Archive | July, 2016
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You Don’t Mean Me Lord, Do You?

30 Jul

“Oh no Lord, you don’t mean me, do you”?   Yes, it’s confession time.  I’ve said it.  How about you?

My mind has jumped into that impossible mode so many times.  I can’t do that.  I don’t know how to do that.  I’m not equipped to do that.  People will make fun of me, and on, and on, and on.

I REMEMBER:

When my Mom died, He prompted me to get up and speak at her funeral.  Lord, I am so broken, you can not mean me.  I even wrote a poem that day because my Dad always wrote poems, and it was a remembrance of Dad and Mom, and I felt like it was the last thing I could do for Mom.  God was truly there giving me the courage to speak, and He gave me the words that I wrote.

I REMEMBER:

For many years I dreamed of retiring, but I would start thinking about finances and I had also told my boss I would give him a year’s notice.  My job was going to be hard to replace, or so he said.  HA!

My best friends at work retired at the same time two years before I did.  I felt the nudging at that time, but then I also felt commitment and obligation because there were three of us doing the same job for different contracts, and I knew it was going to be hard for us, our customers and oh woe is me with the additional workload waiting to fill their jobs. I was too important.  They needed me.  I did not listen.

On the spur of the moment one day God nudged me to move, to get out, to do what was important. Say What? WHO me?  WHAT was the future going to look like? How could we live like we had been living if I retired and my salary was much less? What would it be like being home all the time if I said Yes to God. I said yes, and I retired with only two months notice. I spent the year of 2012 visiting my Mom, taking her meals, reading to her out of the scripture and devotionals not knowing how precious these times were because she would be gone two short years later.

I also joined Melissa Taylor’s Online Bible Studies, now a part of Proverbs 31. I wanted to go to studies at church but they were only at night and I wanted to be home with my husband so I found these studies convenient and God led me there one day searching.  Now I can study 24/7.

I REMEMBER:

In September 2012, I was approached to be a leader for a Facebook group in the studies. I thought I am not equipped and no way.   Really Lord, you don’t mean me.  I am not equipped.  Yes it has been a dream to lead women, but Lord I really can’t do this.   I prayed, talked to my family and finally said YES to God. What happened is He took my obedience and equipped me to lead a group. At first my groups were quiet. One group I had only one lady responding and she was growing in the Lord because she was working so hard to help me, and little did I realize until later that God was grooming me for something big and preparing me for sad days ahead.

I REMEMBER:

Melissa Taylor calling me one day and we talked about the studies and my leading and dreams.  She encouraged me to start a blog and to write.  I was like there is no way I can figure all that out.  God said there is a way.  I am the way and I am going to walk you through WordPress and teach you.  The rest is history.

 

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“Saying yes to God is always the right thing to do, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. In fact, sometimes it’s really hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. But God has a purpose in those difficult moments. He uses them to challenge us, refine our hearts, and make us holy-pure-in-heart women He can use for a noble purpose.” Lysa Terkeurst – What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Workbook

I would love for you to share about a time that you said, “Oh no Lord, not me.”

I am joining Suzanne Eller today on #LiveFreeThursday and the prompt this week is You Don’t Mean Me Lord.  Come join us here.

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5 Bible Verses – Where Do I Find Help?

22 Jul

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When Kate Motaung said the word prompt this week was help, I immediately thought, help what am I going to write about.  I went scripture because that is where I go when I need help, strength, advice and encouragement.  Actually, the Bible is the only place we should go for help.

Do you need help today?  Are you going through trials, studying for exams, discouraged, grieving, struggling with marriage, weight loss, children and so many other things than here  are some of my favorite scriptures on help.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (KJV)  

I really wanted to see if I could understand this verse better by going to Dictionary.com and looking up the definitions of words or what we seldom refer to as verse mapping:

  • Refuge – a place of shelter, protection or safety
  • Strength – the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor
  • Very– acutely
  • Present – at this time; at hand, immediate
  • Help – assist, aid
  • Trouble – to disturb the mental calm and contentment of;  worry; distress; agitate

He is my shelter, my safety, my muscle at all times – always, immediately in times of distress or worry.”

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

I love making verses personal so for the one above I would write, so do not fear Debbie, for I am with you; do not be dismayed Debbie, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you Debbie and help you; I will uphold you Debbie with my righteous right hand.

“My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth .”  Psalm 121:2 (KJV)

“Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. ” Psalm 54:4 (KJV)

Joining Kate today and #FMF family writing for five minutes on the word help.  Come join us.

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This post was featured on Thoughtful Thursdays on 8/11/16.

Create Joy Each Day

15 Jul

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How do we create joy each day?  How can we create joy on the bad days?  I am pondering that as I write about the word create today with Kate Motaung and the #FMF community.  So for five minutes I am going to write about ways that I personally create joy in my life, and maybe someone reading this today who is hurting inside, sick, or devastated by something in life will be blessed.

GO!

  • Waking up each morning.  The older I get the more joyful I am to wake up each morning.
  • Cooking meals for my husband and family and thankful we have the means to cook meals, and I have the health and love to cook for my family.
  • Kissing my husband goodbye every morning.  Even on those mornings I sleep in, he comes in and kisses me at 545.
  • That God blessed me with a precious son and daughter. They create joy in my life when they text or call like this weekend our son called us to go to a movie with his family to see our almost 3-year old experience a movie, Dory the first time, or our daughter call to go out to lunch or breakfast or when they call for no reason but just to chat.
  • A hug or I love you from my son and daughter.
  • Watching a sunrise or sunset.  Have you done that lately?
  • Playing with my grandsons or taking them on a walk, to a pumpkin patch, to McDonald’s, or one of our favorite things is just running around the sofa and love seat in our big den.  They laugh and laugh and I laugh and maybe run off some pounds – simple and joyful.
  • Giving thanks for my home, everything in it, my car, the fact I can buy groceries (Last week I told my daughter-in-law I hate putting clean sheets on the bed, and then I came back and said oh my, I am so blessed I have clean sheets to put on my bed.)
  • Spending time with my Lord in prayer and Bible study each morning.  One of the things that brings me much joy and teaches me to be a better person is my on-line Bible studies with Proverbs31.Org.  Life changing for me as God has worked on my heart in each and every study.
  • Daily devotions with the First 5 App also a part of Proverbs 31 and it’s on my phone with me wherever I go.
  • Memories of my parents – choosing not to dwell on my feelings because they are gone, but rather all the good times growing up.  I miss them  – you bet I do, but I am blessed and can full of joy because I had parents who loved and took care of me.
  • That first cup of coffee and the second and third
  • I can create joy even yesterday pushing a mower around trees in the heat of the afternoon for several hours.  We also ride, but there’s much pushing around our pool and around the fruit trees, fence lines, azaleas and just so many trees it takes a long time.  I was out there in the high 90 degree day pushing and sweating and creating joy praising God that I am 66 years old and can still push a mower and not hurt, and hopefully I am creating a better, healthier body and losing some weight.  Yep, 6 pounds since school was out.
  • Air conditioning in this hot Texas heat and a very cold cup of water  in a cup a friend gave me that’s keeping me accountable on drinking enough water each day.
  • Smile at a cashier, thank a policeman, a cashier, a teacher, a pastor or how about thanking your husband for working hard, for washing your car, picking up dinner, opening the door for you, when he takes you out to dinner.  Create some joy in others.

Are you struggling today to find joy?  Do you find yourself complaining and grumbling, unhappy, and even depressed.  Spend some time pondering on all that God has blessed you with.  Create some joy.  His joy is our strength.  It’s there – go look for it.  Cherish this day the Lord has given you.

Join me and the Five-Minute Friday group today.

 

Let’s Meet Up Y’all – Declare Conference 2016 – Pre-Conference Post

13 Jul

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Hey y’all!  This Texas girl is ready to meet up with each one of you.  I am so blessed to be able to attend the Declare Conference again this year.  Last year was my first.  I love that Declare is so close to home, and I found it last year in my Facebook feed, or rather God led me there in my Facebook feed.  That sign greeted me that day as I walked in.

I blogged about that wonderful, powerful conference  with pictures here.  If you are new to Declare, check it out and see what you are about to encounter.

I walked away refreshed and ready to blog and not be concerned about statistics, but rather what God had placed on my heart originally to blog about, and that was about Him to the World and to leave a legacy for my family.  I also walked away with so many beautiful freebies.  It was like I got so much more than I paid for with all the free books and bags.

declare 7The theme last year was about going deeper with Him.  I can honestly say I have done that this past year, and it seems I just keep growing and growing deeper the more I read and study and pray, and I am loving reading back through last year’s themed and all the memories of women I met and the things that God laid on my heart.  Ladies, do you really grasp what that picture says that I took at the conference last year.

 Do you grasp how wide and long and high and deep the Savior loves you.

This year’s theme is  Presence.  I cannot wait to see what God is going to teach me this year.  My heart is open and ready.

In preparation for the conference, we were asked to share answers to the following questions and a current picture.  I hope I can find one.  I’m always the one taking the pictures.

1. If we were meeting in person, how would you introduce yourself? (job, family, career, ministry, where you live … share whatever details come to mind)

Hi there my name is Debbie.  I am a born and raised Texan, and will probably die here.  I live about twenty miles south of Dallas.  I have been married to my high-school sweetheart for 47 years this August.  Yes, I’m still in love with him.

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We have a son and a daughter who are both married and each of our children each have one boy.  Those little guys are one and a half and the other almost three.  I spend many days babysitting with them.  What a joy!  This was our latest picture on my birthday at one of my favorite places to eat – Cheddars.

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And this is a picture last Halloween.  The two-year old was wearing a costume my precious Mama made for my son that I had put away upstairs.

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I am retired, but I  substitute teach.  God really spoke to me when I retired about being a light to my community, not just at church but in the world.    Many days I substitute special needs children.

I worked for the Government, before retirement, for over 43 years in contracting.

I spend a lot of time as a volunteer team leader for Proverbs 31 On-line Bible Studies.  I love it.  It’s changed my life being in the Word every day, and this summer well it’s taught me some ways to encourage my husband in a study called, The Husband Project.  There are over 50,000 women doing this study.

My ministries are family and friends, blogging, substitute teaching, and leading at Proverbs.  Those things make a busy, hectic life that I am living to the fullest.

2. What is your favorite thing to write and why?

My favorite thing to write about is my Lord and my family because without them there would be nothing to write about.  I have enjoyed writing about my goals the last few months because they keep me on track.

3. What is your favorite thing to read and why? (If this question is too broad for you avid readers, what’s a favorite book or blog you’ve read lately?)

My favorite thing to read is my Bible.  For so many years it was boring, but the Word has come alive in my study time.   I do all the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.    I also read the First 5 App devotional each morning on my phone which is also part of  Proverbs 31, and I can be found doing all the studies at my church too.  Occasionally I love picking up a good fiction book like one by Karen Kingsbury.

4. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

Family Tree Research because it took a back seat for so many years, and now so many have gone that could have helped me in my research.

5. What’s one thing you love about your blog and one thing you’d like to improve?

That I am sharing with people all over the World.  It’s all about knowing Him more and making Him known to me and others.  Truly, most of my writing draws me closer to Him. My writing should be impacting me as well as others.

I have been praying about how I can improve my blog and seeking God’s direction so I stay put where He wants me.  Last year at Declare when Kris Camealy spoke, I realized my blog should be an altar and not a platform to bring recognition to me, not statistics.  Kris reminded us that when we build anything other than that altar to Him, we are not honoring Him.

6. [Lightening Round] Would you rather …

  • Read on Kindle or paperback?  Paperback so I can underline and highlight.
  • Drink coffee or tea?  Coffee all morning and tea in the afternoon and evening.
  • Go to a musical or a movie?  Movie
  • Vacation at the beach or the mountains?  Love both but probably the beach.
  • Have an exciting night out or a relaxing night in?  Relaxing night in.
  • Watch sports, play sports, or no sports?  No sports, except olympics or if some of my family is playing and yes sometimes I love watching a good ole’ Texas Ranger game.

WELCOME to Declare y’all.  Can’t wait to meet you.

I would love to connect and meet you there, but in the interim, you can find me here.

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Tough Love Prayer Challenge – Free Ebook and Review

11 Jul
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I am excited to tell you about a free e-book that I had the privilege of reading, called Tough Love Prayer Challenge: Finding peace in the middle of demanding relationships” by Rachel Britton.
Are you having difficulty in any type of relationship?  Do you need to know how to pray if you are?  Looking for some great advice?
The book has some beautiful pictures, Bible scriptures and quotes.   Here are a couple of my favorite quotes in the book:
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Is there someone you are struggling to love or even to like?  Have you been hurt by someone and don’t know what to do?  Would you love to learn how to have less arguments and conflicts at home, work or church?

This free e-book will help you  learn:

  • why you are never alone in praying for a difficult relationship
  • specific prayer prompts for overcoming negative emotions
  • the benefit of breath prayer in combating stress and finding rest
  • identifying and eliminating obstacles hindering our relationships

Here are some of the contents of the book:

  • Changing your focus
  • Pouring out to God
  • Rising in prayer
  • Hindrances to prayer and more

The e-book is available as a free download by visiting the Tough Love Prayer Challenge page at Rachel’s website:  http://rachelbritton.com/tough-love-challenge/
Rachel is a British-born writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping women know their true worth so they can live boldly. Raised on the east coast of England, she now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children. Rachel cannot live without English tea and chocolate. Connect with Rachel at www.rachelbritton.com, and receive her latest e-book, Tough Love Prayer Challenge, to boldly pray for peace in the middle of your demanding relationships. You can also reach her through Facebook and Twitter.

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