It is April 23rd and we are sitting in Florida while Buffalo is getting a spring blizzard. Not sure how much snow will fall but I am happy to still be here right now. Even though we hardly got any snow this winter. I am not in any kind of a mood to deal with it now. Especially since the 80 degree range has been so nice this past week. I have lots to think about and write about but not tonight. I just wanted to get back into the blogging mood. I shouldn't even say "back" because that would make it seem like I once was a big "blogger" which I never was. However, the desire is still there. I used to journal all the time pre computers so blogging seems like it should come naturally right? Perhaps. We will see.
New Season. New Activites.... Blogging? Maybe.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I am reviewing books for Blogging for Books!
Here is my first review of a children's book:
I read this book to my 3 year old, 5 year old and 9 year old. The 3 of them gave me feedback as well as my own.
It is a book about a mama polar bear telling her little cub polar bear about the world around them. It begins with the two talking about the snow falling and how there are different places around the world and different bears that live in different places. The little cub is in awe with the fact that there are all different bears around the world and they all live in different places. "'Don't those other cubs miss snow?' Little Cub asked." It does a great job at paralleling the differences that humans have around the world and the different places we live in to bring it down to a child level that is easy to understand and fun.
It is very cleverly written and the illustrations are outstanding. I loved how it took the polar bears on a "bear exhibit" showing the different bears of the world and different places they live in. Really cute!
My 9 year old said she "love love loved it!" Her favorite part was seeing the different bears from the different countries. My 5 year old loved it and liked the little cub going to bed and dreaming about the other cubs around the world falling to sleep.
It was a good, easy read and would be a perfect bedtime story. I think the target age for this story is 3-6 year olds but the illustrations and cuteness of it appeals to the older kids as well. We enjoyed it!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Just some thoughts I've been having after a conversation about length of worship service on Sunday. My thoughts aren't on any particular service at any particular church... Just thinking... I was surprised to hear people in the congregation at a church complaining about the length of service- it being too long. Would someone REALLY COMPLAIN about that? Well, apparently so. In fact, it must be more than one person if the pastor of a church thinks that he has to "watch" his time. Do you think this is REALLY giving WORSHIP to our LORD? Is this how Jesus would preach? Watching the clock and worrying about how long He's taking up of people's day? I'm just wondering... how far away are we from where we SHOULD be? None of this is to point wrong fingers at anyone... I KNOW there are Sundays when my mind just wanders off and I am thinking about what is to come..... BUT... that's NOT how I want to be and my heart is not where it should be on those days. So... How do I (we?) get back to that THIRST... that DESIRE that I know I once had to just DEVOUR the WORD. I remember ANXIOUSLY anticipating the message on a Sunday Morning and completely looking forward to sitting IN HIS PRESENCE and in the presence of other believers. To truly FELLOWSHIP. To FOLLOWSHIP. To be a part of the BIG C Church. Where am I now? Am I close to there? I do know one thing... I know how to get back. Whenever I feel like I am not in NEED of His Word... whenever I feel like I'd rather be elsewhere, the guaranteed solution is to just get myself back into the Word. When I'm out of it, I don't need it (or think I have other things to be doing). When I'm IN it... I AM IN IT! It is there! It is LIVING! It is TALKING! It is making me WANT MORE!!!! LOVE IT!
So, how do we answer those who have better things to do on a Sunday than WORSHIP the KING of KINGS???? To those who will actually COMPLAIN about being in HIS PRESENCE for LONGER... WHERE is the DESIRE???? WHERE is the NEED??? Was it ever there? Only God will no the answer to that question... But, shouldn't we as Followers and Worshippers look at it as STRANGE that someone WOULDN'T desire LONGER time in the Word? Shouldn't we ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT the DESIRE to learn and be in fellowship and in worship as long as we can??? Rather than apologizing for a long sermon- shouldn't we apologize for not being able to learn from the God Breathed Inspired WORD ALL DAY LONG???? I think it would be WONDERFUL if it was strange for someone to want to leave church on Sunday! How wonderful would it be if people were SO ON FIRE for God - SO EXCITED to be in church - SO THRILLED to be in Fellowship that nothing could stop them. Wouldn't THAT kind of excitement be contagious, be something that others would WANT? Wouldn't that, in and of itself, be such an AMAZING testament of our LOVE for Him that we wouldn't even have to worry about TELLING someone about Jesus because they would SEE the love we have for Him!
I keep thinking about Mary and Martha for some reason today. I keep thinking about what Jesus Himself said about learning from Him! Martha was preparing the house and meals for Jesus and His disciples and "all" Mary was doing was sitting at His feet "listening to His word" (Luke 10:39b). Martha complained because she was working and felt probably a little jealous and hurt that Mary wasn't.... But even though what Martha was doing were GOOD things for Jesus and she had a servant's heart, Jesus gives us insight into how important our desire to learn from Him is- Luke 10:42 is a direct quote from Jesus: "but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." LISTENING TO HIS WORD- Jesus, GOD With Skin On!, tells us it's "THE GOOD PART". PEOPLE! Let's SIT at his feet! Let's NOT worry about what stores we have to go to, what meals we have to prepare, how much laundry is at home, what football game is on.... EVEN if some of those are GOOD things, HOW MUCH BETTER is Sitting at HIS FEET for as long as we can and LEARNING His ways????
We have all heard the story of the loaves and fishes. But WHY did Jesus need to perform the miracle??? The crowd was listening to Jesus all day and being healed by Him. The disciples said, "... the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves." But Jesus said to them, 'They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!'" Matthew 14:15b-16 The crowds stayed ALL DAY and into the NIGHT! That's the THIRST! That's the DESIRE! For His Word is what is necessary, food is secondary.
And, we're complaining about a 45 minute teaching on The Word????? REALLY PEOPLE????
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Back on the topic from a few days ago about our sin nature and "how" to escape sin especially any hard footholds the devil may have on us after we have become believers...
I was reading 2 Peter this morning after listening to a Podcast from Pastor Jerry on walking in this world as citizens of Heaven rather than blending in as citizens on earth... ANYWAY.... Chapter 1, Verse 2 starts out as this:
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the KNOWLEDGE of God and of Jesus our Lord;"
So, right there I am reading that we will recieve GRACE and PEACE through KNOWING God & Jesus. I read the next few verses which I was reading last night and wanting to chew up a little, but let me first skip down to verse 10 which made me go back to thinking about this topic. LISTEN TO THIS!!!!
"Therefore, bretheren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, YOU WILL NEVER STUMBLE;"
Did you read that last part? As long as you practice these things, YOU WILL NEVER STUMBLE! Okay, so the answer we are looking for is in there--- practicing "these things"... what were "these things"? So, rewind to the middle verses:
2 Peter 1:3-9
"seeing that His divine POWER has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also,applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self control, and in your self control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For in these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins."
See why that was so much? Because looking at it in that big a chunk is overwhelming. And, because it seems like those things are just things to HAVE, but HOW? It goes right back to the same SIN question- HOW to escape from sin's hold??? But I think ONE major answer is way back up in the first verse I included, 2 Peter 1:2- the KNOWLEDGE.... How do we get knowledge of God and Jesus? Easy answer = being in the word. And the next verse is REALLY REALLY COOL- "seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us..." He has given us EVERYTHING pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS THROUGH what? "The True KNOWLEDGE"- It's all in the Bible! EVERYTHING we need is in there.... And, I am confident THAT is our answer! Then I think the next verse is explaining it even further: "by these He has granted to us His precious and Magnificent promises so that by them (BY THE PROMISES > IN HIS WORD) you may become partakers of the divine nature--- (GET THIS) Having ESCAPED the corruption that is in the world by lust." And we already know "Lust" leads to "SIN"! So- his promises in the WORD are the answer to escaping LUST! And, I believe all the rest will come as we pursue His promises. Diligence, moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, love!!!!! They are so similar and even overlapping to the fruit of the spirit.
I have to go wake up Tabby for school but what AMAZING ANSWERS right from God- HE IS SO GOOD!!!!!
Monday, June 14, 2010
"It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are FAITHLESS, He remains FAITHFUL, for He cannot deny Himself."
2 Timothy 2:12-13
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! God is so good. He shows me the most awesome passages! I love it! If we are FAITHLESS; and I know there are days where I don't feel like the most FAITH FILLED person- but it doesn't matter- because HE REMAINS FAITHFUL!!!!! My human- ness... my bad days don't change HIS LOVE for me- they never could because HE REMAINS FAITHFUL! How magnificent!!! And, for the Faithless in God, it doesn't matter because HIS PROMISES remains TRUE! It's a constant- no matter what happens with us- HIS WORD is TRUTH! How comforting is that?! LOVE IT! :)
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I just got back from Tabby's school and walked into an empty house! I am NEVER EVER EVER alone so this is REALLY strange! LOL I don't even remember the last time I was ALONE. Anyway, school ends next Friday so today was my last day volunteering in Tabby's room. Every other Tuesday I would come in to read to the kids and Kevin would do alternating Tuesday's. Then we stayed and had lunch with Tabby and her class in the cafeteria. I really treasure these days. I know not all schools and not all years will I have the opportunity to do this and I am delighted to tears that I am fortunate enough to be able to come into her class and spend some time with Tabby at school. They are growing up so fast and my Tabby will be in second grade soon. I looked at all those little first graders and they are still so little and sweet. But these days are turning so quickly into weeks into months into years and I need to step back and enjoy them. Tabby is such a sweet light in my life. I thank God so much for letting me be her mom. I am so fortunate to be able to spend time with each of my girls. My heart is so full of love for my family. A lady in the lunch room told me she asked Tabby if she ever had a bad day and her answer was "No!" That's my Joyful Tabby! SO FULL of JOY and LOVE and LIFE!!!!! Well.... everyone's home now... back to real life! ;)
Monday, June 7, 2010
So, I've been parked in Romans since yesterday- Romans 6:12 and Romans 6:16. Yesterday, in church at New Hope Pastor Paul wasn't there and Clint was teaching. He was in Romans and talking about sin having a foothold in the life of the believer and that we must believe that once we give our life to Jesus and surrender, sin won't have a hold on us and we have the ability to overcome any sin. And, the key is believing. That was the one thing that seemed a little unsettling to me since yesterday. Where is the HOW? Then, in my mind I keep replaying something I heard while listening to Pastor Jerry on a podcast this week from around Easter. Here's the quote; "We do not OBEY God because we do not TRUST God. We do not TRUST God because we do not KNOW God." WOW!!!! I LOVE Pastor Jerry's nuggets. I wish there was a book with all of them! Anyway, then read Romans 6:12- "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you OBEY its lusts" And this is what is popping into my head- Are we locked in OBEDIENCE to our sin because we are TRUSTING our sin because we are KNOWING our sin MORE than we KNOW God?!?! Our sin has been there our whole life. Our sin is comfortable. Our sin is familiar. Where is God? How do we make God become more comfortable than our sin? I think the answer is in the Word. Pastor Jerry made a point about people trust what they see on TV because TV is trusted because it's something they know. So, what is reigning in my life? Is my TV in my life more than my Bible??? Insert whatever into that sentence. It's a pretty powerful thought. Am I letting something, anything become more familiar to me than God- which leads to trust - which leads to obedience. Would OBEDIENCE to God become far easier the more I TRUST in Him, the more I KNOW Him. So, where does KNOWLEDGE come from? His Word and prayer. The answer to overcoming sin for me becomes obvious; it's in His Word, prayer and finally surrendering DAILY to Him. It's KNOWING, building TRUST and finally OBEDIENCE. And after having this bounce around in my head a little, I read Romans 6:16; "Do you know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for OBEDIENCE, you are slaves of the one whom you OBEY, either of SIN resulting in DEATH, or of OBEDIENCE resulting in RIGHTEOUSNESS?" I know I want to be a slave to the one who brings Righteousness- not the one who brings Death.