Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pass it on

There is a woman in our church who can only be described as a gift of God.
She has been teaching Sunday school for over 50 years and has the biggest heart of gold I have ever seen. Several times, without being asked, she has sewn, from scratch, matching Easter dresses for my girls through the years. One time she even made a matching bunny rabbit (in the same dress) for my daughter to carry while wearing the dress. This is really sweet to me, because when I was a child, about the same age, my mom's boss made a dress for me. It was pink with a white apron type thing over the top of it with a pocket in the front. Inside the pocket was a little dolly dressed the same, and inside HER pocket was a mini dolly made of paper dressed the same as well.
This woman currently is a 'school grandma' at a preschool near her house. A lot of the kids that go to this school come from families who don't have much. She has taken it upon herself (with primarily her own meager funds) to handmake small quilts for each child in this school so that during naptime they have something soft and comforting to snuggle up with. This is the type of lady she is. She gives and gives and I would say she gives until she can give no more. But that is not true, because she is like the widow with the oil. God keeps providing for her so that she can keep giving because He knows that her heart is true and she will always give, so He keeps providing so that she can continue giving.
For years she has hosted a New Year's Eve party for the young children in church. The kids all come to her house and she entertains them and celebrates the New Year (at midnight!) (This is way past my bedtime so I have no idea how she does it with a houseful of small children all revved up on sugar, jumping around celebrating.) But she does. And she does it smiling and laughing the whole time! Amazing!
She has suffered through painful health problems through the years which have sometimes kept her from attending church services. But even during those times, she MAILED her offerring to the church. This is a woman of pure faithfulness!
She has been driving a car for many years that is in really sad shape. I don't even know all the details of the disrepair, but a few of the characteristics of this car are: no interior door handle (I don't even know how she pulled the door shut once she got in , because the handle was broken off), windows that don't go up or down, and in fact they don't even stay up (she had rubber door stoppers wedged into the window slot on the door to try to keep the window up while she was driving, and if it started to slip she would pull over and try to fix it and then continue on).
Every day when she would drive this car she said she prayed to God that it would get her to where she needed to go. Every day it did. That in itself is an example of God's faithfulness to those who are faithful to Him. That car on its own was not that reliable. But with God. With God that car never failed her and never left her stranded.
This is a woman who did not 'pray for a new car'. This is a woman who prayed for what she had to continue to be effective and sufficient. And it was. God never let her down.
Faithfulness like this is a very blessed thing. Faithfulness like this is a very wonderful thing.
God rewards faithfulness in many ways. I feel she was being blessed for her faithfulness daily through the joys of loving her family and the preschool children she worked with. Through improved health. Through the love of those around her. And through her needs being met daily for rent, gas, and groceries.
But God sometimes works through other people as well. He did this time too. God laid it upon the heart of a man to provide this wonderful lady with a new vehicle. Fortunately, God not only worked in her life, but He worked in this man's life as well, because this man listened. And obeyed. Now the sweet thing is that this man just didn't do the minimum of what God told him to do (provide a car) but he went above and beyond and provided new tags, title transfer, full coverage insurance and gas for a year.
This woman, Sister Ruth, as she is affectionately known by all those around her, was blessed today for her faithfulness with a new car. Our church partook in the surprise and celebration today as she was given the keys to this vehicle. It was a very wonderful time of celebration. A time to celebrate all that Sister Ruth has done for all those around her and what a blessed soul she is.
Now the most beautiful thing (and what I think really shows just how wonderful her heart is) is that not 15 minutes after she was given this gift, she herself became the giver, and blessed another family (who was suffering a financial setback and car troubles) with her old car. Yes, its not in the best condition. But it still runs. She could have easily sold it for $500-$1000  and used that money for something. Anything. But no, she didn't even hesitate. I was standing right there and saw her not even break a stride when she heard someone was in need she said "well, they can have my car! Let me just get the title transferred over and its theirs".
Isn't that wonderful? I think its the most beautiful thing and I think she is the most beautiful lady. God I thank you for people like her in my life. I thank you for the example of a life she is leading. And I thank you for all the love you have shown her, because she has certainly shown that love to others.
Here are some pictures I took of this joyous occasion...

The big red bow and name tag on the gift.

A very speechless lady :)

A beautiful picture of one of the hugs being passed around afterwards :)

cutest question

My 5 year old daughter just asked me,
"Mom, how old did Jesus turn yesterday?"   (yesterday was Christmas)

Big smile on my face. Isn't this the cutest question? I like that she is laying in bed thinking about Jesus. What a sweetie and a true gift from God. Love her. Love it. Love God.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

wow, that's all I can say

I have begun reading a new book called For women only: what you need to know about the inner lives of men, by Shaunti Feldhahn.
All I can say is its incredible. I'm not even done and I'm writing a post about it, that says alot!
The beginning of the book was pretty easy to implement (read the book yourself for the full insight, but essentially: thank your husband for all he does, build him up (not down), and willingly and excitedly partake in sex). Now that third one probably got your attention and I could go on and on and try to give u the insight I gained from the book about why this (and the others) are so important. But, I think Shaunti does it really well (with research to back it up), so read the book to find out all the real life details that make all these things so relevant and important to our men.
We all know men are 'visual' and that seeing u in a sexy outfit makes him want sex, but what I learned from the research she shared was that seeing any woman in a sexy way makes him want sex, and that men truly do want sex all the time, its not just a joke or stereo-type. Learning how the men are wired (which makes them the way they are) gave me huge insight into these things and how I can better my relationship with my spouse. It also brings up another point, if men are so visual, that means all men are seeing you, (not just your husband), so even though I may want to accentuate my better assets for my husband's enjoyment, I don't want to draw attention to them for other men. Especially other men who are married. I don't want to be something that causes anguish in a married man's mind. Just like I don't want my husband to see images or women who might cause him anguish (anguish, meaning that since he is married he does not welcome unpure thoughts of other women into his head, so when they arrive(because the way men are wired--again read the book for a longer explanation---) their arrival in his head causes anguish as he tries to avoid them or forget them. So this being said, it is an eye-opener for me about the choices we make in the way we as women dress ourselves. I have already ventured into this arena a little bit with Dannah Gresh's Secret Keeper Girl info for our children and their dress, but now it makes me see how important it is for adults as well. I'm not saying we all are to dress like nuns, but I'm seeing now by understanding just how difficult it is for men in our culture with all the images they see, that I don't need to add to the problem by wearing a low cut top. I can simply add a tank underneath it to make it more modest (and then when I get in the bedroom with my husband it is for HIS eyes ONLY!) ;0

Anyway, its just a great book and I could go on and on, but really I just recommend that you read it. I'm not done with it yet, so possibly I will be impressed to do another post about what I am learning, but for now I will leave you with this. I hope it peaked your interest, because believe me, its really clarified things for me and corrected misassumptions I had about some of my husband's behaviors. Now seeing where they are rooted from, I can understand his viewpoint and can therefore relate to it instead of fighting it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Guide for Life

Do you remember when you got a new job and didn't know how to do it?

I remember when my husband started working at Goodyear. Every night he'd pour over a manual memorizing computer codes.

When I worked for ERAC, I had a huge binder with all the info I needed to do my job. Plus of course, I had co-workers to help train me.
I remember in the beginning, not being very confident in my abilities, so anytime I was unsure what to do, I would study the binder.

I did this over and over again until I understood the directions and was finally able to perform what was expected of me automatically. It became second nature to me. The directions and guidance in the binder had become written in my mind.

The same holds true with the Bible. It is God's written word giving us directions and guidance for our lives. If we study it over and over, it's directives will become second nature to us in our lives. Our actions will be a reflection of what is in it. And remember, what is in it, is God's word. His purpose and plans for us. If we are acting according to His word, we will certainly be enjoying a very blessed existence. Who doesn't want that?!

At work, after learning our job well, we become an example to others, or a trainer to new employees. The same is true in our walk with God. By living our lives according to His plans, we are becoming positive examples for others to follow. If someone else comes to know God more because of our positive actions, its definately a good thing.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Put God First

The following is something I shared with our church for an offerring message.

When we lived in Las Vegas, I had gotten a hammock as a gift. I didn't want an ugly hammock stand, so my husband agreed to build a permanent holder for it. We went to the store and bought all the supplies (concrete, metal poles, hooks, etc). He dug two holes, mixed the concrete and poured it into each hole. Then set a pole in each hole and let it dry. Then he attached the hammock to the poles with hooks. Ta-da! It was done!
I then proceeded to sit in it and ... KERPLUNK! I fell flat on my rear as it pulled the concrete foundation right out of the ground!
The foundation was faulty.
It was missing something (i.e. re-bar).
Without that key component (re-bar) it wasn't built to withstand the pressure (of my butt) ;0

Just like in the example of what happened with the hammock, the foundation we build upon with God needs to be strong, and solid, and Right!
How do we know if its right?
We go to the Word.
Where is the Word?
In the Bible.

The Word says we should tithe our first 10% (see Malachi 3:10 if you don't believe me).
So in order to be Right, we need to do that.
We need to tithe our first 10% before we do anything else. Put God and our obedience to Him above all else.

When I was assisting in Children's Church the kids were taught to keep God in front of earthly things like toys, cars, houses, friends, and money.
They even made a little craft that showed a cross positioned in front of the earth, to remind them that God should always be in front of anything on earth.

Well, we need to put God first too!
Our submission to Him is more important than earthly things.
So remember, if you want Joy in life, and all that God has in store for you, put Him first, obey His Word, and bring your tithes into His house as He instructs us to do (remember Malachi?)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to be strong against the floods

About once a month I have the opportunity to share the offerring message at our church. This is what I shared with our congregation today. I hope it is beneficial to you as well.

In Luke 6:46-49 in the NLT it says,
"So why do you call me, 'Lord', when you won't obey me?
I will show you what its like when someone comes to listen to me, listens to my teaching, and then obeys me. It is like a person who builds a house on a strong foundation laid upon the underlying rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built.
But anyone who listens and doesn't obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floodwaters sweep down against that house, it will crumble into a heap of ruins."

The floodwaters refer to difficult times.
When we experience difficult times (sickness, heartbreak, arguing with our family or spouse, hard times at work, or a decreased income), do we want these floodwaters to destroy us or hurt us because we haven't obeyed God?
Or do we choose to not only listen to God, (read our Bible, go to church, pray), but also obey what His Word is telling us (to tithe), so that when these floods come we are able to stand strong because God is protecting ans supporting us (like a foundation).

Malachi 3:11 says, "your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease".

This tells me that He is protecting us from those floods.

Wouldn't you rather be protected because of your obedience and have abundant crops to share with others?

Instead of being torn apart by the floods and possibly losing your job, your house, your spouse, your credit, or your everlasting life?

I would.

I'd like you to think about that before you bring your next tithes and offerings to God. Remember it in the future as well, because as I've said before, tithing becomes easy with practice. You just do it over and over again and it becomes second nature.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Want a successful business?

Any enterprise that is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.
Proverbs 24:3-4

Friday, January 29, 2010

Take back what he stole from me!

Do you know this song?

I went to the enemy's camp and I took back what he stole from me.
Took back what he stole from me!
Yes, I took back what he stole from me!

He's under my feet
He's under my feet
Satan is under my feet!

I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord!
I'm trading my sicknees, I'm trading my pain, I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord!

I say Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord!

Do you know that song?
I love that song. If u really let it sink it, it is so true. We have the ability to take back EVERYTHING that the devil stole from us. Whether it is emotional, physical, or spiritual. Its up to us. God gave us the ability to make choices. God gives us His strength to back us up. So if we are leaning on God, there is no way the devil will be stronger than us. We just have to make the choice to follow God instead of following our own selfish ways. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but it is certainly worth striving towards. Don't you agree?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Have u ever been fatigued?

In 1 Samuel chapter 30 it tells the story of David destroying the Amalekites. But before he did that, the Amalekites had raided and plundered his people, and took all the wives and children with them. When David and his 600 men set out to find them, they had to cross a river. However, 200 of them were too fatigued to do this. They stayed behind while the 400 continued on searching for the Amalekites. When they did find them, they won the battle and got all their wives and children back, PLUS all the spoils and riches of the Amalekites. When the men traveled back to meet up with the other 200, David rejoiced in their victory. However, some of the victors (from the group of 400) grumbled that because the 200 had not participated in the battle they should only receive their families back and not any of the riches. David said no. They were a team and they would behave as a team. If some stumble, the others help. If some guard the equipment, while others fight, they still all rejoice.

There are times in everyone's life when they get a bit fatigued and may need the help or aid of someone to get them through. Remember, YOU can be that person to help them.

In life, there will always be some who get fatigued. We need to work together as a team. We don't leave them behind. When I am at the gym, and I start to get drained, my teammates cheer me on and boost me up. They support me in my time of need. We need to do this to everyone we meet. Help them in their time of need.

If someone lost a job or is them.

THEY are fatigued.

They need the help of those who are still fighting the battle, just like David and his men.

Don't let an opportunity pass you by to be a blessing to someone else.