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Showing posts from November, 2008

I surrender all

In light of the Elizabeth Elliot post, when this song came on my ipod just now as I was laundering the same clothes I've washed daily for months, I was illuminated. Putting those clothes in the washer I sang, "I will ever love and trust You Lord and in Your presence daily live." It felt good just now, to put laundry in the washer. It really, truly felt good, cause I was seeing myself in the courts of my King, doing His laundry. Redeeming the time

From Elizabeth Elliot

Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings can be a real test of a mother's sanctification, especially if her husband happens to be a pastor who leaves the house much earlier than the rest of the family. Here's how it went recently in one house (you're free to speculate on whose):

"The fifteen-year-old couldn't tuck his shirt in because of `something to do with the pockets,' and his belt was too small.

"The thirteen-year-old was having trouble curling her hair.

"The ten-year-old couldn't find her Sunday School lesson.

"The eight-year-old hadn't done his Bible readings because he didn't know which they were.

"The six-year-old's room and closet were unacceptably messy, and the socks she had on were muddy.

"The three-year-old couldn't find her Bible. Although not yet a reader, she couldn't
think of going to church without the Bible.

"The baby's carrying blanket had disappeared."

Somehow the mother was to be nicely groomed,…

Where do I, a sinner, fit in the Bible?

Do you ever read passages in the Bible like, "LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart..." (Psalm 15:1-2), and think, "Okay, I guess I'm out! I want to walk uprightly and work righteousness and speak truth in my heart, but if I'm honest, I don't think I do. In fact I think I fit in better with scriptures like Jeremiah 17:9, "The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who
really knows how bad it is?
" (NLT). Do you ever feel this condemned feeling when you read scripture and think, "Where do I, a sinner, fit in the Bible? How can I apply these scriptures about righteousness to me?"
Well, I do. I know, that Jesus is my righteousness, but when I'm reading the Bible sometimes, I'm so overwhelmed with the requirement of righteousness I'm so obviously unable to meet that I forget what "Jesus is my righteousne…

A Day of Gratitude- Today I'm not going to ask why... I'm just going to give thanks!

(Read more Day of Gratitude posts at the Cafe)

Lori at All You Have to Give made the above graphic. The quotes on it remind me how easily I forget how important simply giving thanks is!




"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was thank you that would
suffice." -Meisier Eckhart

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans
have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of
thanksgiving." -H.U. Wesiermeyer

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all
other virtues." - Cicero

"On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence." -William Bryan




I have so much to be thankful for, and yet as each year passes from the big turning point in my life where I could see the obvious provision and rescue that made my heart cry "Thank YOU!", I find a tendency to slip into questioning and doubting, complaining and criticalness. But the detour away from these pitfalls is simply look…

Not comparing ourselves to others

Maybe you're like me. Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and Joanne's all mind as well be horror shops! You walk in, you think everything is real intriguing and pretty, but the thought of buying various pieces of paper, or buttons, beads or trinkets and then whipping them up into some gorgeous, usable, handmade gift equals performing brain surgery in front of all the lead neurologists in the world!


Maybe you're like me. Maybe you think, "Oh, I love all those crafty things that other women make, and I'd love to be able to do those things, but I can't... it's just not my "gift" ."

If you're like me, I'd love to encourage you with a word the Lord gave me awhile back.

"YOU CAN! STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS!"

One day, after bemoaning my inability to make beautiful things like other women do, the Spirit really gave me a swift kick in the britches! He got to the motive of my heart and said, "You know Sheila. You can offer me whate…

Advent Conspiracy and a "pay it forward" challenge

Advent Conspiracy
Have you seen this video?





It's the desire of my heart to give the only thing of value I have to give... the life of Christ poured out of me in my surrendered life to others, and to teach my kids to do the same.

This video spoke that "conspiracy" beautifully!



The "pay it forward" challenge
Here's a little bloggy way to give as unto the Lord to others...

I saw this at Lori's place, All You Have to Give:



here’s how you play.

be the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment on
this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me!!!

be willing to post this challenge on your blog, (meaning, that you will
then ‘pay-it-forward’, creating a handmade gift for the first 3 bloggers that
leave a comment on YOUR blog!!)
as far as i can tell, the gift can be any
price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item.

which means,
you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift
and have shipped your gifts.



wanna play????

Redeeming t…

Are you kissing the Son with your life?

I love looking at the original meanings of key words in scripture. Recently the Lord brought to mind one such meaning I'd studied:


"But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24
Worship: Greek- Proskuneo: Verb, to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence

This past few days it's been only in the shower and in the bathroom that I've found a bit of reprieve from serving my post-surgical man and kiddos. Going into this surgery I knew there would be much needed from me, and I was actually quite excited about it, because the Lord has taught me over the past three years that it's in willing service that so often an opportunity for Jesus to be seen, questions to be asked... gospel to be shared happens.

But, the test comes when my physic…

Truth fails

Have you heard of this, Whale Wars? It's a new series on Animal Planet. I watched a piece of it the other day and here's what angered me.

Here's a group of people who obviously are passionate about saving the lives of a creature God made... whales. They take great risks and go to great lengths to disturb and disrupt to ultimately stop the process of whaling on the part of the Japanese.

Here's what Animal Planet says about the groups tactics and purpose:

The Society's fight to eradicate Japanese whaling on the high seas — where
international laws are interpreted by different countries and organizations
in different ways — utilizes some aggressive techniques, including ramming
and disabling whaling ships; disrupting whale carcass processing; engaging
in physical entanglement; and boarding and dispersing fleets of whaling
vessels. For the campaign this season, Sea Shepherd christened its vessel in
honor of the iconic conservationist Steve Irwin with the blessing of his
wife Ter…

Holiday Traditions and Ideas

I LOOOOOOOVE the holidays!!! I really enjoy "special" days of any kind, and am just generally a sap for memorable events or get togethers. But what really gives me the jollies is the opportunity to widely, joyfully, and decoratingly (is that a word?) proclaim the wonder of God and His Salvation this time of year.

Christmas in particular holds very dear and personal times of worship and reflection upon what God has done for me... for us! And it seems Thanksgiving has become a month long preparing of my heart and a time to spur my kids to think on God's care for us. By the time December comes, the anticipation and wonder is building to a climax. There's a real sense of the need, and desire, to stop and simply thank God for all He has done and reflect upon the glory of His story in our house. I guess Thanksgiving isn't a separate holiday from Christmas in our house, it's just the build up to the celebration of the Redeeming Gift we are most thankful for.

Bless the…

Holiday recipes: Sweet mashed yams and homeade rolls recipe

Sweet Mashed Yams

WARNING! I'VE NEVER WRITTEN OUT THIS RECIPE BEFORE (except to give to
my sweet sister) SO PLEASE ADJUST TO YOUR PERSONAL TASTE AS YOU GO!

4-6 yams or sweet potatoes peeled and diced into large chunks (about 1 inch
chunks)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick butter
a couple dashes of cinnamon
salt to taste

Boil diced yams in large pot of salted water until tender when pierced with
fork (about 20 minutes). While yams are boiling melt together the brown
sugar, cream and cinnamon over medium heat. Drain yams when their
done. Add butter and 1/4c. melted sugar/cream/cinnamon mixture to
yams. Mash to desired consitency. Serve remaining cream/sugar sauce
on the side so your guests can to turn your yams into desert by pouring more of
the sweet mixture on top of their yams! :)


Homemade Dinner Rolls

(from Donna West at All Recipes.com)

**I DID THIS RECIPE BY HAND NOT WITH A BREAD MACHINE... IT BAKED A LITTLE
LESS THAN 10 MINUTES**

1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. warm milk
1 egg
1/3 c. butt…

Thanks for your prayers

Hey all you sweet blogging sisters! Just wanted to thank you for your prayers for my family today.

My husband's surgery went well. He's home and hurting, but well.

This is my prayer:

That I would, "...always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks
you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear."
(1
Peter 3:15)


Redeeming the time,

"Mom, how do you know you're going to heaven?"

The other day my 5 year old son asked me, "Mom, how do you know you're going to heaven?" (oh if we would only ask like a child!)

I prayed quickly to myself to find help to explain and answered, "Because God can't lie son. And He said if I just put all my trust in Jesus for my goodness, and don't trust at all that I'm good enough on my own, then He'll save me and take me to be with Him forever."

"Hmm. Okay." He answered satisfied.

I prayed more and thought of how simple it really is, yet how it's the most attacked, most impossible choice to make. Apart from the Father drawing us we will always defend ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves, but if He draws us and we simply look believing upon His cross... "the old life is gone. A new life has begun!" (2 Cor.5:15-17)

This was in my inbox from Elizabeth Elliott this morning. And I'm praying for that laying down of his burden, that simple believing look at the cross this mornin…

More meditations on Philippians 2

"...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." -Philippians2:12b-13
As I was meditating on Philippians 2 the other morning, when I read, "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling..." the Spirit clearly spoke this to me:

"Nevertheless, she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love and holiness with self-control." 1 Timothy 2:15

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." 1 Timothy 4:16


In an instant I knew what my "salvation", which is to be worked out with fear and trembling, is.

It isn't a new salvation, seperate from Christ. It is Christ working in me both to will and do for His good pleasure. My salvation is worked out, fleshed out, lived out (that is, God is in me working, fleshing, living, out) in raising the children God ha…

Nothing is Lost from Elisabeth Elliot

Reading this in my email this morning surely is the response of comfort by the Spirit, working through Mrs. Elliot, after my meditations on Phillipians 2:12-17 this morning.

As moms, it can be so easy to get discouraged and feel like our labor is in vain. After all, we clean up the same messes over and over, and in regards to our kids, the same issues get addressed time and time again. And for some of us all our effort seems to be burning up in the choices our kids are making or in the seeming never-finished work we're doing. But this TRUE word of comfort is what we must confidently press on in!

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: Keep A Quiet Heart
Scripture Reference:
1 Timothy 6:15 Acts 2:23


Nothing is Lost


A pastor's wife asked, "When one witnesses a work he has poured his life into 'go up in flames' (especially if he is not culpable), is it the work of Satan or the hand of God?"
Often it is the former, always it is under the control of the latter. In the biographi…

What is the gold?

For the past couple years God has been speaking this to me regularly:

"I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." - Revelation 3:18-19

In the past few months, in light of the economic situation in our country, this section of scripture is speaking to me even more. The Lord, speaking to a people who identify themselves with Him, who think of themselves as rich and needing nothing, who He says are actually, "...wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked...", gives a remedy that involves "buying."
So, I've been asking Him, "How do I buy this 'gold refined in fire' Lord? I get that there will be fiery trials that we will have opportunity to buy, that is, let go of something we hold dear in…

At His Mercy

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." -James 4:8 Sometimes I'm overwhelmed, like tonight, with the impossibleness of the ones I love drawing near to God. Even my own faith is tested and I know, that if my faith wasn't kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:5) I would not draw near to Him either. I mean, why would a person draw near to the God who by all means must and should reject you? So many doubts, so many unanswered questions, so much lack of understanding, so much love of darkness... why would anyone come to Him, even these that I love... even myself!?I think all this, and I'm there, at the table the LORD prepares for me in the PRESENCE of my enemies (Psalm 23:5). Surround by enemies, He whispers this hope:
"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise
him up at the last day
." -John 6:44
And then I cry, "Oh Father! Draw them! Draw me! Don't stop! We'll never come if You don't draw us!" I…

The LORD is our Provider: Jehovah Jireh

In the times we live, in whom or what we trust for provision is tested. As I was just fixing my boys their lunch of PB&J, the old song Jehovah Jireh, came to mind. I sang it and it brought me instant peace! I went looking for it on YouTube and instead found this short, beautiful reminder that our LORD is our provider!

And if you want to get up and dance and worship Jehovah Jireh here's this:

Jehovah Jireh My provider
His grace is sufficient
For me, for me,
for me
Jehovah Jireh
My provider
His grace is sufficient for me

My God shall supply all my needs
According to his riches in glory
He will give His
angels
Charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares
For me, for me, for me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me
Redeeming the time,

Excellent Teachings

Sorrry... I promise my personality doesn't change as often as my blog look! It's just that I've had my eye on this cutie at Amy's Spit Decisionz and now she's giving it away for free!!!

I don't look ANYTHING like that homemaker in the header, but I do think it's such a fun and cute template theme for my blog.

I really liked the one I've had up from Amy here for the past couple days though too! The problem with all these cute free templates is I keep wanting to try them all on my blog and I loose all my widgets when I do so and have put 'em back. So this time, cute new free template or not, I'm stickin' with this one till Christmas at least! :)

Redeeming the time,

I'm just a tissue sample

There's many things the Lord has been speaking to my heart over the past several years about how I am just a tissue sample of the Church in America. As He's exposed my heart and His word has done a surgical-dividing of my thoughts and intents, I've seen my "diagnosis" and the remedy my Great Physician has prescribed for my spiritual condition. As He's dealt with me I've begun to have that "log" removed from my eye and have begun to notice that many of my dear brothers and sister have just a speck of what was blinding me in their eyes.

I see the same lukewarm-a little mixed in with the world-a little mixed in with the church-a little politically savvy-condition I've had in us as a body nationally. With the election of a president who violates the neat system we've become comfortable with, and who carries with him abominable beliefs about unborn babies, we've come face to face with our remedy, and it's up to us to embrace our Lord&#…

It's your kindness Lord...

I may not get to get on here and post the things that have been on my heart these past few days, but I wanted to at least share this song my heart is singing this morning!

Your love is better than life JESUS!!!!!

Redeeming the time,

Join me in prayer

Tomorrow begins the International Day of Pray for the Persecuted Church. If you click on the image above you'll find yourself at the IDOP website for 2008. There are great resources there for you and your kids (younger and older kids) to focus yourselves on praying tomorrow. Here's an excerpt from the IDOP's theme devotional by Elizabeth Kendal:
If we are to be a holy nation (1 Peter 1:13 – 2:12), separated from all that is worldly and devoted wholly to God, then we must do as the bride is instructed to do: 'Forget your people and your father's house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him' (Psalm 45:10,11 ESV). Yet we cling to the world, and our beauty is marred by the dross of worldliness, idolatry and unfaithfulness. Those who think this is not the case are deceiving themselves (1 John 1:8). We find it so hard to forsake the world, but God does not leave us to struggle in weakness. No, the gracious and faithful master craftsma…

The ministry of a wife

(Cartoon from Joyful Toons)

There's been much discussion and some flat out mean arguing about the ministry of a woman/wife/mom and what her role in the home, church, and society should or shouldn't be. Reading these various articles has actually given me an upset stomach, but when I just come back to God's word I find peace and the heart of my loving Father and perfect God who knows how He designed a woman and what's best for her. He is good. He does not desire us to bear a burden that is not ours to bear, yet He stretches us in ways we wouldn't usually volunteer for.

One thing I know for sure, whether you work outside your home or not, whether you're involved in a formal church ministry or not, whether you're a skilled and crafty domestic woman or not, God designed you to be the builder of your home. And the ministry of a wife IS a high and holy calling.

Trusting in God's soveriegnty this election day

I saw this at Joyfully Living for His Glory (Chelsey's place). All I have to say is thank you Lord for raising up men who boldly speak the truth.

What John Piper says here is what the Spirit has been speaking to my heart this whole election process.

I've read many posts by my favorite Christian women bloggers and the divide and passion on the subject of who should be president or vice president is huge. And in my flesh I can start to lean one way or the other, but neither side brings me peace. The only place I find peace is in surrender and on my knees, saying, "Lord. You are King over all. You raise up one and put down another. Love us enough Lord to chasten and rebuke us and revive us in passion and unity for the gospel and love for YOU!"

This election day I stand on my knees as one of God's elect, casting my cares upon Him, because He cares for me and trusting in His Soveriengty and praying for our hearts (mine too) to be revived in passion for the love of Him wh…

Love in action

I had such an amazing time with my sister a week ago. I got to see her about-to-burst-with-love-heart-of-a-mom pour out into little Jose and Noah, who I pray will legally be my nephews soon, but even if not, I'll always love them. I can't even really put into words the emotion and revelation of God's love I saw in action there at my sister's place. Here's just a collage of pictures. Jose is 14 months and Noah is 2 months. Please pray for them and for my sister and her husband.

(The other two blondies are my little chickens! :) or Spidermans rather)