Tag Archive Heart

ByAngie

Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday – What A Difference A Week Makes

8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Matthew 21:8-11 NKJV

Today most of us are celebrating Palm Sunday, the day we remember when Jesus rode on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem.  As mentioned in the Bible, the people of the city flocked to see Jesus, this man they had heard about riding on a donkey as royalty would, exclaiming “Hosanna!” and laying down palms in His path. The believed in Him, had faith in Him, and wanted to follow Him.

Not much time passes though before they turn on Him. All because others had. Like a chain reaction, they embrace the mob mentality and trade in those hosannas for “Crucify!” and want nothing more to see Him die a bloody death. All in what I can only assume was for their entertainment. (Step out of the prophecies foretold for a minute and think back to their society…) Why would each of those hearts turn on Him? Because one person told another person, gossip spreading like wildfire, that this was not the Son of God after all and was full of blasphemy? Did anyone care to think for themselves? They lost all inhibition and adopted the feelings of the one next to them, forgetting that the week before they loved Jesus.

Sounds a little too familiar to our present day, does it not?

Palm Sunday

Easter comes and goes so quickly, never getting the true attention it deserves. Not to cut Christmas short, but in my opinion, Easter serves much more emphasis on the Christian walk than Christmas. Jesus didn’t have to die for our sin, coming back 3 days later from the dead, all so each of us could have a place in Heaven if we believe in Him. Sure, His birth has great meaning, but to me His sacrifice means so much more! Add in all the secular tidbits of the holiday and it’s really easy to discount what we are really celebrating, leaving it all behind the next day.

I don’t want to be like those that were in the city that day. My desire is to serve Jesus and love Him on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and every other day! My heart sings “Hosanna!” over and over, and I never want my praise to end. No one could ever tell me anything to change my belief in Him. Not the media, not a friend, no one.

Now I want to ask you: Next Monday, when Easter is over, when the eggs are eaten and the fake grass has been cut out of your vacuum, what will you be saying? Will your heart still exclaim “Hosanna! He is the King of Kings! He reigns in my heart! Praise God, He is RISEN!” as it does today on Palm Sunday? I’m praying that it does.

My prayer for you and I is to never forget and fall into going through the motions of every day life, failing to daily praise God for sending His only son as a gift to us. May we never forget Christ’s love for us. Thank you, Lord, for everything.

 

ByAngie

Thank God I Am FREE!

I’ve been a bit concerned with myself lately. Constantly asking myself, “Am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I where He wants me to be? Am I on the path He wants me to take? What does He want me to do next? Is He disappointed in me?”

Saturday night, this literally kept me up nearly all night long. I prayed, tossed, turned, and worried. By nature, I’m a worry wart. Problem was, I was asking myself all of these questions instead of asking Him. I finally laid there in bed and said “Lord, lead me. Tell me what You want me to hear… I need to know where I stand and where to go next…”

“You’re free, Angie. There is no burden to carry, everything is forgiven. You are FREE…”

I didn’t even realize this was something I had been worrying about! But it made so much sense when I laid there and thought about it. I’m free. I’m listening. And with that simple answer from him I knew where my focus needed to be re-aligned, the next step to take, and that He is still just as happy to call me His daughter as I am to call Him my Father.

To help keep this reminder to myself, I’ve been humming this old song since then. It may not be a favorite style of music for a lot of people, but just listen to the lyrics and let it bless you!

 

 

 

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Breathing

Need help breathing? Turn to scripture...

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6 NKJV

How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…

Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”

The Bible tells us this:

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men,  they may see your good works and  your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV

I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.

When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?

34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV

Don't do this!!!

So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6

Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)

Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!

 

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Disciplining Mom

DISCIPLINE

2 obsolete:instruction
3: a field of study
4: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
5 a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c:self-control
6: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
Yesterday, I took a Facebook survey of my friends to see what was the first word that came to their mind when they heard the word “Discipline“. Jimmy said “Marine“, which I found honorable. Kathleen said “Behaved” which I loved. Kara joked around and mentioned spanking, but said in all seriousness “Teach“. Love that one too! Susie brought up “Consequence“, which is something it seems we all seem to forget about sometimes before we do something, so I really enjoyed this one too. Our very own Emily came back with “Being in order and in line with how you know you’re supposed to be” Wow, huh? When I asked my “Sis” Michele she stated “Inner Strength“. Great one! My buddy Keith said “Focus“, which is so true, isn’t it? Christi said “Correction“, and honestly, I was surprised we got this far down the list without it. Not because it was what I was looking for, but because many associate those to words. Tasha made a good point with “Chaos … I know .. weird, but I guess because if you don’t discipline you have chaos.” She got that one right, didn’t she? Kelli stated “Parents“. Kristianna replied “Consistent“, Dawn “In Order“, and Robin “Biblical“. I love them all! Especially Jessica’s interpretation with “Love“…
What does the above word make you think of? Probably your children, right? We want them to grow up to be wise, well mannered, and well liked so we correct them and mold them all the while praying that God guide us and use us for His good as we raise the next generation.
But what about you, Mom? Who keeps you in line? Who molds you? Who corrects you? Who teaches you? What training has brought you to a place of self control and structure? A Mom without discipline herself would have a very difficult time disciplining her children, would she not? And think about it, how can you be a disciple without discipline?
I know, you want to say “Um, duh Angie. I control myself and with the help of The Lord I do all the others…” Yeah, okay, I know you know this stuff. But I mean I want you to stop and think REALLY hard about this. Read those questions again, one at a time, and ponder them for a moment.
  • Who keeps you in line? Is it you, your pastor, your spouse, and most importantly the Lord? Maybe with a little help from friends & family? If so, good!
  • Now, who molds you? Is it God and God alone? Sure we can be influenced by others, but I am talking about molding you. There was a time that my friends molded me, the ways of celebrities and what I thought I should be instead of what God wanted me to be were how I was molded. Obviously, I had a lot of cracks and was very oddly shaped. (Not claiming to be perfect now, still a few defects there…)
  • Who is correcting and teaching you? A few months ago during the Summer, I woke up one morning and God started dealing with me to change some things in my life. The conviction was so strong that I had to stop doing the morning dishes and just cry, which lead to a lot of prayer. It was as if He had taken a switch to my backside and I instantly realized my wrong doing and WHY it was wrong when I didn’t even see it before. You’d think I’d be angry, but no, I was more in love with my Savior than before. I was so glad that I finally let HIM correct me instead of the world. So refreshing!
  • What training have you received? Well, as Christians we read our Bibles, listen to sermons, and read books penned by anointed hands. All of these used as a combination are a great way to learn to walk the straight and narrow.
Discipline from God is a key part in living in His will. As my husband says, “You shouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude of licorice.” When we stand strong, firm, practicing self-control and willing to accept His correction we find that the path, while straight and narrow, becomes a lot clearer to see.
Now, PLEASE, share your answers if you are willing. Let us all encourage each other and lift one another up!
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. Proverbs 12:1-3 NKJV
ByAngie

The Unexpected Burden

Yesterday afternoon I went out to run some errands with my Mom. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but I just wanted to get out of the house for a little while. I decided to take Tommy (3 1/2) along and leave Johnny Ben and Molly at home with Daddy.

We had a couple stops, one of them being Target. I was tired, Tommy was tired, my Mom was tired. All I could think of was getting back in her truck and going home. When we came to the register the cashier was just counting in and starting her shift. She greeted us, asked if we found everything okay, and from there stayed silent. The expressions on her face and her mannerisms told me something in her life other than work was bothering her. Her mind and heart were somewhere else, and that somewhere else was not a happy place. Tommy even seemed to notice and asked her to smile, but she pretended not to hear him or was so distracted she did not notice.

I made mental note of the name on her name tag. I was polite but tried not to bother her with idle chit chat. I smiled at her, took the bags, and quietly prayed for her as she continued the process. I did not feel led to ask her why she was unhappy, but did feel a tug telling me to pray.

Since we left the store about 20 hours ago, this woman has come to mind constantly. I have no idea why she has been laid on my heart, but God does. I pray for her, asking God to do what needs to be done and touch her life.

How many times have we been asked by The Lord to do something like this and have ignored it? I know I have before. How many times have strangers done this for us? We many never know until we reach Heaven.

For all we know, when these burdens are laid on our hearts, we could be the only person praying for this individual. We could also be one of hundreds working together. The point is, GOD KNOWS. He really does. He loves that woman just as much as He loves me. He hates seeing her go through pain. He needs someone to hold her up in the spiritual realm just as much as she needs someone in the physical realm. Never ignore the Holy Spirit when he says to pray for someone… For all you know, the next time a burden is laid on a strangers heart… It may be for you!

ByAngie

Your Legacy: How Will You Be Remembered?

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever be able to live this one down. Oh yeah, that's my legacy. Go me!

This question has been on my mind a lot lately. How will my children, grandchildren, friends, and family remember me?

Will I be remembered for making gingerbread every Christmas? Will it be for being a woman who strived her best to be a Godly wife and mother? I’m desperately hoping it’s not for being a procrastinating, scatter brained, unorganized, occasionally crabby person who ONE time made a bad batch of tacos and ever since her husband questioned her every time she suggested them for dinner… Or made anything else new for that matter.

How can we make sure that we are remembered for the good and not the bad?

I would say the best thing we can do is to make the positive in our lives outshine the negative. Live with a positive outlook as much as possible. Let Jesus’ light shine through you. Don’t hold grudges, act bitter, be mean, or easily offended. And while it can be an easy way to handle a delicate situation by being passive aggressive, is that really something we would want to be remembered for?

My Grandparents having my Mom dedicated as an infant

Recently I’ve been trying to take note of my habits. Which ones are great to have, which ones I don’t mind or are not damaging, and which ones I would never want to be remembered for. Then I sat and thought of my Grandparents… Two of the most caring, loving, Godly people I’ve ever known. I remember them for all the funny and wonderful things they did. I remember them for raising their family for Christ. I remember them for loving coffee, Diet Coke, and going out to eat. I remember them for being compassionate and passionate for the work of The Lord. Do I recall them having flaws and being human? Certainly! However, more often I remember them leading us by example in a positive, unique, Godly way.

I have taken it upon myself to be sure that I leave a similar legacy for my own children and grandchildren. Why “similar” and not the exact same you ask? Because it’s MY legacy. Not Dorothy’s. Not Paul Benjamin’s. It’s ANGIE’s legacy. I want to pass down all of those same things, but in my own way with some added flare that says “Angie was here…” Part of that is that I MUST agree to have my photo taken more often. While still. Not on a ride at Disneyland making some dumb face. Ugh… 😉

What about you? How will you be sure that you are passing down what would be good habits for your children and not setting them up for a fall?

 

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Date Night? Yes, Really. Date Night!

You know how it is. You spend every single day in a rush. You’re doing your best to keep on top of the kids, the house, the errands, the meals, Bible reading, the finances, work, etc. Your husband is exhausted from a long week at work himself, especially if he has a high demanding job like all the ladies here at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven do. The last thing you think you can possibly find time for is a date night, right? I mean, sure, you have time for you know what here and there, but I mean a real date night.

“But I don’t have a sitter for the kids, and we don’t have the money to go out! And even then we can’t hear each other in the restaurant or we just sit at the movies and stare at a screen, how are we supposed to connect?!”

I’ll tell you how. Have a date night at home. Yes, you read that right. At home.

My husband and I began doing this a few years ago. We feed the kids their dinner at the usual time, put them to bed, and then we have date night. We have a quiet dinner alone, mostly uninterrupted, and then we plan something for the remainder of the night.

Sound like a lot of work? I promise it isn’t. It’s usually a group effort, which makes it fun. We’re working together to aim towards something we will both benefit from! Sure, it takes a little bit of sacrificing. For instance, we usually stay up almost all night when we have date night, meaning it’s a LONG day the next day. But we both agree that it is worth it.

So how exactly do we plan this out? Well, it’s different every time. Usually one of us makes dinner and the other one plans an activity. By activity, I mean something creative and fun. Occasionally we will have a “theme”. (Oh, and the activity is kept secret from the other one usually… unless we just have a night of music and talking. Then we’re upfront.) One night I brought in Scrabble and set the rule that the words could only have something to do with our relationship. Another night he set up our living room to feel like we were in a cabin in the mountains. We’ve had “casino night” and “truth or dare”. Once I even planned a beach night! It goes on and on… The key is to keep it light, fun, and flexible. You never know when one of the kids might wake up, so be cautious of that also.

I can’t take all the credit for this, I did get the idea from a book/kit that we purchased. I’ll post some links at the bottom of this post for you to check them out, but I wanted to still give you some ideas just in case you couldn’t afford to buy the products… (Though if you can, I seriously recommend them. Yeah, some of the idea cards are a little cheesy… but they’ll help you come up with your own ideas and the questionnaires will help you get to know each other better.)

So, if you and your hubster are in a rut, bored, or everything is great but you just think this sounds fun, go for it! And if you want, come back and tell us what ideas you had! (Keep the personal details to yourself, please. 😉 ) And remember, having a date night with your husband does NOT make you a bad mother. It makes you a good one! (And for the single mommies, you’re all still excellent moms. I hope you find no offense in this post.)

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Ministry of Friendship

A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV

This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.

What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.

How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.

We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.

What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?

  • Pray: Offer to pray for/with your friend whether it is something small or large. The need for prayer is always there.
  • Offer Help: Sure, you have your own family to tend to… And yes, they should come first. But when you can, help out your friend(s). Maybe they’re sick and need a little help with the kids/house/meals. When a friend has a baby, offer to bring over a meal and hold the baby while they shower or nap.
  • Listen: Sometimes we just need someone to hear us out. Don’t give your opinion or feel as though you need to solve the problem. Just listen.
  • Accept Advice: You know, sometimes I don’t know everything. When someone offers advice, I try not to act like a know-it-all or tell them why I think their idea wouldn’t work. I simply say, whether I like the advice or not, “I’ll keep that in mind!” Sometimes a friend just needs to feel as though they are helping, and by being rude all you are doing is causing confusion. You never know, you may remember what they said for yourself or someone else down the road and be glad you listened.
  • Avoid Being Critical: Depending on the friendship, you may be able to give a close friend constructive criticism. Like I said, and let me highlight: Depending on the friendship! Don’t be mean, negative, or downright inconsiderate. Remember the persons feelings. How would you feel if they did that to you?
  • Apologize: We all make mistakes. Sometimes we do things without realizing it. If you think you may have done something, intentional or not, to offend someone then please tell them you are sorry.
  •  Be There: Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. This is a big “ouch” for me, as I’m always having to cancel things for various reasons. I used to never do that! Something to work on!
  • Be A Witness: Invite your friends to join you in church or begin a devotional/Bible study.
  • Make Time: When possible, meet with your friend and spend some quality time together.
  • Don’t Be Sensitive: No one is perfect. Not even your friends. Cut them some slack.
  • Avoid Jealousy: You are not your friend’s only friend. They have other relationships with other people. Don’t be “That Friend” that feels they have to be a part of every. single. thing… Be an individual!!!

Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.

And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!

ByDiania

What’s On My Heart

I simply want to sit down and tell you everything in my life is wonderful, but to do that would be a lie. I feel as tho I am going thru transitions that scare me, ones I can’t control and am not even sure I want to try.

Being the oldest of our four writers you would think I would have a little more insight on how to handle life. But, like everyone else, I stand back fighting depression and decisions that weigh heavy on my heart every day. I know my God won’t put on me more then I can handle, but where exactly is that point, when does one break, or is it even an option?

A couple weeks ago I was talking with an old friend who had a mental break down and had been in the hospital. She seemed a little reluctant to tell me she had a nervous breakdown. I could see the embarrassment in her eyes. Then I started to tell her that a nervous break down is actually just a break thru, and now she could breathe a lot easier because God has lifted the burden and pain from her. I watched as her eyes began to shine, and as she set there for a while I could see her thinking. A few minutes later she began to thank me and said that was a wonderful way to look at it. She seemed to be relieved as I explained to her that she would be able to go on now and leave those burdens completely behind her. When I left her I knew God put me there for a reason. His child was hurting and I left knowing He had used me to help her heal…

So in the mean time I can’t help but wonder just where I will be and who God may use to help me thru what ever it is that holds me from surrendering and breaking thru myself. After all, going thru means I gotta come out on the other end. Your prayers are most welcome..

Love,

ByDiania

To My Daddy, From Lil Adam

I was walking round in heaven and I just could not believe,
God looked at you and mommy and said a son you shall conceive.
He will make you happy he will bring you so much joy,
I’m sending you my very best my favorite little boy.

Please don’t take it lightly there’s lot’s of work to do,
For with my little boy comes lot’s of work for you.
You will teach him wisdom and how to be a man,
But while he still is growing you’ll need to hold his hand.

He’s gonna need your patience
And words that are very kind.
‘Cause anything you say,
Will stay upon his mind.

And as he grows away from you,
To make it on his own,
To everyone that he meets,
He’ll make his daddy known.

He’ll look up to his daddy,
A hero you will be.
And in all of your teaching,
I hope you’ll mention Me.

For without my hand to guide you,
Your walking all alone.
So take good care of him,
In a loving home.

Yes these are the words in heaven
I heard Jesus say,
And that’s why I can tell you
How much I love you and HAPPY FATHERS DAY.

 

Originally written by Diania on June 4th, 2010 for her Son, Adam, and Grandson, Little Adam