Thursday, December 4, 2008
Credit Crunch or Christmas Contentment?
Lynn Cowell“Owe no one anything except to love one another for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 (NKJV)The TV blared the news: the economy is tightening and a credit crunch will definitely affect Christmas spending this year.Credit card companies are lowering credit limits and raising interest rates. Gone are the days of zero percent interest for your first few months on a newly opened card. As I watched the news, I imagined many families would share similar concerns of mine. Will we have enough money to celebrate and give Christmas gifts? Can we be content with less than usual? Is there any possibility this could be a good thing?Overspending during the holiday season winds up being a joy-robber. Many of us spend our December evenings and weekends searching frantically for that perfect gift or worrying over keeping everything “equal” (this is my personal worry with my three kids). The more I shop, the more I spend, and the less joyful I become. Sometimes, I find myself wishing the holidays would hurry up, get here and get over! There has got to be a better way to celebrate the birthday of Christ. Isn’t there?Yes, there is! Romans 13:8 encourages us to owe no one anything except love. This verse brought to mind my sister’s special Christmas last year. Her family practiced the very gifts of love this verse speaks about. They all chose one family member to buy a gift for. In addition to this gift, they wrote a letter of love to the receiver. Their letters included words of encouragement and appreciation. They asked for forgiveness of past wounds and sought renewed relationship with one another.My sister told me that reading these letters outloud before they opened gifts brought tears of love, healing, and restoration. She never gave the gifts a second thought after this wonderful experience. As the tears flowed from her family, in her heart she celebrated their best Christmas. The boxes may have been the fewest ever, but the love was the most! She was content.My sister inspired me. How can I encourage my family to focus on spreading God’s love to each other and those we come in contact with this holiday? How can I encourage others not to “keep up with the Joneses,” but instead to “keep up” with Jesus’ idea of extravagantly given love?How about your family as this Christmas season approaches? Is the tight economy exactly what your family needs to prompt you to rein in your traditional spending and refocus this year? I know it is for me and my family.Dear Lord, may the tough times so many of us are experiencing financially, point us back to You. Help me hear Your voice this season and truly demonstrate what this precious holiday is all about. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
In Hebrews 12:28 it says Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverance and awe, for our God is "a consuming fire". In "The Message" version of the bible it talks just like we do and interprets that verse like this; Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not and indifferent bystander. He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleaned. God himself is Fire!
I am so thankful for the many earthly things that my God has given me, but most of all,
I am so thankful to have a Father that has prepared a place for me in Heaven.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
in the whole wide world!!!!!
best friends that live about 30 min.
away from us. How cool!!! Here they are
She is TRUE through and through.
Love you, Em!
be the last!! We're just getting started!
Happy Father's Day Doug! You're the best!!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Please keep this family in your prayers. Pray that God will allow Maria's brother to forgive himself as it was a complete accident, that they will seek the Lord's face and rest in His care, & that God would grant them Peace that they can only find in Him.
You can visit The Chapman's website to read more... Stevencurtischapman.com.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here's what it says:
May 19, 2008 By Micca Monda Campbell
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” Psalm 62:6 (KJV)
Children anticipate everything from birthdays to family vacations. Yes, they await good things with expectancy. There’s no doubt that we once did too. As we grew older, however, we lost some of our anticipation. Maybe it’s because we’ve been disappointed one too many times. Perhaps we don’t expect anything because we don’t feel worthy of receiving anything good. Or maybe, we just don’t believe it’s meant for good things to come our way.
Take prayer for example. How many times do you and I petition the Lord and then fail to expect an answer? John tells us, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask; because we obey his commands and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:21-22). You and I can have this confidence. In fact, as obedient children of God, we should be so confident in Him that we expect good things like answered prayer, a healed relationship, the home coming of a wayward child, forgiveness of sins—whatever we ask.
When my children ask something of me, they expect an answer. Then they anticipate the fulfilling of that answer. As children of God we should do no less. We should anticipate great things from our great God. We should expect Him to hear our cries and respond, so much so that we are looking with anticipation all around us for His answer and provision.
Bible teacher, Henry Blackaby says, “After we pray, whatever happens next is God’s answer.” Wow. I sometimes miss God’s loving response to my prayer because I don’t anticipate a reply.The Bible teaches us that believing is seeing. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
We must believe in order to see God’s provisions. Let me ask you what I often ask myself: “Do you simply hope God will answer your needs, or do you see God’s generous hand at work in your life? Do you wait with expectancy or do you doubt His provision?” He may seem slow at responding, but He’s always right on time.
While it would be nice if God owned the same watch as we do, you and I can always count on His perfect timing.We will see God when we anticipate His involvement in our lives. We will see Him when we can say, “His answer and provision may come slow, but they are sure to come, and I will wait with expectation!"
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I subscribe to 'Encouragement for Today', so it arrives in my inbox every morning. One Day Completely With God
"Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere." Psalm 84:10a (NIV)
Why do I often want to settle for less than what God has for me? What if I truly lived today completely obedient to God's word and in tune with His voice? What if before every choice I make today, I held up my options to the Lord and chose obedience over convenience and righteousness over my rights.
God has never asked me to do great things for him. All He has ever required of me is to allow His greatness to enter me, change things around in me, and be revealed through me. Not to do for Him, but rather to simply be with Him.
So, just for today I will live this way. Just for today, I am making the choice to not settle. Just for today, I will not let the subtle influences of pride, what is best for me, what is easiest for me, and what I want overshadow my desire for more of God in my life.Today, I will believe with absolute certainty. Today, I will obey with complete surrender. Today, I will seek with complete abandon. For today, I want God to find in me a haven in which to rest.
Isaiah 66: 1-2 (NASB) says, "Thus says the LORD, 'Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,' declares the LORD. 'But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.'"My soul jumps at God's question, "Where is the house you could build for me -- where is a place that I may rest?" He is the God of the Universe - so big and so mighty and so capable. Yet, asking almost a vulnerable question to a completely unworthy human - "Can I abide with you today?"
If the president of the United States called me today to inquire, "Can I come and stay for a while? I'd like to sit and find rest with your family today," I would be left utterly speechless. How much more so that the God of the Universe actually desires that with each of us today.Unimaginable. Uncontainable. Unfathomable. Yet completely true.
There are no great people in the kingdom of God. Just simple people. But every now and then a simple person makes a great choice. Oh God, let me make that choice today. Even if it is just for a day - how I long for it to be more - but even if it is just for today, may it be completely so. For one day completely with You, is better than a thousand elsewhere.
Dear Lord, I desire You today. Surround me with Your presence. Remove the distractions from my heart and mind so I can see only you. Lead me, guide me and teach me today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
In blog she stated the same things we've been hearing. The wait times continue to increase, the review times are slowing down, BLAH BLAH BLAH. As I read the first couple of statements over and over again, the rest was just a blur. My stomach hurt, and I just felt sick inside. I am tired of hearing the same stuff. I just needed to hear something positive...see some breakthrough, just something~! But that was not the case. For the most part, I try to be very positive. I know that there are people in this world suffering so many unimaginable things. Please don't get me wrong, I am SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED. I know that. I feel it and I am so very thankful to the Lord who has blessed me. But, I suppose I am allowed to kick, scream, and throw a little fit to Him once in a while. I think he wants that from me. He can handle it, I know that. He wants us to "bring it" .
I emailed a sweet friend that God brought into my life. She and her family are also adopting from China. She knew just the right words to say to comfort me. Thank you- Heather G. I am so thankful to God. He knows our every need and he wants to meet those needs down to every last detail of our lives. She reminded me that God is a God of miracles and that All things are possible with Him, and we have to hold on to that, believe in that and STAND on the PROMISES that He's made to us.
So, with that being said, I've taken a DEEP breath and feel a lot better...today anyway! lol. Please pray for my family and me. We need it. Just the uncertainty of it all is so scary, but...
Even in the shadow of death we'll praise Him
Even in the Valley, we'll say
Holy, our God...you are worthy of all our praise!!!
Give Thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever! Psalm 136:1