Have you ever felt like the Israelites wandering in the desert? You know what you are supposed to do and where you are supposed to go, but you can’t figure out how to make it work. Once we realize we can’t do it on our own, and let God do the work He wants to do in our lives, then the wandering stops miraculously and with all glory to God!
There have been some changes in our house this summer, and I knew what God was telling me, but it wasn’t working…so I did my “human back up plan” and wandered around the desert. Thankfully, and by God’s grace, I didn’t choose one of the back up plan options, and He didn’t let me wander too long before revealing the plan He told me from the start.
I am currently reading a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson. It is an amazing read. It teaches us to be confident in our prayers and the answers we are hearing. Do not get me wrong, it does not teach us, and we certainly should not, use God to get what we want. If we are following Christ, studying His Word and in alignment with Him, He will put His desires in our hearts. Then we can rest assured knowing that our prayers are what He wants and we are simply praying for His will to be done. “Thy will be done,’ in every situation, good or bad, hard or easy, God’s will is always the best way.
Yes, it is easier said than done, and no, most of us are not perfect at it. But thankfully God is! He is our Rock, our Savior, our unchanging and perfect God! Praise to Him!
- I am assuming that all the people criticizing the parents (whose child was ripped away from them by an alligator they never saw coming, who they watched leave them never to come back as they fought desperately to hold on)…I am assuming these criticizers never took their children swimming (or wading) in the ocean where with or without signs we know there are sharks in great quantities.
- Wondering why Christianity is such a big deal to those who don’t agree with it. Why are you so desperate to throw Jesus out of everything, to get rid of God from a country built on His laws? Fear is the only answer to that question. What are you afraid of?
- Why is it that the president felt it so desperate to leave his family vacation to talk to the country (or scold us…tsk tsk) about “global warming” but wouldn’t leave a baseball game when terrorists attacked Brussels?
- Why are most people still convinced that guns are the enemy instead of the people shooting them? And why are they convinced that if we ban them the people who shouldn’t have them now, will suddenly not be able to get ahold of them when more laws are put in place…and the ones who are safe with them will be left defenseless?
I don’t know what these questions spark in you, but in me it seems like we all (yes I include myself, even if not on these specific issues) are desperate to find someone to blame for every tragedy, accident, or uncool thing that happens in our lives. Let’s start to look at ourselves before looking at another. Let’s have some personal responsibility for what we do or say. Let’s start thinking before adding to drama or trauma. Let’s put blame where it is due…because yes, if a mass shooting occurs we should blame the shooter, but if a lightning bolt strikes a man on a golf course 3 states away from where his parents live, we should not blame the parents for raising him to get hit by lightning. And let’s turn to a God who loves us instead of running away from Him. If that’s not your kind of thing, give it a shot, just for a day…take all your problems to God. Let’s band together and really know what we are fighting for or against, and who is with us and who is against us.
What’s right and what’s wrong? How do we know how we are supposed to act and what we are supposed to believe? The Bible warns us that as the years pass, good will be called evil and evil will be called good. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20
For those who don’t believe in the Bible, things get even more confusing, because you are already following the laws of the Bible. Do not murder, do not steal, do not commit adultery, etc…originate in the Bible. If you have even the slightest feeling that these are wrong things then how can you pick and choose what laws from the Bible to follow and what laws from the Bible not to follow? If there is any part of the holy book that is true, why wouldn’t the whole book be true? And why could every person be able to pick and choose which parts he/she would choose to believe? If every person is able to choose whichever parts he/she wants to obey, what prevents someone from choosing that they don’t have to follow the 10 commandments; that it is okay to kill, steal and cheat…?
Our country was founded by God fearing men and women (yes, I am aware of the controversy trying to prove this not to be, but the documents speak for themselves). Our country’s roots are based on the Bible. While some would like to say that the Bible would change with the times, I would have to refer them to the paragraph above. How do we pick and choose what should last through the years and what should fall to the wayside. Are we all really willing to risk allowing people to choose evil and tell them they are making good choices? I do emphasize choices, because just as we guide a child down the right path, we still love that child, even when they do wrong. We still love children even if we disagree with them. People haven’t changed so much over time that they aren’t still people. We should love everyone and help them to have light and be light in the world. I think that some people equate love with agreement and it is far from the same. My heart breaks most for some people I disagree with the most!
I am not always eloquent in my writing, especially when I am trying to get points across..haha! But the following videos are amazing and I urge you to watch them. Whether or not you agree with them, or me, just give them a chance. I think they will at least stretch your mind regardless of what you believe. It is not hard for you to know that I believe in the Bible, that I believe our country needs to return to its roots, that I believe in Jesus as Savior! But watch these videos and make your own decisions. 🙂
Francis Chan “The Second Coming” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS7aJ33fMx0
The world of Disney that is…I am thinking that maybe…just maybe it is as exhausting as actually travelling around the whole world…just a thought.
We couldn’t have had such a nice trip without the generosity of many. We were also greatly blessed by God to have such amazing memories…things just worked in our favor. We didn’t deserve any of it, we didn’t need any of it, but it was a wonderful wonderful time!
A few tips for any potential Disney goers…
- PLAN AHEAD! Seriously, plan plan plan. This advice is especially worthwhile if you are only making this journey once or twice while your children are young. There is so much to see and do…and you can see and do all of it (truly) but having a plan helps significantly.
- Use Fast Passes! They are key to the top rides and well worth the waiting up until midnight 1-2 months before to get them. Hint: do not plan them close to the same time and on opposite sides of the park. Having ours clustered nicely in similar locations or time frames = happiness.
- Use the wait times app! We still check on ours just to see if the parks are still running smoothly without our presence there. 😉
- Go through the parks in order (primarily Magic Kingdom, as there is the most to see there). Time is wasted trekking back and forth across the park. Going in order saves time, energy and sanity.
- Get to the parks early…you can save a lot of line waiting time if you are one of the first (first thousand) in the park.
- Roll with it! If your plan gets changed, its meant to be and everyone will live.
- Use the photopass system…the park will take hundreds of pictures for you that are well worth the purchase!
- Have fun! You are there to make memories with your family…make those memories happy ones.
I am surrounded (literally) by the hundreds (um…1000+) photos that we printed. Shutterfly’s free unlimited 4×6 prints was a lifesaver! Looking through them is a bit mind blowing. A year of crazy planning, a week of insane walking/riding/sweating has been over now for a couple weeks. Life has resumed to normal, but the memories in mind and photo will be a vivid part our family conversations for years to come.
I am sure many, if not most, of you who read this will not be voting the same way I am. Surprisingly to you, I’m okay with that. 🙂
I do have two small little requests for you:
- VOTE: So many people complain about who gets into office and they don’t get out and vote. Please vote.
- PRAY: and listen to the response. If everyone actually took a little time to pray (myself included) before voting, I have a feeling no matter what the outcome, we’d all feel a lot better about it.
There are so many issues to consider when voting, so many important issues. When I look at the issues, my values need to line up with them. God will let rise and fall who He will. He is the author of this life. If I try to go against His will where will I be? (Not that I am anywhere perfect in that area…I am human too…and very thankful He has patience with me!)
One of the issues that is closest to my heart is that of abortion. A lot of people write me off as having a biased opinion since we lost a child before birth. They think it helps me legitimize Joshua’s life as a real life. I call that a pretty bogus thought for two reasons. One is that I have been prolife passionate since I was in middle school…not brainwashed by anyone, just a passion God put in my heart. Two, Joshua’s life is legitimate and I don’t need anyone who doesn’t want to believe that to change their mind for me. I pray that their hearts may someday change, but it doesn’t make or break my life.
Children, sadly, have never been seen as holding great value. In the time when Jesus was on earth He made a point to tell people that they need to care for children, to accept them and that they are to be valued.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
If it is important enough to be in the Bible, important enough for Jesus to speak of, then it probably is pretty important as a voting issue. Just something to consider on the way to the polls…
So, its about time that I blog about JJ Heller. We discovered her music on our trip out west this past August. Listening to her music combined with Adventures in Odyssey comprised most of the time we spent in the car. When putting a couple thousand miles on a vehicle, finding something of quality to fill the non conversational times is quite key. 🙂
We had, of course, heard a couple of JJ’s songs before, but I didn’t make the connection until our trip. JJ sings what I would call folk music. Most of her songs are family oriented or Christ centered…or both. They are just beautiful pictures of life…whether joy or pain. My ultimate favorite of hers is “The Boat Song,” but so many are just to listen to without tiring of them. Often her songs will be found playing in the background of our daily activities whether at home or in the car.
Speaking of music not growing tiring…my children play their favorite song 24/7 on their IPods lately. Whether the volume is quiet or loud, the song inevitably ingrains itself into our heads. My daughter’s current song is Shakira’s “Try Everything” from the movie Zootopia. It is a fun song with a good message, so of all the ones that have played non-stop in our home, this is one of the family favorites.
My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul. PSALM 108:1
I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! He is Risen!!! And because of that we have a way to eternal life with Him. 🙂 Our weekend was very special and fun…and warm (yay!) I ate WAYYY too much, put back on a couple of pounds that were lost with hard work…but that’s ok…back to it today. I tried a few new yummy recipes that I will share:
The first is super easy…roasted cauliflower…my kids are not big fans of cauliflower, but this was a hit! Just cut cauliflower into large chunks. Drizzle with olive oil (enough to toss the cauliflower in). Lay on a tin foiled baking and sprinkle with sea salt and chili powder. Cover with tin foil and roast for 15 minutes on 450. After 15 minutes, uncover and continue roasting for 35 minutes. Soooo yummy!
Another easy one…lightly oil a baking sheet and place asparagus on it. Sprinkle asparagus with salt. Wrap in pairs with 1 slice of bacon. Broil for 10-15 minutes.
The last one for today is baby portobello mushrooms stuffed with crab and cheese. That recipe can be found here: https://www.hy-vee.com/meal-solutions/recipes/Cheesy-Crab-Stuffed-Mushrooms-R1513.aspx This was my personal favorite! Really, with all that cheese…how could it not be. 😉
Enjoy the rest of the week!
For He was teaching His disciples saying to them, “For the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And when He is killed, after three days He will rise.” ~ Mark 9:31
What a time that Friday was all those years ago. A beautiful sacrifice of Christ. But even though he prepared His followers, they were still unsure. They still did not see the hope of His promise for a time that probably seemed like forever to them.
As we go through our lives, praying for family, for health, for certain situations, we have to remember Christ has already fulfilled His promises to us. And we deserve none of them. We have to listen and trust in Him no matter how long those days from despair to hope may seem.
Be blessed today! 🙂
As we approach Easter weekend…Good Friday, remembering our Savior being beaten and killed for our sins, Resurrection Sunday…knowing He still lives and He has overcome, I thought reviewing this strong courage and faith seemed appropriate.
The strength, courage and faith of these 21 men could only be given by Christ. They encompass what we all hope we would do in that situation. They faced the fear, the pain, the anguish not with timidity, but with singing and praising the Lord. And moments after, they joined their Savior in eternal perfection of Heaven.
Maybe the most amazing part of this story is that there was one man taken with the group of Christians who was not a Christian. He, however, chose their same fate after seeing their faith. He saw their faith and knew their God (our God, the only God) is real. He gave his life to Christ moments before joining Christ in His Kingdom.
When we go into this weekend, we praise the Lord for giving us earthly examples of incredible faith. We also praise Him for being the only One through Whom we can be saved. He paid the ultimate price…pain, suffering, death on the cross, taking every sin of all of ours onto Himself. There has never been greater pain, and He took it for us to offer us a way to Heaven. He is the ONLY way. Not anything good we do, but knowing we are not good enough and giving our lives, ourselves, to Him.
Remember His sacrifice this weekend, remember His love, remember His daily grace and mercy. And talk to Him…thank Him…give yourself up to Him.
Since it has been around a year since I have been on here, I thought it was well past time to get back in the game. 🙂
What a way to start than with this:
The word you are looking for is…”ahhh…maaaaa…zing!”
This awesome creation by McCormick and Schmick’s graced my plate yesterday in all its splendor. It is huge! At least to me. The size of the picture doesn’t do it justice. It is truly a delicious piece of art filled with mousse and the raspberry sauce on the bottom is delicious! I would recommend to anyone and everyone.
We then made our way to see Allegiant…which sadly I would not recommend to anyone and everyone. My husband enjoyed it, but has not read the book. Very futuristic…almost to the sci-fy realm. I, being a HARD CORE Divergent fan, am not enjoying all the artistic liberties being put into the films. This last one is completely different than the book, changed, not just missing parts. However, it is entertaining.
That’s it for now! Figured I would start with a nice light, yummy post before delving into politics and such on my first blog back in action.