Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Eve









Me and my family Christmas Eve. We enjoyed a candlelight service at church and a cozy time of fellowhip at home. I truly am blessed! That last picture is Missy trying to get her dress off, she really doesn't care for clothes!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Lord is Faithful

Hello my friends! This morning I was so encouraged as I was gently reminded by the Word of God that HE, the Lord is faithful. I know that there are many of us who are enduring various trials and difficult times that may seem overwhelming, discouraging and/or down right hopeless. It is very easy to become consumed in our situations and thoughts of ourselves but I do not believe that is what the Lord would want us to fix our eyes on.
In in His holy Word, in 2 Timothy, we are reminded that Paul endured persecutions and afflictions (more than most can ever imagine) and that the Lord delivered him out of them ALL. " Yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." God does not promise us deliverance from persecution but deliverance through it. Persecution is one of the means God uses to develop our capacity to reign with Him in His kingdom. 2 Tim 2:12 "If we endure, We shall also reign with Him." Persevering in the faith even in the face of hardship or persecution will result in a reward when Christ returns. (see Matt 5:10-12; Rev 2:10.). Paul continues to remind us in 2 Tim 3: 14-15 " But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that form childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Paul was referring to Timothy in this passage and his Godly heritage. For those of us who are believers, some from childhood and others later in life, we are exhorted that the truths of God's Word directs us to Christ. God's Word and the spirit of God are both essential for our salvation.
The other scripture that really jumped off the page was 2 Tim 4:6. " For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand." Here Paul is confident that no one could touch him until the Heavenly Father ushered him into his eternal home with a victory celebration. Paul had been vigilant in his service to God. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
So my friend, if you are reading this today, be assured that all that you are experiencing and enduring is seen by God. He knows your struggles and desires for you to fight the good fight being fully confident that He will deliver you through them and that He, the righteous Judge, will give to you on that Day the crown of righteousness. Until that day, let's keep our eyes fixed on that joyous hope that awaits us and allow God to pour us out like a drink offering before Him, fixing our eyes on the size of our God and not the size of our troubles, being fully confident that He is faithful to deliver us from every evil work and preserve us for His heavenly kingdom(2 Tim 4:18).

Many blessings to you,
Melanie

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Fun!












When Christmas rolls around we love to do fun family activities. This year we decorated a cookie jar that I found at Michael's a couple years back. It was an after Christmas clearance item and only cost $5.00, I love a deal!!! Everyone signed their name and contributed to the making of the cookie jar, even big brother Dusty! Then of course we needed cookies so chocolate chip is what we made!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Insights for Today

After speaking with a dear friend of mine I was so very well reminded of the pain and suffering that so many people are experiencing today. If you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I want to encourage you to seek Him out. Have questions? Then ask- He wants to answer them for you and He wants to give you hope.
Today I would like to share some excerpts from various devotions from Elizbeth Elliot. If anyone knows pain and suffering, she does. Her husband was murdered by a tribe in Equador to whom he was trying to reach out to in Jesus name. She has an incredible testimony and God has used her in a mighty and powerful way.
Here are some of her words... Many of our prayers are directed toward the quick and easy solution. Long suffering is sometimes the only means by which the greater glory of God will be served, and this is, for the moment invisible. We must persist in faith. God has a splendid purpose. Believe in order to see it. Our troubles are slight and short lived; and their outcome an eternal glory which outweighs them far. Meanwhile our eyes are fixed, not on the things that are seen, but on the things that are unseen (2 Cor.4:17-18).
The Lord who loves you suffered and wants you to fellowship with Himself. The joy of thus knowing Him comes not in spite of but because of suffering, just as resurrection comes out of death. I have a Savior because I am a sinner, and beauty is given to the child of God in exchange for ashes.
We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive His poured out life and, being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others. How can one's suffering help another? By being offered to Him who can transform it into blessing. You have been granted the privilege not only of believing in Christ but also of suffering for Him (Phil.1:29).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Revelation Song

Read chapters 4-7 in Revelation to see the inspiration for this song. God you are awesome and worthy to be praised!!!

The Challenge of Contentment

This morning after reading my Word for the day I came across this "In Depth" in my bible. These are inserts in my bible that really make you think. I really chewed on this one and thought it was worth sharing word for word so here it goes:

Paul's young disciple Timothy had his hands full in Ephesus. The apostle had left Timothy in that city to oversee the organization of the church. Timothy was to provide consistent teaching, help the church choose leaders, and model personal integrity as a leader.
Paul's first letter to Timothy contains both direction and encouragement for Timothy. Among his memorable objectives Paul included the following; "Now godliness with contentment is great gain" (6:6). Obviously, the absence of both godliness and contentment would indicate great loss, especially in the Christian life. Godliness without contentment would be a joyless and legalistic righteousness. Contentment without godliness describes a person sadly disconnected from God's truth.
What kind of life is Paul describing when he speaks of godly contentment? Paul describes such a person as having a firm understanding of the passing nature of life. The things of this world are here when we arrive and are left behind when we leave. Neither godliness nor contentment can be found in accumulating them. Things beyond God's provision of our basic needs (food and clothing.6:8) can be enjoyed without becoming a necessity. Paul understood that if godliness (our desire to see God's character reproduced in us) and contentment (our acceptance of God's will in our lives) depend on our circumstances, both will always be unstable.
Elsewhere, Paul indicates that godly contentment must be a learned response(see Phil. 4:11-13). Developing godly contentment lies well beyond our abilities. That is why along with Paul we must appeal to the right source for such a character trait:" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

How are your eyes???

Hello friends,

Today the verse "He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor" Prov 22:9 is what God laid on my heart. We live in a world where everyone looks out for number one. How much can I do for myself, what will make me happier, what can I attain to gain stature and on and on. This in and of itself often times leads to misery and complete self absorption. In the proverb it says a generous eye will be blessed. What does the eye do? It sees of course. What does your eye see today? We must first look and be aware of what is around us. Who will you be looking for today and who will you see today who needs a helping hand? What will you do about it? One thing I have learned is that you can't out give God. So do an eye check today, see how your eyes are? Are your eyes good 20/20 or do you need some corrective lenses? God bless you today and know that God loves you more than you'll ever know.

Hugs and blessings,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Power of Praise!!!

Hello friends,

I revisited parts of the book Prison to Praise and was blessed by the reminder of how the joy of the Lord is my strength. No matter what the circumstances, I must continue to praise and thank the Lord for all that He allows in my life, even when it doesn't make sense. "Praising Him isn't something we do because we feel good; rather it is an act of obedience."

"The very act of praise releases the power of God into a set of circumstances and enables God to change them if this is His design. It's often our attitudes that hinder the solution of a problem." In 1 Thes 5:18 we are reminded "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Not always easy but commanded by our Lord. In 2 Chron 20 we see the power of praise. A whole army was defeated when the Israelites simply praised the Lord and believed Him when He said that the battle wasn't theirs but His. As Merlin Carothers puts it " The enemy's arrows just can't penetrate the joy of someone who is praising the Lord. While we praise Him, He sends our enemies scurrying. Now that's powerful!!!!

So my friends, let's praise Him today. Praise Him for all that He is allowing you to go through and see what happens.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

God of Wonders!!!

Here are some pics from our trip to the Grand Canyon. Tori came to visit for 2 weeks and we took a little mini vacation to explore God's amazing creation. His handiwork screams His name.
I spy Tori!



If you look close you'll see a squirrel begging for food, they are professionals! CLICK to enlarge

Vic and the kids. We sure miss big brother Dusty!
Lexi and big sister Tori!
Tori and Vic
I love this one. It's all about perspective!
Vic and Cameron
The beautiful Grand Canyon

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

As for me...

Hello friends, it's been a long time. I have been enjoying time with my family during summer vacation as I know it will be harder to find that time when I am back to work in August. The Lord has been revealing many things to me this summer as I have sought Him during this ever changing season in my life.

Sometimes it is difficult to determine what God is doing but the beauty of it is that we really don't need to. It has been challenging walking through the questions " Lord what do you have for me to do? What would you like me to stop doing? Is this all you want me to do or is there more? Am I doing too much, too little? I find that everything seems to be connected even when it doesn't appear to be. God uses it all to mold me and strip me of my flesh. What I do know is that He is with me and He wants to walk along side of me regardless of where I am and what He has me doing. Finding the peace and contentment is an ongoing prayer project but knowing that whatever my hands find to do I need to do it with all my might as unto the Lord.

Today I spent my quiet time in Psalm 55. The Lord really desires to minister to our broken hearts. In this psalm David was severely pained by the betrayal of a friend. Now that hurts. Our friends are those that we esteem highly and share intimate emotions and experiences with. We should be able to trust them, right? Well, as we all know we don't live in a perfect world. We are flesh and blood and we have a sin nature. However we have a friend who sticks closer than a brother. We have our Lord and Savior, the one who died for our sins, the one we call Abba Father who will never leave us nor forsake us.

What I loved so much about this psalm is vs 16. Remember, David did not always choose to follow the Lord. He made big mistakes in his past.However, in vs 16 it says "As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me. This was David taking a stand and choosing to have faith. God had delivered David many times in the past and when he took the time to remember what God had done for him, he knew that he could trust that God would do it again.

Let's be encouraged that no matter what we are going through, no matter the distress, God can and will hear our cries and He is faithful! Let us be people who choose the stance"As for me, I will call upon God." Vs 22 reminds us "Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Remember the Lord is the one constant in life and the one true Friend. There is no burden that He cannot bear.

Be blessed knowing that the God who created this universe loves you so much, more than you can ever know. He desires to hear our cries and our praises. He is our confidant who will never betray us and we are safe in His hands. So whatever you may be going through, give it to God and make the choice to trust in Him and His faithfulness.

God Bless,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Home Run!!!

video
This was the last game of the season for T-Ball and Cameron went out with a bang. He was the final batter and he hit a home run!!!!! Sorry for the loud screaming but it was so exciting. My boy is #9 and I couldn't be prouder!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank you Lord for my beautiful children Lexi and Cameron. Tori and Dusty, I love you and am so blessed to be your step mom.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

To all of you in blogland and to all of my very precious mommy girlfriends, I wish you a Happy Mother's Day. I pray that you know how loved you are and how blessed we are to have been given this privilege of motherhood. The job is never done, there is always something to stretch us just a little further than we think we can handle, but the rewards are inexplicable. I pray that we will all embrace the job that God has appointed us to. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Here are some encouragements from God's holy Word:

"Children are a heritage from the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. " Psalm 127:3

"Blessed is he whose quiver is full" Psalm 127:5

"Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Gal 6:9

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." Proverbs 31:28

Motherhood is a race of endurance, so press on. Don't give up, embrace the good times as well as the bad times. Know that we were not called to be the mother of our beautiful children for no reason. Let us allow the Lord to have His perfect way with us by using our children to help mold us as well as we are attempting to mold them. As Paul says in Philipppians 3:14 " I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." May He continue to give us wisdom in leading his children in a world full of darkness. May our children be a light to a dying world. May He bless and multiply our efforts this day and every day forward. God bless you my friends. May we look forward to the day when we hear the words " Well done thy good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21

Hugs to all
In His service,
Melanie

Monday, January 19, 2009

Devotion for today

Well here was the devotion from "My Utmost For His Highest." It was such a true reality. Be encouraged in those down times, those times of darkness and stillness. This is when God does His best work. I pray that you all find comfort and encouragement from the truth that follows.

Whenever God gives a vision to a Christian, it is as if He puts him in "the shadow of His hand" (Isaiah 49:2). The saint’s duty is to be still and listen. There is a "darkness" that comes from too much light-that is the time to listen. The story of Abram and Hagar in Genesis 16 is an excellent example of listening to so-called good advice during a time of darkness, rather than waiting for God to send the light. When God gives you a vision and darkness follows, wait. God will bring the vision He has given you to reality in your life if you will wait on His timing. Never try to help God fulfill His word. Abram went through thirteen years of silence, but in those years all of his self-sufficiency was destroyed. He grew past the point of relying on his own common sense. Those years of silence were a time of discipline, not a period of God’s displeasure. There is never any need to pretend that your life is filled with joy and confidence; just wait upon God and be grounded in Him (see Isaiah 50:10-11 ).

Do I trust at all in the flesh? Or have I learned to go beyond all confidence in myself and other people of God? Do I trust in books and prayers or other joys in my life? Or have I placed my confidence in God Himself, not in His blessings? "I am Almighty God . . ."— El-Shaddai, the All-Powerful God (Genesis 17:1). The reason we are all being disciplined is that we will know God is real. As soon as God becomes real to us, people pale by comparison, becoming shadows of reality. Nothing that other saints do or say can ever upset the one who is built on God.


Blessings & hugs,

Melanie