The World Rushes On

I’m not a fan of big crowds, probably because of my size. I feel like I’m getting shuffled along against my will. One day last year we were at Dollywood and it was about 45 minutes before the park closed. We decided we’d eat supper at one of the restaurants there before leaving the park. Everyone else was headed to the front gate to go home, while we were like salmon swimming upstream headed to the restaurant. It helps to have a tall sturdy husband to hang on to! He said, “Hold my hand,” then he plunged into the crowd dividing the people like the Israelites crossing the Red Sea. My head was spinning with those people pushing all around me!

My prayer journal has a hymn written at the beginning of each day. The hymn for Wednesday is “Take Time to Be Holy.” One of the verses says,

Take time to be holy,

The world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret

With Jesus alone;

By looking to Jesus,

Like Him thou shalt be;

Thy friends in thy conduct

His likeness shall see.

In order for us to be holy we must spend time with the Lord each day. While we’re reading and listening to His voice the world is just outside rushing all around us. It’s calling for our attention, pushing and shoving right at our elbows; even desiring to turn us and make us follow the busy crowd instead of being still. But the Lord says, “Here, hold my hand.” When we keep our eyes focused on Him and latch securely onto Him we can stay on track. Our thoughts won’t wander, nor will our hearts if we do as the songs says, and look to Jesus. Then afterwards when we do step into the crowd, it will be evident to others that we have spent time with our Savior because we’ll be like Him.

No matter how early you get up the world is rushing around you – let it rush on without you. Have you turned your back on the crowd and taken time to be with Christ today? It will be evident either way.

What Jesus Did For Me

I’m late posting today – it was a “migraine morning.” But, thank the Lord, the headache is gone now and I’m pressing on. The Lord is good to give medications, and doctors to help. He gives sleep when we need it most, and comfort in difficult, painful hours in the night.

As I sat out on the deck a while ago and read my Bible reading my heart was overwhelmed when I read John 21:25 – “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” As I sit and reflect on what Jesus has done for me I could write one of those books John was talking about! I could tell you how He began working in my life before I was saved, revealing my sinful nature and my need for a Savior. I could write about the way that He has led me since salvation, marking out His will in my life, giving me purpose and direction. I could tell you how He has answered scores of prayers. He has enabled me to serve Him by giving me wisdom and strength when I had none! He has intervened in my life, protecting me from making poor choices. He has encouraged me by sending along other Christians that were walking with Him. He told them what to say to me, or what to do for me that was exactly what I needed at that moment. My book would be a thick one – maybe it would be a series. Who am I that He would care for me? But He does, and it amazes me.

Every day that I’m walking with Him I see His involvement in my life, and another chapter could be added to the book, What Jesus Did for Me. What a Savior!
Why not share here what Jesus has done for you today…

Summer Help for Moms

When I went to Walmart this week it dawned on me very quickly that school is out for some children and will be coming for others in the near future. How did I know? Mothers in the aisle of the stores already had that pinched look on their faces. I could hear frustration in their voices as they repeated what they’d already said to their children more than once since arriving in the store. I heard – “I don’t have money for that.” “I’ll buy you a little toy if you’re good.” “Get out of the middle of the aisle where people are trying to push their carts.” “You’re not thinking!”

For some moms summer break means having the children under foot for three months – and that is thought enough to curl their hair without the aid of any iron or curlers! Having a plan in place will help make the summer months one to enjoy instead of dread. Here are a ideas for summer activity that will give your children and you some special times together:

Coin Adventure
Turn an ordinary neighborhood walk into an extraordinary adventure. Pick a time when you have nice weather and a bit of time to spend. As you and your child step out the front door, flip a coin. If its tails turn left. If its heads turn right. Continue this at every corner. You never know where you’ll end up! This is a great opportunity to giggle with your kids and enjoy some chatting.

Be Prepared
Fill a large laundry basket with a good playground ball, a jump rope, and roller skates, hula hoop and some side walk chalk. Fun times are waiting with these items!

Slide Test Drive
This simple activity keeps my son busy for quite awhile and his friends like it too!If you have a swing set with a slide in your back yard.Place a bucket or dish pan at the bottom of the slide.Have your child place a toy car at the top of the slide and see if it will roll into the bucket.Ask him /her which cars were successful, which one failed and why they think that was the case.

Scavenger Hunt
My favorite summer camp activity was a good scavenger hunt. Have a hunt with your kids or help plan one for the neighborhood gang.You’ll Need:A list of common house hold objects that you know you have. Each team or child will receive a list and a bag for the items (make the lists before gathering the kids).The lists can contain anything:A dandelion, rock, Pill bug, worm, leaf, ball, roller blade…Pre-readers will need pictures. The object of the game is to be the first team to find and retrieve all of the objects on the list. Play inside or outdoors.

Refrigerator Box House
No tree for a tree house?Just go to your local appliance center and ask if they can spare a LARGE box. Let your children design there “fort” and you can cut the doors & windows with a utility knife.Paint and decorate the outside using poster paints and sponges or brushes. Fabric scraps and a stapler can be used for curtains. If kept under cover this retreat will last all summer. Don’t for get the “keep out” sign.

Tent Time
Kids love to play in their own tent space. You can do it without the hassle of pitching a tent.Use a plastic tarp over the clothesline with stakes at the corners. Cover the floor with a blanket or sheet.Provide a picnic lunch, board games and other activities for the little campers. Using this instead of a real tent will prevent damaging the lawn. Kids can use it all summer long for a relief from the sun.

Special Treats
If there’s an ice cream truck that rolls through your neighborhood and causes whining among your brood because there’s not money for it, purchase some special treats ahead of time (they’re much cheaper at the store!). When the truck comes into your neighborhood pull out your affordable treats. You and your children could even make the treats – ice cream sandwiches with your homemade chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies would be super good!

Check out this web site that has 99 games to last from Memorial Day to the end of August…ummmm, isn’t that when school starts back? http://familyfun.go.com/games/indoor-outdoor-games/specialfeature/summer-games-june/
Bible Time
Why not host a Bible club in your backyard? It doesn’t have to be a huge organized thing. Invite the neighborhood children (and their moms), have a Bible story, songs, maybe a craft and a little snack. Who knows what impact this could have in your neighborhood? While giving the children the Gospel, you’re also providing a break for those moms for an hour – they’re bound to appreciate that!
I LOVE summer! Hope yours is a great one!


Just Good Ideas

I love to pick up a book or magazine that has some really good helpful ideas in it that simplify my life. I thought I’d share some of my recent finds with you here. Feel free to share your good ideas on the comment section – I’d love to hear your helpful hints!

  • Place all your shoes in clear shoe boxes rather than shoe racks. They’re shorter and trimmer than standard shoe boxes and stack nicely on the closet shelf. Because they’re in clear boxes they’re easy to find.
  • Put Clear plastic drawers in your closet to store socks and belts.
  • Use a lingerie bag usually used in the washing machine to hold small lids, baby bottle caps and other small items from slipping through the dishwasher rack.
  • Use a magnetic clip to hold your recipe while you’re cooking. Stick the clip to the stove hood and you’ll be able to see the recipe easily.
  • Wrap a rubber band or two around the ends of a hanger to keep your camisoles and sleeveless tops from sliding off the hanger and into the floor.
  • Use an empty tissue box to hold your empty grocery bags.
  • Pop your medication into a contact case for a handy pill box.
  • When you get to the bottom of your favorite tube of lipstick dig out the remains with a Popsicle stick and put it into a clean contact case. Presto! Lip gloss is now at your finger tips!
  • I saw a girl using a baseball card collectors notebook for her coupons. Everything was laid out in sight without having to dig through a coupon box. I haven’t found a cheap one yet, but I’m on the look out! If anyone finds one, please tell me!
  • When you’re in the middle of a painting project and it’s time to quit, instead of washing all the paint off your brushes and rollers simply wrap them in syran wrap ’til you’re ready to paint later that day or even the next day. This way you’ll only have to clean up the messy brushes once!
  • Keep cilantro fresh by cutting off the bottom of the stems and placing the cilantro in a cup with enough water to cover the stems. Place the cup in the fridge. The cilantro will stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
  • I found that cleanser with bleach in it cleans the shower better than any of the expensive sprays I’ve tried.
  • Magic Erasers are fantastic – have you tried them? It removes all kinds of grime that other cleansers won’t!

A Shepherd’s Care

I have a German friend that I met on our way to our mission trip to Spain last year. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned him on my blog, but it is a joy to my heart. My friend’s name is Claus. “Like Santa Claus – without the Santa” is what he told me when we met on the plane. The Lord gave me the sweet privilege of sharing the Gospel with him as we flew to Germany. Though he did not receive Christ, he is very open.

Last January he contacted me using the tract I had given him with our church name and address stamped on the back. Just recently we have been talking on Skype. He called yesterday and as my husband and I talked with him (Dale’s always in on our conversations – that’s the only way I communicate with him) Claus asked if Dale was a priest.

I said, “Well, sort of. In our denomination we call him a pastor. He is like a shepherd; he takes care of the people in our church. The food he feeds them is the Bible.” I then added, “But Jesus is the best Shepherd. He calls us sheep. He gave His life for His sheep. He takes better care of us than a pastor ever could.”

“Ya, that is goot” was Claus’ reply.

I think back to years ago when our oldest daughter, Whitney, cared for a sheep for 4-H. She had to get her sheep, Timothy, to follow her, to learn her voice, to trust her. She would put her arms around his neck to hold his head up for showing. He wasn’t always cooperative. He would jerk and bawl. That is so like me and my Shepherd. Jesus wants to just hold me, speak to me and comfort me, and I’m running the other direction busy and preoccupied instead of resting in His sweet embrace. Oh the sweetness of letting Him care for me and lead me. He quiets and soothes my anxious heart when I sit still and listen. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. There’s nothing I don’t have that I need when I’m content with His care. What a wonderful Shepherd He is. “Ya, that is goot!”

Life’s Interruptions

“Where has this blogger been this week?” you may have asked. Well…life happened. Interruptions came. It’s a part of life, isn’t it? We had the joy of having an open house at church for the four home-schooled students that are graduating. That brought our older daughter and my parents to town to be here to help us celebrate – what a joy the whole weekend was!

This morning after company had left, laundry had been started and I got to my quiet place to read the Word I read II Samuel 12 about “life happening” in David’s life. He had a major interruption. He was being punished for his sin with Bathsheba. His baby son was struck by the Lord with an illness. David went to his quiet place to fast and pray for seven days. He wouldn’t eat or get up for anything because he was so given to prayer for his son. As his servants observed him they were sorrowful for their king and when the baby died they were frightened to tell David. They figured that if the child’s illness had caused such a reaction to David, the news of his death would push him over they edge. They were surprised, and I’m sure much relieved to see that after David learned the dreaded news of his son, he:

  1. Got up
  2. Washed himself
  3. anointed himself
  4. changed his clothes
  5. went to the house of the Lord and worshipped
  6. came back to his own house and ate

In other words, he went back to all the things he would normally do. We ask, how could he do this – his son had just died. His servants asked David the same question. His reply was that while the child was alive he knew he could make an appeal to God and pray for him. But now the Lord had made a decision and nothing David could do now would bring the child back. He had the confidence in verse 23 that he would go to the child some day (what a day that will be!). I don’t believe David had an attitude of “Well, it’s over now, so what’s the use?!” I believe that he had a solid understanding of the sovereignty of God. After all, after he learned the news he went to the sanctuary and worshipped – he could only do that with a love for God and acceptance of what the Lord decided for him and his wife.

“Life” happens to all of us. My interruptions were sweet ones, but sometimes those interruptions are things we can’t understand, they’re things that are hurtful. A kidney stone, changed plans, a job loss, the betrayal of a friend, someone else getting married instead of you, someone else having a baby while your arms are empty…all these things interrupt life as you planned it. How should we respond? David’s example is one we should follow. His heart was aching, yet he got up and continued to do the normal things of every day life. He also worshipped his God because he knew he could trust what His plan was for his life. He encouraged those around him by his response. Our biblical response will encourage our family and friends too. David was just like you and me. When “life” happens, read II Samuel 12 and follow David’s example. Life isn’t always easy, but we can trust our sovereign God.


No Perfect Family

Have you ever looked at a family and wished your family could be like theirs? Perhaps the family in view was a large family with many children and it seems that every time you watch them they have so much fun together! The older siblings look out for the younger ones, they get along with one another, and they seem to have it all together. Another family in your sight seem to have the best parents. They are patient with the children, always have clever ideas for fun ways to spend a day, and they teach their children about the Lord at every turn. Perhaps your pastor’s family is your envy – the time they spend serving the Lord together must bring them special blessings.

This week as I’ve seen Jon and Kate Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus Eight) in the news, I’ve wondered how many people have seen their life as ideal up to this point. How many have wished themselves into their shoes? I’ve pitied those little ones who have had cameras on them every waking moment of their young lives. But it’s really about more than that. Each of us need to realize that every family deals with the same things. Those families that you’re watching up close and personal at church, or on a blog are real people. Even Christian families have the same issues you have. They are real, sinful people that have to deal with fatigue, tempers, selfishness, disobedience, money issues, rebellion, making time to have devotions, etc. No family is exempt. Of course the extent of each of these issues is different because of personalities and how the problems are dealt with, but my point is that they are there to be dealt with.

There are no perfect children or parents. There are no perfect marriages. We must each guard our hearts every day, ask the Lord for wisdom and His enablement to raise our family for Him, and be the best wife/mother with His help. When we mess up, we can’t give up – we must fess up – admit it and confess it! This is essential to getting back on track.

Behind the walls of the home that you may be envying there is a need for God’s intervention, just as there is in yours. The best news is that it is available for us all!

II Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.