I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silver Lining of Victory

I received a phone call of encouragement this morning. During the conversation, she reminded me of an event that I didn't even know she knew about. I want to share that with you.

Several years ago, I was in the midst of the consequences of my poor decisions. I was a newly wed, and therefore the consequences were not only affecting me, they were affecting my husband. I think this may have been the first time that truly understood that my actions and consequences were not limited to me alone.

One morning, after several weeks (maybe months) of wallowing in self-pity and despair, Jason and I were driving to work, and I noticed the clouds. They were large, fluffy, white, and beautiful. As I gazed over all the clouds, my eyes stopped on one. This was the most beautiful cloud in the sky, and it was surrounded by a silver lining.

I knew and received immediately the promise God was showing me in that cloud. He was telling me that all was going to be okay. He was telling me that I was victorious. I still had consequences to live, but I knew that God had not given up on me. I knew that God has plans for me.

Jason and I both walked away from that event in our lives stronger, closer to each other, and closer to God. We are living victorious!

No matter what circumstance you are going through, whether caused by you or other events, God has a plan for you. Trust Him, and through Him you are Victorious!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are you Ready for a Remodel?

If there is one thing I have learned from owning a remodeling company, it is that you never know for sure what you will find when you start making improvements on an old house.... Even when it is your own house.

We live in a house that was built in 1952. We love this house, and if you look at the superficial, it looks great! However, there are things that have to be improved in order to make living in it more comfortable. Things such as adding storm windows, beefing up the insulation, upgrading the heating/AC unit, all things that will make the house more cost efficient... not to mention warmer or cooler. This is the process we are in now.

Our house has a fireplace. It was originally built to be wood burning, but someone through the years converted it to gas logs. This was decorative only. Since Jason and I both enjoy a warm fireplace, we had it converted back to wood burning when we first moved in. However, it did not heat the house like we wanted, so we decided to add an insert.

This brings me to the surprise we discovered yesterday. As the man was installing the insert for us, he noticed a hole in the chimney. The hole was in the attic area. When I heard this, I immediately thanked God that we had not had a fire break out in our attic. As the man ivestigated further, he realized that it wasn't a hole, but rather our heating and air ducts had been vented through the chimney, and not through the roof. Once again... Thank you Lord that we have not had a fire. So now, we have to move the duct vent.

As I thought about this, I realized that just like remodeling a house may hold unexpected changes, remodeling our lives holds unexpected changes. When we turn our life over to Christ, we know that a change takes place. However, we do not always know the full extent of the changes that need to be made. As we allow God to remodel our life, we discover other areas that need attention as well. It doesn't matter how long you have been a Christian, we all have areas in our life that we need to allow the Master to work on. The question is, are you willing to allow God to make the changes? Are you Ready for a Remodel?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Confession of a Christian Music Snob

Growing up, I listened to country music. That is what my mom listened to. As a teenager of the 80's, I listened to rock... yes, including heavy metal. After all, I had the big hair for it. In my early married life, I listened to country once again. All of my life, I have enjoyed jazz. However, as an adult, I became a Christian music snob. I felt to be a good Christian, I could only listen to Christian music.

Last summer, God really convicted me about that. It started on the trips for Ethan's golf tournaments. As we were driving through Texas, I would lose the radio signal for the Christian station I was listening to. I would hit seek, and see what came on. There are a lot of country stations in Texas, so it was mostly country that came on. Most of the songs, I knew and could sing along. This amazed Ethan. He was in shock that his mom knew the words to a non-Christian song.

When it really hit home, was after the funeral of my aunt. The family was gathered at my sister's house. As with any extended family, we are an eclectic group. We have one cousin who sings and plays in a bluegrass/hillbilly band. That afternoon, several of us gathered in the living room with a karaoke machine. We had the most fun singing and laughing to a large range of music. Later, this cousin commented that he knew several of us sang in church, but he was amazed that something he did in a smokey barroom, and we did in church could meet in a south Arkansas living room. We had touched this man, and probably a few others in the room. This is when I realized, that by being open to listening to other types of music, I can relate to non-Christians in a non-threatening way.

Now please keep in mind, that there is music out there that is NOT appropriate to listen to. There are songs in every genre of music that are NOT appropriate to listen to. As a mom, I have to pay attention to what the kids and I listen to. Some songs that I loved as a child, I now realize that I do not want my kids to hear. I am cautious of what stations I will listen to, because some are just trashier than others. My son is a great filter as well. He is quick to decide whether or not a song has a good message. This is nice, because sometimes I just tune out music as background noise only. When this happens, it opens up opportunities to discuss what may be approved by the world, and why we don't approve of such behavior.

Finally, I realize that some of you reading this will be offended. I am just sharing what God laid on my heart. People know I am a Christian because of the way I act, not because I only listen to Christian music. Now, I still listen to Christian music, however if I can use secular music to open a door for someone to see Christ, I will listen to that as well. And yes, I enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Moment to Refresh

A few evenings ago, I went into the laundry room to check on a load of jeans in the dryer. They still had about 15 minutes left, so I decided to sit on the dryer and wait for them. Supper was done, the kitchen clean, the kids playing, and Jason was busy, so I figured no one would miss me for a few minutes. Jason did come check on me. When I told him I was just waiting on the jeans, he said to enjoy a few minutes of quiet. I did.

I had my phone in my pocket, so I pulled it out and opened one of the Bible apps. I spent the next 25 minutes (yes, I added a little time to the dryer) laying on the warm dryer, listening to the hum, reading God's word. I wasn't rushing to get the next task done. The kids or Jason weren't demanding my time. I was resting with God.

When I walked out of the laundry room, I was refreshed. It gave me a new perspective resting with God. I was not studying to learn something. I was not seeking answers for anything. I was simply enjoying time with God.

I start each morning in God's word and prayer, but now I am going to make a point just to rest with Him also. I may not always be able to lay on the dryer for 25 minutes, but I am going to purposefully seek opportunities just to enjoy being in God's presence.

When was the last time you rested with the Lord?

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5