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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Discussion with my Daughter

If you have children, or have been around children, you know that their questions can be random, and the discussions can take an unexpected turn that leaves you laughing, crying, or amazed at the insight. I had one of those discussions while driving into town a little while ago.

As we were driving to the store, Erin asked me why some people are missing part of their arm. That is the random part... there was no one around missing part of an arm, and I can't remember when we would have seen someone missing part of an arm. So I explained that sometimes people are born that way, and sometimes people have accidents that may cause them to lose part of their arm. I also explained that soldiers sometimes get injured and might have to lose an arm or leg. I tried my best to keep the discussion light... after all, I am talking to a 7 year old girl.

She had a few more questions, and then stated, "It's sad." I said yes, it is sad, but we have to trust God even when we are sad about something we don't have answers for. Then trying to help her understand, I caused the unexpected turn. I said, "Just like when your cousins Hamp and Daniel died, it left us sad, but we have to trust God that He did what was best." (Quick side for those that don't know... my nephew Hamp died in a car accident at the age of 12 nearly 10 years ago ... my nephew Daniel died of cancer at the age of 30 a year and a half ago.) Without hesitation she said, "Oh, I know why Hamp and Daniel died."

Of course, I was more than a little surprised by this claim. So I asked her, really? Why? She told me that that both Hamp and Daniel loved God and walked with Him. They had done all that God wanted from them, and therefore He took them to heaven to be with Him. Then she added, "Mom, you really don't have to be sad. It is a great thing for God to be pleased and bring you home early."

I don't know about you, but it left me with one word... WOW!

Friday, September 28, 2012

God Will Not Be Mocked

Galatians 6:7(AMP)
Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.

We are living in a time when many people stand up and openly mock God. God is mocked by the leaders of our Nation and our cities. He is mocked by the media. He is mocked on the internet. He is mocked on TV programs. He is mocked in movies. He is mocked in some pulpits. He is mocked by parents. He is mocked by children. Make no mistake, God's word is clear... He will not be mocked.

It is my prayer that God raise up the righteous of this country, and turn this country around. It is not too late. We need to pray. We need to read our Bible. We need to stand up. We need to speak up. We need to teach our children. And we need to humble ourselves before the Almighty God.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Diligently Caring for my Flock

As I was reading my Bible this morning, this verse jumped out at me:
Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, And attend to your herds Proverbs 27:23 (NKJV)

Admittedly, I was not surprised that this verse spoke to me. God has been working with me on diligence and priorities for quite a while now. It also didn't take me long to figure out what my flock is, and where my attention is supposed to be. My "flock" is my family. I am to be diligent in caring for my family. I am to diligently love my husband ... I am to diligently train up my children ... I am to diligently guard my home ... And I am to diligently remain under the guidance of Jason, who is under the guidance of God.

I have my assignment. Do you know yours?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stand Up for Jesus

All day I have had the song "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus" running through my mind. And of all things, it is this verse...
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor,
each piece put on with prayer;
where duty calls or danger,
be never wanting there.
For those wondering, that is the 3rd verse. I am Baptist, how did I even know the 3rd verse of a song??? Okay, that was a poor joke... Sorry. Now, back to the purpose of this blog.

As I have thought through this verse today, I realized that as Christians, too many of us have spent too many years not standing up for Jesus. For a long time, we probably didn't realize that we would need to. However, for the last several years, many of us have remained quiet because we didn't want to offend others. Now we feel like we have to remain quiet or else we will be attacked for our beliefs.

The time for being quiet is over! If we don't stand up for Jesus now, we may never be able to again. As I said in my last post, it is time we Christians put on our rally caps. It is time we get in the game and make a difference for Christ. We, of all people, should know that we have already won! We have the play book. God wins... Satan loses! The question is, are we willing to get in the game?

Look again at the verse above. The writer calls us to Stand up, but not in our own strength because that will fail. No, we are to stand up in the strength of Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.

Next, the writer tells us to put on the gospel armor. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:14-17

Finally, the writer tells us to stand up where duty calls or danger. We don't get a free pass on this one. We can't pick and choose the safe times to stand up. When we see something that goes against God's word, we are to stand up. The time will come when we will kneel before our God. I don't know about you, but I want to hear the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ... that means we will suit up with the Armor of God, and Stand up, Stand up for Jesus!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Time to Put on Our Rally Caps

Jason and I met while playing church league volley ball. One of the first things I learned about Jason, was that when it is time to get serious about playing, he will turn his hat around backwards. We jokingly call it his rally cap.

This habit has not changed through the years. Whether he is a player or a spectator, if the game gets close, the hat gets turned around. (Let me add here, that in all sports except golf... rally caps and the gentlemen's sport don't mesh. Although, I am sure he has been tempted more than once.)

So why am I telling you this? No, it is not because of my beloved Razorbacks... sadly, I don't think there are enough rally caps in the world to help this season. No, I tell you this because the other night I glanced over at Jason as he was on Facebook, and noticed that he had turned his hat around. He was in a serious debate, and he meant business as he responded to a post.

I often tease Jason about Facebook being his pulpit. I tease, but in truth, I am very proud of him. Jason has a few Facebook friends that are atheists, agnostics, and people who claim to be Christian, but do not adhere to the moral codes as laid out in God's word. When Jason notices a post that is anti-God, he will comment on it. He has been in many debates over the last few years. He has been cursed at, and attacked personally for his Christian, conservative stance. He doesn't back down. He stands his ground, and backs his comments with scripture.

Not only does he debate these people... both his fb friends, and their fb friends ... he prays for these people. He realizes that he may never change the mind of some of the hardcore debaters he faces, but he is planting seeds. Not only is he planting seeds in the hearts and minds of those he is debating with, he is planting seeds in anyone who reads his comments.

I have shared with him before, that I don't know how he does it. It makes me sick at my stomach just thinking about some of the debates he has. The fear of being verbally attacked will often keep me a bay. Instead of studying and being prepared to back up what I believe, I back off. That is not right!

Jason shared something with me the other night that really impacted my way of thinking. He said to imagine what Paul, Peter, John, and the other disciples must have faced. You know they faced opposition to the gospel... yet they stood firm. God has not changed his instructions for us just because we are in the modern world. No, we are to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) With the internet, this command is easier than ever... if we are willing to obey. We are also called to "always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you."(1 Peter 3:15) To do this, we need to know what we are talking about. We can't rely on feelings or hearsay. We must study, study, study. We must know what the world is saying, and we MUST know what God says. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

We are living in a society where it is not politically correct to speak out about Christian beliefs. Instead of quietly sitting by and letting it continue to happen, we all need to "put on our rally caps," and take a stand for God.

A Godly Man

My son, Ethan, gave an inspirational speech today about his cousin Daniel. With his permission, I am sharing it with you today. (Please note, this is my typed version based on his outline and comments)
Today I want to tell you about my cousin Daniel Eppinette. 6 years ago, I was the ring bearer at his wedding. Here is a picture of Daniel and his bride on that day. [He shared a wedding picture with his audience] The wedding took place in Fayetteville at a beautiful garden. It rained that morning, and Daniel agreed to pay extra for a tent to be placed over the guest seating. This was a big deal for Daniel, because he was VERY budget oriented. However, by the time of the wedding, the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful day. The tent was not wasted, it offered shade for the guests while they watched the ceremony.

Just over a year ago, I sat on the second row at his funeral. You see, just 6 months after his wedding, Daniel was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer.

Daniel fought for over four long years. He went through several surgeries, and numerous treatments. He did have one summer of remission, before the cancer returned stronger than ever. At the age of 30, my cousin went home to Jesus.

Throughout the 4 years of cancer, I am sure that Daniel must have asked God why? Yet through the pain ... through the surgeries ... through the radiation ... through the chemo ... through the loss of strength ... through the loss of weight ... through the loss of dignity ... Daniel never, NEVER lost his trust in God.

In the Bible, we know of another Daniel. This Daniel did not choose to be taken captive in a foreign land. He did not choose to be removed from his family and all that was familiar to him. He did however choose to trust God, and continue to serve Him no matter the circumstances. Just like Daniel of the Bible, my cousin Daniel, did not choose his circumstances, but he did choose to trust God and continue to serve Him in the midst of his circumstances.

Daniel was a witness to all those around him. Through his sickness, and through his death, Daniel was a testament to his Lord and Savior. Even in his weakest moments, Daniel put others ahead of himself. Each Sunday that Daniel was able to go to church, he could be found at the altar praying. Not for himself, but for his wife, parents, brother, grandparents, and others that were so faithful to help and pray for him. He prayed for his country, and its leadership.

Daniel spent time daily digging into God’s word. He kept a journal not only of his own struggles and emotions, but also of revelations revealed to him through the word of God. He openly shared the gospel with everyone he came in contact with. When Daniel became too weak to read and study himself, he requested that his wife and parents read the Bible to him. There was nothing more dear to him than the word of God. Though Daniel was only 30 when he died, he left a legacy of being a godly man.

Daniel left a great impact on my life ... Not because he was my cousin ... and not because he died of cancer ... Daniel left an impact on my life because of the way that he lived... even when he knew he was dying.