Saturday, August 20, 2011

Homeschoolin' It Up

I have finally gotten my girls ready for school!
Well pretty much.
Most of the curriculum is gathered and the last big order is on the way. I just have one more thing to order... the Geography w/ missions.
Our schedule this year... Bible Study, World History, Zoology, Writing, Math, Grammer, Spelling, Geography w/ Missions, and Reading.  
Our first field trip will be to The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament as we study Europe in the Middle Ages and take a look at where the monastary began :-)

I love, love, teaching my girls!

"Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD."
Psalm 34:11

This is only our second year to homeschool. Last year I was so nervous that I would fail at this.
Then again this year comes the underlying fear that I won't be able to pull it off.
But just like last year all the pieces fell together in one day and I was reminded that I am perfectly able to take on this year of teaching my children and training them up.

I always first fear that I won't have enough for them, then I overplan and realize that I am overwhelming them (and myself) and then I have to back track. Of course that's after I have shoved it to the deal with later side of life.

Today, I dealt with it and now I am excited to get started! So are the girls :-)

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to not only be a "housewife" and "stay-at-home mom" but also a "homeschool mom". I prayed that God would open this door for years.

I spent a many arguements with my husband repeating over and over again all the pro's of homeschooling. I was actually quite irritated and hurt with him because his oldest was homeschooled, and I helped with that when she was here visiting... yet here he was not allowing this for our own. It was quite hard to swallow for me. Then finally God told me to shut up.

I had to surrender the situation to God and trust that if it was His will that we homeschool our girls, He would turn my husband's heart. I would never be able to "nag" my husband into my will. And truthfully, I only wanted to homeschool if it was indeed God's will for us and I knew in my heart that if it was indeed God's will my husband would be in agreeance. God was not going to do anything that would divide our marriage. It would be a three cord strand decision if it was God's will.

So as hard as it was for me, I shut up.
I prayed and I shut up.
I prayed that God would help me shut up, He already knew my thoughts on the rest.

Two years ago our youngest became so ill that we had to pull her out of school before she began the second semester of her kindergarten year so that her body would have the opportunity to heal. We discovered she had hypogammaglobulanemia after years of fighting illnesses and tests after tests.
After her being home and my husband also substitute teaching in the local high schools... well, we pulled our oldest out also and she started her 4th grade year with me as her full-time teacher.

Three years of praying and probably at least almost two years of "shuting up" God answered my prayer.

This is an answered prayer and a huge committment and a scary one.
There is always the lie of the enemy that whispers, "you will fail them"

Then I have my days like today when the pieces all fall into place and I see the excitement in my girls' faces as we get the schedule lined out and the first weeks lesson plans in order...

God reminds me that He qualifies the called.
Success is His (not mine) and He cannot fail.

So we are ready for 2011-2012.
We will be homeschoolin' it up at the Vaughn Elementary Academy and we are looking forward to a fun year filled with all the fullness of God as we teach all things in accordance with His Word and His will and His ways.

"These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 
You shall teach them diligently to your sons
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk by the way
and when you lie down and when you rise up. 
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand
and they shall be as frontals on your forehead."
Deuteronomy 6:6-8

I cherish each year that I am allowed this great honor because I do not know what tomorrow may bring. I know my plans are to teach my children into college, but I know that I may plan my path but God directs my steps...

So this year I will cherish the joy of teaching my children at home from a Biblical Christ Exalting worldview. I will teach, not hiding the issues of life or ignoring them, but simply teaching the truth and calling a truth- truth, a lie- a lie, good- good, evil- evil, and sin- sin.

This is the no spin zone... :-)

Friday, August 19, 2011

How To Fight Well

This is a re-blog. I shared it because the fact is Christian marriages are not perfect. We will disagree with our spouse. We will hurt our spouse. We may receive or inflict wounds that only God Himself can divinely heal.  

We can go through times in our marriages that even after healing has come the scars remain as a reminder that make it hard for us to forget. However I do believe that these battle scars can be lessened and fade with time as we learn to live a disciplined life with each other and practice self-control and love each other with the love with which Christ loved us.

  "So, as those who have been chosen of God,
holy and beloved,
put on a heart of compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 
bearing with one another,
and forgiving each other,
whoever has a complaint against anyone;
just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 
Beyond all these things put on love,
which is the perfect bond of unity."
Colossians 3:12-14 

When I got married it never occurred to me that I would need to learn to fight right. It was supposed to be true love right? We were supposed to agree on everything and smile about all things. Always speak kindly to one another and shower each other with constant compliments and gifts of affection... why on earth would I even consider fighting with this just perfect for me person by my side?

I can look back on my marriage and I know that had my husband and I known these rules of engagement listed in the blog below and knew to live by them and fight by them... well... the rolodex file that lives in the back of my head would have a lot less information to pull from...

So here's the blog,

How To Fight Well
by Tor Constantino 

Anytime that two people commit to each other, there will inevitably be disagreements. For instance, it’s very likely that before “the Fall” the first marriage in Eden was truly one of wedded bliss. Yet according to the Bible account, their ultimate bliss only lasted until a squabble erupted regarding a piece of fruit that led to the couple’s blistering expulsion from paradise.

It seems from this example that even within the confines of a perfect, God-created garden—where every need was met—the seed of bickering could germinate.

The root cause for such conflict abides within each of us as we read in James 4:1-2, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it …”(NIV)

Whether you’re a Christian or not, individual desire doesn’t automatically die once you find your significant other, begin a serious relationship or get married. If anything, those selfish wants seem to blossom because they often cut across the wants and desires of the other person. Hence conflict ensues.

My wife and I recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary, and prior to that we dated for another five years—that’s a grand total of 21 years worth of relational bliss. We’ve had some “spirited disagreements” along the way, but very early on we decided to mutually accept certain rules of engagement to ensure that we protected our single most valuable shared asset—our relationship.

We came up with the idea because we realized that most conflict-oriented competition has rules that protect participants and the integrity of the sport. Whether it’s mixed martial arts, hockey, boxing, football or Scottish leg wrestling there are rules and agreed upon conduct for all engaged participants of those activities.

As an extreme example, even modern warfare has guidelines for appropriate conduct under the Geneva Convention, which has established rules of engagement and a host of other protocols that are applicable to mortal combat. To a much lesser degree, my wife and I adopted our own seven rules for “marital combat” that are listed below, which have helped us stay together all these years.

Do not use universal language. This occurs when a minor habit by either party happens to annoy the other individual and a specific occurrence of that habit gets magnified into some gross overgeneralization. This exaggeration is frequently associated with language such as “always,” “never,” “every time,” “all the time” … etc. Specific examples might include, “You always leave the toilet seat up …; You never close the cap on the toothpaste …; Why do you always leave only a swig of milk in the jug …”  The truth is that nobody engages in any specific behavior all the time. It’s a loaded accusation that nearly “always” escalates a fight. 

Do not let issues reach “last straw” status. If you have a problem with your mate, address it early and as unemotionally as possible. Never let it get to the point where one of you shouts, “That’s the last straw—I can’t take anymore of this.” Early intervention in this regard might be analogous to a demolition expert who must diffuse a bomb before the timer goes off. As a committed couple, it’s up to both of you to disarm your personal incendiary devices before all that bottled frustration explodes inflicting collateral damage to the relationship.

Do not use coarse language, personal attacks or name calling. This type of language quickly spirals down into negative exchanges that will unavoidably result in a truly hurtful comment that can cause a deep wound, which is especially hard to heal since it was inflicted by your soul mate.  Focus on the issue, not the faults of the other person. Specifically, if you attack or belittle a physical trait of your mate that they can’t change, you may unintentionally strike a death blow to the relationship. Once something like that is said, it’s difficult for the other person to un-embed it from their psyche.

Do not bring up past issues that have been resolved. Proverbs 17 tells us that forgiving an issue promotes love but repeating a settled matter causes separation. Nobody wants that, so once an issue has been dropped don’t pick it up again.

Do not use physical force. Unless you’re defending yourself from violence, threat or abuse physical force has no place in an emotionally charged situation with your loved one. Period.

Do not threaten separation or divorce. Avoid deploying this verbal weapon of mass destruction, because even after your fight is over your significant other will begin to have serious misgivings about your commitment to the relationship and your loyalty to them. Now obviously there may be exceptions to this rule regarding issues of adultery, addiction or abuse. However, absent the aforementioned “Triple-As,” this must be avoided in a heated discussion. And then it should only be discussed with a trusted and vetted Christian counselor who speaks with you together—not individually.

Do not assign false motive. This is the biggest problem for me personally. When my wife asks if I’ve paid the bills for the month, it’s easy for me to get rankled and assume she’s insulting my ability to provide for our family. That’s obviously a fiction I’ve created in my mind, but I need to assume the best intentions of my mate—not the worst. That’s a critical component of maintaining a loving relationship.

Each of these rules has a grounding in the scriptures and is worthy of thoughtful consideration.  However, both of you have to agree on these rules in advance, which means that during the heat of a fight you both must be ready to concede your respective point if either breaks one of these rules. Additionally, these rules should be in effect at all times in your relationship—there are no holidays or vacations from them and they apply to disagreements big and small.

Print out these rules and post them strategically around your home as a reminder. If each of you internalize these principles and asks yourself, Will what I’m about to say violate one of these rules? before you say it you’ll both soon find that your disagreements are more civil and contain less verbal napalm... 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lizard Lie

Yesterday we had an appraiser coming out to look at our house.
(Yes, we have taken it off the market and are refinancing)

The appraiser is coming, so of course ,we are cleaning the house. Getting everything looking as expensive and perfect as possible.

So she walks in the door and I put our dog up so he doesn't jump all over the poor woman and then as I am walking down the hall removing all the barricades (the girls' toy keyboards and our box fan) to the bedrooms (the dog is not allowed in the bedrooms because (1) they are carpet and (2) because he eats things like underwear, socks, plastic toys, and well just whatever he can swallow).

And as I come out of my Bekah's room there he is... a lizard.
He's all nice and perfectly still in the corner of our hall. Normally I would scream right now... but the appraiser is in the living room.
I'm thinking "does a lizard in the house decrease the value of a home?????"   

I try to stay calm as I ask Bekah to go get me a cup and then frantically motion for her to be quiet when she comes running up with the cup and goes "what is it? it's a lizard!" 

My momma "shhhhhhhh" finger goes to my mouth.

I stay perfectly still in the hall staring down this lizard daring him to move until the appraiser goes out the door to measure the outside of the house first. And then the chase is on. Slippery little sucker that he was I could not catch him!

I was perfectly calm at first. Ready to catch the lizard, but the more he escaped my grasp and wiggled and slithered all around the corner I had him trapped him, he just grew more and more ickkkkkkyyyyy!

He slithered into the closet and so I have to start emptying out the contents of the closet as I try to catch him. By this time I am squealing and then my husband comes over to encourage me in my catching as he cheers me on, laughing at me the whole time. So here me and my husband and both our girls are huddled up at the end of the hall with the contents of the closet scattered around chasing a lizard...

Well my husband decides to jump in due to my squealing and in his manly way of catching the thing he cuts off the poor lizard's tail... which continues to jump and flip in the middle of the hall floor and now the girls are screaming and I am screaming. "It's still moving! Why is it still moving?"

And yes this is the exact moment the appraiser walks back in needing to get the crawlspace door unlocked...

So my husband goes out to unlock the crawlspace and I am left with the lizard tail and on the search for the rest of the lizard.

The lizard that we never found.

So then comes bed time. Guess whose room is beside the lizard hunt?
Yes, Bekah's

Who askes if we caught the lizard as I am tucking her in the bed and giving her a goodnight kiss?
Yes, Bekah.

Who decides this might be a good time for what Jon Acuff called "a polite lie"?
Yes, me.

Well, it might not have been a lie...
I simply said "no I didn't catch him, he went back under the house."
He most certainly could have went back under the house... right?

Will You Love Jesus More

I received this song in an email from my Precept Leader Developer as an encouragement. The song is beautiful and truly shares my heart. This song sings my prayer as not just a teacher, but as a woman of God in every area of my life.

The song is "Will You Love Jesus More"

I realize more and more as I grow in my walk with Christ and as I travel this narrow path that I must decrease and Christ must increase. It is always nice to know that people like you. It is wonderful to know that people love you, especially when those people are your spouse and children and family and friends.

However, if I lived my life and all I have managed to gain is my husband and children loving me... and everyone liking me, then I have failed.

My purpose is to lead my family and all those I know and meet to love Christ more, not me.

How easy it would be to give my children all they want and never expect anything from them. To build myself up in their eyes and try to earn the #1 Mommy of the World Award and convince them that no one could ever love them like I do... but this would be a lie.

There is someone who loves them more than me. Someone who loves them with a love so intense that I cannot even wrap my mind around it in order to even begin to attempt to explain it.
My husband and I have always told our children that we love them more than they will ever understand (at least until they have children of their own) and then we end this with a "but there is Someone who loves you even more than us and His name is Jesus"

You see we have learned that if we leave our children with us alone as their highest definition and picture of love, if we are their litmus of what so great love is... oh my that scares me. We are not as good as it gets. We are flesh. We will have times that we overreact to situations because we are tired or hurt. We will make mistakes in our attempt to love our children the way God desires us to.
We are here to love them to Christ. We are here to teach them to rest and find security in His love for them, because He is unchanging and His love is unchanging.

 "You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old."
Micah 7:20

My goal as a mother is for God to use me to help my children to leave our home loving Jesus more.


As a wife, if I look at my husband and tell him that no one will ever love him as much as me, then that is a lie. There is someone who loves him more deeply than I ever will be able to conceive. If my love is the litmus for my husband's worth then I will fail him.

There will be times that I hurt him out of my own hurt and out of my own overwhelment of life. I will misinterpret his words and respond out of a break in communication. I will misread his intentions and will fail to meet needs that I don't even know exist. I will never be enough to fill his every longing and secure him in every way.

But there is One that will never lash out at him, or snap at him, or fail him in any way. There is One that will always accurately define his worth and secure him. I am to always point my husband to Christ and draw his eyes to Him and not myself. For Christ alone loves him with an everlasting love.

As a wife, I am to allow God to use me to draw my husband ever closer to Him. If in my death I leave this earth before my husband, I pray that my husband will be able to say that I helped him love Jesus more.

"The LORD appeared to him from afar,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."
Jeremiah 31:3 

My goal as a wife is for God to use me to help my husband to love Jesus more. 


As a teacher my goal is not for people to enjoy my class. It is not for them to love my style or even my excitement for what I teach. I teach that they might love Jesus more. If they leave my class only loving me, then I have failed.
My purpose is not to get them to like me and enjoy my company.

My purpose is to so glorify and magnify the awesomeness of my Christ that they do not even see me at all, only Him. I had rather they never even remember my name as long as they leave my class unabashedly and incorruptibly in love with the name that is above all names, Jesus.

"Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love."
Ephesians 6:24

My goal as a teacher is for God to use me to help you love Jesus more.

My goal as a friend, or even as someone met only once and never seen again, is that somehow God has used me to help them love Jesus more....


If I myself can remember this, then the enemy cannot shoot his darts of self worthlessness and hit his target.

If I myself can remember this, then I can defeat the desire to receive approval from man, whether that man be my husband, my children, my family, my friends, those who might attend my class, or people I am meeting for the first time.

If I myself can remember that the goal and purpose of my life is for those I come in contact with to love Jesus more then I am free of me... 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Go, Make, Disciple, Teach, Give

My church is in the process of a transformation. We are working toward shedding some dead weight. We are trying to become more outwardly focused and putting our energy into where Christ called us to put it... in our Jerusalem, our Samaria, and to the world. We are evaluating our programs and budget and making sure we are being good stewards of the resources of time, money, and people that God has gifted us with. We are working to get our church lined back up with the plumb line of God's Word and God's Command and Christ's Commission.

 "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying,
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18-20

Most churches in our American culture have become a place of programs and events. We have become so inwardly focused that we no longer have the opportunity or energy to reach out. It's very easy in today's western church to become the First Baptist Country Club of Me Centered Hills.

Our tithes become the yearly dues we pay to enjoy the services offered by our local Club and we of course then begin to believe that because we are faithful to pay our dues we should have a say so in how the Club is run. The events and programs should be centered around meeting our needs and wants and if they no longer do so, then we will take our tithes, our Club dues, down the road to the Club that our friends seem to love so much.

Please know that I have been guilty of this thinking as well. We are a selfish people. We want our church to meet our needs first and the needs that we see as priority. We often forget that we must bow our knees before our Father and say God what is Your will, Your purpose, for Your church and particularly for my church.

As my husband said the other day it's as simple as a little twist on the old favorite Presidential quote... "Ask not what your church can do for you but what you can do for your church."

If you are going to church focused solely on having your own personal needs met... they never will be.
No church will ever be enough. You will never be satisfied.


Because satisfaction does not come with personal needs being met... satisfaction comes in being used by God to satisfy the needs of another. Our lives were made to be poured out. We were created with seed in us. We were created to give life to another... not take it. Taking will never satisfy, but giving always will fill us.

This is true in our church and it is true in our homes. 
Just as our church is evaluating time, money, and people, I believe we must also do this in our homes. 

The first place the church ever met was in our homes. The first place the church should still meet is in our homes. When we look at our focus in our marriages and in raising our children and in our finances what is the goal? Is there a goal? Is there a purpose? Or are we just floating through life, pay check to paycheck, tv show to tv show, soccer game to basketball to baseball game, Sunday morning to Wed night to Sunday morning. Are we so burdened down with debt and working to hold on to and maintain things that will only fade away and burn in the end that we have no more time, money, or energy to put into the things of eternal value?  

Where is our time going?
Where is our money going?
Where are we going?

Is the church in our homes focused on going and making disciples?   
Are we as focused on our individual families obeying the great commision as we are our local church?
We should be.

If we begin in our homes it can't help but spill over into our church.

If we stop expecting our local church to focus on the things that we say must be priority and expecting them to put all their time, money, and people into what we deem is most important (and then getting all insulted and disgruntled when they don't) and instead organize our families to focus here and put what God has set on our hearts into action then we go as a family and we go in representation of our church and most importantly THE CHURCH.

If we put the resourses God has given our individual families into action, focused on the great commission... Wow!
What would this add to the launching to the world ability of our local church?

Intead we usually spend 90% of our resourses on us, on our wants, on our desires and then we expect our church to also meet our wants and our desires with the other 10% we give to them.   

Am I right?  

"If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the LORD,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”"
Isaiah 58:13-14 

Here's a little video that I watched this morning that got my mind on this thought and inspired this post...
This Is Discipling

Monday, August 15, 2011

Peace Breeze

I love how God gives us little bleeps of Himself with reassurances out of nowhere.

I had a few errands to run today at "the bottom of the mountain" as we like to call it. As I was driving back up the mountain with the windows down and enjoying the rare coolness of this Alabama August day I couldn't help but worship my God and the beauty of His creation.

At that moment somehow He flooded me with a much needed wave of peace that just came out of nowhere. I actually had not been particularly "stressed" today. My God has pulled me through my latest faith breakdown and now on this side of it... comes this beautiful peace breeze.

It was kind of like God just coming up and giving me a hug for no reason other than just to let me know that He was there and that He still loved me. Yep, that's my Abba Father :-)

After the peace breeze, my mind went back to the beauty of the mountain, as my mind went to the mountain, I then was reminded of Elijah when he was on the mountain, after running from Jezebel, after defeating the priests of Baal. I would say that at this time Elijah was probably a little stressed.

Then the Spirit of God reminded me of what Elijah had said after he left that mountain...

"But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness,
and came and sat down under a juniper tree;
and he requested for himself that he might die,
and said,
“It is enough; now, O LORD,
take my life,
for I am not better than my fathers.”
1 Kings 19:4

Elijah was done. He had all he could stand. He was stressed to the max. He cried out to God to just take him home. Here he was running from Jezebel and he had decided that God should just go ahead and kill him because he didn't think he was any better than the fathers who had already cowered in fear before her.

What God reminded me of in this wonderful story is that He was mindful that Elijah was tired, that he was just dust. He was aware what he had been through in this flesh.

God never even acknowledged that Elijah had said what he said.
God just let him vent.

He then sent his angels to minister to him and they simply said Arise, eat.” (1 Kings 19:5)

Not once was Elijah condemned for being stressed, for asking God to just take him out. He wasn't even condemned for running from Jezebel. God just reached out to him and gave him what he needed to regain his strength to get him to the next mountain.

I have a tendency to feel like a fool after my freak out mode moments. What a shock that God knew my heart and loved me enough to remind me that I was not alone in my freak-out faith breakdowns.

But most importantly He reminded me how He responds to my freak-out mode moments... they are as far as the east is from the west and not even acknowledged in His mercy and grace. 
He lets me vent.

Then He says Arise, eat.”

And when I am calmed and strengthend and my sense is slowing returning to me He says...  

and behold,
the word of the LORD came to him,
and He said to him,
“What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19:9

What are you doing here, Nicole? Why have you freaked out again? Come on. Get yourself together. I am not through with you and this is not the end of the world. And you are not alone.

The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness..."
1 Kings 19:15

Now go return on your way to the wilderness... 
Yes, the wilderness.
It's not time for the promise land yet.
This is the time of clearing the way.

Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God."
Isaiah 40:3

So here I am restored, revived, ready, and resting on the gentle blowing of my God's peace breeze...

There is still much to do,
the fields are white for harvest,
and sadly the workers are few.... 


How Long, How Wide, How Deep, How High

I wrote this poem of praise after I studied through the book of Ephesians... praise Him with me :-)

Grant me O God, according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened in my inner man
Strengthen me with power, with the power of Your Spirit, so that in Your grace I might firmly stand
O my Savior, my glorious Christ, come dwell freely in my heart,
Come in and have Your way in every hidden part
Through faith You have Your entrance
And through faith
The love with which you captured me may be grounded and take root
O that I might know the wonders of Your love,
How long, how wide, how deep, how high
Are the riches of Your mercy and the kindness of Your will
O that I might understand the vastness of Your grace,
How long, how wide, how deep, how high,
And that with all Your fullness my Creator God my self You would fill
For I know there is no limit to the power that You hold
I cannot even fathom the glory of Your greatness that is of yet untold
You have given me Your Spirit,
How deep, how low He had to come
He resides, how long, within this decaying flesh
In order that I more like Christ might become
How could I not declare Your glory
How could I not sing loud Your praise
How could I not fall down in worship
How could I not be humbled by Your grace
My Jesus, I am Your prisoner, I am Your willing slave
Oh that I might walk in a manner worthy of all that you have gave,
How wide, Your arms outstretched in order me to save
You called me out of darkness and snatched me from the fire
I was dead in my trespasses, living according to my flesh,
Held in chains by the evil one, the power of the air
Yet You in Your rich mercy lavished me with grace
You made known to me the Gospel, the power of salvation to all who would believe
You called to me,
You saved me,
And now alive I am,
And now how high, I am seated in my Jesus, forever with Thee I'll be.

One True World Champion

This is the first poem I wrote as I was studying through the book of Isaiah. I wrote this one after I had studied through the first 25 chapters... hope you enjoy :-) 

Oh Father, You are in heaven and You are on the throne!
You are sovereign and all authority is Yours alone.
I submit to You.
I bow before You and acknowledge my allegiance to Your crown.
I bow down and pay homage and glorify Your name of renown.
You are holy in Your everything,
Righteousness surrounds You within and without.
Justice proceeds and truth is seen and it brings all men of the earth to their knees.
The rebellious hosts of heaven will glorify You at Your feet,
As they lay as a footstool in their ultimate defeat.
The kings of the earth who rose against Your name
Will cry out from Sheol and writhe in eternal shame.
For holy, holy, holy is the LORD GOD Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
The whole earth is filled with Your glory
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
Forever and ever!
You lift up Your voice and the thunders call.
You speak but a whisper and the torrential waters fall.
You wave Your hand and the earth begins to quake,
Yet with gentleness beyond comprehension in my womb life You create.
My God You are awesome in might and in strength.
You are pure in Your thoughts and just in Your ways.
Wickedness You have endured with much patience for mercy’s sake.
In Your love You pour out grace upon grace that mankind might be saved.
We are Your vessels of mercy for in Your image we alone did You make.
You desire that none of us would perish but all to the name of Christ give praise!
Repent! Repent! Your messengers call.
Come out! Come out, from behind the world’s wall!
Come to the One who has given His all.
Come to Zion, receive hope and life at the cross.
Come! Come now, while the Light leads the way.
Come to the mountain that stands on grace.
Rebellion occurred in the heavens on high
And the enemy was thrown down and his anger did rise.
His desire is to destroy and divide in his hate.
For he knows at Sheol his final destiny awaits
Yet those who are going down rarely want to go alone
So he speaks lies out of his mouth and promises mankind a throne
Follow me he says and the things of this world I will lay at your feet.
I’ll give fame, land, and fortune, and at your name people will scream.
He’ll even dress himself up and appear as an angel of light
But what the mouth speaks…shhhh, pay attention, here truth one can find.
For out of the mouth the heart does speak and this no man or host of heaven can hide
There is only One who is worthy, only One who speaks and whose heart His lips do not contradict.
The LORD has spoken from the foundations of the earth,
The Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, the Male Child, to whom the woman has given birth
In the beginning was God and in the end will be God
He will stand as King and He will rule with a righteous rod.
The peace that life cries out for, that every soul longs for, is alone found in Him.
For He restores what was stolen and He heals us from all sin.
He opens our eyes to reveal what flesh cannot see.
Now in this state of enlightenment, He beckons, come to Me!
Run my dear friend, Run to His arms!
Run to your Champion for the veil has been torn.
The chasm that separated holiness from sin,
Has now been bridged by the love of our King.
His kingdom has been established and is growing in His name
One day this whole earth He will openly claim.
One day those that have chose upon His promised reign to wait
Will declare to all and point to our LORD and say See! Oh you see!
Behold our God who said He would save us! See behold His face!
Glory to God, glory to God, on You alone I wait.
And until that day my God I give You all my praise.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beatitudes For Every Woman

My family spent this weekend having a yard sale.
I do not like yard sales.
I like going to other people's yard sales, but not having my own. I always have this looming dread in the back of my head that I am going to waste all this time and energy packing and pricing and arranging and end up just sitting out in the hot Alabama sun for nothing.
Then I still have to do something with all the things that do not sale.
My husband tried to encourage me... to no avail.
So Thursday morning through Saturday afternoon we sat out in our driveway praying that someone would see our excess and make it their treasure.

While I was walking around the tables and re-arranging things, the way my mother-in-law showed me how to do to encourage the sales, the wind blew open one of the cookbooks that we had on a table.

I looked down on the table to close the cover and read God's recipe for salvation. So I thought hmmm maybe I'll flip through this one.

I never randomly flip through a cookbook. I had rather look and see what we have in the kitchen and then go to google and search a recipe for whatever item I have found. My husband is the one who looks to see what's in the cookbook and then goes to the store to search out the items for the recipe he has found.

This particular cookbook was from around 1987 and was put together by a Christian's women group in Tennessee, L.i.f.t., Ladies In Fellowship Together. I thought the acronym was quite good so I carried the cookbook with me to my shade chasing chair.

As I turned through the pages I came across a page titled Beatitudes For Homemakers. Before I share these "beatitudes" I think it's pretty important to point out that the term homemaker has been possibly misused a little. I say that because I believe that every wife, every mother- whether they are a "housewife", a "stay-at-home mom" or a "career woman" or a "working mom", are all still the home makers. So really this should just be Beatitudes For Every Woman.

Now before I typed all these out I considered conveniently leaving out the one's I'm not so good at... and well I just went ahead and put them all in... :-)

Beatitudes For Homemakers

Blessed is she whose daily tasks are a work of love; for her willing hands and happy heart transform duty into joyous service to all her family and God.

Blessed is she who opens the door to welcome both stranger and well-loved friend; for gracious hospitality is a test of brotherly love.

Blessed is she who mends stockings and toys and broken hearts; for her understanding is a balm to her husband and children.

Blessed is she who scours and scrubs; for well she knows that cleanliness is one expression of godliness.

Blessed is she whom children love; for the love of a child is of greater value than fortune or fame.

Blessed is she who sings at her work; for music lightens the heaviest load and brightens the dullest chore.

Blessed is she who dusts away doubt and fear and sweeps out the cobwebs of confusion; for her faith will triumph over all adversity.

Blessed is she who serves laughter and smiles with every meal; for her cheerfulness is an aid to mental and physical digestion.

Blessed is she who introduces Jesus Christ to her children; for godly sons and daughters shall be her reward.

Blessed is she who preserves the sacredness of the Christian home; for hers is a divine trust that crowns her with dignity.

"Who can find a virtuous woman?
For her price is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10