices being mailed to his home. Nobody likes conflict but I have become pretty good at getting things resolved and leaving the person with a good frame of mind. The man was happy to hear I had gotten it all resolved. I consider it further training on being a peacemaker combined with a law enforcer. Everything I do is God's training. Do you know what God has been training you on? When you see it as part of God's training, you will have more peace about it and face it with confidence.
Proverbs 3:26 ...for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

Monday, May 14, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 171

We had a grand time yesterday afternoon at the new Brunzwick Fun Center. I had a blast trying out arcade games that I have been too timid to try out before. I blasted "the machines" in the Terminator game, road a vitual motorcycle and did a car race against some family members coming in last place. It really isn't about the winning. It was just so fun to try out something never done before. My arm is a bit sore in various places thanks to our bowling game but we all had such a grand time. In the midst of all our fun, my dad slipped and fell on his knee. I don't think any of us actually saw the incident. I just turned around and saw him reaching for his knee with an intense look of pain and knew something happened. It ended the bowling game for him, but thankfully it will just be a sore bruised knee. It was a good reminder that despite those times in life when we are in the midst of joyful celebrations, there are still people hurting in the world. I don't think God wants us to stop our celebrating but rather just be mindful and prayerful about those in the world that aren't able to celebrate at that time. My prayer is that if you are struggling with greif about a loved one or working through an estranged relationship with family or anything that is bringing you sadness and pain that you will look to the Lord for comfort and peace and be led by Him back to a place where you can celebrate and be filled with joy.
Esther 9: 20-22 Mordecai recoreded these events, and he sent letters toall the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebrations.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 170

Most of us are not prepared for Motherhood. It is an on-the-job training kind of job. Mary the mother of Jesus, was not prepared for motherhood either. She was still by our standards today very very young and only just promised in marriage to Joseph. But she took on her new role as the mother of the Son of God and God gave her what she needed. I remember that first year of motherhood being extremely challenging. Not only with the lack of sleep, the change of my whole world by becoming a stay-at-home mom but also adjusting to being married as it had only been married 10 months eariler.  It was to say the least a very rough road. In hindsight, we can look back and wish we had done things better but it is what it is. We are the mothers of our children because God planned it that way. You may not have had the best of mothers but know that despite what we do as mothers, God's plan is at work. Mothers are not perfect so we have to let go of the past and be able to forgive and love. Just as our mother's tried their best at the time, we too must try our best and ask God for the help we need so we can embrace our mother's and ourselves with forgiveness and love. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers of the world!
Deuteronomy 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it my go well wit you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 169

Today my brother graduates from college. It's always a momentous occasion as so much time and effort goes into it and in his case some sacrifices with family time and spouse time. I pray that God will lead him where he wants him to go and that he will be successful with all he does. Thank you Lord for giving Jeff this opportunity to learn and grow. Amen.
Psalm 20:4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Friday, May 11, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 168

Tristan has been taking a class at church on leadership. He has been doing this in preparation to be a camp counselor. Last week, he had to go to church and interview for a counselor position for summer camps this summer. He was told that there were more girls than boys signed up for the camps this year so the spots for boy counselors was limited and they would let him know. He got a letter in the mail yesterday! He and his sister Faith will be at the same camp this summer. The Lord prepares each of us in all kinds of ways. Some of them are in ways that we didn't think except when we look back in hindsight. Some like Tristan taking the leadership class are intentional. God works and prepares us to do His will. He has a plan for each of us and though the illness you may be suffering through or the problems with a co-worker are challenging or you are struggling with relationship issues. Like a pastor recently said in his sermon, we are being tempered into steel. Each trial, each trouble, each challenge of life. They all make us stronger and are preparing us for God's plan for our lives. I am very proud of my son and his following his heart and doing what God's will is for him. I pray he will continue on this good path following God's will for his life and that he will have fun and learn lots being a counselor at summer camp this summer.
Ephesians 4:11-12 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.

Here is a quick faithbook page I created using some scraps of paper left-over from some journals I made as gifts to give at my workshops. The photos are of Tristan headed to Winter Camp and Tristan leading a small group of kids which included Faith at church on a Wednesday night.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 167

Yesterday at my job, I had the challenge of talking to an alarm company that thought they knew the law. The man was pretty adamant that he did not need to be paying just because, in his mind, no other alarm company was paying. I had to lead him to the truth in the kindest but firmest way I knew by simply stating over and over again, it's part of the ordinance. What I really wanted to do was yell at him and say look it's the law so just pay it. However, I need to keep my job... So, I kept on with kindness and firmness and ultimately the guy said can I pay with a credit card. I just chuckle about it now but in the moment, I was sweating it out dealing with this adversity to the truth. It makes me think of how difficult people probably are towards hearing the truth of the gospel. Their walls are up and their life experiences have cemented in their beliefs but we need to be persistent like God is with us. Never give up, never, ever. I think we can take down those walls people build up around themselves brick by brick with our kindness, our example, our conviction and commitment. Do you have someone who doesn't want to believe in Jesus? Doesn't want to hear the truth? Keep at them and let God work through you to take down the wall so they can see the light.
1 Timothy 2: 3-4 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 166

I was curious about this book of Philemon because it was not a book that I have gone to maybe ever except during my reading through the bible years I did with some family members. The book is just the one chapter and it was open to the beginning where the quick studyis so in my hazy needing caffeine mind, I read the quick study. One of the things that stood out to me was that it was a letter from Paul to a Christian businessman and owner of the runnaway slave this chapter is about. I started thinking about how many letters Paul wrote to people that are now part of the bible. These letters were inspired by God and He gave Paul the words that have probably worked the hearts of an untold number of people. The power of the written word is a great thing especially if it is God-given. Our culture now has gotten away from the letter writing due to technology and yet I still see stationary being sold and the post office is still in business but that may not last much longer. Perhaps it's time to go back to that way of communicating... My communication to far-away family is very lacking so I think it's time to committ myself to writing some letters. Take a look Paul's letter to Philemon today and maybe you too will be inspired.
Philemon 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 165

I beleive there are two key ingredients when it comes to relationship building: time and the ability to open up. I am going to share about the latter. There have been times with small groups of friends where I have shared something on my heart. Those times are forever on my heart as good times because I felt truly connected.  I think that really sharing with friends is a great challenge for many of us. I think we build up walls to protect ourselves but in the end when we share our burdens with friends we often discover that we are not alone in this struggle or we are comforted and encouraged and even given some wisdom passed down through our friends from God. There is a reason that God wants us to foster our relationships in community with each other and yet we still build the walls up. I am praising God for a lady who opened up breifly to me about her life situation and praising the Lord for bringing her into my life. God uses us not only as fishers of people but as encouragers, advisors, caring people, listeners and more. Do you feel you have walls built-up around you holding in feelings and thoughts that need to be shared to be processed? Take your burdens first to God and ask him to help open your heart to releasing your burdens with your community of friends.
Philemon 6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

Monday, May 7, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 164

I have to confess, I am not a crowd kind of person. It could be because of my audiotory issues and trying to have conversations with so much other noise going around is very challenging. I did my best at the kick-off yesterday at the Church of All Nations and I am trusting God will lead the women he wants to bring to this bible study at this time. I think my biggest revelation was just how out-of-shape I am. Standing for any length of time had my back muscles hurting. So the morning was good but exhausting. I drove home with the radio off, got a movie moving going on the TV, crawled into bed and proceeded to miss most of the movie because I fell asleep. Since I was at the church all morning, I went in and listenend to both sermons. It was interesting to hear the pastor talk about a different story than in the first sermon that still made his point. The one story he did tell in both sermons was about how he learned how to temper steel. He made something out of steel and thought it was finished but was told by the teacher that it needed to be tempered. Steel before it is tempered is very brittle. To temper it you have to put it to two extremes over and over again. It is dipped in something hot and than is shocked by dipping it into cold oil. Like the Lord does with us, we are be tempered. When the steel is finally tempered enough, it is so strong it can cut other steel. The Lord is pouring steel into us and we are being tempered through our extremes, our trials and tribulation. In the end, God is making us stronger and more equipped to do his will. So, when those extremes of life hit you, look to the Lord and know that he is making you stronger and preparing you.
Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who give me strength.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 163

Nothing really ever goes as you plan it. Our hike yeterday got postponed to another time due to the looming dark clouds but we did take the kids to a park and tried to get in some walking around the playground to burn off all the calories we just ate from our mexican feast. As I was talking my my sister-in-law around the playground about my ministry and where it could go, she said something that really stood out to me and, of course, my memory won't serve me correctly so this is not a direct quote, "there are lots of hurting people out there that could benefit greatly by experiencing sitting down with others going through the sames kinds of issues and creating scrapbook pages that reflect these issues". The key part of this was the "hurting people". My original ministry idea was to bring believers together so they could study together and create faithbooking pages that will create a legacy of their faith and help in their growth process along the way. I am now seeing how this ministry could reach out to the hurting in the world. The plans for this ministry are not mine, they are God's so I will continue to pray, research and keep my eyes, ears and heart open to all the possiblities that God will bring my way to take this ministry. Thank you Lord for my sister-in-law and speaking through her!
Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 162

What a beautiful day it is looking to be! I am excited about going and setting up my table for the kick-off of Lifegroups at Church of All Nations tomorrow. I will have to take a picture of my set-up. They are having a little prize for the most attracting display so I let the creative side of me go for it. I am also excited to go on a hike up in Castlerock later today with my brother's family. It will be great to just enjoy the outdoors and all that God blesses us with today. I pray your day will be glorious!
Psalm 96:1-3 Sing to the Lord a new song: sing the the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Friday, May 4, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 161

Big or small, important or not, everything needs to be praised to the Lord for without him, none of it would be. So, I am praising being able to get on a treadmill after 6 months of injury and pain that kept me from excerising. I had to take it slow and hold on after a while because my back was feeling it too. I am just thankful that I am able to be without any pain and start working on getting this body God gave me back in shape and feeling stronger. When life gets overwhelming, complicated and stressful, we tend to let go of those things like exercising and eating right because it's easy to let them go. I have tried to keep to the eating right throughout this period of non-exercise so that I wouldn't gain too much weight. Funny thing is God has given me a weight gain warning detection system. It's called acid reflux. When I get to a certain weight that shall be nameless, I start getting heartburn. Ouch! No fun at all but it is a motivator to get back to thinking more about what I am eating and making wiser choices. Like our relationship should be with the Lord, eating right and exercising has to be intentional. It doesn't just happen. It takes effort. My plan is to get back into yoga and get this body feeling good and strong in all ways. I am going to start by putting my yoga mat out in the living room as a reminder to get on it and off the couch.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 160

I am researching analogies in the bible. It is going to be the driving force for my faithbooking bible study that I am going to write. I got an email from my dad with this analogy in it: The love of God is like a sea. We may see where it begins but never its ending. Growing up in California, I had my share of beach days and always loved to look out over the vast ocean. You really can't help but feel God when you are looking at something like that. My operating procedure is to let this simmer in my heart for a few days and let God help me come up with another analogy that will speak the same truth. Write this analogy out today for yourself and let it simmer in you and wait for God to bring you another way that shows his love. Lord, thank you for the vastness of your love!
Ephesians 3:18 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you my be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 159

My latest assignment for my mastermind group has been to write down my dreams for this ministry in detail for what it will look like in 5 years. I have to say I have struggled with this greatly. A little piece of me started doubting it all and yet another piece of me thought maybe I need to go to seminary and go that route. Another piece of me has been contemplating the idea of writing my own faithbooking bible studies. I also just got an email from my sister-in-law about doing what I do for a treatment school for mentally ill children. I am realizing there are many roads I can take with this ministry so when asked where do I see it in 5 years, I would like to being doing 2 workshops with at least 10 participants a week, make connections in 20 more churches, teach 10 women how to become FTLC workshop leaders at their church along with pursuing these other avenues and helping others connect their faith to their life. I see the title picture on my blog of the road heading toward the snow capped mountain and think my dream is to do God's will and let him take me and this ministry wherever he wants it to go. I am thanking God for the lightbulb idea for the topic of my first faithbooking bible study I will write that came to me in the shower yesterday morning and for these other ministry avenues that you will bring my way. My 5 year plan is to do God's will and follow what's in my heart to do as God reveals it to me.
Proverbs 23:18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 158

I am still trying to wake up and feeling pretty out of it. It must have been that essential oil I put on last night called Serenity. I was having the best dream with romance, car chases and excitement. It was like I was in a movie. It took my daughter knocking at the door to wake me up and my hubbie says "that must have been some dream; you were making all kinds of noises." I am going to have to tell him about the super cool convertable black mustang I got to drive fast in the dream. I would love to go back to bed but I must go get caffinated and be off to work. Thank you Lord for the stress-releasing power a dream can bring and for caffiene.
Psalm 119: 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.