Thursday, October 6, 2011

Psalm of Ascent

Our bible study is doing one of Beth Moore’s bible studies…Stepping Up…A Journey Through The Psalms of Ascent.

The description from LifeWay is this:

Stepping Up: A Journey Through the Psalms of Ascent - Member Book by Beth Moore provides a personal study experience five days a week plus viewer guides for the group video sessions of this in-depth women's Bible study of Psalms 120-134. Traveling pilgrims sang these psalms both on the way to the great festivals of the LORD and as key elements of the worship at those festivals. Just as a song or poem can express feelings of fear, doubt, hope, and joy, these 15 psalms model how we can voice our own petitions and praises to our God, who is always available and ready to hear us.

Explore the major feasts of Israel and journey with Beth through this 7-session study. Themes of unity, joy, gratitude, redemption, repentance, the power of blessings, facing ridicule, and more are explored in detail. Modern-day believers in Jesus Christ can learn much from these treasured Psalms in their journey toward greater intimacy with God.

Something that Beth said in our first session that struck me is “Mean what you sing…Sing what you mean”  How many times have you stepped into worship and just weren’t “feeling” it?  Did you just sing the songs from worship without any real thought behind what you were singing?  Wow, I had never realized that sometimes I do this.  Now I make a conscious effort into making sure the words I’m singing are words I mean…if they aren’t, I take time to pray that God would get me to that point of meaning those words.

“Songs move us and God fully intended it to” ~ Beth Moore

I am amazed at how God takes different bible studies and ties them all together.  I started reading a book a few weeks prior to our first bible study meeting called “Worshiper By Design: A Unique Look At Why We Were Created” By John W. Stevenson…some of the things that I’m learning in that book were confirmed in the bible study with Beth Moore!

God is Awesome!!!  I just love when He speaks to me and shows me new things that I need to know, things I need to learn, or just things I’ve never really thought about before!   I am forever being changed by God…and I love it!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's that time of the year

Our Women's Ministry at church is getting ready to have a game night for our fall kick off!  I'm excited!  I've missed getting together with women and just hanging out.

There will be games, food, fellowship, and don't tell anyone, but I think there may even be prizes!!

Hope to see you there!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Friendship

I have been thinking a lot about friends…the ones I have now and the ones that have drifted in and out of my life.  I sometimes get so frustrated wondering why some have drifted away, but know that God had a purpose for them in my life and sometimes it’s time to let go.  Not that we won’t be friends any longer, just won’t be as close as we once were.  It saddens my heart at times.

I came across this poem on the internet and thought I’d share…

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So much excitement!!!

So last week we had quite a bit of excitement around here!

On Monday, the tornado sirens were going off.  The storm moved through, but no tornado, just a lot of high winds.

Then on Wednesday night, we had tornado sirens going off again around 6 pm.  We have group at our house at 7 pm, so we were a bit worried, but watching the news stations, we saw that the storm moved to the North of us.  After group was over, I watched the news and saw that another line of storms were heading this way, so I went ahead and stayed up to watch the news.

As I was laying there, around 12:30 am, the newscaster stated that "the chance of a tornado is minimal".  So I started to get comfortable in bed.  Just then, we heard this HORRIFIC noise and Kevin shot straight up out of bed...we went running up stairs to get the boys into the basement.  Once we finally got down there, we waited for Kevin to finally get the dog to go down.  He had peeked out the window before heading downstairs and told me that our table outside (that has 4 big tiles in it) was flipped over.

After the storm had died down, we sent the kids back up to their bedroom, Kevin and I headed outside to take a look at the damage.  Our grill had been flipped, our table flipped, chairs scattered all over, out front, we saw the news crew driving through, ambulances coming into the development, and some siding in our front yard.

The next morning, Kevin called to let me know our chair was across the street and we should go get it.

The national weather service decided that a F1 tornado had hit our neighborhood.  Now why they didn’t sound the sirens during this storm, we have no idea.  Had this storm hit at a different spot, we could have lost so much.  All 4 of our boys were upstairs sleeping when this hit.  I just Thank God for our protection during this storm that came out of nowhere!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Freedom in Obedience

I am on the Women's Ministry team at church.  We just had our retreat called "Freedom in Obedience".

We had 3 speakers (women from our church) speak on different aspects of obedience.  Freedom in Obedience, Daily Obedience, and Blessings of Obedience.  All 3 of their talks were wonderful!

On Friday night, we had dinner, then after dinner was Worship time and then our first talk entitled "Freedom in Obedience" we heard about how to hear from God, that we can gain courage and freedom from sin through steps of obedience, and how we will "make it right".  Most of the teaching was from 1 Samuel 3.

After a time of discussion we had a game night.  The first thing we did was an ice breaker game...all the ladies stood in a circle and a stuffed animal was thrown from the first person to another then to another.  The one thing you had to remember is the person you threw to and the person who threw to you (always the same 2 people).  As it went on, they would add more stuffed animals until we had a good 10+ animals flying.  I'll say that there was a lot of laughter!!

Then there were 2 other main games going on, Bingo and Bunco.  Of course we had other games, like Apples to Apples, decks of cards, and a variety of other games for the women to play until they were tired.

The next morning, after breakfast, we had more time of worship before going into our next talk called "Daily Obedience".  We learned things that can keep you from being obedient to God, like fear, lack of time spent in prayer and reading God's Word, and complacency.  We learned why we should be obedient, what the result from being obedient was.  Our speaker sited many verses out of the bible during her talk.  A couple things that stuck out to me was "God is calling me to be obedient today...not 5 years from now", and "Define yourself by Jesus and who he says you are"...meaning I am a Princess, a Child of the Most High God.  Also to "Choose life in all the decisions you make".

After some discussion and a break, we went into a Panel talk,  our 3 speakers were part of the panel and questions were written on cards and placed in a bucket prior to break.  We had our MC asking the panel the questions (all anonymous) and they each had a chance to answer the questions our women had.  This takes the pressure off of the women having to speak up during a Q/A time on their own to ask the questions.

After a break and lunch, we came back in to our last talk of the weekend called "Blessings of Obedience".  Again our speaker sited many verses throughout the bible.  We learned what blessings looked like, the power we have when we obey and so much more.

Overall it was such a great experience.  Many of the women I talked to really enjoyed the retreat.

I want to publicly thank all those ladies who helped make this retreat happen, you know who you are!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bible Study



Our Women’s Bible study is doing Beth Moore’s Here and Now…There and Then I was nervous about starting a bible study in Revelation, afraid that I would get lost, but I had this longing to really dig into Revelation too.

I’m so glad that I joined this bible study.  It can be overwhelming at times, but since we only meet once a week, it gives me a week to digest the whole lesson, going back and doing the homework that is listed after each session a couple days after the bible study.

If you you have the chance to go through this study, I would highly recommend it.  I have learned so much and we are only on Chapter 7 of Revelation!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My life... Interrupted

My life is a combination of many different interruptions!

When I was 16, I knew EVERYTHING! I was grounded for something (and for the life of me, I cannot remember why...we won't say it's because I'll be 37 next week), but I wanted to go out anyway. So I took off and went out with a friend of mine. It was a Sunday night, so my curfew was 9 pm on a school night. I knew that even though I was out and my parents knew where I was, they weren't happy since I was grounded. I was on my way home from dropping off my friend (who, consequently is now my sister-in-law), I knew I would be home before my curfew, so my parents wouldn't be any madder at me. As I approached our town limits (that sounds funny, but village limits sounds even funnier even if it is what I lived in), I saw a car heading out of town. But what was so significant about this car is that it was in my lane...I pulled over as far as I could without hitting the parked cars on the side of the road and BAM!! The car hit me...head on (more on the passenger side than the driver's though). And at that moment my life would NEVER be the same.

I was 16 years old, in a hospital bed, with a broken femur, being told I was lucky to be alive since my bone was resting on the main artery in my leg while I was in the car...only to be told that I may never be able to have children because of my injuries! What a devastating blow that was! As a young girl, I had always dreamed of being a mommy...always had baby dolls and stuffed animals that I "mommied" growing up. My life in that moment was interrupted!!
When I met my husband a few years later, we had talked about how I may never have any children. Being the person I am, I kept telling myself it was fine, but deep down, it wasn't. After being ministered to in our church by a minister who only spoke Spanish (I don't know any Spanish...I can only speak English), he prayed for me and in that moment, I knew God had moved in my life. A few months after that, I became pregnant with my 1st son.

When my son was 1, my husband got a new job...it was a great opportunity, I would be able to be a stay at home mom. The problem...we had to move from Ohio to Colorado. I didn't know anyone in Colorado (except for a cousin that was estranged from our family). I was a shy person by nature, so this sort of freaked me out...A LOT!!! We moved, things worked out just fine, I met friends, and the best thing about those 2 years in Colorado...my husband and I grew so much closer to the Lord. And we were pregnant with our 2nd child (another boy).

2 weeks after our 2nd child was born, we were moving again...from Colorado to Minnesota. Again, there wasn't anyone in Minnesota that I knew, and I was 2 weeks postpartum! We enjoyed the 4 years we lived out in Colorado. God taught me how to open up more and not to be so shy. Again, our marriage grew stronger.

In 2004, we were so excited to find out that we would be moving back to Ohio...an hour from family, but what's an hour when you lived 20 hours away? Our family was complete, 2 boys, back in Ohio, what more could we want? My oldest was in 2nd grade, my youngest was 4, he'd be in Kindergarten the next couple of years, and I was looking forward to the time that I would have while the boys were in school...all the scrapbooking I would get done, how I would be able to volunteer in the schools, etc. In a moment, that all changed...with a positive pregnancy test staring me in the face! How could this be? I was 30 years old, I was done having children, we just moved closer to family, we sold all our baby items before we moved to Ohio...it took a month or so for me to accept that I was actually pregnant. 18 weeks later, I had invited my mom to come to the ultrasound to see our baby (something she's never seen before). I laid on the table, the ultrasound tech came in and turned on the machine, took 1 swipe across my stomach and said, "Yep, there are 2 in there". As if just being pregnant wasn't interruption enough, now I'm having twins!! Instead of having to buy 1 of everything, we would now need 2 of everything...and both were boys! How could that be? Well, I only had 13 weeks to process the idea of having twins before I was being told that my body wasn't handling the pregnancy well and that I had what is called HELLP syndrome...my liver wasn't working properly and if it stopped working, the rest of my organs would stop working. 2 days later, I was standing in the NICU staring at my 2 - 2pound babies in their beds! Processing the fact that I was now a mother of 4 boys, I had almost died having them was a lot to comprehend. I went through a lot of emotions. God was there, he brought us through their 4 weeks in the NICU and they just celebrated their 6th birthday yesterday...both are healthy boys!

As I said earlier, my life is one big interruption after another!! But with each interruption, I've grown closer to God and have seen the blessings multiply in each time. To go from not being able to have children, to having 4 boys...my life has been altered drastically and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world!

**Note: This is the comment I posted on http://www.goingbeyond.com/blog/altered-plans