Archive | May, 2014

Limitless Life – Week 1 – Afraid to Courageous

29 May

Limitless Life - Chapter 1 Quote Blog

Have you ever faced a giant in your life?  All of us have – some really, really big and some just big.  Remember the story of David and Goliath, and David’s courage.  Just like David, you and I can face those giants with God and victory will come.  What is a giant?  Anything that stands between us and God, including other people, pressure, addiction, persecution, sickness, depression, etc..  How are you facing your giants?  How are you teaching your children to face their giants?

This week in our Limitless Life study by Derwin Gray we are talking about courage and being afraid, and all kinds of labels that each of us carry.   I can find myself worrying and being afraid, especially during storms or if I have to spend the night at home alone which is once in a blue moon.  Have you ever been afraid?  How about when you take an exam at school, afraid of health test results and what they will mean, afraid when your children are out late, afraid when you have to get up to speak at school or church, afraid of what the future holds?  We have all been there.  I would be lying if I said I had not been in all those situations at one time or another.

I will be married 45 years in August.  Wow, right out of high school and now 45 years later and there have been many Goliath’s during our marriage and how God led us through those times in victory.  Was the courage there at first – no?  Were we afraid – oh yes we were?  But each and every time I have to say that the victory came, the fear turned to courage, and God blessed and helped us slay those Goliath’s as we remained faithful, believing, and getting on our knees and trusting in His perfect plan for our lives.

I don’t have just one story.  I don’t have just one testimony.  There are many through all these years, and I know there will be more.  We have to learn we can only get through those times leaning on Him and trusting in Him.  He is the author of our lives, and He is continuously writing a beautiful song until He takes us home.

So here are just a few stories when my husband and I faced giants, and I will try to keep them short:

1.  MISCARRIAGE – We went through at least six miscarriages before God finally blessed us with a son.  Each pregnancy took more and more courage to try and try again until we eventually turned it over to Him and rested in His perfect timing, and oh how He blessed with a precious son and daughter after doctors told me after the fourth miscarriage I would never carry a child, but my BIG GOD had other plans.  He had two special children planned to be born and grow up and be nurtured in His Word.

2.  PREMATURE BABY – I had toxemia with both pregnancies, but it was critical with our daughter and our husband almost lost both of us.  The took the baby nine weeks early and told him that neither of us might not make it through surgery.  She was not expected to live, but people were praying all over the U.S. (even without facebook in those days) but by word of mouth from christian to christian and she came home after several months in the hospital.  She had weighed in at 2 lbs 6 ozs and we did not know if she would make it because drugs were not available 30 years ago to strengthen the lungs.  That giant was a hard one being told she would be slow and sick, but our BIG GOD saw that she was valedictorian and sigma cum laude.  Only a BIG GOD can turn around those doctor’s expectations.

3.  BROKEN BONES – I fell down the stairs years ago and had a compound fracture to my wrist.  I went through a major surgery, an outer space looking contraption, painful therapy and months later could not use the hand.  We had to search for another doctor to fix the previous surgery and ended up with the Dallas Cowboys doctor not knowing if it could be fixed.   That doctor was not recommended – he just happened to be one that was listed in our preferred provider’s book. A BIG GOD answer to much prayer to find a doctor that could fix it.

4.  DEATH – The loss of my Dad, the loss of my father-in-law and the loss of two nephews in about five years.  That was painful.  That was a giant none of us expected or wanted.  All of them were too young.  How do people go through these times without a BIG GOD to lean on.

6.  ILLNESS – My Mom broke her leg, they did surgery and she got an infection that would later eat thru her leg, she could never use it again, and once the infection was outside they had to amputate. Her life was never the same, nor ours as we had to put her in a nursing home.  Watching her suffer for years with COPD, rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure and then this awful infection was hard.  Our BIG GOD walked us through that journey all the while watching my Mom grow in Him.

5.  LOSS – The loss of my Mom last year.  Oh how I have leaned and cried to my BIG GOD this past year walking through that pain.

6.  DISEASE – The joyous birth of our first grandchild and walking in to see him and seeing him without any skin on his precious little feet, and a major hospital not knowing what was wrong.  Today he is doing well.  He has a rare skin disease called EB, and he also has an unknown gene and after gene tests they don’t know what type EB he is, but our BIG GOD does and He knows what that unknown gene is and why it is there.

9.  WATCHING YOUR CHILD  SUFFER – A precious daughter who is still trying to conceive after many attempts and watching her walk through that valley.  A BIG GOD who one day will provide that baby to hold in her arms.  A precious son suffering with a child born with a horrible disease and feeling helpless, but knowing I have a BIG GOD who can change any circumstance.

So what do all these stories have in common with you?  We all have something in common and that is life experiences.  My experiences are different than yours.  We look at our experiences with different perspectives, and how we handle those experiences will determine how God uses us.

Romans 8.28

That verse does not say that our life experiences will be good.   It says according to His purpose.  It is in our pain, in our valleys, that we find our purpose.  God uses us when we are broken, when we are repentant, when we are hurting, when we are humble.  We can’t look at our experiences with our perspective, but rather God’s perspective.

So how are you looking at your giants today?  Remember God is with you every moment soaring over any giant in your life.   He is fighting for you.  Romans 8:28 reminds us He is working it all for our good and He is doing it all according to His purpose.

Limitless Life - pages 41-42

 

Limitless Life – Week 1 – Our Big God

29 May

Big God

I just began a new study called Limitless Life by Derwin L. Gray this week.  One of our topics for the blog hop was to share a picture of how big our God is.  We have talked about David and Goliath and our giants.  “Like David, when we know God loves us, we can rust Him when we face the giants of life.  The Philistine giant didn’t intimidate David because David knew God’s love for him was bigger than Goliath”. Do you look at the size of your gian, or do you look at the size of your God?  The more we focus on the bigness of our God, the smaller our Goliaths become.  The more we focus on the bigness of our Goliaths, the smaller our God becomes.  Do you want to live a limitless life?  If so, focus on how big, how loving, how powerful God is.”   Derwin L. Gray

Our God is without limits, our BIG GOD is bigger than any problem that you and I might encounter.

Names of God

If you would like to join us in our Bible Studies, visit Proverbs31.Org.

Memorial Day – What It Means to Me

26 May

Flag-Psalm 3312

Memorial Day – what is it?  It’s not just a holiday, not just a nice, long three day weekend, not just cookouts, but it is a time to honor those who have served to keep our country free, those who served so that I personally can worship on Sundays with freedom.  It is a day we visit cemeteries, hold parades and visit with family.  It is a day that is celebrated the last Monday in May each year. flag with 2 Chron 714

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to commemorate both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war.  Today it honors all men and women who have died while in the military.

For many of you and maybe all of you, as I research my family tree I see my ancestors fought on both sides.  I see where several of my great, great grandfather’s fought and even one who died while fighting on the Confederate side leaving behind several children.   I see others fighting for the Union side – how tragic a nation fighting one another and seeing that both mine and my husband’s families supported both sides and fought against each other.

Today is a day for me to honor not only my loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice, but all men and women who have fought for the freedoms I cherish – not only the dead, but the living and all who are serving today and in the past.

Today is a chance to honor my father who left home at a very young age during World War II to fight in the Korean conflict.  It is a day to honor my great, great grandfather who gave all during the civil war losing his life and leaving a wife with three small children.  Some gave all and all gave some.  Thankful for a day to remember!

 Dad and Moms Grave

Christian Community At Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies

22 May

Community

We are gearing up to start a new Bible Study this Sunday.  Can I just tell you how stinkin’ excited I am?  I am y’all and yes I am a Texan, and I am participating with thousands of women all over the world in the most awesome studies I have experienced in all my Christian life.  My hope is that some of you will read this and you might join us in studies that will change your lives.  Here is a link for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/.  Our next study is Limitless Life by Derwin Gray.  You can actually do the study at the link above every day with Melissa and her team, or you can join an awesome facebook group of twenty or so women.  Time is short – the study starts this Sunday.  All you need is the book and a Bible.

We blog on Thursdays and this week we were asked to share what community means to us. For me I have never felt so much a part of a community as my OBS sisters – sisters who pray for me, who pray with me, who lift me up, who encourage me when I walk through valleys and who joyously cheer me on when I am on that mountaintop, who don’t compare ourselves with one another, who support each other with the precious gifts that God has given us.

Here are some of the steps I believe to becoming a community like we are in P31 OBS:

1.  We have to WANT to GROW in the Word of Jesus Christ.  That is the first step and that is how I found Melissa Taylor.  I retired and I wanted to be in a women’s Bible Study outside of church mostly because I didn’t want to go to one in the evenings.

2.  We have to do more than just hang out.  I found at first in my group we hung out a lot, but we were growing and learning to love one another and we were fellowshiping.  We laughed, we cried, we prayed and eventually we delved in to our Bible Studies together and have grown and grown more in love with the Word, memorizing scripture and truly cherishing what we read and study each week.

3.  We have real compassion for one another.  When one of us hurts, we all hurt.  When one of us is in tears, we all are crying with each other.  When one of us has a joy, all of us are super excited together.

4.  We are transparent with one another bringing our emotional needs and even spiritual needs to one another.  Sometimes in church it can be difficult.  Here in OBS it is ok to be transparent and it is ok to be REAL because we do not judge.  It is ok to share that we need prayer for someone on drugs, someone going to jail, someone drinking too much, someone going through miscarriages, loss of loved ones, someone with a child going through difficulties, health problems or whatever.  There is no fear of sharing.  We love each other and we truly care.  It’s not a place to gossip but a place to lift one another up to our Father.

5.  We are living in a way that glorifies our Father and yes we make mistakes every single day.  We all do, but we lift one another up and our world.  We just finished a study and one of our verses was about being the light of the world to others.  We shared how we have been a light in our homes, our communities and with others.

matthew 5.14, 16

6.  We are humble and positively others-centered and gentle in our groups, our teams, and all of OBS leadership.

If we are serious about our Lord we should be serious about community.  Jesus is Lord, our Lord and for community to be real He must be the Lord of our thoughts, our actions, our hearts, our words, our treatment of others, and how we live every single moment of our lives.  He is our example.  He loved God, his Father.  He loved people.  That is what Christian community is all about – loving others as He loves us.

communityc

 

 

Life After Graduation or Life No Matter What

18 May

Today our sermon was by our Minister to Students in honor of students graduating from high school and college.  Brother Tommy Foster’s sermon was titled, Life After Graduation.  I heard so many comments on the amazing job he did as we walked out of the auditorium and even in our study later with our class.

Tommy said no matter where we are in life, where we are working, how old we are, what ethnic group we are or what we believe that we need to stand up.  He shared some must dos no matter where we are in life:

1.  Remember God owns it ALL.  Everything belongs to God – our time, money, friendships, family, future, plans, home and even me.  We are the keepers of all God owns.  God gives us talents so we can express them for His glory.  He gives us strength and health to serve others.  Psalm 24:1-2 – The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the water

2.  Overcome the disease to please.  He owns our future.  We must forget about pleasing people – we are here to please God.

3.  Make the MOST out of every season of life.  Open our life to God’s plan, not the world’s plan.  We never know if it is our last season of life.  No such thing as life without a plan.  Life after graduation is life BEFORE graduation for the Christian.  Get up every morning and have a funeral for old ways of life.  Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

I know my notes did not give justice to this beautiful sermon, but I can treasure the MUST DOs he shared in the days ahead.

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: