Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Change of Plans?

         Ok, so the moving to South Carolina/Georgia thing didn't really work out to be able to go to Bible college.  Through a series of a bunch of failed tries to "make" our way down there, nothing turned out. I personally believe that God allowed us to go all the way down to Hephzibah, GA to look at what we "thought" and were told was going to be a nice place to live only to find out that it was an ENORMOUS "dump" was because He was trying to tell us why we should wait and make sure that something is His will AND timing first before starting off to do it.  Now when I say dump, I mean it was completely trashed with mounds of garbage taller than I am all over the place and to top it all off, the job we were counting on wound up not being available until the beginning of next year anyway, which would have been way too late to start saving for Bible college.
          When my husband and I were getting right with God back in April, he knew that God wanted him to get back into the ministry as a pastor, youth pastor, or some kind of preacher like that in a church somewhere.  The main problem was that my husband felt as if nobody would want to hire him because although he has training in these fields and knows how to do things, hardly anyone will believe that without it all written down on paper (a Bible college degree).  So God told him if that's what he needed to overcome the obstacle of following Him, then that's what he needed to do first.
       Well, right after all the things were messing up with moving for Bible college such as not being able to find a single house to move into or a job to support it, my husband found an opportunity to work down at a church in Arkansas without any Bible college degree necessary. So far, everything is working out in all the areas of job, home, etc that weren't working out before with the move down towards Georgia.  We both know without a shadow of a doubt that this is what God wants us to do to follow Him through His opened doors and because of His closed ones.
       Make sure that you are able to spiritually discern the opening and closing of a door from God and Satan's opposition though.  Just because there are obstacles in your way doesn't always mean that God is closing that door or opportunity in your life, but sometimes it does. You have to keep a close walk with Him, stay in His Word, talk to Him regularly, and stay in church to be able to have the wisdom necessary to discern those things that are God opening and/or closing a door or just Satan trying to trick you into something away from God's will. Always trust and follow God, and He will take you where He wants you to be in the end, and you will find out that His will and way were much better than anything you had ever dreamed of or imagined before anyway.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I've been so busy over the last few weeks that I haven't really had time to sit down at a computer and actually think of a blog post to write at all really.  We're in the process of moving from North Carolina to South Carolina or Georgia depending on where we can actually find a house worth living in at.  And I know some of our family has helped us and have been way more busy than we have, and I'm not trying to complain about that, but needless to say, blogging has not necessarily been on the top of my agenda.
In the process of trying to move all my stuff and figure out where to put it all I have one tip for all of you out there whether you are planning on moving away in the future or plan on staying where you are until you die or Jesus returns because either one is fine with you.  That is this: Don't be a pack rat or try to save everything! Throughout our lives people give us things that are special to us or we acquire more furniture than we need or have way too many dishes that we don't use.  It's just too much of a hassle to try to keep everything and just let it pile up and accumulate around the place and then you wonder where all your living space went or if you are moving you have more than you can handle with trying to go through everything and pack it all up too.
When we moved into the house in Timberlake, NC that we just moved out of, we pretty much had an entire room of our house designated to boxes full of random items that we either didn't know where to put them at or we didn't even know what they were.  Most of that stuff was thrown away because it was trash in the first place, but you should probably come up with a general rule of a "time limit clause" or something like that for majority of the items in your home.  I'm not necessarily talking about sentimental items or stuff that family gave or made you that is special and important, I'm talking about the stuff that sits around our homes that we let do just that - SIT.  We never touch it, use it, move it (unless it's rearranged from one side of the room to another), or even need it for months and months at a time or even over a year.  I'm "preaching" at myself when I say that we all should probably have a 3-6 month rule that if we don't even use it in that time period than it means we don't really need it and it is safe to donate it to a thrift store somewhere or just throw it away.
Following that principle would have saved me and my family a lot of work and lost sleep had I done that or thought of that before now so this is just a suggestion of something you might want to implement in your lives to help you not have so much unwanted, un-needed items just taking up space - never to be used again.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mama always told you not to play with it!

"Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?"
Proverbs 6:27,28
Sometimes fire can be a very beautiful sight to our eyes. Just think about how romantic it is to sit in front of a fireplace in a cozy living room with your husband (or wife if you're a man - Amen!) and snuggle up together and enjoy the sight of the fire glowing and crackling in the fireplace. Or you could think about how fun it is to go on a camp out with your friends and sit around a bonfire roasting wienies and making s'mores right before you begin telling stories and singing songs and having such a good time.  But even though fire can be athstetically pleasing at those moments it can also be very dangerous.  We see all the time on the news where houses have been burned completely to the ground or a victim from a really bad car accident involving a fire has third degree burns all over his or her body as a result of the fire from the car.  Now I know not all fires are started as a result of someone actually making a conscious decision to "play" with it, but a lot of fires and damages from them do happen from people being stupid and careless when it comes to fire.
As a child your parents or guardian probably always warned you against playing with fire because you were inevitably going to get burned.  You might not get burned the first time you mess with it but eventually, whether you get burned from fire itself or from something heated by fire, you will probably get burned in some way, shape, or form in the duration of your lifetime. I've been burned from lighters, curling irons, steam, irons, and even from carelessly grabbing a pan that just came out of the oven in fear of getting in trouble from dropping the food on the floor when I was helping my mom out with supper when I was younger.  Unless you are a pyro-maniac or something you probably don't enjoy just flippantly "playing" with fire after getting burned as a result of it.
Our parents are not the only ones who try to tell us that playing with fire will result in us getting burnt. The Bible says so too in the verses above from Proverbs.  But the fire that it's speaking about can also be compared to our sin. We see sinful things that look appealing to the eyes and don't seem to be causing a lot of damage in other people's lives or seem "innocent" and "harmless" to us but if we are not careful we will begin "playing" with that "fire" of sin and will get harmfully burned every time. If we would just obey God and His word and apply it to our lives like we should we could avoid having a bunch of "third degree burns" in our life from messing with sin and wouldn't be in spiritual "burn trauma" like those that have "played" with it before us did.  If you see someone walk up to a candle, stick their hand in it, get burned, and be in pain you most likely wouldn't want to wind up doing the same thing.  But when we see someone turn to drugs or alcohol, become not in their right mind, do something stupid, and get themselves hurt or in trouble we don't take a warning from that and think it's OK to do it ourselves because we are the exception? You are not the exception and you will get "burnt" from playing with that sin.  Determine that you won't make the mistakes of others before you and stay away from the sins of this world and don't make the decision to play with them and get yourself burned or worse even killed.
Remember what your parents said about fire and what God says about sin!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just Try It! I Guarantee Your "Taste Buds" Will Love It!

When we see all this food we are probably either thinking of how good it would be to eat that all right now or what we could possibly make with it that would taste good to us (unless you just ate and if that's the case just play along for example's sake). Some things we would all agree on being good and others might be kind of "iffy" since we haven't tried those things before.  Usually when we see or hear of something that doesn't look so appealing to us or if we just have never tried it before we will automatically turn up our noses at it without ever even giving the food a chance for us to begin to like it. A lot of times you will find that the food you just turned your nose up at is something you would have actually liked had you actually taken the opportunity to try it.  Now I'm not trying to convince you all to go eat some chicken livers or goat brains - and if you actually like those things more power to you - but I'm saying just because something is "NEW" to you, that doesn't mean that you won't like it or you shouldn't at least try it.
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Psalm 34:8
For some of you God is something you have never "tried" or "tasted" and never will because He's something "new" or "unappealing" to your spiritual "taste buds".  In the Bible we see that Jesus told us that He is our bread from heaven in John 6:32-35 -
"32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
and in John 1:1 and 1:14 we find that Jesus is also call the Word of God:
1)In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14)And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
so that would mean that God's Word is also "Bread" to our souls and something that we can "taste" for ourselves. Taste means to try or test the quality of something. Psalm 34:8 says those who trust in the LORD will be blessed. To trust in something means: to rely upon or place confidence in someone or something; have confidence in; rely or depend on; believe. So by trusting in God and his Word we will be blessed and able to "taste" the Word and see for ourselves that it's good and will find out that it will never fail us, go bad or out of date, and will never run out like any other bread out there.  God's Word/Bread will never go stale or be lacking in flavor and you will never have to worry about being hungry after eating it; it will always leave you full and satisfied it you will just be willing to "taste" it for yourself!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Regurgitated Food Anyone?

"As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." Proverbs 26:11

So I'm guessing that not many of you reading this would jump all over the opportunity to partake in eating their own or someone else's vomit. I'm sure you also couldn't imagine why anyone or anything would willingly eat it. So why do those adorable little (or big depending on the breed)pets we call our best friends resort to eating it? Dogs have very voracious and indiscriminate appetites. What does this mean you ask? Well voracious means craving or consuming large quantities of food and indiscriminate means lacking in care or judgement, haphazard, or thoughtless. Dogs will eat and eat and continue to eat even after they are very well more than full as long as there is food still accessible to them. This will oftentimes cause them to vomit, but because that is also edible, they will proceed to eat that also. As humans we realize that this is a repulsive and disgusting habit and that it wouldn't even be a good idea to think about, let alone act upon.
Vomit can be defined as any food or drink that is repulsive or anything that is contemptible, despicable, or worthless. A fool, or person lacking sense or judgement, will return to his folly (a costly or foolish undertaking; wickedness) just likes dog returns to his vomit. He'll continue to make wicked, unwise, costly decisions in his life until he mentally, spiritually, and/or physically "vomits" and will then turn around and "eat up" those actions all over again by doing the same thing that caused the vomitting in the first place - no matter how bad it was or how "repulsive and disgusting" the actions were. We need to quit acting like a bunch of "Foolish Dogs" making the same mistakes over and over again and need to turn away from the the wickedness in our lives that induces vomitting so we can quit returning to it and can start living instead for God.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So Glad God Has Other Plans

How many of you when you were a little kid or where in your teen years just KNEW what you wanted to be when you got older, where you wanted to live, or that the person you liked was the one you wanted to marry when you were old enough? Don't deny it, we've all been there.  We were so determined to have things our way that we didn't care what hoops we had to jump through or what strings we had to pull - we were going to have our way with how our future turned out.  We would daydream about our future jobs and how much money we were going to make, what our "perfect" homes were going to look like, and how much of a "saint" that person we were determined to marry would turn out to be.  Now I'm not saying that all of these necessarily apply to me, but are here for mere example's sake.  Our "dream world mentality" that we had was so selfish and we never once thought of what it was that God wanted for our lives. We would pray fervently every day about how we wanted Him to give us what we wanted - well at least that's what we called it anyway.  That form of "prayer" isn't really prayer at all.  It's just our way of spiritualizing the fact that we were demanding God to give us what we wanted daily.
It was like those little kids that go with their parents to the grocery store and always begged for the same toy that they wanted and kicked and screamed and threw a fit when they didn't get it.  And you know what happened next time they went back to the store?  They would partake in the same childish, selfish, demanding actions in hopes of getting what they wanted, how they wanted it, and when they wanted it.  Now the parent, on the other hand, knows that the toy their child is demanding and begging for may not be necessarily the best thing for the child to have.  I don't think many parents or adults would be willing to give in to a three-year-old having "pop-its" or that "sling shot" that they are begging for every week especially when they know they shouldn't have it because they have been told "NO" every week.
It's the same way with everybody though.  We "pray" (if that's what you want to call it) to God demanding Him for the things we want day after day that we know probably aren't right for us.  We think that just because we want it so bad that we can "justify" to God why it is right and why we could make it work out if He would just give it to us.  But God, just like the parent to the demanding, yelling, three-year-old, knows that we do not need what we are "asking" or demanding Him for.  We would all be so much better off if we would just stop being so selfish and childish and ask God to give us what He would want us to have because what He has planned for us is so much better than anything we could have ever wanted or hoped for or even dreamed of.  There is so sense (if money or cost of the meal is no issue and you actually like steak) to go to Outback and order a kid's meal of a hamburger and french fries and a little coloring sheet with crayons if the cook was going to give you a free meal including the finest steak in the house with all the best fixings you could imagine to go with it.  I'm so glad that through my teen years at some point in time that I learned this truth.  Nothing I could have possibly asked for would have been better for me than the path that God is leading me and my husband on right now - and I actually wouldn't have my husband if both of us hadn't been willing to let God provide us to each other instead of chasing after someone we knew wasn't the right one for us.  Be willing to let God lead your life and take what He wants you to have.  Don't make God your co-pilot - make Him the pilot of your life and trust Him with everything you have and you will be so much more happier for it in the end.  I can personally guarantee it :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sinuses and Allergies?

They stink! 'Nuff said


It's the beginning of the month and I'm already so tired right now from being so busy the last few days.  I'm so glad that the reason I'm actually tired is a good one.  I'm not saying this to feel sorry for myself because I know that there are a lot more people who are way more tired than I am from the events of the past week.  I'm saying this to say I'm thankful that I'm so busy serving God and going to the church's meetings that I have the best reason in the world to be tired for :) Great way to start out the month!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Send the Rain

Ok, I don't know about you, but a lot of times when it rains it is very easy for me to become negative and get mad about my hair getting messed up or ruining my new pair of shoes or whatever other thing I can think of to make my day go wrong. And where I live in North Carolina we have gotten a bunch of rain and stormy weather recently, so you can only imagine how much I've been "down & out" about the weather and it's effects on me and my surroundings. It just about rained or was extremely windy and almost rainy every day for the last week now.  Every time I walked outside my hair would get messed up by the wind or rain and every time I would attempt to mow my yard it would start raining again.  In a week's time my grass had grown up to my knees.  Needless to say, I was pretty tired of the rain.  It's been pretty outside for the past two days though and I've been so encouraged about it and thanked God so much for the beautiful weather.
I went to a Mother-Daughter Banquet this afternoon with my mom, sister, mom-in-law, and sister-in-law and the theme was "Send the Rain" and the speaker brought a great truth to her lesson about why God sends the rain after some of the ladies from the church sang the song "Send the Rain".  In Deuteronomy 11 the Bible talks about the promise that God made about sending the ran if the people would "...hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season..." (13 &14).  God tells us that if we will listen very carefully and follow his commandments with all your heart and soul, and do work for Him then He will send you the "rain" that you you need in your life in order to reap his blessings.  He made us a promise to send the rain for our crops and grass to grow and have water to drink just like he did for the spiritual rain that we need also.  We will never have his "showers of blessings" if we are constantly having the attitude of the people who sing the song "Rain, Rain, Go Away" because if the rain never comes than God can't fulfill His promise and send us the blessings and benefits that come after the rain is finished.  Some of us may not be be singing for the rain to go away but instead we are singing "It's Raining, It's Pouring" and that's not a good attitude to have either.  When we serve God and read our Bible and pray we should be asking God to send us the rain and be thankful for it instead of focusing on how much it's raining and how gloomy the world is because of it. Just because we are reading our Bible it doesn't mean we are actually getting something from God's word and we never will if we are just wanting the "Rain" that God's sending to hurry up and "pass through". The rain gives life to so many wonderful things in the world and makes sure that we are not in a drought all the time.  We have to have a desire for God to "Send us the Rain" if we also want the things He promised us and the blessings that come with it.
I do not want to be in a drought spiritually (or physically for that matter) so I guess that from now on I won't be so upset about God sending us the rain because I realize now all the wonderful promises that are being fulfilled because of it and the wonderful things that happen because of it.  I don't want to limit God sending the rain in my life physically or spiritually and want to make sure that I serve Him with all my heart and mean it so I can reap all his wonderful blessings afterwards that He has prepared for me if I will only prepare for Him to send it :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I wish I had some "great words of wisdom" to post or something actually interesting to post about today, but I don't really believe that I have anything.  Just felt the need to post something and that's GOD'S BEEN SO GOOD :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Are You a Wife-In-Progress?

Just a short thought about being a wife-in-progress.  I know I haven't arrived and that I never will.  I am constantly trying to find ways to improve being a wife to my husband and improve on being a christian. Make sure that you also allow yourself to be open to new things and be In-Progress too and not a status of Finished and Not Changing :)

Life 'Til Now And What's To Come

You ever have the feeling that you have your life all figured out? That you know exactly how you want it to end up and how you think it might end up that way? Like where you're going to live or what you will be doing in your career.  Maybe even once you get married you know what kind of job and how much money your husband will be making and you already have plans for that alleged money to be made?  You think that once you have a plan that it becomes all smooth sailings from then on out.  That you might not end up with financial issues. That you might not end up paying more in your bills than you make in a month.   That since your parents always seemed to pay the bills "with ease" that it would be a cinch for you since you were so great in school and all. That you'll never have to worry about not being able to afford things or choosing what to "downsize" to make your budget. That your car that you bought will be require no repairs because it's the "perfect" car and since it's yours then it's obvious that nothing can go wrong.  That it would NEVER be a problem to keep your house clean and laundry done because you took such good care of your room as a child and your one load of laundry a week was so easy to take care of from start to finish.  That cooking would never end up like your moms did sometimes in ruin because you knew that you would pay such good attention to the recipe and fix it right.  That the yard wouldn't be as hard to take care of as everybody made it seem like it was.  That the perfect dog that you wanted so bad will be the best dog in the world and will almost "take care of itself" so-to-speak.  That you and your spouse would never fight like your parents did or those crazy people that sat behind you at your church that you always avoided because you knew they didn't have it all together and that you'd never wind up that way in a million years because you were "just that cool." The scariest thing to you is that you know that I'm right and I'm well aware of that too.
I know I asked a question, but it was more like a statement.  Because you and I both know that we've all had those thoughts before.........and then we "woke up from our dream".  Your job isn't going quite like you thought it would or maybe you can't even find one at all, your bills need to be paid and the money isn't in the account to be able to pay them, downsizing is a must to survive the ever-crumbling economy, gas prices are so expensive it costs you almost more to work than to stay home, your grass needs to be cut again because it's up to your knees and you only just cut it not even a week ago, you sometimes think you have the world's worst dog, your house is a mess, supper's burnt again or didn't turn out "like the picture in the recipe made it look like it would", you and your husband are at each other's throats for something that you can't even remember what you were already arguing about in the first place, and then he proceeds to inform you the he has forgotten to let you know that is out of underwear and needs to be at work in 15 minutes.
Whether you will admit it or not, it's happened to everyone in some way, shape or form.  Some may not have been that dramatic and others may be sitting there reading this saying "Man, she doesn't even know the half of it." One thing I do know for certain is that personally I can admit that it was like that for me.  When a person's in the dating part of their relationship, still living at their parents house with little to no responsibilities, and having almost everything handed to them, it's almost impossible not to have the kind of attitude that I explained in the first paragraph no matter how many times you've heard people warn you of the opposites. Because I had heard that it would happen it didn't come as such a big smack in the face as it does to some others who had never been warned about that kind of thing before. 
It did however make it a little harder to believe that God would take care of things like He always had before because there were so many things that seemed to be going wrong because they weren't "perfect" anymore.  When that kind of stuff happens I think its also hard to be willing to be as faithful in church and church activities like you used to be because you feel apart or separated from God in a sense.  Now as readers we all know that that way of thinking sounds almost silly but as I was going through all that I did in just about a little over a year's period, it becomes harder to think biblically and rationally if you aren't seeking Him and sticking to His Word.  Without going into great detail about all the measures I went to in that period of time, I can basically put it as a very slow, steep, downward, spiraling staircase into the "dump yard" of the world of sin. It looks so good from the top because you can't smell the stench of the waste yet and all you can see when you start your journey is the beginning of what seems like a pretty, spiralling staircase that leads you somewhere and because you think it looks so good you don't really care where it makes you end up.
As you start going down this seemingly pretty staircase you continue walking and though it seems almost "wrong" to be doing so, you can't tell any major differences in it and where you were before you started walking down it.  Pretty soon you've gotten a lot farther than you think you did quicker than you thought you should have because of how steep this spiralling staircase was.  As you look back you think to yourself that it's too late to turn around because you've already walked this far and you might as well keep going down the stairs to find out what's at the end of your journey. Although its starting to stink a little on the way down and the stairs aren't looking as pretty as they did when you first started out because they are pretty warn down from the people before you, you continue to proceed anyway because it just seems easier to keep going on than to turn around now.  Shortly after this, you forget that the stairs are leading you to a place that stinks like you did when you thought it was too late to turn back.  You even have forgotten by now what "normal" was before and how good you had it since you have become used to the stench and the wear and tear that the staircase that you've been walking down.
So as you continue on this journey you begin noticing about a little over halfway down things that even though you are used to your surroundings that no longer seem wrong to you, actually start seeming peculiar.  The stairs are starting to decay and there are writings on the wood on the way down warning you about what you are about to go to because they've been down that road before.  But because you are such a curious person and it seems like everyone else has tried this out before you need to keep following these winding stairs that now are apparent that they lead to a place that's not so great.  You stop for a minute to rest and realize that the stairs are not the only things that are dirty and worn down now. You are too.  Its obvious to anyone who looks at you that you've been somewhere that's rough and dirty and you realize that you need to go back up the stairs to clean up, but that little thing that is the downfall of many people, called pride, kicks in.  You think "What will they think of me if I try to go back and clean myself up now? They'll know where I went" or "Well they didn't try to come after me to stop me so I don't need them or to clean up anyway."
Let me just tell you personally that this is such a dangerous place to be in a sense of Christianity.  By this point God has tried to get your attention and convict you to turn back around to Him so many times that you begin not to get convicted anymore.  My husband and I were pretty much out of church for a while and had not been faithful like we needed to church or doing the things that we should have been for a long time now.  It had gotten to the point that preaching when we did happen to go to church wasn't really "working" for us.  Thankfully we were able (through a series of events that just didn't go our way) to go to the New Manna Youth Rally and even though God wasn't really working in the preaching in our hearts like it seemed obvious that He should, my husband begged God to work on us so we'd have this opportunity to get right despite all the fears we had through all the pride and shame that we had worked up.  And God gave that opportunity just like we asked during the invitation while Daniel Waters was singing It Better Be Real . We probably would have been running to the altar needless to say if my feet weren't so sore from my heels that I was wearing for church.  It "got on" down at the altar and we wanted to get everything that needed to be right so we could serve God with our lives like we knew in the first place that He wanted us to.
Hopefully anyone who reads this will know that they shouldn't need to go down that spiral staircase before they realize how much they need God and how important Him and His Word are in their lives before they turn to Him.  Because just like many others before us we could have very well not got the urge to want to get right with God and ruin our lives forever like many of you would if you were (or are) in this situation with no warnings or guidance. This is mainly meant to just be a testimony of how good He's been to work in our lives and show us how wrong everything was without Him in our life. That we needed Him and to be faithful to His house and what's going on there again.  We are planning on going back to Bible college in the fall at Victory Baptist College in South Carolina (almost in Georgia lol).  Hopefully, because He got a hold of us and our hearts and let us know that even when things go wrong we shouldn't turn to temporary fixes for happiness but turn to Him instead, that we can do something great for Him and for His Glory! We may not have it all figured out like we thought we did in the first paragraph of this post, but God sure does have it all figured out before the world ever began and with His help we can get to the place where we need to be going with our life! :) AND YOU CAN TOO!