Monday, December 31, 2007
I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Blessed New Year! May the new year bring a fuller relationship with your Heavenly Father! May He be praised in this generation! God has been speaking to me about "Waiting" and "Expectancy", so I eagerly await what He has to show me this year! I thank God for last year, even with the trials and pain at times. God has been faithful and will continue to be! I am glad He is seated on the throne. When looking up Isaiah 40:31 for this post I read all of Chapter 40. This is who is seated on the throne. There is no one like Him!
Comfort for God's People
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
6 A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
9 You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, "Here is your God!"
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
18 To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?
19 As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.
20 A man too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple.
21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope (wait) in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Friday, December 28, 2007
4And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak. (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26)
14All of these with their minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer, [waiting together] with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
They waited and prayed. All of them together! This is what the commentary said about it:
"Les us note one other thing. The apostles were enjoined to wait on the coming of the Spirit. We would gain more power and courage and peace if we learned to wait. In the business of life we need to learn to be still (I think I've said that before, especially about Young Children and Worship). "They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength". (Isaiah 40:31) Amidst life's surging activity there must be time to receive."
Each year I pray that God will help me in all areas, but one where I feel specifically that I need extra help with. ( I hope that made sense. I don't mean it like I'm helping God, etc.. etc..) This year my specific prayer is that He teach me to WAIT on Him!
P.S. Another thing I think is so awesome is Jesus' brothers were there too! During his lifetime they basically were against him. Now they saw him for who he really was and believe! I feel for them too! How they must have felt, knowing they didn't believe he was who he said he was! But in Christ they were forgiven, and became followers of Him. Just a cool side note.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Monday we got together with my brothers and sisters at a hotel in Grandville. We've been doing this for the last 3 years. It works out great for the kids and us. We rent to breakfast room and get to use the pool. We can have it from 11:00 am til 11:00 pm if we want. Everyone came earlier this year. It was nice seeing all those that could come, and all the little babies that have been born to my nephews. Did I happen to tell you that I am going to be a great-great aunt soon?! Can you believe it. By the time I'm a grandmother all this great stuff will be old hat. No it doesn't make me feel old really!!!!!
After we got home Monday night the kids opened their presents from each other and we opened our presents from them. As always they are presents we will treasure.
Monday morning the kids got up about 7:30 and we read the Christmas Story, sang a couple of Christmas carols, then opened presents. My husband got me a very pretty Sapphire and Diamond ring. You see my kids birthstones are Sapphire and Diamonds (isn't it great how I planned that!), so that will be my mother's ring. I have to have it size so it will be awhile before I can show anyone.
We just had a very relaxing day from that point. About 1:30 we headed off to Pigeon Creek to go sledding. There wasn't alot of snow, but the kids had fun! Then we went for a hike, then off to Steve's Dad's for tea time. Have pop quiz for you, do any of you know what time Tea Time is? I do! After we got home from there, Steve needed to take a nap. Last night and for the next 2 night's he has to work 3rd shift. No fun, but it is kind of nice having him home during the day. That's about it for now, maybe latter I'll post about how Steve and I felt Monday night. Too wordy for right now!
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Read: Luke 2:8-20
The Bible never grows old or stale. I find that verses I have studied 99 times yield fresh insight on the hundredth reading, which inspires me to keep meditating on the Word. In the account of Jesus' birth, I discovered a principle that recurs frequently in Scripture: God often gives great revelation to those in lowly positions. A person's worth before the Lord cannot be judged by his position, abilities or popularity.
Since Mary and Joseph were both from common families, they probably seemed an unlikely choice for parents of the Messiah. Similarly, the men selected to receive the angelic announcement of Christ's birth also lacked social standing - shepherds were considered part of the lowest class. Yet god revealed His plans to these individuals, not on the basis of worldly status, but because their heart attitude was right. the people He used were all humble followers who submitted to His will - whether the mission was bearing and protecting a young Jesus, or hurrying to worship Him where He lay in a manger.
Early Light: When God guides us to take an important action, we might wonder why we have been chosen (I think this alot!). We're tempted to think, Surely he wants someone with better talent or more wisdom. In fact, many bible characters, like Gideon and Moses, expressed that exact sentiment to the Lord (Judges 6:15; Exodus 3:11). But we can't allow a sense of inadequacy to stand in the way of obedience. If god chooses us for a task, He will also give us the strength and wisdom to complete it. All we need is a willing and obedient spirit.
For me that is what the Lord has been teaching me lately. He wants my obedience. Lately an e-mail went out from the Children's Ministry Network that I'm a part of. All or most of these fine ladies have a degree of some kind. I began to think (again) what am I doing here! I do not have the qualification to do the job I am doing. God reminded me this morning that it's not my qualifications, but His calling that matter. So until the day He calls me out of it, I am here to do his biding, because I really want to be obedient, and be used by Him for His kingdom. TO GOD BE THE GLORY IN ALL THINGS!!!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Here is the glass block present I told you about! Isn't it Preeetttyy!
Here are the stockings my sister Sandy made us several years ago. I feel very privileged that she made them for my family. They are keepsakes we will always treasure! You can also see the Merry Christmas blocks my Dad and Mom made. They are some of my favorite decorations. Also the Poinsettia that I got from Hills on Sunday. Look Jennifer I haven't killed it yet!Here is the nativity my mom bought me several years ago from Sam's Club. This is one of my very favorite Christmas decorations. I will always cherish it as well. Bekah helps me put it out every year. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
2. Has the enemy ever told you there are situations that are 'old news' that are better left stuffed down? Or perhaps because they were so long ago they can't possibly be affecting you now? hhhmmmmm, not really. He's usually throwing them in my face trying to make me feel guilty.
3. In the matter of established authority, does God truly reign in your life? Where are you when He calls your name? sometimes trying to sleep! I think he has me more then not these days, but I do tend to take back alot!
4. Do you ever feel God has forgotten you in your 'west side of the wilderness'? Sometimes, in my weak moments. Sometimes I feel alone, but it's usually when I haven't spent much time with Him.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Kaylyn sang "Breath of Heaven"
Zack sang "Joseph's Song"
O.K. Bekah didn't have a solo I just thought she was cute!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Above: the choir during practice
Mary, Joseph and Gabriel
Look at how they all are singing. They did such a good job!
The Shepherds and the Heavenly Host.
I'll post more later. It took a long time to get these to post.
At the practice on Saturday I told the children who they were preforming for, an audience of ONE! I read this passage from Isaiah 6:
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
I told them to remember this when they are up on stage and all the people that come will be blessed because of it. That truly happened last night! I know I was blessed. I couldn't believe how things went. When you are at the practice you're like "Is this ever going to happen", YIKES! It even came in at exactly an hour. We never timed it, and we never really discussed length. It was perfect! The solos and duets where wonderful! Everyone that was involved really wanted to be there, so we all worked together.
I want to send a BIG THANK YOU to: Amy, Jen, Sherri, and Tara for helping coordinate the whole program. It truly was wonderful working and praying with these ladies.
I have pictures, but I don't know where Steve filed them, so I may post them latter today! To God be the glory, great things He has done!
Friday, December 14, 2007
I am now unto Lesson 5 of this study. What a great study today! The parts that really spot to me were:
From Paragraph 2 - We are told in the New Testament book of Hebrews that he fled Egypt 'in faith'. Can I suggest to you that sometimes we can be 'in faith' yet be totally bewildered, downcast, confused, and downright demoralized when things do not turn out like we planned? Are there any hands to raise?
Paragraph 4 - The word 'content' in this context is very interesting. It is the Hebrew word "ya'al" (Strong's 2974) and means "to be willing, to show willingness, to be determined, to undertake to do, to make a beginning. It is making up one's mind to commence a given activity. Today we use terms such as 'initiative', or 'motivation'. The word has the nuance of determination and resolve." Now, in comparison to this meaning of 'content', consider another definition NOT used here. It is simply, "to breathe after". Especially the part of to be willing, to be determined.
All of paragraph 5 too!
Here are my Discussion Questions:
1. Have you ever found yourself 'in faith' yet bewildered or demoralized? I never thought it was "in faith" at the time, but definitely when I was younger. Decision I had made outside of God's will had left me feeling ashamed and distant from him.
2. Do you consider yourself content? Would you describe it as Decidedly Content or Dreamily Content? I am most definitely content. There have been degrees to my contentedness. I was decidedly content as a single after the age of 29. Before that I had the old feelings many singles have about wanting to be married. God showed me that I needed to put Him first. I prayed one night that if I'm single for the rest of my life or single until I was 50, he was picking the next man I dated. Now I am dreamily content because of who he brought into my life (Steve), and the life He (God) has given me in Him (God).
3. If you are not content, are there circumstances that keep you from this feeling? The only time I would not feel content is when I let satan bring up my past, and when I allow him to point out my failings.
4. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you looked back on a period of your Christian walk and believed a great opportunity passed you by? Oh yes, but praise be to God I remind myself (He reminds me) of His wonderful plan for my life and that I can use those situations to help others!
5. Do you ever believe your faith was stronger in an earlier time in your Christianity and find yourself floundering now? Nope! Definitely stronger right now.
6. Can you recognize that this season may be one of great preparation instead of a period of "I Was"? Yes. Even though it is very unpleasant to go through times of valleys, it's in those valleys we further learn our dependence on Christ. Mountaintop experiences are awesome, but you can't always live there.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Superior stone birdhouse. Well wait no longer, here it is! Bekah and I worked on it yesterday.
Steve told me I have to keep this one. I'm still not sure whether I am going to spray it with a glossy spray to get the stones to shine. They are so pretty when they are shiny. So there you have it!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Last night Steve and I planned a long awaited date night. With my diligence (addiction) at getting Speedway coffee and time my gas needing right I had amassed enough points for a $50 gift card to Applebee's. It's been in my purse since late summer! So I get my mother who is 79 to watch the kids, which doesn't take much they just usually watch TV, but it's cable TV, which is novel for them since they don't have it a home. Before leaving our house I notice Bekah in the bathroom. I ask are you O.K., she says yes. I ask are you having trouble pooping, she said yes. Hmmmm, we haven't had this problem since early summer. How long has it been honey? Did you go yesterday? No. Did you go the day before? I can't remember. O.K. well keep trying and call me if you need me, then get your stuff together because mom and dad have a date! Can you see the important priorities I have?
Off we go to Grandma's. I forgot their frozen pizza so we had to stop at Walgreen's real quick in Jenison. We get to mom's, her and my sister Rachel are not back from an Estate Sale yet (sandy if your reading this, it was a pretty good Estate Sale). Kam got a really nice desk for Madeline there. Anyway, back to story. They finally arrived we tell them we won't be to long, we're just going to shop for a while and then head to Applebee's. I was so looking forward to my Grilled Shrimp and Spinach Salad, Yummy!!! We'll where are we going to go first? We really didn't have any place planned, there isn't much left to get for Christmas, so we decided on MC Sports first to look for many things like: ice skates, roller blades, basketball hoops for the kids. My sweet husband has plans to get our kids more active. I love how he keeps trying. While there too, we looked at new orange hunting stuff for Steve. Don't we just have the most exciting dates. Jealous aren't ya?! Well we find what Steve is looking for and are heading to check out. Steve's phone rings, and he sounds a bit concerned, then hands the phone to me. Bekah is on my mom's bathroom floor crying that he stomach hurts and that she has to throw up. O.K. we will check out and be right there. So long Applebee's! We get back to my mom's and I sit on the floor with her, asking do you need to throw up, would you like to try go? No! O.K., would you like to rock with Mom? Yes. O.K. I tell my mom you may want to put that pizza in now because Steve was hungry when we left here. I will wait and get something on the way home. I did not want frozen Jack's Pizza on my date night!
So I rock Bekah, she seems to perk up and eats a piece of pizza. After everyone has ate. We head for home. Bekah has started to not feel good again. We took to vehicles to mom's so Steve and Jeremiah went shopping. Bekah and I headed home. I quickly stop at Wendy's to grab myself something. Sucking it down as I head unto M6. My mother lives in Byron Center Township. I'm talking to Bekah all the way. Telling her where we are and how soon we'll be home. She is moaning and moving in the back seat. Finally on the home stretch between 48th and 56th streets, she yells pull over. I pull into some unsuspecting persons driveway, run around the van, open the door and hold her up over the snow (she has no shoes on). You guess it, she throws up! I wipe her mouth and continue the short drive to 60th and home. We get there and she lays down for awhile then says she's ready for her (enema) fun huh! Well we wait for 7 minutes then she can wait no more (can you tell I'm being kind in my description?). People I have got to tell you, how can someone so small and so cute, poop something that large. Oh my goodness!!! After that of course she feels better, who wouldn't. I explained to her how she needs to tell us, if she hasn't gone in one day. She has had a problem with this in the past, so she knows the drill.
She took a nice long warm bath. Got out and got dress in her P.J.'s, came into the Family room and told me she need to throw up again, so into the bathroom we went. After that much better!
So that is my date night! Who knows when another opportunity will come our way! I sure hope that legislation gets past that says Gift cards cannot expire! I'm probably pushing the limit.
Hope this blog didn't gross you out to bad.