Saturday, January 30, 2010

No Smell of Smoke Over Here

This past week we started up our new semester of Women's Small Groups at Seacoast, and I was so excited to dive right in. I love my Thursday morning fix of God's Word and fellowship - can't beat that combo! ;-) I am starting a new study entitled "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shrier and was challenged by the question, "Do I truly anticipate hearing from God?" - but that's a blog for another day.
Another question that was passed around our table to get to know our new groups was "What season of life are you in?" As I contemplated my answer, I was truly jumping through a year of seasons trying to figure out where I really was. I was brought back to a scripture that touched me over a year ago when I did Beth Moore's Study on Daniel. We were looking at the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3. In this story, these 3 men refused to bow down and worship a golden idol and their punishment - the fiery furnace. All 3 were bound up and tossed in the fire after the King had it heated 7 times hotter than usual. They had an amazing attitude - willingness to lose their life for the Lord yet faith that He could save them. Long story short, when the King peered into the furnace they saw 4 men in there - all untouched. The scripture that bounced off the page to me is the one that came to mind as I shared my season of life at the moment:
Daniel 3:27 "...there was no smell of fire on them."
 There are many times in my life where I have gone through trials, and I have the scars to prove it. They serve as reminders to me of God's faithfulness. But my most recent challenge has left me in the state of two seasons - my life situation bellows of winter, yet my soul steadies in the season of summer. I truly feel that although the cold of winter is all around me, I can feel the warmth of God's love, protection, peace and grace cover me. It's so amazing, because in "Christie's World" I would have been tossed as a wave of the sea, but by the grace of God, I am steadied by HIS hand. As this trial comes to an ever so slow close, I feel as if I am walking out of the fire without even a smell of fire upon me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is Your Trust in Something with a Bad Reputation?

Mark and I have been walking alongside several friends with struggling marriages over the past year. It has brought pain, tears, and increased faith for all, or should I say most, along this dark road. Having both been there at one point ourselves, we know this road well and where it can lead, and have learned much along our travels. One important lesson...
Don't trust your feelings over truth!

I want to first acknowledge that feelings are a part of us, created by God. There are times in life when we have a feeling or instinct that we do need to trust, but FIRST consider your heart and look for truth. God's Word in Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" Is that something you want to just put full trust in when it's reputation is not the best? Here is another thought - feelings fluctuate as much as the waves of the sea and may change with the wind. If you go to a party, you are feeling happy. If at that party you find out your dog died, you suddenly feel sad. Feeling will come and go, but you need something to steady you through them - TRUTH, your compass.

When you have a feeling, before you run with it, check it against God's Word - the standard for truth. It offers peace despite a circumstance or feeling. This is true of any circumstance you are facing, but allow me a moment to apply it to these marriages. For those who are struggling with a feeling (anger, lust for another that is not your spouse, hurt, pain, etc.) that may draw you away from your spouse, do not trust that feeling! Trust the Truth! The truth is that you committed to that spouse for better or worse. Invest in them! Love them unconditionally! That feeling may soon change. Feelings follow our choices, not the other way around. Choose first - don't allow your feelings to choose for you. If you are at a point where your feelings are all over the place and you don't know what to do, pray and seek counsel from trusted friends. They may tell you something that you don't want to hear (because you don't feel like it), but go with it and your feelings will follow.

God's Word promises in Romans 8:28 to work all things out for good if you love God - trust that promise...
and    h o l d    o n    f o r    t h e    r i d e.

Some other scriptures to think on:

  • No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you may obey it. (De 30:14)

  • Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. (Job 22:22)

  • May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Ps 19:14)

  • The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. (Pr 15:14)

  • But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man `unclean'. (Mt 15:18)

  • "What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean'. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean'." (MA 7:20-23)

  • The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Lu 6:45)

  • As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man. (Pr 27:19)

  • Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Pr 4:23)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Shining Light

Yesterday a few of my cousins were inquiring as to Caleb's good behavior. They wanted to know why he was such a good boy. I started rattling off the names of Christian parenting books, the "firm, fair, and consistent" motto I learned in college for Elementary Education, and an array of philosophies I try to live by as I parent him. I was hoping it was helpful to the inquirers.

As the day went on, I couldn't get the question out of my head though. Finally it hit me - I missed the point. They were seeing JESUS in Caleb. That was the difference. This boy has the Holy Spirit living in him to guide him and convict him. My little one was shining his light. It's amazing that even at such a young age there is a recognizable difference between one with Christ living in their heart and without. So, before you run out and grab those books, try out that motto, or put your own philosophy into practice, check out the saving grace of Jesus Christ that transforms lives - little or big.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Tale of Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence,empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help for Caleb from the Inside Out

So, Caleb and I were about to read some books and get ready for bed when he started talking about his "otter bucks" (otter bucks = a reward he earns in school). Caleb was expressing how excited he was that he had earned the most in his class. I asked him, "Do you know who help you make the right choices to earn those bucks? Someone living inside you?" and Caleb answered, "God, the Holy Spirit." I said, "That's right, buddy!" Caleb's response...
"I better thank Him," and with that he pulled his shirt away from his body and looked down his shirt at his belly and started to pray... and thanked HIM.

Original Post to FB:  Monday, August 25, 2008 at 7:54pm

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her,’ Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes. Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went "too early" to heaven.

Before whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around.

Cell Phone vs. The Bible

I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible?

So remember this...
You'll never have dropped calls and unlike our cell phone, you don't have to worry about
your Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

But most important of'll never have to ask Him 'Can you hear me now?'

Makes you stop and think, 'Where are my priorities?'

Original Post Date to FB: Friday, June 20, 2008 at 7:43pm

An Update

After an amazing testimony and training session on blogging by the talented Jessi C., I have been inspired to update my personal blog. Over the next week I am actually going to transfer some older posts that I have put as Notes on Facebook as they really should have been on my blog to begin with. We'll see what the Lord has from there. I pray you are blessed!