Saturday, August 30, 2014

Batteries & A Sandwich

Where do I even begin!?

The biggest reason I wanted to start this blog was to share with everyone my glorious God and the unconditional love and grace that he has blessed me with!

A few weeks ago the The Bearded One (my husband) and I were headed about an hour out of town to run some errands.  On the way we listened to a podcast; a David Platt sermon on his book Radical. I cant give you the exact theme of the sermon, but it challenged me about being more proactive in my intent to share the Lord's blessings with others.  I began to pray, that throughout the day while we made our various stops God would place people in our path for us to bless.  I asked that He would place extra conviction upon us that we may not pass up opportunities to bless someone in His name.

Our first stop would be a quick one and the most painful; we had to buy a new battery for the truck, and it wasn't going to be cheap!  We had actually chose this specific location knowing it would cost us slightly more, but willing to pay the extra cost for a better quality battery and because we like knowing our money is going into a Christian owned business.  While paying for the truck battery we were talking to the salesman/owner about a recent loss we knew his family had been through and offering what little condolence we could.  When he told us the total we realized he had given us a discount on the battery.  (*Note- making it cheaper than had we of just went and got the cheap battery)  We thanked him for the unexpected bonus of a discount and started making our way to the door.  I noticed a small flashlight my husband had been wanting was about 65% off, the owner complimented the quality of the product and my husband decided on the light as well.  Once again, at checkout, the owner blessed us, by putting a free package of batteries for the light in the bag!

Now I know to most this doesn't seem that "divine," but by the time I got back in our truck I was nearly in tears.  I had spent the last 30+ min asking God to let US bless someone else, and here we were, our day barley started and we were abundantly blessed by the generosity of a small business owner we barely knew.

I meant to share this story shortly after I officially started this blog, but I never did put it to words.
Today, a very similar situation reminded me to share!

My prayer this morning...

"Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God" Hebrews 12:12-15

Lord give me your holiness today so that others may see You! Strengthen me so that I may keep my feet on straight paths.

This was at the very beginning of an early 12 hr shift after only 3 hours of sleep.  I knew I needed what only the Lord could give if I was going to peacefully make it through this these 12 hours in the middle of a holiday weekend.  Even more so I didn't want to just "get through" the day, I wanted others to see the Lord  and obtain the grace of God.  

The morning had passed fairly quickly and I had an opportunity for lunch.  I didn't have time to pack a lunch before I left, so I had just grabbed a snack hoping that would hold me over til I got home that evening.  However, noon came in with a (belly) roar and I wanted more!  I headed to the cafeteria and decided to splurge on Subway, after all, it had been awhile since I had delighted myself. (*So long I had forgotten how to order my sandwich)

I briefly spoke to the doctor in front of me. (mostly him laughing because my sandwich ordering skills were a little dusty) 
Once again, most unexpectedly, God sent blessings to me.  At the end of the line, despite my opposition, Dr insisted he buy my lunch.  I thanked him and told him he had no idea how special that made me feel.

My God has once again turned my request for grace and an opportunity to share it with someone else, into showers of blessings for me.  Again, I know what your thinking, a $5 lunch can't possibly make you feel that special.  But Oh it does! 

 "One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much" Luke 16:10

This verse applies to our God as well!  He is showing us through the "little" that we can trust Him with much!!!  We need not worry about our needs; only strive to show others who our grace giving Savior is, and He will know doubt show himself to us!

I hope you know how much He loves you and want to show you His faithfulness in the little and much; even when you least expect it!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The golden rule... FAIL

I recently had to attend another mandatory "forum" or such at work; this one on customer excellence.  

A couple times throughout the speakers we heard the "golden rule" - "do unto others as you want done to you"

I REALLY started to contemplate if I myself embodied this general "rule."  I consider myself, for the most part, to be pleasant, joyful, caring, and kind.
But am I ALWAYS that way? I can honestly say I WANT to genuinely love others with my actions and words.  So why do I struggle with my reactions and attitude? 

During our first break of the morning I opened one of my daily devotion readings to find what?...none other than Matt 7:12: "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets"

The devotion was entitled "What do you wish?"

"What if we enacted the Golden Rule in our churches, neighborhoods, and homes? What if we really and truly treated others the way we wished to be treated? What if we thought more of them than we did ourselves? Wouldn’t it take an earth-shifting change of thought and action?"- She Reads Truth

-Is this easy for us? 
-Do our failures in this area reflect a desire to treat other maliciously? Or a struggle beyond mortal flesh?
-Is the real question about how we respond to others, or how we respond to God?
- What Do we wish?

This is my confession... I most definitely do not always find that loving attitude so easy accessible inside myself. We hear and talk about the temptations and failures of the "big sins," but what about the sin seedlings in our hearts that will eventually take root?  I find the bitterness within me is also often the most damaging! Why? Because it's sneaky. it's quick. it's often disguised. I feel like no matter how hard I "try" I still find myself in the aftermath of the "evil inside me."
Paul said it better than I ever could...

"For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:14-24

I still remember the first time I read this passage! A few years ago I was crying out to God, apologizing for the filth I felt beyond skin deep.  I was trying to convince Him with my words that it was a struggle I was trapped in, not some conscious attempt to rebel, but something I didn't have the power to fight against. In His always astounding wonder and grace, He simply said "I know," and brought my eyes and heart to the very words He inspired Paul with some 2000 years ago!

And in true Creator & Savior fashion, He didn't just listen, He responded...

"Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death" Romans 7:25-8:2

The She Reads Truth devotion I read that morning addressed the idea that we tend to not love others well, because we love ourselves instead. I think that's true in the sense that we are (possibly even unconsciously) responding to the fleshly calling from with in ourselves rather than the spiritual calling from our Lord.  We haven't yet fully died to ourselves.

It is only by the love of God that we are able to TRULY love anyone else. God isn't giving us a free pass to say "the devil made me do it (or say it)," but He has given us the free gift of grace and forgiveness.  He is giving us the power of Himself to overcome the flesh of sin and death! 

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:6-9

While reading Lysa Terkeurst's book "Unglued" I wrote down this statement from her writing..."Because God made our bodies, and all the emotions, hormones, and chemical responses they contain, His word provides the wisdom on how to manage it all."  I think Philippians 4 is a great place to start; keeping our hearts and minds on all virtue and praise!

For me this isn't a one and done deal.  My flesh struggles daily with the "law of sin," but I choose to battle with my mind on the "law of God." It often comes through a gentle reminder from one of His children, but it's no doubt through the power and grace of God!

"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6

This is how we are able to treat others how we wish to be treated, despite none of us deserving it!
Please pray for me as I allow God to mold me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

His Brightness is like the light

"His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power" Habakkuk 3:4 #HisCreation

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Inspired by Your Love

Stirred by Your people
Awakened by Your calling
Prompted by Your voice
Galvanized by Your commission
Energized by Your promises
Moved by Your presence
Influenced by Your example
Encouraged by Your Word
Motivated by Your sacrifice
Inspired by Your LOVE

Free Books

Everyone loves free stuff! I especially love FREE BOOKS!!!

Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan  Get it HERE

No Longer a Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan Get it HERE

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand  Get it HERE

Look What God is Doing by Dick Eastman Get it HERE

All John Piper books available as PDF downloads for FREE HERE

Truth for Youth free BIBLE to anyone age 13-18 to hand out at school! HERE

I always said I would not get a kindle because holding a book and flipping through the pages is half the experience! But I soon learned that free books were just too temping!  Scroll through Amazons free books for endless options!

Sign up with HERE with David C Cook ebooks for a FREE book every week!

*Comment below if you know of a free book not listed on this page!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Country Spotlight: Pray for Uganda

Pearl of Africa - A Nation of Children

Why Pray for Uganda?...

 - 24.5% of the population is below the poverty level

 - 25.2% of the population has unimproved drinking water

 - 48.7% of the population is less than 15 years old 

 - Home to 2.5 million orphans

 - 63,300 AIDS deaths each year (6th in the world)

 - 9% of the country is unreached

 - "The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) spreads terror and has committed countless atrocities, having evolved over 20 years into little better than an occult-powered militia group. Its predation displaced nearly two million people and has taken more than 120,000 lives."

Sources: Operation World , UNICEF ,

Ministries in Uganda:

My favorite Bible Study Apps

I  (like most) pretty much ALWAYS have my phone with me!  It is my own personal office on the go, which means at times it is the quickest option for bible study and very convenient for 'on the go' encouragement & study!  Here are some of my favorite aps...

You-version Holy Bible  - FREE

Perhaps the most popular bible app YouVersion is easy to navigate and with constant improvements currently offers reading plans, small self-studys, verse of the day, and more!

iTalk to God - FREE - $0.99

For a quick reference based on how you are feeling this is the go to app! Available in many different versions, there is a free version or get even more emotions and verses for just 99 cents!

KJV+ Strong's Concordance -$.99

Best 99 cents I have spent! I cant get enough of this app!  I love to dig deeper into TheWord one word at a time, and this app is perfect! An entire Strong's in the palm of your hand, you can search by the English word or by the Strong's reference number!  Just click on the word in the text to see the Greek or Hebrew and go to similar scripture with just a finger tap!

She Reads Truth - FREE

A fairly new app, but I am loving it!  After following SheReadsTruth on instagram I learned they came out with an app!  It includes some free bible studies as well as some available for purchase!  Each daily reading includes scripture, devotion, and discussion forum!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Do you have a favorite not listed here!? Tell us about it and comment below!

Thank you

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

He prepares rain for the Earth

I just had to share this picture I took from a couple of weeks ago! 

He covers the heavens with clouds;
    he prepares rain for the earth;
    he makes grass grow on the hills. 

-Psalm 147:8 ESV

#Heissogood #Hiswordistruth