Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting Here For You

Last night I had the privilege of attending a women's night at a coffeehouse. Unfortunately, it was the final week. It was no mistake I was there. A dear friend invited me along and I said yes. Little did I know what God had in store for me. Since it was the final week, the pastor of this church was also there for the first time to speak to the women. He spoke on Genesis 3:15. I had never heard this perspective before. He spoke of the value of women and how Satan lies to us starting at a very young age. He hates us because Eve was the one who told God that he led her to eat of the fruit in the garden. Satan hates women and the Bible tells us that hatred is murder. Satan is a murderer-just look at the abortions that take place in this country each day and the abuse that women endure. Not only does Satan hate women, but he also hates their offspring. Bottom line, without godly women there would be no godly men. Women are of great value to God. We have a great responsibility as a helper to the men in our lives (husbands if you're married). We need to raise up our children in the way of the Lord (or if single, spiritual children). We need to be making disciples-being mentored and mentoring others. 

We also had worship last night and the song was new to me and is now a favorite. "Waiting Here for You" sung by Christy Nockels, written by Passion Worship band is my prayer to God and is such an encouragement to my heart (especially when surrounded by women lifting up their voices together to worship their Savior). I found a video on Youtube with the lyrics. It makes me long for the day we sing alleluia to our Savior together in eternity!  

God's Promise

Linking with Wordless Wednesday

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ups and Downs

Yesterday was rough. The morning started with a migraine and was up and down from there. As evening approached, the pain spread everywhere and I felt like I was back at square one. Let me back up for a minute- Since school ended and I have had time to relax, sleep, go to the gym (for some light, low impact activity), etc. I have felt pretty good which was exciting. Also during the last week of school I had to stop antibiotics due to a low white blood cell count. Then I decided to just give my body a break. So imagine my disappointment when I wake up today with more pain like yesterday. 

I know God is in control. I know God can heal me. I know God is always with me. Do you hear the "but" coming? Because that is where I was yesterday with a "but" racing through my head. "but God I thought you were healing me..."but God sometimes I think you hate me...(I know He doesn't-just keeping it real) "but God I feel like this is some punishment for past life choices (I know it isn't). 

God has forgiven me for sins. He does not hold them over my head, use them as punishment, throw them in my face...but I know who does-Satan, the enemy. He likes nothing more than to get in my head and feed me these lies. He lives for it. And sometimes he gets the better of me. 

After confessing my bad attitude to God and choosing to say "Blessed be Your name" (see earlier post Choose to Say) that I felt a calm spread over me and peace in the midst of pain. On my way to a doctors appt. this morning I was listening to Chris Tomlin. Nothing takes me from a place of despair faster than praising my Savior. He is sovereign. He is a God of wonders! I just need to look up!

Linking with Inspire Me Monday and Titus 2 Tuesday

Monday, July 22, 2013


According to the word "valuable" has three definitions:

  1. having considerable monetary worth
  2. having qualities worthy of respect, admiration or esteem
  3. of considerable use, service or importance
So what is valuable? Well, that depends on the person. One person might think their diamond ring is valuable while someone else might value their car. I might believe that my job as a kindergarten teacher is valuable, but others might not agree. What a person defines as valuable or of value can depend on how they were raised, choices they have made in life or other determining factors. 

Today William and Kate had their baby boy. The whole world had been watching and waiting for this since the couple tied the knot. When Kate did become pregnant, then the focus shifted to the due date, the sex of the baby and the possible names. Not once did anyone think that this was not a life growing inside Kate. This little guy was valuable right at conception. According to the world, he was worthy of respect, admiration or esteem even before he was born. He was of considerable importance. 

Throughout the day I have thought what if all babies were considered valuable? What if all pregnancies were celebrated with such great joy as Kate's? What if each precious baby was given respect and admiration and considerable importance immediately at conception? In a perfect world, this could be true, but we live in a sinful, fallen world. However, God values life. Each life is valuable and precious to Him! Why? Because we are created in His image! (Genesis 1:27) 

There are many verses in the Bible that discuss life-including before birth. Here are just a few: 

Jeremiah 1:4-5- The word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." 

Isaiah 49:1-Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother's womb he has spoken my name.

Psalm 139:13-14 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb; I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. **I love this whole chapter.**

And a few verses about the value of life: 

Mattew 12:11-12a- He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep? 

Matthew 6:26- Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 

 John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 

Think about it, what if...? 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Choose to Say

Life is all about choices. God gives us freewill. Throughout this chronic illness, God has been truly teaching me to say "Blessed be His Name" whether the day is good or bad. The words from this popular song played through my speakers this morning on my way to get another cortisone shot.

Blessed be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness 
Blessed be Your name

As I listened to these words, I thought do I? Do we, as children of God, truly say blessed be Your name to our Heavenly Father when things are dark, when life doesn't go the way we want it to or the plans we have aren't God's plans? Here is the rest of the song:

Blessed be Your name 
When the sun's shining down on me
When the worlds all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name 

Every blessing you pour out 
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say...

Blessed be Your Name! 

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will CHOOSE to say 
Lord Blessed be Your name!

"Blessed be Your Name"
Matt Redman lyrics 

God has taught me that my suffering and pain can be an offering to Him depending on my attitude. God does give and take away- my heart will choose to say! It's a choice and it makes all the difference. I cannot do it through my own strength. It is the power of the Holy Spirit living in me that allows me to genuinely say Blessed be Your name God- no matter how dark life gets. 

However, my "bad" day will never compare to someone who does not know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I am just a sojourner in this world-it is not my home. I am humbled and amazed each day that God chose me to be adopted into His family before the creation of the world. This free gift alone should cause me to shout Blessed be His Name! each day. 

God's plans are far superior to my plans and His way is the only way to true joy and contentment. This is what He has taught me-the hard way-but I would not change this path He has me on. Why? Because I know it is His will for my life and there is no better place to be. 

Linking with Titus 2 Tuesdays, Simply Helping Him, Faith-Filled Friday and One Sharendipity Place

Friday, July 12, 2013

Every Good and Perfect Gift...

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~James 1:17 

And the blessings continue...

26. my job as a kindergarten teacher
27. the gifts God has given me to do my job well
28. the opportunity to show the love of Christ to my students, their parents & my colleagues 
29. that I live in a state that has four distinct seasons
30. for eyes that can gaze upon God's glorious creation
31. the beautiful fall foliage
32. the sparkling snow
33. the blossoming flowers and trees
34. the splendor of the sun
35. for ears to hear the Word of God
36. for Christian radio programs I can listen to daily
37. for a phone that is always with me and serves many purposes 
38. for a bed to sleep in
39. for a laptop where I can write this blog ;)
40. for access to the internet
41. for central air-conditioning 
42. for heat in the winter
43. for gluten-free food 
44. and that it is sold everywhere now, not just in health food stores
45. that I am able to take this summer off and rest
46. that I can learn how to cook
47. that I can read through the Bible in 90 days
48. that I can pray anytime, anywhere, no matter what 
49. that God heals my heart when it breaks
50.  that God satisfies my every longing  

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. 
~Psalm 103:1 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

10,000 Blessings

Lately I have been feeling unsettled, discontent and done with dealing with chronic illness and what to do about it, which doctors to go to, what medications to get the point. However, God calls me as His child to "Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS, again I will say rejoice" in Philippians 4:4 and in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18- "Rejoice ALWAYS, pray WITHOUT CEASING, give thanks in ALL circumstances (emphasis added)

Yikes! Challenging commands- always rejoice, always pray, always give thanks! So often I find myself failing on a daily basis. I could let it get me down, give satan the opportunity to come even closer whispering his lies OR I can remember and think on God's great love, mercy and grace that He gives to me each morning. 

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." ~Lamentations 3:22-23

This promise in Lamentations is why I can rejoice always, even in the midst of heartache, sickness, trials and temptations. 

Keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we can confidently say "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? ~Hebrews 13:5-6

This promise from Hebrews is why I can give thanks in all circumstances because God is always with me. I am never alone, I am never without Him. He has given me everything I need to be content. He is my helper. Such joy that verse brings to my heart. 

But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. ~Micah 7:7

This promise in Micah is why I can pray without ceasing because God will always hear me. Since He is always with me, prayer does not have to end. Prayer can be a continuous conversation from morning to night.  

So I have decided to count my blessings. God's blessings are infinite to His children. I would love to get up to 10,000 blessings so that is what I am challenging myself to do. This is a way I can learn to rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances as God commands us! 

My Blessings for today, Thursday July 11, 2013

  1. God's saving grace 
  2. Being one of God's chosen 
  3. My salvation
  4. My relationship with my Savior 
  5. God never leaves me or forsakes
  6. God is sovereign- nothing ever surprises Him- He knows ALL!! 
  7. I am just a sojourner in this world-I am not home yet! 
  8. God hears me when I prayer
  9. God's mercies are new every morning
  10. I do not have to be anxious or worry about anything because my trust is in God
  11. I live in a country where I can worship freely without fear of persecution 
  12. I have access to many different translations of the Bible and can freely read His word
  13. I can share my faith freely 
  14. I can worship at a Christ-centered, people-loving, church 
  15. God has brought wonderful women into my life through this church 
  16. God has given me life-long friendships with incredible women from college 
  17. God has provided a mother and father who go above and beyond for me each and every day even at the age of 30
  18. God has given me a brother, though we don't always get along, he is a blessing. 
  19. I have a place to live where there are always people around or close by
  20. I have plenty of food to eat.
  21. I have clothes to wear. 
  22. I have a car to go places. 
  23. I have books to read. 
  24. I am able to go to the gym & ride the bike slowly-its a start :)
  25. God has provided all my needs- Phil. 4:19
Tomorrow, 25 more blessings! I would love to hear what/how God has blessed you! Leave me a comment below!!! Our God is good all the time and all the time God is good! 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. ~1 Peter 2:9 

Linking with Faith Filled FridayOne Sharendipity PlaceInspire Me Monday and Can I Joy Dare You?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tuesday Prayers

This Tuesday I am going to have a cortisone shot in my left elbow and have some moles removed from my face. Please pray for peace and pain tolerance as my body does not tolerate pain well. The littlest things can send overwhelming pain throughout my body and cause increased fatigue. My left elbow (the whole arm actually) has been beyond tolerable lately and I am actually looking forward to this shot. However, that does not take away the fact that I know it will hurt and that hurt will last for a few days. I am praying that the days following though will be well worth the initial pain. I have never had a mole removed before though and the thought of it being done on my face makes me cringe, but it is a necessity.

Thank you so much for your prayers! 
I pray God blesses each of you! 

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 
~James 5:13-16

Saturday, July 6, 2013

No other gods

I am currently reading through Isaiah. It amazes me how much the prophet Isaiah's words parallel our current world and culture, specifically here in America. God speaks through Isaiah to tell of the futility and folly of idols, of coming judgement and destruction, and of a gracious, righteous, mighty God who is the ONLY God. There is no other God. He will walk with us, His children, and strengthen us. We are told not to fear, for He is the Lord. Here are just a few of the many verses I have read that repeatedly tell us that there is no other God and that we are not to fear for He goes with us. 

"I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon. I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them." ~Isaiah 42:6-9

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." ~Isaiah 43:1b-3a

"Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior. I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "and I am God. Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hands; I work and who can turn it back?" ~Isaiah 43:10-13

"Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts; "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it...Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any." ~Isaiah 44:6-7a, 8

These verses are from just a few chapters, the list goes on. Chapter 45 is incredible as well. I will share just a few verses from it because it spoke to me specifically regarding my life and where God has me today- health, singleness, living at home...

"Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, "What are you making?" or "Your work has no handles?" Woe to him who says to a father, "What are you begetting?" or to a woman, "With what are you in labor?" ~Isaiah 45:9-10

God is God and He alone is in control. Who am I to question him? He alone is Lord and Savior. I am His creation and I need to surrender and worship Him. I need to die to self and be filled with His Spirit. It is a daily surrender and impossible without my Savior. Praise the Lord who has saved me, adopted me and unconditionally loved me! Without Him, I am nothing! With Him, I can do anything! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One of those days...

  • where the past few sleepless nights have caught up with me
  • when the pain overtakes my body and doesn't seem to relent
  • where I find myself complaining and grumbling
  • when I long for the swift return of my Savior 

Today I am begging the great Physician to heal my body! I am crying out for Him to restore me completely! I refuse to let Satan win the battle, because I know Who wins the war. God is with me always, through each "one of those days." To defeat the enemy all I need to do is sit at my Creator's feet and seek Him. This song was on my playlist this morning and it relaxed my mind, soul and body. God has everything under control, nothing surprises Him. Melt in His peace, His love is overwhelming! 

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. ~Psalm 84:10

Linking with One Sharendipity Place

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 1 of 365

It is July 1st and that means that my one year Radical Experiment begins today! I am so excited and I praise God for this opportunity He has given me to bring glory to Him! 

Challenge 1: Pray for the World

Today through July 4th, I am praying for India. Using Jason Mandryk's book, Operation World, my prayers today focus on the political, economic and social challenges to this country. My prayers are that India's leaders may: 
  • continue to uphold the constitution by maintaining religious freedom
  • uproot corruption in all levels of government
  • tackle the serious ills of society
  • address the growing threat of Maoist/Naxalite insurgency 
  • manage the economic situation with wisdom and
  • wisely address increasing threats to stability 
(Operation World, p. 409)

Challenge 2: Read through the entire Word

I am finishing up Proverbs and starting Ecclesiastes in my "Bible in 90 Days" plan. God has used Proverbs to teach me more about wisdom(she is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire can compare with her -Proverbs 3:15). I especially loved reading Proverbs 8- The Blessings of Wisdom.  God has also reminded me how important it is to control our tongues. Many passages speak about the mouth, the tongue and our words. I cannot write them all out here, but here are some of the references I found- Proverbs 5:24, 6:17, 8:6-11, 10:8, 11-13, 18, 19-21, 31-32; 11:13, 12:16-19, 22-23, 25; 13:3, 14:3, 17-18, 29-30; 15:1-4, 7, 18, 26; 16:13, 24, 32; 17:27-28; 18: 4, 19; 19:1, 11; 20:3, 19-20; 21:23, 22:24-25, 23:16, 24:26, 25:11-13, 15; 26: 4, 17, 20, 28; 28:23. 29:9, 11, 20, 22) It amazed me how many times Solomon addresses this issue and how relevant it is in every aspect of my life. Finally, God also showed me how a wife can either be a gift from God (Proverbs 5:18-19, 12:4a, 18:22 and of course, chapter 31-The Woman Who Fears the Lord) or a curse if she is quarrelsome and fretful (Proverbs 12:4b, 19:13b, 21:9 and 19, 25:24, 27:15-16).

Challenge 3: Sacrifice my money to a specific purpose

I have chosen to give to Samaritans Purse ( I have been on their website multiple times, but just saw that there is catastrophic flooding in India- the country I am praying for today. If you would like to read more about this, here is the link

Challenge 4: To give my time in another context and Challenge 5: To commit our lives to multiplying community 

I cannot comment on these two challenges yet since it is only day 1, but I hope to share what happens in the future. 

Psalm 150
Let Everything Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens! 
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness! 

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp! 
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!