Archive | May, 2013

TRUST

30 May

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So how does your heart respond to this verse?  That was the question from MelissaTaylor.Org.  It caused me to pause and reflect on how I trust God DAILY to deliver me and lead me through whatever comes my way.  In our study last week, Melissa talked about David and his giant.  David took those five stones in his pocket and a slingshot – but it was David’s TRUST in God that slayed the giant!

Things happen in our lives that hurt so deeply and often times they do not even make sense to us.  We may think they are unfair.    It is during those trials we have to trust. I know from trials that we have walked through that He is my comforter and He will give me strength.  I know He can carry me through anything if I remain prayerful and thankful.  I also know once He has walked me through it that I will be so much closer to Him if I remain faithful.

On Pgs. 171-172 of Stressed-Less Living, Tracie Miles wrote “This daily obedience is where we find the infusion of emotional strength that allows us to walk in his peace when we face doubts and fears.  Strength to walk in his joy when we cannot find any reason to be joyful.  Strength to stand firm in our faith when things seem hopeless.  And strength to be strong when the painful things of life are taking their toll on our hearts.”  We have to TRUST daily in obedience.

In Proverbs 3:5 (KJV) it says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”.   It reminds me of a song we used to sing in church – “Through It All”.   “Through it all I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God……..I’ve learned to depend upon his word.”  Do you thank him for the mountains, the valleys, the storms He has brought you through?  If you never had a trial,   you would never know He could remove them.  Love this version of the song by Selah. 

WHY is it so hard for us to trust him with EVERY minute detail of our lives????  WHY is it that we can look at others when they are going through trials and speak an encouraging word like it is going to be alright, just hang in there, and then bam in the midst of trials and heartaches that come into our life,  there we go forgetting all that advice we’ve given to others.

Have you ever wondered where God was during trials?    Our lives can change in a moment from better to worse or worse to better and they will change.   One thing I always say when times are rough is “This too shall pass.”  I know it will.  I just need to TRUST!

I remember the first time I really read  Isaiah 43:7 “for I have created for my glory”.  He created each one of us for his glory.  I wonder if I have truly glorified Him during many of my struggles like losing weight and what I eat.  Do I glorify Him when my husband says something and I clam up?

No matter what is going on in my life – good or traumatic I should be glorifying Him every day.  Jesus set the example for us as He glorified our Father in all He did and all the way through to dying on the cross for us.  He did it with glory.

Are you trusting God through it ALL?

 

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WHAT-EVER

23 May

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

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Whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable,  – I’m attempting to make these words that I live by daily.  Am I there yet?  No, I am not.

Want to JOIN me??????????? I knew as I read this verse and made this challenge on Facebook and MelissaTaylor.org that Satan would be sure I had plenty of practice.

So here comes Satan with the threat of storms – severe storms from the same system that had just hit Oklahoma. All the weather stations were telling us it was going to happen, and a 6/10 chance of tornadoes in the Dallas area and after seeing what was done only a short distance from here in Cleburne and Granbury this month I was shaken – so what did I do, I panicked – yes I did – I was so ashamed, but I prepared – getting things ready in my bathroom along with a Bible and a flashlight so that if I were trapped, I would be reflecting on my Lord and things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable rather than my circumstances.

My giants are fear and worry about things that probably will never happen. Satan knows what where to get to each and every one of us.  He knows our weakest spot.  It didn’t – the storms came through, and as they were forming I took my mind off that which was not lovely and pure, and I turned my captive thoughts to Him, reciting this verse, and prayed that He would calm the storms and calm me. He did – He formed a long single line which caused the severe storms to calm.  The weather men were shocked, but I was not! So why no tornadoes? The storms north of us sent some cool air rushing, and it shut off the storms here (actually we had storms, but no tornadoes or large hail). Thanking Jesus still today for sending that cool air.

Have you ever stopped to think on those words?  Have you ever stopped to think about who is watching you?  I know sometime my tone, my facial expressions, the words spilling out of my mouth, and my body language do not speak these truths nor do some of my Facebook posts at times  – they are not lovely and admirable.

I may be the only Jesus that many will ever see? I may be the only Bible they may ever read! I may be  the only Christian they may ever know! OUCH!  Does that scare you like it does me?

Are you up to the challenge? Are you making the right CHOICES of what enters into your mind and your home? Are you up to really thinking about the TV programs that you watch, the magazines or books you read, the movies you watch or the music you listen to? Are you up to pausing before you speak, before you gossip, before you share rumors, before you speak rudely, before you curse, before you pick up that telephone and dial or you begin to text on your phone or post a message on Facebook or Twitter? What do you do when you are alone with only God watching? Are your thoughts pure, are they admirable, are they true, are they encouraging? Our filter should be Philippians 4:8.

If your thoughts were broadcast for the world to hear what would they think, and good grief sometimes they are because we’ve posted them, or texted them or emailed them? Would you be ashamed?

2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)  says that we should “bring into captive every thought to the obedience of Christ”.

Have you ever heard the saying “what you think, you are”? Melissa Taylor showed us one of her coffee cups that says, ” Think Happy, Be Happy”. All I could see were the words Think and Be.

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As we think, so shall we be! Prov. 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

  THINK=BE!!!

 

# BLESSED – WEEK 6

16 May

 

This is Week 6 of blogging about my blessings during our study of Stressed-Less Living on MelissaTaylor.org.  This year it was my first mother’s day without my mom, and also that day would have been her 80th birthday.   This is also my first mother’s day knowing I am about to become a grandmother.

Over the past few weeks during this study,  I have spent much time in prayer, and noticed in my prayer binder I had printed out the verse Proverbs 31:28,  “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her”.   That was a prayer I wrote for me last year.  I wondered what legacy am I leaving my children, future grandchildren, husband  and every one I come in contact with daily.  As I pondered over that question, I wonder what others think of me and how I am pictured with all my faults and failures.  I want to be that Proverbs 31 kind of woman.  I pray to be that kind of woman.   I am truly blessed, but do I show that?  Sometime not!

So as I pondered over that Proverbs verse this week and continued to write down my blessings , and prayed about what type of legacy I am leaving , I added these:

MOMENTS WITH LOVED ONES –  “Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”  Author Unknown.

As we spend time with our adult children, their spouses and any of our family and friends and prayerfully some grandchildren, I want to remember to cherish the moments and to make memories.  When a loved one is gone, that’s all we have are moments, memories and pictures.  Make the moments happen!  Make them precious!  Savor them!  We are soooo busy we do not take a moment to seize what is precious.  Enjoy a long kiss, sit in the quiet with no radio or television, go out on the patio and listen to the wind or birds and watch the trees moving, write a list of blessings, call someone on the phone instead of texting, meet someone for lunch, read a book, read your Bible, watch the sun rise or set, listen to  children, feel the wind on your cheeks, notice nice things people do for you and say thank you, enjoy life, quit dreading Mondays and savor a a new day, ………                       

SUCCESS – “No other success in life – not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college or writing a book, or anything else — come up to the success of the man or woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up and call them blessed.” Theodore Roosevelt, 1917.

So how do we get to that place in our lives, where our children and grandchildren call them blessed.  The only way is Jesus!  God first in ALL things – good and bad! Jesus should be our goal every day.  He should be our identity.  We are made in His image.

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE – I love my husband and my children with an unconditional love and I see that trait in them also.  We have to love unconditionally because Christ loves us unconditionally.  When someone is showing their best behavior, it is easy to love them, but what do we do when they are not showing their best behavior ??  Think about that for a moment.

HUGS – Do you love hugs?  I do.  When I was small my mom and dad really didn’t hug, but I found as I grew older and they grew older they began to hug, and Mom hugged more and more and she grew older.  I love hugging my kids, my mother- in- law, friends and even strangers at church.  I wish I could hug kids at school and sometimes I do, but it has to be done sideways.  Hugs can say what you can not say out loud, and wow how they lift our spirits.  I LOVE hugs.    XOXOXO – every day should be filled with love and hugs!

KISSES – My husband kisses me goodbye in the morning and goodnight in the evening?  Even on those occasional days I sleep in, he comes to the bedroom and kisses me goodbye.      I have this plaque hanging beside our bed.    I meet him at the door when he is coming in each evening with a kiss.

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What about you?  Do you kiss your spouse goodbye each morning or  goodnight each evening?  Why or Why not???

# BLESSED – WEEK 5

9 May

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is week 5 of Stressed-Less Living by Traci Miles with Melissa Taylor Online Bible Studies.  Although, there were some topics I wanted to write about this week, life just got in the way with year-end school and subbing for teachers taking their last leave days, and also many subs have given up for the year.  So, I stayed with my list of blessings this week and picked up with the last five I have written down as of today.  That list is surely to grow as I have time to sit down and continue to count the blessings we take for granted.

BIRDS – I absolutely love walking out on our porch with a morning cup of coffee and my Bible.  Don’t you love watching the sun rise while sipping  coffee and praising God for the majesty of that sun rise or a sun set??? They can be breathtaking.

This morning I watched the sun rise and first thing the birds were chirping and cooing and welcoming spring – robins, doves, sparrows, red birds and others coming to our feeders and our bird baths, and I have already seen some hummingbirds.

Many times I can remember when I was younger, those birds would irritate me when I was trying to sleep in and they would be chirping at day break – not anymore – I can’t wait to get up and spend time with my Lord and all his beautiful creations.  I have the windows thrown open this morning and am listening to them chirping even now.  Love it!  What if there were no chirps????

TECHNOLOGY – Technology can be both a blessing and a curse.  I choose to use that kindle, iPad, telephone, laptop, desktop, Pinterest and Facebook  to God’s glory.  How about you?  What do you post on Facebook?  I decided a couple of years ago if it did not honor or glorify God, it was not going to be posted.  A few times yes I felt like hitting a share button on my page that did not honor my Father, but I now pause before liking and pause before sharing or commenting.  So next time before you click – THINK is that really honoring my creator?

PRAYER – How often do you pray?  I pray more than once daily.  I find myself in a constant state of prayer, but the most meaningful is when I am on my knees, during those gut-wrenching prayers, and during that time it is almost always for my family and friends.  Prayer is one of the most important things a person can take time to do.

FREEDOM – I am so very thankful for the freedoms we have.  I am blessed each time I substitute teach when we say the pledge to the American flag and the Texas flag.  Thankful we can still do that at school.  After spending forty-three years with the Department of Defense, how could I not love our flag?  I love our military because they were who I supported.  The Pledge of Allegiance is a privilege and a blessing sometimes taken for granted.  I thank God I was born in this great country.  May God continue to bless America

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MEMORIES – We do not remember days; we remember moments.  ~Cesare Pavese, The Burning  Brand. 

One of my favorite things to say is “make the moments matter”.  I don’t remember where I heard that phrase but I also say “savor the time”.  God brought those words to me several years back when I realized my Mom would not be with us long, but I apply it across my life now.  I make the moments matter with my mother-in-law and our married children and my husband.  Life is too short to not make memories.

So how about you?  Have you started a list of blessings?  I think you will find it amazing to see all the little things that God has blessed you with, and we take them for granted.  I invite you to share below several of your blessings and remind you what a blessing it is to start counting them when you become stressed or frustrated.

# Legacy – Blessed By Women – Week 4

2 May

 

No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you.  Anonymous

This week we shifted gears from listing five blessings to honor women who have blessed our lives. Is there a woman or women who have impacted your faith and influenced your life with God’s love or attributes of his love? I immediately started to list names of women in my life, and those who have had an influence  on who I have become. It is my to honor to reflect on some of those women.

LEGACY – dicitionary.com – “Anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor.”

As I think about leaving legacies and my list, I want to remember women who I feel made me what I am today – those women who nurtured me, encouraged me, challenged me and prayed for me. I want to remember those women who I feel have passed on to me a legacy to leave for those who come after me.

Proverbs 13:22 (KJV) “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

What inheritance are you leaving your children and grandchildren? My hope is that I can leave a little of these beautiful ladies to pass down to my grandchildren.  Merriam Webster Dictionary defines inheritance in this context as “the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations”.

“Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together.” ~Pearl S. Buck

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Louise Templin – Mom was strict, she had a heart of giving – would give her last dollar to help someone.  She also had a heart of love and caring. She taught me about the importance of home, family and tradition,  and what a wife should be as well as how to honor and love her husband.

Mom and Dad were married for almost fifty years when he died, and Mom held on to that love until she died this year.   Mom loved to cook and handed that legacy down to my sisters and me, and my children and their spouses.  She sewed and quilt.  Mom taught me to save taking  me to the bank to open a savings account.

I believe the biggest legacy that Mom leaves me is her love of family. She loved to have people over on holidays and she insisted on it no matter what.  She and dad always had something special planned on holidays – a poem he would write, Easter baskets and stuffed bunnies, costumes she made for the kids for Halloween and Thanksgiving and always the family tradition, that will hopefully continue in generations to come, is that recital around the table and all of us holding hands and repeating The Lord’s Prayer (a tradition handed down from Dad’s family that I remember at my Granny’s house.) While my vault of memories is full and causes me to smile through my tears, my mom’s real legacy in my life runs very deep … and wide – her love.

Thank you Mom!  Happy 80th Birthday on May 10, 2013, Mom and Happy Mother’s Day – I MISS you!  I hope this song blesses each of you like it did me

Ella Arnold Templin – My grandmother. She at one time or another practiced various religions. She loved church, and she kept going until she found the right one that ministered to her. When she came to town, she took us or we took her. She loved the Lord and I have so many fond memories of her and church, and even one after I married and she, my hubby and I were leaving church.  The pastor greeted her and she told him how he had misquoted a verse.  She willed me all her Bibles, but for some reason they disappeared when she died. That hurt because that was a great connection the two of us had – our faith.

What an example for me as I entered into my teenage years and my future husband and I would drive down to visit and go to church with her.  I remember when I was small she lived on a farm.  I watched her churn butter and milk cows.

My Granny was also the one that taught me about history of my Daddy’s family and told me stories, giving me that love of genealogy and family as she recited to me how her family came from TN to AR by covered wagon, and how some of them fought in the civil war. Precious memories. I thank her for giving me a heart of memories and wish today she were here for just one more chat so I could take lots of notes.

Ella is on the right in this picture with the glasses.  Bertha is on the left.

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Bertha Racker –  My Granny worked hard. With ten children how could she not! I remember watching her wash clothes outside on the porch with a wringer washing machine, and watching her in the kitchen cooking (maybe that cooking legacy is where Mom got it). I also remember Granny wringing a chicken’s neck to fry up for dinner, and oh I remember the homemade biscuits and unfortunately that recipe was not passed down. I remember her flower beds and believe that’s where my love of flowers and garden work came from because Mom was not into yard work (Dad was). Granny worked hard, went to church, and loved us. I also remember her taking me to town on Saturday and those candies she bought me – I love them to this day – maple nut candies.   She didn’t have a lot of money, but like my mom she spent it on her loved ones. YUM! I never walk by maple nut candies in the store today when I don’t reflect on my Granny.

Matthew 5:15-16 (KJV) “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Virginia Williams – My Mother-In-Law – My MIL took me under her wing just like a daughter. She loved me – took care of me when I was pregnant with toxemia and even my children after I went back to work and she is a phone call away – next door if we need ANYTHING. She loves the Lord and always has an encouraging word if something is bothering you. She, like my mom, loves and adores her family. She loves yard work, she loves cooking and she loves the Lord. She works very hard, is very organized and loves to sew which she has passed down to my daughter and both her daughters.

My daughter was born preemie  and  she made beautiful  gowns and dresses for her until she could fit into newborn clothes.  I thank her for raising my husband to be the Godly man, father, hard worker, and husband he is. He has so many of her attributes, and loves the Lord and his family like she does. Her arms are always outstretched in love and prayer.  She is a light – his light and she shines before men and women in her hard work ethic and love.  Here is a picture of Nan and I a couple of mother’s days ago.  me-and-nanny.jpg

Amanda – My daughter – My daughter at times has put me to shame with her love of the Lord. She taught me to love christian music. I was an oldies girl until one day when she was about five, she asked me to turn the radio to 94.9 Christian radio.  It was like REALLY I don’t want to do that, but how could I say no.  Well that changed my life and that is about all I’ve listened to now for 25 years – sometimes I’ll put on an oldie. Amanda was a preemie, not expected to live, many months of prayers and she came home but was supposed to be a sickly child and be mentally slow. NOT – God took over – she was summa cum laude in college for her BA and Masters and she was the valedictorian of her high school.  She is an organizer and a perfect housewife and a great example of a Proverbs 31 woman.  Currently, my Amanda is like Sarah and Hannah in the Bible – anguishing over not yet having a child – but she hangs on to hope, and we are looking forward to that day God blesses her with a baby of her own to hold and love and teach that child about Jesus.  We believe with all our hearts that God WILL honor her because of her faithfulness and love for him, and because of the thousands of prayers being lifted up for her through Proverbs 31 Ministries and our church.

A picture of the girls and my son with Mom.  Whitney on the left and Amanda on the right.

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Whitney  – My daughter-in-love – She rocks. Her love of the Lord is as amazing as my daughter’s and talk about encouraging. She always has something sweet to say. She is fun, will try any new thing and she can organize and decorate beautifully.  She’s about to birth my first grand baby, Colt, a boy in August. I thank her for that, and I am so proud that God sent her to be the mother to my grandchildren as we continue to pass down legacies. She is going to create some new ones and hopefully her grandchildren will remember her one day as someone who was the reflection of the Proverbs 31 Lady.  Whitney is always full of joy and I believe joy is one of the greatest gifts a mother can give her children.

Beth Moore and Melissa Ross Taylor – I put Beth and Melissa in the same category.  I started Beth Moore conferences when my children were small and was blessed immensely, but it was not until I retired last year that I found Melissa.  I have grown because she stretches us.  I am more into my Bible, verse mapping, verse memorizing and praying for and with women all over the world and look she has me blogging and now leading a facebook group of the most precious women.  I would say Beth was my first mentor, but definitely now Melissa is so in tune individually with all of her family of girls that she mother’s us, she knows us, she loves us, she grows us, and she teaches us.  I thank God for helping me find Melissa.  Follow me to grow in His word at MelissaTaylor.org.

How about you?  Do you have a woman or women that has impacted your life?  I hope so and ask you to share below.  If not, my prayer is that if  you are reading this that God will bless you with woman who will impact your life for the Lord’s Kingdom!

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