Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tune-In Tuesday - Stay Amazed

Yesterday, God showed me that I was not expecting enough from Him.  It was like I had put Him in a box based on what I thought He could or would do for our family.  When I saw just how much He was doing, beyond all I could imagine, I was overcome.

We have asked God for something that we thought was huge.  He showed us yesterday that He is capable and willing (and doing) exceedingly, abundantly more than we can comprehend.  I know I am being vague right now.  And I apologize.  I will share the whole story once all is settled.  I just could not keep my awe and amazement in.  I have heard in sermons past to "Go Big" in prayer.  Ask God for the fun and big things too, not just the things we thing are most important.  Jesus came for us to have and enjoy life abundantly.  Not minimally, not just our basic needs. (John 10:10)

That is why I am posting "Stay Amazed" today.  I had planned on another song, but after yesterday, this one would not leave my mind!

"Oh holy God
I stay amazed
You are so much more than words could ever say
Oh holy God
I pour out my praise
On the One who never ceases to amaze me"

Today, ask Our Amazing God for something big, something you would not normally think you could ask for.  Ask Him for it, Believe Him for it, Thank Him for it before you ever see it.  He wants to bless you.  He wants to improve your life.  He wants you to live and love with fullness and joy!

What has God done for you that you are amazed at?  How has He blown your mind with His generosity?

Be blessed and amazed!

Would you like to share your favorite worship tune?  Check out Tune-In Tuesday  at GrowWhereYourePlanted.com and link up!  I am!
Grow Where You're Planted

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Unfailing Love

Psalm 86:5 (NLT)

 5 O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive,
      so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

God is so Good!  Each day I am amazed at his unfailing forgiveness and mercy.  He does not just love certain people.  He does not listen to one persons cry over another.  He is no respecter of persons.  God hears and answers ALL who call out and ask Him for help.

Do not ever hesitate to call on Him.  Do not ever worry that you have done too much or that you have strayed too far.  His love, His arms, His forgiveness covers all distances.  

God is Good.  Good in a way we cannot fully understand.  But what we can do is trust him and ask Him for help.  He will hear and answer you!

Be blessed and joyful always!


I am linking with Barbie from MyFreshlyBrewedLife.com for Fresh Brewed Sundays and would love for you to join us!


Scripture taken from New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Speaking in Tongues

In my about me page I let you know that I "speak in tongues."  To some this is a very scary phrase and it used to be for me to.  I would like to clarify this statement and hopefully help to break an old stereotype.  I understand that there may be churches that everyone is speaking in tongues all at once and there is no interpreter, very chaotic and uncomfortable for someone new.  Since I have not attended one I have no idea if this does still exist.   I believe God does not want chaos or an uncomfortable environment in His House.  The New Testament letters from Paul make it pretty clear that this is not acceptable.  (ref 1 Corinthians 14)    I am no theological student or minister but would like to share my own beliefs on the matter in the best way I know how.  I will reference scripture and give other sources for you to research it on your own should you choose to understand this gift more.

When our friends invited us to the church we now attend, they did let us know that they do believe in "speaking in tongues," aka "praying in the Holy Spirit."  They did not want us to get there and be surprised.  You can only imagine the scenes I had running through my head.  All based off of rumors and stereo-types, not from any experience I had had.  Well, we got there and there was no chaos, not dozens of people speaking loudly in other languages or babbling.  When the pastor prayed, you could hear some praying softly along with him but quietly and for themselves, not for others to hear.

Fast forward to now.  I have grown to understand this beautiful prayer language and value it more than gold.  Yes, I do pray in the Holy Spirit.  He takes my prayers and translates them in God's own language.  He knows more than I could ever know about what I should pray for and how I should pray for it.  Like I said, I am no bible teacher.  I am going to list several scriptures below and a couple of reference sites for further understanding on this.

I do not believe that speaking in tongues is in any way tied into my salvation.  I am saved through Christ alone, not by anything else.  Not every Christian "speaks in tongues."  It is something that is personal between you and God.  I know that I will see all of my fellow believers in Heaven, not just the ones that pray in the Spirit.  Praying in the Holy Spirit helps me here and now.  He is our counselor and comforter, our helper and intercessor.  (see John 14:16, John 14:26, John 15:26 and John 16:7)  

There is so much more that I could write here but my main purpose in this post is to dispel the stereo-type.  Also, I want to ensure that my readers do understand who I am and what my beliefs are.    I do believe that it is a wonderful gift and have experienced the benefits over and over in my daily life.  My love for others motivates me to share this with them so that they can enjoy such an amazing closeness with God and power in their lives.

I would love to hear from you.  Do you believe in speaking in tongues?  Do you have more questions about it?  I do ask that you be respectful if you disagree.  I am open to dialogue and debate but not disrespect or derision.  I will not speak down to you and hope you would treat me the same.

For your reference, here are a few links that I did not mention above.  This is not an exhaustive list, but a good start for those that are interested.

Acts 2
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 & 12:28-31
Speaking in Tongues by Kenneth E. Hagin
CARM - What is speaking in tongues?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Joyful Fridays Vol. 1

I am starting something new!  Joyful Fridays!  Every Friday I am going to post on Joy and how we can have more of it in our lives.  I would love to make this a Link Party or Blog Hop but I am not sure I have the following for that just yet.  If this is something you would be interested in, please let me know in comments or email!

This is one of my favorite songs by Casting Crowns off of their Until the Whole World Hears album and it going 'round and 'round in my head last night inspired me!

There are so many scriptures in the bible on Joy and Joyful that I am sure that this is something that God wants us to have lots of in our lives.  In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that he came so that we can have an abundant life and to enjoy it!  Each Friday I am going to give a verse on Joy and share a little of my own insight and how I apply it in my life.

Psalm 95:1-3

Amplified Bible (AMP)
    1O COME, let us sing to the Lord; 
         let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation!    
      2Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
         let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!
    3For the Lord is a great God, 
         and a great King above all gods. 

I would like to say that I am consistent each day but I am not.  That is something I am working on.  However, on the days that I make the time to spend time with God and to sing and make a joyful noise to Him, I can feel and see the difference.  He is our Rock, our King; the Alpha and Omega.  We live in a chaotic and ever changing world.  We can rejoice in the fact that our God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!

Maybe you aren't comfortable singing out loud.  Maybe you were not gifted with a singing voice.  Well, I fit both categories and am here to tell you that you should forget yourself and just try it.  Yes, some of us even have to step out in faith just to sing out loud!  Once I got over my own insecurities and reminded myself that this was not for me but for God; that it is not a contest but a way for me to bring joy and praise to my King; I let go and let loose!  It felt great!  Once we ask Jesus into our hearts, we are filled with Him, His Holy Spirit.  When I focus on praising and worshiping God with my less than lovely voice, Holy Spirit steps in and helps.  That is why He is here, to be our helper, counselor, comforter.  To step in and fill in where we are weak, broken, unable.

So turn on your favorite worship song or just click play above and SING, SING, SING!  Make a JOYFUL NOISE and start (or finish) your day with the peace and joy of the Lord!

I would love to hear from you.  What songs do you enjoy singing out?  What things bring you joy each day?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Favorite Feel Good Food

 Happy Thursday!  I am going to share with you one of my favorite things.  Well, food is one of my favorite things in general, but this is a specific one!  Homemade Turkey Broth.  With all of the bugs and virus' that are going around right now, I thought that a couple of you may appreciate this.  My daughter says "It feels like summer in my throat!"  :)

When one of us starts coming down with "the funk" we start on the Echinacea Tincture, OJ and Turkey Broth and usually have it knocked out of our systems in a day or two.  I will be sharing with you more posts on herbs and some of the handiest ways you can get healthier with less side effects very soon.  For now, lets start with this.

After I roast and strip a turkey (can be done with a chicken, too) I will put it into a large stock pot with the ingredients below.  Please keep in mind that I am not a professional chef and that the measurements are not and do not need to be exact.  Adjust to your taste and to what you have handy.  When it comes to herbs and vegetables in a broth - the more the merrier!  Get as much yummy goodness in there that you can!  The list below is just what I usually have in my fridge and cupboard.

1 Turkey Frame or Chicken Frame
1/4 cup Salt
4 Cloves Garlic -coarsely Chopped - more if you like, can't have too much Garlic for a busy immune system!
1-2 Large Onions - Quartered
3 Carrots - coarsely chopped
3 celery - coarsely chopped
3-4 sprigs Rosemary (I have a plant and just cut what I need but you can get this at the Grocery store in the produce section, not required but Rosemary has lots of good qualities for our bodies to enjoy!)
2 whole Bay leafs
4 whole Cloves if you have handy
Italian Herbs/Season for added flavor.  Thyme and Oregano are great in this!

Put it all in the large stock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil then let simmer on medium/low heat for at least 2 hours.  I will sometimes go longer it it needs to cook down to a thicker broth.  Pull/Strain out all of the solids left.  I then place in the fridge for a couple of hours to let most of the fat rise to the top.  Skim this off and you have a beautiful and very healthy broth!  I freeze it in bags and mark the date and volume on each bag.  When one of us starts to feel the tickle in the throat or all over body ache, we pull a bag out!  It is also wonderful to cook rice and stuffing in!  If you would like to keep some handy for cooking with to add flavor, you can fill ice trays and after frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or container.

Let me know if you have any questions!  Or if you try it and have any suggestions! :)

I am linking this post with 
Thursday Favorite Things

If you would like to join the blog hop, just hop on over to KatherinesCorner.com and check it out!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Daily Struggle

I have some days that I am just not on my game.  So far, this week as been full of them.  I tend to beat myself up for these days, telling myself that I am doing something wrong or not having enough faith.  Most times, when I can pull my head out of the funk I realize that I am putting words in Gods' mouth.  I have to continually remind myself that I have become the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.  For someone that has been anything but righteous in life and is very aware of the bad choices made, this is a very hard concept to accept.  It is easy to say, write on an index card, memorize and repeat; but truly believing it, acting accordingly, not condemning myself at every turn, is another thing completely.  

2 Corinthians 5:21

Amplified Bible (AMP)
21For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [[a]endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

In comparison to many I know, I am a fairly young Christian.  It was only 4 years ago that I began to truly understand the truth, love, mercy and grace of our God.  I knew of Him, knew the bible pretty well, but I never knew Him.  I had prayed the "sinners prayer" in the past but was just going through the motions.  I really had no idea what I was saying or what it truly meant. Being so young in my faith, I wonder, how long before I start to find stability in my standing with Christ?  How long is it going to take me to get it through my head that He loves me and forgives me, sees me approved, acceptable, righteous?  Not through my eyes or my works, but through the blood and Resurrection of Jesus.  

See, I know these things, yet still I sit here feeling like a mess.  Then I am reminded of Philippians.  

Philippians 4:6-7

Amplified Bible (AMP)
6Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
    7And God's peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall[c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

So now, I will run into His arms and remember that the riches of His love will always be enough.  Today I will sing and dance to my Lord.  Starting with Forever Reign that I posted about yesterday.  Loud and often.  The best time to sing and dance to God is the time that you feel the least like doing it.

Psalm 149:3-4

Amplified Bible (AMP)
3Let them praise His name in chorus and choir and with the [single or group] dance; let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and lyre!
    4For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.

Just typing this out and reading over these verses has already started to mend my soul.  It is going to be a good day after all. 

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Do you struggle with these feelings?  If so, how do you deal with them?  Did this post and these scriptures help you?  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tune-In Tuesday: Forever Reign by One Sonic Society

I am excited to share a worship song that is always timely for me.  Some songs speak to me in different seasons.  This is a song that speaks to me and brings me to my knees every time I hear it.   In many ways it is hard for me to express just how much this song speaks to and for me.  I truly am running into His arms, so grateful for His love, peace, light and mercy!   

I know this one can be found on the Wow Worship (Purple) along with many more beautiful worship songs!  What a beautiful way to worship our Awesome God!

The beginning of this song really breaks it down.  He is Good.  He is Love.  He is Light.  He is our Hope.  He is our Peace.  And He is all of those things, especially when we are not.  All we have to do is run into His arms!

"You are good, You are good
And there's nothing good in me

You are love, You are love
On display for all to see

You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in

You are hope, You are hope
You've covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace

When my fear is crippling"

As I sit here and type this I sing out 
"My heart will sing no other name! Jesus! Jesus!"

Would you like to share your favorite worship tune?  Check out Tune-In Tuesday and link up!  I am!

Grow Where You're Planted

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scrubbing With A Smile?

It's no secret - I really don't like house cleaning.  I mean, I really dislike it.  I am sure to some degree it's a result of cleaning being used as punishment when I was a kid.  My sister and I spent our summers with our Dad and his wife. With my Dad at work all day, she used her own methods of discipline.  To give you some perspective of the extent of the absurdity of this form of discipline I will share that once his wife made my sister scrub the kitchen floor with a toothbrush.  To this day I would prefer to have a house that does not have baseboards.  I will dread cleaning the seemingly miles of little cracks and lines for the rest of my life.

But this post is not about her or child discipline techniques.  It's about cleaning and my battle with it.  This month marks one full year of me being a stay at home mom.  And after a whole year, I still get all bent out of shape when it's time to scrub a toilet or vacuum the stairs.  I mean, who wants a back ache for the rest of the week just to have fluffy stairs?  And considering what we put in a toilet, does it really need to sparkle?  Yeah, I know, cleanliness is next to Godliness.  So do I keep murmuring and complaining like a child or do I get over it and start cleaning with a smile?

I have decided to go with option "B."  A while ago a friend of mine told me that she always dreaded paying bills.  It would get her all wound up and cranky.  Then one day she just stopped and thanked God that she could pay her bills.  Not only did the act of paying her bills become much less painful but their finances began to improve and have continued to do so since then.  I put that practice into place for my bills and I can say, it really works!  It's amazing that just the act of being grateful can change and improve so much.  It had never really occurred to me to put this into practice into other areas of my life until now!

Starting this week I have decided to apply that to everything I complain and murmur about.  If the bathrooms are taunting me I am going to thank God for indoor plumbing!  I mean really, what would life be like without it?!   Vacuuming? Praise and thanks, Father for a home to vacuum and for a working vacuum!  Piles of laundry growing all over - I am so grateful to not have to scrub my hubby's britches down at the creek with some rocks!

Just writing this is making me feel better.  I think I might even vacuum the stairs this week. Oh, and clean the refrigerator that I am so thankful to have!  (To be honest, probably still not going to scrub the baseboards.) 

This may turn out to be a positive and productive week!  My patient husband may end up asking what I have done with his real wife.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Full Time Happy

I realize that many days (lately, most) I am so intent on completing all that needs done that I forget to stop and just enjoy the time I have with my daughter.  My goal for today - and the ones to come, but lets take this one day at a time - is to still get things done while taking the time to play, laugh, dance and sing with my little Gracie.  She is such a fun and imaginative child.  I am ashamed of myself for not being more grateful for and actively involved with the beauty and love she injects into every activity.

So for all the Moms and Dads out there that are constantly trying to accomplish - Don't forget to enjoy your greatest accomplishment!  We only get a few precious years with them before they go off into the great big world and get too busy to enjoy us!  

On that note - I have a little snuggle bunny waiting patiently for Mommy to get off the computer!

May your day be filled with laughter, love and joy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What to do now

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a tornado of "to-do's" going round and round in your head?  I do... often.  Sometimes it is just the daily stuff around the house or a looming bill and then other times I feel plagued that I am not doing enough for God or to further his kingdom.  

After reading John 6:28-29 I took a deep breath, calmly thought about it and then let out a huge sigh of relief along with a song of praise!  

John 6:28-29 in the Amplified Bible reads "28They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]
    29Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]."

I don't take it to mean that I am not supposed to preach the good news or clean my kitchen.  However, it is such a relief to know that the act of believing in Jesus, cleaving to him, relying on him is a service to God in itself.  I can do that!  I do that!  So, now I go from self condemnation to peace and relief.  I count that as a good day!

The next time you wake up in the wee hours and feel that boulder on your chest and the buzz in your mind... remember to cleave to, trust, rely on and have faith in the One Whom He has sent... our beautiful, powerful and victorious Jesus Christ!  

Selah. (Pause, and calmly think about that.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Post - Abundant Mercies

Lamentations 3:22-23

Amplified Bible (AMP)
22It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassion's fail not.
    23They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

I don't know about you, but if the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness were not fresh everyday, I would be in a lot of trouble!  I am grateful to know that when I fail, His compassion does not.  He knows me and understands me and He loves me anyway!  Once I wrapped my head around that, I was brought to my knees.  Each day I have to be reminded and each day He is faithful to remind me that He is Love.  

My intention with this blog is to give voice to my journey - My physical, spiritual, creative and mental journeys.  At 35, I have already passed much of the journey and will add those flashbacks as I feel inspired.  For now, I am going to start with the present - because it is a gift!

The reason for this intention is the hope that even one person may read this blog and feel encouraged. No matter where you are in life, there is always hope for today and tomorrow.  If you are beat down, broken, jaded or just plain tired, then stick with me.  I have faith you will see "light" closer than the end of the tunnel!

In sharing this Truth and Love I will also share myself.  Not a "church face" but the real me, with real struggles, joys, lessons and tons of laughs and love.  Being a homeschooling mom, stay at home wife, artist at heart if not in skill and a lover of all things beautiful, I venture to say that this should be a pretty interesting mix of information!  

I am fumbling my way through "this blog thing" and hope to have more for you soon!

Peace and Love to all!