Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is Mama Happy?

"If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!'" We smile as we read the wall plaque in the novelty store. But our smile quickly turns to a frown if truly "Mama ain't happy." This is because the wife and mother in a family often "sets the tone" in the home. The "tone" God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family. If your family were called upon to describe you, what would they say?"~Martha Peace, "The Excellent Wife"

I must say I had to laugh when I first read today's quote. What woman has never heard this quoted to her at some time in her life? I think most men would say a great big AMEN. After all, many men live with this reality each day.

In our community the Home-Builders Association just had what they call "The Parade of Homes". There are 2 weekends each year you get to view some of the most beautiful homes in our area that are for sale. Cars line up all along the roped off streets, and there are people everywhere going in and out of these dream homes. My husband and I along with some friends decided to go view them after church this past Sunday. I think I must of mentally moved in around 6 houses in one day. I was exhausted when we were finished, but it was so much fun dreaming of living in one of these gorgeous homes.

It seems like it's just second nature for a woman to want to set up a home. Nesting comes early on for most women as we begin playing house as little girls.

I'll never forget when we built our first home. I was so excited as each phase was completed and counted the days until we finally moved in. I wanted everything to be just perfect, after all, it was going to be a reflection of who I was, and what I wanted others to see.

In the book of Proverbs 14:1 it says "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."

The thought of tearing down all that we built would the most disastrous thing I could ever do. Yet everyday I'm faced with the choice as a mother and wife to build or tear down my home by my words, actions, attitude and example. God has entrusted us as women with this huge responsibility. There will always be challenges to face each day, but how we respond will truly determine the spiritual climate in our homes.

I pray that I will be a reflection of the wise woman, one that always sets the tone of joy and optimism as I build my home.

Lord, help me to be an example of that wise woman you spoke of in Proverbs. Let my testimony be one of a God fearing woman. Teach me to be diligent in the care my family and tone I set each day. Forgive me as I fail so miserably many times. Thank you for your mercy and grace that I need each day to bring you honor.
Please join us over at As Gold Refined for today's In Other Words.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Looking For Crazy Stories!

Hi Everyone!

Just a little reminder of what's coming up for Marriage Monday on May 5th. I'm really excited about our topic and want to invite you to join us next week. We will be writing about , "The Crazy Way We Met"! I know all of you have a story to tell, so start thinking about it now and plan on being a part of the fun. I'm looking forward to reading all of your love stories! Hmmm, I'm going start working on mine, and it is crazy indeed!

If you get a chance stop by Chrysalis's site and read a great article she recently posted call "Relationships: Six Fundamentals of Love & Respect". You'll be glad you did.

Hope you are having a good Monday! I'll be back shortly.

Friday, April 25, 2008

He Safely Arrived!

I choose this song today because I feel like my son Joseph is at the "other end of the world" now that he has truly left and moved to Taiwan! Thank you for praying for his safe arrival. Here is an email I just received. Tears of joy!

"I safely landed in Taiwan last night. I didn't have internet access until just now, but I wanted you to know I am safe and on the ground in Kaoshiung. This is a very big city, extremely modern, and so far full of friendly people. I'm about to go look for an apartment so I will get back with more details soon. This is really exciting mama! I'm 10,000 miles from home! The plane flight took SO long. It was actually ridiculous. But yes, this is pretty crazy. I love you!Tell dad I'm good and Jordan and everybody else. Talk to you soon! I will make you proud." Love, Joe

Lord I pray that you would give my son a heart for the world. Go before him, show him your favor. Give him the boldness to proclaim the good news where ever he goes. Watch over and protect him, In Jesus name.

(Please remember to mute my music below!!)

Join us over at Signs Miracles and Wonders as others post their favorite songs! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Breathing Real Easy

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? (1 Thessalonians 3:9)

On this thankful Thursday I want to first thank God for all of you that held us up in prayer as we traveled to St. Jude for Jordan’s scans and six month progress evaluation. Hallelujah, we came home with a great report and we are over-joyed.

Now how do you spell RELIEF? The words,

“No evidence of progression or metastatic disease”
on your child’s MRI report is exactly how it is spelled to me!

♥I’m also grateful for the friendships we share with so many other St. Jude moms’. We had a great time catching up with Mark and Mylissa who are the founders of “Habitat for Hope”. God is using this couple in a big way as they serve so many needy families in crisis during their stay at St. Jude.

♥I’m so grateful for Dawn who took a day off to sit with us on Monday. Dawn lost her son Shae 7 years ago. What a friend she has become to us! We had such a nice time hanging out.

♥I’m grateful for the new friendship we made with another family going through the same things we have endured with Jordan. Please keep their little daughter Kate (four years old) in your prayers as she is facing another brain surgery very soon.

"Jordan and Kate"

♥I’m grateful for my husband who kept the house afloat and took care of Joel (my youngest) while I was gone. He also got my middle son Joseph off to the airport to catch a plane headed for Taiwan, where he will start his new job as an English teacher. Please keep Joseph in prayer. I’m thankful for what God is doing in his life, but I’m already missing him, and he just left yesterday!

♥And finally, I’m so grateful that Jordan did fantastic with his fasting and the way he endured all of the tests he had to go through. He’s a real trooper and a joy in my life. It’s a grueling schedule packed into two short days, but Jordan kept smiling…at least he did most of the time.

Thanks once again for stopping by. If you would like to see what others are thanking God for this week join us over at Sting My Heart, you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1

One of my greatest desires is to leave a legacy that will reflect my passion for Jesus. Helen Keller wrote:

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Hope you enjoy this oldie but goodie! Be blessed and thanks for stopping by today.

(Please remember to mute my music first!!)

To join others hop on over to Signs Miracles and Wonders!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Unwearied & Steadfast

“Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer life, being both alert and intent in your praying with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4: 2

On this Thankful Thursday I would like to thank God for the many prayer warriors He has brought into our lives over the years.

Elisabeth Elliot once said:
"Prayer lays hold of God's plan and becomes the link between His will and its accomplishment on earth. Amazing things happen, and we are given the privilege of being the channels of the Holy Spirit's prayer."

I'm always amazed at the incredible things God has done and will do because we pray! I was so excited to see what the theme was for this Thankful Thursday was, TRUST! God knew I truly needed this word! I would like to ask all of you to please agree with me for two very special prayer requests.

* My son Jordan will be having his brain scans done again at St. Jude on Monday April 21st. Please believe with me things remain stable on all fronts. He will have his hearing, vision and labs done also.

~Mom and Joseph~

* My third son Joseph will be flying out to Taiwan on Tuesday April 22nd. He will be teaching English in an elementary school. I wanted him to be adventurous, but jeez, this is a little too far out for me. Pray for safe travels, protection, for the Lord to direct him to the right church, and for God to place godly people in his path.

So, you can only imagine how emotional next week will be for us. Knowing I have your prayers would mean so much! Thanks for stopping by today. I'll look forward to sharing my praise reports next week!

To join other thankful hearts go to Sting My Heart

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday

My precious Jordan. Sleep test number 4! Mom, do you really need to take this picture?
Please join us at The160 Acre Woods!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesdays, In "other" Words

Over the years of serving the Lord, there is one thing I have found that never changes, which is God’s faithfulness. No matter what I’ve had to go through, I’ve learned that He is always there with mercy, love, and compassion to uphold and steady me day by day.

However, there are those times when God goes above and beyond anything you could ever imagine. In the summer of 2002, after much prayer, my husband, Jordan and I boarded a plane and headed up to Johns-Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, MD. Jordan was scheduled for brain surgery.

Although we were sent off with the prayers and support of our family, friends and church, we thought we would be making this journey alone. Never in our wildest dreams could we have anticipated what would happen after we arrived.

I had come to greatly admire a Pastor from Baltimore that I had listened to on the radio for many years. We planned to attend his church on Sunday, before reporting to the hospital on Monday morning. We mentioned to an usher that we were first time visitors, and explained the reason we were in town. This was a fairly large church, and we were just one of many first-time visitors on that Sunday morning. The service was tremendous, and we felt reassured that the Lord would be with us as we faced the uncertainty of what lay ahead.

On Monday morning, Jordan’s first surprise was that our Pastor from back home and his associate unexpectedly flew up to be by our side throughout the surgery. Then two ladies from the church we had visited that worked at the hospital, came and joined us in the waiting room. Somehow they got our name from the visitor’s card and made us feel just like family. From that day, until the day we left Baltimore, total strangers from the church continued to bring us meals, gifts, and spent time praying and ministering to us! Can you imagine such an out-pouring of love?

We thought we would be far away from home, and away from loved ones who could encourage and support us. Yet God “intruded into our neat and tidy notions about who He is and how He works.” Little did we know what wonderful blessings He had planned for us when we boarded that plane. What a glorious discovery we made on that trip about the unsurpassing greatness of our amazing God and the Body of Christ!

It’s so easy to assume you understand God’s ways and purposes, because we have the Word that reveals so much about Him. However, there are those times when He intrudes into our concepts of who He is, and reveals Himself in new and greater ways than we have ever imagined.

Jordan came through the surgery perfectly in tact, but we didn’t get the results we were hoping for as the tumor could not be removed. However, we gained a greater revelation of our wonderful Savior, and formed many new friendships that we still treasure until this very day.

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Night To Remember

Rick's company celebrated their 75th Anniversary on Saturday night. Thought I'd share a few photo's from the event! Enjoy...

~ Smile~

Oh yes, those are boiled shrimp, a Louisiana delicacy!

Now we are really talking, this cake had a cherry and nut filling!

Several cakes, oh yes...

OK, there was other food, but hey, this was my favorite! I'm still stuffed...

Soapbox Sunday

On this Soapbox Sunday I'd like to share a video that was going around a few months ago. It really convicted me because I was guilty. If you haven't seen this, please take a minute to watch this. (Please remember to mute my music playing!)

In 2 Timothy 2:15, it says, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the Word of truth."

The Word of God is the greatest treasure we'll ever possess. As we study it, we will gain understanding to live by and come to know the fullness of Christ that is revealed to us in it. Let's always take time to seek God in his Word and mediate upon it's great truths.

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word. Psalm 119:9

I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word. Psalm 119:16

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Thanks for stopping by today! Got to go, time for my devotions!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays

No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Oh, what an incredible song! I pray you will be blessed as you listen to this powerful song!

Thanks for stopping by today! As always, I'll remind you to "mute" my music player before launching the video.

For more posts on this "TSMSS" visit Amy at Signs, Miracles, and Wonders.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Treasured Inheritance

“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.” (PS 2:8)

On this thankful Thursday, I want to thank God for technology. Yes, you really can’t appreciate your cell phone until you receive a call from Russia, half way around the world, while you are out shopping.

In the summer of 1994 our church took a team to Russia to hold evangelistic crusades and help plant a new church. As we were ministering in a city called Ivanovo, I met a young girl named Jane who could speak some English. She received Christ, became one of our interpreters, and traveled with our team the whole time we were in Russia. From the moment we met until this very day Jane has captured my heart. She became a spiritual daughter to me, calls me her American momma, and I love her like my very own.

Over the years Jane has stayed in contact with me. We even had the privilege of bringing her to the United States to spend a summer with us. While she was here, Jane visited many churches, shared her powerful testimony, and saw lots of people respond to surrender all to Jesus. Since then God has called Jane to be a missionary. She has been to China, the Black Sea region, and is now waiting to go to Africa.

Little did I know that summer God would grant me an inheritance I will treasure forever.
♥I love you Jane♥
Join other grateful hearts at Sting My Heart, you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

Reflecting His Glory

"Marriage: For Happiness or Holiness?"

One of the greatest myths that have been told is that of marriage. "And they lived happily ever after". The only couples that will live “happily ever after” are those who, as soon as they are pronounced husband and wife, will hear the trumpet sound and are translated right into heaven in the rapture.

Most people enter into marriage with the notion that they are going to change one another. The reality is, we cannot change another person. We can only change and adjust our own attitudes, actions and reactions.

So, the question this week is: “Marriage for Happiness or Holiness?” The answer to that really needs to begin with another question. Are you committed to having your marriage be a reflection of Christ and His bride, or will you try to figure out how to work on things outside of this great mystery?

The relationship that we have with Christ is often paralleled to the relationship of a husband and wife. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Bridegroom, and the church as His bride. From the foundation of the world, God created marriage to teach us about the reality of His eternal covenant and faithfulness toward us. He desires that we commit our lives to Him and Him alone when He said, You must not have any other god but me. (Ex. 20:3).

And now He has given us marriage as an earthly model of that covenant. To truly understand the marriage relationship is to begin to understand our heavenly relationship with Christ. Marriage is not of human design, but it is a holy commitment that joins two people together for life. Happiness can and should be a part of the life of two believers who are truly committed to God and one another. But Holiness is the foundation upon which the house must be built.

May our lives always reflect this glorious truth for all to see.

Please join us over at E-Moms to see what others have to say on this topic. Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Was So Embarrassed

I’d like to start out today by thanking Tonya for being willing to host Soapbox Sunday. I pray that many women will be blessed and encouraged each week by her thought provoking topics.


As a mother of five sons, I’m going to approach this issue from a personal perspective, because I’ve never had a daughter of my own to instruct on this subject. However, having been in full-time ministry for many years, I have had the chance to influence many women in this area.

As a young Christian just coming out of a secular lifestyle, no one specifically taught me about modesty or what the bible had to say about the topic. One night after a home bible study I was attending, a brother in Christ sat down with me and said these words, “Susan, you are a beautiful young lady, and I know you love the Lord, but sometimes what you wear distracts me”. I didn’t know what to say…

Back in those days I liked wearing my jeans really snug, and my shirts were pretty form fitting! I remember getting in my car and crying the whole way home. How humiliating! I had never been raised in a Christian environment. I felt so bad that I could be causing men to stumble?

Part of me never wanted to return out of embarrassment, but it caused me to study the scriptures and learn what the Bible had to say about this issue. One scripture that really spoke to my heart was in 1 Timothy:

"Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness." (I Tim 2:9)

Immediately the Lord began to show me if I was going to make a claim to godliness, then everything in my life should reflect it. It didn’t take long for me to understand what God was saying to me. Our bodies are precious because they are a gift from God, but He never intended for us to flaunt ourselves or display our bodies in an immodest way. He wants our whole person; body, soul, and spirit to be consecrated fully to Him.

"I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom. 12:1)

Many of us have asked the question, “Then what should I wear?” What I tell younger women to do is; go into your closet and look at all your clothes really well. Then ask the question before you put on that dress or blouse, “Is this too revealing or immodest in any way? If I wear this outfit, could it distract or cause a brother in Christ to stumble?” This is not easy because as women we really enjoy dressing up and looking good. But it is the inner beauty of a sanctified life that will actually attract others to us. Outer beauty is a fleeting thing, but to be pure in spirit is eternal.

I will be praying for those of you who are raising daughters, or responsible for teaching younger women. I know it’s difficult even to find modest clothing these days. Most of what they see on TV or in magazines is so seductive. It is our obligation to instruct them in the truth, and to be an example and role model of what is pleasing in the sight of God.

“Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." (I Chron. 16:29)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays

Thanks for stopping by today. Oh boy, if you have not seen this precious little girl, you are in for a major blessing! Remember to turn off my music player before you start the video.

....Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? Matt. 21:16

For more posts on this "Then Sings My Soul Saturdays visit Signs, Miracles, and Wonders.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Feeling So Grateful

“At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” Ephesians 5: 20

It's Thankful Thursday, my favorite day of the week now. I love having a day to reflect and give thanks for the endless things God has done and continues to do for me. It will take all of eternity to really thank God for what He has done, and I look forward to that opportunity. However, today I think I'm going to make a quick little list of some of the special things He has done during this past week.

♥ I'd like to first give thanks for my precious friend Tonya over at Safe In His Arms. Tonya, you have been such a GOD-send to me this past week. Thanks for being so patient, and such a good teacher. Your friendship means the world to me.

♥ I'd like to give thanks for a breakthrough in some bad migraine headaches I've had all week. I'm battling TMJ. If you have ever had this problem, I’m sure you'll understand. But God is good, all of the time – and He has bringing me through to victory!

♥ I'm so blessed I got to spend time with my beautiful grand-daughter, Kayla Michelle, who is turning 3 next week. (Happy Birthday!) Oh my where has the time gone? She came and spent the night with us, and I had the best time just being "Grammy".

♥ I'm so grateful for my wonderful husband who works so hard, and is such a blessing to me. He has the patience of Job living with me these days. I love you Rick♥♥♥

♥ I'm grateful for wonderful doctors. Jordan's neurologist and I have formed such a special bond ever since she had to make that dreadful call six years ago to inform me that Jordan had a brain tumor. She's such a support and always just a phone call away. She's become a great friend, and I see clearer all the time how God uses all things in our lives?

♥ I'd like to thank those who read my Soapbox and took time to write to your Senator. This means the world to us and so many families affected by
Childhood Cancer. You do make a difference!

Finally I want to give thanks for all my new bloggy friends. Gosh, ladies you are just the BEST! I love reading your blogs, I'm so inspired, encouraged and always challenged to move closer to Jesus because of YOU.

Oh, and as always, thanks for taking time to stop by today. I pray you have a great week!

Please join us over at Iris's Sting My Heart to see what other grateful hearts are writing about.