Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Every Thought Obedient

Last week was pretty rough.  Looking back I can see that many of the “problems” stemmed from giving in to my feelings and listening to my wrong thoughts.  I didn’t counsel my heart according to the Word of God, but I relied on myself and my instincts. 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…
2 Corinthians 10:5

I must always be on the offensive, taking those wrong thought patterns and putting them in their place – under the authority of Christ.  He died to give me the ability to do so.  He died so that I didn’t have to live enslaved.

I have recently realized (through a Bible study at church) that the reason I choose to live by my own feelings and listen to my own thoughts is because I am an idolater.  I have idolized myself so much that I choose to listen to me instead God’s Word, that I choose to operate on what I feel rather than on what He says is true.

It is definitely a moment-by-moment battle.  I can’t lock all the thoughts away at the beginning of the day and be done.  I wish it were that easy.  I’m thankful that we have the Holy Spirit who there moment-by-moment to fight the battle, to counsel my heart, to lead me in the right.

Though my sin nature is ever present, it doesn’t have to have any dominion or power over me.  This excerpt from my devotional book today really describes it well.

I don’t want to live enslaved to a tyrant who no longer has a right to demean and terrorize me, tormenting me with guilt and self-doubt.  I’m tired of giving the devil more airtime in my mind than I give the Holy Spirit.”

~Lazarus Awakening, by Joanna Weaver

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Proverbs 31:26

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

prov 31 26 jpg

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I was feeling rather down last night because of several failures and inadequacies that have been raising their ugly heads lately.  I was having trouble focusing on the victories which I know have been accomplished (and those that are yet to come) in Christ.

I am reading At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver as a daily devotional supplement.  Today’s words were just for me!

“I was struggling once again with my continued inadequacies.  “Will I ever change?” I asked God.  “Will I ever be what You want me to be?”

How often do you shower, Joanna?  the God-thought came softly to my heart.

Every day, my heart answered back.  Or at least every other day.

Why is it, then, that you only find it necessary to come to the cross once in a while?

After all, I sensed the Spirit reason, in the natural you shower every day because your produces toxins and life involves contact with things that make you dirty.

The same is true in the spiritual realm.  Don’t wait till sin build up to a spiritual crisis, I sensed the lord saying.  Deal with it daily.  Come clean so I can make you clean.  The cross made you My child, and it is the cross that will also make you holy.”

Joanna Weaver, At the Feet of Jesus, p. 313

I too have been taking the cross for granted.  Relying on prayer time and devotions with my children to carry me through the day, instead of taking that time on my own to fill my spiritual cup.  I’ve been negligent in focusing on the power of the cross – not only to forgive my sins and make me God’s child, but also it’s power to free me from the bondage of sin on a moment-by-moment basis. 

I need to take my daily shower and be restored to the joy of my salvation so that I can face my inadequacies and failures in the power of Christ.

Thursday, October 24, 2013



Recently, my husband and I applied to a mission board as church planters to New York City.  The application process was involved, and the last step was an in-person interview and doctrinal review in Alabama.  The board wanted to be sure they are in agreement with us because many churches will be familiar with what the mission board stands for, though they do not know us personally.  If the mission board has approved us, then the church can know that we are in agreement and will be a good representation of them on the mission field.

As we prepared for our doctrinal review, I found myself very nervous.  My palms were sweaty and I was fidgeting.  Ben kept telling me to relax, so I know my nervousness was evident.  The funny thing is that I didn’t really have anything to be nervous about.  First, the questions were almost exclusively directed at Ben.  Secondly, the questions were about doctrines and passages that both Ben and I know very well.  We had prepared.  We had studied.  And yet I was nervous.  Would the Board of Trustees approve us?  Would this trip turn out to be in vain, and embarrassing if we returned home unapproved?

Gratefully, the Lord saw fit to join us with the mission board.  The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept us.  They placed their stamp of approval upon us as church planters.  No longer was I just a “candidate” as my name tag read.  Now I was approved.  Accepted.  Part of the “family.”

When I returned home and unpacked our belongings, I saw my nametag sitting on the dresser.  The word “candidate” caught my attention and I was again so grateful that I was now accepted.  But it made me think about my spiritual acceptance.  When I became a Christian, in that very moment of dependence by faith for salvation, God placed His stamp of approval on my life.  Unlike the mission board application process, I didn’t have to prove myself to God.  There was no waiting period, reference check, or interview with the board.  I didn’t have to go through a man, prove myself “good” enough, or list my character qualities.  Quite the opposite.

There was nothing I could do on my own to please God.  The Bible says that all of the good things I could ever do are just like filthy rags to God (Is. 64:6).  I can never measure up to His standard of absolute holiness and perfection.  I have missed the mark (Rom. 3:23).  But praise the Lord, Jesus Christ came and died in my place.  He exchanged my sins for His robes of righteousness, took my punishment, and gave me the right to be called a son of God.  Accepted.  Part of the family.  When God looks at me, He sees His Son Jesus Christ.  Now that is something to be excited about! 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace…”

Ephesians 1:3-7

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Forgetting that I Am Purged from My Sin



This is something that the Lord has been working in my heart for a while now.  I didn’t really know how to express it, and I’m still not sure that my words are adequate.  It first came to light when my husband pointed out my impatience with my children.  It was the end of a long day, and they had disobeyed yet again.  In disciplining them I was able to recount every little thing that they had done wrong that day.  My husband said that he didn’t think I had truly forgiven them, even though they had asked for forgiveness after each discipline session that day.  Love keeps no record of wrongs.  So why had I failed to truly forgive them?  Perhaps because it had been a while since I had mediated upon the forgiveness offered to me by the Lord.  Every day.  Many times a day.  My own sin is overwhelming sometimes.  How can I fall into that same sin, yet again?  Why can’t I just obey the Lord?  That forgiveness which He willingly and lovingly bestows each time I ask it cost Him a great price – His life.  He willingly paid it in full at Calvary.  When I lose sight of how much I have been forgiven, it is easy to get frustrated and impatience at the failings of others, especially my children.

Right now, I am to show them Christ.  I am a picture of Him that they can see each day.  How am I portraying Him?  Am I showing my kids that our God is a loving, patient God who forgives us even when we have failed yet again

Several scripture passages from my devotions over the last couple of months have solidified this truth in my heart.  Today’s seemed to be the icing on the cake.

According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor un fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

2 Peter 1:3-9

In the first verses I am assured that I can be a partaker of the Divine Nature.  That is exactly what I want – the essence of Christ living through me on a daily basis.  In fact, everything I need for life and godliness is already provided through His power.  Then verses 5-7 tell me what I must diligently do – growing my faith step by step.  It takes work – it won’t happen overnight.  But I think it will be worth the effort.  Look at the list – faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. 

Each of those things would help me as I interact with my children.  Sometimes I stop and listen to my voice and realize there wasn’t a lick of kindness in it, even as I reprimand my kids for not being kind to each other.  Patience – oh how I need that!  Sometimes I just can’t process all of the needs of my kids, which seem to come all at the same time.  Sometimes I just don’t want to wait while my two year old does it himself.  Sometimes I grow frustrated with my three year old’s disobedience.  I need more patience.  And love.  That would go a long way in making discipline effective.  It must be done with love if it is to get their heart, and not just their compliance.

But it is verse 9 that really seals it all together.  If these character qualities of the life of Christ are not present in my life, then I am blind and forgetful.  In fact, I have forgotten the most important event in my life – that I was purged from my old sins.  How did I get saved?  By Christ lovingly and freely offering me forgiveness, for all of my sins, past, present, and future.  He knew I would sin again and offend His law.  He knew I would fail.  Yet He promised in 1 John 1:9 that when I come and confess, He will forgive me yet again.  How can I not offer forgiveness to my own children for their petty offences, when Christ has so amazingly forgiven my sin?

It’s been a while since I read it, but Amy Carmichael has a book called If and it is full of simple yet profound statements that show how little I understand Calvary love. 

If I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient unloving word, then I know
nothing of Calvary love.

If I can easily discuss the shortcomings of any; if I can speak in a casual way of
a child’s misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

I want to know more of Calvary’s love.  I want to realize more fully all that I have been forgiven.  And I want to offer that forgiveness to others, so that I may point them to Christ who can completely forgive all their sin and give them all things for life and godliness, making them partakers of the Divine Nature.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Confessions of a Selfish Mom

love their children jpg

Last week and already this week have been very challenging for me in my mothering journey. I knew that having four kids ages 3 and under wouldn’t be a party everyday. But the twins have been so easy and good that I think I deceived myself again into saying “I can do this.” Nolan has lived to prove me wrong, and Elaine is helping him. I’m trying to remember that God is pressing me into a place where I can’t do this, in order that I might lean on Him completely.

Today, as my kids sit in yet another time out, I sat on the couch and cried. Cried because all I wanted was a few moments of quiet time with my Bible. Cried because I am weary of fighting this battle. Cried because I feel like we can never go on deputation with children like these. Cried because Ben wasn’t able to talk to me on the phone right now. And then I opened my Facebook account, and there was this post on Beyond Bath Time

Confessions of a selfish mom:

Some days I'm keenly aware of my self-centeredness. I like to wake up and have my home revolve around my needs. My need for sleep. My need for my coffee. My need for my space. My need for my children to behave like I want them to. My need for my husband to respond to me the way that makes me comfortable.

But God's truth confronts these "needs" and brings them to proper perspective. These are self-centered wants, demands, expectations. I create an idol out of my comfort. This pushes God to the side. It shows my tiny view of the cross.

Jesus came to serve others. He came to lay down His life for others. As daughters of the Most High King, this is our role. To lay aside wants and demands and to serve. To realize what we really deserve is hell, eternity separated from God. What He's given us is grace and He imparted His righteousness to us.

I must preach the gospel to myself daily. To view myself through the cross. To seek to live the gospel to my family. To purge selfishness from my heart through the power given to us through the Holy Spirit.

All for His glory!
A Selfish Mom clinging to the cross!

I really needed that just now. You would think it is second nature for a mother to love her children.  But sometimes it is such a struggle to express that love the way God wants me to.  I love myself, and my Flesh Woman doesn’t like to be set aside so that I can love someone else.  I now understand why Paul commanded Titus that the older women should teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children.

Titus 2:3-5  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

When I love my children like God wants me to love them, when I set aside my own desires and wants, when I let the love of Christ to overflow through my life, then the Word of God is not dishonored.  Only Christ can unselfishly love my little people, and sometimes He chooses to do it through me.  That is amazing.  I want them to see Christ’s love in me today.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I shall not want

The Lord is my Shepherd jpg

I thought I had learned this lesson.  Many times.  But it keeps coming back.  “I shall not want.”  The Lord is teaching me this in new dimensions.  When I teach this verse to my kids, I ask them a series of questions.

“Who takes care of the sheep?”  Little voices answer with, “The Shepherd.”

“Who is the Shepherd?”  “Jesus.”

“Who is a sheep?”  “Me!”

The Shepherd takes care of the sheep.  His tenderness is pictured well in Isaiah 40:11 -  “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”  He is so tender and loving; patient and kind.  Lifting those who need help.  Walking slowly with the little ones.  Even when it takes me a long time to learn what is He trying to teach me, He is still patient and loving and continues to walk with me.  He continues to prove Himself trustworthy.  He continues to meet my needs, so that I shall not want.

It took me a long time to learn that He provides financially.  Through seasons of no work, or underpaying work.  Through college bills and times of unexpected expenses.  Through bad economy and the needs of four children.  God has always provided what we need, just when we need it.

I used to be pretty stingy.  I can’t print those things for church because I will run out of ink.  Or, I can’t afford the gas to travel there/help that person.  Or, I can’t sign up to bring food for the church fellowship because I don’t enough.  Why did it take me so long to learn that God would supply what I unselfishly gave to others?  And yet many times I still have to remind myself that everything I have isn’t really mine – it came from God.  He provided our van.  He gave us our computer and printer.  He fills our refrigerator.  He gave me clothes for my children.  If I share it with someone else, He will replenish it (and He always gives more in return than I gave away to begin with).

Recently I felt like I had a breakthrough.  When there was no work (and thus no paycheck), I didn’t immediately cry or stress out, panicking about financial obligations.  There was peace that God would supply in the right timing.  And He did.  He has already made up what was lacking.  The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

Now He is teaching me that He is my Shepherd in other areas.  Not just financially, but emotionally, and spiritually too.  I have felt a little dry lately.  Probably because I have four kids and my “quiet” times with the Lord are not really very quiet, and they are nearly always very short.  But somehow…providentially…He provides just what I need.  Just a thought or a verse for the day.  A text that someone is praying for me.  An article online that speaks to what I am struggling with.  A compliment or funny moment from my kiddos.

I haven’t sat through an entire church service for a while.  There are two babies who never seem to want to nurse at “the right time.”  But the portions of the service that I do get have been filling me up.  A phrase from a song.  The Scripture reading.  Or just the third point of the sermon.  A teenager’s testimony.  The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

When things are hard in Mommy Land and I feel like I just can’t handle it, He is gently reminding me that He is there with me.  His grace is sufficient.  I can handle it.  When I feel like crying, or yelling, or having a nervous breakdown, He reminds me that this is His Will for me.  He tells me He is holding my hand.  He shows me that my kids are “catching” things from my life – is what I am “throwing” worth catching?  I don’t have to lean on another person.  It’s not what my husband can say, or the hug from a friend that gets me through.  It’s my Shepherd.  Gently leading me.  Sometimes carrying me.  The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

It’s one of those verses that we learn as a child.  One that many people probably know.  But it’s so profound – so hard to live out.  But so wonderful to experience.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Some Thoughts on Motherhood

These snippets from readings recently encouraged, challenged, and convicted me on the topic of motherhood…

“God put Sabbath Rest into the weeks of our lives with a purpose. I have found that when I believe and engage my heart in the goodness of God’s character, and put out of my mind, after praying, all that I am carrying and just seek to be still and find joy, I see the miracles bubbling up slowly, surely, as He, my Father, delights to provide.

However, a Martha heart is of ten wont to see the miracles, as she is so busy living in the whirlwind of her own meek provisions, she loses all hope and becomes a wretched nag.”

~Sally Clarkson, A Wise Woman Sleeps

“These days I have no baby in the house. Instead, I have an exuberant seven-year-old and three teenagers. And these beloved children still take up all of my time, but in different ways. Yet since I know that this is a necessary sacrifice, a part of my service to them and to God, it is easier to bear–partly because I have made the choice to embrace the task of mothering, partly because I have come to terms with the natural demands children make on my time, but mostly because my attitude has changed.” ~ The Mission of Motherhood

~Sally Clarkson, Embracing Serving Our Children, Because Time Goes Quickly

“While it is incredibly wonderful to set our standards high and live within these great ideals, we must hold ourselves to a standard of grace, not perfection. We won’t be able to have grace for our children if we do not have grace ourselves.”

~Sally Clarkson, The Strength that Comes from Resting In Grace

“My eyes saw the work. Not the beauty… So I've worked to train my eyes to see the joy in the middle of what often feels like spinning too fast chaos.”

~Written by Rachel Martin, posted on The Hands Free Revolution

“Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what.  If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has been always been big stuff.”

~Catherine M. Wallace,

“…the tone of your voice makes a difference – be faithful in all that you do.”

~Patch the Pirate, Limerick the Leprechaun

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Change Your Garment


68 months ago, I married my best friend.  That translates into five years and eight months.  It seems like forever.  And two states, four apartments, three jobs, four kids, and two home businesses later we are still in love!

My devotion book this morning shared the story of a beggar who was invitied to dine with, and then lvie with the king.  He was provided new clothing and sat at the king’s table, yet he carried his old raggedy clothing with him everywhere because he never knew when he would need them.

Of course the spiritual parallel of the story is that we have been given a change of clothing by the King of Kings at salvation.  We have been invited to dine at His table, to live in His palace, and to enjoy all of the benefits of His royalty.  He offers it all to us through Christ.  Yet we cling to our rags of the flesh, carrying around old habits and besetting sins “just in case we ever need them.”  We do not fully realize the change and transformation that has been offered to us.  I fall into this trap too many times – just not quite willing to let completely go of who I was and to fully become who I am in Christ.

As I thought on this fictional tale and its spiritual lesson, I thought of the fact that today is one of our “anniversaries” as a married couple.  My husband and I have a game to see who can remember that it is the 26th of the month, and tell the other person first.  I usually lose, but today I won.  In fact, Ben texted me to say it is a score of about 65 to 3!

[Hamilton]0026Five years and eight months ago I was getting ready to say “I do” and change my life forever.  I was going to change my name, where I lived, and who I lived with.  In preparation for that important, life-changing ceremony, I changed my clothes.  I put on my best dress – a new white garment picked especially for that day. 

When I accepted Christ at salvation, my life changed spiritually – forever.  My home was changed from earth to heaven, and I was seated in heaven with Christ.  I was offered a new “dress” of purity and holiness.  Why is it that spiritually I so often refuse the new garment which has been hand-picked for me by God?  Today I want to live in my new clothes, and leave my rags behind.

Isaiah 61:3  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Zechariah 3:3-4  Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.  4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Who is my neighbor?

In Luke 10 we find the story of the Good Samaritan.  Jesus was prompted to teach this lesson by a question from a young lawyer who asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus illustrated the love and selflessness of a “neighbor” through the story of the Good Samaritan. 

Several times in Scripture we find that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  I am sure that many of us fail to keep this commandment on a regular basis.  We are so often consumed with ourselves, our schedule, our needs, our property, our family, etc. that we don’t even see the people around us.

Romans 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Recently my daughter asked me, “Who is that, Mommy?” as she pointed to our neighbor on the sidewalk.  I replied, “That’s our neighbor,” and then explained that a neighbor lives next door to us.  Almost immediately I realized that while this definition would do for now, there is much more to a neighbor than just living next door.

Warren Wiersbe said, “My neighbor has less to do with geography and more to do with opportunity.”

You see, it’s not just the people next door, as I told my daughter.  It’s everyone around us – those “Divine appointments” that God allows into our lives each day.  People that we contact in business, play, and all around us.  I wonder how many of these “neighbors” or “opportunities” I have missed because I was so focused on my own agenda?

And yet, while the scope of a neighbor is very broad, I also realized that I must reach the neighbor next door.  God gives us opportunities to reach people all around us, but He plopped an easy, obvious “opportuntiy” right out our front doors.  It’s not just the people next door, but that’s a great place to start. 

Now that the weather is warmer and our kids are meeting play mates in the neighborhood, I am looking forward to building relationships with my neighbors on our new street.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Look In the Mirror


I was challenged recently as I read through 1 Peter 3.  This passage speaks to wives and their relationship with their husbands.  It tells us that the unsaved husband may be won without his wife saying a word, as he observes her behavior.  Then Peter addresses the way we should adorn ourselves as women.

1 Peter 3:3-4  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

My journal reads,

Too often I worry about my outside appearance because that is what people will see, but I do not take time to care for my inner man.  Though the outside may give testimony to the inner man, the latter is far more important and should be addressed first.

How much time do we spend in front of the mirror?  Smoothing wrinkles.  Covering blemishes.  Brushing hair.  We want to look good when we go out and are around other people.  Should we not show the same care for our inner man?  We need to take time to look into the mirror of God’s Word and allow Him to smooth the wrinkles and wash away the blemishes of sin.  We need Him to set our lives in order so that when we minister to other people, they see Him reflecting from our inner mirror. 

My desire is to care for my spiritual life just as much, if not more, than I care for my physical appearance each day.  This takes intentional decisions.  It won’t just happen on its own or “fall into place.”  I must purpose to take time to look into the mirror each morning.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Godly Father

Daddy quote jpg

Though we are a few days past Father’s Day, I wanted to share a few thoughts that have been running through my mind.  Each Sunday our Pastor reads a passage of Scripture during the beginning of the service, before he gets to the message.  On Sunday, he read from Colossians 3.  Though it wasn’t the text of his sermon, the verses were applicable to fathers. 

Colossians 3:12-24  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.  21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.  23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

As I have watched my husband interacting with our four children recently, I have felt overwhelmingly blessed that he is striving to be a Biblical father and husband.

A Biblical Father:

  • Seeks the things that are above – (verse 1-3).  Realizing that he is seated with Christ, he lives and enjoys all of the benefits of the Christ life while walking here on earth.
  • Lives the attributes of Christ in his daily life – holiness, mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.  My husband is far more patient with our children than I am, showing them mercy while being consistent in discipline.
  • Lets peace rule his heart – not at strife or quarrel with others; at peace knowing that whatever God has allowed is God’s will for his life right now.  Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed and I say “I can’t handle this.”  Ben always responds by reminding me that I can handle it because God has allowed it.  “In acceptance lieth peace”, and when we accept this as God’s will for us for now, His peace rules in the heart.
  • Dwells in the Word of God – makes that quiet time a priority.  With four little children in the house, its hard to find a consistent time of peace and quiet.  But the Biblical father will always find it, knowing that if he is to lead his family in spiritual things, he must walk in God’s Word.
  • Takes care of his wife – sometimes the best thing my husband can do for our children to take care of me.  Many times when I am overwhelmed, stressed, sick, or just tired and have had a rough day, he sends me out of the house for a while to have some quiet time just to myself.  He takes care of things at home so I can come back re-charged to fulfill my duties in the home.  Though I know he loves me all the time, at these times when he shows extra care for me, I feel especially loved.
  • Lovingly disciplines, without provoking to anger – with consistency and in the Biblical manner, the Godly father will discipline his children as he molds their character according to God’s Word.  Our children are learning from their Daddy to be polite, use manners, exhibit kindness and sharing, and obey.  Sometimes its hard to discipline them over and over again for the same thing, but the Biblical Father does it because he takes his responsibility seriously.  He also recognizes that it will serve them well in the future.
  • Leads the home in spiritual things – it’s exciting to me to see my husband teach our children about the things of God.  Elaine was wearing a shirt that said “Praise the Lord.”  Daddy took the opportunity to teach her what praise means, and then he reinforced it several times throughout the day.  Both of my older children are starting to pray on their own, without promptings, and to understand some things in family devotions. 

    Ben also tries to make sure I get some moments for quiet time with the Lord even when things seem to be spinning out of control at home.  And many times I get a call or a text at random points through the day to tell me he is praying for me…especially when my day is difficult.  He may not be here to assist me with an extra set of hands as I care for the kiddos, but he has done something far more helpful in bringing me before the Heavenly Father in prayer.

I’m thankful for the husband God gave me, and the father that he is to our children.  They have a special Daddy, for sure, and one day they will realize just how blessed they are!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Too Comfortable in the Graveclothes

In my devotional book today, author Joanna Weaver points out how we are often bound in the graveclothes of our flesh, just like Lazarus was in John 11.  Even though we have been set free from the power of sin, we often choose to remain in its bondage, rendering our service to God ineffective. 

“In a sense, the graveclothes that hindered Lazarus describe well the graveclothes that hinder us as Christians:

  • His feet were bound, affecting his walk with God.
  • His hands were bound, limiting his work for God.
  • His face was covered, clouding his watchfulness.
  • His mouth was covered, muffling his witness.”

Weaver points out also that sometimes we are so comfortable in our familiar graveclothes, that it seems to radical to allow the Lord to help us unwind them so we can be set free.  I hope that living in my graveclothes does not characterize my life.  Yet I know that so many times, I become all too comfortable even with what I rationalize as “little” sins.  And so I find excuses to just continue on, not willing to let the Lord strip off the binding sin so I can reach my full potential for Him.

I miss a day here, then a couple days there, in my Bible reading and quiet time with God.  Soon it seems natural to start my day running without pausing to spend time with Him.  Without listening to His voice and seeking His will for my daily activities.  The longer I continue in this pattern, the easier it is for me to ignore Him each day.

I find excuses not to talk to that person about the Lord or to turn the conversation toward spiritual things.  Much easier to just slip a tract and hope they might read it.  But then I stop giving the tracts, and soon I do not even see the people around me as hell-bound sinners for whom Christ died.  I have become comfortable in not sharing the Gospel.

These are just a couple of areas where I have noticed that I too often prefer my graveclothes to the raiment of walking in the Spirit.  The Lord offers us the solution to this apathy.

Revelation 3:17-22  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Contentment 4x6 jpg

“Contentment is not the fulfillment of you want, but the realization of what you already have.”

I was sorting through some emails and realized that my mom had asked me to make this quote into a subway art so she could frame it.  It was just what I needed today.  I am 36 1/2 weeks along with these twins, and in my mind they should have been here already.  I have been frustrated and grouchy since Monday as I sit in my house waiting for the contractions to start.  I have not been content with the fact that God’s Will is obviously for the twins to arrive later than I had desired.  In the mean time, I can enjoy the two kiddos I already have, instead of being frustrated and grouchy with them.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Which Song?

Dissonant Songs jpg

Taken from At the Feet of Jesus by Joanna Weaver.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Show Your Care

“Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.”
2 Corinthians 7:12

Paul had written to the Corinthians, to spur them to repentance.  It brought sorrow to them, but Paul did not apologize for making them sad.  He was rejoicing that the sorrow worked repentance and change in their life.  He sums up this section of chapter seven by saying that his purpose in writing was so that his care for the Corinthians would be evident to them.

Often we may have a burden for someone.  We may desire their salvation or their spiritual growth.  But too often, I think we may keep that burden to ourselves.  We pray for them and show our care for them before God, but we fail to express our care so that it can be seen.

I was challenged today that sometimes we need to put feet to our burden.  We need to express our burden, our desire for another’s spirituality, not just in prayer to God alone {though that is definitely the best place to start}, but also in a way that the other person can see.  Who knows, but that it may be that gentle expression, that loving touch, that tangible means of showing our inward burden that may spur the other person on to do what is right.

There are a few people that have been on my heart lately.  I have prayed for them, I have hoped that they would make the right choices and live the life God means for them, but I haven’t shown my love and care to them directly.  So at the conclusion of my devotions I wrote a little note to them.  There are many other ways to express our “care for [another] in the sight of God”.  Let’s let our care appear unto them today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Don’t Be Content

A recent post on another “Christian” blog has had me thinking for a few days.  The author was making the point that Jesus found her where she was – a single mom, trying to finish college, hoping her skinny jeans would still fit, and trying not to have hurt feelings when all of her friends are dating and she isn’t.

I don’t want to disagree with the fact that Jesus came to her where she was.  That’s what He does – He meets us where we are, in all of our sin and rags, and He offers us an exchange.  His riches and life for our sin and shame.  The beauty of the Gospel is that the ground is level at the foot of the cross.  It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 60.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been raised in a Christian home, or if you’ve been an alcoholic.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived a clean life, or messed up over and over again – Jesus offers the same free gift of salvation by grace through faith to each one of us.

However, we must not be content to stay in that spot where Jesus found us.  He never intended to leave us there.  He saved us to give us something better.  To move us on.  To make us like Him.

Psalm 40:2  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

He comes to us in our pit of sin & despair, our lack of faith, and stubborn rebellion. But He moves us out of the dirt and puts our feet on the solid Rock.

Ephesians 2:1-5  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {desires: Gr. wills}  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Jesus finds us in our trespasses and sins, but by His love He offers us mercy and grace.  He makes us alive and saves us, so that He can complete His work in our life (vs.10).

I don’t want to be content with the level of spirituality I have now.  I don’t want to just be happy that Jesus came and met me where I am.  I don’t want to “waste” His grace by not allowing it to complete the work of transforming into the likeness of Christ.  I want to keep on the ascending plane. 

Jesus doesn’t want to leave me or you in the same wrong choices and pathway that may have led to a life of single parenting in the first place.  Jesus doesn’t want us to stay in our skinny jeans. He wants to make us into modest ladies who are adorned by their inner spirit and not the clothes that they choose. He doesn’t want me to long for something that He has chosen to give to someone else.  He wants me to find His will for my life and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

What I Am

In my devotional book I read this excerpt from Having A Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver:

If Satan can’t make me fall away from God’s grace, he will do everything he can to keep me from fully embracing God’s grace. Satan wants me—and he wants you!—to be so constantly preoccupied with what we’re not that we never get around to realizing all that God is.  Our enemy wants to keep us so consumed with our inadequacies that we never get around to appropriating the love and transforming power God has made available to us through His Son. {emphasis mine}

I had one of those days yesterday.  When I seemed to be able to only see the problems, the negatives.  Satan had me so focused on what was wrong that I failed to remember my escape, my Advocate, and the grace He has promised.

So what it is that we are in Christ?  Here is a short list:

  • Justified – not condemned.  God doesn’t look at me and see the sinner anymore.  He looks at me and sees His Son Jesus Christ.
    Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
  • Armed – not defenseless.  I can put on the armor of Christ and defend myself—and defeat the enemy. 
    Ephesians 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
  • Seated with Christ. Victorious.
    Ephesians 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
    Romans 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  • Able to Enter the Throne Room.  I don’t have to give in to Satan’s temptations or doubts.  I can march into the throne room of heaven and gain the ear of God, finding grace to help in my moment of need.
    Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 
  • Adopted – a son/child of God Himself.  A part of the family of God…with all of the rights and benefits that go with it.
    Romans 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
    John 1:12   But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
  • Loved.  Accepted. Without condition. Forever.
    1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.
    Jeremiah 31:3  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
    Romans 8:38 - 9:1  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Thoughts for the New Year

It must be midnight because the fireworks are exploding outside my window.  Our church had a half night of prayer and fasting to bring in the New Year.  I don’t usually get to attend these prayer meetings because of the kids.  Ben usually goes for all or most of the time.  Tonight I enjoyed sitting in my clean living room with a cup of tea, my Bible, my Kindle, my planner, and a new book.  I made a few goals – not for the whole year, but for the next few months until our twins arrive.  I thought back on 2012.  I read.  I prayed.

I have so much to be thankful for.  Here are a few things that came across my mind as I thanked God for 2012:

  • Ben is employed
  • We have a new apartment, on the first floor
  • Our church is rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and God has greatly provided.
  • A friend, displaced by the hurricane, moved into a new apartment today.
  • A friend is now expecting
  • The story of a little baby who was not expected to live has encouraged me many days and reminded me how often I take the health of my family for granted
  • Twins expected to make their appearance in about 4 months.  They are healthy and I have had an easy pregnancy, all things considered.
  • My parents, who faithfully drove many miles to take us to church and youth group.  I’m sure I often took it for granted, but now that I am a parent I am realizing how much effort goes into training a child in the things of the Lord.
  • My grandparents, from whom I count my godly heritage.  They are aging and struggling with different issues, but all three of them continue to have a testimony for the Lord.
  • God’s Word {and many Christian blogs which have pointed me to God’s Word} which has encouraged me.
  • Two godly “older” ladies who pray for me specifically and often ask how things are going.  Their testimony and advice has been priceless.

As I look forward to 2013, I know that many changes are in store.  We are adding two little people to our family…at one time.  I cannot imagine what life will be like in the next year.  Exhausting mostly.  Lots of joys, too.  Ben may be seeking an employment change so he can further his ministry training.  This will be a big transition.  We are praying about a ministry location and God’s timing for deputation.  There are lots of decisions that go along with that.

There are areas in which I failed during 2012, and I want to start fresh in 2013.  I want to be more faithful in my daily reading of God’s Word.  I often feel like a new mom, struggling to find my routine and “fit in” my devotions when the kids are always wanting my attention.  I was on a good track for a while, until I became pregnant and struggled again to get up early in the mornings.

51aZ1MxgF1L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_My mom gave me a book for Christmas called At the Feet of Jesus.  It is collection of excerpts from the books of Joanna Weaver arranged into daily devotional readings.  I have already been blessed and challenged by it.  They are short, and easy to incorporate into a daily devotion time.  At the end of the book, Joanna has a unique Bible reading schedule.  I really like the layout and I am planning to use this for my daily reading in 2013. 

One of the best features that I see are the frequent “catch-up” days – scattered throughout the month and on several days at the end of each month.  I’m sure this will be life-saving to me as a mommy of little kids and uncertain daily events.  I also like that she alternates between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and separates like books such as the Gospels and the epistles.  This provides variety and allows for a fresh view when you return to that “genre” of the Bible.

You can customize, download, and print this schedule from Joanna’s website at  This is a great resource for the new year, especially if you are wanting to improve in your Bible reading.

I am also incorporating an ebook entitled Plenty into my daily devotions.  It is encouraging, especially to moms, who always have plenty to do, but need to be reminded that there is plenty of grace to go along with mothering.  Kari Patterson also has a blog called Sacred Mundane which has encouraged me in the past {though I cannot endorse all of her content}.