Saturday, December 27, 2014

words of wisdom

Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you
re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you
ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can

At all times, Dare to Be!

Steve Maraboli

Monday, December 22, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014


this will be me in about 10 years or so...

Friday, December 19, 2014

pause 'n ponder

grace and prayer:

The grace you had yesterday will not be sufficient for today. Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed. “. . . in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses”— that is where our patience is tested *(2 Corinthians 6:4). Are you failing to rely on the grace of God there? Are you saying to yourself, “Oh well, I won’t count this time”? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you— it is taking the grace of God now.

We tend to make prayer the preparation for our service, yet it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the practice of drawing on the grace of God. Don’t say, “I will endure this until I can get away and pray.” Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer. **(2 Corinthians 9:14)

*(Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;  2 Corinthians 6:4 NIV)

**(And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.   2 Corinthians 9:14 NIV)

(excerpt: Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

who is Lottie Moon?

(this isn’t an official post from the IMB – just my research and thoughts)

Charlotte Digges ‘Lottie’ Moon (December 12, 1840 – December 24, 1912) was a missionary to China thru the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (later named the International Mission Board).
She is the namesake of the Southern Baptist international missions offering – the ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’. 

Lottie was born in Virginia and raised by parents who were staunch Baptists.  Her road to becoming a missionary included a higher education with Master degrees.  She spoke numerous languages including Latin, Greek, French, Italian, Spanish, and was fluent in reading Hebrew.  She later became quite fluent in Chinese. 

By 1872, the Southern Baptist Convention had relaxed its policy against sending single women into the mission field.  Lottie, who was called to become a missionary, was officially appointed to China at the age of 33.  Like today’s missionaries, she was a hard-working Southern Baptist, follower of Jesus Christ, who worked tirelessly so her people group could come to know the Lord.  She spent nearly forty years (1873–1912) living and working in China.

Throughout her career, she wrote many letters urging Southern Baptists to become more involved and to support missions.  In 1888, one of her letters led to the first Christmas offering for international missions, enough to send thee additional missionaries to China.

That led to the annual ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’.  As of 2013, the offering celebrated its 125th year, and at that time, over 3.5 billion had been given.  The current approximate numbers are: 46,000 Southern Baptist churches, 4,800 international missionaries, in 130 foreign countries. 

Every cent of the ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’ supports overseas missionaries.  It’s important to understand that the number of foreign missionaries is dependant on the amount of this offering.  There have been missionaries called to serve God overseas that have had to wait until funds were available to send and support them.  That’s just how important the ‘Lottie Moon Christmas Offering’ is.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT

Friday, December 5, 2014

funny friday

what kids say... (as told by their Mommy):

This morning ‘Ladybug’ was playing with Play-Dough and rolling the dough to makes snakes.  She kept calling them “sneaky snakes” which I just thought was too cute.  After awhile she began telling me about Adam and Eve and the Sneaky Snake.  I was knocked off my feet! I asked sweet 'Ladybug' where she had learned the story of Adam and Eve and the Sneaky Snake.  She titled her head to the side, looked like I must be joking with her and said, “In the Bible, mom.”

‘Doodlebug’ was crying from his bed while I was snuggling ‘Stinkbug’ on the couch before bed, and I said, "I'm gonna go check on ‘Doodlebug’..."  ‘Stinkbug’ jumped up and said, "I'll check on ‘Doodlebug’ and ran out of the room.  One minute later he came back (I could still hear ‘Doodlebug’ crying) and said, ‘Doodlebug’ doesn't have self-control."

Right after telling the kids I didn't have money for ice cream today...  ‘Ladybug’: (Pointing at an ATM) Look there's a piggy bank! You can get some money!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

life's tug

I came across this poem, ‘Life’s Tug of War’, the other day.  I read it once, and then read it twice.  I can relate to its description of life.  There are positives and there are negatives.  Every life is faced with that.  Nothing in life is guaranteed, either it is or either it isn’t, either it will or either it won’t, either it can or either it can’t...  You can’t control the good and you can’t control the bad.  There will always be a tug of war.  But, you can change your life.  It will still have the positives and it will still have the negatives.  

But, you can your life.  How?  You can become a Christian.  How?  If you confess your sins, believe in Jesus Christ, accept Him as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved.  This website explains the road to salvation, the acceptance of Jesus Christ:

Life’s Tug of War
Life can seem ungrateful and not always kind.
Life can pull at your heartstrings and play with your mind.
Life can be blissful and happy and free.
Life can put beauty in the things that you see.
Life can place challenges right at your feet.
Life can make good of the hardships we meet.
Life can overwhelm you and make your head spin.
Life can reward those determined to win.
Life can be hurtful and not always fair.
Life can surround you with people who care.
Life clearly does offer its ups and its downs.
Life’s days can bring you both smiles and frowns.
Life teaches us to take the good with the bad.
Life is a mixture of happy and sad.
Take the life that you have and give it your best.
Think positive be happy let God do the rest.
Take the challenges that life has laid at your feet.
Take pride and be thankful for each one you meet.
To yourself give forgiveness if you stumble and fall.
Take each day that is dealt you and give it your all..
Take the love that you’re given and return it with care.
Have faith that when needed it will always be there.
Take time to find the beauty in the things that you see.
Take life’s simple pleasures let them set your heart free.
The idea here is simply to even the score.
As you are met and faced with Life’s Tug of War.

If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."  Romans 10:9-10

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

d e p r e s s i o n

Welcome to my life.  I’m a sinner saved by the grace of God. I’m a Christian and I love God and I have faith in God and I trust in God and I believe in God and I have major (clinical) depression and anxiety and fibromyalgia.  I take medications daily, and thank God for every one of them.  Depression?  Surprised?  What about the stigma?  The shame?  My depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia isn't going away (unless it's God's will to heal me).

First I’ll begin with the words of a Christian who suffers from depression:
“Despite the fact that I was fighting for my life, I did not want people to know it and the stigma and shame of depression was such that the friends and family on the short list who did know naturally wanted to keep matters close to the vest. It’s hard to imagine another reason for a hospitalization – whether for a burn, two broken legs, or for cancer treatment – that would produce such a conspiracy of confused silence.” (anonymous)

Recently I was watching a sermon on TV. I’ve watched him very many times.  But, that Sunday, I had to back it up several times to make sure I had heard what I thought I heard. I had.

“If we focus on our difficult circumstances and negative feelings, we can easily be drawn into despair and depression.

But when we fix our eyes on our great, encouraging God, He lifts us up and sets us free.”
“...every believer has a choice to either stay in a pit of discouragement or to get out.”
“We can either allow circumstances to drag us down into depression and despair or...blah, blah, blah.”

So, according to this preacher, I chose the life I’m living and I chose depression and I enjoy being sick and my focus isn’t on God and I don’t have a believer’s attitude and I’m not praying for healing and it’s all my fault... What was he thinking?  

This is a short list of comments and opinions I’ve heard:
Real Christians don't get depressed
It’s your own fault
You don’t have enough faith
You can get over it if you repent
Taking antidepressants is playing God, He can heal you

I could go on and on and on...  But, I’ll end with this:
Is it a sin to be depressed? The doctor says I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that he can treat with medication, but a friend of mine says I shouldn't do this because I just need to pray and have more faith. Who is right? I can't stand this much longer.

Let me ask you a question: If you broke your arm in an accident, do you think your friend would claim it was a sin for you to have a broken arm, and all you needed to do was pray? I doubt it.

Neither is it a sin for you to seek treatment for a chemical imbalance in your brain. The Bible says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)–and it’s true: Our bodies and minds are very complex. Although doctors can’t solve all our problems, we should be grateful that God has enabled them to understand more about our bodies and minds, and has given them new ways to overcome many of our problems.

Don’t feel that you are somehow sinning by seeking treatment for your depression; it would be wrong for you not to seek treatment.

Don’t misunderstand me, however. God has given us the gift of prayer, and prayer should be an important part of your life as you struggle with this problem. Through prayer we draw near to God, and the closer we get to Him, the more we will realize that He loves us and wants to help us.

Make sure of your commitment to Christ, and then ask Him to guide you as you seek treatment. In addition, let God’s promises saturate your mind and heart. The psalmist wrote, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? … Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:5).