Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday

On this wonderful Thankful Thursday, I am just overflowing with thankfulness for all that God is doing in my life. I shared part of it last week, but I thought I would go into a little more detail this week. However, with everything that God is doing in my life I was led to start a new blog just to track that area of my life and the things that I am learning (I don't want that to become the focus of this one). You can visit my new blog by clicking here, and read today's thankful Thursday post about all that.

I am also thankful this Thursday because so many things are happening at our church! In the past we have been meeting in a rented building on Sunday mornings, but anything during the week has to be held either at the small church office (that we also rent) or at someones home. God has recently blessed our congregation with it's own building. We haven't been able to move in yet (it needs a few modifications first... something is wrong with the bathrooms I believe), but it is still amazing to see God provide.

Now that we have our own building, we are preparing for all the ways that we can use it. Most of the things we will do are already happening just in various peoples homes or the office, but it will also enable us to do new things as well. I am thankful to be part of what God is doing in our church. We have started vision groups for various ministries to help us know where we are and where we want to go. Last week was the women's ministry vision group meeting after church. This vision group has 2 parts, the women's ministry to the church, and the women's ministry to women. I am part of the vision group for the women's ministry to women. We are planning on re-starting our Priority Living group next year. This started out as a group for young moms that did book studies, but it ended up as a group for all women that did inductive Bible studies. We are still trying to solidify what we want to start it up as again. I was the back-up leader last year, and will either remain as the back up leader next year, or take over as leader if no one else steps up. We are also going to officially start a Titus 2 ministry. Apparently our church has had one for a while, but it wasn't really official, just a if you ask, we will set it up kind of thing.

Next week is the meeting for the vision group for the youth ministry, which I am also hoping to be part of. I have always had a heart for teen girls (hints me volunteering with

God has just given me so much to be thankful for it's like I'm bursting at the seems! Do you have something that you're thankful for this week? Write a post and link up by visiting our host for this week, Iris, at her blog Grace Alone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Word-filled Wednesday!

These are the regulations concerning contamination by mildew in woolen or linen clothing, woven or knitted material, or any leather article, for pronouncing them clean or unclean. ~ Leviticus 13:59

Were you inspired or encouraged by those words? No? I always struggle when I get to this portion of Leviticus, you see my issue is that 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that: "All Scripture is God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully equipped for every good work." So there HAS to be something useful in these passages, there just HAS to be.

A few years ago I found an amazing article that really helps me when I get to Leviticus. It's called Oh, No! Not Leviticus!. Here is a direct quote from that site:
As an example, Leviticus 19:19 says the Israelite are not to wear clothes made from two types of material mixed together. We need to ask ourselves, What picture of spiritual truth is contained in this command? What is the principle behind the command? And then we can ask, is the command still relevant? In this particular case, God wants to Israelites to set themselves apart from the people of the land, the Canaanites. So, for us, the specific command is no longer relevant, but the central theme -- being holy, being devoted to God, being in the world but not of the world -- still holds.

It has really helped me to find the deeper meaning behind the seemingly out dated passages that are found in Leviticus. One of my dear friends also helped me by sharing her thoughts/applications of the Leviticus 13 passage:

...Physical is often a manifestation of spiritual. For instance, last year I battle greatly spiritually and struggled with some things... and my house essentially fell apart in terms of clutter and deep cleaning. Sure some surfaces were sparkling, but the closets, the parts no one saw were in such bad shape that I'm still working on them now. There was "mold" in places that no one could see. (Okay, serious dust bunnies that were multiplying before my eyes, but you get the point, lol).

The point is that because I was not focused on God and did not give it all to Him and had become depressed and allowed the enemies lies of unworthiness and incompetence to take over, I had almost believed them and allowed them to give me a defeatist attitude. Instead of doing those small things I could, I struggled with doing anything and in return the house was worse. Instead of directing my family in what to do, I instead focused on self and believed I was doing the "right" thing by not putting more on them. I deprived myself and them of blessing and doing God's will for each other and wrapped myself in false humility.

My "moldy" house became a physical example of my inward spiritual life.

Once in a while is something, it's when the problem goes deeper that we need to stop and realize what the true root of the problem is. Often those moldy spots occur because we stop doing what we are supposed and have taken our eyes off God and instead focus on ourselves.

So that's what's filling up my Word-filled Wednesday! :) I hope your Wednesday (and everyday) is Word-filled! Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

In Constant Prayer

In Constant Prayer is a book that encourages (or possibly even mandates) dutiful praying. You must stop what you are doing at the same time every day (several times a day) and pray pre-written prayers. While I didn’t agree with him on most of what he wrote in this book, Robert Benson is an amazing writer. I don’t think this book could have been any better for the content that it held, however I still will never recommend it because of how much I disagree with what he wrote. I will however look for other books by him in the future.

I review for BookSneezeĀ®
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Worldview: Biblical?

Target Audience: Catholics?

Positive Elements: the engaging writing style

Inappropriate Language: none

Unbiblical Content: Matthew 6:7 says that we should not pray like the pagans thinking that we are heard because of our many words. I can’t get past all of the other religions that have to memorize prayers and say the same ones day in day out. This book seems to encourage praying like pagans. God doesn’t care about what we say, as much as the heart that we put into it. He wants to hear words from our hearts, not something that we read off of a page.

Other Negative Elements: The sample prayers that he included in the back didn’t give the Scripture references (if there were any).

Unauthorized Offerings

This morning in my Bible reading I was reading Leviticus 10 where Aaron's sons (Nadab and Abihu) offered unauthorized fire before the Lord. This offering was contrary to the Lord's command, therefore they were put to death. God said: "Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored." This made me stop and think for a bit about how we often offer things to the Lord that either He didn't command, or that He doesn't find pleasing or holy.

My first thoughts were about a video that was on the news last week (ish? I don't have cable but someone shared it with me via facebook, I don't really know when it was actually aired). The topic was a lady who has opened up an exercise shop and is offering a class entitled "Pole Dancing for Jesus". She says that God gave her the gift of pole dancing and she wants to use it to honor Him. I'm sure Nadab and Abihu thought that their offering would honor God as well, but God didn't take it that way. He gave us specific commands in His word, and we aren't to honor Him however we choose, but the way that He has already chosen.

Now, I know that I am not "pole dancing for Jesus", but I can guarantee that I often think that my way is better than His. Or that I can offer something that He didn't think of. But that is just not true! He is God! He not only thinks of everything, but KNOWS everything! What could I come up with that could be better than what He asked for??? It's like when you have your heart set on a new Bible (or something) for Christmas, and you drop all the hints or even tell your husband, then he finds something that he thinks you will like better, we'll say candle sticks. How would you feel? You didn't get what you wanted, and you got something that you really didn't want, and this came from the person that was suppose to know and love you more than anyone else on earth. You would probably be more hurt over the lack of intimacy that is shown by this gift than not getting the Bible, right?

God has already told us how He wants us to worship, honor and glorify Him. We just need to dig into His Word, and follow His commands. We need to stop thinking that we can think of something He didn't, because it's not true. He doesn't want to be worshiped through sin (or something that could lead to, or be used to, sin).

It's always easy to pick out these things in others people's lives (especially if they're on the news), but it's not always easy to see them in our own lives. I would love to give you an example, but I haven't thought of something specific yet... I will be praying about this today, but in the meantime, if any of you could share an example (either from your own life, or just something that a normal person might do) of a way that we say we are worshiping, honoring, or bringing glory to God in a way that He didn't ask for, I would love some feedback!

I hope you all have a blessed day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mr. Monday

Happy Mr. Monday everyone!!! I hope you all gave you're Mr. a big hug this morning!

Mr. Amazing has the day off today (I love being able to say that again!). God has truly provided for our family in amazing ways. Mr. Amazing loves his new job, and I love the simplicity of it. He had to be hired in at a lower level than his previous jobs because he switched from the food industry to retail. This means that when he is home, he really is home. He isn't answering his phone to help his employees, he isn't talking with his boss, checking e-mails, or making schedules. He is simply home. Deep sigh. I know that he was hired on with the intent to promote, and that this bliss might not last, but I am certainly planning on enjoying it for as long as possible.

This new found joy makes me wonder how many parts of our husbands job's we take for granted:

Have you ever stopped to appreciate the fact that your husband's work stops at the office?

With my husband's new job also came less hours. Have you ever stopped to appreciate that your husband isn't working 55 hours a week (both of his past jobs were that or more).

The company that just hired Mr. Amazing originally offered him the night shift. Have you ever taken the time to praise God that you get to share a bed with your husband each night?

And of course after him being unemployed for a month and a half I must ask if you remember to thank the Lord for your husbands job at all? I have always been bittersweet with that praise. I knew that we needed the income, but hated the means. Now I see how each past experience, no matter how bad it was, was a gift from God. He learned how to deal with unfair upper management, he learned so many valuable skills and even got to see how others in his shoes acted and what qualities he liked and which ones he knew he could never let be part of him. I am so thankful for everything that God has brought us through, and I eagerly await seeing where He takes us from here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Appealing to the senses

Just to let you know, this is not a well thought out post. I just needed to get my thoughts out of my head and hopefully get some input or feedback from my blogging friends (if I still have any after my long absence...)

A few weeks ago I was meeting with one of the ladies from our church and she mentioned that her mother always taught her growing up that wives were suppose to make their homes appealing to all of their husbands senses. For those of you who don't know, I grew up in a single parent home. No one ever taught me how to be a good wife, so while I didn't side track our meeting to have her go into details, the comment has stuck with me. She said that it needed to appeal to his taste, his site, smell, touch, and ears.

Now I must say that the smell thing I have covered. Mr. Amazing loves candle warmers, so as long as I keep a fresh candle on most of them our home smells pretty nice. And surprisingly Mr. Amazing thinks I'm a wonderful cook, and I really do enjoy cooking and baking so I think I have the taste thing down as well. However, my talent stops there. I grew up in a messy house. I have tried every tactic in the world (okay, probably an exaggeration) to keep my home clean, but it just doesn't seem to stick. I can get it clean...but in my family of 6 it doesn't last more than a few days. I'm working on it though...

I do play music quite often in our home. Usually classical or praise and worship, however it's often drowned out by the noise that our precious children are making (whether that noise is a toy, the t.v., or with their mouths varies minute by minute). And then I really have no clue how to have our home appeal to his sense of touch???? Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas?????

I would absolutely love feed back on this. Anyone?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Friday Funnies!

Oh how I have missed the Friday Funnies! A friend shared this video on Facebook, and I couldn't help but think of how perfect it would be for today's post! I hope you all enjoy it:

To find more Friday Funnies, please visit Kim at her blog Homesteader's Heart.
Homesteader's Heart

31 days of Drawing Near to God

31 Days of Drawing Near to God by Ruth Myers

This book is not what I was expecting from the title. It is 31 days filled with lessons of God’s love. Ruth Myers opens this book with a summary of her life story, the beginning is filled with lessons she has learned about the love of God and as the book progresses it gets more general and not personal. She has an amazing testimony about God’s love in her life, and while I enjoyed reading those, my favorite chapters were towards the end.

I can’t say that I was really challenged by this book at all or that I learned anything new, but I do think it was a good book. It took me a while to get into the book, just because it wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for going off of the title, but once I accepted it for what it was I enjoyed it and was able to get into it more. I love that the readings are accompanied by Scripture passages to look up, so that you can make it more personal.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Blogging For Books book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Worldview: Biblical

Target Audience: Christian Women

Positive Elements: Scripture passages to look up at the end of each reading and suggestion to journal about them each day.

Inappropriate Language: None

Unbiblical Content: There was one questionable comment, but I didn’t mark it and I can’t remember where it was. I never got the chance to research it to see if it was biblically correct or not…

Other Negative Elements: None

Thankful Thursday!

Hello blogland, I'm back!

On this thankful Thursday I am thankful for so much! I better just do a list:

*I am thankful that my mom got to come visit us last weekend.
*I am thankful for all of the wonderful time I have spent with my husband during the past month and a half.
*I am thankful for all of the ways God has provided for our family, and continues to provide.
*I am thankful for the new opportunities that God is brining into my life.
*And, I'm thankful to be able to tell you that my husband started his new job yesterday! I'm sad to see him go, but it is so amazing sitting on the sidelines and watching God do His work!

I could probably write a blog post on each one of those things, and who knows, maybe I will. But for now, I am just overflowing with thankfulness!

To read more thankful Thursday posts, you can visit Iris over at her blog Grace Alone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson

In the book Transforming Prayer, Daniel Henderson explains the difference between praying for God’s hand and seeking His face. Henderson goes in to detail about how most people pray, and why we pray that way, and why we should change. He later gives a sample blue print for transforming prayer into something that is riveting instead of boring.

I requested this book from Bethany House, because I yearned to develop a better prayer life. I knew that there was a serious problem, and what the problem was, I just didn’t know what to do about it. For this reason, I had a really hard time getting into this book. The first ¾ of the book is about what is wrong with prayer, and why it should change. I already knew that. I wasn’t able to get into the book until chapter 9, and even then I think that I probably could have just read chapters 14 and 15 and got just as much out of the book as reading it in its entirety (please note that chapters 14 and 15 were amazing and the information there was the whole reason I was looking forward to reading the book). The beginning (and middle) of the book would be necessary for someone who thought that they had an okay prayer life, or someone who thought their prayer life could be better, but didn’t know what was wrong with it. If you know prayer isn’t what it needs to be, I would recommend skipping the book (or just reading the two chapters I mentioned) and finding a worship-based prayer meeting to attend.

You can learn more about this book by visiting the website

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Worldview: Biblical

Target Audience: Someone who thinks they have an okay prayer life, or that their prayer life isn’t so hot, but they don’t know why…

Positive Elements: Chapters 14 and 15

Inappropriate Language: None

Unbiblical Content: None

Other Negative Elements: Okay, at the end of chapter 10 he speaks about flying on air planes and uses the phrase “As you know” in reference to something that has to do with flying. This implies that everyone knows or should know this. I have never been on a plane and didn’t know it, so that bothered me some. Silly, I know, but the whole thing could have been avoided if he would have added the word ‘probably’ or said ‘As most of you know’ but instead he generalized something that I feel shouldn’t have been…


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." ~ John 3:16-17

How cool would it be to login to Facebook and see the Gospel on every status?

That's the goal of one event on Facebook going on today- They want to share the Good News with everyone by having all believers post John 3:16-17 on their status today (3/16). So today, I'm inviting you and all your Christian friends to join them (and me). Let's radiate Jesus's love and hope to the world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mr. Amazing

Life is so different with Mr. Amazing home. I love having him here, but I don't get to all the things I use to. There have been several days where I haven't even turned my computer on. I have also been down with the flu, which hasn't helped anything. But Mr. Amazing was here. He cooked, cleaned, helped the kids with their school work, made sure the chores were done, baths were taken, and let me sleep (literally, for almost 48hrs). He never ceases to amaze me with how amazing he is. God has truly blessed me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Idols of the Heart

Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick

This book was written to help you identify the idols of your heart. Elyse explains that an idol of the heart is anything that you put before God. You can identify these idols by saying I will only be happy when this happens, or when I get this I will finally be happy. You can also know something is a sinful desire when you are willing to sin to achieve it.

This was an amazing book. I disagreed with some of the terminology used and I found that distracting, however it was just the terminology, I did agree with everything that was said and found it very biblically sound. Elyse Fitzpatrick is an amazing author and I would highly recommend any books that are written by her.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I bought this book off of Amazon after having it recommended to me by my pastor’s wife.


Worldview: Biblical

Target Audience: Christian Women

Positive Elements: Teaching us to recognize idols in our own lives and how to respond to those idols once they have been revealed.

Inappropriate Language: None

Unbiblical Content: None

Other Negative Elements: None