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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Senior Class - Thanksgiving Dinner in October

I'm sure I've mentioned that for my daughter's Senior year, we're inviting the class over each month.  We started last May and the kids have had so much fun making memories during their final year of high school.
For this month's meal, I thought it would be neat to have a Thanksgiving dinner.  For one thing, I had a turkey frozen that I needed to use, but also knew when it was closer to the "real" Thanksgiving, I wouldn't have the time to do such a large meal.
One of the other Senior moms volunteered to make these Reeses' cupcakes.  They looked delicious, and I'm sure they were!  Most of us were too full to eat dessert, though.  They'll eat them at school tomorrow in that mom's classroom.
One of the male senior class members decided he should make something for the meal.  He made this cake - with sprinkles and all!  He's going to be taking his to school tomorrow, too!
Another male senior (What's the deal with the guys cooking??) make chocolate chip cookies.  About 15 minutes before the event, he was ringing the doorbell needing to borrow chocolate chips! (Ha Ha!!) 
In case some didn't like turkey, I made brisket for an alternative.....plus green beans, corn, dressing, mashed potatoes....
....Mac and cheese, carrots (we don't usually have carrots for Thanksgiving it occurred to my oldest son hours after the event!), sweet potatoes (shouldn't have bothered :)...gravy...., and......
....homemade ROLLS!!!!
Fifteen Seniors out of about 22 came for the get-together.  Such a fun group!
After the meal we took some pictures outside around the pumpkin/arch display, then they headed back inside.
They talked and laughed and laughed and talked!  They watched, "The Grinch"....and laughed some more.  Even one of their teachers/sponsors came and joined in the fun!
As I've watched these students and others grow up over the years, something has occurred to me.  We say at times that kids grow up too fast, and they do.  But sometimes we fail to give them time to just be kids - to just have fun.  
These Seniors are active, busy, and extremely involved in almost every activity.  They get worn out just like you and I do.  Tonight they were able to just relax and enjoy being together - talking and laughing.  Bonding.  Making memories.  I'm thankful to get to have just a small part in their lives and make a small deposit in their memory bank.  I thank them for sharing their lives with our family.

Pray, Pray, Pray

My thoughts and prayers are with all of the people on the east coast who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy.  May God strengthen and comfort each one of them during this time.

Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. Psalm 54:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

...pray continually...1 Thessalonians 5:17

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:2
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16

On this GRATITUESDAY, I am grateful that we have a loving Heavenly Father who hears our prayers. 

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Monday, October 29, 2012

What Kind of House Plant are YOU?

(*Note:  I'm so excited!  The "Calendar" tab on my blog home page has been broken for a while and now it has been fixed!  Thank you to Smitten Blog Designs for helping me out, once again!  Also Christine made it possible for YOU to easily "share" my posts via several social media icons.  Look for them on the blog home page.  Check it out!)

CHRISTIANS ARE LIKE HOUSE PLANTS:  GROWING, DEAD, OR ARTIFICIAL.
WHAT KIND OF HOUSE PLANT ARE YOU?  

If, as a Christian, you're unsure of what category of house plant you fall into, here is a way to find out.  The Bible gives us all we need to know to find our proper category.  Jesus and other inspired writers often used plant imagery to illustrate the Christian life.  Let's examine each category.

GROWING
If we are growing, we are bearing fruit.  It is that simple.  And we're only bearing fruit if we are working for the Lord and growing in our knowledge of Him.

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
Colossians 1:10

DEAD
Christians that are not bearing fruit and not growing in knowledge are dead or in the process of dying.  It's easy to see whether we're growing or not.  We just have to be willing to take an honest look at our lives.  Again, we can do this best by going to the Bible.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
John 15:2

ARTIFICIAL
Sadly some people only pretend to be Christians.  They look the part on the outside, perhaps, but it's all just fake.  The Bible talks about this artificial Christian, as well.  God wants us to be authentic.  He wants us to be real.

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 7:15-20

So, today, examine your life honestly.  Read God's Word and see where you are in the  house plant category.  If you find you are growing - GREAT!  If you find you are dying - YOU NEED HELP!  Plants need light, water, and air to grow.  God is the light!  Jesus is the living water!  God's Spirit was given to you at baptism, so all you need is to stir up that air within you and begin growing again!  You CAN do it! You can choose NOT to die!  If you're artificial, you can CHANGE!  You can be REAL!  You can be AUTHENTIC!  Don't be fake.  Eventually you're found out if you fake it.  Plus you'll be miserable inside.  Get real with God and with others.  You can do it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Don't Want To Be Here!

I'll never forget sitting at the table with my husband and the funeral director and thinking, "I don't want to be here!"  And I didn't want to be there.  I shouldn't have been there, but apparently God had other plans for me than what I had for me, because I was there.

As we talked about the funeral arrangements, I kept thinking of all of the things I wanted to be done.....to be said.....past conversations with a friend about what we would do in a situation such as this, never once thinking either of us would ever actually be in a situation like this.

(Read more about why I was at a funeral home HERE.)

For parents anxiously awaiting the birth of a child, losing that baby is something none of them would want to face.  Losing a child at any point is something no one would choose to face, yet here we were.  And many of you have been there, too.  Sitting somewhere saying, "I don't want to be here!"  And yet you are there....for whatever reason.

When trials come our way, as Christians, the Bible tells us to have joy - still.  In the hurt and pain, joy is sometimes hard to find, but it's there.  We just have to recognize that it is there.  It doesn't mean we're happy and joyful about the circumstance that are bringing the trial, but we can be joyful in the fact that we know God is there with us - comforting and strengthening us - during the trial, and that He in His ways will work something about it out for good.  The good may not be for us to see or know, but the good is still there.  It's a promise of God and is only for those who are His children.  We can be confident of that fact and claim that promise!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3

Maybe you are at a point in your life where you're saying to God, "I DON'T WANT TO BE HERE!"  Maybe you're saying, "I want to be over there, God!  Move me away from here! (Or this or that...)" But  perhaps God has you where you are for a reason.  In fact, as one of His children, I'm certain that you are where you are for a reason.....even if you are in a trial.  God WILL use it to work for good in some way.  You just have to believe that.  He IS working in your life.  You just have to have faith in that promise.  And He WILL be with you in whatever it is you are going through.  Trust Him.

I realize not everyone likes to think about God working in this way.  Some want to believe that a loving God will only bring good.  But, my friends, the Bible does not teach that, and we can't deny it.  If we never had bad things come about, we wouldn't cling to God quite as much.  We wouldn't feel the need for His care quite as strongly.  We might even get to thinking all of the good was because of what we had done, instead of because of what HE has done for us.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.
Hebrews 12:6

I came across this quote a few days ago and really liked it.  It says what the Bible says, in a different way:

Everything happens for a reason. God uses those circumstances to correct you, direct you, or perfect you.

Don't be afraid to analyze your trial.  When I was hospital waiting for the birth of our sweet little Caleb, that I knew had already passed away and whose soul was with God in Heaven, I kept thinking, "What is God trying to teach me through this?"  Never once did I say "Why is God punishing me!", though if you ever have or do, I believe God would understand that feeling.  I believe that God was trying to teach me....to correct me....to direct me....and to perfect me.....into being more prayerful, into relying more on  Him and less on self, and to not be so busy with life (that was our 4th child, and I was busy!) that I neglected time with Him.  I listened.  I learned.  I grew.  I pray that you will, too.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 
James 1:2-4

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Close to You

Our youngest son is having breathing troubles.  He has asthma, and as he did a breathing treatment this morning, I had him in my lap.....well, sort of......as much as an almost 10 year old can be in your lap!  Anyway, we were in the rocking chair.  As he did the treatment, I told him how I missed rocking him and the three older children.  I thought to myself about all of those hours and hours and hours I had rocked each of them.  It seems like yesterday, but then it seems like forever ago.  I miss that.  If you're a mom or a grandmother, maybe you do, too.  There's just something about holding and rocking a little one that we moms and grandmothers crave.  It's the nurturing and caring for part about us that makes us unique.  God made us just that way.

It's hard for us to imagine how much God loves us.  But as I thought about the past rocking of my babies this morning, my mind went to God's love for us.  He wants us close to Him.  He wants to hold and comfort us - just as we want to do for our own kids.  But, like our own kids grow up and aren't as needy, sometimes it's as if we "grow up" and feel like at times we don't need that care and love from God.  We may not say it, but our actions often show it.  But then something bad happens, and there we go.....right back to Him.  Why do we only want His love and care when things are rough?  Just like a child growing up, they try to 'break away' and become independent until something happens and they get hurt, then there they come running back to us, don't they?

So, it's human nature for us to try to do it all alone.  It's human nature for us to try to be independent.  And in some ways we must become more independent - able to function in the world, but never should we become people who believe we're doing it all alone.  Our independence from others, should come from our dependence on God.  We should consider Him not only as a Father, but also as our friend, our helper, our support system, our counselor (through His Spirit living in us), and an example - the example we have through Jesus' life on earth.

God wants His children near to Him...Always.  He wants us to crave to be near Him.  He wants us to need Him and to rely on Him.  Yes, just like my children have done, we will "grow up" and become more and more mature.  But our spiritual maturity only means we're getting closer and closer to Him and more and more like His Son, Jesus.  It will never mean we're moving further away from Him.  It will never mean we're relying less and less on Him.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 
James 4:8a

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 
Hebrews 10:19-22

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's All His!

Have you seen the quote that says, "What if all you had when you woke up today was what you thanked God for yesterday."?  It makes you think, doesn't it?  If that truly happened, each day we would be more diligent to pray for the things that are the most important to us, wouldn't we?  Of course we would!

I'll add to that thought a quote from a recent sermon from our minister:  "Nothing we have is ours.  It is God's.  He has loaned it to us."  And I'll go a step further and say that God can - at any time - decide He wants it back!  Not as a mean, uncaring God, but sometimes just to show us that all of this "stuff, things, and even the people in our lives" is His.  Maybe He wants us to learn to rely more on Him and less on all that "stuff" that really isn't ours.  Or perhaps He wants us to be more grateful for all we have.  Or maybe He's just finished loaning it out and wants it back.  After all, it belongs to Him.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17

We humans are greedy, by nature.  We're like the pelicans on "Finding Nemo" who shout out "MINE! MINE! MINE!!" over and over and over.  We're selfish.  We want what is ours and often want what is YOURS, too.

So back to the original thought...of thanking God for what we have today.  Isn't it easier to be thankful for it all when we realize how blessed we are by what God has given us?  Isn't it easier to think clearly about what we're thankful for if we think about the fact it might not be here tomorrow?

Gratitude should constantly be on our lips and in our hearts.  Our loving, caring, heavenly Father has been so good to us - no matter how rich or poor we are here on earth.  He gave us the hope - a confident expectation - in what is to come when this earthly life is over.  A home in Heaven with God and Jesus forever and ever!  That promise is for every one of His children...for all whose names are written in the book of Life.

So, Christian, be thankful for what He has given you today.  And remember, He is only loaning it to you.  Some day He will want it all back.  He's even loaned you to someone.  Someday He's going to want you back, too.

He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 
Revelation 3:5

Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 21:27


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WHAT KIND OF EGG ARE YOU?

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. C.S. Lewis 

I found this C.S. Lewis quote this morning and really liked it!  He has a lot of good quotes and many of them fit well for the life of a Christian.  This one reminds me of a new life in Christ.  Either a new Christian begins to grow in the Lord, becoming more and more like Jesus Christ, or he/she doesn't.  If we're not changing, maturing, and growing, we're stagnant.  And when we're stagnant, we're going bad...just like a rotten egg.

God's Holy Spirit can help us grow and mature, but we must do our part, as well.  If we don't care to grow and mature, the Holy Spirit can't help us.  It's at that moment we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God because instead of growing in the fruits of the Spirit, we're continuing in our old ways.....the sinful nature that we should have left behind.  We're quenching it's fire.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Ephesians 4:29-31

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. 1 Thessalonians 5:19

So, examine your own life.  You can't go on just being an ordinary, decent egg, as the quote says.  You must either hatch and learn to fly or you'll go bad.  As a Christian, you must either grow, mature, and change to be more Christ-like, or you'll go bad.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, October 22, 2012

Christ Died for YOU!

From "Stand on the Rock": https://www.facebook.com/stand.on.the.rock

It is so hard for me to understand when people have a flippant attitude towards God, Jesus, the Bible, and the church.  I can't fathom the attitude of "It's my life, and I can do whatever I want to do!" It makes no sense to me, and it's nothing that I would even want to do.

Don't people realize that God does matter?  Don't they know He loves them - that He created them?  Don't they care that Jesus died for them so that they might live eternally in Heaven instead of in the fires of Hell?  Don't they care about anyone but themselves at all?  Do they really believe the world just "boomed" into existence?

Sadly, many don't care about God, Jesus, the Bible, and the church....and many won't.  I don't understand it.  Maybe you don't, either.  Or maybe you are one that feels the other way - that God isn't real and doesn't matter.

I pray that everyone will come to the realization that God does matter....that Christ did, indeed, die for them.....and that His church and His Word matters.  God wants everyone to be saved.  And so do I.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1-6

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Giving All I've Got

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.
Each Sunday, before the collection plate is passed during worship, my husband or I give Biscuit some money for the collection plate.  He typically doesn't have money of his own and sure doesn't lately because:  #1 - He spends it as quick as he gets it usually and #2 - I've taken what he did have away from him as an incentive to quit biting his fingernails. Thankfully he hasn't mentioned it lately because I've misplaced that envelope!  I'll need to search for it soon because he's doing good!

As we got ready to leave for worship Sunday morning, Biscuit announced, "Mom, I'm bringing my own contribution to worship this morning!  I don't have much, but it's all I got!"  He pulled out a dime from his pocket to show me.  I smiled and hugged him and told him I was very proud of him.  He smiled a huge smile!  It was the first Sunday after his baptism, so he was already excited to be sharing in communion for the first time as a new babe in Christ.   Now he was excited about doing something for the Lord all on his own.  He had given all he had, financially anyway,  to the Lord!  

Oh, sometimes the things your children learn and "get" is just an overwhelming feeling of joy....especially when it involves the spiritual side of their lives.  The spiritual part, after all, is the very most important part.  It's wonderful for them to see for themselves what you've been teaching or perhaps God's Spirit has .

Immediately my mind thought of the widow giving her mite, which is found in Mark 12:42-44 and also in Luke 21:1-4.  Here is Mark's account:

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,[j] worth only a fraction of a penny.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Biscuit has us to support him.  He's young and in our care, so it's not to the same degree of giving as this widow gave, but his heart still felt like he was giving everything he had because he has no more money in his room.  He felt like giving it all and was glad to do so.  He was excited to do so!

What a great lesson for all of us!  Just as the widow, we should be willing to give until it hurts.  Can you imagine giving everything?  All you had to live on?  I can't. I really can't imagine. 

It's easy to give a sum of money if we have lots left over or even some left over.  It's easy to give away things we don't want or were going to through out or get rid of anyway.  It's much, much harder to give when we have little or nothing.  It's much harder to give until it hurts.  It's much harder to give to the Lord first....before the money is all gone.  If we wait to give him what's left, there will be nothing left.

We must give cheerfully.  We're commanded to do so.  We must give as we've been prospered.  We have be prospered abundantly, even if we're not wealthy.  We truly are wealthy.  We just don't believe we are.  God will bless us when we give.  His promises say so.  We just have to have faith to believe He will do what He says He will do.

Give until it hurts!  Like Biscuit, give "everything I got"!  Like the poor widow, give until it hurts! And do it cheerfully!

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
  
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
1 Corinthians 16:2

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Golf Trip and Attitudes

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

Saturday morning my three boys, my husband, and several relatives on my husband's side, went golfing at Lake Murray in Oklahoma.  Before they left, a little before 6:00 a.m., my husband and my boys told me goodbye.  As Biscuit said goodbye and hugged me I said, "Have a good attitude!"  I thought Biscuit would just say "Okay!", but instead he replied with a shocking question, "But what if the others don't?"  I said, "Well, you still have to have a good attitude, even if the others don't."  Biscuit said, "Okay," in a kind of disappointed sounding voice.

Apparently Biscuit knew something I didn't - that on golf trips he isn't always the one or the only one that gets a bad attitude, but that others sometimes do, too!  So it left me wondering, "Who did Biscuit think would have a bad attitude?"  His dad?  His brothers?  One of his uncles?  His great uncle?  He obviously had the impression that someone else would have the same struggle he would be having if their "game" didn't go like he wanted it to go!

It's normal for us to struggle some times with our attitudes.  Attitudes certainly need adjusting at times, whether we like it or not.  But sometimes, like Biscuit, we think that if others have bad attitudes, we're free to act as we please...giving no thought to the damage our attitudes can have on others around us or within our own relationships.  Just because one person develops a bad attitude, it doesn't give us the right to do the same.  Their bad attitude, however, can make it harder for us to have the right attitude, because we allow them to change our moods.  Not good.  Not good at all!

The Bible clearly tells us to be careful about our attitude.  We are to imitate Christ's attitude.  He is our perfect example.  We aren't perfect, but we can strive to become more and more like him every day....regardless of golf shots and other irritating situations!  Is it hard?  Yes, it is!  But as Christians, we must strive to be more and more like Him.  That is God's Will for our lives.

By the way, apparently Biscuit came in 2nd in the golf games that day....beating everyone except his oldest brother.  Not bad for a 9 year old! And I didn't get any bad attitude reports at all...about Biscuit or about any other golfers that day.  Good job, Biscuit, and everyone else!

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 
Ephesians 4:22-24

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:11-13

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus...
Philippians 2:5

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Envy or Love

There is a sweet sister-in-Christ who writes beautiful stories and poems.  She is an inspiration to all who know her by her encouraging words and God-centered life.  She is an example of someone who truly uses Facebook as a positive thing - encouraging others, praying for those in need/sickness, and by being an example of a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend and prayer-warrior.  Thank you, Edna, for sharing your gifts/talents with the world!
ENVY OR LOVE

I wonder if the red bird
Thinks he’s prettier than the sparrow.
I wonder if the bullet
Thinks it’s truer than the arrow.
Do little fluffy kittens think
They are prettier by far…
Than the little darling puppies
Lying warming by the fire?
How about the precious infant
Gazing up in mother’s eyes.
Is he thinking envious thoughts
As he binds those apron ties?
No… we only learn to envy
As we also learn to hate.
Evil desire comes visiting
And shares our woesome fate.
But there’s a wond’rous remedy
To getting rid of hate;
Jesus lived it and He spoke it…
In Matthew Five and Eight!

-Edna L. Ingram, 2/08

“…Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What if God was Praised Like Football?


This article came via email yesterday from Elm & Hudson church in Altus.  It makes a GREAT point and could also be used towards other sports, activities, hobbies, etc.  The article was written by Phil Robertson.  Not sure who he is, but I thank him for writing these thoughts. 

For me, I would have to put the Texas Rangers in place of football.....the Rangers and my own children's sporting activities, which includes some football.  It's really hard to not get caught up in something to the point where it takes over too much time, money, and importance in our life.  I'm thankful for this reminder that anything can become an idol when it is put above the Lord
Lori
********
A friend of mine recently made this comment, “Around here football is a religion!” At first, his words sounded like an innocent declaration of the passion and allegiance many of us have for our favorite teams. But after a little reflection, his words seemed to burn a hole in my conscience. Is football our religion?

God adamantly warned His people of the dangers of idolatry (Ex. 20:3-6). Their passion for false gods eventually led to their earthly captivity as well as separation from God (Ezek. 20:1-32). We may not have wooden figurines on the mantels of our homes, but that does not mean we may not have our idols.

So, how do we know when we may have crossed the line from sport to idolatry? Please consider the following “what if” scenarios:

What if we gave as much money to evangelism and charity as we so to tickets, travel and team merchandise? Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:25).

What if we could name the apostles, judges, and great heroes of faith like we can name our team’s starting lineup, reserves, and even recruits?” “Whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Rom 15:4)

What if fathers taught their children about the Lord and His works as much as they do about de- fensive formations or strategies of an offensive? “Fathers bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)

What if we proudly displayed our love for the Lord as we do our team’s logos from our homes and cars? “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles and let all the peoples extol Him” (Rom. 15:11)

What if we arrived early and participated in a worship service with the same dedication we have for crowded football stadiums with limited parking, little legroom and no protection from inclement weather?” “For I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1) (*Note from Lori:  Of course the church is the people, not the building, but we are commanded to come together and worship - to not forsake that meeting together. Interestingly, and sadly, we'll arrive an hour early to a game to get a good seat or even to find a reserved seat, but make it in to worship just in the nick of time.....to get the back row or our "favorite" pew.  Not sure that's how it should be!)

What if we hated Satan and His schemes to conquer souls as much as we do a rival who is threat- ening to take a game from us? “Be sober because your adversary the devil walks about as a roar- ing lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

What if the joy of winning souls and the pain of losing souls matched our passion for winning and losing a football game of which we are not even a participant? “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:10).

The only victory that truly counts has already been won. Jesus conquered death so that we may live in Him (Rom 5:8 and 6:3-7)
—Phil Robertson

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Chronicles of Biscuit - The Most Important Decision....Biscuit's Baptism

The Chronicles of Biscuit: Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.

I had plans to not do a "Chronicles of Biscuit" title for this special post, but I had to because today Biscuit was baptized! And, when we arrived at the building, Biscuit's Uncle Ken had made this special screen for him!  So, I had to use the "Biscuit" :).  How sweet is that??!
Biscuit began asking questions about salvation, sin, forgiveness, and baptism some time ago....over a year ago.  But when we would ask him other questions, it was obvious he wasn't really sure about everything yet.  But yesterday, right after worship, Biscuit said, "I need to be baptized!"  We knew he was serious and that he understood why he needed to be and what baptism did.  He wanted his dad to baptize him, but my husband was preaching out of town.  In fact, he wasn't going to be home until 10:00 p.m., and Biscuit would have been asleep by then.  My husband and I talked about it and decided that tonight, after a full day of school for the kids, work for him, then a football game tonight, we would finally all be together after the football game.  Biscuit's baptism was planned for then....around 8:30 p.m.
Last night Biscuit told me that he wanted to invite a few people....a few friends and family.  He had some special friends from camp he wanted to invite.  They live about an hour and fifteen minutes away, but we wrote them to tell them about it, anyway.  A few of the friends responded immediately that they wanted to come.  Biscuit was so excited!
(Biscuit with special friends: Matt, Jim, and Caylie)

This morning, as soon as Biscuit woke up, he had a plan.  He wanted us to sing some songs, then have his baptism, then sing some more songs.  I thought it was pretty neat he was planning the whole event himself!  My husband contacted his brother/our minister, and asked him to take care of the songs.

So after the football game tonight, a few friends and family met together for Tyler's baptism.  It was a special night for all of us, but more importantly, we know that God, Jesus, and the angels are rejoicing in his decision, as well. Our youngest of four children has now turned his life over to God and has put on the Lord in baptism.  All four of them have been baptized by their daddy!

My Facebook status said the following:

Tyler has HEARD the word of God since birth, he BELIEVED in God from a young age, as well, and knew that Jesus died for Him. Now Tyler has realized that sin separates us from God and that Jesus is the only way to get forgiveness for those sins and to become a child of God. Tyler has REPENTED of those sins, CONFESSED that Jesus is Lord to all who were present and to the Heavens above, and he will continue to do so. Tyler has made the decision to change his status from UNFORGIVEN to FORGIVEN by being BAPTIZED tonight. 
Praise God for Tyler's heart! 

Today after school, Tyler jumped in the car with a big smile. I asked if he was excited. He said yes. Then he said that this was one of the biggest decisions he would ever make. I said, "Yes, it is. What's another one?" He said, "Who I'll marry"...paused and said, "I'll probably be like Grammy and not go to my graduation." He was thinking Joe's mom didn't walk across the stage at graduation, but got married then instead. She actually did, but missed her Senior trip for her wedding. He's right.....that's the 2nd most important decision he'll ever make. 

Tonight Biscuit DID make the most important decision he could ever make.  I pray that he lives a long life of faithful service to God, that he continues to grow in the faith and in love, and that he strives to be a servant to God by imitating the example of Jesus, the Savior.

To his friends and family:  Please pray for Biscuit had he begins this new walk with Jesus, and thank you, in advance, for your love and support. 

On this Gratituesday, it's easy to see what I'm grateful for:  God's gift of salvation; the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus - the gospel; and for Tyler's decision to walk in this new life.

To see what others are grateful for, visit www.heavenlyhomemakers.com.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
Romans 6:4

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 
Galatians 3:26-27

Monday, October 8, 2012

W.I.L.D. - With In the Lord's Design...QMCC Ladies' Retreat


This past Friday and Saturday the 33rd Annual QMCC Ladies Retreat was held at QMCC. (Note: QMCC stands for Quartz Mountain Christian Camp.  See link on blog home page or click on QMCC in first sentence.) Between 70-80 ladies were able to attend this uplifting and special event.
This year's theme was "W.I.L.D. - With In the Lord's Design".  Animal print shoes were added to the decor for a fun touch.
Two sisters and their mother attended the retreat for the first time.  The sisters were so excited when we announced that the shoes were for sale if anyone wanted them!  They bought four pair!!  They said they had never seen so many pairs of cute shoes in their sizes!
The shirts were GREAT and designed by Custom Graphics in Altus, OK.  Call them for your printing needs! Shirts could be ordered in red or hot pink and with bling or without.  The zebra print you see on the sides is a silky under-shirt.
One of the decorators made these cute animal print tissue holders for everyone.  They were so neat and such a fun addition to the retreat!
Another friend made high heeled shoe chocolates.  To make them she used the packaged candy making chocolate, but added Hershey's chocolate to it, as well.  They were delicious!
The candy heels were tied off with an animal print ribbon and placed at each table setting.
The program and flyer carried out the theme and included the theme scripture:  "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10.
This table served as the cupcake decorating table.  
Those in attendance had the choice of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cupcakes and had lots of colors of icings, sprinkles, and cupcake toppers.  
There was also a way to make a high heeled shoe cupcake.  Many took on this challenge and did a great job!
                                                        
The heel toppers were made with a round scalloped punch cutout of animal print, then a printed label with a high heeled shoe graphic, and finally glued to a toothpick.
Another shot of the tables.  This is before the chocolate shoes were added.
 Snake skinned shoes.....Someone bought these, too!  It wouldn't have been me! I'm afraid of snakes, even on shoes!
 Plaster paris high heeled shoes were made in 4-inch shoe molds and given to each lady. Directions for the shoes can be found on my recipe/craft blog HERE.
Animal-printed tissue paper, ribbons, rhinestones, and pearls were available to decorate the shoes.
Modge Podge and glue guns were used to assemble the decorations.  Aren't they cute???!!!
 The red shirt with bling....
My great-niece and great-nephew in their jammies at the retreat.  They were so cute and fun to watch.  They also seemed to enjoy their time at the retreat so that the mommies could enjoy their time, too!
There were four speakers at the retreat.  My niece, seated in the middle, was the main speaker and did an excellent job.  She talked about the works/good deeds that we women can do for the Lord and specifically touched on what young mothers can do.  To the right, seated, is one of my sisters-in-law.  She did the Friday night late devo.  My daughter, Lauren is seated on the left and mother-in-law is standing.  They spoke Saturday morning. Each of these three talked about serving God and doing good works for the Lord where you are right now.  They each gave examples of things we could all do.  They all did a wonderful job!  Another sister-in-law filled in as song leader and did an excellent job! She had help from another new friend, who also did a great job!  
The Saturday morning activities included scrapbooking-type crafts.  The ladies could make decorated bookmarks and folders using animal-printed paper, duct tape, ribbons, scriptures, and "bling". 
It was fun seeing each person's design and creativity shine!
 The folders will be great for keeping Bible class materials together or just as a reminder of the retreat.
 One of the best parts of the retreat is hearing all of the ladies' sweet voices harmonizing together in praise to our Heavenly Father.  It's just a glimpse of what Heaven will be, I'm certain, but enough of a glimpse I look forward to each and every year.  The friendships between sisters in Christ grows more and more at this retreat.  It is a highlight of the year for many of us!  We're excited to see what the Rush Springs ladies plan for our retreat next year as they have volunteered to coordinate the event for all of us.  Thanks, ladies!

Thank you to everyone who helped in any way with the 2012 retreat.....from helping with decorations, supplies, spreading the word about the event, encouraging others to come, those who attended, those who prayed, led singing, help lead discussion groups, made/brought food, made the shirts, made the favors, and everything else.  Your help is greatly appreciated, and the retreat would not have been a success without YOU!  Even if all you did was attend, YOU made it special and we all thank you very, very much!

As we ended the Friday night session, we ended with a song that has been a camp tradition in my lift forever.  We ended by singing, "God Bless You, Go With God".  So, until we meet again next year - if it is the Lord's Will, that is - we are saying to each other, "God Bless You, Go With God" until we meet again!
 
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