Friday, July 9, 2010

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19


1.  Syd called me to go with her to the school for free summer lunch...I am truly grateful for it and it takes me down memory lane:)


2.  So blessed to see the dedication in which our tween worked on her Sunday School project...she was there with her Bible, dictionary, commentary, and concordance:)

3.  Syd and her tween and   Mami  came over which was a nice surprise for us and with some wheels for our tot!

4.  Visited with FIL and got to see my niece and talk with my SIL, who will be starting school in August God willing...Lord guide them and keep them in You in Jesus' name

5.  Tot started attending Sunday School and was super duper excited...Lord there are no words to thank You for the hunger that You deposit in her for You...I am amazed and humbled by it and give you the glory!

6.  My one and only Nani turned 13 on me!!!!!  I saw the Lord bring her into this world and declare that His purpose and His alone will come to pass in her life in Jesus' name!!!

7.  The work on the girl's room is underway!!!!!

8.  Went to the library to do homeschooling there...enjoyed the ac tremendously!:)

9.  Got to do a little redo in our bedroom and some other little project once it's all done I will try to post pics


10.  Our tot started her green books this week and has been so excited it's contagious:)


Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be dismayed.  Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.  And I know that I will triumph!
Isaiah 50:7

Thursday, July 8, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 27

This week we're talking about to "Live Happily Ever After" in Chapter 27.

Beth states that each of us has dreams and the in the Lord, He will surpass all of them.  Glory to God!

Did you have childhood dreams?  I know I did.  They sees a bit funny to me as I recollect them but I can see how God has out done what I dreamed.

My earliest recollections of what I wanted to be when I grew up was a nun.  Yep, me a nun!?  While other little girls played with pillowcases on their heads pretending to be brides, I was pretending to be a nun.  Then, I wanted to be writer.  At the age of 8, I asked for a typewriter to ensue my writing career.  Then I decided to be a teacher and that's what I became.  

What did God make me-His daughter, who blogs, and homeschools!  Yep, my dreamed fulfilled.  But more importantly, they have been surpassed.  There are a whole bunch of other things He's made me, that I can't enumerate but the most important one is-crazy in love with Him!  

Yes, my lover is mine and I am His!

I could have never imagined this kind of love.  Nope, never.  And, yet He's mine and I am His!

This week, we'll be answering all 3 questions on p. 283.

1. Why do some people refuse to give up on their dreams while others do?
2. How has God brought happiness from pain in your life?
3. Why do you suppose we discount the importance of happiness in spiritual circles?



Enjoy your time meditating on the Lord and you'll be surprised to see how He's been there all the way weaving His plan throughout your life to surpass anything you could think, ask, or imagine.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Restored to Service

There are some days that just feel off or maybe that's just me?

I kind of feel like something is there lurking trying to gain a foothold in my life but I can't pinpoint it.  If left undetected, it can gain a foothold in my life if I failed to cover it in prayer.  I don't like that feeling.  It's like I can literally feel the enemy like a prowling lion seeing if he can devour me.  

Imagine having been devoured.  Giving up and giving in to the temptation and living like that for years?

Well, it happened to the Israelites.  Throughout Israel's history, there were obedient and disobedient kings (more disobedient ones though).  They wondered from the One true God to serving idols.  

But (gotta love the but there:), then comes Hezekiah, and although with some issues of his own, he brings about reformation.  I love it that in 2 Chronicles 29:35b it states, 

So the Temple of the LORD was restored to service. (NLT)

That's right, despite years and years of disobedience, sin, and unfaithfulness you can be restored to service.  That's the God we serve.  One of second chances.  One who forgives and restores.  

You didn't get in that pit overnight and you may not get completely out of overnight either. But (have to love that but there) you will come out of it and maybe even quicker than you think.

2 Chronicles 29:36 continues with:

And Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced greatly because of what God had done for the people, for everything had been accomplished so quickly.  (NLT)

Don't think about the time wasted or the rebuilding time.  All God wants is for us to turn from the sin (repent) and turn our hearts to Him.  Hezekiah was rebuilding a temple made of human hands.  

Will you allow God to rebuild you-the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ch 26: To Be Fruitful

How does fruitfulness look in your life? If you don't believe your life is fruitful, what do you think is causing it?

The thing with fruitfulness, is that it isn't always so visible, at least not immediately. That being so, the enemy uses this against us.

I never (at least I don't think I ever did) envision to live the life I am living now. In the world, I classified fruitfulness by the things I accomplished. In Christ, I pray that He would deliver me from returning to this mentality. And even so, the enemy tempts me to think I could do more, I should do more, I must do more. Otherwise, I may become "barren karen" or so the devil would want me to think.

But God has been dealing with me to see fruitfulness in a different way.

Fruitfulness in my life is not so much about what I do in as much as it's about who I am becoming. For I no longer live but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

Maybe fruitfulness in my life is not really what I do but what I don't do anymore. Not my will Father but Yours. (Luke 22:42)

Fruitfulness is not about doing but how it gets done. Do everything without complaining and arguing. (Philippians 2:14)

Fruitfulness is not about what I am doing but who am I doing it for. Do everything to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Yes, I think I would have to agree that indeed fruitfulness in my life is not what you see but who you see in me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fruit


Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Matthew 3:8 (NIV)

I don't know how many times I have quoted this to my husband (both in English and Spanish), trying to make him understand that "sorry" isn't Biblical. And while it's true that "sorry" isn't Biblical, forgiveness is.

And it has to be enough.

Enough that it is asked even if not shown.

Lord help me!

As were studying Paul in To Live is Christ, I am being reminded and convicted how easy is it for us to want to add to God's Word and demanding things He doesn't. That's when we become legalistic. And what I mean about legalistic is when man made rules out weigh God's Word. When we're more interested in imposing our thoughts, ideas, and interpretations to God's Word to justify our carnality.

If we look at the verse above, it does not say show fruit in keeping with repentance and it doesn't give the offended party the right to demand visible results of this production. It is simply a call to repent from our sin. This repentance will be evident through a change of mentality, attitude, and action. Sometimes immediately, sometimes not so immediately, but it should be produced.

Let's be careful not to demand from others and ourselves what the Word of God doesn't.


18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:18-19 (NIV)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19



1.  Hubby got two of these


2.  I got one of these for free


3.  Received  2 of these samples in the mail


4.  Look forward to using this one soon


5.  Blessed to have my nephew and nieces over for an impromptu visit

6.  Spent some time with my other two nieces which I love to pieces

7.  Hubby had 3 days with us home this week

8.  Enjoyed Hubby's last day with us (for now) in a round of miniature golf and he won!!!!


9.  We have been really blessed by the Bible study we began this week

10.  God has been ministering in a particular area in which I have often denied Him access but through obedience I am surrendering it to Him and seeing the benefits...freedom from fear!!!!

11.  Visited Syd & fam and praise the Lord for all He's doing in them!

12.  Got to make and give these to the children at church:)


13.  Mami started listening to Brannon Howse with us yesterday and was really challenged by what she heard...look was you started Co-P:)

14.  The Pastor's teaching and preaching this week have really ministered me 

15.  I've started a cleaning project (a tiny one though) due to the upcoming renovations in the girls' room...there's usually something that can get out of the house like shoes I haven't worn in a long time:)


Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.
1 Corinthians 8:1b (NIV)


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Scripture Memorization #13

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Deuteronomy 4:9

BF Homework: Chapter 26

God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.

We have the same commandment from the Lord today to go out and make disciples.  So we'll be looking at fruitfulness through a spiritual perspective.  And I think it's an area where satan attacks HARD.

He wants to deceive us into thinking we're barren spiritually, our lives don't produce good fruit that remains, that we're useless.  And he employs many tactics to achieve his goal.  He may instill a fear of failure, a discontented heart, an unteachable spirit.  His goal is to divide, destroy, and kill.  He does not want God's purpose to come to pass in our lives--and one of those purposes is a fruitful life.

Now that fruitfulness may look very different in each life, but it should be there.  

This week we'll be considering exactly that:

How does fruitfulness look in your life?  If you don't believe your life is fruitful, what do you think is causing it?  

Truly, this study has been a blessing to me, as I hope for you.  I have been challenged to re-visit areas of my life that I thought were "done" and look at other areas of my life with fresh eyes.  During the process, Holy Spirit has uncovered lies or residue of lies in my life and has replaced them with God's Truth.  And that's the point--for our lives to be changed.

The enemy would want nothing more than to see us give up but we are not women of that caliber.  We won't accept defeat!  We will press on, knowing that His plans for us are good, his thoughts concerning us are high, and his love for us is great!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Monthly Round Up: June

One full year under our belts....yay!!!!!

Yesterday, I headed out to the post office and sent out our last bit of paperwork for this year. Now, I have to get started on preparing the IHIP for next year. I praise the Lord that even the paperwork has not been a daunting experience.

Although, the school year is officially over, the learning is not. I've decided that instead of taking months off, we would study throughout the summer, even if lightly. The girls are on board and so excited.

Even before we started homeschooling, I had purchased some books for the girls. Seeing that my tween's school was not teaching language arts adequately, I purchased some Life Pacs for her. We had started but didn't finish them due to her school and our schedule as well. I had also bought my tot some books. One was more of a review for her because she already knew the material, but it was good for her to review and the other was a Science book. So, I told the girls to get ready to finish those before starting on new materials. That is what we'll be working on during the summer, although my tot already finished the review book she was excited to start on her very own curriculum, or as she calls it, "her green books."

So our plate looks somewhat like this:

Tween
God's World News
Life Pacs
Typing
Piano
Bible Study
Health

Tot
God's World News
Science
Creation Study
Bible Study
DiscipleLand
Health

I'm pretty sure that I may be forgetting somethings. We started our Bible Study on Monday, and we're learning so much. I strongly encourage Bible Studies.

I was remembering last night, before I even knew what homeschooling was, I would do studies during the summer with my tween and niece. One year, we studied Battlefield of the Mind for Teens by Joyce Meyer and the following year we studied Ron Luce's Dig In. I recalled typing up a letter for the two students and enclosing a supply list (only the Lord knows why I did this for my daughter and niece:). The point is, I had no clue what I was doing but because I made a commitment to the Lord, I was determined to finish these studies. I left blessed and so did the girls.

This has made me think of the Lord's Sovereignty. He knew He would have us homeschooling. He knew it but I didn't. So even today, as I rejoice at the fact that we've finished one year, I am still humbled by the fact that He chose this path for us.

He's been ministering me on a few Scriptures for this upcoming school year.

Unless the LORD builds the house,its builders labor in vain.Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Psalm 127:3 (NIV)

6-These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.7-Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.8-Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.9-Write them on the doorframes of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NIV)

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

These are Scriptures that will be guiding this upcoming school year. They are not the reasons why we homeschool. We homeschool because God told us to. God brought these Scriptures to my heart to remind me of His purpose for our homechooling.

By the way, remember when I mentioned our new homeschool area was practically finished, well, it's completely dismantled for now! And I love it!

The girls' room suffered some water damage that has to be repaired so we had to clean out their room. I love it that I don't know it all and don't have to...He's in control! His thoughts are way higher and better than mine. Jesus is LORD!

What are your homeschooling plans for the summer?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ch 25: To Be Beautiful

Do you feel beautiful? Is so, what makes you feel beautiful? If not, what makes you feel un-beautiful?

I would like to preface this post by stating this is NOT about looks per se.

We know according to the Word that beauty is fleeting.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 NIV

We also know that our beauty does not come from outward adornment but rather it is the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3-4) Whether we are beautiful is not the question-we definitely are as daughters of the KING!

The question addressed here is do we feel beautiful?

Let me start of by giving you some background.

As far as I can remember, neither of my parents stressed outside looks. Yes, they wanted us looking presentable and neat, but that was about it. I can recall both of them stressing bringing more than a pretty face to the table. My father especially drilled it into me the importance of being a "prepared" woman who had an education and was able to defend herself in this world.

Therefore, this approach catered to my bookworm self. I don't recall ever being into clothes, make-up, or hair (although these of course, were part my every day). I just didn't value them or thought they added anything to who I was. My focus was becoming an intelligent woman and not just looking like one.

When, I came to the Lord, my mind had to be renewed regarding beauty.

I had to learn that beauty comes from a gentle and quiet spirit whose obedience and submission to the Lord encompasses every aspect of one's life. No longer could I depend on my "intelligence." But at the same time, I also didn't have to think about my physical appearance.

And this leads me to finally answering the question.

Do I feel beautiful?
Yes, most of the time when I am not looking like a hot mess.

What makes me feel beautiful?
Having my hair in place, a new dress, putting on Tresor (my favorite perfume), using cream.

Since coming to Christ, my entire outlook on appearance has changed. I have to admit that I have let myself go just a bit. I once told my husband that I would be perfectly happy in wearing a uniform all the time and having my hair wrapped in a scarf. He retorted, "We're trying to win souls to Christ and not scare them away, they already think we're weird."

But I think the point really hit home when he told me that maybe I should consider throwing out a couple of items such as my pajamas which are almost exactly like the ones his grandmother owns:) I told him that meant he also had to throw out his old man slippers (that I got for him:)

So while these "things" do not make or break me, I do have to remember that as a child of God I have to put some (even) if a little effort into fixing myself up. So, I will start there.

Now I am off to buy some new pjs.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What do I Know?

Hubby and I were driving and talking.

Driving and talking.

Talking about having a repentant heart, a contrite heart before the Lord.

We talked and discussed what does that actually mean and how does that look like.  We came up with the conclusion that we have no idea.  Only the Lord can produce these things within the heart of a human being.  

And although we have no clue as how to get and stay there, we both have experienced it.  Yes, we are both repentant sinners who have given our lives to Jesus Christ.  We have confessed our sins and are walking with the Lord.

But that's not what we were discussing.

We were talking about the state of having a repentant and contrite heart continually before the Lord.  We can say that we need the Lord, that He's #1 in our lives.  But is He?  Do our words, actions, attitudes, meditations, intentions reflect that we are loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, strength?  Are we truly working out our salvation with fear and trembling?

Umm, makes me think.

The last thing I want is religion.  I came out of religion-me seeking God on my terms.  
I want intimacy.  I want to know that everything is nothing without Him.  I want to know that I can do nothing separated from Him.  I want to be convinced that there is nothing good in me outside of Him.  I want Him and only Him to fill and satisfy me completely that I refuse to take or settle for anything less than Him.

I don't want to walk around honoring Him only with my lips but my heart be far from Him.  I don't want to regret my decisions but repent from my sins.  I don't want to be grieved by the consequences of my sin but contrite about grieving Holy Spirit.  I don't just want to know about Him, I want to know Him!

Don't tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts."  Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful.  He is not easily angered.  He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you.   Joel 2:13 (NLT)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19


1. The wedding on Saturday was beautiful...the children really did a great job and enjoyed themselves

2. Syd did a slideshow for Father's Day at church and it was nice going down memory lane...the other sisters also did a great job at preparing the food...and the testimonies....we have one brave sister who will chase the enemy and refuses to let him rob her!!!!!!

3. Hubby has 2 more days off this week...he also reworked his working schedule at church, so having him here on Monday's is a blessing

4. Picked up my free mouse pad from Rite Aid and I must say it came out soo cute:)

5. Received our NASB Bibles and our new study!!!!!! Super duper excited to get started on this one:)


6. Started studying animals from here and it's a blessing to see how much our tot retains:)

7. Spoke to my father on Sunday and was blessed to hear his voice ask for my prayers regarding his brother

8. We went to visit my uncle and shared the Word with him trusting that Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sin, justice, and judgement to him in Jesus' name




9. Visited my in-laws and enjoyed seeing my niece who is growing up so quickly

10. We have a new SIC and a new family attending the church and we welcome them and glad to see the work the Lord is doing in their lives

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 25

Do you feel beautiful?  If so, what makes you feel beautiful?  If not, what makes you feel un-beautiful?

Even as I typed the question, I could feel myself cringe inside because I don't like the wording-I don't like using the word feel.

But we have to talk about it-beauty.

Yes, I can know that I am beautiful because I am made in the image and likeness of God but I may not feel beautiful.  Yes, God's truth should be enough (and it is enough) but maybe there's something there (in our lives) that has clouded God's truth and prevents us from both knowing and feeling beautiful.

We live in a world where beauty is not in the eye of the beholder.  Magazine covers and tv reality programs show us what beauty is.  But we are not of this world.  Its standards are not ours.  However, millions of girls are looking to the world to show them what beauty is-even within the church.  And they're finding the answer-promiscuity, perversity, degradation.

That is why this chapter is so pivotal.  If we tell our girls that they are beautiful because God made them and yet they can see or even perceive that we, their mothers, are not believing it, there arises an issue.  As with anything dealing with children, it's not so much what you say but what you do.  Your little girl may hear you complain about your hair, figure, clothes, etc, so when she looks in the mirror, will she see God's beauty or faults and shortcomings?

Let's dig deep in answering this question.  Too much is riding on this one.  Remember your freedom will affect your child's.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ch 24: To Be A Bride

In my walk with the Lord, have I been getting ready for the wedding or for the Groom?

In my walk with the Lord, I can get stuck on the external, the doing. Not so much as when I first started walking in the Lord, but nevertheless, I know that the "doing" mentality is still lurking somewhere in my head.

I know with all my heart that it is NOT by works so no one can boast; it is by grace. And yet, grace can be something so hard to receive. Grace is God giving me something I don't deserve; it's a gift.

But to a doer like me receiving is not as easy as earning.

For example, I can have a blessed day in the presence of the Lord but the house is not cleaned up and the food is not yet made. When Hubby comes home and asks how was my day, I will answer, "Ummmm, ok, but the house didn't get cleaned and the food is not done." He'll then ask, "Did you spend time with the Lord?" I'll answer, "Oh yes, the girls and I prayed, praised, read the Word."

In this case, not doing something viewable can bother me although I have chosen the better part.

These days, I'm working more on the not so viewable. I have stopped having a packed life of to do's and am receiving His grace. I know I still have to have my mind renewed in this area and pray that I don't revert to doing. To have the mind of Christ is not something I just want to say, but something I want to have.

I don't want to get caught up on trying to be a "good" wife, mother, sister-in Christ, daughter, etc. that I loose focus of HIM. Being these things and more are all by-products of my relationship with my FATHER, my SAVIOR, my COMFORTER!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19


1.  No matter how small, tiny, practically invisible, God will bring it to light...thank You Jesus!  God ministered me on something I didn't even know had to be dealt with...but it is freeing to know He's there molding...Glory to God!

2.  Thank You Lord that Mami lives so close and is willing to stay with the girls:)  Lord, bless her in Jesus' name

3.  Visited Hubby's uncle and family and met the new member of their family:)


4.  Car wouldn't start but praise the Lord is was just the battery!!!!

5.  Visited FIL and went looking for our tot's dress for the wedding with my MIL...it's an adventure with those two!!!!

6.  Have enjoyed some special time with the Lord...refreshing times

7.  Hubby has given me wise counsel concerning some things that were on my heart...thank You Lord for the wisdom you deposit in him

8.  Hubby has 2 days off this week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9.  Mami brought her baby (me) some chicken soup when I wasn't feeling 100% on Monday

10.  Really blessed to see the sisters at church coming together to help out on the wedding...using those God given talents

11.  Being fortified in the Lord and in the power of His might

12.  Thankful for HIM!

13.  Ventured out with both girls in tow to go and get our tot's wedding dress...riding the NYC bus is an adventure in itself...thankful we got the dress and at a discount b/c of a minor unnoticeable stain

14.  Returned some shoes that I accidentally bought in 7W for my tween's slim feet and got a credit which used to get two pairs  on bogo for $2.48 OOP!

15. Hubby came home and brought me a surprise but better than than was a sweet note he wrote me:)

16.  Ordered our new Bibles for this upcoming Bible study and also ordered a new Bible study for me completely free using my swags...thank you Lord for depositing a hunger for Your Word!

17.  Visited Syd while Hubby worked on his paper and got to see Kiki standing in her playpen...she loves her cousin and was giggling away with her:)

18.  We ran through a practice yesterday for the wedding and the kids were too much...they looked so cute walking down the aisle

19.  Caught a ride with Syd & fam and enjoyed sitting next to Kiki and seeing all her cute faces:)

20.   Enjoying the Lord...delighting in His presence!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 24

Not coincidentally, as I am reading this chapter titled "To Be a Bride," I am preparing to go to a wedding on Saturday.

This has led me to reminisce on my own wedding but more importantly think about the most important wedding I will attend-between the Groom and His bride!

Every wedding is different and planned differently as well. Usually, there is a lot of preparation and loads of anticipation.

So this week we will be answering the question:

In my walk with the Lord, have I been getting ready for a wedding or for the Groom?

I know that Beth makes the point that you can not get ready for the wedding without thinking of the Groom but let's look at it from another standpoint.

In today's culture where shows like Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress, and the like are plaguing the tv listings, do you think that these brides are thinking about their grooms. Most likely not. They are self absorbed and completely bent on having it their way on their day. Their time, energy, and resources are being spent on planning for one wedding day as opposed to getting ready for marriage.

Could it be possible that as the bride of Christ, we are similar? More interested in being blessed than obedience? More interested in our Groom's hand than His face? Have we become so consumed on having a "perfect" life here that we've forgotten we are aliens on this earth? Has looking pious replaced a truly contrite heart? Has it become more important to work on the wedding than to prepare for the Groom?

Take a good look at these questions and reflect on them. It's so important not to miss this one because the Bible warns us that:

21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'
23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Matthew 7:21-23

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Scripture Memorization #12

That is why I am suffering as I am.  
Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed,
and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. 
2 Timothy 1:12

Monday, June 14, 2010

CH 23: Ashes Instead of Honor

How did you first come to realize that you are a virgin daughter of the King?

Tamar's story is a difficult one.  She is the daughter of the King-David, a man after God's own heart.  Her life should have been carefree but it wasn't.  She was raped by her brother and left unprotected and disgraced by her father's inaction.  Who could understand her pain?  Her grief?  Her shame?  Who would console her?  She became desolate.

And yet the Bible mentions two other Tamars-one an ancestor and another a descendant.

Her ancestor Tamar was a widow without children.  She was told by her father-in-law to go and live in her father's house as a widow (Genesis 38:11) to await her future husband to grow older.  By trying to preserve the life of his son, Shelah, Judah planned on sending Tamar away and keeping her childless.  But Tamar was not willing to live a desolate life.  Eventually she ends up pregnant by Judah himself and he says about her, "She is more righteous than I, since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah."(Genesis 38:26a)  Although Judah, did not sleep with her again, she indeed gave  birth to two twin boys, Perez and Zerah.

Then there is her descendent, her niece Tamar.  She was Absalom's daughter and the Bible states she became a beautiful woman in 2 Samuel 14:27.

Three Tamars with three different stories.

When did I come to realize I am a virgin daughter of the King?

I am in the process of realizing it.

I know God loves me.  I don't doubt it at all.  
That I'm forgiven and redeemed with the blood of Jesus-no doubt either.

But to look at myself as a virgin daughter is taking more time.  

I shared the other Tamars' stories to show that out of horrible circumstances and situations, God can make us beautiful.  Not what the world considers beauty, but what He, our King, considers beautiful.  These women formed part of Jesus' earthly lineage.  And we too are part of His family, if we do God's will (Mark 3:35).

Tamar was a virgin, beautiful, obedient, serviceable, good cook, trusting, and knowledgeable about God's Word (2 Samuel 13).  After Amnon raped her, she lived as a desolate woman.  What happened to her forever changed her into someone who she wasn't. 

God is helping me see myself as He sees me-a virgin daughter.  In my case, it didn't and isn't happening overnight.  It's a battle.  I have to counterattack the enemy's lies with God's Word.  I have to learn who I am in the Lord and not who I became because of the circumstances in my life before Christ.  I am choosing not to let those things shape me and mold me into someone I think I should be.  I want to be the woman He knew before I was formed in my mother's womb.  I want to fulfill the purpose in my life that He established before I was born.  

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Good Reads

These are some books that have been a blessing to me.  And although I may not agree with everything in them, for the most part, they will bless you.

This is a must read for all who evangelize.  It is an easy read and will make you look at sharing God's Word in a completely different way.  You'll be encouraged and equipped to preach the Good News.  It's made available free by clicking here but I would strongly suggest making a donation.








These other two books are great for praying God's Word over your husband and children.  She provided lots of real life examples of different areas that may open up your eyes to praying for areas you didn't think of.












Lastly, this book makes you look at disciplining your children as a matter of the heart.  The focus is not well behaved children but rather God fearing children.






As previously mentioned, I don't agree with everything written in these books.  The Bible is the ultimate authority and the Holy Spirit is our guide.  So if you do choose to read these, please pray for His discernment.  


Test everything.  Hold on to the good.  
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19


1. Started off the weekend by going to the beach and enjoyed it tremendously:)

2. Visited FIC and we got to see Hubby's aunt which she thought after not seeing him for so long, she wouldn't recognize him...yeah right?! I find it so cute that she rejoices on how much our tot looks like him. She calls our daughter over to her just to study her face:)

3. Went to a Women's Conference at a local church with sisters from my home church and it was a blessing...the Word was on time and the food was delicious

4. On Sunday, we dropped by Maria's house and enjoyed fellowship...thanks for having us over on such short notice

5. Mami is back!!!! All of us are so happy that she's here with us again:)

6. Got an unexpected deal at CVS:)

7. Hubby went back to work on Tuesday...and although our tot was asking him to quit so that he could stay at home with us, we are content that God has provided him with employment

8. Had a good time studying health with the girls:)

9. Visited FIL and spoke to Papalito...so blessed to hear what God is doing in his life

10. After some time of eating farina, the girls were so happy to eat oatmeal...they're learning to be content:)

11. Mami visited me and brought me a box full of muffins and later in the week some danish:)


12. I visited Mami late Wednesday and we spent a beautiful time talking...I love to see her heart and the work the Lord has done in her and is doing in her...thank You Lord for our relationship

13. Hubby went with me to do a CVS run and I don't know who was more amazed-him or the cashier??!! It was nice just to walk with him in the rain and have him completely destroy the umbrella to which I laughed (he says loudly) in the streets:)

14. The girls were so helpful this week around the house... MAINTENANCE

15. The girls have been using their homeschool space and are really enjoying it...I am probably going to do a final walk through and see if it's done, but I won't do it just yet, I'll wait

16. Our tween received a blazer from a SIC whose wedding is in 8 days!!!!!!!

17. Started on our penmanship and dictation...and there's work to be done:)

18. It was a G-R-E-A-T mail week...a couple of packages and SCR from Rite Aid:)

19. Enjoyed taking a walk just me and our tot...she's really fun to talk to because she can have the most acute observations

20. Have spent such a beautiful week with the Lord. He's showing me things and ministering me ways I have not experienced. I thank Him so much that He is so persistent and detailed.



Trust me in you times of trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory."
Psalm 50:15 (NLT)


Thursday, June 10, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 23

We're entering into part 4 on this journey of breaking free and what a journey it is.

At times, joyful to see what God is doing and at others crying because of it.

I find myself thinking, "This?  Again?"  I find myself crying and wondering why hadn't I dealt with this already.  I find myself laughing and saying to God, "Yeah, I knew You were going there."  Every week, He deals with me with the next chapter's topic and this one is no different.

This one was and is hard for me at least.  Real hard.  

Tamar went from being a virgin daughter of the king to a desolate woman.  Her story is so sad and yet so relatable to so many of us.   

This week we'll be answering the question on page 282:

How did you first come to realize that you are a virgin daughter of the King?

I find this question so packed, so full, lots to think about, lots to meditate on, lots to pray about.  Maybe you don't see yourself as a virgin daughter of the King?  Maybe you've torn your royal robe and put ashes on your head?  Maybe you're desolate?  Even if that is the case, there is hope because Jesus is King!  Only He can give us new robes and cleanse us from the residue of those ashes and make us those virgin daughters.  Won't you let Him?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ch 22: Hearts Broken by Loss

What has to die in you, so that you may see Christ resurrected in you?

Extremes.

All or nothing.

I have to give it up for Christ to resurrect in me.

For Him to truly be the Lord of my life.

There are times that I have the mentality of all or nothing.  I close myself and can't consider a third option, a middle ground.  It's either yes or no.  Yes, but not the way you think or no, not now later.  Such things were not options in my way of thinking.  It's either yes or no. 

Don't get me wrong, I believe in absolute truth.  What I am talking about is the day to day dealings and going ons. Of being able to ask God concerning something and getting an answer yes or no AND then asking the how...waiting for the how.  Sometimes I can hear the yes or no and run with that.  

The Lord has really been ministering me in this area because it can affect so many areas of my life and bring contamination and oppression and even sin.  So I definitely have to be vigilant.  

God is so good that He always shows us the hope in every situation.

I have to admit that I was feeling frustrated with myself regarding this.  Then we went to the women's retreat on Saturday and God spoke to me concerning this.  The key was that in the LORD, it's a good quality to have conviction.  But only in the LORD.  In the Lord's hands, He can use it.

In my hands, it can become stubbornness, close-mindedness, and disobedience.  Nothing good.

But I am determined in the Lord to kill the extreme in me outside of the Lord and I trust that I will see Christ resurrected in me!

It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.
Ecclesiastes 7:18

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Home Builder: De-cluttering

How did I go from this:

to this?



Well, let me start off my stating my old way of de-cluttering the house.  I would start cleaning a room and have to put something away in another room.  All of a sudden although I started cleaning the living room, the closets and bedrooms ended up being ransacked.  Without warning, now the entire house was a mess.

Bad method.

Some things I've learned about de-cluttering our house:

1.  Start and Stick to 1 Room
If your goal is to get rid of junk from your house and organize that which is staying, focusing on one room at a time is the best way.  First, you won't get overwhelmed.  Secondly, you will at least have one room in the house that is done and can be your retreat while the rest of the rooms are being tackled.  Seeing that room done will also keep you motivated as you work your way through the house.

2.  Sort
As you can see in the above picture, I like to dump things on the floor.  I like to envision the room done by having the mess in one part of the room and off the furniture.  It also makes me have to get rid of it because how long can you live like this?  However, this method can also lead to some piles (AHHHHHHH!  I'm free, I'm free:).  So while I do recommend dumping everything on the floor, I also suggest sorting which I learned from my husband.  On Monday, I had hit a wall concerning this pile.  I saw things that we were going to keep but had no place for.  Once Hubby started sorting, I was able to see that nope not everything was staying.  As a matter of fact, two bags were thrown away.  Putting like items together, let's you see what you have.  It's easier to toss/donate things you no longer use or have multiples of but didn't know because it was scattered throughout the house.  Putting like items together, also avoids multiple trips around the house.  Once we sorted things out, I was able to put things where they belonged.  It also helped that I was super tired and was willing to throw out A LOT at this point to be done.  The drawback of this though is that you don't want to get fleshly.  So know when to quit and leave the rest for tomorrow.  A clean house does not beat a peaceful one.


3.  Seek Help
Maybe you've hit a wall and don't know what to do.  Invite someone else over.  Maybe they can provide a fresh perspective or give you new ideas.  They are also not attached to your things which will help you to throw out that 3rd grade report card you're still holding on to:)  It can be fun.  It doesn't all have to get done in one day.  You can make it a nice girls day in and reward yourselves with iced lattes afterwards.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day at the Beach & More



This is just another reason why you have to love homeschool:


This is how the parking lot looked when we first got to the beach this morning. Homeschooling gives you the flexibility to go to places "off season" and avoid the crowds.

Our trips to the beach are usually no more than 2 hours, so I knew that this wasn't going to last long. But it did give us hope that maybe it would be quiet on the beach.



Aren't the views just beautiful? And to think that God promised Abraham that his descendants would be greater than all those grains of sand. Praise the Lord I am one of them!



This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. It reminds me so much of our little one. As we're all ready and stationed on the blanket, she brings these out from her purse, which she had previously packed with all her beach toys and we didn't even know the sunglasses were in there. She's so funny!

All and all, it was an enjoyable day. Afterwards, we headed to Abuela's to drop off a present for our cousin who is graduating from high school tomorrow. Truly, time marches on fast! It's hard to believe he's off to college.

Once Hubby dropped us off home, as he was headed to the church, I decided to visit Sydney. I didn't want to go so quickly because this is an area I am working on. Or better yet, the Lord is working on and I'm surrendering it to him.

Getting me out of the house and to different places on the same day is impossible for me but not for my GOD!

Count Your Blessings

1. Got a haircut and Hubby said, "You look so cute!"


2. I thought the house was done but look at what was lurking about

Hopefully, this junk will never return. Can you tell that I like to paint?


3. Visited Abuela again this weekend and she's so excited about my MIL's return

4. MIL returned safely from Dominican Republic and we went to see her

5. The Children's service on Sunday was so anointed...the praise and worship was beautiful for God's glory!

6. Joined Syd & fam for an impromptu picnic at the park...the men got a goood workout...HA!

7. Got our last piece of furniture for the house...a rare find but perfect for the room


8. Went to the library with the girls and sat there and read...it was so nice and cool in there:)

9. Held a pack of diapers for Syd @ CVS and she ended up getting them for $1.49 for a mega pack!

10. Our tot visited her Daddy's job and was asked lots of the same questions that she kept on having to repeat herself--her comments:)


11. Daddy and his girls went miniature golfing and had a great time--new pastime??





12. Our sweet, sweet SIC neighbor blessed us with these:


13. This was the last of the mess in the ENTIRE house! I hit a wall and couldn't figure out what to do with it BUT praise the Lord, we tackled it Wednesday night and it's gone...now MAINTENANCE!!!!


14. I repurposed our wreath from this to this:




15. I am almost finished scheduling Science for next year...I think that means only Spanish and Reading left:)


16. I decided to start next year early...it will be laid back (more than even now:) but I found some books (during our cleaning) that I would like to finish before jumping into next year's curriculum...the girls are excited!


17. I finished and gave my Michael's project to my Co-Pastor who celebrates his Earthday today...Father increase wisdom and knowledge and revelation of Your Word to him...May he only find delight in Your Presence...May he find renewed strength there...in the name of Jesus...Amen!

18. Looking forward to fellowship with SIC from a local church...I've never been to such an event, so it will be interesting and anointed...Father glorify Yourself in our lives!

19. Although Hubby's vacation is almost over, we've enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to some extra days he has to take too!

20. Our tot has been speaking a lot about receiving a letter from Abdi, our sponsored child in Africa, because she wanted to write him a letter. On Thursday, God got to her a letter from Him and she's been working on his letter already...thank You Jesus!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 22

Death.

Loss.

Not words that we usually associate with joyous grins and happy times.  And yet, while reading this chapter, I can see a Loving Father weaving His plan through loss and yes, even death.

This is a particular point in my life right now.  The impending loss of my maternal grandmother (who is over 95) is close to my heart.  Her death will be my first loss in life at such a close level.  How will I deal with it, only God knows.  Undoubtedly in victory for His glory but exactly how, I have no clue.

Even, as I write with tears in my eyes, I know He will be there and my hope is in Him.  He will strengthen us.  I am convinced that I will see His supernatural love and care in each of our lives and His glory...oh yes, His glory when my grandmother finally goes to sleep to awaken eternally face to face with God!!!!

This week's assignment has really had me thinking and more than that, I pray it ministers and brings life from death in me.

What has to die in you, so that you may see Christ resurrected in you?

This is going to take prayer.  I know that we can have generic answers like, "Everything in me has to die so that Christ may live in me." But let's keep it real.  There is a specific thing, emotion, thought, or even relationship that God is asking for its death in your life so that He may live in you.  Yes, maybe even an idol has to come down again because in a season of neglect, it popped right back up in your life.  Whatever, it is, its death is crucial for life and abundant life awaits!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

And All That's in Between

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

I have been thinking about my Scripture Memorization #10 lots.

Over and over, I just meditate on it.

There are some strong things listed there and yet none of them shall separate us from the love of God.

It got me to think, what about the things in between?

You see for someone like me who can go to the extremes of things, this list is great. But because God is a God of detail, He started to minister to me about the things that go on between

death and life

angels and demons

present and future

nor any powers

height and death

anything else in all creation


In between these, there is life, my day-to-day living, my walk with the Lord.

husband and children

church and ministry

saved and unsaved family

homeschooling and being homeschooled

cleaning and making messes

cooking and eating

laughing and crying


Every decision amounts to a lifestyle whether for holiness or worldliness.

Every word is bringing forth life or death.

Every attitude is shaping my behavior towards obedience or sin.

Yes, there is a lot in between. But in the name of Jesus, I am convinced that with the Lord's help not even the in between will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Is something separating you from the love of God?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Monthly Round Up: May

Really where has the time gone?

This time last year, I was still probably thinking, "Homeschooling?  What?"  and a year later I am like, "Homeschooling?  Yeah!  Of Course!"  The difference a year makes.

This month has been so laid back.  The girls are looking back and thinking ahead.  We have spoken about what worked for us and what didn't.  We're also thinking of new things we can include and incorporate into our day.

I have gotten a lot of the scheduling done but still have to work on it.  I think we have all of our curriculum bought for this year.  I still have some supplemental materials I might buy.

One of the biggest things we accomplished this month is getting the girls room ready for the upcoming year.  It's done.  I think that for me, I will add here and there but basically it's done!  They are really enjoying it.  

Organization, organization, organization.
This is a goal for us this upcoming year.

Last night, as I thought about homeschooling, I thought about how important it is to be flexible-in everything.  Flexible in timing, scheduling, materials, location-EVERYTHING!

There are some verses I am really meditating on for this year and pray that the Lord may write them on my heart.  I have seen His glory this year and what to make sure I am just an instrument in His hands and that it's not my hands doing the job.  

What's your goal for this upcoming homeschooling year?

Scripture Memorization #11

Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion;
they will not be defeated but will endure forever.
Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds and protects his people, both now and forever.
Psalm 125:1-2

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ch 21: Hearts Broken by Betrayal

If you had been in Jesus' place (not if you had been Jesus), how would you have dealt with Judas?

I would have confronted Judas and x'd him out of the picture (as in he's not a disciple anymore). I think that's my initial answer and response.

To be honest, in the world, I can't think of an instance in which I felt betrayed. Maybe I didn't let others in that close to me? Maybe I was expecting it? Maybe I pulled away at any warning sign of impending betrayal? If I did feel anything leaning towards that direction (in the world), I would confront and then pull away or end the relationship. But because I'm in Christ and a new creation, I started thinking about my answer.

I am supposed to forgive Judas and still let him be a disciple. Love thinks the best. It covers a multitude of sins. Our ministry is one of reconciliation.

I can't imagine the pain Jesus went through in dealing with Judas. Eating together, praying together, traveling together and all the while knowing that in his heart Judas was plotting evil against him. When Jesus commands us to love our enemies, He can do so because He loved those that hated and betrayed Him. Lord help us!

In Christ, I have felt betrayed. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, anything that my husband would do that I perceived as a sign that he wasn't committed or where he failed to communicate effectively, I considered a betrayal. My fears about abandonment led me to go to the extreme on betrayal. Since the Lord has been ministering me in this area, I am starting to look at things in a different way, with His help.

I have to look at my husband as Christ sees him. In his heart he's not plotting evil against me. He loves me. I have to appreciate the work that Christ has done in his life and leave room for growth. I can't pull back and ending the relationship is not an option.

Sometimes dealing with betrayal is dealing with those closest to us. It's opening our hearts and exposing them. However, my hope or expectation is NOT in them. It is in Christ. He is my hope and I expect His Word to come to pass in my life.

Jesus dealt with betrayal. And so will we. Let's deal with it though as Jesus did!



9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Matthew 24:9-14