Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Price of Freedom

With all the talk about the war on TV during this election year, it has really made me stop and think more about all the brave American soldiers who are deployed throughout the world defending our nation.

So, on this Thankful Thursday, I'm thanking God for every one of the men and women in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. At this very moment thousands are away from the safety of their homes and are in dangerous places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and many other parts of the world. We are grateful to them and their families for the great sacrifices they are making. So many have not made it back home, and thousands of others have returned with severe and debilitating injuries. This is real life, not a movie... Our enemies hate freedom, but we must stand and defend it even when the cost is so high.

I'm proud to be the mother and aunt of a soldier. My oldest son Jason is in the Army Reserves. He just completed his Officers Training School and will soon receive his commission as a Second Lieutenant. He has served oversees in Germany, South America, and Afghanistan. Also my nephew Mark is in the regular Army. He is currently stationed in Korea after finishing a one-year tour in Iraq. He was a gunner on an armed Humvee. We are so thankful to God that he made it back safe and sound.

(Our Son Jason)

I suppose these days everyone knows someone who has a son or daughter in the military. It’s just the state of the world we live in. We cannot forget the many sacrifices made daily by these courageous men and women. As we sit at our table to share a meal with our families, or jump in the car and head off to the mall, or go the show or a nice restaurant to eat lunch, remember that there is cost being paid for all this FREEDOM we enjoy.

It has been said that “Freedom is never Free”. There is always a price to be paid. The Bible says that Jesus has set us free from sin and death, but He had to pay a great price when He suffered and died on the cross. And our soldiers are doing the same thing for all of us everyday. They are willing to lay down their own lives to keep us free. May we always be grateful for what they are doing for us. Please join me in prayer for their safety and protection, and when you see a soldier, take the opportunity to tell them “Thanks”! It just may be exactly what they need to hear that day.

If you would like to join us on this

Stop by Iris's place; Sting My Heart. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

"Grammy's Girls"

Something Extraordinary

"Miracles have happened when God's people come together in prayer."
~ Billy Graham ~

I must say when I first read this quote I had a hard time thinking about what I might share. I love Billy Graham, and I know he’s witnessed more miracles in his lifetime then anyone could ever imagine! Each time he spoke, thousands of lives were changed. Miracles happened.

But there are times when God’s people pray and miracles don’t happen. Well, at least not in an obvious way. I started to wonder; "So what is a miracle?"

According to the Strong’s Concordance, the Greek word for “miracle” means something wonderful; supernatural; a sign or wonder. Now, this thought is very interesting.

The first miracle recorded in the New Testament occurred at a wedding feast in Cana. Let’s read - “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” Jn. 2:11

So here we see a group of people gathered together at a wedding. It was there that Jesus learned that the host had a great and desperate need when he ran out of wine. What a terrible embarrassment this would have been for the family. Jesus called the servants to fill several large pots with water, and then He transformed an ordinary element into something extraordinary. A miracle was performed, and the people were amazed.

This is the very same thing Jesus did when we first came to Him with our great and desperate need. He took our sin stained empty lives, filled them with His Holy Spirit, and transformed them into something wonderful. We were once dead in sin, but now have received a new and eternal life! I don’t think it gets any more miraculous then that!

I believe when God’s people gather together and pray, wonderful things do happen. Prayer is our way of acknowledging our need before God. In our times of greatest weakness, when we have no power to change our situation, the only thing we can do is cry out to Him for help. What we are saying is; “You are Lord, and we are mere men”. This place of humility is the very place where miracles begin.

I love this passage because it reveals what God truly longs to do for us.
2 Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him...”

Every time I gather together with other believers to pray, my faith is increased. I truly expect that something wonderful will happen because of the prayers we bring before His throne. Sometimes God’s final answer may not be the one I was hoping for, but I know this; God is pleased when we pray, and the opportunity for Him to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary is always present.

Please join us today at Beloved Ma Ma's site and see what others have to share. Thanks so much for taking time to drop by today. Believing God for something "wonderful" for you today!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Need A Laugh?

I thought this was great! Enjoy...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dressed for Battle

On this “Thankful Thursday” I want to thank God for the beautiful wardrobe He has given us wear. His Amour! Now we don’t have to worry women if it will fit. It’s just the perfect size, handmade by Jesus, and ready and waiting to be put on everyday.

Eph. 6-10-18 says:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."

I don’t know about you, but I have been fighting some real battles lately, and it doesn’t look like things are not calming down. Our nation is being tested like never before, and we are in a battle for holiness, our families, and for God’s Word to prevail over the darkness that hovers all around us. With that in mind I'm so grateful that God has not left us defenseless against all these assaults. He has clothed us for the battle...

So, on this Thankful Thursday I'm thanking God for the belt of truth. He has given us His wisdom, knowledge, and discernment. I place this belt securely around me each day.

Next, I’m thankful for the breastplate of righteous. It is the precious blood of Jesus that has cleansed me from every stain of sin, and frees me to live a life of victory day by day.

I’m thankful for the sandals of peace that transcends all human knowledge and understanding. Even when I don’t know why, I know in whom I have believed and have peace that He will never abandon me in the battle.

I’m thankful for the mighty shield of faith that not only guards me from the direct assaults of the enemy, but it gives me courage to take my stand knowing that my Savior is standing right by my side.

I’m thankful for the helmet of salvation that protects me in battle for my mind. I am able to think clearly and have God’s thoughts and divine insight no matter how high the waves are raging all around me.

And finally, I’m thankful for the sword of the spirit, which is God’s unchanging Word. This weapon is powerful and able to silence every lie and scheme of Satan. It is what sustains and equips me to never give up, turn back, or surrender.

Yes ladies, we may never see a model in Glamour magazine dressed in the latest designer "Amour from Italy", but pleased be assured, when we wear our spiritual dress we are the most beautifully adorned handmaidens in the eyes of Jesus our Lord!

If you would like to see what other thankful hearts are saying, please drop by Iris at Sting My Heart! Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Power of Prayer

Momma prayed, momma cried, momma laid awake at night.She would fight my battles while I slept awayCause momma knew life is hardwithout somebody on your sideI don't know how, but there is power in the way,The way my momma prayed.
(Words and music by Jeremiah Olson)


Thank God for the faithful prayers of so many mothers. I believe many times they were used by God to change the course of history. I’m grateful for every prayer that was whispered for me by my own precious mother.

When I think of a mother who had every excuse to be “too busy to pray”, I can’t help but think of one of my of my favorite hero’s, Susanna Wesley.

In nineteen years, she gave birth to nineteen children, nine of whom died as infants—including two sets of twins. A maid accidentally smothered one baby. Another was crippled for life in a tragic accident.

Susanna met her trials with a strong faith in God that she had learned as a child. She was the youngest of twenty-five, born in 1669 to the family of Dr. Samuel Annesley, a well-known and very powerful minister.

No matter what the circumstances of her life would bring, Susanna was committed to caring for her family in the best way possible. Each day before teaching her children, she set aside an hour to herself for Scripture reading and prayer, and then led all her children in singing psalms.

Susanna Wesley raised two of the most powerful ministers of her day. She was the mother of John and Charles Wesley. These two brothers founded the Methodist church. John led many large revivals all over England and across the ocean in America.
Charles was a renowned composer who wrote hundreds of hymns and his songs that are still among the world’s most famous. Songs like “Hark the Herald Angles Sing” and “ O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” just to name a couple.

Prayer is still the most powerful weapon we have been given here on earth, and mothers are uniquely gifted to be both loving nurturers and radical prayer warriors for their children. Only Heaven will tell the story of how many lives were changed because mothers were on their knees.
Heather at the Titus 2 Woman is our host this week for In Other Words.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Loving Strong

The Way of Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love...

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable,
It keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice
But rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
Never loses faith,
Is always hopeful,
Endures through every circumstance,
Love will last forever!
~1 Corinthians 13~

On this Thankful Thursday I want to thank God for the “Love of God” that was the power that bound us together tonight at church. We locked hands all across the sanctuary as we prayed. Some of us wept, some lifted up hands to heaven, others poured out their hearts to God, and others bowed down and gave praise. Our Pastor’s son (who is the Youth Pastor) lost his precious 27-year-old wife after a year long battle with cancer. They had only been married for three years. Another Pastor from across town shut down his services to come and be with us, just to show (along with his whole congregation) how much they loved us. He shared a message that when faith has come to an end, and hope is shattered; the Love of God still stands strong...

I am so thankful for the beautiful Body of Christ. And for knowing that when one member suffers we all suffer, and bear one another’s burdens. It is this great Love that God has placed in our hearts for one another that carries us through the most difficult days. His love will never fail.
If you would like to read what other thankful hearts are saying today please go stop Iris' Sting My Heart today.
~Happy Valentine's Day~

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Longing for Him...

"Why do our days seem so unimportant, filled not with romance and adventurebut with duties and demands? We feel unseen, even by those who are closest tous. We feel unsought--that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us, to get past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. And we feeluncertain--uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it trulymeans to be feminine; uncertain if we are or will ever be...And in all theexhortations we have missed the most important thing of all. We have missed the heart of a woman. “Quote taken from: "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge

I didn’t think I was going to get the chance to participate in this week’s “In Other Words”, because I was really pressed for time today. However, after reading this quote, I knew I could not resist the opportunity to jump in and share a few thoughts on this awesome quote.

First, I want to recommend that if you have not had the chance to read any of John or Stasi Eldredge's books, you should check them out. They are awesome authors, and you are really missing out on some great reading. In fact, I think I’m going to do a “give a way” for one of their books on my 100th post. So stay tuned, it is getting close!

OK, back to the quote. I don’t think there is a woman out there that has not experienced the feeling of being “unimportant,” or living a life without “romance and adventure!” Most of us, and I dare say all of us; have experienced these types of feelings at some point.

This is not new, and I believe the lies and deception started early on with the first woman. In the beginning, everything was wonderful as she and her husband Adam lived in the garden. They enjoyed fellowship with each other and with God. There was no sin. This beautiful fairy tale all came to an abrupt end when Satan spoke to Eve and sadly, she listened to him.

The deception began at that most unfortunate moment, and has continued to threaten and bombard every woman from then on. In the book, Lies Women Believe, Nancy Leigh DeMoss quotes a Puritan pastor named Thomas Brook who said,

“Satan promises the best, but pays the worse; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace, he promises pleasure, and pays with pain, he promises profit, and pays with loss, he promises life, and pays with death”.

There is nothing wrong with desiring to feel important, loved and to experience romance and adventure. In some way, we probably all dream and long for this daily. However, to what expense will we go to try to obtain this dream? Will demanding it from our husbands give it to us? Will listening to all the lure of the TV, magazines, best sellers, and the top ten hit songs be the bait we fall for? Will we allow friends, who are not walking close to God, to give us advice? The serpent is still telling lies. Are we still listening?

No matter what the source, or how it comes to us, it will always be subtle, and deceptive. Philosophies of man will foster feelings of discontent and self-pity. If what we hear is not consistent with God’s Word, we can be sure that the source of these thoughts is the "father of lies,” and he has only one objective - "to kill, steal, and destroy.” Satan is trying to deceive, but we have the Spirit of Truth, and He will lead us and guide us if we only follow.

I pray that we would not be so consumed with our immediate happiness, but rather, that we would be passionately longing for holiness and truth. That finding the heart God and embracing His desires and will for our lives will take first place. Did Jesus not say, "Seek first the Kingdom of God...and all these things will be added unto you"? This in my mind is where true contentment and peace will be found.

I pray that you will find your true contentment in Christ in your womanhood and He gives you the disires of your hearts. If you would like to see what other's are saying about this quote please take a minute and visit AS GOLD REFINED. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday

On this Thankful Thursday I want to thank God for his WORD, which brings me such great JOY!

Because of a conflict that came up right before church last night, I almost decided not to go. Now, isn’t this just like the enemy to try and keep us away from God’s blessings?

Just as my husband and I entered church and sat down the worship leader asked if there was anyone here who needed to release some thing to the Lord? He went on to say that if you are tired of trying to do things on your own, just lift up your hands, and someone will come and pray with you. Immediately I knew God wanted to speak to me.

This was only the beginning. We had a guest speaker, and he taught out of 2 Chronicles 20 where Jehoshaphat was warned that a vast army was coming up against him. The pastor shared from that passage in a brand new way about all the things Jehoshaphat did upon receiving this news. Now God had my total attention, and I knew why the devil was working so hard to keep me from church. I was supposed to be at this service to hear this amazing Word! He taught us when we come to God we should first bring “praise” unto God. We do this by declaring His sovereignty, His dominion, and His ability to do all things. Then we are to testify and bring ourselves into remembrance of the goodness of God and all the mighty things He has already done for us.

So that is what I want to do today. I want to thank God for all the battles he has already brought me through. I want to thank Him for His Word that has never failed me. I want to thank Him that there is none besides Him – He is God alone! And finally, I want to thank Him that the “Battle is the Lords” – and I can stand still in faith and “See the salvation of the Lord”!

Isn’t the Lord wonderful? I love they way God’s word is alive and just as relevant today as it was the day it was written. It still brings healing and hope to all who will hear it.

In Psalm 107:20 the Bible says, “He sent forth his word and he healed them…”

Thank you Jesus that your word brings healing, hope and life to this hard hearted and weary soul. Thank you for being so patient with me. For the “Joy of the Lord” is truly my strength!
If you would like to see what other grateful hearts are thankful for today, join us at Iris' Sting My Heart!

Monday, February 4, 2008

"My Most Memorable Valentine's Day Ever."

It was Valentine’s Day 2004, a day I will never forget!

During a usual busy day at work, my husband Rick slipped out on his lunch hour to bless me with a really special Valentine’s gift. The norm for us is flowers, some candy, and maybe a romantic dinner. This year Rick wanted to surprise me with an extra special present.

He knew jewelry would really catch me off gaurd so off to the jewelry store he went to purchase a ring he had been looking at and thinking about for days.

He was so excited to get to walk through the door when he got home and shock me with this gorgeous blue sapphire and diamond ring. He had it wrapped, and tied a “I Love You” balloon to the box and put it with a card in a beautiful gift bag. Oh, it was just perfect, and he was so proud of his gift to show me how much I was loved.

At that time Rick had to commute to and from work across the 25 mile Causeway bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. He was thinking, “This is going to be Susan’s big surprise” as he drove across that long bridge over the lake.

A few miles before he reached the end, he leaned on the armrest and accidentally hit the passenger side window button and the window went down. Before he could do anything, before his very eyes, he saw the wind catch the balloon and pull it right out of the window with the ring box still attached!

OH MY, can you imagine how he felt at that moment? In the rearview mirror he saw the helium balloon flying in the air with cars and trucks speeding along and only deep water over the rails.

It wasn’t long before Rick pulled up and walked slowly to the door. When he first walked in I could see something was wrong, really wrong. He quietly asked me to come in the back to our room; he had something to tell me. He sat down, and handed me an empty gift bag, with a Valentine’s card in it, and then told me the whole story.

I felt horrible, and so touched all at the same time. Horrible, that he lost this beautiful ring, and so touched by all the love that went behind getting me such a special gift. He was sure there was no chance the ring would ever be found. He said some poor fisherman would see this balloon floating in the lake and pull it up only to find a diamond ring attached to it. Talk about the catch of the day!

After a few minutes of consoling him, I told him just go back on the bridge and try and see if by some chance it didn’t go over the rail or get rolled over. Rick looked at me as if I had lost my mind! It was now night, it was windy, and the chances of finding a small ring box on that Causeway were less than zero. I must add here that there are no lights or emergency lanes on the bridge, and you are not even allowed to stop.

My nephew was over at the time and quickly agreed to take the ride with Rick back on the bridge. So still in a daze we said a quick prayer, and they headed out to accomplish what we all really knew was the impossible.

As they drove along on the southbound span, trying to look across at the Northbound span, my nephew said he though he saw something reflecting in the headlights on the other side. They went another mile to the next turnaround and started heading back on the other side. As they drove along, there was the balloon flapping in the wind against the guardrail. The little ring box got lodged in a drain hole on side of the bridge. When they got close to it another miracle occurred, no cars were coming behind them. My nephew hopped out of the car, grabbed the balloon and the ring still attached, and we all became believers in miracles that day. Whenever I wear that ring, I know it was not only a gift from Rick; it was a gift from God.

Yes, I will never forget my Valentine Miracle. Do you know that God is still working miracles today? I don’t ask why some prayers are answered, and some are not, I just know with God nothing is impossible or too difficult. Happy Valentine's Day Rick, I love you more each day!

If you want to read somemore awesome stories, you can visit Marriage Monday.

Friday, February 1, 2008

And The Winner Is...

It's been a great week at the Bloggy Giveaway. So many neat prizes, and lots of very talented women out there! This has been so much fun. I'm already looking forward to the next contest.

I used to choose my winner. The winning number was 31. Rachie at Two for One is a mother of twins. I hope you will enjoy the book, Valentine bear, and candy with your husband.

A big shout out to Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for hosting this awesome contest!