Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

At that time Emperor Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Roman Empire. When this first census took place, Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone, then, went to register himself, each to his own hometown. Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, the birthplace of King David. Joseph went there because he was a descendant of David. He went to register with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him. She was pregnant, and while they were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have her baby. She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger---there was no room for them to stay in the inn. There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born---Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God: "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.
(Luke 2:1-20 GNB)

Nearly 2000 years ago, the Christ child was born. The most valuable gift we could have ever been given is what we celebrate on Christmas. The birth of Christ. Through the birth of Jesus, we were given the gift of Salvation. All that is required of us is to accept that gift.

And believe me when I saw that gift is better than a laptop or an iPod or a diamond necklace or money. The gift of Salvation is the ultimate gift.

I pray that your Christmas is a blessed one and that you at least pause for a moment to look to the Lord and thank Him.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jesse Tree Podcasts

Good Day all my friends! I pray your day has gotten off wonderfully! I am writing to share with you that for Christmas, the Just 5 Minutes Podcast will be doing Jesse Tree Devotions. I do hope that you will all enjoy them and be encourage and blessed by them.

Be sure to check out the Jesse Tree Podcasts.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Day

Good Morning. I am taking a break from cooking and chasing the kiddos to sit down with a cup of hot tea. I wanted to stop in with my online family and tell you all that I appreciate those of you that follow this blog. You are the reason I write.

As today is Thanksgiving, I want to get you thinking though.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)

Are you thankful for the things you have? I mean sure, you are glad you have a home and clothes and friends or family, but are you thankful?

Every year we hear about the missions and the homeless shelters begging for food and volunteers to help those in need and to provide a thanksgiving meal to those that don't have the means. But, they shouldn't have to beg. We Christians should be on a waiting list to help those that are in need. Even those of us that are having difficult times ourselves.

When we are consumed with an atmosphere of thanks and gratitude for the things the Lord has blessed us with, it overflows to those around us. By being thankful for the blessings we have we show that by the joy spilling out of us and onto others. The joy of the Lord spills over to others in service.

We are a blessed people, even if you have to be thankful of the hard times. This year isn't the easiest of years for our family, but we are very thankful of God's blessings. We have our home, our family, friends, a wonderful church, food on the table and clothes on our backs.

As I close I want you to think, that sometimes you may not feel thankful, you may not see a reason to be thankful, but there is always something to be thankful for. The difficult times shape our faith and strengthen us, who would we turn to if everything was always easy and smooth?

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes when she pulled open the florist shop door, against a November gust of wind. Her life had been as sweet as a spring breeze and then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a "minor" automobile accident stole her joy. This was Thanksgiving week and the time she should have delivered their infant son. She grieved over their loss.

Troubles had multiplied.

Her husband's company "threatened" to transfer his job to a new location. Her sister had called to say that she could not come for her long awaited holiday visit. What's worse, Sandra's friend suggested that Sandra's grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder. " Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered. "For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life, but took her child's?"

"Good afternoon, can I help you?"

Sandra was startled by the approach of the shop clerk. "I . . . I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra.

"For Thanksgiving? I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go
wrong has gone wrong."

Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the bell on the door rang, and the clerk greeted the new customer,

"Hi, Barbara, let me get your order." She excused herself and walked back to a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and
what appeared to be long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped: there were no flowers.

"Do you want these in a box?" asked the clerk. Sandra watched - was this a joke?
Who would want rose stems with no flowers! She waited for laughter, but neither
woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three
years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said, as she gently tapped her chest.

Sandra stammered, "Ah, that lady just left with . . . uh . . . she left with no flowers!"

"That's right," said the clerk. "I cut off the flowers. That's the 'Special'. I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet. Barbara came into the shop three years ago, feeling much as you do today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had just lost her father to cancer; the family business was failing; her son had gotten into drugs; and she was facing major surgery. That same year I had lost my husband," continued the clerk. "For the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too much debt to allow any travel."

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for the good things in my life and I never questioned Him why those good things happened to me, but when the bad stuff hit, I cried out, 'Why? Why me?!' It took time for me to learn that the dark times are important to our faith! I have always enjoyed the 'flowers' of my life, but it took the thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort! You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath, as she thought about what her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" the clerk greeted the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement . . . twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind telling me why she wants a bouquet that looks like that?"

"Four years ago, my wife and I nearly divorced," Phil replied. "After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we trudged through problem after problem, the Lord rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she had learned from "thorny" times. That was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life" Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too . . . fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that the thorns make the roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember that it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on her resentment.

"I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me."

The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you would like to read it first."

It read:

"My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant."

Praise Him for the roses; thank Him for the thorns.

God Bless all of you. Be thankful for all that the Lord does for you.

"Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God."

We often try to fix problems with WD-40 and Duct tape. God did it with nails.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Question for the Visitors of this Blog

When you visit this blog, what are you hoping to see? Just another mom's perspective on parenting or more?

In the future what would you like to see? More scriptural articles or more from the home articles.

I am in process of re-organizing my writing and I would like to know what the readers would like to see. Honestly.

I do hope to be posting at least once a week. Occasionally more. And I would hope to have more discussion in the future.

So, let me know what you want and we will see about getting it up here.



The Golden Compass

Urban Legends Reference Pages: The Golden Compass

Thank you to Michelle for sending this to me.

Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Churchleaders, this is where we need to stand up for our kids. I am sure it looks like a cute movie with all the graphics and special effects. Sure, it's just a movie, but do we need our kids influenced by it?

What goes in, must come out and if it's garbage in, garbage will come out.

I really don't want to sound like an extremist, but the end times are near, and Christians are being attacked at every angle. If the devil can't get you, he will go after your kids. Pastor Steve was so right when he said that in service last night.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fall Activities

An interesting discussion was going on on an email list I am a member of about Halloween. It all started by one person asking a seemingly innocent question.

Do you celebrate Halloween?

She got many different answers. And I am not going to say there were any wrong answers within the varying degrees that she got.

Most American families don't see anything wrong with their kids going out dressed up and trick or treating. Many churches have Fall Harvest Festivals or Trunk or Treat or some other form of entertainment on or near the time of Halloween. It's a wonderful outreach to non-saved and non-churched families and children.

The answers that were given on the email list were from there is no way I would participate in a satanic holiday to oh, it's only halloween, if you don't allow it to be satan's day then it's not to we let the kids dress up and trick or treat but we don't do the horror stuff. I used to be the last one. I as a young mom didn't want my kids to miss out because my parents didn't let me dress up or do trick or treat and I got made fun of. Let me tell you right now, don't let peer pressure push you to do something when you should be listening to God.

Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God---what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. (Romans 12:2 GNB)

As Christians, Followers of Christ, we are not to conform to this world. We aren't to succumb to the pressure of will Mrs So and So let's her kids trick or treat and she goes to that big church on the hill so it must be okay if my kids trick or treat. People, we don't need to look at the Sunday School School teachers or what the church is doing as a whole. If you truly want to know if your family is suppose to take part in Halloween activities, no matter what they are called, you get in the Word and on your knees and see what God Almighty tells you.

As for those that say it's only an evil holiday if you allow it to be and it's no different than Christmas or Easter. In my honest opinion, you are wrong. Even in the United States there are devil worshipers and occults that love to celebrate Halloween. There are people that poison candy or worse. It still happens. And to compare Halloween to Christmas and Easter, that disturbs me. It disturbs me because while Easter may have been a pagan holiday to welcome in spring and fertility, it is when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. We don't celebrate the goddess estre and worship her. (Do forgive my spelling) Christmas, it was originally the winter solstice. More than likely it is no where near the time that would have been Christ's birth, and all I can say here is do you give Christmas to the fat man in the red suit? Or do you praise the Lord for sending His Son so that 36 years after His birth he would be the sacrificial lamb that provided the PERFECT sacrifice to cover all of our sins?

Think about it.

We are in this world but we are not to be of this world.

In God's Love,

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Renewing of the Home

The last week or two have really been quite uplifting for me. And it's not just because school has started.

For about the last two years or maybe 3, God has been working on mine and my husband's hearts. We were no longer where He wanted us to be. We didn't know what this meant and we weren't in the place we needed to be spiritually to know that that was what God was doing. It started with our Sunday School teachers stepping down and they went threw very trying times. We weren't so sure we were suppose to stay in that class, but we did. We were in the word and the other class that we were interested in was during the worship service we typically went to. Our church had two services and Sunday School went on during both. Plus had we changed classes we had 6 kids to change classes too.

So we continued and we were blessed by the Lord with fellowship and growing closer to Him, but there was something missing. We, Jeff and I, started feeling out of place. At first we though it was because we had 6 kids and while we did know other families with many kids, it's not exactly common. After Benji was born, our church family ministered to us and helped us through the trials of his heart condition and the surgery. We felt closer to the Lord and thought that that was what we were missing. You know that spiritual closeness that sometimes we forget about once the daily grind gets ground into us.

Some more time went by and we started feeling lost again when we would go to church. We made excuses and visited my mom's church once or twice but didn't think anything about this missing piece. Everytime the women's group would start a Bible Study I would go to sign up but then something would stop me and I would feel miserable. We lost any touch of the world outside of our home other than sporting events. (Not that we wanted worldly fellowship, but the fellowship that was available we felt we didn't have.)

Finally, a major crisis happened in our family and we were all alone. We struggled, we knew God was the only way we would survive. And it has taken us a year to get to where we could hear God's call on our lives.

We have recently changed churches. Our spiritual needs are now being met as we need them to. All of our kids are being blessed. Little Benji, the youngest, went from kicking and screaming when we would drop him off at the nursery at our old church to running from me when it's time to go to nursery where we are now going. The atmosphere is different to us. I am not saying that God's presence is not at our former church. That is not the case at all. We have just outgrown our former church. Sorta like as you grow up, you go through school and you change school's once you get so far.

So, now that we have changed churches... The kids are loving to go to church and learn about God. And they are really learning. I signed up for Bible Study and I also joined MOPs. I am looking forward to being part of both groups and some of the ladies are in both groups.

All of this going on and it is amazing to say that, now that the spirit man is being fed and we are getting back into the Word the way we are suppose to be. Our home life is getting calmer and renewed. Three of our children have issues that can stress a mom, and dad, out. Two are emotionally/behaviorally challenged and then the other is developmentally challenged. All three are in therapy and getting help, but we have good days and bad days that have to be dealt with.

In getting back to the Lord, our home is renewed by His love and grace. We are growing closer to Him day by day and that renewal is awesome.

In God's Love,

Monday, August 13, 2007

Spiriutal Awakening

Isn't it wonderful when you are sitting in a church service and all of a sudden the Lord touches you? I had a Sunday Service like that yesterday. It was marvelous and it is what my soul has been craving for too long.

The last few months our family has been in a spiritual drought. About a month ago we decided to go to my mother's church just to test the waters. The church we were going to we had become very comfortable and while there were some changes we didn't completely agree with, we stayed. Now, we know that the Lord was calling us to move away from the church we called home for nearly ten years.

I am not advocating to change churches if things get stagnant, I do advocate listening to the Lord and heeding his call. Our former church has blessed as tremendously, our spiritual needs have merely outgrown the church.

Anyhow, back to the spiritual awakening. Sunday during the sermon, the preacher spoke of Christian love. Sundays' sermon was a sequel from last week's and it was a true blessing.

Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another. Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers. Ask God to bless those who persecute you---yes, ask him to bless, not to curse. Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. Have the same concern for everyone. Do not be proud, but accept humble duties. Do not think of yourselves as wise. If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. Try to do what everyone considers to be good. Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody. Never take revenge, my friends, but instead let God's anger do it. For the scripture says, "I will take revenge, I will pay back, says the Lord." Instead, as the scripture says: "If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame." Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.
(Romans 12:9-21 GNB)

Being a Christian is being LOVE.

If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God?
(1 John 3:17 GNB)

What is impressed upon me is that we are to reach out to others. If we see people in need, we should help them. If a fellow Christian has fallen, pick them back up.

We are still on our journey looking for the church that the Lord wants us in, so I do ask for prayer that the answer is obvious. I pray that the church we move to will be the church that will meet all of our family's needs now and in the future.

I will say one more thing, just because we left the church we were attending does not mean that it is not following the will of the Lord. It's just not the road we are suppose to be on. There are many people I know that go there and are blessed to be there. It is where the Lord has put them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mother's Day

I do know this is a little late in coming. I apologize for that. This however is not a typical Happy Mother's Day you are wonderful post. Although there are tons of mother's out there that are awesome and wonderful.

No, this post is a realization post. See, I hate mother's day. This year especially with the turmoil that our family has gone through. We have had a lot go on. Some good some bad.

But without going into the personal things that our family has gone through, I want to share an intimate thing I have learned in the last week. First let me explain why I hate mother's day.

See, I and my husband have 6 kids. We are a blended family. The last two years that I sat in church on Mother's Day, the pastor honored the oldest mom, the newest mom, the mom with the most kids, etc. Here's my thing with that. What about the woman that miscarried last week? What about the woman that can't give birth to children? While I know in our church it is included that a mom is an adoptive mom, or a step mom, or a biological mom; it still bothers me. So what if I have 6 kids? Does it make me a better mother than a woman with only 1 child? No. It don't. It makes me more stressed out about how everything is going to get done.

Anyhow, this last week, I asked God to help me come to terms with Mother's Day. We knew we weren't going to make it to church because Jeff had to work and with my existing feelings I didn't really want to go. So I stayed home with the kids and watched church on TV. Back to what God did for me. I was reading over some scripture and trying to keep the kiddos at bay, I think it was Friday. We had had a busy week last week with doctor's appointments and school IEPs and such, it was good to have a slow day. In the early evening as I was reading, it struck me that these blessings that I have been blessed with are not mine. These children are God's children not mine. I have no rights to them and I am not entitled to the children being mine. Meaning that they are with me because God has entrusted their care to me. I may not be perfect, but I do my best to keep my eyes on the Father and teach the kids of His love and of what He has done for us. I do this by letting Him shine through me.

So for me, Mother's Day has a new meaning. Instead of focusing on me, I take the time to reflect and relax. See where I can improve and what I need to hand over to God.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

SpiderMan 3

So, last night we decided that we would go and see Spiderman 3. Especially after reading the opinion on it at the link below.

Perspectives: Spider-Man 3 and the dark web of sin

We went to our local drive in, trust me I would much rather spend $16 with our brood at the drive in than nearly $50 at the cinema. The kids really enjoyed it as we got there about 2 hours before the movie started and they played down just below the screen. They really had alot of fun. The boys were good and worn out by the time the movie was starting and for the most part stayed still and watched the movie. Benji tried to fight sitting still about 20 minutes into it.

On to the movie... Overall I enjoyed the movie. The storyline was good although there was a little bit of confusion and some cheese. The cheese being when Peter Parker acts like John Travolta walking down the sidewalk. Very 70s, very cheese.

In the movie, it seems Peter Parker finally has it together. He is doing good in school, working freelance for the Bugle, finally has the girlfriend he's wanted all his life. It couldn't be better right? Wrong. That's when there is a meteorite with a parasite that lands not far from where Peter and MJ are on a date at.

Then there is Sandman, who really seems to be a good guy with rotten luck. His daughter is very ill and he got scared and had to do the crimes he did to provide for her. This is a role I believe that man parents can relate to and after seeing the entire movie can feel sorry for.

The New Goblin/Harry Osborn is yet again another character that doesn't understand the situation and allows his frustration and anger over his father's death eat at him and nearly consume him in the form of hatred towards SpiderMan/Peter Parker. The ending on this was a good one as Harry saw the error of his bitterness and the end of the movie brought the two friends back together before the inevitable.

Venom is the alien that was on the meteor. It is a parasite that after giving a go at Peter, ends up taking over Eddie Brock.

Personally none of our children that saw the movie were affected negatively by it. I could easily see however that if a child that has aggressive tendencies were to see it, regardless of age could have issues. Or I suppose I should say their parents would have issues in dealing with an out lash of behaviors.

Our girls enjoyed both the action and the love story. Our boys really enjoyed the action.

My opinion this is a good movie and it's a great way to talk to your kids or friends about forgiveness and that if you don't forgive it will eat at you, like a parasite.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Psalms 91

I wanted to provide the scripture that our family uses for times of anxiety and fear. Our God is an awesome God and He will protect us. I pray the following scripture is a bleseing

Whoever goes to the LORD for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, "You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust." He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you. You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight. A thousand may fall dead beside you, ten thousand all around you, but you will not be harmed. You will look and see how the wicked are punished. You have made the LORD your defender, the Most High your protector, and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home. God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones. You will trample down lions and snakes, fierce lions and poisonous snakes. God says, "I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as LORD. When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honor them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them."
(Psalms 91:1-16 GNB)

For the Mothers out there

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here. "
Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.
For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.
And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the (grand) mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat. For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it again. "Just one more Time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. A nod for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home -- or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

This is for all the step-mothers who raised another woman's child or children, and gave their time, attention, and love. sometimes totally unappreciated!

For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to school alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby? The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. when you just want to hear their key in the door and know they are safe again in your home? Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation...
And mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

This is for you all.

For all of us.

Hang in there.

In the end we can only do the best we can.

Tell them every day that we love them.

And pray.

~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

SAHMs vs Working Moms

So, I saw the first 10-15 minutes of Montel this morning before I turned the TV off. (I generally watch the news before the boys get up and active since we have a lax schedule right now) The show was called Mommy Wars and Montel was asking the questions of SAHM or working mom, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, and the other one I caught was spanking or no spanking. My questions go along the lines that I know they have a specific number of people in the audience that feel a certain way so I am wondering how our audience feels.

SAHM vs. Working Mom

SAHMs tend to say that it is their place to be at home and raise their children instead of the day care raising them. That it is important to the child to know that mom is there and available.

Working moms tend to say that they are meeting their child's needs by providing for them and making the money so they can do sports and things. That it is important that kids learn that we have to be responsible and show our kids responsibility.

My take... I believe it is the mother's right to choose and that we should respect others decisions. My personal belief for myself is that I need to stay at home for my kids. I need to be home when they get home from school and I need to be home for the ones not yet in school. I don't want a daycare worker consoling my son when he falls and scrapes his knee. I want to be home with him. I want to be home when my daughter needs me to talk to because she has lost a friend or her boyfriend dumped her. But most importantly? I want to be home so I can spend time with my kids and in doing so I can teach them about God.

Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding

Breastfeeding propaganda states that the breast is best and anything else is coming up short.

Bottle feeding is a near match and easier to do.

My personal belief? I have done both. Breastfeeding can be quite intimidating to a first time mom. While God did create women to be able to breast feed our babies, there are sometimes complications. I know personally with my youngest I had a blockage that was very painful. I chose to continue on because I felt it was better for the baby to push through the pain. With my oldest I was terrified to let her nurse so she was bottle fed. I believe that it is up to the mother. Some women do not produce enough milk for their babies and it puts undo stress on them. We should respect other's choices.

Spanking vs No Spanking

This is the obvious war one. There are those that say spanking is abuse and those that say it is ordained by the Bible (Spare the Rod Spoil the Child).

My personal belief is that there is a time and a place for spanking. It should be last resort after other methods have been tried. However, if you are going to spank you had better know the law regarding corporal punishment in your state and also the Children's Protective Services stance.

Depending on the state if you spank a child you could be arrested. The laws vary. Some say if you intentionally strike a child it is child abuse. Others say if you strike a child with an instrument (paddle, ruler, flyswatter, etc) that it is aggravated child abuse. I am pretty sure that all states in the US say if you leave a mark on the child it is abuse.

I personally believe that the government shouldn't tell us how to parent our children but in the same instance I also see the need.

If you spank, you are much more likely to "lose it" and hurt the child. It typically only happens once, but why put that risk there?

Have opinions? Comment. Let's hear from you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Coming Soon

Hey everybody, I am so sorry I haven't been around the last week. I thought I was going to get things done and haven't been able to with the chaos in our lives right now.

God is good and He is in control, just my family has had to come first before me getting online.

I will get the next Bible Study up tonight. (Already have it almost done) I will also be announcing the winners of the Nativity Story giveaway tonight. (and should be mailing them out tomorrow)

Looking for good books to review over the summer, if you are interested drop me a line.

Until then, God bless you.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We interrupt this program

I am stopping by to let everybody know that I have not forgotten about the Bible Study. This weekend was rather hectic and then Monday we had one of the kids in the ER which resulted in me being in the ER. Quite the humorous story, yet painful too.
To sum it up, when your kid needs stitches and you have an extreme phobia of needles, DO NOT WATCH. I passed out and in doing so sprained my ankle and twisted my knee. Our daughter has 4 stitches just behind her ear from the softball and is very tender, but seems to be fine. We go back to the doctor on Friday. I must say one thing though and this is being completely honest. I am greatful that my ex husband and I can put our children's needs before our own. He and his wife came through for her and I am glad. Not many ex's get along.
I should have the next bit for the Bible Study up either tonight or tomorrow.

God Bless!

Monday, April 02, 2007

God's Continual Presence

Isn’t it amazing how God will promise us blessings and we are willing to wait a little while and have faith that he will full fill the promise, but if it takes a second longer than we want it to we doubt Him? The Bible is full of examples about people that got impatient and took things into their own hands. It seems very natural to want instant gratification and not wait on the Lord.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
(Proverbs 13:12 KJV)

What do you do when you think it has been too long for an answer from God? Do you pray more? Take the matter into your own hands? Turn your back on God until you get what you want? Be still and listen to what the Lord is telling you?

Abraham is a perfect example as to what typically happens in our lives when we are promised a blessing and then God waits to give it.

In Genesis 12:1, 2 God told Abraham to leave his country, his family, his father’s house and to go to a land that the Lord would show him. And here is the first time God promised Abraham that He would make him a great nation.

Later on in Genesis 13:15, 16 God promises the land and to make Abraham’s descendants as the dust of the earth. Abraham still had no children. How was he going to have so many descendants that they would be as many as the dust on the earth when Abraham did not even have a child yet? Abraham did not have a lack of faith, he just was not sure if God remembered that he had not had any children.

In Chapter 15 of Genesis Abraham asked the Lord if the man in his house was going to be his heir. God answered with a definite no, that Abraham’s heir would be from his body. The Lord goes on to say that Abraham’s descendants will be as many as the stars in the heavens. (Gen 15:4, 5)

Abraham wanted for a long time, but then finally decided to take things into his own hands. Abraham had a son with Hagar, Sarah’s servant, to help God in blessing him. This was not God’s plan, but God honored his promise. Then Abraham went on to have a son with Sarah who received the complete blessing. Ishmael, Hagar’s son, and Isaac, Sarah’s son, would always have strife between them. Ishmael’s lineage has become the Arab nations and Isaac’s lineage has become the Jewish nation. It was the Jewish nation that went on to Egypt and gave birth to the Hebrew nation.

God does not always answer our prayers in the matter in which we want. Sometimes He says no. Other times He says wait. God has perfect timing and in that timing, our desires will be met or changed. Sometimes, even if we take matters into our own hands, God still will bless us. Other times we have to come around full circle and things are much harder than they would have been in order to receive the blessing.

I am just as guilty s anybody else on wanting the answers now. I hate having to wait and I hate not being able to do what I believe I should be able to. As I am maturing in my faith, I am learning to be still and know that He is God and He knows what is best. It is in no way easy. Then again, trusting in the Lord and living according to His word is not easy either considering all the condemnation the world loves to pass on to you.

I encourage you to study in the Word and to see how waiting on the Lord is indeed the best thing to do.

The inspiration for this article is from Overcoming Difficulties: A Lighthearted Look at Joshua By Marilyn Meberg / Thomas Nelson

Friday, March 16, 2007

the Nativity Story

We are giving away 5 copies of the Nativity Story! Make sure you enter for your chance to win.

Hitting stores just in time for Easter, The Nativity Story is an inspirational tale of extraordinary faith and love that chronicles the arduous journey of Mary and Joseph, a divine pregnancy and the miraculous birth of Jesus. The Nativity Story, arriving on DVD on March 20, 2007, from New Line Home Entertainment.

ParentsForChrist.com is happy to bring to you a new Spring contest. As we are thinking of Easter and what it means to us, it is a great time to think about how are Savior was brought to us. Thankfully, New Line Home Entertainment has aided us in releasing the movie, "The Nativity Story" just in time for Easter. You can own it on March 20th, or you can enter our contest and win it for free.

Make sure you Enter to Win

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

One Night With The King

This is a movie that me and my husband watched recently. I had taped it when TBN had it on for New Years. We really enjoyed the movie. It is not a carbon copy of the book of Ester and it does not tell the exact story as it is in the Bible. But, neither did the Veggie Tales version, in Esther... the girl who Became Queen.

The sets and costumes are absolutely gorgeous. The acting was great considering that very few "Christian" movies get the good actors. It's not perfect. It is romantic. It's a love story.

I would highly recommend this movie as a date night movie or for a family movie if the kids are old enough to sit through it. Our girls enjoyed it.

549126: One Night with the King, DVDOne Night with the King, DVD

By Foxfaith

Step into the exotic world of the Persian court, where one courageous woman dares to speak truth on behalf of her people! Based on Tommy Tenney's blockbuster novel, this captivating film tells the story of how beautiful Esther rises from peasant to princess, captures the king's heart, defies his malevolent prime minister, and thwarts horrific plans for genocide. One Night with the King features an all-star cast that includes Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif and John Rhys-Davies. Rated PG. Approx. 124 minutes.

DVD Features:
  • Closed Captioned
  • English and Spanish Subtitles
  • Widescreen
  • Region 1

    Wednesday, February 28, 2007

    Just Sharing a bit of Scripture (Psalm 91)

    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
    (Psalms 91:1-16 KJV)

    Monday, February 26, 2007

    Overcoming Difficulties

    I have taken the last few weeks and prayed and searched for a way that my families difficulties could be used to help others. Then I remembered a Bible Study that I had picked up a while back. The book is Overcoming Difficulties, A light-hearted look at Joshua by Marilyn Meberg. So, I was thinking I could read through the book and share weekly what I get out of it and then I realized what would help the most is if we could do it together.
    So, what do you the readers of this blog think? Would you want to do a Bible Study on Joshua? I do and I am willing to share my thoughts and prayers with you as we go through the study. I do realize that if we are going to do this that everybody will need time to get the book. So how about we start the study April 1, 2007? That way it gives everybody time to get the book and I will list the information here so that it is easily found.
    If you are going to do this with us, please, leave a comment and let me know! That way it will feel like I might be offering something people are interested in. :)

    52425: Overcoming Difficulties: A Lighthearted Look at JoshuaOvercoming Difficulties: A Lighthearted Look at Joshua

    By Marilyn Meberg / Thomas Nelson

    Women of Faith Conference speaker Marily Meberg is never funnier than when she is talking about the Bible. She is well-versed in Scripture and has devoted her life to the pursuit of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Overcoming Difficulties is a light-hearted Bible study™ on Joshua and how he "stepped out of his comfort zone" and was able to overcome insurmountable odds by putting God before him. Marilyn related Joshua's struggles to life today and finds Biblical answers to questions like: Why aren't my expectations met? Why does God take so long to answer my prayers? I need more patience&#8212how do I get it? 12 lessons include, personal stories from Marilyn's life, a look at what the Bible says, a Q & A section, discussion openers, and a prayer to close each lesson.

    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Your Divine Valentine

    A Valentine may play a love song for you,
    but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe.

    The Lord your God...will rejoice over you with gladness,
    He will keep you quiet with his love, He will rejoice over
    you with singing.
    Zephaniah 3:17

    A Valentine may give you flowers,
    but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus.

    I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
    Song of Solomon 2:1

    A Valentine may take you out to dinner,
    but God has invited you to the most amazing feast ever given.

    Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper
    of the Lamb!
    Revelation 19:9

    A Valentine may bring you chocolate,
    but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.

    How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
    Psalm 119:103

    A Valentine may be far away,
    but God is always with you.

    I am with you always.
    Matthew 28:20

    A Valentine may give you something,
    but God has given you everything.

    God gives us richly all things to enjoy.
    1 Timothy 6:17

    A Valentine may love you for a lifetime,
    but God loved you before you were born and will love you
    for all eternity!

    Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love...
    with loving kindness I have drawn you.
    Jeremiah 31:3

    Author Unknown

    Saturday, February 03, 2007

    All Things Are Possible

    Have you had one of those days where you are so overwhelmed you just don't know how you are gonna make it?

    I had one of those recently. It was last week. AS typical my husband got the girls up and they were getting ready for school and work respectively. The boys were still asleep and for all intensive purposes, so was I. All of a sudden we hear a pop and then we hear water spraying all over the place. Come to find out the pressure valve on the water heater popped. (Let me tell you we are so happy we tiled that room... I could only imagine what would have happened had it not been.) So, we called the gas company because we had the water heater put in September 1 by them and they came out to look at it.

    I had already had a really bad week with other things going on but this was perhaps the straw that broke the camel's back, or so I thought.

    I had to run out before the gas company came out, so my mom was at the house and watching the boys while I was gone. When the gas company guy came out he checked the water heater and it was fine, just the valve went. He then checked our water pressure, it was TOO HIGH. So he told my mom that we were going to have to get a plumber out her to put a water regulator on the house. It should only cost about $300 he said.

    Well, to an already stressful week, when I heard this I was crushed. How in the world were we going to be able to do this? We were hoping the gas in the vehicles would hold out until pay day as is. So on my way home, I cried and I prayed, and I cried some more.

    I also talked to the water department and the guy that I talked to there told me it was a simple thing to do and the regulator itself was only about $40-$50 bucks and then what ever connections you had to get. So, I talked to mom and dad and checked with Jeff and we decided what we would do was see if Jeff(hubby) could put it in and if he could it would save us at least $200. Mom and Dad gave us the money to do it and after a trip to Lowe's it took 20 minutes for him to climb under the house and install it.

    So, even though we didn't know how He was going to do it God provided. The awesom thing is, we knew the regulator would fix the water heater. We did not realize that the water pressure was what blew the one faucet we had already replaced and that it was also the reason both of our toilets were leaking. With the pressure taken care of it has saved us more heartache.

    "What is humanly impossible is possible for God."
    (Luke 18:27 GNB)

    God provides. We just have to learn to seek His will and ask for help.

    God Bless.

    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Blessings Through Sufferings

    By Faith Johnson

    As humans, we all go through sufferings and trials throughout the course of our life. As Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes, there is a season for everything.

    To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)

    As Christians, it is how we handle the trials and sufferings that will mold our faith and determine our blessings.

    Right now, my family is in a season of suffering. It has been going on for a few months now as I write this, and while it would be very easy to be mad and angry with God for allowing it to happen, we realize that He has a plan even if we do not understand it.

    One scripture that has been quoted to us and we have turned to is Romans 8:28 “All things work together for good, for those who love the Lord.” But you know what… when you only quote that part of the verse it makes it sound like things are going to be easy and we don't really need to worry. However, that is not the promise that is given. Look at more of the passage,

    In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will. We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.
    (Romans 8:26-28 GNB)

    When we go through the tribulations that life throws at us, the Holy Spirit will help us. The Spirit will give us strength when we need it we just need to ask. At all times we are to go to the Lord in prayer and especially in times of trial. God knew that we would not necessarily know what to ask for in our times of need and that is why the Spirit will ask for us, if we let it.

    But all who ask the LORD for help will be saved.
    (Joel 2:32a GNB)

    The Spirit, if we allow will pray for us. The Spirit will intercede in our behalf and knows how to pray. It is an awesome thing is that Our Father knows us. So yes, we do not want to admit that we cannot handle things and we want to do it on our own, but God knows better. That is why we are told to cast our cares upon Him.

    In your season of suffering, give it to the Lord. Allow the Spirit to flow through you by staying in the Word of God and praying. If you do not know what to pray, ask the Lord to give you that prayer language so the Spirit can bring your cares and burdens to the Lord. If you feel burdened to pray for others and are not sure how to pray, let the Spirit intercede on your behalf.

    The scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed."
    (Romans 10:11 GNB)

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    New Item to Share

    LOVE ringer T

    The BRAND NEW ParentsForChrist.com Ringer T. This and several other products carry the new image of LOVE in the Parents For Christ Store.

    Love is patient, Love is kind. Love is not jealous, nor does it brag. Love is not proud, or rude, or self-serving. Love is not quick to anger. Love does not hold grudges. Love does not celebrate wrong doings but in truth and justice. Love always trusts, always protects, always hopes, always presses on. Love never fails. For God is love and He has always been and always will be. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Of the attributes there is; Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest of these is Love.

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    Judging Others

    How many times have you seen a mother or a father in the store with a child that is crying and screaming and think to yourself I could never have a child like that! They shouldn't have brought them to the store!

    Or maybe you hear about somebody that you only know in passing being accused of child abuse, but you don't know what happened and you immediately think badly of them?

    How often do you automatically think badly of somebody just because of something you heard or saw that was out of context of their life?

    A dear person that I know is going through trials like this. She was accused of child abuse and it is involved in the courts and it is a big mess. What she is facing is people that have heard about her being charged but have no clue what in actuality happened. In fact, many have no clue that they themselves can be charged with abuse too. It doesn't stop them from talking negatively about her and her family though. Which in turn means that they are sinning.

    "Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands---all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you."
    (Luke 6:37-38 GNB)

    Sisters and brothers, I urge you. When you see somebody being accused or judged, show mercy. There is a difference in somebody who made one mistake and shows remorse versus somebody who repeats the mistake over and over. That parent with their crying child at the store may not have somebody to watch their kids. Or the child may be sick or be troubled. The child could have a sensory issue. Or, the parent told the child no and the child is throwing a tantrum.

    In the even of a parent being accused of child abuse, I am sure there are those that are accused and are outright guilty. But be aware, in many states corporal punishment is illegal. In the state of Tennessee if you leave a mark on a child's bottom you have committed abuse. If you used a paddle or wooden spoon or anything else it is aggravated abuse.

    The problem is that with laws like that there is no room for error. Many parents that do believe in spanking have made the mistake of leaving a bruise on the child's bottom. They only do it once. In my opinion that is not abuse, it's a mistake. But that is also not the point of this article. Even if the person is guilty, they need to know God. They need to see God's love.

    More so, in this case the mother spanked her child too hard and acknowledges that she did just that and is remorseful for it. Her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ should be praying for her and her family, not giving the cold shoulder and icy stares, talking about her to other people.

    Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.
    (Proverbs 16:28 GNB)

    I challenge you. Look around in your community or church. I promise you will find at least one person that others have shunned or cast out. Befriend that person. Show them God's love. Even if they already know God, having somebody there for them that does not condemn them but loves them with Christian love will be the greatest blessing they can receive.

    Let me know how it goes. Can you change a person's life but not judging them but by showing them God's love? I don't mean by proclaiming that they are innocent, I mean by accepting that yes, bad things happened, but Christ still loves them.

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    Happy New Year

    Happy New Year!

    We would like to wish everybody a very happy new year and we pray that you will be blessed beyond measure this year. My heart goes out to those whose lives are in turmoil. Over the last few weeks and even months I have heard of many people that I know go through such awfully tough times. I have had a friend of mine lose her baby when he wasn’t even a week old. Another lost her mother tragically and it has shaken her entire family. I have a couple of friends having marital problems and one going through a very bitter divorce. I am praying for all of these people, because they need it.

    Our families are being attacked. Those of us that are Christians must stand strong and not allow Satan trick us and manipulate us. Jesus Christ himself was tempted by Satan and He won. Jesus has already fought our battles, we just need to instill our faith in Him.

    Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.
    (1 Peter 1:6-7 GNB)

    Our children learn by our example. When we walk by faith and our children see that we trust in the Lord God Almighty, they will be more likely to follow in faith. Even in the hardest of times, the way we react is what people see. It’s similar to the example that our pastor gives on occasion; when you are using a hammer and suddenly get for thumb smashed, what comes out of your mouth? Do you say a curse word or do you praise the Lord anyway.

    Going through daily trials is what makes us stronger. If things were easy all the time, we wouldn’t necessarily see a reason to turn to God. It is like in the book of Job. The overall consensus is that God had blessed Job with a wife, children, much livestock and land; so much so that he didn’t seem to need to worry about God. Then the devil started taking things away, as God allowed him to. Job turned to God. He prayed, he mourned, and even the one time he spoke against God he repented and asked forgiveness. Through all the trials he was put through, he lost his children, his house, his livestock, he had boils, and more, he still trusted God. In the end of the book of Job, Job was blessed two fold. The latter part of his life was blessed even more than the beginning of his life.

    So my prayer for this New Year is that God will bless those that have been in trials and tribulations. I pray that God will bless them beyond measure.

    Faith Johnson