"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monsters Inc: Fighting the Monsters Within You

I have learned that when bad things happen to you, you have two choices. You can become bitter and angry at God and the world or you can become better and stronger. I choose to become better. There are monsters all around us that want to steal our joy: impatience, hurt, anger, envy, bitterness, greed, loneliness, guilt, etc. The trick is to call them out and find ways to combat them. I find that worship music, the old hymns, really helps me.

You have to tell the voices in your head, that seem so loud, to be quiet.  I wish it wasn't so hard. I find myself failing a lot. I have found that if you are not careful that impatience can turn into anger, angry can turn into bitterness, and bitterness turns into envy. Envy is a horrible emotion. Envy not only steals your joy, but it robs you of feeling joy for someone else.  Guilt speaks loudly in your ear when you are alone.  What did I do wrong?  You go through every moment in your mind and wonder what you could have done differently.  The Devil would love it if I gave in and let him win.  He would love it if I got anger at God and walked away from His love.

I have chosen to lean in to what God is teaching me. If we don't learn something during life's trials, then the situation was wasted. It had no purpose. What is God trying to teach me? I don't know that yet. Even when I feel alone and just want to scream, God is there. While I try and find an explanation, God is there telling me He has it under control. Have I hit the acceptance stage? Hardly. Do I feel better today than I did yesterday? Yes, so far.

I am choosing to become better. I am choosing to move forward and not live in the past.  I am choosing not to let the monsters steal my joy for one more day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2 Cor. 12:9-10: My Grace is Sufficient For You

2 Cor. 12:9-10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Philippians 3:12-14
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,d but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Do I truly believe this? I am made stronger in weakness.  Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." It sounds good and I want it to be true.  But do I really believe it? I am looking forward to God's plan for us this year.  The best is yet to come.
Psalm 40:5

Friday, January 13, 2012

Isaiah 40:31: They will walk and not become weary

* Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31

kon-tent', kon-tent'-ment (ya`al; arkeo): To be free from care because of satisfaction with what is already one's own. The Hebrew means simply "to be pleased." The Greek brings out the full force of the word in 1 Timothy 6:8 Hebrews 13:5. Contentment (1 Timothy 6:6) is more inward than satisfaction; the former is a habit or permanent state of mind, the latter has to do with some particular occurrence or object.

* But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:6-8

* I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

Thursday, January 12, 2012

You're Still God by Kathy Troccoli

You're Still God by Kathy Troccoli

Jesus,I love you
And I believe all that you've said.
I know your promises,they are true
Beyond my questions
And times when I just don't understand
Help me remember Lord
The answer's in your hands
So I sit at your feet and I listen
For your ways are much higher then mine

Do what you want to do,I give my all to you
Whatever you ask of me
Lord fill me with your grace.
Do what you got to do,I surrender my life to you.
I'm never whitout a prayer.
You're hope inside my heart.
I know you're still God

Jesus,I need you
I have been wandering in the dark.
Whenever I call your name
There you are
You have been faithful
Even when I have I have turned away.
I've seen your mercy
Always light my way.
So I sit at your feet and I listen
For your ways are much higher then mine.

Every storm you lead me trough
I will put my trust in you
Give me grace to carry on

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Snow is Coming...Maybe

SnowThursday Forecast: "Cloudy with snow showers early and steady snow likely later in the day. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 90%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected."

According to weather.com, we are under a Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon to Friday morning.  The article claims that this might be the biggest winter storm of the season.  The worst of the lake effect snow is supposed to come Thursday night.  So we will just have to hunker down and wait to see how bad it.  The local forecast is only calling for 1-3 inches of snow.  We shall see who is right.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Year In Review: 2011

Goals for 2011

I can't believe that 2011 is over already. I can't wait to see what adventures God has in store for us this year. I suspect that our lives will change a lot this year with starting Wycliffe training, getting our house ready to sell, and preparing to maybe move down to Texas. There is so much up in the air when it comes to a time line. I'm trusting that God has it all in control.

We actually paid off about off more debt than we did last year, so we did make our financial goal. I didn't think that we would with all the pay cuts. We have leave the credit up to God, because we did not do it on our own. God has really provided for us this year. I could not be happier with the way things are right now.

The year started out with us remodeling our bathroom. It looks really nice. Steve did a really nice job. We replaced the last two windows in the house this year too. That was basically all the major work we did on the house this year. In February, it got a little stressful in our house when I lost my job at the mall Sears. We scrambled to adjust our budget while I looked for another part time job. God provided me with another job at the new Sears Hometown Store the next week. Then Steve transfered down from the Electronics Department to the Hardware Department. That was a huge blessing, because Hardware does quite a bit more business than Electronics. So when the YWCA cut his hours back again this summer it was easy for him to work for hours at Sears and make up the loss in income. In the Spring, we took a trip to Tulsa to visit my best friend and her family. It was an eventful trip. I was happy with my Lizzy and her parents though. That part was a good part of the trip.

Steve and I celebrated our 4th Anniversary. I'm looking forward to another 80 more. Before we even got married, I knew that he wanted to work with Wycliffe and do Bible translation. This June, we got to the point financially where we could start the application process. I didn't realize how long of an application process it was going to be. In November, we were finally accepted as members and now the process continues. We have to find a place to serve and wait for that country to send us an invitation. We have been in talks with both Chad and Cameroon in Africa.

My sis and I turned 30 this year. I'm looking forward to what the next decade has in store. We had another baby boom in our family this year. Two of my cousins had kids this summer. For my cousin Joe and his wife, it was there first son. Little Chris is an absolute cutie. My cousin Pete, his wife Gina, and their son, Isaac welcomed a little brother named Eric. He is a cutie too. So far, I have three little "second cousins" and they are all boys. Our family needs some little girls. Steve's family grew too. His mom decided to adopt a baby this year to help out one of her students. Her name is Julienne and she is precious. I know it might sound crazy, but I think that little girl is going to be blessed. God pulled her out of a life of generational poverty and put her into a huge loving family. God has a special plan for her.

We were blessed beyond belief this year. I am so thankful for the amazing friends and family that we have. I'm so looking forward to great adventures 2012 will have in store for us.