Friday, September 28, 2007

Whooping Up on Evil

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4


Think about how bad that must be – “the valley of the shadow of death”. Not exactly a place to take a short cut through. Maybe some unscrupulous characters hanging out there ready to devour a nice little gal like me or you.

But the Bible says that even though we are going through the roughest of places, we should FEAR NO EVIL. I spent most of 30 years being driven by a hundred forms of fear. Every thing that I did, every decision I made was based in fear. Fear of not having enough money, fear of being alone, fear of rejection, fear of my children being harmed, fear of fitting in, fear of not, fear of fear!

Sounds like God’s not a peacemaker with this shadow of death either. He’s got a rod and a staff and He’s not afraid to use them. There we are, just walking along with our head down, trying to make it through the bad times, and the Almighty is out there with his rod and staff putting the whoop to the evil around us! Makes me feel all warm and cozy inside! There can be no fear where you find the Lord.

Thanks to Janet for inspiring today’s post and sending me this video!

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=9e7c4b40cf5a13cea6ca

Have a great weekend!
Andrea

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Heart of Gold

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:34

What do you treasure? If your house burned down, what would be the one thing that you would want to save (of course your family all made it out okay)? Pictures of your family? Your only piece of expensive jewelry? A family heirloom? Think about it. Me – it would have to be the computer because that has all the pictures of the kids on it.

Now, here’s another question. What do you spend most of your time doing? Now, I know it’s not sleeping, so what is it? Working? Okay, what about after that? Watching TV, surfing the net, cleaning house, paying bills, volunteering? Me – I know I spend more time at work than I do at home after you take out the sleeping. But after that – it’s probably maintaining the house (cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, etc.)

If I think about it, my family is most important to me so that’s why I do all that stuff, right? But I know who should be number One in my life. If my heart was really with my God whom I treasure, then I would spend most of my time in pursuit of Him. I would be having more quite time in prayer, more time with my nose poked in this Bible and that concordance. I wouldn’t be satisfied that my daily Bible reading consists of researching this silly e-mail.

So where is your heart? Right where your treasure is I guess.

Have a wonderful Friday!!
Andrea

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Poor Me

You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3:17

I used to have a small apartment with my two children, an economy car, and not much credit anywhere. Now I have a husband, three children, a pretty nice mini-van and a great big house! Since “fame hasn’t changed me”, I still feel like the same gal. But I can’t help but wonder what would happen with a huge lifestyle change like winning the lottery or something. One time I won $275 on a pickle card when I was 19 or so and I thought it was $2.75 until I cashed it in!

I’d probably start relying on myself again, thinking that since I could buy whatever I wanted that I could take it easy and not worry about talking to God much any more. I used to think that I would like to at least TRY being rich for a little while. But now I’m pretty sure that I have just enough as it is. I have to trust that He is molding me and making me into the shape that He sees inside me. Part of that is giving me plenty to live on, but still some choices to make. When things are tight, do I sacrifice my tithe? Or am I faithful and trust that if I am obedient and do what I’m told (Leviticus 27:30) that He really means what he says about never leaving me or forsaking me?

It’s hard, I tell ya! No one at church calls if I don’t write that check. The Christian radio station will never come knocking down my door if I don’t send them my monthly gift and nobody would be the wiser. Well, I guess that Somebody would be, and He’s the only body that matters.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No Spare Rods Here

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24

Well, I don’t recall beating either of the older children this weekend, but I’m not really sure of anything after my head exploded except David feeding me chocolate and rocking me in my straight jacket. Seriously, it seemed like we were all over my 9 year old this weekend. So much so, that we both said we were going to try to cut the poor kid some slack this morning. He just argues with everything we say!!

I looked up this verse because sometimes I just want to give them everything they want so that they will be happy (and shut up). But I know that’s not right, not the way to raise considerate, well rounded adults. I suppose a steady diet of pizza, pop and frosted flakes would probably cause heart disease and obesity and then THAT would be our fault too. And maybe a little tv is good, but if we let them sit there constantly then it would be OUR fault that they were scrubbing toilets in the New York subway instead of teaching or doctoring or lawyering.

Well, maybe I’m a little overly dramatic, but I do believe that disciplining our children in the true way that we show them love. They might not get it at the time, but they will. I know that I finally “get it” – thanks Mom!

Have a great week!!
Andrea

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chubby Hubby

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33 ***Click to read the controversy making “wives submit to your husbands” portion and get the rest of the story***

I wanted to highlight scriptural insight to marriage. Coming up on my first wedding anniversary on Sunday I’ve been thinking about a lot of mushy stuff. I’ve been looking at the pictures (okay, I’ve been looking at them for a year), listening to our songs, and remembering things about that time last year. While in a sense, I can’t believe a year has gone by, but in another it feels like Dave and I have been together for 10 years. We have children, jobs, family and faith in common, yet we are content spending time alone and know that the other one doesn’t always like the other’s favorite stuff (although I find it hard to believe that ANYone wouldn’t like Metallica).

Our classes we took with our Pastor prior to getting married were great! I was sort of afraid at first. That whole verse about wives submitting to your husbands was bound to come up. I learned what God says I should be as a wife and it is very far from the worldly view of submission. I gladly submit myself to a man that loves me as he loves himself. I know that submission in that sense would never involve abuse of power. Respect for my husband just comes naturally when he loves me as God tells him he should. It’s amazing what happens when you know the whole truth about what God says and not just what people have picked and chosen to take out of the context of the Bible.

So get off the computer and go hug your hubby or boyfriend. They’re pretty neat, and hey – I found our last night that mine can even clean the bathroom!

Have a great weekend,
Andrea

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Taking Vows

It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Ecclesiastes 5:5


Back in earlier days, your word actually meant something. If you “gave your word” it was like signing a legal binding contract! People believed that you would, pay them back, repair the damage to their vehicle, return a favor, etc. But, not so anymore.

Doesn’t it seem that we, as mere mortals, seem to make things harder on ourselves. I mean, if we simply said what we meant and meant what we said then no body would have to guess what we mean. There would be no terminology for things such as ulterior motives, sarcasm, or dual meaning. These are things that we take for granted because it is more common to say what the other person wants to hear than either tell the truth or say nothing at all.

We wouldn’t need things like contract law, private investigators or even have much use for litigation. Paperwork would be greatly reduced, and maybe we wouldn’t be killing a ton of trees. Although, accountants and attorneys would be few and far between, and people like me that do collections and billing would be out of a job…hmmm. Okay, so I liked this verse, but now I’m thinking that I didn’t have much intelligent to say about it.

Click the link to read what else is before and after this verse, and maybe we can have a discussion on it afterall!
Andrea

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Not Earning It

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 20:31 ***This is my 5-year old’s memory verse for this week. See if you, too, can memorize it!***

That’s what it’s all about. Not just showing up at church, attending Bible studies or helping with Awana or CCD. Salvation has absolutely zero to do with earning it. Every single one of us is sinful by nature and is incapable of doing the “right thing” all the time. People like to say that they believe that they will go to heaven because God understands that they tried to be a good person and, afterall, they don’t hurt any body. But the truth is that we need Somebody bigger than us, bad! We all sin and sin separates us from God.

The Bible says over and over again that the only way to eternal life is through God’s son Jesus. We can’t earn it, we can’t simply be lucky enough to be born and sprinkled and “blessed”. Nope, we gotta go through the ABC’s and we gotta mean it.
A – Admit that we are a sinner in need of Jesus, that we can’t save ourselves
B – Believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose again
C – Confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord

If that’s the only way, then there are a lot of people every day that are dying and spending an eternity in hell. God is patient, and is giving us a chance. Hurry up! Tell your neighbor, tell your friends, and for heaven’s sake make sure your family all knows. Spread the good news of the Gospel! Whoopeee!!!! I don’t ever have to be GOOD ENOUGH for God, Jesus did it for me!

Happy Wednesday,
Andrea

***anyone desiring Biblical reference that supports the ABC’s, please ask***

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weary and Reap

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 ***Click here to read some more encouraging words***

Our 9-year old son had his Dad and I on his case since he walked in the door last night. David held the baby and directed the kids in cleaning off the table while I made dinner. Usually, the baby will sit nicely in her bouncy seat, but not last night. So baby’s crying, Dad’s barking, Mom’s cooking as fast as she can. Then, at dinner we have to say no to extra helpings of the main course and encourage more vegis, eat over your plate, don’t take such big bites! After that – no tv because he had to practice his violin and then everybody is on him to get in the shower (and out – your sister needs a turn too, ya know!) then off to bed.

I went up to kiss him goodnight and realized that his bird had run out of food and water, so I uttered some form of correction and sureness that the bird would die a horrible death if he forgot again while I fixed the oversight. I tried to explain that some parents don’t bug their kids all the time with rules and manners, and it’s because we love them that we badger them at every turn.

I was sure that he wasn’t listening as I scuttled about picking up a sock here and replacing a book on the bookshelf there. But when I sat on the edge of his bed, tired from the day and mentally already tucked in my bed sound asleep, he hugged me and said “I love you, Mommy.”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Whole Lotta Forgiveness

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.

Matthew 18:21-22 ***click the link to read what else Jesus said to Peter and his homeboys that day***

That’s a lot of forgiveness, I tell ya. Good thing ‘cause I screw up. Taken literally, Jesus says we should forgive like 490 times. I’ve known some to push up into the hundreds, but honestly, not even my older kids’ bio-dad has maxed this one out. Because, when I first read this (was mad at biodad and looking up forgiveness in the concordance…) I tried to count how many wrongs that one had done to see if he was at the limit!

But isn’t there something in there about loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39)? And then if you go there, you have to read the whole love is patient, love is kind…it keeps no record of wrongs…(1Cor13:4-8) thing. So I’m commanded to love everyone and not keep score on how many times they make me mad or step on me?

Crud…

Hope you all have a great week. The responses on the Lamentations verse were such a blessing to me!
Andrea

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cha, cha, cha!

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7 ***Click to read about God choosing the underdog***


Fortunately, I have been blessed so as to not have any major physical abnormalities and being in pretty good health I don’t have much to complain about. But, no, it’s not good enough for me to be in good health and have all my fingers and toes, I want to be “perfect”. My Mom has a great saying that she used on us as little girls “If you were perfect, they would put you in a museum away from your family because you would be the ONLY perfect person.” And later in life I learned that it would be that or I would be crucified…that’s what happened to the only one that ever lived.

And what about beauty standards? Wow, they say Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 and while that may be true, she had a perfect complexion, plump lips, shiny hair, and big cha-cha’s…those things are still considered a standard of beauty, I’m sure. I can chase my tail trying to adhere to man’s standards, or I can work on the me that He sees.

I can try to be patient with my spitfire 5 year old. I can be kind to the mentally handicapped busboy that won’t leave my friend and I alone while we eat because he’s lonely and wants to talk. I can faithfully and joyfully give my tithe. I can love my neighbor (even when they park on their front lawn). I can try to perpetuate peace by not facilitating gossip.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 ***This book of the Bible is really cool, I like the one right after it too (Ephesians), check it out!***


I had to throw that bonus verse in there today, so you gals didn’t think I came up with that stuff about patience on my own…ha! And just let me say that some days I would have a better chance at the big cha-cha’s and glowing skin than love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (oh, especially that one) – but at least I won’t need plastic surgery for any of those – just my Bible.

Have a great weekend!!
Andrea

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I have had the absolute blessing to have lunch with two of my friends this week. I had a customer at work talk to me for 15 minutes and tell me all about how her and her husband built their house over on “S” street in 1940something after he got back from the war and they raised 5 children there and he passed away in 1995 and is buried at Wyuka. Another customer called and was so worried about the repairs on her house. Her husband passed away 2 years ago and now she just doesn’t know how to get these things taken care of. I assured her that she need not worry – one of the guys would take care of it.

What a blessing these people have been to me! I try to ask God to make me a blessing to others on a daily basis. I talk too much, so I pray that I can be the talkee and not the talker more when I’m engaged in conversation. Hearing about others lives and being able to help a little is so wonderful. I get caught up in doing BIG things for people and I’m always thinking I need to do more – volunteer at a soup kitchen or the crisis pregnancy center, or do more at church, or, or, or… But I realized last week (after my husband gave me the “are you insane?” look) that while I don’t have any more time to volunteer, I do have other stuff that will further God’s Kingdom. Other stuff like an ear! In fact I have two.
Andrea
Click here to learn how to draw an ear!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Fear

The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1
***this link will take you where you can read OR LISTEN to this Psalm***

This was the verse of the day on the K-Love radio station. I think about this verse when I’m afraid to go into the basement where it’s dark (to many scary movies). But I really think about it when I have to explain my motivation for things to someone in the name of Jesus.

Office talk usually centers around current tv, movies, news, etc. I don’t watch a whole lot of tv and haven’t seen any recent movies because, well frankly they don’t help build me up as a Christian. I saw enough icky disturbing stuff before I got saved that I can just trudge up a scene from the move Seven if I want to be grossed out, or think about an episode of CSI if I want to be disturbed. I was really lost for a really long time, and I don’t need the confusion.

Some people think it’s ultra conservative or even fanatical to attempt to surround ones self exclusively with Christian music, books, and video. Occasionally I actually feel bad that I can’t wax poetic on the recent episode of Desperate Housewives or haven’t seen the movie where the guy is freaked out by a number or something. I guess this verse helps me not to be afraid of what people think of me and reminds me of Who is important.

Have a great week!

Look up the name for your fear on the Phobia List! Good thing I don’t know anyone with Vestiphobia!!!