Note: Many people have come across my site by searching for Nevaeh's name. If you see my side bar you can read 4 more postings relating to Nevaeh. In addtion, her story is documented on her caringbridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nevaehw . Her Dad is journaling every Sunday for the next year about their process of healing. Thank you for stopping by and caring.
Books: I don't think I've finished any of the books I recommend last time but I've added a few more to my reading list!
- The Prayer that Changes Everything: The Hidden Power of Praising God by Stormie O'Martian. I've only read the introductory chapter but it describes Stormie's life and she has been through it all, literally! That chapter alone makes this book worth reading. It truly shows how God can take someone from the bottom of a pit to a beautiful vessel being used by Him. I look forward to reading what she has to say. The format is the same as all of Stormie's books: a short chapter on a topic followed by a prayer, Scriptures that co-inside with the topic and questions for you to answer.
- The Call of the Elijah Revolution: the passion for radical change by James Goll and Lou Engle. I was able to read 3/4 of the book on vacation; it was that good. It discusses the spiritual climate of America and draws in OT examples as a framework for how we as the church can and should be today. It challenges us as individuals to rise up and fight as intercessors for the next generation and preparing the way for the Lord's second coming. The very beginning of the book confirmed a lot of things that I've been receiving personally during my prayer times. It was nice to see that I'm either crazy like they are, or I am hearing the voice of God and His call for us as Christians today (I prefer to believe the latter).
My friend Amber has a blog called Humble Reflections. She is the one you can blame or thank for getting me into blogging! Anyway, on her blog she is going to begin a book study on God's Pursuit of Man by AW Tozer. She will be facilitating discussions by using that book as a diving board. She says you can read along with the book, or just jump in and participate in the discussion. I'm reading a different Tozer book and I do really enjoy what he has to say. If you are interested in participating in an online book study with other great individuals check it out! (PS Amber was homeschooled K-12 and she is an absolutely amazing woman who puts her whole heart into whatever she does. So if you choose to participate you will be blessed, guaranteed!)
Yes, I've managed to find one more resource involving Mark Gungor. I'm really starting to like this guy. If you want blunt truth wrapped up in humor, to help you swallow it, then he is the guy. He has a radio program which you can listen to on the web at anytime. The website summarizes the topics discussed each day so you can listen in on the ones that apply to you.
Here's a sample of today's topics and the website link!
4/24/09 On today’s show Mark discusses the increase in vasectomies and how the economy is impacting the birthrate, what to do when your spouse reacts badly to boundaries and consequences, what level of privacy is appropriate in marriage regarding cellphones, emails, passwords, etc., dealing with a spouse who is a perfectionist, what to do when you are attracted to someone else and not your spouse, Christians dating non-believers, and husbands who ask wives to lose weight and get implants.
Baby blankets, nursing covers and more:
One of my new friend's has a home based business called Modest Moms. She sells baby blankets, nursing covers and more. If you have some up and coming baby showers you might want to check out her products! It's a great way to support a stay-at-home Mom so she can continue to stay home and bless others in the process!
So thanks again for your readership! I appreciate each one of you.
Have a blessed weekend,
I am in an intercessors group and a couple weeks ago we took the time to pray for each individually. The theme that emerged while people prayed for me was: JOY. People prayed the Nehemiah verse over me. One lady discussed how this joy was meant to be a wall. In Nehemiah the people had just finished building the wall of Jerusalem for protection. Now Nehemiah was telling them that in their lives joy should be their spiritual walls, it should be the thing they hide behind for protection.
Isn't God good? This was a word I needed to hear at the time and need it even more now. I've been consciously trying to apply this in my life. Vacation provided an "easy opportunity" to apply joy but the second I left my vacation it has been something I have had to fight for. And it is worth fighting for.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. I've really been learning that you have to ask for these things when you don't have them. God is a generous God and He gives generously to those who ask. During times of testing is a good time to ask.
My daughter woke up this morning singing "I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart." I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be around my kids everyday. They continue to teach me childlike faith and joy. It is easy to be joyful when you trust the hearts of your parents. I suppose, it would be easier to have joy if we trust the heart of our Father.
I will blog about it in the near future but the biggest thing I learned on vacation is that God is SOOO Big and we are soooooo small. It is a joy to know that I am a daughter of God. May you find joy in the Lord this day; may it be your strength through the ups and downs of life.
PS Thank you for all your prayers for little Nevaeh. She still needs them! http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nevaehw
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
These verses are from one of my top two favorite stories in the Bible (the other favorite is God passing in front of Moses~ okay I guess I can think of more favorites, so hard to choose!). I love this story because it shows the character of God. So often we are looking for God in the big things, asking for Him to write the answers to our questions in the clouds; we think that would be so much easier. But the way God desires to speak to us in through a whisper, a gentle whisper.
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
I had dessert with a physician friend of mine on Friday night. The topic of birth control came up and she informed me of something that she learned within the last 2 years which has changed her understanding of the pill.
The American Gynecological Society defines a pregnancy as the implantation of a fertilized egg. Therefore, it does not consider a fertilized egg a pregnancy. So, when your doctor tells you that the pill is safe and it does not cause "abortions" of pregnancy that information is solely based upon this definition of pregnancy.
My friend informed me that the pill is supposed to do 3 things:
- Prevent you from ovulating
- Close your cervix so that sperm cannot get through
- Thin the lining of your uterus so a fertilized egg cannot implant
My friend informed me that on the pill you still end up ovulating 3-4 times a year. Therefore, in theory it is possible for eggs to become fertilized but not be able to implant because of the other side effects of the pill. She said that there are no studies on how often this could happen nor will there ever be because no one is concerned because they don't consider a fertilized egg a pregnancy.
She personally gives all this information to her patients when they ask to be put on the pill. She said she didn't know this until about 1 1/2 ago and before that she had had no reason to question the pill and its safety and effectiveness.
This is new information for me and I believe it will be hard for you to hear this from you doctor, so I'm passing it along. Feel free to pass it along to any friends that you think might be concerned about this issue.
7 Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to make you great
9 Then Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen
This particular passage has opened up my eyes to give me some new understanding on prayer. In this passage God asked the priests to go ahead of the people into a river of water. What did it take for the priests to do this? It took faith and action. Did they go alone though? No, they went with the Ark of Agreement in their hands. What did the Ark of Agreement contain? It contained the Master of the whole world in it.
One thing that I enjoy doing is interceeding on behalf of others. This story opened my eyes of what we sometimes do as intercessors. Sometimes there is a river preventing the people of God from moving through into the "promised land." We as intercessors can gather together and step into that river in faith. We don't step in alone, though, but we step in carrying the promises of God, the agreements He has made with His children. When we step in we are preparing the way for the people of God to move through on dry land to the other side.
The priests stayed in the river until everyone was across. Sometimes as intercessors, we get tired, but remember who and what you are carrying and wait in the river till everyone makes it across!
So these are just my thoughts... Something for you to chew on (beef jerky is chewy and takes awhile to swallow. This my cause some of you to pause and think, and that is a good thing).
The movie reminded me of Malachai 2:15 "Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." I am becoming more aware of the importance of marriage because of its relation to our children. This verse points out that God made us one flesh with our spouse because He desires godly offspring. Our marriages provide a foundation for our kids, and it doesn't matter how young, or old they are, your marriage still provides a stability for their identity.
Spring is trying to come to Wisconsin and I have already noticed those awful prickly weeds starting to grow in our backyard. Our backyard has been notorious for having those weeds that are extremely prickly and if you step on them those pricklies get embedded in your feet. Last year, we hired a professional company to get rid of those nasties but they are coming back already! My desire for my backyard is that my kids would be able to run through the backyard barefoot. They should be able to enjoy the summer without a care in the world. And kids, especially Mercea loves to be barefoot but with those weeds it makes it difficult.
In our marriages it is very easy for weeds to grow in our "yards." Our "yards" is where are kids romp, play and learn about life. We need to weed our "yards" on a regular basis so that our kids can run through life, enjoy and not worry about getting hurt in their own yards.
Hebrews 12:14-16 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
One thing that can begin to sneak into marriages is a root of bitterness. Bitterness starts out small and seems like not a big deal, just like those weeds. If the bitterness is not dealt with, it will get deeply rooted and begin to spread. It might not seem to effect your kids because it is so small but as days and weeks go by it will continue to grow and spread and there will be a day your kids will stumble upon it and it will hurt them. When Mercea was 2 she was running in our backyard and her whole foot got filled with those pricklies. It was not a pretty moment.
I don't know where you are in your marriage and whether you have younger or older kids but no matter what I would just like to encourage you to do some spring weeding in your marriage "yards." If you need motivation, do it for the sake of your kids. None of us would purposely send our kids out in a yard full of weeds to run around barefoot and get hurt. However, we often allow the weeds in our marriage to get out of control and we probably end up hurting our kids more than if they stepped on a real weeds in the backyard.
Here are some verses that deal with uprooting weeds in the spirit realm:
James 3:13-16 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Ephesians 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
My prayer for you and your marriage is that you, your children and your spouse can run barefoot through your "yards" this summer.
- A mystery that has been hidden in God since the beginning of time.
- The method God is using to reveal Himself to the world.
- A place where unity is to take place.
- A place where God's power should be revealed.
- A place where His glory should shine.
- A place where the revelation of God's power should be revealed.
- A place where the depth of His love should be experienced.
These points are derivied from Ephesians 3:9-20.
I don't know if "church" as we call it is God's original mystery of church as it should be. I don't think we should get hung up on what the Sunday event looks like because that is just one day in the picture of the church. As we can see from just this little section of the Bible, church is way bigger than a Sunday morning event.
If you continue reading on to Ephesians 4 we learn that the church is the body and that every single person plays an important role. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that we need to appreciate our Sunday mornings and view them for what they are a day of rest, a day of recharging, a day of direction to step out into being the real church every single day of the week. If we begin to walk out into the world everyday with the perspective that we are carrying "the church" with us at all times I think we would begin to see some of what God truly intended.
So let's just start there and look at what God intended: Ephesians 3:10 His purpose was that through the church all the rulers and powers in the heavenly world will now know God's wisdom. We learn in Ephesians 6 that there are rulers, powers and authorities of the enemy that still have control. How we function and live as a "church" should be revealing God's infinite wisdom to these rulers and powers. That section goes on to say: In Christ we can come before God with freedom and without fear. As a church (thus individulas) we should be able to walk freely and confidently before God. How many of us are doing that on a daily basis?
It all comes back to understanding that God is about FREEDOM. He set us FREE and then He gave us each other to step into this world on a mission ~ to bring His kingdom into this world. We do this through being unified with each other, loving one another and being confident of ourselves in the love of God.
If you haven't realized it yet, please do, that one of the enemies greatest strategies is to turn us against each other. If we are busy fighting amongst each other and not loving one another than God's power cannot be revealed through us. He didn't intend for His power to be dispersed through us individually but to happen through us as a body and until we choose to unite together we will remain ineffective.
Now this is the NCV version but it gave me a whole new perspective on this verse that we hear quoted so many times: With God's power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. I have always viewed this verse in context to God: that He can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. But what does it say, "God's power working in us..." When we re-read this whole section with the revelation of the importance of us it gives us a whole new perspective. The mystery that He has held in Him since the beginning of time was that He was that he was going to move in power through the church. I hope this helps us to get it.
So church let's get it. Get the vision that church is more than just Sunday and let's start in our homes. If we are Christians are homes are an extension or a piece of the body. So what God wants to do through the "church" can be done in and through our homes. Let's work on our homes being a place of unity, freedom and love. When we start getting it there let's move it into our friendships and then move it out from there into the world...