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Standing Alone

Standing Alone

As a believer, it is likely that you have been challenged to stand alone. You have probably been in a situation that forces you to decide if you will obey God or “follow the crowd.” It is not always easy. It requires courage. Standing alone means you have confidence in the Lord and His Word.

When I became a Christian at the age of 18, I soon found out that not everyone was happy about my new faith in God.  As I studied God’s Word and learned His ways, some of my friends were not exactly pleased with me. The convictions started to come and the cost of following Christ became very real to me. But, now I knew the truth! I was no longer looking for the approval of the World, I was looking for the “Light of the World”!

        Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12

The “world” is watching us and we have the awesome privilege to be on the mission field every single day! It starts in your home, with the people you love and extends to your neighborhood, the workplace, the marketplace, and maybe even in your church!

Here are a few verses I hope will encourage you as you stand alone!

 Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

Isaiah 40:31 – But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

Matthew 11:28 – Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Psalms 31:24 – Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Exodus 15:2 – The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

 

Are You Drifting?

Are You Drifting?

I have a family full of sailors. My father, father in law, husband and both of my sons love to sail. It takes a lot of skill to “stay on course”. You must constantly watch the water, the wind and look out for hazards as you sail to your destination. You can not let go of the rudder or you may suddenly realize you have “drifted” off course.

I think that the Christian walk can be a lot like sailing. We must be constantly watching or we can easily get off course. Lately I have been thinking about the distractions that can cause us to “drift.” I think a big obstacle can be “entertainment”. What kind of books are we reading? What music are we listening to? What DVDs are we watching or allowing our children to watch? How much time are we spending with a screen in front of us?  Are are we letting things into our lives that are distracting us for the truth of God’s word?

 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path ~ Psalm 119:105

We must remember to apply God’s word to every area of our lives as we “navigate” the course and continue on to our destination!

Instagram and #hashtags

Instagram and #hashtags

 

 

I have had an Instagram account for a couple of years. I really like Instagram and find it can be very encouraging and a great way to keep connected. However, I have a few “younger” friends that I follow and to be perfectly honest, I am worried. Many of these young ladies are posting pictures that often surprise me. I am not sure if they are really doing what they are posting or if they are just trying to be hip, cool or popular, but as Christians, they should really take this verse to heart…

 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  ~ Romans 12:2

One of the “fun” things about using Instagram is using #hastags. You see that when you put up a #hashtag you are linking it to other posts that have the same #hashtag. But, ladies you need to be very careful! I often check the #hashtags some of my younger friends post and have often been shocked at what they are linked to. If I see something that concerns me, I will make contact with these young ladies privately and ask them it they were aware of what they were linked to. Many times they are shocked and embarrassed as to what they see when they click on the #hastags!

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Use this verse as a guide. Unfortunately, many times I do not see things posted on Instagram accounts that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely (from God’s perspective, not the worlds) of good report, of any virtue, or praiseworthy. These are the things we should be meditating on…and posting on social media! Is what you are posting proclaiming  your faith to the world? Are you using this opportunity to advance the Gospel or are you conforming to the world?

Ladies, please be careful. Don’t get caught up in the trends of the day only to find out you are literally linking yourself to things that are of the world. We are to be different!

 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light ~ 1 Peter 2:9

Shared at:

Stevens Family Adventures

Keeper of the Home

Keeper of the Home

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-EksnuphUZQI/UZ4r76FpBGI/AAAAAAAAAKY/wa2Ws1Mf1LI/s1600/b7a06c5995f4c4ebdadd5f71e4372ade.jpgI was a young girl during the 1970’s a time when “enlightened” woman were fighting so I could have “equal rights”. During this time, many girls like me were being taught that we could have it all. A career, a family and all of the material trappings that would make us all so happy. Much happier than our poor mothers whom we were convinced were chained to a life of housework.

   

The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as become holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Titus 2:3-5

Wow! We are to do this so that the “word of God may not be blasphemed”!

according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary blasphemed means 

                ” An indignity offered to God by words or writing; reproachful, contemptuous or irreverent words uttered impiously against Jehovah. Blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him that which is not agreeable to his nature.”

Those are strong words!

I had never considered that being a homemaker was what God had designed women to do, (as well to be sober, loving my husband and children discrete, chaste, good and being obedient to our husbands!) and by not doing what God has designed us to do we are being reproachful, contemptuous and irreverent and the Word of God is being blasphemed!

I, as an older woman, am now to teach the young woman to do these things! What an amazing privilege and responsibility! The world will continue to tell us that we are wasting our time and talent, but what could be more important than this! 

                                     And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men

  Colossians 3:23

Shared at:

Raising Homemakers

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

 

 

Cleaning Your House

Cleaning Your House

Due to my recent health issues, my poor house did not get cleaned as well I normally like it. Somethings were just let go and not attended to. So I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and really “deep” clean my house.

While I was scrubbing and polishing my bathroom, the thought occurred to me that their is more to cleaning a house than just getting rid of the dirt. Things like junk mail that needs to be tossed and “stuff” that needs to be put in it’s proper place have a way of piling up. But as I scrubbed the shower that day, I also thought about the other things that somehow tend to creep in unnoticed.

Things like…

The amount of time I am spending on social media. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love keeping up with people’s lives, but sometimes it just makes me depressed to see what is going on. Suddenly I realize I have spent a big chunk of time doing pretty much nothing!

   How about the TV? Am I spending my time flipping through the channels out of boredom just to see things that do not honor God?

   Or the internet? Am I consulting “Dr. Google” more than I should be?

What am I reading? Are the situations and the people in the story ( fact or fiction) about something that I would allow or invite into my house through the front door?

As a Christian, I have a responsibility to look at everything through the lens of Scripture. It really makes no difference what our culture says is “correct” or not…what does the Bible say? What pleases the Lord?

 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes ~Psalm 101:3

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things ~ Philippians 4:8

These two Scriptures are taped to the inside of our TV cabinet and next to my computer. This is a constant reminder that we are to evaluate everything we are allowing into our lives through God’s Word. This is an ongoing process that I must always attend to. Just like my house, it can get out of order in a hurray if I do not diligently keep up with it!

Shared at:

Pilgrims and Strangers on Earth

 

Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

New Year 2016

2016  is a year I will not soon forget. This year so many lessons were learned. Many were not very pleasant at the time, but through it all I experienced emotional, spiritual and physical growth that I am so very grateful for.

Lesson 1 ~ Good things sometimes come to an end. ~ This year, our homeschooling journey came to an end. For the past 20 years that has been the focus of my days. My “new normal” is still a work in progress, but the Lord has graciously given me glimpses of the results of those years. Seeing the fruit of my labor in my children has been very rewarding.

Lesson 2 ~ Sometimes others choose another path.  ~ It is hard to see people you have known for many years choose a different way. It is sad to see that maybe you were not so much alike after all. But, Jesus reminds me that he is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes and neither do his ways.

Lesson 3 ~ Sometimes surgery is the only option. ~ After over 4 years of dealing with gallbladder issues, I ended up in an emergency situation. I had my very sick gallbladder removed in early September and a week later I ended up with a kidney stone. For 45 LONG days my journey with the kidney stone was not only painful, but also humbling. Through this trial, I now have so much more compassion for those afflicted.  After being in pain for so long, I now have a better understanding of how people can get addicted to medication.

Lesson 4 ~ Love never fails. ~ My husband and I have been married for 31 years. We have been through many trials and losses during those years, but his care of me during my health crisis demonstrated love in a whole new way. He was my rock and was there with me every step of the way. Words can not express how truly thankful I am.

Lesson 5 ~ God’s people are everywhere ~ We have had the amazing privilege to travel to many destinations this year. We were able to meet with other believers who really love the Lord. What a blessing and encouragement to me to be with others who share my faith.

Lesson 6 ~ Life is a journey ~ The older I get the more I understand that I will always be learning and growing. I have no idea what lies ahead for me in the coming year, but I do know that God is faithful.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Shared at: Stevens Family Adventures

 

Daughters of Decision

Daughters of Decision

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logograyOur family attended a conference in Texas last summer and on one the vendor tables I picked up this Quiet Time Journal. A few months later when I started using it, I noticed a website listed on the book so I decided to check it out. That’s when I discovered the Daughters of Decision Website. Wow!

The Thomsen Family has created a treasure. This ministry  “desires to help daughters know Christ and grow in their personal relationship with Him, focusing on five key decisions for growth, and offering practical resources to help daughters put these decisions into practice.”

I am encouraged every time I visit this website. I am definitely past the age they are targeting, but it blesses me to know that they are so commented to sharing the gospel and encouraging young (and not so young) ladies. They also have an academy that students can take music and art lessons via Skype.  I encourage you to check it out.

“And Do Not Be Conformed to the World”

“And Do Not Be Conformed to the World”

SCR398-S-01My life verse for 2016 is Romans 12:2…

 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

The Lord has clearly presented this verse to me time and time again this year in many forms. As the year has moved along, I have been pondering how to truly live this verse out.

This verse tells us we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. I believe this means meditating on God’s Word and searching out what he has to say about how we are to live our lives. As Christians, I think that sometimes we do not even realize we are “copying” the world’s standards. We MUST learn to respond to the culture through a biblical worldview in all areas of our lives. We need to be influencing the world, not copying it.

I encourage you to dig deep into God’s Word. Seek out how he wants you to live. What do the Scriptures say about being a woman? How are we to act? What is God’s definition modesty? Who are we truly created to be? The answers you find will not be “politically correct”, however, you will discover exactly who He created you to be!

Here are a just few verses to get you started…

Titus 2:2-5 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1 Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

Proverbs 31:20-21  She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 

Proverbs 31:26  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

1 Timothy 2:8-10I desire…that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

 

Shared at: Raising Homemakers

Pinterest and Reclaiming Beauty

Pinterest and Reclaiming Beauty

 

I have had a Pinterest account for a couple of years now. It sure is fun to “pin” lovely things on my “boards”. I have been so inspired by the creative ideas and how easily these ideas can be shared, but I have noticed something that worries me. Many young ladies I know are pinning dream homes, wedding ideas, lovely clothes and party ideas. But some of the “pins” are surprising such as fashion, makeup and movies that I hope they are not really considering watching or wearing. I am not sure that they really understand that what they are “pinning” is telling a story about who they are.

The following verses come to mind…

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” ~1 John 2:15 ~


 “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 

~1 Timothy 2:9 ~

Ladies, please be careful what you are looking at. Do not feed an appreciation for styles and trends that you should not wear or movies with characters that are of the “world”. Make sure your goal is to desire the things that are pleasing to the Lord.

Reclaiming Beauty Project

I would like to suggest that you check out the Reclaiming Beauty webinar. The Botkin sisters have done an excellent job defining true beauty with great tools and tips to figure out your personal style without compromising to the “worlds” standard. You can preview the first session for free!

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Pilgrims and Strangers on Earth

Raising Homemakers

Butterflies!

Butterflies!

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 19: The Pavilion of Wings & Live Animal Presentation held at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum on July 19, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging) LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 19: The Pavilion of Wings & Live Animal Presentation held at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum on July 19, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a devotion for a Mother’s Day Luncheon for a group of women from my church. The theme of the luncheon was butterflies. As I began to do research on the butterfly, I was reminded of the amazing transformation that occurs in us as we become a new creation in Christ!

Among God’s most beautiful creatures, is the butterfly. How God can transform a caterpillar into to a chrysalis and then into a beautiful butterfly is simply miraculous.
Here are a few amazing facts about the butterfly which is a reminder of how intricately God made each of his creatures!

We all know that Caterpillars are transformed into beautiful butterflies.

But did you know that after the caterpillar builds a chrysalis around itself, it releases a chemical that turns its insides to mush. This mush is transformed into a brain, internal parts, a head, legs, and the wings of a butterfly.

The transformation  of a caterpillar into a butterfly is without a doubt, an amazing wonder.  But is just as amazing that we too are being transformed into something new as we daily walk with God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

It is only by the grace of God, that he can take sinners and transform them into something beautiful.

Butterflies have predators!                                                                                               
As lovely as the butterfly is, there are other little creatures out there that prey on it. Wasps, birds, snakes, and frogs to name just a few.

When we have a new life in Christ, we have a predator too. Just like the butterfly needs to be aware of his surroundings and how its predators can attack him, Christians need to also be aware.

1 Peter 5:8 reminds us to

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Butterflies Can See Ultraviolet Light!                                                                                     
Did you know that the butterfly has the ability to see things we humans cannot see? They have the ability to see ultraviolet light which helps to guide them so they can find nectar to drink.

As Christians we have a special eyesight as well. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can see things others don’t. We have the ability to see with the eyes of faith.

Matthew 17:20 tells us 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Butterflies Need The Sun.                                                                                        
Butterflies can’t fly if their temperature is less than 86°  They cannot produce heat on their own and butterflies must rely on the sun to heat up their wings in order for them to move about. They have strong muscles but they can’t fly without the sun to warm their bodies first.

That is how we are as Christians. We cannot do things on our own. We need the “Son” (Jesus) to warm us as well. We don’t move along very well in our own strength. We have to rely on the Lord’s strength and guidance before we can accomplish anything.

Philippians 4:13  reminds us

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

As believers, we need to be constantly spending time with the God and listening to his voice before we move forward and take flight.

How do we hear the voice of God?

Romans 10:17 tells us

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We hear his voice by hearing the Word of God preached. We hear his voice through mediation of His Word. We hear His voice through prayer. The more time we spend intimately with God and His Word, the easier it is to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives.

And just like the butterfly, he will transform us into something beautiful…a reflection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Shared at:

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth