Seeds: What are you planting?

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Since moving to our new home a few years ago, I have become quite the gardener.  I am learning the best times to plants the seeds and how starting them earlier inside gives the plants a better chance to grow.  All these things aside, it comes back to the seed.  In order for it to grow, it must be planted.  The same principle is true in our own lives.  If we are longing to leave a mighty oak legacy for the next generation, then we have to plant the seeds of faith throughout our life.

The first thing we need to ask ourselves is; what are we planting? 

 

 

This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café  and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts in the comment section. If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!

After reading the entire article, I encourage you to answer the following questions:

  1. How much time do you spend in God’s Word every week? Look at your schedule and see how you can carve out time to devote to spending in the Word.
  2. Take a look at the things in your life that are not essential and start making changes this week.
  3. What values would you like to leave behind for the next generation?

It’s Not Fair

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As a mom, I have heard the phrase, “That’s not fair,” more times than I can count. It is easy for me to scold my children for their faulty view of life being fair. I mean in our home alone we cannot possibly keep everything even or fair.

Many times I have found myself stopping to try and explain this notion to one child or another. I mean really, I don’t see how this is hard to understand until the dreaded comes knocking at my door. Continue reading

Storms

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You have been downsized. It is cancer. There has been an accident. These are all examples of storms. The kind that appear out of nowhere.

Imagine with me that you are floating along through life and even though it is not perfect, it is still smooth sailing. You are sitting back and enjoying the ride. Thinking you have got a handle on everything, when a storm comes out of nowhere and you are bobbing up and down, hanging on for dear life. The only thing that will keep you and your vessel safe during a storm is a strong anchor. Without it you are at the mercy of the storm, tossed from one wave to the next. The anchor’s purpose is to keep you grounded, connecting to something stronger…

This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café  and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts in the comment section.

Cramming Our Schedules

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When my husband was designing our home I was blown away by all the closets and storage he added. I debated why we would need all the closets and what I would place in them.

Well, three years later and I am shocked at how full the closets are. The storage closet in our hall comes to mind. This is a catch all for files, school papers, gifts, craft projects, extra books – you name it. Everyone in the family seems to gravitate to the closet to deposit items he or she doesn’t want to let go of, but can’t seem to find any real place for it.

Therefore, the closet quickly becomes a disaster – busting at the seams and no real organization. It is no longer functional because it is so jam-packed that the location of any one item is no longer recognizable. Continue reading

Calling Women of Faith

Today, my sweet friend Gwendolyn is sharing on the blog. She is the prayer team director for the Indianapolis Women of Faith Conference. Gwendolyn is in need of women who are willing to step out and pray. There is no denying the power of prayer and I ask that you read through the information provided and then contact her to sign up to make a difference.

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Calling Women of Faith

Volunteers needed in Indianapolis

Many of you have experienced the Women of Faith Tour in years past. This inspiring program is coming to Indianapolis once again September 26 & 27, 2014. Transform your soul, awaken your spirit, and revive your faith at our 2014 event: From Survival to Revival. At this all-new event you’ll receive powerful Bible teaching, be inspired by uplifting music, enter into authentic worship, and more. Experience the renewal that comes from spending time in the presence of God. Discover new joy and a fresh sense of purpose. Gather your group, call your friends, and put your family on notice. It’s time to plan for From Survival to Revival!
http://www.womenoffaith.com/events/revival-2014-indianapolis/

This year we are calling for volunteers to be part of the Indy Prayer Team. Members of this elite group will commit to attend the event and be responsible for one hour of earnest prayer either walking the floor or one hour of earnest uninterrupted prayer in the prayer room. Are you known for the spiritual gift of prayer? Do you feel lead to participate in this multi-state revival? Do you know someone who would also like to join? Please visit our Indy Prayer Team website at www.IndyPrayerTeamWOF.blogspot.com to sign up or to print a flyer to hang in your church lobby.
Prayer is needed to bring revival to the participants, many coming for the first time to a spiritual event.
Prayer is needed for the leaders and speakers, to give confidence and to bless their words.
Prayer is needed to bring revival to the area.

Please feel free to visit the website or to call me personally with any questions. We would like to have at least 50 volunteers in the Indianapolis area.

 

Walking the Path with Jesus – Guest Post

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My husband and I went on a 7-mile hike yesterday. It was one of those where you walk to a point, then turn around and walk back. I much prefer loop trails!!

As we were walking back toward the car, I was very aware of my surroundings. I noticed many things that I had not noticed on the walk out – a fence, a crazy looking tree, and a number of hills! I thought a few times – “Are we on the right path?”

Jason said to me at one point, as we approached an intersection in the trail – “Are you sure this is the right way, it doesn’t look like the way we came?” I was sure, but I looked on my “Map my Walk” app, which shows where you are, and we were on the right path.

Whatever path we are on, we are going to come across obstacles and unfamiliar territory; we might become disoriented and confused; even feel like we are lost. On that path, we may see alternate routes that try to sway our minds into believing that they might be better. When we doubt the path we are on, we are in danger of turning another direction, and become completely lost.

When the road ahead seems uncertain, what is your response? Do you turn down the next available alternative to the path on which you are traveling? Do you trust in the way ahead? Do you take out an “app” to check where you are? We have an “app” called the Bible! It’s the Word of God that we can go to – and it shows us Jesus, who said:

 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV

When we look to Him as our guide we can:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

When we are unsure of the way ahead, and it does not seem clear ~ we can come to the Father and:

“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 NLT


I would like to thank Sarah Travis for guesting posting on the blog today. It is a joy to have her share her writing. Be sure to show your appreciation to her.

Know Him – Guest Post

bible-by-candlelight1Once again, it is Friend Friday and today Melinda Laird is sharing with us. I ask that you show her appreciation today in the comment section.


“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you  may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,”   Ephesians 1: 17-18 (NIV)

Know God or know about God?  Believe God or believe in God?   It is amazing how one word can make a difference in the question. The one word can make a difference in the relationship that God has called us to with Him.  In Ephesians, Paul is asking that God give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.  He is not asking this so that we may become more knowledgeable about God; he is asking this so that we may know God better and that we may be enlightened to what He has called us to, His glorious inheritance.

When we say that we know  about someone we are describing a general knowledge about that person.  they are a teacher at my child’s school, or they are the person I see at the grocery store,,,,,,it’s that casual relationship, we say hi, we smile.

The relationship that we know is the relationship we interact with everyday.  My daughter, I know her!  I know how she is going to respond to my questions, I know how she is going to wake up and how she goes to sleep and I know how she will respond to dinner plans, how she responds to my text,,,you get the picture.  I could say the same for my husband.  These are two people that I know,  I have a daily relationship with them.  There is very little that we do not know with each other. It is a daily walking, talking and interacting relationship.  We spend time together, always pleasant? Nope!  That’s part of knowing each other, spending time with together.

That’s the kind of relationship that Paul is calling us to have with  our Lord.  The relationship that is daily walking, talking and interacting with our Father.  This intimate relationship  brings us to a knowledge of Him that grows and fills us.  God loves us and gives the Spirit of wisdom and revelation.  As we receive and accept the gifts we are enlightened to His truth and wonderful glory.

Our faith is strengthened and expanded.  We discover that the more we know God, the more we trust Him in situations we have not experienced before and circumstances which have intimidated us in the past.  Our faith soars and our confidence in Him becomes steadfast and immovable.”                    ~ Loved by God, T.D. Jakes

Do more than know about Him, get to know HIM and ask God to enlighten your understanding.

Wrapped in His Arms,

Melinda


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Melinda Laird is a registered nurse and has been in nursing leadership for many years. She enjoys life in Oklahoma with her husband, Mike who she shares a passion for ministry. You can share in their ministry at blisscollective.org.   Melinda is writing her first book to share her story of growing into a deeper relationship with Christ through a deep trust with Him.They have a daughter who keeps them busy participating in her activities while in the fun “tween/teen” years. 

The Depth of Forgiveness

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One of my all time favorite places on earth would have to be the beach.  I love the look and sound of the waves crashing against the shore.  To stand on the shoreline and just try and take in the vastness of it is overwhelming.  The same is true of God’s love.  We cannot begin to imagine the depths of His love for us.  However, I am certain that given only a short time to live you would be more apt to take the risk and dive in deeper to explore His love.  When we go deeper into God’s love we find out that true peace in our lives comes only through forgiveness.

Continue reading

I’m Not Lazy. I Was Resting.

We have a special treat, Jill Tucker, is back with us on Friend Friday. I know that you will love what she has to share with you.


During the meeting I led recently I admitted I was tired most days lately and wasn’t sure why.  One of the well-meaning participants, who by the way wore a wonderful turquoise denim jacket and matching shoes, looked straight at me and said, “I used to think I was tired too but then I realized I’m just lazy.”
Hmm… was that for me?  Was I truly tired?  Was I just being lazy?
On my way home from the meeting I told God just how I was feeling. Of course.  I forget sometimes to tell him how thankful I am, but you can bet I tell him when I’m tired and frustrated and maybe lazy.
That’s when I realized that Nope, I’m Not Lazy. I Am Doing Too Much.  I committed to slow down in the writing/blogging/speaker areas of my life and just focus on my family for a little while.
This was the right decision, because He was about to rock my family’s world.  I could just feel it in my bones that God was about to answer a huge prayer. A prayer that kept the hubsy and me up many nights hoping, praying.  I was usually already up. I don’t require much sleep. He kept my husband up. You know what I’m saying.
And then BAM!  Miraculously, truly miraculously, the hubsy received word that she was allowed to come to live with us.
This gal.  Lilly.  My beautiful, talented, NICE NICE NICE step-daughter Lilly.  Oh God, give me a heart like Lilly’s.
So, here was another part of the miracle. She was coming SOON!  As in two weeks.  And I was still tired.  And we didn’t have much money.
I did something a little radical for me. I reached out far and wide to women from my church and friends and they came out of the holy woodwork with hands wide open to help us prepare for Lilly’s arrival–How Can I Help?
They donated clothing and all sorts of stuff for Lilly. AND for Bode so he wouldn’t feel left out.
They helped us paint. They donated furniture and clothing and money and decorations. Others sold us items for very little money.
They helped us decorate and pray and prepare.  Some of these women I didn’t even know. Matthew 7:7 is for real.  You can stand in that truth all day long, my friend.
So, after a few months of transition and laughter and settling, I am back in The Game. It’s good to be back.  It was also good to rest and completely focus on my family for a season.

Perfection: Stop Playing the Game

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Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

– Galatians 1:10 NIV

 

Growing up I remember going to my friend/cousin Traci’s house to play. We did lots of different things both inside and out but I loved getting to select a board game to play. Her family had so many to choose from. One of my favorites was perfection.

For those that don’t remember this game it had an assortment of small yellow pegs with various shaped tips. Each of the pegs fit into a specific square on the blue plastic board. Sounds easy enough but there was also a timer and the pieces would pop off the board if everything was not in the correct place before the timer went off.

This game reminds me of my life. I strive to put everything in the right place so everything is “perfect”. The problem with this notion, though good in theory, just like the game it does not play out well in real life. Not only is this life style stressful for my family and me but also it is unattainable.

I need to take a step back to gain a better perspective on my life and what I am expecting of others. God does not expect us to be perfect because He know it is impossible for us. He only asks that we are obedient to Him. God will take care of the details, the pieces in your life and organize them in a way that not only makes sense but also will bring Him glory.

Therefore, you and I need to stop striving for perfection and pleasing others and starting seeking God.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, it is so easy to be consumed with striving for perfection. We are surrounded by airbrushed and staged pictures that make the perfect body, home and family look not only attainable but also easy. Help me to not fall into the enemy’s trap and become distracted and lost sight of You. Help my eyes to be fixed on You and allow You to gently guide my steps this week. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

 

Your Turn: I encourage you to put away your to-do lists for one week and simple go to God at the start of each day and Him direct your steps. Be led by God not your lists.