Monthly Archives: October 2012

Trick or Treat?

For most today is Halloween, at my house it’s hump day.  A regular boring Wednesday, no candy, no costumes, no compromises.

As a family we have chosen not to celebrate Halloween.  Fear, even in its most subtle forms will never be welcomed in our home.  And we’ve been through enough to know that the spirit realm is real and evil is not something to be played with.

My husband and I have 4 children 10 and under (My, that sounds better than the times I used to say 4 children 6 and under).  For the most part my children understand the choices we make and why we make them.  My oldest has always done a very good job of leading the younger children.  Tonight was a little different,  it started around 3:00 she asked, “are we doing anything fun tonight?”  I didn’t quite pick up on her question until I was making dinner and she came in and asked, “did you celebrate Halloween when you were a kid?” “was it fun?” Now, I was aware of what was on her heart.  I answered honestly, “Yes I celebrated Halloween as a child and yes it was fun.”

I went on to tell her the funny things I dressed up as, the time I went to a haunted house and almost peed my pants because I could smell the gas from the chainsaw.  I told her how my mom would drive us to the “rich” part of town so that we could rack up on the King-Sized Snickers.

I also told her about the time my girlfriend and I spent hours decorating sheets of paper with bible scriptures on them to pass out instead of candy.  Even my mom thought I was weird! I was 16 when I had my first conviction about Halloween. I don’t know what sparked it, but I was convinced that everyone who came to my door that night was going to leave believing in Jesus.  The next morning we woke up and saw, I’m sure what was 90% of our lovely scriptures thrown on the grass or lining the streets with rest of the candy wrapper litter.

My daughter is getting to the point where things have to be real to and for her.  I can’t say, “Halloween’s Bad” like I can to my 3 year old and that be the end of it.  She’s dealing with feeling left out, missing out and wanting to experience what the masses and even some of her close christian friends are experiencing.  I understand that and it was written all over her face.

After we talked she walked away and I could tell our talk had not satisfied her.  Sure enough a few minutes later I heard a soft whimpering in the stairway.

I found her and held her. I said I want you to have fun, it hurts my heart that you may not have the opportunity to do some of the things I did as a child, but I am responsible to God for you and this is how I believe God wants our family to live.  We are set apart from certain things.  I held her a little tighter but I could tell she was still not convinced, I let her go and told her to ask God to reveal His plan to her.  She wiped her eyes and agreed.

The night went on like normal, we ate dinner, laughed and talked like we always do.  At bed time my husband requires that the kids read a chapter of Proverbs and do sit ups and push ups.  I told you in yesterday’s post, Running the Race he was a fitness guru!

Right around 8:30 the kids all rushed downstairs eager to share with us what they learned.  My 6 year old summed it up like this, “if you go left you’re wrong, if you go right you’re wrong.  If you make a U- Turn you might be ok just as long as you stay straight!”  I wanted to laugh so hard because I was wondering how he came to that conclusion.  It was so cute but I dare not insult him with laughter because he was serious about this revelation.  Everyone had a turn to share, I finally asked, “Umm, where exactly were you guys reading from?”  My oldest daughter brought clarity to it all.  She read Proverbs 4:25-27 from her Student Bible:

25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

She went on to explain that she has look straight ahead and think about the path that her is own path. Not the path of anyone else.  She understands why we don’t celebrate Halloween and she said now she believes she knows what God wants her to do.

Thank you Lord! You are a better parent than I could ever be.  My daughter was content, and I could not have given her that if I tried. What real a”KING-sized” treat. I was touched by her words and understanding and I pray you are too.

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Running The Race

My Husband surprised me with a new pair of Tennis Shoes, yesterday.  SOOO Sweet. Now he’s a fitness guru, he’s Mr. Consistent.  I on the other hand am pretty fit overall but I go through my seasons.  For the last few months I’ve been going to the gym regularly without a problem.   But the next few months ahead will test my diligence….the colder temps, the holidays (yummy), and the kids home from school, lets see what other excuses can I think of? 🙂

What my husband didn’t know, is that by giving me the shoes, he also gave me a little boost.

My mouth said, “Aww, thank you honey.” But my mind was thinking, “Shucks, now I have to keep working out, I cant let these shoes go to waste.”  (Scratch: “Shoes too old” off the excuse list)

God knows sometimes we need a little push.  I’m grateful for the encouragement and the reminder that consistency is the key.

Check out Fringe Girl, her post on running this race really blessed me.  31 Days of Living by Faith, Day 31 – Running The Race.

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Be Magnified

I say these words,”Lord Be Magnified” all the time. In some ways it’s a habit, it’s what I’m used to hearing.  It’s kind of like saying, “Hi, how are you?” to a passing stranger and not awaiting the response.  Most of the time we’re  not asking how the other person is really doing, it’s just something we’ve tacked on to the end of Hi because Hi was too short.  The same is true of religious sayings.

What does it mean for God to be Magnified?  As I was thinking about this, the only image that came to mind was a magnifying glass.  In my mind God is already big so I was a little confused about what it meant to magnify God.

Ding!  Imagine me with a light bulb on top of my head.

I got it. I realized that God was big to me in theory, but when I looked closely at my life there were many things that I had allowed to become bigger than Him.

This morning my sleep became bigger than Him. It’s just starting to get cold here and I figured instead of getting up to pray, I would meet God under my covers.  We could get nice and cozy, I’d close my eyes and we could talk there.  I’m sure you know the rest of the story….I went back to sleep.  I missed out on my time with Him and had to rush into my day.

On Tuesday I might let a financial worry become bigger than Him, on Wednesday it might be an emotional one.  At some point there is something in our lives that wants to parade itself bigger than God.  We get fooled into thinking that other things are more deserving of our time and attention.

I understand now that, “Be Magnified” is not just an endearing term, it is a reminder to us.  God is already enormous, so those words don’t make Him any bigger.  Instead they challenge us to make Him larger in our own lives.

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;  And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!” Psalm 70:4 

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Is God Enough?

God himself is not enough for us, it’s sad but it’s true.  A few months ago I was stepping out of the shower, why that’s important to mention I don’t know..I guess because God usually speaks to me in the shower.  Anyway he said if you were locked in a dark janitors closet for the rest of your life would I be enough?  (In this dark closet somehow I knew I could still use the bathroom and eat and stuff, so I was alive) but the first thoughts I had were what I needed: light, fresh air, hugs, guacamole, activities, human interaction, cozy socks, etc.  I wanted to say no.  I still want to say no.  I didn’t answer that immediately but God knew what I was thinking.  He said why? Why am I alone not enough?  I was embarrassed.

Of course God’s not planning to lock me in a janitors closet, at least I hope he’s not.  But if for some reason I found myself in that situation or a more realistic one like dealing with a sickness or suffering a loss, would God be enough for me?

How often do we look at this limited view of life: our circle, our friends, and compare ourselves? How often do we let what’s advertised define what we should have, instead of realizing that by simply being alive we are blessed?

I need God to be enough for me, no matter what I’m going through, but it’s not anything that He can do.
He already is, already was and always will be enough.
It’s something that I must continue to understand.
I’m reminded of Moses and the time he asked God how should he introduce Him to the children of Israel.  God said, “I AM WHO I AM” (because it’s in all caps I think God was shouting, 🙂 ) God said, “tell the children of Israel I AM has sent me to you.”  I don’t know what Moses was thinking at that time, but my first thought is I AM? what kind of name is that?  I AM..what?
That’s just it though.  No more needs to be said.
I AM {any and everything that you will ever need}
{Insert:} Healer, Provider, Comforter, Helper, Protector……the list goes on and on
Be encouraged today, God is more than Enough.
Check out Moses’ story in the book of Exodus.  Reference mentioned comes from Exodus 3:14

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The Finger

My cheeks hurt from what I am about to write, I literally can not keep a straight face.  I was on my way to yet another birthday party and pulling out of my neighborhood.  Apparently when I pulled out I was not going fast enough for the car coming up behind me.  I was not aware of this, as I am largely unaware of most of my driving mishaps luckily, I have my friends and family to point out my lack of driving skills at every opportunity, what would I do with out them?

This blunder I caught on my own though, well ok I only noticed because the guy behind me laid on his horn and decided to ride on my bumper.  As soon as I heard his horn I graciously waved out the window and mouthed, “Sorry”  but that wasn’t enough for this guy he had to show me that I was wrong.  So he sped pass me and flipped me the bird in front of my minor child and slammed on the breaks in front of me.  Real Macho right?  A few seconds later I’m behind him at a red light (yes I know what you’re thinking…he’s speeding and flipping birds and raising his blood pressure for what?  To be two feet in front of me at the same red light!).  So I’m sitting there looking at the back of his car and he has not one but….drum roll please….. two Jesus magnets!! One says Jesus and the other is the image of a cross with the words LOVE written through it.

I fell out laughing, I couldn’t help it.

We were still at the light and I know from experience that it’s a long light. Everything in me wanted to get out of my car, gently remove the magnets from the back of his car, tap on his window and kindly ask him if he would mind putting those magnets in his glove box for the time being.

But I refrained.

I called my friend and told her this same story, she advised me to give the guy a break….perhaps it was his wife’s car!!

Let’s hope so.

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Stand

I had a friend who was incarcerated for two years, I won’t discuss the details of his case for obvious reasons, but he was imprisoned unjustly.  Now I’m not the type of person that says, he’s my friend and he didn’t do it,  he truly was innocent.  I had the opportunity to see first hand the corrupt justice system that plagues this nation.

Yes, I am grateful for the just judges and all those who strive to uphold the law. I also realize that relative to other countries we have it pretty good, but the fact is, the system can be shady.

At the time of arrest he was never read his rights, and over the course of two years he was never brought before a judge, never informed of his charges and was the only prisoner banned from going to the library.

I’m trying to remain calm…don’t get me started.

We spent countless hours and resources filing motions on his behalf, studying the system, visiting, praying, searching for anyone to answer, demanding just a basic level of accountability.  For two years the court was SILENT.

In the face of all this opposition my friend continued to stand.  He would not be moved.  He was offered several pleas, opportunities I can’t even say I would pass up if it meant that I could leave that place and return to the comfort of my home and family.

He would not bow to injustice, this inspired me I admired him and to be honest it made me think he was crazy sometimes.

He’s quite versed in the law…the REAL law, rights that were established and given to us under the constitution.  Not this newfangled stuff they are trying to pass over on us, bogus law disguised as “safety” but really its fear.  (but that’s another blog)

What surpassed his legal knowledge was his faith in God. He always believed that God would deliver him and he was committed to standing his ground until justice was served.

It makes me think of the scripture in Ephesians 6:13:

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand

This life unfortunately is not fair, and many times things happen that are outside of our control.  When trouble comes (and it will) we have to be prepared, equipped to fight the battle at hand.  Eph. 6:12 tells us that the battle that we fight is not a natural one but a spiritual one.  We don’t war in this dimension, but we can certainly fail in it if our Spirit Man is not strong, and we step out unprepared.

Take some time to read Ephesians Chapter 6 today. Learn what it means to be prepared.  If you’ve read it before refresh yourself.  It’s what I’m going to do, I want to be able to STAND no matter what I’m going through, much like my friend in this situation.

By the way, we got a phone call last week that he was released from prison and this morning we woke up to a text message saying that ALL (ambiguous) charges were dropped and everything he lost in the process has been restored.  Such an amazing testimony.  I haven’t done it justice because I can’t share all the details, but I hope it inspires you today to be ready, be prepared and having done all…continue to Stand.

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I’m itching

It’s almost November and I’m still getting bit by mosquitoes. Really? I’ve counted seven so far and I was outside for less than 5 minutes.  They itch really bad and the only reason I’m posting right now is to keep my hands from scratching. About a month ago I found something that I guess I had for a while that really brought some relief, all I know is that it was transparent and refreshing and I’m still trying to figure out what it was.  I’d recognize the package if I saw it again, it was labeled but the markings were old and hard to see, I was planning to re-label it and put it back where I found it but I didn’t do it right away.  Gosh, I really wish I had because now the stuff is no where to be found.  So I’m sitting here itching with no relief in sight.

The moral of the story…do what you plan to do, do it right away if you can, don’t be like me, save yourself the itch.

If anyone has any remedies for these bites I’m open to hearing them. First comment that works, I’ll send you a book. Promise!

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