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ByAngie

My ONE Word For 2013

You may have heard of this trend, as many bloggers have taken part. Picking one word to be who/what they’d like to become/represent for the year 2013. Not a resolution, but a goal, whether it be for change or growth. I’ve read many “words” this year and last, and found many to be inspiring.

So, yes, I jumped on the bandwagon. This seems like my cup o’ tea… or thermos of coffee… and I need a word desperately.

(Stop laughing! I mean it! Everyone knows I talk a lot… and every chance I get. But really, this time, I’m only picking ONE word!)

I put a lot of prayer and thought into my word, and I believe God has been trying to get this word into my thick skull for awhile. The difference now is that I was sitting quietly, listening to Him, and :gasp: not distracted. (Shocking, I know.)

So without further ado, here is my one word:

You see, I have this little itty bitty HUGE problem of people pleasing. I want everyone to be happy, and sometimes put that over making GOD happy. Naturally, others are let down in the process and in the end: no one is happy. Not me, not the people, not my family, and especially not Christ.

This year, I only want to please and hold my accountability to the Lord. No one and nothing else. Just Him. I want to live accountable to His Word, His Will, and His Lead. When I do that, I know that everything else will fall into place. And I do mean EVERYTHING!

Already, just a few days into the year, I am facing many changes and challenges. I plan to apply Romans 14:12 to each and every circumstance: So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Someday, I’m going to stand before my Lord and Savior. I want to hear Him say “Well done!” with the biggest and most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. Soon, I’ll drop that title of “People Pleaser” and replace it with “Jesus Pleaser”. (Though I’ll still be human, so grant me some grace, please. 😉 )

Have you chosen One Word for your year? If so, please leave a comment or link to your blog post! Please and thank you.

 

 

A Word with Friends 2013

This post is part of the WORD 2013 Blog Carnival hosted by Ben and Me.

Click the button above to see more posts!

ByAngie

Review: What’s In The Bible? With Buck Denver

WITB

A few weeks ago our homeschool family was selected to review DVD 1 (In The Beginning) in the What’s In The Bible? With Buck Denver series.

I’ve been hearing about this new series from Veggietales creator Phil Vischer for about a year now. I’ve always been intrigued, but wondered… What could be so great about it? Was it really lined up with God’s Word? Would my kids even like it? Well let me tell you, I quickly found out the answer to these questions!

My kids ADORED the DVD. It was similar to Veggietales, but had it’s own unique attributes as well. First off, it’s not a cartoon but puppets. There is a lot more complexity to it than a simple story with a good moral. This series actually goes into the depth of the Bible, explaining & dissecting  the stories while not dwelling too long on them – which is perfect for a child’s attention span. Also included is church history, who wrote the Bible, the books of the Bible, why they are called “Testaments”, and much more. The DVD has catchy but educational little songs. All with a little humor here and there! Perfect for my kids!

WITB

One thing that could bother some, is that the characters do stop to explain with Phil that some subjects are touchy between Christians and some people have different views. (For example: Was the earth created in a literal 6 days or was it 6,000 years.) For our family, that was fine as even my husband and I have different beliefs on some topics in the Bible. It gives our children an understanding as to why Mommy believes one way and Daddy believes wrong another way. 😉 Both my husband and I agreed that it was very in tune with what the Word of God has to say, though.

I was surprised that all of my children, from my 11 year old right down to my 1 year old, were able to sit down, watch this, and thoroughly enjoy it. My 11 & 9 year olds caught more of the humor than the others… or so we thought at first. Ever since, the 4 year old has been cracking jokes from the DVD that we didn’t even know he was paying attention to at the time! The baby loves to clap her hands to all of the music and finds all of the puppets interesting to watch.

WhatsintheBible

So, would I buy this series? Certainly! As a matter of fact, we’ve decided to slowly add the rest of the DVDs to our collection and to include them in our homeschool Bible curriculum. The DVD came with a digital download, making it easier for viewing as we use a digital media player also. There are added activities (coloring pages, study guides, crafts, & Bible flashcards) on the website to make teaching along with the series that much simpler.

Have you watched any episodes in the series? What did you think? If not, check out the video below and tell me your view points from that. (And if you’re a Disney geek like I am, look at all that cool stuff Phil has in his collection behind where he is sitting. Here’s one hint… HARVEY!) Enjoy!

I was selected for participation in this review and given the What’s in the bible DVD as a member of The Homeschool Lounge Review Team. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

ByAngie

Say Goodbye To The Past, Say Hello To Your Legacy

Don't look back!

Some of you may be wondering:

How can I have a legacy that carries on when I have such an un-Godly past behind me? Doesn’t that leave me marred somehow?

We’ve all done things. Some of us more so than others. But then we came to know Jesus, and he washed all of those sins away.

Now that you’re on your new found path, you stress. But why?

Um, maybe because my past is troubling me…

I’ve struggled with this myself before. I used to always worried that I was unworthy or incapable of teaching my children the ways of the Lord because I was not always pure. But there are a few things I want to point out to you that helped me…

No, sin, you're dead. I won't be seeing you anywhere. Adios!

  1. Our sins are forgotten. As if they never happened. Sure, people may remember them, but that is not what matters. God does not. They are gone, washed away. Hallelujah! Your past does NOT impact your future walk with God. Isn’t that wonderful?
  2. How much do you know about your Mom, Grandma, and others? I’m willing to bet that even if they are not walking with God there are plenty of details you have no idea about. And whatever you do, don’t go digging! It’s none of your business!
  3. Look at David: He did SO many sinful things. Too many to list in a short blog post. But go read your Bible and you’ll see. Why does that matter? Well, he succeeded at many things in spite of all his sin. He was the Psalmist. He was a king. He was favored…. He was the ancestor of JESUS! If he can carry on THAT kind of legacy, why can’t you or I?

Nothing in your past has anything to do with the legacy you will pass down unless you allow it to. So stand tall, hold your head high, and teach your children the way they need to be taught. Never hold back or feel insecure. Tell them all about our Father and be confident.

After all, if you’re not confident, why would they want what you have? Be the example!

By

Sticky Hands: Lay It Down – A Guest Post From Lona

Mark 8:35
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

A year after my mother passed away, my daughter married. A few months afterward she was expecting a baby as her husband embarked upon his three-month internship for his college degree. He was to make the 2,000 mile trip and get settled while she stayed with me the first couple of weeks, then she would fly out to join him.

It was bedtime when I wandered into the living room to say good night. As I did she casually told me he had arrived safely and really loved the area. “He would be interested in taking a position and living somewhere out there,” she explained. I don’t believe I flinched, though my heart sank to my toes. I made a graceful exit and headed to the bedroom.

My husband was sound asleep so I felt my way in the dark to find my Bible. I slipped into the bathroom for some light and sat on the step beside the tub to cry. The only way I knew to express myself to the Lord was to be direct and that’s how I proceeded. “God we’ve got a problem,” I candidly prayed. “I need to talk to my mother, but You had this bright idea to call her home. Now what am I supposed to do?”

Mom had a remarkable gift to speak a “word in season” that would calm my troubled spirit. My only daughter and first grandchild could potentially move thousands of miles away and if ever I needed a word in season, this was it.

Then I desperately flipped open my Bible and had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Scripture leaped off the page from Mark 8:35. Then, as if we were sitting at the kitchen table, I heard Mother’s voice in my head. I could visualize her leaning in with her hand gently patting the page as she began to explain, “Let me tell you what this Scripture means,” I heard her softly say. “The Lord knows that Kimmy is your life and always has been. But God is a ‘people mover’ and He strategically places them around the world where they can be utilized for the Kingdom.” I heard her continue, “He’s asking you to lay your life down for His sake. But it’s your choice. You can pitch a fit and get a bear hold on her and refuse to let her go. But she could be living on the other side of the wall and not be yours. On the other hand, as long as she is in the will of God, there is no distance that can take her from you.” In those few moments, “I got it.” I allowed myself to cry through the night, but by dawn I washed my face and prepared to lay my life down.

So far, I have been spared… she has lived within a reasonable driving distance. But as a result, it has been a joy to watch first-hand as she has grown and matured in God, standing on her own two feet, becoming what He has called her to be.

I realize from the moment God loaned her to me, she was really His all along. But as a young mother I spent my time cleaning the “sticky fingers” without seeing the big picture. He could see it all along. The sticky fingers were mine to care for, the calling on the one whom those sticky fingers were attached, was His.

I learned a valuable lesson that would serve a young mother well to realize now. Because in order to keep your life, considered it a privilege—for His sake—to lay it down.

 

To learn more about Lona (pronounced like Donna with an “L”) please visit her website at www.lona.org. She has an amazing testimony that you will be nothing but blessed to read about!

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: Update!

Worshiping... or more likely just really comfortable.

Sorry, but I’m going to do a little bragging in this post… I’m really hoping I don’t come across as rude, a jerk, or proud too proudful…

Since a little before I began this blog, as I mentioned in my “Why So Sticky?“, I’ve been just stopping when I feel the need and praising. I pray with my children more. I sing when the mood hits. I make it clear before them that Mommy is in love with Jesus and that it is a good thing to be. That praise does not have to be hidden. In fact, it shouldn’t be. That time for quiet prayer and Bible reading is not always allotted, so to pray where you are and read when you can.

I know, she's not really praying. I promise I'm not one of those moms who says my kid talks at 1 month old.

Immediately I saw a change in them. But these last few weeks they’ve taken me by surprise. My 2 year old, who rarely speaks unless he’s in the mood, talks quite a bit about Jesus. He even sings, “Jesus” when playing with his toys. My 3 1/2 year old prays for just about anything. I even once had him come up to me randomly and say “Thank Jesus, Mommy!” The cutest is when he uses the 4 month old’s jumper as a “Microphone” and sings songs about the Lord.

This has been quite a motivator for me. To know that they are learning more by my actions has me thinking, “Hmm, I need to do this more…” and more importantly… “I should probably do less of some of this other stuff…”

How about you? Have you taken the Sticky Hands Challenge? If so, what changes and impressions have you seen?

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: The Social Networker

Just by being here reading this, you fit into this category. You are reading a blog, which is a form of social networking. Chances are you are on Facebook, Twitter, and other message boards or websites where you interact with others.

How exactly can one minister to others in this venue? The list is long and varied, but we’ll go over just a few… It’s rather similar to the “simple” calling of friendship, but slightly different.

  • When you see a friend or follower is having a bad day, let them know you’re praying for them… and then REALLY DO PRAY FOR THEM. Send them a message of encouragement! A couple days later, ask them how things are going.
  • Invite those in your area to your church. Post an invite on Saturday and ask that they message you for the address. See if they need a ride if you are capable.
  • Write a “note” about how God has blessed you and those you know lately.
  • Worship song stuck in your head? Post a link. If you’re enjoying it, chances are good someone else will also.
  • When a scripture is laid on your heart, post it. It may just be what someone else needs to read.
  • Post prayer requests for those who are in need of prayer. Get the word out that someone needs to touch God and needs a miracle. You can never have too many prayers.
  • Keep your statuses uplifting, encouraging, non-confrontational, and clear. If you feel the need to post about your bad day and are seeking support from friends from time to time, go ahead. But try to have more positive posts than negative ones. When you are angry at someone on your friends list or that is following you, try your hardest not to post a vague update that will only cause confusion. Keep confrontations private. As I said before, we may be the only Bible some people read. When you act out in anger in such a large arena you are only making yourself look silly. (I’m speaking from experience. We’ve all done it, right? Forgive me, Lord.)

It may feel as though you are not making a difference with this ministry, but I certainly guarantee that you are.

What are some other ways that you use Facebook, Twitter, or another social network as a ministry? I’d love to hear your answers!

ByAngie

How To Build Your Own Lemonade Stand Step 5: Be Positive

So, here you are. You’ve gone through all of the steps to make your lemonade & construct your lemonade stand by grieving, forgiving, accepting, and moving on. Now you have reached the point where you set up shop, practice good customer service, and make those sales.

“Huh? What are you even talking about? Stop with the metaphors or at least explain them!”

Okay, I’ll explain. Sorry.

  • Set up shop: Carry yourself in confidence. Never think that because this event happened that you are damaged or less than anyone else. Walk with your head held high and know that you are a child of God. Never walk aimlessly, have a purpose… To serve God and live according to his will.
  • Customer Service: Smile. Be positive! When someone tells you a story or something they are going through, don’t try to bring them down by putting every ounce of negativity you have on them with your words or expressions. Having a bad day? Stop and mention the positive. Remember Pollyanna? (If you don’t, watch the movie) Look on the sunny side. You might be having a bad day, but for everything you count as bad count 2 more things that you are blessed with. When you’re down, you bring everyone down around you. Don’t be that guy… (To clarify, you can feel down sometimes. Just don’t let it define you.)
  • Make The Sale: When someone says to you, “Oh wow, I can’t believe you lived through that.” feel free to say what a struggle it was. Be real, and give God the glory! You never know who you might encourage or witness to by giving all acknowledgement to Him! Don’t act like a victim, be a survivor!

(If achieving this step is just too much work, consider seeking counseling. There is no shame in asking someone for a little help. Also, depression is a very serious illness that can happen to anyone. It is not something that you can “just snap out of”. Seek help if you need it, please.)

So, what do you do now? Sit back, relax, and drink some lemonade!!!

God bless!

 

 

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

Living Your Legacy: Walking The Walk And Talking The Talk

It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.

So how can we set those examples before our children and others?

Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.

Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.

I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”

Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?

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