Hair dryer and hair products? CHECK.
Cute flip-flops? CHECK.
Painted toes to sport the cute flip-flops? CHECK.
Cell phone so I can call my new bloggin' friends and meet up with them? CHECK.
Camera to take pictures of new bloggin' friends, as well as Kay, Beth, and Priscilla and whatever else may need to be documented with a picture? CHECK.
Bible, Bible bag, journal, and pen? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK, and CHECK.
Open heart ready to hear a Word from the Lord? CHECK. AMEN and HALLELUJAH!
Come, Lord Jesus, and speak a Word over your servants. Tune our hearts to hear You and our lives to obey You. May we leave Greensboro, NC changed, refreshed, renewed, and on fire with a greater passion for You. Amen!
Off to Deeper Still- see ya in a few!!!
Hair dryer and hair products? CHECK.
It's that time of year again- time to get out those school books and get to workin'. Can I just tell you that I'm totally pumped about this year. Yes, this is our fourth year of home schooling and yes, all the other years have been great, but this one is going to be so much different.
Communication has been an area my husband and I have had to work on a great deal in our relationship. In the early years of our marriage, he was not a talker in the least and I could go from one extreme to the other- silent treatment for days on end or cut him to the core of his soul with my words. We inflicted a lot of damage upon each other because we didn't understand how powerful our words, or lack there-of, were in the health of our relationship.
Join me over At the Well to read the rest of today's devotional.
By His Grace Visits with Friends
The kids had been playing all morning in the back yard around a pile of wood; not a care in the world, not a fear, not a worry. Having decided to build a wooden castle, they began moving and restacking the logs. I had just sat down on the swing to do a little reading when I heard a shriek of terror come from behind me.
“SNAKE!” screamed my six year old son.
“Mom, there’s a snake under there!”
Hurriedly I ran to where he was. “Where is it?” I asked him.
“Right there, right there!” he said jumping up and down.
Instructing him to back up, I went in for a closer look. Sure enough, right there underneath the log he had just picked up, lay a snake as still as a statue waiting for a little hand or foot to get close enough for him to strike.
Immediately I grabbed the phone and called my dad. After describing to him what the snake looked like he told me it was a copperhead and said he would be right home to take care of it.
Within a few minutes he drove up. Now, if it had been me I would have gone right over to see the snake, but he chose first to arm himself with the tools he needed to kill this very poisonous snake. Ready with some kind of hoeing contraption he rounded the corner headed to the wood pile.
I walked over to the pile of wood and pointed to where the snake lay motionless. One by one, he began removing logs from the pile in order to clear the way so he was able to get a good look at the snake.
Dad lifted the snake from underneath the log and sat him out in the open. As the snake stretched its body to full length, my dad talked with the kids about the importance of staying away from snakes. He explained to them that this snake was extremely poisonous and if it had bitten them, it could have possibly killed them. “Snakes are very dangerous,” he said. “Whenever you see a snake, you need to go the other way,” and with that he killed the snake.
After all the commotion, I sat down in the swing and it hit me how close my kids were to being bitten by this snake. They had played right beside it all morning. They had moved logs all around it. They had stood right beside it and had even reached their hands down by where it lay coiled up.
As I thought more about my children, I couldn’t help but think about the serpent who lies in waiting prepared to strike out at us when we least expect it. The enemy, Satan, greatly desires to wound and destroy the children of God. So many times we go about our daily lives unaware the enemy is even close by. We involve ourselves in activities that appear to be harmless. We move this log and pick up that log making our lives into what we desire them to be, never realizing the enemy could be just steps away waiting for the perfect time to strike causing our world to come crashing down.
Our logs could be a number of different things: an unhealthy relationship with someone who is not our spouse; an addiction to pornography, alcohol, prescription drugs, or an illegal substance; an eating disorder; an anger issue; and the list could go on and on. What we must realize is this- the enemy is waiting; he is waiting for that perfect opportunity to render us ineffective for God’s kingdom.
So what do we do? How do we protect ourselves from the enemy?
~When I saw the snake I knew it wasn’t your average garden snake; I knew it was dangerous and could quickly strike and do lots of damage. You and I must know and understand who the enemy is and that he desires to harm us. We must be alert at all times watching out for his schemes and traps.
I've recently been reading "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns. I must tell you this is an extremly powerful, very convicting, eye opening book. Not really knowing what to expect as I flipped open Stearns book, I was literally brought to my knees as I read the words he penned on the first two pages. Today, I would like to share those words with you. As you read the following excerpt I would encourage you to take an introspective look into your heart as you ask yourself this question, "Is the inward transforming work of the Holy Spirit brought about by the death, burial, and ressurection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, making itself known in the way I publically live my life?"
"What does God expect of us? That's what this book is about. It's a simple question, really. But is the answer so simple? What is the Christian faith about? Going to church every Sunday, saying grace before meals, and avoiding the most serious sin- or does God expect more?
I am a Christian- perhaps you are too. But what does that mean exactly? To even be Christians, we must first believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That in itself is no small idea. If it is true, it changes everything, because if Christ is God, then all that He said and did is deeply significant to how we live our lives. So we believe. But God expects more.
And so the question, "What does God expect of me?" is a very profound one-not just for me, but for everyone who claims to follow Christ. Jesus had a lot to say about it. Yes, He did give us deep insights into the character of God and our relationship with Him as well, but He also spoke at length about God's expectations, our values, and how we are to live in the world. So how are we to live? What kind of relationship are we to have with a holy God? What is God asking for, really, from you and me? Much more than church attendance. More than prayer too. More than belief, and even more than self-denial. God asks us for everything. He requires a total life commitment from those who would be His followers. In fact, Christ calls us to be His partners in changing our world, just as He called the Twelve to change their world two thousand years ago."
Stearns goes on to say, "being a Christian, or follower of Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God; it also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world. If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith- and mine- has a hole in it. Embracing the gospel, or good news, proclaimed by Jesus is so much more than a private transaction between God and us. The gospel itself was born of God's vision of a changed people, challenging and transforming the prevailing values and practices of our world."
Is your personal faith in Christ having a positive outward impact on the world, or does it have a hole in it?
"Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead."
James 2:17, NKJV
Excerpts taken from Richard Stearns book, "The Hole in our Gospel", pages 1 & 2. Thomas Nelson Publishing Company
By His Grace Visits with Friends