Monday, December 26, 2011

"And the Gift Goes On"


Thank you for coming with me these past few months on a pursuit to be women of Truth!  As this year is almost finished, let us keep up the energy to be women who seek Truth; namely the Savior Jesus Christ. 
Have a blessed holiday week! 
See you in 2012! 
Rise up, women of Truth, and shine! 

Dear friends, have you received the King of kings into your life?  TODAY IS THE DAY! 
Do you KNOW Christ? He already knows you (Psalm 139). This is the day you can give your life to the Risen Savior-Christ Jesus the Lord.

John 3:16-19
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

Romans 10:9-10
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
" That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
If you need to talk to someone about this question, please e-mail me.
I'd love to talk with you about this amazing life changing decision. The decision to believe God and believe in His Son Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life is the MOST important thing you could ever do at Christmas time and any other day....ever.
May the LORD bless you all and keep you this season and always!  Amen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Are We Waiting For?

While life seems to fly by, I still have big dreams that come to my mind each and every day; dreams that seem so close, but still too far to reach just yet. It is aggravating and yet exciting.  Most of my dreams are something that can be accomplished while still doing the ministry I am already privileged and blessed to be working.  Some of the dreams I hope to see come true are pretty big....meaning that I would think I'd need lots of folks to help me achieve them. Some of them are as simple as playing piano in my home everyday without interrupting neighbors who I can hear even when they sneeze/cough. ha!  Several times I have checked myself to see if some of these dreams that keep rising up inside me are dreams/aspirations that would be God honoring and things that would be of encouragement to others.  Most of those dreams/aspirations are still with me after a bit of soul searching. So the next question is: what's keeping them from becoming reality?

Many times I will make excuses why I am not pursuing these dreams I have purposefully kept disclosed from this blog post.  Mostly, my excuses are; "well, that dream is too expensive for me to pursue" or "I don't have the time or availability right now since I am a stay-at-home mom who works daily to train up my toddler" or "I am not gifted in several areas that are needed for me to accomplish this dream".  Some times these excuses are true and logical. However, I shouldn't give up trying all together just because of these circumstances.  Even though I may not currently have what I think is sufficient funding or sufficient talents for my dreams to come true, I need to remember I am a work in progress. I do believe God. I believe He has given me many aspirations and dreams to pursue for more than just the feeling of accomplishing them someday.  It is the journey....the process to achieving those dreams that I think God wants me to experience most of all.

OKAY, now I must say to all who might read this, women....what are we waiting for?  All of us have dreams and great goals we desire to see fulfilled in our lifetime. Many of us have placed them aside for another date (far away from today) when we're "talented enough", "educated enough", "wealthy enough", "organized enough", "sane enough", "available enough", "rested enough", and "confident enough".  I am not bringing this up to make you feel worse about your unfulfilled dreams. I am taking a moment to share the battle within me and I truly believe that many women out there feel and fight this same battle I do. So, really, what are we waiting for?

Life isn't going to stop for us. We must trust in something higher......Someone higher than ourselves in order for these dreams to be realized. This achievement of dreams can't wait til things "go our way". The world continues to turn, we get older.....more mature (I like that description better than "older") each day whether our dreams are achieved or not.  We must embrace the "now".  We must embrace the pursuit....when? Now. Even while we are still working too many part time jobs, while our kids are still at home, while our kids are looking into what colleges to attend or whether to join the military before college, while our husband is pursuing his own dreams, while our fiances are looking for the place to settle down with his new bride, while our current employment is giving promotions or cutting jobs.  THE TIME SHOULD BE NOW.

My husband and I work to minister to the college students of West Chester University in West Chester, PA.  We spend much of that time encouraging and challenging them to be the best they can be in the here and now.
Several years ago I spoke with some college gals, not necessarily gals that were frequently involved in our ministry, and we were having a great discussion on how they viewed their mom now that they were coming into their adult years.  It was interesting that many of them spoke about how their mom was so loving and kind and supportive of what they were doing in school. They spoke of how involved their moms were in their kids' school activities, church activities and extracurricular activities. However, one resounding thing those college gals said in their own words was they wished their moms didn't stop pursuing their own dreams while their daughters grew up in their shadow.

These college girls I spoke with told me how they wished they could have seen their moms pursue their dreams, deal with failure, show their daughters what it REALLY looks like to trust God no matter what happens. They spoke about how they wished their moms would not shy away from showing their daughters what it looks like to be more passionate about what God has given them to do/about honoring Christ with their whole lives than being the best, most attentive/helpful mom to their children. I hope that made sense.  These girls were so grateful for such loving mothers, but were frustrated that they didn't have much of a reference to what a godly woman does to pursue her OWN dreams and see them become reality. These college girls knew how to treat people with respect and mind their "p's and q's" in public because they had wonderful, loving moms. However, they didn't know how to deal with failure very well. I don't believe they struggled with these things ONLY because their mom's didn't show them how to pursue their goals and except failures that come along the way. I think that it contributed.  These college gals were not blaming their moms for their struggles either. They just stated how they wished they could see their moms truly passionate and excited about their faith to the point that even family activities took second place to knowing God better and trusting Him more fully.

As a mother of a toddler, I really want to strive to keep my pursuit of knowing God, of honoring Him above all else with my heart and my mind.  I want to be a lover of the Living God, a follower of Christ FIRST before my role of a wife, a mom, a young women's minister, a daughter, a grand-daughter, a musician, a friend, a sister, a cousin, an employee and a citizen.  I want my son to watch how my husband and I live.....I want to refuse to place something else or someone else as more important than my desire to know Christ more each day and seek to honor Him each day.  Of this goal I have just mentioned, my parents have given me a great example to follow. I choose to do the set a great example for my son in my word and deeds.

JOIN ME IN BECOMING A WOMAN OF THE TRUTH AND MAY WE  RISE UP AND HONOR GOD ABOVE ALL OTHER THINGS. Let us worship the Living God with all our talents, with all our strengths, with all our thoughts, with all our words. Let us show our families the love of God by loving God deeply each day. In doing that the love of God will overflow out of our lives and bless others around us WAY more than we could ever bless them using our own strength, talents, gifts and ideas.

Let's look at a passage in the Bible real quick.  It is a passage of a sermon Jesus Christ gave to a crowd of folks who were following him around wanting to know what he thought about......well, everything. ha!  Here's a small portion of the sermon Jesus gave.  I am going to show it here in the paraphrased version.  You are welcome to go to and read it in the English Standard Version for a translation instead of a paraphrase if you would like. But this paraphrased version is written more in our own common language and it helps break the text down a little better for me.

Matthew 6:22-34 (The Message----a paraphrase version of the Bible)
  22-23"Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!
 24"You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.
25-26"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
 27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
 30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
 34"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

My favorite part of this passage (at least for these days) is,
"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

Wow, that statement in the end of those paragraphs is awesome. As a little girl, my parents helped me memorize that verse (Matthew 6:33) in the King James Version of the Bible. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  And since the time that I have memorized that verse, I have seen the promise in this scripture come true......not just once, but multiple times. God's Word is faithful.  It is never old and out of date.  God's Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Warmth From Within

Wherever you are, if you are north of the equator, you are probably experiencing some cold days now that it has reached December.  Most likely all the leaves on the trees have fallen (except for some of the those, what I call stubborn trees that hold their dead leaves until Spring).  The world around us looks very different when the leaves are gone. The sky is bigger since their is not much blocking the view. Things in our surroundings become more exposed when the leaves are gone. And to add to that depressing thought, the air is colder and sometimes down right unbearable!  ha ha! 

Although my world isn't full of green foliage and warm weather, there can still be a warmth that stays stoked within me.  During the wintertime, it is a great opportunity for all Christians to bring joy, good will, peace, warmhearted encouragement, laughter and love into our world.  We also need to dig in deep into the love of God as we are going to need it in order for ourselves to get through the drab winter months.  Reading the Holy Bible each day will be a great way to keep our fire glowing hot with God's hope, His love, His joy and His peace.  God's Word calls His people the temple of the Living God.  So, as we go from shop to shop, from school play to school play, from Christmas party to Christmas coffee, from sport to sport, to work and back home again, let us remember that we are (those who believe Christ as their Savior) His temple; that we take Christ wherever we go. He is the one who gives us the strength to bring His love, His peace, His hope, His joy to all the different places we go.  Let's dig deep into the heart of God this Christmas time and throughout our whole winter months.

Did you know trees are working hard in the winter, too?  Trees are growing their roots deeper into the earth as they sit dormant during winter months.  They aren't just taking a nap, but prepping for the next fruitful season.  Let us be like those trees and dig down deep into the Word of God while the outside may look gloomy.  We can go looking for nutrients for our souls daily so that we are still a great place of encouragement and hope for others around us.  Even in winter, trees, while bare of their leaves are great houses and hotels for many animals looking for refuge from the weather.  We can learn from that too.  Just because things don't look completely vibrant doesn't mean that they are not being a blessing to someone while they wait for the warmth of spring.

"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving." -Colossians 2:6-7

Question:  What other verses do you know that are an encouragement to you about this topic/idea?  I'd love for us all to share a verse that speaks to this idea of being active in our hearts; pursuing God even when things on the outside don't seem so good. 

Let us get real and stay real throughout this winter season, dear friends!!  We need to shine like stars to the world that we have a hope that doesn't fade, a life in us that is abundant, a joy in us that can never be snuffed out and a love in us that is too deep for us to measure.  We know that the "that" is a "who" and His name is Jesus Christ.  All praise and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ for rescuing us from darkness/spiritual death and bringing us into the light/life everlasting!  Amen.