Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sharing my heart

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Sharing my heart...taken from a journal entry...
"...Lord…I’m a sinner. I’m nothing apart from You…completely incapable of producing anything good apart from You. For some reason, I felt a pang of fear tonight, the old fear, fear of something horrible about to happen. Why? Lord, search my heart. Reveal my sin. Shine Your light on my heart and reveal any dark thing in me so I can confess and repent and fall at Your feet. Jesus…I need You. You are all I need. Why do I seek after earthly things?! Why do I seek after man’s approval or affection or attention? You created me to want those things, but not from man, from You. Why do I keep looking to man for something that only You can satisfy and give to me with complete perfection? Why do I keep wasting my time doing worthless things, things that have no eternal value or purpose? Lord, I am truly a vapor in the wind, a puff of smoke, a single fish in a sea full of them, yet You called me to Yourself, in Your mercy and compassion. YOU called ME out to be set apart for You and Your purposes, and I turn aside to fulfill my own desires and purposes. Lord, I’m a sinner! Have mercy on me in Your great mercy!! Change my heart Lord, renew my mind, draw me to You and Your word. Speak to me Lord! Cleanse my sin! Heal my hurts! Come by the power of Your Holy Spirit and see if there is any offensive way in me and show me!!! Reveal my sin and break me down so that I can FALL AT YOUR FEET JESUS!!! I am prideful. I am sinful. Jesus, I am desperate for You. You are my ONLY HOPE!! Who in the world have I but You?! Who else can compare to You?! Who else can LOVE me like You do?! Who else could satisfy the perfect judgment of God concerning my sin and the sinful state of my being?! Who else would sacrifice themselves in my place?!?!?!?! Oh Lord, to DWELL at Your feet and NEVER leave!! To be forever in a state of humility that I never reach out to other things to take Your place or never stand up to do anything in my own strength!! Lord, remind me again of just how much I need You. Humble me again. Keep me humble!!! KEEP ME HUMBLE!! Keep me humble and in my proper place so that YOU can be revealed to those You want to reveal Yourself to. Keep me humble so that I don’t try to jump ahead or in front of You and take things into my own hands, as I am guilty of these past few weeks. Lord, grant to me the power to be self controlled. Sin shall not have dominion over me and the power of Your Holy Spirit is greater than my flesh. Lord, reveal my sin, reveal any unforgiveness I have in my heart, anything I’m holding against anyone who I feel has wronged me. Lord, I don’t want to be like the unmerciful servant. You’ve so freely forgiven all my mistakes and even willful sins! Who am I to hold anything against anyone else?! Do I think I am so perfect that I can’t forgive even my enemies, much less those who I know care about me? Lord, heal me. Heal my hurts and pain. Jesus, guard my mind by the power of Your Spirit.

Satan I rebuke you and the demons who serve you in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, THE MESSIAH, the NAME ABOVE ALL OTHER NAMES, the ONE WHO IS ABOVE ALL RULE, AUTHORITY AND POWER, BOTH IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH!!!! I am in Him and He is in me. Greater is He that is in my that YOU that are IN THE WORLD!! Your time is short and is coming to an end.

Lord JESUS I love You. Draw me close to You and back to my time with You, reading Your word, spending time with You. Amen."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Reminder-Jesus

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Amidst all the parties and gifts, and the stress and the hurry, let's not only remember that we celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas, but WHY His birth is a reason for celebrating.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas Collage

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I finally got a chance to take some Christmas photos of the boys. They weren't much in the mood to be still enough (what toddler is?!) so I got a bunch of blurry ones, but 400 photos later, I managed to get a pretty good collage. I didn't really bother to edit the photos except for a little tweaking in Picasa. If you're looking for a photo editing program and don't have the time or money to learn Photoshop, I highly recommend Picasa. It has enough features to tweak the lighting and also add a few special effects to your photos. Hope you enjoy and, remember me for your Christmas portraits next year!

You can click on the actual photo for a larger view
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Friday, December 18, 2009

It is FAITH...

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I'm amazed at how easy it is to forget that it is FAITH that saves...and FAITH that pleases God...and how easy it is to rely on the flesh to not only "be" good, but seek to gain approval from God because of "good" works...

Any thoughts or comments?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Grow Weary

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This has been a long two weeks (going on three). Last Monday night, November 30, I came down with the infamous swine flu. Not only was I sick, I was mentally exhausted, not getting much support from my husband as he had to work and he thought I was just getting a head cold. I was left to take care of our two toddler boys the best I could. About a week later, the boys came down with the flu and I had to care for them, still sick myself. Lucky me, the flu developed into a secondary infection leaving me in extreme pain. By this time, my skeptical husband had realized that it was in fact the flu and he had become another one of its victims. Thankfully, he and the boys all got Tamiflu prescriptions and have recovered fairly well. I am still on the road to recovering.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this has challenged my emotions and my walk with the Lord. There were constant distractions; countless attempts to turn me into a victim in my mind and demand my rights and needs be met. I was exhausted physically and emotionally, no longer pressing through but merely surviving another day. God, in His mercy and tender counsel, showed me that my dependence and focus were in the wrong place, gently exposing more of my fleshly desires, seeking to cleanse and purify me. But only after I went to Him, in complete honesty.

This article by Priscilla Shirer was just another gentle reminder of the scripture found in Galatians 6:9:

"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." NIV

I hope you find encouragement as you read this article.

The Secret Seer

December 2009

. . . your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matt. 6:4

It was only 8am, and I was exhausted. I rolled over on my soft pillow and squinted as my eyes tried to focus on the bright, sun-split sky that peeked through the slivers in the shades.

Is it morning already?

I groaned and covered my face with a blanket. I felt spent. My energy was totally depleted. It seemed like I’d gotten in bed only moments ago.

Hmmm. I had.

The evening before, we’d tucked our boys into their beds at their normal bedtimes. Everyone had fallen asleep soundly. I jumped into bed shortly after in hopes of a full night of rest. But that wouldn’t be. Jude, my one-year-old son, awoke shortly after midnight. He belted out a scream that could wake the neighborhood. I raced in to check on him but quickly found that there was nothing wrong. He was just . . . up.

Surely a few moments of rocking will put him at ease and back to sleep.

I rocked. I sang. I swayed. I patted. I purred. I rubbed. I paced.

Those moments turned to half hours. Those half hours turned into full ones—four to be exact. These were hours I didn’t care to visit. You know them, the wee ones: dark, quiet, still, and lonely. I paced the floor trying to keep the others from waking. Those were isolating, lonesome moments. No one was patting me on the back for encouragement; no one cheering me on to the finish; no one observing and applauding my faithful mothering.

Just me.

Just him.

Just the unseen, unnoticed midnight hours.

We finally tumbled into bed together at 4am (baby tucked in the crook of my elbow). Eventually, he dosed . . . eventually.

Unnoticed giving. Giving in secret. Expending time, energy, resources, and emotions . . . essentially everything with little notice from others. It can all seem so unappreciated sometimes, can’t it? So unnoticed? So undervalued?

It might if God’s Spirit hadn’t had something to say about it.

Priscilla, I’m the secret seer. The unnoticed gifts you give are in my full view, and I take pleasure in dispensing reward.


What’s the secret gift you’ve been giving away? Maybe you’ve not paced the floor in the wee hours with a wee one lately, but you’ve been giving haven’t you: that final detail you made sure was finished, the financial gift you slid under the door, the prayer you lifted up for another, the “want” you sacrificed to meet someone else’s “need.” You’ve been the unnamed, secret soldier who’s marched in and left footprints of love on the landscape of someone’s life. Have you wondered if it’s worth it—when you walk away and no one says “Thank you.” Have you questioned the energy it required—when you come back home feeling a bit spent. Have you wanted to take it back—when those invested hours seemed to yield little dividends?

Good news for the weary secret giver:

There is a Secret Seer.

O yes, Someone sees (and not just a mere human whose accolades would promptly fade). This is One whose divine gifts are grand and vast and . . . eternal. So take courage, secret soldier. He saw the good deed: the extended hand; the opened heart; the generous act that you thought had gone unnoted and unobserved. That which you’ve depleted, He will return—pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

In fact, it seems that knowing rewards like these are offered to the secret givers should not only cause us to rest easy in what we’ve already done, but cause us to look for more opportunity to do it again . . . and again.

To give undercover.

To share unnamed.

To offer without notice.

It seems that the secret servants have a special place in the heart of the Servant Savior.

So, for anyone who feels unnoticed, unappreciated, and overlooked, if you just lift up your eyes, your gaze will fall on the eyes of the Holy One. He is watching every opportunity you’ve grasped; every gift you’ve offered; every undisclosed detail you’ve set straight. He’s taken note and promises a reward.

It’s one that surpasses mere human attention and applause. And it’s the only one that’s really worth receiving.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Now vs. Eternity

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Just a thought to ponder:

My life here on Earth is temporary, a small block of time in comparison to eternity. Why do I get worked up over earthly possessions, or life's inconveniences? My time here on Earth is only preparation for an eternity with my Lord, nothing more. Let me make the most of this time by staying close to Him, hearing His voice and doing His will.

RLFM Glory House Appreciation Banquet

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You can find a few photos of the RLFM Appreciation Banquet by clicking on the link below. I was honored to be the photographer for this small church function.

RLFM Glory House Appreciation Banquet