Friday, November 30, 2012

Sprout Time

I enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday  - being around family, eating good food and just being thankful for our blessings.  To cap off our visit, the other day, all of the Blossoms, the Sprouts, the Mommies and Daddies and the Grammie and Pappy went out to eat.  The waitress brought our drink orders with a wry face and said, "I'm sorry, we're out of lidded cups for the little ones."  Full glasses for the Blossoms and Sprouts who vary in age as follows: 8yrs, 7yrs, 6yrs, 5yrs, almost 3 yrs and 2 1/2 yrs!  So, we Mommies did the best we could.  All was well for a while.  I turned around to hear the Sprout Mommy say to the youngest Sprout, "Use two - - - - SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH - - - hands!"  Water flooded the table, his pants and his chair.  The (guilty) littlest Sprout shouted, "TA-DAH!!!!!"  Evidently, he likes making a splash.

We just smiled and cleaned it up, being thankful it wasn't soda and chuckling over his humor.  I'm thankful for those moments that don't become embarrassing, frustrating, mad-at-a-child moments.  It just isn't worth it.  I love my little Nephew-Sprout.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


"'All sorts of thoughts cross one's mind - it depends upon whether one gives them harbor or encouragement,' said Molly."

From Wives And Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell

Monday, November 26, 2012


Our pastor shared these thoughts recently:

Understand that satan wants you to turn your back on God.  He wants you to walk away from God.  He wants you to become distant with God little by little.  Every scheme is concocted with this in mind.  Some people don't like the devil just because he brings sickness, pain, etc.  This is all true.  We must remember that he is EVIL.  He is your adversary.  Perhaps that term doesn't mean anything to you.  He is your enemy

This challenged me to see through every scheme of the enemy, to see that he is trying to make me distant from God.  He's trying to get me to grow cold in my love for God.  If I see and realize that in the trials I go through in my life, I can fight it. 

Fight distance from God.

Friday, November 23, 2012

SP6 - Conclusion

If you're proud because you have the Holy Spirit:
Remember that God the Father is the One Who sent the Holy Spirit to us.

If you're proud because you have no lack:
Remember that it is because Jehovah Jireh is your Provider.

If you're proud because _______________________________________: 
(You fill in the blank... your kids obey, they're saved, you're husband is Godly, you're not backslidden, etc.)
I guarantee you, the response points right back to our Father.  He is Everything.  That is why pride in spirituality is truly unfounded and grossly sinful.  I hope that reading this has been a good reminder for you, as it has been for me.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


If you're proud because God heard your prayers:
Remember that He hears the cry of the righteous and the reason you are righteous is because of Jesus' Righteousness... not your own!

If you're proud because you have faith:
Remember that God is the One who dealt to you your measure of faith. 

If you're proud because you have grace:
Remember that God is the One who abundantly lavished His grace upon you. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


If you're proud because you bear fruit:
Remember that it is because you abode in the Vine, for apart from the Vine, you have no fruit. 

If you're proud because you are doing the work of the ministry:
Remember it is God Who called you into the ministry. 

If you're proud because you resisted the devil and he fled:
Remember that you were submitted to God's authority first and that's why the devil had to flee. 

Friday, November 16, 2012


If you're proud because you have more self control than the next person:
Remember that self control is yet another fruit of the Spirit. 

If you're proud because you do God's will:
Remember that it is he who leads you in the paths of righteousness and it is for His name's sake. 

If you're proud because you hear His voice:
Remember that He is the One who chose you to hear His voice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


If you're proud because you're so humble:
remember that He is the One that exalts us.

If you're proud because of your patience:
Remember that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, so you can't get that on your own either.

If you're proud because you are kind, loving, joyful, peaceful, good, faithful, gentle:
Get over yourself because those are also fruit of the Spirit. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Spiritual" Pride

It's a term I don't often hear, yet I'm quite certain that anyone of us could fall to this ugly sin.  Several years back, I preached a sermon on the topic of pride in your own spirituality.  I shared the following thoughts with everyone.  I recently stumbled on them again.  Enjoy! 

If you're proud about your salvation:
Remember that it is the gift of God so that no one can boast. 

If you're proud about your holiness:
Remember that you're sanctified by the Holy Spirit and any righteousness of your own works is filthy rags in God's sight. 

If you're proud because you love God SO MUCH:
Remember that it is His love that is shed abroad in your heart.  You didn't do that either. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

the Monkey Mommy?

One friend of mine, we’ll call her Monkey Mommy, is great at something Ephesians 4:29 describes.  “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”  I think you might say that she is good at edifying or building up others.  I have often been needy in a moment – downcast or weary in this Godly parenting race.  And, she has spoken to me.  I’ve walked away with the grace to obey God and keep persevering to raise Godly children.  She doesn’t always share an easy scripture with me. But somehow, she shares it so humbly that I can receive it and assimilate it into my heart.  She shares the things the Lord has shown her.  She shares the things she has struggled with and she responds with things the Holy Spirit leads her to say.  My journal has many encouraging words spoken from her mouth, that helped me to stay the course, to not give up, to not despair, to courageously obey the Lord and to fear God instead of man.  I’m thankful that the Monkey Mommy edifies the Body of Christ, according to the need of the moment.  Her words give grace to those of us who hear.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

the M-I-L

Here’s one that surprises most people.  I have something good to say about my Mother-In-Law.  (We’ll just call her BraveHeart.  Believe me, if you’d heard the stories of my husband’s and his brother’s childhood escapades, you’d find this name quite appropriate!)  Anyway, I’ve been quite blessed in the In-Law department, so I’d like to highlight her strength in the Body of Christ.  BraveHeart’s strength is the epitome of one of my Dad’s chief principles he and Mom strove to teach me.    “Prefer others higher than yourself.”  She does this!  She is always looking out for what the other person prefers and desires.  She consistently and without fail puts others’ needs, desires and preferences above her own.  (And, she does this without making a big show of how unselfish she is!)  She is quiet – very quiet - about her own needs, desires and preferences.  Being around her has taught me to quiet down and pay attention to others.  Not everyone announces what they need, want or prefer.  My BraveHeart Mother-in-Law demonstrates unselfishness daily.  Watching her unselfishness reminds me to be unselfish – to pay attention and to make my own needs, desires and preferences take second place to others – with a happy heart too, mind you!  Isn’t that who the Lord would have us to think of – others?  Thank you, my dear BraveHeart Mother-in-Law.  You are a living example of unselfishness and I am learning from you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hmmm, Joey?

Next up is Joey.  Don’t even try to figure out where the name came from.  It’s so old none of us know the reasoning behind it.  Anyway, I’ve known Joey since I was just under 2 years old.  We go way back!  J  (Sisters, duh.)  Her strength that I appreciate is a solid, bold adherence to the Word of God.  It is often unappreciated, even scorned.  Where others waffle, where others trumpet their feelings, where others talk about what they “think,” not Joey.  What does the Word say?  Feelings don’t matter.  Preconceived opinions, thoughts, beliefs and preferences swiftly melt away.  She’s the first that will throw all that out the window when she reads the Word.  And, she’s been reading the Word and standing by her own personal convictions based on the Word since her early teenage years.  Yes, people think she should be more tolerant, even more tactful or more concerned about other people’s feelings.  Bottom line is, though, she’s been concerned about obeying the Word and pleasing God all along.  And, where others gray the line for people’s sake, not Joey.  Gray isn’t in her life color scheme.  It’s always been about what God wants and what’s in HIS Word.  Isn’t that what we should all be concerned about?  The fear of God, not the fear of man?  Thanks, Joey.  You stand, where others bow. 

By the way, Happy 30th Birthday!  May you have many more years of standing!  Continue to refuse to bow.

Friday, November 2, 2012


My mother.  What can I say?  She’s the reason I am the way I am.  And, that is every bit the compliment I intend it to be.  The way I serve God now, is because of her unceasing and tireless and relentless efforts year after year.  She is virtuous.   She is loving.  She has vision.  She sacrifices.  So many things come to mind when I think of her.  I must narrow it down though, at least for the sake of the post.  Check out Romans 12:13, “When God's people are in need, be ready to help them…”    This is it.  If anyone is in need, Mom is the person to help them out.  Anything from teaching people how to sew, make salsa or build furniture, to getting started homeschooling, offering a ride, lending a vehicle, training children, fixing stuff at the church, getting projects done… anything.  If God’s people are in need, Mom is always ready to help them.  She sacrifices her schedule on a daily basis, to help people.  It is often unappreciated.  It is even taken for granted in an annoying sort of way.  However, when she does stuff like this to the least of us, she does it to Christ.  So although people aren’t always as grateful as they ought to be, she just keeps helping people and putting her gifts and strengths out there for the taking.  I’m thankful for this example, for it truly never is convenient to help people.  She just keeps doing it though.  Thanks, Mom.