Internet Cafe Devotions introduces Blessed Aroma ~ 2009!
As a Christian Women Devotional site, the Internet Cafe passionately wants to encourage and inspire women all over the world. Over at the Cafe they know that an ounce of encouragement goes a long way and because of that they recently introduced Blessed Aroma ~ 2009. It's a way to showcase some of your favorite blogs who have encouraged you with their written words and examples of faith in 2009. This is a chance to showcase some of the most encouraging and inspiring blogs, and an opportunity to introduce readers to some new and exciting ladies.
Head on over to the Internet Cafe and nominate your favorite blogs.
Internet Cafe Devotions introduces Blessed Aroma ~ 2009!
Susan is hosting WFW today.
Head on over and check out other beautifully created WORD art.
"If only life was simpler: dinner ready on time; freshly laundered clothes in everyone closet; every item in its place; if only money saving were easy and effective; if only time management was second nature to us. Hmmm… if only, right?"
In addition to that we hope to inspire your creative genius!
Have you been in touch with your inner creative diva? Do you want to learn to express yourself through paint mediums, culinary masterpieces, vibrant rooms or maybe through your own life as the canvas? Well, you can get inspired here.
Whether you feel stuck in a rut or just don’t know where to begin we can help. I’m confident that many of you have a pile of unfinished projects or maybe put off doing things simply because you feel you don’t have the time. We have all been there and can definitely relate. We would like to help you get some momentum going so that you can begin to create and design no matter what your canvas preference is.
Learn how to:
*develop your God given talents and gifts
*push past creative blocks
*further your education in the area of your choice (at no cost)
*be more productive
*be more focused
*let your light shine!"
(from A Woman Inspired)
Sound interesting? I'm positive this conference is something you will truly benefit from! Head on over there now and register. It's definitely not too late. The first session begins this morning at 9:30 EST. You can check out the schedule to find out what time things start in your own time zone.
Here, I'll even make registering easy for you. Just click here and follow the directions.
See you there!!!
By His Grace Visits with Friends
God very often teaches me lessons through my children.
"Mom, what's that you're cookin'? It smells REALLY good," my seven year old son said as he peered over the counter trying to catch a glimpse at what was being prepared for dinner.
"It's garlic potatoes and mushroom chicken," I responded.
"It sure does smell good! I'm really hungry," he said as he darted back to his room.
A few minutes later he returned to the kitchen, "Is it ready yet? I'm really, REALLY hungry."
"It won't be long. You can go ahead and set the table and get ready," I instructed as I reached for the dishes in the cabinet.
"Yes ma'am! I'd be happy to."
Shocked by his eagerness to obey, I handed him the dishes, silverware, and napkins. He quickly set the table and then stood at the counter watching with excitement in his eyes as I took the chicken from the oven and put the potatoes in a bowl.
As I fixed his plate and placed it in front of him, I could almost see him begin to salivate. It wasn't like he hadn't eaten that day. In fact, he had eaten...quite a bit. He was just ready to dig into his meal.
"Mmmm! Mom this is so good!" he said as he shoveled the food into his mouth.
"I'm glad you like it," I replied.
"Man! This hits the spot!" he continued.
All throughout dinner he ranted and raved about how good his meal was.
"This is SOOOOO good!"
I sat there in utter amazement at his enthusiasm over a plate of mushroom chicken and garlic potatoes. Then, it hit me. A lesson. A GOD lesson.
For whatever reason, my son was very excited about dinner that night. He willingly, and immediately I might add, obeyed when instructed to set the table. He not only ate everything on his plate, he enjoyed every single bite he put in his mouth. He continuously praised and thanked me for his dinner. When his plate was clean, it was apparent his belly was satisfied to the full.
Every day is a new day to pull up a chair at God's table and feast on His Word. As I thought about this "feasting on God's Word", I asked myself these questions...
First of all, am I eager and excited to sit at His table? Does my heart long to dine with Him?
Am I even prepared to sit at His table and eat? God's table is set and ready, is my heart?
Do I enjoy the food He feeds me? Do I take it ALL in, even the parts that bring conviction to my soul?
Do I praise Him and thank Him for the Words He has prepared for me?
Do His Words satisfy my hungry soul?
"Open wide your mouth, and I will fill it."
Psalm 81:10c, NKJV
Feasting at His table. Dining with the Almighty. Filling my hungry soul to the brim with the riches of His glorious Word. That's what I want. That's what I truly desire. That's what my heart longs for.
Who knew that a seven year old boy and a plate of mushroom chicken and garlic potatoes would result in a God lesson? He did!
What are you waitin' for?
Get those gloves on, girl, and get to trainin'!
Christy at Critty Joy is hosting Word Filled Wednesday today.
Make sure to visit her and all the other beautiful WFW posts; you'll be inspired by the Word.
I spent the better part of the morning redesigning the templates my friend sent me. I changed the colors so that each of my kiddos would have their own set of like colors, personalized the pictures to include our family, and then printed the templates out on good quality cardstock. Cutting it all out took nearly two hours, but I was determined to get it done so that I could take my project to the "make-my-heart-skip-a-beat-when-I -walk-in-the-door" store to be laminated.
Mission accomplished. Re-designing was done. Printing was done. Cutting was done. Time for lamination. Oh, the joys that flood my soul! I dropped said materials off at the "make-my-heart-skip-a-beat-when-I-walk-in-the-door" store to be laminated while I went to do some other shopping.
As I pulled back into the parking lot of said store to pick up said project my heart was all aflutter because I knew my night would be spent cutting out the project that was now LAMINATED!!!!!! Pure delight!!!!
Seeing the excitement in my eyes, hubby put the kiddos to bed so that I could resume my obsession with my crafty, organizational project that happened to be laminated. Ahhhh....
I began unrolling the 10 feet of lamination that lay on my dining room table. Heart palpitating. Hands sweating. Overwhelmed with anticipation of what my eyes were about to behold.
Horror. HORROR flooded my mind and filled my heart. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Was I really seeing what I thought I was seeing? My beautiful crafty, organizational project RUINED by a poor lamination job. Oh, the searing pain of loss! Oh, the depths of sorrow my heart felt!
Horror turned to ANGER. "Have these people NO idea the hours I've spent making this baby beautiful? Do they not know those Ziploc bags held more than just strips of paper? They obviously have no idea what happens when a crafty, organizational, OCD teaching momma's heart is shattered into a million pieces because her project is RUINED! First thing Monday morning we will have a reckoning them and I! Oh, yes we will!!!" I thought to myself.
It's a good thing (really a GOD thing) I had a day or so to think through my madness. God began dealing heavily with me about how I was reacting to this situation.
Here's what He spoke to my heart...
"What in the world are you thinking? It's only stuff. You have NO idea what was or is going on in the heart of the person who works at the store. I sent you there for a reason! Be a light for Me! Love this person! See past this persons flaws, I saw past yours, and see their hurting heart!"
I did call the store on Monday. And, I did share my disappointment with the result of my product. But, I did it with love and compassion. The manager of the store asked me to drop by and allow them to take a look at what had been done. They assured me they would do everything they could to make it right.
So, once again I pulled into the parking lot of the "make-my-heart-skip-a-beat-when-I-walk-in-the-door" store, but this time my heart was focused not on my crafty, organizational project gone ever so wrong; instead, my heart was focused on the heart of the person who stood behind the counter.
We stood at the counter chit chatting while peeling bad laminate off strips of paper.
Then it happened. One question, five words. The reason I was there.
"Can I pray for you?" I asked. Five words that changed the course of our conversation. One question that would draw our hearts together. Five words that would open my eyes to the hand of God working in my every day happenings. One question that would give this individual opportunity to unload burdens and hurts and pains they had been carrying for years.
God taught me a huge lesson! A lesson that I will not soon forget. A lesson in seeing Him in the every day. A lesson in looking past my own selfish desires. A lesson in seeing down to the heart of a person. A lesson in obeying. A lesson is loving. A lesson in compassion. A lesson in being the hands and feet of Jesus.
"Finally, all of you be of one mind,having compassion for one another;love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;"1 Peter 3:8, NKJV
One question? Five words? What would God have you ask the individuals He places in your life today? Will you obey?
Oh, and by the way. Guess what I'm getting? A laminating machine of my very own. Yes ma'am I am!! For FREE!!!!! Ain't God good!!!
Hands gripped tightly to the wheel.
beast will do.
our paths and wreck our lives.
"Be sober, be vigilant;because your adversary the devilwalks about like a roaring lion,seeking whom he may devour."1 Peter 5:8, NKJV
Everyone exits to their perspective chore zones and gets to work immediately. Or...so I think.
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. 5. 10. 15... 30 minutes pass by and surely beds are made, toys are put away, desks are cleaned off; all children are dressed, with teeth and hair brushed, and are eager for the day to begin, right? WRONG?
"Why isn't your room clean? And, why aren't you dressed? Have you brushed your teeth? Or you hair? WHAT have you been doing for the past 30 minutes? Didn't I tell you to do your chores?" I ask, all the while wondering why they haven't been compliant and done what all well-behaved children do the first time they are told to do something by their parents.
"Didn't I tell you to do your chores?"
"Yes," my son replies.
"Then why haven't you done what I told you to do?"
Looking around his room, he shrugs his shoulders and says, "I don't know."
Oh. My. Word. Will we every get there? To the point of immediate obedience? To the place where when instructions are given, they are immediately listened to, taken to heart, and obeyed? Will that day ever come?
That day of immediate obedience did come for those first disciples who were called out by Jesus. Yes, that day came and that day changed their lives.
Matthew 4:18-22, NKJV
Immediate obedience that gave them face-to-face access to the One and Only.
Immediate obedience that allowed them to walk, literally, in the footprints of Jesus.
Immediate obedience that permitted them to be a part of Christ's inner circle.
Immediate obedience that enabled them to see down into the depths of the heart of the Man who came to change the world.
Immediate obedience that changed their lives for eternity.
I wonder, what would our lives be like if we immediately obeyed God's instruction? What would our lives be like if we were willing to drop everything, no questions asked, and obey?
Immediate obedience would give us face-to-face access to the One and Only.
Immediate obedience would allow us to walk down the path He has paved for us.
Immediate obedience would permit us to be used by God in ways we never dreamed possible.
Immediate obedience would give us a glimpse into the heart of the Savior who came to change the world.
Immediate obedience would change our lives for eternity.
As I ask myself this question, I ask you as well... Has your day come? Your day of obedience? Has it come? When God instructs, do you immediately obey?
May it be so, Lord. May it come quickly. May our hearts immediately obey when Your voice is heard.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- "Port-au-Prince is flattened" after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Haitian capital, Haiti's consul general to the United Nations said Wednesday.
"More than 100,000 are dead," Felix Augustin told reporters.
The hospitals are gone, he added, and medical supplies and heavy equipment are desperately needed. (http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/13/haiti.earthquake/index.html)
Destruction. Chaos. Devastation. Pain. I cannot even begin to imagine the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of all the peoples who have been affected by this recent earthquake in Haiti.
Where is God in the midst of this? Why would He allow something like this to happen? Why did so many have to lose their lives? Why God? Why?
I believe it's in times such as these when trying to answer the hard questions is not what's important. What's important, what's key, what's pivotal is that we turn our eyes to God. That we focus our hearts and minds on Him and pray.
Pray that through this destruction, God is seen.
Pray that through this destruction, hearts are turned to the Almighty.
Pray that those still lost will be found.
Pray that those who are wounded will receive the treatment they need.
Pray that those who are hungry, those who are without homes, those who are without loved ones, will be fed, and will have shelter, and will be reunited with their families.
Pray. Pray. Pray. PRAY!!!!!
Father God, You are in control of all things. Although our human minds cannot grasp why horrific events like this earthquake happen, we trust today that You are in control. We trust that Your name is going to be glorified. And, we believe that hearts are going to be drawn to You. For those who are lost, we pray they are found. For those who are wounded, we pray their medical needs are tended to. For those who are wondering about their loved ones, we pray that Your peace fills their hearts. For all those involved both in Haiti and in countries who are sending aid, we pray your protection. Oh Father, make Yourself known. Amen.
"In the LORD I (we will) put my (our) trust."Psalm 11:1a, NKJV
For an updated, firsthand glimpse into the happenings of Haiti right now visit The Livesay's blog here.
National and World Issues
What will YOU be doin' tonight at 6:30? No plans? In the area? Then why don't you come on over and join us for In His Word Bible Study!?!
Tonight is the night. We're gearing up for a new semester of digging into the Word, getting to know God more, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
IHW meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday night of every month from 6:30-8:30.
Here's what we've got goin' this semester for Bible Study:
January 12, 2010-
How to Have a Quiet Time
We've all heard the term "quiet time" and been told that we need to be having one. But, what exactly is a quiet time, why do we need to be having one, and how in the world do we do it? Join us as I share a few things the Lord has shown me about the importance of having a daily quiet time and learn how to develop a "plan" of your own.
January 26, 2010-
How to Study God's Word Effectively
Have you ever thought to yourself, "how do I study the Bible?"; "how do I dig deeper into God's Word on my own?". There are many different ways, plans, and/or methods that can be used as a guide as you begin studying God's Word on your own. Join us as I share what I've found through the years to work best for me in digging deeper into the Word. You will be shown how to use various Bible Study tools and methods that will help you to study and learn God's Word effectively on your own.
February 2010-May 2010-
"God...who are You & what can You do for Me? Getting to Know the Almighty God"
When you think about God, what thoughts come to mind? Do you picture Him as caring, kind, and compassionate? Is He always forgiving, always faithful, always a friend to you? Does He love you unconditionally, meet you where you are, heal your every wound? Can you go to Him with anything, at anytime? Or, do you view God as judgmental, full of wrath, not caring about your life struggles? Do you see Him as unapproachable and unloving? Do you view God as only loving you when you do something right or something you feel is worthy to be loved? Is God untouchable to you- someone who is way up there in Heaven sitting on a throne that cares nothing about you?
One of the most significant ways in which God has revealed Himself to us is through the revelation of His name. God’s names reveal His very nature and character. To know God’s name is to enjoy a kind of personal access to Him. By revealing His names to us, God made Himself, literally an open book- open to be worshipped properly and open to the possibility of being dishonored through the misuse of His name. Over the next 10 weeks, we are going to explore some of the Hebrew names of God and the attributes those names will reveal to us. Join us as we get to know the Almighty God.
This study will be offered on site as well as online through At the Well...In Pursuit of Titus 2. Both studies will begin in February.
And, here's what we've got goin' for service projects:
January- "Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself"
Grocery shopping and meal preparing for one of our ladies who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.
February- "Love in Action"
Being purposeful about sharing small blessings with those we come in contact with every day- the attendant at the gas station, the waitress who serves our lunch, our trusty mailman, the clerk at the bank, etc...
March- "Feeding Your Family on a Dime"
Learn how to make coupons work for you. Turn a $190.00 grocery bill into only $5.00! Once you've got your cabinets stocked and your freezers full, learn how to plan and prepare meals for months at a time.
These are just a few of the projects we've got in the works. Many more exciting things are coming!!!
So... what was it you said you were doing tonight at 6:30? Joining us? GREAT!!!! I can't wait to meet ya and hug your neck!!!
See ya tonight!!!!
"I, the LORD, keep it,I water it every moment;lest any hurt it,I keep it night and day."Isaiah 27:3, NKJV
In this passage God is specifically talking about the restoration of His chosen Israel, but these beautiful words penned by the prophet Isaiah can be applied to you and me today.
God is the Vinedresser of this vineyard and we are the fragile vine that is being cared for. Being the great, skillful Vinedresser that He is, we can rest assured that we are safe and well taken care of.
This verse teaches us the following truths:
1. He keeps us safe. You and I can rest securely in the fact that once we belong to the Vinedresser, nothing and no one can take us away from Him.
2. The Vinedresser feeds us with His everlasting, completely satisfying Word. God's Word is our food for daily living. His food, full of rich nutrients, gives us the strength to do what He has called us to do.
3. By remaining in the vineyard, more specifically the vine, we are safe. If you and I stay close to Him and daily feed on His Word, when the enemy comes, we will be able to stand, fight, and be victorious.
4. Our God never sleeps. He is always watching out for us and giving us the best care possible.
Oh, my friends, isn't it wonderful to know that our God, the Almighty God of the universe, is ALIVE, AWAKE, and very ACTIVE in our lives!?!
Keep us Lord, safely in Your grip. Water us. Feed us with Your Word. Grow us into the women and men You have created us to be. May we bear much fruit that is pleasing to You. Amen.
In the Word
By His Grace Visits with Friends
Of course I did what any (or maybe it's just mine) wondering mind(s) would do, I
typed in Webster's Online Dictionary in my Google search bar and proceed to read the definitions of resolution and goal.
1 : the act or process of resolving: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum 2 : the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation) (3)a : something that is resolved
Huh? What in the world!?! Ok, I admit, I didn't read the whole thing, just skimmed it, but what I did read, I didn't understand. Geesh! Moving on...
goal- 1 a : the terminal point of a race b : an area to be reached safely in children's games2 : the end toward which effort is directed : aim 3 a : an area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go to score points b : the act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal c : the score resulting from such an act
Better. I understand this one, I think. In a race, a goal is the finish line. In a game, a goal is where you want to aim the ball. In life, a goal is the result of what you've exerted all your efforts toward.
So, in this new year, this new decade, do I make resolutions or set goals? I'm going with goals. I'm gonna set some goals. Yes...yes, I am. Goals. Not many, just a few. I want to be able to focus my efforts and attention toward a handful of things so that I am able to do them with excellence. Goals. I want to cross the finish line of 2010 triumphant. I want my life to be more purposeful this year; I want it to be aimed at a specific target- a target that glorifies the Father.
As I sat at my desk this past January 1, 2010 with the pages of my new pink leather journal blankly staring back at me I eagerly grabbed my pen and began jotting down my goals for the year.
1. Consistency in my Quiet Time. Some mornings when the alarm announces a new day has dawned, it is SO hard to crawl out of bed. But, alas, my time with God in the mornings sets the tone of my day and gets my thoughts focused on Him. I need that. My goal is to get up EVERY day when the alarm clock beeps or dings or plays music or whatever it does and meet with the Father. What will I be doing in my quiet time? I'm going to be reading through the New Testament. God has already shown me so much in the few chapters we've read together. It's been great!!!
2. Memorize at least 2 verses every month. Care to join me in this? Hiding God's Word in our hearts is so important. When the enemy comes against us or times get tough, with God's Word hidden in our hearts we can walk forward confident and sure that He is with us.
3. Journal every day about Bible reading and what has gone on during the day, especially with the kids. I want my kids to have a written record of their lives and mine. I want them to see, for themselves, how God has worked in them and me over time.
4. Exercise more. 'nough said!
5. Be very purposeful about my time with my kids, putting them, their schooling, and their lives before everything else. God has given them on loan to me to raise for His glory. Raising kids takes lots of time and energy of which I must be purposeful. I am fervently praying for the salvation of my son this year. Do it Lord!!!
6. Be more of an encourager to my husband. My husband works his tushy off for us providing everything we need. He is committed to us and loves us with a passion. I want to encourage him more this year and be more purposeful in letting him know how much I love him and appreciate all he does for us.
7. Complete the Bible Study on 1 John. A few years ago I began writing a Bible Study on 1 John. God is calling me to complete this work. With His leading and wisdom, this will be the year of its completion.
8. Write for God's glory. Not only will I continue to write here, but I, again with His leading, will continue to write for At the Well and Exemplify Online. I also plan to submit some articles for publication and pray that at least 1 of them gets published.
9. Live out the calling God has placed on my life with a passion. I want to be bold and fearless in all that I do for Him. By His Grace Ministry and In His Word Bible Study are ministries that God has called me. These are avenues His has paved for me to live out my story and bring Him glory. Already, He is leading me to step it up and I'm so excited to see what this year holds for these ministries.
10. Seek God's face in everything. My theme verse for this year is Psalm 27:8: "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face LORD, I will seek." I want to do NOTHING without His leading. NOTHING. In all things, Lord, I will seek Your face!
My goals. Attainable? Yes. Easy to attain? No. Rewarding when I cross that finish line and look back over the year? Absolutely!!!!
What about you...what are your goals for 2010?
"When You said, 'Seek My face,'my heart said to You,'Your face LORD, I will seek."Psalm 27:8, NKJV
It's that time again... time for a new semester of In His Word Bible Study. Oh how I've missed my sweet ladies!! I am beyond ready to hug their necks and dig into God's Word with them.
But...in the meantime, if you are in the area, we'd LOVE to have you join us every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. For more details regarding where and when, send me an email and I'll get back to you asap.
Oh my goodness gracious!!! It seems like forever since we've chatted. Pull up a chair, grab yourself a cup of coffee and let's talk, shall we?
How in the world are you?
Did you have a most wonderful Christmas? Enjoy lots of yummy food? Receive any cool gadgets for Christmas?
What about New Years? Did you ring in the new year with friends?
Me? To be honest with you... I for one am glad the business of the season is behind us. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, but it does make me SO tired... ya know, going here, there, and yonder. Tired, I tell ya. Tired.
Life is beginning to settle down for us, or should I say... life, as we know it every day, is getting back to normal. All the Christmas decor has been taken down and put away until next year. Old toys have been replaced with new ones. Company has returned home. And, the house is back in order from all the hubbub of the season. We are ready to embark on the journey God has before us for this 2010 year.
Here's a little peek inside what we've been up to the past few weeks:
The kiddos and I spent 2 1/2 weeks at my parent's house while hubs worked in Houston.
My grandmother, who was visiting from Florida, taught my daughter and I how to crochet. I crocheted my first scarf. Hooray for me!!!!
Our oldest daughter turned 10. I can't believe it!!!! Soon she'll catch up with me, cause I'm only 21, ya know!?! *smile*
My son can now speak 5 languages. Well... not really. But, he is convinced he can, so why burst his bubble, right?
The wee princess is now completely potty trained. Hallelujah, praise the Lord!!!!
I dyed my hair. It turned black. I dyed it again. It stayed black. I washed it with dish washing liquid. It still remained black. I cut my hair. Now, it is short and a faded blackish brown color. Sigh.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve service at my parent's church. Joined with other brothers and sisters in Christ in taking the Lord's Supper and focusing our minds on the true meaning of Christmas.
Feasted on fried turkey and all the fixin's for Christmas day dinner. It was DELICIOUS!!! Way to go dad!!!
Hubs and I enjoyed a day to ourselves thanks to the grandparents. Did a little shopping, ate lunch at Olive Garden, and saw "The Blind Side". It was heavenly!!!
I got a really cool new pink leather journal that I can't wait to fill the pages of this year.
Set some goals for the year. I'll be sharing some of them with you later this week.
Oh... and, I made THE most scrumptious pot of shrimp and sausage gumbo ever!!!! Yum-o!!!
Well...that about sums it up for our fam. What about you and yours? What have you guys been up to lately?