Monday, July 30, 2012


If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know that we chose to leave our jobs in Georgia and move “home” to rural Pennsylvania.  I wrote about some of our struggles with this.  (Check out March 5th and January 9th for example.)

Well, here’s the update.  My husband and I both were able to get jobs and that is a miracle in this job market.  We had 2 houses in Georgia to sell.  One has sold and the other has a contract on it….. another miracle.  We didn’t get any where close to what we wanted for either house but we are convinced we are where God wants us to be and we are trusting God to continue to provide.

We don’t really understand what God is teaching us right now but we know He is in control.  We know that God causes all things to work together for good.  We know that God loves us more than we can even imagine.  We know that He holds our future in his hands.  We know that trusting God is the right thing to do and we’ve never waivered on that.

And so we are simply pressing on.  Our second house should close next week and we will see what that brings.  We would like to put in a small 2 bedroom house.  We don’t need a lot of fancy stuff.  Of course, we are like everyone else and we have our list of “wants” but God is teaching us the difference between needs and wants.  God is teaching us how to live a simpler life.  God is teaching us to trust him with every detail of our lives …. I think it is going to take me a lifetime to master this one.

We’ve settled into a new church and are meeting people there.  That’s always a challenge for me because while I can write all kinds of things, I do not meet new people easily.  I joined the choir … yes I am back to singing.  (not a quitter any more.) 

Work is not consuming my life the way it did in the past.  The 2011-2012 school year was one of the hardest years of my life.  I put in a lot of days where I worked 10+ hours.  So while change is hard, this change was for the good.  I am able to have more time with my family.

And so, I’m choosing right now to Skip Through Life and enjoy every day. 

Lord, let me never forget what You have done to get me home.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Am I living the “abundant life”?

Every feel like living the Christian life was tough? Ever feel attacked? Ever feel defeated? How can I live that abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10?

1 Peter 4:1-2 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”

Done with sin – now that’s a high goal but one we should all be striving for.

Living for the will of God – again a worthy goal for a Christian

What I see is many Christians don’t live with these goals in mind. They live in defeat. They are so attacked by the world, the devil, and the flesh that they simply stop trying.

We need to understand the mind of Christ. We need to pray for wisdom and discernment. We need to pray for protection and strength.

Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. “
There are some principles to consider here

1. The first principle comes from “put off your old self”

When the Israelites entered the Promised Land they were told to “Kill the Canaanites”. They were to kill them all – man, women, and child. Don’t even let one little one there to grow up and attack them later. In the same way, we need to attack everything in our life that may lead us to sin…. no matter how small. Sin often tries to enter our lives through things that may seem small and insignificant at the time and before you know it, there it is and it is causing you problems.
“Deny yourself and take up your cross daily”.

It is also the process of learning to live in the world but not of the world; learning to be a light a dark world.

2. The next principle comes from “to be made new in the attitude of your minds”

Change your daily habits. Get control of your tongue, choose your friends wisely, and renew your mind by spending time in the Word.

If you find yourself surrounded by people who drag you down, find a new group of people to hang out with. Find someone to hold you accountable. When the pressures of life start to get to you, learn how to turn those over to God. Then rest in the fact that He loves you and will care for you. Enjoy your Christian life and journey. Never think you’ve come to the point where you’ve achieved it but press on toward the goal.

Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”

3. The last principle comes from “put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Enjoy your Christian life and family. Find a ministry that you can be a part of where you can use the gifts God has given you. Get involved and find a place to bear fruit. Beware that as you get involved and as God uses you, the devil will be unhappy and will attack. Be on your guard and put on your armor (Ephesians 6). Determine to live the abundant life that Christ promised.

Enjoy the good things of God but remember how serious sin is. Every one of us is a sinner; it’s how we handle our sin.

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

If sin rears its ugly head, deal with it and move on. Confess your sin, turn from it, and get on with living the abundant Christian life.

Armor of God
Ephesians 6:10 – 18 “ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adam and Eve are Important


Why are Adam and Eve so important?  After all, they are just in the Old Testament.  Do they really matter?   Do I really need to believe in that story in Genesis?

There are two big reasons that stand out to me in why it is important to believe the creation story.

The first is, if you don’t believe the truths in Genesis then that leaves the door open for you to pick and choose what else you want to believe.  You’ve got to take all the Bible or none of it.  It is either the inspired Word of God or it isn’t.  You can’t be a Christian and decide what parts you want to believe.  If you don’t believe the accounts in Genesis then where does truth begin and who gets to decide that?

The second big reason you need to believe the creation story has to do with salvation.  If Adam wasn’t a real, historical person who sinned, then we are not innately sinners in need of a savior.  It was through the sin of Adam that sin entered the human race. 

Jesus had to come and die for us because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  If it weren’t for the sin of Adam, then it would be possible to get to heaven without Christ, and therefore God didn’t need to sacrifice his only son.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. “ 1 Corinthians15:22

If Adam is not a real, historical person who sinned, then we are not sinners, and we don’t need Jesus Christ to be a real, historical person who died on the cross to save us from our sins.

Think about it and then tell me if you think it is important to believe the facts in Genesis.


Want more information about this topic?  I suggest going to

Monday, July 16, 2012

Praise and Worship

Our pastor has been preaching from Psalm 150 about praise and worship.  This post doesn’t really cover what he has been preaching but does comes from my mediating on his sermons and really thinking about applying his messages to my daily life.

What is worship?   Romans 12:1 tells us “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” 

I think this means that our lifestyle needs to match our words and our beliefs.  People should be able to watch us and know we are different.  They should see Christ in us – not only in our words but more importantly in our deeds.  (Notice I also didn’t say only in our deeds.  I think we need both.)

Luke 6:46 says “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? “

Verbally giving praise to God is a good thing.  I believe we should praise God but we’ve got to live it.  

Psalm 22:3 talks about God inhabiting the praises of the Israelites. I want to experience the presence of God. 

One of the big hurdles to the church today is that there are so many “Christians” who are not living their faith.  They say one thing and act another way . Their actions Monday – Saturday do not match their Sunday morning routine. In fact, many times it is only the hours spent in church that are different from the rest of their lives.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  James 4:8-10

Praise can be a wonderful and beautiful thing but it must be combined with obedience and love for others.  Remember Corinthians says if we don’t love others then we are like a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

So before we start praising the Lord with our words, let’s look and make sure we are praising him with our life.  I’m not implying that you have to live a perfect life in order to praise the Lord.  No one can accomplish that.  I am saying that our heart needs to be in the right place.  Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to redeem us.  He deserves our love and devotion.  He deserves praise that comes from a heart that loves him and is committed to obeying him.

I think the church is bored.  It has heard the stories for a long time and it’s love for Christ has grown cold.  I do not see an excited passionate love between the church and Jesus.  The Bible refers to the church as the “bride” of Christ.  We are to be passionate about our faith.  Have you experienced the excitement that a new believer has?  Have you seen him hunger to know God?  That excitement and hunger is what I see missing in the church today.  We are all very passé about our faith.  It’s a ho hum relationship. 

Look at Isaiah 29:13. “The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”

Lord, keep me from only giving you lip service.  Keep my heart burning to know you more. As I spend time with You, let Your love overflow from my lips.  Let your praise come forth from a heart that yearns to love you and serve you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What if?

I am reading the book Honestly: Really Living What We Say We Believe by Johnnie Moore.  It starts out really challenging you in where you are in your faith journey.  He really hits us hard in the opening chapter.  He questions why we do what we do, why we go to church, and just who are we are devoted to?

A few quotes …

“We worked so hard to look good that somehow we neglected to actually live what we believed to be true.”

“Christianity was our culture, the core of our society.  It was our social club and our clique.  We went to church to see and to be seen by others.  Our social circle was like any other – it just happened to be a religious one.”

He goes on to say that somehow his family didn’t know that this was all wrong. 

“Christianity was only our culture, not the subject of our devotion.  It was like a fad with a long shelf life.”

He says they were fooling themselves and every one around them.  He also indicates that he feels churches are full of these kinds of people.

He refers to his families’ Christianity being one big PR Stunt after another.  Fight like cats and dogs all week – even in the car on the way to church and then paste the fake smile on and walk into church like a big happy family.

He has had a hard time moving past the way he was brought up.  Now he has a different view of things…

He goes on to say that now “He believes that true Christianity is powerful, it is not laced with hypocrisy, and it is alive.  It is stunning, expansive, relevant, and life changing.  It’s not fake…. It’s the kind of faith that isn’t measured by how many church services you attend of how many verses you can recite.  It is the kind of faith that strikes a chord of love and affection in your heart.”

He makes a lot of challenges at the end of the chapter.  Things like this …

What if we decided that to the best of our ability, we would no longer live a hypocritical, halfhearted Christianity?

What if we decided not to be lukewarm?

What if we took all the energy we spend in doubt and frustration and used it to trust and believe?

What if we chose to run toward God even when our disappointment threatens to chase us away from him?

What if we decided to actually live what we believe to the extent that other people’s destinies were changed?

Lots to think about ….

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pray for your Pastor

Do you think about praying for your Pastor?  Do you realize that they need encouragement?  Do you see them as needing a friend?

They work long hard hours and they can get burned out and discouraged.  They visit people in the hospital, counsel people who need help, and minister to the people in the community who need someone to listen.  They are a blessing to the people they encounter every day.  Yet, do you hold them up in prayer?

Here are some ideas to use as you pray for your pastor…

Faithfulness – pray that he will continue to be faithful to God and to the church.  Pray that he is faithful in his commitments to his family.  Pray that he is faithful to proclaim the Word.  Pray that he remains faithful to the calling on his life.

Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.”

Time for Bible Study and Prayer – pray that he will have uninterrupted time for Bible study and prayer.  Pray that he is immersed in the Word.  Pray that the Word fills his heart and overflows out to others.  Pray that he will seek God with all His heart and that He would be in tune with what the Lord is teaching him.  Pray that he will have the courage and the faith to share what God lays on his heart.

Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”

Rest and Health – pray that he is able to rest at night giving all his burdens to the Lord.  Pray for him and his family that they stay physically healthy.  Pray that he takes enough time for himself to stay mentally healthy.  Pray that he has good family time and that his family doesn’t take a back seat to his ministry.  Pray for his marriage that it will remain strong.

Provision – pray that God will abundantly provide for him and his family.  Pray that they lack for nothing but that they remain dependent on God for everything.  It is hard to minister to others if you are concerned how to provide for your family.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Wisdom and Direction – pray that he will desire the wisdom of God the way Solomon did.  Only God knows the future and so only God can direct our paths in the proper way. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 16:9 “ In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Psalm 27:23 “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;”

Fellowship – pray that he will have godly friends.  Friendships that will allow him to be himself and allow him to be accountable to another Christian brother.  Pray that they are able to talk about things of the Lord – both the good and the bad.  Pray that they would encourage each other to finish the race and keep the faith.

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Abraham believed God

I’ve had this verse stuck in my head for a couple of days and I don’t know quite why.  Obviously God is trying to teach me something.

"Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."  (Romans 4:3)

God promised Abraham that the Savior would come through his lineage.  Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children and then God gave them Isaac.  Then God tells Abraham to sacrifice his only son on an altar (Genesis 22).  God never intended for Abraham to kill Isaac but was testing his faith.  Abraham passed the test. 

Noah believed God and built an ark. 

Because of Noah’s faith, his entire family was saved and 2 of every animal because he believed God and followed through with action.

Moses believed God and led the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land.

Moses trusted God to feed the people, part the Red Sea, defeat the Egyptians, and lead them to a land that would sustain them.  Moses acted on his faith.

Joshua believed God and guided Israel into many successful battles including the battle at Jericho. 

... and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat... (Joshua 6:20)

Joshua guided Israel in their victorious battles with the inhabitants of the land. When the walls of Jericho fell, it was because Joshua trusted God and His Word.

Paul and Silas believed God and praised him from their prison cell. 

They believed God; they prayed; they acted on their faith by singing praises for other prisoners to hear.  They didn’t look at their circumstances, instead they unashamedly proclaimed their faith by singing out loud for others to hear.

God was pleased with their faith and sent and earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison and the gates were thrown open.

Peter believed God and walked on water.

Peter called out to Jesus.  Then he trusted him and stepped out in faith.   Peter didn’t procrastinate.  He didn’t stop and reconsider his options.  He was eager to obey.


Examples of men and women who believed God and acted in obedience is evident all through Scripture. 

What have you believed God for?  What have you trusted Him with?  Have you eagerly acted on your faith or counted the cost first? 

Believe God.  Pray.  Act.