Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Squares for Jesus

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

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Many ladies are gifted in making cross stitch patterns into a work of art. I observed an elderly lady busily stitching away on a project. She remarked, “I love doing this particular pattern”. I quizzed her as to why she was working on such a complicated project. “This is my squares for Jesus picture”, she stated.

Needless to say, my curiosity was peeked. I knew that having the reputation of a square was not usually acceptable to others. She explained why she identified this particular stitching project in this way. She pointed out this needlework pattern was divided into squares each having its own unique picture. The first square reminded her of the time when she first realized the beauty of Christ could be a part of her existence every day.

needlepointAs she meticulously completed each section, she contemplated the various squares stating that each one represented an important phase of her life. She reflected on each square individually and stated she had made it through all the phases with God’s help.

The symbolism of the picture penetrated her thoughts as she realized the hand of God had been at work in her life: designing, stitching, perfecting every area, some positive and some negative. Even though the underside of the picture had many knots and flaws from the use of many colors of threads and various types of stitches, the top side had become a great masterpiece.

Even though I am not physically making a needlework art, I was so moved by my conversation with her. Every phase of my life is creating its own pattern in a square of God’s masterpiece. I want every phase of my life to reflect God’s love and concern for me. I have had many “knots” and “flaws” along the way but hopefully with God’s help I am creating that perfect masterpiece. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10Ephesians 2:10
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

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I decided at that point that I, too, want to be a “square” for Jesus!

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The Ultimate Makeover

Monday, July 13th, 2015

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There are a number of televisions shows dealing with makeovers from people to houses. Sometimes they go to great extremes to perfect just that certain look. I enjoy watching these programs but probably could never look that good or have a house that breathtaking.

makeupI am encouraged, though, to know that God is able to do a makeover on us. He changes us from the inside out at the time when we begin our personal relationship with Him. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:172 Corinthians 5:17
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.

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The key phrase here is “be in Christ”. Of course, it does not mean that we are inside Christ but after we accept Him as our personal Savior and the price He paid for our sins, God no longer sees how imperfect we are. He views us as united to Him.

No matter what we do to our outward appearance nothing changes our “being in Christ”. Our Godly image should reflect His image and “all things should become new”. “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.1 Corinthians 1:301 Corinthians 1:30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:

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Our greatest makeover should be to “BE IN CHRIST“!

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A Mother’s Heart

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

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I usually do not get too personal in my blogs but I decided to share about my experience as an adoptive mother. My husband and I welcomed two girls who were biological sisters into our home when they were ages seven and ten. There were indeed many challenges with the adoption process and learning to care for two girls that were emotionally and physically abused, but we accepted the fact that God had given them to us to nurture.

You may have given birth to a child but are you the mother that God directs you to be? As you read Proverbs 31:10-30Proverbs 31:10-30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

10 A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain. 12 She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeketh wool and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar. 15 She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth food to her household, And their task to her maidens. 16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. 17 She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms. 18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night. 19 She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle. 20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land. 24 She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come. 26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue. 27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying: 29 Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all. 30 Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised.

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you will notice there are many attributes that a Godly woman should exemplify.  The passage aptly portrays the perfect wife and mother.

I had a woman contact me recently in frustration that even though she wanted to adopt a child she could not do so because of her past history with the law. She had changed her perspective on life but the past came back to haunt her. She already had biological children but wanted to adopt more. I strongly encouraged her to make it her primary focus to be the best mother she could be to her own children and also to find ways to show love to other children in a motherly way. Thus, she could fulfill the passion in her heart for children.

If you are childless, past child bearing age or do not have any children of your own, there are many ways to reach out to hurting children. There are precious children everywhere just waiting for someone to show them some positive affirmation, attention and love. You might be that bright light in a child’s otherwise drab daily existence.

Let’s show a true mother’s heart to a special child today! Have you considered being a foster parent or adopting a child?

Link to a Facebook page with information on parenting a child . https://www.facebook.com/FosterParentingAdoption

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Are You Lifeless?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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plant - deadRecently someone gave me a lifeless houseplant they could no longer take care of.  I pulled off the dead leaves, watered it and nourished it with some plant food. After some consistent pampering, the plant came back to life.

This reminds me of the scripture verse found in Romans 6:11-12Romans 6:11-12
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof:

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, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”

If I had just brought the plant home and left it unattended, its ultimate result would have been to die. I needed to do something.  I was successful in reviving it. Thus, it is symbolic of our walk with Christ. There is action required from us to die to sin.  It is because of His grace that we can remain alive in Him and not let sin reign in our life.

God is continually trying to make me into a usable vessel for Him but action is required on my part. Here is the plant one month later.


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Emergency Numbers

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

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The eerie ambulancesound of a siren can be very disconcerting to us. It is our natural inclination to peek out the window to check what type of emergency vehicle is passing by. Although we are often apprehensive at the sound, we are glad there are those individuals who are willing to serve to meet our needs when a crisis situation arises.

What happens when a spiritual emergency happens? I found many lists of “Emergency Numbers” by unknown authors that will give us guidance when the need arises. As I was doing research on line for this particular listing, I found there were many more available situations with scripture verses pointing to the solution but I have highlighted just a few to share.

  1. When men fail you – Psalm 27
  2. When you have sinned – Psalm 51
  3. When you worry – Matthew 6:19-34Matthew 6:19-34
    English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

    19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also. 22 The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment? 26 Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value then they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto the measure of his life? 28 And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

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  4. If people seem unkind – John 15
  5. When God seems far way – Psalm 139
  6. When your faith needs stirring – Hebrews 11
  7. When you need assurance – Romans 8:1-30Romans 8:1-30
    English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

    8 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: 7 because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: 8 and they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: 13 for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth? 25 But if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered; 27 and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren: 30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

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  8. When you feel like you are in danger – Psalm 91
  9. When the world seems bigger than God – Psalm 90

I am thankful that God’s Word provides the remedy for many of life’s troubles and concerns. Let the Bible point the way to living the victorious life.

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Church Absentee App

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

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One of the most recent apps for a cell phone is one that a parent can download on their mobile device to track the school attendance of their college-age child. It alerts parents when a student skips class.

There are so many apps for the various brands of phones that it would be difficult to count them all. When I started doing research on the different ones available here are a few I came up with.

cell phone appsThe Sim Stapler allows us to satisfy the urge to press a stapler without wasting staples. This stapler simulation is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When the urge to staple strikes, a solution is at hand.

Rotary Dialer enables you to experience the days when calling phone numbers included a clicking sound as well as a long wait for the numbers eight, nine and zeros.

Did you know there is also an app for blowing out the candles on your birthday cake? Using the speaker opening at the bottom of certain phones as a makeshift fan, it allows you the ability to have assistance in this important part of a birthday celebration.

The above mentioned applications are unique but it made me wonder what would happen if your clergy or designated church representative had a “Church Attendance App” to track your attendance at your designated place of worship. How well would you do?

In like manner, we know that God does not have such an app but he is mindful of our commitment in attending our house of worship. Attendance is important because we are able to worship with other believers and be taught the Word for our spiritual growth. Some will argue that church attendance is not a requirement. That is true but a true Christian should have a desire to worship with a body of believers.

I don’t want to be on God’s checklist of absentees. Do you?

Hebrews 10:25Hebrews 10:25
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting [one another]; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.

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admonishes “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

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The Reset Button

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

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The new year has already begun. What a great time to set goals, re-evaluate priorities and make plans for the future. We embrace this yearly ritual because our mind is stimulated by the thought of starting over again. This symbolic process of hitting the “reset button” in our mind has value in that it helps in the process of renewing our commitment to creating a better year than the previous one.

As we mentally press the “reset button” we are attempting to return everything back to its original status. This is not possible but it can jumpstart our efforts to make the most of what lies ahead for us. Our reaction to an adverse situation is often the catalyst in determining its outcome.

Isaiah 43:18Isaiah 43:18
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

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– 19 NIV tell us “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Do not dwell on what happened last year. Change your focus. Start looking ahead. Seek a new vision in your life in the current year. With God’s help we can accomplish much for Him.

The Lord says

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One Size Fits All

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

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christmas packageA gift is something given willingly to someone without payment; a present. We are not forced to give to someone nor are we compelled to give anything back in return.

 II Corinthians 9:15 tells us to give thanks to God for His indescribable gift. What is that gift? Romans 6:23Romans 6:23
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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tell us “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Hence, eternal life is God’s gift to us.

Have you ever received a gift of clothing that did not fit? In that case, you are hopeful the person giving it to you has kept the receipt so it can be returned for the correct size.

God’s gift to us (eternal life) fits everyone no matter the size of your heart . Here is an admonition from Ephesians 3:16-18Ephesians 3:16-18
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

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: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

Jesus Christ was born in a manger on that first Christmas day so that we might receive this free gift that is available for everyone through faith. It is the perfect gift that manifests itself through the love of Christ. Indeed, one size fits all!baby Jesus

May you have a Merry Christmas!

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Within the Covers

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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Ronald ReaganPresident Ronald Reagan once made a very profound statement, “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” What a timely statement even for today.

It seems there is so much unrest in the world. Wars, rumors of wars, major global illnesses, disagreements on all types of social issues – and the list goes on. What should be my reaction to these?

A person recently told me she was conservative in her way of thinking. I responded that I didn’t know if I was conservative but rather I was “biblical”. She had a strange reaction but I told her that, since God’s Word is my measuring tool, the answer to all my decisions are found in the Bible.

Psalm 18:30Psalm 18:30
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

30 As for God, his way is perfect: The word of Jehovah is tried; He is a shield unto all them that take refuge in him.

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NIV states, “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.”  Since God’s Word is flawless, why would I look for the answers anywhere else? Some people try to make the Bible say what they want by making their own interpretation but as the lyrics of the old song goes, “if God says it, I believe it, and that settles it for me!” I am not going to change God’s Word to suit my own needs or so I will be socially accepted.

I am going to look “within the covers”!

Following are the lyrics to the song “God Said It and I Believe It” as sung by Del Delker.

God Said It and I Believe It

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The Piano Keys

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

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The series of student books I am currently using to teach beginning piano lessons has a series of songs where the student plays only on the black keys. Although this is probably not the way I would start teaching a beginning student, I went along with the lessons as outlined. At the onset of learning piano, a person does not realize the importance of the black keys in making beautiful music and it is difficult to explain to a new student the concept of “flats” and “sharps” in a music selection.

Keyboard Keys Close UpTo me the white keys denotes the good things that happen in life and the black keys represents the bad. What would the piano be like with all white keys but no black ones? How would the music sound?

It is possible, as I stated above, to play a musical selection on all white keys or all black keys but oh the beautiful music that is generated when both are played together?

That is similar to our daily lives. We will encounter both the good and the bad. Learn to appreciate those delightful things but know that along your journey there will be those black keys that step in your path. In the end all things will work out.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28Romans 8:28
English: American Standard Version (1901) - ASV

28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.

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