Saturday, September 20, 2008

Which Voice Do You Believe?

Here is the song that has been speaking to me lately, for "Then Sings My Soul Saturdays" hosted by signs, miracles and wonders.

I have a voice that whispers to me. Do you? It says things like "you're not good enough." No matter whether I am trying to be a good wife, or good mother, good writer or good child of God, it continues to whisper "why are you trying, you'll never be good enough."

When I eat dessert it says "you're going to get fat." When I miss my quiet time it says "Why would God love you?" When I don't exercise it screams "lazy!" This voice continues to tell me all the things I do wrong, and reminds me of my failures.

But there is another voice. The Voice of Truth. This is the voice that says**:

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

It is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

The Voice of Truth is the one I will choose to listen and believe...The Voice of Truth.*

(*Voice of Truth is a song by Casting Crowns, shown below in the video. I love the message it tells, and it inspired this post.

The messages from God came from "The Father's Love Letter. It too is inspiring, if you decide to click over and take a look.)

John 8:44 -- He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

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.

John 14:6 -- Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Grow Where You Are Planted - Finale

Well, I hadn't planned on blogging on this again, but when today's blog inadvertently posted yesterday, well, you know how it is. So if you missed yesterday, scroll down for part 2. Then come back and read here.

Several years ago we had two Crape Myrtle trees in our front yard. I loved the trees, but they attracted Japanese Beetles very badly, which in turn ravaged them and our other trees. My husband cut the Crape Myrtles back to the ground. Quite a pruning job! But the next spring - there they were again! And again came the beetles. So my husband "pruned" them to the ground again.

As you could guess, again they came back. So finally, he dug them up, and put them through the chipper, which sprayed their sawdust into the woods behind our house. Yesterday while out in the yard look what I found.

Can you believe it? A Crape Myrtle growing. Out of that "dust" came a real live tree.

This reminds me of resurrection. First Jesus'. He died on the cross for us. But on the 3rd day he rose again, paying the price for our sins. And now we too will be resurrected that we may spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. All we have to do is believe.

Even though we experience lots of earthly pruning, and often feel like we are "cut off at the knees" we can keep growing in Christ. And on the last day, like that Crape Myrtle, we'll bloom again, for Jesus.

John 15:1, 2 -- I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 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 11:25 -- Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."

Romans 10:9,10 -- That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

The winner of the Blog Day contest is Patterson 5. I put all the names in a bowl, prayed over it, and that is who I drew. Congratulations Mrs. P.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Grow Where You Are Planted, Part 2

This picture does not do the reality justice. In it you will see a utility pole (the one in the foreground behind the transformer). From the pole comes down cables that anchor the pole, and they are covered with a white plastic. Growing out of the top of the plastic is healthy, bushy plant.

The amazing thing about this, is the plant grew inside the white plastic up the pole, instead of outside. I've seen many poles covered in vines and weeds, but never growing inside of the plastic covering.

The plant must have inadvertently found its way inside the pole. The plastic held it back. It was dark and uncomfortable in there. But the plant had perseverance. It kept pushing up, with its "face" toward the sun. As long as it kept heading toward the sun, it kept growing. Finally it got out of the dark, and into the presence of the sun - and look how it bloomed and revealed its glory.

What adversity are you facing today? What is holding you back? What is keeping you in the dark? What is making you uncomfortable? Have perseverance! Keep your face toward the Son! As long as you head toward the Son, you'll keep growing. Have faith that God will bring you through the trials. After you have been brought through, then you too will bloom. And God's glory will be revealed.

Romans 5:3,4 -- Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

James 1:2-4 -- 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.

1 Peter 4:12, 13 -- Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grow Where You Are Planted

This picture is my front side walk, as you come to my home. As you can see I have planted some beautiful hot pink impatiens. I just love these plants! But if you look closer, you'll notice something else (and I don't mean the weeds!). No, I mean that there in the middle of the hot pink flowers, you will see one group of solid white flowers.

Every time I see them, it reminds me of something.

The world is a beautiful "pink" place and it is easy to get lulled into it. But God calls me to be different and set apart. Not to get pulled into the desires of the flesh, the desire to fit in and be the same. God calls me to be clothed in white and to stand out for him. Am I being a light in the darkness of the world?

Guests comment on the white flower. It stands out from the rest. Would people comment when they see me in a group about how I stand out from the rest? Do I shine with a godly light that people see the difference in me that Jesus makes?

Today as you go through your daily life, I urge you to think about if you are standing out from the rest. Would people notice you and want what you have? Are you different then the crowd? Are you growing where you're planted, the good seed planted by the Son, ready for the harvest?

Psalm 51:6-8 -- Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Matthew 5:16 -- In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 13:37-39 -- He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Celebrating 100 Posts!

Today is my 100th blog post! To celebrate, I'm going to offer a giveaway. I will be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card. I will randomly select one winner, from everyone who posts a comment on this post between now and the time my next blog posts on Wednesday (17th) at 6:00 a.m. The winner will be announced on my blog on Friday. Winner must provide your email address to receive gift card, which will be awarded via email.

When I started blogging, it was because I heard it would help you get published. Well, I have had one article sold since I've started blogging. But what I've come to realize is, that it is the practice of writing regularly that will get me published. (i.e. practice makes perfect). It's not the blog, it's the regular writing - and the accountability of you guys!

But the most special thing I've received from blogging is the unexpected joy of making so many new friends! First I met Bonita, who commented on my 3rd post, and has been visiting ever since. We even had the opportunity to meet in person in North Carolina, chat and pray together.

I have a new friend all the way in Australia in His Princess. Who'd have thought this little Virginia gal would get to know someone in another country. And I even learned that our seasons are opposite (who knew?).

I've "chatted" with published authors too, like Rebecca Ingram Powell, Lysa TerKeurst, and most recently Karen Hossink. All this networking can't be bad for an aspiring author like me. The chance to chat with other writers is a blessing. Plus Rebecca has become a good friend, who in addition to blogging, I also email.

I've also had changes in my relationship with my personal, local friends since blogging.

My friend, Sue J., is a still water running deep kind of gal. Our outings tend to be alot of me talking and Sue J listening. Not that she ever seems to mind really. But often, after we're together I realize she said something and I just ran right over it, and I'll call her back to discuss. When she blogs, I'm able to really hear her in a way I don't when we're together. I can't interrupt, and I hear her entire message. It's great. I feel like I'm getting to know her better. (and I can still COMMENT at the end!)

My friend, Mrs. P., is such a sweet friend, and has always told me how I have inspired her spiritual life. I invited her to join my bible study many years ago, and we learned together. She says I taught her. But now, through her blog, I am learning so much! She is such a wonderful witness of Christ and I am the student now and she is the teacher.

My friend, Truth4 the Journey and I have been friends for 14 years! She is my longest (not OLDest) friendship, but we'd starting growing apart. She was busy raising and home schooling 6 children, and I had two of my own. Our get togethers started getting further and further apart, until I feared that we'd soon just be sending Christmas cards to each year. And then we started blogging. And commenting, and emailing, and calling and even went away together to She Speaks. This crazy blog thing rekindled our friendship!

My sister, ADHD, we of course kept in touch. But we can both get wrapped up in our own worlds and could go awhile without chatting. Now we "talk" nearly every day through our blogs and are finding out things about each other we never knew before. And a sweet sweet comment by "Irritable Mother" (Karen Hossink) showed me something I hadn't seen before. She said our blogs showed how we "love each other." Well I pictured tough-gal firefighter ADHD gagging at this remark. She is more likely to punch me in the arm than hug me. (I got all the lovey genes in our family. Also the brains & good looks, KIDDING!) But Karen's comment touched us both and even got an endearing comment out of "I am a Rock, I am Island" ADHD. Love ya ADHD!

I have 1 zillion of you guys I could also link too, but I fear this blog is already getting too long. But your daily encouragement and comments mean the world to me! So many of you visit and just build me up. So now it's my turn. I wish I could give each of you a gift card, but alas, as mentioned this blog hasn't turned me into a published author so I'm just a stay home mom on a budget. So leave me a comment on this post, and I'll draw ONE winner.

(One chance per person. Multiple comments do not increase your chance of winning. This means you, ADHD).

Happy Blog Day to me! Happy Blog Day to me! Happy 100th Blog Posting. Happy Blog Day to Me!

Deuteronomy 12:7 -- There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.

Psalm 40:16 -- But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!"

Psalm 104:34 -- May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Girls Get-A-Way Cruise

Christan Women Mag, online
had an idea for a really good time,
and along with Art Bookbindery
set off to sail upon the sea.

Girls get-away cruise to Mexico
My friend and I would like to go!
But alas the trip we can't afford
the cost to go and sail aboard.

But wait, a chance to win the trip.
I'll use my talent to rhyme and quip.
I could meet Candace Cameron Bure,
She is a woman of faith, hip hip hooray!

On Full House she played a teen,
But today her faith is on what she leans.
But why do I need a get-away vacation,
And a chance to form new Christian relations?

I work hard blogging every week,
I lead a bible study for those who seek,
I serve on a Christian school board,
I love to serve and worship the Lord.

I care for 2 daughters and my hubby too,
Piles and piles of laundry I do.
Meals to cook, and house to clean,
I need a vacation, if you know what I mean.

I'd love to meet other godly women,
and yes, the chance to go swimming
on the luxury cruise to Cozumel
I'd love to go, or can't you tell?

Darlene Schacht, editor, C.W.O.
Please understand that I'd like to go,
So you & Candace & Art Bookbindery,
I'm asking you please vote for me.

Then I'll see you upon the cruise,
I'll be the one who did not lose.
And I'll thank you, both on sea and land,
and then I'll work upon my tan.