Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Friday, April 28, 2017

Biblical Portrait ....series

"Every wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
Proverbs 14:1
 
Few women are aware of how much influence they have on their surroundings.
 
Regardless of our marital status or living arrangements, all of us as women have some type of "house." That "house" may be our immediate family, or neighborhood, our workplace, our school, our church, or our nation.
 
Through our attitudes, our words, and our behavior, we have the power to bless and build the lives of those around us; we also have the power to tear them down and destroy them.
 
On the following pages, you will find a series of contrasting statements that suggest specific ways we can built up or tear down our homes. Check the statements that best describe your attitudes, words, and actions towards those that God has place in your life.
 
Ask God to reveal whether  you are wisely helping others by building them up, or foolishly hurting and hindering them by tearing them down.
 
DO not let the enemy discourage you by what you may see. Rather, as you become aware of attitudes, words, or actions that are tearing down your home, agree with God, confessing your foolishness. Then, in each of those areas, ask Him to make you a wise woman and to help you build a home that will bring great glory to Him.
 
Do my Actions "build up"....or "tear down"?
 
  • I set an example for my children and others by obeying my authorities with a right heart attitude (Titus 2:4-5)
  • I often disregard authority and do whatever I want to do.
  • I am diligent in serving and meeting the needs of others with a willing heart attitude(Galatians 5:13).
  • I am often lazy and reluctant or unwilling to serve others.
  • I am faithful in caring for the practical needs of my family and home (Proverbs 31:27).
  • I neglect many of the practical needs of my family and home, due to lack of planning, discipline, or desire.
  • I take time to renew my mind with the Word of God, so that I can be transformed into the likeness of Jesus(Romans 12:2).
  • I indulge my mind in suggestive books, magazines, television programs, or movies.
  • My behavior with men is discreet, chaste, and above reproach(1 Thessalonians 4:3-7).
  • My behavior with men is sometimes aggressive, bold, or flirtatious.
  • I look for opportunities to minister in practical ways to the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:20).
  • I am so consumed with my own needs that I don't have time to reach out to the poor.
  • My home is a place of ministry and encouragement to others outside my family. (1 Peter 4:9).
  • I seldom invite others into my home.
  • My behavior in the presence of others is reverent, sober, and self-controlled (Titus 2:3-4).
  •   I often seek to draw attention to myself or to gain acceptance through loud, boisterous behavior.
  • I am actively involved in teaching and disciplining my children and/or other women in the ways of God (Titus 2:4-5).
  • I am not personally involve in ministering spiritually to others. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Best Deal....this week

 
This weeks addition of "My Best Deal" will come earlier than usual - because it is what I would like to share with you today.
 
On Sunday afternoon - my sister(knowing that I was at home alone because my husband and sons went on a fishing trip) asked me if I would want to go thrift store shopping- well of course I would love to go. We don't usually go on the week ends- we are usually too busy. So this was a special occasion for sure.

The first place we went - neither of us had any luck at all.
Oh well we had a few other places we wanted to check out anyway.
 
At the second place - a place that we usually don't go to - we both had some luck.
I actually found 3 tops and the coolest part - is that 2 of them were brand new with tags!!
 
This was my best deal by far-
 
A brand new with tags- Sonoma top - for only $2.99!!!
Yep - you read that right!!
 
This is the reason I thrift shop. Well that and it is hard - and getting harder to find the styles of clothing that I like at stores for brand new. Places are using more and more polyester - and I really do not like polyester in my clothing.
 
Here are the other two tops I found. This one is a gnw brand- which I am told is sold at Kroger's. Any way I thought this would be a very nice top to where with my black skirt. Or other skirts- could where with jeans or capris as well.


This is the other brand new top with tags still attached to it. It is a Lane Bryant top. This one I paid $5.99 for. The color is actually a bit brighter blue than this photo shows. It was getting dark when I was taking pictures - that is all I can figure out as to why the color is not accurate. The blue and what top does not show the color as perfectly as I would like either- the blue is a navy blue(like a denim blue) and it is cute as can be.
And both of these tops will be fitting me very soon!!!
 
I don't always have this much luck but when I do, I am super happy!
 
It was a real blessing from God - for sure!!!
 
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Are You in the Midst of Trouble?

This was my devotion for yesterday morning and I wanted to share. It is very reassuring to read - especially if you are in the midst of trouble.
 
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"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me"
(Ps. 138:7).

The Hebrew rendering of the above is "go on in the center of trouble." What descriptive words! We have called on God in the day of trouble; we have pleaded His promise of deliverance but no deliverance has been given; the enemy has continued oppressing until we were in the very thick of the fight, in the center of trouble. Why then trouble the Master any further?
When Martha said, "Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died," our Lord met her lack of hope with His further promise, "Thy brother shall rise again." And when we walk "in the center of trouble" and are tempted to think like Martha that the time of deliverance is past, He meets us too with a promise from His Word. "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me."
Though His answer has so long delayed, though we may still continue to "go on" in the midst of trouble, "the center of trouble" is the place where He revives, not the place where He fails us. When in the hopeless place, the continued hopeless place, is the very time when He will stretch forth His hand against the wrath of our enemies and perfect that which concerneth us, the very time when He will make the attack to cease and fail and come to an end.
What occasion is there then for fainting?
--Aphra White

THE EYE OF THE STORM

Fear not that the whirlwind shall carry thee hence,
Nor wait for its onslaught in breathless suspense,
Nor shrink from the whips of the terrible hail,
But pass through the edge to the heart of the gale,
For there is a shelter, sunlighted and warm,
And Faith sees her God through the eye of the storm.
The passionate tempest with rush and wild roar
And threatenings of evil may beat on the shore,
The waves may be mountains, the fields battle plains,
And the earth be immersed in a deluge of rains,
Yet, the soul, stayed on God, may sing bravely its psalm,
For the heart of the storm is the center of calm.
Let hope be not quenched in the blackness of night,
Though the cyclone awhile may have blotted the light,
For behind the great darkness the stars ever shine,
And the light of God's heavens, His love shall make thine,
Let no gloom dim thine eyes, but uplif t them on high
To the face of thy God and the blue of His sky.
The storm is thy shelter from danger and sin,
And God Himself takes thee for safety within;
The tempest with Him passeth into deep calm,
And the roar of the winds is the sound of a psalm.
Be glad and serene when the tempest clouds form;
God smiles on His child in the eye of the Storm.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Best Deal Last Week

Ever so often I find such great deals that I just have to share. Last week was one of those times. For the last couple of weeks between my appts and my mother-in-laws appts and everything else I have been very busy. And it came to the point that I needed a mental health day.
 
 I decided to hit several Goodwill's and a couple of thrift shops. I actually went to 4 Goodwill's without finding a single thing. That is unusual, but I am trying to be particular and not but stuff unless I love it. And in the middle of weight loss - you have to be selective about what you buy.
 
Next I went to a favorite thrift store - it is about a 30 minute drive from my house, but well worth the trip- most times I go. That is when I found my best deal of the week! A pair of Gap Jeans. When I looked at the tag and it said 99 cents - I was like - ok what is wrong with these jeans. I looked them over really well. I noticed on a tag inside - it had the date they were made 2010. That is not a big deal to me. If I like something - I don't really care when it was "in style." I also noticed that on the bottom of the legs in the back it looked like the jeans had been too long on the previous owner and they had walked on the jeans fraying them.  But when I tried on the jeans - I found they were also too long on me - which means I will hem them up and they will look nice. There is only one issue with these jeans. They are a size and a half smaller than I am now. Actually they at the size I was when I got married 28 years ago. So the truth is it was a bit of a gamble to get these jeans. There is not a guarantee that they will fit me when I lose the rest of the 18 pounds I want to lose- but I really think they will. I can get them on - just not zipped at this point. So it was a gamble worth taking - and for only 99 cents- how could I go wrong. Hopefully by next winter I will be able to wear them.
 
Now I also need to add a few little things. It is not always best to buy the cheapest things - sometimes there are valid reasons why the item is so cheap. So any time you find a really good deal - look the item over - you may find out why it was priced so cheap. And then again you might find that the reason is something that you can easily fix. Sometimes when I have found something cheaply listed - I have never figured out why.

Would love to hear about the best deals you all have found. Have a great day! :O)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Beloved Names f God...series "Prince of Peace"


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given....
and his name shall be called...The Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6 kjv
 
  • Name of God the Son
  • Jesus is referred to as the "Prince of Peace" once in the KJV
  • The name Prince of Peace assured God's people that despite dire times, God promised to send a Savior into the world whose reign would be just ad refreshing.
  • The prophet Isaiah predicted dire times for Judah and Israel. The people had turned from God and their leaders had led them to ruin. Despite all this, he was convinced God had not abandoned them. God would eventually send the Prince of Peace.
The title Prince of Peace doesn't sound as intimidating as Lord of War, but don't let the gentle nature of the word peace fool you. The world has been taken to at in the past, but no one has ever been able to lead the whole world to peace. Jesus has the strength and power to do what no other leader ever has. Now that's impressive.
 
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Come back next week when we will look at the name "Shiloh" 
 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Biblical Portrait....series

 
"Every wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
Proverbs 14:1
 
Few women are aware of how much influence they have on their surroundings.
 
Regardless of our marital status or living arrangements, all of us as women have some type of "house." That "house" may be our immediate family, or neighborhood, our workplace, our school, our church, or our nation.
 
Through our attitudes, our words, and our behavior, we have the power to bless and build the lives of those around us; we also have the power to tear them down and destroy them.
 
On the following pages, you will find a series of contrasting statements that suggest specific ways we can built up or tear down our homes. Check the statements that best describe your attitudes, words, and actions towards those that God has place in your life.
 
Ask God to reveal whether  you are wisely helping others by building them up, or foolishly hurting and hindering them by tearing them down.
 
DO not let the enemy discourage you by what you may see. Rather, as you become aware of attitudes, words, or actions that are tearing down your home, agree with God, confessing your foolishness. Then, in each of those areas, ask Him to make you a wise woman and to help you build a home that will bring great glory to Him.
 

Do my Words "build up"....or "tear down"?

  • I frequently express gratitude for the benefits that I have received from God and others (Colossians 3:15).
  • I frequently grumble about having what I don't want or wanting what I don't have.
  • I build others up with words of praise, appreciation, and admiration (Ephesians 4:29).
  • I often hurt others with criticial, belittling words. I am quick to point out the failures of others.
  • I am quick to humble myself and seek forgiveness when I have wronged someone (Matthew 5:23-24)
  • I tend to defend or justify myself rather than admitting when I am wrong.
  • I am faithful in praying for God to work in others' lives(i.e., husband, children, friends, pastors, etc.)(Ephesians 6:18).
  • I spend more time talking to friends and counselors about the needs in the lives of those around me, than I do in fervent, intercessory prayer on their behalf.
  • I seek to speak only wise words that point people to the Word and ways of God (Proverbs 31:26).
  • I am quick to share my own opinions about matters, rather than consciously pointing people to the Word and ways of God.
  • My words encourage others and minister health and life to their spirits (Proverbs 12:18)
  • My words tent to make others feel discouraged and defeated.
  • I am careful to speak words that are absolutely truthful(Ephesians 4:25).
  • I sometimes shade or exaggerate the truth for my own personal benefit.
  • I am quick to hear and slow to speak. (James 1:19).
  • I am not a good listener. I tend to dominate conversations and want other to listen to me.
  • When provoked, I generally respond with a gentle answer(Proverbs 15:1).
  • I am easily provoked and tend to respond with harsh words.
  • I restrain my words ( Proverbs 10:19, 17:27).
  • I talk too much.
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As I read these and type them out~ it gives me time to reflect on each statement. And it gives me a lot to think about. I have found bits of myself on either side. I am so thankful for the Word of God and the wisdom we can glean from it when we take the time to study.

Next week we will be talking about our Actions. See you then. :O)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Unyielding Faith to the Promises of God

Just a couple of awesome quotes that I read this week about prayer.

The first one about Jacob really spoke to me - because I feel I have a lot to learn from Jacob. I feel their is hidden gems in the story of him wrestling with the angel and I can't wait until the Holy Spirit reveals more of what I am to learn from it.

"Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God's promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God- how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God." GC621

"When thick clouds of darkness seem to hover over the mind, then is the time to let living faith pierce the darkness and scatter the clouds. Truth Faith rests on the promises contained in the Word of God, and those only who obey that Word can claim its glorious promises." EW72,73



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Weight Loss Surgery Has Affected My Life

With all of the health information that I have shared - I bet you are surprised that I am going to bring up the issue of weight loss surgery. Well don't be too surprised - I have not had weight loss surgery and I am NOT considering weight loss surgery but it has affected my life.

In my small circle of people I know there have been at least 11 people have a weight loss surgery, a sister-in-law, 3 going to be 4 cousins, a woman who goes to church with me (who I never thought was heavy enough to qualify for weight loss surgery, and several other people.

One of my cousins had the surgery just about a week ago and she said that in 3 days she had lost 7 pounds! What?! To those of us like me - who have been working on losing weight for 10 months- it is frustrating to hear of someone losing weight that fast. Once I heard that they removed 80% of her stomach and that when she works up to eating normal food - it will only be about 1/2 of a cup of food at a time... who wants to eat such a little amount? And how in the world will she get the nutrients needed?

A lady I know who runs a local consignment center shared with me how she had a weight loss surgery several years ago. Afterwards they found she had kidney cancer- and now is cancer free. The sad news is that she is anemic and has a super hard time getting the nutrients that she needs. And she may end up having to have a blood transfusion - to help the anemia. - and all of this is because of the weight loss surgery and the fact that she has a super hard time getting nutrition since her surgery.

Three people I know have gained back all the weight -some more than they weighed before.

I have another cousin who as soon as she can get the insurance to ok her having a weight loss surgery will be having the surgery. I wish these people would look into eating a more plant based diet. I wish that they realized the importance of getting nutrition through the foods we eat. Our bodies need the nutrition and when we make poor choices in what we put into our bodies, our bodies suffer. And sometimes it take quite some time to see the results of the abuse you put our bodies through.

It may be because I have been having to wake up at 4:40am -but I was doing alright when I was messaging my cousin (who just had the weight loss surgery) but when I found out that another cousin is seriously considering having the surgery- it really bothered me. I have worked quite some time and have lost a total of 32 pounds. And my cousin and others having these surgeries will lose that amount of weight or more in a month. And it just makes it a bit more challenging for me - especially during the times that I am struggling with being on a plateau. Or when life is so busy that I don't have the time to get the exercising in, or the times that my heal hurts so bad that I am struggling with being able to exercise, or the time my knees were really bothering me(still bother me a bit but nothing like they were). I am thinking through all the important health information that I have learned and realizing that the best way to take care of me - is to continue to work towards health.

I am realizing that the desire for instant gratification is what lures people to have these surgeries - God teaches patience. If you don't believe me, why don't you look in the Bible and see all the verses that mention "waiting on the Lord" ...you will notice it happens more than you would like. We are to wait on the Lord. Instant gratification does not teach us anything. We don't have a chance to learn lessons when we get what we want- when we want it. It teaches us to want everything instantly. Patience really is a virtue. If you need to lose weight - I would highly recommend you look into healthy living. Be patient and allow God to help you get to your goal. He will supply all your needs.

One more thought- one of the comments by a weight loss patient was - "instead of eating a whole bag of chips- I will eat just a couple and be satisfied." Their desire is to be satisfied. This is another area in which we need the Lord. He will satisfy our souls. Food and weight loss will not satisfy our souls. That is what God will do for us. Let's depend on Him.

I hope this makes sense. And I hope that if I can help support one person to approach weight loss in a healthy way - it would mean the world to me. Please consider your health. Value it. Protect it. Instant gratification will not get you what you want.