Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Questions Answered

1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:1,2 (NIV)

Who: To God's elect, strangers in the world, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father

What: for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood

Where: scattered throughout Ponuts, Galatia, Cappadoica, Asia and Bithynia

How: through the sanctifying work of the Spirit

Why: Grace and peace be yours in abundance

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chapter 12: The Obstacle of Legalism

God has a sense of humor. My post is late because yesterday, we had to deal with some car issues. In the midst of that situation, God is ministering on other areas of my life. Then this morning I am thinking, "You allowed the post to be late so I wouldn't be legalistic about having it up on Monday." Yes, our God indeed has a sense of humor and will use everything and anything to reveal Himself to us. Thank You Father!

1. What causes legalism to manifest in your life?

Previously, whenever I sinned and sought counseling, I would leave with the mentality, "Ok, here's my to do list so that this won't ever happen again." I would be all geared up and ready to go on all these changes. But I've come to understand that truly it's not by works, but by grace so that none may boast. Even my best attempts at change are worthless and useless if my dependence is not on the Lord.

Recently, I have asked and am asking the Lord to minister me regarding balance. I tend to be an all or nothing type of person and this can be very dangerous. Any type of unbalance is dangerous. When I first came to Christ, I wanted to be disciplined and yet for some reason I began thinking (from where I have yet to find out) that it was religious and legalistic. Thoughts such as, "You're limiting the Holy Spirit," or "You're putting Him in a box," or "Wait for the Holy Spirit to guide you" would creep in and paralyze my attempt to seek God (although not completely for God's glory). Now in themselves, these statements are harmless and warn. Yet, because the enemy was putting fear in me of being a religious/legalistic person, these statements invoked fear.

The Lord has brought this to me once again because I know He wants to bring a balance in my life. If I have a Bible reading plan and memorize Scripture, it doesn't make me legalistic. That is just the way the Lord deals with me.

2. How does legalism manifest in your life? Beth makes a mention of some conditions, but feel free to name your own.

Works, works, works, works, works.

As I mentioned previously, I like to do. Learning to trust in the Lord and WAIT on Him, was made more difficult for me because of this. These days all I want to "do" is being a doer of His Word!!!

3. How has legalism hurt you from being free?

Legalism hurt my life because it brought self-condemnation and torture. It made me think I was not doing enough. Just yesterday, I was thinking of how the devil uses something the Lord is correcting in my life to torment me with it. For example, I was sharing with a sister how I want to be a good steward of the time the Lord gives me. We tend to go to sleep late. Sounds simple. The enemy would make me feel so guilty when I would look at the clock and notice that once again it is past 12:00 a.m. The Lord doesn't bring condemnation. He brings godly sorrow that leads to repentance. When He speaks, it's not overwhelming. He speaks and corrects to bring about change in our lives that we would look like Jesus. There is always hope in Him!

Like all the other obstacles, legalism can be deadly and subtle. When I think about the passion in which our Lord Jesus spoke against legalism, it makes me shudder at the thought. He doesn't want a bunch of robots that praise automatically from a pre-recording nor quote Scriptures with out any conviction regarding them in their own lives. Jesus said the Father is looking for worshippers that would worship Him in spirit and truth. He wants our lives to be a worship to Him through His Holy Spirit and living His Truth. Lord help us!

Father, I thank you that we are not alone. You have promised to be with us always even to the end. You have been showing us obstacles in our lives that hinder us from drawing closer to You. With Your help and Yours alone, can they be removed. Show us the strategies for each one. Tell us when we have to act and when we must wait. In all things, let Jesus be exalted! Our desire is to be like HIM. Help us with the guidance and direction of Your Holy Spirit. Continue to give us ears to hear and eyes to see and a willing heart. Help us to pray for one another throughout this journey. Help us to stand in the gap for one another declaring Your Word over their lives. For we do declare complete and utter VICTORY! We give you all the glory and honor for all that You have done, are doing, and will do. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. Got a great deal at CVS

2. Went to the dentist FEARLESSLY...all the glory is God' Him we are more than conquerors
3. Mami made a delish Ecuadorian dish, yapingacho for us on Monday
4. Went bowling with Syd & fam on Saturday and the Eagles won!
5. My neighbor and SIC blessed me with 2 coats, 1 sweater for my tween, and 2 activity books for my tot...grace upon grace
6. Homeschooling continues to take new routes but remains in the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE for His glory!
7. Syd gave us a ride for Tuesday prayer and we laughed and laughed at "the members" (with an accent)
8. I got to share with Syd & fam a testimony of God's providence in our lives that I hadn't shared before...forgive me Father, I am humbled at Your presence in our lives
9. Was able to bake good bread...thank You Lord...we had tuna sandwiches right away and the house smelled oh so good:)

10. Breaking Free Chapter 11 homework ministered more than I possibly could've imagined
11. Got to speak to my cousin in Ecuador and it was a blessing to hear her voice and know that she hungers for God's Word
12. Mami came to visit me and we got to chat a bit just me and her:)
13. Tuesday prayer was GREAT!!!! He is God can we expect anything less than GLORY from HIM???!!!
14. Privileged to stand in the gap for one of my SIC
15. Had an intercession night with Hubby...thank you Lord for the peace and strength
16. Girls met their monthly goal...praise the Lord
17. Hubby shared a testimony about a co-worker/BIC that showed the power of closed doors
18. Tonight's service was so beautiful...God in You I trust and wait on
19. Tween called to bless a friend from her old school...Lord may she see You and come to know You as Savior and Lord of her life
20. Hubby has started on his exercise plan...Lord protect him and shelter him in YOU!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my god is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2

Thursday, March 25, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 12

Last week's homework continues to minister me. I am learning so much from it. I had commented on Sydney's blog post that when God is leading prayer it is filled with love, compassion and passion, peace and joy and faith. Prayer is no longer an obligation but a privilege.

Our words have the power of life and death in them and as children of God we should use His Word to encourage one another.

Think about the last time someone spoke hurtful words to you. How did it affect your heart? Can we believe the Lord that just as someone's words can hurt, His can heal?!!

The devil wants to deceive us into thinking that it's useless to go and encourage someone with the Word they may already know. He tempts us to rather criticize, pass judgement, offer our unsolicited opinions on the matter. So let's not give in. Let's pray and encourage one another!

As we're coming to our last obstacle, I know the Lord will continue to strengthen us. The enemy is against us but the Lord is for us! Let's continue to press on in the name of Jesus.

Our next obstacle to tackle is legalism. And it must be pretty serious for Jesus to speak to the Pharisees and call them whitewashed tombs. Now that's not the Jesus we often see portrayed, but it is the Jesus of the Bible who is adamantly anti-legalism.

So for this week, we'll be answering some questions, with the goal of identifying this poison in our lives to be rid of it for God's glory.

1. What causes legalism to manifest in your life?

2. How does legalism manifest in your life? Beth makes a mention of some conditions, but feel free to name your own.

3. How has legalism hurt you from being free?

We'll meet up again on Monday and share what the Lord has revealed. Why do we share?

1. So we can pray for one another
2. Have accountability
3. Testify about God's goodness

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easy Peasy Bread

Last week my BIL gave me a bread recipe. His was great, mine was edible:(

Poofing and kneading can be a bit much.

So on my quest to find an easier bread recipe I found this one and you can other great looking recipes here too:)

White Amish Bread

1 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups of flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast (mine states instant dry yeast)

combine flour and yeast in a bowl and mix
combine ingredients 1-4 and stir
combine both mixes (I poured the liquid mix into the flour one)
stir until thick
knead for 6-8 minutes (add flour if necessary, it wasn't necessary for me)
let rise for 45 min (mine took longer) in greased bowl (I cover it with plastic wrap)
take out and work lightly to get air out
form into loaf into your baking dish and let rise again
bake at 350º fro 25-30 minutes

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chapter 11: The Obstacle of Prayerlessness

Spend some time praying for another person.
After you have prayed for this person, write them a letter
regarding what Holy Spirit put in your heart regarding them
during prayer.
Give them the letter

Our homework for Chapter 11 was different indeed.

When Holy Spirit gave me this assignment, automatically my heart chose someone. I had been praying for this particular person and wanted to write them an encouraging letter with Scriptures for her stand on during this season in her life.

Then another person came to my heart. I have prayed for this person too and coming into the knowledge that he, an unbeliever for now, wanted to hear from me and my family, got my gears going. I thought of what I could write that would edify his life and draw Him closer to Jesus.

And yet another person came to my heart. And I thought, certainly this is a person I WANT to write to. I have so much to share with them concerning things from our past and my desire for our future relationship.

But last night, as I lay in bed asking the Lord, "Who is it Lord?" He answered me with a specific person and to be honest by thoughts were like NO WAY! (That's when you know it's God!) It's not that I didn't want to write to this person nor because I don't pray for this person but the truth is I didn't think that this person would want a letter from me. In the past, things I have said have been misconstrued by the devil and he has tried so much to destroy this relationship because He knows I am asking for her salvation and believing God for it!

So it wasn't until today that I was able to come before His presence and lift this person in prayer. And as I prayed for her, I felt such pain in my heart. I asked God to spare her any unnecessary pain because I see so much of the old me in her. I've been where she is and know that without God, it could have nearly killed me. So I prayed and prayed. And my biggest prayer for her is that she would know God's love. Because when we know His love, we can see who we are in Him, we don't fear rejection for His perfect love casts out all fear, we don't harbor hatred or hurt because His loves heals all wounds, we don't live in the past filled with regrets, shame, or guilt because His love causes our eyes to be fixed on our eternal future with HIM!

So I wrote His letter to her.

And trust that because He wrote it, Holy Spirit will minister. His Word never returns void. And I am confident in His love for her will accomplish His purpose in her.

What did you learn?

Springing into Spring

Saturday marked the official start of Spring and boy was the weather nice! Since weather is unpredictable, we decided we wanted to take advantage of the warm weather and go out. In the morning during breakfast, I started making my to-do list (which usually doesn't get completely done that same day but it's a more of a goal list:). I didn't have much on my list since earlier in the week the girls had helped me clean pretty thoroughly.

During breakfast, I had mentioned to Hubby that I wanted to hear a song but couldn't remember it at the moment. Whenever I want to listen to music, you have to know that God is involved. After breakfast, Hubby went to the car to get some CDs and put one on. As I was finishing up on what I was working on with my tot in the room and Hubby in the living room and our tween in her room reading the Bible, the music played. And played. And I began to sing. And sing.

And then I went to my knees and my tot with me. And we sang unto the Lord. And I cried. And cried. And then she cried. And cried.

The Lord's presence was so sweet at that moment. I told Hubby for him and tween to stop being like Martha and get in the room. Not the best way to tell him maybe, but I really didn't want him or her to miss it:)

We prayed. And prayed.

I know that most people associate Spring with cleaning and so do I. But I think along the lines of spiritual cleaning. I want the Lord to purge me of everything and anything that keeps me from HIM. I want to be cleansed.

On Sunday, the Lord confirmed this urgency in me as our Pastor preached on seeking God first and then these things, the other things, will be added to us. I realize that even trying to cleanse myself is useless if it is not Him. I may be able to restrain, refrain, and abstain from things but I will fall again if I'm doing it in my own strength. When He cleanses and purifies and sanctifies, it is an eternal change. I don't want to interfere in His plan. Lord help me!

We ended up going out and God is so good that he arranged a divine appointment at the bowling alley. Well actually it began as we were driving out of Kmart and Syd was coming out of Old Navy. She called me and I invited her family to come bowling with us.

She didn't end up playing so the two teams consisted of:

Eagles: Me, my tween, Syd's tween
Sparrows: Hubby, my tot, BIL

Can you guess who came up with the names for the teams?????

And can you guess who won??????
Clue: Matthew 10:29b
But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.

The Sparrows fell and the Lord knew it. It was His will that the Sparrows should fall in defeat while the Eagles should soar as victors!!!

Yeah, it got pretty competitive. We're an intense bunch:)

Final Scores:
Me 106
Tween 106
Syd's Tween 102
Hubby 110
Tot 82
BIL 85

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Baking Bread

My BIL was so nice to give me a yummy recipe for sliced bread. I can't stress enough that the yeast has to poof and what I mean is look like this.

Now yeast can be tested to see if it has poofed by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour (although I didn't put this much flour in mine:) Thanks for the tip Fannie. If the yeast doesn't poof, your bread WON'T rise and thus WON'T bake properly.

I actually cut this recipe in half which made one loaf for me. I don't have a bread mold, I think mine is more like a meatloaf type:)

2 1/2 cups of water
1 tablespoon of yeast (one packet)
7 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of butter

Add 1 tablespoon of yeast to 1/2 cup of water to have yeast poof. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Mix 3 1/2 cups of flour adding 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of butter
Add the other 31/2 cups of flour
Knead dough for 10 minutes
Let rise in oiled/buttered bowl covered with damp cloth for 1-2 hours
After it has risen, punch the dough to release air and knead again
Cut in half and put into 2 separate greased bread pans
Allow to rise 1-2 hours
Preheat oven
Bake at 375º 35-40 minutes

I wanted to share pictures, because I am visual so I though it may help you:)

This is what it looks like once the dough is kneaded and ready for rising

This is what it looks like once the dough has risen the first time

This is what it looks like once is has risen the second time in the dish ready to bake

Thanks BIL!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. I thank the Lord for the lasted for almost 2 days I think and we didn't go out except to go to church;)

(some of the damage caused by the storm in someone's house)

2. My BIL blessed me with some delicious bread...yummy
3. Speaking of baking, I got 10 lbs of flour for $1.50 using coupons!!!!!!

4. Mami testified to our cousin's conversion and we rejoice for our new SIC!!!!
5. Went to visit my in-laws and they had surprises for us all!!!!
6. Mami cooked some delicious tilapia fish for us...yummmy!
7. A SIC requested that I get into agreement with her for God's will concerning her daughter and I do declaring her saved, set free, healed, and restored for God's glory!
8. Got some great samples from Kashi and a full size bottle of Pantene in the mail:)

9. Enjoyed the weather with the girls...went out blow bubbles...only the Lord!
10. Was able to bake the bread from BIL's poofed...thank You Lord!
11. Found a Science curriculum and a lot of other hs goodies for next year
12. Mami really is too cute--she came and brought me some coffee late Wed. night:)
13. Tot's reading is really going well...more than I can think, ask, or imagine!

14. Finished reading Elsie Dinsmore #1 and now I just have to type up the lessons:)

15. Enjoyed cleaning the house and having meaningful conversations with my tween
16. Hubby spoils me and since there is no commandment against it...I praise the Lord for it!
17. Got my Shutterfly order already (that was fast) and loaded up my Project Life album and it looks great!

18. The Lord continues to draw and strengthen our BIC whom we will continue to pray for because what is impossible for man is possible with God!
19. I went over for a surprise visit to Syd's and was surprised at my niece's room change (she must get that from her titi:) and Kiki was on this little car cute!
20. Tonight's Word was much needed...thank You Lord that you always feed us!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 11

As we get into Chapter 11: The Obstacle of Prayerlessness, a lot of things can go through our minds and hearts regarding the topic. I think that we all know the benefits of prayer and the joy that comes from being in our Lord's presence, yet why don't we pray more?

I have realized that prayer indeed takes a lot of faith. To bend your knees and speak from your heart to someone you can't see and believe that He is listening and answering is an amazing thing. But I believe that what makes it amazing is also what can make it difficult. To bend your knees and submit your heart, will, and all to God rather than "do" can be hard but not impossible.

As parents, Hubby and I, want to leave a legacy to our children. And one main component is prayer. We want our children and their children's children to say, "No matter what happened, Papi and Mami prayed." We want them to have engraved memories in their spirits of us praying so that when they are fighting their own battles, they will know all they have to do is bend their knees to their Savior as well. We want them to experience the joy of His presence, the beauty of a surrendered spirit, the fortification received, and the glory promised all in prayer!

This week's assignment is a little different and yet I know and trust that because Holy Spirit speaks and guides, He knows what He's doing.

Spend some time praying for another person.
After you have prayed for this person, write them a letter regarding what Holy Spirit put in your heart regarding them during prayer.
Give them the letter.

We'll gather on Monday, God willing, to share what we discovered from this experience. Feel free to share as much or as little from what you learned, your prayer, your letter.

I am believing God for a supernatural breakthrough through this homework's assignment in many relationships so keep it in prayer.

Looking forward to prayer time!

And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.
1Samuel 23:16

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Captive Mentality

..........captive 4...........

What would you do to keep your children from suffering? What would you be willing to endure so that your children wouldn't have to struggle?

Although this may seem like a "good" parent mentality, it's not. It's not a Biblical one. It's a captive mentality.

I'm not talking about "the let the child fall and learn his lesson." No, what I am talking about is the "I don't want my child to be made fun, rejected, hated" mentality.

The Israelites coming out of Egypt had a captive mentality. Whenever they faced a difficult situation they would murmur, complain, and want to head right back to Egypt to be slaves! Think about it. They preferred being slaves rather than fight, overcome, and believe in God's promises.

They thought the same for their children. Look at the words the Lord heard them declaring in reference to their own children.

Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and little ones will be carried off as slaves! Let's get out of her and return to Egypt!"
Numbers 14:3

They were so scared of confronting and fighting the enemy and dying in battle, that all they saw was death and destruction for their future. They envisioned their children as slaves, but what were their children going to be in Egypt? Slaves, nonetheless. Instead of showing their children, "I'd rather die a free man than live as a slave!" or even better, "I won't die and either will you. The Lord didn't bring us out of Egypt to die but to live and serve HIM!" Nope, there's was a doom and gloom mentality.

But look at what God said.

And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad--they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.
Exodus 1:39

Praise the Lord, His thoughts are not ours and weren't theirs. The Lord didn't allow their children to die in the desert. No, they would conquer and settle the Promised Land. But not without battles.

God loved them so much He states in Judges 3:1,2

1The LORD left certain nations in the land to test those Israelites who had not participated in the wars of Canaan. 2He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle.

God is not scared of His children going into battle for He knows they are not alone. He is with them.

But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior;
so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;
their dishonor will never be forgotten.
Jeremiah 20:11

He's not trembling over the size of the enemy's army for He knows His is greater.

"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
2 Kings 6:16

He's not fretting over their weapons for He knows His are mightier.

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
Zechariah 4:6

He is God, who has never and will never loose a battle. He is our Father and has made us more than conquerors.

If the mentality remains "I don't want my child to get hurt, made fun of, disliked" then you nor your child are living for Christ. You will compromise with the world to fit in and teach your children to do the same. For Christ Himself said,

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
John 15:19

Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
Luke 6:22

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Mark 13:13

If you're scared of the rejection, hurt, or even hatred your children will experience, could it be that you haven't allowed God to fight for you in battle and thus haven't seen His glory? Let us not try to shield our children from every hardship or difficulty. Let us show them to rely on the Lord to be their shield.

God loves you so much that He allows you to go into battle to glorify Himself won't you let Him do the same for your children, His children?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Scripture Memorization #6

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chapter 10: The Obstacle of Idolatry

This week we'll be reading John 4:1-15 and answering the question:
In what ways can you see yourself in this woman?

The Lord purposefully had us stop at verse 15 in our homework and not hear the woman's confession. Here we know that she is a Samaritan woman although we won't refer to her as the Samaritan Woman. I am sure she had a reputation where she lived and we need not put that title on her here. Because when we do, we look down on her and consider ourselves so much the better. So, no, we won't look at her through those eyes or frame of mind. Instead we'll look at her as our Samaritan sister.

One definition the American Heritage Dictionary provides for the word idolater is "one who blindly or excessively adores a person or thing." The word blindly here jumps out at me because indeed idolatry is deception. Something/someone has taken the place of God in our lives and deceived us into thinking it will satisfy us. But it is a lie! Only Jesus can do that.

I love it that here Jesus is asking her for a drink (v.7) and she sees limitations in the situation (v.9) and when he offers her living water (v.10) she notes what she thinks are limitations in Him in verses 11 and 12.

9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. how can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

How often do we find ourselves in this place. Thinking we are unworthy to receive from our Lord? Doubting His ability to fulfill us in every way? Questioning His authority?

But what I love about her is that even with all these questions, doubts, and feelings of unworthiness, she was plain old tired of seeking fulfillment in other people. She was tired of being an idol worshipper. She wanted to be a worshipper of God who does so in spirit and truth (v. 23-24). No more blind adoration of a false god. Now true worship of the LIVING GOD! Can you hear the tiredness in her voice in verse 15:

The woman said to him, 'Sir,give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

How do I see myself in Sister Samaritan?
1. I am plain old tired of having idols before my God
2. I have sought fulfillment in the work of my own hands and not allowed the Lord complete control

What do I mean by this. Plainly put--anytime I dive into anything without covering it in prayer I am telling God I don't need Him, I know best. I know AWFUL, but true. But it doesn't have to be my truth. My Samaritan Sister spoke truthfully to Jesus in confessing her idol worshipping and we can too. He's not put off by it. What does grieve Him though is when we know we have an idol and refuse to stop blindly worshipping it to begin worshipping the Father in spirit and truth.

Let's stopped being deceived. Idolatry doesn't have to be bowing our knees to a graven image. It is us blindly or excessively adoring a person or thing. It is putting someone/something in the place that only belongs to God. It is seeking fulfillment in anything/anyone other than HIM even if momentarily. There's no specific time frame when it comes to idolatry.

Father, I pray that as we continue our journey to breaking free that You would give us each ears to hear and eyes to see. Give us a teachable spirit and a humble and contrite heart. I know that it is not enough to know the issue, we must be willing to change. Help us. I surrender my will to You and pray my sisters do the same. Help us to see that which the enemy has used to keep us blind and the lies he has told us that we have believed. May the light of Jesus expose all darkness. Father, help us to continue to battle confidently knowing it is not by our strength or might but by the power of Holy Spirit. Strengthen each of us and help to encourage one another. Forgive any and all idolatry in our lives. Thank You for bringing conviction of sin to us and continue to do so. We renounce all idolatry in the name of Jesus and confess to Your Glory that Jesus is our Savior and LORD of our lives. All this I pray in Jesus' name. Amen!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bye Bye Bisquick

Nothing personal against Bisquick, but just like we got rid of the Brother Box, it is now Bisquick's turn. We won't buy it anymore. Instead, we're using these two recipes--(1)waffles and (2)pancakes.

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can use half and half here or just white, your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of melted butter/oil (half oil/half puree if you're using one-I highly recommend carrots)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 1/4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup of puree (highly recommend carrots)
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1 egg

I like the fact that you can really customize these recipes. You can double them to make a bigger batch and then freeze for throughout the week. You can also get creative with the puree you use. I have tried carrot, banana, and apple so far and the family has preferred carrots by far:) You can also add walnuts to these making them extra yummy. So try it out and you'll soon be saying bye bye bisquick too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

1. God arranged a free pick up of an item straight from our doorstep saving us a trip...thank you Lord
2. Hubby had some days off:) Girlies enjoyed daddy & daughter time
3. Got a good report from the

4. Got some good deals at Target and CVS and Rite Aid! Let's just say it pays to shop!!!

(these were $0.00 OOP and $5 ECBs back!)

5. Were able to visit FIL with Mami and boy were there some LAUGHS
6. Enjoyed some time just the girls with was so edifying to talk about the Word and have Holy Spirit minister us
7. Was able to go to the church and enjoyed time with Hubby, Pastor and Co-Pastor
8. Hubby was able to go to a men's retreat and left blessed, fortified and strengthened in the Lord
9. Was able to bless Mami with some goodies:)
10. Made a batch of pancakes to last me a while (I made and then froze almost 30--the girls and I ate some:)

11. Was able to order my first batch of pictures for my Project Life...yay!
12. We have remained pile free...We're free in the name of Jesus
13. Was able to spend time with a SIC and I am so grateful to the Lord that He allows us to be there for one another for HIS glory!
14. Cooking once and serving x times has been such a blessing...this was lunch:)

15. Received a heart warming email...Lord only You can satisfy!
16. A SIC brought her homeschooling curriculum (part of it:) for us to look at and get a preview...I thought that was super duper sweet of her
17. Kiki was giggling and laughing with me after service, David was hugging me during service, and Isaiah gave me a big smooch after service and Kayli gave me a hug before leaving...Lots of lovin' in Jesus' church
18. A FIC we love so much came a visited us in tonight's service
19. Lord continues to draw a BIC to HIM and we're so grateful for it
20. Mami gave me a little treat that I will enjoy with some late night cafe:)

Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away.
Luke 21:33

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 10

I really am grateful to the Lord that He has guided us to this study. The fact that He's guiding us chapter by chapter each week has really allowed for ministration and an in depth look at our hearts instead of a feel good for the moment charge. He is just so good!

Reading this chapter and having the Lord minister me has really been challenging. And I suspect it will continue to be so. How do we admit that we have idols in our lives that have taken the rightful place of God? Only with the help of Holy Spirit. And although it may be painful, I praise the Lord that there is not an altar of idol worship that can not be broken before His presence!

Last week was so insightful. I really enjoyed seeing how the Lord ministered us in some ways the same and in others so distinctly and personal. But isn't that Him, so loving and gentle and personal and intimate!

This week we'll be reading John 4:1-15 and answering the question:
In what ways can you see yourself in this woman?

While reading this passage, I just wanted to sit down and talk with her. Hear her testimony. Fellowship is so important for just that reason. We not only share with one another, but we get to encourage one another.

But encourage one another daily,
as long as it is called Today,
so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Hebrews 3:13

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quiet Voice

Dandelion seeds (Taraxacum officinale)

As I was combing my younger daughter's hair, she and I were having a conversation regarding something she witnessed. I asked her to assess what she considered to be obedience and disobedience in that situation.

After giving me her observations, I told her that she should continue to walk in obedience. But what about the disobedience?

I told her that any disobedience she saw in that situation should help her not to imitate the behavior. Sin is sin and she can't make excuses/justify sin.

She responded, "But what if I forget?

I reply, "Holy Spirit will be there to remind you?"

She continues, "What if I can't hear Him?"

I inquire, "Why wouldn't you be able to hear Him?"

She answers in a soft voice, "Because He speaks quietly."

As I sat there thinking about what she had just said, I didn't want to move but just stay there and meditate on that. I looked up from my daughter's hair in my hand at my husband whose eyes were on me at this moment awaiting my response as well.

I turned her around and reaffirmed her statement that indeed Holy Spirit speaks to us gently and softly but that because Holy Spirit is in her heart she would always be able to hear Him because in the name of Jesus, she has ears that hear and eyes that see.

But it got me thinking. He speaks quietly. And indeed He does. So much so that often we don't hear Him past the blast of our own voices, our desires, our wants, our motives. Sometimes He speaks so softly that we can't hear Him past our schedules and deadlines. At times, He is speaking so gently repeating Himself, yet we miss it because of our stubbornness and pride. Other times, He is whispering in a still small voice but our doubt doesn't allow us to hear Him.

Whether quietly, softly, gently, we know Holy Spirit is speaking.
Are you listening?

As has just been said:
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion."
Hebrews 3:15

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chapter 9: The Obstacle of Pride

This chapter was a short one to read and yet God has been and continues to minister to me on this one-day in day out. And I hope it doesn't end until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I have been talking to God about the definition of pride and its effects on our lives--and it ain't pretty. Pride is a thief of love, joy, peace, genuineness, contentment. You name it, pride can filter in and steal, divide, and destroy. Sound like someone? Yes, our enemy the devil.

Pride is so dangerous because indeed it can come subtly, disguised, and slowly. So we must be on the alert!

I will actually start with the second part of the assignment first and then work by way back.

How are you struggling with pride right now, today, at this moment?

Simply put, I struggle with pride every time I use the phrase, "I don't understand and/or my mind can't even conceive that."

There are times when genuinely I don't understand something and want to for learning sake. Then there are other times, when no, it's pride. Hubby may do something and I will say, "My mind can't even conceive that." What I am really saying is, "My mind can't conceive that because I think things through and you, well, you didn't think at all." Mind you this doesn't have to be said in the midst of shouts, screams, anger, or hurt. It can be said in a cavalier manner, BUT it's meaning is still there and that doesn't please the Lord. The Lord hasn't called us to compare ourselves to anyone and let alone try and understand someone else. We are called to love. Lord help me. So I am working not only on taking out these phrases from my vocabulary, but I am praying that the Lord would cleanse my heart and minister me in this specific area.

Read Genesis 3:1-13.
What are some things that jump out at you regarding pride here.

Beware this may be long. There's a lot of meat in here, but with the Lord's help I will try to be as concise as possible.

1 John 2:16 states

For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world.

This passage helped to understand Adam and Eve over at Genesis a bit more.

Looking at Genesis 3:6 we see 1 John 2:16 come into play.

(1)Woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food-cravings of sinful man

(2) pleasing to the eye-lust of his eyes

(3) desirable for gaining wisdom-boasting of what he has and does

Pride will make you want things you don't have and aren't supposed to have to be someone you're not and someone you're not supposed to be.

Eve's pride led to sin (eating of the fruit). Genesis 3:7 informs us that (1)the eyes of both of them were opened and (2) they realized they were naked.

Having their eyes now opened they were able to "see" each other because they realized they were naked. Now they could see each other's flaws and faults. They were able to see vulnerability and weakness in each other and in themselves which brought about fear (v.10). Think about the conversation they had once their eyes were opened.

The fear of exposing the real me caused them to sew fig leaves together and make coverings for themselves (v.7). No longer wanting to see the real me or the real you, pride causes us to make covering for ourselves. Coverings such as masks, self-sufficiency, independence, walls that don't let others in. Notice any coverings in your life?

Adam and Eve hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Yes, pride causes us to hide from God even while sitting in a church pew or kneeling in praying. You see God asked Adam three questions in verses 9 and 11 and Adam does not provide direct absolute truth answers. There is no repentance, conviction of sin, acceptance of responsibility for his actions. Pride replaces honesty, transparency, confrontation, and conviction with justification, rationalization, evading, and avoidance. We can hide among the trees of our roles, duties, titles. Are you hiding from God today?

Notice that in verse 11, God asks Adam, "Who told you that your were naked?" Loves covers a multitude of sins, but pride doesn't. It exposes others faults, fears, and weaknesses to mask our own. God's voice was no longer the most important in their lives. Pride cause someone else's, including our own, voice to be more important than God's.

In verse 13 Eve admits the serpent deceived her and indeed he did. He made her think she lacked wisdom, that God was with holding something from her, that when God created her, He had made her incomplete, that God's authority can be replaced by her own. Are you deceived? Has the enemy made you want something you don't have with the promise it will satisfy? Remember he is a LIAR. True satisfaction and contentment come from our maker, God.

Eve set out to have her eyes opened to gain wisdom she thought she lacked and ended up blind to the Lord's truth about who she was--made in the image of God in whom there is all wisdom.

Pride - Sin- Covering & Hiding - Fear - Blindness

And the cycle will continue unless we say bye bye to pride and hello humility.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
"God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6

Friday, March 5, 2010

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

I have enjoyed seeing how much our CYB lists have gotten. I am sure that we couldn't enumerate all of them even if we tried (Psalm 139:17-18), but the fact that we're on the look out for God's hands in our lives, speaks about what He's doing in our hearts.

1. Because of the snow, Hubby got out early on Friday:)

2. Syd and I were able to stock up at BJ's for the month...I got free milk and potatoes!!!!

3. We enjoyed celebrating our little SIC's earthday party

4. We also enjoyed a great time over at Syd's with her in-laws...Lord I know it is You ministering them...Thank YOU!
5. Received a letter from Abdi!!! Consider sponsoring a child here, here, or here:)
6. Abuela sent us some soup...yummy!

7. I think I may have found what I was looking for in regards to next year's Bible curriculum for homeschooling...thank You Lord for using Brannon, bless him according to your riches in glory!
8. God has strengthened me super naturally to seek Him...You alone are Lord!
9. Was able to get these goodies from CVS with $0.00 OOP:)

10. My MIL gave me this frame and I finally got to use it...look what I did with it?

11. The girls were playing George Muller. They built this orphanage. My tween hid "children" throughout the house and my tot had to find them and pick them up to bring them back to the orphanage:)

12. I was able to bake some dinner rolls and make a sweet treat for my sweet niece:)
13. I have been humbled in the presence of the Lord many a time this week which is soooo good!
14. I started reading Elsie Dinsmore, which I believe will be our reading curriculum for next year...God is putting everything in its place
15. Hubby has some days off and we always enjoy having him here with us:)
16. I was able to assemble 2 baked zitis, 1 lasagna, and 1 tator tot no cooking until Tuesday...wooo hooo! Hubby was so shocked (his words not mine) at all the food...he really doesn't know what to expect from me when he gets home...HA!

(afterwards, I noticed some of the ingredients were missing in the pic)

17. My tween finally gave our neighbor a long over due New Testament. We got to see God's glory because once I stopped reminding her and left it to God, He started prompting her and she felt the conviction. She said, "I didn't want his blood on my hands!"
18. Hubby surprised me by making tostones for me:)
19. I praise the Lord that my daughter has a Grandma that rides with us to church that she can constantly say, "And you know what?" and my Mom answers and has these long conversations with her...Glory to God!
20. Our Co-Pastor preached such a timely us Lord to keep our eyes fixed on the eternal in Jesus' name.

Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40:5

Thursday, March 4, 2010

BF Homework: Chapter 9

Uh oh, back to pride or have we really left it?

Throughout this study, God has really been ministering my heart on several things and sometimes at once. It would have been overwhelming years ago when I would have thought, "Ok here's the loonngg list I've to work on." But today, for God's glory, I'm at a different place in Him. Not only do I want the list (been there too) but I want to purposefully get these areas ministered by Holy Spirit. I don't think there's been a time in my walk with the Lord that I've experienced such a thing. Being so aware of His voice guiding, leading, showing, revealing, comforting, strengthening. God is so good!

I am a firm believer that we will see the glory of God, but it will depend on us and not on Him because He is always willing.

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

Jeremiah 29:13-14

God is not withholding freedom or any other blessing. He is however looking for persistence in us. This was made so fresh to me as I listened to James MacDonald preach on the persistence of prayer (while I was cooking four separate dishes...HA:)

So let's be persistent.

Why did I ask, "Have we ever left pride?" in the beginning of the post? Well, I have noticed that pride tends to be the root of LOTS of our issues. Whenever (or most of the time), I've asked the Lord to minister me on something, He will usually show me something in me regarding pride. It's a dangerous enemy because it can disguise itself as humility and come subtly in a compliment.

This week's homework assignment:

Read Genesis 3:1-13
What are some things that jump out at you regarding pride here.
How are you struggling with pride right now, today, at this moment?

I went back to this post and you should go back to you "notes' or post regarding you initial findings of pride's ugly head in your life.