30 Days of Thanks

Hello friends!  I hope you will join me  November 1 for a 
Seasons of Thanksgiving!  

Let's not let the pressure of the upcoming holiday season keep us from pausing daily to be thankful!

Will you join me??? 

Armor of God [Week 6]

The Armor of God Bible Study
Week 6 The Helmet of Salvation

Let’s talk Helmet Head today, shall we?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will~Romans 12:2

There is no better way to say it…Our minds are the Battlefield of our lives.

It has been amazing to me how much I can know the Word of God, but if I do not saturate my mind with it, then I fall into mind field traps of negative thinking that is directly contradictory to what God says about me.

Here are a few of the mental replays that I battle 
every single day:

Am I really loved? Does anyone really love me?
I can’t do anything right.
I am a failure, fat, ugly, older than I want to be
Worthless.  Unequipped.  Uneducated.
Who cares anyway?

You too? 

None of the above thoughts reflect the Truth about what God says about us.  That is why we MUST keep our minds focused and refocused on the Word of God and His Truth about us. 

The battle rages over and in our minds.  The Enemy loves a good "Doubt God" game. 

Ephesians 6: 17 says we are to TAKE the Helmet of Salvation.  Meaning to receive, take hold of, to embrace, to give ear to…


What we allow into our hearts and minds will make or break us.  Be careful little eyes what you see, little ears what you hear…

When my boys were very young and I “made” them listen to Christian radio all the time and was protective of what they watched and listened to.  They didn’t understand why we had a set of rules that their friends did not.  I tried to explain how what we let into our minds matters because thoughts can get stuck there.  They simply did not understand.

Until one day, when in the car, one of the boys began to sing the jingle to a TV commercial.  I asked this boy of mine why he was singing that song.  His response: “I don’t know… it was just in my head.” 

ALERT:  Teaching moment!!!

I asked if he had planned to learn and memorize that song, why was that song in his mind and he could not explain.  
So I explained to him how what we listen to and allow into our minds could get stuck even if we do not want them to. 

When we are careful what we allow into our minds, when we saturate our minds with the Word of God and the thoughts of God about us, we are protected from the mind games of the Enemy.  It is a constant, daily, moment by moment embracing of Truth. 

Priscilla Shirer has created a list of statements that we can embrace, take up, receive and embrace.  You can find a list here.

So go ahead.. Be a Helmet Head today!

Armor of God [week 5]

The Armor of God Bible Study
Week 5 Shield of Faith

There is nothing like the feeling of being hidden away and protected.  Especially when life seems really hard and you have no idea how or why the hard thing is happening or when it will end.

The Bible tells us in James 1:2 that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. 

Let’s break it down…

Consider not only means "to think about", it also means to take leadership over, to go before and to have authority over.  WOW!! That is a new perspective.

Joy means to be glad.

Let’s stop to think… 

We can have authority over and take the leadership in our gladness when we are facing a trial or test. (ouch! I have failed in this... have you? Good news, there is HOPE!)

Trials are meant to entice us to sin or to cause us to doubt our position and calling in Christ and to cause us to stumble in our integrity of faith in the One who saved us and is able to keep us for all of eternity. 

Raising the  Shield of Faith is so important.  

Hebrews 11 tells us all about what Faith looks like in the lives of ordinary people like us.  And tells us specifically that without Faith it is impossible to please God.  So what do we do? How do we please God with Faith?

Raise the Shield.  What does the shield look like? What is that all about?

In order to raise our shield we must know where our Faith is found, know what He has said, and be able to lift up His Word in order to defend, shield and protect our lives from the schemes of the Enemy.

Read God's Word
Memorize God's Word
Do What it Says

Raise your shield and stand firm!

Ask God Today... My Newest Adventure!

Let me tell you how honored I am to be a part of the Ask God Today Ministry Team of writers.  

Over my head!! Yet filled with thankfulness for the grace and encouragement I have already found with this group of women.  I recently posted over at Ask God Today... my first post there!!! 

Here is my Speak Out Video..

Thanks for blessing me with your encouragement and support!

The Word Worship Prayer
These are my Roots


God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it…Heb 4:1 

Whether we define REST as a verb or a noun, it is an act of TRUST when it comes to the Lord.  Do we trust His promise to bless us for obedience? When He said to work for six days and then rest on the seventh, will we receive the blessing that our rest in Him will provide?

This is the question that the Lord raised with me –again- recently.  Rest is about Trust.  Sabbath is about Surrender. 

Why do I struggle with this so?

For one, it is not in our culture to STOP and rest.  Our vacations are filled to the maximum level of activity and recreational fun and frenzy to the degree that we need a vacation to get over our vacations!!! But that aint gonna happen!  So we press on and wonder why we are striving to produce, achieve and accomplish in the work place. 

During a recent creative session at the Allume Conference, Carey Bailey led us in a childlike activity that turned out to be inspiration and relaxing for those of us who participated.  For a brief thirty minutes or so, we tore paper, pasted with our fingers, painted, stamped and enjoyed letting go our our Pintrest ideas of perfection to JUST BE and to allow our minds to rest and relax and to enjoy the moment. 

I felt like I was in kindergarten or first grade again and I LOVED IT!!  It took me two days to get all of the glue off of my fingers, paint from under my nails and everytime I washed my hands, I thought about that creative session and some fo the words that Carey shared of her own life and how she creates space for Sabbath in her very busy hectic life of home, work, faith and family.

Carey works hard all week in order to rest during the weekend with her family.  For twenty four-fortyeight hours she does not do dishes, laundry, cleaning, and not very much cooking.  Friday’s are pizza nights!  And she pulls our a basket of paint, glue and items for fun creativity that has no other purpose to serve than to simply allow her mind to relax, to give pause to her busy week and schedule, to be with those she loves and to celebrate the Life that God has given. 

I felt she was describing and unattainable life that I so desperately need in my own world.  Which if funny since I work from home for the purpose of being freed up to do what I am called to do, yet feel chaotic, stressed and never have time to just BE. 

I do have TIME.  The same amount that God gave the Israelites in the desert.  The same amount of time he has given to you as well.  My problem.  I do not CREATE a SPACE for REST on my calendar. 

Mike and I are in ministry together and our schedule cannot always be defined when we want it.  Needs come up at all hours, days, and times.  Then there are the ministry opportunities that we are involved in our community. 

One of my personal problems is that I enjoy being a part of everything! I love being in the center of what ever is going on.  I’m not sure if I am nosey, bossy or just plain curious… one thing is for sure… I LOVE PEOPLE.  Especially women.

In my struggle for boundaries, rest and Sabbath… which is really about surrender…I over commit my time and must pull back somewhere in order to create space for rest. 

In a recent conversation with my husband on how I can attain this, we had a different opinion on what resting for me could/should look like and this only caused more tension and internal conflict for me.  Who to please?  Who to let down? I dislike both of these distasteful ideas and abhor the thought that anyone will feel that I have not valued them with my time and affection.  UGGGHHH….another distraction of the enemy to put the brakes on my desire to cease trying to please everyone in order to overflow my life with more good things that will only serve to bring my health and wellness to a place of unrest…. Setting me up for mental and spiritual exhaustion will eventually put me in a pit of despair.  Been there, done that.  Don’t want to do that again.

I wish I were motivated to get 1,000 things done a day, but I seriously just want to feel great about the one day I have been given at a time and to be able to say “It is good” at the end of a day instead of a mind boggling blur of what didn’t get done, what is mandatory for the next day/week/month, what am I forgetting to get right!

Verb- cease work or movement in order to relax, 
refresh oneself, or recover strength.

Noun-an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage
in strenuous or stressful activity.

Whether REST is a noun or a verb to you, the common thread should be to cease. 

Stop.  Resist the urge to continue.  To enjoy a Sabbath is to Surrender everything to the Father and allow our hearts and minds to simply trust HIM with all that we are and all that He has blessed us with and all that He has called us to accomplish in His Name. 

God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it…Heb 4:1 

I don't want to FAIL TO EXPEIENCE it.. or to fall in my desert of wondering and wandering.  I want to experience the FULL on Fullness of the Lord.  Therefore, I must REST.

Armor of God [Week 4]

Photo Credit ChristianStudentsonCampus.com

In the New Testament there are many references where Paul tells the early church to be careful how we walk, to walk worthy, to not walk as unwise. There are implied references that our feet may wander from the Truth and therefore we would loose what we have worked for.  

We have not worked for salvation, but rather we work to grow in the grace that salvation brings us to share with others.  

When we embrace the Good News of the Peace we are offered by God the Father through Jesus Christ, we receive Peace with God. No longer separated from Him by our sinful soul.  Christ Himself covers us with His blood that was spilled for the sins of the world in order to cleanse us and make us holy before God. He is the Prince of Peace and gives us His Own Peace to wear before God instead of our nakedness and shame.  

When we begin to think about all that our lives have been, all the sin that once separated us from a right relationship with God the Father, how much we have been forgiven, we can then begin to serve others in the humility and grace and strength that Christ gives us as we extend that same Peace.  

We can call our friends, family and those we meet to come and live in Peace.  

He himself is our Peace.

Living inside of His Peace, we can then stand firm when life comes at us with gale-force winds and blinding darkness.  Life is hard.  Life gets harder some days, weeks, months, seasons... but we take heart, because He has over come the world and He has not left us as orphans to deal with the mess of hurt, fear, rejection, betrayal, sickness, disease and broken relationships.  We can stand in Peace because He is near... and so close to those who are broken in spirit.  

We have Peace with God.  We have the Peace of God.  And that is some beautiful footwear right there!   

Stand firm, then, my friend... God is on your side and He is able to keep you from falling.  
Get ready... you might feel like your are falling, tumbling down, but His word says His gospel of peace is able to steady you... Stand strong, then with your feet ready to face whatever because God is your strength and sure foundation.  


{Mentoring} A Link Up with The Loft

My sweet Grandmother from December 2014 just before her 92nd birthday.  She has mentored me in ways I have only just begun to realize now that I am older and she is declining in health.  

Notice the hummingbird pin she had just given me... she loves hummingbirds and she loves me, too.

Every one of us is on a journey and we are either farther along the Faith Walk than someone else, or someone in our life is farther along than we are.  

Just as Jesus went about His Father's business in a non-hurried, lifestyle, come as you are approach, I believe mentoring should be the same.

I am very thankful for women in my life who have mentored me along the way.  These women did so without frills, checklists, or a "how to" booklet.  They simply have been leaders in my life by their own example of Faith Walking.  

My grandmother was a woman who mentored... in her own way.  She let me "help" her in the kitchen when baking cakes and cookies, she let me set the Sunday Lunch table with her fine china and silverware.  She spanked me if I needed it and wasn't afraid to tell on me if I had misbehaved in any way.  She made me clothes and afghans from her skilled fingers.  I didn't realize how much I was taking for granted when I was a small child and young woman with the gift of my grandmother.  

She was spunky, feisty at times and sometimes ornery...(speaking the truth in love here...) But she loved as best she could from the resources of love she had within her.  If I could go back in time, I would speak more words of appreciation to her for her love for me and others. 

Flawed that she was (who isn't?)... she did the best she could to be loving and kind and to serve others.  

I am linking up with friends over at The Loft... will you stop over and see what others are saying about Mentoring?  You will be blessed!

The Loft

Living Pre-Approved

I had the privilege of meeting Jennifer Dukes Lee last year at the 2014 Allume Conference.  Immediately, she welcomes with her warm, inviting friendship and grace.

After reading Jennifer's book Love Idol, I was challenged to re-evalute how I talk to myself and how I view myself.  

Growing up, I was needy of attention and approval which, of course, spilled over into my young adult years and beyond.  Jennifer tells her own story of people pleasing and the pressure and stress that it causes in our lives.

You will want to get a copy of Love Idol for yourself.  Trust me.  It will change your life.  

Also, if you will stop by her website, you can get a FREE copy of her devotional 31 Days to Living Pre-approved.

I just downloaded my copy and can't wait to get started!  

{It's the Yeast Rolls Y'all} A Link up with The Loft

I am joining friends over at The Loft today for a link up. 

Today's topic is "pot luck" so I am pulling from a previous post to share a Grace Moment. 

It's the Yeast Rolls Y'all!

Mike and I were on our way out to dinner a while back, when we invited the boys to go out with us.  

Our schedules had gotten so varied and, in the past, we just didn't have the resources to do this often. 

So dinner out as a family was a treat!

As we were squeezing The Boys in the back seat (Cameron-20, Matthew- 19, and Kyle-17) we were already talking about where to go... O'Charley's it is!  As Matthew said,

"It's the yeast rolls, y'all!"

Off we go, conversation flowing, getting caught up on each other’s lives.  Cameron was in college, Matthew worked two jobs, and Kyle a senior in high school, you can imagine the random things that we talked about.  

These guys are so fun to be around. They are my favorite friends in the world. 

Dinner was good.  The company was great. We did, however, run into a problem with the check...you see, the server came and took Mike's debit card but didn't return...Mike gets up to go and look for her...comes back...didn't see her.  Uh-oh...She seemed really nice and everything...

Just then the manager of the restaurant comes by to tell us that our card had been lost and they were looking frantically everywhere.  Our server, who seemed missing, was actually out back digging in the trash to try and find it!  The manager apologized profusely and stated his embarrassment over the matter and tells us that our dinner was on the house.  Well, great, but what do we do? 

It was Friday night.  The place was busy.  Our server was pleasant and took great care of us during our meal and we had planned on giving a tip with our debit card.  We told the manager that we would wait a bit to see if it was found.  Meanwhile, we all looked in our wallets for any change, dollar bills, whatever we could find.  There was no way we were going to leave knowing that our server would not get paid for serving our table.  Let’s face it. Servers live off of tips.

As we waited, we noticed that other servers and managers-maybe even the bartender!- were walking by looking...down, under tables, noticing little details...looking for our lost card.  One young server stopped by to state that all the other employees were looking too.  Our server, well, she was still out in the trash looking...bless her heart.  She didn't want to face us and was quite upset.

Cameron, having been a server at a local restaurant, then told us how difficult that guests can be...over the slightest thing...and the worst patrons?  The church crowd!  Sad.

If we claim to be Christ Followers and dare to leave a mark on our world, let it be His  fingerprints we leave behind.

We told the manager to let our server know we were not upset...after all...why should we be?  Why would we want to make her night -busy and chaotic that a restaurant can be on a Friday night-miserable or cause her the stress or insecurity that mean-spirited words can leave? Our only concern was did we have enough cash on us to leave her a good tip for all her trouble?

In the end, our card was found. The card had dropped beside another table, the other guests turned it in and our card was returned. We were able to grace the server with words of appreciation, money for her service. We left full, blessed and thankful. 

Love and Grace are the fingerprints of Christ.