Friday, July 11, 2014


Psalms 16 has been on my mind for a couple weeks. I read it and was moved by it and although I usually do not memorize scripture I memorized this chapter and have been meditating on it. If you are not in the habit of memorizing scripture I hope you will try it. Like I said I usually do not, but I found it very helpful to truly meditate and receive God's word and understand more fully. I struggle with negative thoughts like I would imagine most people do, but as I have memorized this scripture I apply 2 Corinthians 10:5 which says to take every thought captive and make it obedient to God. So in memorizing, when I start to have negative thoughts, worry, etc., I will recite Psalms 16 in my head or aloud if I can instead and it has really helped me overcome some of the critical thinking.

But what I want to share today has to do with our inheritance. Psalms 16:5-6 says "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me." As I memorized this scripture I thought of how true this was in my life. My father in law recently was honored for 40 years leading his boy scout troop. My husband and his brother have come to lead along with him for the last 8-9 years. They started going to scouts as soon as they were able stay somewhere without their mom, as now my boys and their cousins do. Many lives have been changed through this troop, as sharing the gospel and worship have always been a huge part of it. A slide show was presented that showed the last 40 years which included pictures of young "Grandpa" investing in these boys and teaching them valuable lessons, my husband and his brother as kids through the present time, and my kids - dirty faced and loving every minute! What a sweet heritage and example the patriarch of our family has given us! I am so blessed to be part of it and glad for my children.

My in laws have been giving of their time and resources for a long time. Their genuineness in service and caring for others and sharing goes beyond expectations and beyond what I ever imagined anyone would do. My mother in law is one of the most kind and faithful, supportive women I have ever met, if not the most!

In addition, my parents have always been there for me and continue to invest time and resources into my children's lives as well as mine and my husbands. They serve with loving hearts. My mom has served children and women for a long time and is a truly devoted to all of her family. My dad is a master electrician/ac and owning his business has served widows and the elderly, fixing their air conditioning on smoldering hot TX days without charge or without collecting bad debts from them when he knows they really can't pay.

We have been given an incredible heritage with family and faith at the center of it. No doubt. However God opened my eyes to something bigger this morning. I was reading Acts 7, Stephen's address to the Sanhedrin when charged with blasphemy. He answered them by indicting them with not following the Holy Spirit and persecuting the prophets, giving an account of the prophets lives leading up to Jesus. The story of the prophets really made an impression on me. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, leading to Jesus. Stephen, who was killed for his devotion after his testimony, condensed their stories into a single chapter in a summary that was captivating to me as I read about the patriarchs of the Christian faith, the strength of their faith and God's providence in their lives. It occurred to me, "this is my heritage". As a follower of Christ we are Abraham's children and our inheritance is Christ. "Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me." These verses sank deep within my spirit. Words seem inadequate to describe the beauty of our heritage in Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us and shares His inheritance with us even though we don't deserve it. We have been given the scriptures to us to show us where we came from and give us examples of faith and show us truth. I encourage you to read these verses, meditate on scripture where you are led to and let them captivate you as you realize and become grateful for your inheritance in Jesus Christ and the heritage passed down through the prophets.

Psalms 16 -
Acts 7 -

Monday, June 23, 2014

To Drink or Not to Drink...and Responding to Other Lusts of the Flesh (Modified)

I felt a need to modify to be fully disclosing and true. So the part I modified is colored blue.

Ok, let me begin by saying this is not a deposition on convincing you what is right or wrong or arguing a case for one way or the other about drinking, but rather a personal inspection of the Spirit within each of us as individuals and listening to it, especially when it is something that is not called out as a black and white sin in the Word. That said, just so you can see this is not an attack on those who drink in moderation, I do not believe drinking is forbidden in the Bible. I did a study a while back on the subject where I looked up every verse from the concordance that had to do with drinking, wine, drunkenness, etc. looking for whether it is right or wrong and I never found anything that forbid it. Drunkenness no question is spoken against several times, but even when Noah got drunk and was found in his nakedness I was surprised that it seemed God reprimanded his family's treatment of him more in scripture than Noah's act of getting drunk.

However, I am using drinking as an example because it has always been an area of contention for me. Please think on this substituting anything that may be a struggle for you. A quick background. I did the party thing in high school and college. I drank to get drunk and enjoyed it. Long story short, God took hold of my heart and truly changed me, I was humbled and ashamed of my behavior and totally enamored with God and grateful for the change He made in my life. I spent about a year completely abstaining from alcohol and I truly believe this was necessary for me in order to change.

I did start having a drink here and there but only in "safe" situations - only with family present or my husband, occasionally with a close girl friend. I have spent the past four or five years living that way and being very careful with drinking. The past year however there have been a few times when I felt guilty. And I'm not talking about guilt because I was completely hammered, just a nagging feeling that maybe it wasn't right for me. I dismissed it, even thinking on that scripture that says to put away the old self. I used to think that applied and meant to completely abstain, but then started to view it as how differently I approached alcohol. I truly wasn't my old self. I despised the thought of getting drunk. That's certainly a change from my old self. So I continued, even recently. But not with peace.

I look around and I see people enjoying having drinks in moderation and even now I truly do not think this is a sin. Yet the thought is on my mind a lot, and lately I've realized it is stealing my peace. I know a few things are true about me that makes me that makes moderation hard. I am highly habitual, with anything. For example, if I start eating a turkey sandwich for a few days at lunch, I will go months eating a turkey sandwich every day for lunch and enjoy it! I also struggle with indulgence. If I really like something, I want a lot of it! So I know these areas that I am prone to and know because of them that alcohol is potentially dangerous to me. And to be completely honest, while truly in these last few years I have maintained a level of control, I have had a couple times when I did have too much and felt terrible about it and also times when I felt I had made it too regular of a habit, even in moderation. So I know the nagging in my spirit was a warning that I should have given heed to.  

1 Peter 2:11-beginning of 12 - Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep you behavior excellent...

My purpose in this post is not really to visit specific sins or opinions about what is right and wrong, but to think  on the personal issues in life that steal our peace, even if it something that is not explicitly forbidden in scripture. If there is something in your life that steals your peace get rid of it! Wage war against it! My bible commentary on this verse says - "War - to carry on a military campaign. Fleshly lusts are personified as if they were an army of rebels or guerrillas who incessantly search out and try to destroy the Christian's joy, peace, and usefulness."

I agree with the commentary and add that fleshly lusts are not only personified in the verse but also very personal. What steals my peace may not be a problem for you at all. What you struggle with I may never even think twice about. We all need to look at what hinders us personally. If something is stealing our peace its not right for us. These things are war against our spirit and do destroy our peace and joy. When we should be free but instead are bound by questions and guilt, something needs to addressed. And I agree with the thought that these things steal our usefulness too. If we have something in our life that brings guilt, how much more likely we are to feel we are not fit for service. We need to know we are redeemed and fully equipped by God to run full speed in service to Him, but when we are pulled down by guilt or questions about our behavior, we will be more likely to hesitate or separate ourselves from His kingdom work.

And the scripture says abstain from these things, not toy with them.

Let's live life free. Regardless of what anyone says, if it doesn't line up with what God wants in our life, if it causes guilt and questions, I encourage us to at least try abstaining and see if it doesn't bring a freedom and and increase joy and peace in our lives. God is a very personal God. He has plans for you and I individually in His grand scheme. Let us keep our hearts free so He can fill them.

1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, those who also suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Who better to entrust our souls to than our very Creator? Is He asking you to do something right today? Trust Him, even if it is hard or makes you a have a little different viewpoint than most He will honor your obedience and bring a freedom and joy that is truly worth it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Not Insignificant

I was reading in 1 Samuel 17 about David and Goliath and was so impressed by David's refusal to let what others think discourage him. In verses 28-30 David's has a typical brotherly conversation where he was asking about Goliath, seeming interested in taking him on and wondering why no Israelite had taken the challenge yet. His brother basically told him to go on, that he was just there to see the battle and dismissed his questions. David responds like the little brother would and goes on to ask the crowd what he had done wrong and their perspective about his questioning. They agreed with his brother....David was insignificant against the giant and was just talking foolishly, perhaps even arrogantly. Their doubt did not deter him though, and David goes on to slay the giant and later to become one of the greatest kings of Israel.

How many times if faced with discouragement and doubt do we in turn doubt ourselves as well? Or, if we don't doubt our own ability we get frustrated with others lack of belief or support and walk away, leaving them to fend for themselves when we had the ability to overcome the situation. David relied on God, which is something we cannot overlook, he didn't run out there alone but he kept his faith and did what God asked unaffected by what the others thought of him or the size of the giant. When we face our own "Goliaths" we need to remember to keep our heads up and keep pushing forward if we know God is with us, no matter what kind of doubt from others or feeling of insignificance we might face.

 28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger burned against David and he said, "Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle." 29 But David said, "What have I done now? Was it not just a question ?" 30 Then he turned away from him to another and said the same thing; and the people answered the same thing as before .

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Don't Give Up

I was reading in 2 Samuel 6 this morning when David decided to bring back the ark of God. The first time he went to get it he did not follow the guidelines the Lord had set about how to handle the ark. Although he retrieved it and the people with him (30,000 men) celebrated greatly before the Lord, the Lord was angered that he did not do as the Lord said. When one in his company, Uzzah, reached out to steady it on their way back, the Lord's anger burned against him for his irreverence and he struck him down right there.

The Lord's judgement angered David initially. Then he was fearful and he left the ark behind with a Gittite named Obed-edom. It stayed there three months until David heard how blessed the household of Obed-edom had been. So he went back to get it, this time in full reverence and obedience to God's way. He was successful this time, and he celebrated greatly before the Lord.

I realized this morning how much my attitude mimics this sometimes. Especially when I am hurt or offended. I can be quick in my anger or fear to decide I will have nothing to do with the person or the situation going forward. I can over-react pretty easily and decide to shut out certain things or people who may actually be a great blessing to me if I would approach them or it correctly.

Just to clarify what I'm trying to say here are some examples:

- Disengaging from the church or an organization that shares our beliefs because of a disagreement or idea/thought that doesn't align with our opinion instead of finding a way to stay involved or working with the people who differ to come to a compromise.

- Giving up completely on a friendship because of a hurt or annoyance instead of giving grace or confronting if necessary.

- Quitting a job because of a difficulty instead of working through it.

- Giving up on a dream or goal because of a failure instead of hanging in and improving or finding a different approach.

- Giving up on growing in Christ because our plan didn't work the way we thought or because the sin we are trying to overcome crept back in.

David initially gave up on what he knew would be a tremendous blessing. Once he heard of what a blessing it was actually being though, he went back for it with complete dedication and resolve. Let us realize this and live this out in our lives. Don't give up on something just because the first attempt failed. Follow God's word completely, not half halfheartedly, and go after the goal 100%! We can chase after the right thing in the wrong way, so let's be open to look at where we may need to change or adjust our attitude or approach in order to be successful.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sin Justification

I was reading in Luke 4 when Satan tempted Jesus this morning when something really stood out to me. See verses 5-7 below.

Luke 4:5-7

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of [a]the world in a moment of time.And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and [b]its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You [c]worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”

It occurred to me when I read this how easily our human nature could justify this deal with devil. How we might think, "if I did take over these kingdoms, look how much good I could do, look how great an influence I will have and how I will be able to reach people for God." Jesus of course made no deal with the devil, He knew better. He was sure in His calling and true to follow God's will.

We should learn from this. Even though the deal looks good and looks like we will be able to serve God through it, if it sin, if it making a deal with the devil, no matter how great the good we need to walk away from it. If we have to take matters in our own hands and go outside what God has asked of us, its not the right thing, no matter how easily it is justified.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Our Sunday School lesson this Sunday was over Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6. A crowd had followed Jesus to the Sea of Galilee and Jesus was asking his disciples how they were to feed all of them. A young boy had five loaves of bread and two fish and Jesus had everyone sit on the ground. He gave thanks and distributed the food to the group and when they were finished the disciples picked up twelve baskets of pieces left over.

After this the people are amazed and Jesus perceives they want to make Him king. His disciples had already left in a boat to go to the other side of the sea and Jesus walked on water to join them. At first they were afraid, but he told them to not be scared, so they took him into the boat and immediately they were at the place where they were going.

Three miracles in one afternoon. The crowd was obviously amazed and went to find Him at the other side of the sea. When the crowd found Him and asked Him when He had gotten there he responded v26, " seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

The people followed Jesus for what He could do for them physically. They were seeking to fill their stomachs but He was yearning to give them so much more. It made me think about how many times we seek God for our provision - be it food or finance or health or some other basic or physical need. And we should. But how much grander things God has for us if we will seek Him and believe Jesus Christ for everything He is. I want to live in such a state that I am relying on God for everything, not only earthly needs - for courage in approaching someone or something He may be calling me to, faith to not try to plan all the details, confidence, love when I don't feel like I have it for someone or something that might be difficult to love, wisdom and insight to follow His will fully, strength to move forward even if it seems impossible, belief - I want to believe everything about God, what He has said and promised, everything about who Jesus is and was has done and is going to do. 

I admit, I struggle with having faith for finances and other earthly provision. But, I want to get to the point where these are the last of my worries. These are basic needs and God promises in several places to take care of these, such as in Matt 6:25-34 where God tells us not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear.

God has so much more for us than these basic things and He promises to take care of them for us so let's move on to greater things. Let's set our minds on things above (col 3:2) and not be so focused on earthly things. John 6:33 - For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world. v35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst"

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

High Places

I can be consumed with worry and anxiety sometimes. Everything can be going fine, and suddenly a wave of insecurity will hit or I will not be able to see how something is going to work out and I start to panic. Being a planner, I like to have things under control and I like to know what is happening next. Which is exactly what I've been struggling with today. I get a thought in my head sometimes and its all I can think about. I fret and worry and try to figure out how its all going to pan out. And the subject of the worry can be real, it can be something true, or it can be something that may or may not ever happen.

What I have been worried over today is something that comes up periodically and I have the same reaction every time. What if.... And my mind goes into the worst case scenarios complete with imaginary conversations about what I will say if it does happen and the first steps I will take to move forward from it. I do pray, but my mind is working so fast I can't hear what God has to say and I certainly am unable to stop the flow of thoughts long enough to pay attention. WHY!? Why do I do that to myself over something that hasn't even happened?

So I came home today and prayed to the Lord to help me, to bring me some peace and to let me see how to handle the situation and I listened for where God wanted me to read and came to Habakkuk. I read the whole book, kind of wondering when God was going to speak because honestly it seemed a little inapplicable. I read through the last chapter, got up to see if the bus was coming, and the light came on. The last verses of the last chapter of the book were the exact words I needed to hear. A little background, Habakkuk had just heard of the mass destruction that was to come on the Israelite people. He was frightened, but he had resolve. See below:

16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

What Habakkuk was hearing was awful, more awful than any situation I have been in myself. Yet Habakkuk proclaims that he will find his strength in the Lord and he will still have joy. That is a promise I want to claim for myself, that I can walk in strength and joy even in rough times. But even that is not the biggest point that struck me. Notice the underlined section..."he will make me to walk upon mine high places"....I immediately thought of the high places as in the books of Kings, where God instructed kings in particular to take down the high places, which in that day were places of pagan worship. And the thought occurred to me that I was putting the worry, anxiety and fear, this thought as my high place. My mind was set on worry and I set the thoughts in my mind above the place where God could reach them. Not that He couldn't, I had just elevated them to a point where I couldn't focus on Him, I couldn't focus on truth. So when I read that verse it said to me that God not only could reach my anxiety, He would strengthen me so that I may not only overcome it, I will walk all over the top of it. Stomp it down. Tear it down just as the righteous kings in ancient Israel did to the high places of worship. I hope that speaks to you as much as it did to me. There is victory, peace, strength and joy even in our worst moments. I pasted one of the examples of high places from 2 Kings below just so you could see. (I also looked in Strongs and though there are several meanings for high places, the one in 2 Kings is the same as the one in Habakkuk). What are the high places in your life that you need to walk on, trample, and tear down? 

18 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Who's Speaking to Us

One of the most important things we can do is choose our friends wisely. I want to fill my life with people who are encouraging and who push me to follow God's will in my life. I am grateful for the people who have spoken encouragement and God's Word to me and have been an example for me. The best way that I can think of to repay them is to reciprocate and to find other people to invest in and encourage. Who are we listening to and what are we speaking into others' lives?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Short & Sweet

Had a thought this morning during my prayer time I thought I'd share:

Peace will not come until Christ is first. Ask Him concerning every step. Insecurity comes from walking on your own.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Women Relationships - 2

I saw this posted on facebook by a friend and thought it went well with the previous post.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Women Friendships

I read a devotional by Lisa Bevere about women in which the main idea was to question why we as a gender seem to rise against each other so much of the time. It has made me really look at my past and evaluate my attitude toward women and the experiences I have had. You can see her devotional at:

This thought started long before today. I think God began impressing on me the importance of having faithful women in my life several years ago when I first truly sought to make Jesus my life. I regrettably admit that I was one of those who was proud to have more guy friends than girl friends and for a long time toted the mantra that I just didn't get along with women. In reality this was just a cover up for the ineptitude I felt toward my inability to make solid relationships with women. Before I get into that though, I want to say I have had a handful of really close women friends and I want to make sure in writing this if they were to read it they know I am grateful for them and certainly do love them- from high school, college, early marriage, to now. But it does seem I have always struggled in this area of women friendships and I want to look at that struggle.

I think it began early in life when I first tasted rejection. I was way too skinny, I had huge coke bottle glasses and curly frizzy hair and I can recall the first day of kindergarten going in excitedly and then just being crushed! Kids made fun of me and I struggled even at this young age to make friends and I can remember feeling that first sting of rejection which I have held on to for way too long.

Life moved on and I went through several stages. Looking back I usually had at least one really good girl friend through each stage so I am thankful God provided me with these friends, but it seems there was usually a time of separation. I would have one really close friend for several years and then a falling out or drifting away, then another close friend for several years, then a falling out or drifting away, etc. And each time there was a falling out it truly hurt my heart and I really didn't know what to do with it or how to fix it. That's when I decided I would rather not be involved with girl friends. I was so lost in this area and highly insecure. I realized it must be something with me because everyone else seemed to have plenty of friends but I couldn't figure out what it was, so to shield my heart I decided to not try with women friends.

Then faith happened. I walked past the mirror one day and literally did not recognize myself. I was not who I had planned to be and I was far from the person I wanted to be and the person God called me to be. God put an urgency in my heart right then to change and I have been changing ever since.

So fast forward to now, my thoughts are much different than they used to be on many things, but certainly toward women. I have a few really close girl friends that I am so thankful for and I am open to friendships with women. Unlike before I guard my heart differently. Yes, I guard my heart but I'm striving not to be so guarded myself. To explain - Before I was guarded in that I was closed off and closed minded about who my friends would be and the minute a hurt set in I was out, I would run from the friendship. Now, over several years, I've started to realize that true friends will hurt you sometimes but that doesn't mean the friendship is over and it doesn't mean you have to hold on to the feelings of rejection. This may seem like a simple concept but it is one I am just embracing. In addition, I've realized that its ok to go through rough patches or even just periods of drifting from friends, this also does not mean the end of the friendship. I've learned to patiently wait for the relationship to circle back around, to pray over it, and sometimes to set it free. In setting it free we are still there for our friend but we give them the freedom to move on without resentment. This is hard and is something I am really trying to work on. And I have realized that sometimes if we are patient and if we are willing to let go, it is just a cycle as people and their circumstances change and sometimes that relationship returns even stronger.

I guard my heart by remembering to give grace, teaching my heart to not take offense so easily and to not take everything so personally. I realize that true friendship requires forgiveness and grace from both sides, and prayer! I realize I have hurt others too and as I would hope they would be kind to forgive me, so I also want to be kind to forgive them and not hold something against them but give them the benefit of the doubt and give them grace. I've learned to look for friendship in different places and not set such unrealistic expectations, especially in this stage of life when we are all so busy. I've learned to take my hurts to God and ask Him for healing and restoration for myself and the friendship.

Another issue that I am starting to overcome (with God's help) is being who I am and secure in who God has made me to be. I will admit I still struggle with worrying about what others think, but I have committed to becoming someone who will be who I am and not try to fit the mold of someone else's expectations. I have found that it confuses the other person when we try to be who they want us to be instead of ourself. It may seem we are serving them by trying to do what they expect or want, but in reality we are hurting the relationship by not being truthful about who we are. Being true to who we are brings so much freedom and so much peace. And we should give our friends this freedom as well. They shouldn't have to be under our expectations or do things the way we think they should for us to support and encourage them. And God has given us all so much that we can bring by being ourself.

There are women all around us who are faith filled and praying women. We are all in this together and can be a collective strong voice for Christ and strong shoulder for each other. And we shouldn't discredit someone just because of their past or because we haven't talked to them about faith, or because we aren't sure they have faith. We never know what someones faith may truly be and we all change. There are precious women of faith all around us, we don't have to run this race alone, and it will benefit us all to support and encourage each other and be open to friendships with the women God has put in our paths.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Procrastinate Please!

The kids and I have had a busy week. My husband has been out of the country so I've been keeping up with everything on my own. We've had homework and tutoring and family visits from both sides, birthday parties and other obligations. Needless to say we've been busy.

I'm a list maker, a planner, a scheduler. Not that I've always got it all under control, far from. Many times I look at my to do lists and panic because there are so many things I'd like to get done and not enough time. It seems like I strive and strive in an effort to get to it all and many times fall short...or get it done at the expense of my sanity!

Yesterday was no exception. I got off work at 3 with my list of errands to run and the time I thought it would take on each one. Yes I did - I gave myself time frames so I could make sure I was staying on track because we had a lot of errands to do and limited time. My plan was to pick the boys up from school at 3:40, go get eggs from my friend's chicken coop (she is out of town), stop by the house and grab my son's shoes that needed to be returned, go to the greenhouse and get plants that I wanted to get planted before my husband gets home tomorrow, go to the sporting goods store to exchange the shoes and get my husband a birthday gift, grab dinner somewhere and then hit the grocery store. If all went as planned we would be home by 8-8:30.

But when I was on my way to get the boys I thought, "This is ridiculous! Yes, I'd love to get all of those things done but we're tired. We've had a long week with activities and homework and visitors and late or sleepless nights at times so let's just chill out and have some peace." I would have loved to get groceries so I wouldn't have errands to run in town later this weekend, but really they can wait. I decided to just do the things that would give us some fun things to do Saturday and cut the groceries. So we went and got chicken eggs, perused the shelves of the plant nursery and picked out flowers and a couple pepper and tomato plants, and then we went to the sporting goods store and returned my sons shoes and had a good time picking out a gift for my husband. Then we grabbed some burgers to go and headed home. We were here by 6:30 and we watch the 80s version of "The Paret Trap" and ate our burgers and relaxed, my little one in lap for the end of the movie.

The movie lasted until 10 and then the kids were off to bed. The evening was so much more peaceful and relaxed. We laughed and talked and watched the movie together. We still got several things done but did not push it to the point of stress and tiredness as would have happened if I would have dragged them through the grocery store at 7. 

Then, when the kids went to bed I still had a couple things I wanted to get done before my husband got home. I contemplated cleaning the house - mopping, dusting, etc. I also thought about making his favorite chocolate chip cookies to welcome him home. But again, I thought about how much more relaxed I was when I didn't frantically push us to mark everything off our list, so I decided to make the cookies and I'd mop in the morning. I wouldn't be able to get the flower beds done before he got home, but I would have all afternoon Saturday and Sunday. I got the cookies made, read my book for a while and then went to bed. So nice!!

Now I'm up this morning and it's cold and windy outside. I wouldn't be working in the flower beds this morning even if I had gotten the house done last night! So the kids and I slept late and are having a relaxed morning. I will vacuum and mop now and then we will probably run to the grocery store before we pick my husband up at the airport around lunchtime. 

The difference in our usual errand running days and this one has been amazing! We all had a good time, I was so much more patient with the kids, we got to browse and enjoy shopping instead of being focused on hurrying up and just getting in and out. I actually enjoyed it and so did they!

I hope I can continue to see that things will still get done and I can enjoy life, even the errands, and make it more fun and relaxed for me and my kids if I will quit trying to do things in such unreasonable time frames. We're busy and I bet you are too. I thought this might resonate with someone today. Life is too meaningful to live in a panic, constantly overloading our to do lists, ourselves, and our loved ones. I know sometimes chaos is inevitable and there may be things we simply cannot put off, and I am in no way promoting laziness! But, I do know that in this stage of my life I am more times than not in a rush to get more things done than will reasonably fit in the time I have. Some restructuring is definitely in order! I'd like to point out that the only thing I won't get done before my hubby gets back that I had planned to is the flower beds, and I couldn't work on them this morning anyway due to the weather, so had I pushed to get it all done my striving would have been for nothing! I'm so glad for the time I had with my kids yesterday and the peace I felt. I pray I continue on this path of less striving and more living!! It was fun and so worth it! 

Ecc 2:22-26 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity. 24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting,only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Psalm 46:10

American Standard Version (ASV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God...

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Lately I've been thinking a lot about coming into obedience to God and finding areas where I can serve Him and I read a piece of scripture today that really made me realize relationship and communication with God are key to everything else and is what He desires most. Seems so clear and makes so much sense - How can I be in obedience to God when I am not consistently asking Him what I am supposed to do?

David was beloved of God, a man "after His own heart" and David was in constant communication with Him. David talked so easily to God, and not only in generalities but specifically. In the scripture below he first asked if he should go to Judah. God answers yes. Notice that wasn't the end of the conversation, David then asked for specifics, "Where should I go?" And God told him Hebron. So he went.

David inquired of the Lord. Then he listened to him and obeyed. So simple, yet I seem to get it backwards and try to obey without first listening to what I'm supposed to do!

2 Samuel 2:1-2

New International Version (NIV)

David Anointed King Over Judah

In the course of time, David inquired of the Lord. “Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?” he asked.
The Lord said, “Go up.”
David asked, “Where shall I go?”
“To Hebron,” the Lord answered.
So David went up there......

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Keep Your Excitement

The past couple weeks I have felt a tug on my heart that I need to seek out where I am in rebellion and come in line with God's will and I am very excited about it. You know what I mean - that excitement you feel when you know God is making Himself known and the anticipation that He is about to move in your life. I can sense His stirring and directing and it is exciting, even if it means taking a hard look at my life and recognizing weaknesses and failings because ultimately that equates to opportunity and growth and new adventures.

This was what the sermon was on today - our calling and obedience, so I was waiting eagerly for the preacher to start when a memory came to me. It was during my high school basketball days. I remembered one game in particular when we were playing in our small hometown gym. The score was close, it was nearing the end of the game, I remember the crowd being loud and adrenaline high. The boys team was suited up and ready to go and they were all standing in front of their locker room right next to where I was getting into position. The buzzer was about to sound, it was the final seconds and the ball was passed to me. I remember hearing one of them yell "Shoot!", and I did, right as the buzzer rang. 3 points - swish! Game over, we won and I scored the final points! I was excited. I jumped in the air, thew my fist up and yelled. I began to run toward one of my friends to celebrate, only to see her look at me with wide eyes and say "OK" (the way you say it when you are making fun of someone who has done something weird). Obviously she was embarrassed at my open show of excitement. I shrunk about 4 feet I think. I will never forget that feeling of exhilaration diminished to shame in a matter of seconds.

See, this may not sound like anything big, but we were teenage high school girls from a small town, within an even small clique. We were supposed to maintain a level of coolness, not let it all go out in front of everyone. What was I thinking!? So the big game moment should have been something I shrugged off and walked away from, with a little swag of course, but not with an outburst! I should have known better! And please note I'm not picking on anyone here because I will admit I did this to others too, expected a certain behavior or attitude to be cool or part of the group or whatever you want to call it. 

So, back to the present, I had the memory and immediately felt God speak to my spirit and say, "Don't let anyone quell your excitement." And it occurred to me, these times are not any different. People all around us have certain ideas of what we should do or not do, say or not say, how we should act, how we should spend our time and money, and the list goes on and on. Most of us want the people around us to join in our excitement for God but it's ultimately their choice and if they look down on us or shame us for it somehow, we cannot let it curb our enthusiasm. Obviously, certain situations and conversations require discretion and we should always think of how our words and actions affect others, but if we follow God there will be people who decide not to participate with us or accept us. They might think our excitement and the things we do are unintelligent, over the top, unqualified, uninspired or even wrong. But if we are truly following God and His Word, we can't let that stop us from fulfilling our purpose and living the exciting life God has for us. We simply can't let what someone else may think steal our joy and excitement. 

I looked up the word "quell" because I thought it was interesting that God would use that. Sometimes I know its God speaking because its a word I'd never think of in my usual thinking! It means to quiet, to pacify, or reduce to submission. I certainly can see through that memory and can think of other circumstances in my life when I have felt like I have been reduced to submission, quieted or simply pacified at times, haven't you? It's an awful and oppressive feeling. So my prayer today is that I will follow God without reserve. It seems odd to pray for stubbornness but I prayed for a stubborn strong will and resolve to follow Him. And not to worry about what others think as long as I am obeying the Lord and truly following the path He has for me. I prayed for a "face set like flint". I have a long way to go, but I know with God's help I'm on my way there! I pray you are too! Let it all out, without holding back, unashamed! Follow God with grit, determination, and excitement expressed without reservation! That's freedom, and its ours if we will take it!

Isaiah 50:7
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Get Your Feet Wet, Part 2

Yesterday, my husband  read the Get Your Feet Wet post and said he felt the post lead him to more confusion. He feels we (he and I and our family) have been waiting on the Lord for a while and haven't had a revelation of direction. And I agree, we have, we have discussed where we should be and where we should serve without getting a sense of direction for a long time. And to him, for me to say those verses could mean either move ahead and get started or wait for the Lord leads to further confusion. And I can see that. However, I think it is the perspective of "wait" that presents the confusion.

I really believe these thoughts are from the Lord. Yesterday, I prayed that God would lead my reading outside of my normal study, and Joshua 3:8-10 is where I ended up (see yesterday's post). Today, I prayed for guidance as well, and Luke 24 and Acts 1 and 2 validated to me the notes from yesterday.

After Christ was crucified and resurrected but before the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples, Christ instructed them to wait. In the "Great Commission" (see Luke 24:44-53) when the resurrected Christ appeared to the disciples, he said in verse 49 "And behold, I am upon you; but you are to stay in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high." That underlined word "stay" in the KJV is "tarry", which according to Strongs (get ready this is interesting!) is an active form of the Greek word kathezomai, which means "sit down". The root word in kathezomai is kata, which denotes intensity. That could seem confusing as well - to actively and intensely sit down, but I think there is definitely meaning in that. The disciples were instructed to wait, but this was not an instruction to do nothing! In fact, it was a time of great intensity and activity as they worshiped and prayed and prepared for what the Lord was about to do, and we know this was a time when amazing and terrifying things began to happen for these Christians.

So, lets look at what the disciples did with that instruction to wait. In verses 52 and 53, this is right after Christ instructed them to wait and then ascended, it says about the disciples "And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God." Skipping to Acts 1, verse 12 starts at the place with them returning to Jerusalem, where they were instructed to wait. And they did, but not passively. According to verse 14, they were of "one mind, continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." So they prayed as a family and as a group of people all focused on Christ, I imagine very intensely. As the chapter moves on, they chose leadership, they discuss Old Testament prophecy and how it is fulfilled and they commission an additional member of their core group. This wasn't a time to do nothing! This was a time of getting ready.

Then, in Acts 2, they were again together for Pentecost. The Passover was 50 days ago according to my commentary, so they have been waiting on the Lord for a while, but still devoted and focused on prayer and still connected. Starting verse 1 they are all together in one place and (verse 2-4) "Suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting....And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit..."

They didn't know when the Holy Spirit was coming or what it would direct them to do, but they devoted themselves to study and pray and worship until it was revealed, and the result was it was revealed mightily to them! This was the beginning of extraordinary purpose and duty for these people. From here, Peter, the denier, becomes the great preacher. They are given gifts to speak and to perform miracles. Others join their service, including Stephen, who was stoned to death and Saul, the killer of Christians who later becomes Paul who becomes a great missionary/preacher/church leader and who even writes numerous books of our bible. They continue to proclaim the gospel to all people, not just the Jews, and even though they are arrested, beaten and most of them martyred for the things they proclaim, they continue and ultimately set the path for Christianity.

So, I agree with my husband that it does seem confusing to say scripture said to either get started or wait, but in my opinion, to wait is to get started! It is to begin devoting ourselves to prayer, worship, and study and to start actively seeking Gods will for us, not passively waiting for something to just happen or appear when we are not looking for it.

Another interesting note is after Christ appears to the disciples and tells them to wait in Jerusalem and ascends, Acts 1:10-11 says "And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?...." I think our problem is we have been waiting passively. Like the disciples, we have been just standing here "looking up into the sky". It's time quit standing here just gazing and begin to wait actively in intense prayer and worship and seeking of God - kathezomai!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Get Your Feet Wet

Joshua 3:8 - You shall, moreover, command the priests who are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying, 'When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.'

Are you facing a challenge? Looking for somewhere to serve? Have a problem you need to overcome? Seen an injustice that needs to be fixed?

Regardless of how insurmountable the things we face appear, God is able to overcome and ready to help us.

I found so much to glean from this verse:

Sometimes we have to get our feet wet before we will see what God will do. He may be calling us to something and we can't see the full picture, how it will play out or the exact direction we need to go; Or we may see a problem or injustice we need to fight against/overcome but it seems like it is too big and we don't know how we would ever really make a difference. It's times like these when God may be asking us to simply wade in. He sometimes requires a small step of faith, which may be to simply get started or to take a few steps into whatever our "Jordan River" may be and He's there waiting to show us the unimaginable things He will accomplish through us if we are obedient to take that step.

Sometimes we need to be still and watch for God. At times we might prefer to jump right in and solve a problem immediately but God may have different plans. He may be asking us to wait on Him to show us what He can really do. We can't overcome by our own strength. We shouldn't let our hopes and expectations be damaged because things aren't moving as quickly as we would like. We should take the steps necessary for obedience and watch and wait for God to work and to direct our next steps. Notice the command to the priests was to step in and stand still, it was not to run in and the forge their way across. He didn't require them to fight the strong waters of the Jordan or to carry all their baggage across and risk drowning. He asked them to step in first and then He would make a way for them. He would stop the waters and make the river bed dry so they could walk across. I'm sure if they contemplated methods of crossing before the revelation that He would do this, walking across the Jordan on dry land wasn't really an option they considered. God makes plans that we can't know or understand, sometimes we have to be patient and wait for them to be revealed without forcing our own solutions.

Another point to note is that the Jordan River was not the Israelites greatest obstacle. Once they crossed and came to the Promised Land, there would be established peoples they would have to conquer -the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. That's quite a list! God used the miracle of drying the Jordan River bed not only to get them closer to their destination, but also to show them He was there and He would assuredly make a way for them to overcome these people.

Verse 10, in reference to making the Jordan River bed dry - Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will assuredly dispossess from before you the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Hivite, the Perizzite, the Girgashite, the Amorite, and the Jebusite.

God used the crossing of the Jordan to increase the faith of the Israelites so they would have confidence in His leadership and provision as they made their way through the Promised Land. What will we do with what God asks us to do? Will we respond in complete obedience or will we go our own way? I pray we learn to be obedient in every situation, whether it requires stepping in and moving forward or standing still and waiting on God. May our faith be increased by simple acts of obedience and the resulting miracles and breakthroughs provided by our all knowing and unimaginably creative and powerful God!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lessons Learned - Chicken Money

My boys are determined to raise money to buy chickens. My husband built a coop for them and we have some friends that have chickens who have offered us eggs and their incubator. So, we saw this as an excellent opportunity to teach the boys about free enterprise! They are doing chores to raise money to buy the eggs and use the incubator to hatch them, and then will raise the chickens and sell the eggs. It will be their responsibility to take care of them, buy feed, etc., and they will be able to sell their eggs (it helps that Mimi and Granpa run a year round retreat center always in need of eggs!).

I learned a lot from one of my boys yesterday. Yesterday we made a list of chores and the amount of money each chore was worth. The oldest boy was gung ho about it! He wanted to raise all they money he needed to buy the chicken eggs yesterday, all of it! So he ran around, paranoid his younger brother would get to do a chore that would leave him out of chores and therefore short of money. Regardless of how many times I told him we could come up with more chores if they did all of those, he was in tears at times scared he wouldn't make enough. He was so concerned he tried to withhold chores from the younger one (who was uninterested anyways! That's another issue in itself! haha). He held so tightly to what he thought he needed to do to make money and didn't want to share, even though he said if he raised the money he would buy all the chickens for he and his younger brother. In his resolve to make sure he took care of it, he was panicked that he wouldn't make enough money or have the opportunity to make enough money to get the eggs.

I was thinking about this and how it relates to me and my relationship with God. If you knew me, you would probably know that I am pretty tight with money and get pretty panicky myself over it. My son was representing how God must see me sometimes. See, he has parents who want him to get chickens, who have plenty resources to get him the chickens, who would love to watch him be happy over them, who think they are good for him, and support him in that. Why he can't see hints of that when we built the coop for him anyways, I don't know! The chores were just a learning exercise. Not to mention, our friends would give them the eggs and let them use the incubator for free! We just want them to have fun learning how to manage money and have a fun way to gain some responsibility...because as parents we see the big picture and know this can be for their good!

How silly I must look to God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, when I worry He may not supply me with enough resources. He works for my good, He loves me, He has everything I could ever need. If I will trust Him and realize His vast resources, how much more peaceful and enjoyable life would be!

I was so blown away watching my son be paranoid for no reason, I couldn't understand why he wouldn't listen to me when I was telling him I had what he needed and he would get what he needed. Sounds so familiar!!

Philippians 4:19

King James Version (KJV)
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Call To Repentance

Quick note - I am still working on getting the genealogy finished, my notes were not as good as I might have hoped so its taking longer to type than planned, but I am still working on it.

Today though I felt led to Jeremiah 3. I was reading a book (Named by God by Kasey Van Norman) on our vacation this week and it made a statement that stuck with me. She was talking about maturing in Christ and she said, "This can't just be a side hobby or something we do when we have extra time, it must become our daily reason for living." So when I prayed this morning about where I should read and came to Jeremiah 3 I thought it really validated that statement.

Jeremiah 3:1 - God says, "If a husband divorces his wife and she goes from him and belongs to another man, will he still return to her? Will not that land be completely polluted? But you are a harlot with many lovers; Yet you turn to Me," declared the Lord.

That verse really spoke to me about splitting our loyalty between God and other things in our life. When we choose to go our own way and give into our selfish desires rather than following the Lord, we pollute ourselves. We are disloyal to God anytime we put anything above Him.

But there is a beautiful section of scripture following where God calls us to repentance. In Jeremiah 3:11-23, God proclaims that He is a gracious God and if we return to Him, acknowledge our sin and disloyalty, He will no longer be angry. He will accept us, and not only accept us but bless us. He is talking to Israel in these old testament scriptures, but God does not change and whatever was written before, is also written for us:

Romans 15:4

Amplified Bible (AMP)
For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.
The blessings listed in Jeremiah for those who return to God are impressive and include the following:
- God will give us teachers who are after His own heart to feed us knowledge & understanding.
- His presence
- Strength o overcome the stubbornness and evil in our own hearts
- Unity with our brothers & sisters in Christ
- Fellowship
- Beautiful inheritance & land
- Relationship with God as Father
- Strong ties with God so we will not turn away
- Healing for our faithlessness
- Salvation
So my prayer today is that we will rise up in humility and admit our disloyalties, bring them before the Father and start living in His blessing. God is a gracious and forgiving God, bring anything to Him and lay it at His feet and begin to live loyal to Him and be blessed beyond measure! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Your Calling

Just wanted to encourage anyone who may be looking for their purpose and what God's plan may be in your life. My husband and I have been seeking for that for a while and feeling like we weren't really getting it. Don't get me wrong, we do have some definite areas where we feel God has called us to serve, but we see friends and family that have such obvious calling in their lives and really have embraced their areas of service as part of their daily life, it's just what they live, and we want to find ours. We feel like there must be something more that we are called to do.

So we have been praying that for quite a while. Last week, I wasn't thinking in the context of our calling, but I came home from work several days with the thought that I needed to flip my loyalty or at least re-direct my efforts. I work so hard to improve my skill set and relationships at work and get home feeling spent. I felt like my family was getting a lower percentage of my best effort than my work was. Not that I think I need to not try hard at work, I just need to realize my priorities at home are worth much more and deserve my best as well. I wasn't thinking of this as God's calling on my life, but just kind of background awareness of where my efforts lie and where they should be improved on.

Then we went to the ranch this weekend with my husband's parents and I was praying as I was going to sleep that God would make apparent what He was wanting us to do in this time. I felt like surely He had something and had probably shown us, but I just wasn't getting it. I prayed He would just make it obvious because I hadn't picked up on the un-obvious apparently for quite a while now! I had a dream that night and all I remember was me serving food to my family. I woke up feeling I had gained some insight that my calling was right where I am, a Mom and a Wife. And this is a great and significant calling that deserves my attention and focus.

Then I was talking to my husband's mom the next day - she was talking about their calling (which is one of those that is so remarkable and visible) and I mentioned that we had been praying about our calling for a while and hadn't quite figured it out. She responded, "You have a most important calling right now - raising your family." I knew God was searing that into my mind.

I am so sure and at peace with the fact that in this stage of life, my calling is right before me. How I didn't see it before is crazy! I have a peace to quit striving so hard to find a purpose outside my home and embrace and invest in the gifts God has given me right here. I am so blessed and have such a significant task in encouraging and supporting my husband, raising my family and bringing up these little ones to be warriors for Christ!  I pray that I will fully embrace this calling and run full force into it with Christ as my guide.

I just encourage you to look around at what may be fairly obvious if you are searching as well. I believe God gives us callings for all time periods of our lives. Don't ever think whatever stage you are in or whatever task you have been given is insignificant. It makes me think of the parable of the talents in Matthew (below) - Cultivate what God has given you and embrace your calling....even if its right in your home or not what you expected or not quite so visible to the rest of the world. If you are a Christian, there is something you are called to do right now in this moment. Don't let striving for something you see as greater or more significant keep you from doing what may be most important today....what God has entrusted you with TODAY.

Matthew 25:14-30

New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Three Servants

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.15 He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’
21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together![b]
22 “The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.’
23 “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’
24 “Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.’
26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate, 27 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
28 “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

For a Good Cause - The Bachelor

Every now and then when The Bachelor comes out with a new season I will start to watch. It's sometimes short lived, because to me it is so unrealistic and so far off from my value system that I end up getting either frustrated or disgusted or truly sad for the women. It's heartbreaking to watch so many get their heart broken! But, admittedly, I watched The Bachelor last night and same story. However I found such profound meaning in one aspect of it.

The girls were asked to go on a group date to a photo shoot. It turned out being a charity photo shoot for dog adoption. The girls were to pose in different outfits, some quite weird, others elegant, others - well, outfit nonexistent! Two of the girls were asked to pose nude. It's so staged, because of course the two they chose were the ones who would be most uncomfortable with it, one a modest attorney and the other a 1st grade teacher. I was rooting for both of them - "Dont do it!!" Neither wanted to and I was so proud of them saying so.

The first grade teacher mentioned to the director that she was a role model for young children and would not do anything inappropriate. His response was (paraphrased), "The role modeling comes through doing it for a good cause." Meaning the pet adoption. She found a girl that was not so shy about being naked and traded outfits. She ended up wearing a hydrant costume by trading, which was not at all the type of attractive clothing she would have preferred, but she left with dignity and I was proud she did not bear all just for the sake of charity or the show! Go her!

The attorney really struggled with it. She also went to the director, who told her she would be doing a good thing, it was for a good cause. She was unsure what to do until the bachelor himself talked to her and said he would pose with her. She ended up saying she was comfortable since he talked to her and everything would be ok because of him, he had made her comfortable and she put her trust in him and posed nude. 

Duped! That's what came to my mind. THis respectable woman was duped by the show and the bachelor. SHe was persuaded to do something she was uncomfortable with and expose her body to the world. HOw easily this man talked her into it! And knowing how this show goes, there's a very good chance she won't be around in the next week or two. So she put her trust in a man who more than likely will dump her soon and send her home and never see her again, and she compromised for him. 

She was obviously stressed and didn't want to do it but under pressure went against her initial instinct. I'm not attacking her. And I do not know her thought process or value system, but it just hit me that aren't we all duped from time to time, even for a good cause? How much more a human's worth than a dog's and yet these women were compromised for a dog! How many times do we neglect or hurt our families, children, husband, friends, God, coworkers....many times for a good cause? How many times do we compromise our values and our beliefs because someone close to us persuades us that our sin is ok, even with good intentions?

I'm just saying be careful. If these women can be persuaded to compromise by one man they don't know and may not see ever again, how easily might we be persuaded and compromise in daily life by good causes and people we care about with good intentions. I'm saying question things. Who in your life is priority and what values do you need to hold onto? THis world is deceptive at the least, let us not forget the evil that underlies, and satan who rules this world. Sneaky, cunning, "it's for a good cause", "look at the benefit"....yuck! Be careful. Watch out for yourself and trust God's voice. When you hear the Holy Spirit within whisper to you it's wrong, no matter how right it may seem on the outside, trust the voice of God and test what is being asked. The bible tells us to test spirits to make sure they are from God. Don't assume because someone or something else will benefit and there seems to be goodness, that it is ok for you, especially if it is going against something you believe! Stand your ground and endure!!