Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shhhhh! She's ????? today

I won't tell you which one she is's not me, my mother-in-law, or her best friend who is having a special birthday today!

Today I have the joy of honoring one of my most special friends on her ___th birthday! Our friendship goes back only a few years but it is one that was formed on a solid foundation.

Staci and I never called each other on a daily basis, went shopping weekly, or went out on the weekends. Instead our friendship was formed on two very important aspects - family and prayer. This friendship I treasure began as an offspring of my in-laws' and her parents' friendship. When our families would get together for special occasions that was really the only time she and I did things, other than church.

Then, our bond was really solidified when we both started attending Monday night prayer meetings. We would claim our own separate corners and spend time with our Creator. Those special times in prayer united our spirits in ways that social outings never could.

I am a family oriented person and don't always tend to be social. Staci is also a family oriented person so we have always honored each other's "space."But, that realization of the need for individualization did not effect our spiritual connection.

Staci has the uncanny ability to make me feel better about myself when I am around her. I don't worry about what I say, or don't say. I can be me! She is a strength to all of her friends and many times an amazing confidential sounding board! We may not communicate for weeks, yet I know our friendship will pick right up where it left off. She doesn't get angry if I forget one of her personal milestones or remember it to late. She challenges me to be a better person. She can touch the Throne of God when I need her to. She is an AMAZING friend!

Happy Birthday Staci!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Unconditional love gives others the right to hurt us-
John Bevere

While attending Indiana Ladies Conference, Sis. Jennifer Cobb suggested the book, The Bait of Satan, as a great Bible study tool. I am always looking for new things to teach our Ladies Bible study group and was quick to jump on this one. I never read the finely printed subtitle, but just read the bold title when I bought the book. So, last week when I began diving into this new material, I looked a little further and realized the subtitle was, Living Free from the Deadly Tray of Offense. I had no idea what an amazing source of instruction I had just purchased.

I have only just begun to soak in the lessons that John Bevere teaches in this masterpiece! The book has become so vivid in so many areas that I have started highlighting many of his insightful statements. So many of us are trapped by Satan's deadly bait of offense. Offense can steal our joy, rob our peace, and cause mass destruction in our minds.

One of my favorite points he has made so far is when he talks about Joseph and how God always has a plan. Every obstacle Joseph faced just led him closer to the plan God had for his life. Knowing that nothing comes against us without the Lord's knowledge of it before it happens, nails down how we need to trust Him when we would rather be offended.

Though I have not completely finished this book, I highly recommend it. There are times when we don't even know that we are holding off God's blessings by holding on to offense!

If you stay free from offense you will stay in God's will - John Bevere

Monday, April 14, 2008

"I Don't Need Another Reason to Praise the Lord"

Years ago I heard someone sing that song and today I was reminded of how powerful those words really are.

It happened when I saw her walking through the grocery store unable to utter a single word an innocent bystander could comprehend. She looked to be about 12 or 13 but had the expression of an infant. Her inability to communicate other than cry out every few minutes did not stop her mother from conversing merrily with her. They were talking about the eggs they would use to make a cake, and all of the other ingredients needed. Her mother seemed sensitive and compassionate.

At that moment it occurred to me that the day-to-day problems many people think are so overwhelming really are not so life shattering in the grand scheme of things. Not when a precious child such as this was struggling to let her feelings be made known. I took the time to reflect upon how blessed I really have been. Both of my children are healthy and have no problem communicating or taking care of their basic needs. None of us have gone hungry. No one is in the hospital. We have a roof over our heads. We have a bed to sleep in. We have salvation, water baptism, and Heaven awaits us. I just have to say God is good! When you think life is bad - look around ......

No matter the problem I don't need another reason to praise the Lord!

Monday, April 07, 2008

This is where I've been......

After having five people ask me in less than one week when I was going to blog again, I decided that maybe it was time. Actually, I think I fell into a hole towards the end of September and I am just now climbing out. Maybe it was the cold winter that kept my brain from running. Or, could it be that from November until the end of January the busyness of everything was too much? Maybe it was the 12 hour class load I took in the fall that kept me from writing for fun. If so, then maybe that’s why I haven’t been running (Rochelle) or eating right (Becky). Regardless of the reason, my visit to Mississippi and Texas along with a couple of recent emails from my Indiana friends has reminded me of my 6 month hiatus. Actually, my visit in Texas reignited the desire to work on both my physical health and my mental health (by blogging). Thanks ladies!

I finally finished my Bachelors in Business and decided to take on one of my Graduate level classes for the spring semester. Then, after May 9th I am going to take my first summer off from school since 2004!! Hopefully, with my course load being a little lighter (despite the extensive papers due) I will start writing again, running again, and eating right. Thank goodness spring is in the air!!!!