Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve!

Here we are...the very last day of the year!

Some of us may be wondering how we got here so fast...

Others of us may be ready to start the count-down for the ball to drop for the New Year now!

For most of us this year is probably similar to every other...a Mixed Bag. *Good & Bad  *Gross & Beautiful  *Messy & Mundane  *Satisfactory & Stimulating.

Today TV shows will probably cover the 'Best of' and 'Worst of' this past year...Hair styles, clothing options, movies, music, etc.

Many of us will start today with this evening in mind...with thoughts of a party to prepare for or which pj's we will wear while eating pop-corn and watching a delayed Time's Square celebration ringing in 2013.

Before we get there though I thought it might be a good thing to have our own personal Year in Review reflection today...a look back through all of what 2012 dished up with a specific purpose in mind...Looking for Lord's Faithfulness!

In some circumstances God's Goodness my be blaringly obvious...with that display at the forefront of our thinking and praise for Him on the tip of our tongue.

Other circumstances may require us to get in touch with our inner Nancy Drew to sort through the Clues and dust for evidence of the Father's Fingerprints in our lives.

Whichever the case...and if you are like me...and this year like will have snapshots of both the obvious and the obscure as you reminisce over 2012 with the intent of acknowledging the Hand of your Creator.

Before we don our best for the evening festivities (jammies or party dud's) and get ready to ring 2013 in and say 'adios' to this year, won't you join me in taking a look at the 'Best of' what God has done in and through you during the Good & Bad, Gross & Beautiful, Messy & Mundane, Satisfactory & Stimulating?  Let's end this year by giving Him the praise that He's due for His Faithfulness, Provision, Peace, Love and Presence that has the nature of Who He is and His heart toward each of us...permeated this past year.

And if you want to give Him a 'shout out' for His Blessings please do so here or on the Face Book's always such a blessing to rejoice in what He has done in each other's lives as well.

Serving Him and you,

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gift or Resolution?

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! 

Gifts were given...Gifts were received...and by now, Gifts have been returned or exchanged if they didn't 'fit'.

Any of you have an awkward Gift situation?  Awkward Gift situations can include receiving that 'thing' that we have no idea what we are going to do with.  Or an awkward Gift situation may be shopping for the person who has everything or who you have no idea what to buy for.  It's awkward when someone Gift's you when you have no gift for them...has that ever happened to you?

Did you leave anyone off your Gift list this year?  Anyone...anyone?

Some of us do so - inadvertently...we aren't thoughtless people...or people with Scrooge-like tendencies...we just get busy and forget someone...or we just never saw that Gift coming and wish we would have had one to reciprocate with.

Unfortunately, we sometimes forget the most Important Person when it comes to our Christmas gift giving...the Person who should be at the top of the list...the Person this holiday is all about to begin with.

Did you give Jesus a gift this Christmas?  It is His birthday we are celebrating and most of us do a good job of acknowledging that even in the hustle and bustle of this commercialized holiday...but how many of us are actually purposeful in Giving HIM what He wants for Christmas?

Now if you didn't give Jesus anything for Christmas yet don't panic...contrary to popular belief which is supported by a few faulty Christmas Carols...the Magi or Wise Men didn't show up with Jesus' first Christmas Gifts until He was closer to two years old.

Right now, during the brief lull between Christmas and the celebration of the New Year, is a great time to ask Jesus what He would like from you for Christmas!  In my home we have done this for years.  We start talking about, and praying about, what Jesus might want from each one of us beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Being deliberate in this really helps to focus our attention, throughout the season, on what is really important.

After each of us have heard from the Lord we record our gift on a slip of paper and place it in specially designated boxes under the tree. These are the first gifts we open on Christmas morning...sharing with the rest of the family what we 'got' Jesus for Christmas.

Now I know it's too late to do that this year...but again it's not too late to ask and give Jesus what He really wants this year.

The good news is that this can take the place of a New Year's Resolution as well!  Almost every year Jesus has asked those in my home for a long term taking better care of His temple (that would be my body), or praying for an unsaved friend, or being the one to make sure that a food donation is made to our church pantry each week for the needs of the community. 

I don't know about you but I'm not very good at keeping seems like my good intentions and determination of will tend to wane before the end of the month.  This Gift to Jesus approach is much more successful for me though.  Due in whole to the fact that I don't give my Gift to Him under my own power.  Gift giving to Jesus becomes a catalyst to a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him as I seek the power of His Spirit to carry it out.

So if you haven't taken the time to ask Him what He wants this year take the next couple of days to prayerfully do so.  The answer may come immediately...there might be something that He's been hinting at for a while now.  Or it may come more slowly and you might have to be deliberate in making time to sit quietly at His feet to listen.

This year it took a while for me to figure out what He wanted from fact it didn't all come together until Christmas Eve morning.  As I sat with Him I began to journal words and phrases that had been rolling around in my heart and mind over several I asked Him what all of this meant I saw a common thread...and realized just what He wanted.  I am excited to see what will come of this as He and I work together in the New Year to bring it to pass!

I hope you have fun asking Jesus for His wish list...and that you enjoy the process of giving Him that special Gift!  If you want share here in the Comments or on the Facebook link what your Gift to Jesus is this year.  I'll be sharing mine in this week's Verse to Chew On.

Serving Him and you,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

Here's this week's little devotional.  The verse I felt the Lord leading me to pen on 3x5 cards for my girls this week fits perfectly with the season we are in so I thought I would share it here too.

It's like God's little gift to us this week...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

And it's my prayer for each of us.  The Christmas Season is, in it's purest form, a time of hope and peace and joy...a time for us to focus on and connect with God in a profound and intimate way.

But it seems like there are 'forces' at work against the desire to celebrate and reflect on beauty of our Savior's birth.  Sometimes those 'forces' can be the glitz of the holiday season and trying to keep up with the buying, baking and busyness.  Sometimes the 'forces' are painful struggles we may be going financial or relational challenges.  Annoying problems like appliances on the fritz or cars that need work or finals that need to be studied for can sidetrack us from the Hope, Joy and Peace that believing in Jesus affords us.

For just a moment or two why don't we pour our self another cup of coffee or brew a pot of tea and Chew on this Verse.  While we quiet our physical self's let's make the effort to quiet our souls before the Lord as well.

First take a moment to identify any thing that may make you feel there something standing in your way of feeling the Joy of the Lord...are you void of Peace and experiencing anxiety about something?

Now that we have identified what may be standing in the way of us experiencing the Hope and Peace and Joy of this season let's focus on God!  This verse tells us that He is the God of Hope and that He can fill us with Joy and Peace.  The God of this universe, the Creator of all things seen and unseen is not limited by the circumstances of our life.  In the midst of the busyness or challenges or heartaches He can still fill us with His Hope and Joy and Peace by the power of His Holy Spirit.  The same Holy Spirit that came upon Mary making that Virgin Birth possible...the same Holy Spirit that later raised Jesus from the the same Holy Spirit who has the power to invade our souls, our circumstances with the Hope and Joy and Peace that Jesus came to bless us with.

Believing in the goodness of Jesus and the greatness of God gives me that abounding hope regardless or how things look or feel.  In choosing hope and joy and peace I am not ignoring the reality of the stuff of life that tries to creep just means that I am focusing my attention on the Lord instead...realizing that He is bigger than any distracting 'force' in my life...and that true hope and joy and peace is found in the Gift of Jesus and not in my circumstance and surroundings.

As we choose to believe in Him and to believe Him we can see His Joy and Hope and Peace fleshed out in us...and through us to others...that's my prayer for us this week!

Serving Him and you,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ford Hall

This past Saturday I had the privilege of speaking to the Freshman Girls at Northwest Nazarene University!  It was so much fun to spend time with this great group!

The event was a breakfast hosted by the Resident Assistants (a group of sophomore girls, each in charge of a wing of freshman girls) under the direction of the Resident Director (the Head Honcho, over the RA's and responsible for the entire dorm of freshman girls).  These gals went all out with made to order chip-of-your-choice pancakes, bacon, mini quiches, muffins and such accompanied by an NNU original Peppermint Brick ~ a yummy rich frozen coffee drink invented by the Ford Hall RD Lindsay back when she was a student!

Here's Lindsay and I in the kitchen area...I admire and respect this lady so much!  She invests her life into these girls all while being a mom to her own adorable two kids...what a woman.  Sorry about the quality of these pictures.  My first born took them and they looked great until I tried to format them here...I am a bit technically challenged! :/
Here are the RA' firstborn is the second from the right in the back row.  Ford Hall is four stories tall...each level has two wings (north and south)...which gives us these eight great girls that give of their time to help the freshman adapt to life in the dorm.  Such a sweet bunch! Notice that most of them have their aprons on making this ApronGirl feel right at home! :)
Here's a little glimpse of some of the group.  As you can see most showed up in their jammies...too cute!  I spoke the Saturday after dead week and before finals so they needed to sleep in as late as possible that day. :) These girls were such a great audience...they laughed at all the right times, fully participated in my Q & A style of teaching and made me feel really welcomed and at you girls! :)
If you look behind me and out the windows you can sort of see that we had our first dusting of light snow the night before...we were up on the third floor so it's not the best view from this vantage'll just have to trust me that it made for a very pretty campus that morning.
Our topic that morning...Body Image.  I am no expert on that but I do know Someone Who we deferred to HIM realizing that in order to have a healthy Body Image we need to know our Creator intimately...basing our self image on the truth of who He's created each of us to be...not on the world's relative truth of beauty that changes faster than we can keep up with.

We spoke a little about Marilyn Monroe and Twiggy...two very differnt women...from different decades...with different body types...and yet they were 'it' for beauty in their time...relative truth at it's best.

We also spoke about Fergie...not the Black-Eye Pea's version...Fergie, short for Sarah Ferguson, who was married to Prince Charles' younger brother....a long time when I was about the age of these college girls. We talked about how this Commoner turned Princess lost it all, including her Prince, because she felt like she wasn't 'good enough'...believing the lies told to her and about sad.
And then we talked about how, if we have made Jesus the Lord of our life then we belong to KING of kings...which makes each of us a Princess.  It doesn't matter what other's say about doesn't matter if we fit today's standard of 'it' for beauty...we are deeply loved and valued by our Father...created by HIM on purpose for His purpose.  We are 'good enough' because He created us and redeemed us! By Him we are 'skilfully and carefully handcrafted'...not 'squeezed together' - right NNU girls!?! (wink-wink) {on a side note ~ spell check wants to change NNU girls to Nun girls...which just isn't right since I'm pretty sure none of you want to be a nun...not that there is anything wrong with that...just sayin' :)}.
I left these girls with a saying that I used to write on my girls lunch box napkins when they were little...
You are a Daughter of the KING, so walk like a Princess!
A reminder that they can walk in the confidence of knowing who they are in Christ Jesus...that's a powerful thing...not only enabling us to feel accepted but empowering us to be Kingdom representatives bringing the love of Jesus to our areas of influence!
Thanks NNU-Ford Hall ladies for letting  me share with you and blessing me.  Each and everyone of you are beautiful, inside and out, and deeply loved and valued!
Serving Him and you,

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

Every school week, for almost three years now, I give my teenage daughters a little mini-meal...just one a week.  It's the same little food serving, more or less, every time.  They don't get it during the summer...but I usually serve it up for Christmas and Easter break.

You are probably thinking,"A mom who serves her daughters just one mini-meal a week, and the same kind of thing over and over, is no Martha Stewart or Pioneer Woman!"

Well, if you were thinking that you are right.  I am no TV Hostess with the Most-est or Super-Cook-Oklahoma-Ranch-Wife-Blogger.  But my girls aren't starving either.  The little mini-meal that I serve up for them is a Bible Verse that I print out on a 3x5 card and give to them every Monday...or Tuesday depending on what kind of week I had :/...but never ever on a Wednesday :).

This 3x5 card is a little mini-devotional for them.  Along with the Verse (I pray and ask the Lord to provide one tailored to their week) I usually write something for them to Chew On...little thought provokers to help them apply that portion of scripture to their lives. 

As important as it is for moms to provide physical nourishment for their kids, it's just as important that they provide something spiritually nutritional as well.  My girls are old enough now to own their own relationships with Jesus...and they do.  Both start every morning with their own devotional time...they have seen the importance of making sure that they feed themselves regularly.  But as a mom I get great joy out of spending time with the Lord asking Him to help me be His waitress, so to speak, serving up that little mini-meal that He prepares for them.  It's always fun to see where He leads me in scripture for them...and it's fun to write the cards and send them with a little note (Emily's gets 'sent' to the kitchen counter for her to find in the morning...Jessica's to her PO Box on campus for her to discover on her way to or from the Dex {cafeteria}).  It's also fun to hear occasionally that the verse was just what they needed...something to give them hope and/or encouragement.

I have been much more faithful with this old-school version of A Verse To Chew On over the past couple of years than I have been with my blog version devotional.  I am hoping to be just as consistent here now as I have with my girls.  In order to kick start this weekly post I have combined the two.  Our verse here is the same one written on my girls 3x5 cards this week.

"Nothing, you see, is impossible with God!"
Luke 1:37 The Message

Short and to the point this week...and from the Christmas Story - very appropriate don't you think?

As you chew on this verse take the time to look at the thing in your life that seems impossible.

* For Mary the impossible thing was how she, an unmarried virgin, could be the mother of the "Son of the Most High".

* For the college girls I know maybe the impossible is surviving finals this joke!

* For some of us it may be trying to find Joy this Holiday Season in the midst of a family fractured by sickness, divorce or even death.

*Maybe it's not quite that tragic for others of us, but just as impossible as we try to figure out our financial situation or balance our busy schedules to meet the needs of those counting on us.

Whatever your impossible thing might be take courage like Mary did from the truth of the fact that God is bigger than our thing. The Angel Gabriel told Mary...and I believe is speaking directly to us as well...that 'no-thing' or nothing is impossible with God. Take a minute now to let Him know what your impossible situation is...and thank Him, by faith, reminding yourself of His great Faithfulness and Love for you.  Your situation may not miraculously change....or it may...but surely your view of your impossible thing will change when viewed through the reality of the Hope we have in the Greatness of our God.

Serving Him and you,

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Well Hello there...

Gosh, it's been a long time since a post!  And I'm sorry about that.  I really do enjoy blogging but sometimes life gets in the way.

I have 'thought' many posts during my absence...some have been stellar (when you make them up in your head you can think that without being challenged by reality...haha)...others haven't been 'worth the paper they were written on' (sad but true).

Anyway, after a six month hiatus, I thought I'd give it a try again...not guaranteeing anything stellar...hoping for nothing lame...appreciating the fact that you are giving of your time to read this.

For the first attempt I thought I would start with a couple of my favorite things...Quotes and Aprons.  And it just so happens that I have one that goes with the other.

"Life Get's Messy, So Wear Your Apron"

It is a true statement...and a great excuse to buy an apron if you don't have one (shudder the thought)!

I don't know about you, but things do get messy when I cook.  I am a 'clean as you go' kind of girl - putting utensils and bowls and such in the sink as soon as I'm done with them, and spices and ingredients back in place...but splatters happen and I tend to wipe my hands down the front of me when aprons are my friends.

Look at this vintage pattern for aprons...and check out the price!

How about this one? cute...and a dime cheaper!

Life doesn't just get messy for me in my kitchen...unfortunately.  Life in a fallen world provides it's own forms of splatters and often leaves me wiping my too?  Some times the messes are of my own making...sometimes they are a result of other 'cooks' in my kitchen.  Messes can happen accidentally or seemingly 'on purpose'.  What ever the nature and whom-ever the culprit, I often find myself in need of a Life Apron.

Hmm...what would a Life Apron look like?  Certainly not as cute as these retro would have to be sensible and practical...big-BIG-think full coverage...stain resistant...protective...and while we are at it how about flame retardant (you just never know what some days might serve up).

Wouldn't it be nice girls if we could simply pop something like this creation of my imagination on when the heat in the test kitchen of life gets too hot?

Well we kind of can.  Did you know that aprons are a Biblical thing?  They absolutely are...especially if you go old school and read the King James will actually find the word 'apron' in there on a couple of occasions.

The fist apron sighting in Scripture is found in the first book of the Bible.  When Adam and Eve realized that they were naked, (no time and space to go into this now, but this has more spiritual than physical meaning), they attempted to fix the result of their own messy choice by making for them selves 'aprons of fig leaves'.  These didn't help much...and they didn't fool God...but in His Grace and Mercy He offered up the first sacrifice to cloth them with animal skins.

This was a foreshadowing of the Ultimate Sacrifice to come.  From before time the Father had Jesus in mind for us.  When we embrace all that Jesus did for us not only do we have a 'fire retardant' apron of sorts, but the ability to clothe ourselves in Christ as the New Testament speaks of, which protects us from the messiness of life.

Oh, the messes still come in life...just like they do in my kitchen...but this Divine Apron (I mean no disrespect I am simply trying to illustrate) protects us from the devastation that can accompany the mess.  Jesus wraps us in His Love, Faithfulness, Peace and even provides us with Joy and Hope...all we have to do is focus our attention on HIM.

I have been through seasons of major messy in the test kitchen of my life and I have found the truths of Jesus and His Love to be fleshed out in my life.  If the Bible can be equated to a recipe book for this illustration, then the Faithfulness of Jesus comes out perfect every time.

Thanks for spending this little time with me!

Serving Him and you,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Food 4 Thot

Sheesh, where has time gone this week!?!  I was going to be so much more deliberate in blogging this week but ended up just 'thinking' posts while waiting in the pick-up line at my daughter's school or trying to navigate through grocery isles.

I do have a couple of little things for us all to think about, in the area of better body management (which is what Food 4 Thot is all about), as we head into this weekend.

The 1st is a Chinese Proverb...not sure where I picked it up as it was written on a random piece of paper which I recently discovered in a pile on my desk (remember I am a hoarder of random quotes, scriptures and other thought provokers).  Here it is...

A Stomach 8/10ths Full Needs No Doctor

Brilliant - don't you think!?!  Really, if I would eat only when I am truly, physically hungry and then only until I am politely satisfied my health and body size would be greatly improved!!

Here is the 2nd...

What a great reminder of the importance of getting in those 8 - 10 glasses of water every day!

So, as we head into a weekend that I know will be busy and I hope will be sunny I am going to do my best to remember this Water Chart and the Chinese Proverb...I hope they give you something to think about as well!

Serving Him and you,

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

Good Monday morning to you!

Today I will keep our Verse to Chew On post short and sweet. :)

No eye has seen,
No ear has heard, and
No mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love Him.
I Corinthians 2:9 NLT

The passage of scripture that contains this verse is subtitled, in my ESV Bible, as Wisdom from the Spirit.

The wisdom spoken of here is an understanding of the significance of Christ's death...the message of the cross.  Who can really make sense of Jesus' substitution apart from the revelation of the Holy Spirit?!

The message of the cross goes beyond a change of ultimate destination for us and includes the work of salvation in the here and now as well!

If you are a Jesus follower the message goes like this...God created me...He paid the price for my sins through Jesus...I will live with Him addition - He has plans and purposes for me now that I can't see, hear or imagine!

Seeing, Hearing and Imagining are senses associated with our physical bodies and minds...these two facets of our being are completely limited by our human-ness.

This verse says that this God prepared stuff is for those who love Him.  Love is an action word!  It consists of, but is not limited to, seeking God through prayer and the Word, obeying Him and desiring to please Him about all else!

When we take action like God in these ways...our spirit man which was recreated when we accepted Christ as Savior - sealed with and filled by the Holy Spirit, will receive wisdom that will guide us, lead us, mold us, reveal to us, empower us, provide for us to live out what God has prepared and provided for us through salvation this side of heaven!

That is something that I don't want to miss!  Often times my mind and my body are much more engaged than my spirit...and I believe this limits my ability to really hear from God and experience all that He has prepared for me.  I don't want to live with the regret of missing all that Jesus has afforded me.

So for a while I am 'fasting' some things that my body demands at times and some things that often occupy my soul (mind) in order to create more time and space for the Lord to speak to me and a deeper-sharper sense of my spirit who is in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so that I can hear from and be led by HIM!

As you chew on this verse during the week won't you ask the Lord 1) to reveal to you what He has prepared for you...2) if there is any 'fasting' that you need to do to be more sensitive to the voice of His Spirit?

Serving Him and you,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things!

Coming home after 5 days on the road with 2 bus loads of teenagers on Choir Tour I realized that there were a few creature comforts I missed while having the time of my life...

My electric toothbrush...

Coffee out of a real cup...

My favorite magazine...

Being able to grab a glass of water whenever I want one...

Being able to very own facilities (I really don't like public restrooms & I made a promise to myself not to use the little room at the back of the bus - and I kept it)...

My own bed...This is not my bed (can't imagine my husband sleeping here) but isn't it cute!?!

Time and space to be quite before the Lord!...doesn't this look like the perfect spot?

Of course I missed my husband and oldest daughter like crazy!!! 

And my walking partner, Miss Charity Goodheart...look at that face! (Yes this is my dog...and messy house in the background)

But I was surprised at how I missed a few things that I mostly take for granted

How about you...

What are some of your favorite comforts that you miss when away from home?

Serving Him and you,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Leaving On a Tour Bus...

Unlike the popular song of 1966 I am not "leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again"...

Nope...I'm leaving on a tour bus and I will be back late Sunday evening...

I get to go on the Rocky Mountain High School Varsity Choir Tour with my 16 year old daughter through Oregon and Washington!! :)

Random Thought:  Leaving on a Jet Plane was written by John Denver...who also wrote Rocky Mountain High (I hear this song in my head whenever I hear the name of my daughter's high school)...anybody old enough to remember John Denver?  I was just a baby when the Jet Plane song came out but I was a pre-teen when the anthem about Colorado was popular and my best friend from elementary school thought he was IT!  In fact I think this was the picture that she had on her closet door...I know, I know...but it was the '70's girls...look, he even signed it 'Peace, John Denver'...Enough of that...back to the story...

This is the first choir tour I will chaperon for Emily, (I was able to join my older daughter Jessica on two of the three trips she took), and I am looking forward to making some great memories with her and her choir co-horts.

Since I will be knee deep in high schooler's and maybe some rain puddles in Seattle, I will be taking a break from the blog until sometime next week...

I know that I'm being a bit vague about my return here...I'm thinking I might come home with a 'hang-over' of many teenagers - so little sleep...but I will have some fun things up my sleeve when I return.

Like a guest post (including a much coveted recipe) from a dear friend and maybe even a give-away.

Looking forward to connecting again soon...

Serving Him and you...[and 2 bus loads of teenagers for the next several days :) ]

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

I don't know about you, but I need some encouragement on Monday mornings from the Word!  Monday is laundry day at my house and the beginning of what often proves to be a busy and challenging week.  Thank goodness that even a little Word goes a long way in improving things!

Here is today's Verse to Chew On...

Wise words bring many benefits and hard work brings rewards!
Proverbs 12:14

Thanks Lord, I needed that!

I love that encouragement that comes from the reminder that if I chose my words carefully, whether in communication with my loved ones or in business types of conversations, there will be benefits!

And if I keep up with the hard work (domestic drudgery, exercise, studying, consistency in seeking Him) I will see rewards.

I just realized that applying this biblical reminder to my life is like applying the iron to my takes care of the wrinkles in life  and I end up looking better :)

Not just physically better...but I will reflect Jesus more when my words are chose carefully and I am diligent in whatever 'task' I take on.

I want benefits and rewards like this...but I know me!  There are times when left to myself my tongue can get the better of me...and other times when complacency and lack of motivation can creep in. 

In order for me to display these wise words and hard work on a continuous basis I need HELP.  Thank GOD that He has provided the HELPER for us!

As we chew on the promise of this verse throughout our week, lets ask the Lord to fill us with the Power and Presence of His HOLY SPIRIT to iron out the wrinkles of our character and fill us to be more like Jesus!

Serving Him and you,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Food 4 Thot

I just have to share something with you...I'm nice like that ;)...that I read in the book I Dare You to Change! by Bil Cornelius (Pastor of Bay Area Fellowship).

Here it is...

This reminds me of a story about a forty-year-old woman who gets hit by a bus, is rushed to the hospital, and dies on the operating table.  She meets God and He tells her, "Don't worry, your not going to die right now.  I still have a purpose for you, and I'm going to give you forty more years".  The next thing you know, she wakes up in the recovery room, thrilled to be alive.  Later she thinks, "If I have forty more years, I want to make sure I look GREAT."  So after she's healed from the bus accident, she immediately talks to a plastic surgeon and signs up for all kinds of work - a nip her, a tuck there.  Soon, she's reworked from head to toe.  After the surgery, she continues her makeover with a dark tan, a new hairstyle, and a whole new wardrobe.  Her makeover complete, she's walking across the street and-bam!-she gets hit by a bus again, but this time she really dies.  Now she's standing before God, angry, and she says, "God, what happened?  You told me I had forty more years!"  And God looks at her and says, "I'm sorry...I didn't recognize you."

This story cracks me up...and sobers me at the same time!

Isn't it human nature to want to look our best...and at times take drastic measures to meet the 'standards'? 

In relation to body image and weight issues sometimes it's so much hard as it can exercise and restrict our diets than it is to do difficult, and yet lasting, internal work!

Bil Cornelius goes on to say in his book, "Real change is an inside job.  It starts with our attitude, our efforts, and our energy.  It takes intention and action on a daily basis"

So here is today's Food 4 Thot - In order to be a better steward of this body that God has given you what change needs to take place on the inside?

*Do you need to see your value beyond your external appearance?...God sees it!
*Do you need to develop self-control? is a fruit of the Spirit!
*Do you need to get past a fear of failure (or success)?...God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind!

Ask the Lord to reveal to you if there is internal work to be done in order to reap the benefits of physical health and well being.  Then ask Him to empower you with His Spirit to do the work and gain the tools necessary for real change to take place.

Serving Him and you,

Word Nerd

Hello, my name is Michelle and I am a Word Nerd. 

This is a condition that goes way back...way, way back...when I was a child I thought it was great fun to read the vocabulary lists in my parents Reader's Digest Magazines...I also really enjoyed libraries and bookstores (and I still do)...makes my childhood sound soooo boring!

I find on road trips that I love to read billboards (unless I'm driving through Las Vegas - just saying) and am fascinated by the names of cities we pass.

Around town I like to like to read the signage for little independent restaurants and stores...but I love, LOVE the reader boards for businesses and especially churches!

I thought about doing a post of church reader boards from my city, but never seem to remember my camera when I'm out...and my 'dumb' phone doesn't take good enough photos.

So on a bad weather day several weeks ago I took a trip around the Internet and this is what I came up with...

Really funny given it's said by Grace Baptist Church


Bahaha!  Someone needs to proof these before they are 'published' :)

It's true...not necessarily Biblical...but true and funny!

Don't ever say a good Presbyterian doesn't have a sense of humor!

Clever! :)

These are just a many good signs - so little time...I hope that these bring a smile to your face today! :)

Serving Him and you,

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

I hope that this Monday morning finds you on an Easter high...not from a sugar overdose on jelly-beans and chocolate bunnies...but from the Hope and Joy and Peace that comes from a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Our physical tummies may being feeling the effects of the feasting that accompanied "I'm still full!"..."what were you thinking?!?"...."I may need a detox!"...

But our spiritual tummies can never have too much...we can feast and feast on the Word of God and not have to worry about any negative side effects!  In fact the more we 'eat' the more strong and fit we become...gotta love that !

So here is this week's Verse to Chew On...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

As you chew on this verse...

*Remember God gives hope even in the most hopeless of situations...
*We can be filled with joy and peace when we chose to trust in Him...
*We can actually overflow with hope (that means enough for us and an abundance to bless others) by the power of His Spirit!

Take the time to overlay this verse on your there a specific circumstance that comes to mind that you need the hope, joy and peace that only God can give?  Pray this verse over that situation declaring your trust in the Lord despite how things may look and feel...ask God to fill you with the power of His Holy Spirit...praise Him for the fact that the same Resurrection Power that raised Christ from the dead is still real, alive and active and can bring resurrection to even the most hopeless of situations in your life!

Serving Him and you,

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

Yesterday was Palm Sunday...which marks, for me, one of the most significant weeks in the calendar year.  This week is a time that I, as a Jesus girl, can take time to think about...really think about...all that the Lord went through, over 2000 years ago, on my account.

Sure, what Jesus endured on the Cross...and all that went with that (beatings, public humiliation)...was for everyone on the face of this planet...past, present and future...but it was for me...because of me.

I think it's important to take time this week and remember...prayerfully...praise-fully...all that the Lord suffered for MY sins.  It's so easy, in my human nature, to fast forward from Palm Sunday to the joy of Easter Morning...the celebration of the Resurrection and all the blessings afforded to me because of that.  But to truly appreciate the Victory I think contemplation of the Agony is required.

This week I will be making time and space to do just that.  Part of that process will be meditating on this Verse to Chew On...

For God made Christ, Who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT

As I chew on this I will replace "our" & "we" with "my" & "I"'s so much more personal that way, don't you think?

I will also take the time to reflect on how the truth of this makes me feel...contemplate how it should affect the way that I act.

I will ask the Lord to show me if there is any sin of mine that He died for that I am still holding onto...nursing...toying with.  And if there is something revealed to me (I'm almost postive, sadly, that there will be something), I will purpose to lay it at the foot of the Cross.

I will spend time thanking God for loving me so much, even in my flawed and sinful state, to offer up His very best...His VERY OWN...on my behalf.  I will take time to tell Jesus 'Thank You' for caring enough to withstand every lash of the whip...every mocking word...every rejection and betrayal...every nail...the crown of thorns...the pierced side...for me.  And I believe I will weep tears of sorrow, thanksgiving and  ultimately joy.

Will you join me?

Serving Him and you,

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

On this rainy morning in the cozy home is is good...having my younger daughter at home on spring break is good...and the Word of God is good!

In whatever way this morning greets you, here is A Verse to Chew On...

Ah Lord GOD! It is You who have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for You.
Jeremiah 32:17

*How does this reminder of God's awesome power affect you?

*What do you have in your life that is too hard for you but not too hard for God?

*Are you trusting Him with that?

*Is it easier for you to trust Him with the 'big' things in life or with the 'small' everyday challenges?

Chew on this verse and let it feed the area of your heart and mind that may be troubled with something 'too hard'...then spend time building your faith up to trust the Lord with it by praising and thanking Him that there is nothing 'too hard' for Him!

What relief, joy, hope and peace is brought by reminding ourselves that indeed nothing is too hard for GOD.

Serving Him and you,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Life is Beautifully Messy - Part 2

Hey there! So last week I posted Life is Beautifully Messy - Part 1...scroll down to the March 14th entry if you haven't read it...where I talked about the Beautiful part...

Today comes the Messy...I know that doesn't sound as fun as what we talked about last week, but just hang in there with me, please! :)

Speaking of hanging...that's were the inspiration for this part of the message came from...last week's post came from a clothing tag that had made camp on my desk...this one comes from a sign that hangs next to my desk.

It's a cute little metal sign (if I had a decent camera I'd take a picture and post it) in the shape of an apron with little flowers and pockets...pockets which state...

Life is Messy ~ Wear Your Apron

To this I say, " true...and - have you been watching me in my kitchen :/ ?"  I really don't get some of those gals on the Cooking Channel - slicing and dicing, whipping and blending - all while beautifully dressed (in outfits that probably have a 'dry clean only' tag inside) and no apron in sight.  They seem to come out splatter free...but for me, apron-free cooking is just nonsense...I become fully engaged in the activity...and drips and splatters often occur.

This should probably be on my kitchen wall!

But really, I need my aprons...I love my aprons...who doesn't love a cute apron?  Not only are they practical and adorable but they are Biblical too!!

These aren't mine (I require full coverage) but aren't they cute?!

They are biblical not only in the sense that Aprons are like Love in that they both cover a multitude of sin ;) (1 Peter 4:8) but the Bible refers to aprons directly and metaphorically in more than one instance.

But before I go into any Biblical reference to aprons let's just take a look at the Life is Messy part of my cute little sign.  The fact of the matter is that this is a true statement...even outside of my kitchen! 

Life is Messy due to a bad decision made at the very beginning of time.  Because of that we live in a fallen world where bad decisions continue to be made by ourselves and others...where disasters of the natural and man-made sort catch us off guard on a regular basis...where sin and selfishness abound...where feelings are hurt, promises are broken, jobs are lost, health is challenged, and sanity, at times, is held onto by our fingernails.

Gosh, that last paragraph is a bit depressing, isn't it?  Oh, Lord, do we need an Apron for the Messiness of Life!  Thankfully He has one for us! 

The apron supplied to us by God, to protect us from the messiness of life, is listed in it's bits and pieces, along with a few other helpful tools, in Ephesians 6:10-18.  Oh I know, most people refer to this as the Armor of God, but armor and aprons do have a couple of things in common!

Armor and Aprons both cover and protect!  In fact I have done teachings on the Armor of God in the past using an apron, chef's hat, pot holder and knife for the visual aids.  Read the following portion of scripture and try to image what that might look like. :)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit,which is the Word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

Can you see yourself in your armor/apron get-up?  What stood out to you as you read through these verses?  For me, beyond the actual description and need for the armor, was the call to 'put on' and 'take up'...that requires intentional action on my part!

Life indeed is Messy...God in His grace has provided us with full defensive protection as well as a weapon of offense to protect ourselves from what will surely present itself time and time again in our lives - attacks of the enemy.

But if we don't take the time to acquaint ourselves with what is at our disposal...and make sure we apply it...God's Armor does us about as much good as my pretty aprons do when I just let them hang decoratively in my kitchen instead of tying one on.

Life is Beautifully Messy!  We have so many blessings and things to be thankful for because of all that Jesus has done for us...all that God has provided for us!  We also have to be aware and prepared for the challenges and pitfalls of life...won't you join me in being more deliberate to apply the armor that God has freely given us?

Serving Him and you,

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Verse to Chew On

This morning finds me a bit under the weather...and a bit behind on prep for my blog.  In God's good and gracious way He has provided us a Verse To Chew On in spite of my situation.  This verse came to my email in-box this morning as the header on a note from my dear friend Rebecca.

He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By His wounds we are healed.
1 Peter 2:24 NLT

Given the fact that we are in the weeks preceding Easter I thought this would be just perfect for us to chew on!

As you spend time with this verse substitute the plural pronouns with singular personal it aloud that way.  Does this verse have a more intimate and profound effect on you by making that simple little change?

Think about how this verse affects who you are today...and who you will be in the tomorrows to come as you apply the truth of it to your life.

Now take this verse and turn it into a prayer of thanksgiving...for what Jesus chose to do on your behalf...for the grace of the Father...for the difference this truth has on your life.

A short blog entry I know...but I really don't thing I need to add anything to the magnitude of this scripture.

Stop by later this week for Life is Beautifully Messy - Part 2.

Serving Him and you,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food 4 Thot

It's been quite a while since there has been an entry for our Food 4 Thot Friday's!  Sheesh, what is up with that!?!   Could have something to do with the busyness of life lately, lack of routine in some areas and trying to adapt to new routines in other areas...or maybe it's just that I haven't given much Thot to it. :)

I have had a couple of things bumping around in my heart and mind lately though.  Like how much Jesus and food go together...

Like the fact that His very first miracle was turning water into wine!(John 2:1-11)...I know that wine isn't exactly 'food' but they are close comes from grapes, ya know! ;)

Or how about when Jesus cared enough about the hunger of the crowds following Him that He multiplied the few fish and loaves at His disposal (Mark 6:30-42)...

Or how He is called the Bread of Life (John 6:35)...

And Jesus even cooked breakfast for His disciples after His resurrection (John 21:1-14)...of course it was fish over an open fire - but isn't that how most men cook?...either grilling or phoning for pizza - sorry, I digress...

But when you really think about it, or flip through the pages of the New Testament, you will see that Jesus and food really did go together in a plethora of ways!

One of those ways...which has bumped around in my heart and mind the most lately...and even made it on to the chalkboard in my kitchen is Jesus' statement in John 4:32...

My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.

Think about that for a minute or two...Who sent Jesus?...What was 'His work' that Jesus was to finish?...and how in the world could that be food for Him?

Jesus' work was to serve the Father...bringing others into relationship with God.  Shouldn't that be my food, and yours, too?  Of course our methods of bringing others into relationship with the Father are dramatically different from that of Jesus...whatever we do is because of Jesus!

But here is a thought...if I busied myself with the work of Jesus would I find fulfillment in it that would be better than anything food has to offer.  You know the old saying "Nothing tastes better than skinny feels" about "Nothing tastes better than serving God feels"...maybe that's what Jesus was talking about?

I wonder how that mindset and action might affect my waistline?  How has God called you to fulfill His will?  Do you lead a Bible study? a bunco night for your neighbors (to build relationship and give them a chance to see the Jesus in you)?...are you raising little ones to love Jesus?...are you taking time to listen to the heart of the gal in the cubicle - dorm room - grocery line next to you?

Each of us are different and God uses each of us's our job to make sure that we are being used... to make it our food to introduce others to the Bread of Life!  Something tells me that the benefits are savory and sweet!  There's a little Food 4 Thot. :)

Don't miss Monday's Verse To Chew On and Part 2 of Life is Beautifully Messy mid-week!

Serving Him and you,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Life is Beautifully Messy! Part 1 of 2

I have had a tag, which came off of an article of clothing (probably from one of my girlies), that's been sitting on my desk for weeks...maybe months as I am a terrible tracker of time these days!  It's been there for so long that I forgot why I was saving it! =/  I prefer a clutter-free environment, but have accumulated a few piles in the office during this season of life that I know (must) have purpose.  This little piece of card stock, however, had no apparent need to be taking up space and was about to find a new home in the little wire can beside my desk...I am no collector of tiny scraps!...unless of course these tiny scraps have words on them...and they usually I am in the habit of writing scriptures or creative ideas on whatever may be handy in the moment of my Divine Inspiration! :)

This fact about my self fluttered through my mind, as the tiny card stock scrap almost fluttered down into trash, so I stopped myself to look for the tell tale signs of my chicken scratch on the back of the tag...expecting some previously ordained word of wisdom or spark of a vision.  I was met instead with a clearance tag...indicating that I had scored a deal...a huge deal...this was not a random tag from one of my teenagers this was a trophy of sorts...attesting to my incredibly frugal shopping prowess! 

This, my dear friends, was tangible evidence that I had spent my birthday money well, (birthday money that I received and spent last October...which means that this little scrap has been on my desk for months...but why clutter a perfectly good story with the reality of my housecleaning hiatus in this room),  scoring a $30 top for a mere $9.

This information was thrilling and yet disturbing at the same time.  Have I, during the course of challenging situations over the past couple of years, developed a need to leave reminders to myself of mini-victories like pat myself on the say that I have skills that go beyond the mundane &/or medical caregiver responsibilities that I vacillate between??? Scary!

As I contemplated the pros & cons of delving into self-psychoanalysis (a scary thought...'going where no man has dared to go before') I realized that there was a little flap on this clothing tag...a flap when lifted, revealed something of purpose!  No, I am not a collector of useless pieces of paper...No, I am not a needy housewife storing up proof of shopping brilliance to make me feel better about my self (phew!).  I am...wait for it...a collector of words!

The words this little flap of card stock revealed were, "Life is Beautiful ~ Dress Accordingly"

Love it!  What a great reminder of Truth...truth that is not dependant on the current weather condition, financial situation, health circumstance or relationship factor.  Regardless of what life may look like or feel like, life indeed is beautiful!

Life is a Beautiful gift from God.  He has given us life....saved us through the gift of His Son...comforts us with His Spirit...provides wisdom when we ask....promised to never leave us or forsake us...blesses us with His Amazing Grace...hears us when we cry....and gives us the peace that passes all understanding!

So, I ask, if body size or budget were not an issue how would you dress for this Life is Beautiful mentality?...

Would it be something fancy & floral like this?

Or something short & sassy like this?

Or would you concentrate more on the footwear?
Where jeans are my fickle friends, shoes on the other hand never let me down! :)

Or maybe what we should clothe ourselves in is something not found in our favorite department store or boutique.

Maybe, just maybe the most appropriate way to dress in response to this Beautiful Life the Lord has provided us with has nothing to do with current fashion or our jean size...

Maybe what we should 'put on' to reflect this Beautiful Life is found in Isaiah 61:3...a garment of praise!

Despite the circumstance or situation we may find our self in Life is indeed still Beautiful!...because of the Lord's great love for us...because of His forgiveness and faithfulness...because He remains on the Throne and holds our life in the palm of His mighty hand!

So won't you join me in getting all gussied up in that Garment of Praise and maybe even accessorizing it with a 'thank You Jesus' and giving the Lord the Praise that He is due?  If we choose this attire I guarantee we will be the best dressed women in town!

Join me Friday for Food 4 Thot...and next week for Part 2 of Life is Beautifully Messy.

Serving Him and you,