Monday, November 28, 2011

The Art of being last.... Part 2

First of all I need to apologize for 2 things. The first is my first post seems to have a mind of it's own. It shows me that there is repetition of a phrase that is not supposed to be there. When I go in to fix it, it doesn't show up. Not quite sure how to fix the situation. I'm wondering if I may need to switch to a different blogosphere! The second is taking so much time in between posts. I'm not quite sure how that happened, except to say this is a hard bit of scripture, and I may have procrastinated a bit!! Anyway on with it:

Romans 12:3-8

I love how Paul pulls no punches here. He starts out say (basically) ~ "Don't think to much of yourself dude". It says in my ESV Bible to think with sober judgement (to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of one's self soberly). Keep it in check. We are not to look at ourselves as more important to the body because we may have a role that can be seen by more people. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE that is a new creature in Christ has a job to do, that benefits the whole body! Not one job is more important then the rest, it's just a different job. As I type this I think of how people say, I love both of my kids the same, just differently. We love our kids the same amount, we just may love them in different ways because they are different people, with different personalities. Neither is more important than the other, just different.

It says in verse 3 - God assigns (to distribute) to each person a specific task for His kingdom. Each member has a task that is a necessary part of the body. We function as one, though we are many. Think about it ~ if one member of the body doesn't do what it's supposed to do the whole body suffers. 1 Corinthians 12 shows this concept so beautifully. One part of the body cannot say to another part of the body that they are not needed. If one doesn't work, it effects the whole body.

Do you see how important it is that you know, and do your part?! It says in verse to "use them". That means use the gifts given to you by God. He didn't give them to you to be ignored, but to help the body of Christ, which are ONE in Him. Then what ever you have been called to do, do well! In Romans 12:6-8, Paul lists a few of the gifts given. Colossians 3:17, 23; and 1 Corinthians 10:31 tell us how we are to use our gifts.

This also goes back to our 1st post. When you are a living sacrifice you do not think of yourself first, but last. Sacrificing your ambition for the good of the body. In 3 John it mentions a man named Diotrephes who "likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority". This is a man who probably didn't realize his name would forever be in print as someone who thought more highly of himself then others (as Beth Moore pointed out in our study). I wonder would his attitude be different now? Will mine? Will yours?

Q1. ~ How are you viewing yourself in the church? Do you see yourself better than others, or as not measuring up? Do you see yourself as a significant part of the body of Christ? If not, why not?

Q2 ~ How are you viewing others in the church?

Q3 ~ Are you using the gifts God has given you to encourage and support the body? Again, if not why not? The body is suffering without you!

Don't look at these questions as condemnation, but as a spurring on towards greater fulfillment in Christ!!! That is most definitely how they are meant.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pretty Pink Tractor!!!

Just had to share this new Tim Hawkins video! This guy is a stitch!!!

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The Art of being last.... Part I

Recently a verse struck me profoundly in Romans 12, so I began a study of the chapter. I'm not going to tell you which verse right now, but you can try to figure it out and let me know which one you think started all this!! In reading Romans 12 I was blown away by how our mind is supposed to be wired in fellowship. This will be a 3 part posting.

(I do not know what happened above.  It sincerely doesn't look like this when I go to try edit it.  I'm sorry if it's hard to read!!)

Romans 12: 1-2
Paul begins the chapter by appealing to the brethren (church), to present (to show, Proffer, stand ready) their (our) bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which was their (our)spiritual worship.
We are to first submit to God as members of the body of Jesus Christ. We are not our own, but have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). We are not to be conformed (to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern, (fashion one's self according to) to the worlds standards of me first. It says also in 1 Peter 1:14 that we (as obedient children) are not to be conformed to our former lusts, which we had in our ignorance. But we are to be transformed(to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure) by the renewal (complete change for the better, Renovation**I like that one!**) of our minds. In this way, we can test (Prove, scrutinize) what the will of God is, actually what is the good, the acceptable, the perfect will of God (my emphasis).
God's desire for us is to become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Through the sanctifying (setting apart, making holy) work of the Holy Spirit we are transformed into a better likeness of our heavenly Father. We no longer conform, or copycat the world, but just like a butterfly we become a new creature, with a different purpose, all for the Glory of God!!!
So what is all this saying really?: GOD FIRST ALWAYS!!! Let's get it in proper order, then things will make more since! You can no longer hold unto the things that you thought before coming to Christ. Living sacrifices are just that ~ we are living, and we sacrifice our wills to His will; our mind to His mind, and in this we see His plan that is good, acceptable and perfect!
1. We are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices to God, holy and acceptable. What does that mean to you?
2. In order to not be conformed to this world , what is one very important way to renew your mind?
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Paradise Bound 5k, Personal Record, and Running with Pippa!!!

Today, finally my girl and I were able to run a 5k together!!! Well as together as a 12 year old and a 47 year old can!!! We ran in a 5k which benefits an organization called Paradise Bound. This organization helps people in Guatemala, by providing homes and medical services. The money raised today went to the building of homes that a team will be building in February.

It was a beautiful day for a race!!! My only issues where I overdressed, and that pesky asthma!!! Breathing was an issue, but are you ready for this ~ I ran my personal best!!! I came in under 40 minutes!!! That is a 1st!!! My time was around 39:36, and Bekah's time was around 29:36. We are waiting for the official times to see how close we come to those numbers.

We also ran with a group of ladies from our Women's Ministry!! See our cools Scarves?! Jennifer @ Zaankali's Adventure made them all for us!!!

It was a great morning, celebrated with a late breakfast at a local restaurant!!!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

A new twist on an old classic...

There's a new band (well at least new to me) called "NewWorldSon". In my quest to find their new song called "Learning to be the Light", which I heard the other day I found this song...

Which reminded me of this sweet song from my youth...... (I couldn't find a video, but here are the words!

The Hallelujah Line.

Oh...I'm traveling on the hallelujah line,
On the good ole gospel train,
I am on the right track, and never will go back
To the station of sin again.

I need no fare, I'm riding on a pass
Tis the blood for sinners slain;
I'm traveling on the hallelujah line,
On the good ole gospel train. (toot-toot)

I remember when I was younger on a Sunday night (because you know in the Baptist church that's when we let our hair down) we would take sides: One side of the church would do the Choo-Choo, and the other side would sing the lyrics. My pastor, who had very red hair would take the side that did the Choo-Choo (you didn't want to sit in the front row, if you know what I mean!!). Then he would switch sides and we would do it again!! What great memories!! We also would do the Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah, Praise Ye the Lord! That was our exercise for the night! There again we would do one side of the church doing the Hallelujah, and the other doing Praise Ye the Lord! To see all those older people, including my very intimidating father shoot up when it was their time was another great memory!!! I miss that!!!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Commitment as a Christian

This morning in church we read the following commitment. I could have shouted it! Our pastor said that it was written by a young pastor, he doesn't know how long ago.

My Commitment as a Christian.

I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made: I am a disciple of HIS! I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still!

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, foolish talking, cheap living and small goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, or popularity. I don't need to be recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven; my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few...but my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up, shut up or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up ~ for the cause of Christ! I am a disciple of Jesus!!!

I must go until he comes, give until I drop, preach until all know and work until HE stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me - my banner will be clear!!!

Can you say it with me?!

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving Thanks Challenge 2011
Well it has been a long time since I have done a Thanksgiving Challenge!! God has just blessed me bunches this past year and I just feel that I need to share with all of you! If you would like to join, go here and get the button and read the very simple rules. Here are 5 for today:

  1. For God continuing to find me lovable and teachable!
  2. My wonderful husband who supports me and is always my biggest encourager!
  3. My redheaded boy!
  4. My tenderhearted girl!
  5. My Church, that stands firmly on the Word of God!

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A Fall tradition that not everyone is happy with.....

Gizzy is not the biggest fan of anything that take him outside a house!!!

Champ just deals! Well that is not necessarily true, he has a lot of "issues"!!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Righteous Anger over a Mockery of Marriage!

O.K. since I no longer have a Facebook account and I have no other place to vent my incredible frustrations, you dear ones are going to get an earful!!! Here it goes:

I am so angry over this Kim Kardasian farce of a marriage that, as I told my son this morning "I can spit fire!!!" I just saw a snippet of an interview she will be doing this morning on The Today Show, where she said "this is hard, but I had to be true to my heart". True to your heart! Shouldn't you have thought about that 75 days ago? This man did not do that much changing in 72 days! I read an article on Fox News (remember their fair and balanced, whatever) about her spending 10 million dollars on this wedding, but through selling of pictures and stories she made 17 million. It was not about love, commitment, or even having too, it was a money maker!

Well Kim dear, I am here to tell you that as a child of God, and the wife of a wonderful man, SHAME ON YOU FOR MAKING A MOCKERY OF A COVENANT THAT GOD ORDAINED!!! Shame on you!!!

You may not know this, but I am here to tell you that marriage is a picture of Christ and his church (or bride as he calls it in scripture). God ordained for a man and woman to leave their homes and cleave to each other. He ordained that it be life long (ya know like animals that mate for life). He (Christ) performed his first miracle at a wedding. Whether you realized it, or realize it now God was a witness at your wedding. It says that in Malachi Chapter 2:14. Whether you wanted him there or not, he was there! Even though society today says "follow your heart, life is too short", God does not! You took something that he ordained and made it a circus act! Here are a few more pictures to help you understand how NOT lightly God takes marriage:

Isaiah 61:10

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 62:5

For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you,and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Matthew 9:15

And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guest mourn as long as the bride groom is with them? The day will come when the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast." (Who is this bridegroom, but Jesus Christ)

This next one gives me goosebumps and it should you too!

Revelations 19:7

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

We are that bride! We adorn ourselves! We make ourselves as beautiful as we can, just like any bride does today! Just like you did! You did look beautiful! But that beauty was all surface. It was not real. It was an act!

I have to admit
that I am asking God to give me a love for you, because right now I am just so angry! Young people today look at you as a roll model, and you stink at it! I know why, I do! You don't know Christ, so you are going on your own moral compass, that society has taught you, you can. It's about you, and your personal happiness. It's not about love. It's not about commitment. It's not about forever. It's about the here and now. Getting all I can. Doing what is best for me, never thinking of others and how my actions may affect them. Believe it or not, you do not live in a bubble, where you decisions affect only you! People, young people are watching and learning, and you act totally irresponsibly. I know you are ignorant of these truths and I wish I could talk to you in person to speak to you about The Bridegroom himself, but I can't. I live in Michigan, and you live in la la land.

I will pray for you and for me, and for anyone that may be wrongly influenced by your actions. Right now that is what I can do, so I will do it.

O.K. I think I feel better now! Got that all off my chest. I think I'm breathing again!

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am a runner.......

O.K. so I'm a 47 year old runner, but for me to even say that is an amazing miracle!! It all started when our sweet Bekah joined Cross Country in the 6th grade. Both Steve and I were so amazed at her determination and ability to persevere through the pain to finish. We both said we should take up running. Well that talk went on for quite sometime!! But in March we decided to start training. We found a wonderful podcast that helps you go from the couch to a 5k in 8 weeks called runningmate101. Not wanting to overdo it I did it in about 12 weeks. To say this is amazing is just not saying enough! I remember when I first started out running at the High School gym to run 1 1/2 minutes about killed me! I couldn't wait for that 1 1/2 minutes to be over with so I could walk for 3. It took me almost the whole 3 minutes to stabilize my breathing. Funny thing too, Steve had to drop out because he got Planters Faciatis(?) and his feet hurt to bad, so I became a lone runner.

Little by little I met the challenges and surpassed my expectations! I'll never forget the first time I ran 3 ~ 12 minute intervals. I was running in Ludington State Park and cried most of the time because of the beauty, and that I could run for 12 minutes without walking!! Then came the running for 30 minutes. What in the world was I thinking! I remember starting out that day with the thoughts that I can't do this! I don't have the strength, and I'm to overweight. Then God showed up (excuse me ~ He showed me he had always been there!!!)! He started to remind me of scripture such as: Psalm 147:10; Isaiah 40:31; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9. I could do it when I focused on him! And you know what ~ I did! All praise and glory and honor go to him and him alone!!!

I ran my first 5k on September 10th! Thought I would die, but I finished!!! It was hard too because I run on flat surfaces and silly me signed up for a race that was one BIG hill after another!!!

These days I run about 3 times a week. I try to run at least 3 miles, but sometimes do shorter stints at faster times. My goal is to get my 3 mile pace to a 14 minute mile. There are times I get discouraged, but then I am reminded by my wonderful husband, my kids and the Lord of how far I have come since March! I will never be fast, and that's O.K.! I can't say I love to run YET, but I do like it, and I like the fact that I can do it. If you would have told me that even 1 year ago I would have laughed at you! I remember watching runners and thinking "that doesn't even look like fun, why in the world would anyone do it!!?!" It's also encouraging for my children because I can show them that even though things are hard, in Christ's strength we can persevere! They are such wonderful encouragers too! I will run my second 5k on November 12th, this time with my sweet Bekah (of course she will be waiting for me at the finish line, since she runs much faster then I). We are running to help a ministry called Paradise Bound (great cause!)

So there you have it! I am a runner!!!!! Who would've thunk!!!!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Well Halloween is over for another year! This year we let Jeremiah go out with a friend, but told him, "Seriously when you're driving, you are no longer "trick or treating!!!" I wouldn't have minded him stopping a couple of years ago, but my easy going husband was like, no big deal, so I relented. I just thought I would share their costumes from this year. I think Bekah's is my favorite one from all the years! I just loved that tu tu!!! Jeremiah's was made, hummmmm...... let's see at 3:50 yesterday!!! He said after school, "yeah I'm going with Caleb to his grand parents house." They live in a rich neighborhood apparently where they had out King Size candy bars!! Ho Boy!! So off to the local LOVE Inc (In The Name of Christ), and $3.71 later viola!!! His mask is Hillary Clinton, I honestly do not know what the rest is stating!!!!

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