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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

But I Don't Want Him to Go...

Yesterday I went to pick up my mom from my sister's house. She keeps my niece and nephew, and she decided to ride home with me instead of driving home yesterday. Anyway, when I got there Raegan and Trace's "Pa" (their dad's father) was there. He'd come by for a short visit before his normal Tuesday night bowling.
Of course my niece and nephew had taken to climbing all over them and saying, "Pick me up, Pa." Then my niece took to untying her Pa's shoes. Not really sure why, but she has an obsession with untying shoes. Her Pa watched her untie them them retied them without saying a word. Again she untied them, and and again he retied them. This happened several times, then he got "firm" and said, "Now, don't untie my shoes, okay? I've got to leave in a minute"
His firm words obviously struck fear into the heart of my niece because she took a whole five seconds to untie the shoes again. I said, "Raegan, Pa said not to untie his shoes. He has to go in a minute."
She said, "But I don't want him to go!"
And I thought about how many times we try to change the outcome of things by doing things we know we shouldn't. My niece knew she wasn't supposed to untie her Pa's shoes again, but she did it in efforts to keep him at her house longer.
It's an inborn trait to try to get things to go our way using any means necessary. Now, it didn't really hurt anything for my niece to untie her Pa's shoes, but if allowed to continue in that attitude, she'd be looking at nothing but trouble in a few years.
As we grow older, we come to realize that our irrational reactions really do nothing to help our situations. I'll give you an example. When I first found out I was pregnant, my first thought was running my car into a tree. Now, you may judge me, or feel sorry for me, or think I'm purely crazy for that. But that was just my honest first reaction. Not because I hated the thought of Alaena, but because I wasn't really sure I could bear the shame of the whole situation or if I could handle telling everyone I needed to tell.
And that was Satan's first offered solution to the situation. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit was with me. He offered me a friend who offered immediate prayer and comfort. He gave me the assurance that He was still with me, and that if I put my cares on Him, He would take care of me (I Peter 5:7.)
So I didn't run my car into a tree. And you know what, looking back, I can see that thought for just what it was. A trick that Satan tried to pull on me. Because, doing that would have caused more grief to my family then this pregnancy ever could. And had I done it, I would have never had the chance to use this situation to help others. Which is just what Satan wanted.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that when you're looking for the easy way out, remember that the aftermath of your choice may cause more problems then you realize. And if you take the road that seems hard at the time, you may get more blessings out of it then you ever realized was possible.
Remember too that there are others out there facing problems (I Peter 5:8-9.) And the same God will give all of us strength if we lean on Him. And it's much easier to walk these hard paths together.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

So I Believe I'm Supposed to Write Here...

Okay, just so you know, I have totally felt all of your prayers since my last post. God has given me peace about some situations by handling them completely, and He has given me peace about others by showing me that only HE can change some people and some things, and that my stressing over them is only hurting me. Trust me, that may sound like it was easy, but it wasn't, and I know that the way God helped me is through your prayers and the prayers of others surrounding me.
Anyway, I didn't post again last week because we had our fall festival for church Saturday. This event is normally held at my house, but we had 8 inches of rain last week (praise Jesus for this help during our drought situation!) so we figured parking about a hundred cars in our field probably wouldn't be the smartest move, so we moved the festival to our church. Thursday and Friday were spent running around like crazy trying to get things together. It all came together. But by 8 pm Saturday night, I was worn slap out. (That's NC speak for really tired.)
So that's my excuse for not posting. I promise to TRY to get back to posting a regular post tomorrow. But for today, I'd like to offer up a few requests:

1. My Aunt Teri is facing some sickness right now

2. Alaena's father (this falls under some of the only God can change things category, but he really needs prayer for spiritual matters right now)

3. Several friends who I am worried about in their spiritual walks

I pray that all of you are having a blessed Monday!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Proverbs 9:10

Hey everybody! Yes, I'm still here. I haven't felt much like posting lately. I've been down in the dumps and stressing over things I can't change. Because, you know, stressing about them totally helps. Yeah, right.
But God slapped me with this verse this morning, and I've decided, I'm not going to let Satan defeat me. Check out Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
See, I can't rest in my own understanding. I must fear the Lord. I must trust that He is the almighty God, and that He will take care of every situation. Even the ones I get myself into.
As I have heard many times over the last few weeks, I know that God has forgiven me, and I must forgive myself. I think part of having knowledge of holy things is in knowing that I must ask forgiveness, but another part is knowing that I can't just pick that guilt up and carry it over and over again. I must trust that God has forgiven me, and that is enough.
I'm probably babbling on and on here, and I must be a bit vague. But here's the gist of it. Sometimes I feel that God allows us to bear the consequences of our sins. I'm in that place right now (though I love Alaena with all that I am.) And then I think that at the same time, Satan tries to throw other things at you and make you think that those things are consequences of your sin in order to keep you from fully resting in God's forgiveness (I'm dealing with some of that as well, though I don't really feel I should share the whole of those details here.)
But today, I'm going to learn from this verse. I'm going to fear God, not Satan. God has given me all the armor I need to be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. (Ephesians 6:11) And I will no longer allow him to keep me defeated. I'm a forgiven child of the King, and my time of ministry is NOT over. In God's strength I am able to raise this child on my own. And through Christ, I am claiming the victory in this battle.
I ask that each of you will offer up a prayer for me and Alaena today. I am sure that Satan will continue to fight, but I'm going to rest in God's wisdom, and I will NOT allow him to conquer us.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

A Prayer Request and A Praise

I'd like to ask all of you to offer up a special prayer for Ethan. This little boy has been through so many battles in his short life, but God has given him many victories. He and his parents need our prayers right now as he faces another battle with leukemia.

Oh, and I must offer up a praise, it rained here last night. North Carolina is in a state of severe drought. Several areas have a only a month or two left in their water supplies. So this rain is much prayed for.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Spend Some Time with Your Family

Yesterday we had a family reunion for the Apple side of my family. This is my Grandma on my dad's side's family. Now all jokes about crazy family aside, I really actually enjoy our family reunion.
I think my love for it came when my Great Grandma Apple had a stroke. You have never seen a family come together like ours did. We filled an entire waiting room at the hospital on more than one occasion. And when she came home, everyone came together and shared the responsibility for caring for her. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren took on the responsibility of staying nights so that her children could handle the daytime care without completely crashing. Granted, it helps that my Great-Grandma had four children, and that between them they all had sixteen children. And I'm not even going to try to count the grandchildren's children. Let's just say there are A LOT of us.
Anyway, from that point on, we've been a tighter family. No, we don't call each other everyday, but we look forward to seeing each other more. Most of us don't groan and say, "Not another family reunion." Because we've learned that time with family is something to be cherished because not one of us is guaranteed a tomorrow, and we've learned what coming together as a unit can do.
Kind of makes me wonder why so many Christians avoid spending time with their spiritual families. Now, I'm not trying to get up on a soapbox here or anything. But the Bible commands that we fellowship one with another. (Hebrews 10:25) Yet, so many people throw that command to the side. They put church off as something they can do "next week" then it becomes, "Well, I'll go next week." Pretty soon you have a Christian who has no fellowship with fellow believers at all.
As a pastor's granddaughter, it's easy to see how much people are missed when they aren't in church. And I do my best to encourage people to be there.
But the thing is that we shouldn't be there just because the pastor expects us to be there or because the person we share a pew there will whisper about us if we aren't there. We should be there because it will please Christ. And because it will help us to grow closer to Him by fellowshipping with His people.
Because, just as my family learned, we aren't guaranteed a "next time." We aren't guaranteed another Sunday to be in our place at church. Now is the time we should be doing all we can to grow in Christ. And trust me, there's a whole lot more we can do together as believers than any of us can do on our own.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Is It Friday Already?

Well, I had the best of intentions, but my brain apparently turned to mush this week and refused to offer up an original thought. I blame allergies and the sudden turn from 90 degree weather to 40 degree weather. Regardless of the cause, I'm stuffy headed with a sore throat and ears. (For all of you motherly types out there, yes, I have called the doctor!)
So, I'll try again next week to post some original thoughts. If you don't mind offering up a little prayer for me to have a clearer mind! And a less stuffy nose.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

For Both of Us

I'm sure some of you remember that last year I did the Bible in 90 days reading. It was a great time of study for me where I learned a lot of things. This year I've decided to take it one step further. See, people told me I should be reading to Alaena. So I thought, what better to read to her than the Bible? So Alaena and I are doing the Bible in 90 days.
And I must say that I believe in doing the reading out loud I'm going to learn even more than I learned last year. I don't know the ins and outs of what reading to a baby in the womb does for brain development. But my real goal is spiritual development. I'm going to train this little girl about Jesus from the womb. After all, that's my duty as a parent.
I'm going to follow Proverbs 22:6, "6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
In my case it's a she, but I think the same principle applies. I want to take this parenting duty very seriously. I may not be able to provide her with every toy she ever desires, or a brand new car the day she turns 16. But I will teach her about Christ, and that's a training worth far more than any material possession.
If any of you have thought about reading the Bible in 90 days, I challenge you to do so. It's definitely something that will help you grow spiritually. And hey, if you're expecting a little one, you may just be able to do a little pre-birth training too!


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Friday, October 05, 2007

It's Finally Friday!

This week has been crazy hectic! Not a spare moment to post, but I promise next week I'll try to be more on the ball. Today I'll just share this verse with you:

Isaiah 55:6, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:"

Hope you're all calling on Him today! Have a great weekend!