Friday, October 26, 2012

Five Minute Friday--Voice

Go.

Everyone wants their voice to be heard.   That's where a lot of hurt and pain come from--the sense that your voice doesn't count--having someone you love ignore, reject, or quench your voice.

But within in us, there is a still, small voice that wants to be heard.  It's the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Do we quench it?  

Are we so much more interested in having our voices heard that we ignore His?

John the Baptist was the voice crying out in the wilderness.  Now he had a message!  He used his voice to voice the words of Him who sent him.  His voice was not for his own benefit but for the benefit of his hearers.  Is ours the same?

Are our voices more about getting our agendas fulfilled or are they a reflection of the voice Who will always guide us (and our listeners) to the Truth of the Father?

Stop.

Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review--21 Days to a More Disciplined Life

Crystal Paine can be found blogging at Money Saving Mom where she shares money saving tips with her readers.  She actually shares more than that--she challenges her readers to make life changes.  Whether it is creating a budget or organizing one's home, Crystal provides information to help implement and sustain these changes.

In 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life, Crystal offers practical steps, tools, and resources how to obtain a more disciplined life.  This book is not a change your life in three easy steps guide.  It is a roadmap for how to create and sustain a disciplined life.  As she walks you through the process, she breaks down  the ultimate goal into small steps.  Each step is explained in detail as well as challenges faced along the way.  There is even a game plan on how to overcome those challenges.  

Anyone serious about committing to a more disciplined life will appreciate her candor, simplicity, and practicality.  It is a recommended resource to develop, progress, and succeed in a disciplined life.

For more information on the book or to purchase, click here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kingship

And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.
1 Samuel 8:7

In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelites asked Samuel to appoint a king to lead them.

Asking for a king was not the sin.  Asking for a king other than God was.

Here they had God Almighty as their King, who surely went before them and defended them and Whose faithfulness had been proven, but it wasn't enough for them.  

No, they wanted a king.  Someone to look at so that in turn they would look like other nations.  And as frustrating as it may be to understand why they would desire such a thing, aren't we the same?

We want what the world has.  Its security lies in wealth, strength in fame, and comfort in popularity.  Sure, we might not come out and say it, but the desire is there none the less.  We say it differently.  We want our security from strong marriages, our strength in well behaved children, and our comfort in fully funded savings account like the little ants.  

And where in none of the aforementioned (strong marriages, etc) is essentially sinful, they are if we have them as our king to lead us and go out before us and fight our battles, because that only belongs to the Lord.  

Let us come from hiding behind someone or something as our king.  Let us come from out of the world and stop trying to be like all the other nations.  Let us not reject the kingship of Jesus but rather welcome it and desire it alone in our lives. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19

1.  Fellowship after service is a gift from God I want to appreciate more

2.  Tuesday's teaching was SO anointed...I love it when the Lord changes our plans...the Pastor and I actually touched on the same Scriptures in both classes which confirmed to me to have ears that are hearing what the Spirit speaks to the Church:)

3.  I truly feel blessed whenever someone picks up the phone to call me because I just know it is the Lord

4.  Sara waking up and getting down to business doing Bible Study after prayer is such a delight for these eyes to witness


5.  Last week, Alicia said she wanted her marriage to be like our marriage...thank You Lord...and I am so grateful to the Lord that we are mirroring Jesus to her...glory to God...one of the things she enjoys most is the amount of laughter that goes on...the joy of the Lord is our strength!

6.  Have enjoyed listening to Wise Up series by James MacDonald...he's one of those teachers that breaks things down so well for God's glory....take notes:)...I listened to it from itunes

7.  Randy encouraging us to do our family Bible Study is so encouraging...I love it that he leads with gentleness

8.  Was able to see God's grace in a beautiful family in church...I know He will fulfill His purpose in their lives

9.  Homeschooling this week has been so e---a----s---y for God's glory and truly it's all His because I am convinced that apart from Him, I can do nothing


10.  Thursdays service was a blessing...enjoyed seeing my Pastor teach on Biblical principles for the home


You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
Psalm 32:7

Book Review--Graceful by Emily P. Freeman

The premise of this book is identifying which "good girl" voice we listen to, its dangers, and how to overcome.

Although targeted for young women, the book can resonate with women in general.  Looking at themselves at this age can bring a new healing.

The author's personal account of herself at this age provided a light-heartedness to a difficult subject--where and why one hides.  Her candor provided a sensitivity to the subject where one became vulnerable to introspection.  Rather than being judgmental or presenting herself as the possessor of the answers, she accurately pointed the reader to the solution--Jesus.

Her ability to accurately distinguish good behavior and a personal relationship with Jesus is noteworthy.  The reader is left knowing that good behavior is not the ultimate goal of  a Christian, but rather a life lived based upon the continual dependence and hiding in Jesus is.

I would recommend this book for personal or small group study for young ladies and women.

                   I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, courtesy of netGalley.com

Friday, October 19, 2012

Five Minute Friday--Look

Go.

Look at me!

I think I can safely say that every child has uttered these words in their lifetime.  They have a desire to captivate their parents' attention.

Do we?

Do we stand in the middle of the our days in our homes, jobs, churches and shout with all our might to our Heavenly Father, "Look at me!"

Do we shout it because we are in desperate need of help and are walking dangerously through the peril of life's storms?

Do we proclaim it boldly drawing attention to the latest victory we have had because of Him?

Do we express it plainly knowing that each of us has a want, need to be loved and turn our hearts to Him to come and fill?

Whatever the reason, just call out to Him today, "Look at me!"

He is the ever present help in times of trouble.

He is our Comforter.

Our strength and shield.

Our Victory.

Let's Look to HIM!

Stop.

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I'm Warming-Guest Post


Interested in ordering?  Click here.
Today's guest post is from my niece, Kianna.  Enjoy!


A few months ago my mother and I were introduced to a brand of wickless, wax candles called Scentsy. After attending a launch party, we were both sold on the warmer designs, over 80 scents to choose from, and the other products Scentsy offered. (Do you like a scrumptious smelling hand sanitizer?) 



For my room, my mom and I decided on getting a plug-in warmer. I liked that the plug-in warmers were compact but still featured many of the beautiful designs on the larger full and medium size warmers. Another bonus feature is the swivel base that fits in any outlet, even if it’s horizontal. 


I chose the plug-in warmer “Bud.” It’s delicate pattern of kite tails and bows reminds me of lace stockings and the color scheme was effortless yet elegant. 




Luna was the first scent I warmed and was a winner from the very beginning. I popped one cube into my warmer and after just a few minutes, a floral yet tangy smell tingled my senses. I also caught a hint of berries. Luna is definitely a fresh scent and I welcomed the crispness of it each time I entered my room. During homeschooling, I’d walk into my room for no other reason than to smell it! After the warmer was switched off, the delightful aroma still lingered. It battled the smells of dinner and won a decisive victory. 


Luna, Perfectly Pomegranate, and Sweet Pea and Vanilla are on my list of favorites but that list is sure to grow as I experiment with new fragrances. No matter your scent palette or mood, you are sure to find something for you in the Scentsy fragrance lineup. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

What Have You Seen?

You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.
Deuteronomy 4:35

There are things that capture our attention but can be quickly forgotten.

Then there are things that we see and they are forever engraved in our memories.  

What have you seen recently?  What are you being shown today?  

There are things the Lord has shown and is showing with one specific purpose--that we may know that the Lord is God.  

You see only He can do.  And through the testings, miraculous signs and wonders, wars, mighty hand and outstretched arm, great and awesome deeds, and all the things the Lord our God did for us in Egypt before our very eyes (Deuteronomy 4:34) there was a purpose.

There was a purpose.  And there is a purpose for us to see these things with our very eyes.

That we might know the Lord is God.  No one besides Him.  No other.

So if our eyes have been wandering, lost focus, and blurred vision has set in, let us remember what we have already been shown.


Let us look back on those past testings, miraculous signs and wonders, wars, mighty hand and outstretched arm, great and awesome deeds, all the things the Lord our God did for before our very eyes and remind those eyes they have yet to see more because the LORD is God and besides him there is no other.

However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”--
1 Corinthians 2:9 


Friday, October 12, 2012

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19

1.  The Lord blessed me with another year of life in HIM!


2.  Celebrated Birthday at Green Meadows Farm with FIC:)  Received so many endearing phone calls, gifts, and blessings...He overwhelms me with HIS LOVE


3.  Listened to the testimony of Luis Perez Azocar which is a testament of God's amazing  redeeming LOVE

4.  Always showing me HE is the God of Overflow, I received blessings into the week regarding my birthday...He's more than I can think, ask, or imagine!

5.  Enjoyed Tuesday's class with the children SO much!  The look on their faces on how God surprised them is priceless and makes my heart so full to think of the Wonderful Lord Jesus who allows me the great privilege of working with children

6.  Knowing that my husband is a man of God who fears His Name is more to me than I could ever explain in human words...but I hope to worship Jesus in such a way that reflects the gratitude in my heart for the man I am blessed to call my lord 

7.  Snuggling with Sara in the middle of the night...moments like these are stored in my heart 

8.  Alicia telling me that I needed birthday snuggles from her reminds me of the richness of God's Word to be TRUE--they rise to call me blessed to the devil's shame!

9.  Going out with my sister, Sydney, is usually for the most part an adventure filled with laughter.  This one included an outing to Vera Bradley, H&M, Sephora, Apple Store, and playground where we enjoyed seeing the girls play while we drank our cappuccinos and ate our cookies.


10.  Seeing my 15 year-old get more excited about the slide than my 7 year-old reminds me that God is Redeemer and Restorer!


11.  Having our BIC here with us from the Dominican Republic for ten days is God refreshing his children...thank You Father:)

12.  Keeping up with 90 day Bible reading plan is evidence that I can do nothing separated from HIM

13.  Danced with my girls before getting down to clean up the house before Daddy gets home:)

14.  Randy's uncle offered to cook him some lunch which I loved hearing about because God really is THAT BIG!

15.  Randy coming home and testifying about God's favor in his job brings glory to God...I also praised God because waiting for him to come home on Friday, Sara and I enjoyed this view...and after dinner Randy was able to take a nice long nap while I prepared this post and the girls did Bible Study...truly blessed...thank You Jesus!


27Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
Psalm 73:27-28



Five Minute Friday--Race

Go. 

Race to the finish line.

If you are a Christian, then you know full well that we are indeed running a race to the finish line and our prize is eternity with Jesus!

You also know that we must run legitimately unless we be disqualified.  

And you know that in order to run, we must not be as one running aimlessly but with purpose.

And yet, so many times we can get caught up feeling like we are running in the rat race.  Caring more what others think of us than what God's Word says about us.  Our goals are focused on the here and now as opposed to eternity.  We get caught doing the same thing but for some reason expecting different results.

We begin to grow weary.  We get tired.  We get frustrated with our own lack of advancement.

But today, let's drink from the Living Water and be refreshed to continue running this race to claim our prize--Jesus!

Stop.
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What I'm Warming--Guest Post

Interested in ordering?  Click here.

Today it's not what I'm warming, but what Sydney is warming.  Enjoy!

On more occasions than I can count, I have walked into my home late at night and had the smell of the dinner I cooked earlier in the day linger in my home. Traces of garlic, peppers and onion was obnoxiously obvious. Suffice it to say that is not the aroma I want to welcome my family and I back home.

I have tried the popular room sprays, famous brand name candles and the like with no obvious results. 

I attended a Scentsy party at Karen’s home and I was immediately fascinated by the designs of their beautiful warmers as well as being able to smell right then and there the over 80 fragrances that Scentsy offers. 

The idea of being able to infuse my home with delicious aromas with no flame or black soot was a very attractive idea especially since I have a three-year-old daughter. 

I purchased for my home a beautiful Scentsy Do-It-Yourself warmer in white. The warmer was even more detailed and gorgeous than it looked online. 


The warmer has lovely square cut-outs at the base, which provide soft ambient lighting. The effect of the soft lighting is even more beautiful in the evening. 


Along with the 5 Scentsy bars I ordered I received a 6th bar in the fragrance of my choice completely free! As a gift, Karen gave me the Coconut Lemongrass fragrance foam. When I first saw it in the catalog I was immediately drawn to the attractive bottle design. When I pumped the fragrance foam, it left a light lemony scent and not the unappealing alcohol smell that you get with most antibacterial gels.

To set up my warmer was fast and extremely easy, too. I inserted the 25 watt bulb that comes with the warmer, set the plate on top of the base of the warmer, and popped out a Scentsy bar cube, and let the warmer melt the fragrant wax. 

I have since warmed Perfectly Pomegranate, Awakening and I am currently warming Sweet Pea and Vanilla. The scents are not overpowering at all. They fragrance bars emit a gentle and comforting smell throughout my home. 


I must state that the warmers are really much more beautiful in person. The scent bars come in a wide variety to compliment any mood, season or particular preference. Whether you prefer hints of soft floral bouquets or if you want to spice it up with the rich smells of decadent bakery treats Scentsy has something for you. I will be stocking up on light bulbs and ordering scents from the Fall & Winter collection. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Near

I sat in her chair, my hair soaking wet from the wash of her gentle hands.

She begins to section my hair and asks what is the length and style of my desired cut.  I reply and she begins working at a comfortable pace.  She doesn't seem in a rush to get me out of her chair, but rather relishes the fact that I am there.  She lingers.

I begin to ask about her daughter.  And as if waiting to be asked she begins sharing.  And once she begins, she doesn't seem to want to stop.  I begin to pray and ask Jesus that she would see HIM and sense HIS great love for her.  

Maybe she thinks she is talking too much.  She silences.  I prod a bit and she commences yet again.  And not in a chatty, gossipy manner either.  But rather collectively sharing her heart with me.  And she's not selective.  She shares her joy, success and heartache and heart break all at the same time.  

She's been through a lot and a lot of pain is in her heart although her gracious smile hides it rather well. But it's when she's not smiling you can see that pain.  Maybe that's why she chooses to speak and share?  

She tells me of her estranged children.  She has seven.  God has blessed her.

And yet, two of them do not speak to her.  "They act as if I don't exist," she confessed to me.

As soon as she stated it, she brushes it aside and talks about the abundant love she receives from her other children.  But the pain, it's there.

She continues by telling me that they don't understand and don't appreciate what she's done for them.  They don't appreciate the sacrifice she made for their welfare.

I understand. 

She thought in giving them the best opportunity, she gave them the best.

I understand.

They feel abandoned and rejected--unloved.

I understand.

In giving them the best opportunity, she neglected giving of the best--herself to her children.  And now the rejected, reject.  

They don't know Jesus.  They don't understand that He's the best.  She couldn't give because she didn't have and now they don't receive because they don't have Jesus.

I come home.  Elated at the fact that I had prayed about who would cut my hair.  At the fact that God blessed me with listening to her story and enjoying her conversing with me, a total stranger.  Before, I leave she beckons me return and not "get lost."  

No I am not lost and don't want to get lost, although I once was and terribly so.  I know Jesus!

I am now in bed and relate the events in brevity to my husband.  He's tired, falling asleep.  Then the Lord begins to speak to me.  Reminding me of the children.  How we are to be like them.  

He reminds me of her hurting children who weren't interested in the blessings their mother tried to give them but rather the blessings they craved at having her by their side.

Jesus reminds me to be like the little children.  To want to be near him rather than the blessings He gives.  He reminds me of the sacrifice He made to have me near, that I could be near.  He reminds me to desire that above all else.  And in that reminding, I am convicted.  

He wants me near.  Yet, I am the child.  I must want to be near.  I must look at the sacrifice at Calvary and draw near.  I must think of His sacrifice and proceed near boldly.  I must look to the One who sacrificed and yearn near.  

I understand.

His sacrifice made near possible.  

I understand.

But will I draw near?  Will you?

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8

Book Review--Everything by Mary Demuth

Book Description

But it was just enough to bring her to a place of surrender, piece by precious piece. In that surrender, she found the freedom of giving everything to God. And through Scripture, community, and the work of the Holy Spirit, she gives it all over again, every day.

In this gentle and challenging book, DeMuth describes the process and the nuances that shape us to be more like Christ. Her words are clear, vulnerable, and thought provoking, and every chapter is infused with Scripture.

Most of all, DeMuth provides personal and practical evidence that there is no greater pursuit than Christ. We must surrender everything, but it does not compare to the Everything He is, the Everything He gives.

My Review

I had seen some advertisements about this upcoming book but had never heard of the author. Because of the subject matter, I was excited to find it on a list to review.

The premise of the book is wonderful--surrendering our everything to Jesus that He may become our everything. The section titles as well as the chapter titles seemed so interesting at first glance. Review questions were a great source of follow up to each preceding chapter. 

The author honed in on some key factors in one's life that may be casually overlooked and remain unchecked thus preventing one from making Jesus everything in one's life. Some issues included one's perception of God, control, forgiveness, healing, freedom, and finances to name a few. Her points vividly came to life with the sharing of her life's story. Some of these points left me reflective and resonated with me. 

Whereas, I could agree with some Biblical points she stated, there were more often than not things I did not agree with. There seemed at times that in order to make Jesus one's everything, He had to become what one's mind imagined Him to be as opposed to who His Word states He is--Jesus dancing to Duran Duran for example. The usage of the Message translation of the Bible validated this for me. Instead of sticking to Scripture as the ultimate authority, God is trivialized to one's own "message" of Him. I did not appreciate the descriptions given in regards to Jesus as scary, untamed and speaking haunting words. It is a statement of the author's view of Jesus as opposed to a Biblical account. 

I appreciate the author's sincerity in sharing her life and the power of God's love in it. Her quest to make Jesus her everything and encouragement for us to do the same is uplifting and inviting. Overall, I think she would have succeeded much better in this endeavor by encouraging the reader to elevate one's standard to God's as opposed reducing His standard to ours. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Count Your Blessings


Picture 19



1.  A SIC announced she is expecting...children are the Lord's inheritance!

2.  Started reading a new book and am having mixed feelings on it...I guess I will wait to finish it first

3.  Children's Service was a blessing on Sunday...they are useful instruments in the Lord's hands


4.  I sang a song too on Sunday in thanksgiving to God for granting us 10 years in HIM!  We went out to dinner and enjoyed some shopping:)



5.  My sister visited me on Thursday night with her family and that's always a blessing

6.  This came in the mail...I really do enjoy good mail days


7.  Have enjoyed praying for the authorities this week

8.  Got to share the Gospel this week

9.  Learned a neighbor's story and she will be in my prayers

10.  Got my hair cut...finally:)


And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Exodus 33:19 NIV


Friday, October 5, 2012

Five Minute Friday--Welcome

Go.

Welcome (to my house)...welcome to my heart.

Here it is.  Won't you stay a while?

I am here exposed and you can see my faults as well as my virtues.

Do you like what you see?  Do you like what the Holy Spirit has done with the place?

Yeah, I know there's still work to be done, projects to check off, but He's done a lot and the difference is HUGE in my eyes.  Do you see it?

Right now you can sit and stay but it wasn't always so.  Before, I wouldn't have invited you in.  I would have had a sign that said BEWARE but now it reads WELCOME.

Yes, welcome to my heart.  

Stop.  

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What I'm Warming & Exciting News



Hmmmmm, that smells really good!

That's what was heard throughout the house as Caramel Pear Crisp was warmed.  It smells like sweet pears with a zest somewhere.  It's not a heavy bakery scent at all.  It is more fresh and citrusy with the caramel being the after scent.


Really, really good:)

You can order yours here or for any questions email me.

Now for some exciting news.  Voting for Bring Back My Bar has begun!  The list is long and I have never smelled ANY of them (I think), so I am going to vote purely based on names:)  For the list of names and scent descriptions click here and to vote click here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October Goals & September Goals Update

September's Goals:

1. Finish Reading the Bible
2. Make Pancake Batch
3. Keep Homeschool Paperwork Updated

Taking this one day at a time has made all the difference.
4. Finish Sara's Shutterfly Album
I came so close to finishing it (just one month and last page left to do).
5. Read Another Book
6. Celebrate Our 10 Year Anniversary in Christ!

We went out to dinner and a little shopping.
7. Complete Building Her House Challenge
I did a few things on this list, maybe 50%, maybe?!
8. Finish Study on Diligence with the Girls and Start a New Study from hereWe have started our study on being a self-disciplined woman!
9. Finish Putting On a Gentle & Quiet Spirit: A Woman After God's Own Heart Series
10. Update Family Album for at least two months
I didn't work on this at all:(

Overall, I think 7 out of 10 is pretty good.  I am so excited about this month.  I think October is my favorite month (or at least top 3) with the crisp air, warming aromas, and beautiful colors.  Being that it started on a Monday is a bonus.

For this month, it will be more about new projects as well as finishing up some loose ends from last month.  So this month's goals include:

1.  Read another book
2.  Finish Sara's Shutterfly album
3.  Update our Family album up to September
4.  Complete Building Her House Challenge
5.  De-clutter house--I know it seems like I do this a lot:) but I consider it so worth it.  It doesn't take days or even hours upon hours...maintenance is key:)
6.  Keep Homeschool paperwork updated
7.  Finish Study on self-discipline with the girls and start a new study
8.  Do some freezer cooking
9.  Get back on track with our daily to-do's
10.  Go semi-paperless in regards to planning

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Prayer


For the month of October, I will praying for specific needs.  Won't you join me?

Week #1
Authorities
With the upcoming elections, I will be praying that the hearts of our leaders are turned to God.  Sometimes we can't picture not being able to congregate, pray, and read our Bibles as freely as we do here in the United States, but persecution is sure to arise in the latter days.

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  
Romans 13:1 NIV

Week #2
Persecution
We have a family in Christ around the world that suffers much persecution for believing in Jesus.  Let us pray that they and their families are comforted, strengthened, and protected.  We can also pray for the salvation of their persecutors--that God would touch their hearts and convict them of sin, justice, and judgement.

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
Matthew 24:9 NIV

Week#3
Focus
It can be so easy to be distracted and entertained from our true purpose hear on earth.  Let us pray to remain focused on God's plan for our lives.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV

Week#4
Marriages
May our marriages mirror the instructions in the Word of God.  May we settle for nothing less than what the Word of God offers us.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  
Ephesians 5:22 NIV
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 
Ephesians 5:25 NIV
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh."
Ephesians 5:31 NIV

Week #5
Children
Let us pray against the wiles and schemes of the devil against children, especially during Halloween.  Many are unaware of the spiritual dangers of participating in this demonic ritual.

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Ephesians 5:11 NIV