Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


WWW As My World Turns

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Farewell Angel

Last night was a particularly wonderful and beautiful night. Bittersweet in the reasoning behind it. As you may have read, my dear friend Amberlyn passed away back in November. FULL of life, full of love, full of spirit and goodness and generosity. She was one of a kind, my Amberlyn.

Amberlyn left behind a legacy of love, of caring for others more than herself. Last night was her memorial/benefit concert to help out her family and her special charity, Amber's Angels, which is for kids in Dell Children's and one other hospital in San Antonio who are stuck in the hospitals at Christmas. She personally touched all the musicians who were there last night. And there were some SUPER big names! If you know Texas Country, you'll recognize the following:

Granger Smith
Curtis Grimes
Ryan Beaver
Bart Crow
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Casey Donahew
Wade Bowen
Brandon Rhyder
Josh Abbott
Cory Morrow
Roger Creager
Randy Rogers

...and many more!

4 sets of 4 musicians for each set (and associated fiddle players, etc.) for an unprecedented acoustic show. Each played 4 songs in their respective sets. And it was PACKED!

Amberlyn always wanted a party when she left this world and, trust me, though this party in honor of her memory was STELLAR, I guarantee you that it is NOTHING compared to the party that Heaven threw when she was called home.

Oh, my sweet Amberlyn. I miss you and I love you. And I rejoice, not only because you no longer struggle daily to breathe, but because I KNOW that I will see you again on the other side.

One of the things that was really driven home to me last night at my Amberlyn's concert is that we never truly know how much time we have left on this earth. Don't save things for "someday" b/c that day might never come. Don't ever pass up a chance to tell those important to you that you love them and let them know how important they are in your life. Never turn down a hug or kiss or a chance to hold hands with those who matter most b/c you don't know if that will be the last time. Live LIFE without hesitation! Laugh freely...love completely. What last memory do you want to have of others...what last memory do you want them to have of you? Let it be one of love. ♥

I will post more pictures as I have them, but for now, here are a few...

These first 2 pics are of us in the beautiful shirts that my amazing, thoughtful and caring sisterfriend, Leigh, had made for us...

Back Row: Jordan, MJ, Leigh, Colleen, Me
Front Row: Misty, Christy, Taryn and Jen

Me and the beautiful Samantha:

A little later in the night:

Back Row: Colleen, Leigh, Jordan, Jen, Taryn, Me
Front Row: Misty (LOL!)

Back Row: Jordan, MJ, Leigh, Christy, Me, Colleen and Jen
Front Row: Misty, Amberlyn's sweet and lovely mom (Debbie) and Taryn

Thursday, January 12, 2012

God's 10%

Have you ever thought, I mean REALLY thought, about the 10% thing? Not just in a financial sense, but in a sense of our daily lives?

There are 24 hours in a day. 10% of that is 2.4 hours, but how many of us actually spend 2.4 hours out of the day with God? Kind of a difficult concept to imagine with our busy lives full of activities, work, family...especially if you have kids who have homework, participate in after-school activities, such a sports, etc. Then, speaking from a mother's POV, there's the dinners to get ready, the baths/showers to supervise, the clothes/dishes to wash, house to clean/pick up, the preparation of everything for everyone for the next day...and that's just for everyone else, not to mention the things you need to do for yourself, especially if you work! And what if you're a single mother like me with an emotionally charged pre-pubescent tween girl and a son who is in his adorable, yet terrible, twos?

Where in the world are we supposed to find the 10% out of our day for God?

This is a question that I wrestle with. I believe in applying that 10% to my life, but how? Sleep is at a premium as it is and lately, with the allergies being in FULL force, it's a struggle to get out of bed on a daily basis, get everyone up and ready and out the door and I can't even fathom waking up an hour or two earlier to squeeze more time in with God than the sad little amount I already spend on Him.

Not to mention, now that Dave has moved here and we're getting used to actually NOT having a long distance relationship for the first time in 19 years, I'm kind of loathe to kick him out of the house early or to leave his place early on the nights my mom is generous enough to watch the kids so that he and I can spend a couple of hours together after I get the kids fed. Granted, I'm home by 10 or shortly after that and the kids love being around him when he's at the house or I bring them over to his apartment for a few hours on the weekend, etc., but it seems like there's just so much going on right now.

And what does one do in that 10% of the day? How do I fill that time? It's an awful long time for prayer. While I love to read, I can't see reading the Bible for that long each day, and what happens when I've read through the Bible? What then?

So here's my sort of solution...

I am going to start doing devotionals such as the "Power of a Praying..." series by Stormie Omartian. Those are very thought provoking and sometimes difficult devotionals, but ones that are eternally worth it as it teaches me HOW to pray for others, especially my children and my (potential) future spouse. In them I have also gotten the workbooks and prayer books and have started a journal to put the insights that God has given me while answering the questions or reading the chapters. I'm hoping to be able to go back when I am done with the series of different books and see how I've grown or changed from where I first started from in them.

I am also determined to read through the Bible, front to back, for the first time ever this year. I say I'm going to do it every year, and every year...I don't. I can spend the time I would normally spend at the end of a long day, in my bed, reading the Bible instead of a fiction novel or political book. It may be 5 minutes, it may be 30 minutes. I have no set schedule or time frame or chapter limit per day. Just that I want to get it done THIS year.

Lunch time can be spent reading my devotionals, reading the Bible, praying for whatever burdens God has placed on my heart, whether about my own life or for someone else.

In the grand scheme of things...2.4 hours out of a 24 hour day is such a small slice of the pie to give to God, when we spend so much time on other pursuits. Out of an entire year, that's only 876 hours out of the 8760 hours that we are all given. Small amount. But how much more could your life be enriched spiritually by just giving that 10% to God? How much more could you enrich other's lives from the truths and blessings you receive from that time spent with God?

How much more time do we spend on our own (worldly) leisurely pursuits that have nothing to do with God? Shouldn't He get just as much time, if not much more? What would happen if we pursued our outside interests FOR God instead of apart from God? What would happen if we pursued God with every bit as much interest as we pursue our outside interests? How much would our lives change? How much richer would they be in terms of what really matters?

Just a thought...

Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. Psalm 37:5

Commit yourself and all that you do to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Biblical Motherhood: Week Four/Day Three Who Gains?

(My apologies for being away from this for sooooo long! Life happens, but I will pick up where I left off and continue to post on this as I can. You can read the introduction to this 8 week study here. You can also click the tag at the bottom of this post and all of the Biblical Motherhood posts will be shown to you.)

Who Gains?

Today you may want to ask the Lord to do a special healing in your life! To do that, He must have access to your wound. It will be worth the cost to be close to Him.

"'For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,' says the Lord,"
Jeremiah 30:17.

At times, as mothers we may wonder if our unrest is caused by our loved ones. We may feel bitterness toward them and not recognize it, or not know what to do with it. While it may be difficult to do so, we will uncover the end of the attitude of resentment in the life of a mother. Her condition may be related to the difficulty of raising children, even toward her husband for not supporting her in the way she would find most helpful. It may be that she has had hardship and feels that the Lord has abandoned her when she most needed Him; she doesn’t think He is predictable enough for her to trust Him. Maybe she sees her role as wife and mother from God as an unfair burden rather than a blessing. Whatever the case, the Word of God seems to slide right off of her heart, and she finds herself taking care of her own needs, or at least trying to, but not making a lot of headway.

We find some of the traits of this old nature described for us in the prophets. In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah is writing to the people of God who have been afflicted by their own sin, yet they did not heed God’s warnings and finally were invaded and conquered by Babylon.

In Lamentations 2:9 we read of the city’s broken condition. Among the things listed, we find, “...the Law is no more,...” You may recall that as parents, a father is given the privilege by God of leading and teaching the family to know the Lord, and as a mother is a help meet for her husband, she is qualified by God to assist him in the work. This begins at infancy, holding, feeding, bathing and changing diapers, smiling and talking to a little baby, and grows in specifics as a child grows and has different needs. “No, no, honey, that isn’t yours,” is actually the teaching of God’s law of love. Setting the boundaries for a child and enforcing obedience when they cross them is the work of a mother. All the time, the Biblical mother’s goal is to reach their heart in Jesus’ name, and it is done while a child is young by teaching them right from wrong and the pleasure of choosing the right. But in Lamentations, we find that this training is gone from the people of Jerusalem; as it is written, “...the Law is no more,...”

Because of this, in Lamentations 2:12, what do the children ask for and from whom?

From this verse, what is happening to the life of the children?

Please find Matthew 26:26-28, and John 6:51,54. Jesus says that He, indeed, constitutes real nourishment! What is the meaning (in the realm of the spirit) of the nourishment for which the children are crying out?

See Lamentations 4:4, and also John 6:57. What might it mean to “break bread” for the young children?

In Lamentations 2:20, we read, “Should the women eat their offspring, the children they have cuddled?” Lamentations 4:10 says, “The hands of the compassionate women have cooked their own children; they became food for them in the destruction of the daughter of my people.” As their enemies sieged the cities of God’s people, the Israelites were starved to the point of such agony that they did the unthinkable, what they never would have entertained otherwise. These desperate women let their children’s lives be destroyed for their own attempt at survival. They devoured instead of sacrificing themselves, using their children’s lives to gain strength for themselves.

In this time and place, how might a mother’s struggle in her own life cause her to put her survival and well-being ahead of her child?

When we put the demands of this life as priority over giving the knowledge of God to our children, the devourer eats away in the unseen places of our souls. If our reputation means more to us than training up our children, we will be concerned with how we are coming across rather than what the Lord is showing us through them. If we are rushed, we won’t spend the time together, or hear the thoughts of our children in the midst of daily life. Yet it is often through those times together that the Lord would expose the place of hunger in the heart. Are you trusting someone else to give your child the ‘bread and wine’ of the knowledge of Jesus? Who will live His love before them in the daily goings on of this life? Who will teach them of His sacrifice and His resurrection power if you won’t?

And how will your life be healed if you decide to willingly follow society’s dictates and not hear the Lord?

It is never God’s heart to destroy His children, so when you read the prophets you must understand that He allows spiritual bondage in order to cause His own to cry out to Him and look at Him to save them. Fellowship with us is so precious to God that He died to gain it. So take to heart that He longs for His children and will go to great lengths to win us back. Eternal treasure is more valuable in His sight than temporal comfort.

If we will not come to Him, our lives will be tainted by waste, but not because of His lack of effort to turn us from our destructive ways. With this in mind, read Hosea 4:4-6.

A priest was to talk to God about the people; a prophet was to talk to the people from God, and mothers were to teach their children to know the Lord from infancy. What brought destruction into their lives (verse 6)?

Please read Hosea 4:5,6 with 5:7. “Pagan” is also translated “strange” from the original Hebrew. God says that it was the parents who dealt treacherously with Him by bringing up their children to be pagan, strange children. How did that happen? The things that God gave to them they began to use to exalt themselves. Their New Moon festival had been instituted by God Himself as celebration and worship to Him, but when people began to worship the ritual, or even the moon itself, they forfeited the peace and heritage that God would lavish on them. How do you think God feels as He says, “Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children”?

The Lord grieves over those who will not come to Him! He longs for us, and would gather us to Himself to love, protect and heal us!

From Hosea 7:13 we read, “Woe to them, for they have fled from Me! Destruction to them, because they have transgressed against Me! Though I redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against Me. They did not cry out to Me with their heart when they wailed upon their beds.”

The Lord watches over the responses of the people, and His grief is evident. He says that in fleeing from Him instead of to Him, there will be woe and destruction waiting for them. He says that He has already redeemed them, but they have rejected Him by speaking lies about Him. How does one speak lies against God? This is how: to say that God demands more than we are able to live up to. Living in a way to attempt to “appease an angry God” is a lie against God. It totally ignores the cross and the Way God has made. It looks only to human (self) effort. Often it is the case that the person who accuses God of anger is actually the one who is angry at God.

The “father of lies” is Satan, and he is continually accusing us before God, and he even accuses God before us. Can you identify any lie(s) he has wanted you to believe about God?

Note that the people “wailed upon their beds.” They were grieved and heartsick; they were broken in heart! But they didn’t cry out to God. To cry out to God requires humility, an acknowledgment that one who is needy is coming to The Answer. It is our natural born arrogance that keeps us from telling the truth about, or crying out to, God.

God knows that the eternal end of man is separation from Himself in hell except for the Way that He made Himself. Please also read Hosea 5:15. When you understand the loving heart of God better, these verses become a cry of warning! He is not angry because He’s not getting the attention He wants. He is God who shouts out across the span of all time with His agonizing, victorious cry, “It is finished!” He calls all men, “Come to Me! Come to Me and escape your certain future of destruction! Turn to Me; I will heal you!” Yet He will not force anyone to come.

1 Timothy 2:15 says, “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” The words “will be saved” in the Greek is sozo, pronounced “sode’-zo” meaning to save, deliver or protect: heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.”

How can God use your motherhood experience to protect, deliver, and heal you?

Please read Isaiah 48:18 and make note of the benefits of a mother’s obedience to God’s heart to bring up their children to know Him. (Keep in mind that waves are caused by wind, a picture of the Holy Spirit.)

There are promises from the Lord for those who build the walls of their house on the foundation of God’s Word. Please read Isaiah 54:11-14. What does He promise?

Please copy verse 13 here:

Remember that the Lord goes before you (Deuteronomy 31:6)! Wherever you go, He has already been there. He has won the essential battle, but the wage for territory still remains our training ground. This battle is for an area in our soul (life), delivered from the enemy’s purpose to the purpose of our King! We now fight from a position of rest, trust, in His victory.

If you find that you are afraid, decide where to place your trust, and by an act of will, tell Jesus you are giving Him your faith. Copy Psalm 56:3 to take courage!

For further encouragement, the Lord has given us Isaiah 51:12. It gives us His perspective on the matter. Please look it up and pray it in!

You have many promises from God; some you will find in this study, all you will find in God’s Word. Isaiah 49:15, 16 tells you that you are always on God’s mind.

Please write it here:

Not only will the Lord go before you and never forget you, but He also promises you that He will fight for you! Isaiah 49:25, “For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.” He has issues with anyone who comes against you when you are His child, and your children have the attention of His heart! If you will walk in obedience with Him, He will meet you at that first step with all the power of heaven to see that you are able to do what He calls you to do. And He will use you to draw your children to Himself!

If you are encouraged, thank God! If you are heartsick, pray! Repentance must start with one who will humble herself before God and agree with Him. You will find healing there at the foot of the cross.

Please write James 4:10. (You don’t need to lift yourself up. God will!)

“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth,” Hosea 6:1-3.

Please come with me to bring it all before the Lord:

Dear Father, Thank You that You intend healing for Your children, though it means that we be offended first. Your Word goes deep into the heart where everything is visible to You. Nothing is hidden from Your sight. Please cleanse me from my fear. Help me to care about my children, and their eternity. Give me strength to take a stand upon Your Word. Oh, Lord, I trust that You meet Your servants where we are needy, where we choose to trust You. Right here is that place for me. I surrender it to You and wait for Your deliverance. In Jesus’ saving name I pray, A-men.