Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

One week ago I read a friend's blog. This is an excerpt from it:

So, I’m going to start a list of thankfulness. A journal of joy. A bundle of blessings. Every Thursday that I can get here. Because thanksgiving is the heartbeat of joy. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. I dare you. I double dog dare you. If you take the time to focus on the positive in your life, it’s impossible to not feel hope in your heart. (Mudane Musings)

I decided to take her challenge! I have so much to be thankful for! Big things as well as little things. Joy truly is contagious.

1. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband. He is amazing. He treats me like a queen and he makes me laugh. I love hanging out with him. He has made so many sacrifices for me (our whole family). He is a great father to his kids and a marvelous grandpa! If you don't believe me, let me give you an example! A couple of years back on a cold and rainy day Jason was on grandpa duty, caring for Hannah and Abbie. I came home and found them in the family room...playing with sidewalk chalk, drawing beautiful pictures on my carpet! I about had a heart attack! I said, "What are you doing?" My little Hannah looked up at me and said, "Grandpa said it is too cold and rainy to play outside so he said we could use the chalk inside!" At that point I turned and gave him my "I cannot believe that you just let them do this" look. He then informed me that it was just chalk and it would vacuum up! did. This year Alex needed a football coach for the 6th grade league in our town and Jason signed right up! It was a great football season and now they are already planning for 7th grade football!

2. I have great kids! What started out as three kids multiplied to seven. I am proud of them. The bible says in Proverbs 31:28  that her children will rise up and bless her. They definitely bless me. There is something about being a pray for them when they are little and you continue to pray for them when they are adults. My goal was for each of them to serve Jesus to their greatest ability. You rejoice in their great times and cry with them in their hard times. I know that God is faithful. I am so thankful that they love each other. I love it when they are all home together and the lilt of laughter can be heard throughout our home!

3. I love my church family! We planted a new church this year. Our church family is such a great group of real people. They are easy to love! They love Jesus and have a heart for others. We are excited to see what God has in store for us this year!

4. I am thankful for new adventures! On Facebook we have the Prayer Connection page! God has answered so many prayers on our prayer site. From healed sickness, successful surgeries to a house being sold! I know that there are many more answers to prayer to come!

5. I am thankful for iced tea, americanos with cold cream, a good workout at the gym and for my group of kids in the Kid's Connection. They have giving hearts and great faith! They have recently adopted "Gary" at the local coffee shop to bless by buying him mochas (with their own money). They are already ministers of the Lord and I love that!

So like Rebekah, I double dog dare you to dedicate your Thursdays to being thankful! Make a joy journal! If you don't blog that's okay! You can be thankful on Facebook or in your own personal journal. It really helps you years later to read back on the blessings in our lives! I am super blessed and for that I am thankful. Thanks Rebekah!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wear It; It Looks Good on You!

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:1-17 NIV  
A call to change is what I almost titled this post. Pete used this portion of scripture last night while teaching the Youth Connection.  As soon as he read this portion out loud that was the first thing that came to mind. People hate change in general. They like what is comfortable. When we make a decision to accept Christ we are committing to change. Thank goodness God is patient with us!
So how do we go about this transformation? Set your mind on things above. Focus on Jesus! When we start to slip back into old patterns get refocused! Read the Word, pray and worship. Whenever I get mad at someone I try to make it a habit to pray! If I am praying I cannot focus on the anger or the person that made me mad because I am talking to Jesus! Not only that if I am praying then I am giving God room to work in the situation!
Verse 12 says to clothe yourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Then read on to vs. 13 and 14 and it says that we need to be flexible (my words), and forgiving just as the Lord has forgiven us.  Wow. I don’t know about you but there are some days that I don’t want to wear that “love outfit.” But love is something that is done unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if I “feel” like it. God didn’t say, “If you feel like loving or forgiving someone today then go ahead and do it.” He said to clothe yourself in it! WEAR IT, OWN IT! But above all of those really good virtues put on love because it is the love that is at the source.
Jesus loves me and you so much that He died to save us. He forgives me for so much and if I remember that then it should make it way easier for me to forgive someone for something petty or irritating. I love vs. 15 because it instructs us to be thankful. God loves grateful kids! When we take time to be thankful over the little things and the big things, well, life just gets better! You see so much more of what God does all of the time instead of becoming so limited in vision of the circumstances that surrounds you. So by now you can see that I changed the title of my post today to “Wear It; It Looks Good on You!”
Lord, thank You for your unending, unconditional love. Thank You for forgiving me of everything that I do. Thank You for my family and friends. Thank You for my job. Thank You for helping to wear compassion and kindness. Help me to be to shiny like You would have me to be to others and God, thank You for my foo foo coffee, I love it! Thanks for letting me be me but helping me to be more like You all at the same time. I love You.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Write It Down!

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deut. 4:9 NIV
How true this statement is even today! The Israelites had been rescued from the Egyptians in miraculous ways but as soon as the hard days came, they were quick to forget and started complaining. They took their focus off of God, their deliverer, and started their grumbling and complaining wishing for the “good ole days of Egypt.” They were quick to forget the beatings that they received and the killing of their male babies. Most of all they were quick to forget how awesome God was to answer their cries for deliverance from slavery and gave them freedom.
How quick are we to forget the great things that God does for us today? We are quick to grumble and complain over the smallest of inconveniences. We have a joke, in our house, that labels our problems, “first world or third world” problems.
We need to realign our focus on the great things that God has given and done for us! We need to testify of God’s greatness to our children so that when hard times hit they can recall how great God is and how faithful He is to His people! For a while I wrote down (in a little book) every prayer request and answer to prayer that I had. Wow, I thought that I would never forget some of the miraculous things that God has done for me but not long ago I found that little heart’s desire book. I had forgotten some of the most precious ways that God answered my prayers. Those words leapt out to me and stirred my faith. Sometimes it isn’t even the big things but the little things that mean so much. Don’t forget! Write it down, on paper and on your hearts. Tell your kids the stories of God’s faithfulness. By doing this you are leaving a great legacy for your children and your grandchildren!
He was and is faithful throughout all times. Be on the lookout for the things that God does for you on a daily basis and then be grateful. I promise you recalling God's goodness will stir your faith and the faith of others.
God is Faithful!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Today's Post is taken from my husband's blog. It is about Love. Please enjoy!


Love never fails. …

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
I Corinthians 13:8 NKJV

This passage is often referred to as the Love Chapter. It clarifies the definition of love. It promotes love as the greatest character asset we can have. Our culture portrays love as sexuality or as having no limits and accepting every behavior every person ever commits so they can feel good about themselves. We fiercely need to know what love is so we can recognize it. We seriously need to recognize it so we can develop it in our own character. Of all the attributes that love encompasses it is this refusal to fail that I desire most.
It is not about winning with love it is about not quitting. No matter what the history is love finds a way to reconnect. Love is so non-stop that Romans 5:8 tells us that BECAUSE OF LOVE Christ died for us while we were still sinners! We have many character traits that we use to cope in life and all of them except love will fail. Great strength will finally meet its match. Intense discipline will eventually break. Gifting, talent, pride, philanthropy; all will give up, but not love.

Love bears all things. That is it carries whatever cost it needs to reach out to others. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love really believes that others will succeed/flourish in The Lord no matter their present condition. It even puts up with their brokenness.

Love never fails. Our society thinks that love is like a little tweeting bird on a branch that can easily be frightened out of our hearts. The Bible teaches that love is like a powerful bulldog that will never let go once it has taken hold.

Let me say it again: Love never fails.

Pastor Jason