Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I just want to wish all of you kind friends who have been following my blog a very Merry Christmas!!  I pray that you will make memories that last a lifetime, eat good food that has you reaching for stretchy pants, and celebrate Jesus' birthday in a way that brings glory to Him and warmth to your heart!

May God bless you and your family on this amazing Christmas holiday!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Home For The Holidays

Tonight on CBS at 8:00pm is a show called "A Home for the Holidays."  This show is about foster adoption and shows some true, inspiring stories as well some musical acts.  I look forward to this show every year.  As most of you know, we adopted our daughter a few years ago through the foster system.  We had an amazing experience and God really blessed us.  Our daughter was drug exposed and neglected but God still had a plan for her life.  We got her when she was 6 months old and have been in love with her ever since.  I know many people who say that they have considered adoption but then always shy away for one reason or another.  Fear is the main reason I've found.  Of course there is fear involved in taking the chance to love and lose a child but is it any different when you give birth to a baby?  You still have the fear of losing them as well, just to different circumstances.  But every child is God's and lives in God's perfect will.  I encourage every one to consider adopting!  These children need us and we need them.  Many blessing to everyone this holiday season as you spend time with your loved ones.  But take a second to think of a child who is living in your area and is waiting for a mom or dad.  Pray for them. 

James 1:27 says that looking after orphans is what our Father in heaven considers pure and faultless. 

Dear Jesus, there are so many children in this world that are waiting for a mom and dad, for a forever family.  Please stir the hearts of your followers to provide homes for these amazing kids.  Please be with the children and provide them with all of their needs this Christmas.  Lord, thank you for adopting me into your kingdom. Show me how to use my heart for adoption for Your glory!  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Grateful in the Midst

It is on these cold, rainy, winter days when our minds starts to wander to the things we wish we could be doing if the sun was only shining.  Yet, when the sun is shining, it is rare that we actually do those spontaneous activities that we dreamt about.  We need to make an effort to see the good in every situation that God places us in.  Sometimes it may feel like we are the most lonely person, or least successful, or even the one God forgot about, but it is not true.  There is always someone out there who has it worse than we do.  God didn't put us on this earth to feel sorry for ourselves but to live each and every day to the fullest, with Him by our side.  He has given us so much to be grateful for and it is only right that we thank Him with our hearts and our minds and our attitudes each and every day.  In Psalm 31: 23-24 David tells us how we are to live when he says, "Oh, love the Lord, all you his saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.  Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord."    "Walk in wisdom, redeeming the time." Colosians 4:5  "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."  Colosians 3:17

This day, whether it is cold and bitter outside or warm and bright, take a moment to thank God for placing your right where you are.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Who is God to you today?

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"  Psalm 27:1
"God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble." Psalm 46:1
"The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, you save me from violence.  I will call upon  the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies." 2 Samuel 22:2-4

The way that we see God reflects very strongly on the way we live our Christian lives.  The adjectives used by David and Samuel in the above verses portray a God without limitations.  God is described as light, salvation, strength, a refuge, a hero, a rock, a fortress, a deliverer, trustworthy, a stronghold, the Savior, and worthy to be praised.  Usually when you give someone a compliment it is after that person has done something to instigate it.  For example, a person you know gives you an encouragement card and you then thank them for being a good friend.  They are considered a friend because of their actions towards you.  When David exclaimed that the Lord is "a present help in time of trouble," it meant that, in some way, God had been there for him when he really needed him.  Each of those praises and compliments that David and Samuel exclaimed were earned by a loving God that they each knew and experienced personally.  Sometimes God may allow you to go through certain experiences that may seem incredibly hard at the time, but through them He is hoping to reveal more of Himself to you.  By experiencing Him in these situations, you become better equiped and ready to call on Him when the next difficult situation rolls around.  You will begin to lean on Him instead of trying to get through it in your own strength.  God desires for us to rely on Him and get our strength, encouragement and motivation from the love that He pours into our lives.  It is important to take time to ponder who God is to you.  In what ways have you seen Him work in your life, and in what ways has he provided for you?  Through each tough circumstance you go through, consider how your view of God changes.  A few years back my mom's sister passed away and I saw my mom's view of God change.  Over those months when my aunt was in chemotherapy, the Lord became a stronghold to my mom.  He brought peace to her heart in a way no one else could do.  God gave my mom the strength to be selfless and encouraging when she was with my aunt in the hospital, and then He comforted her when she wept and mourned in His arms for the loss of her beloved sister.  Does my mom wish she didn't have to go through that hard time? Of course, but she is incredibly thankful for the Lord's support and she now has a new perspective on who God is because of what he did for her.  God reveals himself to us through how he cares for us in the midst of our crazy lives.  Today he may be God..the comforter and tomorrow he may be God the ...challenger.  Who is God to you today??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Full Life

I have been sick the past 11 days.  It has not been fun.  I don't get sick too often, it's probably been a few years since I have had a cold knock me out like this one did.  I'm feeling better today so that is good.  In my foggy-headed state, I haven't had much interest in reading my bible or praying (beyond healing prayers), so my blog has taken a backseat this week.  Sorry.

Yesterday I laid on the couch and watched the movie "Eat, Pray, Love."  I knew going into it that I had some reservations.  I am really not interested in that buddha loving, meditation, earth-loving stuff.  But I am into travel.  I LOVE to travel!  And this movie took me on a visual journey through Italy, India, and Bali.   Seeing the world makes me stand in awe of God, of all that He has created and how incredibly creative He is!  Our God is so big.  It's easy to forget when you spend all your time in your small home or community.  The woman in the movie took a journey to these three countries for one year.  She came away with a feeling of fullness when it came to her life.  The movie makes it's own insinuations but I argue to say that being with people, meeting their needs, and sharing in life is what brought her fulfillment. 

God knows best what we need for a full life. John 10:10 says, "I  have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  He is our fullness... He fills us with his Holy Spirit and enables us to live out his will for our life!  The key to a full life is a life filled with Christ.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa or Jesus?

As a parent I have noticed quite the division between Christians regarding Jesus or Santa at Christmastime.  I kind of understand both sides, and it is definitely a family's personal choice.  But I guess my thought is why does it have to be an either/or argument.  Why can't we enjoy Santa and celebrate Jesus at Christmas.  To me, Santa Claus is a fun fantasy.  Yes, I know it is based on the legend of good ole St. Nick.  But in our day and time, it is just a really fun story that has been passed on for years.  I think it is important for kids to engage in fantasy.  It encourages their imagination and strengthens their innocence.  And most importantly, because it is FUN!  We are doing the whole Elf on the Shelf thing again this year and my daughter wakes up everyday with delight trying to find her elf, Baxter.  I think deep down she knows that the elf is just a toy but her innocent faith allows her to enjoy the tradition. 

Don't get me wrong here, I have no desire to make Christmas all about greed and presents and selfishness either.  I want my children to understand the true Christmas Story and celebrate Jesus' birthday too!  We blend it all together.  Hailey's favorite decoration is her Little People Nativity, she sings both christian and secular carols, and we read both christian and secular Christmas books.

I don't know many Christian adults whose faith was hurt by believing in Santa as a child, do you?  :)   The point is that you have to do what you feel is right for your family.  For us Santa is okay.  For others it may not be.  However you do it, hope you are having an awesome Christmas season!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Open Hand Parenting

If there is one thing I have learned this year, it is that God wants me to parent with an open hand.  Some of you know this and some of you don't but this year we took in a foster son that we were hoping to adopt.  We have been working through our County the past year and a half to get certified to foster adopt and back in May we were put on the matching list.  We got our foster son AJ in July.  He was a high risk case in that there was about a 50% chance of him being reunified with his birthfamily.  We took the chance while maintaining an open hand to God with AJ in our palm.  I believed that God placed AJ in our care for a reason and I needed to hold him up to God to either be kept with us or to move on.  I decided to trust God for his care rather than holding on to him so tightly and not letting God have control.  We had AJ for four months before he was reunified.  I'd be lying if I said it was easy to let him go but it definitely was easier than it would have been if I'd held on too tight.  God has a plan for AJ's life and it was not to be in our forever family.  But that doesn't change God's goodness or faithfulness. 

There are many people I know who say that they could never do foster adoption because the risk is so scary that the child could be removed from their home after they have bonded.  But isn't the risk just as real with naturally born children?  A child could get sick and die of a disease and be gone but I don't think any parent would wish they had not had the child even though they couldn't keep him forever.  You are just thankful for the time you had with them, cherish every memory, and pray for them always. 

We have to hold our children with open hands to God.  They are His after all.  He has entrusted them into our care for a specific amount of time, whether that be 4 months or 40 years.  We are to care for them and love them with all the strength that we have but when God says it is time, we have to trust them into His care.  In the Bible, Abraham is one of the best examples of holding a child with an open hand.  He had waited all those years for the son that God promised and then when he was finally able to rejoice in seeing God fulfill the prophecy, God asks him to go up to the mountain to sacrafice his son.  In the end, God didn't actually require Abraham to do this but he was just testing his faith to see if he would follow God at all costs.  He passed the test.(Hebrews 11:11, 17)

Let's keep our children in open hands to God, taking care of their needs but always trusting God with their futures.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Mom, He died?"

A few weeks ago I was in my bathroom putting my makeup on when my four year old daughter came into the room.  She said to me, "Mom, He died? Why did He have to die?"  I was a little confused at first and asked her, "Who died sweetie?"  She said, "Jesus."   For whatever reason, that morning it hit her.  He died.  She was sad, really sad, and there were tears in her eyes as she looked to me with one of the most important questions swimming in her mind.  "Why did Jesus have to die?" 

Wow.  I was taken aback.  When was the last time it really hit me that He died for me?  When was the last time that I felt the weight of the sacrafice that He made for my salvation.  I honestly don't think about it enough.  My daughter has proclaimed love for Jesus since she was three but it wasn't until that morning when the two of us sat on the floor of my bathroom and talked that she finally understood WHY we love Jesus.  We love Him because He first loved us.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:6-8

Jesus was not born to live on that night in Bethlehem, he had a greater purpose... He was born to die.  For you.  For me.  For every person alive then and now.  He died for us.  He gave his life so that we might be saved from a life without Him. 

My four year old is only beginning to understand the depth of her question, but I am so thankful for her reminder. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Home is where the hurt is

I've been thinking about it lately.   How come we give the best of ourselves to strangers and the least of ourselves to our family?  We get so comfortable with our spouse and our kids that our defenses come down and our "true" selves come out.  We yell at each other, we whine and complain, we gossip, and we are more selfish.  But to that lady at Target who rings up our order we give a warm smile and cheerful "how are you today?" 

I'm not saying we should be rude to the Target lady and nice to our family.  There should just be more of a balance.  We should be offering up our kindness and love and compassion to the one's in our home as well as the one's we encounter outside our home. 

Philipians 4:8 gives a good guideline on how we should act towards our family.  It says "  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things."

Imagine a home filled with truth, nobility, justness, purity, love, goodness and praise!  It is definitely worth trying to attain to for the benefit of ourselves and our family.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Sorry I was so slack on the blog last week!  With the holidays here, I am finding my days much more busy than usual.  Last week brought some church Christmas parties and some much enjoyed family time.  It seems like in life I am either busy or bored.  There are very rare moments that I am neither.  So then it is important to be intentional with my time.  Finding my cozy place each day to spend time with God becomes imperative to keep my focus on Him.  This past weekend my time with Him was limited to prayers said in my heart as I hurried from one place to the next.  But today I was able to take more time.  I woke up this morning with a heavy heart full of desires, needs, and doubts that I needed to hand over to my Heavenly Father.  So I packed my daughter up into the car and we took a drive down to San Diego.  It's about an hour away and it's a beautiful drive.  I put some soft Christmas music on and found my cozy place right there in my car as I poured out my heart to God.  We have a lot going on right now, a lot of things that are up in the air and could mean change.  Now, especially, I feel like God needs to be at the forefront of my mind.  My desires can so easily get in the way.  I feel so refreshed now, full of faith that God will work out all the details.  The main thing I got from the time is willingness.  I feel like God wants me to be willing.  Willing to go, willing to stay, willing to trust Him, willing to let go of my fears.  Willing. 

Is there something that you can think of that God wants you to be Willing to do?  It doesn't mean it is or isn't going to happen, just a willingness for it to be if it's God's will.  Find your cozy place and pray about this question. 

Psalm 51:12 "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Step of Faith

It is amazing how much our entire lives rest in the balance of our experiences in our first few years of life.  The amount that we are held as a child, the way our parents treated us, and the memories that were made became buried deep in our subconscious to be brought to the surface at the slightest incident.  As human beings, we are very fragile.  Many of us, over years of hurt and neglect, build up walls to protect ourselves from the world, but it never completely works.  We may shut out a few bad people, but in the long run we also shut out the good onees who want to encourage and love us as well.  It is hard to open up and be vulnerable with others because we have been hurt so much in the past.  To take the step to trust in someone as fallible as we know ourselves to be is incredibly difficult.  But it is a risk we need to take.

As as Christian, we cannot expect to experience a close, intimate fellowship with God unless we experience close, intimate fellowship with the people in our lives.  When Jesus Christ went to the cross to die for our sins He took the ultimate step of vulnerability in His relationship with us.  He essentially said, "I love you  and I am willing to do whatever it takes to show you how much."  He risked our rejection in His desire to be close to us.  But aren't you so incredibly glad that He did?!  He chose the joy of being intimate with those of us who choose to love and accept Him, at the cost of the humiliation that He received on the cross.  He calls us to be like Him, even in this. 

We need to step out, risk rejection, and conquer the fear of what others might think of us and be vulnerable and honest with one another.  The joy of the relationships we will have that are pure and godly are worth all of the effort.  Let's face it, when Christ was on earth, his whole ministry and life revolved around relationships.  And that is our's are to be as well.  Maybe you can think of someone right now that you have been meaning to talk to or ask out for coffee... do it!  That person most likely may be needing a good friend right now as much as you.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Living in expectation of Blessings

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!  And now, so begins my favorite time of year!  The Christmas season is not only one that is full of joy and laughter but also reflection and charity.  It is, I feel, when people become the best versions of themselves.  Like many, a few days after Thanksgiving was over we returned home and began decorating for the holiday.  My daughter is beyond excited this year.  She is four now and is starting to really understand what a big deal Christmas is.  First thing she says to me this morning when I woke up is, "Mommy, why aren't there any presents yet?"  Ah, gotta love kids!! 

But this got me thinking.  How many of us wake up in the morning and ask God, "What are the blessings you have for me today?"  Do you believe that God has good things for your life the way a child believes Santa (and her parents) have good things in store on Christmas morning?  Is there anyone in fact who can out-give God?  I want to live in joyful expectation of the blessings God has for me each and every day.  I want to wake with a smile and hope in seeing how God is going to work in my life to bring glory to Himself and to bring joy and love to others.  Often our expectations become our realities.  If this is true, I want to have positive expectations of blessings so that my days will be enjoyed and lived to the fullest. 

Tomorrow morning when you wake up let your first words to God be, "I thank you Lord for the blessings you will bring into my life today!  May I have eyes to see them and may I also be used as a blessing to others!" 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanks and Giving

Have you ever seperated this word into 2 words?  This holiday is meant to be about giving thanks for all of our life's blessings but there is a second, just as important part.  Giving.  We are to give to others too.  Both thanks and giving are forms of praise to God and awesome ways to draw closer to Him in our daily life.  You can give in more ways than just monetary.  You can give of your time, you can give of your resources, and you can even give of your love and kindness.  I want to challenge you (and myself) to not only be thankful this Thanksgiving, but to give as well. 

Proverbs 21:26b says "the righteous give without sparing."

Matthew 10:8 says "Freely you have recieved, freely give."

Romans 12:8 says "if it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously." 

2 Corinthians 9: 7 says "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver!!"

So let's GIVE and GIVE THANKS this holiday week!  Be blessed!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I attend a mom's group called MOPS which stands for "Mother's of Preschoolers."  It is such a great group of women and has been a huge encouragement to me the last few years.  Every other week we have a special speaker and yesterday was no exception.  A woman came and spoke about thankfulness.  We have all heard this speech many times over the years and it's always a good reminder however this woman had a slightly different spin on it.  She was talking to us about being thankful for the good things in our lives AND the bad things.  Hmm...thankful for the bad, haven't heard that one too often.  She was saying how we need to be thankful for the hard times in our lives because of how they change us and make us better and stronger women.  The bad times give us power in our faith because we can look back and see how God carried us through and how we made it to the other side.  I am sure every person right now could think of a very difficult time in their life, and although they would never wish to relive it, can now look back and see how God provided for them through it.  God provides through friendships, through financial means, through family support, through the kindness of strangers.  There are so many ways that He is there for us through those hard times, we just don't often see it until they have passed. 

A few years ago my husband and I were going through a very difficult time financially.  It was November and he was working for a 100% commision job and I was a school teacher at a small christian school.  We were living as bare as we could and still not making ends meet until one night when our car got reposessed due to not making payments.  I was scared, frustrated, and very unsure about our future.  I remember after the repo guys left, my husband and I went up to our room and got on our knees and just prayed together.  We knew there was literally nothing else we could do and we had to leave it all in God's hands.  The next day I went to school and my Principal called me to her office.  She gave me a check for over $2000 to help cover our bills.  It turned out that a friend of mine who was also a teacher there had talked to her about our situation and they had gotten all the teachers from the whole campus to donate money.   I was shocked.  Then on the way home my husband told me that a friend of ours had given us a check for $1600 with no strings attached.  They just felt God leading them to do it.  That $3600 was the exact amount of money that we needed, to the dollar, to catch up on every bill that we had including car payments and getting our car back.  We started that January of the new year completely current on everything and two months later my husband got a great new salaried job. 

Romans 5:4 says, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." 

Like this verse, that suffering time really did develop perseverance, character, and hope in us.  We have had many more financial struggles since then but we always look back to that time and remember how God took care of us.  And we know to be thankful in the good and thankful in the bad because in the end, all that matters is that we are being built into the people that He created us to be.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Letting Go= Freedom

Do you remember the first time you ever rode a bike?  I do.  I was about 5 years old and I remember being terrifeid that my dad would let go of the back of my bike seat and I would fall.  I would make him promise before I even got on the bike that he would not let me go.  He gently told me that he would only let go if I asked him to.  My dad knew something that I didn't know.  He knew that it was only when he let go that I would truly learn to ride.  He  knew that sometimes it is worth the risk of falling to learn something new.  One of the biggest problems that plagues our community is laziness.  We have stopped taking the risk of letting go.  We get into a daily routine that doesn't challenge us or deepen our understanding of this great, big world or our great, big God.  It is God's desire for us to ride this life with passion and purpose!!  He calls, beckons, and pleas with us to trust Him and step out in faith.  He does this because He knows that it is only when you take that step of faith, or let go of what comes easily to you, that you truly get to expereince His power in your life.  There are many areas in which He may be asking you to let go. Some people may be holding on to family or relationship problems.  Some may be holding on to their own perception of how life "should" be.  When we let go of these things and trust God with them, we expereince a freesom and peace that only He can give.  Galations 5:1 says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."  Let go of whatever it is that is holding you back from truly riding through this life and the amazing plans God has for you. Pedal like crazy, keep your hands on the bars, eyes and heart always focused on the goal Jesus Christ and you will experience a freedom to live like you have never lived before.

Monday, November 15, 2010

But First...

Luke 9:61 says, "As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."  Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."  He said to another man, "Follow me."But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."  Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."  Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family."  Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

As I read this passage a few things really stick out to me.  One is that Jesus calls everyone to follow Him.  Second is that when He asks us to follow Him, he asks us to not only leave the bad things in our life but also some of the good.  Both of the men in this passage, said YES, they would follow him.  But then they said "But First..."  They wanted to follow God but first they wanted to do something that they felt was more important at that moment.  Burying their dead and saying goodbye to their family were not bad things in and of themselves but they weren't as important as what God was calling them to do...follow Him. 

God calls us to leave the bad to follow Him, that we can understand.  But why does He call us to leave the good?  There is only one reason.  He has something Great for us instead!!  Maybe you are in a job that is a good job, it pays the bills, it has good benefits, and it's easy.  But maybe, just maybe God wants you to leave that good job because He has a great job for you!!!  Maybe He has plans for your life that are beyond your wildest dreams and maybe you will never get to see what He could do in your life unless you are willing to step away from the good and FOLLOW HIM to the great. 

Ephesians 3:20 says that He is able to do immeasurably more than we could EVER ask or imagine!!  I can imagine a lot of amazing things and yet God is able to do more than that!  I want the great that God has in store for my life!!  Don't you?  What good thing are you holding onto before opening your heart to fully Follow God??  A job?  A friendship?  A home?  An idea of what you think your life should be like?  God's plans for your life are so much greater than any plans that you have!  So, today, make the decision to Follow Him and leave your "but firsts" behind.  There is no better path to take!

Friday, November 12, 2010


A couple days ago I decided to take Hailey, my daughter, to Chick Fil A for lunch.  I decided to take her to the one by the mall instead of the one in our city.  Hailey says to me, "Mom, I don't want to go to that Chick Fil A because it is offensive to me."  Um, what?  I asked her if she knew what the word offensive meant and she said, "it means bad, like something you don't like."  Wow.  I couldn't believe that she actually knew what the word meant!  But it really struck me how much she has been imitating me lately in the things I say and do.  When I am frustrated my first instinct is to audibly grown.  Guess what Hailey's first instinct is when she is frustrated?  You got it. A phrase I started saying lately is "Say whaaaat?" (you know, in the high pitched silly way?).  Well, Hailey is saying that now too.  She eats what I eat, she watches to see how I react in situations and she follows suit.  It is an enormous responsibility to be a mom.  I am literally shaping her with every single thing I do and say.  Wow. 

This morning I was reading in Ephesians and a verse stuck out to me that really hits this subject on the head. Ephesians 5:1a says, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children...."  God recognized that our dearly loved children are imitators of US and He used that as an example of how we should be imitators of HIM.  He wants to shape us to be more like him, and like children, the way to do that it to imitate Him in action, in word, in faith.  The Bible lays out his life for us so that we can imitate Him to become more like Him!  He is our perfect example!! 

We are all imitating someone.  Who are you imitating?  Are you imitating the characters you see on TV, are you imitating your best friend with the potty mouth,  are you imitating the neighborhood gossip, are you imitating your abusive family member, are you imitating the joneses of the world that only value possessions?  Or are you  imitating God?  I want to imitate God.  I want His peace, His compassion, His heart for the unsaved, His patience, His love, His hope, and His unending never wavering forgiveness. 

Just a thought...if you are imitating God, and your children are imitating you...aren't they inadvertently imitating God as well...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So, I have been mulling over the whole concept of what it means to be "on fire" for God vs. "lukewarm" towards him.  An analogy popped into my head yestererday morning.  It is kinda like being "in love" vs. "in like."  When you LOVE someone, you want to spend all of your time with them, you talk about them constantly, and they are always just a sigh away.  When you just like someone, you can take em or leave em, you are distracted by other likes, and they are just around.  I think that to be "on fire" means to be "in love" with Jesus.  I  believe this is why new believers are so passionate, so on fire!  They have just discovered God and can't shut up about it!!  It's all so new and exciting!  But just like marriage, that honeymoon period only lasts so long and you have to find a way to keep that fire burning, not just for your spouse but for God as well.  This is the reason Christians have churches, revivals, ministries, outreaches, and bible studies!  These are all geared towards keeping your fire alive for Christ.  Similar to marriages that have date nights, family vacations, marriage retreats, and anniversaries to keep the marriage love alive. 

Revelation 3:15-16 says, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm -neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth."

God does not want us to be lukewarm towards Him any more than our spouse wants us to be lukewarm toward them.  We need to have a passion for God, a daily life of praise towards Him, focusing always on His purpose for our life!  It is not something that will just happen without our effort.  We have to DO, BE, and GROW in our faith!  We can't sit still and wait for it to come to us, we have to take that first step and see which way God leads. 

Is there a step that God has been calling you to take?  You will never know the great things God has for you if you don't take that risk!  Trust Him, he won't let you fall!  It's time to stoke that small flicker into a wildfire for God! 

Dear God, please let my faith be fanned into a wildfire for you!!  Amen

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lukewarm or On Fire?

My friend Julie Mitchell recommended this podcast to me by Francis Chan called "Lukewarm and loving it."  It is beyond challenging. Especially for someone like myself who has been a Christian for 28 years, since I was 5 years old.  Keeping that fire for God burning is something that has to be constantly worked on.  If you think about it, a real fire does not stay strong unless you add wood to it and stoke it with a stick and maybe add some lighter fluid or blow on it.  So how does that relate to my own walk with God?  Well, the wood could be the Word of God, the stick could be the Holy Spirit's prodding, and the lighter fluid could be acts of godly service to others as well as blowing could just be covering it in prayer.  It's not easy to stay on FIRE with God, it takes effort and care and lots of encouragement.  I found myself questioning myself as I listened to this podcast.... am I on Fire, really?  And what does that mean for me? 

Francis Chan asked the audience to pray to God and ask Him these three questions...
1. Reveal areas in which I am lukewarm.
2. Give me strength in my areas of weakness.
3. Am I willing to do whatever it takes get myself on fire for him?

I spent some time in prayer tonight, asking God these things.  In my heart of hearts, all I want is to please my heavenly Father, to honor him with my life.  I want to spend my eternity with Him. 

It's not easy admitting you are lukewarm, but admitting it and being ready to change is a start that could be the beginning of many incredible things that God has been waiting to do in your life. 

Below is the podcast, and I encourage you to watch it and pray about what it means to you.

What's in a Name?

It is really quite difficult to pick a name for a blog.  Do you do something cutesy or clever?  Or do you pick something that has a deep meaning and significance to you?  Do you pick something catchy or something understated?   I think you have to pick something that goes along with the theme of your blog.  I am going to be using this blog to write about the things God is teaching me and I wanted a name that invoked the emotions that I feel when God is near. 

Everyone has a different "cozy place."  It is the place in your home or life that you feel God closest.  For some people it is an old chair or couch with a view out of window in which you can sit and reflect on who your God is.  For others it may be outdoors, walking through the woods or even on a porch swing.  More simply it may just be those 3 minutes from the moment you open your eyes in bed to the time you get up and start your day in which you just breathe and reflect on your life and your faith. 

I have had many cozy places over the years, some outdoors, some indoors, some in the peaceful moments of life and some in the adventurous moments.  But the most important thing is that you have your own cozy place.  We all need to have a place where God feels near, where we can hear him speak to us.  It is in the day to day normalties of life that God is trying to teach us how to live and live for Him. 

So where is your cozy place?  If you don't have one, find one.  Go there for at least 5 minutes every day.  You don't have to say anything, you don't have to pray or talk or read.  Just be available to God.  Show Him that you care and you want to hear from Him.  It's such a small thing but can make such a big difference.  Some days you may need just a few minutes to reconnect and others you may need an hour to pour out your heart to Him.  Just go there.  Find your cozy place, get comfortable, and prepare yourself for God to do an amazing work in your life. 

I am going to write about what God is teaching me and I'd love to know what He teaches you as well!  Many blessings as we go on this adventure together!