Tag Archive Bible

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 4: Moving On

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spiritis in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Ephesians 5:8-14 NKJV

Okay, so you’ve done all that you can in the kitchen for now. It is time to grab a hammer, some nails, a couple planks of wood and head outside.

Moving on can be one of the most difficult tasks. Leaving behind something that has been consuming you for some time can be a lot of work. So, why must we move on? Why can’t we just stay where we are? Because if you sit and dwell on what has happened, you will never be happy. It is not God’s will for us to be sad or angry. There is a season for that, yes, but it does come to an end. That is why it is a season, it changes.

Now is the season where things become warm, metaphorically. You began this struggle in the late Autumn. During the Winter you grieved. Late Winter and Spring you forgave and accepted. Now, it is Summer… and people are thirsty and in need of your lemonade. Soon they may be in the late Autumn and will need to remember how wonderful Summertime was and what that Lemonade you made them tasted like.

Will you ever go back to the kitchen? Oh yes. You’re going to have to go back to get sweetener, supplies, and once in awhile you’re going to have to take in more lemons to squeeze them out. But for now, you’re building your stand and preparing for the next step which I’ll be talking about next week when we conclude this series: Setting up shop and customer service.

As tempting as it is to go back inside because the sun is so bright and the air too warm, remember God got you this far… He’ll take you even farther! And if you want to go farther, you can’t live in the past… Put on a smile and a pair of work gloves (Read your Bible and have faith), because it’s time for you to construct (pray for) your shop front (attitude)!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 3: Accept

1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

So, now that you have gone through the processes of grieving and forgiving, it is time to accept.

Definition of ACCEPT

transitive verb
3 a: to endure without protest or reaction <accept poor living conditions>
b: to regard as proper, normal, or inevitable <the idea is widely accepted>
c: to recognize as true :believe <refused to accept the explanation>

This, obviously, does not always come easily. Our flesh tells us to live in denial. Pretend it never happened. If we don’t acknowledge something, then we can pretend everything is hunky dory and just go on. Unfortunately… it doesn’t work that way. Especially with women. We bottle things way deep down inside only for it to come back up later. Sure, we can live in our make believe little world where bad things and bad days never happen for a time. However, you will inevitably have to face what you are avoiding eventually. Better sooner than later!

What do I mean by telling you to accept what happened? I mean for you to tell yourself, “This happened, and that is just the way it is. God loves me regardless and I will rely on him for mercy and blessings for all of my days.” instead of screaming and throwing a tantrum, “It’s not fair! Why is God allowing this? Why didn’t he do things differently? I want my way and I want it NOW! Waaaahhhh!” (Okay, I got a little dramatic there, but you get the picture.) I never said this would be simple… It may even be brutal. But without it, your lemonade will be bland.

Am I saying to let this event define who you are? Not at all. Will it change you? Possibly. But that could be a good thing depending on the situation. Being that we are covering many different possibilities with a general blanket here it kind of makes this part hard to touch on. Once again, in order for your lemonade to turn out sweet and tasty, you’re going to have to give up a lot of time in prayer. We are supposed to be letting God lead us on how to make his recipe, not ours. Okay, time to wash our hands and prepare for the next step….

Personal note: Before going on any further with this series, I do want to let you know I have been through some very upsetting, traumatic experiences. I’m not some bozo just sitting here saying “Chin up” without an experience myself. I know that EVERYTHING I am telling you is easier said than done. Like I said, depend a lot on prayer and our Savior… He’s the only way to truly make it through!

ByAngie

Where Does My Legacy Begin?

Knowing how to go about being a Godly example that will be kindly remembered is not easy for all. Especially for those who did not have an example set before them as they were being raised. It’s really not a difficult thing to do, but figuring out where to start can be a challenge, as with anything unfamiliar.

My personal advice would be to start praying with your children. Not just for them or quick bedtime, illness, or meal prayers. All of those prayers are important also. However, when you pray with them you are teaching them how to pray and feel comfortable praying in front of others.

Another idea that would be wonderful is to begin a family devotion time. Whether it be daily or weekly, it gives you a chance to sit and discuss the Lord with your children. Think your little ones wouldn’t enjoy? You might just be surprised! There are quite a few options as far as devotional books and Bibles go for kids and families of all ages. Even toddlers!

The obvious suggestion: Attend church and take your children. This will give them a good habit to have when they’re older. “Sunday means church time” will be instilled in their hearts and minds.

I know all of these things seem so simple, but they really do make a world of difference!

How about you? Is there anything you’re doing to help create your legacy? I’d love to hear about it!

 

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 2: Forgive

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

Last week I wrote on grieving. Sometimes, once we have completed that step we realize we need to forgive in order to be able to move on.

I can not stress enough how important this step is. If you simply skip over it, your lemonade will be VERY bitter!

Forgiveness is rarely easy to just hand out. It can be a struggle to let go of anger and hurt that is rightfully felt. Especially if the forgiveness needs to be given to someone who does not care, denies their fault, is unknown, clueless of their action, or did something unbearably horrible.

Something equally difficult is forgiving ourselves. It is often said that we are our own worst critics. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know anyone who is as hard on me as I am on myself.

Regardless, we are required to forgive if we want to be forgiven. What all does this entail? Well, let’s look at the definition from Webster’s:

Definition of FORGIVE

transitive verb

1a: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :pardon <forgive one’s enemies>

Do you have to be friends with the person and act like nothing ever happened? Absolutely not! But forgive and move on? Yes.

Easier said than done, right? It usually takes quite a chunk of prayer time to be able to achieve this step. As with all things in life, pray for God to help you. Pray for guidance. Pray for forgiveness from Him. But I guarantee that once you do reach that point, you will feel so much better. Then, you can move right along with making that lemonade!

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Art & Craft Time With Mommy

Okay, so I know not everyone likes to do crafts.

But what about those of us that do?

Do you gather your children around the kitchen table, break out the glue gun, and let the kids go crazy with the tempera? I do… sometimes… wish I did more. (Here is where I do my shameless plug for my Pinterest account. Check it out via the link on our home page. Lots of awesome ideas on that site for inspiration!)

One thing that I like to do sometimes is to have a “themed” craft. Something to go along with something else going on in our lives… or a Bible story that I am teaching the kids at the time.

Try it: Incorporate a verse, prayer, or song into your craft! Your children will learn more about The Lord and you’ll be able whisper a prayer under your breath. (Hopefully for something other than not getting red paint on your white walls…)

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry Of Motherhood

Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.

Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.

Angie with her 2 oldest children in August of 2006

Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.

Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.

So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…

  • Pray. Without ceasing. Pray for your children when you wake up, when you make their breakfast, when you wash their clothes/dishes, when they are well, when they are sick. Pray when they go to bed, pray when you go to bed. Pray for guidance, and for their souls.
  • Study. Mostly the Bible. But also, Dr. Dobson, Dr. Kevin Leman, and many many others have written many wonderful books on the subject of Christian parenting. I don’t know how many times just studying a true experts suggestions, prayers, findings, and opinions have helped me in my own journey.
  • Teach. Read Bible stories to your children. Make sure they learn manners. Have a weekly memory verse. Give them appropriate chores. Your child learning about Jesus, morals, and character development are imperative. I’m not saying pull your kid out of school and teach them everything at home. To each their own. Do it in your daily life, read a couple picture books with your younger children. Talk about it with your older children. Refer above to “pray” & “study”.
  • Be patient. They are only children. They are still growing, learning, and are constantly adapting. Cut them a little slack. Don’t be too strict.
  • Love. Most importantly, because if you don’t show God’s love to your children, who will? They thrive on love, and as their mother, they need it from you.
  • Discipline. Don’t be afraid of it. However, keep it appropriate and within reason. Once again, I suggest “study”.
  • Make time. Quality time goes a LONG way. Little things like house work can wait. For years many told me this, only as my oldest has turned 10 this year am I realizing I missed out a lot on the first few months of his life while I obsessed over the state of my home.
  • Be an example. Don’t be a “Say as I do, not as I do” mom. Give them something to aim for, not to settle for.

Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.

Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 1: Grieve

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4 time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

For some reason, many people (not just men) are afraid to admit that they are not experiencing any emotion other than joy. Especially Christians. Some feel that it is sinful, or makes them not as good as the next person. However, as the scripture above points out, (Turn, Turn, Turn… Ha, you know it’s stuck in your head now too…) there is a time for everything.

To mourn and grieve is very important to the healing process. Without embracing the truth, acknowledging it, dealing with it, and accepting that something happened you may not ever truly move on. Sure, you can be all happy/smiley and say “Praise the Lord!” after everything everyone says, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy. The body, heart, mind, and soul need to grieve in a healthy matter for a healthy amount of time. It should not be rushed or dragged out.

Unfortunately, really horrible bad things happen in this world: Death, natural and unnatural. Rape. Miscarriage. Child abuse. Illness. Job loss. Divorce. Infidelity. Break ups. Infertility. Muggings. Robberies. Car accidents. Etc, etc, etc… After any of these situations, it is normal to grieve and expected. It is even normal to “mildly grieve” over much smaller less upsetting situations. Anyone who’s had a bad hair cut knows what I’m talking about. (I forgive Karen & Emily for butchering my hair when I was 16, really… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t mourn it for a few days.)

Yes, as Christians we should have joy. Yes, we should see the positive and not the negative. But we are also commanded that there IS a time to mourn. That means it’s accepted. Should you not allow this process, you may miss out on a complete healing.

Just remember, it’s called GOOD GRIEF for a reason. And that prayer is NEVER a bad thing. The more the better!

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Burden Or Blessing?

How do you view your children? Are they wonderful to have around? Do you enjoy their presence? Or do you dread the moment they wake up, complain about them all day, yell nonstop, call them names, constantly try to pawn them off on others, and dream of the day they move out?

Unfortunately, many mothers view their children as the latter. We live in a day where children are disposable; Where those that are unwanted can just be dropped off in a “Safe Haven” or aborted before they even have a chance .

The Bible says this:

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV

Children are never “No big deal”. They should not be seen and not heard. They should NEVER be forced to grow up too quickly because you’re just tired of kids running around. They are a privilege, not a right. It is time for people to wake up and stop treating them as such! Don’t like it? Get a dog. Not a baby. (Oh boy, don’t get me started on people who treat their animals better than their children…)

I guess this is more sensitive for me, given my circumstance with my older 2 children. What I would give to have my kids nagging me and being loud all day, every day. HA! Okay, maybe not to that extent, but you do know what I mean. Also, being the mother of a 10 1/2 year old, I have finally realized that these years do fly right by. As Momma Ann, Karen and Emily’s Mom, always says, “Don’t blink!”

It is natural for us to become tired from time to time, and that I understand. Call a girlfriend and go out to dinner or find a baby sitter so you can have a night out alone with your husband. We’re all going to have bad days. Just don’t get in the habit and find yourself taking your child for granted.

I pray that each of you realize your potential as a mother, the gift we’ve been given, and that God will never give us more than we can handle.

ByAngie

Finding Home

One of the times we moved, we literally moved, as you can see.

In my life, I have moved approximately 47 times. Yes, you read that right: 47!

No, I wasn’t a military kid. And though my Grandpa was a pastor and I lived in his home, from the time I was born until the time he died he was pastoring the same church. In fact, the majority of my childhood was in the same home from the age of 6 until 14 and I attended the same elementary school for all 7 years. Life has just “happened” and as a result, I’ve moved. A lot.

The majority of those moves have been in the last 16 years. Many times I find myself wishing I never had to move again, but such is the life of being a renter and not a home owner. I long for home, to put it simply. But where and what is “home”?

Could it be where you grew up? Just a place you store your “stuff”? Is it where your family resides, or the opposite, as far away from them as possible? Is it a brick and mortar building, on wheels, or non existent all together?

During a very dark time in my life, I lived in my van. (Before you even ask, no, it wasn’t down by the river.) While enduring that circumstance, I realized very quickly how often people take the little things for granted. I learned then that “home” does not have to be something tangible. So I know that is not what I’m looking for. (On a side note, no, in my count of 47 I am not including every time I drove my van from one place to another. Oh, c’mon, go ahead and laugh. You know you want to. I do!)

The Bible tells us this:

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV

There is an old saying, “Home is where the heart is”. If we’re layin’ up our treasures in that home above… and that is where our heart is… Looks like Heaven is “Home”.

I don’t know about you, but home is looking better every day. Being as homesick as I am, I’m going to do everything I can to reach my destination. How about you?

 

ByAngie

E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School

Okay, before we continue, let’s get this out of the way:

E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School

Sunday School Sunday School

(Women:) The Men (Men:) The Women

(Girls:) The Boys (Boys:) The Girls

E’erybody Oughta Go To Sunday School

Now that this song is nicely implanted in your head from your childhood, we may continue with your regularly scheduled blog post. I’d continue the song on and sing about e’erybody backin’ the preacher, but that is a command that needs more than a few paragraphs. Another time, another place…

It seems these days a lot of people who are Christians do not see the importance of church attendance. They’ve either been hurt, don’t have the time to find a good church where they feel they fit in, or they’ve simply fallen out of the habit/not ever learned to establish the habit. Many do not feel it is required, or even biblical. However, it is:

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:19-25 NKJV

There is a reason this command was given. When we attend church we are strengthened in many ways. To name a few:

  • Encouragement: Having a strong, leading, not afraid to tell it like it is pastor and church friends will help you keep your focus. Being a Christian is not always sunshine and roses. In the bad times, they are there to show God’s love.
  • Education: You can never know too much about what the Bible has to say. Never. I don’t care who you are, it’s not possible.
  • Time with God: Sure, you can spend time with God at home, and you still should. However, in church, we are in His house. A time of reverence. We are showing Him that we took time out of our week to focus on Him and Him alone. This is the most important point, I think.
  • A positive beginning to the week: I don’t know how many people have told me that when they go to church on Sunday, their week is better and they wake up happier on Monday. (That says a lot, as most people hate Mondays.) I agree.
  • Prayer network: When something goes wrong, you have a body of people praying and believing for you. NO. MATTER. WHAT!
  • Counseling: Whether from your pastor or another strong Christian in your congregation, there is always someone to talk to. My pastors and Diania can tell you I am often running to them for such. So much easier than handling life’s problems on your own!
  • Setting the example: Our children need to see their parents doing what is right. If they don’t learn from us, where will they learn from? Think about that…
  • For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 NKJV

Life circumstances happen. Illness, jobs, family events, etc. It can all get in the way. God understands that when it is truly impossible. But when we are able, we should do our best to be there. A sermon on TV is great, but not the same. Reading a pastor’s blog is encouraging, but not the same. Putting on some worship music and praising in the living room is refreshing, but not the same. There is no substitute for any of the gifts God has given us. You can’t replicate the best. Just try that recipe for IHOP pancakes or a Disneyland Mint Julep you find online. Nothing like the real thing!

And hey, if it wasn’t so fabulous, would there be people in anti-Christian countries fighting for that right? Risking their lives by attending a church service hidden in someone’s home every chance they can? I think not… (That was my version of my Grandma’s “There are children starving in China, Ethiopia, and right down the street” lecture when I refused to finish my healthy dinner…)

Bottom line: Church is good, and good for you. God commands it for a good reason, just as he does everything else. I’m going to admit that I’m not in service as often as I would like, but when I do go… Life is better. Plain and simple. I challenge you: Go for just a few weeks. See how you feel. I bet you won’t want to stop!