Sunday, September 30, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenged-Day 310

I got wrapped up this morning in a task of putting together a powerpoint that I can use to tell about my calling to be a bibilical counselor and the help and support I will need. I spoke with my biggest fan and supportor, my Mom on Saturday and explained to her about the NCCA accredited school and program and my desire to get the first Phase of the program paid so I could focus on the study and start the saving for the remaining cost of the program. She said she would gladly loan me $1000 if I could get the other $500. So, I decided to put together a powerpoint presentation to share with my Dad and my family and friends to let them know what was going to be happening and what I am going to be needing on this journey. I feel at peace knowing that God will bring the funds to me to get this started and that all the needs along the way like the 25 people needed for case studies will be provided. Lord, thank you for filling me with the faith to say with you I can do it!
Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, `Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Saturday, September 29, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 309

Despite my calling from God to be a biblical counselor, doubts and fears about my capabilities keep creeping up. Thankfully, with prayer and God's word, I am able to conquer those creeping up doubts and fears about myself. Can I overcome my audiotory processing issue? Yes. Can I make a person comfortable to talk with me about everything? Yes. Can I let go and let God? Yes. All things are possible with God. I got an email from Fuller Seminary with a message that helped me strengthen my faith and conquer my doubts and fears yesterday. I listened to the full sermon that Dr Richard J Mouw gave for the 65th anniversary of Fuller Seminary and found that we really can't imagine what our future will hold. Those questions often asked in an interview or in setting goals for yourself: where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? I cannot imagine it! Neither did Fuller Seminary when they started back in 1947 imagine how much they would accomplish for Christ nor how things would change thanks to more knowledge. God will set our coarse and give us more than we can ask for or imagine. This scripture from Ephesians will be my mantra, my goal, my inspiration. Through God and by God, will I be equipped to fufill his purpose. I am excited to start my studies on becoming a biblical counselor and will keep my faith in the Lord that he will give me all I need to fulfill his purpose.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurabley more than all we ask or imagine, accoriding to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Chirst Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Friday, September 28, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 308

We play a lot of roles through out our lives. I have been pretty successful at most of them and am always willing and able to improve but I am so fired as the "tooth fairy". My nine-year-old daughter wiggled a tooth out last night before bed and though she knows that Mom is the tooth fairy she wanted me to keep playing that role. I was never very good at it. The first tooth I forgot to take the tooth and leave money so I had to come up with a story about the tooth fairy being super busy and she would probably come tonight. I had a heck of a time once getting a tooth under her pillow that I could not find. Thankfully, I managed to find it without waking her up. Last  night I told her I could just give her money in the morning but she gave me that "look". She wanted to go through all the motions of putting her tooth under her pillow and waking up to find her reward. Ugh. I forgot! I am so fired! She came marching up to me this morning holding out the baggie with the tooth. Thankfully, she was forgiving especially after I produced a dollar for her. We do our best as parents but we are not perfect. Praising the Lord for being the one thing in our lives that is constant, perfect and unending and praising the Lord for the forgiveness a child gives you.
Luke 23: 33-34 When they came to a place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 307

I got the call yesterday from my church that I didn't get the job. I had made the final two after a grueling interview process that took just over 6 weeks. I really am honored to have made the final two and in the end they chose the other lady because she had 10 years experience as a missionary in Turkey and the postion had a lot to do with missions. I thought I would feel more disappointed but what I really feel is free. I know that in this time I have been doing research on other carrer paths and my calling from God became crystal clear. I am going to study to be a biblical counselor. I am very excited to be able to move forward with this. The whole job thing really took me down a detour road which I did do because God did call me to go for the job. Obviously, it wasn't to get the job but to go through the whole process. I discovered that with preparation I really wasn't so bad of an interviewee that I thought. It really was about being prepared for the questions. So, in the end, I have gained more confidence in myself, practiced my patience and learned to let go and let God do his thing. All things work for the good of God's plan. So, now I have to narrow down my schooling options and let God lead me to the school that works in his plan for me.
Romans 11:29 for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 306

Do you believe in coincidences? I am not a fan of coincidence especially after watching the movie with Mel Gibson about the aliens. My shoulder pain last week led me to doing some research on natural alternatives for osteoarthritis. I went and got a calcium-magnesium fizz supplement and am adding a glucosamine-MSM combo powder supplement to it. I began it on Saturday and my shoulder pain has been considerably less. I actually slept without going to bed with an ice pack for several  nights and only last night decided to get one in the middle of the night because I ended up wide awake thinking about too many things and noticed my left shoulder blade area was slightly throbbing. In any case, I am thrilled with not having the constant pain and having to ice and heat my shoulders almost constantly. I prayed to God for an answer towards relief, for healing, for anything to help and he led me to this. No, I don't think it's a coincidence or by my own efforts. I give all the glory to God. Thank you Lord for the relief of my shoulder pain!
Romans 8:32 "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 305

As I listened to the women in my bible study last night recount how their summer was, I was awed by how unique all our circumstances were from me and my job stuff, one with unexpected death, one with a summer filled with weddings, one with a good fun summer and one with people coming in and out of her home all summer. The great part about all of this is how we just listened to each other with validation, support and encouragement. It was good to be back with these wonderful ladies. I laughed to myself on the way home thinking how did I end up with this group of older ladies. Oh, yeah, I started it. In looking back in my life, I always seem to have younger friends or older friends and not so much the same-age friends. But no matter the age or stages of life my friends are in, I am thankful to God for them. Praises to our awesome God for bringing friendships into our lives.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Monday, September 24, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 304

Our pastor continued his sermon series called Smash. He told a good story that gave me some creative inspiration. A boy and his grandma played Monopoly together all summer long and every time, grandma would win. The boy was tired of losing and wanted to figure out how to win so he went to the library and got a book about How to Win at Monopoly. The next game time came around and he bought up all the good properties like Boardwalk, he landed Grandma in jail several times and he collected a ton of hotels and money. He beat grandma and was so proud of himself. He asked her about leaving the game out as is so when his friends came over he could prove he won but grandma in her wisdom said, "oh no, you put the game away. At the end of the game it all goes back into the box." This was a great modern day example of the story of the rich man who ask Jesus what he can do to be saved. No matter what we collect in terms of success, achievements, money, possessions and no matter what we do to get a ticket to heaven, we will all fall short. We can't take anything with us and we can't do anything that will seal the deal and get us eternal life. At the end of our lives, it all goes back into the box. We can't win this game but we don't have to. The game has already been won by Jesus. His death on the cross and resurection from hell has given us the ticket and all we need to do is reach out and take the ticket. We fall short because we are human. We are not capable with our sinful nature to get into heaven but as Jesus said to the rich man, "all things are possible with God". Because of Jesus, we have already won the game. We fall short but Jesus fills in what is needed. This realization that we come up short is a necessary step on our journey of faith. Have you come to that realization that you cannot do this on your own? Jesus loves us and wants us to measure up. Ask Him and he will take care of the rest and give you your ticket. Here Lord, this is all I got; you make up the rest. Amen.
Mark 10:25-27 But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 303

Praising the Lord for my wonderful family. Despite the pain in my shoulders and all that entails, they are supportive and loving. Chronic pain is no fun and it certainly can change how you feel. I feel like at times I am the Wicked Witch of the East and at other times like a doormat saying just leave me alone. But as I doubled-over in pain yesterday as I was opening the bottom veggie drawer in the fridge, my sweet daughter came over and started rubbing my back asking if I was okay. Tears came to me at that point because it's been too much to bare and it was time to release some pent up emotion about not having my normal day-to-day ability. I don't know what the future will bring with this pain but I do know my family is awesome and my God is awesome and with their help I will get through it.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 302

Today is the first official day of Fall. We all have our favorites and mine has always been the Fall. I think because it is more of a drastic change than the Spring is.  Spring doesn't seems to come all at once. First you see the daffodils, than the tulips than some trees start to bud and the grasses start to change from yellow to green. But the Fall is much more dramatic and sudden. That first colder weather pattern that moves through tells all the trees and grasses your time is about done. You wake up the next day and suddenly your whole world has changed. The temperature is a nice mild 50 degrees, the trees are changing colors and the mountain has its first bit of snow on it. I think we can feel that way everyday with Christ Jesus in our hearts. Everyday we are made new. We can ask the Lord for forgiveness for our sins of the previous day and be washed clean of them. Thank you Lord for this gift of a new day, a new beginning everyday. We so need it! If you are living in a place without hope, than its time to look to the one who gives us hope everyday like a mountain with fresh snow.
Ephesians 4:22-24 To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Friday, September 21, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 301

Last night my 9 year-old daughter was playing restaurant server. She made up some menus, took orders, served and gave us a bill. It was so sweet to watch and she was very excited to get her first tip.  She has been into serving lately. She will bake brownies or cookies and than serve everyone. I love seeing this serving attitude in her. She does it with joy and love. Serving others and loving them is our core purpose given to us by God. This core purpose will fit into our lives and our gifts that God has given us. If we are teachers, we will serve and love through our teaching. If we are administrators it will be through adminstrating. No matter how our purposes get lived out, the real core purpose is to serve and love the Lord and love your neighbors and that means everyone! God's glory will shine through all our love.  Today I will go through my day with these questions. How am I showing my love for you today? Is God's glory shining through me? Thank you Lord for the children in our lives who show us examples of how we are to be loving and have a servant's heart.
Psalm 86:12 "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 300

God is so working on me in terms of learning to love my enemies. My feathers got ruffled a bit yesterday when I heard on the news about the document that they say, says Jesus said "my wife". I was immediately angry with the media for taking something and exploiting it like this without any real research behind it. My first thought was maybe Jesus didn't mean it literally. Like the bible says we are the bride and he is the bridegroom. My wife could mean the whole body of Christ. Thankfully, our pastor last night did his research and shared with us 3 reasons this is not true. First the definition for the greek word for wife: GUNE (phonetical Goonay) is a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married or a widow, a wife. Second, we should apply the theory of Biblical interpretation called Hapax Legomenon which basically says if a text only appears once in any form, it should be considered with less weight than if a text appears multiple times through many different authors and centuries. Third it is Coptic (Egyptian) script which is from the 4th century AD, 300 years after Jesus and from a copy of a 2nd century Greek text. Coptics were not known for Biblical accuracy, but rather for their astute and penetrating theology. So, my problem is still with the media. Love my enemy. Love my enemy. My second enemy of the day was my workplace especially after finding out the way our vacation time is accrued changed at the first of the year and nobody bothered to say anything to us. They changed it from an accrue by calander year system to a accrue by your starting anniversary date. Apparently, if at your anniversary date you have more than 24 hours accrued you will lose it. I have no idea if I lost any because my anniversary happend in July. This really got my feathers ruffled. I had to put on my head phones and listen to God speaking to me through music to calm myself down. Love my enemies, Love my enemies, Love my enemies. Oh, Lord this is so hard but I am thankful for your help in starting to learn the process of loving my enemies. Pray for them is what you have been telling me. So that is what I will do.
Matthew 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 299

Please excuse the way I think. I hope nobody will find this offensive in anyway but I worked an analogy in my mind on the way home from work yesterday. Jesus is like a pancake. Yes, I said, pancake. Let me break it down for you. The first side cooked on a pancake always seems to come out golden with a nice golden rim around the edge, kind of like a crown. hmmmm..... Than you flip it over and cook the other side. This side always looks different, often filled with little holes and is not the golden color but a combination of tans and white. The first golden side of the pancake is Jesus, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, son of God. The second side of the pancake with the holes is Jesus, the son of man, a human being, a person like all of us. Jesus is both of these sides of the pancake. He is the son of God come to earth in human form. Emanuel. If you have studied any other religions, you will know that this is the one and only true God who has come down to us.
Now pancakes can be made in different sizes. You have the dollar size, the standard size and king size. The dollar size pancakes are those people who have Jesus in their hearts but in a small way. They may only think about Jesus once a week at worship service or when a desperate need arises in their lives. The standard size pancake person is actively trying to consistently have Jesus in their lives and they do a pretty good job of it with bible study, worship and prayer. The king size pancake person is the kind of person where Jesus is the central part of their whole life. It is what motivates them in all they do and all they are. This is the person who not only does bible study, worship and prayer but also actively uses their gifts from God for God's calling for them. The good news is we are not stuck being one kind of pancake. Those dollar size pancakes and standard sized pancakes have the opportunity to choose to pour out a new pancake each day and make it bigger, letting Jesus become more and more the central part of our exsistence, our goals, our motivation. Even King sized pancakes can choose to keep being big pancakes but even add some special ingredients like peanut butter, chocolate chips or protein powder. This can give more impact to the King size pancake. So, the next time you are making pancakes or eating pancakes, I hope you will remember this analogy and let the Holy Spirit help you in becoming a specialty King size pancake for Jesus. If you are not yet a pancake, think about letting Jesus into your heart.
1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 298

I didn't sleep so well last night. May be partly hormonal but is also because my shoulders and a pain in my ankle towards the top of my foot woke me up too. I have been researching the possiblity of arthritis being what is happening to me. My joints have been recently cracking and popping a lot so I started researching and determined its either osteoarthritis or rhematoid arthritis. I am going to keep a log of all my symptoms for two week and see what that may tell and of course will pray for the Lord's healing and guidance. I don't think they mentioned arthritis at my shoulder doctor, just tendonitis but I do know I have some osteoarthritis from my sternal-cavical joint seperation when I fell back in 2009. It has recently been acting up as well? It's a mystery! I do love to try solving mysteries and am resourceful but working with a not-so-great night sleep has effected my brain this morning. So, let me just praise God for waking up to a new day and pray this new day will bring all that I with the Lord's help can bring it.
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.

Monday, September 17, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 297

I love, love, love hearing a new perspective on something in the bible. Our pastor spoke about Mark 4: 1-8. It has the well known parable about the 4 soils. Our pastor hit the nail right on the head with this one. I think we have often looked too much at the soils and thought only of ourselves and are we growing and producing fruit or are we without any roots or choked by the weeds of life. But that is a self-thinking perspective. Our pastor gave us a Christ-thinking missional perspective. Jesus is the sower or farmer who is scattering the seeds and he was the best. It was helpful to learn that sowing seeds is not like what we think today where we dig a hole, stick a seed in and cover it up or have a machine do it all. Back in the days, sowing seeds was simply tossing the seeds into the wind and letting them fall where they may. Jesus was the ultimate seed sower but given the 4 types of soil we can see that even with all the constant seed sowing he did both in his life and after he rose from the dead the failure rate was 75% because only those 25% that fell on good soil would grow and produce fruit. Our pastor explained that our failure rate will not be good either but that we have to sow seeds that much more. He used the words recklessly, haphazardly and hilariously. I had to look up these three words just to get a better feel. Reckless: without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action. Haphazardly: random or by mere chance. Hiliariously: merry, cheerful, joyful.  So we are to not think or care about what happens to the seeds. That is God's part. He will take care of the watering of the seeds. We are to do it whenever and wherever keeping our eyes and ears open to hearing and seeing those right moments when we should be sowing the seeds. And we are to do it with cheerfullness and joy in our hearts that we are saved and others can be too if we can just sow the seeds.  Just sow....
Thank you Lord for this great message with a new missional perspective that Jesus would want for us. Just sow... Just sow....
Mark 4: 9 Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 296

We watched the singing competition show called The Voice last evening. This competition starts with the blind auditions. The judges have their backs facing the stage and they hit their buttons to turn around based only on what they are hearing. The final singer of the night was a "gentle giant". He was an 18 year old big black guy who sang incredibly. They often tell the stories of the singers and his really struck a cord with me. He was told by an 8th grade teacher he would be a nobody, nothing and what he really wants from this singing competition is confidence. This kind of thing gets me incensed. My mother always told me if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. She learned this from God's word. The lips and what comes out of them can be very detremental. Our words have the power for good and the power for bad so it is something we have to take responsiblity for and control. Now this teacher may have been having a very bad day, week, year, who knows but in the end we have to learn that it is not all just about us. What we say can hurt. God calls us to be building each other up, not tearing each other down. I am sure this "gentle giant" will find his confidence and my prayer is he will find forgiveness for this teacher and I pray the teacher will find his or her way to God's word and let the Lord heal his or her heart and guide him or her to using his or her words only for building up.
Ephesian 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 295

I was eagerly anticipating a phone call from my church yesterday to hear about the final decision for the admin assistant position I have been interviewing for. The call came but the final decision didn't. They still haven't decided and so the HR guy asked for some  names of people I worked with in my volunteering at the church. This morning I decided to take some more initiative in giving them some help with their decision and completed a spiritual inventory which I will send in a card to the HR guy and the Head of Staff. I wasn't surprised by the results. The top 4 were: Administration, Encouragement, Knowledge and Teaching followed as a close second with Sheparding, Mercy, Wisdom and Leadership.  It was good to do this test again and see that some of my spiritual gifts have grown like Knowledge, Sheparding and Mercy. I am very grateful to God for this whole opportunity as it further shows me the gifts he's given me and those that I can work with and grow with. If you want to take a spirtiual inventory to get a better idea of what part of the body of Christ your gifts are called for, you can do the one at  Look under the Serve tab at top and than the Serve the Church tab on the left.  I would love to hear what gifts God has given to you and how you want to use them.
1 Corinthians 12:12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.

Friday, September 14, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 294

Our family was watching the first show of the season for The X Factor. It's a singing competion kind of show like American Idol but with some different twists and formats. On this show the contestants have to try out in front of a stadium full of people and the four judges. One in particular really stood out from the show last evening because of all the emotion she had. Her background story was one of pain. She had been severly bullied during her middle and high school years but she found a way of healing throughy singing. Her voice and stage presence were great but it was the raw emotions that captured us all.  People were in tears and even Simon the judge known to have a heart of stone was moved. This is what is so amazing about these kinds of shows because you see the human heart and we all connect with it. We all live through pain, grief, depression and all those emotions that come up from the not so good things that occur in our lives. Thankfully many are able to find ways to express their emotions outwardly like in singing but what if you can't carry a tune or don't have a dancing bone in your body or can't paint a moving picture, taking an amazing photo or write a story that will help you get out those emotions out in a health way. There is always the way that many of us turn to in our desperate moments. We pray to God for help, or we turn our negative emotions towards Him. He wants you to call out to him in the desperate moments and in the joyful moments, when life is taken a bad turn and when life is being good to you. He is always there waiting for us to talk to him. He is the great counselor for us all, who will listen and will understand, who will give us what we need and will guide us to the healing through His love. It was amazing to watch this bullied girl end up crying with tears of joy. God wants that for all of us.
Psalm 63: 5-7 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 293

As I was driving to my church for the final interview, the rain was coming down very steadily and had for the last hour or so. The roads were getting very saturated. All of a sudden the car in the lane next to me who was just a car length ahead of me hit a big patch of standing water. All that water flew directly onto my windshield, blocking my view of the road in front of me for about 5 seconds. This has happened to all of us. I knew there weren't any cars directly in front of me or behind me but in the fear-filled seconds, I put on the brakes to slow down. The windsheild cleared and I uttered a nice sentiment to the driver of the car. Than I apologized to God because it really wasn't the driver's fault. As I continued to drive to work, the incident spurred some thoughts and I grabbed on to them and found another great example of something in life and how it teaches us about God. We learn from the bible that God is here with us. We have to have our hearts, eyes and ears open to hearing, seeing and feeling God's presence in our lives. Like the water hitting our windshields and blocking our veiw, life and the evil one can block our sight of God, can put too many voices in our ears blocking the one voice we should be listening to and can put a barrier around our hearts keeping us from feeling God's presence. But He is ALWAYS here! And like I did in the car, we have to put the brakes on our lives, slow down and rest in Him. Our brakes for this are our prayers, quiet times, reading of the scriptures, studying of the bible, bible study groups and other Christian-minded groups and worship in church and everywhere. If you haven't been feeling God's presense, seeing Him in everything in your life, hearing his voice giving you wisdom, strength, guidance and everything you need, than it may be time to put on the brakes or put on the brakes a little bit more. Praises to my AWESOME God who shows me these connections and gives me the motivation and drive to share these with others that they might help them. Thank you Lord for another great analogy that connects life to you!
Matthew 28:20 "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 292

We have been watching the show called Master Chef as a family and watched the season finale last evening. This season was inspiring to watch the ultimate winner who is blind. Like all of us at one point or another, she was not as confident as she should have been. But she persevered and got her confidence back in gear and won the competition. It was an inspiration to watch. No one in my family is that into cooking. We are what I would call get-by cooks, just trying to pull something for dinner every night. But I have been inspired to try my hand at more challenging cooking. There was an episode in which they had the challenge of making 3 different kinds of souffles. No one in my family has ever tried a souffle so I think I am going to get some recipes and stuff together and make it a family competition. I am sure the challenge of living in the thin air of Colorado may be tough to overcome when it comes to souffles but I think it will be a fun and bonding experience for us. I will, of course, take photos and create a scrapbook page to commemorate the activity. So, if you have a good souffle recipe, send it my way. Bon appetit and praise God for the wonderful creations we can make using all the foods he has given us.
Genesis 1: 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 291

Oh the joys a simple phone call can bring! Yesterday morning my i-phone was vibrating away so I looked to see the number calling in. My eyebrows went up as I saw it was a local number. I have to let it go to voice mail while I am at work and call people back on my breaks so I was happy to see the person had left a message. My eyebrows went up again! Could it be the church calling about the admin assist postion? The voice mail told it all. I made it to the final 2 candidates. This down to two candidates thing is so reminding me of the time I tried out to be the captian of the drill team. There were only two of us trying out so it was me or her, 50-50 chance. Like  I do with anything that I am in to, I committed and dedicated myself to preparing for this try-out 110% but I was crushed with disappointment upon finding out that I didn't make it by a mere 2 points. I balled on the phone to my mom about it and she said words that have stayed with me. Be the leader behind the leader. Support and do the best you can as the second in command. I did do that. I had a great relationship with the team. They listened to me, respected me and followed me and in the end I became the captian. Why? Because the other girl ended up stealing product from a fundraiser we did early on in the year. I ended up being captain by God's design. He had given me the opportunity to make my skills in leadership and relationship grow and shine. I am honored to be part of the final two people for this position at my church and no matter the outcome I know that God works things out for his purpose and in his timing. Praise the Lord oh my soul, worship his holy name. Sing like never before, oh-oh-oh, worship your holy name. Can't think of the name and artist to the words in this song but that came to my head and heart. Praising the Lord...all the day long...
1 Chronicles 16: 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Monday, September 10, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 290

Our sermon yesterday was about God's calling for us. The "us" is all of us, not just pastors, deacons or teachers but everyone. God calls us each of us to specific tasks. For some it will be as a prayer warrior, for others it will be adminstration and like me it will be to help the hurting. I have been wavering with my own lack of confidence in who I am and my skills to be a Christian counselor and thankfully have always come back to the same conclusion it is my calling. I have been focusing too much on what I lack instead of on the Lord and what he can equip me with. This is his call, not mine. It is bigger than me. Jesus started his ministry with the calling of two simple fisherman, Simon and Andrew who the bible says dropped their nets and followed him. They may have had their doubts along the way to becoming the disciples Jesus called them to be but with his help they got past their doubts and fears and just took on the job they were called for. I got home and was thoroughlly energized and motivated with creativity and put this faithbook page together. The photo is of me but created with a patchwork filter to send the message that the focus isn't on ourselves but on the big umbrella covering the whole universe that is God and his plan and purpose. Thanks be to God for helping me see the bigger picture and taking on the job the Lord is calling me for.
Mark 1: 16-18  As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew Casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. "Come, follow me, " Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 289

I created this scrapbook page recently and finished it up yesterday. I titled it Family Love because these photos reminded me so much of my family and how much we have each endured. My own family going through the scary ride of having premature babies, one being 3 months premature. And my brother's family going through adoption and the issuses they have had been confronted with;  Bi-Polar, ADHD, CAPD. Having children is not all the joyful moments you see on birth announcements or on Christmas cards. God has given us our children for a reason, for his purpose. Both my husband and I have grown tremendously in our faith and have developed a strong marriage because of the adversities we have faced. I know my brother and sister-in-law have struggled but I see them coming out of the hardest part of the adversity stronger and am sure their relationship will end up being stronger for it as well. Is the adversity over? No, there will be more things to overcome and endure as we and our children age. That is life in our fallen world but we have the hope found in Jesus of the life to come and the Holy Spirit to help us through our lives now. This verse about love says it all when it comes to family love.
1Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 288

Last night I read a children's book to my daughter we got at the library last week called The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubasarsky. It is about an apple that falls from a tree into the pond making a big plop, however the bunnies who are nearby eating carrots and chocolate cake, yes I said chocolate cake, don't know that it was just an apple. The sound alone spurs their fear of the "terrible plop" and they make a run for it, telling and getting other animals running away with them until they come to a grizzly bear who has the courage to see what this terrible plop is about. He takes the littlest, most scared slow-poke bunny with him back to the "terrible plop" site. Another apple falls from the tree landing in the pond but this time the little bunny sees it happen but the bear only hears it and he runs off scared leaving the bunny alone to sit by the pond and eat all the chocolate cake he wants. This was a perfect example of how our fears can be. They may seem like these "terrible plops" but when you really look at them you find it is just an apple falling from a tree into a pond. We tend to let our fears become overwhelming like a big mountian is looming before us but when you really look at that mountain you find that its just a little hill with a rocky top. We can't let our fears control us and have us running away. We have to face them and see them for what they really are. Face your fears today and get a clearer perspective of them and see there is noting to fear but fear itself.
Hebrews 13:6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can Man do to me?"

Friday, September 7, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 287

As I was heading to my second interview yesterday, I was not feeling so good. I was feeling naseua for about that last couple hours thanks to hormones. Ugh. So, as I walked into the church for my second interview I said a quick prayer for the right words, to be able to focus on giving the answer and not ramble and for my stomach to calm down. God is so good. I left my second interview feeling much better about what I said, how I said it and how I came across. At the end, they asked if there were any questions they didn't ask that I wanted to bring up. My gut told me to speak up about my commitment to Christ and how I came to know him. So, I ended up telling them my testimony. One of the ladies commented on how powerful a testimony it is. I look to my left where the HR guy is sitting and he is in tears. Wow! So, I think maybe I left there making an impression and hopefully it was a good one. If you haven't heard or read my testimony it is on my blog under My Testimony tab. The HR guy who has been involved in each of the 3 interviews so far commented that I was a new Janine. I said everything is the same inside that today it just came right. I was more confident, more comfortable, more at peace and just generally delighted and honored to be one of those final four candidates and my stomach naseua was gone. Thank you Lord for filling me up with all the right stuff!
Romans 10:10 “By believing from the heart, you obtain true righteousness; by confessing the faith with your lips you are saved”.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 286

Ah, the interview process. It is not a favorite of mine. Although, I have prepped for all the typical questions, it was those hypothetical ones that had me shaking in my boots. I am thinking I did the best I could do. I went back over one of those hypotheticals with my hubbie and he said that would have been the answer
he would have given. Of course, it came out better when I told him because I had been thinking about it for several hours. But the answer was there. Hopefully, they saw it through my rambling thought processing of an answer. I get to do it all over again today with another panel of people. I think this time I may write down the key word for each question so I don't end up taking a tangent on my answer and not getting back to answering what they asked. I feel very honored to have found out that I am one of 4 remaining candidates. I feel like I am living a reality TV show where people get voted off, like Survivor. I am fighting for survival to get this job. The good news is I will probably find out fairly quickly if I make it to the final two because the final two get to do another panel interview next week. Whew! It is a very thorough process they have done trying to find the right person for the job and I told them so. It says something good about the place I want to work for which happens to be my church. But in the end, it will be God's will that is done. Thank you Lord for this opportunity at my church and though only one can get the job, I pray that each of us feel blessed as I do for having come this far.
Psalm 105: 1-2 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 285

We have been watching this summer TV show called Hotel Hell. It's the world famous chef, Gordon Ramsey and him going to these hotels that are not making it to see if he can turn them around towards success. Aside from the actual physical aspects of the show and all the nasty things Gordon finds, what really draws me is the insight he has into what's going on with the owner/s. He looks beneath the surface and finds that this person is really a good person who just doesn't have the right perspective. He helps these people see what they have been doing for what it really is and changes not just the hotel but the owner/s. Gordon is not afraid of confrontation. He faces these people with the truth of what he sees. God wants us to live this same way. We should not be afraid of confronting people with the truth of what we see and definitely need to be speaking about the truth of Jesus. Thank you Lord for giving us the courage to help our brothers and sisters see the truth.
Matthew 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 284

This weekend I had the opportunity to connect with my father-in-law. They had driven down in my brother-in-law's new GrandAm so hubbie and son wanted to go for a ride. We opted to drive to church in two cars so my father-in-law got to go with me and my daughter. I have to say I did not look at it as an opportunity to connect but more negatively like I have to be in conversation with this man for a 20 minute drive. I have never really had this situation come up before when my hubbie wasn't there to steer the conversation. How do you connect with someone when you know they aren't interested in your stuff and you aren't interested in there stuff? I ended up starting by digging, digging for something that we could connect with beside the weather, the road conditions and other trivial conversations. I asked him if he could tell us about Nathan as a kid. I found a connection through the past! They used to go hiking. Now that was something we had in common. I was feeling good about how the conversation was going and the thought came to me to ask about how often he was able to read the bible. There was Satan on one of my shoulders telling me that might not be the best converstaion to get in and there was the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, "Don't be afraid". So, I pushed Satan off my shoulder, took a deep breath and asked him how often he had a chance to read the bible. It was an answer that I am sure a lot of people would say..."not as often as I probably should". He said reading always puts him to sleep after 20 mintues or so. I suggested he try a read the bible in a year plan because it breaks up the reading and he could do the reading in that 20 minutes each day. I told him how much I learned from reading the bible in this way. I was very happy the holy spirit had helped me by giving me the courage to speak up to someone about God. You never know what your words and actions will bring. I am not going to say I am there yet but I am working on being able to be fearless for the Lord. Baby steps....
1 Peter 4:11 If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, September 3, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 283

Off to a late start again... We got up this morning, looked at the time and scrambled into some clothes and headed down to Memorial Park for the hot air balloon launching for the Labor Day Weekend Annual Balloon Classic. We have come many times but it is still neat to be able to walk around and through all the balloons that are being filled with hot air and rising. Our favorites were the one with the snow leapord pictured on it and the one with the cross. There is something magical about seeing a hot air balloon lifting off up into the sky. Smokey the Bear balloon was new this year and very appropriate after the horrible Waldo Canyon fire we all were witness to. Like those hot air balloons, the Lord wants us to lift our eyes to Him and help lift the spirits of others. The balloon with the cross picture will always remind me of this.
Psalm 121: 1 I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 282

I started a new book yesterday by John MacArthur called Twelve Extraordinary Women which is about 12 women in the bible. Can you guess who the first chapter is on? Well, of course, its the mother of all living, Eve. I can't tell you how invaluable this chapter on Eve has been. I have read the story of the fall into sin too many times to count but never thought of some of the things this chapter has explained. I know I have heard it said before about the prophecy of Jesus going back all the way to the beginning but I have not until now really looked at it. The curse on humankind in Gensis 3:14-19 comes in three parts: to the serpent, to Eve and finally to Adam. The part that I am focusing on is about the serpent. We all know that the serpent is Satan but I found out in this chapter that this is actually revealed in the book of Revelation. We all know the serpent is cursed to live on his belly and eat dust all the days of his life. I always thought well yeah but hadn't considered that perhaps before the curse that maybe serpents had legs or in someway were not reduced to slithering in the dirt. The next part of the curse on the serpent is that part that is referred to as Protevangelium which literally means "the first gospel". And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. The word "enmity" was throwing me off. What does that word mean? I think I had an idea of it in my head but couldn't put it into other words so I have looked it up and found several definitions or synonyms: ill-will, hatred, bad blood, animosity and opposition are a few. "Enmity" is changed later in the verse to be as a person saying "he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." The "enmity" is our savior, Jesus Christ. He will crush Satan but not without Satan striking his heel first by his death on the cross. I am a word person and like to put in words that make more sense to me. Those first few just didn't fit my idea of Jesus but the word "opposition" made the most sense. Let's replace "enmity" with "opposition": And I will put opposition between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. That makes the most sense to me in terms enmity being personified as our saviour however, the other words make sense in that animosity and bad blood is between us and Satan. This really shows me how complex the word of the bible is. God had to put a whole lot into one fairly small book so it makes sense that the use of personification and all kinds of literary devices are used. God has meant for us to be studying his Word so we can work out the complexity and see really the simplicity. One last thing in this chapter about Eve really made me feel good. God could have destroyed Adam and Eve right there but in his love, grace and mercy for us he still allowed Eve to have children and still kept her as the companion of man and most importantly he gave her and all of us hope right from the fall that He already had a plan in place to save us. What an amazing God we have!
Genesis 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 281

Yesterday afternoon I received an unexpected call. I had gone for a preliminary interview at my church for an admin assitant position a couple weeks ago and hadn't heard anything so was assuming that it was the Lord's will that I not get that job. It was the church calling about setting up a double interview with a panel of 3 people each. The word "intimidating" comes to mind but I am working and praying to keep my perspective clear, my fears from taking over and just go in as prepared as I can and know that ultimately it is the Lord's will that will take place. I will just think of it as a growing experience. I got through that last interview without any fear which was awesome so without  a doubt I know the Lord can fill me with all the confindence and peace I need and will hopefully give me the write words to say in answer to the questions they have for me. This possible change in jobs will not change my course in deciding to be a Christian Counselor. That is my dream, goal and calling from God and I will heading down that road.
1 Samuel 3: 4-10 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Elis said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. Again the Lord called , "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli sai, "I did not call; go back and lie down." Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."