Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review: His Little Princess

His Little Princess
Treasured Letter from Your King
Sheri Rose Shepherd

I really loves this book, but I have to be honest...my girls didn't really enjoy it as much as I did. It's very colorful and attractive, but it was missing something. I love the whole idea of putting letters together from God to His little princess. Such a treasure of truths to give to my girls. I this this is perfect for the ages of 4 or 5 and wonderful to use for them as a devotional time. For the younger age there isn't really anything to keep their attention like pictures...it was mainly just words and very colorful pages.

My oldest picked up the book for a little bit, but she didn't really make the connection of the letters. I think it would have been more helpful if there would have been pictures to help the girls connect what was being said.

Honestly I think this book is best held on by mom and used for devotional times with your daughters.

Book Review: The Future Door

The Future Door
No Place Like Homes
Volume 2
Jason Lethcoe

I think I would have enjoyed this book a little bit more if I had read the first. I think you are missing some key elements about relationship between characters. I do want to point out that I pretty much already knew this getting a book that was volume two.

Book Description

A mystery is afoot at 221 Baker Street, but will Griffin Sharpe be able to figure out the clues before the future catches up with the past?
When Sherlock Holmes moves out of Baker Street, a new tenant moves in—a mysterious woman named Elizabeth who has long been a fan of Holmes. When she discovers that Griffin and his uncle are also detectives, she becomes very friendly. So when Elizabeth goes missing along with a special invention, Griffin sets out to rescue her. But finding Elizabeth will take them on a race against the clock that bends time itself!
Being a HUGE Holmes fan I picked this because I thought I would really love the whole connection with Sherlock Holmes. Come to find out really I just kept comparing it to Holmes and how it really wasn't the same or as good. I also kept forgetting that this was a book geared at children.
I think that having the Holmes connection kind of worked against the writer. Any parent who is a Holmes fan is not going to like the book as much and any kid who loves mystery stories is not going to know who Holmes is.

The story is full of adventure, time travel and good verses evil. I felt it lacked a bit in content and understanding the relationship between characters but this could be helped out with reading the first book.

I think it's probably a good book for 10-12 year olds, but I suggest that parents get it for themselves thinking they will enjoy the story because they once as a child loved Sherlock Holmes.

So in all it was a good book, but not great and not terrible.

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  

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Feel the urge...

I blame this on a friend of mine who on Facebook tempted me with "Lets get dreads together and go on the road! We can crochet by day and do worship gatherings by night!" Wow...she hit something deep inside of me. Something that I have let be covered with other things and I thought that really that passion of traveling and doing something "crazy" (crazy by the worlds standards) had really died.

She woke it up. Those of you who know me well know that if I was given this opportunity I would do it in a heartbeat. I have always wanted my girls to be raised with the understanding that if God has called us or asked us to do something we should be obedient. An example in our lives is that we just got rid of our TV. Well ok the TV is still in the house, we just don't have any shows to watch and waste our time. When one of our girls asked us why we did it I said "God has been wanting us to. It just took us awhile be be obedient. It will give us more time to spend with Him." A part of me wonders if this is God's way of slowly getting us back to where He wants us. Slowly getting me to a place were if I was asked to lead worship I wouldn't even have to think about it. So....

Maybe some day shortly you will see me with my friend. Both with dreads and crochet scarves leading worship at night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Son of a Preacher Man...

Ok...so I am not the son of a preacher man, but my husband is. Also my mom was the daughter of a preacher man. Some people often wonder where I get my adventurous spirit from. I love to travel. I love living in foreign lands. If we were given the opportunity to move overseas...even with 5 little girls we would jump on it and go! So where did this sense of adventure come from? Some may think it's because I was a small town girl who just wanted to get away. Me...I think it's in my genes...I think it came from my grandparents.

I have never known my grandparents. Both of them passed away before I was born, but for some reason I always felt a close connection to them. When I was about 12 or so I was looking through my mom's cedar chest. Cracking open that long chest and smelling the cedar always felt me with such warm feelings. It was full of history and family memories. Old dolls, jewelry, and a small coin purse my mom took to prom. It was just full of so many wonderful things and I loved asking my mom questions about all the stuff. This time I think I had pulled out few papers that had been in there. Among them was my grandfathers obituary, and that was when I had learned that he had died years before I was born...on my birthday. I don't know why it effected me but I do remember tears coming to my eyes. The connection I felt with him seemed to be even stronger. It was like God was trying to tell me something about this man.

I remember when I was in the 4th grade I was suppose to write about the oldest person I knew. I chose my grandma who died before my parents got married, before I was a thought in their minds...before I took my first breath. I don't know why I chose her, but I did. I didn't know her...so in a way I really didn't follow the directions. If I remember right I believe I wrote about how wonderful it would be to have known her. I had envisioned myself standing next to her baking cookies with her in her kitchen. I longed so much for a relationship with her that in away I made one up. I didn't know that my paper I wrote would be posted up with ones from the rest of the class in a window for everyone walking on Main Street to read. :)

For a very sort time in my life I wanted to be a doctor. I had this amazing science teacher in middle school who really put a love for science in my life. I still love science, but God did something different in my life. He put a love to sharing His word and sharing about his Son Jesus who came to save us. I went to a Billy Graham crusade and that was it...I wanted to be an Evangelist. I wanted to travel around America and share with people about Jesus. Little did I know where this passion would lead me...all the way to Asia!

But shortly after really wanting to do this my mom told me that before her dad and mom were married he was a traveling preacher. I also came to find out that my grandma was a traveling singer and that this is how they eventually met. It's in my blood...that passion to share Jesus and not have boundaries that keep me tied down. But knowing that everyone needs to hear, and where ever God leads me...weather it be this small town or on the other side of the sea...Sharing Jesus is the most important.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I actually don't mind this term. Happy Holidays, because really it just kind of wraps everyone all into one little saying. The thing I do have a problem with is people getting annoyed when others day "Merry Christmas!"

Merry Christmas just brings just joy into my heart. It gives me such a light feeling and happiness and thankfulness. This afternoon after picking up the girls from school and helping a friend and her kids get home I just kept saying this over and over again in my head.

I was at my mom's group today and I had such a wonderful time. It was such a blessing being able to have coffee, snacks and just talk with these wonderful women who God has brought into my life. Then everyone started talking about there worries about their family get togethers. Sigh...As I heard them talking I couldn't help but think about my own family. How some people don't get along with others and at times if we are all in the same place you can just feel the tension. This was the same thing everyone else was talking about too. That it always feels like there is an elephant in the room.

I had a talk with my daughter the other night. I was practicing a song called "Where's the Line for Jesus?" and she was asking me about it. I was teaching her the words and then she asked me..."How does Jesus feel about everyone being so focused on other things on His birthday?" I gave her the "How would it make you feel?" and she come to the conclusion that she wouldn't be very happy and it would make her feel like no one cared about her. She is a pretty smart girl! 

One of the happiest times of the year and we can barely get along with each other. We fight over who is right and what is the right way to do Christmas. We spend so much time trying to prove we are right and make a stance that we forget...it's really all about Jesus' birthday. A day that if it had never happened we would be lost without hope still trying to appease God on our own. But thankfully The Father sent His Son to take our place. I am taking a stand...and I am going to focus on Jesus' birthday! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sing to the Tree

Oh The Emotionalist is such a sweet little girl. I would have snapped a picture of her, but we all had to sing to the tree with her tonight...I am sure she would have been upset if I would have run off to get the Camera.

A few nights ago we watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Oh it was such a wonderful night of pizza, family and little cartoon kids quoting scripture! But the thing that impressed my little girl the most was when they sang to the Christmas tree. She has been begging and begging for us to sing to the tree! She really wanted to do it right too. We had to hold hands and she wanted us to go all the way around the tree. This probably would have been possible since we have enough people in our family, but our tree is in a corner so we just couldn't make that happen.

The Emotionalist had it down too. She stood and sang just like the cartoons did.

If you watch this till the end of it you will see what I mean. She really payed attention to these guys and I am not joking she had it down! She looked so uncomfortable, but she had to stand and sing like that the whole time! I love the things my kids do! So fun!

I think every Christmas this will be something we do! I had such a great time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Not My Best

Today was not my best day. You know those days when you are just sick and tired of everything and finally something just makes you snap. Yep...I had that day today. And I even hate that my frustration about something boiled over to someone who didn't really deserve it. I wish I could have found a better way to express myself. But it was one of those times when my emotions got the best of me. Really I am just sick of seeing people treat this lovely lady so poorly. There is so much more that goes into it but she deserves so much better.

I always remember the little children's saying..."Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I use to say that over and over again in my head, but the honest truth is...sometimes words hurt more. The words you say to people you can never take back. You can apologize for your words, but they can hang there with that person for a very long time. Having felt the hurt of words has tried to make me more aware of what I say to others. But there are always those times when I forget. I wish other people would think about the words they say to others before they say it. Your words have power in other peoples life. And yes you can say that those words only have power if the person you say it to gives you that power. But really don't we all have that power or choose to take that power. And some people are just stronger than others and other people just wear their emotions right on top of their skin. Why can't we just be aware of the power we have and think before we say something or do something.

"GET OVER IT!" This is a saying I have heard a lot in my life. People like to say to me and they also like to say it to other people. You know I just wish the people who say that to me or anyone else would take their own advice. It doesn't just go one way...why can't they just get over it too? Why am I the only one who has to get over it. Yes you offended me with what you said and I took your advice I got over it. And so did other people. Well if I say something that offended you and that you didn't like, but hey it was my opinion and it's how I feel why can't they just get over it. 

I know in away I am being bold in writing this. But a lot of this is the truth. Why can't we just all get along? Why can't we agree to disagree? Why can't we just realize that instead of fighting each other we should be trying to get past our differences? Sigh...I just wish people could have more respect for others.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Is There Something Wrong With Us?

Some might think this blog title has something to do with the fact that we took on 2 extra kids this weekend. Actually it doesn't. Yes taking on 2 extra kids when you already have 5 is not the smartest thing to do. And to all of you who don't have many children the saying "What's one more kid..." doesn't always work. The 2 we have right now are not bad. They do add to our craziness, but overall it's been a blast.

So I have often talked about how there is something wrong with the church. I don't care what church you go to I feel that most of the churches just have lost something. I read the following story from Philip Yancey's "What's so amazing about grace?" the visual edition. If you have never seen the visual edition I highly recommend it.

"A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick, unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughter- two years old!- to men interested in kinky sex. She made more renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one thing, it made me legally liable - I'm required to report cases of child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman. At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a church for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naive shock that crossed her face. 
'CHURCH!' she cried. 'Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse.'"
What struck me about my friends story is that women much like this prostitute fled toward Jesus, not away from him. The worse a person felt about herself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the church lost that gift? Evidently the down-and-out, who flocked to Jesus when he lived on earth, no longer feel welcome among his followers. What has happened?

Philip Yancey has a great question...What has happened? I wish that was an easier question to answers. I mean in a way it is easy. We have gone from being a family who ate together and meet together daily...to a club you need to become a member of. We have gone from a family who encouraged one another daily...to a meeting where we sometimes talk to one another weekly. We went from taking the Word of God seriously...to hardly picking it up and reading it for ourselves.

But yet in a way sometimes it's a hard question to answer. My husband came up to me the other day and said this. "If we think something is wrong with the church and we feel that really we (as in people) are the church...does that mean that something is wrong with us?" And what a thought provoking question. Is there something wrong with me? How is my wrong view of God effecting how the church is viewed? How is my wrong view of God effecting other's views? Really it just makes me what to dig into the Bible even more to find out. I hope it's something you want to do too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Review: God Gave Us You

Book Review

God Gave Us You
Lisa Tawn Bergren

This is an adorable little book written about a little bear cub and her mother. I could relate to this book because I daughters always ask me question at bedtime. And before I have gotten the question about where they came from. This book was done very well and answers the question so well! 

Where did I come from? God gave us you! That is what I want my girls to know, and that is why I love reading this book to them. It goes on to talk about how the mommy's tummy grew and how finally she had her baby in her arms. So many times I have read books about where children come from, but none of them did as good of a job as this one. 

After reading it to my girls it when on their book shelf and now every night they fight over who gets to read the book. It's such a blessing to have wonderful books like this to share with my girls.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Heard a Story Today...

I was talking to another mom at a Bible study and she told me a story about her teenage daughter. At school they were made to stand up and were told "If you are for gays and lesbians go to the right side of the gym. If you are against gays and lesbians go to the left side of the gym." My first reaction was I can't believe they made them do this. How uncomfortable is that? It also just seemed wrong. But then she told me her daughter went to the right side of the gym and stood up for the gays and lesbians. Without even asking her why she was doing it her friends ripped on her for standing up with the gays and lesbians. They yelled across the gym "You are suppose to be Catholic you should be over here with us. Being gay is a sin!" Even the people standing with her told her she was a good Catholic girl and should move to the other side. So her daughter came home and told her what had happened and during the day her friends gave her such a hard time, but never asked her why she did it.

Her mom asked "Well...why did you do it?"
"Mom. You've always told me to love the sinner, but hate the sin. If that is what I am suppose to do how can I stand up against them? I have to love them as people. I don't have to agree with what they are doing. I don't have to approve of their lifestyle. But I do have to love them. It's what Jesus would have done."

WOW! What a wise teenage girl.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Has anyone ever seen this movie? I watched it the other night with my girls. They loved it and I of course enjoyed it. It's a classic children's movie and so fun to watch! Well I started thinking that maybe Schulz was making fun of our culture a little bit in this movie.

Linus is one of my favorite characters in the Peanuts clan. He's cute and lovable and he carries his blanket everywhere he goes. I have to admit that he makes his security blanket look so useful that I have often thought I should start carrying one! So here is Linus and he is writing a letter to the Great Pumpkin. He believes that the Great Pumpkin rises out of the most sincere pumpkin patch and brings gifts to all the boys and girls. Hmmm...this is sounding similar to someone else I have heard of. At one point Charlie Brown is yelling at him trying to convince him the Great Pumpkin is not real. He says to Linus...
"Oh brother! When are you going to stop believing in something that isn't true?"
And I can't help but love Linus' response...
"When YOU stop believing in that fat guy in a red suit and a white beard who goes 'HO! HO! HO!'"
I heard him say this and I couldn't help but wonder if Schulz was just as confused as some of us as to why we spend so much time making sure I kids believe in things that aren't true. Hmmmm...

Then at one point my thoughts were pretty much confirmed when Linus and Sally had this discussion!

Linus: He'll come here because I have the most sincere pumpkin patch and he respects sincerity.
Sally: Do you really think he will come?
Linus: Tonight the Great Pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch. He flies through the air and brings toys to all the children of the world.
Sally: That's a good story.
Linus: You don't believe the story of the Great Pumpkin? I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting.

Well Charles Schulz...you have made me think a little bit! Thank you!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You Are Here...Be Happy!

"It was spring, but it was summer I wanted,
the warm days, and the great outdoors.
It was summer, but it was fall I wanted,
the colorful leaves, and the cool, dry air.
It was autumn, but it was winter I wanted,
the beautiful snow, and the joy of the holiday season.
I was a child, but it was adulthood I wanted,
the freedom, and the respect.
I was twenty, but it was thirty I wanted,
to be mature, and sophisticated.
I was middle-aged, but it was thirty I wanted,
the youth, and the free spirit.
I was retired, but it was middle-age that I wanted,
the presence of mind, without limitations.
My life was over,
but I never got what I wanted."
Author Unknown

Seems like maybe God is teaching me something. First at Women of Faith Luci Swindoll recited this poem. I thought. WOW! That is truly me, always wanting what is next. Always waiting for the next thing to arrive. But never being happen where I am.

Then at a Bible study this week we talked about Hannah and surrendering in waiting. I had an interesting conversation with a couple of women at my table. They asked me if some of my kids were in school and I told them yes. They said "Doesn't it feel great?". My answer "Actually I feel conflicted about it. I don't really think they should be there." I was being honest with these women. I don't really know what I expected them to say, but I didn't expect what they said. "You should never feel conflicted about sending them to school. You have deserved it. You have worked hard and now you can breath easy." Woah. Really? I feel like having them in school is more work for me. I do extra work with them on top of what they learn at school. I visit their classrooms to see what they are learning. Otherwise I might never know. Constantly correcting the bad habits and attitudes they are picking up from other kids. Boy...this is so not a break. And I am not breathing easy.(That is another blog maybe for tomorrow.) So then the speaker of the day talked about how wait should be a four letter word put with the rest of them. I totally agreed with her. She talked about as women that is what we are always doing...waiting. Waiting to be older....waiting for bills to stop...waiting for the check to come to pay the bills...waiting to get married....waiting for kids....then waiting for the kids to grow up and leave the house. 

Have you ever been to a mall that you have never been to before? Say you just moved to the Twin Cities and you want to go to the Mall of America. Most people probably just walk around aimlessly. But how much better would your time be spent if you knew where you were? So you walk over to the directory to look at the list of stores and look at the map to find "You Are Here." How important to know we are here. How can we enjoy where we have come from or where we are or where we are going if we don't know we are here? Enjoying the moment we are in... The stage our kids are in... The house we are living in... The town God has placed us in. These at times are hard for me to do. How do I enjoy here if I want to be there so badly. The grass is always greener on the other side! I think I am going to enjoy the grass here for now. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Review: The Voice

Book Review
The Voice New Testament
Step Into the Story of Scripture

I was so excited that I got this in the mail right before I left for Women of Faith! So I opened it to John 1 to read. That is my go to book and chapter when I am looking at Bibles. This is what I read....

"Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God. This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator; his speech shaped the entire cosmos. Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him."

Wow...what did I just read? Was that really the beginning of John 1? I was going into reading this expecting it to be like my basic Bible that I read. But it's not. It's so much more than just scripture written down in another translation. It's the Bible in more story form. 

At first I didn't like it. They had taken a chapter that I have read over and over again and changed it too much I thought. But the more I read that more I enjoyed it. Written like a story and like a play it was more than I had expected. I also love the intros to the books. They talk about who is believed to have written the books. Why they were written and when. Honestly I am looking forward to reading this with my girls. 

I love that this book is put together by scholars and writers. It's a great collaboration by so many wonderful people. 

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 

Oh Women of Faith!

I feel blessed by the weekend I spent in St. Paul! I had such a great time with all the women and was so inspired by the words spoken by the ladies and excited by the wonderful music! 

I must point out Angie Smith. He testimony of Hope and Faith during a time of carrying a child they weren't going to be able to spend much time with was amazing. I have never felt so deeply for someone I never meet, but being a mom I was blessed by how her faith in God was strengthened through such a difficult time. Thank you Women of Faith for adding Angie to your list of speakers.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see Mary Mary or Natalie Grant in concert....let alone together in the same weekend! It was awesome to see my mom grove out to Mary Mary who I listened to as a teenager! I danced I sang and I was so thrilled! Natalie Grant brought tears to my eyes. Her singing is so anointed by God and I was in awe that I was able to see her! 

Thank you Thomas Nelson for this wonderful opportunity! I was so blessed to have been able to share this time with my mom! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Women of Faith!

Who is ready for Women of Faith? I AM!!! I am so excited to be leaving on a trip with my mom and when we get there we will be meeting my best friend and her mom! What a wonderful time it's going to be!

I love their caption for the the weekend:
Escape from the everyday at a Women of Faith weekend and be refreshed, encouraged and inspired, Because the God who loves you can do far more than you can ever Imagine.
Isn't that so true! God loves us and he can do far more than we can ever Imagine! I feel blessed to have been picked to experience this weekend! I know I will have so much to come back and talk to you guys about. 

The weekend has so many people such as; Sheila Walsh, Luci Swindoll, Lisa Harper, Nicole Johnson and Angie Smith. I can't wait for great music by Mary Mary....but who I am most looking forward to seeing Natalie Grant! She has been someone I look up to musically but have never had the opportunity to see her in person. But now I do! What a blessing!

I will be back after the weekend to write about all I learned and to write about  my wonderful experience! I will leave you with a video from Natalie Grant to enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Broken Heart

My heart was broken yesterday while I was talking to a grandma. Her granddaughter was in The Inquisitor's class a couple of years ago. We were talking about a few different things and she was talking about how she really wanted her daughter to have faith instilled in her at a young age. There are a number of things that go into that actually happening, but then she shared with me that her granddaughter didn't want to go to AWANAS on Wednesday nights anymore. When I asked her why she said "There are a few little girls who tease her there." My heart ripped apart for this girl. I know how hard it is as a little girls to be teased because you don't fit in. It happened to me almost everyday at school. But church was the one place I fit in. It was the one place I was accepted for who I was. It was ok that I had a large amount of faith...no one made fun of me because this was the place to fit in. This is a place where no one should be treated with disrespect. 

I told her to talk to her granddaughter. I wanted her to come back to church and I wanted her to feel safe there and that no one would tease her. So I said...you tell her if she wants to come I will pick her up and I will make sure that she is treated well. I want to show this little girl the love of Christ and I can't stand that the teasing she has gotten has partially happened at a church. I want to show her that this is nothing of God. God would not want her to be teased at one of His places of worship. Wow...not only do we have to stand up against this at schools and parks...but now it's gotten into church. Sigh...and I can only imagine that part of it has to do with the problem of gossiping among people in the church. Whoa! I think that's a whole different blog post!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review: Raised Right

Book Review
Raised Right
How I Untangled my Faith From Politics
Alisa Harris

This won't be the best book review I have ever done, because I still trying to figure out what I thought about this book. But I have had the book for sometime now and finished it awhile back and feel I need to post something. Alisa's book comes across as a bit more of just still working though and reflecting where she has been and where she's come to. She's not admitting that she has got it all figured out yet, and I appreciated that from her. 

She came from a very conservative family who often would picket abortion clinic and they were very involved with politics. First off I find this very hard and can't imagine coming from a family that would do this. Not saying that the family is bad, just that picketing and being deeply involved in politics is not something I think Christians should be involved in. 

I love how open Alisa was in her book. She shared so many thoughts and things that she was dealing with and was honest with how she felt about things. I just don't know if I agree a ton with her. For her faith cannot effect her politics. And she is now pretty left wing with her political views. Also she doesn't believe that politics should effect her faith. That I agree with. But here is my thought. Christ should effect everything you do in life and if my faith can't be apart of my political decisions...well then I don't want to have a part in politics. 

With this very strange book review, I don't think I would recommend this book...however once she has thought over it a bit more and writes with a bit more assurance of how she feels about things...then yes I would read again. 

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books 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 

Book Review: Our Last Great Hope

Book Review
Our Last Great Hope
Ronnie Floyd

Who was Jesus talking to when He gave the great commission? Was he just talking to those "higher up" such as missionaries, pastors or evangelist? How many of us actually know what the great commission is? Do we know where to find it? Sadly lots of Christians don't think it applies to them. They don't know what it is...and they don't know where to find it. 

This is what I love about Floyd's book. It talks about the urgency of the great commission and how it applies to everyone of us. One of my favorite sections was "Accept the Urgency". Many of us in the church today do not have a sense of urgency. We always think "We will have tomorrow." But there are many things to point us to the fact that we may not always have tomorrow. For example the 21 year old my husband worked with who just died. Everyday is a gift and everyday is an opportunity to share the love of Christ and to share the gift that he gave us. 

I also love how he hit different points in our lives. Transforming our families. That if we have a family life that isn't good but we go out and try to fulfill the great commission what good are we doing? He talks about the importance of being disciples to our children and evangelizing them. He talks about captivating our communities. Kind of goes along with something I said before...if you or your church were to leave the community you are in, would there be a difference? Would the community notice?

My favorite was Talk to Jesus Daily. Just the title alone makes me want more. Makes me want to make sure that I am talking that time each day to be with Jesus. He is the one who gave the great commission and so we should be tuned with him and talking to him daily to keep on track. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Do you ever think about Eve? I am today simply because she was the topic of our Bible study. Our leader said something that I had never really thought of before. She had no Earthly parents! WOW! Can you imagine?

Everything that you do is complete trial and error. Well everything you do after the fall that is. It probably wouldn't have been a big issue for her before the fall. I mean she was living in perfect harmony with the world. She had God right by her side. He was there with them in the garden. He walked with them in a way we will never understand until we meet God in Heaven.

But after the fall. After she ate that fruit and handed it to Adam. She covered up her body with leaves and she felt so ashamed. Can you imagine that maybe she wanted someone to talk to? Do you think maybe she just wanted someone to understand what she was going through? The first time she was pregnant and had no idea what was going on. I wonder if she just wanted a mom to talk to...but she had no one to understand what she was going through. No one to lean on...

WOW! What a huge responsibility she had and the experiences and what people would do about them after her had a lot to do with what she probably did. I wonder if she ever longed for a mom?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nothing Like a Good Boost!

This weekend was busy for me. I took newborn pictures and also did couple pictures. So I had a blast...but I was tired! We also did a bit of shopping and a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's since The Inquisitor has a birthday coming soon! So that added to the exhaustion!

But my highlight of the week was the couple pictures I took. Here is a little look at them....
They are a wonderful couple and I really understand them well. They got married young (like me!) which is not socially acceptable anymore...but I am totally on their side and so is God!

They almost had me in tears when they said they looked up to my husband and I on how we raise our girls. We honestly don't hear that a lot and more often we get criticism for somethings we choose to do. So not only was it a great time taking their pictures it was also a very uplifting time! God knows what you need when you need it! Thanks so much you two for letting God work though your lives!

Monday, September 19, 2011

So Much!

So there has been a lack of posting by me. It's because I have so much on my mind. When that happens I usually take a break. Hopefully soon I will find time to shift through my thoughts...and later today I will have a Multitudes on Monday day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today I feel conflicted. I can't really explain it to you...and I honestly don't know if today is the right day for it. Sometimes I wonder why God puts something on my heart and why He does it at a certain time. Is He trying to make me bolder and stronger? Is He teaching me to share things at the right time...even if it's not popular? I hate feeling conflicted.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Give to God What is God's

Matthew 22:15-22
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?"
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?"
"Caesar's," they replied.
Then he said to them, "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

I remember whenever this verse was taught. It always went like this...Obey your government and pay your taxes and don't forget to give your 10% to the church. I was talking to my husband about this verse. It more came about in such a different way. We were talking about patriotism and this verse came to both of us. It didn't really fit what we were talking about, but I think God had something to say to both of us through this verse.

I don't think Jesus was really worried about us giving our 10% to the church...and I don't think he was telling us to make sure we obey the government and pay the taxes. We think it was more about the insignificance of paying taxes. Go ahead and give this coin back to Caesar. It has his image on it and he made it. So go ahead and give it back. But when we looked this last night we thought...what is God's. Really everything is God's he made it all. But I think we should go further on this...what has His image on it?

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Give to Caesar his coin. God isn't interested in your money...He doesn't need your money. What God wants is you. He is interested in you! He is not interested in just having part of you He wants ALL of you. So remember to jump in with both feet with full abandonment and give Him your whole self.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays 21-30

21. Time away with my husband
22. Four wonderful families who blessed us and took care of our girls
23. Celebrating the choice of life
24. Hearing the passion of following Christ from fellow believers
25. Bands who long for people to know God and follow
26. A tent that kept us dry
27. Fields that bend in the wind
28. Sunrise to show the greatness of God painting the sky
29. Coolness of a fall evening
30. 5 little faces excited to see us

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Happened to Purity????

As I sit and watch America's Got Talent, again I am wondering to myself "What has happened to purity?" I find it sad that a show that should be fun for me to watch with my kids has turned into a show I don't even want to watch myself. When I turn on the TV is it now that in order for me to enjoy a show I must watch women dressed in a little bit of nothing? Listen to songs that need to have half of them bleeped out just to be able to be on TV? Hear people singing about "Doing" someone? Watching people pole dancing? I don't want to subject myself to that...there is no way I would put my kids in front of something like that! Sigh...

People wonder why there is a rise in teen pregnancy? And they want to blame MTV's show Teen Moms or 16 and Pregnant? I think there was a problem WAY before the shows. I think there is a problem with what we are teaching our youth in America and what we are letting them watch and listen to.

I think talking to our kids about birth control and safe sex has caused a huge problem in our country. I think it has made more kids become interested in "trying things" and "experimenting". I hate to tell you there is only one kind of safe sex...that would be NO SEX. I hate seeing all of these young teens going around trying out things with others. It's chipping away at your heart until you feel nothing at all. Each time you are giving a little piece of yourself away to someone who you possibly don't even love. What happens when it comes to the day you are to be married? All those people you gave yourself to before you gave yourself to the one you spend the rest of your life with. I hate seeing people devalue themselves. You are worth SO much more!

Think about saving yourself for the one special person. How much more special will that intimacy be? I just can't stand watching people treat sex like it's no big deal. It's a gift...meant to be shared between husband and wife.

I think if we want to see teen pregnancy go down we need to stop giving our teenage daughters birth control. We need to talk to our children and tell them about the wonderful thing sex is and how it's a gift that God has given us to shared between a husband and wife. We need to be honest with our children before the world tells our kids that having sex with anyone is ok...as long as you are being safe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fail Us Not

I am so thankful that I have a God who is always there. A God who will never leave me. A God who will never fail me. Even though the world will fail me in so many different ways...God will fail us not!

The song I am singing below is one of my favorites right now. It keeps my mind in the right place knowing that God will not fail me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

It's Your Kids, Not a Gerbil

Do you sometimes feel like a gerbil running on a wheel inside a cage as you scurry from place to place, chauffeuring your children from one endless activity to another? What if, for one moment, you could just step off of the wheel...and relax? How would you feel then? And what if that single moment could stretch into an hour, or even a whole day? In his new book, It's your Kid, Not a Gerbil, Kevin Leman will provide practical solutions and helpful insight to get off the activity wheel so that you can put your time and energies where they really count: in establishing strong character and a love for home and family that will serve your kids well for a lifetime.

Now that you know a little bit about the book...why don't you go on over to the blog and enter into their giveaway. All you have to do is help out in spreading the word about this new book! How awesome!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays 11-20

Today has been one of those days. Even though I had some much needed talk time with my husband today I am still feeling a bit off. But being a bit off does not stop Multitudes on Mondays!

1. For friends to have coffee with
2. A husband who listens even when he's tired
3. My daughters' friends who love to come over and play
5. A broom to help with the task of cleaning up
6. Small flowers picked up by small hands
7. Crickets outside my door
8. Butterfly festivals
9. Paints that end up all over my daughters face
10. Dum Dums

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Guess what we are doing...

So do you have this problem where your kids love to give you art work and you have piles and piles of papers sitting around with all the beautiful drawings...but you just can't keep them all? I have that problem times 4...soon to be times 5! So in the newest issue of Family Fun Magazine they had this idea. Artist trading cards. So now my scrap paper box for the girls no longer has regular sized paper for the girls. It has these...

All my scrap paper is going to be cut into small "trading cards" for the girls to do their artwork on. They can keep their art work or they can trade them! So fun! And here is my huge pile of scrap paper waiting to be cut. I am wanting to cut it all at once and have a huge pile. This way I won't be cutting paper every time the girls want to do art work!
Here is one of our binders with the trading cards in it. The Inquisitor has given all of her artwork away and doesn't have any in her binder, so I just put some blank ones in it. We had so many binders in our house that we didn't have to buy any!
Now here is something I want to do. I want to inspire others to do this too. I want to find others who are interested in doing card swaps and the kids can make cards for others and send them around. How fun would that be??? Leave a comment if you are interested.

The Girl Creative

Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Walk With Him Wednesday: The Practice of Forgiveness

The Practice of Forgiveness

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Can you imagine yourself being one of those people casting lots for Christ clothes while he is hanging on the cross? I can see myself there and then I hear those words. What does he mean? What do I need forgiveness for?

But then I look at this man hanging helplessly from the cross. I see his face with such sadness and pain on it. A man who was so innocent killed for what seems like no reason. And here I am casting lots for his clothes. What more can I do to humiliate this man?

Now I see that sadness on his face. I see the love that he was giving to me. And now I see his forgiveness for me. I see all that I need to be forgiven of and I see how, even while he was dying my place, was asking for God to forgive me.

Being a Christian means that we are Christ like, that we follow Christ. Many would say that Jesus was perfect and so it was easy for him to forgive. But I think of it like this. He was fully human so forgiveness must not have come easy for him and yet he forgave. I look at the life of forgiveness that Christ lived...that's how I want to live. Forgiving those even when they don't ask for it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays 1-10

This is my restart of Multitudes on Mondays. I am counting the gifts that God gives me daily. Each week I will share 10 of them. My husband and my girls are not constant gifts and are obvious. I am looking for the ones I over look or that I don't always notice. So here it goes...

1. Midnight worship in the Kitchen
2.Doing dishes with the girls
3. Warmth of the end of summer sun
4. Joy of my daughters decorating their rooms
5. The smell of rain not yet fallen
6 Time singing with my husband
7. Baby monitors that allow me to hear my girl singing in the morning
8/ The faith of a child
9. Songs full of hope
10. The purples sky of a beautiful sunset

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Not what I usually do...

I am trying to get an IPad 2 and if you go and sign up on the site here you can help me. All you have to do is sign up...you don't have to buy anything! It would be great if you could help me out. I know that this would help me greatly with business things. We are starting many different ventures right now and would love to have something to help me along.

Hope you are able to help me out!

Just Want to Write...

She loves to be goofy for pictures! I LOVE it!

that's our oldest "The Inquisitor"! She is growing up so fast! We just mentioned today how quickly she is growing and how fast it's gone by. Before we know it another 7 years will go by and she will have her permit and be begging us to let her drive us places!

Right now she is reading "The Diary of Anne Frank". She is loving it. Her heart is so tender and she was talking to me about how unfair it was that the Jews were being treated so bad. I asked her what she would do if she lived during that time. She said she would help the Jews in anyway she could. This made me think of Corrie Ten Boom. I rented "The Hiding Place" and can't wait to see how excited she is that someone reached out to help the Jews.
She is also excited about keeping a diary. Looks like I know what I am getting her for her birthday! I hope she writes often. I want to see her writing skills grow as much as her reading has. I hope that she is enjoys it just as much...sometimes with the things she tells me I think she could be a great story teller. Someday I hope to read a novel she has written!

I plan on writing another blog after we watch "The Hiding Place".

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Miss my Husband...

No my husband is not away. He is actually home right now in bed sleeping. And don't get the idea that he is lazy...he's not. He just works nights!
Do any of you have a husband like mine? He works hard to provide for you and your family? My husband is a blessing to us. He works nights and works hard and gets dirty (I mean REALLY dirty) to make it possible for us to live. He works a job that he doesn't really enjoy...but he does it for us.

So why am I missing him? Well right now he is working 7 days a week. I see him a bit in the morning and a bit at night. But working 7 days really gets him tired. Some days he loses lots of sleep just so he can spend a little extra time with us. Sunday he hardly gets any sleep because he finds it important to go to church with us and spend Sunday with us. I am blessed.

But I look forward to my husband not working 7 days. Even when he works 6 days it's still hard...but TONS better. Today I am thankful for a husband who works hard!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Walk With Him Wednesday

The Practice of Forgiveness

Forgiveness for me has always been a funny thing. I have always thought that I was quick to forgive and in some cases I think that it's true. But it also seems to me that some people are usually easier to forgive than others. Usually those people are the ones who are seeking forgiveness or the ones who are more likely to admit that they have done something wrong.

The others who don't think they ever do anything wrong or the ones who don't want to admit their wrong doings our loud...those are the hardest ones to forgive. I often want to give them one chance and then...I hold a grudge.

I remember one time going to a class with a friend of mine on forgiveness. I left the class so confused and not even sure I understood what forgiveness was anymore. Did it really have to be this complicated? Did I have to go through so many steps and say a certain number of prayers to be able to forgive someone? It just didn't seem right. The subject kept coming to my mind. Is it really so hard to forgive? I kept thinking about how often God has to forgive me. How often I ask Him for forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not a topic people want to talk about often. Simply because of the forgiveness we hold in our hearts. Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." I don't think that Jesus was really putting a limit on the number of times we should forgive. I think He was more telling us to live a life of forgiveness.
I remember bringing up this idea of living a life of forgiveness to my friend who took me to that class. Her thoughts...it can't be that easy. But I still hold onto this thought that it is. I simply have to live a life of forgiveness. Since I can't forgive and forget I need to forgive and forgive. Some days it may not be necessary to forgive. But other times I may find myself having to forgive someone day after day. Sounds frustrating? Well I always think about God. How often He forgives me and everyone else He forgives. Why is it so hard for me to give out what is so freely given to me? So I choose to live a life of forgiveness.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Midnight Worship in the Kitchen

So I made the choice today to start up the Multitudes on Mondays again. This time taking in much more serious than I did before. I am carrying around a little booklet with me writing down seven gifts from God in my day. I actually wrote down my first one today "Midnight worship in the kitchen"

Tonight while I was in the kitchen finishing up my dishes, God really showed me how wrong the world is and how right He is. He gave me a gift of worship in the kitchen tonight. I am sure that if anyone walked passed my kitchen window (The only room in the house that happens to not have any blinds or curtains) they were probably wondering what was going on. And for a second I almost stopped thinking that someone might walk by and see me. But what kept me going is thinking about how much God delights in my worship. Have you tell you it was one of the best worship times I have had in a long time! Thank you God for that little gift.

Where am I? Who am I?

Where have I gone? Some days I just feel like I am missing me. I don't know where I have gone or what has taken over...but it just feels like the real me is gone and I have become someone else.

Sometimes I feel like I am stuck under the pile of laundry. Or perhaps I am lost in the load or two or five of dishes that still need to be done. I have become that distant voice you hear in the distance who is getting frustrated with her kids. Not using the nicest of words...a shame too when that is what I expect of my kids.

It's like all of a sudden I let these things define me. I let them become who I am. The terrible housekeeper. The lazy dishwasher. The angry parent. None of these things are who I am. Why so often do I let others and the world tell me who I am? Why do I listen so closely to them and believe them? Why do I take their word over God's?

Often times I need to slow down and remember why God says I am. I need to listen to His words.
Zechariah 2:8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: "After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you- for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye-"

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

Isaiah 49:16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Colossians 2:10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

There are so many more I could write. But in the end...I am going to listen to God. Going to listen to what he thinks of me. And in listening to what He thinks of me I become more confident in who I am. I become stronger in the areas I am weak in.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: So Long Insecurity Leader's Guide

Group Experience
So Long Insecurity Leader's Guide
Beth Moore

I do not have the actual book. But even though I don't have it yet I still loved the leader's guide. This is a ten week guide for a group setting where all the participants would be reading the book during the week and then getting together to discuss the book and share what they have been learning.

I love how each week is laid out.
Warm Up: This is a way to get things moving. Questions and activities to really get the conversation started.
A Word From Beth: This is usually a couple of paragraphs from the Author in which she shares with you what she hopes you are experiencing.
Digging In: This part takes sections of the book and had questions paired with it. This will really help you understand what you read and help you process it a little more with your group.
In The Light of the Word: This section gives you verses to read as a group. They always go along with what you have been reading and helps you see what the Word of God has to say about it all.
Wrap-up: This is a bit of a sum it all up section. This also has the ending prayer in it.

I love how centered this is on the Word of God. It's wonderful to see something not just full of someones opinions but to see it really focus on what the Bible has to say about it all.

I haven't used this with a group yet...but I do plan on it. So be looking for more post when I do start a group.

Tyndale sent me this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sigh...it's him AGAIN!

If you don't know who I am talking about I am talking about Rob Bell. Now I want to make it clear that I have not read his book Love Wins and I am not really interested in reading it. This post has nothing to do with his book.

So for my husband's birthday I got him a subscription to Neue "The magazine for leaders shaping the future of the church." The first one we got I wasn't all excited about seeing Rob Bell in it...but the truth is he is one of the leaders that are shaping the future of the church and that scares me! Anyway...no surprise that this issue was about hell and was actually titled "Repainting Hell." Funny because a painting in my home is titled "Repaint Jesus." Anyway...

They have a Q&A with Francis Chan and Rob Bell. Seems right since they both came out with different books that give different views of Heaven and Hell. Now here is was bothered me...

Q. Do you think you could be wrong that you don't get a second chance to choose heaven or hell?
A. Of course. We are speculating about exactly how it unfolds. That's what we are doing, so the most important thing is to be honest about what we are doing. And we have to begin with humility. Sometimes the question simply is. "Well, if that's true, we're all actually really screwed." We will have far larger problems than some pastor from Grand Rapids saying some stuff, if in the end God turns out to be something other than love or goodness, and love doesn't win, and we don't have choice. And I believe people will; people choose hell now, I assume people, when you die, you can choose hell. So there is no denial of hell here. There is a real awareness that this is a clear and resent reality that extends on into the future.

Anyone see what I have a problem with? Well first he answers the question with a yes and then goes on to talk about how he really can't be wrong. But he says if he is wrong then we are all screwed and we all have far larger problems than him. Mr. Bell let me tell you something. If you are wrong you have far larger problems than others. All those people who you are leading into believe that what they do on earth doesn't really matter. That not only do they have the choice here on earth but they will also get a choice after they die. You are going to be held accountable for all those people. Can you imagine if you are wrong. Just think about it for a second. We don't get a second chance. All these people hear what you are talking about and they think. Awesome! I can just live how I want because after I die I will get to choose Heaven or Hell. What happens if they get there and they don't get the choice? What happens when Jesus says that their name isn't in the book of life? What happens if because they believe you that they ended up in Hell? Just think about that. The reason I don't believe we get a second chance is the same reason I don't believe in the whole "once saved always saved" stuff. I would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to peoples salvation.

I would rather go up to my friend and say "You may still be saved by God because he is a loving God. But I don't know because I know that God is a just God too. I am worried for you because you aren't following Jesus anymore."

In Revelations there are so many references to the Book of Life. In Revelations 3 he says about some that He will never blot their names out of the Book of Life. That gives me the idea that hey...maybe peoples names can be blotted out. Revelations 13 mentions that some peoples names are not written in the book. Revelations 20 mentions that the books are open and one of them is the Book of Life. Then it goes on to say that anyone who's name is not written in the Book of Life will be thrown in the Lake of Fire.

Mr. Bell...I start wondering how you study the Bible. Do you think of something you want to say and then you grab the verses you want to that seem to back you up? I think a much better way is to read the Bible, pray and then come to your conclusion.

I don't really know much about Bell. But what I have heard him say in interviews and what I have read about him...I am not impressed. Actually it kind of scares me. I am not just worried about all the people he is getting to believe that they have a second chance. But I am worried for him. Worried about him being wrong when judgement day comes along.

Book Review: Enemies of the Heart

Enemies of the Heart
Breaking Free from the Four Emotions That Control You
Andy Stanley

I have never felt more guilty, angry, greedy or jealous in my life. It's not because I have more of those qualities in my life right now, but because I read a book that really brought out the realization that I have a lot of these feelings deep inside my heart. It took me a long time to read this book...not because I couldn't get into it. But because I really wanted to hear everything he had to say about this. I wanted to hear the ending.

I love how he talks about the Enemies being deeper debts.

Guilt: I Owe You
Anger: You Owe Me
Greed: I Owe Me
Jealousy: God Owes Me

Some of these I have thought about a lot before. I know that I can feel guilty a lot. I tend to give myself guilt trips and feel bad about things. I did realize that I had a bit of anger...but I would never really call it a problem until I really looked at how deep it goes. Greed is probably the one I have the smallest problem with. Jealousy...I have never viewed it this way before as God owes me. But really if I am jealous of what someone else has really I am thinking that God owes me that.

Now at this point I was feeling pretty pathetic. How could I have so much of this stuff in my heart? But I loved his chapters that really dive in and confront these issues head on. He doesn't just give you his opinion. Well he does give you his opinion, but he also gives you Bible verses that deal with each Enemy.

Well I simply loved this book and would recommend it to everyone!
I was given this book by Water Brook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: Stumbling Into Grace

Stumbling Into Grace
Confessions of a Sometimes Spiritually Clumsy Woman
Lisa Harper

I loved this book and at the same time I didn't really care for it. At times I thought she was sincerely funny and at other times it felt as if she was trying to hard. So I am in the middle on this one.

Lisa hits on a lot of subjects that women struggle with in their faith. Guilt, shame and hypocrisy. I thought she had wonderful stories to go along with each subject. I love the personal reflection/group discussion section at the end of each chapter. I love that it is set up to either read to yourself or do with a group!

But my favorite part of the book was the conclusion and the story of Lori. How God really came in and saved her in a way most people wouldn't see as God. I also love how she encourages people not to give in to Satan when he tries to convince us it's time to wave the white flag.

I would recommend this book. I am still not sure if I am extremely excited about it or not. Still trying to figure out how I feel about her humor. Perhaps I will find out in October when I see her at Women of Faith.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Loving God is Like Loving Your Husband and Loving Your Neighbor....

...Is like loving your kids. I always knew that marriage was a great analogy of our relationship with God. We are the bride and He is the bridegroom. Our marriages should be a symbol of God with us. I think that's why God hates divorce.

So if our relationship with our husband is a way of looking at our relationship with God. Then naturally our relationship with our kids is a way of looking at our relationship with our neighbor. Lets start with the Bible on this one:

Mark 12: 28-34
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "Is this 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength' The second is this 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

WOW! What amazing words! Thank you God for your word! These are such great commandments, but as Christians we tend to lean more on the second one of these.

Every marriage book will tell you that your husband needs to come before your kids. Many times when a couple has kids this is what brings the marriage to an end. Well not the kids but the wife changing her focus from her husband to her kids. Now don't get me wrong...giving your kids attention is great. But they should not replace your husband as #1 in your life.

Now lets apply this to God and our neighbors. Jesus said there were two commandments. But the first one we are given is to the the Lord with everything. Then comes love your neighbor. I think many times we assume that if we are Christian we automatically have a great relationship with God. But we never work on that relationship. We barely spend time with Him and we are putting all of our focus on the "kids". Loving our neighbor is important...but how can we love our neighbor with the love of God if we only love God with the bare minimum?

So my suggestion. Take the advice from all the marriage books. Only apply it to your relationship God and his children. Give God your 1st. Give God your time. Talk to Him daily...though out the day. Don't give Him just your crumbs. Encourage the Christians around you to do the same. Be there to challenge them daily. Push each other closer to God. Then once we begin to love God with everything we can love His children around us.