5.16.14

Another great devotional from Bible Gateway NIV devotionals for moms.  🙂

Listen to the Stones

Luke 19:38–40

Additional Scripture Readings: Proverbs 1:5

Habakkuk 2:11

When Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, crowds cheered, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38). The Pharisees ordered Jesus to tell the disciples to be quiet. Jesus replied, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out” (Luke 19:40). Surely Jesus meant that the good news of his coming was so overwhelming that, if human voices failed, the most ordinary, inanimate objects of the earth would have to shout his praise.

In the same way, if we miss God in the big picture, he will be sure to make himself known in the plain, the small and the near. The ordinary stones of our lives are ready to tell us something important. They praise a God who is ever-present. They bless the name of a God who cares.

Like the unexpected note that picks up our spirits. Or the nearby parking space when we’re in a hurry with a baby and toddler in tow. Or the hug from a friend that says, “I understand.”

In life’s tough times, evidence of God’s care may seem to evaporate. But his presence in daily moments is there nonetheless—if we’ll just listen to the stones.

Egg Explanation

I was going to write a long post about abortion and why killing babies is wrong.  That last part of the sentence really shouldn’t need explained; it is something a 2 year old would know is wrong…but…I digress.  The fact is deep down, you all know that abortion is wrong even if you defend it.  Those that defend it merely attempt to justify it.

Just let this sink in…really sink in…according to the laws of this country:

It is a felony (fines and jail time potentials come with this) to tamper with the eggs of a sea turtle.

It is okay to throw away, destroy, etc fertilized eggs of a human and even to go as far as killing the unborn child.

I need an egg explanation as to why turtles (which I dearly love and would never harm) are more valuable to our culture than children (whom I dearly love, would never harm and would do anything to protect).  Help me out here…any logical person knows this makes entirely no sense.   We need to pray every chance we get for our world to value life again.

 

Son of God

I went to see the Son of God movie yesterday.   It was a decent film.  Movies like this one and the Passion of the Christ have to take some liberties and I sometimes struggle with them.  The liberties in this movie made it seem more relational then others, which is probably how it was…not just the Word, but the downtimes, too.  I could nitpick both movies…but the fact is that I am glad that they are in the movie theaters for the public to see.  I am so excited that we live in a country where we are allowed to have Jesus be the star in a film.  I love that both movies get The Message out there and I pray for the souls that see the movie that they may take a step closer to Him.

The previews we saw included Heaven is for Real and Noah.  Heaven is for Real looks like it is matches the book pretty well.  Noah has some big names in it and it will be interesting to see.

As excited as I am that these movies are in the theaters, I get nervous that since they are in the movie theaters, people will think of them as fiction or fantasy.  So, I pray.  It has to be better that they are in the theater than if they were not.  So, I pray.  I pray that a piece of the message, the Word, something will bring salvation to those who are not yet saved.

UPDATED:   Everyone is asking me about the movie and this is my response to one of my most recent inquirers:

I left the moving feeling a bit let down and I couldn’t really figure out why.  I knew there were lots of changes from the Bible, subtle as they might have been.  Changes that people who don’t know the Bible wouldn’t know.  The more I thought about it and the more questions I was asked about it the more I realized I was more diappointed than I first thought.  
 
I was on guard right from the start when they showed the wise men visiting Jesus right after His birth.  And then they changed the last supper with the bread and Jesus forcing it into Judas’ mouth…and didn’t emphasize why He was dying…which should have been the whole point of the movie.  Plus they put in scriptures that were accurate but in the wrong places.  I could continue.  I know it is a movie, but it is a movie about Jesus and if it is going to be seen as fiction than it probably shouldn’t be in the theaters.  I would probably take it better if the new Noah movie has inaccuracies b/c that story isn’t likely to affect someone’s salvation.  But to change Jesus’ life…
I know a movie cannot be responsible for bringing someone to Christ, but I don’t understand the point in changing it.  I know there are different interpretations, but things were actually changed, and so yes, it would be considered false teaching.  I think of them in the same way as the big tv Christian personalities (televangelists) who say everything right…almost…but why twist it at all?  Will they be the ones outside the gates telling Jesus they did all these things for Him and He saying He doesn’t know them.  I pray that the movie has positive impacts and not negative.  And I know I am not better than anyone, I just try to discern what is acceptable and not.  I have a lot of my own garbage I pray about too.  So I am not claiming I know all or anything like that.  
 
Sooo…I probably could continue, but that is a good summary of my thoughts.  And they are just my thoughts from my understanding of the Bible.

1.25.14

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8

I need to pray each day for the Spirit to lead me and not my flesh…it is a bigger battle some days than others, but God is always victorious!  

The Kite Runner and Catching Fire

I finished The Kite Runner.  It took me about a third of the book to “get into it” but then I was hooked.  It was done well.  Khaled Hosseini is a talented author.  It is eye opening.  That is the best way for me to describe it.   My heart breaks for the suffering of people all over the world.  I am not one to pretend that the world is always happy and no one faces pain.  On the contrary, I know that there is more than enough suffering and pain to go around.  But sometimes thinking like that is just as bad as pretending there is none, because we get immune to it.  I like reading books that put it in my face a little bit.  It makes me better aware.  And hopefully the more aware we are, the more help we will be able to provide.  Even if our help is “only to pray,” prayer is an enormous thing we can do, because God can reach across the world.

I also saw Catching Fire this weekend.  I give a lot of credit to everyone that is part of the Hunger Games movies.  I think the movies are an excellent representation of the books in details, characters and settings.  I enjoy the Hunger Games series.  I am not as big of a fan of the second and third books as I am of the first, but I still enjoy them.  The movie was the same for me.  As good as it was, not quite as wonderful as the first.  It is a tough thing to do.  I still think they all did a great job!  And, I loved that Divergent was previewed…cannot wait to see that, too.  🙂

Prayer Warriors

I am a prayer warrior.  I don’t say that to pat myself on the back or to condescend myself that I can’t do it on my own.  I say it because I cannot do anything on my own.  I am nothing without Christ.  And because He loves me, He asks me to pray and bring myself to Him each day; to leave my heartaches, my sorrows, my joys, my triumphs, my everything at the cross.  It is all His already, it is just for me to let go and give back to Him.  

Jesus Himself spent a great deal of time in prayer.  Jesus tells us throughout the Bible to pray, to come to Him, to ask in His name.  

He doesn’t promise us sports cars and diamond rings.  He doesn’t promise us that life will go on the way we want it to simply because we pray.  He does promise He will walk through life with us, share in the joys and carry us through the sorrows.  And, He does promise that if we pray in His name according to His will, our prayers will be answered positively.  My husband and I have been greatly blessed to see Him answer our prayers with a resounding yes in terms of our children’s health before they were born.  We have also been blessed when the answer was not the one we wanted and He carried us through the pain.  

Even if His answer is “no”, “not yet” or  “not in this way” it doesn’t mean His love is any less.  Rather, His love is more.  He knows the final outcome, knows the plan, knows the hurt and lives through all of it with us.  Each time we pray, we come closer to our Lord and Savior.  Even if your prayers begin with one word, just His name, each time you come to His feet, you will grow closer and He will guide you more.   I encourage each of you to ask Him today to help you to pray more and more each day and thank Him for listening, for being and for loving.

 

Psalm 145:18

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Proverbs 15:29

The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Matthew 7:11

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Luke 6:12

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God

Luke 18:1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray continually

James 4:2-3

2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

11.23.13

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“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. 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?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Romans 8:1 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

The other day I was with a group of people.   The group was a mix of Christians and non – Christians.  One of the Christians in the group is quite outspoken and opinionated.  This person likes to have attention and  isn’t too concerned if anyone is offended.  Another  person in the group quietly takes it all in, as in many other areas of life, but then is quick to make little snide comments about certain situations or people.  They are unheard by most and I am sure there are a number of thoughts for every comment that comes out.  Neither is better than the other.  They are both sinning, one quietly and one outspokenly.  And guess what?  So am I by judging them instead of looking at myself instead of them.

Christians sin.  We are no better than anyone else in the world.  But we love and believe in a Lord and Savior who forgives us; who died for us knowing every horrible thing we would do in our lives.

There are some Christians who come across as judgmental and hopefully their intentions are good.  If you are a Christian and believe in heaven and hell, the last thing you want is for anyone to live in hell for eternity.  So sometimes we try to “help” others come to Christ in a misguided way.  We aren’t perfect.  We love all people, whether or not they sin, because we know we are sinners.  We know we are lost without Christ.  We know we are saved and going to Heaven and just want as many people to come with us as possible.

Just Life

Our world has been spinning at high speed lately.  I feel like we are always at high speed and then more things go into our schedule, but they are all good things.  We are moving quickly, but we are doing it together (for the most part) and praising God for the blessings!  🙂

For my husband, MBA classes have begun.  How he is able to work full time and be an awesome daddy on top of going to school full time blows my mind, but he does it.  It adds a little extra chaos to all of us, but he surely bears the brunt of the load.

For me, on a personal level, my eating and working out too a hiatus this summer, so I am back on my strict schedule of working out and eating somewhat right.  😉  Teaching and taxi driving has been put back in motion as well.

The kids are back to school (at home) and each have 1 sport activity as well as a church activity they attend each week.  By Friday they are just as tired as my husband and I.  They are still mourning the loss of their Riley cat.  My oldest was the most outwardly sad in the beginning, has recovered quite well and talks about all the pets he will have when he is big.  My daughter, who was the most attached, holds it all in.  This concerns me a little bit.  She will say things on occasion that let us know she is still thinking of Riley.  She is trying to bond with the other cat now, which is kind of a cute thing to watch.  My youngest, who is my old soul, was the one who went to Stormy right after Riley died to let her know what happened.  He still misses her.  He is also concerned that about Stormy’s buddy being gone.  We can’t sure if he is more sad for himself or Stormy.

So, nothing drastic in our world.  We count our blessings for that.  We seem to be surrounded by friends who are suffering and we know we should thank God for our blessings as often as we pray for their lives to be mended.

 

Children’s Books

I have to tell you that I love Beverly Lewis!  It has been awhile since I read a chapter book from a children’s series, so it seemed a bit simple at first, but then I had to remember it needs to be simple.  😉  She has little people as her audience.  We began reading The Cul-de-sac kid series as a family, but my daughter also reads them on her own.   I recommend them to anyone with lower elementary aged children.  It is especially great for our family since we live on a cul-de-sac street, have girls and boys, and have adopted!  I love how closely the family in the book relates to our family.  Most importantly, the children in the story PRAY!  I am so excited that an author wrote a children’s book in which the children pray.  We have only read the first book, but will definitely continue the series.  Love The Cul-de-sac Kids!  🙂

When our cat died I looked for some books for the kids to read and help them.   The Bible is not clear on what happens to animals when they die.  There is no way for us to know if they will be in Heaven or not.  Sooooo….a lot of assumptions are made in children’s books to make the child feel better.  It is a great thing to make a child feel better, but in our family we want to make them feel better with truth and not assumptions.  I previewed the books and ended up not giving any to the children to read, solely because of mixed messages.  The worst one, however, was the one that was trying to be most politically correct.  I will not mention the title, but according to the reviews it is a pretty popular choice.  The entire book was great…up until the point when the author had the daddy character tell his child that we are not sure if there is a heaven or not.  That closed the book for me.  I understand for sales an author may not want to step on toes and offend people.  However, I give great praise and credit to the authors who aren’t afraid to stand up for their faith even in children’s books.  Thank you Beverly Lewis!

7.22.13

Proverbs 20:6-7

Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?  The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.
 
 
 
Marriage:  
 
Marriage used to be sacred, used to be taken seriously, used to be forever.  It should be.  It is called to be.  It isn’t anymore.
 
I (sadly) often wonder how many brides and grooms go to the altar these days pledging to love and adore their spouse until death do they part, or someone better comes along.  I wonder if brides and grooms these days expect forever.  It is heartbreaking.  I expect forever, my friends expect forever, but forever isn’t always what occurs.  
 
So many of our friends now are experiencing the pain of affairs and divorce.  It is horrendous to watch and be up close and personal with.  There are so many pains in this world, but I cannot fathom facing one where you lose your best friend, the one who is supposed to carry you through the bad times or at least bear them with you.  God of course is ever present.  It is still so hard.
 
I blame the selfishness we as a people have acquired over the years.  So many horrible decisions are made in the here and the now.  “This feels good now, I should do it.  My kids, wife, family, friend, etc all come in second to how I am feeling.  It is all about me.  I should be able to do anything I want and not deal with the consequences.”  This way of thinking causes issues in marriages, in unplanned pregnancies, in drinking and driving, in drugs, in every sinful area of life.  I despise this way of thinking.  And I say that knowing I am not perfect and my thoughts are not perfect.
 
Whether or not you are a Bible believer (of course you know I am), the rules and laws of the Bible do prevent a lot of pain if they are followed.  And they don’t prevent a lot of fun as many tend to believe.  
 
I am thankful for my faithful husband.  I am more thankful for my faithful God!  And I pray all the time that my children may grow up caring for others over themselves and that they may spend eternity with their Holy God.