My Family


Sunday, January 30, 2011

only the believer who knows, grows

understanding the difference between position and condition is absolutely necessary for every believer to live in the victory that Jesus provided for us. being ignorant of this concept has not only limited our understanding of the Scriptures, but has also directly impacted our spiritual growth and success at overcoming sins and weaknesses in our lives. the idea that once we are established in the faith, we no longer need to concentrate on position but we should move on and focus on our progress in our Christian life or our condition, is the trap that the enemy sets before us to actually keep us from living empowered in our position bearing the fruit of the Spirit.  from what I’ve seen in the lives of the average believer, as well as my own life, focusing on the condition of our lives has not resulted in progress, but defeat.

our position in Christ is the result of the completed work of Christ. Christ’s work is finished and cannot change, therefore our position in Christ cannot change. it is perfect and complete, and is ours from the moment we believed in Christ as Savior. there is no difference positionally between the weakest believer and the strongest saint, the new convert and the mature, or the carnal Christian and the spiritual.  our condition, on the other hand, is usually very different from our position. our condition is where we are at in our Christian walk, the degree to which our life reflects our position in Christ or does not.  it is our holiness of character, level of maturity, and degree of obedience at any given time.

according to the author, miles stanford, "all spiritual growth is based upon the principle of position. our position, the source of our Christian life, is perfect. it is eternally established in the Father’s presence. the Holy Spirit created us in the position that was established through His work at Calvary. the Christian who comes to see his position in the Lord Jesus begins to experience the benefit of all that he is in Him. although our position remains immutable, our condition is variable. through the exercise of faith in our position because of His finished work, our eternal position affects our daily condition, but in no way does our condition affect that heavenly position.

when we concentrate on our condition, we are not living by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ but by our circumstances, feelings and appearances. the inevitable result is that we become increasingly self-conscious and self-centered and we fail to live in the power of our position "in Christ."  our only responsibility is to pay attention to the Lord Jesus, to rest in Him as our position. we will then see spiritual growth and experience the  power and victory over sin that our position entitles us. “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Cor 4:18)

in most cases, we are more aware of our condition rather than our position. this is the reason for so much failure and stagnation in our lives. if we are to grow and become fruitful, our faith must be anchored in the finished work of our position in Christ. there is no basis for faith in our changeable, unfinished condition (1 Cor. 2:5). if we do not know of our position in the Lord Jesus, and how to abide in Him as our very life, there will be but one result. we will struggle in our un-Christlike condition rather than rest in our Christ-centered position.

every Christian has been positioned forever in
Christ at our spiritual birth.  it is faith in the truth of our position that empowers us and gives us the daily benefits of change and growth in our condition. if we are not clearly aware of the specific truths of the Word, we will not exercise the necessary faith for growth and service. we will only seek our resources for changing our condition within the realm of our own selves.  Scriptural, fact-centered faith in the Lord Jesus as our position before the Father is the one and only means of experiencing that finished work in our daily condition, which is why it is absolutely vital that we know our position before God."

"only the believer who knows, grows!!"

"my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...." (hosea 4:6)
(Miles Stanford, "Foundations of Spiritual Growth", in the larger book "The Complete Green Letters") 

Friday, January 28, 2011

happy birthday to my momma

you're a wonderful mom!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

perfect peace


I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect peace and confidence.)  in the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted)!  for i have overcome the world.    john 16:33

in this world we will have hard times, 
but where can we find our peace?

a perfect change in circumstances? 
a perfect change in people?
a perfect job?
a perfect place?

or a perfect Savior who has already overcome the world?!!

through it all, perfect peace is only found in Jesus!

Monday, January 24, 2011

today's after school snack

a few weeks ago i made some muffins for the kids to eat when they came home from school.  jacob loved them and has been asking for more muffins since then.  so i looked up some different muffin recipes.  i thought this one sounded pretty good and somewhat healthy. they turned out to be a hit so i thought i would share them.

apricot oat muffins

2 c. flour
1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. salt
1-1/2 c. fat free milk
1/3 c. canola oil
1 egg
3/4 c. chopped dried apricots
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

in a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  in another bowl, combine milk, oil, and egg until blended; stir into dry ingredients just until blended.  fold in the apricots and walnuts.  fill greased muffin cups about 2/3 full.  bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.  it makes about 15 muffins.

one muffin equals about 216 calories, 7 g fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 149 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, and 4 g protein
(Taste of Home's "Quick Cooking" Jan/Feb 2003)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

i look like my Father!

i completely remember the moment each one of my children were born into this world and that instantaneous love that overwhelmed my heart.  each one was so tiny and innocent and completely dependent upon me to love and take care of them.  i welcomed that opportunity with great anticipation even though they had not done one thing to create that desire in me except to be born as mine. "perfect! completely and beautifully perfect!" that is what my thoughts were toward them from their very first breath.  i was thrilled to be their mommy!  i think back on those moments and am amazed at how that can be.  how can a momma have such instantaneous love for her children? 

what brought about that overwhelming feeling in my heart for them?  the only thing that caused that intense love for them was that they were born and they were mine.  they were MY children!  they did not earn my love.  they had not done anything to earn it, except cry, which seemed to make the fondness of my heart even more intense for them.

i think having children of my own makes me to understand more of the heart of my Heavenly Father.  sometimes, it is easy for me to forget that He has the same feelings toward me that i have toward my children. He loves me intensely!  not because i have done anything to make Him love me but just because i am HIS!! "perfect! completely and beautifully perfect!" that is His thoughts toward me.  He is thrilled to be my Father and thrilled that i am completely dependent upon Him to love and take care of me!

i remember one of the first things that i did when my children were born was to look them over and see who i thought that they looked like.  looking for the resemblances that showed they were the creation of the union of aaron and i, i noticed that rachel had the shape of my eyes and amanda had her daddy's eyes, josiah and jacob had their daddy's nose and olivia looked like my mom's side of the family.  it was so fun trying to look and find the proof in their little bodies that showed they were ours.  once again, they did not do anything to make themselves look like us.  they just did because they were created from us. as each one has grown, more and more resemblances of both aaron and i arise in them.  even their expressions, the way they walk, and how they talk begin to resemble us. there is no doubt about it, they are our children!  they look and act like us!

i know my Heavenly Father looks to see Himself in me as well. To Him, i look just like HIM!! the Holy Spirit in me is proof that i am His child and the promise to me that i will begin to resemble Him more and more everyday as I depend upon Him to be my Daddy and allow Him to take care of every aspect of my life.

there is no doubt about it
i am His daughter and......

i look like my Father!!!

"you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as His own children.  now we call him, "Abba Father."  for His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.  and since we are His children, we are his heirs.  in fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory." (Romans 8:15-17)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

baaaaaa, got milk?

"oh yes you do!!!"
"yes you do!"
"mmmm milk!!"
"you got milk too?"

"we like you a lot!!"

remembering a fun part of a family day we had last fall!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

every child is planned!

we recently told our kids that we were going to be adding another member to our family.  i recorded the whole scene and i am so glad that i did.  it is a memory that i want to remember every detail of.  the scene took place Christmas day.  we saved one last gift for the kids to open at the very end of the day.  they were all very excited and could not imagine what the gift could be.  we all laughed a lot as they unwrapped and discovered what the very last gift was. we all discussed our thoughts about a new baby becoming a part of our family.  it was very interesting seeing how each kid processed the acquired information and the stages their thought processes went through.  if you are interested in watching it, you can view it here.  i have watched it at least a dozen times already and i laugh until i am crying every time.

one of the things that we talked and laughed about was whether or not we planned this baby.  of course, the answer was "uhmmmm, no! not planned! but welcomed!"  the only one of our children that was actually planned was josiah, who was our first.  he is the only one that we actually said, "let's have a baby," and soon thereafter he was here.  aaron and i laughed about how we did not have much time to think about or plan any of the other ones.  our first four kids were all born by the time josiah was five years old.  needless to say, after amanda, our fourth, was born, we began to plan a little bit.  but the plan was prevention! which worked for about nine years, until jacob came along. :)

i say that they weren't planned but that is only partially true because they were planned even if it wasn't by us.  they were planned by God!  He planned them!  He destined them into our family!  and we just received them for what they were, gifts from God!!  isn't it amazing to think that there is no child that was ever born that was not planned.  God planned us all!  He destined us all to be born into this world and He destined us all to be born into His family also.  "for He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ." (ephesians 1:5)

every child has been destined and planned to have the best Father!

every child is planned!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

you look the way i feel


poor cow!!  you look the way that i feel!

i'm feeling really fat today!
not sure if it is the nearly 1 lb baby boy i am nurturing or the nearly 1 lb of ribs i ate that just nurtured me!
or maybe it's both!!  :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

look a distraction!

have you ever noticed that when it seems like you are entering a deeper level of revelation in Christ and God is showing Himself big to you that it seems like all hell breaks loose somewhere in your life? a few years ago i was enjoying a place in my life with the Lord that was so sweet.  i felt like He was revealing deep and intimate truths to my heart and the result of the time spent with Him seemed to cause every area of my life to blossom. my relationship with my husband seemed sweeter, everything was going well with parenting at the time, and my friendships were very enjoyable. it just seemed like life was so good in every way.

then one day i noticed something out of the ordinary that peaked my curiosity and caused me some concern.  i began to investigate more into the issue and the more i sought clarity with it, the more consumed i became to get to the bottom of it all.  in the meantime, everything that seemed to be so sweet in my life was teetering.  i recognized right away how differently things seemed to be in my heart and in my relationships.  i noticed i had lost my peace and was beginning to feel overwhelmed. but, i really wanted to figure this issue out.   i asked the Lord to help me because i knew that i was not experiencing the Life that He had provided for me and i was wondering why.  His answer to me was simple, quick, and absolute. "christy, this issue is just a distraction!"

oh my goodness! i saw it! in an instant, i realized that the enemy had set a trap for me to fall into, a distraction trap!  i had lost my focus on what was important! HIM!!! and, i began to focus on something minor that only brought me frustration! i recognized and saw the whole thing from His perspective and turned my focus back to the One that brought me such peace.  i immediately began to experience the Life that was so sweet in every area of my life once again.

the one thing that the enemy hates the most is when we actually begin to experience the blessings of our salvation in every area of our lives.  he hates it when we are happy.  he hates it when we live in peace with God and one another "in Christ."  he hates it when we are so focused on Christ that we actually begin to live in the blessings that He has provided for us.  and, as soon as he gets a chance, he begins to look for ways to cleverly release his weapons of mass distraction toward us.  his goal is to get us to look away from Jesus and the Truth and get focused on anything else.  it seems like most of the time he succeeds.  i think that we are easily distracted because we have not become convinced of the Truth of the goodness of God and His power to care for us and because of that, the things in this world seem bigger to us than God Himself.

when i look back at that situation, i thank God for the lesson that i learned in that time period of my life.  i have definitely been distracted away from keeping my heart solely on Jesus since then.  but, it seems that i have learned to catch the traps quicker now.  i have recognized the symptoms of the traps of distraction.  those symptoms show up in my soul where my thoughts and my emotions reside.  if i pay attention to my thoughts and emotions, i can recognize whether i have become distracted or not.  stress, anxiety, and frustration reveal evidence of being distracted from the Truth of what Jesus says about me and every situation that i encounter.  peace, joy, and rest reveal evidence of a solid focus on Him.

so really, what we all need is an anchor for our soul so that it can become single focused and not be easily distracted. Jesus is that anchor! He is the Truth! a deeper revelation of who He is and His great plan for our lives will make Truth so plain and clear to us that we will quickly recognize the weapon of distraction and render it powerless. when the enemy plants a trap before us, we will be able to recognize it and say, "look a distraction!" and avoid the pitfalls that he intended us to fall into.  when we really know the Truth, the lies are quickly recognized and our soul remains stable, confident and secure experiencing the fruit of remaining focused on Jesus.

"so God has given both his promise and his oath.  these two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.  therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.  this hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls."  hebrews 6:18,19

Thursday, January 13, 2011

it was a happy birthday kind of day

yesterday was my sweet husband's birthday. we celebrated with the kids and his mom first.
the look on his face here makes it look like he might have thought his new belt was a snake.

jacob only wanted tools for Christmas, so every present that was opened he asked if it was tools.

checking out some lottery tickets that aaron's brother got him for his birthday. one $5.00 winner out of 10 tickets.  Amanda was watching with great curiosity as aaron was pretending to be a big winner.

can't have a birthday without cake

we also told aaron's mom that we were going to have another baby this night. i wish i would have had the camera on her when we told her so that we could have gotten the expression on her face captured for his baby book. it was priceless.

then, we continued the celebration by going out to alexander's, aaron's favorite steak house, with some friends. we all had a great time!

it was a happy birthday kind of day!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

what are we looking for?

more of you Lord, more of you! i want more of your presence in my life!
 what does that mean really?
 what are we looking for?

 more goosebumps?
 stronger feelings for Him?
 a spiritual high?
 supernatural happenings?

 or do we want to experience Him?

 His character?
 His love?
 His nature?
 God Himself?

 "but the fruit of the Holy Spirit (the work which His presence within accomplishes)
is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
(meekness, humility), self control." (galations 5:22,23)

 how do we attain more of His presence? what do we have to do?

 win more people to the Lord?
 do more work in the church?
 pray more?

 or do we need to return to the One who united us with God in the first place?
 live in dependence upon Him for every aspect of fulfillment in our lives?

 "you who were once far away from God. yet now (God) has reconciled you to Himself
through the death of Christ in His physical body.  as a result, He has brought you into
His own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before Him without a
single fault.  but you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. (colossians 1:21-23)

 the presence of God is not attained by religion or even spirituality
but by continuing in or returning to our faith and trust in JESUS!

 Jesus is the way!! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

messy face and all......

you steal my heart!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

let's rock and roll

it seems to me that we put too much stake into what we can see, feel, hear, touch, and taste and yet that is the part of the life that we live that is temporary and fading away. if we only truly understood that it was the unseen spiritual existence of God that created the tangible world that we experience in our humanness, we would know that this world we see can and does change but the eternal, spiritual world does not and will not change.  so why do we want to cling to what is shakable, a life that is going to shift and move underneath our feet instead of what is unshakable and will be firm and solid forever?  God's Word reveals His plan for our lives here on this earth and forever into eternity.  He has great plans for us in every aspect of our lives; spirit, soul, and body. but, it is only as we begin to put our faith in the unseen reality over the seen that the power of God brings change into our human world and we begin to experience the Truth in the marriage of both of our worlds. 
i think it is just amazing how God has combined two different worlds into one.  the eternal, unseen, spiritual realm  has been combined with the temporary, tangible, physical world.  when Jesus died on the cross for our sin, he took our sin with Him and when He rose from the dead to sit at the right hand of the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell those who believe upon Him as their Savior.  Two worlds became one "in Christ."  it is Christ in us that is the hope of us experiencing the glory of God in our human lives. (colossians 1:27)   it is as we place our faith in the unseen work of Christ and His Spirit within us that the Truth of what He accomplished on the cross will become evident in this physical life that we exist in as our tangible world shakes, rattles and rolls under the power of the eternal God.
I Peter 1:9 says, " are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, God's own purchased, special people." that is the unchangeable spiritual Truth because of our faith in Jesus.  we are a new race of people, one that has been united with the Spirit of the eternal God.  just imagine how much our natural, human lives are going to be rocked and changed if we begin to cling to the unseen, unshakable Truth of Christ no matter what it looks or feels like in our flesh. God and I are one spirit! that is almost more than my natural mind can comprehend, but i want to become so steadfast in that Truth that my whole world gets shaken up as it begins to align with the eternal Truth of God's Word. 
let's rock and roll!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010

starting the celebrations with matching Christmas pajamas

lots of hugs went around

jacob thought he would try out his new drill on rachel's  face

Christmas morning--time to check out what's in the stockings

and now for the finale! one last Christmas present!

                                                                         it was a wonderful Christmas for us all!!