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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Chronicles of Biscuit - "But I Have So Many Things To Do!"

The Chronicles of Biscuit: Stories about our youngest son, Tyler, whose nickname is Biscuit.
This week Biscuit has been running with his dad and next oldest brother ever day.  But every day, Biscuit comes back to the house discouraged that he can't keep up.  His dad and brother encourage him. I encourage him.  His other brother and sister encourage him, but still Biscuit remains discouraged.

"I need to be faster!"  "I need to be able to run longer!"  "I have to get in shape!"  Reminder that Biscuit is 10....well 10 1/2....but still, just a young child. I'm not concerned that I don't like to run...or want to run...or couldn't run.  Yes, I need to get into shaped, but it wouldn't ever be by running, I can assure you.

But, back to Biscuit's dilemma.

I asked Biscuit why he had to get into shape.  He said, "You wouldn't understand!"  I convinced him to tell me anyway. "Well, I start playing football this year. Then it's basketball, then junior high and high school sports, then go to college or go to the military, then get a job, then get married!  I have to be in shape for all of that!!"

How do you respond to a young child who is already so worried about the future that he can't just deal in the "here and now"??  Not to mention, how do you keep a straight face when such grown-up thinking is coming from a 10 year old's mouth!!??

I tried to tell him it was okay, that all he has to think about is being a 5th grader this August and playing the elementary sports. He doesn't have to worry about all of the rest of that other stuff right now.  He can think about the future, of course, but it shouldn't consume his mind and cause him to worry.  There's nothing good that can come from worrying about all of that right now.

Biscuit is a worrier.  It's kind of odd because I'm not a worrier. His dad isn't a worrier.  We could blame it on grandma, but we won't (Haha!! That's for my mom :) ).

The only advice that Biscuit really needs to know is what Jesus told his disciples over 2,000 years ago:


“So I tell you to stop worrying about what you will eat or wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. 24 Consider the crows. They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even have a storeroom or a barn. Yet, God feeds them. You are worth much more than birds.
25 “Can any of you add an hour to your life by worrying? 26 If you can’t do a small thing like that, why worry about other things? 27 Consider how the flowers grow. They never work or spin yarn for clothes. But I say that not even Solomon in all his majesty was dressed like one of these flowers. 28 That’s the way God clothes the grass in the field. Today it’s alive, and tomorrow it’s thrown into an incinerator. So how much more will he clothe you people who have so little faith?
29 “Don’t concern yourself about what you will eat or drink, and quit worrying about these things.30 Everyone in the world is concerned about these things, but your Father knows you need them.31 Rather, be concerned about his kingdom. Then these things will be provided for you. 32 Don’t be afraid, little flock. Your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:22-32 (God's Word Translation)

The very best thing Biscuit can do instead of worrying, is to pray. That's what I tell him every time, and he knows it.  Just sometimes it's hard for him to do when he's all worked up.

Maybe you need this verse, too. Maybe you spend too much time worrying about everything, instead of putting your whole faith and whole trust in God for the issue that is causing you to worry.  Today, try doing what this scripture says.  Give it to God and let Him take care of it!

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Philippians 4:6

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Farmer and The Snake

This post is via Josh McDowell (www.josh.org)

AESOP, A GREEK slave who lived about six hundred years before Christ, recorded many fables-short stories that were intended to teach an important truth. One of Aesop’s fables was the story of the farmer and the snake.

One winter a farmer was walking down the dirt road near his farm when he saw a snake lying across the road, stiff and frozen from the cold.
The farmer felt sorry for the snake and picked it up. He cradled the poisonous creature against his chest, and before long the warmth of the man’s body began to revive the snake. Immediately upon gaining the use of its muscles, the snake coiled and bit the farmer, inflicting a deadly wound.
The farmer was foolish, of course. He should have known better. He should not have taken a chance with a poisonous snake.
Many people make the same mistake today. Oh, they may not pick up snakes from the road, but they do something that is infinitely more dangerous. They play with sin. They flirt with temptation. They make wrong choices. And they wonder why they can’t seem to find happiness and fulfillment. Sometimes their wrong choices have tragic consequences, and they look at their ruined lives and ask, “How could God do this to me?”
“People ruin their lives by their own foolishness,” Solomon said, “and then are angry at the Lord” (Proverbs 19:3). But it’s not God’s fault if people who disobey him suffer the consequences of their disobedience. People who play with snakes should expect to be bitten.
REFLECT: Today’s reading compares sin to a snake. In what ways do you think sin is like a snake? In what ways is it different?
Are you “playing” with any sin or “flirting” with any temptations in your life? God can help you steer clear of that sin or temptation if you let him.
PRAY: “Father God, I don’t want to ruin my life by making a foolish choice. Help me to steer clear of sin and temptation, especially in the area of____________________.”
Zeal without knowledge is not good; a person who moves too quickly may go the wrong way People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord. Proverbs 19:2-3

*From Lori: My husband used this in our family devotional last night. We all thought it was really good! I wanted to share it with you. Be sure to visit Josh's site for other great devos to use with your family.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Happy 17th Birthday, Zachary!!

 
Happy birthday to our second child/oldest son!  I've been saying he's 17 for a few months, so it seems perfectly normal that he really is 17 years old now!  But the strange thing is....he actually seems even older.  Seriously.
Zachary has always been mature. He has assumed the "man of the house" role when my husband's gone for many years and is a natural family leader.  He's a hard worker, like his dad.  He loves working in the yard, garden, etc.....anything outside.  Also like his dad!  
When Zachary was little, he wanted to wear a suit or tie each Sunday morning - just like his dad.  Do you see a pattern here?  Yes, Zachary is a LOT like his dad!  But, he does have some of my characteristics, as well.  :)  
I think what has made Zachary seem the most grown up lately is that he has been assuming more roles in the worship services.  In the past year, he's become the power point operator (I guess that's what you would call it!). He has served the Lord's Supper to the church ever since he became a Christian at age nine, but a few months ago, our elders decided to have a communion devotional.  Zachary did his first communion devo a few weeks ago.  He did a great job!  Right at that moment, he didn't seem like a young man any more.  He seemed like a MAN man!
The Lord's Supper isn't anything to laugh about, of course, but that day we did actually have something happen that did cause us to laugh inside.  Several trays of the juice - the fruit of the vine - fell!  It was a loud and big crash!  Zachary had to do the next part of the service (giving) immediately following that crash....and handled it maturely and calmly!  I'm not sure everyone could have done that!

I'm not ready to have an empty nest, but I am getting more and more excited about seeing my children grow up.  I'll miss the ballgames, the fun extra-curricular activities, and having them here all of the time.  I'll miss that very, very much.  But, I have to say that I am really excited to see what God has planned for each of their lives.

God has already worked in Zachary's life, and I know He will continue to do so.  I love watching him grow and mature as a young man (or a MAN man!) and also as a Christian.  Zachary is a great example to all who know him.  He's a leader, but a follower of Jesus.  I am extremely proud to call him my son.  I pray that God will bless him with many more years of service in His kingdom.
(The white ball looking blobs are supposed to be golf balls, but I forgot to make the indentions until last minute! So, the indentions were made with something way too big!! Haha! Oh, well!)
Zachary,
I love you forever and always!  Thank you for being YOU! Your dad and I are so blessed to have you as our son.  We are here for you and always will be.  Thank you for being such a great Christian example to others....and even to us.  We look forward to seeing you grow to be what God wants you to be.  Also strive to follow His Will for your life.  And let Him direct your path - always.

Love, MOM


Monday, July 22, 2013

This is the Day - 12 Things To Do on This Day


This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24
I wanted a beautiful picture for this post, so borrowed my brother and sister-in-law's photo from their recent trip. This is Glacier National Park. Isn't is beautiful?!

This truly is the day the Lord has made! In fact, each and every day is a day the Lord has made.  So are you rejoicing and being glad in it?  Are you glad for this Monday morning?  Today, make a decision to be glad.  Today, make a decision to be joyful.  Here are some ways to do just that:

 1. It's Monday, but I will be joyful and glad because God has blessed me with another day to live for Him.
 2. Today, I will choose to be happy.
 3. Today, I will not let petty things get in the way.
 4. Today, I will not allow others to steal my joy!
 5. Today, I will live for God and Jesus.
 6. Today, I will let my light shine.
 7. Today, I will strive to do God's will in all things.
 8. Today, I will pray more.
 9. Today, I will do a kind deed for someone.
10. Today, I will resist a temptation to sin that typically I would have given in to.
11. Today, I will be a friend to someone who needs me.
12. Today, I will forgive someone I need to forgive.

You can do it!  God will help you!  This IS the day that the Lord made.  Let's rejoice and be glad - even on a Monday morning!

Friday, July 19, 2013

QMCC Family Four Friends Retreat

Ever since camp ended, my daughter's "Family Four" group has wanted to get back together for a day. Many of them will be going to college or the military, so it's possibly the last time they will all be able to get together again.  So, they planned, and they did it!  Eight of them met up at a central location and spend the day together on Tuesday.  They ate. They talked. They laughed. They played "Hide 'n Seek in the mall, too! (haha!)  The posed with Old Navy mannequins!
But when it came time to go home, they didn't want to. They wanted to stay together! I got a texted saying, "We have a problem." I asked what it was and our daughter told me what the problem was...that they didn't want to leave.  So we invited them to come here, and they did!  We wish all of their camp family could have come, but are so thankful that so many were able to get together.
It was late when the group (minus one) arrived.  Two of our boys and I got busy straightening up, getting pillows and blankets ready, and making food.  
Our youngest wanted to be in charge of their food buffet - even made little signs saying what it was (so cute!)
One more had to leave Wednesday morning, but the others were able to stay. It was neat having them worship with us Wednesday night, but again, they didn't want to leave when it was over!  So they went to pick up some necessities from Walmart so they could stay longer...and sent me this funny text on their way home!

 It was so funny to see them all in a row each morning!  They stayed up late and slept late.
I cooked for them and enjoyed every minute of it - knowing it may very well be the last time they'll all be together here.
 There have been some fun times during this "retreat"!
Ping pong games on our dining room table (this game must have been the lazy version - short way instead of long way!),  playing spoons, playing outside, watching Disney movies, and just being together as friends.
And guess what?  They decided to stay one more night and leave in the morning. We changed the name from "sleep over" to "retreat"!!  Here are the final six out of eight that met up the first day. Pretty neat that these Christian friends can have such strong bonds and friendships.  These memories will last a lifetime.

At the end of each evening and at the end of the camp session every year, we sing the song, "God Bless You, Go With God".  And that's what we would say to these special "kids" (they're not kids, but young adults!).  God bless you.  Go with God.  Always and forever.  We love you all!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Chronicles of Biscuit - Happily Ever After

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

Do you like the Hallmark Channel movies?  My family does, but usually I don't pay close attention to the TV, so rarely watch it enough to know what's going on.  But this past weekend, the channel had a Christmas movie marathon. I was doing the same....not paying close attention, and I got into one of the movies. If finished the whole thing! (So proud of myself for sitting down and paying attention for that long!)  Then I watched another. And another.  And did the same thing for the next few days every evening.....into the wee hours of the night!

Monday the channel switched back to regular, non-Christmas movies. My daughter was watching one and Biscuit came in and said, "Oh, great! They're in a conflict, then they'll get back together, get married and live happily ever after! They're all the same."  We couldn't help but laugh at his 10-year-old wisdom! But, he's right.  They're all the same.  Same layout, but different story.  But very predictable.  And we're glad they are.  They're basically "clean" shows and have happy, feel-good endings.  Yes, there may be some sad, teary-eyed moments, but you know it's going to turn out right, so not too bad.


Biscuit's idea of the Hallmark movies made me think about the story of Jesus Christ.  Here was a man who came to earth to be the Savior of the world.  He had great conflict, but "got together" with some who decided to follow Him. The conflict continued and the followers continued.  Then He was arrested.  A BIG conflict.  Then He was sentenced to die on a cross. HUGE conflict.  The people of the day must have thought that this story would have a great ending for them and an unhappy ending for His followers. His followers mostly believed, too, that the ending was going to be unhappy - not fully understanding what Christ tried to tell them all along.


But guess what?  It WAS a happy ending! It was the happiest and most shocking ending there could ever be!  Jesus Christ AROSE!!  How surprised the followers were when they realized what their Teacher had been trying to explain to them for so long!  And what a shocking revelation when those who were unbelievers heard what they had done to the Savior.  Crucified Him.


The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 
Matthew 28:5-6

Hollywood can make up movies with happy endings - sometimes with a little "magic" thrown in to make everything work out perfectly.  But Jesus didn't need any magic or Hollywood screenwriters.  He had His Heavenly Father. He had the Holy Spirit.  That power is all He needed.  It's all we need, too.  With that power - that Spirit - we, too, can have a happy ending and live happily ever after.


On this GRATITUESDAY, I am grateful for happy endings. I am grateful for the happily ever after God has given His people - those who have chosen to follow Him.


Join us for GRATITUESDAY at HeavenlyHomakers.com!

Monday, July 15, 2013

How Great Thou Art!

Oh, Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder,
 Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made;
I see the stars,
 I hear the rolling thunder,
 Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!

These pictures were taken at camp - QMCC - mostly with a cell phone....and no filters! :)

He set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.
Psalm 104:5-9

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Radical - QMCC 2013

It's exciting to share pictures with you from our camp session last week!  The theme was "Radical", with the directors being my brother-in-law and my husband.
Every year at this session, the campers (ages 7th-12th) are divided into four family groups according to their ages and given a name.  This year they were jungle animals.
 They also do some sort of project, which this year consisted of making a large banner with their animal.  The creativity and talent shown on each of the banners was amazing!
On Wednesday night, unknown to the campers, my brother-in-law painted over and outlined the banners so that we could have a black light devotional the next evening.
The top photo shows the banners with the black light. It was amazing.  We also "marked" each camper who said they were a Christian as they came in with a thumbprint.  The focus of the devotional was Christ's death on the cross.  The word for the evening was LOVE.  It glowed in the dark, too, because it was in white. (The word part will be explained below).
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law made these great palm trees for the whole week.  They were made by rolling down brown paper bags, cutting a hole in the bottom of them and stacking them on a PVC pole.  The rounded branches were made by heating PVC pipes and molding them to a rounded shape. Then the leaves were cut and glued into position. The leaves had some glow-in-the-dark paint added to them, as well.
My sister-in-law made these beautiful nail/string art signs for each day.  The word "RADICAL" stood at the tree base each day, then the other words (Faith, Joy, Kindness, Mercy, and Love) were added each day.  The signs were a great addition to each day, but are also beautiful and are a great idea for homemade gifts!
It was a great week, for sure!  We were all tired, but it's well worth it.  To renew our batteries spiritually, grow closer to God, and learn more about being like Jesus.
But the very, very best part of being at camp?  Seeing two new children of God!  Praise God for the hearts of these two!  Please pray for them at they begin their walk with God in the steps of Jesus!
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

Monday, July 8, 2013

Integrity - Do You Have It?

It's a word not talked about a whole lot these days, but it's an important word in the walk of a Christian striving to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Having integrity is what separates a Christian from the rest of the world.  We're called to be holy....to be set apart. Integrity sets us apart.  It's what shows the world whether we're being hypocrites or not.  

We can have integrity, yet mess up from time to time.  We're going to sin.  We're going to disappoint ourselves, as well as others, but having integrity means we don't have to decide whether to be honest or not.  We're honest.  Without exception.  We've got high morals.  Without exception. Having integrity is deliberately striving to live a holy life.

Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

I'm doing this post because of a conversation I had with my children today when we went to see the movie, "Monsters University".  As we paid for our tickets and went to the concession, they asked if I brought any water bottles in.  I said no because we're not supposed to (we only see a movie once or twice a year, so it's a rarity for us.).  We can take waters in to other things we go to, such as Texas Rangers' baseball games, even Disney World, but not to the movie theaters.

Having to pay $4.00 for water is definitely not something I like to do, but that's how theaters make their money. They ticket money goes for buying/leasing the movies to play.  The concession money pays for the employees, heating/air conditioning, building, etc.  Cheating the theater out of their money isn't having integrity, is it?  It's not being honest. It's not having strong moral principles.

Let's think of other ways we can show integrity:

Paying our taxes....not cheating by not reporting some things that we should.

Finding something in our shopping cart when we get to the car, but not returning to pay for the extra item.

Receiving too much change back, but not telling the cashier.

Telling the truth instead of lying to receive a special discount on food, clothing, etc. (Senior Citizen's discount, etc.)

Not doing someone's work for them (homework, schoolwork, contest entries, applications, scholarships, etc.)

Tell the truth, even if you will get into trouble because of it.

Say you're sorry if you make a mistake. Don't try to cover it up.

Respect the property of others.  If it's not yours, don't take it. Don't touch it without asking.

Obey the laws of the land.  Don't litter. Don't speed. Don't think you're above the law.

There are others we could list, but this is a good start.  Remember that you are an example to those around you.  Others who know you are a Christian are looking to you as an example and possibly a role model.  What are you showing them?  A life of integrity?  Or a life of a hypocrite, claiming to follow Jesus, but doing your own thing?  Again, none of us are perfect, but integrity is something we must be striving for in order be be striving to follow Jesus Christ.

These ideas of integrity shouldn't be that hard.  They shouldn't be that difficult, should they?  If they are, perhaps we need to examine our hearts....search the scriptures to find ones that point our lives towards Him even more.  

Integrity.  It's worth it.

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. 
Proverbs 2:6-8

Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
Psalm 26:1-3

Sunday, July 7, 2013

F.R.O.G. - Preteen Camp Session at QMCC

It seems strange to be done with church camp (QMCC - Quartz Mountain Christian Camp) and back to blogging! I've missed my time with YOU, but enjoyed camp very much.

The first week of camp was a junior session of grades 4th-7th.  I counseled the older girls going into 6th and 7th grade. I hadn't counseled since I was 13, so this was quite a change being 30 years older!!  The girls were great and we had a wonderful time together learning to F.R.O.G. - Fully Rely on God!
We decorated the bathroom and cabin sleeping area with frogs and lights.
 One of the junior counselors also put scriptures around the mirrors....
 ...and walls.

 The girls enjoyed the FROG decor!
 What a fun group of girls!  It was great being with them....teaching them and getting to know them.
 It was also neat having our youngest son there as a camper.  He had instructed me to "not get in his business"!!  Haha! I told him I would stay out of his business unless I saw that he was doing something that I needed to be in his business about!  He was good, so no "gettin' in his business' was needed! :)
Twenty-seven years ago at this same camp - on talent show night- my friends and I did a "Trash" song in rounds. All of these years I've wanted to do it again, so our girls allowed me the opportunity to bring it back! I was soooooo excited! Unfortunately the round was "off" a bit, so doesn't sound as good as I had hoped it would.  It still was fun!
 Each night the campers dressed up.  There was alien night.....goof ball night....super hero night.....and backwards night.  Here are a few pics from the nights...




It was especially neat to counsel along with my daughter (left). She was in a different cabin, but it was neat to have her there with me!
 We had great lessons during the camp.  This one taught the campers to STOP and F.R.O.G. (Fully Rely on God).  They wrote their "problem" on a CD then smashed it.  That was fun! Then we glued the smashed pieces on the letters saying "STOP and FROG".
The camp directors of this session are wonderful! They do a great job coming up with or finding material for skits that really get the campers interested in the lessons.  This was the "Frog Hunter". He was always trying to sabotage the 'Professors" lessons.
The "Professor" dressed up for one of the goofball nights in this #1 mom shirt!  So funny!  He would bring the skit to the real meaning - according to the Bible message/lesson.
One evening the campers were playing games.  I looked to the west and saw a beautiful sunset over the mountains nearby.  It's wonderful to be able to see God's beauty in His creation.  

Thank you, God, for this week of camp where we all learned to "Fully Rely on YOU".  I pray that each of the campers is continuing to remember the lessons they learned.  I pray that they will always F.R.O.G.

 
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