All the leaves are brown…

Except for a few red leaves clinging to their chilly branches, most of the leaves are brown now, and most are on the ground.  This year, however, the fall seemed to last, and we were blessed with the sight of the brilliant leaves for longer than usual.  It made me think about how the leaves are most beautiful before they fall off the trees, at least to me.  I love the green of spring…it is my favorite season, but the fall colors are simply unrivaled.  Its the same with people.  The sweet babies are loved and adored…and miraculous, but the older person who has lived their life, shared their experiences, and is leaving a legacy is unrivaled in beauty.  Of course their are the people who don’t learn from life, and can be represented by the eaten away leaf on the tree.  But, for those that let God beautify them each day, through storms and sunny days, their life grows more beautiful until the end when they are swept up to Heaven with Him.

 

Albert Einstein said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.’”

God is Bigger

This summer and fall brought a lot of changes in our household.  God led us down a new path and blessed us along the way.  We are already so blessed…daily…to breathe, to walk, to see, to love…but God spoils us.  When we follow His plan, He seems to add even more blessings along the way.  I’m not at all saying if you are going through a difficult time you aren’t following God’s plan…by no means…but there are times when you feel extra blessed for following His ways.

However…after such blessings we seemed to be attacked a little: The month of September brought us some of the following:

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Bees infested our daughter’s room…we are still battling the last (hopefully!) few!

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A leaky bathroom pipe caused trouble for our living room.

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My husband had foot surgery…

Among other normal life drama… 😉

BUT…

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God got us through every step of the way.  He holds this world, He holds each moment of our lives, He is BIGGER than any attacks that come our way.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!  Praise God in the good and hard times.  🙂

Election

This election has touched many a nerve…including some of mine :).

At the end of the day, we have to get down  to the basics…

  1. We have to pray.  If we pray earnestly, God will lead us in our voting.
  2. We have to remember that He is in charge, no matter who is elected.
  3. We  have to remember:
  • There is not a perfect candidate…there’s just not.
  • There is not one perfect human being…and one human being will lead our country…it’s just so
  • There is one candidate who has more of what you value than the rest…there just is.

For me, I have 3 big reasons in wanting the world to change…and they ride in my car with me everyday.  I want the world better for them, starting with this country.

For me, I also have 3 important values that I display on my car that ride “with me” everyday.  Pro-God, Pro-Gun, Pro-Life.  There is only one candidate that meets all of those criteria.  Not a perfect candidate by any means…but one who wants things to change.

You may have different criteria.  That doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother others.  But I will plead with you, as I have on here before.  Please pray before you vote!  And listen to what God tells you…even if it goes against what you “think”…do what He knows.

 

 

Paul Harvey

Many of you may have heard this many times before.  I was only introduced to it about a month ago.  I find it both profound and disturbing.  Disturbing only because of the truth of it, disturbing because I have children growing up in this world…but God is bigger than it all.  He is holding the whole world and every moment of the world that has taken place, is taking place and is yet to take place.  And He is not surprised by anything…and He is already the crowned victor!  Praying that the children of the world choose to follow Him and not get entrapped in the ploys of the devil.

This is a transcript of a radio show; Paul Harvey read a piece he scripted called “If I were the devil”

PAUL HARVEY’S ‘IF I WERE THE DEVIL’ TRANSCRIPT 1965
If I were the devil … If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of it’s real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please.’

“To the young, I would whisper that ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what’s bad is good, and what’s good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray, after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches at war with themselves, and nations at war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, but neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, then from the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

“If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And what do you bet? I could get whole states to promote gambling as thee way to get rich? I would caution against extremes and hard work, in Patriotism, in moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging is more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d just keep right on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”

Wandering in the Desert

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!

The Blame Game

  • 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.

 

 

 

Back to our roots

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. 🙂

http://www.monumentalmovie.com/

Francis Chan “The Second Coming” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS7aJ33fMx0

 

 

music

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

 

Martyrs

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.