Monday, November 16, 2009

Simple acts of LOVE

It is a Monday morning (and I am not a morning person???). I have had a long weekend with butchering chickens until midnight on Friday night, and then butchering more chickens on Saturday. Together Tall One and I worked on our patio (which was our father's and mother's day gifts). It is getting close to being finished. Then, we spent time with our dear children and off to bed. However, neither one of us could sleep. Crazy after a busy day! Sunday was filled with worship at church, then a meeting at church followed by a potluck lunch. After that, my dear husband and the children headed home to prepare for company. I stayed at church and worked with the individuals involved with the Christmas cantata before heading home. I arrived home, finished cleaning and preparing for company to come for dinner. However, they cancelled at the last minute which was a blessing in disguise! :-) We had our family worship time followed by putting the children to bed. My dear husband was up taking care of a few things around the house as I was preparing for a week of preschool.

Why do I tell you all that. By getting up this morning at 5:50 am to spend some time with my husband, I showed him that I truly loved him. Yes, I would have rather been cuddled up in my nice warm bed with my pillows surrounding me and .... However, I woke up and came downstairs (we have a 2 story house). My husband immediately smiled and said, "Good morning dear." I proceeded to go work in the kitchen (which I did not get completely cleaned up last night) while he went out and took care of the 47 chickens we have remaining. While he was out, I managed to get the dishes all gathered and ready to be washed, his lunch packed (with a dessert), his breakfast prepared (nothing special - a whole grain granola bar and yogurt), his medications set out, and his work bag gathered around. His carpool friends arrived and he was off - but not without a kiss and a hug and an "I love you and have a good day" at the door.

Now, what does that mean. To me it is becoming a part of my daily routine. To my dear husband, it is so much more. I am encouraging him before he sets foot out into the mission field called the world to go provide for our family. I am taking some stress from his morning and allowing him to sit and relax and enjoy breakfast before he goes. He leaves with a kiss and a hug - which lasts him until he gets home. Not only that, but I am energized as well to accomplish things before the dear children start their day. My husband is shown love and encouragement in a simple act of love.

Yes, it is a sacrifice for me. But, what did Christ sacrifice for me. My sacrifice is little compared to Him dying on the cross to save me. Finally, by climbing out of bed early, before the children are up, I have been able to do daily bible studies. This time of digging into the Word of God is refreshing, encouraging, and oh so helpful when Satan attacks or the children are trying. I am showing Christ a simple act of love by spending time with Him as well - something I would not get accomplished if I were still in bed.

So, wake up, show love, and have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Take a Stand!

I have had another post on my brain for a few weeks now, but need to get this one out first. The other post entitled "under the surface" will have to wait until later.

Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you believe in Jesus? When I say Halloween what do you think of? Do you know the history of Halloween? Do you know some of the things that happen on Halloween? These questions, and more, prompted me to write this blog. My challenge to you is to take a stand AGAINST Halloween. Do the research yourself and see what it is all about.

The history of Halloween

Halloween and its practices are Roman Catholic and Pagan in origin. From the Encyclopedia Britannica: "In its strictly religious aspect, this occasion is known as the vigil of Hallowmas of All Saint's Day, Nov. 1, observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. Pope Gregory III (731 to 741 AD) assigned this date for celebrating of the feast when he consecrated a chapel in Saint Peter's basilica to all the saints. Gregory the IV extended the feast to the entire Roman Catholic¹ church in 834 AD" "There is little doubt that the Roman Catholic¹ church sought to eliminate or supplant the Druid festival of the dead by introducing the alternative observance of All Saint's Day on Nov. 1."
"… after the Reformation, Protestants rejected this feast along with other important ones such as Christmas or Easter."
- Colliers Encyclopedia

Associated through its name with Allhallows Eve. Popular secular observance of Halloween, falling on the night of Oct. 31, is derived from the rights of the Druids celebrating the day of Samhain (pronounced sow-en), the so called "lord of death", when the "Lord of Death" called together the souls of the wicked who had died during the past year. The theme of harvest, which runs through modern Halloween celebrations, comes from both the old Druidic celebrations and the old Roman Catholic festivals in honor of Pomona, goddess of fruit, brought to Britain during the Roman occupation."

Modern Halloween
Isn't the whole theme of today's Halloween one of darkness, death, fear, threats, destruction and evil? So many parents dress their children as demons, witches, ghouls, and monsters and send them out into the streets in the dark to collect candy, just like the Druids asked people for food. If the people did not comply, they would be cursed (a trick).

We take not a turnip, what the Druids took, but a pumpkin and carve demon faces in it and decorate with it. At Halloween there will be apple bobbing, divination, fortune telling, haunted houses, candles lit, and spirits called up. There will be seances and ouiji boards in the name of fun and excitement. There will be sacrifices of dogs, cats, rats, chickens, goats and even humans! Where is JESUS in all of this? Do you see any light, or only darkness?

Even if you say it is all in good fun, how does God see it? What does the devil think? Who has the ultimate power during this holiday? God or Satan?

Did you know that Satanists typically celebrate Halloween like Christians celebrate Christmas? Excepet, Satanists mutilate animals, use young girls as breeders of children and then sacrifice the babies. Sometimes the mother even has to help with the sacrifice! They drink the blood and eat the parts of the animals or humans sacrificed.

You may think that you live out in the middle of the midwest states, or in the mountains, or someplace "safe". However, it is happening everywhere! I heard that it is happening within 20 miles of where I live. That is scary and makes me physically ill!

We are taking a stand! We are going to stand for what God's word says! We are going to stand for Jesus and not worship Satan or let him have a stronghold in our families life! We are not going to worry about what others think of us and whether or not they agree with what we are doing. We are living for the Lord Jesus Christ who died upon a cross for my sins and all believers' sins.

I encourage you to take a stand as well, or at least do your research. Look up the facts. Search out what the bible says regarding evil. (I have included a partial list below.) Stay at your house and pray and worship the Lord on Halloween night. Educate your children about why you believe what you believe. Instill values in them that they can pass on to their children.

Who do you worship? Do you worship Jesus Christ or Satan? We have made our choice, what will yours be? Take a stand!

Bible verses regarding evil
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”)
James 1:27 (“keep oneself from being polluted by the world”)
3 John 1:11 (“do not imitate what is evil”)
Romans 12:9 (“abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”)
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (do not learn to imitate detestable ways, including spiritists, sorcerers and witchcraft)
Ephesians 5:11-12 (“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” / “live as children of light”)
1 Timothy 4:1 (don't “follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons”)
1 Corinthians 10:21
2 Corinthians 6:14-17 (“what fellowship can light have with darkness?”)
Philippians 4:8 (think about pure, lovely, noble things)
1 Corinthians 11:1 (“follow the example of Christ”)
1 Corinthians 10:31 (“whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God”) James 4:7-8 (submit yourselves to God / resist the devil / purify your hearts)
Ezekiel 44:23 (“…teach my people… to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.”)
Proverbs 22:6 (“train a child in the way he should go”)
Matthew 18:6 (“if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin…”)
Hosea 4:6 (“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”)
John 3:19-20 (people love darkness instead of light)
Romans 13:12 (“put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”)
Ephesians 6:11-18 (“take your stand against the devil's schemes.”)
1 John 5:19
2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday, September 28, 2009

Heavy Heart

What God brings you to, He will take you through. That has been on my heart today ever since I read it in a post to a good friend of mine who is really having a tough time right now. Her mom is extremely sick and in ICU. They have decided to keep her comfortable until God calls her home.

Why the heavy heart? Well, this woman taught me many things during the short 2 years I have known her and become close. First off, she adopted my 2 girls as granddaughters (she has 2 grandsons) and loved them whole heartedly. I know many people like children, especially those that qualify as grandparents. But, not all of those people will love 2 crazy girls unconditionally and then support their momma unconditionally.

She was a woman who would listen and offer suggestions. She cared deeply about me, as well as her own 2 daughters. If she saw me wavering, she would guide me in a direction that would allow my feet to stand on stable ground. She would pray, pray, pray. She would support us in little ways financially, without really knowing, because it was nothing big to her.

This woman cared deeply about her own two children and grandchildren. She had pictures of them all over her house. She would cuddle with her grandchildren whenever they wanted and would listen to her daughters into the wee morning hours.

This woman truly was a woman of God. Now, as she is lying in the hospital, her children are displaying amazing strength and determination that will only come from God. They are leaning on His strength to help them through this time in their life, where their mother is dying. They will not have any more parents once Jesus calls her home.

So, this amazing woman has taught me to treasure every moment I have with my own mother. Yes, my mom and I don't necessarily see eye to eye and we don't necessarily talk very much, but she still is my mom. I love her dearly and have no idea what would happen if something would happen to her right now. However, I do know, that because of my dear friend's mother, I called my own mother this morning and just told her I loved her. I told her I cared for her and appreciated everything she did for me.

I truly feel I am being taught so much during this time in my life. We can't ever take for granted life - whether it is the life of our parents or the life of our kids or the life of anybody. We, as mortal humans here on earth, have no idea when Jesus is going to call us home. Everyone belongs to Him and He is the ultimate decider of when life starts and when life ends.

I am learning that when your faith is being tested to reach out and pray even harder. To reach out to other women who are believers and share with them and allow them to guide you.

I have also learned that life does not depend on my faith and whether I am praying hard enough. God already has our days numbered. Just by praying, I am exhibiting my faith.

Thank you God for all the lessons you taught me in my dear friend. Thank you for her 2 daughters who love my daughters as their own. And, finally, thank you for life. Help me to continue to cherish life and to reach out to my own mother and tell her I love her more often. She is an amazing woman in her own way.

I challenge you to tell someone you "love them or appreciate them" or both today. And, make it be someone you haven't talked to in awhile or someone you are bumping heads with. May God truly bless you.