Thursday, February 23, 2012


Written by 16 yr old son - Kenneth

A lot of times I find that I doubt there truly is a God. I see people all around me destroying their lives with drugs, alcohol, and similar things. Then I will ask myself how a loving God would allow things like that to happen. But there is no point to question Him. God allows things like this to happen so that He can get people’s attention. But most of the time it does not work. People just go on with their lives and do not care who helped them. They do not stop to think that God had helped them in their time of need. That is why we need to tell them who helped them and how they can get saved. Salvation is not something to just shrug off. It is a decision that can change the course of your life dramatically if you allow God to work in you. But how do you get saved? The answer lies in one word that only the Savior of the world can give: grace. Christ died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins so that we “can be saved through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians2:8-9). Titus 2:11 states that “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” I see God’s hand at work all around me each day. He uses the bad to bring about the good. In other words, what someone does can be used by God to bring them to Him. I know this for a fact because I am saved. Therefore, I know that whatever God does He does for a purpose.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Radiant Glow

Beauty. . . sigh.  It is something that every woman wants to feel.  Doesn't matter age. Doesn't matter anything.  As soon a young girl is old enough to understand, she wants to be beautiful. We use all sorts of cosmetics and buy closets full of clothes all to attain the feeling of being beautiful.  There is another way to beauty. It is lots less expensive and completely independent of the world's idea of beauty. The good news is that for everyone (who is a Christian) it is attainable.  Let me explain.

This makes me so excited.   Remember Moses? In Exodus 33-34, God passed by Moses while he was in a cleft of rock.  Moses could not look upon His face or he would die. However, God allowed him to see His back.  Exodus 34:29 says, "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD."  In the book, Spiritual Leadership, Oswald Sanders says the following: Spiritual Leadership "is the power to change the atmosphere by one's presence, the unconscious influence that makes Christ and spiritual things real to others."  What a powerful statement!  I think that Oswald Sanders is talking about the same thing as what happened to Moses.  He is talking about a radiance left from spending time with the Lord.

That radiant glow would be better than youth or beauty by the world's standards.  It can't be bought or inherited.  It can only be obtained by spending time with the Lord. Now that is a beauty that is attainable and better than anything out of a bottle.  Proverbs confirms what we know to be true when it says "beauty is fleeting". The good news is that you can have radiant beauty that is renewable when you spend more time with Him (the Light of the World).


Monday, February 20, 2012

Making the Change. . .you can do it!

Ok, so perhaps you have not learned to prioritize your time with God but you so want to.  You want to be a "deep" Christian but just can't get there.  Then hopefully this will help.

The most obvious answer is to check local churches for a Bible Study group. It does not need to be the church you belong to. Any church that teaches the name of Jesus and believes the full Bible will do.  These groups provide accountability and there are some amazing studies available for groups to do. If that is not a possibility or you just don't want to. . .then plan 2.

Choose a book of the Bible.  If you love history then definitely an Old Testament book.  You can learn about Ruth, Queen Esther, Daniel, David, the Father's of faith (such as Noah & Abraham).  You can feel like you are going on an adventure while you learn. If you love poetry, then Psalms or Proverbs will be your book.  If none of these fit but you are just hungry for more then try any of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and learn all about Jesus' walk on earth. Then there is Paul. I love studying Paul's journey.  There are so many possibilities. . .just choose one.

Next find a journal or notebook to use specifically for this.  Each day read one chapter of the book you chose.  As you read, really think about each verse and any special meaning they have to you.  At the conclusion of reading, just write that verse and what it means to you in your journal.

Now honestly, reading your Bible is step one of a two step process for going deep. The second part is prayer. Without prayer, you will not go deep.  Prayer is when we spend time talking to God.  It does not have to be poetry or memorized.  It simply has to be from a humble heart before the throne of God.  I would suggest, if possible, that you get on your hands and knees (preferably face to the ground).  Is that necessary? No. God will hear you regardless.  It simply helps us be humble and focused.  God loves us and treats us with tremendous mercy and grace but He is still God. He is the creator of everything.  He is Holy!!!!

I pray that as you pray today you will feel His Spirit wash over you. That you will know His great love and peace. I pray that He will guide your thoughts and your steps today.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Why do we hit SAVE and not PUBLISH

As a blog writer, I have an option on each new post. I can simply SAVE the post or I can PUBLISH the post.  So I began to think, why would I use save without publishing?  The reasons came tumbling forward.

1) I am embarrassed by what I have written.  Perhaps it is too personal.

2) It might change something in a way I might not like. Cause you never know who might be reading it.

3) I am saving it up for later

4) I simply feel it is not good enough to publish.

Is this not like our Salvation? We accept Jesus as our Savior because we want Heaven. We want what we perceive to be the end prize with no real regard for anything along the way. Do you know that when you accept Jesus as your Savior but fail to pursue a daily relationship that is like being SAVED without PUBLISHING?

When you understand that you have sinned, that Jesus paid the price for that sin, turn from sin and accept Jesus as your Savior. . .you are SAVED.  But if you are embarrassed and don't proclaim His truth. . .then you fail to PUBLISH.  Do you feel it is too personal or, worse yet , are you embarrassed?

If you like the way you live and you are afraid something will change. . . then you fail to PUBLISH.  If you have a daily relationship with Christ, it will change lots of things. But I will tell you a little secret, you will love it. No it is not a cakewalk.  You end up making some really difficult decisions, experiencing trials, etc.  But you have something amazing. The peace that passes understanding.  When you are soaked in the Holy Spirit by spending time with the Lord, you can go through anything and feel peace.  Isn't that amazing? That is the peace that passes understanding. Not only that, but have you every felt the Lord's over-whelming love for you in a moment. It can happen but it is a result of PUBLISHING!

Sometimes I know I want to publish an article but I am just not quite ready.  So I save it up for later.  I think so many of us do this with our relationship with Christ.  We want to be selfish, (add your excuse here) or just think we don't have time so we save it up for later.  We always plan to spend time with Him but we just don't. We choose not to PUBLISH.

Then there are days that I pound the keyboard and nothing comes easy. No matter what I do, nothing is good enough to PUBLISH.  This is the worst of all. I think it is the heart of it all. When we are SAVED and choose not to have a daily relationship. . we are saying every so quietly that our relationship with the Father is not good enough to PUBLISH. We lack true faith in the one who SAVED us and therefore. . .we are not PUBLISHED. Go ahead and hit the PUBLISH button. He is waiting to hear from you.

Are you PUBLISHING your relationship with Christ today? If so, I would love to hear a testimony of His great love.

Tomorrow, God willing, I will talk about some steps to take that you may begin publishing.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lesson for self

One of the great (and exceedingly horrible) things about writing this blog is self examination.  At this point, I am asking myself why did I write about sanctification.   Because truly, to be honest and faithful I must inquire within.  So I again and again. . .I must go before the Lord and ask His help in this process.  It is ongoing and requires more humility and faith than I can muster on my own. Praise God, He is able where I am not.

Another area of my life that requires me to do self-examination is the fact that I facilitate ladies Bible study groups.  Actually, because of such examination I have delayed starting the next group of sessions by a couple months. As each week passed, I was ready to jump in and announce the next study.  But I determined along the path that we must not just do something to do something.  We must understand why we do it and that it is the God's will.  Otherwise, how are we any different from the rest of the world.  Our church becomes a business, our house of worship becomes a building, our discipleship times becomes socialization times and so on. I am sure you get the point.

As I have thought about this so much over the past couple of months, it has rocked me to my core.  Not because it was a new concept but because I honestly do not know how we will change it.  As Christians, we often breeze into and out of people's lives.  For the most part, I only see friends from church on Sunday and Wednesday.  We see each other briefly and go about the rest of our week.  But I wonder is that getting in the way of our deeper relationships with Christ.  As Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. "

Bottom line is that we need each other.  We need to sit together and share our challenges, our revelations, and our growth.  In this way, we can lift each other in prayer for "For where two or three come together in my name (Jesus), there am I with them."

Just think. . . when the Lord shares something amazing with you this week then you could share it. In this way, it will be a multiplied blessings.  What better way to show love. More importantly, what better way to grow a strong church body than by disciplining each other. So as you may have guessed, the next Bible study is scheduled.  I am so excited to see what the Lord will do. I feel that He has taken a time to refresh and refocus me.  I am looking forward to both disciplining and being discipled.

I am sure today's blog is a bit of a ramble. My heart has been so heavy burdened on this topic which makes it hard to write about.  I do hope it will bless and encourage you.

Blog at new location

Hi everyone! I wanted to let you know that I have moved my blog into Wordpress.  This did not make it prettier but did make it easier to manage.  Please go directly to to find me.  I did not add Friend Connect to it since they are discontinuing Friend Connect for all non-blogger websites in a couple weeks. However, I did add Google +1.  Please take the time to go over and add yourself to my new list.  I appreciate so much your support and encouragement.

Also, I have another blog that is newer but concentrates on meal planning and family time.  It is  I hope to see you there. 

Monday, February 13, 2012


I have been thinking about missions lots lately. I have always had the idea of going to a foreign country where they don't know English and haven't heard the name of Jesus. So often I have thought how exciting to tell people something so special for the first time. Of course, in my thoughts they would immediately understand and accept Him as Savior.  So I guess the whole thing was a bit self glorifying (hum).

I guess, in some ways the dream has died a bit.  What changed? My faith is still in tact.  I still believe wholehearted in the one who saved me.  I believe it is so important to tell others of His love and how easily they can become saved. I also believe that His word is powerful!  Not only can He save us. . . His Word can transform us.

However, did you know that right here in the USA that statistics show that at least 50% of those who attend church regularly do not know Jesus Christ as Savior.  That is just of those that attend church and consider how many do not.  So the face of the mission field changed! These folks do speak English and they have heard the name of Jesus before.  But have we taken the time to sit with them one-on-one and discuss our faith with them? Why is it so hard for us to share our ideas, the scripture we read this week, and what God is speaking to us with our friends? Why is that such a hard and sometimes awkward conversation?  Why is that we would take any chance the person sharing the pew with us might miss Heaven or the opportunity for abundant life on earth.

I think perhaps, speaking from my own experience, that it might be because we are not prepared.  Preparation, by way of spending time with the Father. It is through time spent with Him that we become Sanctified. The Webster's Dictionary defines Sanctify as:

1) to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : consecrate 
2)to free from sin : purify
3) to impart or impute sacredness, inviolability, or respect to b , to give moral or social sanction to 
4)to make productive of holiness or piety

When we spend time praying and in God's Word, this happens to us. We become "set apart to a sacred purpose".  It is a lifelong and daily process, but through it we become more like Jesus. We understand Him, we think like Him, we love Him more fully. . . He becomes our everything. You know what? We even learn to hear Him speak.  Once this process begins, there is nothing more thrilling than sharing what you have learned with a fellow brother or sister in Christ. 

I will tell you, sometimes I do well at this and many times I fail. I get self-focused.  Oh, the whole time I know what I am missing.  Once you have felt so strongly the Holy Spirit. . .you know.  But I still mess up. It is simple. . . being in His Word equals success.  Being out of His Word (just a short period of time) and failure is certain.  It breaks my heart to think what I miss during those times.  Life here is hard and things rarely go as we think they should. We need Him. . . everyday, all day!  Have you felt His Spirit? Do you know what I mean? Do you need a swift kick from a friend today? Consider this your kick! Find yourself on you face before the Lord and let Him sanctify you!

Next, it is time to get busy! Make your mission field wherever you are!  At home, at church, at work, in your neighborhood etc. Don't assume that those around you know Christ or have a relationship with Him. Next, and this is the hardest, find time for Him everyday.  It will change everything and you will know love like never before!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Close to my heart - Adoption

Today's topic is one very near and dear to my heart. It is adoption. Since all of our children are adopted, it is something that we have given a great deal of thought to. Often I will hear people say they would love to adopt one day. I say, in most situations "no time like the present". Just think. . . somewhere there is a child hoping each day that you will be brave enough and convicted enough to come and get them. Somewhere there is a hungry child that has not had a hug today that aches for someone to call mom or dad.

Sometimes people will say, I just have not been "called" to adopt. I have to beg to differ. You have! James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." I believe the pollution of the world is selfishness. As long as we think selfishly, we will not accept this calling. But clearly God means for the orphans to be taken care of. If you are a Christian, then you are called!

The next big objection is money. How true it is that nearly everything comes down to money these days. Sad isn't it? Especially when you consider that "...but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures..." (Luke 8:14) We let money just suck the good right out of life by giving it so much importance. Do you believe God's Word? Do you believe He is in control of everything? Do you believe that He intends to take care of the orphans? Do you believe that if you are doing His will that He would then withhold the resources necessary to do the job? He love us and provides for us. That includes the orphans.

We have a real life story of this. Our daughter was adopted from China. We did not have the money for the adoption and began on faith. We were simply being obedient and that was all we had to go on. God provided every cent needed. Some was provided through Show Hope, some through anonymous donations to the adoption agency, and much of it was provided through extra opportunities to earn it. But it was all provided (no loans necessary)! It was and continues to be a blessing beyond words!

Now, I cannot talk about adoption without going one more place.  Did you know that God loves you enough to adopt you? If you are a Christian, He already has.  You have been adopted as the son or daughter of the Most High God.  If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, then He is waiting for you.  He wants to adopt you as well.  Sometimes that is hard for us to accept that God could love us that much, but it is true. No matter who you are or what you have done.  He wants you as His own. His son, Jesus, died a horrible dealth that was meant to completely cover the debt of all you have ever done wrong (sins).  All you need to do is tell Him you know that you have sinned, you want His forgiveness and for Him to be your Savior.  That simple! Don't wait another day. This is the most important thing you will ever do. You could be living today as the son or daughter of the Most High God!!!

If you have questions about any of this, please don't hesitate to contact me.  You can do so through comments and just ask me not to post your comments if you want them private.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Pageant Contestants

I recently had the experience of going with a friend to shop for pageant dresses for two of her daughters.  It was a truly heartwarming experience. I watched as these girls went through the selections to find the one to delight their heart.  Only these girls didn't handle the experience as many would (after all it was one of those true "princess" moments).  They were pretty quiet about the whole thing.  They never whined, never begged and even only softly voiced their opinion. Even when the possibility of a favorite dress slipped away they handled it with such a humble attitude and not even a complaint.  I was so proud of them and felt I had been given a blessing to be there.

As I pondered on the shopping trip, I wondered if I handle things in the same manner or act like a spoiled little girl.  No, of course I don't pitch tantrums jumping up and down, crying and screaming.  But let's face it, the damage we do pitching a tantrum on the inside can be far worse.  Even as Christians, I wonder how often we pitch an internal fit because after all we are daddy's little girl. Knowing that we are so special and loved by the Father could give us a feeling of entitlement.   And it does.  Just not that kind.  It entitles us to act like Jesus.  Oops, for this we must take the tiara off and stop swirling in our beautiful gown.  This entitlement requires humility, selflessness, love, forgiveness and the list goes on.  But it requires us to be so passionate about the Savior that we have no time for tantrums. The good news is that we don't even need them because Daddy has our back. He always provides the best for us.

So often we are stressed and even panicked about life's circumstances.  When we go to the Lord in prayer, we give Him our fix-it list.  Father, please show my husband he is wrong, help the kids obey, give us enough money. . .  We whine, beg and maybe even pitch a fit.  Today I want to make a point to go to Him humbly ready to do as He ask and knowing that His plan is always what is best!

I am so proud of my little pageant contestant friends. I hope that it is so much more than they dreamed and that they will lay their crown at the Father's feet.  They are truly beautiful on the outside and inside.  And they will always be a Princess! Meanwhile, I might need to swirl around a bit as I praise God for the lesson these two sweet girls showed me.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Self-esteem Continued - The Tongue

The research for the last post has continued to be a blessing to me. God has been so good and so faithful. Through His word, He has made changes that I could not make.  He is so good to us when we look to Him.  Being on stable ground (LOL), has allowed me to change my position a bit. I have been watching for signs that someone is dealing with low self-esteem.  Of course, my primary specimens are my family since my world as a homeschool mom is small.

So this is a look not at our personal self-esteem but at how we effect the self-esteem of those around us.  I have noticed that it really can be the smallest word, action, or lack of either. So as not to give away all the kids secrets I will be the example again with a little help from my husband.

I started working on a project yesterday that my husband had been after me for a long time to do. It was pushing my field of knowledge and therefore made me nervous (failure is not my friend).  I spent a good portion of the day learning about this project and figuring out how to go about it. I thought my husband would be so proud. He being very practical and technical minded cut right to the first potential problem. It deflated me immediately. I felt done, over, finished.  Now I guarantee that he still doesn't know or understand what his words did. He was simply pointing out a problem.  Yes, he could have gone about it much differently but I knew, as I was reacting, that I was over-reacting. Then boom. . . self-esteem busted.  Thankfully, Jesus always has the last word and He gently reminded me that my feelings were not reality.

I tell you this not to criticize my husband but to say we must guard against the damage we can do.  Each of our children have varying levels of self-esteem but any one of them can be leveled with a couple words.  Our words are so important. Proverbs 12:18 says, "There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Did you realize that your words have the ability to damage like a sword thrust of to bring healing?  Proverbs 15:4 confirms this even more saying, "A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit."

I encourage you, beloved.  Think before you speak.  How will your words impact those who hear?  Even when some guidance is needed, then how should it be done?

Lord, I pray. . . "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" Psalm 141:3