Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Body Building

Romans 12:4-5

For as in one body we have many members,[a] and the members do not all have the same function,so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

We are part of a church that happens to be in the building process. The "body" is newish, so we are " body building" and we are also building a building.  There is nothing that brings people together better than working side by side and sweating and striving together.  It's service and work that can bring a body together and build it in so many beautiful ways.  It's the sweating and working and praying together that makes a body strong and united.

 Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God.
Philippians 1:27( MSG )

Building up will always be work and it will make a person sore first and then stronger.

People are working and sweating and sacrificing for the "building" of the body AND for the building. It is building faith in people. 
 It is building strength in a body.

I am watching people take ownership of this "building process". 
 People are investing themselves because they BELIEVE in what they are doing,
 they BELIEVE in JESUS and what He has done for us.

 We see God at work and many are wanting and willing to be a part of it.

There will be, and has already been challenges in the process.  Challenges that need prayed through, talked through and worked through, but I KNOW that I KNOW, it's those challenges that makes us stronger. 

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

This goes for everything we do:
As Christians, we aren't doing what we do to compare or to impress man.  We are only doing what God has said in His Word, and what He has laid on our heart and
given us the time and resources
to do for His Kingdom and for His Glory.

  And if you don't know if you have the time and the resources to give to anything, remember this;
 EVERYTHING you have, the very breath in your lungs, is from HIM.
 We ALL have a prayer we can offer up with that breath.

My encouragement is this:  Remember that when you are working your buns off and sacrificing tons of time and money for the "thing" God has allowed you to be a part of, it's not for man, it's for God.

This goes for EVERYTHING He calls us to. 
As a wife and a mother there are days I just want to say, "ENOUGH"...and then, I remember that I'm not doing what I do because  I'm good at it or because it's easy or even fun at times. 
 I stick with it in the hard times because God has given me THIS to do. 
 He gave me these little treasures that can fill my eyes with tears because of the joy that they bring, or they can bring tears because I'm frustrated beyond words.
  I know the work that I have been given to do, and it is not because I am super qualified or even  good at it, or deserve it in any way, but because this is what God has called me to and allowed me to do.  

Colossians 3:17

 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 The joy tears far outweigh the frustration tears, 
and it will be so,
 with EVERYTHING that He gives us to do.

Luke 12:48

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

We must continue and persevere in the places and the ministries and the jobs He has assigned to us.  It's very sad to watch people who walk away because of this or that decision or this or that person.
 Ministry is run by people and there will be mess-ups ALL along the way. 
 People are flawed.
BUT GOD, can use us people with all the mess-ups and the flaws.
 He is THAT good at what He does.

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.

We are meant to be part of a body...even if you are the heart (a really vital part), you still need a chest to beat in, you need body parts to pump blood to.  So never for a moment think you can do anything on your own. 
 God designed us to work together, and if we think we can function alone,
 that is called  pride and it will lead to destruction.

If you are only part of the body "virtually"....meaning online...good, but not good enough...the body was made to feel and touch and smell.

I'm so PUMPED about what the Lord is building. I want to encourage people to

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Celebrating 1 year with Mik

 It's been a year. 
 Mikiyas came to be in our family one year ago.
May 25, 2013
May 25, 2013

One year later..............

May 24, 2014
 Here we are a year later.
Mik is well liked by his classmates and his teammates.

When Mikiyas came to live with us we did now know him at all.
  We knew a few things ABOUT him, but we didn't know him.

We prayed and sought the Lord's direction when we learned about him.
 We took a giant leap of faith, and welcomed him into our family and into our hearts.

We did not know Mik, but we know our God and He said YES.  So we did too. 

It has been a year of growth for all of us.

 Mik has grown the most, in every way possible, and his physical growth is just an outward reminder of what has happened with him in every other area of his life as well. 
 He has grown 6 inches and gained 30 lbs.  


This last year, OUR first year with Mik, has not been perfect or even easy,
 but it has been a 
complete blessing and a total privilege.

To be a part of watching a kid go from brokenness to healing and a sense of belonging is only
at work.

Mik still has a ways to go in some areas, but don't we all.
 And at the rate this kid is growing and healing he will pass us all up.

I wouldn't take away one day of it, even the hard days, because they are the ones that lead to the most victories.



This was a year ago, the first day Mik joined our family.  Reece, of course, is the one that just jumps in with no reservations and no preconceived ideas.
 His philosophy is, "You are my family?....I'm all in!"
Here is Reece a year later.  :)

I had to throw these 2 cuties in here.  They really do love each other.   This is Moo and Ira a year ago...and a year later at the same branding, still loving each other. 
 Both are the babies of the family.

When Mik came to us on May 25, 2013, we welcomed him into our home and showed him his room and changed his clothes and within an hour of his arrival we headed out the door to go to a branding.  We were branding at some friend's house and we couldn't think of a better way to introduce Mik to his new family and his new friends than to just do what we do.  It was a good and fun icebreaker for everyone.  
All the kids welcomed him as if he has always been a part of their lives.

A year ago.  

One year later....after being brothers for a year.
 Luke has been a star through this whole year. 
 That kid is a steady as a rock and he is a leader and a brother and a friend.

I can be completely unhinged about something and Luke is the one kid that is completely unaffected by my come apart.
 He is the same everyday and does not waiver with the mood or the circumstances.
 I am so thankful that God knew what I didn't, and knew these 2 were meant to be brothers.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Prayer and Fasting

In Bible study we are talking about prayer and fasting.   I think it is always important to "remember" the very personal things the Lord has done in my life, especially when I'm in a teaching situation.
 God gives us blessings to minister to our lives, but also to share what He has done. 


I remembered a sweet moment during a time of prayer and fasting with a team of people which included my sister and her hubby when they were  in Uganda with their family.  There was a group of us that are involved in the ministry that they were there serving in at the time.  
We NEEDED God, we needed His hand and His direction.
   So a few of us from this side of the world and several of them serving on the other side of the world decided on a certain day of fasting and then a conference call that we could all join in on and pray together.

It was in the midst of a busy time for all of us, so we coordinated the conference call prayer time.
  We were all literally meeting to pray from all over the country and all over the world.  
Pretty cool to use technology that way.  That was the extent of it...we didn't compare notes on what days or hours or meals we were going to fast....we simply agreed to pray and fast and join together at the appointed time.

As the distance would have it, the time we were meeting to pray was night time for us, and morning time for those in Uganda.   It was one of those times when we were praying about some serious things in our personal lives and also in the ministry we were all connected to.

As we gathered together, to join in prayer we were feeling fragile and tired from the circumstances and those of us that were facing the end of our day, were also physically tired and hungry, it was time to rest.  As we began to talk, Justin, my brother in law asked how everyone was doing and how our day of prayer and fasting went, and we all kinda let out a moan I think.  It had been a DAY if you know what I mean.  Justin replied with something that just was so beautiful...he said these simple words, 
"Ok great, we will take over from here".  

They were just starting their day, they were fresh,  and it just sounded so beautiful that we could rest easy knowing that God had placed His body all over the world and that while we rested other parts of the Body would continue to bring our very urgent needs before God.

 I will never forget those simple words, it was soothing to my soul.  Sometimes we just need to say to someone, "Ok great, we will take over from here".  That is why we serve in a Body of Christ .  The Church is so important, we can't do this on our own, we weren't made to do it alone. 
 We were made to "take over from here" sometimes and other times let others "take over from here", and trust the Lord to work through His entire Body.

It's important to have prayer partners, it's important to pray and to fast, and it's just COOL that God, as a bonus, in this particular situation would allow us to join together, and let the prayer and fasting time go longer because we were connected to a body with 10 hours difference.  :)

*These pictures have nothing to do with that time...just fun pictures of some of the people that were involved.*

Monday, May 19, 2014

Are you Angry With God?

I live in a small community. 
Everyone knows everyone and their families.
 I have lived here my whole life and Charlie and I have and continue to raise our kids here.  
This small town has suffered TRAGIC loss after loss after loss and suffering upon suffering recently.
 We have watched young people lose parents and friends and classmates.

 We have lived here long enough that through many of these losses we know and love people in 2 and 3 generations that are profoundly and directly effected.
 There have been accidents and illness and every manner of hurt. 
 I have never quite seen anything like it. 

 I'm listening to the young people, as they are going to many funerals and I hear confusion and anger.

Here is what I want to tell them.....

Get alone with God!  
 Tell him you are confused and hurt and MAD MAD MAD. 
 Tell Him what you are already thinking.
   Put your feelings into words and speak them to HIM.  
 Don't make it pretty or religious.  Make it real, make it true to what you are feeling and thinking.


  This my friends is called 

  You don't have to say certain words, and it doesn't even have to be nice. 
 Just talk to Him...engage Him.
Say the name of Jesus,  ask HIM FOR HELP!

Psalm 18:6

English Standard Version (ESV)
In my distress I called upon the Lord;

    to my God I cried for help.

From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.

He will not be mad at you. 
 He will not strike you down or try to tell you your feelings are wrong or stupid.
 He is a big God, He created the entire world and YOU too, and He can handle your questions and your hurt.

 He may not give you the answers you want to hear at the moment, but He will answer, and it will be the TRUTH.
 He is so faithful. 
 By asking Him and speaking to are turning to Him.
  You are giving Him your attention, you are seeking HIM.
 Once you speak your heart to Him...LISTEN TO HIM, this would mean open up His Word.

If you want answers GO TO
There is naturally a lot of confusion that comes with go where you can get answers.

Go to Him over and over and over, even if you are mad day after day after day, until you get some relief.

 Once you figure out how to make the sun rise everyday, and how to make the air that you breath, then you can ignore Him and live on your own. 
 But since you can't and you won't,
 just turn to Him, IN your anger and your hurt 

 Just stop for a moment...get off the phone and tell HIM you need to hear from HIM.

  I DARE YOU!!!!  I DARE YOU!!!!

God will not be hurt or offended or scared of your questions.
  He is GOD!!! 

 He is NEVER going to change,
 but He can change you, and comfort you.
 It doesn't have to be pretty, it just needs to happen.

 Don't turn to HIM in an effort to manipulate good from HIM, He is already good.
 So just cry out to HIM, be honest with HIM. 

He can not be manipulated,  but He CAN be found and HE can be TRUSTED.

 Go to HIM in the same way you are turning to everything else, in desperation. 

 Take the same time and energy you are using to ignore Him and run from Him and just get alone with HIM.  

Now, for the people that KNOW HIM already.....STEP UP!!!! 

 You don't have to answer for God...He can answer for HIMSELF.   
 Just point Him out.  
Quit getting in the pit of anger  and confusion with the rest of the hurting people. 
Give the people the HOPE you have and point to JESUS.
  Go to church, invite them to church. 
 This is when they need what you have.....they need someone that KNOWS GOD and will share HIM.  Point your friends to the WAY and the TRUTH and the LIFE.

Jesus said to him, “I am the wayand the truthand the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

People need your testimony EVERY DAY, not just on church days at church events.  
People don't need your advice...they need God.

  Tell them how you don't "get it" either, and you are hurting too...but  that you also don't get how the mountains are formed, but you know the ONE who formed them, and you live with eternal HOPE
in HIM.

Share with them how you talk and seek and fear the God that does
 "GET IT".
  People need the GOD that you have.
Share Him...tell them.


Psalm 40:1-3  My Help and My Deliverer

waited patiently for the Lord;

    he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Some Sweet Things!

I said I would post something sweet!

Psalm 100

English Standard Version (ESV)

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

The same God that gave us every good thing, all these blessings and gifts, and salvation is the same God that will not share His Glory!

Matthew 7:21-23

English Standard Version (ESV)

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

He is a God of mercy and grace!
He gave us His Word and He gave us the truth.
He is so GOOD!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sin Sucks!

This is going to be one of THOSE posts. 
 I'm fired up.  So....if you are not in the mood for a heart cry, and a hell, fire and brimstone post......just hit the little red x in the right hand corner.  
Come back tomorrow I will post some cute pictures of my cute kids.  

Daniel 1:8

English Standard Version (ESV)Daniel's Faithfulness
But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king's food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself

We were talking about Daniel in Bible study last night.  And we talked about the reason that Daniel wouldn't eat the king's food ......he did not want to be conformed to the ways of culture that he was living in...even though he was a captive at the time.  He wanted to remain true to his God and NOT get comfortable with where he was living...even though he had no choice but to live there. 

Here is the New Testament version of that verse in Daniel:

Romans 12:2-3

English Standard Version (ESV)
Do not be conformed to this world,[a] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

  Sin is a BLINDER. 
 If we get entrenched in will deceive us and blind us, and we will be LOST. 
Lost people do not follow Jesus because they are

  I have sin...we all have sin....but that doesn't mean we get comfortable with it and justify it, it means we go to God and ask Him to FORGIVE us, we REPENT.
**Repent means to change direction.  Turn from the sin and turn to God.**

We are in the LION'S DEN of our day and the only way God will protect us, is if we know who He is and we

Daniel 6:16, 21-22

English Standard Version (ESV)
16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared[a] to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”

21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

We can not play in the lion's den like he is our pet kitty and
 expect God to protect us when the lion does what he was made to do, and destroys us.

1 Peter 5:8-9

English Standard Version (ESV)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

 We need to turn from our sin and follow JESUS, cling to the Cross not continue to hide behind the cross like a sneaky naughty kid, acting as if our
doesn't know what is going on back there.

We can't use our "Christianity" as an excuse. 
We can't think our ticket to heaven is secure if we also think God is OK with our sin.

I can't think that God can wink at my sin, when He looks at His Son with the scars all over Him.
  It's not cute or funny or cost Him His Son's life. 
 Our sin is terrible and will destroy us. 

 No matter how "locked up" we think we have our ticket to heaven is...that does NOT give us the license to sin and grin about it.
There is a lot of counterfeit tickets out there. 

2 Peter 2:1-2

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.

Tomorrow I will post something sweet.

  ***God is good and He loves us
to death *literally*!! ****
         That  ^^^^^ statement
 is appropriate and true for this post and the sweet one I will post tomorrow.  

Today my heart is breaking!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Confession: I Yell.

I have a confession.  I am a yeller.  I'm not proud of it AT ALL, but it's the truth.

I realize that the yelling has NEVER accomplished anything, other than guilt on my part and hurting ears and feelings on the kids' part.

So, I've been asking God to help me STOP it.  I had visions of Him just taking away all the things that frustrate me and tend to trigger my yelling.
  Like my life would suddenly look like Mary Poppins, and I would sing instead of yell. 
 I am a woman of faith and believe in BIG miracles, even for us BIG mouths.  :)

But, God had a different plan....instead of giving me a miracle He is giving me accountability. 
 I got caught red handed, or loud mouthed rather, TWICE last week.

One time, I was going OFF on a child that needed to be set straight, but did NOT need yelled at. 
 When I got done with my my RANT I realized my phone had "pocket called" someone.

Then, just a day later I was addressing an issue with another child and went OFF in my YELLING rage,
 and I realized I had company. 

I know the Lord is being gracious and NOT letting me get away with this behavior anymore, and I sure hope I have some friends left by the time He is done answering this prayer and breaking me of my yelling.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Praise and Prayers


Life can feel like such a complete contradiction so many times.

I have spent today celebrating and praising God for moving mountains on behalf of an orphan to soon be united with their forever family.


I can relate and join into the joy and the PRAISE!


Within the same hour of the news that made my heart rejoice I got news that made my heart ache.

I spent today crying out and asking God to move mountains on behalf of a precious friend that has many challenges with an adopted child.

I can relate and join in the pain and the PRAYER!!




 I see the same thing in scripture.  David is crying out to God.

Psalm 88:13-18

But I, O Lord, cry to you;

    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
O Lord, why do you cast my soul away?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.[a]
Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dreadful assaults destroy me.
They surround me like a flood all day long;
    they close in on me together.
You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me;
    my companions have become darkness.[b]

And then in the very next verses, He is praising Him.

Psalm 89:1-2

89I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
    with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;
    in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”

The thing I learn from press in with God, he knows all our stuff and He is a big enough God to handle it all.
 He deserves all of our praise and He can handle all of our
 tears and fears.