Wednesday, October 31, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 341

Happy Halloween! It is the one day of the year, you can dress-up and be someone else for the day. For those of us who are introverts, this can really be freeing. It gives you the confidence to speak up and be the extrovert you just aren’t normally. Dressing up as someone or something else does give a sense of freedom. As children of God, we have been given guidance in God’s word on how to dress for success and put on the armor of God. We can be a soldier for Christ, a saint, a witness for the gospel and more with the armor of God. Here is a link to a bible study I found on the internet about the armor of God.  Praising God for this day set aside for fun and freedom and praising God for giving us the guidance and what we need so we can dress-up for Him everyday.
Ephesians 6:10-17 ...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 340

It is amazing what the power of wind and water can do. From the news, there are people that did not evacuate from areas that mandatory evacuation was called for. Now, I can understand if physically they were not able but if you make the choice to stay and “ride” out the hurricane, you are making the choice to face the consequences. Just in watching some of the aftermath, I have a healthy respect for what water and wind can do. I am betting that a lot of the people that chose to stay have control issues. They think they have control over their lives and everything is in their control but when you are suddenly scrambling to get up on top of your house to avoid the flooding waters, you are not the one in control. So, my prayer is for these people today who are waiting to be rescued that they can learn to let go and let God. Praise to our Father who is in control and will rescue us from the grips of sin and death.
Isaiah 45: 6-7 That people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Monday, October 29, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 339

“What does a bagpipe need to make music?” asked our pastor yesterday to a group of third graders from Sunday school. The simple answer is “air”.  Air, wind, breath explained our pastor are all other names for the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit within us we cannot make music or bring glory to the Lord. This is the air I breathe, this is the air I breathe…. are words from a song that comes to mind. Jesus is the breath of life. With Him in us, we can do and be all that God hopes and plans for us. Take a deep breath and feel the Holy Spirit filling you up, giving you all that you ask for and need. I am so grateful to you Lord for the breath of life and want only to bring you glory. Amen.
 Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 338

We made our annual trek to the Boo at the Zoo event for Halloween. It is a safe place to take your kids to run around getting treats, seeing some animals and the best part the mini haunted house. This year the hours were extended so we took off early and actually did it with daylight to avoid the cold that would set in after dark. The first year we took our daughter through the haunted house, she screamed bloody murder. She wasn’t so sure about going again the following year but we managed to coax her into it and she survived. This year she went in with the attitude of “it’s all fake” and got through without a scream, although she jumped a little here and there with the surprise monsters coming out. As awesome as all that was the one thing that caught my eye this year was a tombstone in a fake graveyard that said “He loved bacon”. It just made me think of how we so easily can put other idols in place of God.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think we can love bacon or watching movies or chocolate or whatever but if it gets on your tombstone or if it is what people are left with remembering you for than you have missed the mark on truly worshiping and loving God. When all is said and done, I hope people will remember me as someone who loved God. What can I do, say or be that will make the love I have for God shine? Praise you Lord for this reminder of you in the midst of all the Halloween stuff!
" shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment." Mark 12:30

Saturday, October 27, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 337

I watched the movie, The Five-Year Engagement last evening. Definitely some very funny moments in the movie! The theme of the movie was about how we are imperfect  and how life will happen.  This couple finally learns, after their five-year engagement, that they aren’t the perfect couple and life will throw things at them. Love is what brought them together and will keep them together if they keep their focus on their love. The movie has a happy ending. This movie reminds me of the story of Jacob in the bible. This guy must have really loved Rachel because not only does he wait 7 years to marry her but it ends up getting extended another 7 years because he marries the sister Leah by deception. Jabob has to 14 years before he can marry the woman he loves. They are finally married but does the perfect life start for them. No, God has his plans. Rachel can’t get pregnant and watches as her sister and each of their servants gets pregnant by Jacob. It is a long and I am certain heart-wrenching struggle for Rachel but she does finally get pregnant and has a son, Joseph. Rachel and Jacob’s life story ends tragically with Rachel dying in childbirth with her second son, Benjamin but they do indeed have a happy-ending forever together in Heaven. We have to make the most of our days here on Earth, love the best that we can, strive to follow God’s ways and path and in the end our treasure is togetherness forever with the God whose love for us is beyond our ability to comprehend how great it is. Praise to the God who gives us the choice to have a happy ending.
Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 336

You know you have some worry in your heart when your mind won’t shut off at bedtime to go to sleep and when you wake in the middle of the night your first thoughts are on something that has you worrying. I had that go on last night. I have a conference call today with some big wigs with an alarm company to go over the notes on a whole lot of invoices which were mostly fines for not doing what the ordinance requires. My biggest fear is saying too much. This jurisdiction is our largest and is the most challenging because of the size and because of the ordinance and to say the least we weren’t prepared to take it on and it has been a learn-as-we-go process. So, I have to find the right balance in explaining why I credited some invoices without placing the blame on my company and making us look bad. I am praising God for just the awareness of what’s going on with my mind and will be praying that God gives me the right words and right tone of voice and a good listening ear as I go through this conference call so that I am clearly helping the alarm company understand the charges and the why’s on why I chose to credit some of them.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you;my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 335

There are days where your kids drive you crazy, exhaust you and frustrate the heck out-of-you but than there are the moments that are so precious, so cherished and I am so thankful to God for. One of those wonderful moments happened last evening. The weather had turned and when we left church it was raining but as we got closer to home, the rain turned to snow. Of course, it isn’t going to stick to the ground but the falling snowflakes got my daughter all in a tizzy. She was giggly with excitement about a hopeful snow day and when we got home and out of the car, she rushed out onto the driveway and put her face up to catch snowflakes on her tongue. So much joy surrounded that moment. It was awesome! In this world, life can take its toll on us and make us grumpy, moody, and negative but we have the hope of constant joy, love, peace and all the good things that the Lord will bring us in heaven. So, when I am feeling grumpy or frustrated with circumstances in life, I pray that I will be able to pause and remember this moment with my daughter and the hope that Jesus gives.
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 334

I have been reading a book called the Dangerous Act of Worship by Mark Labberton for a class at my church. It really makes you think of what worship is, what it looks like and what it should look like. The biggest point so far that I can’t get out of my head is how the author/pastor thinks that most of us are asleep when it comes to God. We are revived and awakened when things get shaken up like when a disaster happens but otherwise we are as a song that I heard puts it “going through the motions”. Life is busy, tough and complicated and we are making “our” worship of God fit into an easy fit thinking if we go to church on Sunday and do our singing, praying and listening than we have done our worship. That is how man has carved it out to be but is that how God would like it to be? I will share more on this topic as I read through this book. I am already pretty sure worship should be an on-going integral part of our lives. What do you think?
Deuteronomy 10:12-22 And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 333

I think we all get in them, yes, even men! It goes by many names: depression, feeling blue, out-of-it, a “funk”. I am in a “funk” right now. My desire to get up and go to a job full of negativity is not there. I am tired of hearing how much work we are getting and how we can’t do it all and the frustrations of new programs to learn that don’t work all that well and trying to communicate with people that don’t communicate well. But what made me rise up this morning, God calling me…. Saying you can be the one person in the midst of this negativity that can show God’s glory. Be the positive one, be the one that handles the frustrations well, that helps people before they even think to ask for it, the one with a smile and a heart of love. Okay Lord, I know I can do it with your help and a cup of coffee.  I am off to smile and love my way through my day…
Psalm 16:7-8 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Monday, October 22, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 332

Yesterday, I went to a church training workshop about Special Needs families. It has been on my heart since a discussion with my sister-in-law about how parents with special needs children are struggling and how the church in a lot of cases isn’t doing anything probably because they just don’t know what to do and take the easier road of doing nothing. But Jesus calls us to help the hurting. It turns out Woodman Valley Chapel has successfully implemented a program to help special needs families so they are able to come to worship and start participating in other church ministries. The head of the program came and spoke to a room full of volunteers who are willing to give their time into helping with this kind of ministry. I am praising God for this ministry and asking for prayers for this new ministry at our church to blossom and grow and be able to help lots of area families so they can connect with Christ and his body of believers. If you know of a family in the Front Range area that is struggling and needs to get connected, please invite them to a workshop on November 3rd called There’s a Person in There. It is from 8:30-12:15 at First Presbyterian Church 219 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs. To learn more about the workshop go to and click on the Caring tab and There’s a Person in There in the drop-down menu.
2 Samuel 22:29-31 You are my lamp, O Lord;  the Lord turns my darkness into light.  With your help I can advance against a troop;  with my God I can scale a wall.  As for God, his way is perfect;  the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 331

I am working on my Isaiah 9:6 faithbooking project that I will be submitting to the church to be displayed this Christmas season. It is coming together beautifully. The faces all around us can and do reflect the roles of Christ as they are written to us in Isaiah 9:6: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. I cannot wait to share the finished project but am thrilled to be in the midst of learning how very much we see Christ in everyone around us. Thank you Lord for the opportunity the church is giving to artists to share their passion and heart with others.
2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 330

Last night my husband came over to me on the couch and held out his hand. I was not overly enthused as I was icing my shoulder at the time which was inflamed but I got up. He said he had something to show me. So he led me outside onto our front porch to see a beautiful sunset sky. We just stood there together holding each other looking at the sunset. I have always been appreciative of sunsets, sunrises and just the beauty all around us in God’s world, often running to grab a camera to take a picture but to actually have my husband feeling the same way and appreciating it together was a very moving moment so I didn’t rush off to grab a camera which is probably a first. Of course, my daughter came out asking what we were doing. After explaining, she joined us in our hug and watching but didn’t have the full appreciation of the moment and asked “when are we going to be done?” We just both laughed and I said I think the moment is gone now and went back inside. Thank you Lord for not only the beauty and wonder you have created for us to enjoy in this world but thank you for the opportunity to share it with those you love.
Psalm 9:1 “I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 329

We went to our daughter’s parent-teacher conference last evening. We already knew her grades but its always great to hear comments from the teacher on what she is like in class and so forth. Our daughter use to be on an ILP because she was on the slower side in reading skills but thanks be to God she came off the ILP at the end of 2nd grade and her reading according to the testing done near the end of 3rd grade steadily increased and is now above grade level. Her current teacher said you don’t really see that happen but my thought was anything can happen with God. So, her reading and math are above grade level but her writing is lagging behind. It was the same for our son. He didn’t like writing and got average grades but at some point got past not liking writing to enjoying it and joining the creative writing club and getting excellent grades in writing as well as everything else. The Lord has blessed our kids with intelligence and the ability to learn well. With a little patience, perseverance and practice, I am sure my daughter will excel at writing too. Maybe, I will get her to write a praise for my blog….hmmmmm……
Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 328

Praise the Lord for a new day, a new beginning, a new everything. What a gift that is to be able to go to bed with the gossip you may have partaken in at work or the yelling you did at your kids or the lack of love you showed and wake up the next day and start fresh. Sins of the day before washed clean. Each day we can say we are sorry and know that we are forgiven. The Holy Spirit will fill us up and guide us in our new day but we have to listen. That is probably the hardest part. I got caught in the trap of talking negatively about someone with co-workers. I saw it coming and fought it internally but what I should have done is got up and walked away from it or even better stand up and say no more negative talk about anyone. I am thankful for the forgiveness given to me thanks to Jesus and I am thankful for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in helping me learn from my mistakes. Have you done something recently that you just knew after doing it that it was wrong? Stop and tell our mighty God you are sorry and pray for his help.
Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 327

One of the benefits on the journey to becoming a Christian counselor is that I will be discovering more about myself and strengthen my relationship with God. I started reading a book that covers the basics in the theory of temperaments. I am fascinated by it. Already only 10-12 pages into it and I can see what they say about how we can focus too much on our weaknesses and that will bring us out of balance. I totally have done that with my worry over my auditory processing ability. My brain just takes a bit longer to process what it is hearing but I realized that the best part about being a counselor is its okay to ask for more clarification from the person who is talking to you and its part of the job to ask questions and its okay to take notes during your discussion. Whatever my temperament is, I am sure one of the weakness I have is worrying about what others think. It is my biggest road block and confidence crusher. I have been overcoming it more and more but I feel like I am on the verge of really knowing who I am the way God created me to be. In reading this book, I know that that weakness can become a strength when my focus is on the Lord. Praise to God for your guidance and leading down this path to discovery. You are amazing! Love you so, Lord.
Phillipians 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 326

This may seem trivial to some but every praise to God is time talking with him. I went to bed last night super tired from my not-so-great night of sleep the night before thanks to my shoulders. I hadn’t been watching the Broncos and Chargers game but took some time last night to read my bible study book. The score was Chargers 26 Denver 21 and my final words out of my mouth were ‘oh close game’. I did not know the Broncos had come back from a 26-0 score to beating the Chargers in overtime 35-26.  Thank you Lord for the fun these nail-biting games can be but thank you more for helping me sleep blissfully through the remainder of the game and probably my hubbies loud exclamations. He was super excited to show me as soon as I woke up this morning! Glory to God for the awesome Bronco win!
Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 325

It’s Stewardship season and with that comes the sermons on giving. I am not the best at tithing but have improved over the last couple of years but I have tried giving in other ways like being a Sunday school teacher, bringing food donations to church on the first Saturday of every month and getting the family to raid their closets to weed out clothes for the clothing drives. I am in a season of life where doing anything with my time is tough because my kids and family is where my time is spent. The sermon yesterday was about you guessed it, time. I really liked how our pastor said that we can start with giving our time in prayer and worship. In thinking about this, I realize that what I do everyday with the 365 Days of Praise Challenge has been a form of worship. I have managed to give of myself everyday to write up a praise for the day and hopefully have passed some blessings on to others who read it. In giving my time this way, it has been one of the greatest blessings to me. So, if you are in a season of life like me where spare time is hard to come by, think about starting with just 5 minutes everyday to pray and/or worship the Lord. Time is our greatest gift to God and each other. Find a way to give some everyday.
Eccelesiates 3:1-10 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; ...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 324

Doing something new can be fun, challenging and a bit scary. Yesterday, my daughter and I ventured into a something new adventure in the kitchen. She has been baking stuff from a box and it was time for her to bake something from scratch so we got on-line and found a recipe for easy drop cookies. She had a blast kneading the dough by hand. My new adventure was to try making a soufflé. I got a recipe on-line for a classic cheese soufflé with good reviews. I was totally thrilled to see my soufflés coming out of the oven looking so good. I had to yell for hubbie to come take a picture. Not knowing how our altitude would affect it and being my first time, I probably should have been more worried about it but I chose to let God take care of it and just follow the instructions in the recipe. We have to do that in our journey of faith as well. Our recipe book is the Word of God. He asks only that we follow His directions. He will take care of the rest. The greatest blessing in this was seeing my daughter who has to be the pickiest eater ever to actually take a bite of the soufflé without us harping on her. The best thing was to see her actually take several more bites of it. She liked it although when I asked her she just shrugged her shoulders and said next time I needed to make a chocolate soufflé. Glory to you Lord for giving us directions to live by in your Word. Help us to use the recipe book of life everyday and give up the rest to you. Amen and Amen!
Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

I will post the faithbooking page I create as soon as I can get it done. My studio needs a thorough clean-up but I was thrilled to make this connection of our baking time to the Word of God.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 323

The Lord will provide. He really will! I am still researching schools and am pretty sure at this point which one I am going to go with but have to figure out paying for it. The Lord has provided some help. I finally got a raise and it was a pretty good one considering I have been waiting for one for 2 years. This little extra a month should help with the new monthly payment I will have to make for school. If we just wait on the Lord, he will make the paths straight. I am so thankful for the Lord and has provision.
2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."

Friday, October 12, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 322

Thank God it is Friday! There is a reason people are excited about Friday and the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend. It is the end to the controlling aspects of our job and the beginning of a weekend free to do what you want and need. I am pretty sure that God will have a purpose for us even in Heaven but I do believe we will not feel the controlling aspect that we feel in our work life on Earth. We will be doing our job cheerfully, without stress, anger or frustration because we love God and when you love someone you have the motivation. My workplace environment has been filled with negativity and so I am trying my hardest not to fall into line with all of the negative. I hope to be the one positive thing and with God’s help get things turned around. I did my best yesterday speaking with a co-worker about her anger and frustration over the new work that will be put upon her on Monday. We all have a choice on how to deal with everything. Just do your best, communicate constructively and let go of all the rest. It felt good to stand up to the negativity and hopefully impart some wisdom onto this co-worker. Again, I am so thankful it is Friday. I will have the weekend to recover from the week long negativity at work. Thank you Lord for helping me have the right words and heart to speak up about negativity in my workplace and try to get things turned around to a positive track.
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.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 321

I am currently reading four books, one for my ladies group bible study, one for a new study at my church, another for personal growth and finally one just because I am a fan of Max Lucado. I was thinking about this and realized how awesome it is to be able to read. That is a gift! Thank you Lord for the gift of being able to learn to read and having an abundance of reading material provided for us without restriction. There are places in this world where people don’t have the opportunity to learn to read or they are restricted by what they can read. I learned in my bible study group last night of a country where they are only allowed to have one Christian bible in the home and there are consequences if any other Christian reading material is found in the home. One such family was found to have the one bible but also a couple of other Christian books. The government came in and took every bit of furniture they had and to make matters worse they had just had a baby. It is stories like this that remind me of how good we have it here in the United States. Never take our freedom for granted and always remember there are those out there that we have to pray for and stand up for that don’t yet have these freedoms.  Learn more about helping people get bibles at this site.
Romans 15:14 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 320

Lord, I am singing your praises today for the miracle you have given us in the healing of Navah. This 4-year-old girl has been suffering with tumors up and down her spine for the last year or so. I recently got news that the cancer came back and even worse and that they didn’t think she had long to live. Yesterday, my co-worker who is friends with Navah’s family came rushing into see me at my desk saying “I just want to hug you”. She gave me the news that all of the tumors are gone! Lord we thank you for this miracle with this little girl. We pray that she will continue to live and thrive and that her story will be a testimony to how mighty you are.
1Corinthians 6:14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 319

My church has over the last couple of years had on display artwork from artists in the church. They create pieces that have to do with an upcoming sermon series and often are shown on the big screen during the sermon as a visual. After seeing a piece of jewelry that someone had made on display this last go around, I realized that I should look into this so I can submit a faithbook page. So, I went to the recent meeting for all artists with our new pastor to go over his thoughts and expectations and we went over a little bit about the upcoming series which will be called Faces on the scripture Isaiah 9:6. The sermons will specifically be about the names in the scripture: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.  These are the faces of God but because we are made in God’s image and have the Holy Spirit dwelling within, we can be a humble glimpse of these faces of God, we reflect in little ways these faces of God in our own faces. A counselor is someone who listens and shares truth and wisdom. We get this all the time from our spouses, parents, friends and co-workers. The friend who listens patiently to you all the time when you need to express the challenge you are facing or the co-worker who empathizes with you as you vent your frustrations or your spouse who will hold you as you cry out your hurts. We see our Mighty God in the faces of people standing up for their faith, in people loving in big ways and in the creative people in the world who can express how great is our God. We can see a glimpse of our Everlasting Father in the dad that has sacrificed his career to take care of his daughter, the mother who in her exhaustion still shows her love to her children, the friend who is always there when you need them. And finally our Prince of Peace can be seen in the face of a family member suffering from cancer with a smile on their face, the friend who lives cheerfully with chronic pain and the neighbor who brings you fresh baked cookies just because. These faces of God are all around us but do we see them in our daily busy lives as the faces of God? Start living each day looking into these faces and recognize that God is with us and working through us all each day. Thanks be to God for showing us who He is, in and through those that are all around us.
Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Monday, October 8, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 318

Our sermon yesterday was the beginning of our Stewardship Season. It is the time of year when the church focuses on giving. It can be a challenging topic considering the state of our economy but it is a part of our church and living as the body of Christ that we do need to be reminded of. Rather than focus on money, the sermon was about all the various ways we can be giving back based on our gifts. I was especially tickled by our pastor’s challenge to give for 365 days. Hmmm….. sounds familiar. The truth is that when we focus on one aspect of giving each day it can be a huge blessing to not only yourself but countless others. So, our challenge in the days ahead before commitment Sunday is to figure out what our challenge will focus on. What will I give each day for the next year? It could be just doing a kindness for someone everyday, an encouraging word shared everyday or forgiving others everyday. Take a look at your gifts and decide how you can be giving using your gifts everyday in the year to come.
Romans 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it s contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy let him do it cheerfully.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 317

My awesome God gave me another classic analogy that is 21st century relatable. We are like cars. Each car is unique with its own way it runs, looks and is. Every car has certain needs to make it run properly, look good and be right. Every car needs gas. For us our gas is love. Without it we will be running on empty and eventually get stuck, we won’t be moving forward. Love makes the world go round and is what every car craves. Secondly, every car needs oil. It makes all the parts in us run smoothly. The oil in us is the Holy Spirit.  And thirdly, every car needs to be washed. The things of the world will make it dirty. So, it is with us. We need to be washed in the grace of God everyday so we can be made new, clean and right. So let’s go back to gas/love. If we don’t make the choice to go to a gas station and fill up our gas tank we are not going to get what we need. We have to make that choice to go to the gas station and fill up our tanks. We have to seek it out and connect with the source. Now the oil/Holy Spirit is something we have to ask for. Can I get an oil change, please? The Holy Spirit will give us the things we need like strength, patience, kindness, peace and so on. The better we are at getting our oil checked regularly the better off we will be running with all those fruits of the spirit in us. Lastly, we need to take the grace of God that he has given us and let that wash over us each and everyday. Make ourselves clean, new and right with God. Cars cannot just run on their own. They need a good driver, a complete owners manual and a good trusted mechanic to keep it running well. First off, to be a good driver, one needs to be taught well. We have to get our wisdom, guidance and be prepared for what the road ahead of us will bring by going to God who is the Master Driver instructor. Secondly, we come with owners manuals like our cars. The Word of God is the universe’s best and only complete owners manual for everything our cars need. We have to be in our owners manual to ensure we are operating our cars correctly and doing what our cars/selves need to maintain them and keep them moving forward. Lastly, Jesus is our ultimate mechanic.  He loves to love and serve and will give us all that and more if we take our cars/selves to Him to get our oil changed, our plugs checked, our radiator flushed and so on.  If you are feeling stuck in life, perhaps your car is stuck on a road somewhere. What do we do if our cars fail us and leave us stuck on the side of the road. We get out and call the mechanic to come fix us and than get back into our owners manual to ensure we don’t get stuck on the road somewhere again. We strive to learn from our Master Driver Instructor how to be a clean car that runs smoothly and is always moving forward. Today wash Your car, get an oil change and connect with our Master Driver instructor for another driving lesson.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 316

This day has blown by and here I am scrambling before bed to get in my praise for the day. I like to do it in the morning when my mind is fresh but Saturday mornings are lazy morning because they can be and one thing leads to another and I end up not doing my normal routine. I am praising the Lord for bringing my long-time mom friend here from Kansas. She need a friend to listen and I need to be affirmed in that I could. Thank you Lord for bringing the people into our lives that can help you see things more clearly and thank you Lord for working through them.
Psalm 86:13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

Friday, October 5, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 315

I am pretty sure there are distinct personality types created by God and some of those types or at least one of those types is more prone to having fears. I have struggled with fear of what people think of me, fears of being on the phone, fears of conflict and more for my whole life. This last year since doing the bible study Fearless by Max Lucado, the Lord has really helped me get past some of these fears. Mind you, we are always a work in progress so today may be a fearless day and tomorrow I may take a step backwards. Yesterday at work, was one of those fearless days. I have been confronted with having to cold call alarm companies at my job in the past 3 years but have managed to delegate it to someone else to do or find a way around it like discovering an email address. Yesterday, I was emailed a copy of an invoice an alarm company received with a quick written note on it that the alarm had been installed in 1970. Unfortunately, that was not an excuse to get out of the fine this alarm company received. In looking at their account, I discovered there was no contact information except a phone number. OH No! I contemplated it briefly, got side-tracked temporarily, and than came back to it and just picked up the phone to cold call this alarm company. I ended up speaking directly with who I needed to speak to so that was a good thing but he ended up getting defensive right away and definitely had an attitude. I was relieved to finally get somewhere with this man and get off the phone. In the end, I am pretty sure he just doesn’t want to pay or follow what the law says but at least I made the good effort attempt to educate him and help him clear up his account and try to get him into compliance with the law. I would never have made that call had not the Lord been working within me and helping me overcome my fears and build my confidence. So all praise to Him!!! But I will be praying this day will be without any need for such phone calls. Thank the Lord it is Friday!
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challeng-Day 314

As I watched the presidential debate last night, there was really one thing that stood out to me. Now, let me preface this with the fact that this is my opionion and we each will have our own opinions and that is the way God intended it to be. The phrase, said by Gov. Romney a few times "hurting people" is really what stood out to me. What I heard was a man with compassion for the people in this country that are hurting because they lost their job and possibly their home; for those that can't afford the high costs of medical insurance and for people that just want to be free of the government telling them what to do. If we look to the Word of God as we should for everything, we will see a good example of how government should be working. God kept it simple and straightforward. Our government is such a mess of laws, regulations and politicians trying to add more to them that it is no wonder people don't know they have actually broken any law when they get the bill in the mail or the police come to their door. Government was not intended to rule over our lives in such a way. God is our authority and Jesus is our King. In our bible study last evening, a question from one of the people attending was brought up about, are we living in a state of contentment, "I will stay in my comfort zone", or apathy because we live in a country where we aren't being persecuted always and every time we speak up about Jesus and our Almighty God. The answer is yes. Yes, we are sticking with our contented living, keeping in our comfort zone and not standing up and proclaiming the truth. What we need are shinning examples of compassion and giving to stand up and stand out! We don't need the government to help those hurting people, we have the power within us by the Holy Spirit to help the poor, sick and needy. As believers in Jesus Christ, it is our calling and purpose to live our lives like Jesus lived his with compassion and generocity, with mercy and with lots and lots of love. Does and can love conquer all things? Jesus was the embodiment of God's love for us and he conquered death not just for himself but for all of us. Love has already conquered. My prayer is we all can do better and better at living that out each day. Live and love like there is no tomorrow!
1 John 4:18 (KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear:because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 313

Thanks to getting my focus back on the Lord, he clearly spoke to me yesterday. I have been thinking of my calling as my dream job or my new career and have been looking at the schooling of it as such but God wants me to focus on the calling of counseling others.  I had been thinking of it as a career but it is a calling and I am to worry no more about getting into another career but just studying on how to counsel others. God told me it all comes down to faith. Just have faith in him and do what he is calling you to do. I feel much more at peace now about it all. The word of God can bring us the healing and growth we need and that God wants for us. So my focus will continue to be on the Word of God and I will let him lead me.
Galatians 1:15 Paul writes, I want to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.  I did not receive it from any man, nor wa I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 312

Confusion comes when we aren't focused on the Lord. That's where I have been, away from the Lord and wrapped up in what I want to do with my life and how to do it. I started having doubts about the schooling I thought would be good and started looking at the regular route to be a counselor and got really discouraged by the length of time it will take. I am feeling not so sure anymore of what I am to do. So, I am going back to the one and only thing that can give me peace, the word of God. No more researching the internet for me. The Lord is my only guide and as I get my focus back on Him, he will gently guide me towards what he wants for me to do. I think my fear of getting older is making me impatient but I have to wait for the Lord and what he will say to me.
Psalm 12:6 And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.

Monday, October 1, 2012

365 Days of Praise Challenge-Day 311

On Friday, my team lead at work learned that I had not had a review in over 2 years nor any kind of pay increase. She also learned how close I came to getting the job at my church. She became very motivated because she does not want to lose me. She said she spoke to Janie and would reminder her to speak with Mr Kumar. So, after walking in this morning, my team lead comes over to my desk and tells me she wasn't sure Janie would remember so she took it upon herself to speak with Mr Kumar about me and how I have been totally overlooked for over 2 years. He told her to email him so when he gets back to India he can get this taken care of. I am very grateful to her for speaking up for me and hopefully getting the ball rolling and getting a well-deserved pay increase. Thank you Lord for those people in our lives that are our fans and will do whatever it takes to help us.
Psalm 130: 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.