Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
A study shows that fewer than half of teenagers who profess to be a Christian actually practice their faith or understand what it is that they believe. I want to encourage every parent to click here and see what the writer of this article has to say. This was reported by John Blake at CNN on August 27, 2010.
Monday, September 06, 2010
You walk into a store and see all the pretty fashions, but when you try something on, you realize it's just too low or too snug? But it's the fashion, so shouldn't that make it okay? If you've ever wondered what's appropriate for Christian women or girls, you will find some good answers here.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
As you sit in church on Sunday and hear that more workers are needed in various areas of the church, you know someone else needs to do it ‘cause you just can’t. However, the people all around you feel the same. Yet church is a "community" and it only works when people volunteer to help. The churches with the most activities to offer also have the most workers willing to sacrificially offer their time.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
When we see a truly lovely Christian, one who is filled with the joy of the Lord, who is truly filled with the Spirit, we often long to be that way, too. However, are we willing to invest that much time with God, the study of His Word, and praying without ceasing, or do we just want it to fall into our laps without any effort on our part. Well, that’s just not going to happen. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” What does it mean to seek Him? When I played hide-and-go-seek as a child, I kept looking and searching until I found what I was looking for. I wanted to win the prize I was after. Unfortunately, when it comes to spiritual matters, we want to be delivered from fear with a quick little prayer, without taking the time to seek Him, but it doesn’t work that way. You can pray short little prayers for help and, God, in his mercy, may even answer you, but to truly live a victorious, Spirit-filled life, you must seek Him always and never stop. Because even when you have found what you are looking for in God, there is so much more to still be found. The searching will last a lifetime.
It is the same with children who grow up in a peaceful, loving environment and they see the loving relationship between their parents. They may think, “I can’t wait to get married and have the kind of marriage my parents have.” They may be under the false assumption that it will just fall into their laps. However, unless they seek God for guidance the way their parents did and unless they work at making their marriage successful by following Godly principles the way their parents do, they will be sadly disappointed. Happily-married couples have worked toward not being rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. They try not to keep a record of wrongs. Unfortunately, this is so contrary to what society expects a happy marriage to be. They love the sweet words, the cuddles and kisses, the secret looks between lovers, but are not willing to make the sacrifice of giving up their selfish nature and following God’s principles for love in 1 Corinthians 13 in order to maintain such a love.
To have a truly blessed life, we must be willing to invest all of our time and energy to draw close to God. It is only the life truly surrendered to Him that will know the deep satisfaction and contentment of serving Him and being blessed by Him. Jesus said in John 7:37 “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” We do not need to remain thirsty. Jesus promised to quench our thirst, but we must make the effort to come to Him and drink.
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Marriage
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Tags: Women, Archie Bunker, Devotional, Christianity
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I've heard it said that when you get no answer to your prayers, God may be saying "no" or "wait." This is true, but not always. The bible also tells us that God expects us to obey Him so our prayers can be heard. "The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29). 1 Peter 4:7 says, "The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." In James 3:16 we read, "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." The bible has so much to say about being in right relationship with God so our prayers can be heard. Let me just give you one more example of hindered prayer. When husbands and wives do not live together in peace, this too can hinder prayers from being heard. Look at 1 Peter 3:1-7. Peter explains how a woman and man should treat each other, and ends verse 7 with "so that nothing will hinder your prayers."
When you refuse to live a life of obedience to God and you refuse to repent from your sins, you may actually be leaving your children and loved ones unprotected. According to the above verses, it sounds to me like God will not hear your prayers, so if you are praying for your family members while living in disobedience, you are actually not being heard. Therefore, if you are the only person praying for your family, you are leaving them unprotected. This thought alone should drive you to your knees.
Let's determine to confess our sins and live lives completely surrendered to God. Tell Him how weak you are, but that you want Him to change you. I promise you that He will hear you when you pray this kind of prayer. Imagine how wonderful 2010 will be if God will hear our prayers for our children and other family members, our unsaved loved ones, our church, our community, our government, and the world. Do not allow your prayers to be hindered any longer.
Tags: Women, Prayer, Devotional, Christianity
Monday, October 12, 2009
Once you get upstairs, you see that their school clothes are laying on the floor and the books are spilling out of their backpacks, so you tell them to straighten up their rooms. When it’s time for dinner, you ask them to come downstairs and you hear them answer, "Just a minute!" Five minutes later, you are still waiting. Finally, they come downstairs. After you eat, you tell them to take their plates to the sink. You are trying so hard to keep your house from looking like you never cleaned it. On and on it goes until bedtime; you keep having to tell your kids what to do. "Go wash our hands." "Don’t fight." "Stop picking on your sister." "Brush your teeth." "Take the dog out." "Go to bed." "Don’t forget to pray."
As you lay your head on your pillow waiting to fall asleep, you think back on your day. You realized that you have been scolding or reprimanding your children since they came home from school. In your mind’s eye, you again see each of their faces and your heart fills with love for your children. You wish you had taken the time to tell them how special they are to you. Do they realize how much you love their smiles and even their pouts? Do they know how funny you think they are and how much they fill your life with laughter? Do they know the gifts and talents you see developing in their lives? Of course, they will never know any of this unless you tell them.
Parents are under so much pressure with work, school activities, church activities, housework, yard work, etc., that it’s so easy to forget the little things, like telling your children what you find so special about them. Yet it’s these "little things" that will become "big things" in their lives in the future. They will want to live up to how you perceived them to be. Only point out their weaknesses when absolutely necessary and don’t make a big deal about it. However, when pointing out their strengths, tell them over and over again and do make a big deal about it. When children know that their parents like them, that they appreciate them, that they enjoy them, this will help them to become emotionally healthy adults.
"Love is patient, love is kind,...it is not easily angered, it does not keep a record of wrongs." 1 Cor. 13:4-6
Tags: Women, Families, Devotional, Children
Friday, October 02, 2009
Tags: Family, Missing You, Today, Quotes
Saturday, August 29, 2009
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall."
1 Corinthians 10:12
Tags: Quote, Pride, Spiritual Pride, Christianity
Thursday, August 13, 2009
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world..." 1 John 2:15
Tags: Quote, Sin, Repent, Christianity
Monday, August 10, 2009
God spoke through the prophet Isaiah to the children of Israel and said, “Yet you have not called upon me, O Judah, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel.” (Isaiah 43:22 NIV) The next time you feel like groaning about a particular job or task you have to do, start to think about the people who will benefit from it. Think about how much joy you will give them or how much easier their lives will be because you are doing your part. At the end of the day, may we be weary from the work we did to benefits others and not just ourselves. Remember what’s written in Matthew 25:40 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Jackie had been desperately praying and asking God to please heal her hand. It was making it very difficult to continue working with such pain. As she was preparing for church two weeks ago, she felt the Lord's presence so strongly; she felt certain that He was going to bless her in a special way. That morning in church, as her right hand was raised in worship, she felt the Lord speak to her heart and say, "Will you give me your left hand." She immediately answered, "Yes!" and raised her left hand as high as she could while she continued to worship. Suddenly, she felt as though she was wearing a long white glove and, starting at the elbow, she felt hands beginning to slowly peel the glove off her arm and hand. When it felt like the glove had been completely removed, her pain was gone! The next day she worked a seven-hour shift and had no pain all day. The day after that, she worked a 12-hour shift and had no pain. At the time she was telling me this story, it had been ten days since this miracle took place and she still had no pain!
Praise God for his healing power that is still at work today! "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases." (Psalm 103:2&3)
Monday, March 30, 2009
The following was posted on Facebook. The author is unknown. I felt it was worth sharing with you.
Don't open your mouth WHEN:
1. You are angry- Prov. 14:17
2. You don't have all the facts - Prov. 13:18
3. You haven't verified the story - Deut. 17:6
4. Your words will offend a weaker person - 1 Cor. 18:11
5. Your words will poorly reflect on the Lord or your friends or family - 1 Peter 2:21-23
6. You are tempted to make light of Holy things - Eccl 5:2
7. You are tempted to joke about sin - Prov. 14:9
8. You should be ashamed of your words later - Prov. 8:8
9. Your words would convey wrong impressions - Prov. 17:27
10. Your words would damage a friendship - Prov. 16:28
11. The issue is none of your business - Prov. 14:10
12. Your words will damage someone's reputation - Prov. 16:27
13. You are feeling critical - James 3:9
14. You are tempted to tell an outright lie - Prov. 4:24
15. You can't speak without yelling - Prov. 25:28
16. It is time to be listening - Prov. 13:1
17. You may have to eat your words later - Prov. 18:21
18. You have already said it more than one time (it becomes nagging) - Prov. 19:13
19. You are tempted to flatter a wicked person - Prov. 24:24
20. You are supposed to be working instead - Prov. 14:23
May we all be like the wise person in Proverbs 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Lord help us to use our tongues to bring healing to those around us.
Tags: Women, Gossip, Devotional, Christianity
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I love the baptism of the Holy Spirit because with it comes the ability to speak in tongues, which enables me to express myself to God most clearly. When I am burdened about something and I spend time on my knees pleading with God for an answer, I allow myself to begin to speak in this foreign language called tongues. I cannot understand what I'm saying, but I sense in my spirit that every word is understood by God and I'm more eloquent in expressing my concerns than if I prayed in my own language. How do I know He understands me? Because after praying, my burden is lifted and I find the strength, hope, and joy to continue on. "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)
There are other times when I want to just worship God for how great and awesome He is. It's in those times I become aware of my inability to find words to express the depth of what my soul is feeling. However, as I begin to speak in tongues, such joy wells up in my heart and I feel the Holy Spirit is saying what my soul longs to express.
I know that many Christians do not believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is for today. I also know that pentecostals have often been made fun of for speaking in tongues. However, I cannot deny the truth of what I have personally experienced. This is a gift God has given to the church and I'm so glad I have accepted and received what He has for me, for I have truly been blessed by it.
Tags: Holy Spirit, Religion, Tongues, Christianity
Friday, November 07, 2008
I suppose people react differently when they fall in love depending on their personalities. Some may cry, while others feel a deep, deep certainty that there will never be anyone as special as this person, yet others laugh and shout with joy. There are all sorts of emotions. However, falling in love must go hand-in-hand with commitment. You can love someone emotionally and then fall out of love with them emotionally on a trying day or week or year. Emotions come and go. However, commitment is forever. You choose to stay in love. You choose to be faithful. You choose to look for ways to keep falling in love with this person again and again. That is true love.
It is similar with God. There are times when I am so emotionally in love with God that I just weep. Other times I am so overwhelmed by His love for me that I weep or laugh for joy. Yet most of the time I just feel a deep contentment in knowing that He is with me. I feel secure in His love. However, I must also be committed to love Him. There are times in our lives where we are distracted by life and we begin to question even our faith. It is those times we must decide to stay committed and faithful no matter what we feel at the moment. Feelings can be wonderful. Emotions can be great. However, feelings and emotions are changeable. We must be committed and faithful to God no matter what we are feeling at the moment.
Tags: Women, Religion, Teenagers, Christianity
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
She realized we had a frost in the night and her car needed cleaning. She tried to open the trunk of her car for the icescraper, but the trunk wouldn't open...must have been frozen shut. So she ran to the house and asked if we had one. After checking in my husband's car and not finding one, I ran upstairs and asked my husband if he knew where it was. He did and we found it. At this point, Amanda was running late.
She finally got her car clean enough to drive, and took off. After a 15-minute commute, she parked the car in the commuter lot and was running towards the bus that would take her to the building where her class was, when it took off. She felt certain the bus driver had seen her running, but took off anyway. The next bus wouldn't be there for another ten minutes, which would really make her late for class, so she got back in the car and began driving to the meter parking ramp. As she got closer to the ramp, she got behind a bus that was moving at a snail's pace. There was such heavy traffic that she couldn't get around the bus. At this point, she called me to tell me she can't believe how bad her morning has gone. No sooner did she tell me that when her trunk that wouldn't open at home suddenly popped open in the middle of traffic.
What else could possibly go wrong?! I suggested she look for a place to move over and put the trunk down again. Amanda said, "I can't! I'm in the middle of traffic and there is no place to pull over." She kept crawling along in traffic with her trunk popped open, feeling like every eye was watching her. This is one of those moments when you wish the earth would open up and just swallow you (or perhaps a good time for the rapture.) Anyway, as she was moving along at a snail's pace, someone who must have assessed Amanda's predicament correctly, walked behind her car and put her trunk down. She had no idea who this person was, be it angel or human, she was just so glad they did. By the time she got in front of the parking ramp, Amanda was so late for class that she felt too embarrassed to even show up.
Have you ever complained about the routine of your life? Everything is the same day in and day out. Well, after the morning Amanda had this morning, I imagine she is longing for a routine morning tomorrow.
Tags: Difficulties, College, Routine, Christianity
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Are you really in love with God? This world is so crowded with things that would distract us from God, but are you searching for Him in the midst of the crowd? The tendency of our flesh is to do the opposite. Instead of the world being a blur to us until we lay our eyes on Jesus, in actuality God is a blur to us because there are so many other things to take our minds off of Him. God knows how vulnerable we are. God knows that most of the world does not follow Him, so most of the influence around us tends to distract us away from Him. No wonder God inspired the Apostle Paul to write to the church "pray continually" (1 Thes. 5:17). That means we should always be talking to God and making Him a part of our entire day, i.e. while your driving or working or shopping, etc. When other thoughts want to distract you, turn your thoughts back on Jesus. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." (Mat. 22:37)
Love doesn’t stay strong on it’s own. It needs to be nurtured. You must nurture the love you have for God or the flame will die down and eventually be extinguished completely. God’s love for you will never die, but His love means nothing to you unless you love Him too. If I loved Curt, but he didn’t love me, our marriage would fall apart. We could still share a house, but there would not be a real marriage. In the same way, you can still attend church, but only you and God know if you are really in love with Him or if the love is just one-sided. "Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8)
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity
Monday, September 08, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
When I am around nonbelievers or when I watch T.V., it doesn’t take long before I feel like I’m a foreigner in this world. Their views about life are so contrary to God’s Word. The Bible says, "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) As Christians, we are citizens of God’s Kingdom (Eph. 2:19) and not the kingdom of this World.
I feel like I’m in my home country when I worship God at home or at church. Like Mrs. Dix, the Holy Spirit wraps His arms around my shoulders and leads me to the altar for some one-on-one time with Him. I’m God’s special project that He’s working on. Yes, we have to remain foreigners in this World until God comes to take us home. However, He does not want us to feel inferior while we are here. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33.
Friday, June 20, 2008
In the middle of my devotions one day, a verse popped out at me that finally set me free of this desperation I felt to find the right words that would induce God to heal me. In Acts 3:16 I read, "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see." I finally understood that I cannot create this faith to grow in me by saying just the right words or speaking loud enough or whatever. The faith comes from God. I just need to ask and keep seeking Him.
The Bible clearly states in 1 Corithians 12 that healing is a gift. Jesus said in Matthew 7, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Therefore, I have determined to keep asking of my Father in heaven for complete healing. He also told us, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." He said "everyone." That means you and me too.
If you need healing, don't become discouraged. Keep seeking your Father. Don't look at others who have not been healed. Their testimony is not your Bible. Look in the Word of God and allow God to build faith in you for your healing. Romans 10:17 says, "Consequently, faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Go to a Bible-believing and Bible-preaching church and get saturated in the Word of God. Read your Bible at home and spend time getting to know God. This is a walk of faith that God has taken us on. Submit to Him and let him build faith in your life. When your healing comes, shout it from the roof top. Let eveyone know what a great and mighty God we serve.
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity, Healing
Friday, June 13, 2008
It doesn't seem that long ago that my little girl became a teenager. I was warned that these would be awful years. What were they talking about? As Amanda was identifying who she is, we had some of our best talks ever.
Happy 19th Birthday! (Your last year as a teenager, and then start the 20s!)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
"The love of a family is life's greatest blessing." - Author Unknown
(picture: my brother-in-law, Marty; Curt; Curt's Dad)
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Curt and Amanda got to spend spring break with (from left to right) Curt's aunt, Arleta, and Curt's parents, Ginny and Ollie Dalaba. It was obviously a windy day at the beach.
I wasn't real thrilled about Amanda flying to Florida alone, so I suggested that Curt may want to go with her and visit his folks. He loved the idea and booked his flight. Amanda had been battling a flu for a few days. The night before their flight to Florida, Amanda developed a fever. She took some antibiotic and was actually feeling much better the next day. However, I was so glad that Curt was going with her to make sure she was feeling alright during their travel.
While Curt and Amanda were gone, Brendon and I had a nice time too. We went out to Brendon's favorite restaurant, Applebee's, for Brendon's favorite food, boneless buffalo wings, a few times. We had some good talks. Basically, this was a good time for some mom and son bonding.
Curt and Amanda arrived home on Saturday. They had a near accident on the way to the Tampa Airport on Saturday morning while it was still dark outside. They noticed a truck flashing its lights on the opposite side of the road. Suddenly they noticed something in the road in front of them. My father-in-law slammed on his breaks and stopped in time to keep from hitting a car that had been in an accident just minutes before and was in their lane without its lights on. The truck behind them slammed on his breaks too and went around them. What is most interesting is that just prior to this they had stopped for gas and had some major delays at the gas station due to a very slow cashier. Perhaps, it was a "divine delay" to keep them from being involved in this accident. I am just so glad that our lives are in God's hands and that He brought Curt and Amanda safely home to Brendon and me.
(Curt took this picture one morning at the ocean just walking distance from his cousin Lisa's house.)
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Do you want to know how to have complete joy? I mean the kind of joy that doesn't depend on other people. I have heard my husband tell our congregation when speaking about marriages, "If you are an unhappy single person, you will be an unhappy married person. Marriage is the great intensifier." That means you can be married to the perfect spouse and still be unhappy (and make your spouse's life miserable as well). So how do you get this joy?
Our theme was "A Night Under the Stars" and our setting was an outdoor Italian cafe.
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity, Valentine's
Friday, February 01, 2008
Stop for a moment and take an honest look at your relationship with your husband. Are you finding yourself lacking in any of the fruits mentioned above? Sometimes it seems much simpler to live out these virtues when relating to acquaintances or friends because we don’t have to live with them. However, real excellence comes by applying the fruit of the Spirit to our marital relationship.
Learn to be his friend. Strive to be his source of encouragement. Make it possible for him to look forward to coming home at the end of the day. Tell him what you appreciate about him. When your husband shares his thoughts with you, don’t criticize him. Listen attentively and influence him with gentleness and respect. If anyone criticizes him, you defend him. In 2 Samuel 1:26, David said about Jonathan, "Your friendship was wonderful to me. More wonderful than that of women." That verse always bothers me. I am determined to treat my husband in such a way that he will never be able to say that about any other friendship. I want to be his best friend.
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity, Marriage
Friday, January 25, 2008
"The Life in the Spirit" Study Bible says that because of Adam's sin, "all humans are now born into the world with an impulse toward sin and evil." (Found in Romans 5:12 study notes.) That means that God understands our tendency toward sin, yet He made a way for us through His Son. However, this does not give us an excuse to sin. As we continue to spend time with God, drawing close to him and allowing him to consume us, we will have less of a tendency toward sin and greater strength to live godly lives. As long as we are always striving to overcome sin and are looking for every opportunity to get closer to God, He will draw close to us and help us until we become all He meant for us to be. God does not have a wimpy grip on our lives. Even when we want to let go for a little while so we can do our own thing, He admonishes us and gives us every opportunity to return to Him. He paid with His blood to save us and He is not going to let go in our moment of weakness. However, we must continually strive to overcome our weaknesses and not use them as an excuse to sin.
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity, Weakness, Christmas
"For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrew 4:15 & 16
Saturday, January 05, 2008
At the beginning of 2007, I had no idea that our daughter would lose control of our car on black ice while crossing over a bridge with cars all around her. I was sitting in a church service at that time, when I thought of her and prayed a quick prayer for her safety. It was actually quite miraculous that she did not hit another vehicle as she spun out of control and that the car did not flip over. She sustained no injuries and the car had only a few scratches. "He who watches over you will not slumber."
At the beginning of 2007, I also could not have known that my husband was allergic to wasps to such a degree that one sting could end his life in a matter of minutes. When he was stung in June and his blood pressure descended at such a fast rate that he lost consciousness within minutes of the wasp sting, I felt complete helplessness. I stood over my husband’s bed, with the lady from 911 talking to me as I prayed in tongues over my husband. I don’t know what she thought of me and I really don’t care because I had "lifted my eyes to the hills because I knew my help would only come from the Lord." The ambulance arrived within ten minutes and my husband’s blood pressure had already started to rise.
Praise God for His faithfulness in 2007! I can anticipate 2008 with joy knowing that God remains faithful always. No matter what I may have to face, He will be with me to strengthen and guide me. Psalm 121 ends with, "The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."
Tags: Women, Religion, Devotional, Christianity
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It's so important to find things to laugh about. The Bible says that laughter does good like medicine, so finding things to laugh about will keep your family healthy.
This week, we received a very sad e-mail telling us that the wife of a pastor in our town suddenly died on Christmas Eve of a heart attack. She was only one year older than I am. None of us really knows how much time we have together, so we need to look for every opportunity to make good memories. As we were taking family pictures on Christmas Day, our kids asked if we could take one "crazy" picture when we were through with all the nice poses. Why not, if it will help them to remember all the fun that we had together? So this is my family being very silly.