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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who is God to You?


“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”  Ernest Boyer, Jr.
A friend shared a website with me last night, and as I read it I was so blessed. I never thought about the laundry room being my "holy ground" but truth be known where I work, what I do should be holy ground if I do all to God's glory. But remember there are those things we cannot do for God's glory...disobedience to God. Enough said, I will share the website and let each one of you be blessed...http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/
God bless you 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Living Bread

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of
this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is
my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51



This was the daily scripture given from Blue Bible, and it made me think of all the holiday food that we enjoy. Women are busy in the kitchen preparing goodies for special times during December. It is fun, brings a feeling of Christmas. It is so fun to give a gift of homemade goodies.


It is an example of the gift Jesus is to us. He was the ultimate gift. He is the Living Bread. He is Eternal.


As you work in the kitchen, making those holiday goodies, remember Jesus. When you choose gifts for others, remember Jesus, the ultimate gift. Don't forget to give Jesus to those who don't know Him. 


Make this a Jesus filled Christmas. Make Jesus the best gift for others. Be the shining candle. As you start the Christmas celebration, Celebrate Jesus!!


God bless you

Monday, November 28, 2011

God's Peace

"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my
kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my
peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee." Isaiah 54:10



I love this verse. In the midst of the worst situation, God's kindness will stay with me. His peace will abide. I remember the quake. I remember just laying there on the ground. I don't know why I wasn't miserable. Maybe hurting too bad to know I was hurting. I remember the next day, Cherline said to me, "Mom, you really touched me." I asked her why. She replied, "You never screamed, moaned or groaned. You just lay there." That is God's mercy. God's peace.


He has proved Himself faithful many times over. Before the quake and since the quake. His promises will always stay true! That day the hills moved, but God's peace stayed with me.


I don't know what you are experiencing today, perhaps you have your own shaking and uprooting. So many things can go wrong in this life, and yet we can know and trust God for His peace and mercy. 


There are always heartaches during the holidays. Families that are fighting. Others have an incurable disease. Others lose a family member. So many hurts. But God's peace rules in the hearts of those whose mind is stayed on Him.


Look away from the situation, and put your trust in God. The hurt may not go away, but you will have His peace to take you through it.


God bless you.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Worship

Thank you, Joel, for the teaching this morning. What is worship? Sing, Service and Surrender.

But we need to be careful what we worship. Even the ungodly worship things.
The service ended with Revelation Song...an amazing worship song and my favorite!! Every time I hear the song I feel so on my way to the presence of the Lord.

The Lord has been doing some pruning in my life, and now it is my duty to surrender to His pruning. One of the areas of pruning is not to make excuses for sin in my life. If I do wrong, have wrong attitudes, pride or whatever the sin may be, as He prunes I need to surrender and not make an excuse for it.

God bless you

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Half Hearted Worship

I just read something in the book by Warren Wiersbe, Be Amazed, how people would be offerings to the altar that were not perfect. The priests accepted it, but if people would bring a lamb for the priest that wasn't perfect they rejected it. The thought is, if God would accept half-hearted sacrifices, He wouldn't be a God worthy of worship.

There are no excuses for half-hearted worship or sacrifice. 1 Chronicles 16:29 "Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!"


With the Thanksgiving holiday past and Christmas coming, I think we should consider what we really do with Christmas. People have already stood in lines for hours for the sales on Black Friday. Call me a scrooge, I really don't mind. I do not think God is pleased with me if I am using money for things I don't need,  or someone else don't need, but only have a mere dollar to put in the offering on Sunday.


Oh the holidays are fun, no doubt. Is there anything I do that can be changed that would really glorify God in the celebrations? I remember many years ago, I wondered at the banquets that were given in the church I was attending. There were banquets for each age group in church, but I never heard a word about inviting the ones who had no family, single parents, homeless, etc.


There is something about giving a gift to someone who cannot return the favor. Doesn't it make you feel so good? My sister just told me that her and her husband are planning an open house for all the people on their street. They haven't met most of them, yet have lived in that neighborhood for over 10 years. This can open doors for sharing God's love to them.


I guess I wanted to challenge our worship before the holiday rush starts in, if it hasn't already, so that we can pray how God really wants us to share Christmas. Let's be a light to the world, and not expect the christmas lights to do that. We have the true Light! Let's shine it for the world!


God bless you

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
May you be blessed with family fellowship. May your day be a blessing to others. Let us thank the Lord in all things.
Be a light to those of your family who are not yet a child of God.

God bless you

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Thankful. Day before Thanksgiving. Sounds funny. Every day should be thanksgiving. But today of all days, before "Thanksgiving" the kids are up at the crack of dawn to play. Then I open the utility bill we received yesterday, and found it is delinquent. No! it isn't delinquent because I just paid the bill on Nov 4. But they didn't receive the check until the 21st so I get charged $15 on this bill because they didn't open their mail when they got it. I guess the bottom line is, don't pay by check. Cash-less society. Yes, I think so.

"Be thankful in ALL things." ALL things Barb...even bills that shouldn't have been.

Today is a day in the kitchen, baking holiday goodies. Rachel and I should have fun. And the kids. They can put sprinkles on the sugar cookies. Promise is at school, and Daddy will join her for a Thanksgiving celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Remember it isn't just about food, it is all about Thankfulness. But don't stop being thankful.  Thankful every day in ALL things.

God bless you

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For I Know

I have been praying for a special personal need for a while now. So now I see it as urgent.

Then this morning I was going through my email, and here was the Blue Bible verse for the day:
"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, 
LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." (Psalms 9:10)

It almost passed me by, but felt the urge to return to this verse and read it again. They that KNOW the Name of the Lord will trust in Him. He will not forsake us. What a comfort and reminder when in the midst of stress, that our Lord will not forsake us.

It reminded me that God has heard my prayer, and He will answer. My part is to trust Him and know that He will supply all our needs.

It is a privilege to know the Name of the Lord. Let's not misuse it.
I must be about my Father's business. We must work fervently in His kingdom. Every day there is something that reminds me that our time is drawing to a close. Our redemption draws near.

God bless you

Monday, November 21, 2011

Working Together

Zion and Nate are playing on the patio. Digging in the dirt. Oh so fun. Nate has decided to sweep the floor, looking at me he says, "Do you have a dust pan?" So we give him one, but Zion wants to take it now instead of helping Nate. So the argument starts in. Then Nate decides to sweep exactly where Zion is playing. Zion screams.

Does this ring a familiar note with anyone? This is the picture of adults. We are working in the church. Someone wants to do it a different way, and it may be better than we are doing it, but it is "our" work and we don't want anyone invading our territory. Yes, this even happens on the mission field. So sad. God's work isn't territorial. It is a combined effort of God's children working together for His kingdom.

If only we could get our eyes on the Lord, it is all His anyway, and work together. Learn to love each other and work together, the work would get done better.

God bless you

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Word of God

Hebrews 4:12 "For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Today is the day of worship. We go to the house of the Lord, expecting to hear the Word of God. But do we really value it? Does the word fall on fertile soil, or is it soon choked out with the busyness of life?

I asked myself how much I really value God's Word. I really wish I would have memorized scriptures more when I was younger. Now memorization is more difficult. But even if it is more difficult, I can control the time I spend in reading God's Word.

Where we spend our hours will give us a clue of God's importance to you and me? Does TV and sports consume most of our free time? I'm just asking...

God bless you

Friday, November 18, 2011

Being Childish

Having two 3 year olds and a 5 year old in the house all the time is quite interesting. There are 3 personalities, 3 different ways of playing with the same toy and not to mention they all 3 want the same toy at the same time. Oh, they can be perfectly content for a while with a toy but seeing another having fun with a different toy, the decision is made that they should have that toy at that time. Does this ring a bell with anyone else but me?

I Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Great verse, great truth.  But do we really put away our childish ways? Before this verse it is teaching us love and what love is. A child being selfish or demanding for a toy that another child has, usually wants to take it immediately. For you see, they really haven't learned the logistics of sharing and loving. That is a growing experience.

But now we are adults. Sad to say, we still act as children. We want what another has. We can be satisfied with our car until we see the neighbor's brand new one in the driveway. A pastor can  be ok with a small church until his best friend has a mega church. (Does this really happen? I'm afraid so!) We can be happy with a normal size TV until we see a big screen one. We want it now. Really childish. We may not grab it out of another's hand, but often we are guilty of overspending because we don't want someone else having what we can't have.

Our children learn from the adults around them. Let's be the example of giving instead of taking. Let's be an example of giving even if we do not receive in return. We do receive...God is never short in His blessing. His gifts are the best!

Let's leave our childish ways today, and grow up...I'm just saying....
God bless you

Thursday, November 17, 2011

He is My Strength

Patrick left for Haiti early this morning. He had a good flight, and arrived safely around 9:00 am.

The last 2 days were busy preparing for his trip. Not much rest after our Kansas trip. Today I find myself quite tired. Then I remembered "the Lord is my strength." Oh how I need that strength. I like the fact that He doesn't just give me strength but He is my strength. Habakkuk 3:17 reminds me that He makes my feet like hinds feet, walking on high hills. I don't "feel" I am at this point yet. But I do believe that for me it means that I don't need to "drag" my feet in discouragement. There is hope. Isn't it true that when we have no hope then we do drag our feet? But in every situation God is our strength. Go in the Name of the Lord.

In the midst of my tiredness, Patrick just "skyped" from Haiti. This is the first Skype experience from a cell phone. So fun.

I pray you had a good day...
God bless you


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scaling the Wall


For You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD shall enlighten my darkness.  For by You I can run against a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall.  As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22:29-31 NKJV)
It is so good to be reminded that God is my light. He enlightens the darkness. He fights for me, even He can scale the high walls. So when I am in situations that I feel enclosed in walls without an escape, God can go beyond the wall. His way is perfect. Being His child, there are times when He allows me to be in walled in experiences. He can break those walls. He can fight and win every situation.

Leaping over a wall is not on my agenda at this point. So I am very thankful that God can do it for me. My thankfulness is when I can put on my prosthesis each morning, and walk without pain. That is leaping over a wall for me!!

More than anything, His way is perfect for me! He knows what is ahead, and He knows what was behind. He knows the "why's" of every situation. His word has and continually is proven. He is truth.

I've been teaching the grandchildren, "I am the way, the truth, the life." Every time one of them asks, "What does that mean?"  Each time I tell them again, "Jesus is the way to Heaven. Jesus is the Truth, He cannot lie. And He gives us life that never ends." What a blessing that I can have these special moments with them.

So today, if you find yourself in a dark experience, He is your lamp.
If you are between a rock and hard place, He can leap over the wall.
If you wonder today, if His promises can be trusted, yes they can. His Word has been proven.
If you are in danger, He is your shield.

God bless you

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Home Again

We are home again after a busy 4 days in Kansas. It was a wonderfully, blessed trip. We were blessed to see old friends, and make new friends. We didn't see a yellow brick road, only a red one. :))

We were able to share God's story in many meetings, including a Ladies' Tea which was beautifully decorated. This was the first trip I've made that was pain-free!! Wonderful!

Now we have one day to finish preparations for Patrick's trip to Haiti. He leaves Thursday morning.

God is incredibly Good and Faithful. None of this would have been possible if it weren't for Him!!

God bless you.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Truly Thankful

I am just thinking this morning about my life, where I was, where I am and where I am going. I was reading in Matthew 13 where Jesus was teaching the disciples about the kingdom of God, but teaching in parables. Then He asked them "Do you understand what I am saying?"

Do I understand? Or do I come to the "table" with a bunch of "but's"? Why was satan allowed to sow wickedness into the world? Why not get rid of it while we are still on earth?

The bottom line, am I truly grateful  for my life? Am I grateful for all that God is doing in my life? Even if I don't understand fully, I need to trust Him, walk by faith and keep going. Most assuredly God is doing so much more in my life than what seems on the surface.

Lord, change me, even if it hurts. I thank you for all those painful moments and seasons. Glory will cover all those times, and I won't even remember them. Thank you, Lord.

I will not be posting for a few days. We will be out of town for 4 days. So until my return, have a good weekend. Be blessed.

God bless you


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guard Your Heart

In the message on Sunday, the pastor spoke of this verse, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of for life." Proverbs 4:23

When I had first arrived in Haiti, and saw the beautiful ironwork on the windows I thought it was for decoration only. But it didn't take long for me to realize that it was for more than beauty. It was an effort to keep thieves from breaking in. Not only was there ironworks across the windows, but also chain locks for doors and gates. Most houses in the city use this method against robbery. It doesn't always work, as thieves have often cut the ironwork and entered the houses anyway. Just for the record, we were broken into about 14 times in the course of 8 years. Not sure of the exact years, but do know it is no fun to wake up the next morning and find things broken into.  On the other hand, it is a blessing to wake up and realize God kept us under the protection of His wings.

How much effort do I take to guard my heart? What needs to be guarded? Oh I have a list of things—pride, covetousness, gossip, idolatry, discouragement, and the list goes on. If for one minute, I let my guard down, satan is at hand to immediately to load me down with sins unguarded.

But the guarded heart is the happy heart. It is the one that has peace. It takes work to guard our heart. We need time in the Word, prayer, and sharing God's Word with others.

My encouragement to you: Don't let the enemy steal your peace and joy!! Stay on Guard!
God bless you

Monday, November 7, 2011

Homecoming

1 John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."


Our daughter came home last night. What fun! She will be here for a few weeks while her husband is gone "on field."(military)  Nate was ecstatic to see his mother again. Great reunion!


Isn't that the way it should be? Children love coming home to parents, and parents loving to have them home. Rachel said last night, as we were all sitting around talking, "Wow, it is almost like Agape and I haven't been married, and it is like it was when we were all at home!" But of course, by this morning, when the kiddos were up, there was no doubt that it isn't just like when they were still at home. :))


The homecoming in Heaven will be sweeter. We'll be home with the Father. And He will welcome us with open arms. He loves us so much. It is difficult for me to really realize the extent of His love! I know He loves me, but unconditionally is hard to grasp. 


So thankful for His Grace, and looking forward to the Homecoming!!


We are praying that Pat can join us for Thanksgiving...we don't know when he'll be home yet.


Gracefully His.
God bless you



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Walk on High HIlls

Habakkuk 3:17-19 "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there ice no heard in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, He will make my feet like deer's feet. And He will make me walk on my high hills."

We have all been there....work, work, work and yet not enough to pay bills. The children get sick, the car breaks down, husband loses his job. Try this one...the "to do" list is long, one item started, interruption, back to item one, oops another interruption...deadline is coming up...let me try once again...interruption...attitude check. Attitude, Barb! Be thankful in all things. Do away with the negative.

This is what the verse is talking about, no matter how bad the situation we can rejoice in the Lord. He is our strength. He will give us energy to rise above the difficult places. So yesterday was one hurdle jumped. Actually two hurdles...the last one completed at 11:30 pm...smile.

I think my enemy, Satan, is not happy I have this verse this morning.

Have a good weekend.
God bless you


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keep Silence

Habakkauk 2:20 "But the Lord is in His holy temple, Let all the earth keep silence before Him."

The verses prior to this, is speaking of the ridiculousness of praying and crying out to images. Many images are overlaid with gold, bronze, silver yet have no breath in them. I remember the story Patrick tells when he was a little boy and his grandmother told him how St Michel (the catholic patron in his home town) was dropped during the parade, and broke into a thousand pieces. When Patrick was older, and told his grandma he was going to quit praying to Mother Mary and the saints as they are just wood, and couldn't help him anyway. His grandmother was appalled at the disrespect he showed. So the final statement was, "Grandma, you told me that. If St. Michel can't help himself when he falls, how can he help me with my school work."

I ask myself, how many times do I treat the Lord as an idol, and demand Him to "get up and do something," "do this," "when are you going to give me an answer?"

He is the Lord, He is Holy and I need to stand in awe of Him and keep silent before Him. This is a time of worship and not always a time of asking. It is not about me, but all about Him.

God bless you

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where to Start?

It is 11:00 am and I am asking, "Where do I start?" Your question may be, "What, you are only starting your day?"
The answer is "No." But I have been at it since 7:00 and find myself going nowhere fast. It's one of those days, "the faster I go, the be-hinder I get."

So I can throw up my hands and decide the work won't get done anyway, so why try? Or I can decide to move forward step by step, and hope by this evening there will be a significant difference on the desk. Hmm, which will it be? Probably move ahead, after all I see the deadline coming up all too soon.

So I see this in relationships. We try to amend, be friendly and kind, love, or whatever the situation may be. The more we try the more contankerous the other person becomes. So many times we throw up our hands and quit trying to befriend them. But there is a deadline...our last day on earth, which we do not know when it is.

I do not mean to say to comply to every whim and wish to the one you are trying to win for Jesus. There is this thing called tough love. Love them through the difficult times. Our enemies know when we love them or not.

May I encourage you (and me) to continue working through the rubble of relationship, show love, be generous in kindness, and don't forget to pray for them. You may not see a big difference in a day or a year, but one day, you will be rewarded for your faithfulness.

Have a great day....I will too, as I work through the piles of papers on my desk.

God bless you