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  • August 2017
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We Just Need To Practice

Hey there everyone,

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.  I most certainly did.  My oldest came home from college for Christmas, my daughter turned 17 (She is making me and the hubby old very fast.)  She also got a job right before her birthday (Which is one week before Christmas).  We all celebrated my three holidays together at home with no big hoop la.  Which was just fine with all of us.

At the beginning of each year you might be finding yourself looking back.  People like to see what if anything they got accomplished and what they didn’t.  They make new goals for the upcoming months.  They try to adopt new, better habits.  One thing I have found is that they don’t set these out on a day-to-day basis.  No they spread them out over an entire year.  Yes, I realize that there are some that may take that long.  But ask yourself when you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the tasks that need to be done? Or perhaps a soreness/pain you may have for sleeping different then you needed.  I could list a whole number of things that ; not only have I said to myself, but have heard others as well.  We are to begin each day a new. With the joy of the Lord.   Not with bitterness or need.  In order to do this all it takes is …… practice.  Practice means that you are trying each and every day with all you mind, body, and soul.  Practice means you won’t get it perfected or even do it some days.  It means you are trying.  That you are actually doing it with a good heart.  Practice mean you have taken you out of it and are doing it for the Lord.

I don’t understand why people are putting so much disgust on themselves at the beginning of each year.  They haven’t lost enough weight, gotten any healthier, saved enough money, given enough money and so on. So what?!? Do the best you can with what you have daily and let God handle the rest.  Before you know it; it will be a new healthier, happier, habit and a wonderful start to your day.  Now for those who might be keeping score, I know that I didn’t write a whole lot last year, but within that time that I did these are the words I used most.

 

Angels, Bible, Child, Children, Christ, Christian, Church, Churches, Control, Faith, Family, Glory, God, Good, Gospel, Grace, Hear, Hearts, Jesus, Kids, Learn, Lessons, Life, Listen, Lord, Love, Luke, Man, Marriage, Matthew, Mercy, Mistakes, MS, Music, ORU, Parents, Pastor, People, Religion, Speak, Spirit, Trouble, Women, Word, Work.

 

I like to leave you with a song that I heard on a CD that my sister had a long time ago.  The song might be an old one but it still holds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wslEJVlnjRI

Party Over Here, Party Over There

I talked about being hungry the other day.  Since then, there has been a thought that has entered my mind.  And although it may sound a little farfetched, I’m  going to tell you anyway.  Just how would it look if we “Christians”  met in one area just to praise God.  Now, I know that we meet in church on our respective days of the week.  But, what would it look like if we, of all denominations, got together and met just to fellowship and praise God.

Kind of like a Woodstock but without all the sex, drugs, and drinking.  I think that would be such a sight.  However, I also don’t see anything like that happening.  Because there is so little love being spread across the world.  There would be some who wouldn’t come because a certain so and so was or wasn’t speaking.  There would be others who would make an excuse that it would be too far to drive or fly there.  And I can hear others saying that they couldn’t make it due to their schedule.  Plus there is always an issue of music.  Even if we divided an area into sections some would asking “Who would we allow to play; or what kind of genre of Christian songs would be playing.”  “Would dancing be allowed and so forth.”  All the excuses would stop everyone from coming instead of people realizing that God meets anyone who calls on Him no matter how they call Him.  What a glorious party it could be!   There would always be some who could not be motivated enough to worship God with other Christians.  As if they all had some kind of “Christian disease.”  We can read in Acts where all the Christians, at that time, were gathered together and praying and worshiping God and the Holy Spirit came on all of them.  Could you imagine if all the Christians of today’s age got together.  What a beautiful image that could be.

How much more could we learn about God!?!  How much more could we learn about each other!?!  How much more could we help each other!?!  To my knowledge, what happened in the book of Acts has never been attempted again.  The reason as to why not, I do not know.  Except to say, that we allow fleshly differences to get in our way.  We can get behind a prayer for someone who has cancer, or a church who is in danger of being torn or burned down, some executive who speaks his own beliefs.  But to gather the body, the actual church together, no I don’t think the parts can be placed together for a time just to praise, and get nothing else out of it than praising their God.  No, I truly can’t see it.  I would love it if someone or a group of someone’s could pull it off and prove me wrong.  We have had revivals and conventions, even crusades but nothing on the scale that I am talking about.  Where we all over the world could gather, praise, and love the One who first loved us.  How hungry would we have to be to actually get something like this done?  Well, how hungry are you? Where is the church?

Changes Within The Family

Well, he went and did it, the little stinker.  Joey got admitted into ORU.  Not only will he be attending there this coming fall.  He also got their presidential scholarship!  So we are now looking into every aspect of stuff that he will need for the up-coming years.  We had, a few months back changed churches, I will not go into the details as to why.  When our former church  heard of Joey’s great news, they had asked us to attend a Sunday service so that they could announce the news to the congregation.  They were all so very supportive and kind to him.

Sierra is still going strong in learning how to play her guitar.  She is also showing great promise in thinking things through.  So many times she has been coming home and telling me of the behavior of other kids in her school and how she is seeing that they are making wrong choices.  Some examples are the way some dress, those that do dip (yes, even some of the girls around here do dip. GROSS!), who is hanging out with who, and the gossip that goes on.  And how in doing so they are making her think as to if she would do or act the same way. I thank God her answer has been NO.

Then we can look at Wil.  I don’t think I have talked about him nearly as much as I would like.  I call him Joe Jr.  He has the almost exact same attitude as his daddio. Well recently he has been sending out e-mails of the writing he has been doing.  I love it.  He is using his creativity, which he has a lot of.  Plus he is relating more to the word.  I asked his permission to share with you just what I mean.  Here is just a little of his writing.  Keep in mind that he is only 12.  Nor have I added or changed anything of his writing.

Title: Endure it all.    We need to keep up our strength in tough times. I don’t know exactly what you are going through, but I know that there’s a way. God can help us through all of our problems. In the Bible, almost everybody goes through some kind of misery or misfortune. Yet God helps them through it.

We all have problems whether we like to admit it or not. We all go through some kind of problems. A man in the Bible went by the name of Jabez, meaning ‘he who causes pain’. He was marked from childbirth. Can you imagine what people must have thought? “Hey He Who Causes Pain! Let’s go play football!” All he did was asked for the Lord to help him prosper. And God did.
All of our problems trace back to the curse of Adam and Eve with Satan as the main conspirator. Its hard imagine life without faults. We have lived with these problems for so long, they seem natural. But heaven has no sin, no problems, no worries. That seems to good to be true, and on Earth, it would be without God. But He loves us and without him, nothing at all would’ve happened at all. Nothing would have been made, and we wouldn’t have been even in spirit. This is even harder to imagine, as we think with our minds, not our spirits. We need to be calm in times of restlessness, cheerful in times of doubt, and most of all God-like in all our life.

Isn’t that just great?!?  I feel so blessed that God is working on and in him.  The hubby just went to the neurologist for a check up on his MS.  So far so good.  He will be going back in March.  These visits are always a little stressful.  You wonder what the results will be.  Whether or not the Dr. is actually hearing you. What the next course of action(if any) will be.  How the hubby will handle any news.  How I will handle any news.

Then we come to our little man, Sam, who is 9.  He is struggling.  He knows right from wrong, but lately he has been giving in to laziness and bad attitude.  Especially in school.  I pray for him a lot.  I have the faith that he will snap out of it and get in line with God soon.  He is like his oldest brother as to being soooo smart, but he doesn’t quite get it yet that he is still a kid that has to follow rules and behaviors in order to get along with others. I know some adults that still haven’t learned this lesson either. So for the time being we will have to be just a little harder on him.  Which breaks my heart.  But I know that this too shall pass.

I have been learning.  Learning more about my children, my husband, and about myself.  After seeing the movie, I went out and got the book Courageous  for Women.  There is a wealth of wisdom in it. It has caused me to ask a lot of question of myself. (Hubby says that I am already too hard on myself and probably thinks that I don’t need to ask these questions.)   I am re-learning how to take time for myself.  So that I am not so stressed about stuff that I shouldn’t be.   I have also been learning a few new(to me) crochet stitches.  I have been crocheting since I was a kid and it is something that I really enjoy.  During the fall I learned how to crochet beaded bracelets but now I am back to yarn.  I have done blankets for each of my kids.  And they actually want to use them.  Which makes a big smile for me.  I love that I have a hobby and I think it does me a lot of good.  I can listen to a book or sermon while I crochet, or go over the days events, listen to God speaking to me, and yes I even get to pray during this time.  So I am able to keep busy inside and out.  Changes come to all of us.  Whether good or bad; like it or not.  But if we are able to step back and take a look at them we just might be able to see where we need to ask for strength, patience, and understanding.  You might be able to see that there are more than just one road ahead of you to choose from.  You might be able to see where the first spark of enlightenment or mistake came from.  You might be able to embrace the change.  The wisdom of a 12 yr. old may surprise you sometimes.

What Color Are Your Glasses?

The other day I saw a survey asking if God is good.  People from everywhere were shouting….. yes, Amen, of course He is, and on and on.  I do agree that God is good.  Mark 10:18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good?  No one is good but One, that is, God.  But I have found that people have the view that He is just good.  Which isn’t God at all.   All we have to do is look around to see the good that is within God.  All that He has made and the gifts that he graces us with every day are in fact good.  His love for us is good.  But if that is all He is to you, then don’t you think you might be minimizing Him?

There is a song out there called, “God is good all the time”.  All through the song it states all the good God has done for people.  And yes, He has done all that is written in the song.  But to only have the view that God is good so that you can sing to Him or believe in Him or for all that He will do for you, is in fact selfish.  Because your true focus is you.

God is just.

The wonderful blessings that He bestows on us, are good only because you have placed Him first in every aspect of your life.  Good things don’t just happen.  For nothing happens without God willing it to happen.  Psalm 35: 27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”  Those things that are good are, because you have found favor with the Lord.  For when you do His righteous, He is pleased.  With that said, God also judges all.  For if you do not do what is right in the eyes of God, He will correct you.  This is not to say that He brings hard time and trouble to people but that he allows you to experience them.  For these things are evil in themselves and evil is not within God. James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  

If we were to only look at God with rose color glasses will be missing the real God.  When people go through hard times they have choices.  They can either grow closer to God or find themselves lost.  God does find favor with His people and in doing so it should be His glory that is praised and not what He has done for you.

When we raise up our children, do you make sure that everything is peaches and cream for every aspect of their lives?  If so, then what shall they learn?  Who will they go to when they grow up and reality comes forth?  We are to learn from mistakes and hard times that transpire in our lives.  We actually learn more about God during those times as well.  The feel good preaching that is out there may be fine for a time, but sooner or later people have to grow in their spirit.  Hebrews 5:13-14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.   Throughout the Bible you will find that God taught His people many lessons when they did not obey or receive Him.  Lessons that we are still learning today.

So then, how do you view God?  Do you have clear vision, or are things rosy?

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