Monday, December 31, 2012

Facing the New Year



"New Year~

1.  Face the New Year with the Old Book.

2.  Face the New Needs with the Old Promises.

3.  Face the New Problems with the Old Gospel.

4.  Face the New Life with the Old Remedies."

~As quoted in Leaves of Gold

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Greatest


JOHN 3:16

1. God~the greatest lover.
2. So loved~the greatest degree.
3. The world~the greatest company.
4. That He gave~the greatest act.
5. His only begotten Son~the greatest gift.
6. That whosoever~the greatest opportunity.
7. Believeth~the greatest simplicity.
8. In Him~the greatest attraction.
9. Should not perish~the greatest promise.
10. But~the greatest difference.
11. Have~the greatest certainty.
12. Eternal life~the greatest possession.

~Davies, as quoted in Leaves of Gold

Friday, December 7, 2012

Declaration of a Teacher

*Perfect for a school teacher, home school mom, Sunday school teacher or parent!



I AM A TEACHER

"I've come to the frightening
conclusion that I am the decisive
element in the classroom. It's my
personal approach that creates the
climate. It's my daily mood that
makes the weather. As a teacher, I
possess a tremendous power to 
make a child's life miserable or
joyous. I can be a tool of torture or
an instrument of inspiration. I can
humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In
all situations, it is MY response that
decides whether a crisis will be 
escalated or de-escalated and a
child humanized or de-humanized."

~Dr. Haim Ginnot

Friday, November 30, 2012

Quote from Corrie Ten Boom

 




"Either God's Word keeps you from sin, or sin keeps you from God's Word."  

            ~Corrie Ten Boom

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Must Have Book for Pastor's Wives

This month my family and I traveled to California to go our annual Harvester's Homecoming at our mother church. It's a time when all the pastors and their families that have been sent out to pioneer a church return home for a time of preaching and refreshing. Recently, I've been reflecting on my role as a pastor's wife, and I'm so thankful for a book I came across that really encouraged me....I wish I would have found it sooner!
Jeana Floyd's, 10 Things Every Minister's Wife Needs to Know, is a well written book full of wisdom. Jeana wrote this book after serving in the ministry with her husband for 30 years. Being a pastor's wife is not an easy role to fill. But after reading the first chapter, I was immediately drawn to spend time with God. That one thing is the most important thing I can do as a pastor's wife. Reading Jeana Floyd's book brought a confidence in my life as I sought to fulfill my role as a pastor's wife.


A Few Quotes from the book:

* "Survival in ministry to me is knowing that I have a personal relationship with Christ, who knows every detail of my life, and gives me the awesome privilege of coming before Him - in the "secret place."

* "I heard it said one time that your husband's appearance is a reflection of you, and your countenance is a reflection of your marriage."

* "Taking the time to be a few minutes early and speak to people, or visiting with church members after service doesn't sound like anything particularly spiritual or clever. However, it shows that you care about your people, that you are interested in their lives, and that you actually like them!"

* "Being raised in a pastor's home, I was taught that you cannot have friends in the ministry. Because ministry life and the expectations that go along with it have changed so drastically, I personally believe it is possible to have relationships and friendships in ministry. In fact, I will go a step further and say that you must have friends and relationships in ministry."

* "If we are 'spent' from constantly pouring into the lives of others, we will not be effective in ministering to those God particularly wants us to reach. Remember, even Jesus drew aside from the crowds to refresh Himself." 

 Here are some things that I wrote down in my journal that spoke to me from the book:
  • My presence at church and events tells people that I care about them and that this is important to me
  • Let the men be men
  • Love the people, let my husband be the pastor
  • Your children will really know if you love the church by the things you say at home; they will know how you value each church member in what you say about them outside of church
  • Share positives of dad being a pastor with my kids
  • Count on criticism
  • Always listen and learn from critics and allow it to draw me close to God
  • Let the Lord fight my battles
  • Deal with hurt inwardly (with God), not outwardly
  • All relationships must have boundaries...relationships also make ministry fun
  • Don't let the disappointment of a very few keep you from enjoying the love of many others
  • When I love others, they will love me back
  • Mentor--be what God has called me to be in front of other women 
My Application: After reading this book, my perspective changed in how I look at my role as a pastor's wife. I realized how significant my attendance at church services and church functions simply was. I've always gone to all the church services ever since I've been a Christian. But, long ago I was a girl who arrived right on time to church and left the second the closing prayer was made. Even when I got married I wanted to leave right after service. But, I've changed. I take joy in looking for those I can talk to and connect with at church. I linger after service...sometimes my husband (the pastor) heads out the door before I do! People are important and my heart is to do my best to convey it.


 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Quote from Merlin Carothers


"We make our understanding-or lack of it-into a wall between us and God as long as we insist on figuring out and approving His plan before we dare trust ourselves to Him."

~Merlin Carothers

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quote from Sally Clarkson

 "My attitude is ultimately what makes our house a peaceful haven. And because I can only accomplish this by leaning on the Lord, it is my relationship with him that ultimately will provide a nurturing environment for the people I love."

~Sally Clarkson


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: 5 Puzzling Questions to Consider


 *Why is it so difficult to realize that others are more likely to  listen to us if first we listen to them?

* Why is it so much easier to be negative than positive?

* Why is it so difficult to motivate ourselves when we know that results come only through motivation?

* Why is it so difficult to say thank you to someone when those are two of our own favorite words to hear?

* Why do we dread adversity when we know that facing it is the only way to become stronger, smarter, better?

~taken from Wooden by Coach John Wooden with Steve Jamison

Monday, October 29, 2012

As I Grow


As I Grow

Please...

Understand that I am 
growing up and changing
very fast. It must be difficult to keep pace with
me, but please try.

Listen to me and give me 
brief, clear answers to my
questions. Then I will keep 
sharing my thoughts and
feelings.

Reward me for telling the
truth. Then I am not 
frightened into lying.

Tell me when you make
mistakes and what you
learned from them. Then I
can accept that I am OK,
even when I blunder.

Pay attention to me, and
spend time with me. Then I
can believe that I am
important and worthwhile.

Do the things you want
me to do. Then I have a 
good, positive model.

Trust and respect me.
Even though I am smaller
than you, I have feelings
and needs just like you.

Compliment and
appreciate me. Then I'll 
feel good, and I'll want to
continue to please you.

Help me explore my
unique interests, talents 
and potential. In order for
me to be happy, I need to be
me, and not you or someone
you want me to be.

Be an individual and
create your own happiness.
Then you can teach me the 
same, and I can live a 
happy, successful and
fulfilling life.

~Helene Rothschild


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quote on True Friendship


"True friendship is a sacred, important thing, and it happens when we drop down into that deeper level of who were are, when we cross over into the broken...fragile parts of ourselves. We have to give something in order to get friendship like that. We have to give up our need to be perceived as perfect. We have to give up our ability to control what other people thing of us. We have to overcome the fear that when they see the depths of who we are, they'll leave. But what we give up is nothing in comparison to what this kind of friendship gives us. Friendship is about risk. Love is about risk. If we can control it and manage it and manufacture it, then it's something else. But if it's really love, really friendship, it is a little scary around the edges."

~As quoted in Friendships for Grown-Ups, pg.142

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Homemaking


"A Calling to Be Queen 
(...of the Home)

1. Homemaking is a priority-I love Titus 2:3-5 because it so clearly spells out God's will for my life (and yours, too!) as a Christian woman.

2. Homemaking is a privilege-Being a queen is a privilege...just as "making" and "building" a home is a privilege.

3. Homemaking is about people-Home is a place where people live.

4. Homemaking is also about a place-A model home has no people. That's true. But it's also true that if there are people living in your house, then you should make that place a lovely home, a place for your loved ones.

5. Homemaking is a passion-not a prison.

6. Homemaking is a profession-As we all know, homemaking is a challenging and diverse career in itself.

7. Homemaking is a matter for prayer-The simple act of praying for our "palace" and our homemaking and for the loved ones for whom we are "making" the home transforms our physical efforts into a great spiritual work with eternal value.

8. Homemaking is permanent-Our high calling to homemaking is not only an important calling, but it is a permanent calling. Why? Because wherever you are, that's where your home is.

9. Homemaking sets a pattern-Titus 2:3-5 tells us what the older women are to do-they are to teach "good things" and train and model for others what a godly woman is and what a godly woman does.

10. Homemaking is a practice-and is to be practiced. An excellent (and encouraging!) time-management principle is "repetition is the mother of skill."

~taken from A Woman's High Calling by Elizabeth George

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Kids and Their Stuff

"Life Skills Checklist

*Do my children have too much clothing or too many toys or too many saved papers?

*Is the closet arranged so my child can hang up her own clothing? Are my child's drawers organized and not too crammed? If my child needs it, have I placed picture labels on the appropriate drawers? Do my children each have their own laundry basket?

*Do I have an organized place for out-of-season clothing, and do I regularly go through this storage area to keep it weeded out?

* Do we have a system for rotating toys so the children don't have too much out at one time? Do we periodically give away toys to someone who can use them? Do my children have a place for books and papers?

*Have we thought of a creative way to deal with items left lying around the house, like a confiscation box? 

*Does my older child understand why it is important to be organized? Has he spent time thinking about the best ways to organize his room and belongings? Do I regularly declutter with my child, helping him to sort and prioritize his possessions?"

~taken from Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Fields, pg. 149

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quote from Elisabeth Elliot


"A wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to eighty percent of her expectations. There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much. She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy."

~Elisabeth Elliot, as quoted in Feminine Appeal

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quote from Martin Luther

 "I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."

~Martin Luther

Monday, September 10, 2012

ABC's for Christians


"Alphabetical Guide for Christians...

  A-ttend church faithfully.
  B-e careful in all things.
  C-onsider well; then decide positively.
  D-o right; fear to do wrong.
  E-ndure hardships with calmness.
  F-orsake not your family.
  G-o no place that will ruin character.
  H-ate no one. Do good to everyone.
  I-gnore no one; practice hospitality.
  J-oin hands with the righteous.
  K-eep your mind pure.
  L-ie not for any consideration.
  M-inister unto the needy.
  O-ppose things that are evil.
  P-ay your debts promptly.
  Q-uestion not the honesty of a friend.
  S-acrifice money rather than principle.
  T-hink before you speak.
  U-se your time wisely.
  W-atch your temper.
  X-ray your thoughts before speaking.
  Y-ield not to discouragements.
  Z-ealousy labor for the right, and spiritual success is certain."

~Joe Maynard

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Bring Out the Best in People


"Six Ways to Bring Out the Best in People

1.  Keep courtesy and consideration for others foremost in your mind, at home and away.

2.  Try to have fun without trying to be funny.

3.  While you can't control what happens to you, you can control how you react. Make good manners an automatic reaction.

4.  Seek individual opportunities to offer a genuine compliment.

5.  Remember that sincerity, optimism, and enthusiasm are more welcome than sarcasm, pessimism, and laziness.

6.  Laugh with others, never at them."

~taken from Wooden by John Wooden with Steve Jamison

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: 7 rules to a good, clean fight


"1. Before we begin we must both agree that the time is right.

 2. We will remember that our only battle aim is a deeper understanding of each other.

 3. We will check our weapons often to be sure they're not deadly.

 4. We will lower our voices instead of raising them.

 5. We will never quarrel in public nor reveal private matters.

 6. We will discuss an armistice whenever either of us calls "halt."

 7. When we have come to terms we will put it away until we both agree it needs more discussing."

~Taken from Letters to Karen by Charlie W. Shedd

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson


"If we encounter a man of rare intellect we should ask him what books he reads."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Journaling

I read this article in "The Old Schoolhouse-The Magazine for Homeschool Families"and loved it. I want to share it with you because I believe that journaling is so important and it gave me some new ideas you might find helpful.

"Journaling: The Power of Personal Stories
Notebook Keeping By Laura Malone

Imagine holding in your hands writings from your grandmother’s journal that chronicle the mountain tops and valleys of her life and how God orchestrated His will through it all. Or imagine reading stories of your mom as a child or tips on how your great-grandmother kept the house tidy when all her children were under the age of 5. Wouldn’t that be a delight? Have you ever thought of the possibility of journaling—not only to develop clarity in your spiritual walk but also as a tool in the molding and training up of your children and even future generations? As a legacy-minded mom you can set realistic goals for when and how you will journal, and your written treasures will be cherished for many years to come.
Several years ago, just the thought of journaling brought on anxiety and frustration for me, because it was always something I wanted to do but felt defeated by. Then one day, while reading the Bible, I began to see the power of personal stories and beautiful examples of people passing them down to future generations, and I realized I could be doing this too. For instance, in Joshua 4:1–9, an account of the time when the whole nation of Israel had finished crossing the Jordan River, the Lord told Joshua to have men collect twelve stones from the river bed where the priests were standing and then place them at their campsite. The stones would serve as a sign for future generations, and when the children asked what the purpose of the stones was, they would be told how the Lord had helped their parents cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land.
The concept of journaling . . . comes from our Creator.
Pc0920100
I also began to understand that the concept of journaling was not a modern idea but one that comes from our Creator. One of the most precious gifts our God has given us is a perfect collection of personal stories that paints pictures of God’s hand working through individuals’ lives. We know this God-inspired collection as the Bible. It has effectively taught and encouraged many generations of Christians, as well as strengthened our faith and given us hope when we have felt alone.

From this perspective, journaling became a natural priority for what I wanted to do in each of my children’s lives, and I decided I would make this work for me—somehow. As the years go by, I’ve become more creative with my journaling ideas and no longer journal solely about my spiritual walk but also include other things I believe will benefit future generations, even things to make them laugh.

Misconceptions about journaling can cripple your motivation and productivity, so I want to share with you the style of journaling that has worked with my busy schedule. First, I create a file for each journal and save it to my desktop, where it’s easily accessible. I keep my laptop on the counter in the kitchen, where I spend most of my time. When we’re in transition mode from breakfast to morning chores or right after I’ve put the baby down for a nap and before I move on to the next activity, I type up a quick paragraph, save it, and move on with my day.
If you prefer to use a paper journal, keep a pen clipped to it and place it in a location where you’re more likely to have your hands free (okay, one hand free), like near the kitchen table so you can write while you eat breakfast or lunch. Or consider leaving it on a TV tray next to the rocking chair so that you can jot something down while you nurse your little one.

Also, I decided that journaling could not be a daily or even a weekly, time-consuming activity and that I would write only when something particularly stood out in my mind. I put no expectations on myself other than to jot down a few sentences. This helps get me to the computer without procrastinating, and once I get started I typically write more than I thought I had time for.
I also keep a notepad beside the bed for the middle-of-the-night whispers from God and then type those notes into my journal the next day. And finally, I make it fun so that I’m more likely to do it. Occasionally, I’ll reward myself with my favorite cup of tea or a Snickers bar while I write. But I can sincerely say the best rewards are the teaching moments and the laughter that ensues as we read from these journals together.

To get you started, here are a few journaling ideas I’ve begun for my family:

Spiritual Heritage Journal 
This is a compilation of personal stories from family members such as your children’s grandparents, aunts and uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles, and even second cousins that documents ways that God has personally worked in their lives. Reading these stories as a teenager or young adult could strengthen your child’s courage and faith and equip him to face the spiritual battles to come. The finished product would make a forever-cherished graduation or wedding gift.

Teaching Journal 
I use this journal for the “Aha!” moments with God during my quiet times. These are special times when God clearly whispers into my heart about something I need to change or something new He has taught me through His Word, through other people, and sometimes through music or poetry. This journal could also be beneficial for your children to read and discuss during their high school years as they’re maturing in their faith and searching for tangible examples of God’s love.
The best rewards are the teaching moments and the laughter that ensues as we read from these journals together.

Parenting/Homemaking Tips Journal 
Let’s face it, not all of us are naturally inclined to having good homemaking skills or confidence in the decisions we sometimes make as parents. I’ve often dreamed of having notes from my mom or one of my grandmothers on how to do things efficiently and properly around the house or how to respond to a particular behavior problem with my children. After being a mom for seven years, I finally feel like I’m figuring some of this out.
So, to help guide my children a little, I decided to start jotting down parenting and homemaking tips that have worked for me. I have categories such as Health, School, Cooking, Kitchen, and Gardening and simply list bullet points under each.

Growing Up Journal 
This is probably my favorite journal. After my oldest was born I decided I would periodically chronicle what was going on in her life. These include journal entries about things she likes, what’s important to her at that time, and funny things she says and does. I’ve since continued to do this for all my children.
Sometimes at bedtime, instead of reading a storybook, I’ll grab a child’s journal and we’ll giggle at the stories until our tummies hurt. I’ve learned that sharing these stories helps them understand themselves a little better, teaches them to laugh at themselves, and shows them how special they are to God and to me.

Journaling, just like stones, can serve as a reminder of the goodness of God in our lives. Let’s challenge ourselves to leave these priceless treasures for our families in hopes of encouraging and inspiring them for the glory of God.
Pc0930100
Laura Malone is married to Rusty, a high school football coach, and mom to three beautiful blessings: Grace (7), Mary Ella (5) and Elijah (1), with her fourth child due in September. She loves homeschooling, gardening, sipping jasmine tea, and watching for early-morning cardinals in her backyard. Laura is from Rowlett, Texas, where she also enjoys reading, sewing, and trying new things like writing articles!"

~Taken from Old Schoolhouse Magazine, July Edition

Monday, August 20, 2012

Growing a Healthy Church


God's Garden
In growing a healthy, fruit-bearing church, try this plan:

Plant three rows of squash:
*Squash gossip.
*Squash criticism.
*Squash indifference.

Plant seven rows of peas:
*Prayer
*Promptness
*Perseverance
*Preparedness
*Purity
*Patience

Plant seven heads of lettuce:
*Let us be unselfish and loyal.
*Let us be faithful to duty.
*Let us search the Scriptures.
*Let us not be weary in well-doing.
*Let us be truthful.
*Let us love one another.


~As quoted in The Power of a Woman's Words by Sharon Jaynes

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quote from Jim Elliot


"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."

~Jim Elliot

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: How to Begin Setting Financial Goals


"How to Begin Goal Setting [in your finances]

1.  Clear out a one hour block of time in your schedule this week.

2.  Sit down with a blank piece of paper...and ask yourself, "Where do I want to be financially five years from now?"

3.  Write down everything that comes to mind.

4.  After you've brainstormed a bunch of ideas, go back through them and choose three goals.

5.  Write down your three goals.

6.  Break your goals into bit-sized, measurable pieces.

7.  Post your goals in a conspicuous location and review them often.

8.  Reward yourself for a job well done."

~As quoted in The Money Saving Mom's Budget, Ch.1 by Crystal Paine

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Quote from David Livingstone


"If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"
 
~David Livingstone

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Avoiding Gossip


"Gossip often veils itself in certain phrases:

"Have you heard...?"

"Did you know...?"

"They tell me..."

"Keep this to yourself, but..."

"I don't believe it's true, but I heard that..."

"I wouldn't tell you, except that I know it will go no further."

Of course, the most infamous such rationalization in Christian circles is,"I am telling you this so you can pray." It sounds pious, but the heart that feeds on evil reports leaves flaming fires in its wake. Oh, the heartache that comes from the tongue."

~Barbara Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Woman, pg. 88-89


Anything you would add to this list of possible gossip phrases?

 

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Poem To Remind Me that God Is A Giver

     When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done;
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

     His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

~Annie Johnson Flint

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quote from Martin Luther

"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave."
 
~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Courtesy Owed To A Small Child


"In addition to learning how to treat others, children must also be treated well themselves if they are to develop gracious manners. Parents most often think in terms of how they can teach their child to behave toward others and only rarely stop to think of the courtesy that even a small 
child is owed.

Here are the basic courtesies that 
any child is owed:
  • Do not talk down. Children may not think or act like adults, but they do know when they are being condescended to, and they do not like it.
  • Do not speak babytalk. Apart from the fact that speech experts have determined that babytalk only confuses a child, the child may think this is an acceptable way to speak. And there are few things more ridiculous than an adult speaking jibberish.
  • Do not use vulgar language. In today's media-oriented world, with standards at what must be an all-time low, he will learn vulgar language soon enough. There is nothing cute about a two-year-old using obscene expressions that he does not understand.
  • Do not, if you can possibly avoid doing so, discipline your child n public."
~Taken from The New Etiquette by Marjabelle Young Stewart

Is there anything you would add to this list?

Monday, July 23, 2012

God Said Yes

June 19, 2011 is a day our church will always remember. Five young men were driving home from our annual Bible Conference, a tire blew, the car rolled seven times, landed on the opposite side of the freeway, two young men died, one was paralyzed from the neck down, and two were rushed to the hospital for severe injuries.

We prayed, believing God for mighty miracles in the three boys' lives that were facing physical pain and injuries. People around the world began to pray. God moved and all three have experienced healing in various ways.

In this time of great turmoil, a dear friend of mine told me about the book God Said Yes by Heather Horn-Bland and Ninie Hammon. It's the testimony of a little girl that overcame the odds and experienced 13 medical miracles in her body. It immediately brought me hope in the midst of a difficult situation. It strengthened my faith that nothing is impossible for God.

What It Says On the Front Cover:
“When four-year-old Heather was run over by a car, doctors told the family she wouldn’t survive. Now 34 years, 187 operations, and 13 medical miracles, Heather is alive to tell her story.”

Overview:
Heather and Ninie beautifully recount the amazing story of Heather’s life. Heather overcame different obstacles in her life: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. She jumped into the front seat of the car at the age of four, the door opened and she fell out. The front tire was on her stomach. It's not known how she got out from under that tire. But, God knows and saved her. God said, "Yes"--Heather would live. Even after Heather's accident, Heather endured abuse from a neighbor down the street that brought deep emotional pain. In addition, the man she married left her during a very hard time in their lives. Yet, despite all of the pain and trials, Heather pressed forward, trusting God.
 
A Few Quotes:
Heather, age 4, still in the hospital after the accident… “I stood there proudly, beaming, as the doctors and nurses-including the orthopedist who had pronounced solemnly that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life-burst into applause. But I wasn’t finished. With a grin that threatened to split open my whole face, I lifted one foot and carefully took a shaky step forward. And then another. And another. I didn’t even limp-astonishing given that there was still an inch-wide gap between the broken halves of my pelvic bone.”

“As Mom sat in the chair beside my bed, staring with unseeing eyes out the window at the street below, I just knew the tired old phrase was echoing in her head:  This many bad things can’t possibly happen to one person! How many times over the years had we heard somebody say that about me? Every time yet another ghastly thing occurred, we could count on fielding that comment from someone.”

 Towards the end of her story Heather says,

“Despite decades of suffering, pain was not the driving force of my life. It never had been. I had been propelled through life by the engine of joy. Over the years, I made thousands and thousands of individual decisions not to be controlled by pain. If I had been unwilling to suck it up and go on, if I had allowed self-pity and bitterness to snag fishhooks into my soul, I would have missed everything. Everything that mattered.”

 “I thought back over the events of the last year, the hardest year of my life, and I was filled with an overwhelming gratitude. The bleaker my life got, the brighter God’s incredible gifts of joy sparkled in the darkness.”

"the joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10
My Thoughts:
This was such an inspirational story to read. It helped and encouraged me in my walk with God, to hear how another Christian endured trials and suffering with joy. 

It reaffirmed my faith that:
  • God is real...God saved Heather's life-against all odds she survived the accident
  • He will send His angels to watch over me...an angel was with Heather in her hospital room after the accident
  • God's grace is sufficient for me..Heather continuously made the decision to trust God and choose joy in the midst of her pain throughout her life
  • God works miracles in people's lives, and He can for me, too...Heather technically died two times, but lived
  • God is my healer...God healed Heather's body to the degree that she conceived two children
  • God provides my needs whatever they may be...God used people to buy Heather's incredibly expensive medicine, when she had no means to buy it herself
Heather's story ignited my faith once again for these things personally, and for others that I know enduring difficult situations. It gave me hope as I read through the book, for the young men in our church that were in the accident.

I've struggled in my life with a lot of unnecessary fear, especially while being pregnant. I've worried about my upcoming cesarean surgeries and what would happen to me and/or my baby. I struggled with the fear of the unknown...wondering if I'd survive the surgeries or the fear that the doctors might make a mistake. But, reading Heather's story gave me a peace and comfort that God is in control. With God, I have nothing to fear. I can trust God to watch over me and those I love. Heather went through 187 operations and God took care of her. No, everything wasn't perfect, but God carried her through every step of the way. 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

I highly recommend this book for anyone to read. It touched my heart and opened my eyes to see my loving Savior in a new light. God is good. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Quote from John Edmund Haggai

"You cannot think fear and act courageously. Conversely, you cannot think courage and act fearfully. You cannot think hatred and act kindly. Conversely, you cannot think kindly and act hatefully. Your feelings inevitably correspond to your dominant thoughts and actions. Is this scriptural? Absolutely! God's Word says, 'For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he' (Proverbs 23:7)."

~John Edmund Haggai

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Studying the Bible

"London preacher and Bible teacher Dick Lucas provides these six basic questions that, if asked, will prove helpful:

1.  What is the main point (or points) of the text?

2.  How can you tell what the main point is?

3.  How does your understanding of the text connect to what came immediately before and after?

4.  Does this text tell us about or point us to Jesus? How?

5.  What are the surprises in this text?

6.  What is the application of this text? How do you know?

     Get the big picture. After applying these questions to the text you are studying, ask this question: 'How is the text tied to the context of the whole Bible?'  This will help you avoid getting bogged down in the small details and enable you to gain an understanding of how a smaller section of the Bible fits into the big picture."

~As quoted in Disciplines of a Godly Woman, pg. 79-80

Monday, July 16, 2012

Count Your Blessings


"Count Your Blessings
  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep...you are richer than 70 percent of this world.
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace...you are among the top 8 percent of the world's wealthy.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness...you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation...you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death...you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If your parents are still alive and still married...you are very rare.
  • If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful...you are blessed because, although the majority can, most do not."
~Author Unknown, taken from www.iciworld.net, as quoted in Growing Grateful Kids

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Relationships


From Head to Heart

* Practice being present with a friend. Stop everything and be there. Put your cell phone on vibrate. If possible, don't multitask, even if you feel like you can do something else and listen at the same time. Let her know that you are there by your body language and eye contact. Ask follow-up questions.

* Practice being present with yourself. When possible, drive in the car without the radio on. Sit still without reading or watching television. Start small, but become comfortable with longer periods of silence and solitude.

* Practice being present with God. Pour out your heart but then take time to listen. Or simply imagine you are leaning up against Jesus like his disciple John (John 13:25). Breathe out your worries and breathe in his peace.

* Imagine yourself stepping to the throne of grace with your feelings of shame and unworthiness. Now, picture him smiling and delighting in you because you are his beloved daughter.

* Call someone just to talk through your feelings.

* Call someone and ask for specific prayer.

* When people ask you to pray for them, offer to pray with them right then.

* Send a card, text, or email that says, "I have prayed for you." That is so much more comforting than, "I will pray for you."

* Collect your friends' Christmas card photos and put them on the fridge or a bulletin board nearby. Whenever your eyes land up on a family, send up a quick prayer for them.

* If a sermon touches you at church, buy the CD and send it to a friend. If a book helps you grow, buy one for a friend.

*Send a box of "withness" to a friend. Collect a handful of little gifts, wrap them individually, put a sweet note on each package, box them all up, and deliver it to a friend who needs a friend to be with her during a lonely or hard time.

* Consider attempting to reconcile a broken friendship.

* Think of the kind of friendships you would like to have and ask God to provide that kind of friend.

~Taken from Friendships for Grown-Ups, pg. 211-212

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