Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

It is officially 2012!!!!

I love the start of a new year.  It always feels like I've been given a clean slate to write on.  I had intended to spend part of the day writing out my new goals for the year, but instead I spent part of it catching up on sleep.  I am showing my age and lack of physical agility I suppose, but sharing a bed with a 4-year-old grandson does not make for a good night's sleep for this Nana, but I can't make him sleep in the spare bedroom when he's slept with us since birth (when he's with us that is).  I know at some point he will transition to the spare bed, but I'll just deal with it till then.  :)

Anyway, Tom finally got the last window installed today.  He will start casing them in this week and then I am going to start painting before we put up the new trim.  Of course, I am also starting a winterfest class this week, so getting around to the painting is going to be a challenge.  Hopefully, some of the kids will take pity on us and give us a hand.

I watched Facing the Giants this afternoon..  It was a good movie to watch on New Year's Day.  It speaks to me so deeply every time I watch it and with all that the Lord has been laying on my heart in the past few months, it all seems to be pushing me toward some very needed changes in my spiritual life in this new year.  I am scared, but excited.  I know that whatever the Lord leads me to, if I am obedient, the end result will be better than anything my mind can imagine.

I am so grateful for all the Lord has done in my life in 2011 and all the many blessings He has given to us, but I am also looking forward to 2012 as I take my walk with the Lord to new depths and experience more of His loving kindness and grace and mercy in my life.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve!  Kayla got home last night and she looked a bit like Santa when she walked in the door, carrying a laundry basket full of wrapped presents.  I got several of my gifts wrapped or bagged as well, but we still have several to do later today.

We are going to Tom's parents' house tonight to have supper with them and exchange gifts.  I am taking deviled eggs, veggie casserole, stuffing, jello salad, cherry pie, and homemade rolls.

Tomorrow, we will open gifts with our girls, son-in-love, and grandson, then do another round of baking/cooking and go to my parents' house to have Christmas lunch with all my family and open gifts there.

I think this year, so far, has been one of the least stressed holidays I've had in a LONG time.  I still could have done better planning for it, but overall it has been better and I am grateful for that.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Funny Sayings

Our grandson has some of the cutest sayings.  I personally think he is the smartest 3-year-old I've ever known (but I may be biased - lol).

We've been trying to teach him to say "oh my stars" and the other night I asked him to say it for me.  His reply was, "My mouth is green and yellow and dirty, and I just can't say that."  His momma has been working with him to learn his colors so apparently he thought his mouth was colored as well.  LOL

Friday, July 22, 2011

July Greetings

Okay, so my last post was a bit heavy.... I still feel very passionate about the topic, but am trying to temper my feelings with the love the Lord has for all mankind.  :)  And lest anyone think I am all about pointing fingers, I will say that I have been doing a lot of evaluating in my own life and making changes that I know God wants me to so that I can be a true and pure witness of His grace and mercy.

So, it is July and I have not kept up as I had hoped.  It has been a busy summer so far and very hot.  Unusually hot if you ask me, but I don't deal well with heat anyway. 

My baby girl left yesterday for her first big church camp in another state!  She has attended local church camps before but nothing as grand as this one will be.  I am very excited for her and though she's only been gone just barely 24 hours, I already miss her more than anyone would imagine.  :)  But I know she will have fun and I am trusting that she will be encouraged and strengthened in her walk with the Lord during this time in camp.

I can't believe college will be starting up in 4 weeks. I have so enjoyed the summer off, but know I will really enjoy the classes too.  I feel like I am making such slow progress, but in reality, December 2014 will be here before I know it. 

Our garden is doing fairly well, kind of slow, but what that probably means is that everything will probably harvest at once and I'll be buried in the kitchen.  I am anxious to get some things canned in preparation for the winter though.  There really isn't anything better than home-grown food.  Jalen ate the first cherry tomato today and we are hoping there will be many more ripening soon.  He and I eat tomatoes like candy...LOL

I have many projects I am working on and hoping to work on.  My first project of the summer was to get my office organized and I did get that done.  It has been such a blessing to work in there without all the clutter.  My next big project is decluttering one of the closets in our master bedroom and the master bedroom itself.  I am hoping to get all the rooms in the house painted before winter, but we'll see.  We have to refinance our house in August, so we are going to see about borrowing some equity to get some other house projects accomplished as well.  I am also still working towards bettering my health through dietary changes.  I have made several changes, but still have many  more I need to make. 

Spiritually speaking, I feel like the Lord has me in limbo.... I am sure that is not HIS intention, but is just my humanness showing.  I do not feel like we are at the church we need to be, but I am not sure where He wants us.  I have been leading a group study on the book by Francis Chan, called Forgotten God, and it has really made me aware of what I am missing in my relationship with God, so I hope as I learn more and apply what I'm learning that God will lead us to others who are like-minded and we can be encouraged and encourage others as well in this journey.  I posted on FB once that it was an amazing revelation for me to understand that my Christian life was more of an Americanized Christianity than a Biblical Christianity.  I only got a couple of comments on that, mainly asking what the difference was.  I will save my explanation for tomorrow's blog post....:)

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Good Is The Modern Church?

I have been wondering for a long while just what good the current church system is.  Now don't get me wrong - I am not new to the faith, I cut my teeth practically on a church pew, so I've been around it for almost my entire soon to be 42 years of life.  While I admit that this christian walk has not been done very well by me, it has not been until recently that I really started questioning just who/what this Christianity thing should really be/look like.  What I am discovering is that we are Americanized christians, NOT Biblical christians. 

Several weeks ago, I attended a graduation and I was "people watching".  Having lived in this town my entire life, I saw many people I knew, many people who attended a local church, but as I was watching people, I saw afresh what God had shown me a couple of years ago.  There is nothing different about the people who call themselves Christians and those who don't claim christianity at all.  This was also the same weekend that the false prophet was claiming the rapture would be taking place by 6 pm on a Saturday night (the exact date eludes me right now, but I'm sure you all remember it - it was all over the news).  Of course, 6 pm came and went and no rapture took place.  But I felt the Lord dropped something into my heart that night as I was people watching.  When the rapture does take place it is going to be a very sad day for most "Christians".  Matthew 7:21-23 says:
 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
As I have been thinking about this over the past few weeks, it has gripped my heart in such a way that I cannot think about it without grieving.  When/how did the church become nothing more than a social club?  Why is sin condoned in our churches?

I grew up in church and one that was pretty strict as a rule, but rules did not keep sin out of hearts.  Of course, I didn't realize a lot of it until I became an adult.  Shortly after I was married and we moved into our first house, our neighbor and I were talking and he asked me if I was part of the local wife swapping club?  I didn't even understand what he was talking about - that's how naieve I was.  Then he proceeded to tell me names of people in the local First Baptist Church who were part of it, names of prominent buisness people I had known of my entire life!  I was shocked!  That was just the beginning of the unveiling however....  my brother worked for a local farmer who would cuss like a sailor then say he had to get home to study for his Sunday School class.  The local lawyer in town is known to be a crook and also an "upstanding member of the local First Baptist Church".  He and several cohorts (also fine members of same church) steal cattle and one of them is also a Sunday School teacher.  But it isn't just in one church.  The Christian Church has had some members attending for years who are divorced from their spouses because of their affair.  They still attend and act like there is nothing wrong with their affair and, in fact, one even stated that God was okay with her divorce because her husband drank (though he never was abusive to her or their children).  So, let me see if I get this right.... God approves of extramarital affairs but not drinking?  And the local Methodist church had a piano player who lived with her spouse for 2 years before they got married and their current worship leader is living with his girlfriend - no plans to marry as of yet.  And those are just the "biggies" that everyone in town knows and talks about.

But what about the homes of these people who call themselves Christians?  Most of the people that I know who attend church have been attending for years, but what do their lives show for it?  Very seldom do you see a woman or even a young girl dressing modestly.  Marriages and homes are totally dysfunctional but bless God, they attend church so they are Christians.  Is this what Scripture teaches?  In the OT, multiple times God instructed the children of Israel to occupy/overtake a land that He gave them, but He told them to NOT take on the ways of the pagan culture.  But time and time again, His people would convert to the ways of the pagans.  God's anger would be kindled and He would send hard times their way and then in their distress they would repent, turn back to the ways of God and walk in victory again.  But it never lasted long.  They would always begin to conform to the ways of the culture they were living in. Doesn't this sound like the church you attend?  I see nothing that separates the churchgoer from the nonchurchgoer.  In fact, I think some nonchurchgoers are more honest and upright than many of the people I go to church with.

How can someone "get saved" and quit the obvious sins, such as drinking, smoking, partying, but still treat his wife harshly with his words and actions?  How can you "get saved" and nothing about your attitude or work ethic change?  How can you "get saved" and continue to have adulterous relationships?  How can you "get saved" and practice ways to cheat people?  And NEVER feel convicted? 

This may be harsh, but pastors are not preaching or teaching the true Word of God if people's lives are not being changed.  God describes for us what the symptoms of a lukewarm church are in Revelation and He also tells us what He does with those people - he vomits them out of His mouth.  (Read Revelations 3 for yourself and see if you see yourself in it).

Bottom line for me is this - the church in America has become so far removed from what God established and what Christ died for, that I have serious doubts about how staggering the rapture really will be to the world we live in, or maybe I should say to America.  Will we even notice when it happens?  I think the churches are still going to be as full as they are now.  What?  You say that God is a God of grace and mercy?  I believe He is a God of grace and mercy too, but I also believe He is a Holy and a Just God and His Word tells us too many times what He expects out of His children.  After all, the price for our entrance to Heaven was very dear to God - it was the life of His Son, not only His death, but the staggering beating He took, the shame, and the humiliation He endured, all paid so that we could have eternal life in Heaven instead of hell.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so based on Matthew 7, but if I'm wrong, I still get to go to heaven according to the current church's practices.  But if I'm right, then it really will be a sad day when the rapture takes place. 

And lest you think I am just pointing fingers at certain individuals, I am not.  I have been utterly convicted of my American christianity and I long to be a child that God can be proud of and one that will be truly welcomed into His kingdom, hearing Him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."  Don't you want to do everything you can to be in that place too and not being told He doesn't even know who you are?  As I have pondered this over the past few weeks, my heart has broken.  No longer can I just sit back and "hope" that my friends and family are "good enough" to get to Heaven.  God's Word is TRUE and we can trust Him to do just what His Word says, and He has already shown us how much he loves us by sending His own Son to pay the price for our sin.  We can show Him how much we love Him by how obedient we are to following His ways.

I pray for you.  I pray for us all.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Challenge of Change

I found myself in the drive-thru lane at KFC/Taco Bell last night and while sitting there I started to reflect on just exactly what had led me to be there.  Over the past few months I have been seeing a "healthiatry" doctor in an effort to understand just exactly how my body works and to learn what right things to eat that will bring true health back to my body (KFC/Taco Bell is not part of  While some changes have been fairly simple, I still find myself bumbling along in regards to so many things.  Primarily - meal planning.  It's never been my strong point and even though many of the foods I'm incorporating into my daily diet are not difficult, they still take thought to prepare and plan for. 

Change - some people are deathly afraid of it.  I never have been but tonight I realized that maybe why I'm not afraid of it is because it is something I don't do well enough to be afraid of.  Talking about change is fairly easy but when you try to reallly implement it, you see just how committed you are.  I don't like what I see. 

So, how does one really effect change?  I don't have all the answers, of course, but after pondering on it for a long while today, I think the one thing I now understand is that you just have to make the choice to "do it".  It will never be easy so waiting on it to get easy is never going to happen.  But when you know from the depths of your heart that you need to change something in your life - whether it be eating habits, spiritual disciplines, etc. - you just need to start doing it.  If we just take it one day at a time, one step at a time, then one day we will be able to look back and see the progress we've made.  How said it is to look back and realize that you never made any efforts at all towards the thing you knew to change because you were waiting on it to be easy.

Yes, change is a challenge, but it is also something that we, as Christians, are supposed to be doing all the time anyway.  We are to grow each day to be more like our Lord, so I'm going to get busy fighting FOR change instead of against it.  :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Eve of a New Month

Well, here we are at the end of one month and the beginning of a new one.  I have only known 2 people in my life who actually celebrate the beginning of a new month.  They inspired me with how they celebrate it to the point that I actually think of it on the first of each month, but as far as celebrating it, I haven't ever really done that.  However, tonight I am thinking about it a little differently.

Sometimes we get so stuck in our ruts and every day is just as dreary and gloomy as the next. But that is not how we as Christians, especially, are to live our lives.  I just finished an amazing book about the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and how we really don't understand just what that means for us.  Do we really understand that each day we have is a precious gift to us and God expects us to use it to glorify Him.  I don't know about you, but even though I call myself a Christian, most days I don't live any differently than my neighbor who doesn't claim christianity.  I am ill-tempered, grouchy, quick to snap at others when they don't line up with my expectations, and tend to have a scowl on my face more often than a smile.  Does that sound like the Holy Spirit living in me?

Last week I spent a lot of time working on decluttering and reorganizing my office and though I still have one spot to work on, it is very much more inviting to be in there now.  It has a sense of peace and calm to it now that was missing amongst all the chaos that was in there before.  I think that my spiritual life should be the same.  I need to get the junk out so that the Holy Spirit that dwells inside me can be free to empower me to experience the inner peace and calm that He desires me to have.  What better time to make this choice than at the beginning of a new month???  Actually, it would be a good decision any time of the month, but it's a little like the cherry on top to do it now, and I will be thinking of the two who inspire me with their monthly celebrations!