My Family


Saturday, October 31, 2009

no tricks, just treats

i just wanted to display some treats that i have been blessed with lately and pass one of them on to bless others also. yesterday, i was so blessed to be honored with this award from Tara @ keeping up with the kellys!
she is one of my wonderful, sweet blogging friends and she has honored me with the privilege of announcing our friendship for all of her blog readers to see.  this is something that she has done on fridays for awhile now and i have met so many of her friends this way. i think it is a great way to pass friendships along and unite us all in the blogging world. please stop by and meet her. you will be so glad that you did.

and also! a few weeks ago, i was blessed with this friendship award from another wonderful, sweet blogging friend of mine, loren @ the magoo news. i can not express what a great friend that she has been to me! i feel so honored that she would pass this award on to me! she has a gift of encouraging others even when she needs encouragement herself. only God can do that in a person's life and she definitely reveals the depth of her relationship with Him in everything that she writes in her posts and her comments. i thank God for her friendship in my life!

friendship hits the spot award

now, i have a treat for some of my other blogging friends. i want to pass this award on to some of you.
for those receiving this award it is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. you kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. you are not interested in self-aggrandizement. my hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. please give attention to these friends who are writers. deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award. i would like to pass this award on to;


every one of you have been a great friend to me! and i want to make sure that i let you know how much your frienship means to me. there are so many others that i would love to treat as well, but i will leave that to you to pass on to some of them. it seems we are all connecting so well, that we have a circle of friends that are becoming connected through the direction of the Lord. let's make our circle bigger by visiting the friends that i have honored here that you do not know and passing this award on to those who you would love to treat too, so we can stop by and meet them. i am completely amazed at what God is doing in His body through the internet and the blogging community. treat your friends today!

Friday, October 30, 2009

i see dead people

the neighbor mowing his lawn, the grocery clerk checking my produce, the mailman delivering my mail, the new mommy walking her baby in a stroller, my child's teacher at school, the friends that my son plays baseball with, the daddy that dropped his kids off at school this morning. all around me, everywhere that i look, i see dead people! not just hurting people who need help. but, dead people who need the Life of God! most of them don't even know that they are dead. they really don't look like they are dead to the natural eye. but, God's Word says that they are! their physical body is alive because of their natural birth but it is just the costume that is covering up the death that abides within. their spirit is dead because of sin! they are living dead people! as was i before i acknowledged my state of being and embraced the Life of God through the work of Jesus.

i was dead in my sin. i was a physically living, breathing dead person until God breathed His Life in me and resurrected me from death! He brought me to Life by uniting Himself with me. the same Life that raised Christ from the dead raised me as well. i have been raised up together with Jesus, joined with Him by the power of God. now, i live! the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me!  and the same power that raised Christ from the dead can save all dead people! their hope of resurrection is only found in the Life of Jesus that is being offered to them in exchange for their lifeless spirit.  now,  i see dead people with hope of being raised to Life!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

but God!!

truly, i don't deserve for God to bless my life with His goodness. i have done nothing to qualify myself for all that He has to offer. anything good that i have done is easily erased by the the bad attitudes that I have had or the prideful thoughts that seem to rise up in me. in and of myself, i deserve God's wrath on me, not His blessing.  in and of myself, i have nothing to offer God, except the works of my flesh, which stink in the nostrils of God. in and of myself, i am destined to a life of frustration and failure in my attempts to please God at all.  in and of myself, i am hopeless!

but God!

"but God---so rich is He in His mercy! because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved me...." (Ephesians 2:4)  He did not leave me to my own demise. because His love for me compelled Him to do so, because His love for me had to be satisfied, because His love for me was so intense, because His love for me could not fail, He changed everything for me! He changed my posiition before Him, from "in and of myself" to "in Christ." now, in Christ, i no longer attempt to stand before God offering myself to Him. because I am united and in fellowship with Him, i stand alongside of Him, displaying the work of His mercy and grace. in Christ, i am destined to live in the riches of God's goodness as His daughter, reborn by His Spirit. in Christ, i always have hope!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the kids who learn and play together stay together

when i was a teenager, i went to every youth function that there was. my whole social life was within my youth group or other youth groups. i went to camp every summer. i went to youth convention every fall. we usually had at least one retreat getaway a year. six flags was an annual trip. we also went to every Christian concert and youth rally that we found out about. we experienced God together! plus, we had "fun nights," times of hanging out together doing all kinds so different things, skating, miniature golf, bowling, bonfires, etc.  there were so many things going on that i never once thought that i was missing out on anything that the world had to offer. honestly, i did not have time to go out into the world to look for fun or fulfillment.  i was too busy finding it with my youth group friends. i am good friends with many of them still today.

youth groups seem to be different today than when i was young. it seems like youth pastors spend more time tying to have big events with lots of people for evangelistic purposes and very little time providing activities that provide social gatherings for the young people who are already a part of the body of Christ. i do not have a problem at all with evangelistic events. i am all for introducing more people to Jesus! but, i also see a huge missing piece in the lives of many young people because they do not have enough socialization time, centered around God and moral fun, with kids their age. teenagers are social. that is a top priority for them. if they are not given many opportunities to develop that part of their life with other Christians, they will find it in the world.

so, yesterday, we took our kids to a missions youth rally, ourselves. the worship band from our church was doing the worship so we thought that we would go and support them and take our kids so that they could experience worshiping God with a lot of young people who weren't necessarily from their own youth group. it was a wonderful experience. it brought back a lot of old memories for me. the speaker was even one of the same speakers that used to do youth rallies in our area when i was a teenager. his message was on responding to God's call. he had all of the kids come forward after he spoke and offered salvation to all who would accept it through Jesus. then, he encouraged everyone of the kids to listen and respond to the moving of the Spirit of God inside of them. he said there are only two things that you can do when someone calls you, answer it or ignore it. he challenged them to never ignore the calls of God in their lives but to answer them so that they can live and never have regrets, wondering what God might have been trying to get through to them about.  it was a wonderful experience. my kids were ministered to very much.

i think it is time that i lift up our youth group's social calendar to the Lord in prayer. there can never be too many Christ centered social activities for our young people. if we do not provide them enough social opportunities to develop friendships and learn spiritual things together, they will search to fulfill that need in them somewhere else. lasting friendships, centered around having fun, with God in the middle of all that they do is a necessity for our teenagers. the kids who learn and play together stay together.

Friday, October 23, 2009

most inspirational blog award

several weeks ago my wonderful blogging friend, lidj @ crown of beauty gave me this sweet blogging award. i have been so busy since then, i have just gotten around to passing it along. it was only a couple of months ago that i met lidj in the blogging world. she has a heart for the Lord that is amazing. she lives in the phillipines. she writes about her relationship with God and how He guides her through her daily life. she inspires me with her posts and encourages me to keep my relationship with the Lord intimate and real. i love having her as my friend. please stop by and meet her. you will be so glad that you did.

this award was created by caitlin @teen life. she is the teenage daughter of kat @ heart2heart. the purpose of this award is to recognize the people who inspire me with their great posts,  kind words, constant feedback, or for just being interested enough in me to follow my blog . The goal is to pass this along to five people and let them know what they mean to you!

i would like to pass this "most inspirational blog" award on to.

1. kat
2. loren
3. adeye
4. kristin
5. hope

you have all inspired me and encouraged me in sharing my life and my writing. thank you all for your support, hard work, and dedication to blogging! please pass this along to five blogging friends who have inspired you so that others can meet them and be inspired by their lives as well. keep the inspiration coming!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

fits end when trust begins!

isn't is amazing how it is so easy for people to get along as long as everything is going the way that they would like it to. I have noticed that my children think life is just grand and their parents are wonderful as long as they are getting to do what they want. but, as soon as something doesn't go their way or we have to discuss something that needs to be addressed in their life that they would rather not discuss, the tone of their voice changes and the level of sound rises to try to show the necessity of getting what they want or try to prevent having to deal with an issue that they would like to avoid. when that doesn't work, then over reaction usually takes place with pouting and saying things like, "i never get to do what i want!" "you don't trust me!" every body else gets to do it!" "i don't want to deal with this right now!" it's my life!"

sounds like a fit, doesn't it? actually, it is. just like when a little toddler does not get something they want and they throw themselves on the floor and start screaming. their flailing arms, kicking legs, their cries and screams communicate the same things as the teenager who speaks his mind easily with words. either way, both of them are sure that what they are missing out on is so vitally important that they must convince their parents of that. inside of them is the thought that we do not know as much about the issue as they do or the feeling that we are holding something back from them something that would make their life so much better. but, in reality, the opposite is usually true. we do know more than them and the only thing we are holding something back from them is something that could possibly hurt them or bring them destruction. the real issue is trust. they are not convinced of us having their best interest at heart. they believe that we really do want to keep some things that are good from them.

usually the end result of the issue is sulking and pouting. but, some times children are so convinced that they need what they want so badly that they try to get it somehow anyway. a teenager that has been told that they can not go somewhere that they want to go might sneak and go anyway or a toddler that has been told they can not go outside because it is too cold might continuously keep trying to open the door and go outside themselves. knowing that they can not live without attaining what they want, they attempt to go after it themselves.

i see this behavior in adults as well, even in my own self sometimes. well, maybe adults don't throw outward fits. actually, some do. but getting really frustrated if something is not going the way that we would like it to or had planned for our lives would be considered an adult fit before God. and, just like a child that is not convinced of their parents desire to give them everything that would make their life great, thinking that they are holding back on them, we rant and rave before God. and, rather than trusting God that He has His hand in our lives and He is blessing us with the right things at the right time to bring His perfect plan to pass in our lives, we do one of two things, we sulk, pout, fold our hands in our lap and have a pity party or we venture out to try to get what we want ourselves trying to change our current situation somehow.

the root of every fit is lack of trust in the one that has control. and, lack of trust is the result of believing the lie that the one in control is holding back something good from them. the enemy of our soul has not changed his tactic since the beginning of time. he is still using the same lie that he used in the garden of eden, "this is not a bad thing. it is a good thing. it will not hurt you. it will bring great things into your life. God is really trying to prevent you from knowing what He knows and experiencing something better than you could possibly imagine. don't wait on Him. take matters into your own hands and see for yourself" (my paraphrase) what a big, fat lie!! the only thing that God was holding back from us was death and the destruction of our lives that living apart from Him brings. and, He has not changed!

it is only when our children become fully assured of our love for them, our desire to bring good into their lives and prevent them from falling into harm that they will be able to accept our ways for them and trust us. it is only when we are fully assured of God's love for us and His desire to bring good into our lives and prevent us from falling into harm that we will be able to accept His ways and trust Him. whether it be sulking and pouting or taking matters into our own hands, fits end when trust begins!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

o taste and see that the Lord is good!

science can explain so many things. formulas and mathematical equations can describe most everything there is to know and give us a physical reason for its existence. but, just because you can recite a scientific equation for something does not mean that you have experienced a relationship with it.

a sheet of music is a mathematical representation of a song with sticks and dots on a lined page. we could look at that page of music all day and memorize every stick and dot. but, we have to hear the music in order for us to experience it and let it touch us.

color can be described mathematically too. but, hearing someone describe orange and yellow is not experiencing a beautiful sunset. we have to see it to experience it and let it move us.

taste can be described anatomically, with texture and physical structure, and descriptively, with adjectives. but, we will never experience our taste buds dance from a delicious meal or a piece of chocolate cake until we have tasted it for ourselves.

we can describe God theologically. we can list His attributes, His character, the work of creation, His plan of redemption, and quote the book of revelation. but, unless we experience God for ourselves, let Him touch the deepest parts of our heart as we share our daily lives with Him, we will never truly know Him. "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8

we must lean upon God and ask Him to open the eyes of our heart and help us to partake of His goodness, experience His love, and move us in the very core of our being. we can not just look at things with our natural eyes and try to make God's wisdom fit into a scientific box or mathematical equation. He created science and math, they did not create Him. He is the author and finisher of everything. if we try to figure out God only from what we can understand in the natural, even if it is by us memorizing Scripture or doing religious things, we will never experience the intimate relationship that He desires to have with us. so many things in this world will never make sense unless we commune with the One who holds everything in His hands.

Monday, October 19, 2009

growing up monday-------------"do you know God?"

One So Blessed

today, i am joining joanne @ blessed..... with a "growing up monday" post. she has a great idea of bringing the message that God is speaking to all of us together, uniting our hearts, and growing up together. Please be sure to stop by and read her post and link up with the others who are joining in to unite us all while we grow up together.

"do you know God?"

i don't mean know about Him. i mean, "do you know Him?"

"do you know what makes Him laugh? do you know what makes Him sad? do you know what He thinks about most of the time? do you know what He is going to say before you hear Him say it in your spirit? do you hang out with Him and listen when He talks? does your heart hurt when His does? does your heat leap with joy when you know He is excited about something? do you know what He dreams about? do you really know His heart? do you know God?"

to know someone means more than knowing about them. knowing a person conveys a close, personal, intimate relationship. so many people can rattle off many characteristics about God. they can describe theologically everything that makes God Who He is. but, they do not know Him. they have never taken the time to allow Him to share Himself with them. they may know that God loves them because that is what the Bible says is true. but, they have never experienced the life changing revelation that takes place when they allow Him to whisper in their ear every day, "I love you so much. I love YOU! I think about you all the time! I created you for no other reason, other than, to love you! you make my heart leap for joy every time I see you grow and take one step closer to living in the completeness of my wonderful plan for your life. I want to share every moment of your life with you! I want to laugh when you laugh and hold you when you cry. you are everything that I have ever dreamed about! YOU are my heart!"

"do you know God?"

you can hear someone else tell you about God, you can read about Him, even in the Bible, you can listen to the preacher talk about Him, and you can study everything that has been written or spoken about Him. you can know God theologically but, it is the experience of Him sharing His Life with you personally that makes you "know" Him and love Him. we love Him, only, because He first loved us and, only, as we experience and "know" that.

this is what God has been showing me in the last week. He is calling me to Him. He is revealing Himself deeply to my heart, helping me to recognize His unimaginable intense love for me. He wants me to know Him. He wants me to share myself with Him. He wants me to experience Him in every aspect of my life.

What about you?

What is it you are studying? What is God telling you? What lessons did God want you to learn this week, and what did you take away from your pastor's lesson or church family today that you can apply to your lives now?

Let's share with one another what we are learning and how we are growing up in Christ. Be your hometown church representative and fill us all in!

Friday, October 16, 2009

faith is a fruit

as i continue to study ephesians, i see that Paul was trying to convey to us, the church, that this life that we have been given through Jesus is pretty amazing. we have been chosen, made holy, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, lavishly favored with wisdom and insight, made God's heritage, destined for the praise of His glory, and sealed with the Holy Spirit all because God is love and He picked us to be the beneficiary of Who He is. not because we did anything to make Him love us that way. He just does! He just does!

knowing this truth by revelation from Jesus Christ Himself, paul desired for his family, by spiritual birth, to see that revelation too. he prayed for us to come to a deep and intimate knowledge of God by having our eyes flooded with Light so that we could see the Truth and believe and "know." it is the revelation of Truth that births faith, not just the mere information. it is when God opens our eyes and shows us the Truth that we do believe. this kind of faith is not brought about by any effort or decision on our part. it is the result or the fruit of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit within us showing us deeper insights into Who God is, what He is like, what His plan of action has been and will continue to be.

it is in these times of dependence upon God within us and leaning on Him to open our spiritual eyes to help us to see the Truth, that we consume and partake of the revelation that He shows us. this is the experience of all that God's Word tells us is available to us because of what Jesus has done for us in His life, death, burial and resurrection. this experience of depending on and living with God in all that we do, is what God has desired from the beginning, life with and in Him not for Him!

recognizing that we are helpless to come to Truth on our own and incapable of making ourselves believe by trying our hardest because we know we are supposed to, is the first step in having our eyes opened to truly "know" and believe. as long as we think we are supposed to try to believe, we will neglect the power to "know" that lives within us. and, itstead of partaking of the Holy Spirit's nourishment, we will be vomiting it up and trying to find our own strength to accomplish what only He can do in us. you can not conjure up faith. you can't make yourself "know."
you can't just decide to believe. you either "know" or you don't. and, only the One Who Is can reveal Himself and make us "know" Him. true faith or "knowing" is the fruit of communion with the Spirit of the Living God Who abides within us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

i will believe it when i see it

"i will believe it when i see it!"

i have heard people say this many times before. and, really i had always thought that the ones that said this were so shallow and unspiritual because "faith is the evidence of things not seen." obviously, this portion of Scripture is the truth, but the word seen means looked upon with the natural eye. faith is our evidence of truth when there is no physical evidence to be found. but, faith is only faith when it is birthed as fruit from our spirit. otherwise, you are just trying to believe. the truth is, seeing is believing! it is just a different kind of seeing. Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18 for us to have the eyes of our heart flooded with light so that we can know and understand the truth of who God is and what He has done for us. with the right set of optics and in the proper Light, we can see past what our natural eyes can see and see what is truly going on in our lives. and, when we do, without any effort on our part, we believe because we have seen the truth.

just because we can not see something with our natural eyes does not mean that it is not there. we all know that there are germs and bacteria that live in our air that we breathe. we see the evidence of them with our natural eyes. we see symptoms of sickness in our bodies and evidence of bacteria growing on our leftovers in our refrigerator. but we can not see the culprits that cause theses things unless we use the proper set of optics to see them. but, with a microscope we can see most of them and realize they truly exist and believe it.

we can look up into the sky and see many stars with our natural eyes. but, with the proper set of optics we can see that there are so many more than is evident by just looking up into the night sky. with a highly powered telescope, we can see galaxies of stars that will blow our minds.

i want to see the big picture that God sees. i am tired of being moved by what i see in the natural. i want to be like a tree planted by the waters and not be moved. i want to see behind the scenes and believe that God is not sitting on His thumbs doing nothing. He is on the scene! He is active and moving and preparing His bride for His soon coming arrival. if i really want the truth, if i really want to know the truth, if i really want to know and believe the truth, i have to use the proper set of optics to get the full detailed picture. my heart's prayer is this, "open the eyes of my heart, where you abide, Lord, and help me to see what you see. i do not want to be moved by only a partial view of the truth. i want to see what you see. You do not get moved by the things that seem to move me. i want to see it your way. it is only when i see through your eyes that i will truly believe. open the eyes of my heart and let me see and believe! i know i will believe it when i see it!"

Monday, October 12, 2009

happy birthday olivia---------our vacation day 8

our last day of our vacation was olivia's 13th birthday, sept 25th.
i hope it was a birthday that she will never forget.
since it was her birthday, her addmission to the park was free. but, we had already paid for her admission with our vacation package. so, she got a gift card for the amount of her admission to spend on anything that she wanted that day. that was a nice birthday gift for her, for sure.
her day started with a visit to toon town with amanda, with the intention of getting their picture taken with tinker bell, but the line was way too long so they stopped by to meet belle.

since they didn't get to meet tinkerbell they headed over to her gift shop.
they had a lot of fun playing with all of the princess and fairy accessories.

wouldn't she make a beautiful fairy?


                                                         they were having so much fun!!

 but it was time to head to the royal castle for our royal dinner and olivia's birthday celebration.
we were greeted by cinderella herself
then we were escorted through the royal hallway to our table.

                                                                                                                                                    our night in shining armour--in training--

             we sang happy birthday to olivia!

                                                                                                                 ate our royal dinner

                                   used our magic wands

                                         and our swords

                                          "hi-yah take that!"

then one by one all of the princesses of the land made their way over to welcome us to the castle.

                         princess jasmine



princess aurora a.k.a. sleeping beauty

        and snow white

                                                                                                  bippity-boppity boo!!!

it was a great birthday for olivia. i hope she never forgets her 13th birthday.
after our birthday celebration, jacob and i headed back to the resort to start to pack for our trip home the next day and catch a nap. everyone else headed over to blizzard beach for some more fun in the sun and water slides.

then we all headed back to downtown disney for
olivia to spend the rest of her birthday money.
shop! shop! shop! until we dropped!

the next morning, it was time to head home.
but, before we hopped on the bus to take us to the airport,
amanda posed for a colored drawing.

                                                                                                                                           how cute!!!

            and everyone else spent their final hour in the resort arcade.

josiah stopped to pose with his chemistry book to try to make everyone think he did homework on his vacation. Yah Right!!

it was a great action-packed vacation. we all had a wonderful time. I feel so blessed that we were able to enjoy this time with our family. but, we decided that next vacation is going to be a week on the beach somewhere, DOING NOTHING! :)