Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Faithful to the end

Ever heard that song? I hear it every time I am in my van. We call it 'Ariel's song.' Click here to hear it. My daughter requests it everytime we drive anywhere. She sings loud...and could care less if she sounds good. I absolutely love it! Singing is a huge part of my life...and I love that she has that desire. I pray that she never looses it.

God just brought this song to my mind. I love to sing it. I love to remind myself that He is faithful to the end. That God is faithful to my heart. I forget that some days. I doubt that some days. But, those days are getting more and more scarce all the time. satan is being called out. his lies are being revealed. his tactics are being conquered.

Have you experienced that lately? Where you finally realize something that you have been doing...and it doesn't even have to be a bad thing. But it has been being used for evil. Or to keep you from doing good? Let me try to explain. I am on a journey to become more healthy. Mind. Body. Spirit. I won't go into all of the details...b/c that isn't the point. What I will tell you is that I was doing a good thing. I was reading to become more informed of what I was/am putting in my body. I was working out so that I could feel better. What was being forgotten?...my devotional time. If satan can't keep you from coming to know Christ...he will keep you busy. I was focusing on something that I know God desires for me. And yet...my relationship with Him was suffering. As soon as I discovered the tactic of satan...I changed my routine. Now, devotions comes before selfish desires. Even if they are good. Now does it make sense? I know I am being wordy...but I am passionate about this.

God has been revealing how satan has been working on my lately. And I am flying through his plots to destroy me...left and right. So, he has to come up with new ways. This last one hit me hard. I had to ask for prayer...from a woman I have never met. Jenny is her name. And I am so thankful for her obedience. She is literally accross the country. Washington is her home. God told me to ask her to pray. She agreed. And that was it. I believed that she was praying...and I went on with life. I was praying as well...don't get me wrong. I didn't leave it all to her. I have responsibilities in my life as well. But when I got the email today...and she told me that she thinks of me everyday and prays for me...I was in shock. My circumstance...changed. The relationship that I was loosing and couldn't grasp onto...was restored. My eyes instantly teared up. Such simple words.
"I think of you daily, and pray for you each time you come to mind." Those words were proof that I had revealed another scheme of the enemy...and God had destroyed it.

Does He do that for you? Because He can!  You just have to believe in the power of God. What is it right now that is getting to you? How are you feeling defeated? What are the lies that are being spoken to you? God will destroy them. I know He will. I believe it with all that I am...because without Him...I would have been crushed long ago. You don't have to live defeated. You are to be victorious in Christ.

Call satan out. Tell Him that you aren't afraid. Tell him that his lies hold no power over you anymore. Tell him that you are stronger than you seem. Tell him that he is to fear you...because God is about to call him out for the cheat that he is. he is about to exposed.

And when that exposure comes...then it is in your hands. You have to change. Look at what you have been believing. Think about it. And decide that that will not work on you anymore. Decide that satan will have to find a new way to keep you from the truth of Christ. Change...because each time you will become stronger. More confident in the God that you serve. You will see that He is faithful to YOUR end. He is faithful to YOUR heart!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Know any difficult people?

Me too. Ha ha. I know that I am talking a lot lately about the same subject. It is what I am studying right now...so stay with me. I wait on God to reveal what I am to share..so there must be some others out there struggling with this too.

Love the unlovable. How does that statement instantly make you feel? A bit uncomfortable? Maybe annoyed? Are the excuses already starting to form in your head? Well...you are not alone.

The most difficult thing about loving the unlovable is that we must go against what comes naturally. It is natural to be selfish. It is natural to think only of ourselves first. It is natural to dismiss the un-natural compassioin that we feel towards a difficult person.

But, aren't we called to be a peculiar people? We are called to let those sinful natures that we are born with...die to become alive in Christ. We are called to go against the flow. To go against the sea of sin...stand alone if we must...to love that impossible person. The rude. The errogant. The hurtful. The selfish. The prideful. The conceited. The lost. When it all comes down to it...we are all lost, deserving of the same grace and mercy.

It says this in Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV) "38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

Go back to verses 46 and 47. What is it about loving those who love you that seperates us from those who have not received Christ? Nothing. We are not better than non-believers, but we are called to live differently, and to be noticable as believers in Christ. Different because our love is not on condition. And different because we let that love cover, hide, erase the multitude of sins that make others seem so unlovable.

If someone who was one of the links to your salvation...found you too unlovable to waste their time on...what would your eternity look like? As my pastor says..."Be weird." =) Be a Jesus Freak...and love it!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

No...I don't do that. Do I?

Question: Why do we tend to devalue people when they irritate us?

Well, if we were to always see people as their true value. As sons and daughters of The Most High God. As co-heirs with Christ. We would not feel right about being irritated. If, we can see them through the eyes of the world...that judgement just doesn't seem quite so harsh.

We see them as less for our own sake. Our own guilt. Our own shame. We can lessen the blow to our own self-esteem if we can just talk ourselves into believing that we 'have a right' to be irritated.

I don't know about you...but I have not been treating ALL people as though they are God's precious children. Jesus is always our ultimate example. If He had gotten irritated everytime He was tugged on. Interrupted. Woken up. Kept behind. Followed. -People would have missed out. Healings would have been missed. Prayers would never have been interceded. Lives would not have been changed. Salvations would have been lost. People would have stayed in their brokenness...whatever form it came in...just because Jesus was irritated they dare interrupt His sleep, His prayer, His journey, His sermon? Thank goodness we don't serve a God like us. But, the hope of Christ is in His revelation.

When God reveals the devil to you. his sneaky ways. his schemes. his lies. his weakness. You now hold the power through Christ. Knowledge. Revelation. These are the things that satan fears.

He had better fear me. I become stronger everyday. Everyday I become more of a powerhouse for Christ. I am tired of being used for evil without my own awareness of it. I want to stop infecting people...and start affecting them! Who's with me??

Friday, March 18, 2011

And the winners are....

Tiffany Eastman and Beth Dean! I prayed that God would choose. So I hope and pray that you two women enjoy these devotionals that you will soon be receiving. Just email me your address so that I can send them out. vanesaknapp@yahoo.com

Have a great day everyone! Take time to stop and get with God. He always has time for you...make time for Him! =)

Titus was my helper this morning. His little, innocent hand picked out the names. So if you are thinking of being angry that you didn't win...take a good look at this cute little man face, in a pretty pink hat. (Thanks Gramma Cate. Ariel loves the hat you made for her..and apparently, so does Tido. Haha!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We all have them. We all get them hurt. Sometimes almost to the point of feeling crushed. Destroyed. I don't know about you, but I feel entitled to mine. Whatever form they may come in. Hurt. Anger. Shame. Frustration. Sadness. Discomfort. Sorrow. Disappointment. Envy. Weakness. Depression. So many forms they come. Each with its own degree of severity.

If we are honest, there are probably times that we wallow in our feelings for as long as we can remember them. We will even go so far as to replay in our minds, the moments that led up to those feelings. Over and over. Just as we start to get ahold of ourselves...another thought pierces through. You replay the words that were said. You replay how you responded. Maybe even throwing in a few new comments so you could wound them just like you were hurt. Things you didn't say, or couldn't say. You feel entitled to those feelings. And you should, right?

Uh, not so much. See this from God's view. Remember the story in the Bible 'The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant'. In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus told of a man who was forgiven a great debt, but in turn did not forgive a much much smaller debt. Sound familiar? If God viewed us...as we view others when we have our feelings hurt....we would all be toast. But, if God could feel any of those towards us, His grace, mercy and forgiveness would still remain. Jesus was tempted to suffer those negative feelings. Do you think He dwelled on them? Do you think He did an instant replay over and over of when He was betrayed by those who claimed to love Him? Nope. He always came out victorious. Perfect. He would turn His cheek so the other could be wounded. His scars. Only physical. Emotional scars did not define His future.

Want to be more Christ-like? Follow that example. Let that be your legacy. Let that define the future of your family, and how they deal with emotional scarring. Change the course of your generations to come. It's not too late. No matter how far you feel that you have slid, God longs for you to come to Him just as you are. Broken. Confused. Worried about what is to come. Be excited about where He is going to take you. Just come.

If it's been a while since you have read that passage in Matthew....I suggest you read it. Can't find a bible?...no excuse. You are online reading this...and you can click on this link and read it now. It is that easy. This parable is told by Jesus. I always read His words with greater attention. Pay special attention to verse 35. Don't feel comdemned. Feel empowered that the truth is not masked. Know that others struggle with this, and they are victorious through Christ.

My husband had a challenge for our worship team last night...if we have an unresolved issue with anyone on the team...to fix it so we can be unified to worship together, and to lead others in worship. Not singing, worship. There is a difference. Isn't that how we are called to be with everyone? Unified. If you feel like you can't 'fix' it right now, pray for them. Daily. For 15 minutes. Seems simple right? Fifteen minutes is a long time if you are annoyed, hurt, frustrated with someone. But, as I have said before....you can't spend that much time at the foot of the cross, and not be changed. God will change you. God will bless them through your prayers. Everyone is worth the effort, promise!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

True selflessness

My devotional today asked me this question..."What does God's willingness to become human say to you about His compassion for you?"

My response...
It is unlike any other. It proves that He is selfless. That He had our heart, our life, our future in mind while He was suffering. It proves that we serve a compassionate God, and when we show compassion to others...we have a trait of Christ. It proves that He did it for all of us, knowing that we would be sinful. It proves that He planned on forgiveness being our saving grace. IF He had planned on NOT forgiving even ONE of our sins...then His choice to become like us would have been pointless. We can only enter Heaven without blemish. That means the blood shed on the cross had to cover each and every sin!

Show compassion to someone who doesn't seem to deserve it. You didn't.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It starts with a gentle nudge

You have felt it. The nudge of God. 'Talk to her.' 'Give her money that you have.' 'Sing the song I have laid on your heart.' 'Hug her.' 'Pray with her.' That is what even this post is. I read my devotional yesterday morning and it was talking about this exact subject. I immediately remembered a story from a few years back. My hands are literally falling asleep, and it is painful for me to type today, but the nudge of God is greater. I like it gentle...not so much when it is a shove. Haha!

I was at church a few years ago...and the pastor gave a challenge. Pray for God to send you to someone this week. I prayed. Honestly I did. But, I was at home all week. With just my husband and kids. I didn't see a single person. So, I thought...HA...I got off easy on that one. So, it is now Saturday night. Week is almost over. And Eric and I decide that we are going to get some chicken wings from a bar that is not to far from our house. For some reason that it is unimportant...and I don't remember...we had a disagreement. So on the way to pick up the wings...I was annoyed. I was scream praying to God about how mad I was. Silly...but I felt better.

So, I get to the bar. I am uncomforable just being there. So I keep my wool peacoat all buttoned up. Hat on. Obvious to others that I am not planning to stay. I go up to get and pay for my food. And there was a problem. Apparently the wings were frozen and were taking longer to cook. Great. Here I am. Annoyed. Sweating. Red faced. And now I have to wait even longer. Ugh!

I stand...again to make it look as though I am uncomfortably not staying. I can't help but overhear this conversation happening on the other side of the room. A mother and what seems to be a late teenage daughter, screaming. I tried not to stare. Finally, the young girl stood up and stormed out. Clearly not happy!!

For a second, the eyes of the mother and mine met. I quickly looked away from the mother's gaze, as if to say that I hadn't a clue what had just happened. Pretty soon I see her rise up out of her seat and make her way over towards me. So I did what any judgemental Christian woman would do. Look down, and maybe she'll walk by. Not proud of that...but it is part of this process. A learning experience.

She stopped right infront of me. And asked with gentle eyes and a sweet voice..."Would you like to sit with me?" Here it is. This is my moment. I prayed for this moment. I could feel the gentle nudge. I responded..."No, thank you. I am just waiting for my food." Again she says, "You could sit with me while you wait." Another, slightly firmer nudge. Again, I say, "It should be done any minute." A third time, this time a bit of pleading can be heard in her voice, "Please would you sit with me? I am lonely." In my mind I was like....'For real God? Seriously...I get it. Geesch. Okay I will go!' So finally after the shove that caught my compassion...I said, "Sure."

We sit down and she begins to tell me what just happened between her and her daughter. She tells me that they have been struggling a lot lately. I tell her that I would love to pray with her. Her eyes brightened right up. She said she would love that. So, as to not to draw attention to myself...I ask her if she is almost ready to go. My food had come...and infront of her was only one lonely bottle of beer. I told her that we could pray outside. Ashamed? I guess so. I couldn't believe that I was being so silly. It was prayer. It was a women I had never met. It was a place that I don't often go. What is the worst that could happen?

So, her response to my question on if she was ready to leave...."I will wait til I am done with my beer." Again I was like....'God, you are not going to make this easy on me are you? Okay, I will do as you lead!' So, I said..."Alright we are going to pray right here". She grabbed both of my hands accross the top of the table and smiled. Awkward...yes. I prayed whatever God was speaking to me. I had no idea if that seed would later flourish...or if the conversation would even be remembered. As she stood, it was apparent that that was the not the first bottle of beer she had finished that night.

I gave her a ride home, and I returned home crying. Just as I had come. This time the tears ran not out of anger...but out of humbleness. Out of shame that I would even dare try to hide my faith. Out of gratefulness...that after all that I did wrong...He still used me! And now, I only remember the lesson that I learned. I don't feel ashamed. I don't dwell on my faults. I dwell on how God can take the slightest shred of willingness...and use it for His purpose. I am not sure if that prayer was for the woman at all. But I know it was for me!

Listen to the whispers of God. He is a gentleman. He longs to use you, for you! He wants to unleash His power in your life...for your faith. His Kingdom will gain...and you will grow! That is a Win Win! =)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My fourth grade friend

Is not a fourth grader at all. Rather, she is the one friend that has stuck close by me since fourth grade.
I'll will explain the purpose of this picture farther down in the post. But I just had to include it because at how happy Levi is at nothing. Just me...he was smiling just because he could see me. Ahh...to be a mother. Nothing is greater!
 We spent the night at each other's houses...every weekend. We rented the same movie...most weekends. (Hint..."Who are you mister? Why are you doing this to me?" If you know that quote...then you know the movie we watched over and over and over and over. Haha! Not proud of it. Not denying it. Just stating the facts.)  I was with her when she was her mother's biggest support during her successful battle with cancer. To God be the glory. She was with me during my battles with self-image in high school and college. We have been each other's sanity some weeks. Getting together as often as once a week when everyone is healthy...just to make sure us stay-at-home-moms have some real conversations.

We know just about all there is to know about each other. And we still love each other. =) We accept weaknesses...and utilize strengths. We share the same love and adoration for the one and only God. We have laughed until we cried. We are excited for the other's success. And we are the first to weep at the other's tragedy. To call her a friend just doesn't seem like a strong enough word. She is more like a sister to me. Family is given to you. But some family...you have to adopt because you just know that God placed them in your life to be a vital part of it.

Angela Mitchell is that friend. She is a very talented quilt/crafter. She has a wonderful eye for fabrics that work well together. She has made a rag quilt for all four of my children. Each one meant so much to me because I know it took more than just money to create. Time. Effort. Energy. Sacrifice. And I hope that my kids will keep them forever to be used by their children. She has an awesome site on etsy called Raggedy Owl. She has made many quilts for family and close friends. In addition to the quilts that she has custom made at shoppers requests...and mailed to vairous parts of the WORLD. I am constantly impressed with the new things she comes up with. Each one almost seeming to out-do the last. But I had no idea what was to come....

We had been trying to get together for over a month. My son's sickness kept us apart because we didn't want the germs to be spread. Then one thing after another kept getting in the way. Finally this past Tuesday, God just worked everything out. I was able to take the kids to her house to visit...FINALLY! She had a box of scrap-booking stuff to give to me...and a cup of hot Chai ready for drinking...so I was even more excited to be there. I was going through the goodies...and she pushed another box infront of me. This one closed. I opened it, expecting to see more scrapin' stuff.

Instead, I saw the most awesome quilt I have ever seen in person. I watched this quilt evolve on her blog. When she finally posted pictures of the finished project...I knew I had to comment on it. I have seen almost everything that she has made. And I have liked all of them. But this one...I loved. It was beautiful...and I couldn't wait to let her know that she had done a wonderful job with it!! I had no idea when I read that she was going to give it to a 'family member'...that she was writing about me. Honestly...NO IDEA!

The front of my Kaleidoscope Quilt
To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. Speechless. I didn't have the words to say how touched I was that she spent that much time, effort, money,etc...on me. Just because. No occasion. Just because.

The back. As I said in my comment on her blog....the back of quilts are ususally like..ehhh..not too exciting. But I absolutely love this one. Love the eggplant. (Purple is a fave of mine!) Love the design idea in the middle with some of the fabrics from the front. Love how the blue looks with all the other colors!

And this one. Look closely. Can you see it? She quilted my name in the corner. v a n e s a. I showed my son who is in Kindergarten. And he almost acted like he felt bad that he had to be the one to tell me...but he said..."Mom. That doesn't say your name." Haha...he has yet to learn cursive. Lol! No matter how many times I showed him, he just couldn't see it. And frankly, I don't think he believes me. =)

I wanted to take a few pics of the kids with my quilt. (They are way cuter than me. Lol!) But this is probably the last time that all three of these 'children' will be this close to my quilt again. Haha. They are all too sloppy! =)
If you have ever seen the movie...'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' ...you will understand why my daughter has her cheeks all puffed up like that to give her brother a kiss. It is her favorite way to show affection...especially to her daddy. So cute!

So sweet! And, no bedhead! =)
This gift brightened my whole week. I used it today for the first time. (Since I finally had a couch to sit on. We are the middle of a huge construction project...our house. And we have had bedrooms in the dining room. Trim in the kitchen. And kids sleeping in the living room. I couldn't take pictures of my new treasure...until I had a place clean enough, worthy enough to lay it. Haha!!

I was having a rough couple of days. As I have said....when I figure out how satan is getting to me. I fight back. So, he, being the creator of lies and deceit, has come up with new ways to get to me. Ways that are new to me. He has been lying way longer than I have been living...so he is good. But God, HE is greater. He is stronger. He has more knowledge of how to beat satan at his own game. He has insight. He has revelation. He has compassion.

God brightened my spirit with this gift. I know He made it happen exactly when I needed uplifting. Then, I came home to another friend with an awesome word of encouragement. Thanks Bekah. I love when God gives just a hint of His love when we are forgetting it. Dwell in Him. Forget failures. Forget weakness. Forget shame. Forget discomfort. Just be embraced by God.

Hurry hurry!

Isn't that how life is sometimes? Always too much to do in a day. Well, don't beat yourself up over the things you didn't get done. I'm not. Haha!

This is going to be short and sweet. I am working on another post for later. But two of my little subjects, that are part of one of my pics...are in need of a bath! Bedhead! Haha!

I am just reminding you all to make sure you give yourself more chances to win my give-a-way by leaving me a comment on any of my posts. I love the feedback...and you would love the prize you will receive in the mail. It is about time we receive something other than bills and credit card offers in our mailbox. Don't you think?! =)

So comment away. You still have time. I look forward to hearing from you all!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A life without joy is...

"A life without joy is like a car without shock absorbers. It will be jolted by every bump in the road. Laughter and joy are the shock-absorbers of life and can radically change our perspective of life and the tough times it holds."
- Mary Southerland

That is what I read in my devotional this morning. So much needed that. Another morning that satan tried to destroy. If he can get me early enough...I might just spend the whole day focusing on his horribleness and negativity. What is satan using to suck the joy out of you? Who are you battling? Flesh...or spirit. Ever wonder if spiritual warfare exsists? Start a ministry. You will encounter battles. You will encounter opposition. You will encounter the chance for offense.

Overcomer. That is what God is speaking to me now. Be an overcomer. Stop focusing on the weak part of the warfare. satan will be crushed by us when we align our Spirit with God's. satan will flee at the mention of Jesus' name. satan will cringe at the sound of our praise. satan will submit to the very God he despises, because that is just how powerful God is.

Focus on your strength. Focus on your gifts. Focus on your praise. Focus on your passion. Focus on your ministry. Don't let it be stolen. Don't let it fade away. Don't let it slip through your fingers because you were looking at life without joy. Laugh. Cry if you need to. But at all costs, love God will all that you've got.

Right now I pray for overcomers to rise up. I pray for joy to be restored. I pray for emotions to not rule our days. I pray for forgiveness. I pray for a sound mind. I pray for healing. I pray for humility. I pray for peace in our circumstance. I pray for an abundance. I pray for Words of Life. I pray for truth. I pray for power over the enemy. I pray for a realization of how he gets us down, so that we know how to fight back. I pray for focus. I pray for endurance to run the race we have been called to. I pray for new ministries!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pray with me!

I read my devotional from Max Lucado this morning...and I just sent a letter that could change my life. In an awesome way. I want God's will...whatever that is. I will let you know the outcome of it, if you will please agree to pray with me.

Please pray for a open and willing heart that will receive that letter. Please pray for God to move in them, as He pleases. Please pray that His heart will be revealed through the words that He asked me to write. Please pray that I will not be anxious. Please pray that I will wait for God's timing, no matter how long that takes.

God is doing some exciting things in me. Things that I could not have imagined just one month ago. Praise God, for He is good all the time! He deals with us gently when we need it. He handles us with care when we are feeling fragile. And sometimes...He reminds us that He is in charge...and He lays it all out. Still with Love. Still with Compassion. But also with a certain amount of sternness.

Will you pray with me? I would love to know that you are. I am still open and willing to seek God for you as well. Comment on a post...and I will email you a personal, God-given prayer for whatever you are dealing with. It will be kept confidential. Most of the time, I don't know exactly what God is referring to when He gives me prayers to write for someone. But, of course...I am the unimportant vessel in the scenerio. I  just long to please Him...and why not bless someone else in the meantime? =)

Friday, March 4, 2011

If it isn't one thing...

...it is another. You know how it goes. Once you finally beat satan at his own game...he comes up with new ways to try to beat you down. It may have taken me a few days...but I am so on to him. And I am covered in prayer and encouragement.

I serve a God who will not leave me stranded. I serve a God who's strength far surpasses mine. I serve a compassionate God. I serve a purposeful God. I serve an all-knowing God. I serve a God who was there at satan's beginning. And I serve a God who knows his end! I feel empowered just knowing that.

Feeling weak? Me too, these last couple of days. satan lies were reaching a new area in my head...and I was allowing the lies to filter through. He made it real personal. I was allowing myself to hinge my emotions and reactions on the lies that were being told to me.

But, be empowered! Know that God hears your cry. Know that God has your future covered by the blood that was shed by His Son. Know that God does not leave you to fight alone. He strategically places people in your life. He knows all. He sees all. He hears all. He has seen the end. He knows satans end. So stand firm on what you know of God. Speak to satan with authority in Jesus name.

Focus on what God is doing in your life. Speak praises. Worship. Read the Word of God. Pray with people. Smile. Love! It will be hard to have time to entertain the lies of satan if you keep yourself occupied with God.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Okay...so I said I was going to do this. And I really have no idea what I am doing...but these are some things I have noticed while looking at other blogs.

Give-a-way time! I bought two awesome devotionals, not really knowing for sure what I was going to do with them. One of them I already gave away because it is so dear to my heart. It helped me through a very huge God-growing, depressed time in my life. And God put someone right smack infront of me that was dealing with some similar feelings. I had no choice. I also bought another one with plans of doing myself. I trust that God knows exactly what He is doing though. So I am going to put that one up for give-a-way as well.

These are my two Max Lucado Devotional giveaways. I also plan to add a few fun things that will make you want to sit down and meet with God! =)

-Become a follower, and you have entry in the contest. Because I am so new to this, I will count all of you that have already supported me. But I welcome any newcomers to join my prayer list. If you have been a blog stalker...but not a follower...this is your chance. =)

-Add a comment to one of my posts. (Again, for this contest, I will go retro. Haha! I will add an entry in your name from each comment already posted.) This is one of the most encouraging things for me. Feedback. I love to hear when God uses this for His glory. So comment away!!

-Tell a friend. If you tell a friend, and they become a follower you get two more entries. Leave a comment so you get the credit.

I will run the contest for two weeks. And will announce the winner on the 18th of March. Oh I just realized...it is March! Time for Shamrock shakes at McDonald's. Trust me...they are delish!


Titus in our unfinished...but now finished entryway. Don't let that sweet smile fool you. Haha!
So, just last night I wrote about being stubborn. That little man in the picture right above...he is the voice of stubbornness in my house. He is two, and he has those days ya know? But then he has days that you just want to squeeze him because he is just so stinkin' cute. Everything comes and goes in phases while these children are growing. Thank goodness. Lol!

What I was writing about was being more stubborn in my faith. Looking at all the things that get in the way of my intimate time with God, and choosing to let them fall aside for a while. (For any concerned parents out there...my children are not part of that 'get in the way' group that I am referring to. Haha! No need to call the authorities. I am referring to dishes, laundry, working on the house. Those things that are always there...and not vital to my relationship with Christ.)

This morning I sit down to write a new post. I title it 'Stubborn!!'...and I realize that I am already allowing something to get in my way. So, I left the computer on...in mid-sentence...and sat down with God. Wouldn't you know...the first question that was waiting for me in my devotional was this....

"In what ways do the trivialities of life hinder us in our journey?"
I promise...I laughed a bit. I am ever amazed that God is always timing things to make me realize that He is an intimate God. He sees my struggle...and He is on it. When I allow Him, He is helping me be successful in Him. When I choose to leave Him in the dark, of course life is going to get more difficult. My circumstances may be the same either way...but how I am equipped to handle them...drastically different. I am weak on my own. I am focusing on me. I am trying to find a quick fix. All I come up with is usually failure, frustration, and offense.

My answer to my question in my devotional was this...."Oh how this question speaks to me this morning. Trivial things. They are the things that keep me from my intimate time with God. Things that always 'need' done. Things that I see everytime I walk by. Things that would still be there AFTER I met with God. In my mind I think...If I just get this one little thing done, then I will meet with Him. Before I know it, yet another day full of little, insignificant things has passed by. And my King waited. Like a gentleman, He waited. He doesn't deserve to be kept waiting. He should always be the first priority. My first Love!"

I so needed that. Thank God for His patience today. If we got what we deserved, He would have given up on us long ago. Be stubborn in your desire to meet with Him. Use your free will to please Him...Daily!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How do you handle?

Offense. How do you handle offense? I am a bit curious. I know that sometimes I don't handle it in the correct way. Which...can mean a multitude of different things. Sometimes I fight insult with insult. Sometimes I say hurtful things. Sometimes I think hurtful things. I am not talking...just innocently think them, I am talking entertaining those conversations about what I should have said. And sometimes, I feel like a doormat that just got stomped on...left with clumps of filth laying on my face.

How do you handle it? Gossip about it? Tell the people that you KNOW will be on your side? Entertain those thoughts that make you 'feel' better...temporarily? Or do you ask God what HE would have you do? I don't think He desires for His children to be doormats. Constantly getting trampled. But I also don't think He wants us to fight over every offense. Where is the line? That is what I am struggling with. I wish a flashing light would go off when I was supposed to speak up. But, that is not how God works. He gives us discernment.

Pray. That is the most powerful tool we have. Prayer. It is our conversation with God. Telling Him about our day. Highs...lows...and all that lies between. That is where we lay it all out before Him. We tell Him about how we are offended...and ask Him if it is something that is within us that needs correction. Always look inward first. Look at your heart. Is it right? I don't mean...do you feel entitled to your feelings. Because, we all do. We feel like we deserve them. But...is your heart right....with God? Are you intune with Him? Have you met with Him today? I am sorry to say that I haven't today. My intimate time didn't happen today, because of all of the work that I 'chose' to put first. That is no one's fault but my own. So why was I so offended today? I'd say I just found my answer.

What gets in your way? Usually whatever you allow. I am going to have to get stubborn with my faith. Not putting up with becoming busy and not realizing that I didn't sit down and talk with my King today. Pray with me will you? Pray for time each day that we can connect with God personally. To make our heart reflect His. What can I do today to make my life worthy of imitation. Devotions. Singing. Loving. Writing. Speaking truth and life. Those are just a few of mine. What are yours?

Feeling blank

Morning all! I am feeling a bit blank today. Maybe it is the day full of cleaning, remodeling, kids, meals, worship practice, and more remodeling while they sleep...that lies ahead. Haha! Again, not complaining. I am thankful that I am able to work on my house...and get it to look more like our Home. Just please forgive me for the next couple of weeks. I will try whenever God leads me to...to post what I feel. I just want to let you know that these next weeks are going to be full for me. Have patience with me. =)

I was just reading John 15:9-17...."9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. "

Those are the words of Christ himself. "Love each other as I have loved you." How is that going for you? Because I know I have been failing in it lately. Not always treating everyone like they are co-heirs with Christ. Not always taking time to reach out to them when they need it most. These verses tend to humble you...quickly. Luckily, we serve a God that is full of grace and mercy. We serve a God that extends forgiveness...at the sincere asking. We serve a God that desires His best for us. Let's ask Him for spiritual healing before we even think of physical. Because in the words of Max Lucado..."When God offers you spiritual healing, and you only take the physical...it is like taking a scooter when offered a limo."

Take that limo for a spin. Scream praises from the roof. Make phone calls from the seat of luxury. Spread the word...God is in the business of healing. And He wants to start with your heart. He wants it to be pure. He wants your mind to think pure thoughts. He wants the words that flow from  your mouth to be uplifting.

I am really into speaking life lately. I am so tired of being beat down by those who I love and respect most. But as it says in Ephesians 6..."12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Fight against the author of lies.

No matter how many days go between my posts...know that I am praying for you. Whether I know you or not. I pray for the people that God sends to this blog. Be encouraged. You are a powerhouse with Christ in your corner!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A complete mess!

Good morning all! I am writing to you today from the maze that is my house. Haha! We are currently remodeling our entryway, boys' room, and bathroom...all at the same time. Not smart. Needless to say, it is a miracle that I can even get to this computer. Lol...I had to get through the maze in my dining room to be able to reach the chair even. So I may not be posting a lot this week. I am the professional (ok not so much)...mudder. I am the painter. I am the cleaner-up-er. I am also still the cook. And the childcare president. Oh...and the dogs! Ugh! I am so not complaining. I am just super busy this week. Because as soon as all of this is done...we move to the KITCHEN!!!! If you have ever seen it...you would know why this makes me soooo excited.

I will give you a little tidbit that has been running through my brain since Friday. Did you all get a chance to read the devotional that I linked...called "What type of book are you writing?" Sounds right up my ally. I have known that I would right a book for years. It just seems impossible for the season that I am currently in. Four small kids and all. =)  (I have decided that I am going to begin going through some of my past journalings and prayers...and write a devotional from them. Whoo hoo! God is GOOD!

On to the point of the post. *grins sheepishly* If you read the devotional, you will remember that it painted a picture for you. A picture that was not a pretty one. One where we throw insults and anger at people that we are called to love, and that Jesus is behind each one of them. When we scar their heart...we scar His. (Don't forget that there is forgiveness! I don't want to you to leave here feeling scarred!) The other side of this...change. When we became a follower of Christ...we were to become a new creation. Our old self was weak. Our old self was selfish. Our old self was without hope. Our old self was doomed!

Our new self....that is something to celebrate. Our new self is pure, through Christ. Our new self is righteous, through Christ. Our new self is whole, through Christ. Our new self is strong, through Christ. Our new self is confident, through Christ. Our new self is bold, through Christ. Our new self is compassionate, through Christ. Are you seeing the common factor in our new self. When we operate in Christ's power, we are who He sees us as. When we operate in our old self...ugh...are you ready for this? We are weak. We are selfish. And we scar the ones we love most. Time for a change huh? God is ready and willing to help you. Seek Him...and don't look back!