Saturday, January 30, 2010

Links I Love

I've come across some good links this week.  Check these out!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss speaks on Revive Our Hearts about needing a divine anointing for ministry every day: 

Divine Anointing - Part 1 and Divine Anointing - Part 2

What message are you sending?:  Just a Harmless Facebook Status Update?

This recipe sounds yummy:  Jo-Lynne's Corn Muffins

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chat Pack - Special Delivery

Well.  It's another Friday.  Where did the week go?  I might need to use the Chat Pack every day because it seems this is the only way I can find something to talk about.  {I was going to say something "interesting" to talk about, but I guess that all depends on if you find this interesting.}

Today's question is... 

If, like the newspaper or milk, you could have anything of your choice delivered to your doorstep every morning, what particular item would you want it to be?

Now there's an interesting thought.  A daily delivery of anything I want?  I guess there's one thing that I would enjoy having every day, and if it could be delivered directly to my front door, that would be even better.  I know you'll be surprised when I tell you I would want a Starbucks Tall Whole White Chocolate Mocha No Whip delivery.  I know!  You were expecting me to say Peppermint Mocha, weren't you?

Anyway, I would love a home delivery, but only if it was hot and ready at the moment I was leaving for work.  It sure would save me the time from having to leave early, drive up, and walk into the grocery store on those select days when I've got a craving.

Tell me.  What would you want to arrive by home delivery every morning?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

January Recap - Bible, Books & Baking

It's been an interesting start to the new year.  We're almost finished with January, and I've already experienced some exciting things.  Makes me wonder what the rest of 2010 will be like.

One of the privileges I've had this month is to teach the lessons in our Word of Life Bible club every week for the whole of January.  Although I'm a Sunday school teacher, this was a larger group of kids, which included adults.  It was quite daunting at first.  Now that I've come through the other side of the challenge, I am pleased to discover that I enjoyed it.  It was a lot of work but worth it.

Also, something I hadn't shared with you at the start of the year was that I set some reading goals for 2010.  I knew I wanted to read more books than I had last year, but I wasn't sure what was attainable.  I thought 15 non-fiction books and 30 fiction books were a possibility.  Then I decided to keep a record of the number of pages I read and also a list of the books I complete with the date.  I got excited when I realized yesterday that I've already completed 4 books this month, and I'm in the middle of a novel right now that I think I can finish by the weekend.

Here's what I've read so far:

I found both of Nancy's books to be very convicting and spiritually challenging, especially in working through the personal application portions she includes.  I recommend both books!

Another new thing I'm starting is scripture memorization.  Judy had recommended working on this because of a radio broadcast she had heard talking about the importance of this spiritual discipline being incorporated into our lives.  I went and listened to the whole series on (week of Jan. 4-8) and felt compelled to start working on it.  I plan to memorize Second Peter 1 and various other scriptures that are either part of Bible studies I participate in or scriptures that jump out at me during  my studies.

In addition to these things, I discovered after Christmas that I have a new enjoyment in baking {with all natural ingredients, of course}.  Not cooking, baking.  I told Rich that I would bake him a different batch of cookies every week for the fun of it, and he really liked that new year's goal.  I haven't quite kept up with the "one batch a week" goal, but I have baked a few cookies as well as a couple loaves of super delicious banana bread.  {Honestly, the best I've ever had.}  Baking has slowed down here in the last week, only because it's hard for me to watch my waistline expand with all those goodies in the house.  We'll have to see what we can do about that.

So I'd say January has kicked off 2010 for me in a very good way.  I'm looking forward to good things coming ahead. 

See you tomorrow for the Chat Pack.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Chat Pack - Cheer Up!

What?  It's Friday already?  I haven't posted anything in a week.  And I call myself a blogger?  How do y'all put up with me?

Well, anyways... let's get on with the question, shall we?  I'm pulling the card out of the Chat Pack, and it says...

Whenever you are having a bad day, what is the best thing you can do to help cheer yourself up?

Good question for a moody girl, eh?  {wink}  It's true.  I can be moody, and there are a lot of days that I wake up feeling like I have a cloud hanging over my head.  My family thinks I identify most with Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh's mopey donkey friend. 

When mornings start like that I have to get right to praying.  I need to get God's priorities and His truth at the forefront of my thoughts, and prayer is what helps me do that.  As I talk to Him, He starts helping me align my will with His will.  When I remember His care for me and that He is sovereign, it brings comfort and lifts my spirits.

In the last week or so, I've also found that expressing praise and thanksgiving to the Lord helps lift my mood, too.  I've been reading and studying through Nancy Leigh DeMoss' book Choosing Gratitude, and as I've purposely put gratitude into practice it is changing my perspective.  I'm excited about how God is working through that and the possibilities for change that are on the horizon.

Singing is also a mood lifter.  It's not my first response because singing is hard when you've got the blues, but choosing to sing when you don't feel like it is a sacrifice of praise that God is pleased with.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy  ~ Psalm 107:1-2

So what do YOU do to cheer yourself up?

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Chat Pack - TV Character

Welcome to Friday!  Today is the first installment of my Chat Pack.  {You can read yesterday's post to learn more about the Chat Pack.}  The question I chose for today is...

Of all the TV characters you have seen, which one do you believe is most like you?

monk.adrianThis is a cute question, and I have a very funny answer.  I thought of this character pretty quickly because I sort of have a reputation about avoiding germs.  I think I most identify with Detective Adrian Monk.  {Alright, how many of you already guessed that?!?}

If you've never seen Monk, you need to know he's a very quirky guy.  He's obsessive compulsive, doesn't want to get dirty, and if he shakes anyone's hand he grabs one of his trusty wipes to sanitize his hands immediately.  He never leaves home without them.

Although I am not obsessive compulsive, I really do try to avoid germs if at all possible but not to such a great extent.  This is the first winter season that I actually purchased hand sanitizer, so that just goes to show you I'm not that much of a germophobe.  Let's just say I try to be careful and am sure to wash my hands thoroughly after I've been in public places.

{WARNING!!!  Monk spoilers ahead, in case you haven't watched the finale yet.}

If you've followed Monk, you know the series finale was aired recently.  In my opinion, the funniest scene of all the episodes was in Part 1 of the finale.  In order for you to see the humor in this dialog and how I so relate, you need to know I have a serious phobia about vomiting.  I don't want to see or hear about other people vomiting {not even if you're telling me a story from 10 years ago}, nor do I want to vomit.  I would rather die!!  So take a look at what happens when Monk is informed by the doctor that he's been poisoned...

Dr. Shuler: You're gonna feel normal for a while. And then there's gonna be some vomiting, followed by death.
Monk: Vomiting?
Dr. Shuler: That's right. Followed by death.
Monk: Vomiting.
Dr. Shuler: Yes. Followed by death.
Monk: Vomiting!
Dr. Shuler: Adrian, I really need you to focus on the last part of that sentence. There's gonna be some vomiting and then death.
Monk: Is there any chance death could come before the vomiting?
Stottlemeyer: Two days?
Monk: Wish it were five.
Stottlemeyer: Why?
Monk: 'Cause it's a bigger number.

When he asked the doctor if there was a chance that death could come before the vomiting, I was laughing hysterically.  I told Rich I knew exactly how Monk felt! 

So... why don't you answer the question now?  Feel free to leave a comment or even answer in your own blog post and drop me a link.


*Photo courtesy of

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Chat Pack

One of the Christmas gifts I received is a very interesting tool that I have been getting ready to implement.  It's a Chat Pack, which is a box containing small cards with a single question written on each one.  The questions are meant to be used to generate conversations with people. 

Initially I laughed after I unwrapped it and realized what it was, thinking the gift had an underlying message.  Someone's telling me I need to improve on my communication skills.  {That's probably not far from the truth.}  Then I was pleased to learn that this was a tool to be used for my blog.  What a great idea! 

I've browsed through some of the questions in my Chat Pack, and I must say that most of them are dealing with things I've never given a thought to.  Many are going to be pretty tough to answer, yet others are quite simplistic.  In spite of that though, I want to utilize them regularly on my blog. 

I intend to designate Fridays for the Chat Pack, so come back tomorrow for the first Q&A.

Dixie & the Doggy Bed

Rich brought home a doggy bed for our Sheltie, Dixie, the other day, and she's not really accustomed to having a bed like this.  The smaller ones we've given her previously she considered to be a big chew toy that she dragged around the living room and tried to eat.  We thought if she had a bigger doggy bed, she might not be so prone to dragging it around.

Whenever she lays on it we praise her saying, Good dog!  Lay on your pillow.  Good girl!  She finally started catching on, that this is something for her to sleep on.  Even as I'm writing this, she's konked out on the floor next to the bed.  {eye roll}

But guess who is trying to lay claim for the doggy bed now... Teddy, the cat!  Doesn't Dixie look so forlorn?  Rich captured this shot last night while I was out for the evening.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Think about how often the Lord sets in front of you an opportunity to serve Him, and your answer is "no" because it's either out of your comfort zone or you just don't think you can handle it.  Does it happen a lot?  Have you ever wondered what would happen if you started saying "yes"?

This is something the Lord has been teaching me as of late.  I've always been one to turn down opportunities presented to me with an immediate negative response because it's not my thing or I don't think I could.

But something changed.  I stopped.  I stopped saying "no", and I started saying "maybe... I'll pray about it".  And once I start praying about something, it becomes really hard to say no to God.  Unless there's something hindering my availability, I know He wants me to answer yes.  I've learned I can answer yes because of His super-abundant grace.

Do you know what I've discovered since I started saying yes to the hard things?  After I have been obedient and followed through with the task, I have joy.  Beyond that though, I found that God is faithful and His promise is true.  His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  I suddenly see just how big He is and that there is no need to fear when I am dependent on Him in order to do the hard things. 

So take it from me... start saying "yes" to the hard things.  You don't want to miss out on the gift of seeing God at work in your life.

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory....

- Ephesians 3:20-21a (NKJV)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Gratitude bookIf one of your resolutions for this year is to go deeper in your relationship with the Lord, I would like to recommend reading the book Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  It is an easy read but plenty to chew on.  It will open your eyes to see how much we grumble and complain, which ought not to be a practice of the Christian.  I don't believe we understand the depth of the sin that is ingratitude.

I want to be more thankful and express it to God out loud and in the hearing of others, so that His name is glorified and His works are known.  I'm going to work at putting that into practice, and I'm asking the Lord to convict me when I've been ungrateful.

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works.

- Psalm 26:7 (NKJV)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010: A Year of Comfort or Trials?

As we readied to say goodbye to 2009 and ring in 2010, I read many Facebook statuses and heard people saying something like this:

I am ready to be done with 2009.  I hope 2010 is a lot better.  This was a bad year.

I sure can identify with that statement.  I was feeling the same way at the end of 2008, and I'm pretty sure I felt that way the year prior as well.  It seems there were plenty of hardships that seemed unbearable at times and just wanted to get past them. 

Yet I guess it really struck a cord with me this time as I heard it coming from so many people.  I understand what it's all about.  Unemployment has been widespread.  I have friends who have returned to school who are trying to juggle family with that new adjustment in the mix.  Some have lost loved ones to death.  The list of pressures and heartaches goes on and on.

What if we change our perspective, though?  What if we look at what God says about all of our struggles of 2009 and what they amount to?  Would our perspective change?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:3-9 (NKJV)

Do you see the problem with our perspective on trial?  The very things we are ready to escape by turning the page of a calendar are the things God has ordained for us to experience to grow our precious faith.  The apostle Paul calls it a faith that is "more precious than gold that perishes."  And to what end?  That I might bring praise and honor and glory to Jesus Christ. 

But I just want to be happy, you might be saying.  Yeah.  Me too.  Let's be honest, though.  Happiness is relative and passes quickly. 

The truth of it is, we have been called to suffering.  Let me say that again.  Christians have been called to suffering.  Are you cringing right now?  It's a hard truth, I know.  How can you read 1 Peter 1 and come to any other conclusion, though?  He says that these trials that grieve us will prove the genuineness of our faith.  They make it precious.  They make it valuable.  They make it real.

This truth is something I have had to learn in the last few years and something I continue to wrestle with because just like everyone else, I crave comfort, not trial.  The real question is, what am I living for?  Comfort, ease, everything going my way?  Or do I live for the Lord Jesus Christ, hope of heaven, eternal rewards, and a faith to call more precious than gold?

Whatever God has planned for your 2010, it's my prayer that you and I trust Him and cling to Him as our only Source of goodness.  When He gives you the dearest desires of your heart and unexpected joys, thank Him.  And when the suffering and hardship come, thank Him... because He loves you so much He wants to grow your faith.  Will you let Him?

God is good all the time.  All the time God is good.