Thursday, January 30, 2014

Time Out

The other day my friend put on her facebook status something her little girl said.  She said, "Mama, aren't you proud of me for being so good in time out?"

I've laughed about that every time I've thought about it. 

But something struck me, too.  Many times in life God has to put His children in "time out."  We are often made to wait as we contemplate the consequences of our actions. 

As a child, I remember doing something wrong and my mom or dad would tell me to go wait in my room.  Now, anyone who has EVER been a child (lol) knows what THAT means!  It means they are about to bring down the hammer of punishment.  While I would sit quietly in my room waiting to hear what my punishment would be, I would think about what I did and I was sorry for it.  For one thing, it hurt my parents.  For another thing, I lost a sweet fellowship with them.

The same is when we do things we know are unpleasing to our Heavenly Father.  We lose sweet fellowship with Him. 

But how do we restore that fellowship?  The same way we did with our parents.  We accept our punishment without bitterness, repent of what we did, tell them we're sorry, and begin to build back their trust.

God wants us to have a repentant heart.  Being sorry for something is not the same as being repentant.  There are many things we take to the alter and are sorry for.  But a lot of times we get up from telling God we're sorry and go right back to doing what it is we told Him we were sorry for. 

Being repentant is being determined not to let it happen again.  We have to determine that we are NOT going to go backwards in our walk with Christ.  If we say we're sorry and continue to go back, we are never moving forward and we never truly regain that sweet fellowship with the Lord. 

My Pastor said something one time that I have written in my Bible.  He said, "People who don't live right, don't live right because they can't.  They don't live right because they won't." 

What greater way to show our love for Him, than by giving our lives completely to Him and live the way He desires for us to live as His children?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thank You, Hannah

With all that's gone on over the last eight months since mom's fall, I feel I have neglected to say a public thank you to my daughter, Hannah.

About the time of mom's fall, Hannah was graduating high school and got her first job at Chick-fil-A.  As she was beginning her new job, she was also running back and forth by herself getting things ready to start her classes at the college. I was proud of her for doing that by herself but felt bad because her dad and I couldn't be there to help her.

When school started things really got heavy for her.  Most days she was going to school, then work.  On the other days she was going to work, then school.  When she would get home from work or school, she would start hitting the books for homework, while doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, dusting, etc.  The household chores.  She took on cooking and preparing meals for her daddy and Justin as often as she could.  Most nights she was getting in bed between midnight and two in the morning.  Beginning her new day again at 7:00.  Sometimes earlier if it was grocery day or a day to pay her bills and run her own errands.

Never once did she complain.  Never once did she have an attitude of not going to do those things.  If she did, she never showed it to me or her dad. 

When I finally came home for good, I saw how worn out she was.  Going to school, working, and being the little lady of the home was a bit much to ask a girl of eighteen. 

Most people don't realize or understand the pressures she was under while I was away.  But I do.  And I appreciate her and thank her for her willingness and her sacrifices. 

We are so blessed to have her a part of our family and I thank God for her. 

She is a loving and giving person with her priorities in place and, although times get tough for her, and although she may get a little disgruntled at times, she does keep a pretty good attitude about things.

I'm proud of her and I love her very much.

So thank you, Hannah.  In my opinion, you are the best daughter God has ever given anyone.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I Placed!

Hannah and I attended the reception at the Southern Arts Society this evening.  They announced the winners of the MLK Photography Contest.  There was a third place tie between three entries.  Starr, Ellen, and Mrs. Birdie took those.  My sweet, missionary friend in New Zealand, Kim Howell, won second place for her entry, "A Father's Love."  I was so happy when they called her name I squealed.  Then they announced the first place winner as "Forever Yours."  I was still excited about Mrs. Kim winning and it wasn't until Hannah said, "I told you, mama" that I realized my photograph took first place.  I was really shocked and excited.  I am thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to participate.  God is good!

It's 1:30am and I can't seem to sleep.  I have a few things on my mind.  It's all good.  I just can't sleep.  Maybe the excitement from tonight isn't helping either. ha

Hannah has been really sick since she started her new job as a teacher at the daycare.  She had to go to the doctor because of an ear infection that developed.  They told her she would probably be sick a few weeks after starting work there.  Boy, were they right!  She seems to be on the mend right now.  She sure does love that job and working with those little ones.  She starts back with her classes here soon.  So her life is about to get very busy!

Justin is working hard at his job and working a lot of overtime.  He actually has a couple of days off and is totally enjoying them right now.  I don't blame him. 

Harrison is plugging away in school.  He has two subjects left.  Math and English.  We did something a little different this year with scheduling our subjects.  I think we like it.  The verdict is still out on that.  But so far it seems to be going good.  If we stay on track, we should finish these last two subjects, by about, the middle or end of May. 

Bruce is working a lot of overtime also.  I miss him when he doesn't walk through the door at 2:45.  He usually makes it home just as I'm getting supper finished.  So at least we still get to have our meals together.  I'm thankful he has a good job and that things seem to be going well where he is.

I feel like I'm getting sleepy now.  So I guess I'm ready to turn in for the night.  Praying you all have a good week. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Photography Contest

I recently entered the MLK Photo Contest in our small town.  They're having a reception at the Arts Society tonight and I plan on being there.  I doubt I'll place, but it was a fun experience to enter.

The theme of the contest is "Love."  When I first heard about it, I had a few ideas, but only one really stuck and it was of a little girl in our church. 

Last January, this little girl and her sister were adopted by a family and had just received their new birth certificates in the mail the day their adoptive mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Just a few months later that sweet mother and my friend went home to Jesus.

The lives of these little girls took different paths and God opened a door for new homes for them.  T's little sister went to another family in the church who was related to their adoptive mother.  This particular family also had previously adopted the girl's little brother.  T's new family, who is also in our church and some of our dearest friends, just signed her adoption papers last week, just a couple of hours before this picture was taken.  She was so excited that night.  And I was excited for her! 

In just a few short weeks she will officially belong to this new family who can not imagine their lives without her.  The way the Lord orchestrated the events of these little girls is just amazing. 

I know that the Lord does all things well and He does all things in His time.  Pray for these families as they raise these wonderful little children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

The link below is a link to the photo I entered of T.  I titled it "Forever Yours."

MLK Photo Contest.

Monday, January 13, 2014

What's Your Num....

I think I've told you before that Bruce and I don't carry a cell phone.  There were several different reasons for that.  Besides the fact we don't really care to talk on the phone, we don't really want people being able to track us down every where we go.  If we go to a restaurant, we want to eat in peace.  If we're at a party or a fellowship of some sort, we want to have a good time without being called, text, etc.  They're handy.  But are they really worth it?  People use the excuse of having one in case of an emergency.  I can understand that.  But really...  how often do emergencies happen where we need a cell phone where a house phone or a business phone can't be used? 

All this to say, I have a cell phone now. 

Yep.  You heard right. My kids bought me one for Christmas.  When you haven't messed with one in twelve years, it can be quite funny trying to figure it out.  Someone asked me if I had a smart phone.  I have no idea.  But I do know it's smarter than me. 

They bought me one because I felt that with my mother and mother in law in the health conditions they are in, it would be best to have one.  For that emergency I mentioned earlier.  :)

I was going to let my kids help me figure it out, but knew it would be best if I just sat down and played with it myself.  So, after about three days I found my phone number.  Another couple of days after that, and after going through every folder, clicking on every tool, and every app, I finally figured out how to change the keyboard.  Just flip the phone on its side. 

It also took me two days to fill in all my contacts.  After I put each one in manually, I saw where I could have used facebook and other social medias to sync about three-fourths of them. Nice, right?

So I guess I have it figured out.  I don't know.  Three months from now I could be using it and discover something totally cool I've been missing all that time.  Whatever.  For now, I can text or make and receive calls.  Get online. Post things to my facebook page. 

But right now I have a problem with that last part.  When I go to post something on facebook I usually can't get what I'm trying to say on there because my fingers will accidentally hit the OK button before I finish my sentence.  It. drives. me. crazy. when I do that! 

So I'm learning this thing.  It's an experience.

Friday, January 10, 2014

No Literal Hell? The FABLE of Adam and Eve?

Before you read this, let me just say that after reading this you will be one of three things:
1. Upset with me because you think I hate Catholics.  This is not true.  I know several Catholics personally and I love them.  I want them to see and know the TRUTH of Scripture.  I do, however, despise the religion of Catholicism.  I believe that it has taken many good people and deceived them into thinking anything other than the truth of God's Word.
2. You'll be upset with me because you're a Christian who thinks that I am "one of those" Christians that just can't get along with everybody.  You're right.  We're not suppose to get along with everybody.  We're suppose to take a stand against the evils of darkness and the Catholic church is an evil force that Satan, himself, has used for centuries to destroy countless souls.
3. You're like me because you believe the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  That the Holy Bible is God's Word, perfect from beginning to end, with nothing left out that needed to be retained in "other books" the Catholic church just happen to possess.

Now that I have that out of the way, here are my thoughts....

"Through humility, soul searching, and prayerful contemplation we have gained a new understanding of certain dogmas. The church no longer believes in a literal hell where people suffer. This doctrine is incompatible with the infinite love of God. God is not a judge but a friend and a lover of humanity. God seeks not to condemn but only to embrace. Like the fable of Adam and Eve, we see hell as a literary device. Hell is merely a metaphor for the isolated soul, which like all souls ultimately will be united in love with God.”

This is a quote from the new Pope Francis.

I've noticed several Brothers and Sisters leaning toward the wonderful world of Catholicism.  Here are the lies coming out of the "great church" of Rome these days.  As if their lies weren't bad enough, now we're being told that Adam and Eve is a fable and that Hell is not a literal place where people suffer.  If you fall into those lies, you might as well take your Bible and chunk it out the window because it's not going to do you any good if you're listening to this mumbo jumbo.

OK, if you're not a Christian, and you don't believe in these things, that's between you and The Almighty God or between you and nothing.  But if you ARE a Christian, and you've read the Bible and KNOW these things to be true, then where are your voices?  These are lies straight out of Hell, being told by a molester of souls. 

Christians who get all caught up in the beautiful and mystical, idolatry, and so-called worship of Catholicism are only headed in a downward spiral.

A fable, by definition, is A falsehood; a lie.  One thing the Catholic church has tried to do for CENTURIES is make the Bible out to be a lie.  People were murdered because they were learning to read the Scripture and realizing the Catholic church was leading them in the wrong direction.  Still today, the entire world is being told by this great religious leader that the story of Adam and Eve is a falsehood.  A LIE.

Another lie the "great church" is promoting is that there is no literal Hell where people suffer.  Not so, Pope.  There IS a literal Hell, according to Luke 13:28, "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out."  That sounds like suffering to me.  Also in Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and IDOLATERS, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."  Second death, meaning after you die here, your SOUL will die for eternity in the lake of fire.  That's not suffering?? 

But the BIGGEST lie of all in his statement is that God is not a judge, but a friend and lover of humanity.

Oh dear Heavens.  God is a friend to those who are a friend to Him.  To those who choose not to be His friend, HE WILL JUDGE. 

Hebrews 9:27 says, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die [the physical death], but after this the judgment:"  There will be a judgment.  So who does the dear Pope Francis think is going to be sitting as the Judge?  Himself?  I don't think so.  As a matter of fact, Pope Francis will be standing in judgment just like everyone else. 

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." — REVELATION 20:11-15

Oh, He is a JUDGE, my friend.  A Mighty Judge.  I can't make anyone believe what I believe.  I know that.  But I can speak up for what I believe.  If the Pope can stand up and say that what I believe is a fable and a lie, I won't sit back and not defend the TRUTH. I believe that the Catholic church led by their Pope Francis is all a lie, leading many people away from the TRUTH of God's Word. 

As Christians, we MUST be careful who and what we promote.  It could be a life changing experience for those who actually listen to us. 

As for those of you who aren't sure what to believe, then I challenge you to do what II Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 



There are no books that go along with it.  Just study THE WORD. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

And We're Off!

We've had a great start to the new year already. 

Brother Cody Zorn is with us in revival at Faith and he is just wonderful.  I have thoroughly enjoyed his preaching today and look forward to the rest of the week that he is with us.

Last year I had to put a lot of things on hold as far as serving in my church and I missed it so much.  It was good that I was able to help my mom.  I just sure did miss helping in my church and the fellowship that comes with that.

As we turned the corner into 2014, I was handed my nursery list as January's Nursery Mother.  I was never so happy to get that list in my life!  I even missed THAT!  It's an honor to help serve in the nursery.  Those little babies are precious.  Every single one of them.  And the nursery is a ministry which helps mommies and daddies enjoy the service so they can energize for the next week ahead of them. 

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

Nursery work is reasonable service. 

We also entered into revival.  Which means we have a man of God and his family on the property, staying in our Prophet's Quarters.  Brother and Sister Zorn have several children.  I was asked to help cook a meal for them for tomorrow night.  So today when I came home from morning service, I cooked a big pot of green beans, made a dessert, and pulled some rolls from the freezer.  The kids put them in the fridge at church and they'll be good with their pot of chicken and dumplings Mrs. Ava is bringing for them.  I was so happy to be doing something so simple.  It truly made my day!

I'm sure we'll be hearing the plans for our Valentine's Banquet before too much longer.  I'm looking forward to helping with that too.  I just can't wait to "get back into the groove" of things. 

I have always enjoyed being busy.  So yeah, if the first week of January 2014 is any indication of what I can expect the rest of the year, I am thrilled!! 

Let's GO!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We sure did.

We had our Anniversary on the 22nd of December, celebrating twenty-three years.  God is good!!  So thankful for my sweet husband and the leader he is in our home.  I sure have been blessed!
We had our church play on the 23rd.  I am humbled to be able to direct and often write our Christmas plays.  2013 was a difficult and busy year so I wasn't able to write a play.  But Mrs. Carolyn Parker came up with an idea and it was SUCH a blessing.  And special thanks to Mrs. Amanda for helping direct this year!! Love my friends and their willingness to help whenever needed.  The play was "Let's Talk About Jesus."  The story was about a church that was having their last night of a Bible study on the life of Christ.  Questions were asked to the man leading the Bible study, who was played by Brother Troy Tucker.  I gave the list of questions to Brother Troy and told him I wanted to speak from his heart and from Scripture about the answers he would give.  It was AWESOME!!  The gospel was clearly given and near the end he really preached the Word.  I was in tears at how wonderful it was.  Our Christmas plays rarely are about Christmas.  It usually is around Christmas.  But we focus more on the WHY of Christ's coming than the actual coming itself.  We try to present the gospel each year.  This year was just wonderful.
Beautiful songs were sung.

The youth choir did a great job on everything.  I was so proud of them.

Brother Troy did an excellent job on presenting the gospel.

Anna Grace played a little girl that got saved and was lead to the Lord by Mrs. Tammy Carter.

Then she got up and sang, "I Love You, Lord."  It was so sweet.  She has a voice like a little angel.
On Christmas Eve we changed things up a little bit.  Usually we spend Christmas Eve at mama's and Christmas Day at Bruce's mama's.  But this year we did both on Christmas Eve.  We had a terrific time at my mother in love's home, having brunch and opening gifts and just enjoying our family time.  It was so nice. 
Bruce and his mama.
Bruce's brother, Barry and his two sons, Zack and Elijah.

My niece Brandy and her family, Zack and Conleigh.

My niece Jessica and her daughters, Elanna and Ashley.

Bruce's oldest brother, Bryan and his wife, Cindy.

My niece Brittney and her family, Jordan and Leyton.

And Bruce's baby brother, Mitch with his family, Angie, Johnathan, and Jackson.
When we left there, we went to mom's house for the rest of the evening.  We played games like "Chubby Bunny" and a wrapping game where we had two teams wrap a player on their team in 45 seconds. 
Justin was the winner of the Chubby Bunny game.  The object of the game is to stuff a marshmallow in your mouth and say, "Chubby Bunny."  Then keep repeating that until you can't say it anymore.  Justin was able to stuff the most marshmallows in his mouth.  However, by the end of that game he was ready to up-chuck and had to run out to the porch.  LOL

Harrison and my niece, Jessica, were the team players that had to be wrapped.  My brother, John's, team won.  They had Jessica wrapped nicely in 45 seconds.  They did a pretty good job.  :)
My great nephew, Chance, loved the little box of monster cars we got him.
I was glad my niece, Jessica, was able to join us.  She worked at the jail house all day and was ready for some good times and good food.  Love that niece!
My sister in law, Jenny...

and my brother, John, were both very sick.  But they didn't let that stop them from having a good time.  They were pretty good sports all night.

Mom seemed to like the Origami Owl necklace we bought her.  I started her with two charms.  A teacup because she collects teacups and teapots.  And a police shield, in memory of daddy.  She teared up a little bit.  We all missed him being there.  He loved Christmas so much and any excuse, really, to have a fun party and a good time with his family.
Christmas Day was great, in my opinion.  We did NOTHING all day.  We got up and opened gifts and then after that, Hannah and I worked on getting lunch ready.  We ate, napped, watched movies, napped, checked out our new stuff, napped.  Did I mention we napped? 
The kids always have a sibling day together after Christmas.  But since Justin and Hannah had to return to work the next day, they decided to go out Christmas night.  They had a good time together.  I'm so glad they have that little tradition.  There may come a day when they can't do that, but they'll have good memories.  And that's what it's all about.
New Year's Eve we had our moms over for pick up party foods and games.  We played Uno and Spoons and had a great time.  If you've never played spoons, it can become a very vicious game.  Hannah will tear your hands to bits with her long finger nails.  But we had a great time and everyone survived.  haha  The moms retreated to their homes early.  Hannah and I cleaned up the mess in the kitchen and then continued playing games with Bruce and Harrison.  Justin had a bonfire party at Jeremy and Ashley's house.  After games, we watched a movie.  Stopped at 12:00 to wish each other a happy New Year, and resumed our movie.  Then the next day we slept in entirely too late. 
That pretty much sums up the last few days of December for us. 
I look back on 2013 and see all the things God has brought us through.  Wow!  What a year!!  The last couple of months has been a very stressful time for me.  I've been dealing with something and determined that in 2014, things were going to be different.  I decided I was going to let Bruce handle certain situations and I was going to separate myself from things that were causing my stress.  I was carrying around a stiff neck and stress knots in my shoulders.  I had pulled my back the day before New Year's Eve and knew it had to do with stress.  On New Year's Day, my husband handled a situation that was causing more pain to be manifested in my back and shoulders and neck.  As he handled the situation I was feeling kind of bad about him doing it.  But almost IMMEDIATELY, I was able to move my neck.  The knots in my shoulders were gone.  And my back was fine.  It was a New Year's miracle, for real. I decided right then and there that I could not allow myself to be stressed out like that any longer.  I was just about to the point that I was ready to see a chiropractor.  I told Bruce he was way cheaper than therapy.  LOL  So 2014 I am determined not to allow stress to invade my body.  I know the Lord will send things my way that will bring stress.  But I hope I can handle it better than I have been. 
I hope all of you are trusting the Lord as you begin a new year. I anticipate the workings of the Lord this year, but know that we know not what is ahead of us.  I do, however, know that He is truly good in all things.