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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

President Trump

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Mr. Trump, we welcome you, as our 45th President of this great country, the United States of America.
 
Thank you, Lord, for our new leader, Mr. Trump.  We pray that he would grow in Your understanding and wisdom.  May he lead this great country, at its core, to be a country after Your heart and Your ways.  We pray that Mr. Trump's relationship with you would flourish as men and women of God gather around him throughout his days encouraging and praying for him.  We pray for his safety.  We pray even that he would gain favor with those who were previously set against him. 
 
We also pray for Mrs. Clinton.  Any loss is painful, and the loss of presidency when you were so driven to gain the seat, has to be devastating.  Putting aside personal opinions about her and her running for president, we pray for her sincerely.  Help her through this time and through this, may she come to know You; come to know Your deep love for her, and may she fall deeply in love with You, as well, and follow after Your ways.

We pray for our country.  Please protect us from any safety threats; from all enemies that would threat us physically or spiritually.  We pray each of us would assume our personal responsibility to be faithful citizens.  May we be faithful to our country.  May we walk in gratefulness for our freedom and thankfulness towards those who paid and continue to pay the price for it.   May we do our part in keeping peace and living orderly lives rather than contributing to unnecessary violence amongst ourselves and destroying our very own.  May we come to an understanding of what it means to honor those in authority and become a people who understand, once again, what it means to be respectful to our leaders and to each other.
 
Be King of our country, Lord, and use President Trump to be Your vessel to bring Your will to pass.   Amen.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Beauty

 
 

The leaves rustle across the ground

  In the cool autumn breeze

I gaze at Your creation

Where Your beauty is clearly seen

 

I see Your beauty as the sun comes up

It’s written across the sky

As the sun warms me, I feel Your love

But nighttime settles, and wonder why

 

Why You choose to share such beauty

 With one who fails You every day

I fall short time and time again

Each morning You meet me anyway

 

In the quiet moments I sit and think

 In awe of what I see

 As the wind blows by, I hear Your voice

 Whispering to me…

 

You notice the beauty around you

The intricacies through and through

But as splendid as this all appears

My beauty is wrapped up in you…
 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Matthew

 

My prayer for you...

May you never lose your smile or joy in the simple things
May your laughter never be muted
May you never allow anyone to silence your God given personality 
May you never trade in your uniqueness for something ordinary 
May you never believe the lie that you need to fit in or be like somebody else
May you never replace your hugs and affection with walls
May you never use your words to hurt others
May you always be quick to forgive and quick to repent
May you never use your positions in life to control others but to lead with love
May you have a strong yet tender heart
May you know when to turn the other cheek and when it is your place to protect
May your spirit be sensitive to the voice of the Father
May you walk in the wisdom of God and not the wisdom of man
May you always have discernment with people and choices you face
May you have a hunger for God’s Word all the days of your life
May you be a fervent man of prayer
May you have a heart for the unsaved, the broken, and the hurting
May you never be judgmental or prejudice, but love people as God does
May you discover and walk out the work that you have been called to do
May you never doubt Jesus’ love for you
 And may you always stay on the path that leads to life…
 
 
Happy 9th Birthday, Matthew – a boy that I adore – a boy that has changed my life J


I love you and am proud of you,
Mom


Friday, September 2, 2016

Brooke Elizabeth




Your smile lights up the room

Contagious is your laugh

Eleven years ago you were born

You're growing up so fast

 
I pray for God's hand on you

To stay in His will

May all that He has for you

In this life - be fulfilled

 
May your heart be at peace

God's greater than all fear

Find rest in His comfort

Feel His love always near

 
You make me very proud

I thank God He gave you to me

Happy Birthday, my sweet Brooke

I pray your day's filled with happy :)

 
Father, I am so grateful for Your entrusting me with Brooke's life. Help me to nurture her sweet spirit to become all that You have called her to be. I pray for Your peace that surpasses all understanding to surround her each and every day of her life.  I pray for her to be kept safe, healthy, and to have a full life filled with joy! May she walk in confidence down Your path and grow up to be a woman after Your heart.  In Jesus' Name.

 
Happy 11th Birthday, Brooke!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Alyssa Grace



Lord, I thank You for entrusting Alyssa into my hands - to care for her, to raise her to know You, to learn to hear Your voice, to one day return back to You.  I ask for Your  help, Your guidance, Your wisdom. I want to present You with a daughter one day that has made You proud with her life.  I pray for protection and long life for Alyssa. May Your hand of blessing and favor follow her everywhere she goes.  I commit her once again to You - that she would live a life unashamed of You - a life recklessly abandoned to Your will...

I loved you the moment
I knew you were on your way
Such anticipation I had
For your arrival day

Great plans for your life
I held deep in my heart
Never thought for a moment
You’d have such a rough start

You were such a fighter
So little - yet so strong
I watched my baby endure
Five months way too long

Now it’s 14 years later
I’m so proud of you
You’ve faced so much
But God carried you through

I look at you now
Your smiling, happy face
I’m so blessed to have you
My sweet, Alyssa Grace

Happy 14th birthday, Alyssa!   You are such a beautiful, fun, and loving daughter. Thank you for always giving me a reason to smile. I'm so proud of you and I love you deeply.
 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Fulfilling Your Spouse

 
We all have our ideals of what we want to GET out of our marriages, but what are we willing to GIVE?  Laying aside our desires for just a moment, let’s think about our spouses. What could we do to assure them they are loved? What would make them feel safe, secure, and truly cared about?  We all have an innate need for these things. What are we doing to daily fulfill it for our partner? 


 
Some of us the yearning and need is even greater because of things we have gone through in life; possibly rejection and abandonment wounds that yes, only the love of the Father can heal, but what if we could play a part in binding up those wounds in our mate as the Father lavishes His love upon them through us?  What if? 


Our relationship with our spouse is to be the most intimate of all relationships we have.  We are neglecting the responsibility given to us when we fail to invest in learning how and applying a level of love to our spouse that is to trump all other earthly relationships they have.  Easier said than done?  Yes.  A lot of denying our own selfish desires and attitudes for the sake of them?  Yes.  Choosing to love them in word and action even when we feel justified in not doing so?  Yes.  We are the closest “skin” God can use to love His child and demonstrate His unconditional love for them.  

It truly is more blessed to give than to receive. To have the privilege to make someone feel special, and to make their life a little easier is priceless.  Wives, wouldn't it bring you unspeakable joy to know that when your husband leaves the house each day, he longs to get home to YOU?  Husbands, can you imagine the “spring” you’d have in your step in knowing your wife excitedly anticipates your return home? 
 
When we just take life as it comes, all too often we set ourselves up for failure. This is true in our homes as well.  We can say we want to have a healthy and happy home, but wanting and doing are two different things.  Good relationships don’t just happen.  To get good at anything there is practice, repetition, and dedication. 
 
Have you ever thought about writing down your goal as a spouse?   When you are making plans for the day with things you wish to accomplish, once you make a checklist of those things, you feel obligated or accountable to do that which you have set in your heart to do.  Likewise, when you get specific as to the spouse you want to be, you are more apt to take the steps to becoming just that.  Then share it with your spouse.  What a beautiful moment you will bring to them when they see your heart’s desire is to bring them joy!
 
How does this sound?        
 
As your lifetime best friend, I want to bring you joy
A place of safety where you can be vulnerable
I want to hold your hand as an encourager, your biggest fan
As your faithful lover, I want to make you feel like the man (woman) you are

I commit to talking things through, never allowing walls to be built up
I will protect your feelings even if I do not agree or understand
I will always do my best to show you how much you’re loved
I want you to never doubt how proud I am that you are mine

I want our home to be a peaceful haven
A place you can retreat to - to be refreshed from each day’s challenges
I want to make you feel alive; adding smiles to your life
Whatever it is I can do, I want to make life easier for you
This is possible, but we have to throw out the 50/50, self seeking mindset “I’ll do for you if you do for me.”  Marriage is teamwork. What team ever succeeded with players only giving 50 percent?  Marriage takes commitment and it is a commitment far beyond staying faithful. 
 
100/100 carries a whole different perspective: to solely seek to satisfy your partner’s needs.   If we want a truly fulfilling marriage, both sides have to give their all. As I tell my children, you are responsible for YOUR actions.  You can’t use someone else’s “shortcuts” as an excuse to not do your best.  I find the things I teach the kids to be sound truth and healthy relationship advice. Ha.  It’s time we as adults start living by the same rule.  If our spouse is having a less than 100% kind of day, guess what?  We aim our own behavior on God’s standards not on the weakness our spouse is having at the moment. J
Let’s make the decision today to be passionate about fulfilling our spouse.  Ask the Lord to put that desire in you if it is currently clouded by negative emotions.  Begin seeing your spouse as a gift of great worth laid in your hands from the Father Himself.  What will you do with this treasure?  Will you protect it from the danger of outside elements?  Will you carefully handle and nurture it in such a way that you yourself do not cause it damage?  This gift given to you will one day be given back to the Giver Himself.  Will your spouse be returned in greater spiritual and emotional condition than upon the day you received them?  I believe that is our mandate as husband, as wife.  May each of us bring glory to God as we purposefully take care of this "gift" of great value!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Worth It

 
As I walked one afternoon, I was meditating on:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
 
God loved us smack dab in the middle of our sin.  He demonstrated His love while we rejected Him.  He poured His life out as an offering with the chance we may never love Him back.  Why would He lay Himself down for us in the midst of our wickedness?  Why would He provide a way of escape for us when we lived a life that mocked His ways?  Why?  In that moment of question, I felt Him gently speak, “Not because you were worthy of it, but because you were WORTH IT.”
 
Immediately I was reminded:
 
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
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It is not a suggestion, but a commandment to love as He loved.  We are called to love those who do not deserve it.  Just saying we love people isn’t what He meant.  Love is a verb.  It is demonstrated in our actions, in our attitudes, in our words towards EVERYONE… yes, even the unlovely.  Yes, even the one who disrespects you, the one who speaks evil of you, the one who has smeared your name, the one who has broken your heart, corrupt leaders, misguided politicians, the harsh boss that takes you for granted…
We have become so accustomed to the thought that we need to only respect and love those who are deserving of it and those who have earned it.  But God’s ways are much higher than our human logic:
“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy; But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you to show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers alike. For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?  And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the heathen do that?  You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:42-48
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Each one of us was once lost in our sin and living a life separated from God… and yet - Jesus found us WORTH IT.  When we are tempted to pull our judgmental swords and  withhold “the love of God that has been shed abroad in our hearts” let’s remember where we came from and love those who have not yet found The Way. 

"And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"  Romans 2:3-4

The goodness of God.  The goodness of God in what Jesus already did, the goodness of God in our everyday lives, and could it also be the goodness of God THROUGH US to others that will lead them to true repentance?  
 
May our love walk demonstrate the God who loved “while we were yet sinners.” May God's love in action - in us - be the very tool that gains us access to speak the Truth into those people’s lives who Jesus found WORTH IT! J
 
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