Who or What Matters Most?

How you spend your time shows what your priorities are. It may be hard to admit, but it is true. I am guilty of this on a daily basis. I fight myself every day! When I wake up I don’t want to get up and sometimes I don’t (depending if my kids have school or not). I will get up in the mornings with my kids, but when they are out of school sometimes I will not set an alarm or I will just shut it off when it does come on. I just sleep in and let my husband get up on his own and leave for work without really telling him bye. What does that say about me? I feel like it is saying that I value myself and my sleep more than I value him or spending time with him. I love my husband and other than God he is all that I truly have. Another major no, no that I do is jump up out of bed not even giving God much thought until my day is settled down and on some days that doesn’t even happen at all. I put sleep, eating, my husband and my kids before Him. Sometimes I put facebook and the news before Him to. What does that say about me? I value something more than I value God and well that is just wrong! I wouldn’t have all the things I have without Him. It is sad, but it is true. The relationships that are the most important in our lives sometimes take a back seat to ourselves. Well at least that is what I am seeing. Not everyone is like that. Satan wants to rip our families apart and he certainly doesn’t want us to spend time with God. Satan will do anything he can to destroy us “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”  (1 Peter 5:8) Our flesh only adds to what satan likes to throw at us. We are naturally selfish and in the “now” moment it feels good to be selfish. ”This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) Let’s look at things in a new way every day…  After we die what will matter? Will money matter? Will sleep and self-matter? Or will God and people matter? Of course God and people will matter because that is all we will have left. All the money we have earned all of the time we spend on making our house nice or all the time we spend in sleeping will no longer matter and we will have nothing to show of it. I know we need sleep, but we don’t need to sleep more than our bodies need we need to wake up and make the most of our relationship with God and others because in the end (or beginning) that is ALL that matters! Where are your priorities?


Time Flys

hNovember 7th is the last time I posted anything on here and those blogs I had mentioned I was working on? Well, I haven’t worked on them at all. A lot has happened and I just haven’t made it my priority. If you go back and look through my blog you will see that I am not consistent with my blogging. I have large gaps in my post. I often ask myself if I should really be posting all this stuff anyways. I like to write about what is going on in my life, telling myself that maybe my mom or someone else in my family might want to know what is going on in my life. Well I don’t think anyone I know personally really reads it so I just think “who cares”! I also like to write what I learn in my Bible studies or things that God has put on my heart (writing helps me ponder things) then I think what if I say something wrong and lead someone astray? Then there are my short stories and I really do enjoy writing them, but why do I post them? Well I write because it helps me to get through all the clutter in my mind and I publish them because I might help someone, maybe? Even if it helps someone to know they are not alone. I think that is the main reason I don’t post consistently.

Anyways, My Grandma died on November 17th. My Grandma lived an hour and a half from me and I only went to see her once in the last 3ish years. 😦 WHY??? I was and still am a little upset at myself for not going to see her more. I didn’t go and see her because I was scared she wouldn’t remember me. See she has had alzheimer’s for a very long time. Well she had a stroke on the 12th and I rushed down to her on the 13th, guess what? She was lying on her death bed and she remembered me! WHY??? Why didn’t I go and see her more? I miss her sooo much! She was and is the only person in my life that I know truly loves me. Well, the good news is that my Grandma loved Jesus. I have comfort in knowing that one day I will see her again, she is free from the bondage of alzheimer’s, she is with my Grandpa and most of all she is with Jesus! Like Randy Alcorn says in his book “Heaven” I haven’t lost my Grandma I just lost contact with her.

Brianna123blog, Brianna, Brianna! I have officially withdrew her from K12 and I am homeschooling her now. K12 is a great program, but it isn’t working out for her. I am not as bad as a teacher as I thought I would be anyways. When we count to 3 over and over day after day and then I hear her in her room playing saying 1-2 or when I hand her a clothespin and she knows how to use it, these are just a few things I know she is learning from me! I guess I am doing something right. It is much more rewarding for me to see her progress when I personally know how hard we have worked to get to know things. I am so proud of her.

I have also started going to another church it is a small church and I am not sure how this will work out with my daughter and her needs, but for now I feel like I need to try. I wish I could feel like a part of a church family, but no matter how hard I have tried that just doesn’t seem to happen. I don’t know what it is; I just can’t connect with people. Oh well, God has shown me that He is all that I truly need!

Well that is all I have to say for now. Take care!

The Election Results

Before I went to bed last night I saw that Obama won the election. I am not an Obama or Romney fan, but I did vote. I voted for Romney. Why? Despite his religion he still stayed closer to the Bible beliefs than Obama. Anyways, As soon as I turned on the TV this morning I see that two more states (Maine and Maryland) legalize same-sex marriage. I start to really see that our country is falling apart! Our country is continuing to turn away from God and that is not a good thing! God is giving our nation over to its sin. I start to become weary and then I am reminded (by someone I follow on twitter) what the Bible says in 2 Chronicles 20:6 “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You.” and in Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” God is still in control and I believe that it is God’s will that Obama is in office. “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding” Daniel 2:21 (ESV) “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1 (NKJV) We may not understand what God is doing, but we can trust Him! Just remember that God is still in control and He does love us! So if you were weary like I was this morning just remember God’s promises and don’t focus on the issues of this world, but keep your focus on Jesus or you will sink.

[Photo Source]

Brianna Update and Other Things

K12 is finally starting! We were suppose to have an online class connect with Brianna’s teacher Friday, but by the time I figured it out it was to late. We will have the next one tomorrow! They are sending her kindergarten curriculum, FINALLY. 🙂 They sent her 4th grade curriculum at first. I think things are starting to get to where they need to be. I am getting pretty excited about being so involved in her academics.

Here is another great sermon by Pastor Shane Idleman. I really like his sermons, they cut me to my heart and make me see myself in the mirror. That isn’t always easy to hear, but I need to hear it and I want to hear it. “See the consequences of your sin before you sin and the sin won’t be so appealing to you.” (paraphrased from sermon)

10/13/2012 “Proverbs 5: Breaking Free From Bondage” — Pastor Shane Idleman from Westside Christian Fellowship on Vimeo

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

I watched this sermon today because I didn’t go to church today. 😦 I am struggling a little with going to church and I just needed a break, a break from church NOT God! I just want to clarify that because I love Jesus and I never want to be apart from Him, not for one minute! I know church is important and I don’t plan on skipping church in the future I just needed to today. 🙂 I am glad I did because I haven’t gotten to spend much time with my hubby in the last week and this morning was my only chance to until next weekend.

I noticed that I haven’t posted any blogs in a while, but I am working on two. I have been working hard on a short story. This short story has taken root in my imagination and it is longer than I thought it would be and I am not even finished yet. I am not sure when it will be done, hopefully this week. As I told my husband short stories are my therapy, they make me feel better, and they often have some deep rooted meaning hidden within them. I also just started working on another blog. I know this one is going to take a while to finish because it is going to take a lot of research.

I did just get done reading a really good Christian fiction book called The Soul Saver. This is a really good book. The best book I have read in a while. It is a good book for anyone in an unequally yoked marriage or anyone who is dealing with a spiritual battle. It helped me to see that our enemy is unseen and he will do anything and everything to hurt our marriages, families, pull us away from God and turn others away from God using us. I knew his lies were real because the Bible tells us that, but seeing it like this made my small mind see it more clear.

I have read a few good blogs in the last week or so. I don’t have the links on here, but I do tweet the ones that I feel are worth passing on so make sure you follow me on Twitter.

Ok, it is almost 11pm here and I need to go to bed. I have been itching to post a blog for a few days and needed to get it out of my system.

Readings and Videos From My Week

~One blog I read this week is by Megan from hiphomeschoolmoms.com called “Teaching and Choosing Contentment”~ If you know anything about me I have a  struggle with not being content. As I watch my kids struggle with this I have become aware that they are unaware of the  bad that can come from not being content . For example my youngest son (7 yrs) always wants something new. His room is filled with toys, but as soon as he gets money in his hands he wants to spend it on a new toy. My middle son (14 yrs) is more of an online shopper. I have been teaching him to wait a few days to be sure he wants it, 99% of the time he changes his mind. The blog Teaching and Choosing Contentment is a good lesson for us in two ways: It gives us an idea to help our kids become content and it helps us to see that we also need to learn to be content. I don’t know about you, but the more I can cram in my little mind about being content the better off I will be, I hope.

~With the elections coming up Pastor Shane Idleman gives us somethings to think about in his article What should a Christian’s political stance be? I really like how he doesn’t bring up any politicians names and just gives us advise.

I just got done reading The Runaway Pastor’s Wife For the most part this was a good read. It is a clean read, but it didn’t pull me toward God and my favorite kind of fiction or any book for that matter is the ones that keep me thinking about God and pondering His Word. The ending was disappointing and a little rushed. I would not read this book again, but I would still recommend it because overall it is pretty good entertainment.

~A wolf in sheep clothing shows his true colors once again, Rick Warren is once again leading others astray. “Muslim Woman Concludes “Islam Is All About Living A Purpose-Driven Life” After Hearing Rick Warren on ‘Lifeclass’” If you haven’t heard of this “Lifeclass” it is a show by Oprah. Be careful people, who you listen to, don’t be easily deceived.

~”Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2 ESV) Are you open to be the one who receives this from your family and friends? I know it is easy to be the one who points out another person’s sin, but do you receive it humbly? Take the advise from Kimberly Wagner in her blog “You Can Get In My Face

~Midweek Sermon, good stuff! 9/29/2012 “Proverbs 3: He Shall Direct Your Path” — Pastor Shane Idleman from Westside Christian Fellowship on Vimeo.

~”Non-Exploding Soda Can – Cool Science Experiment” is a very cool short video. When you have a can of soda, that has been shaken up, don’t tap the top tap the side! Very cool!

Integrity: A Way of Life

The definition of integrity at Dictionary.com is “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”

[Scripture Job 1-2]

When distress and heartache come do you keep your faith in God or do you turn your back on Him? What about your integrity? That is what got to me in my Sunday school class. I keep my faith, but what do others see? Do they see my integrity in God or do they see a selfish brat having a temper tantrum? The other day I lost my focus on God and my flesh won in the battle over my feelings of hurt, loneliness, and abandonment. I have an ongoing struggle with these feelings, they try to surface everyday of my life. These feelings are starting to be weaker and weaker, but I don’t think they will ever go away as long as things stay the same. I have learned that God is all I need and His grace is sufficient for me. (2 Corin. 12:9)

We can see in the book of Job the bigger picture, we see not only what Job is going through, but we can see the dialog between God and satan. Job didn’t see the dialog between God and satan and he had no idea why he was going through what he was going through. We see that satan was wrong. God knew Job’s heart. God knew how Job would react. God was proud of Job! Satan tried everything he could to discourage Job and get him to turn his back on God. Job not only kept his faith in God, but he kept his integrity!

“The Lord shall judge the peoples; Judge me, O’ Lord, according to my righteousness, And according to my integrity within me.” (Psalm 7:8 NKJV)

God knew how much Job could endure with his faith and integrity in check. Job lost everything, he lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, his servants, and [most of all] his children! Job shaved his head and tore his robe then Job WORSHIPED God!  Job didn’t sin, he kept his faith and his integrity. (Job:1: 13-22) Wow! I certainly don’t think that would have been my first response. I know that wouldn’t have been my first response. As I was saying earlier the weight of this world came down on me and I broke. I disrespected people, I stomped off and I isolated myself from everyone else. Why? because I didn’t want to take my frustration out on anyone else. I didn’t stay out long, but I did take my frustration out on people, in my mind I was angry at those who have walked away when I need them the most. I was unwilling to forgive them [again] and I became bitter [again]. I came back and was short with my kids (who did nothing wrong). I was mad at my husband because he didn’t come running after me and he fell asleep and looked peaceful. Worst of all I didn’t pray with my youngest because ” I was to angry” I told him. What kind of example was I being? Teaching my son that you only pray when you feel like it? I had lost my integrity! If what happened to Job had happened to me I would have reacted just like his wife did or worse.

Why didn’t Job lose his integrity? Because Job didn’t lose his focus on God and he had his eyes on the promise God has given to all of us. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27) That is probably a good memory verse. Even if we just remember these few word “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth”. We cannot ever forget that this life is temporary! There is a bigger picture and God is sovereign always and in every circumstance!

“I will behave myself wisely and give heed to the blameless way—O when will You come to me? I will walk within my house in integrity and with a blameless heart.” (Psalm 101: 2 AMP)

Even after Job had lost all of his worldly things God made sure that satan saw that Job still had his integrity! “And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.'” (Job 2:3 ESV) God was proud of Job. I can’t always say the same in my distress. I need to learn from Job that no matter what happens I need to keep my focus on Jesus and keep my integrity. I truly do want God to be proud of me.

“Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.’And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” (Job 2: 4-7 ESV) Satan kept trying, he thought that Job let go of his worldly pleasure easily, but Job wouldn’t do the same with his flesh. It is one thing to lose things and people in our lives, but when you are being tortured it is a whole new kind of pain.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.” (Proverbs 2:6-8 ESV)

Job lost all he had and was in horrible pain. Even his wife, in her grief, seeing the pain Job was in, saw that Job kept his integrity. Telling Job “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” Job then tells her “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:9 ESV) Maybe Job’s wife kept her faith, but she didn’t keep her integrity. In all the pain that Job was in he still saw that his wife was being foolish. So when I lose my integrity I am a foolish woman just like Job’s wife.

God is sovereign, in the good He is sovereign, and in the bad He is sovereign ! We need to remember that and no matter what is going on we need to keep our integrity because we never know who is watching us. In my case my husband, who isn’t a believer (yet) and my children are watching me. I am the only believer in a lot of people’s lives and I need to represent Christ well! Also in keeping my integrity I am pleasing God!!!  Job could easily be one of the people who has suffered the most in life and he never lost his integrity. His integrity was a way of life for him, not just a thought. Integrity is a way of life and I need to keep my integrity in all things good and bad.

“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”(Job 42:10 ESV)

Art by: William Blake Picture [Source]

Contentment: My Continual Struggle

Back in June I wrote a blog “The Grass isn’t so Green on the Other Side” it is basically talking about covetousness and not being content with the things that I have. Not surprisingly I am here again, on un-contentment drive. I feel like everything I own is falling apart, literally! We have enough money for what we need, but not for all those “extra expenses” like a new TV or the money to get our TV fixed. We have more than a lot of people have, a house, working appliances and even this computer I am using right now. I think God is trying to show me in my material things and in my relationships that I need to be content. I am ever so grateful that He is merciful and patient with me. I keep slipping into the sin of covetousness and God keeps forgiving me! I guess every time that I slip into that sin I will revisit what the Bible says and maybe just maybe one day I will slip into this sin less and less. I decided to go to Biblegateway.com and look up the key word content (here are my results).

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-11 ESV)

Exodus 2:21 took me to the story of when Moses had to leave Egypt to escape the consequences of his actions in killing a man. He may have thought he was doing the Hebrews a favor in protecting them, however, his action wasn’t even appreciated. Moses ended up leaving Egypt, the only thing he ever knew, and his family. He went to Midian and helped the priest of Midian’s daughter watering their flock. The priest of Midian was impressed with Moses and not only fed him, but he also gave him a place to stay and gave him one of his daughters. Moses lost all that he had and was rejected by his people, but Moses found contentment in his situation and God blessed him with a son.

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”(Philippians 4:11 ESV)

In Luke 3 John was baptizing the people and more people saw this and came to John asking him questions because they to wanted to be baptized. Some soilders came to him and asked him “And we, what shall we do?” John replied to them and told them “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14) John the Baptist told the soilders to be content with what they had! The Soilders were people just like I am a person. I need to be content with what I have as well, because that is pleasing to The Lord and that is exactly what I want.

“godliness with contentment is great gain”(1 Timothy 6:6 ESV)

I love being able to look back and see where God got my attention on something. In my head I know He cares, but I don’t always feel it in my heart and when He communicates to me somehow I know in my mind, heart and soul that He cares! Over the weekend I was struggling with wanting new things because all of my “stuff” is falling apart. Well, Monday morning I woke up and read my usual devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries, but then when I decided to check my twitter account, which I haven’t checked in a while, I came across another devotional I wasn’t even aware of. It was a devotional on contentment!! God knew what I needed to hear and it was like the author of the devotional wrote it just for me. “Are you content?”

“Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
 lest I be full and deny you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.”
(Proverbs 30: 7-9 ESV)