Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Closer Walk - Love

Day Four:

Song of Solomon 8:7says that many waters cannot quench love; rivers can not wash it away.

I know that God sees a beauty within each of us that will escape most people. God's love and heart for you is as passionate as Solomon's words to his beloved! Nothing can quench His love for you...think about it...rivers cannot wash His love away! 

Today, I took out a piece of paper and drew hearts all over it. (about silver-dollar size) On each one, I wrote something unique and beautiful about me. Care to join me? You are God's! You are cherished, pampered, and held close. I pray you will meditate and secure these 'hearts' in your spirit as a positive re-enforcement to fight any negativity you hear or feel.

If times are particularly hard right now for you and you are having trouble thinking of stuff...ask someone you are close to if they would share something they see as unique and beautiful about you. It's not prideful...sometimes we just get so beat down that we forget the facts.

I hope your day is flooded with God's love.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Closer Walk - Mighty Mercy

Day Three:
Exodus 37:1-9 (AMP)

Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood—two cubits and a half was the length of it, a cubit and a half the breadth of it, and a cubit and a half the height of it.
He overlaid it with pure gold within and without and made a molding or crown of gold to go around the top of it.He cast four rings of gold for its four corners, two rings on either side.
He made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold.
He put the poles through the rings at the sides of the ark to carry it.
[Bezalel] made the mercy seat of pure gold, two cubits and a half its length and one cubit and a half its breadth.
And he made two cherubim of beaten gold; on the two ends of the mercy seat he made them,
One cherub at one end and one at the other end; of one piece with the mercy seat he made the cherubim at its two ends.
And the cherubim spread out their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces to each other, looking down to the mercy seat."
The mercy seat and the presence of the old testament the location of grace, the cover of the ark of the covenant. For my coffee & cozy today, I'm remembering that God's presence means mercy. I'll close my eyes, sit up straight, breathe deeply, and picture God on His throne...His throne and seat of mercy. What else matters?

The Lord is majestic! Today I will meditate on the grandness of God and His amazing mercy. I imagine angels around me today, facing me on either side with their wings raised high overhead covering me peacefully. In fact, when I sit down throughout today, I hope to remember that God's seated on His mercy seat. My God is on the throne! 

May today be full of reminders for you on how majestic your God is and may expressions of gratitude for the amazing mercy He extends overflow.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Closer Walk - Compassionate Samaritian

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. ~Charlie Chaplin

Day Two:
Luke 10:30-37 [NLT]

This Samaritan spent time, money and gave his heart to care for the needs of someone who was hurting. Today, I'm asking God if there is anyone He'd like me to serve, love and encourage. Who knows? This person could be across the world or just across the street!

"My Faithful God, send me. Send me to those you want me to specifically love up on. I am open to serving. I am open to getting out of my comfort zone. Even if it's just a random act of kindness...use me God, in Jesus name, because I don't want to be self focused. I want to have the heart that this Samaritan displayed. Amen."

For some fun ideas, spend time praying to God and then check out this database of 332 Kindness Ideas for inspiration!
May our wonderful God bless you today with dreams and avenues to serve others.

Monday, October 28, 2013

S'Mores Halloween Gift

Mom and I put together some Halloween treats to give out to friends and encourage some folks at a Senior Services Center. Easy & cute! 

Each pack includes: 2 gram crackers, a snack size Hershey's chocolate bar & one ghost "Peep."

A Closer Walk - In His Presence

Day One:

I'll be posting a four day study designed to inspire you by adding a little something to your times with the Lord. The ideas are small but the impact can be big. Have fun!

Over the next few days, I'm going to light a candle when I have my times with God. I'm lighting it to announce..."In this special time, I'm acknowledging your presence, God." (If you don't have a candle, you could also shut your eyes and imagine lighting one in front of you.)

The point is to do something to make sure that you are deeply acknowledging God's presence and not just rushing through blindly in your time reading or praying.

Proverb 20:27 (para) The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of his children - it searches out their inmost being.

Today I will meditate on this verse above and spend time asking God to search my heart, remove any veils and cut out the negative, the ugly, the hard spots in my heart and character.

Today I also did some keyword searches for scriptures that include 'light' & 'lamp.' So uplifting!
May your day be blessed with God's holy light.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

When Jesus Prayed

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray…” Luke 11:1

This morning, I spent all my time with God focused on this study. Just picture it... hearing the very voice of Jesus as he prayed. The thought almost gives me chills. There is no “exact” method for prayer but Jesus and the scriptures do provide guidance. I love the humility of the disciple to ask Jesus to teach them. It's so honest and real because who is really comfortable the first time they start praying consistently?? Below are some other scriptures on Jesus' prayer life that I like to read:

Jesus teaching & His example
Luke 11:1-13, Matthew 6:5-8 What stands out to you about what he shares?

Matthew 19:13, John 17:1-26 Jesus prayed for others. Who are you praying for?

Matthew 26:36 Christ turned to God when he was in need. He also invited others to pray with him.

Matthew 14:13 & 22-24, and Mark 1:35 Jesus spent time alone with God.

Jesus even spent all night in prayer because of the importance of the decision he had to make the next morning!  Luke 6:12

Pray with persistence: Luke 18:1-8

Prayer isn’t always perfect or “pretty” – Hebrews 5:7 What else does the writer in Hebrews share about Jesus prayer life?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Praying for Others

"If we could all hear one another's prayers, God might be relieved of some of his burdens." ~Ashleigh Brilliant

my prayer bench

We have Jesus' example of prayer and we also have the examples of other believers in prayer from the bible. It's good to pray and worship God then cast our cares. Being in prayer for others is something I have been trying to do more of in my prayer life. Speaking blessings on the lives of others is completely refreshing, freeing, and can really help to turn your focus off yourself! Below are a few examples I found that are inspiring in both areas:

Constant – Acts 1:14, Colossians 1:9-12, 2 Thessalonians 1:11

“Wrestling in prayer” – Colossians 4:12 What does it mean to wrestle in prayer for someone?

Praying for God to be glorified – 2 Thessalonians 1:12, John 17: 1-5

Paul’s words on prayer – Philippians 1: 9-11, 4:6-7

~ Additional people to study:
  • King David (many of the Psalms are his prayers)
  • Daniel 6 (He was sentenced to the Lion’s den for praying diligently to God instead of worshiping the king. And God saved him)
  • Jonah 2 - crying out to God inside the fish
  • Disciples in Acts 4: 23-31
~Simple guide: Some people like to use the "A.C.T.S." way of praying as a simple way to guide themselves when it's hard to stay focused, (especially early in the morning). This stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (supplication is a humble request for help).

Of course, these little studies aren't designed for me to do all the work. They are built for you to go and look up scriptures, study, and mediate. I hope reading scriptures of other believers in prayer will inspire you to widen your view of prayer!!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Weekend of Promise

This past weekend I went on a girls' trip out of town. Our purpose was relaxation, bonding and getting closer to God. Two of the main activities on the trip were seeing an outdoor play about the life of Christ called "The Promise" & hiking up to an overlook in the Dinosaur Valley State Park to get inspired by having a time of worship & communion with God in nature.

It was a great trip!! The forecast the whole week predicted RAIN but we (and I'm sure others) were praying diligently and God answered with favor. I don't think I even felt a drop of rain. Although we did get to see a rainbow up in the clouds while at The Promise. 

As you probably know, the symbol of the rainbow is God's promise to us and the reminder of the covenant He made to never flood the entire earth again. (Genesis 9:9-17) It was moving to see the rainbow at The Promise because we were about to watch the story of Christ and be reminded of the promise God fulfilled in Jesus! One of the lyrical lines from a song in the play says, "God is a God of promise. His promises ring true. His words can all be trusted. What God has said...He'll do!"

I've been reflecting a lot on the words of God and have been asking myself..."Are you living like you trust these words and are you believing that what God has said, He will do?" This has been so helpful in my life at this moment to reconfirm and take God at his word! 

Doubt can jump into my thoughts quickly about all kinds of things. Recently, doubt says to me, "Can you really take on children as a single woman? These kids are very tramatized. You could ruin your life forever." or "You don't have that much support...the number of people that have even checked on you concerning the adoption can be counted on one hand with fingers left over!" 

My friends, I'm not naturally negative and I know those thoughts are not from God... so where do they suddenly come from?

Well, in the play, you can often see the actor of satan chill'n in most scenes. In a spotlighted scene of Peter & Jesus, when Jesus shares that he will be betrayed, killed and then rise again, Peter gets upset and says that he will not let those things happen to Jesus. Just then the spotlight widens and you see that satan is beside Peter. To which, Jesus then speaks the famous words of rebuke, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's." (Matthew 16:23) 

So over the past week what I realized is that those doubt filled thoughts are from a human point of view and not from God's! They are a dangerous trap. I'm certain evil would love me to give up on adoption! My life will not be ruined...I'm following God's heart, His will. I'm striving for a life of love and of course satan wants me to focus on my comfort and on how "hard" it is to follow in the steps of Christ.
The evil one has no new tactics...just his old tricks as a tempter. He tried to mess with Jesus so of course he's going to try to mess with little ole me so I the answer for me has been to reconfirm truths from God like Jesus did in Matthew 4 by answering with scriptures - aloud. I've been encouraging other also to speak God's words aloud to fight off temptation & doubts. There are many examples of this in the bible. I hope you research it! 

"It is written: 'I believed; therefore I have spoken.' Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak..." 2 Corinthians 4:13

I'm trusting God at his word. I know that the God of Promise will bring good to those who follow Him whether the good is in this life or the next and so will hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for He who Promised me, Is Faithful! Heb. 10:23

Monday, October 7, 2013

Homestudy Update

I had my adoption home-study this week. It's one of the last pieces I need to be certified. It was exciting and fun plus stressful and time consuming to get ready. I thought it would take them a bit more time to process my paperwork, but I was wrong because they moved very quickly.

Even though it was not a "must" to have the room set up, I felt it was important to show that I've given a lot of thought and am prepared. The lovely caseworker mentioned that she was glad to see it done so I was pleased that I worked so hard.

The home-study was supposed to take 1.5 hrs but stretched into 3hrs! Lots of questions, lots of laughter, a few tears shed by me and a deep sigh of relief. Questions ranged from my family's parenting style when I was growing up and of my own parenting style. There were questions of my practical plans all the way to odd questions (at least to me) of did you attend your high school prom and what was your very happiest moment growing up and what did you learn from it.

During this whole process, I've been talking with two wonderful women who went through the certifications classes with me and am so thankful we get to update each other on our progress. They REALLY understand the excitement, nerves, and hopes I carry and I'm grateful for their support. They are support & friends I've been praying for. :) 

The lovely caseworker said it would take her about 2 weeks to write up her report and find out answers on a few questions. So what am I to do in the meantime? WELL, I'm resting, I'm looking for a photographer that can take some fresh shots of me for my adoption profile book, and I'm going to enjoy the peace of the ordinary days that have come back upon me for the time being.

I'm also taking a small girls trip! Woo-hoo. Can't wait!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Repurposed Antique Chairs - Bench

My dining room chairs are from the 1930's. Super cute yet also super small so I had to go purchase chairs that "fit" better and were more comfortable. I'd been struggling with what to do with these beautiful chairs when I came across a great idea on Pinterest.

You remove the seats of antique chairs and placing them side then you either use boards or cut out a seat to stretch across them and make a bench. Problem fixed!

I tested it out using an extra shelf I had from the entertainment center. I think that actual piece is a tiny bit small but it gave me a great idea of what it would look like once completed.