Monthly Archives: February 2007

Audible.

I implore you to just say it…. 

“I am a Christian!  — I’ve been bought with the blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am going to live in heaven with Him through all eternity!”

I implore you to say it to yourself, to your spouse/loved one, to each of your children, to your Mom, to your Dad, to each one of your siblings, to your close friends, to your church family, to your coworkers…to every person you know and love, and even those you don’t! 

The reason I am so adamant about this is this:

I look at the calendar and realize that it is nearing the 14th anniversary of my Dad’s death.  He died at the age of 50 in 1993.  I loved my Dad more than I could ever say.  When he died, it just left an empty hole in my heart that hurts even now as I think about it.  For almost a year after his death, as I drove home from work everyday, even the thought of it would send me into enough tears that I would have to pull over and just cry for a while.  I was a “Daddy’s Girl”, and I’m not sure that I ever realized that so much until I lost him. 

He taught me many things, one of which was to love the outdoors.  I could shoot a can from a tree at a fair distance with my BB gun at the age of six!  He took me fishing, deer hunting, and even spent three weeks camping through Colorado as a pre-teen.  He protected me from the bad, and showed me what he knew was good.  He used outdoor creations to teach me life’s lessons…..all without giving credit to the Creator. 

He did not teach me about a relationship with Christ.  He spent most of my life running from the Lord.  I even remember him patting me on the back, saying, “I’m so sorry that your Mom makes you go to church all the time”.  Yet, even during those times, my heart ached to know that He would turn his life around.

It wasn’t until he became a grandfather that, I believe, God began grabbing hold of his face, and pointing him toward the important things of life.  He finally quit drinking, and even began the process to quit smoking.  However, it was then that he found out about the lung cancer. 

During his brief illness, I longed to know if he felt he had even known Christ at all, since the fruits of his life proved otherwise.  I heard that he made a profession of faith as a teenager, but never knew anything that led me to know for sure. 

Unfortunately, I was too scared to talk to him about it!  Imagine that!….too scared to talk about the most important thing that could ever come out of my mouth!…the thing that would have helped my Dad the most!!?  I finally got the courage up to write him a letter, including everything I ever knew about witnessing for the Lord.  I must have sounded like a tele-evangelist as I poured my heart out to him that last Christmas when I gave him the letter.  It was just a little over 2 months before he died. 

I saw him read it, but he never talked to me about it.  We were finally able to contact the preacher that he trusted years ago as a teenager, who came up to the hospital and talked with Daddy.  The preacher later told us that Dad did acknowledge a relationship with the Lord, but knew that he had failed to live as he should. 

That was somewhat comforting, but what I really yearned to hear was the voice of my OWN Dad telling me that.  I think that is why I, even still, ache inside……not hearing those words from him myself.  It pains me greatly to think of the possibility that my Dad is suffering in hell right now. 

I wish I could rest on the words of that preacher, but not knowing for sure, I have resolved myself to just not think about it too much.  That is the only way I know to accept my Dad’s death…to just push it aside and pray that somehow, God brought him to Him before he took his last breath.  Until I know for sure….this is how I must deal with it.

But……the message I want to get out now is this:  Tell your loved ones that you are saved.  Don’t just assume that they know it.  Live your life for Christ in deed AND words!  It is so important that you SAY it with your own mouth!  Spare your family and friends from wondering. 

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called, and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  1 Timothy 6:12

God graciously reminds me everyday that He is with me.  He has helped me through these 14 years, becoming more and more my “Daddy” as well as my Father.  He shows me daily that He will be with me for eternity. 

Just the presence of his creations, remind me of His love.  As I sit at this computer today, I am hearing His presence.  The beautiful spring-like day; the singing birds, the peaceful sound of quiet.  He is audible.  He speaks his assurance of life to me.  He tells me, out loud, that He loves me and will be with me forever. 

I encourage you to do the same.  Don’t let another day go by without telling your family, with words, that you will be seeing them in heaven some day.  Prayerfully, I will be able to introduce my Dad to you when we all get there, too.

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Filed under Bible, Children, Church, Creation, Death, Family, Father, Friends, Gifts, God, Heaven, Life, Love, Priorities, Security, Tears, Wisdom, Witness

Worthy.

Like this sign, I see so many of us “drive through” worship.  We show up on Sunday, listen to the sermon, go to Sunday school (sometimes) and then off to lunch.  We take in a nap, or Nascar in the afternoon, and then off to church again on Sunday night.  By the time we get home Sunday night, we are already gearing up for a busy Monday, and thus starts the week. 

Our “worship” does everything but worship.  We spend some of the time wondering where the message was, why we don’t get more out of church, and how it could be that our “worship” service is so boring, unfulfilling, and void. 

As I have been reading thru the bible, God has pointed out a particular section of scripture that relates to worship.  I invite you to stop and read Exodus chapter 19.

It is speaking of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and the preparations that God expected them to make before meeting Him.  I know that we are not under all of the same laws and regulations that the Israelites were at that time, but I believe that we can use this portion of scripture as a model of the sanctity of worship, and the preparations we should make before entering into it.

In Exodus 19, we learn several things     

  • God commands consecration.  Consecration is defined as “to declare or set apart as sacred, set apart for worship of a deity”.  God expects us to set aside a time to spend focusing on the fact that we are about to meet Him.   There should be a time “set apart” for preparation to worship.

  • God expects us to make ourselves presentable, and to take the focus off of our worldly desires as we enter into His presence.  He specifically pointed out examples of worship preparation, such as the washing of clothes, and to prohibit intimacy with their wives. 

  • The Israelite people expected God to be at the place of worship.  The people went to the mountain, because they knew He was there.  He commanded them to come; they heeded the command.  They were prepared for His arrival.  The signs of His presence were visible (thunderings, lightnings, the cloud), and they desired to be where He was. 

  • It was God, not the people, who initiated the worship experience.  They waited until God called them forward (the sounding trumpet) to begin.  The power of God was so great that the people actually trembled.  They knew it was a real experience, that He was the real God, and that it was an honor and privilege to be in His presence. 

  • The people were willing to follow Moses to the mountain.  Oh, how wonderful it would be if the church would be more willing to follow the leadership of those that are put in charge of our souls!  Our ministers are not just ordinary men. 

         “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.  Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”  Hebrews 13:17 

  • We have been repeatedly warned to be obedient.  God is merciful, and uses v.21 to point out (again) the call to obedience (do not touch the mountain) and the “last call” to consecration.  This reminds me that we are to literally examine ourselves at the door, double checking our appearance, mindset, and attitude before we attempt to go in.  Maybe that is why most churches have a mirror in the foyer!!  It is only with a prepared heart, that God will meet us face to face.

Worship is a continual act of obedience to God.  We should be practicing worship everyday in our lives wherever we are, but especially when we enter the houses of God.  The acts of preparation for the day “set aside” (consecration) for worship should be taken seriously.

What would happen if we began preparing for worship 3 days in advance, just as the Israelites were commanded to do on this occasion?  For our Sunday day of worship, that would mean that Friday would begin our focus. 

Would we be willing to give up our Friday night football, or Saturday play days in order to totally focus on what God would have us learn on Sunday? 

Are we willing to actually read our Sunday school lesson before Sunday, and then arrive ready to eat “meat” (see 1 Corinthians 3) ?

Would we be willing to examine our bodies and our clothing to see if God would be pleased in our appearance?  I wonder what God thinks about worldly fashion and trends? 

Would we be willing to truthfully examine our attitudes?  What reasons are we going to church for anyway?  To have fun?  To socialize?  To “look” like a Christian?  …or to meet our Lord and Savior face to face, honoring Him in our whole being?

When we are at church, do we REALLY expect God to be there too?  Just like the question I have heard many times, “if Jesus knocked on your front door, would you be embarrassed to answer it”? 

God is WORTHY of our respect.  He is WORTHY of our time.  He is WORTHY of our adoration.  He is WORTHY of our reverence.  He is WORTHY of our lives…and He is WORTHY of our worship!

There is no “thing” that should take the place of His worship and glory.  I pray that we will all set our alarm clocks a little earlier this week, rising in prayer, and with the expectation that God will be visiting our churches this week!  How exciting it is to ponder that!!…The One and Only God of the universe will be in person, waiting for you at church this week!!  Whew!  That gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!  

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Filed under Attitude, Bible, Children, Church, Commitment, Family, God, Heaven, Love, Obedience, Preparation, Priorities, Wisdom, Worship

Weeping.

“How long has it been,

since your eyes filled with tears,

over those who are lost out in sin?”

This is the words to a song sung by one of my favorite groups, The Rochesters.  It came to mind this morning as I was watching Animal Planet

There was a story about a man who had a heart for the street kids of an inner city neighborhood.  He was known for walking the streets, witnessing to any who would listen.  He eventually took in an abused and abandoned dog, nursing it back to health, and then took it along with him on his walks. 

He came upon a teenage boy who was hurting and living a life of horrible circumstances.  He told the boy about the tragic story of the dog, then about its’ rescue, recovery, and hope.  He then explained that the boy could be rescued too, because Jesus heals our hurt and loneliness.  After accepting an invitation to attend a local church that night, the teenager was saved, and is working to turn his life around. 

As I looked at the boy’s eyes, I could see the sincerity of his new-found faith.  I could sense the hurt he experienced.  I began to really understand how lonely he has been since his father passed away, leaving him to take care of himself.  Then, I started getting a lump in my throat, and before I knew it, the tears began to fall.  It was at that moment, that God reminded me that I had not wept for a soul in a while. 

Tears for a soul are the result of an understanding of what is awaiting us…either eternal life, or horrible death…and the further understanding that some just have not “gotten it”.  Either they haven’t heard the gospel, or they have ignored it.  Either way, the tears are a representation that someone is going to face the consequences of hell…and when you know what the consequences are, you are grieved for your friends and family even more…

…Then he said, “I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.”  Luke 16:27-28

I am convicted today that I need to weep more.  I pray that God will use me to make known the alternative to death, …the hope that is in Christ Jesus, my Savior, …One that I should want to share more with those around me. 

I pray for more tears, and a heart to stay down on my knees in constant agony for souls.  I pray that I will stay that way until God, Himself, wipes away my tears (Revelation 21:4) and declares the work to be done.   

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Filed under Attitude, Bible, Church, Commitment, Family, Friends, Gifts, God, Heaven, Life, Love, Obedience, Priorities, Tears

Blogging.

Well…it seems that I have reached a new milestone!  WordPress has released a list of the fastest growing blogs, and guess what?….I am listed as #51?!!

Since starting this blog on January 24, 2007, I am now showing 1865 hits, 13 posts, and 70 comments. 

Now, the really surprising part is that I have NO IDEA what I am doing right?!!!!

I just write, and you keep coming to view…..so……I just want to say “Thank You!”  I have heard from many of you, and you have been so gracious and kind to encourage me to continue. 

If you’ve never commented before, please let me know you are visiting.  Don’t be comment shy!  I love knowing who is reading.  Just hit the comment button, and leave me a short message.

On the right of this site, you will also find an announcement about a blog party that is going to be happening in March.  I found it while visiting Boo Mama’s site, which I love.  I have never participated in a blog party, but thought it would be fun, so I hope you will join me!  Just click the link, and follow the instructions to sign up.  There’s even going to be prizes! 

Finally, my daughter thought I should point out that the title of my blog, “God Is…” is the recurring beginning to each one of my posts which finishes a sentence (i.e., “…Success”)  So for that example, when you put the two together, it would read, “God Is…Success“.  Each post points out a different view of something God Is.     

If you look at this post, “God Is…Blogging”, you might wonder if that’s really true, but I will tell you that what I am finding out is that God is being used in the blogging realm.  It is so interesting to read each other’s blogs.  I am learning different points of view about a myriad of subjects, challenged by the discussion to search out biblical answers, and also encouraged through humor, and other interesting stories that I have read.  So, I do feel like God is in blogging.  What do you think? 

Thank you for your support and encouragement.  I hope that this site is a positive part of your day!

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Filed under Bible, Blessings, Blogging, Children, Family, Friends, God, Humor, Life, Success

the One who brought us together.

myprince.jpg 

Complete with his crown, “My Prince”…

..sent to me from the King Himself!…and this is how I know:

 1.  I was too young.

Our love story began almost 23 years ago in July of 1984.  I had just finished my 10th grade year in high school, and was enjoying summer break.  The uncle of one of my friends was on my mind, but I never dreamed it possible that he would be interested in me.  Add to that the fact that he was eight years older than me, and it seemed like the greatest improbability that we would ever get together. 

2.  He was too old.

One night, as I was going out to pull my car into the driveway, he was driving around the neighborhood and pulled in to talk to me.  (Wow!…my heart skipped a thousand beats!)  We hit it off right away, not really consciously aware of it yet, but God had wonderful plans for us.  The hurdle was asking my parents if they would allow me to go out with him.  You see, just three weeks before, I had asked to go out with another guy who was only three years older, and their reason for turning me down, “he’s too old!”

3.  We came from opposites…..and in some ways still are.

Because of our age differences, we have different perspectives of many things in general.  I was a “disco”…he was a “rock”.  I was just entering the real world.  He had been out of school for 8 years.  I wanted a new car.  He had already learned the benefits of no payments on a used car. 

Even in our families, there were differences.  My parents divorced at my early age of five.  On top of that my mother had to work long hours and endure the hardships of raising a family of four children on her small teacher’s salary alone, as well as continuing to finish her degree.  Consequently, my brother, sisters and I became independent at a young age, having to cook meals, take care of the house and ourselves as the need demanded. 

Kenneth’s parents were married for many, many years until his father passed away.  His mother was a homemaker who still was doing his laundry for him at the age of 26!  His Dad rose at 5:00 a.m. to begin cooking a feast everyday so that it would be ready for Kenneth at lunch and dinner.  I remember visiting often and never seeing anything less than a tender, well-cooked meat, some sort of dried beans, cornbread, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, bread and dessert!  It was like a never-ending Thanksgiving meal! 

These differences in time and family have been challenging, as many times we fail to understand the thoughts of each other, but also rewarding because we share experiences with each other, learning to appreciate our strengths and weaknesses. 

4.  We are good for each other.

From the “get-go” it seemed that our union was meant to be.  We knew within the first four months that we would spend the rest of our lives together.  In December of 1984, Kenneth proposed to me and we defied the odds of such a relationship, staying together through the rest of my high school years, finally getting married on June 7, 1986. 

During our engagement period, God began talking to us about our relationship with Him.  Kenneth had been out of church for some time, and began attending with me.  His love for the Lord grew and grew as he devoured the Word.  In no time, Kenneth quickly outgrew the knowledge and wisdom I had of the bible and all its’ wonders.  God continued talking to both of us about marriage, and how our relationship should be during that time and in the future, and although we didn’t always respond as He wanted us to, we credit our Lord for the lessons we learned.  We can now confidently say that when we do listen to Him, we grow, and when we don’t, we fall.  When others in our family, school and community felt we would never make it, we know it was God who pulled us through. 

5.  We have been blessed.

I wish I could say it has been 20+ years of “bliss”, but that would be stretching it!  But….it HAS been wonderful so far!  We have been through good and bad times, which is all we ever expected.  We have learned that through trial and hardship, God speaks the loudest.  Sometimes He has to scream at us to make His voice known, but in the end, we are blessed to overcome. 

He has seen us through communicational barriers, financial hardships, life distractions, illnesses, the stresses of a growing family, unemployment, and much more.  Amazingly, even though we face many of those obstacles, He always has a plan that is better in the end.  (Romans 8:28) 

When we need a few more dollars to make ends meet, He provides it.  When we need a few moments of peace, He provides it.  When we do not understand what to do next, He gives us peace and assurance.  Because of our Lord, we are blessed beyond measure.

6.  We are committed.

I think it was during the 3rd year of our marriage that we had the most difficulty.  Kenneth had just lost his job.  I had just had our second child, and was battling with a toddler at the same time, — all at the ripe ole’ age of 21!  We sold almost everything we owned, preparing to move to California where he had been promised a job, which never came through.  So, we basically started over again, finding a little house to rent for $150.00 a month.  (You can imagine what a dream home it was!?)  It was stressful, to say the least!!!  If there was any time that either one of us might have considered leaving, it may have been then.  But…God had different plans.  He showed us that we can trust Him to bring us through hard times. 

We know the “secret” to a long marriage……God and commitment!  Because we are committed to “forever”, I know that we can depend on God and lean on each other to get through it.

7.  We want more.

Although we are content in the Lord and His provision, we are not satisfied with the way things are right now.  Normally, that might be seen as a bad thing, but in our eyes, it only strengthens the union we have made.  Marriage is a constant “tweeking” of what works and what doesn’t.  As you become one, you realize what battles are worth picking, and what battles aren’t.  One of our biggest arguments early in our marriage happened because we couldn’t agree on how to fix a box of macaroni and cheese!?!!  Wow!…that was definately NOT an argument worth making! 

When there is so much divorce and hurting families, we desire to keep ours together and strong…but it takes work.  Work that we are willing to do, and sacrifice that we are willing to make.  We want more of God’s blessings, more of God’s wisdom, and more of His infinite mercies upon our family.  We pray that our children will benefit from our relationship, excusing us when we fail, but most of all seeing that we desire to be instruments of God, teaching them to live as He would want.

Selfishly, we wish we had a regular moment to spend together everyday.  With our four kids, his two jobs, church, and school, we stay on the go most days….but for now, we are content to steal moments together whenever we can. 

This Valentine’s Day, I declare “My Prince” as king of the Day!  For today, I abolish the couch pillow rule as he described in his post, “Man Law”, forgive the undone “Honey-Do List”, praise the overflowing stack of books on the bookshelf, and ignore the misplaced items around the house!  I thank God for a best friend, confidant, and love. 

To my husband, Kenneth, who means so much to me, “I Love You!”

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Filed under Commitment, Family, God, Love, manlaw, Marriage, Obedience, Stress, Valentines Day, Wisdom

Reflexes.

Thoughts that go through my mind after the three year old has stuck a yogurt covered raisin in his nose…

1.     “Not a good thing!” (Note to self..”if he tries to blow it out, but sucks in instead, it will be worse”)…

2.     “Try bulb syringe….once, twice, then,…don’t panic, didn’t work…now what?” Ahhhhhhhhh!

3.     Check again…It’s really up there now…Go ahead and get him to blow…………..Oh great,….blowing didn’t work! Now what?

4.     “AAAACHEW”!!  …raisin in kleenex, Man, it’s a big one, too!  Praise the Lord for the sneeze reflex!

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Creation, Family, God, Humor, Joy

Insulated.

My day today was quite comical.  It started earlier than usual when we all got up, each showering and getting ready for the day early because “they” were coming.

Two showers down, and my turn………no hot water!!!  So….I had the privilege of either showering cold (no way…not again) or gambling on whether “they” would show up before I made myself presentable.  (I decided on the latter!)

 So….just as I was putting the finishing touches on me, “they” rang our doorbell. 

“They” are the “Window People” as my boys decided to call them.  Armed with drills, caulk, drop cloths, and some other “stuff” that we women would not have a clue what to call, the “Window People” entered our house at about 7:30 a.m.

Within minutes, there were open holes all around our house.  The old single-pane-let-every-ounce-of-air-we-pay-for-through-the-window windows were on their way out!  We were so excited!  Months and months of high electric bills, not to mention windows that would not lock, or were missing screens, or would barely raise up and down were being dismantled and loaded into their truck.

The only problem was that with the open holes, and the frigid wind, the temperature inside our house plummeted quite fast.  In no time at all, we were drinking hot chocolate, in full clothing, complete with fleece shirts and coats, and warming our hands at every opportunity. 

We locked the cat in the washroom so that she would not escape through the holes, but she did not appreciate it!  All day long, she was either scratching at the door, or playing upon our sympathies making a noise unlike any “meow” I’ve heard before.

I took the eldest son to preschool at 8:15 a.m., and then returned to spend the next 3 hours entertaining the three year old without…(gasp!)…access to the television (Noooo!!!), or computer, or most of his toys!  Breaking his normal routine of catching the latest Popeye episodes was NOT a good thing!  But….we managed.  We ate breakfast, played blocks, played “Window People” with his toy drill and tools, entertained the “Window People” with a game of “peek-a-boo”, and even addressed our valentine cards for tomorrow…of course, including a personal delivery to Shane, the “Window Guy”.

By 3:30 p.m., the old windows were gone, the new windows were in, the heat was on, the computer was plugged back in (praise the Lord!), and I have the most wonderful view from anywhere inside my house!!!  Both my husband and I are amazed at the quality, efficiency and professionalism exhibited by the crew that did the work.  They were amazing!

So, ….. when you’re driving past my house to look at the bloomers (read link to “Old-Fashioned”) on the line outside, you may also admire our newest home addition!!

Inspired by my friend Cherie, who is offering cheesecake and brownies for comments, I think I will offer personal tours of my home to the first 1000 people who comment on this post!!🙂 🙂 lol

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, God, Humor, Love, Windows