Raw Ramble…

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7-21-13 Finished memorizing the entire book of James today!!! Took us 10 months… It seemed so overwhelming last September!! What a beautiful section of Scripture. I’m so grateful these 5 chapters are now tattooed to my heart!! Father, please continue to convict me through these words – Your Words. I am amazed already at how You have opened my eyes to some Truths I’ve either never thought about or have needed to be challenged with. May the meanings of these verses continue to grow in me and bring me closer to You. Amen

7-19-13 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. (Psalms 51:17 NLT) Yes, Lord, I FEEL my brokenness & I offer it to You. Thank You for holding me together!!

Was flipping through June’s TitW as I was cleaning today & book flipped open to June 17, 2013, featuring Psalm 40. Here’s what I highlighted: “Spiritual patience is the capacity for sustained hope even when life doesn’t seem very hopeful. Notice how the psalmist waits actively on the Lord: he prays, he expects rescue, he hopes for solid ground, and he resists false gods. He also rehearses the beauty of God’s character: that God is faithful, merciful, loving, a help, and a deliverer.” But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who long for Your saving help always say, “The Lord is great!” (Psalm 40:16 NIV)

7-18-13 But you, man of God… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. (1 Timothy 6:11, 12a NIV) Read this in our TitW devotion this morning. Another great passage to memorize for a blessing!!!

This same devotion also led us to Ezekiel 1 & 2
for a wonderful “vision of God”. I especially like 2:4-8. God is giving Ezekiel His calling… love how His instructions are “whether they listen or fail to listen” Lord, You have given me the same instructions You gave to Ezekiel. Strengthen me today to speak Your words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But I am Your child, Lord, and am listening to what You say to me. Help me to not rebel like that rebellious house; open my mouth and I will eat what You give me. Amen

7-17-13 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. (Psalm 19:7-9 NIV) Love this Psalm! Need to create a visual to go with these verses…. Sketched a drawing, in my journal box for “someday”… They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:10, 11 NIV) “they” twice & “them” twice – referring to verses 7-9. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NIV) Beautiful blessing to memorize!

7-16-13 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV) Focusing on the word: DELIGHT. Battling satan a lot this week. Need to memorize this to fight him with: “Get behind me, satan, for it is written WHEN I AM WEAK, CHRIST IS STRONG, AND CHRIST IS RESTING ON ME!” (as understood from vs. 9) Love my SB notes: “God does not intend for us to seek to be weak, passive, or ineffective – life provides enough hindrances and setbacks without us creating them. When those obstacles come, we must depend on God. Only His power will make us effective for Him and will help us to do work that has lasting value.”

7-16-13 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered (Hebrews 5:7, 8 NIV) Wow. Beautiful words!! I, too, come before You, Lord, with prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears… May God hear my outpourings because of my reverent submission, just as Jesus’ were when He walked this earth as a man… As I suffer, teach me obedience, Lord… Show me how to “delight” in the hard things so that Your strength can shine through me. Amen

7-12-13 Rejoicing with God’s angels – In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10 NIV)
PAULIE ACCEPTED JESUS AS HIS SAVIOR YESTERDAY!! Oh Lord, I can’t stop crying. Tears of overwhelming joy just keep flowing… Thank You for allowing us to see this answer to fervent prayer! Use the 3 of us now to be vessels by which You can flow through to reach Michael. I so badly want to witness the same miracle in Michael, that I fear I push him further from You. Can’t help but pray the last verse of my favorite hymn:
“May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.” Amen.

5-25-13 Feels good to get back to journaling – even if it’s in small chunks… So funny – boys dragged me to a movie last night at the cheap theater. Hard for me to go still – hate the thought of using the money on their gift cards for a ticket for “me”. “Me”, who severely dislikes blaringly-loud surround sound and over-the-top action scenes, and would rather be reading/blogging/crafting/cooking/talking/studying/blah blah blah… But, I went. Found it hilarious that my favorite part was from NOT the main feature, but from a snippet on a PREVIEW, lol… And for a Star Trek movie, to boot! Still dislike sci-fi, but this quote from the character of the captain (Jim, I think?) made it worth my $2.50 on the gift card. “I have no idea what I’m supposed to do! I only know what I CAN DO!” Wow. Yep. Sums up the past couple of months for me. I often try so hard to make the right choice, that I freeze in fear. I analyze & ponder & try to pray & wait & spin my wheels because I’m sooo afraid of making a mistake. I know better, though. I KNOW that the Lord DOES NOT give me a spirit of fear, but of POWER & LOVE & SELF-CONTROL. But I still have to almost come to a breaking point before I LET the Lord fill me with His peace. Crazy. So I finally look at myself from that Eternal perspective & can say: “I have no idea what I am supposed to do here, Lord…but I do know what I can do – I can search Your Word for Truth. I can meditate on It day and night. I can put my faith in You, and not “my plan”. And I can move forward knowing that You are with me, and will not forsake me, Lord. EVEN IF or WHEN the mistakes come, this journey called life on this side of Eternity will never be trouble-free. THIS IS TRUTH! So it’s about handling all of it with You – and glorifying You each step of the way. So now I guess I can say I’m thankful I got to see GI Joe with my boys – even though I didn’t like the movie, lol. Lord, forgive the actor who mocked you in prayer, in the first part of the movie. May that line stir the hearts of all who watch it. Use it to convict a multitude of people what it means to honor and revere You. Give me opportunities to speak with others about it, Lord. Use me as a vessel to speak Your Truth, so that this error can be redeemed. May more Believers be vocal for You. Amen.

4-12-13 Today’s VotD that was emailed to us was Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV) Perfect for snapping me out of moodiness today! Praying this verse today, for both myself & Mike. Was also encouraged by the next verse: Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5 NIV) Goes along so perfectly with where I’m memorizing in James 4… Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you… (James 4:7, 8a NIV)

4-3-13 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:1-8 NIV) Mike read this Psalm today & told me about it. Really liked it. Helping me today. Hard day. Lord, strengthen me with the Truth of this Psalm. Refill my soul with Your Hope so that it can flow out of me for others to see. Amen

3-23-13 Woke up to a new post from Marie about the encouragement of singing songs that speak of God’s character, goodness, & love. LOVE hearing that she has been affected by music as Mike & I have. I sooo agree with her: “Singing is more than just music and words; it is actively engaging with the entire being: body, soul and spirit.” Oh, how I have felt this! Probably why I weep as I listen to my “playlist” – the journey of songs I’ve downloaded whose words & melodies have ministered to me in the past & continue to remind me to adjust my focus to things ABOVE. Then I will ever sing in praise of Your name and fulfill my vows day after day. (Psalm 61:8 NIV) He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him. (Psalm 40:3 NIV)
Perhaps this week I will begin my music page on this blog… So fun to find/look for the Scripture that inspired the songwriters’ words & hear the beautiful melodies that give sound to their words.

3-23-13 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. (Psalm 139:5, 6 NIV) I definitely think I just need to memorize this whole Psalm, lol. I’ve now added these highlights to vs. 13-16 & 23-24… A beginning, middle, & end –
Yes, Lord, I will make an effort to make all these words a part of my heart. I will unite with David, and speak his same yearnings… I am overwhelmed with the knowledge that You know EVERYTHING about me – my past, present, & future! And all this You knew before one of my days even came to be… While I may sometimes wish I could know Your whole plan, I realize it would be too lofty for me to attain it. So I thank You for the pieces I now know & the peace that comes with knowing Your whole plan will be far more awesome than anything I could devise… Thank You for being EVERYWHERE – that I cannot hide from Your light – that darkness is as light to You & You help me to see… I, too, love knowing Your thoughts! This Love Story You’ve written & left for us is AMAZING… I wake up each day being excited to study & read Your words – and am so blessed to be able to do this with Mike by my side… Oh, Father, as we learn more & more of Your Truth, we desire to be less a friend of the world. Its ways are hatred toward You, and create enemies of You. May we hate what You hate, but never forget to pray for our enemies – that they may turn to You, before You judge them. Continue to search me, O God. May my motives be pure – based on Your ways, not mine. Thank You for the freedom that comes from Your cleansing! Amen.

3-21-13 Quote from TitW devotion: “Faith is not a matter of prayer so much as it’s a matter of listening to God’s Word.” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17 NIV) “As we grow in knowledge about our Savior, we also grow in faith.” Yes, I feel this! Soooo thankful…

3-19-13 John MacArthur quote about success in Christian walk: “You can’t control the outcome, but you can control the effort.” Yeah. I like this.

3-19-13 A FB post from Christina yesterday, brought a WONDERFUL study of Acts 23:12-26:32. Story of how the Lord used Paul while he was in prison…witnessing while he was there, using the opportunities he was given, allowing his peacemaker attitude to speak/provide evidence that he was truly living out his beliefs. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” (Acts 24:25 NIV) Love how Paul is sharing his faith in Jesus Christ, and that we can sense/feel how uncomfortable Felix was. Quote from my study Bible: “But this is what the gospel is all about – God’s power to change lives. The gospel is not effective until it moves from principles and doctrines into a life-changing dynamic.” YES!!! I can remember feeling uncomfortable before I accepted the Gospel message – got so personal, I felt almost panicked. Was so hard to see myself as “fallen”, when I was so full of pride and arrogance… Then I found it amazing how the Lord is bringing Paul to Rome – as a prisoner-in-chains! Paul knew that the Lord wanted him to go there, & I admire how Paul is ok with it being as a prisoner. SB quote: “To go to Rome as a prisoner was better than not to go there at all.” “The good reputation and clear conscience that result from our walk with God can help us remain guiltless before God and blameless before the world. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20 NIV) This verse makes me think of James 2:24 about “faith & actions working together”. SB quote: “Rather than complain about your present situation, look for ways to use every opportunity to serve God and share Him with others. Your problems may be opportunities in disguise.” LOVE opportunities in disguise!!! At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.” …Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” (Acts 26:24, 28, 29 NIV) Wow – what a fantastic dialogue! I love the “short time or long” part. I can’t help but think that our boys might think v. 24 of us, so I will pray v. 29 for them now! SB quote: “Ask God to give you a burning desire to see others come to Christ – a desire so strong that it overshadows your problems.” Yes, Lord, I pray this today.

3-15-13 Read a beautiful devotion with Mike this morning from Our Daily Bread – “Keep Praying”. Love this quote: “Faith is not demanding what we want; it is trusting God’s goodness in spite of life’s tragedies.” And this poem/jingle by Whitney: “I question not God’s means or ways, Or how He uses time or days, To answer every call or prayer – I know He will, somehow, somewhere.” Then this last quote really strikes me: “God may deny our request but will never disappoint our trust.” Yikes. What a good sentence to test the motivations in my heart…and a wake-up call to test what my faith is in…my request or the Lord. If my faith is in my request, then it could appear as though He has disappointed me if I don’t get what I’m asking. But if my faith is in HIM, that means I am accepting of His sovereign plan, which may mean I don’t get my request… This is hard sometimes… But I do place my trust in You, Lord! Align my prayers with Your will. May I pray for what You want. I know You are using James 4 to convict me more of these Truths, Lord! What a blessing to meditate on them as we tattoo them to our hearts. Amen

3-14-13 I just spent 30 minutes copying inspirational quotes from others as I procrastinated about dealing with our laundry predicament… Struck me as funny as I was complaining to the Lord (very self-righteously), that He inspired me with a quote of my own: “Clarity comes when we simplify…trusting that God will take care of us along the way.” Why do I lean towards making things more complicated than they need to be?? Because I am putting myself in charge instead of yielding to Him! Duh. So easy to see this trend in others, but too often I’m blind to it happening within me. NOT THIS TIME, THOUGH! Perhaps this is the start of a NEW trend for me, I pray it is. Father, keep this lesson close to the surface for me. On those days when I feel overwhelmed because I’ve created so many road blocks that I feel trapped… Remind me I need to consult with You about simplification. There is no perfect route here on earth! And if I keep following satan’s carrot, I will end up paralyzed in fear. And I KNOW THAT YOU DO NOT GIVE ME A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER AND LOVE AND OF SELF-CONTROL (2 Timothy 1:7)This goes for EVERY part of my life: relationships, food choices, health, living-style decisions, and sadly, yes, even in my worship. Too often I vilify “compromising” when I shouldn’t. Sometimes they need to be explored and accepted as an option. Keep me safe from legalism, Lord. Help me not to fall prey to “rules” ruling me. Help me to see them more as “guidelines”, so that common sense is not snatched from my brain. If I can just remember that You are with me with each step, then whichever decision I make will be experienced WITH YOU. So if I fail, or if I succeed, You are still the same! Lessons are good, and I’m grateful for the wisdom that has been gained, but don’t let me believe the lie that once I learn something, I don’t need You anymore. I don’t know it all. I don’t even know a fraction of it! May I be content with knowing that if my motivations are pure, I will be OK with whatever happens, because You are with me. Amen.

Epiphany after struggling with laundry dilemma… (and realizing I’ve been having this same struggle in many categories of my life)

3-10-13 Wow – what an amazing week of revelation! Thank You, Lord, for the opportunities we had this weekend to unite with other Believers in worship! It was exactly what we needed and I pray we can build on these relationships. Thank You for bringing answers to our baptism dilemmas… Bless the ministry of Pastor Sipley, and thank You for introducing us to him. Amen.

Love this idea – how to fight satan the same way Jesus did – with SCRIPTURE! Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. (Matthew 4:10, 11 NIV) I am going to memorize this passage & begin a list of verses which deal with the temptations I struggle with the most. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: (fill in the blank). So funny. I tried using this tactic Saturday night, but I didn’t have a verse in mind to use… So I ended up “filling the blank in” with: “Your Spirit prays for me when I don’t know how to pray – and I WANT WHAT HE WANTS!!” And it worked, lol… What a wonderful way to put to use the Living Words I’m committing to memory. Never even thought about fighting satan “head on” before… List of Scripture references from Pastor Sipley’s message: Romans 12:2, Proverbs 23:7, Galatians 6:7-9, Matthew 4:10-11, Psalm 1, Acts 19:18-20, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Colossians 3:1-4, Philippians 4:8, James 1:20, 2 Timothy 1:7 Other noted comments: we are “free” once we are saved, but not “free” from past experiences – that’s why the filling of the mind is soooo important! Spiritual laws are just as absolute as physical laws. So funny – never realized there was a “book burning” in Ephesus (Acts 19:18-20)! So confirming to know what we felt compelled to do several years ago was actually done by other convicted Believers before our time & it has been noted in Scripture!

So cool that Saturday’s message was about the importance of our “minds”. Went along so perfectly with what Mike & I studied all last week. And especially sermons from Dr. David Jeremiah that I took notes on: “Priority of a Devoted Mind” 3-7-13 and “You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are” 3-6-13. Notes following:

Dr. David Jeremiah “You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are” 3-6-13, sermon notes:
1 Peter 1:13 the power of a disciplined mind
2 Corinthians 10:5 take every thought captive
FOCUS OUR MINDS – BE PROACTIVE OF USE OF MIND
Don’t be discouraged at enormity of that task, be motivated to say as much as it’s possible for me, that I’m going to have a controlling interest in what crosses my mind.
Colossians 3:2 priority of a determined mind
Set mind on things above, not earthly
Can be saved, but if don’t take initiative, you can be a Christian with a secular mind that sees everything as the world sees it, even though Jesus Christ is living in your heart.
Philippians 4:8 priority of a discerning mind
After praying, get involved in what you allow to happen in your mind.
“Best way to get rid of bad thoughts is to replace them with good thoughts.”
Romans 12:2 priority of a developing mind
*Renewing our minds* *growth of Godliness*
Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3:16
**not an obligation (to read the Bible) – a privilege and opportunity to fill our minds with God’s Truth, that no matter what happens, you have the mind of Christ – devoted mind to God, & are ready to face whatever happens**

Dr. David Jeremiah “Priority of a Devoted Mind” (part 1) 3-7-13, sermon notes:
Matthew 22:37 *mind* Deuteronomy 6:5 ‘strength’ changed to ‘mind’ when Jesus spoke these words
“…a Christian mind thinks the thoughts of God.”
FEED ON HIS WORD
Psalm 119:97-100
Action words regarding the word of God found in Psalm 119: walk in it, keep it, seek it, look into it, learn it, take heed to it, hide it in your heart, rejoice in it, meditate on it, contemplate it, don’t forget it, strengthen yourself according to it, get the understanding of it, incline your heart to it, be revived in it, remember it, be taught from it, consider it, direct your steps according to it, and get understanding from it [WOW. Love this list! Sometime I want to write down the reference for the specific verse that goes with each action word!]
*FEED ON THE WORD OF GOD**
Cannot have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures
(Bible is) a love letter from God
FIND GOD’S WISDOM
Proverbs 3:13; 8:11; 16:16
Difference between knowledge & wisdom?
Wisdom is knowledge using its head! (doing the right thing without a precedent)
“…ability to take the Word of God & apply it to the situations in life that you face.”
“In a willing mind, wisdom enables you to hear with God’s ears & to see with God’s eyes.”
“Wisdom is inspired depth perception into people & situations.”
2 Timothy 2:7 REFLECTION THINKING
James 1:5

3-6-13 Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” (John 7:37b-38 NIV 1984) Cross referenced back to Isaiah 55:1. Makes me think of Ode 12 on the 2nd “The Odes Project” album: “Flow through me”. Beautiful analogy.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters… We should not commit sexual immorality…We should not test Christ… And do not grumble… These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. (1 Corinthians 10:6-11 NIV) Further confirmation for me of how the Old Testament completes the whole Bible. So important to study our past’s mistakes… He gives us this info to study, learn, grow, and hopefully NOT repeat the same mistakes! Help me to remember these 4 things NOT to do…

3-6-13 Journal from 3-4: Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11 NIV) May this always be me Lord – always be me!

Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you [religious leaders] do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:47 NIV) I do hear You! PRAISE THE LORD! I’m so grateful I belong to You. Amen

3-2-13 Just listened to a great podcast of Chris Fabry Live from 2-19-13. Mike had heard a part of it when he was in the car & said he liked what he heard. I downloaded it the other day and my first chance to listen was today in the kitchen. Chris plays about 30 minutes of a sermon by Britt Merrick. Beautiful. (Did this sermon while his 8 year old daughter was dying of cancer.) My “takeaway”: Don’t fear things/circumstances, FEAR GOD. Don’t ask, “Why?” It is sufficient that He is with us. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God! I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV 1984) Sometime I would like to hear his entire sermon…

3-1-13 Read Colossians 2:16-23 this morning in TitW devotion. Wow. I fell asleep last night reading about this SAME TRUTH! It’s so much easier to draw up boundaries or rules, and then think “I am safe to go on autopilot now – I can turn my brain off & DO ‘whatever’ because I’m showing the world I’m ‘religious’.” I see this all around me – in churches, in organizations, and even in the homeschooling community… Places I tend to blindly follow because they “appear” to be “good”… How thankful I am for this craving of Your Words, Lord! They are SO powerful and convicting. May I stop drifting toward that “easy” path…a life full of rules and appearances… I know they are all DESTINED TO PERISH with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, BUT THEY LACK ANY VALUE IN RESTRAINING SENSUAL INDULGENCE. (Colossians 2:22-23, all CAPS mine) Yikes – how easy it is to fall into the traps of the deceiver when my focus moves from God to man! As for me, I am CHOOSING the life of a Berean – a life of CONTINUAL comparison of man’s words with the study of Scripture – a life of practicing thanksgiving, even in the “hard things” – a life overflowing with Living Water because I know Your Spirit is in me – a life of only ONE IDOL: Jesus Christ. Father, continue to make me aware of false teachers…may I be grateful for these revelations, not embarrassed because I was “almost deceived”…and may I be bold to expose heresy – in a way that is loving, but truthful – so that You can be glorified. Amen

Random fun word thoughts: discipline without discipleship is disastrous, religion without relationship is ridiculous, walking without worshipping is wandering…

I love the word “repent”. I don’t remember hearing it much in the churches I grew up in. I remember hearing “confession” a lot, but it was different. I feel like I was able to “confess” things without “repenting”…? Isn’t that a big deal? I’m thinking now that it is. I feel like that’s my “a-ha moment”… When I truly accepted Jesus as my Savior, I could finally admit my prior “confessions” were just lip service… With understanding “repentance”, the Lord was able to open my eyes to my sin & wretchedness, and see my NEED for Him. And because of this, I TRULY wanted to NOT continue to do all those things I used to just confess with my mouth… Now that I’m reborn, I can practice confessing in my repentance! I pray that Mike & I can help our boys to recognize how these words are both different, and yet inclusive.

2-27-13 Journal from 2-23: Found great comfort in Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we DO NOT have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who HAS BEEN TEMPTED IN EVERY WAY, just as we are–YET WAS WITHOUT SIN. Let us then approach the throne of grace with CONFIDENCE, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV84) (all CAPS, mine) It’s so easy for me to forget that Jesus was fully man, while still being God… That He FELT the temptation of sin… That though He felt it, HE DID NOT GIVE IN TO IT! Father, help me to live each moment with this confidence! YOU are my role model. YOU are who I should look to for comfort. YOU are who I should be trying to please. Today I want to live out this Truth. Keep reminding me that …the One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4 NIV84) And when today is over, may my mind dwell on this while I sleep, so that I can wake up EACH DAY with renewed Hope. Amen.

2-15-13 How appropriate that the Lord drew me into quite an in-depth study of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a yesterday. Love – What it is, and what it is not. What a wonderful day of revelations and worship – made it extra crushing to end the day, though, with upsetting someone… But I do think it helped that the passage was so fresh in my mind… Struggling with letting the Lord to speak through me. Hate that my first instinct is that urge to push my agenda in my timing. Ug. I’m sure this is also why the Lord has us memorizing the book of James as a family, too. Sooooo convicting in Chapter 3 right now – about the evilness of the tongue. While it is comforting to know that NO MAN can tame the tongue, it is still frustrating that I will never “have it down”… I know this is all a part of my sanctification process, so I cry out today for endurance and encouragement… Lord, motivate me to not give up in hard situations – especially with my own family. Forgive me for allowing prideful & self-righteous thoughts to linger in my heart. Fill me with the confidence that You ARE in me, so I need not be fearful of speaking AS LONG AS I YIELD MYSELF TO YOU. Help me to feel this truth as I walk today. Show me how to explain things in a way that lovingly shows “our side” without condemning the “other side”. May Your words be my words. Amen.

2-12-13 Studied John 1:35-42 today in ODB devotion. Struck by Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”… (in John 1:38 NIV84) Thought about “my answer” to Jesus’ question, and how it’s changed from what it used to be. I had this grocery list of “things” I wanted. Crazy how the Lord is proving to me every day that it’s not the “stuff”, but it’s the “following Him” part… He often USES the “stuff” to show me something, but it’s the FOLLOWING PART where the answers are. Funny though, even writing this, my “grocery list” comes up – salvation for so many, healing for so many, hope for so many… It’s like I have to physically crumble that list up so that I can focus on FOLLOWING HIM. Not forgetting my list, but being confident in knowing that when I follow Him, He takes my burdens, and I am content with His timing & the method He uses to accomplish His will. Lord, may I be ready to be used by You. Prepare me for today. May I not forget that TO FOLLOW YOU should be my first answer to Your question, “What do you want?” Don’t let my prayer lists come before following You. Amen.

2-12-13 Read Psalm 90:7-17 yesterday & found some notes I had written from a previous reading… I think I will memorize Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalms 90:12, 17 NIV84) Adding this to “blessing prayers”, joining Romans 15:13 so far…

2-10-13 Loved Marie’s post from yesterday. Favorite quotes from it:

“…but when the Word of God collides with the Spirit of God in a person, it becomes a powerful, transforming truth.”

“Anxiety ages us and wears on us physically; the abiding peace of Christ is a great cosmetic!”

“The enemy of our souls would love to render us impotent, to keep us so bound up in fear and anxiety and worry that we are useless for the Kingdom.”

“It’s not enough to memorize the words; you (and I) by faith must allow Him to make them a living truth in our lives.”

2-8-13 Day 4 of Mike working a temp job for a month or so. Praying for all the families who experience one or both parents working away from the homefront today. So difficult to deepen relationships when there’s only a small window in the evening to be together…a “competition” for attention innocently shows up. So interesting that while we are feeling this happening to our family, in school we are studying about the “the world of factories” in England during the early 19th century which then spread over here to the United States. Quote from “The Story of the World – Volume 3” p.290: “Today, most people ‘go to work.’ But back at the beginning of the nineteenth century, ‘going to work’ was a brand new idea. Families had always worked together in their homes. Now, they were leaving their homes to go somewhere else in order to make a living.” Fascinating to see the blessing and the curse of modern day inventions, and how it, through either job creation or job extinction can affect “the family”. Father, thank You for illustrating just a tiny part of this lesson for us. I am SO THANKFUL for the time the four of us have together as we farm/walk together. But I’m also grateful You are providing opportunities for us, so that our monetary commitments are paid each month. Sometimes it’s gifts, sometimes it’s customer payments, and sometimes it’s an extra job for a season…all of these avenues are acknowledged and appreciated! I humbly ask for perseverance during this season of separation. May each of us rise up, by using Your strength to continue. Give us a heart of compassion for all the families who experience this on a regular basis. May we never forget this lesson once our debt has been conquered… Use us, Lord, to bring hope to families. Show us how to teach them to simplify their lives so that they can find ways to walk together more. Help us to find and maintain that balance of embracing technology without compromising work ethics and the obligations of being Spiritual leaders to future generations. May a new “old” movement come back – that families be built on You as the foundation. Yes, Lord, I pray for a revival… Amen.

2-8-13 Amazing devotions this morning! Led to Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep Your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. (Psalms 19:12, 13 NIV84) Sometimes my mind will try to make me paranoid – that I’m probably sinning unconsciously – and I feel moments of panic…finding passages like this one are great crutches for me – reminders of His Truth – not satan’s lies to bring me down! Thank You, Lord! Quote from my SB: “Guilt can play an important role in bringing us to Christ and in keeping us behaving properly, but it should not cripple us or make us fearful. GOD FULLY AND COMPLETELY FORGIVES US – EVEN FOR THOSE SINS WE DO UNKNOWINGLY.” (ALL CAPS, mine.)

Then I was led to [Jesus said] Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV84) This is such a wonderful passage to explain the difference between “worldly peace” and the “peace of Christ”. SB defines worldly peace as absence of conflict and Christ’s peace as assurance in any circumstance. Yes!!

And lastly, led to Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Psalms 116:15 NIV84) from Our Daily Bread devotion. WOW – I need to remember this for comfort when I lose someone I love or for someone else who loses a Believer. May it be a comfort for those who love me after I leave for Heaven! Love this quote: “A sunset in one land is a sunrise in another.”

1-29-13 Praying this verse today… Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:5, 6 NIV84)

1-29-13 Read story of “messed-up Judah” yesterday in TitW devotion. Gosh, this makes our culture’s drama pale in comparison. My heart aches for Judah as I read his story – I can so relate to the consequences of bad decisions and how they can snowball for sooo long… It’s difficult to read/hear of others’ rough spots, too… I’ve been on both sides, and am so grateful that God pulled me up from that “pit”. Love this prayer at the end: “that God will use that pain to remind us that we need the Lord, just as He did with Judah”.

1-29-13 Read Ruth 2 in yesterday’s Anchor devotion. Such a touching story. I’ve always liked reading it. Boaz was so kind – May this story replace all the drama romance that I used to be drawn to… Love this quote: “Ruth was not jumping through hoops to win favor with God and man. She did what she needed to do each day in the place and at the time God chose for her.” Help me to be more like Ruth today, Lord. Amen
…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5b NIV84)

1-27-13 Love this quote that was in my TitW devotion – from Mr. Beaver in The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. “When asked if Aslan is safe, he responded, ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.’ If we want God to transform us, we must realize that He may operate with a different agenda than we had in mind.” I do join with this devotion in thanking God for not being “safe”, and for His passion to know Him more fully…

1-26-13 Wow – great post from Marie at A Miniature Clay Pot blog. Today was the first post of her ebook, and I look forward to reading more of her journey. “… I finally learned that the best way to parent is to let Christ transform me and then let Him love my children through me.” Beautiful Truth in these words. Father, strengthen this sister in Christ with whatever it is she needs as she re-lives some very painful memories. Keep her focused on where You are in each memory, so she can make the biggest impact on Your Kingdom through the sharing of her journey. Amen.

1-26-13 Led here from Anchor devotion this morning. Commit your way to the Lord ; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. (Psalms 37:5, 6 NIV84) I really like the word “commit” here. Not a fleeting moment, but like COMMIT – a continual, purposeful act of showering myself with Him by immersing myself in His Words & LETTING HIM WORK THROUGH ME… I know He’s stronger than me & I couldn’t stop Him from doing anything He wants, but the journey is soooo much more fulfilling when I don’t fight Him. Then MORE PEOPLE can be affected by what He’s doing in my life. AMAZING. Even more awestruck at how He makes evident “the justice of His cause” by the end of the journey. HIMSELF GLORIFIED IN ALL THINGS SO THAT MORE OF HIS CHILDREN WILL BE RE-BORN INTO HIS FAMILY.

1-24-13 Finally recording journal entries from Christmas week 2012:

Part of the fun of homemade gifts for me is in the actual presentation – a conversation about our process… That didn’t happen. Too brain dead. (More details in Christmas 2012 post.) This is where I began to see a bit of spiritual warfare entering into our festivities… A good way for the devil to get a foothold on me – taking advantage of me in my weakness! Read a fantastic devotion that was a huge help – led me to Deuteronomy 16:14a – advice God revealed through Moses to His people: BE JOYFUL at your Feast… (all caps, mine) Wow – this was so powerful to me! A prayer I wrote that day: As I reflect on the past few days, I am almost laughing as I can see a glimmer of “why” things have happened the way they have – what a great way for us to be “exposed” – do we REALLY “practice what we preach”? Oh Lord, I pray that though my physical body appeared deflated, my spirit revealed that we were leaning on You for our strength. I LOVE this command in Deuteronomy – BE JOYFUL… Fill me with the words to reveal this in my walk the rest of the week, Lord – that MY JOY IS DEPENDENT ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU! Amen.

Regarding week of post Christmas sicknesses…
To afflict Mike’s muscles for several days is the perfect opportunity to test Mike’s perseverance – especially when so much of what he does is “physical” like moving wood, feeding hay bales, and shoveling snow, just to name a few… And for Michael and I, it was about being able to show compassion and love for BIG SPAN OF TIME, lol… I’m so thankful I didn’t even get a sniffle – PRAISE THE LORD!

1-22-13 Love these quotes from Ann Voskamp’s post: 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Begin Your 2nd Term of Life…

“You’ve only accepted Christ as your Lord without reservation — as much as you have accepted your life as a gift without regret.”

“So she made the bed and and she made his favorite omelet and service isn’t about being a doormat but about being a door for joy to walk through.”

These really spoke to me today… Beautiful words. Lord, keep reminding me to embrace the “hard stuff” & that it is all a gift I don’t deserve… Not that bad stuff is necessarily good, but that You can redeem all circumstances to work for the good of Your kingdom!

1-19-13 From Anchor devotional, was led to
2 Chronicles 20:1-22
. After hearing of an attack to come upon Jehoshaphat, he resolved to inquire of the Lord and he proclaimed a fast for all of Judah. (v. 3)
This passage also contains Jehoshaphat’s prayer as he stood up in the assembly of Judah & Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord. I especially love the ending of his prayer …We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12b NIV84) I will pray this, now, as well!

Also like the 5 ingredients to his prayer that my study bible points out:
1 – COMMITTED SITUATION TO GOD, acknowledging only God could save nation
2- SOUGHT GOD’S FAVOR b/c his people were God’s people
3 – ACKNOWLEDGED GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY over current situation
4 – PRAISED GOD’S GLORY & took comfort in His promises
5 – PROFESSED COMPLETE DEPENDENCE ON GOD, not himself, for deliverance
[ALL CAPS are mine because they are highlighted in my notes]

1-17-13 Studied John 15:9-17 yesterday in our Anchor devotional. It pointed out so many things that Mike & I have been struggling with/praying about. To boil it down to one word, it would be “relationships”. From within the four of us, to outside of this house, the Lord is continuing to reveal to us how important it is we continually work on growing RELATIONSHIPS with each other/others. This is harder for Mike, than I. I naturally gravitate this direction, he hesitates… I KNOW this is why the Lord has placed us together!! When I read I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:11, 12 NIV84), the first thing I thought of was relationships… Jesus is talking here – telling Believers that the reason He’s telling us this, is for a “joy transfer”… To whom shall we “transfer His joy to” if we are not in relationships? I also liked how Jesus calls Believers His “friends” instead of “servants”: You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:14, 15 NIV84) Goes right along with our book of James memorizing… Lately, I have been praying: And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. (James 2:23 NIV84) for myself. I, too, believe God, and as I practice walking in obedience to His ways, it is awesome to realize that my Savior is also my friend. I also liked You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16 NIV84). Wonder why I lean toward calling myself a servant instead of a “friend of the Master”? Lord, help me to alter my perception of our relationship – I DO know Your business – continue to reveal to me the knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom & understanding – the studying of Your living Word. May the fruit that You grow from the seeds I have planted LAST for generations. I AM YOUR FRIEND!

1-16-13 Read Genesis 6:5-8:19 in TitW devotion the other day. Was particularly taken with a part of 7:9… [the animals] CAME TO Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. (Genesis 7:9 NIV84) {all CAPS, my addition} I know that every time I’ve read the account of Noah in the past, my brain has gone to the “practicality” of HOW he actually GOT the animals on the ark… Just seemed sooo unbelievable to me. But this time, as I read this, it seemed so much more clear to me. Noah’s part in this endeavor was living in obedience to God – which meant BUILDING THE ARK. No matter how ludicrous it looked from his perspective (or from the world’s perspective around him), his focus was to be on fulfilling what God was asking him to do. When it came time to fill the ark, GOD BROUGHT THE ANIMALS TO NOAH!!! Wow. That type of scenario can be such a trap for me… If I look ahead, I often become overwhelmed at “how in the world” something will work out. But, when I keep my focus on what’s right in front of me, and work at it with all my heart FOR THE LORD, somehow the Lord always completes what I couldn’t foresee. Beautiful! Also like this sentence from my Study Bible: “We worry about details over which we have no control, while neglecting specific areas (such as attitudes, relationships, responsibilities) that ARE under our control.” Thank You, Lord, for these encouraging words! I pray that I can practice the same obedience that Noah did EVERY SINGLE DAY. Amen.

1-14-13 Read this in TitW devotion, yesterday: And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of Us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. (Genesis 3:22, 23 NIV84). I don’t know if it’s because when I grew up this story was always told in a way that made me think it was just “a story”, but now that I’ve been saved & I read this Book from the perspective of It being literal, I can’t say enough about how these Words affect me! I used to wish we could have stayed in Eden, but now I realize that if we were allowed to “take from the tree of life and eat, and live forever”, we would be spending eternal life in a state of sin and that would mean that we would be forever trying to hide from God! How cool that in God’s wrath, He is still merciful… We need to be able to “die”, which means, He was merciful to us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, by booting us out of Eden so that His Plan of redemption through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, can save us! Truly amazing, and so thankful for this revealed Truth…

1-11-13 Love these quotes from Ann Voskamp’s post today… A post she wrote to her son a year ago…

{regarding Ann’s husband to their son} “He’s made his life about showing you what real leadership is: not climbing higher towards power and status, but bending down in prayer and service.” I pray this same thought for Mike with our boys…

“The Bible’s true, son. Every infallible, sword-sharp, breathing word of it. Don’t let anyone ever rationalize one beautiful iota of it away. Love it because it’s your Life.”

“And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony.”

“This is what you always need to know: You have nothing to prove to anyone – if you’re in Him, you are already approved.”

“Be okay with not being liked: life’s about altars not applause. And be okay with not being seen or heard. It’ll let you hear and see better.”

And I pray these beautiful words for our boys, as well. Thank You, Lord, for the privilege of reading Ann’s thoughts… Amen.

12-22-12 Noted this on 12-18: And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. (Luke 1:46-48a NIV84) Love this prayer of thanksgiving! My study Bible says, “Pride is refusing to accept God’s gifts or taking credit for what God has done; humility is accepting the gifts and using them to praise and serve God.” Love this! Oh, may this be me, Lord!

12-22-12 Found this card dated 6-12-12. Just wanted to enter it in – future passage for memorization. Really like this passage: And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:11-14 NIV84) Was struck by two of the words: “dissension” (stubborn disagreements) and “jealousy”, and then the last words DO NOT THINK ABOUT HOW TO GRATIFY THE DESIRES OF SINFUL NATURE… Powerful. What a great example of how The Lord is telling me that my attitudes are as important as my actions.

12-22-12 Was led to some verses in Jeremiah a week ago which has grown into a pretty neat study. Finally have a minute to ramble about it… “Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts and on the horns of their altars. (Jeremiah 17:1 NIV84) So, OLD COVENANT = His Law is engraved/written on tablets… The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:9, 10 NIV84) So, we sin because our hearts “have been inclined toward sin from the time we were born”. (from my study Bible) “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord . “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV84) And now we hear about the NEW COVENANT= GOD WRITES HIS LAW ON MY HEART!!!! So beautiful. Love finding His Words that explain how I feel. JESUS (new covenant) = REBIRTH in me. In my lost days, sin was engraved on my heart, so I wanted to disobey, but now that I’m saved, His Holy Spirit builds into me the desire to obey Him. I FEEL THIS EVERYDAY!! I’m sure this is why I can no longer enjoy watching movies I thought were great before I was saved… Can soooo tell I was living in darkness. Must do a blog post about this some time…

So after studying the above passages for a few days, I was led to Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5, 6 NIV84) Can’t believe how much more sense this passage makes now, after studying Jeremiah! “The Law makes people realize their sin, but it cannot give life…eternal life comes from the Spirit!!” (from my study Bible)

And then, this morning’s Anchor devotion had me read Hebrews 10. The whole chapter is fantastic – was really struck by The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First He says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then He adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 10:15-18 NIV84) What a wonderful series of passages this study has evolved into. Thank You, Lord.

12-13-12 Ug. Major mess-up revealed yesterday. MY MESS-UP. I mailed two boxes of gifts to AZ several weeks ago, only to get them returned yesterday because I used the wrong address. If I would have JUST put more effort in THINKING, I could have caught this error – I KNEW BETTER!!! Why did I even still have that old address in my contact list?? I was so focused on finally getting these mailed out, that I just didn’t take the time to check my work…and how often do I get upset with the boys for not doing that in school??

Then, I had to PAY, to receive one of the boxes back. Ouch. So, now, as we count every penny to meet our obligations this month, right in front of me is this epic failure of being irresponsible with the Lord’s money. Again. 😦

It was a struggle not to be a cranky, bitter person yesterday. Funny, I don’t feel like I’m having pride issues – I’m totally cool with owning up to my screwups – unfortunately, I do that a lot… It’s more the picture of my “not being faithful with what I’ve been given”, issue… I’ve spent $45 in postage now for a gift that still hasn’t arrived to the recipient. It’ll cost another $30 to send again. 😦

Really had to walk in prayer – what a fight to not be bitter & cranky at myself. I know: my heart was in the right place… It was a mistake… A valuable, learning lesson… I have repented for my mess and He has forgiven me, but I really struggled with forgiving myself…

Wonder if that is why The Lord had my sons so close to me yesterday? Seriously, they were like RIGHT NEXT TO ME all day!!! They knew the story. They heard my mistake. AND THEY WERE WATCHING ME. “Need to model how to handle this mistake – cannot let this circumstance steal my joy…” Said/prayed this as I walked…

And I was moved to tears by late afternoon when one son gave me money from his own box to help me “fix” it. Such kindness, compassion, and love I’ve been blessed to see! I didn’t take it, though… Still praying about that… Not sure if that’s right… But such a beautiful offering… Lord, I thought this AZ gift scenario was a done deal, and now it is back here, staring me in the face. I know You wanted me to grow more from this experience, and so I’m here and ready. You know my heart. You know what’s best for me. Keep me on the path of obedience. Let me continue to see You in this and what You want me to do. Thank You for this family. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for forgiveness. Thank You for GRACE. AMEN

12-13-12 Like this quote from Ann Voskamp’s blog she posted from her archives yesterday featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls:

“If profanity is this daily failure to see the inner mystery of the world – than Advent is about awakening again to the inner miracle: God with us.

That’s what Advent annually does: Advent scrubs away the profanities — the foul language we speak when we fail to see the holy of here.”

12-8-12 Wanted to jot down my notes from “The Family Blessing” book I rambled about on 12-6. Love this Scripture under “Blessings for obedience” You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. (Deuteronomy 28:3-6 NIV84) This is a beautiful marriage prayer: Blessed are all who fear the Lord , who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord . May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel. (Psalms 128:1-6 NIV84) Here’s a wonderful prayer for victory in battle: May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. (Psalms 20:1, 2, 4, 5 NIV84) Author shares a wonderful analogy (from a guy by the name of Zig Ziglar) of the Chinese bamboo tree. Apparently once the seed has been planted it lies “dormant” for 5 years, and then grows 65 feet in one year! Talks about how that is similar to how we (as parents) plant “seeds” about Jesus in our children – how we much be diligent in continuing to nurture those seeds by remaining obedient in our walk with The Lord – IRREGARDLESS of the fact we may not see the “fruit” of a changed heart yet… YET being the key… Need to get out of the way here & place faith in God’s timing, not ours… Yes, yes – seem to be learning this over & over… Love this passage reminding me that God will meet all my needs: And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NIV84)
And this one, too: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalms 37:4 NIV84) And then this one about protection: For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; (Psalms 91:11 NIV84) and of course, MUST restate this one again: For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalms 84:11 NIV84) I’m so encouraged the continue memorizing Scripture after reading this book – never thought about using these passages to “bless” others… I feel particularly drawn to May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV84) I think I will claim this one as “mine”, lol!

12-8-12 Love this quote from the emailed devotion we just got this morning from Truth For Life (Alistair Begg’s ministry): “You will never arrive at a place in your spiritual affairs in which Jesus Christ will not be equal to the emergency, for your history has all been foreknown and provided for in Jesus.” Led me to
Your people settled in it, and from Your bounty, O God, You provided for the poor. (Psalms 68:10 NIV84)
Very nice – really liked the entire Psalm and especially verses 3, 9, and 19…

12-6-12 Honored that Michael just asked me to pray for him… We did, together. Praying for strength for him during a confrontation that will be difficult… So glad that Mike will be alongside him…

12-6-12 Read For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. (Psalms 84:11 NIV84) this morning in “The Family Blessing”. I was really drawn to the latter part “…no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless”. NO GOOD THING DOES HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS. NO GOOD THING DOES HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS. NO GOOD THING DOES HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS. Writing this down to memorize now. Sooo encouraging!! Thought it was cool that when I read Ann Voscamp’s post this morning (from yesterday), it notes THE SAME VERSE!!

“And the good things in life are not health but holiness, not the riches of this world but relationship with God, not our plans but His presence — and He withholds no good thing from us because good things aren’t ever things.” Ann Voskamp

Yet another communication from The Lord directly to my heart… Thank You, Lord!

12-6-12 Reading “The Family Blessing” by Rolf Garborg now… Funny how I was led to it. “Accidentally” downloaded a Chris Fabry (11-23) show while I sat in a “free wifi zone” 11-26 with Paul. This new phone continues to plague me with unexpected results as I innocently try to learn how it works. I don’t like to download “unknowns” – if I hear something I like, I prefer to find it and download it – on purpose. I almost deleted it b/c I was irritated, but didn’t. That night I decided to listen to the program while I ironed, and it turned out to be a blessing about blessings, lol! I shared it with Mike & it spoke to him as well. Thus has begun our new practice of blessing the boys each morning by saying/praying “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ’ (Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV) to each while laying our hands on them. Took me at least 5 days to be able to do it without crying. (Made the boys laugh…) Such a beautiful exercise! We also love the Fernando Ortega song “Aaron’s Blessing” – which puts this Scripture to music. Did a “search Ohio” with the library and picked up Mr. Garborg’s book last night. Already have an index card full of Scripture to note – perhaps I’ll get some rambled later today.

11-26-12 I like how Vance Havner talked about the Bible being “double barreled” in regards to a combination of positive thinking and negative thinking. For example, we are told to “put on Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14 first part of verse, before comma) = positive thinking; and then we are told to “make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14 after the comma). Here’s the verse as it reads in my Bible: Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:14 NIV84)

11-25-12 Heard this quote by George Truett in one of Vance Havner’s sermons: “Success is finding out the will of God and doing it as best you can.” What a blessing these sermons have been! Some time I should research George Truett’s sermons as well…

11-25-12 Woke up yesterday, catching these verses being read on my radio as the alarm turned it on… So beautiful. Goes right along with my “Thankful for seeds…” post that I had posted the night before. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NIV84) I just love waking up this way!!

11-20-12 Was led to: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8, 9 NIV84) last week & it is still comforting me today. Still fighting bitterness & creating spiteful conversations in my mind as I walk today. HATE THIS!!!! Going to see if I can allow music to snap me back up now… Break through my stubbornness, Lord…

11-20-12 Struggling today. 😦 Trying so hard to live out this passage: My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (James 1:19, 20 NIV84) How can I be “quick to listen” when there is no conversation?? And how do I stop the cycle of this continuing within my family? I have created this situation, so how do I fix it? If I hadn’t been so quick to speak & become angry in the past, perhaps my 3 boys would be more open to communicating? I know this is true – they’ve told me before! Ug. Why do I focus so much on how I THINK others need to change instead of ME changes?? Lord, I’m feeling overwhelmed, irritable, defeated, hurt, and angry. Please reveal to me how to live out James 1:19-20. Show me how to be a better listener. Teach me how to know the correct time to wait before speaking & may the words that come out be from You, not my selfish-condemning-nature that seems to be right on the surface. And PLEASE help me to stop allowing anger to brew in me – I become so transparent & and cannot hide it – I know my family can see it, and that this is why this cycle continues… I know this is hurting my witness… Deliver me, Lord, from this sin- this horrible habit… I want to be the type of listener who encourages people to become who You want them to be, not who Dawn Roberts thinks they should be. AMEN SEVERAL HOURS LATER… So funny now as I reread this – look at how many times I say “I”!!!! Obviously, that is my problem. Too much me, not enough Jesus. Ok, Lord, I’m beginning to hear You…

11-12-12 Heard and downloaded a great “In The Market With Janet Parshall” last week Wednesday. Wrote down the verses that go right along with my raw ramble from 11-7! Lamentations 3:27, Proverbs 19:21, Deuteronomy 32:39, Psalm 33:10-11, Romans 11:33-34, Isaiah 55:9, Daniel 4:35

11-9-12 Downloaded a Focus On The Family program I heard earlier this week & played a testimony from it for our family this morning during devotions. (Starts at 16:42) I can’t listen to it without crying. So beautiful. I absolutely LOVE how the man passing out the boxes told the girl it was from JESUS. How often do I/we/the church want recognition for “being charitable”? Father, help me to be content with functioning as Your Hands and Feet. May I be quicker to glorify You in every situation, not pat myself on the back. Keep sending me inspirations through my readings and the programs I listen to so that I can share them with others. Strengthen us, Lord, to walk through the open doors You put before us. AMEN

11-9-12 PRAISE THE LORD – The first chapter of James is now tattooed on my heart! I don’t think I have ever been so convicted from any other passage I’ve memorized… Has been a joy to look over at my long line of index cards & practice the verses while washing dishes. Sure made the time pass quicker…

Has been a struggle to practice w/ boys when we are walking along, though. They don’t seem to like doing “school stuff” when we aren’t “doing school”. Father, help me to break down these walls of learning. Show me how to teach what is before me in a way that is real and besides it being instructional, that it can also serve a function in our daily walks. Help me to model this, and convict my sons through the Truth they are memorizing as well. Transfer these words from head knowledge to heart knowledge, Lord. Grant Mike and I patience and endurance as we inspect the “fruit” from the boys. Replace our frustrations and impatience with Your Peace. AMEN

11-7-12 Woke up this morning & learned Pastor Bob Jennings passed away. I find it so amazing the timing of his death… He suffered for so long, yet The Lord didn’t take him until the day most awoke looking to see who our new president is. I’ve been reading & hearing so many voices that are distraught this morning… Oh Lord, help me to be able to explain why I have hope without seeming to be uncaring of those who are hurting. I just love this quote from Bob Jennings’ blog this morning: [“The most important thing in life is to be ready for death. So ready to die that when it comes time to die all you have to do is die. There is a here and hereafter & either in heaven with Christ or banished in hell.” – Bob Jennings (Preached at a Funeral in 2008)] Love these words! They explain how I feel about the results of this election… Apparently The Lord knows that this outcome is the best avenue for His Church to rise up and tell more lost souls about Jesus. Equip me, Lord, with what I need to fulfill Your Will in my walk. Read a great article from Dr. Al Mohler yesterday. Read and talked about it w/ the boys yesterday in school as we discussed the election and how The Lord led us to vote. Such a great read!

10-28-12 found this quote on a scrap of paper – have no idea who said it, but I know I heard it on WCRF – “Maturity comes not from ‘wrestling’, but from ‘resting’in HIM.” (referring to story of Jacob wrestling with The Lord…)

10-26-12 Ahhh – I finally feel some freedom today… After weeks of allowing the devil to work thru my fear of this new iphone, I’m FINALLY learning how to truly empty myself to The Lord and rest in Him. I wish I wasn’t so stubborn & prideful – hate that I allow “change” to make me bitter & irritable. Slowly learning how to monitor data usage on this family plan & more importantly, learning ways to be efficient w/ data usage in our 3G location. So hard not to be covetous of WIFI “people”. Since our family plan has unused data to use up before the 28th, I might as well use some up, lol! Unfortunately, since I was afraid to journal here “live”for awhile, I have scattered notes everywhere AGAIN… Lord, help me to not be discouraged! May I be content that You will lead me to which note will be entered first, and that it will be in Your perfect timing that it be done. Amen

10-9-12 Yesterday’s devotion in AWWY revealed another BWinES – just went to enter it, and see it’s a duplicate of the last one I found…”apple of your eye”- perhaps I’ll study the meaning and background of it someday – wonder what the Lord might want to reveal to me through that? Sounds kinda fun…

10-7-12 Anchor devotion in Luke 5:1-11; story of Peter not catching any fish all night & then Jesus telling him to try something that was completely illogical – Peter obeyed & was blessed b/c of that obedience. Lord, help me to be obedient like that! Quote from Anchor “Peter had a choice: obey in faith or trust in experience.”Yikes – I KNOW I lean toward the latter of that quote – push me more the other way, Lord…

10-7-12 TitW devotion yesterday led me to Psalm 119:97-104; 5 benefits of God’s Word – so encouraging! Love meditating on this & the act of pursuing Righteousness… Really like Psalm 119…

10-7-12 read Psalm 35:28 on Thursday – beautiful – adding to list for memorization

9-29-12 Love this man I married… Got a restaurant gift cert to go out for anniversary last night from fam – BUT needed to dress-up… Ugg… Still don’t like that process. I think I pulled out everything I own (which, fortunately, has lessened lately) & tried it on. Yuck. Didn’t like how ANYTHING looked…either too tight or too frumpy… So here I am having a fashion tantrum & Mike comes in from working outside, comes up to our room, pushes piles of clothes around to find a place to sit, and starts reading me passages from Proverbs 31!!! Kinda hard to remain tantrummy after that, lol… So thankful for him!

9-25-12 So cool…boys & I were studying our history lesson today – about the pilgrims getting established after they arrived on the Mayflower…reading about how Squanto helped teach pilgrims how to plant gardens…read about abundant harvests & Michael blurted out, “…the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few…” Caught Paul & I off guard & we were speechless a second – to which Michael quickly said that for some reason that verse came to him…said he remembered memorizing it awhile ago & couldn’t remember where it came from, but that our discussion made him think of it! Wow. I feel like this was another “glimmer”… Praying this verse for both boys today (Matthew 9:37). So cool to witness the “seeds” growing in our boys – bring them into Your Harvest, Lord – (and help me to be patient for Your proper timing!) Amen.

9-23-12 A praise for a “glimmer” from both boys this week. I was walking the cows down with the boys while Mike was at the back. The 3 of us were talking about something (can’t remember what) but it led to me trying to quote a passage from Job that I’ve had written on a notecard, sitting on the kitchen windowsill for months. I knew it began with “Naked I came into this world…” and that it ended with something about: leaving this world the same way… Michael looked at me & rolled his eyes (b/c it’s not a secret I’m a challenged memorizer, lol) and said “Mom, it’s ‘naked I will DEPART’!!!” (Job 1:21-22) I was amazed – never imaged he would have been reading my cards – and even funnier is that most likely, when he’s been reading it is when we “force/ask” for the boys to help us dry dishes!!!

And then there was the morning this week when the 4 of us were adding some James verses to our cards to memorize the next section. After we write it, we go over it together & each of us practices it a few times outloud, individually. It was Paul’s turn & each time he got to a certain part, he’d smile & move funny in his seat. Of course, we were intrigued & asked Paul why he was doing that? He said, “I like to find the rhythm – it helps me to memorize it!” And then he showed/moved the part he was talking about & we all burst out laughing! Just love that Paul is so relaxed at being himself & not afraid to show it… Many times we are frustrated at his bluntness, because he seems non-compassionate…but then there are times like this where the Lord shows us that a raw personality can be very endearing!
O Lord, I love that You have a sense of humor & that You use these “glimmers” in our boys to reveal that to us! May we not forget that more is “caught” than “taught” to our children…more incentive to walk hand-in-Hand with You. As we recognize the rhythm of Your Words, allow that sound to permeate our entire beings so that we can be blunt in Truth while being clothed in Love. Amen

9-21-12 Good news – Shadow Of The Almighty book is mine now!! I’ve spent much of morning devotion time going back through what I’ve already read & highlighting, page corner folding, & commenting in the book… I sure do make a mess of a book, lol… SO many wonderful quotes from Jim Elliot – such a wonderful Christian role model, especially for boys/men – praying Mike + boys will read this someday…

9-21-12 Finally – a couple minutes to catch up on jotting notes… Selah concert Wed night was great! Thought it was cool how they opened with Power In The Blood – a hymn I have memorized! Todd spoke of his grandfather’s testimony – beautiful witness – so glad boys got to hear it. Also sang a hymn medley that included a hymn we’re studying in school: Leaning On The Everlasting Arms – was fun recognizing it w/ the boys… Turns out the concert was actually a part of Canton Baptist Temple’s Wed night service – a bit awkward, as a program began after an hour of Selah – they honored a Dr ?, and had some intro speeches + acceptance speech – it was very nice, just unexpected. Did learn something cool, though, through it – one of the intro guys was talking about the powerful impact this Dr. ? had on his witnesses – taught him F.O.R.M. – and that he still uses it every week. (Family, Occupation, Religion, Message). I love finding/learning acronyms… I also love recognizing that the Lord created me to practice FORM before I even knew there was a “name” for it, lol! Those four “topics” are basically what I like to talk about with people because that’s how I can learn about who they are… Saddens me a bit to know I wasted so many years of F.O.R.M. for wrong purposes – but praise God He’s removed my blinders now… Use me, Lord, to speak Truth to those You place in my path…

9-13-12 Making slow progress with Jim Elliot book Chelsey lent me. Sometimes I wish I could just read a book and that’s it, lol… BUT [sigh] that would mean I’m denying the person God is forming me to be… Here’s the truth – I LOVE taking notes! If I read something profound, I MUST record it!!! So far I’m only on page 50 & I have several pages of beautiful quotes… I’m feeling overwhelmed at not being able to highlight &make notes in book… Perhaps I will ask Chelsey about buying it from them – I think I remember her saying it was an extra copy they had…

9-13-12 Finding myself praying a lot for Bob Jennings. Led to him by Cris on FB. Spent several hours the other day reading of his journey as a Christian battling colon cancer…what an AMAZING man of God! Father, may I be as brave and strong as this man both in my devotion to You as I walk and in showing Hope in my sufferings along the way. I pray You bring Bob swiftly into Eternity now, as it appears his body is done here. May his writings bring many to seek You for many, many years. And I humbly ask that I may have the privilege of a legacy for Your Kingdom like his! Use me, Lord… I am Yours. AMEN

9-13-12 Funny how “up-close” I’m such a SLOW memorizer! I’m the last of the 4 of us to get my James verses down, lol… BUT, when I “zoom out” I see that in the last week and a half, I’ve gotten 2 verses of My Father’s Word hymn, Psalm 119:11, + James 1:1-3 tatooed to my heart! I think I’ll try to focus on that perspective instead! I’m so grateful the Lord has revealed the beauty of filling myself with words “of Him” and “about him”…

9-10-12 caught 2nd half of John MacArthur’s sermon this evening – need to download it – topic was about walking in TRUE FAITH – beautiful.

9-10-12 intro to beginning memorization of book of James in school (all 4 of us); decided on NIV 1984 translation; thought it was cool how curriculum pointed us to Psalm 119:11 (already memorizing) + Psalm 1 (memorized a cpl yrs ago – rusty now) + brought Mike & I to remember what we had just read in devotions yest…the similarity of Jeremiah 17:7-8!!! I wonder if the Lord wants me to add this to my memory cards this week?

9-9-12 Another great post (called: Hallucinating?) from Marie yesterday. Need to add her link to blog (A Miniature Clay Pot) some time. Read it before bed & still lifting me up today. Need to print post for file. Funny, I call Marie “my friend” even though we haven’t spoken together. Led to her from Heather (another sister-in-Christ blogger) after the Batman shooting in CO. Ever since I read her posts, I’ve been wanting to write her a note so badly, but that’s when days here went haywire & I had to break from blogging b/c of so many other things to do… Now that she’s publishing comments from others, I’ve been able to read them & they all collectively have said what I would have. [Sigh] That is actually a burden lifted b/c I thought perhaps she was getting more negative comments than positive. Not so, praise God! I am inspired by her testimony & am encouraged to write mine…sorta…still kind of a scary thought to me – that’s a lot of exposing… Lord, I pray shouts of thanksgiving for the faithful servants You have brought into my life via cyberspace – Ann, Jill, Heather, Debra, Aharon, & Marie so far. May I glean from them the encouragement & inspiration necessary to glorify You through the sharing of my testimony. Don’t allow the huge task of compiling it to stop me from beginning, and help me to not “push it”, but to be content with the timing of your Words to flow from my hand. May the end result reflect Your Light that is now in me. AMEN

9-9-12 Quote from a Chip Ingram mailing we rec’d this week – love it – “Definition of Insanity: Continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Feel like this is another nudge from the Lord to not be discouraged with the disciplining of our boys as Godly parents now. Another answer to a heart cry of mine from 9-6.

9-9-12 So cool – after devotions this morning I was tidying before worship & stumbled on a b-day card Mike got in the mail yest – it had Romans 5:13 on it!!!! OK, Lord, I’m writing it on a notecard & memorizing it now. Funny part is that this card came from someone who doesn’t even know us – she just sends cards to people who are her customers (which we are)… Just love how God can use ANYTHING to work for His purposes…

9-9-12 Devotions this am – Jeremiah 17:7-8 – reminds me of Matthew 13:1-23 & Psalm 1; then verses 9-10 – add to memory list & pray daily

9-8-12 Answered prayer below by leading me to Romans 15:13 before bed. Thank you, Moody Radio! Would be another good verse to memorize…

9-8-12 Struggling today. Feeling tired + overwhelmed. Trying hard to SHOW hope… Having a hard time not being bitter w/ milking in afternoon. Change is so hard… I’m spending WAY too much time telling God what I think other people should do to change. Lord, pull me back in. Change my focus to MY HEART – help me to humble myself before You & take responsibility for my faults. Remind me how to show love like You do. Help me to rejoice in the good, not dwell on the negative. Thank You for giving me a husband who listens to my rants & loves me anyway. AMEN

9-8-12 Devotions this morning: TitW – Jeremiah 14:14-16 – about dangers of erroneous teaching – good reminder we must continue to pray for those still following darkness… Jeremiah 15:19 – really like “Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.” As Light we must influence the lost, not let darkness influence us. Also like end of vs 20 “for I am with you to rescue and save you, declares the Lord.” Knowing He is with me, I shouldn’t be afraid to speak Truth in love – no compromise w/ darkness…
Chapter 16:11-12 – no excuse when we blindly follow what generations have done before us instead of learning who Truth is for ourselves! Vs 17 – can’t hide from God – Vs 19 beautiful words to begin a prayer with when in rough moments: ” O Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress,”…

Anchor devotion: liked John 6:12 – I like that Jesus said this – makes me think of “gleaning” garden harvest… Vs 29 like this…

9-7-12 Led to Joshua 1:6-9 in school today. Would be a wonderful passage to memorize…be strong & courageous is the “theme”… Funny, came to Psalm 119:11 again – was just there from a difference source earlier this week. I’m thinking the Lord says to take heed of it – am writing on notecard to memorize now…

9-7-12 started reading “Shadow of the Almighty” this AM after devotions. (life + testament of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot) LOVE these missionaries. (1st heard of them when we studied life of Nate Saint in school 2 years ago. Amazing story.) Have read “Passion & Purity” by Elisabeth Elliott, too. Beautiful. Can’t help but wish I had read her in my youth – but that would be me telling God, He didn’t know what He was doing… Instead, this new knowledge is fuel for me to speak of my “lost” mistakes in light of who I am now – a redeemed Child of God. So fascinating how the Lord incorporates our mistakes into His Plan. I fear our boys hear me say this so often, they grow tired of hearing it! Can’t help it, though – can’t stop the flow of Living Water… Makes me think of Ode #12 on my “The Odes Project” CD (Odes of Soloman)… Funny how my brain works – all this talk of Elisabeth Elliot also brings to mind the blessing of reading Joshua Harris’s books… (He wrote the “forward” in Passion & Purity book – a newer printed version that Paul got me for Christmas last year. That prompted me to investigate his writings. Wonderful writer.). I hope to read his books TOGETHER with the boys in the next year or two. Lord, I pray You will show us the right time to begin reading them. I soooo want my boys to practice a life of purity – under the control of Christ… AMEN

9-7-12 End of first week on school schedule – changed milking to afternoon so we can get up + start school earlier. Change is hard, but necessary. Can say week got easier by end of week – hope for continued progress next week…

9-6-12 downloaded 3 sermon series from James MacDonald (Walk in the Word) on 9-4-12. Title is: Walking in the Light, parts 1-3. It’s a study of 1 John. I LOVE 1 John! Ever since I read it everyday for a month a couple years ago, it has held a special place in my heart. Whenever I hear verses from 1 John, I get excited, b/c I can instantly think of the verses before & after it…brings a feeling of comfort. (Originally got the idea of reading 1 John everyday from a John MacArthur sermon.) As I worked in the kitçhen & listened to these sermons, Michael was also listening in the next room as he played w/ his baseball cards…was cool hearing him make comments about what was being said in the sermons. I’ve heard that “hearing” The Word preached is a very effective way of evangelizing – Oh, how I pray the words my son heard will minister to his soul! Thank You, Lord for this “glimmer” into the salvation process of my son. AMEN

9-6-12 from notecard dated 8-21-12 wrote out John 6:27 – inspired this prayer that day: Heavenly Father, I pray this verse for my children today. Help Mike & I to model this concept for them. Show us how to encourage a work ethic not motivated by the promise of a physical dollar, but by the promise of eternal life in Heaven. AMEN

9-6-12 struggled with disciplining son today – saw firsthand why God says it’s necessary – no one enjoys it at the time, but sees only afterwards the refining that comes as a result (Hebrews 12:7-11) – discipline affects not only child, also parent – amazing growth I see in us (parents) – can see how perseverance can produce righteousness (2 Peter 1:5-8) – praying I can remember this for next time…

9-5-12 printed out wonderful post from Ann “How to Cultivate the Habit of Focus…..in an Age of Distraction” for journal. Soooo many parallels to my walk today. Love this quote: “The virus of distraction is cured by the art of subtraction.” What a blessing Ann’s writings are to me. Need to investigate how to link her page to this blog. Also enjoying participating in daily “Joy-Dare” challenge on FB. LOVE practicing Eucharisteo…

9-5-12 from memory – parental struggles – always looking for formula – perhaps b/c that would be easier than dealing w/ issue – lesson to us – stop pouting & complaining – accept challenge & work on reforming ourselves, perseverance in His Ways will lead to answer – parents must self-discipline FIRST (from Ann Voskamp)

9-5-12 remembering from earlier this week – worked together as fam canning 25Q whole tomatoes – listened to/learning new hymn – This Is My Father’s World – boys had trouble w/ focus… struggled when task is not fun – addresed it & ended well…

9-5-12 revealed during catechism w/ family: Psalm 119 vs. 11 + 18. Memorize someday to include in prayers. Love this psalm.

James 1:25 – importance of PRACTICING or DOING – I’d say memorize this verse, but we’re gonna memorize all of James for school. Yeah!

9-5-12 early morning:
Devotion notes: TitW (Today in the Word) – studying book of Jeremiah for September – love Jeremiah 8:8 – error of taking what man says as Truth – NOT from being in the Bible & knowing the heart, soul, & mind of God. This verse is where I used to be – so glad I’m not anymore!

Jeremiah 9:23-24 – memorize someday. Beautiful!

Jeremiah 10:23-24 – so beautiful – can’t help but think of how we misunderstood Proverbs 16:3 as we began farming full-time… His Ways is what it means, not “our ways + dragging Him along”… Want to memorize these 2 verses to pray.

Anchor devotion (Haven Ministries) – Acts 17:11 – I wanna be like the Bereans – LOVE examining the Scriptures!

Acts 17:24-31 memorize someday – what a wonderful summary of life In Him

9-5-12 (late morning) Thought it was cool that Hebrews 3:13 was emailed to us today from Ron Hutchcraft Ministries. Feel like it’s further confirmation this new blog page is headed in the direction He wants me to go…

9-5-12 new page explanation:

I’m having a hard time with “keeping up” with this “virtual scrapbook”. Old habits are hard to break, lol!

I am so used to writing down tidbits + revelations throughout my day in random notebooks & scraps of paper, that I often forget I have THIS journal, right under my fingertips! (This smartphone has a WordPress app on it – it’s also our address book, calendar, memo tracker, timer, song + sermon playlist keeper, Bible, calculator, camera, alarm clock, emailer, txter, independent internet surfer, tether for internet on our laptop, voicemail log, and lol: PHONE!)

Writing is therapy for me – both when it is originally written, and when I stumble upon it again later. Problem is, as I make this transition from “physical piles” to “virtual notes”, my mind knows what to do, but my body does what I’ve always done… Since my body (sometimes) listens to my mind, it does (sorta) try to adjust to change, but VERY S-L-O-W-L-Y, lol.

What I’m finding now is: NOTHING is getting written down and I’m saying to myself “I’ll get to that later when I have time to blog.” NOT an efficient practice, because life just continues to happen – and there are no guarantees as to WHEN I WILL have/make time to blog…

So here it is: THE RAW RAMBLE…

…where I find the subject for more in-depth posts…the breeding ground for the rhyming poems I love to write…the Bible verses that I stumble on as I walk…the quotes I hear that I want to remember…the prayer concerns that are on my mind…

When I begin to think this blog is about writing for others, I’ve allowed myself to think more highly of myself than I ought – and that’s exactly what I DO NOT want this blog to be.

I don’t know if the Lord will give me tomorrow, so my perspective on today has been greatly altered as my relationship with God is growing since accepting the gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus. I want my children & the generations who follow us to know how the Lord IS impacting my life EACH DAY. And since the Lord has placed me in this era of technology, if my journey can also be a testimony to someone else out there, may it be so.

Father, as I do my best to work in the day You have given me instead of waiting for another day just so I can seem more “polished” and “put-together”, help me to be OK with exposing my “raw rambles” – the track of where You are taking me. As I practice this new habit, prepare me for using these rambles to form my perspective based on Your Truths. May my children & their children see You in me – either through walking alongside me while I’m here on earth, or by reading my rambles and hearing my thoughts after I’m living with You in Heaven. AMEN

2 thoughts on “Raw Ramble…

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