Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Into the Word ~ Great Things

Into the Word Wednesday is a link up and blog hop where fellow Christian bloggers share something they have learned this week while Into the Word. If you are a Christian blogger, feel free to connect and follow other bloggers who are sharing their recent steps of their walk with the blogosphere! If you are not a blogger and you are interested in reading more biblically based posts, scroll down and click until your heart desires.
Last week, I mentioned I wanted to have faith more like Mary.  I now want to talk about how I want to worship like Mary.   

Mary was a teenager, engaged to be married, and was visited by an angel who told her she was going to miraculously be pregnant.  Her baby was going to be the Savior of the world.  She was young,  financially broke,pregnant, and engaged to someone who was not the father.  She was going to have to tell her fiance she was pregnant with God's baby. 

The next thing you know, Mary is visiting a relative and sings a song with this line:
From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for meholy is his name."  Luke 1:46-49
Great?  If I was facing what Mary was facing, would I acknowledge the great things?  Considering the circumstances, she could have used any adjective for the things happening in her life and she chose great.  Mary had a hard road to hike, yet she trusted God, praised his character, and surrendered her everything to Him—her child, her reputation, and potentially her marriage.

Mary focused on the great things God had done for her.  God chose her.  God provided for her.  God sent a savior to her and for her.  God used her to fulfill prophesy.  So, while from the outside it looked like a teenage pregnancy drama we would see on Lifetime, Mary acknowledged the great things.

We all have our own drama brewing.  I know I do.  But, where do I invest my focus?  The great things or the chaos?  I think I may start journaling the great, so I don't forget about it. What glimpses of grace did I witness today?  How have I seen God move today?  What have I been forgiven of or extended forgiveness today? 

Do you journal?  Do you focus on the great things amidst your chaos?  Do you worship instead of worry?

 
 
 
We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching each co-hosts this week:

Sarah at Fontenot Four
Becky at Tales For Ashes
Tales of Beauty for Ashes
 
 
Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs, and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!

Monday, July 30, 2012

What IF?!


Have you ever listened to a sermon and thought the preacher was speaking directly to you?!  Or, have you ever listened to a sermon and thought...so and so needs to hear this...I'm going to make sure they listen to this.  Well...Falen informed me on Sunday that Pastor Steven Furtick at Elevation Church was speaking directly to Laura Waymire this past Sunday.  And was he ever!  WOW!

Pastor Furtick is in his third week of his Room 101 series.  This past Sunday his sermon was titled 'Fear's Greatest Hit.'  Not only did he speak on what I fear most, but he even used a record to apply the message.  And if you haven't noticed...I LOVE music!

I guess I've never identified my greatest fear in this way, but he hit it SPOT ON.  My greatest fears are the What IFs...and there's a Loooooong list of these....

What IF my children get sick or die...
What IF another one my siblings die...
What IF I never find a Godly man to marry...
What IF I find that Godly man but I'm unable to commit due to my first failure...
What IF I suck at Law School and can't keep the gpa needed to renew my scholarship...
What IF I devote too much time to studying and ignore my kids...
What IF I can't afford to pay my bills after quitting my job...
What IF I excel at Law School but can't find job after...
What IF I've over committed myself by doing Kairos as I start Law School...

...this is only a beginning...the list is looooong...these What IF fears permeate my thoughts daily...and all too often they begin to paralyze my life...What IFs cause seemingly uncontrollable Panic...

Pastor Furtick said that "Fear is misplaced Faith."  He walked through how to wade past your What IFs rather than into them.  Diving deep down underneath them and knowing that God will still be there even if the What IF does happen.

He talked about the Faith that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had when threatened by King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3...
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."  Daniel 3:16-18

What IF a loved one dies?  That Would be devastating...horrible, seething pain.  But I know first hand that I would get through it.  I'd never be the same, but God IS a sustainer and comforter.  He promises to strengthen and bind our wounds.

In Pastor Furtick's application of the message using a record...he pointed out that a record has two sides.  Don't just ask What IF something bad happens...ask What IF if you don't try...What IF you don't step out in Faith?  For example, What IF I fail horribly at Law School?  But What IF I never step out and try?  Or...What IF I did over commit myself with Kairos?  But What IF I passed on Kairos and missed out on ministering to the residents God has called me to minister to?


What are your greatest What IF fears?  What is on the other side of the record?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday's Song


 It's that time again...Saturday's Song!!  Going old school today.  This song became near and dear to my heart after going on a mission trip with my church with Mountain T.O.P.  ENJOY!
The Mountain by Steven Curtis Chapman...


 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fab Five Friday



If you are new to Fab Five Friday...
Every Friday we reflect on our week

and post Five Fabulous things.
Sometimes it is not always easy.
But, we do it!
We ponder on the good of our week.
We encourage you to do the same.

Share with us!!
We love to read how your week has been too!!


1) This week I am grateful for:


Falen:  My husband rocking along this health and fitness journey with me.  His has joined along side me all week, and I must say it's motivating.

Laura:   Technology (YouVersion and sermon podcasts from Elevation) and Food (spiritual and literal)
 

2) This week I enjoyed:

Falen:  Walking each night with my kids and the dog.  I also thoroughly enjoyed churching with my mom in Ohio, while I was in Oklahoma, watching Elevation Church in North Carolina.

Laura:  Why does one bad thing seem to overshadow all the good things?  Hard to think of anything I enjoyed....I guess....cuddle time with my babies Sunday night watching a movie.


3) This week I learned:

Falen:  To continually arm up and stand firm, defended and armed. (Ephesians 6)  I also learned that I want to have a faith like Mary, the mom of Jesus. I guess I never realized how her reaction to the angel (the day she was told about her upcoming pregnancy) lacked any hesitation.  "'I am the Lord’s servant,' Mary answered. 'May your word to me be fulfilled.'" How phenomenal is that?

Laura:  That I expect too much from people.
 

4) This week I accomplished:

Falen:  ZERO eating out!!!  Completing Ephesians with my Bible Study Buddy  She's pretty great. 

Laura:  Finishing Ephesians....not just reading but studying verse by verse.
 

5) I am looking forward to:

 
Falen:  The kids getting pictures taken tomorrow!  I can't wait to see how it goes and how adorable the pictures are.

Laura:  Watching The Dark Knight Rises tonight...and a Family Reunion all day tomorrow.  10 more days of work...38 more days until Law School.

We look forward to hearing from you every week. 
So, tell us the positive of your week.
We love to learn about you, engage with you, and get to know you.
 
 

Linking up with Little Becky Homecky,

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Strength


I know that any strength I have comes directly from God.  Not only is He my strength when fighting against my sinful flesh, He is my strength in reacting to the sinful world.  Let me just say...I'm down...I'm tired...I'm weary...it's taking all I have to type this blog...so I'm sharing with you the outcome of the ounce of strength He gave me today.  When I feel weak, I try to turn to this song and let it wash over me...


After hearing this today, the Spirit whispered to me and led me to search "strength" on biblegateway.com...His Word, His Truth feeds me and strengthens me once again...

"It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure."  Psalm 18:32

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."  Psalm 28:7

"My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak."  Psalm 31:10

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:26

"Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always."  Psalm 105:4

"My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word."  Psalm 119:28

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense ; he has become my salvation."  Isaiah 12:2

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."  Isaiah 40:29

" 'Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,' he said. 'Peace! Be strong now; be strong.' When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, 'Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.' "  Daniel 10:19

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being."  Ephesians 3:16

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."  Phillipians 4:13

"But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one."  2 Thessalonians 3:3

"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth." 2 Timothy 4:17

Lord, please be my Strength.  I can't seem to find my way.  I keep falling short.  Lord, please be my Strength...cause I don't have anymore.  AMEN! 

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Into the Word~ Unconditional Respect

Into the Word Wednesday is a link up and blog hop where fellow Christian bloggers share something they have learned this week while Into the Word. If you are a Christian blogger, feel free to connect and follow other bloggers who are sharing their recent steps of their walk with the blogosphere! If you are not a blogger and you are interested in reading more biblically based posts, scroll down and click until your heart desires.

I have heard the phrase unconditional love countless times. But unconditional respect? Never! Respect is to be earned not given is what I always thought. . .

UNTIL

I read/watched Love & Respect.
If you haven't heard of this by now, look it up and find out what you can about it.
It's a great amazing tool for marriage.



I first heard of Love & Respect at church, where it was said a woman's deepest need is love, and a man's deepest need is respect. It wasn't until recently when I began attending a new life group that this lesson eclipsed basic information. Love & Respect went from fundamental basics to eye opening understanding and application.

One of the big lessons for me was unconditional respect for my husband. Note: this applies only when your husband is a good-willed man. If your husband is harming you in any way, shape, or form, he is not a good-willed man. Seek help ASAP!

Ephesians 5:33 says how a husband must love his wife, and a wife must respect her husband. Just as love comes naturally for women, respect comes naturally for men. So, for God to specifically tell us to do what the other does naturally, we must need to be made aware of it.

If I expect my husband to love me (meet my deepest need) unconditionally, which I do, then am I a hypocrite for expecting him to earn his deepest need of respect? Because, I'll admit it. I did. If he wasn't meeting my need for love, there was no way I was going to respect him.

Ultimately, what I learned from Love & Respect has dramatically changed the way I talk to him. I'm not a pro by any means, and I do have to make a conscious effort to come across as respectful. I respect him out of love, and he loves me out of respect. We learned so much from Love & Respect that there may be future posts about it. Yes, consider yourself warned.

There's a "Respect Test" that allows you to test this. As a wife, casually mention to your husband that you were thinking of him today and just wanted to say that you really respect him, then walk away like you forgot to do something or are going to grab a load of laundry, etc. More than likely, you will get a response you wouldn't expect. Try it out. But be ready, if he asks you what you respect about him, have a list ready!

What about you?  Does this verse in Ephesians prompt an eye-roll?  Can you recall times when you, maybe even unintentionally, came across as disrespectful and the spiral began?  What do you think about the phrase unconditional respect?



Linking up with: Unveiled Wife

We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching each co-hosts this week:
Sarah at Fontenot Four
Becky at Tales For Ashes






 

 
Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2. Follow the host and hostesses via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs, and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!

Misery = Ministry

Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church preached a sermon on Prodigy Prerequisites in his series called The Prodigy in Me.  One of the things he talked about was embracing your misery and turning it into your ministry.  If you look at what makes you miserable, what grieves you...that's usually where your passion lies.  How do you turn your misery into your ministry?

How have I applied this in my life?  Injustice grieves me deeply.  This is why I have a passion for the law, and specifically criminal defense.  My calling is to help bring justice to the accused.


 
I've heard many people say, "How can you defend criminals?"  "How can you defend somone when you know they are guilty?"  Here are my responses:
 
1.  The accused are Innocent until proven Guilty!
 
2.  It's not always easy.  Many cases are a struggle.  My sister was killed by a drunk driver.  So every DUI case I come in contact with hits a nerve.  But this is where the Lord takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me work toward the end goal of Justice.  This was also another point Pastor Furtick preached about.  Are you willing to exchange your comfort for your calling?  It's not always about my comfort, it's about what God is doing IN and THROUGH me for His plan.

As for exchanging my comfort zone for my calling...I am quitting my job to go to Law School this Fall.  I am most definitely going to be out of my comfort zone and the next three years will be like Hell.  But as Furtick said, "If you're going through Hell, don't stop cause it only means you must be close to what God has for you on the other side."
 
3.  I view criminal defense as a checks and balances system.  Without defense attorneys, the police and prosecutors would be free to operate however they wished regardless of the law.  I see criminal defense work as a way of keeping the justice system running smoothly and fairly so that when someone is wrongfully accused, they will be found innocent.
 
Ok, let's apply this checks and balances system to current events.  Let's make this real for you...very Real!  Let's take James Holmes, the suspect in the Colorado theatre shooting, for example.  I want desperately for this man to get a fair trial.  From the outside looking in, sure it seems as though this man is guilty without a doubt.  But I still long for the fair trial of this man...for him to receive all the same rights as everyone else in this country would receive.  Know why?  What if your son was wrongfully accused of such a heinous crime?  Wouldn't you want him to have a fair trial?  I want justice done just as much as everyone else, but I want it done properly...lawfully.

I can't even imagine the grief of the families of the victims and the wave of emotions hitting them in this time.  I am sure it would be overwhelming to think that this man should go to prison for the rest of his life or he should face the death penalty, but I also want any conviction this man receives to be upheld by appeals courts.  In my opinion, a quick conviction is worth nothing if it's just going to be overturned.  I would rather sacrifice the time and effort now (even though it can seem like a slow and neverending process) to be sure things are done right with the investigation and prosecution.  Not only to avoid problems in appeals courts, but also to ensure that the process runs correctly in ALL cases.

All that being said, I am fully aware that the justice system doesn't always seem to end in justice...even when things run as they should.  In those situations, we can stand boldly in our faith that God will "not acquit the guilty" (Ephesians 23:7) even if the world does.  I am fully aware that my view is the minority view in this matter, and I do not expect to change anyone's opinion.  My only goal with this blog is to explain my passion for justice...and maybe, just maybe, you won't hate defense attorneys quite so much after hearing my explanation (or at least won't hate me as much when I finally get to be one).

Heavenly Father, my heart breaks for the grieving families in Colorado.  I pray that you will surround them with Your love and comfort.  Lord, I pray that you will walk with the medical staff who continue to work with more victims, the police conducting the investigation, the prosecutors as they build their case against the accused, and the Judge as he (or she) moves this case along in the judicial system.  Father, I pray that the families of the victims find a peace that only You can provide and that you give them patience with the judicial system so that justice can be done.  AMEN!
 
 
Linking up today with::Mommy Huh & This Girl's Live

Monday, July 23, 2012

Church Recap

Let me just say: 

I LOVE CHURCH. 

I know that all churches have their quirks and people can always complain about something.

But seriously.  I'm a church junkie.  I love the way God speaks through and to people at church.  I love worshipping at church.  I love serving at church.  I love the impact church makes on communities.  I love that lives are changed at church.  I love fellowship at church.  I love the grace displayed at church.  I just love church! 

That being said, this weekend was fantastic as usual.  My Sunday mornings are usually quite lazy.  I sleep in, which is blissful.  I really like sleep too. Then, I have my coffee at my liesure, and about that time I tune into Elevation Network.  I watch their service LIVE.  Worship and all.  Always something powerful coming from that church!  (Going there is on my Bucket List - That'll be a future post, I'm sure.)  After Elevation is over, I'll get ready, gather the troops, and head to my church, Lifechurch.tv.

This Sunday was no different.  Mosey'd over to the laptop with coffee in hand and watched Elevation.  They are doing a series on fear called Room 101.


This week Pastor Steven went over the story of Elijah running in fear of Jezabel. (1 Kings 18-19)  He went over the things God told Elijah while he was running:

To get up and eat -- When you find yourself running out of fear, get up and nourish yourself in the Word of God.  To go out and stand -- When you crawl of out of darkness, you will be able to hear God whisper, regardless of the shouts from the devil.  God won't overpower your fears by shouts or showing off, but by drawing you close--close enough to ear a whisper.

I'm telling you what, that sermon was awesome!!

My church is doing a series called At The Movies:


Last week Pastor Craig used the movie We Bought a Zoo with scripture to demonstrate courage and perseverance.  It was a really good service.  This weekend, he incorporated the movie Moneyball with a message on courage and failure.  It, too, was really good.  The kicker, I haven't seen either of those movies.  However, the sermons were really great.  The lessons I pulled from the Moneyball service were:

Success in life is defined significantly different in the world than how God defines success.  Failure is an event not a person.  However, success is a process.  To get to your destiny you have to leave your security.  Basically, to move forward to something greater, you are going to have to venture beyond your comfort zone.   So, while you are venturing toward greatness you will confront opposition.  When your enemy starts making mistakes, don't help 'em. Persevere - a righteous man falls seven times, but he gets up again.

Just when I thought the fun was over at church on Sunday, I saw this:


Super excited about it!!!

That's my church recap from Sunday.  What did you learn?  What spoke to you this weekend?  





Linking up with ::  Meet Up Mondays by Brooke at Covered in Grace & Mom's Monday Mingle by Naptime Review

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday's Song


Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts. (Ephesians 5:19)

In honor of Family Force 5 topping the charts online at MTV and VH1.....

Lemme see you WOBBLE!


 

Friday, July 20, 2012

FabFive


If you are new to Fab Five Friday...


Every Friday we reflect on our week
and post Five Fabulous things.
Sometimes it is not always easy.
But, we do it!
We ponder on the good of our week.
We encourage you to do the same.

Share with us!!
We love to read how your week has been too!!


 
1) This week I am grateful for:



Falen:  Plumbers!!  Some kind of stop up left a pile of TP and grossness in my backyard.  A new appreciation for a career field that goes unnoticed unless you need them!

Laura:  Air Conditioning!  A heatwave has taken over this country and my air conditioner at home decides that it doesn't want to work:(  So we packed up and have been staying at Grandpa and Grandma's house.  So I am also grateful that my parents are on vacation this week so that we can take over their house without getting in their way.
 

2) This week I enjoyed:


Falen:  Buying school supplies for a child sponsored by my church and building a fort with my baby girl! Super fun!

Laura:  A friend of mine gave me 4 tickets to a Dayton Dragons game this week.  I had a great time with my kids and niece!

3) This week I learned:

Falen:  That the more I thought and prayer I put into what I am about to say or do, the more I please God with my words and actions.  I also learned that I am capable of a lot more than I think I am. This week at work was crazy, as I was filling in for someone who was out all week. It felt like pure pandemonium, but I survived!

Laura:  That in HIS time he will reveal his plan to me.  I don't need to know Why.  I will walk by Faith and not by sight.
 

4) This week I accomplished:


Falen:  The first half of Ephesians and grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking with a friend, which is a lot more fun than doing it alone!

Laura:  Diving into Ephesians 5 (one of my Favorite chapters of the Bible) verse by verse.
 

5) I am looking forward to:


Falen:  August!!  Women of Faith and something super exciting is planned!! Stay tuned!!

Laura:  So much...how to choose?!  I only have 16 more days of work and 38 days till law school.  I am also starting team meetings on August 4 for my first Kairos team in September.  I am super excited to be serving God in this ministry.  Now thru the end of September is just gonna be non stop excitement (and exhausting)!!!  It's gonna be Awesome!

We look forward to hearing from you every week. 
So, tell us the positive of your week.
We love to learn about you, engage with you, and get to know you.
 
 
Linking up with: Follow Me On Instagram @ OhSoAmelia, Faith Filled Friday Blog Hop, Friday Favesies, and Fantabulous Friday.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yirah


Yirah is a Hebrew word meaning Fear or Reverence/Awe.  I'll admit that I have not studied this in depth myself, but I do have it on good authority (thanks to Joe Royer-praise God for wise old pastors, lol) that when the Bible was translated the translators had to decide whether to translate the Hebrew word Yirah as "fear" or "awe".  They chose to translate Yirah as fear.  We see and hear over and over to have a fear of the Lord...or we refer to ourselves as God-fearing (this term has always perplexed me personally).

Interestingly enough, when defining Fear at dictionary.com, one of the definitions of fear is "reverential awe".  When I think of fear, I think of something that scares me...something that causes me to worry...something that will cause pain...something to run away from...like my irrational fear of chickens (it's ok to laugh at me, I'm used to it by now).  God's wrath is something to fear, but as a believer I know that Christ died for my sins and did for me what I could not do for myself (avoid God's wrath).  Those who aren't IN Christ believe that those who are IN Christ do good things out of the fear of God's wrath...that we operate out of fear.  But that couldn't be farther from the truth.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  (I John 4:18)


God's perfect love for me - the sacrifice of Jesus - drove out all fear of punishment.  To fear God's wrath is to not live IN Christ.  The only fear that I could ever have in God is that I would fall so far from Him and fail to repent and turn from sin....and be outside of his protection.

Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church began a new sermon series this past Sunday titled Room 101 about Facing Your Greatest Fears.  Pastor Furtick said "Faith in God is not the absence of fear but the presence of Christ." He also said that Fear of the Lord is to be "terrified to ever be outside of His protection."


God knows that I am going to sin and fail to live the holy, blameless, and pure life He wants me to live yet he sent his Son to die as a sacrifice for me...a sacrifice so that I (a sinner) would not face God's wrath, the wrath I deserve to face.  If that act of perfect love doesn't inspire a reverential awe of God then nothing will.


What are your greatest fears?

 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Into the Word - WARNING!

Into the Word Wednesday is a link up and blog hop where fellow Christian bloggers share something they have learned this week while Into the Word. If you are a Christian blogger, feel free to connect and follow other bloggers who are sharing their recent steps of their walk with the blogosphere! If you are not a blogger and you are interested in reading more biblically based posts, scroll down and click until your heart desires.

This week, I have studied the first 20 versus of Ephesians 5.  And I'll admit.... It's a really good chunk!! Here is what I am pulling from it:

WARNING!
WARNING!
WARNING!

Not the-end-of-the-world-is-coming type warnings,
but the be-careful-it's-too-easy-to-fall type of warnings.  

Starting at the beginning, the first verse is a soooo foundational. " Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children" reminds me that I am to follow God's lead.  Further, it shows me that my relationship with God parallels one of a father/daughter relationship. Love that verse.

Verse 3 warns what is improper for God's holy people:  a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed.  Woah!  Hello!  How's that for being blunt! 

Verse 4 warns of what is out of place:  obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking.  This one got me.  I am guilty of the obscene and foolish talk.  Yep.  This girl.  I joke around constantly, especially at work.  I make crude jokes, have running jokes, even the cheesy "that's what she said" jokes.  For me, this verse was convicting.

Verse 5 warns what type of person will receive no inheritance in the kingdom of God:  immoral, impure, greedy or idolater.  Again, blunt and just lays it out there! Verse 6 warns against disobedience stemming from believing lies or empty chatter, and then verse 7 warns you to stay away from those who confuse you with those lies or sway you with meaningless words.   

Skipping down to 15, there is a warning that literally says:  "Be very careful" to live wise instead of foolish. 

Then, these two:

"making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.   
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."

Yesterday's blog post about "Find out what pleases God" was pulled from the same chunk.  At this point, I am seeing two verses that encourage me to find out what pleases God and understand His will.

What I'm gathering with all these warnings and at the same time the encouragement to draw near to God, obviously they go hand in hand.  To stand firm without compromise, I am going to need to know what God wants from me.  I am going to need to know what pleases God. 

"God, help me to keep my mouth shut.  Let all my words be pleasing to you."  Yeah, I'll be praying this many times today, especially at work.  Now that I know these warnings, it is up to me to live up to them. 

Be careful.
Be cautious.
Be holy.
Be pure.
Be generous.
Be encouraging.
Be wise.
Be led.

What about you?  Any of these warnings jump out at you like they did me?


We would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching each co-hosts this week:

Sarah at Fontenot Four
Becky at Tales For Ashes

Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2. Follow the host and hostess via GFC.
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!

  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Find Out

Ephesians 5:10 finishes a statement from Paul to the church of Ephesus:

Seven small, easy-to-read words bear the weight of pure power. 

Hypothetically, we are sitting down for coffee (or insert random warm beverage of choice here), and I ask you "Well, what pleases them?  What makes them happy?  What do they like?"  We could be talking about anyone--your spouse, your sibling, your child, your parent, your neighbor.

How would you go about finding out this information?

Those methods can be used for God, too.

Just ask.  Crazy lil' thing about prayer, you'll be surprised at what you learn when you are in direct communication with the Creator of the Universe.  Wanna be a little more coy--bust out your investigation skills and dig into His Word.  Ask around.  Those who know Him may have an idea.

Why is this even important? 

As someone who has a heart for God, you want to do things that please Him.  Not because you have to, but because you get to!

If you are married, you don't have to be sweet and kind your spouse, but get to and even gain joy from seeing a smile on their face when you are genuinely courteous and respectful. 

If you have children, you don't have to cover their face in kisses, but you get to and both your hearts burst with love and gentleness.

If you are a friend, you don't have to lend a hand when they need help, but you get to and realize that your helping them was more of a help to you than it was them in the first place.

With God, you don't have to please Him in all you do, but you get to and when you do the reward is unexplainably better than being forced to do out of guilt, shame, or some type of self-justification.

So, considering the season of life you are in right now, do you know something you could do that would please God?  If you don't, find out.  Ask Him in prayer.  Ask around.  Read about His character. 

If you weren't sure if you were supposed to do that one thing that's been on your heart, consider this your sign.  Do it.  If you have felt a pull to do something out of your comfort zone that would benefit someone other than yourself and you are nervous, today is the day. 

A bit further into Ephesians 5, verse 16 says to make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  As you go about your day today, remember and think:

"Will this be pleasing to God?" 




Monday, July 16, 2012

Weak and Loved


"This story is not an attempt to answer complicated questions of human suffering.  Rather, it is a demonstration of God's faithfulness toward one sick child and her imperfect mother: both weak, but both loved.  Aggie had a brain tumor that disrupted her young life; her mother's sin and selfishness disrupted her best attempts to care for her.  Written from the perspective of a mother who suffers with her child, Weak and Loved allows readers to experience the struggles of faith and encouragement of God.  Readers will enter the difficult, earthy, and sometimes humorous world of a sick child, and be pleased to find the beauty of God's love in Christ even there."
I finished reading Weak and Loved by Emily Cook this past week.  I have to admit that I did tear up a couple times, but more often I laughed out loud.  I've never written a book review before, but I've decided to share with you a few excerpts that I found particularly good.

I, personally, have always struggled with the concept of baptising babies.  Baptism is a choice, right?!  So how does a baby choose to accept Christ?  Emily's account of the baptism of her newborn son, Eldon, was beautiful:
"Soon it was Eldon's time to receive God's gifts in Baptism.  His family's predictable love having already welcomed him into the world, his church family and Heavenly Father did likewise.  His gracious Father did not wait until His child was old enough to make up his mind about Him.  He created, He sustained, and He immediately welcomed His Eldon into the family.  Helpless babies, coming to Him with nothing but need, are welcomed.  Children who cannot even walk, much less decide they need God, are carried to Him, and loved into the family by the God that made them."

"In Baptism, the baby becomes no longer just 'another baby' to the community.  God Himself is present, and His entire church gathers to welcome and love this particular baby into God's family.  This newborn Child of God, Eldon, is the gift God has given to all of us.  We shared with him God's promises, and we remember that we have been made members of Christ by grace just as this child has."

"As Eldon received promises of Life in Christ added to the gracious gift of life and health, my heart also remembered those promises given to the child from whom life was slipping away.  In life, in death, there is only One Solid Thing: God's love for us in Christ."
After stumbling upon John 9:1-3, Emily had these thoughts:
"It was a comfort to know that suffering did not necessarily mean that God was unhappy with us about something we did.  It was also a bit unsettling.  If we had been doing something wrong, there might be hope that we could figure out what it was and fix it, and everything would be okay again.  If the reason for this trial had nothing to do with us but rather with some uknown plan of God, well, that is pretty frightening.  I actually was quite comfortable imagining that I had control over where our life was headed, over what kind of family we would be.  It was hard to let go of that illusion."
I've also previously blogged about an excerpt from Weak and Loved about calling out to God and turning to Him.  Overall, this book left me with a newfound patience with my children...they are here and healthy today and that can change in the blink of an eye.  "My children are not my own...and they are safe in God's hands even when they are not in mine."

In celebration of three years of seizure-freedom for Aggie Cook, Weak and Loved: A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Emily Cook will be FREE (the digital version) on Amazon, July 15-19.  Get yours today HERE!



< /br> < /br>
The DIY Dreamer

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday's Song


One of my all time favorite music videos!  Here is SMS [Shine] by David Crowder Band.  ENJOY!


The music video uses 1,200 Lite-Brites and 700,000 pegs.  No computer animation or digital effects were used in filming and all Lite-Brite images were done by hand!

Interested in seeing how this video was made?  Click HERE, HeRe, hErE, and here.

 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fab Five Friday

Fab Five IX


 If you are new to Fab Five Friday...
Every Friday we reflect on our week
and post Five Fabulous things.
Sometimes it is not always easy.
But, we do it!
We ponder on the good of our week.
We encourage you to do the same.
Share with us!!
We love to read how your week has been too!!
 
1) This week I am grateful for:
 

Falen:  My babies being back home!!  After a long drive to Tennessee and an even longer drive back home, I have my kiddos back home.  They had an absolute blast with their Nana and Papaw!

Laura:  People who are willing to pray for me without even knowing why I'm asking for prayers.
 

2) This week I enjoyed:
 
 
Falen:  The road trips to and from Tennessee! On the way there, we stopped at a few local things.  One was a little peach stand in Arkansas.  Another was a beef shop right off the highway.  Then, on the way back home, between construction and accidents what should have been an eight hour trip turned into a 12 hour trip.  So, what do we do?  Take pictures in the middle of the highway and Chinese fire drills. 
 



Laura:  Jamming to Owl City with my babies every day in the car.  I LOVE that they appreciate music!  I also enjoyed listening to my baby girl sing along to Owl City while she was in the shower.  I was floored that she knew so many of the words.  She makes my heart melt.

 
3) This week I learned:
 
 
Falen:  A lot about prayer... A lot about respect... My kids can still surprise me...
 


Laura:  Nothing and no one is too far gone for God to touch and transform!  I heard an Amazing story this week that was nothing short of a Miracle.  All Praise and Glory to God!



4) This week I accomplished:
 
 
Falen:  I finished studying Ephesians 4, finished the Love & Respect book on CD, and listened to Mark Driscoll's sermons on Pray Like Jesus
 
 
Laura:  A lot of reading!!  I also accomplished facing my fears about confessing my weaknesses.
 
 
5)  I am looking forward to:
 
 
Falen:  A friend from out of state coming over tonight, and then of course sleeping in this weekend. 
 
 
Laura:  Taking my babies to the drive-in on Saturday to see Ice Age.  I am also really looking forward to reviewing Weak and Loved for Monday's blog post....be sure to check it out on Monday!
 

 
 
We look forward to hearing from you every week. 
So, tell us the positive of your week.
We love to learn about you, engage with you, and get to know you.
 

                   
 
Linking up with: Faith Filled Fridays & Fabulous Fridays & Friday Favesies & Fantabulous Friday

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Divine Intervention

After reading my blog post on Tuesday about Surrendering All, was anyone else wondering:  "What did Laura surrender?"  Well, I've realized that by leaving the "issue" vague I missed out on an opportunity to help others who may be struggling with the same issues.  Just because it's not fun to talk about what makes me weak doesn't mean being silent is the best answer.  So, here it goes....

Lets start off with the big issue.  I have struggled for a very long time fully trusting and believing that God, and God alone, could and would fill my every need....could fill me completely.  I would pick and choose where I trusted.  My Testimony depicts a long standing battle with the need to fill myself with something, all too often the wrong things.

Ok, now, the root issue, the sin that I was reluctant to release, the behavior that didn't really seem like a big deal....lust and the desire for men's attention.  (Wow, typing that was even harder than I thought it was going to be!!)  I never seemed to care how I was destroying or distracting myself.  I never seemed to care who else I was hurting.  I never seemed to care that I was grieving my God (Ephesians 4:30).  This behavior is one of many reasons I am now divorced; and this behavior was affecting other marriages.  (so embarrassing to admit that!)  I was in complete denial. Falen questioned me on this over and over and over again.  She ALWAYS made me answer her.  She never let me off easy.  I'm so grateful for her holding me accountable!  I'm not exactly sure how I let this behavior get so out of control, but God intervened.  Through a very long chain of events that can truly only be described as Divine Intervention, God ever so gently...slapped me in the face!

A previous pastor of mine, whom I miss greatly, Joe Royer, commented on Tuesday's blog:
"What I try to emphasize is that 'surrendering' to God is not just giving up something. It is also taking up something...Surrendering to God is a good thing, but it most likely also means filling the absent destructive behaviors with non-destructive behaviors."
My recent study of Ephesians 4 revealed the following verses which depict the 'surrendering' of a destructive behavior and replacing it with a Christ-like behavior:

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

In this spirit, Joe.....I replace my lust and desire with a Vision of a Godly Man and an Ephesians 5 marriage.  And I will not settle for less than that Vision.  I refuse to continue to destroy and distract myself with "trash".  When my mind wanders in lust and desire, I will turn to God and pray:

Lord, forgive me for my lust and desires.  I pray for the husband you are preparing for me at this very moment.  I pray that he be a Man of God with a soft heart and a tender spirit, worthy of submitting to.  Lord, while You are preparing me for him, I pray that my future husband's eyes be guarded, his thoughts be protected, and his walk with You be strengthened as he is in his waiting room too.  Thank you, Father, for our future marriage....our Godly, Ephesians 5 marriage.  AMEN!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...