Christmas · Family life · memories · Prayer

Christmas Favorites 2017

Since I was absent the week after Christmas I didn’t get to share SOME of my favorite pictures and moments.  There were lots of them, but let me show you just a few.

We got to spend an early Christmas weekend with Whitney and her husband.  They’re great hosts – taking us to see the lights in the downtown city near them, fixing great food as you can see below, and giving us a cozy guest room to stay in.  We got to visit their church and loved worshiping with them!  Whitney doesn’t just blog about comfort at home – she lives it out!  Her house was decorated so beautifully for the holidays!

Christmas 2017 1

If you can’t visit Dollywood any other time of the year, you must go at Christmas.  It’s just breathtaking.  We got to go see the lights and shows (many that share the Gospel!) with dear friends and it was a great evening.  Sights like this one are at every turn!

Christmas 2017 2

Our little grandsons were sick on Christmas Eve, so they missed going to their other grandparent’s home or going to church.  However, after the service, we all went to their house where I fixed brunch for all of us.  Then we got to watch these little sweeties open the gifts we gave them and big teddy bears from their great Nana and Papa.  Wow!  That was special.

To see Alli and her husband love and parent these boys is a reminder every day that God answers prayer!

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Christmas afternoon we headed to Kentucky to spend Christmas with my family.  What a special joy it was to have my sisters and our husbands and our parents all together for Christmas Day!  It was also a time to celebrate my dad’s 85th birthday.  We are blessed beyond measure, and so thankful to the Lord for wonderful relationships, and time together to share a meal, laugh (lots!) and praise the Lord for His blessings this past year.

My brother-in-law on the far left has recovered miraculously from a fall from a roof in early September.  To see him standing, walking and enjoying the day with us was a gift in itself!  God sustained him and my sister as she cared tirelessly for his needs all those months.  Many of you prayed for him, and we are grateful.  Thank you.

Christmas 2017 4

I thank the Lord for a wonderful 2017 where I saw the Lord answer prayer after prayer.  Guess what?  On the first day of this year, another longtime prayer was answered!  I can’t wait to see what else God is going to do.

I was moved to tears by many who requested the prayer journal I shared about in the previous post.  Your names are all in my journal and I can’t wait to hear how your prayer life will result in blessings untold as you wait on the Lord to answer!

Be refreshed this weekend as you gather in a local church to study, worship, pray and fellowship!

What was a highlight of your 2017?

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Christian growth · How-to Video · Prayer

Setting Up An Effective Prayer Journal

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I’ve shared often that I love looking at the answered prayers marked in my prayer journal and many of you asked how I set it up, or what I use.  Today I’m giving you a tour of my journal via the video below!  I hope this will answer your questions and set you on the path to the blessing of much prayer!

Leave any questions you may have in the comment section.  Don’t forget to email me at RefreshHerblog@gmail.com if you would like the download for the prayer journal!

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Prayer · worry

Take It To the Throne

 

phone notificationRecently I got a text message about a difficult issue concerning someone close to me.  Their situation was critical, and there was nothing any person could do to fix it.  I found myself so anxious and uptight. In tears, I expressed my concerns to my husband.  Right then he took me by the hands and stopped to pray.

Immediately, I felt the Lord’s peace come over my heart.

Gone were the anxious thoughts,

the worry

and the twisting of stomach and emotions.

With shame I asked the Lord to forgive me for not stopping myself from worrying and taking time to pray.

Why is it easier for us to go on with our fretting, rather than running to God’s Throne to find mercy and grace to help in our time of need?  Hebrews 4:16 I knew I was helpless to change the situation, yet I went about my tasks with my furrowed brow and fearful thoughts.

Even though the situation we prayed about wasn’t helped immediately, I was!  God’s peace flooded my heart as my husband took us to the Only place where help could be found!

I also knew I needed to help the sender of the text.  I called and said,

“I need to help you by taking your hand, too, and going to God’s Throne right now.  Can we pray together?”

If you’re anxious about ANYTHING today, can I remind you of what you probably already know?  You need to stop letting it weigh you down and simply go to God’s Throne in prayer and leave that burden with Him.  And if you know someone who is worried, or in a difficulty or a hopeless situation (your spouse, a friend, a child), do what my husband did for me and grab their hand and take them with you to the Throne of God.  What peace you will both find there!

Is there a burden you need to stop and pray about?  Is there someone who needs you to stop and pray with them?  

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baking · Crafting · Fall · Family life · friends · Husband · Prayer

Five Friday Favorites

We had our first really cold day of fall this week!  It came just in time for Trunk or Treat at church, making it a fun fall activity!  I made these costumes up for my husband and me.  I thought since he’s my other half, it was perfect!!

Dale and me

Life has been so enriched with these precious little boys in our lives.  They are growing and changing so much!  They’re imitating…

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and learning and rolling and growing…and stealing our hearts!

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Fall also means Pumpkin Roll!  Here was the first one of the year!

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To be a part of a group of praying friends is a HUGE blessing in my life.  These ladies are my prayer group.  We have cried, rejoiced, laughed, and prayed so much in the last couple of years.  Wow.  We are rich, indeed!  We got to celebrate a birthday of one of these precious gals this week.  What a joy to rejoice that she is God’s gift to us as a sister in Christ, a friend, and prayer partner!

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What fun activities have been a part of your week?

Do you have a group of women you pray with?  I’d so encourage you to ask God to give you at least two or three!

Refresh your life this weekend in God’s house!

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God's character · Praise · Prayer

God Will Make You Laugh!

Imagine that you walk into your OB office and you see a 90 year-old pregnant woman sitting there waiting for her appointment.  Yes, it’s  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.  While waiting for her name to be called, she’s  knitting little baby slippers for her first-born son.  She sees you looking at her, a little grin stealing away on your face, and she smiles, nods and says, “It is funny, isn’t it?  Let me tell you how this happened!  This baby is God’s gift to me and my husband –  he’s 100!”

Then she laughs, and seeing her joy, you laugh with her.  We read in Genesis 21:6,  “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”

God revels in doing what seems to us to be the impossible. His acts are so astounding that often, they are laugh-worthy!  They are surprises in answer to our prayers that we would have never dreamed of!  A son is raised to LIFE?!  There were probably sad tears that turned to laughter!  A man is struck blind on the road and hears a voice from heaven calling his name?  From that day on, he no longer persecutes Christians, now he is preaching Christ!  A tax collector who had been cheating people now follows Christ and repays those he’s cheated?  God feeds one of his servants using a raven?!  These situations are all laughable because no one but God could have ever done such wonderful things!

What are you waiting for God to do?  Don’t try to figure it out!  God is going to do it in such a way that will make you laugh!  He’s an awesome God and He loves to demonstrate just how awesome He is!  When He answers, tell someone so they can laugh with you!

Have you had a “laughable” answer to prayer?

Christian Life · Prayer · Uncategorized

Finding the Will of God

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High school students taking geometry class have no concerns as to whether or not they’ll come up with the right answers for these math problems.  Oh, they’re no good at formulas, theorems, and postulates, because they either skipped class or perusing Facebook during class, but it’s no big deal!  Why?  They have every confidence that to get the answers all they have to do is ask Google!!

That sad scenario was passed on to me from a long-time geometry teacher recently.  He said that his students don’t study or put time into learning the in’s and out’s of geometry when they feel sure that Google can give them the answers for homework or tests.  He reminded them that they are sadly mistaken.  In order to do well in his class, they need to spend some time alone with their book, their notes, assignment their homework.

Before we get too hard on those failing freshmen, perhaps we need to check and see how we go about getting our answers.  Oh, we might not need formulas for geometric shapes, but how do we go about getting directives from God?  When we need to know His will, aren’t we often eager to just find the quickest way to hear it?

I think of Elijah when he was on the mountain.  Do you remember the story?  He had been running from Jezebel – the wicked queen who was hunting his life.  God told him to go stand out on the mountain.

And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Elijah thought he would see God in Big ways – a wind, an earthquake, a fire, but no.  God didn’t speak to him in BIG ways – he spoke in a still, small voice.

What truth does this show us?  We might want to know God’s will so much, and we think (or even say!),

If God would just show me what to do, I’d do it!  Can’t He just tell me what I’m supposed to do?

But God doesn’t write it in the sky.  He doesn’t thunder His voice to us while we’re sleeping.  So, how does God reveal His will to us? 

It comes when we do what Elijah did.

  • Get alone with God.  We must take the time regularly to set ourselves apart with the Lord so that we might be still.
  • Don’t do all the talking.  We need to open His Word and read.  What to read?  Start with the psalms and pray them back to God.  Praise Him.  Love Him.  Sing to Him.  Ask Him what/where you should read next.  Be still and listen for the Spirit of God to direct your thoughts.  Read after asking God to illumine the Word to your heart.
  • Pray about what you don’t understand. One day when I was studying the life of Elijah, I got to the part of the story that we’re talking about today.  I didn’t understand it.  So, I prayed and asked   “Lord, what does this mean?  Why did you tell Elijah to go out on the mountain?  What about the wind, earthquake and fire?”  Then I sat still and listened.  I continued to read the passage silently.  It was then that God showed me…
    In order to hear my voice, you must seek me in the Quiet Place – not in grand miracles or loud demonstrations of my power.  Listen for my voice, still and soft. 

Maybe that passage has always been easy for you, but when God showed me that Truth, I wept and rejoiced over its understanding.  How simple.  How profound.  There are no 1,2,3 steps to get an answer from God.  God loves us enough that in order to show us His will, He wants to have a relationship.  We draw near.  We read His Word and come to know Him.  We listen.  Then we learn.  We get up from our Quiet place after who knows how many hours, or days, not just knowing His will, but also being so close to Him that we’re not afraid to go do it!

Elijah got his marching orders from God that day.  So will you and I, when we do what that geometry student needs to do – take time to draw near and listen to the Teacher.

If you’re seeking God’s will, don’t go ask people.  Don’t look for a quick way to find the answer.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

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children · Christian Life · Motherhood · Prayer

Family Friday – How To Pray for Your Children/Grandchildren

 

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When I became an adult there was a day when my mom apologized to me for the lack of “big” family vacations while my sisters and I were growing up.  It was such a surprise to me to hear her even mention that because it never entered my mind that I had missed out on anything!  We didn’t have yearly adventures at theme parks or cross-country road trips, but our family had daily/weekly worship times, family times, games, fun and a loving environment and that was enough to allow me the blessing of growing up fulfilled and more than satisfied with all that our home provided.

But I understood my mom’s heart.  Parents who love their children know that those little ones need so much. From nurturing, to physical care, education, and daily provision, there’s so much to provide for each child.  But if we are trusting the Lord for wisdom to know how to give them what they need, He will not only give to them spiritually, but will also provide everything else that is essential in their lives, just as He did in our home.

A huge part of the spiritual provision comes when we pray for our children.  As I’ve mentioned before, if we’re not praying for our children, who is? Here’s a great list of prayer requests to pray for your child, with Scriptures to use as your platform to come to God.

  • To know the Scriptures which are able to make them wise unto salvation.  II Tim. 3:15
  • To grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  II Pet. 3:18
  • To be obedient to parents. Eph 6:1
  • To be respectful to parents Eph. 6:2
  • To have a heart for God. Deut. 5:29
  • To know God and serve Him.  I Chron. 28:9
  • To hate sin. Ps 97:10
  • To understand their sin will be found out.  Num 23:23
  • To choose the right friends. Prov 13:20, I Cor:15:33
  • To say “no” to sin. Prov 1:10
  • To learn to submit to God. James 4:7
  • To have a repentant heart.  Ps 51:103
  • To be teachable. Prov 13;1
  • To be a servant to others.  Phil. 2:3,4
  • To trust God for their future mate and ministry.  Prov. 3:5,6
  • To remain pure for their future mate and future mate pure for them. II Cor. 6:18-20
  • To surrender their heart and life completely to God. Rom. 12:1,2
  • To stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Col. 4:12

There is no greater gift you can give your child than to faithfully pray Scripture for them.  It’s bigger than Disney world, and more impacting that the view of the Grand Canyon. Also, aside from what it will do for your child/grandchild, it will also change you, and that’s something NO vacation can do!

Pray and refresh others!

Have a great weekend,

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