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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

YES to GOD study~CH. 2: Fear Factor

WELCOME to
I really love Tuesday's. This format has been such a blessing for me. God just knew hosting a study in my home would make me less godly than I already am in front of my family and so He has blessed me with being able to still have a study in my home, but on line. Still ungodly most of the time, but at least my children are spared of having to listen to Mom scream to get the house cleaned up for her Bible study pals!


This last year of hosting YES to GOD studies has been such a wonderful experience for me. I cried and praised God this week when I read Carol's post as God gave her such a breakthrough after 30 years...and that was just after reading chapter one!! I can't wait to see how He works in each of our lives over these next 11 weeks.




Okay...let's begin our discussion. If you are joining us for the 1st time, we meet here every Tuesday to discuss a book. Last week we started reading and discussing Micca Campbell's book


This week chapter 2 and so on. Come as you are. Post your own thoughts of the chaper on your blog if you want to. Read what God is showing women and doing in their lives as they share what they learn each week. Get to know your sisters in Christ. All are welcome...bloggers, non-bloggers, just come as you are and join in at anytime. You will not only be a blessing you will be blessed.


CHAPTER 2: The Fear Factor
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

In spite of my fear, I chose to believe what I couldn't understand.
Micca was referring to the death of her first husband Porter and how she begged God to save Him, but how Porter's death not the continuation of his life on earth was in God's plan instead. Even though life was not going her way, she made the choice at the age of 21 to trust God's purpose.




I loved how she pointed out that the phrase "fear not" is stated in God's Word 366 times! One for every day she said and an extra for the bad days.




Micca teaches us that we are not created to live in fear, but instead we are created to live by faith, and in God, we have all the power we need for a faith that is stronger than all our fears.






Last year on April 3rd my husband Gene had a 6 hour back surgery. This last year has been victorious and hard at the same time. The back pain finally left him, but leg pain and numbness took its place. He has been in 24/7 pain for quite some time now. Very miserable and desperate for some normalcy. Last year he had the 2 lower discs fused together and we thought we had more time before the disc above it had to be taken care of, but that is not the case. Monday, April 6th Gene will undergo a 5 hour surgery to fuse the next disc up. Last night he asked me, "Do you think we're doing the right thing?" This is a man who can only get relief from his pain by taking a prescription drug that is so strong he becomes almost comatose and he is asking me if we are doing the right thing. Fear. What if this surgery has complications? What if I will have to live in pain the rest of my life? What if? What if? What if?...




When family or friends are going through something isn't it so easy to throw verses at them and tell them to rely on God no matter what? But then life throws you a curve ball and all of a sudden no matter how hard you swing the bat, you can't make contact with the ball for anything.




It takes faith to battle fear and put to death our anxieties as we learn to live with assurance in a God we can bank on. Without faith, fear robs us of our peace, our abilities, our hopes, and our dreams.



So how do we do what Peter did and walk on water? How do we stay focused on the One that death couldn't even conquer? It's so much easier to stay in our comfort zone, but what are we missing out on? Sadly, most people stay in the safety of the boat their entire lives and wonder why life seems so empty, miserable, and dull. Those who live with anxiety are living below the mark of what they were created to be.




Relying on our faith allows us to live fearlessly.




Okay Micca, but HOW? How do we not focus on our circumstances that engulf us? When our husband loses his job how do we not allow ourselves to get consumed with worry? When our teenagers act out how do we not live in fear of their next choice? When a loved one dies suddenly how do we not think the worst every time we are unable to contact our loved ones still living?


Here's her response from living it out first....


1.) I've learned that trusting God with one fear doesn't give me automatic faith for the next one.



2.) God wants me to trust Him and allow His power to work through me to accomplish all He's called me to do.



3.) Realizing that with God anything is possible.





I loved when she said It would be easy to give in to my fear and allow Satan to stop me.




I wonder how many times I've halted God's plans for my life because I have given in to believing the lies of the enemy. When we do that, God's plan of action continues to be played out in our lives.



So we need to admit that we need God's grace and know that He wants our trust.



There was so much richness in this chapter that I definitely need to read it again to make sure it sinks into my head. Which is very thick at times.



Micca showed us that when we believe in the things Satan feeds us we have

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real



The Father of lies specializes in false advertisement. He's good at making our fears---based on lies---look real when they are not.


At the end of the chapter we are shown the difference between good fear and bad fear.


Good fear: godly fear~To fear God is to reverence Him; it's to stand in awe of Him.

Bad fear: Fear that steals our peace and rest, lacking in the fear of God.



I know that I lack a healthy fear of God. I'm striving for it, but I need to have more of it. Micca says One of the hardest things to do is to give up control and trust someone other than ourselves.


Watching my husband being pushed into the operating room is so tough. I feel out of control and last year I did not pass any test that God may have been giving me. This time around I just want to trust Him into the arms of my Savior. I want to trust that God is going to guide the hands of the surgeon and his team. And when he comes to, I want to love on him and support him like I'm supposed to.


MC was quick to point out to us that it's not about giving up, it's about gaining the power and presence of God living His life through us.



OH my goodness...don't we all just want that? WHY is it so hard to just trust that God knows what He is doing? I interfere so much and I believe I cause my family and myself to miss out on the blessings God has just for us because I "come to the rescue". Ugggh!

We wouldn't dare admit that we are in over our heads. We want to appear in control. But God never meant for you and me to be strong in and of ourselves. We were meant to show His strength in our weakness as He provides our needs. We were created to live like little children, dependent on the care of our heavenly Father.



If you have something to share on your own blog, please do so in a post and putting your blog address below in Mr. Linky. If you have questions on how to do this you can email me at chealey5@yahoo.com



OH...the winner of Jennifer Rothschild's book, Self Talk, Soul Talk is....JEANIE!!



Congrats Jeanie! You will love this book and the author! E-mail me your address so Jennifer can send her book your way. This was the book we did on our last YES to GOD study and you can find the posts for that on the bottom of my sidebar. It was an incredible time of growth for many. Thank you Jennifer for donating this book to us for the giveaway...may God bless you in a mighty way!

*********

Next Tuesday I will be blogging from Gene's hospital room an hour away from our kids. Please pray that all goes both at home and in Omaha. Also, that we will choose to believe God instead of buying into the lies of fear from Satan, the Prince of Darkness.



Take a moment to listen to this song about fear by Mandisa called Victorious. It's on her newest CD called Freedom and my girl Alivia and I cannot get enough of it. Be blessed as you listen closely to the words and the truth in them. I thought this song went hand in hand with the chapter.







~Many Blessings~


Next week...Tuesday, April 5th chapter 3: Fashioned for Faith--Not Fear











Friday, March 27, 2009

Gracias a Dios es viernes (Thank God It's Friday)

First of all, if you didn't see the video on the last post, please take the time to view it by clicking here. It is soooo awesome and we all want to know
why YOU are singing!


Okay...last Friday night Alyssa and I were taking Amiyah and Alivia to the circus while Aaron was going to the YMCA to play basketball.
This would leave Gene home alone.

He was happy.

He rented an action packed man movie and got the stuff to make chicken wings for his dinner. Total heaven on earth he was in as I left to spend my evening with elephants and clowns.
We got home about 9:30 and I walked in to see him watching his movie in the living room.

I got excited as I asked him, "Oh, you fixed it?"
I was asking about the DVD player.


See, a few weeks ago the remote for our DVD wasn't working right so of course, I tried fixing it by pushing all the buttons. Eventually the remote broke and I tossed it with the plan of getting a universal remote for it.



Sometime during my button pushing fury, I set the DVD so that it selected Spanish in the language option in the menu; so now it only plays movies in Spanish.
As a family, we collectively communicate and are very fluent in English. So this is a problem for us and it has forced us to watch any movies on the English playing DVD in the basement. We have tried to change the upstairs DVD from Spanish to English with the universal remote, but nothing will fix it.
Did you know that interpreters charge by the hour?


Anyway, when I walked in our home Friday night and saw Gene watching a movie, I got excited that I wouldn't have to go downstairs anymore to watch movies.


That's when I heard actor Mark Wahlberg sounding much like Spanish hottie Antonio Banderas as Zorro.


I questioned my husband about this and Gene said he was too lazy to go to the basement so he watched the movie upstairs. The only Spanish he knows is gracias and I doubt that word is used much when the characters are trying to kill each other! So for almost 2 hours my monolingual husband watched his action packed movie in a language foreign to his ears while eating his fried chicken wings.



Ignoring my verbalized disgust, Aaron expressed that he wanted to watch the movie, so they started it over...upstairs! When I suggested they go to the basement Aaron said, "Mom, I understand 85% of what they are saying". He is in his 2nd semester of high school Spanish or language arts as the educators call it! Even if he did understand 85% of it, what about the 15% he doesn't know?
Now, if our friends Tabitha and Jorge were watching the movie with Gene and Aaron and explaining the dialogue to them, then perhaps I would've understood. Jorge is from Mexico and Tabitha interprets for a living, but they are in Texas and we're in Nebraska so there was no understanding my husband or son's mindset.


I just couldn't take it...I had to go to bed! This is much worse than him not stopping and asking for directions when we get lost.


I think I do this exact same thing in my walk with Christ.

I read something in the Bible and act like I know what it means instead of taking the time to research and ask questions. I don't invite God's Interpreter, the Holy Spirit for help. I just sit on my couch and pretend to know what it means. After all, I've been in church my whole life and grew up going to a Christian school, therefore there isn't anything new I need to know.
HA!
That's one thing I love about God's Word is it is the Living Word...active. Always more for us to learn no matter how long we've been a Christian.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


My friend Kelley is a teaching director for CBS, Community Bible Study and I love when she shares with me what she is learning. She'll tell me something weird about Abraham and I'll be like, "I didn't know that". That is one of the many awesome things about our friendship is that we don't try to pretend to be Bible scholars so by sharing what we are learning about God, we are both growing closer to Him day by day.

So next time you open the Bible...make sure you're understanding what you are reading and if not, ask questions! Switch Bibles if you have to...don't understand the King James Version, then switch to The Message Bible.

Just get up off the couch and move to the DVD player that speaks your language!


Okay...Alyssa has chosen the winner of Lysa TerKeurst's book,
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith?
and it is...

HEATHER!!

Congrats Heather! Such déjà vu as the winner of Lisa Whittle's book had the same name!
If you have the book already maybe you can do a giveaway on your own blog or pass it forward to someone you think could learn how to walk in faith. E-mail me your home address so that Lysa can send you your book at chealey5@yahoo.com.

Thank you so much Lysa for writing this book and giving it away!

Now for our last drawing which will be on Tuesday, March 31st. On our last YES to GOD study we did Jennifer Rothschild's book, Self Talk, Soul Talk and it was wonderful! Jennifer, like all of the authors did, donated a copy of her book to give away. So get your name in the drawing by leaving a comment and I'll let you know on Tuesday who won. If you have a copy and you win, bless someone with it and give it away.


Make sure to come by on Tuesday, the last day of March, not only for the drawing, but for chapter 2 of Micca Campell's book,
If you missed the chapter 1 discussion click here.

Have a blessed weekend.

I'm so excited, we are going to clean our house.

Deep clean.

Throw stuff away.

Donate stuff.

Sell the kids on E-Bay.

Celebrate becoming empty nesters.

It's gonna be good and perhaps I can get Gene to pretend he is a Spanish hero...

~Many Blessings~

Looking for a Bible study to join?

Join us for YES to GOD Tuesday's!

Click here for more info.

Join anytime!

Participate at your own level of comfort.

Not a blogger...not a problem. This is a study for everyone.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Singing!

When I first started blogging back in November 2007, somehow I found Susan over at Forever His. She has become a dear friend and I cannot wait to meet her beautiful self in person.


Well, one day last year on a morning visit to her blog, I listened to a song she had playing by artist Kari Jobe called The More I Seek You. (It's track #3 on the play list on the side bar on Susan's blog.) While listening to Kari's gorgeous voice sing, I got out of my desk chair and found myself on my knees with my hands raised with tears covering my face and neck as I worshipped Jesus Christ so deeply. By the time I went to stand I didn't feel like the same women who had knelt.


I bought two CD's immediately, gave one away and subscribed to Kari Jobe's E-Newsletter. I just received it today and found this video have below. I felt so blessed. It's so cool and such an encouragement that no matter what is going on in your life to praise God.


If you can, take a moment to watch this. It's not a singing video, instead it's a video feauturing people like you and me. I wanted to share it with you and after watching it, will you come back over here to my blog and share in the comments why you are singing. I'll put why I am singing in the comments too. If you are not a blogger, you can still leave your reason for singing, just select Anonymous.




Ble blessed and if you have never visited Susan or Kari, I encourage you to do so...both women will fill your heart with nothing but the love they have for our Jesus!





Come by on Friday, March 27th as I have a giveaway of another book and a story that I just must share with you all!
~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

YES to GOD study: Ch. 1: When the Unthinkable Happens

WELCOME TO

First of all...this message is for all of you who left a comment for Alivia about her singing on the last post. She is on spring break this week and was at work with me and read the comments then left a comment for all of you. I thought I'd post it here too in case you didn't see it...

Hi I'm Alivia.

thank you sooo much for commenting on my song. I really appreciated it. You are all lovely. I love you all very much.

Have a God blessed day.

Sincerly,

Alivia


"Have a God blessed day" is what her Daddy always says...just thought that was so cute.



Well, here we go...the first day of the 5th study of our YES to GOD Tuesday's featuring


Micca Campbell of Proverbs 31 Ministries first book....



Tomorrow marks the 1 year anniversary of the 1st blog post of the YES to GOD blog study when we did Lysa TerKeurst's awesome book,

What Happens When Women Say Yes to God?


Each author who has a had a book as part of our study has graciously donated a copy of her book and so the winner of Lisa Whittles' fabulous book

Behind Those Eyes

is...

HEATHER!!


Alivia drew the name and I wasn't sure which Heather it was until I visited her blog and we just happen to go to the same church! Heather and her husband Dustin just welcomed child #2....a boy this time into our world!

Congrats on both the book and baby Heather!

E-mail me your address so Lisa Whittle can send the book to you. You will love this book and perhaps we can do it sometime with the women in the church. Give that baby a kiss for me...and his big sister too!





Okay...another drawing. Please leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for Lysa TerKeurst's life changing book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith?. I will announce the winner later this week and then we'll have one more drawing courtesy of Jennifer Rothschild with her incredible book Self Talk, Soul Talk that we just finished last week.



These authors are such a blessing...thank you to all of you for donating your book to giveaway in celebrating what God has done this last year with YES to GOD. Lives have been changed and your books have been the tools He has used to do what He does best.


Please visit their blogs if you haven't before








and





Alright...you ready? Let's get to it. If you have never done a study with us before, please know you are so welcome here. You will find this to be a very relaxed place to visit. If you can't blog on a Tuesday then post your thoughts later and still let us know you blogged by linking your post with Mr. Linky.
Let me warn you that life will get in the way so if you miss a week or two or three, do not stress about it, just get back in the groove when you can. The last study we did there were many challenges that kept me from blogging and I tell you, these women are not only filled with Jesus, they are filled with grace. As much as I wanted to blog, they just allowed me to put family first.

So...come when you come.
Just come as you are and get to know some of the ladies you will be spending eternity with!

CHAPTER 1: When the Unthinkable Happens

Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

I'm sure we all had tears fill up our eyes as we read about Micca's loss of her newborn son's Daddy. I cannot even begin to pretend to know what she felt or feels about losing her first husband, Porter. This is not what I had planned.


When things happen in our life or in the life of someone we love that is so unexpected it is so hard to have understanding. That's where Jesus comes in.
Just as a mother runs to her screaming child who is in pain, God the Father ran to me. I didn't see Him with my eyes or touch Him with my hands, but I felt His presence consume me as if God poured Himself over my entire body.




I really loved how Micca shared with us her last moments with the man she had vowed to be faithful to till death do us part. Suddenly this young bride was forced to realize that she faced the parting and she didn't want to let go of her Porter. Not yet. Not ever. I cannot imagine God entrusting me with something so huge, so life changing at such a young age or even at the age of 38. At 21 years old, Micca suddenly found herself a lonely widow with a fatherless 3 month old baby boy.
I didn't know how, but I knew God was fully aware and involved in my circumstances.


When Porter met our Savior face to face, Jesus was not surprised. He was prepared to meet Micca's husband with open arms and embraced him with the promise that Porter's wife and Jesus' daughter would be okay. God vowed the same to Micca as He led her to read Psalm 139.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. (Ps. 139:7-10)



Even in the pit of death, God had come to say, "You are not alone. I am here."

When we found out our teenage daughter was pregnant with Amiyah back in August of 2007 a tornado of emotions swirled through my heart at once. Embarrassment, anger, hurt, confusion, fear, sadness and yet in the midst of the storm God took my emotions and changed them. No shame, forgiveness, healing, peace, thankfulness and joy is what I began to experience.

Then when our same teenage daughter told us in September 2008 that she was pregnant again by the same absent dad Amiyah has I have to admit that God was not the 1st One I turned to. Six months into her pregnancy I honestly couldn't tell you if I had prayed over this baby. Anger and fear consumed me. Two kids by a guy who has 3 other babies and takes care of none of them...could this be a problem too big for our God? Could my Prodigal be the one the Savior confesses to not being able to handle? How many more fatherless babies will she bring into this world?
Fears fears fears...God where are you????
God's answer to us when we are at a loss...read Psalm 139 child.



So how did Micca make it through such a deep loss in her life? My first step in learning to trust God again came when I chose to believe that I am never alone. God is always near me.



The author teaches us that no matter what fears we are facing in our life that God doesn't want us to go through the rest of our lives justifying our fears. God wants to teach us that it's safe to trust Him.


Probably my favorite Micca line from this chapter is when she wrote...The Lord is, indeed, attentive to our whereabouts and the circumstances we face on earth.
Okay, I lied there are two favorite truths in this chapter that Ms. Campbell pointed out to us, here is the other one I loved...God the Father will never leave us. He can't be torn away, led away, coaxed away, seduced away, or dragged away. You and I come to know and experience this truth by faith.



Just think of that promise for a second.
Human relationships can end.
They can be torn away by the pressure of problems, led away by addictions, coaxed away by wants instead of needs, seduced by an affair or drug away by an accident, but not our God.
Not our heavenly Father.
Not the One who endured the nail piercings of the cross for you and for me.
He's in it to win it.
He's the most faithful thing we will ever know.
Through sickness and in health...He remains.
Through our days of living sold out for Him...He celebrates.
Through our days of pure rebellion...He's not goin' anywhere.
Through the season of life that a Mom is desperate for her prodigal to return..He catches her tears.
Through the deep sorrow when a young wife instantly becomes a widow...He is her Groom.


He is in this relationship with us to stay.
No matter what comes our way.
Leaving us never crosses His holy mind, but faithfulness does.
And as He watches His child's fear turn to faith just because of Who He is...He breaths in the aroma of our trust that surrounds His throne and just takes it all in.


I want to encourage you to answer the Bible study questions at the end of each chapter called
Know It---Stow It----Show It.
In the comment section...answer this question from the study if you'd like to and if you have something to share on your own blog please sign up under Mr. Linky below.
Here is the question:
In Psalm 46:1 God tells us His help is ever present. How does knowing that God is your ever-present help comfort you and calm your fears? (Or if it doesn't comfort you, talk about why.)

Oh Ladies...this book is going to be a good one for our lives..IF we apply what we learn. If you are reading it because you are a book freak like I am, then when you put this book on the shelf when we are done you will remain unchanged. Allow God...and I am speaking in the mirror here...allow God to do His thing in our lives. Whatever fears we have in our lives let's learn from what Micca shares in this book so that the grip we have on our fears can be completely loosened and put into the scarred hands of Jesus Christ..the One who gives us peace instead of fear.

Have a blessed week and remember to answer the question above if you feel led to.
I'll be back the end of this week to announce the winner of Lysa's book and give away Jennifer's.

~Many Blessings~
Next Tuesday, March 31st...chapter 2!






Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why I have no Facebook

A few months ago I started up a Facebook account.


Then I decided that it was a waste of the already limited time I get on a computer, so I removed my account.

Then I missed it so I re-activated my account.

Then Facebook gave me access to my past...the part of my past I don't need brought into my present.
So I de-activated my account. Again.


Then I thought...I will just use it for ministry purposes so I re-activated my account.


Then I talked to a wise Christian man last Friday who knows of my history of an affair and he said, "You should not have a Facebook account".


So I de-activated it again, but this time I had my oldest daughter change the password so I can't keep "re-activating" it.



Why, why, why do I want to play with fire and think that I am above being burned?
One thing I noticed this last time I was an active Facebook member is that on the profile set up there are different things you can write about yourself. The part that made me shake my head is when it asks about your "status" and you are supposed to pick one...
Married

Single

In a relationship, but it's complicated

OR

In an Open Relationship

In an Open Relationship just jumped out at me.
The thing that hit me the most is that God does not want an OPEN relationship with me.
He doesn't want me to worship Him in the morning then look for past flings on Facebook in the evening.
He wants me to Himself.
Period.
Now hear me out here...I am not saying Facebook is not for you if you have an account.
I am talking about for myself it wasn't a benefit for me or my husband.
It had the potential to open doors that have no business being opened and I don't want or need that kind of junk in my life.
So I de-activated the tool that Satan can easily use to get me right where he wants me again.
For the longest time I have convinced myself that my affair was isolated because it was with someone I thought I really cared for...I mean c'mon, I would never just go out and just have an affair. Not me!
I believe that when we restrict Satan from certain areas of our lives because we think we have our sins under control all we are really doing is putting our enemy in a cardboard box. A box that all he has to do is kick down the sides to get to us again. And this time around, he'll bring it into our lives in a different way.
A Facebook kind of way.
An Open Relationship kind of way.
Next week the Circus will be in town. I haven't been in years and have been thinking of taking the kids since Alivia has never been to one before. When I was a kid my Dad's boss gave all his employees free tickets and I couldn't wait to go. It was always exciting when the big cages containing the lion and tigers was rolled into center stage. There is a reason these animals are caged in metal boxes versus cardboard boxes. They have the potential to attack and turn on their handlers.
Don't try to be Satan's handler.
For just when you think you have a problem of sin in your life mastered, he will turn on you and attack you in a way you never expected.
For me...it was Facebook.
So don't try to handle your enemy...you can't. We can't, but our God can.
And He can handle our enemy in a way that he'll be sorry he ever messed with us.
Give any past or present ungodly habits, sins or thoughts to Christ and let Him fight the battle that is going on for your following.
Because sweet sister, without Christ as the Ring Leader of our hearts, our life will just be one big messy circus.


~Many Blessings~

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So blessed

I have been sick all week so I apologize for not keeping up with blogging. Now Miss Amiyah is sick...from me kissing on her! I know, I'm a Grandma with no self control what can I say? Can you blame me?
Okay...let's get right to it. The winner of Lysa TerKeurst's book

"What Happens When Women Say Yes to God"

is...

TINA!!
Congratulations!
I loved the comment she left and hope it encourages you as much as it did me...

Thank you so much for hosting this study! I have been a bit battle weary lately. This study has really helped me to put one foot in front of the other and the women here have literally been Jesus to me. For as He has touched them they have reached out to minister to me and I am blessed. What a great and wonderful family, this family of God that we are a part of!
In Him,
Tina


That is really what these studies are about ladies...lifting each other up to Him and getting to know Him more each day. So thank you Tina for reminding me that we are family and you are so right...these women are such a blessing! Please e-mail me your address so I can send it to Lysa and they can get your book to you! Thank you!



And Lysa TerKeurst...oh my goodness. Thank you so much for donating your books for the giveaway this week. The book just put into Tina's hands is the first one that I read of yours. It is also when God birthed the idea of the YES to GOD blog study in my heart and a year later we are still learning and getting closer to our King! Thank you for your love, prayers and friendship this last year. It has been pure joy getting to know you & Holly! (Holly is Lysa's sister-in-Christ/friend/assistant)


Holly, me and Lysa at She Speaks 2008

Also Lysa, keep writing as long as God tells you too(forever please Lord). We are learning so much from your heart and I have a feeling you have so much more God wants you to bless us with.


If you don't know Lysa...please visit her by clicking here. She writes daily on her blog and I promise that God will bless you through her writings, her humor and her life!


Next Tuesday, on March 24th I will be giving away another of Lysa's book she so kindly donated. This was our 2nd book in the YES to GOD studies called "What Happens When Women Walk In Faith". Both of these books have caused incredible growth for me and I encourage you to read them if you haven't already.


Okay, today's give away is from our author Lisa Whittle and she has donated her book Behind Those Eyes. This was the 3rd book we did and my oh my what an incredible journey this book took us on. I loved how God has just lined up the books He has wanted us to do on Tuesdays.
One thing I hear over and over again is how God is using the book we are reading to teach the women participating exactly what they need to learn at that moment in life. It's been just awesome!
You have to visit Lisa and read the post she just put up her blog this week called Vertical Thinking...I loved it! She is another blogger you will be blessed by her writings and life.
Next week there will be 2 more giveaways..on Tuesday it will be Lysa's other book as I mentioned above and then later in the week it will be the book we just finished by Jennifer Rothschild, Self Talk, Soul Talk.
Thank you to Lysa, Lisa, Jennifer and Micca for giving a copy of your book for the giveaway and for sharing the gift of writing God has entrusted you with.
Remember...Tuesday March 24th we will begin the discussion of Micca Campbell's book An Untroubled Heart!
Have chapter 1 ready to talk about!
If you have any questions or want to join in...see the top of the sidebar.
Okay...I just have to share this with you all.
On Wednesday night my girl Alivia sang with our children's choir in church and she sang a solo!! First time ever...she was so nervous so we prayed all week about it. I just had to share her part with you. I know how the Proverbs 31 woman felt when the Bible says her children will rise up and call her blessed!
The words she sings are I must have Jesus in my whole life...in my walking, in my talking, in my sleeping, in my waking I must have Him in in my life...

video

See you Tuesday March 24th for Micca Campbell's book,
An Untroubled Heart!
If you don't have your book...get it and join in at your own pace! And remember, you don't have to be a blogger to join us!
Ya know I love ya!
~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

YES to GOD study: ch. 11~Lift up praise the Lord, O my soul! (final chapter)

So glad that it's time for our
Yesterday after school Alivia played with the neighbor kids. I used this time to Spring clean her room or rather throw things away without the arguments of a 7 year old to why she should be able to keep what I consider trash. It was so nice and she didn't even miss what was tossed.

Don't we do that with God sometimes? He tries to get rid of something that is just clutter in our lives and we try to give Him our best argument with why we think it should stay. That's one thing I'm trying to different is trust God with my whole life. I'm such a controller that it is hard for me to let Him drive without trying to give Him the directions...and sigh in disgust when I think He's turned the wrong way.


Oh boy...I am definitely one of God's long term projects. ~smiles~


Okay...first things first the winner of Micca Campbell's book,

An Untroubled Heart is....KIM!!!

Congrats to you! E-mail me your address so that Micca can send you your book.

So glad you'll be joining the study with us!

Be blessed! Thanks Micca for donating your book!



Well ladies...here we are the final chapter of Jennifer Rothschild's book Let's get to it...

CHAPTER 11: LIFT UP: PRAISE THE LORD, O MY SOUL

Remember words in blue are a quote from the book

Healthy hearts are centered on others, not on self. And a healthy heart is a happy heart.

The purposes that drive your life already fill your thought closet. You can track them by the space they take up on your calendar, by the phone log of your cell phone, by the outbox on your e-mail, by your Internet surfing history, by last month's credit card statement, or by your check register.

Ugghh!!! I think Lisa Whittle...you know the author who encourages us to be "real" must've been over Jen's should when she wrote this part of the chapter! I loved every part of that and am going to write it out on a note card and put it in my car so I can read it every day.

I have to remind myself...what or who is getting my loyalty? What or who is on my mind?

I loved how Jennifer taught us how to get the focus off of ourselves and on to others.

When we tell our souls to get the spotlight off our own preoccupations and onto the needs of others, we reopen the potential for joy in our lives--joy that we may have thought we'd never experience again.




For me this was huge because I can get so focused on Lelia. One of me and Alivia's memory verses will be

John 3:30

He must increase, but I must decrease.


Then Jennifer so wisely encouraged us to not only focus on others' needs but above all else, focus on Jesus Christ.

She quoted well known author, C.S. Lewis as saying, "As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."

Jennifer also taught us that God loves our praises...When God calls us to praise Him, He is calling for us to enjoy Him and His benefits. As we center our souls on God, we lose ourselves in His wonder.


So we look to others' need instead of our own....

we look up to God instead of to ourselves...

and we shower our King with the praises He so rightfully deserves.

And like Jennifer said all is well with our soul.


Loved this book!! Jennifer...thank you so much for listening to God and writing what you have walked out before us. You are such a blessing to us and we love you!

If you have something to share on your blog please sign up under Mr. Linky below.

And come back tomorrow for another book drawing of Lysa TerKeurst's book

"What Happens When Women Say Yes to God"

Leave a comment today so I can have a name to draw out of the hat and tomorrow the winner will be announced! Thanks Lysa for donating your book for us!

Next Tuesday, March 24th...the discussion of the first chapter of Micca Campbell's book An Untroubled Heart! (See top of sidebar to join in!)

~Many Blessings~


Monday, March 16, 2009

A Weekend worth Remembering...

Last night my husband and I returned from a weekend away from our daily life.
~Sigh~

Reality is hard to return to sometimes.

Every Spring we help out with the Family Life Weekend to Remember marriage conference in Omaha. It is awesome...especially if you apply what you learn! We so often don't do that so this year we decided that we do just that.
Learn...then apply.

When Gene called his Dad and told him where we were, he immediately thought our marriage was on the rocks. Gene reassured his Dad that we are okay and that we are just trying to improve our marriage. He prayed for us anyway and kept telling Gene how much he loves his daughter in law!



If you have never attended one of these weekend getaways, I HIGHLY recommend you do. If you can, try to stay at the hotel the conference is being held because when there is break away sessions it's nice to have the option of going to your room. It is for all couples...pre-married, newlyweds, happily married, miserably married...come one come all and believe that God is going to meet you there. It's an incredible experience and we will go till we get it right...so guess we'll be attending every year which would explain why this was our 5th year going. Marriage is tough and in today's world Satan certainly doesn't want us to succeed in this area. There are also gift certificates available in case you want to send someone you love. Also, pastor's and their wives attend for free!




Okay...this week I need you to join with me in celebrating how great our God is! Wednesday, March 25th marks the 1 year anniversary of the YES to GOD blog studies! So hard to believe a whole calendar year has come and gone. Next Tuesday, March 24th we will begin the 5th book of the YES to GOD studies...Micca Campbell's book An Untroubled Heart.

If you will be joining this study then make sure to have chapter 1 read and ready to discuss on your own blog by next Tuesday the 24th. If you have never done a YES to GOD study before, on my sidebar there is a YES to GOD button you can click on for the FAQ's of how it all works. All are welcome to join in at anytime...you will find this is a very relaxed place to meet. You can also sign up for the study on the sidebar.
To celebrate the one year anniversary of YES to GOD each author whose book we have done and are about to do has graciously donated her book as a prize! So each day this week we will be giving away a book a day. All you have to do is leave a comment so that I have a name to draw. Each morning a winner will be announced and a different book given away. Thanks to all the authors who are blessing us with your book...Lysa TerKeurst, Lisa Whittle, Jennifer Rothschild and Micca Campbell!
Today we are giving away Micca Campbell's new book...An Untroubled Heart!
That way if you are joining us in the study next week, but haven't bought the book yet then here is your chance to win yourself a copy! If you have bought the book and you win then you will have the opportunity to either give it away on your blog or pass it on to a girlfriend and ask her to join us on Tuesday's.
You do not have to have a blog to participate.
Micca..thank you so much! Looking forward to this YES to GOD journey with you!
Have a blessed day and we'll see you tomorrow to announce the winner and the next book to be given away! Also...tomorrow will wrap up the wonderful study of Jennifer's book,
Self Talk, Soul Talk.
Incredible book and can't wait to read what you share about how God has changed you between chapter 1 and chapter 11!
See you tomorrow!
If you are going to be joining us for Micca's study...I encourage you to visit her blog, Reflections and introduce yourself. I think that will really encourage her heart. Plus, it's a really awesome blog!

~Many Blessings~

Friday, March 13, 2009

What have you hidden in your heart?

Recently on Beth Moore's blog she challenged us to memorize 2 verses out of the Bible each month. I can do this...I thought. I haven't yet, but I am going to because I am realizing more and more how I need to have God's Word in my heart. So, I suggested that Alivia do it with me. I bought her a little book that has notecards in it so that she can write down her verses.


Well, we haven't started it yet at least together we haven't, but I found out that she has started by herself. So she gave me her book to look at the verses she wants to hide in her heart.



Here is peek into her book...


John 15:15

You did not choose me for I chose you.


Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you. (not sure why she didn't finish writing this promise out)


Psalm 36:04

Even on his bed he plots evil.


Genesis 39:18

But as soon as I screamed he left his cloak and ran out of the house.


Psalm 121:1

Lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from?


THIS WAS MY FAVORITE...but not Gene's...


Song of Songs 7:1

O Prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels the work of craftman's hands.


Isaiah 11:1

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse from his roots a branch will bear fruit.


I have no idea why she chose these verses, but when once she has these memorized and engraved into her heart, God will bring these verses to mind....


If she ever doubts God's love for her she can quote John 15:16 and find comfort.


If she wonders what she will be when she gets older at least she'll have the first part of Jeremiah 29:11 memorized and know that God does have plans for her! If she chooses to memorize the last part of the verse she'll know they are properous plans!


If there is a bully at school perhaps Psalm 36:04 (love the O 4) will come to her mind and she'll know her bully has been planning mean stuff since the night before!



Hopefully when she is older she will understand Genesis 39:18 more and know that Potipher's wife was naughty and when tempted...we should just run!


Oh...and that verse in Song of Songs...may she only hear that verse brought up in her heart when she is married!


I love my girl as she brings our family much delight and I love her heart for God.

It is pure.

It gets excited when she learns about Him.

It is eager to know Him more.

The key to walking this path is hiding His word in her heart.
My friend Kelley wrote on this same topic this week in her post "What is a Big Mac." Please take the time to visit Kelley and read what she has to say!


*To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the "Yes to God" online bible study I will be giving away a book a day beginning Monday.


~Many Blessings~

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

YES to GOD study: chs. 9 & 10!

Welcome to....

A few months ago I started up a Facebook account.


Then I decided that it was a waste of the already limited time I get on a computer, so I removed my account.
Then I missed it so I re-activated my account.
Then Facebook gave me access to my past...the part of my past I don't need brought into my present.
So I de-activated my account. Again.
Then I thought...I will just use it for ministry purposes so I re-activated my account.
Then I talked to a wise Christian man last Friday who knows of my history of an affair and he said, "You should not have a Facebook account".
So I de-activated it again, but this time I had my oldest daughter change the password so I can't keep "re-activating" it.


Why why why do we want to play with fire and think that we are above being burned?
One thing I noticed this last time I was an active Facebook member is that on the profile set up there are different things you can write about yourself. The part that made me shake my head is when it asks about your "status" and you are supposed to pick one...


Married


Single


In a relationship, but it's complicated


OR


In an Open Relationship



In an Open Relationship just jumped out at me.
The thing that hit me the most is that God does not want an OPEN relationship with me.
He doesn't want me to want to worship Him in the morning then look for past flings on Facebook in the evening.
He wants me to Himself.
Period.


Now hear me out here...I am not saying Facebook is not for you if you have an account.

I am talking about for myself it wasn't a benefit for me or my husband. It had the potential to open doors that have no business being opened and I don't want or need that kind of junk in my life. So I de-activated the tool that Satan can easily use to get me right where he wants me again. For the longest time I have convinced myself that my affair was isolated because it was with someone I thought I really cared for...I mean c'mon, I would never just go out and have an affair. Not me!


I believe that when we restrict Satan from certain areas of our lives because we think we have our sins under control all we are really doing is putting our enemy in a cardboard box. A box that all he has to do is kick down the sides to get to us again. And this time around, he'll bring it into our lives in a different way.

A Facebook kind of way.
An Open Relationship kind of way.


Next week the Circus will be in town. I haven't been in years and have been thinking of taking the kids since Alivia has never been to one before. When I was a kid my Dad's boss gave all his employees free tickets and I couldn't wait to go. It was always exciting when the big cages containing the lion and tigers was rolled into center stage. There is a reason these animals are caged in metal boxes versus cardboard boxes. They have the potential to attack and turn on their handlers.

Don't try to be Satan's handler.
For just when you think you have a problem of sin in your life mastered, he will turn on you and attack you in a way you never expected.

So don't try to handle your enemy...you can't. We can't, but our God can. And He can handle our enemy in a way that he'll be sorry he ever messed with us.


Give any past or present ungodly habits, sins or thoughts to Christ and let Him fight the battle that is going on for your following. Because sweet sister, without Christ as the Ring Leader of our hearts, our life will just be one big messy circus.

On Tuesday March 24th we will begin our next YES to GOD blog study with

Micca Campbell's

first book,

I just received it in the mail yesterday and it is going to be an awesome study!
To get your copy you can order it by clicking here.

ALL ARE WELCOME...even non-bloggers!! Sign up now on the sidebar!

NOW...let's get to our book study of Jennifer Rothschild's book Self Talk, Soul Talk.

I cannot believe we only have one more week in this study!! I'm so sorry, it seems like every week got harder and harder for me to post without a computer.
Okay...this week we will post on chapters 9 & 10.

CHAPTER 9: CHILL OUT: BE AT REST, O MY SOUL
Remember...anything in blue is a quote from the book.


When we are hysterically and emotionally spent and worn, we become susceptible to the enemy's attack. We become easy targets, sitting ducks. Our enemy attacks us with despair, depression, illness, impatience, and myriad other maladies...all results of a fatigued soul and body. Speaking rest to our souls is critical.


This is the chapter I read right after my trip to Dallas where I got much rest. It made me realize how much I am on the go and how much I need to settle down and just rest in the Lord.

Jennifer told us that soul rest only happens when we speak rest to our souls.



If we don't tell our souls to chill out every now and then, we are also subject to attack.



When I work too many overnight shifts it's so apparent how messed up it is at home and I'm always the center of the problems.



I loved how Jennifer taught us that God is our rest. Rest is who God is.
Rest means we quiet ourselves next to the One who not only gives us peace but who is the Prince of Peace.

I am really going to try to live the game plan Jennifer put together for us...
Divert Daily
Withdraw Weekly
Abandon Annually


CHAPTER 10: PRESS ON: MARCH ON, O MY SOUL
Be like Peter getting out of the boat and walking on water on the storm-churned sea. He threw one leg over the edge of the boat and put his full weight on H2O---his eyes locked on Jesus.



I felt very inspired to write a to-do list and accomplish something on that list. I think I might try this with my husband too. Jennifer says to turn our feelings into action!
I just want to get going with life...the life God has planned for me, for me and Gene, for our family...just so tired of going in circles.


So often we mess up and that failure becomes our focus. Jennifer's example of singing one word wrong and 81 right was awesome and very encouraging to keep pressing on!




When we struggle with low self-esteem we are to starve the negative feelings and thoughts by speaking truth to our souls. When you feel a big I can't coming on, starve it by showering it with truth: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."




Now this chapter was much different from the last, but Jennifer was quick to tell us that Sometimes we need to stand still (and chill) while we wait on God. And sometimes we need to move on, to get up and start marching.


On this very topic you must take the time to read this blog post called The Push written this week by our dear friend Lisa Whittle, author of Behind Those Eyes (our last blog study---see sidebar).

I love how this chapter ended encouraging us that when we mess up, don't focus on our failures...keep marching on. When your dreams turn to dust, vacuum!

Have a great week...see you next Tuesday for the final chapter of this study.


IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SHARE ABOUT THESE 2 CHAPTERS OF JENNIFER'S BOOK ON YOUR OWN BLOG...PLEASE SIGN UP UNDER Mr. Linky BELOW!


If you want to sign up for the NEXT study of Micca's book,
then please click here to do so.
Thank you!




CHECK BACK ON FRIDAY FOR SOME EXCITING NEWS!!!
~Many Blessings~



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Living a life of freedom versus fear

Note: This is the strangest thing, but when I posted about Texas on Tuesday March 3rd (showing up as the post before this one) it knocked out this post which was originally posted last Tuesday February 24th but combined the comments on this one with my Texas post. I have no idea what blogger is doing, but it's strange. So...I will be posting for Friday March 6th soon.
When my husband Gene was in the 4th grade his teacher told him to come to the front of the classroom and figure out a math problem she had written out on the chalkboard. He tried to get out of it, but she insisted that he do as he was told.



With much hesitation Gene placed his hand in the palm of Fear as it led his little body to the chalkboard. Standing in front of his classmates he became so overwhelmed that he couldn't solve problem that he had an accident in his pants.



Filled with not only fear but also shame, he stood with his chin on his chest as his teacher ridiculed him and pointed out to his class that his pants were wet and that he didn't have an answer to the math problem. To this day when Gene tells that story you can just see how much affect it has on him even though he is now 44 years of age.




That day in 4th grade at the sweet age of only 9 Gene was given something no teacher should ever give a child...fear.
From that day forward, he would be afraid to speak in front of people.
Afraid of not knowing the correct answer if asked a question.
He would be afraid of looking stupid in front of his peers.




When we are fearful of something it can overtake us like a wave crashes over a surfer. We can drown in the pool of fear so quickly that we just stand there not even trying to be rescued because we feel so helpless.


Fear


A four letter word with a huge impact on us if we allow it the freedom to come into our lives, get our focus off of God and immobilize us.




So how do we take something like what happened to Gene as a child and process it differently in our mind when we become an adult? What happened to Gene as a child does not fall into the category of "most embarrassing moments". Instead, it is a memory that if Gene allowed it to flex its muscles could still cause his bladder to lose control if he chose to keep this to himself. It could keep him from being a youth leader in our church and talking in front of teenagers. It could keep him from sharing Christ with his friends. It could keep him from forgiving others and hold grudges. It could..but it doesn't because Gene chooses to trust in God.




There are many reasons as women that we face fears.
Fear is not from God and he doesn't want us to live in a state of fear because then we are not able to be completely used by Him and for Him.
We have to trade our fear in for trust and learn to believe in the God who is the Conqueror of Satan, the father of fear.




So how do we do that?
How do we take what happens in our life and allow God to use it for His glory instead of allowing the enemy to use it against us?
How do we become a woman that takes her fears and says "here Lord, take this from me because I want to live in freedom"?
Honestly...I have no idea as I have fears of my own, but I know of a woman who does know how and wants to share the journey God has taken her on with us. She wants to teach us how to live a worry-free life right here every Tuesday.


Micca Campbell
from the speaking team of Proverbs 31 Ministries wants to teach us how to turn our fears into faith. I had the privilege of hearing Micca speak at the She Speaks conference this past summer and she was such a blessing! She has a testimony that God keeps adding to and has blessed her with the gift of communicating His greatness in a way that you want to know more of her Jesus.

Just this month she has come out with a new book that I am proud to say will be our 5th
YES to GOD blog study book...


This month Micca is also featured in the Proverbs 31 Woman Magazine with a story titled "Overcoming the Fear Factor". She also graces the cover of this monthly magazine with her beauty.
See, here's my copy... If you have never read this magazine I HIGHLY recommend it. You can click on the name of the magazine to start getting your subscription too!
So...join me on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 as we begin the next YES to GOD blog book study and learn to live a fearless life with our sister in Christ, Micca Campbell.
Click here to order your book now!
If you think you might join Micca and I on this next adventure please sign up below under Mr. Linky.
Visit Micca's blog, Reflections or read her devotion on P31 today called
~Many Blessings~