Tuesday, 30 April 2013


For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:14-17

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ  has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:1-5

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 
1 John 3:1

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:12-13

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:26-29

I have many friends that struggle with thinking of God as a father. Either because their fathers were absent in their lives as children or because they had a horrible relationship with their father. 

There were times in my life when I struggled with thinking of God in that way but only because I found it easier to think of God as a big, scary, all powerful being than as a loving, caring and merciful, Fatherlike God. 

As I have grown up and had children of my own I have been able to see God as more of a loving Father. Seeing my husband's heart melt when he held our babies or the obvious joy that he has when playing with them or teaching them something, helps me understand the Parentlike heart of God. 

Being a parent allows me to experience the pain we feel when our children are hurting.  I feel the hurt when I have to discipline or say no to the little sad scrunched up face that is devastated by not getting what they want. I have the blessing of being merciful and showing forgiveness and love to my children.  

Being a parent has allowed me to understand the heart of my heavenly Father so much more.  

I have felt the love that overwhelms and brings me to tears. The joy that makes me want to give my children the moon just to keep them from sadness. The hurt from watching my children hurting. 

That is what He does for us.  

He loves beyond measure. 

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

For great is his love toward us, 
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. 
Praise the Lord. 
  Psalms 117:2

He forgives us when we sin.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 
1 John 1:9

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.
Ephesians 1:7

He rejoices over us. 

As a young man marries a young woman,
    so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
    so will your God rejoice over you.

Isaiah 62:5

The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17 

He gives us gifts. (blessings)

This is my Grandpa, my Uncles, and the front
 little one is my dad.  Grandpa died when my dad
was 6 but left a lasting impression on each of his
children, he was a great dad. 
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalms 37:4

Deuteronomy 28 

I pray that today you feel the love of the Father. Even if you are not a parent or have never had good experiences with parents, today I hope that you can feel the love of the Father God. That the idea of a Father God does not harden your heart but that you can see the parent you wished you had and understand the love from a God that is a better parent than anything we could ever imagine. 

Blessings my family. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Working On It

Over the past few months, Hubby and I have both been really trying to put an effort in and work on our relationship. Things have been going wonderfully and we both feel closer than ever. 

We have both been trying to deliberately show love in the best way for our spouse to receive it. We have entered into the 5 Love Languages 5 Week Challenge, and it has been going really well. 
I think the best part about the challenge is the reminders that it sends.  I know that I personally have been doing the challenges as soon as I can when I get them and then I have also been trying to use the conversation starters as well. It is a great challenge and we both have enjoyed using it. 

I have found it very helpful to know which Love Language speaks most to my Hubby. It has also been very interesting to see my own love languages and how they have changed,  I took the test before we were married and the results were very different. 

Knowing what love language speaks to me has been very useful in arguments. At the beginning of last week I had been working really hard to get our basement cleaned up so that we could do some rearranging of furniture. I am not the greatest at cleaning and it usually takes me a long time to get the task completed to my liking, especially with little ones running around.  

After work Hubby went downstairs to move something and says, " Seriously, is it ever going to be cleaned up down here? This is horrible."  He did not notice the hard work that I had done, it was not finished by any means, since the kids woke up from too short of naps, but a huge dent had been made. 

My love language is words of affirmation. Hubbies is tied with acts of service and physical touch. 

Though I worked really hard and was trying to show love by doing acts of service for Hubs, he failed to see my efforts.  His words were completely the opposite of showing me love through words of affirmation. 

Thankfully, because of the challenge, I was able to put my finger on why his words upset me so much. It was really great to be able to defuse the situation and clarify things right away.  ( He didn't mean what he said as a jab at me, he just was frustrated with all the boxes that were down there and that it was still so unusable after being moved in for 5 months) 

Along with the 5 week challenge, we have been trying to make an effort to schedule in dates at least once every two weeks. There are times that it just doesn't work for us to get out and leave the kids with a sitter so we use some of the at home dates (found here).  

Also, we have been continuing to pray together and have both been praying for each other throughout our day.  I have found that I can really tell the difference when Hubby prays for me, I can really tell when I am being covered by prayer. 
An old date night photo,
this was one of our first dates after having Little A 

The previous things that we had tried while trying to be deliberate in our love, holding hands, respecting, building each other up, spending time, etc., we have been continuing to do. They have become much less deliberate and more of a good habit. There are still times when the kids are seemingly insane and supper is boiling over and the house is a mess as Hubby walks in the door, and those times, it does take a lot more effort to try to put on a smile, show him respect for the long day he has had and welcome him with love.  Days when I feel like just yelling and making him take the baby that is screaming and crying at my feet as I try to prepare supper, its those days that I need him to show me love and he needs me to show him respect. 

I think that has been the biggest help for both of us, knowing that he needs my respect and I need his love.  That we were made to complete each other, that we are different but both a part of Gods image. Knowing that God is in our relationship with us, that He joined us together and that no man can separate us. 

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Genesis 2:19-25

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Mark 10:9 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

In a Basket

And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.
Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?”
And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.  And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, “Because I drew him out of the water.”
Exodus 2:1-10

Today I have been thinking about this story a lot. Little A brought it over to me before nap time to read to her as we cuddled up on the couch.  We have a great retelling of this story done by Arch books, the pictures and narrative are wonderful and really captivated her. 

I was totally taken aback today while reading it. It brought tears to my eyes. 

I have never had this reaction when thinking about Moses in his basket among the reeds. But today, maybe because of the way the book tells it and that I now have a son and look at it from the eyes of the mother, today it really hit me. 

I feel for Moses' mother. That poor woman. She would have been heartbroken. How horrible to carry a baby for nine months in fear of finding out its a boy. Delivering said boy under threat of murder by the Pharaoh's men. Then hiding the boy that you love, putting your whole family in danger, and living in daily fear that your precious baby will be killed. 

Can you imagine the love and care that she would have put into that basket?

How many tears wear cried as she prepared it and wrapped her baby?

Can you possibly imagine putting your child into the river to "keep him safe"?

Miriam played it so cool asking the Pharaoh's daughter if she wanted a Hebrew nurse and bringing her mother to care for the baby.  Moses' mom would have been so excited to get to care for that little boy and raise him as her own for as long as she could.  

A huge weight would have been lifted. The heaviness of death that had loomed over them would be gone and she could just enjoy her little boy. 

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:27-30

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:1-5

I have been greatly enjoying my little boy lately, he is such a boy and I love that he is so completely different than his sister.   Today especially, I gave him many extra kisses and hugs after thinking about Moses and his mother. God truly did take care of them in all that they went through. God marks out our paths and helps us walk through it. He is good and faithful to those that follow him. 

My little E, at about 8 weeks. Only a month younger than Moses would have been in the basket. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Spirit of the Lord

Well that was a busy week.  I felt like I barely slept, was going constantly all day and then had an activity every evening. The craziness even continued into the weekend with a visit from my mom and culminating with a childrens church meeting and a baby shower for my sister yesterday afternoon. 

God is so good to me in those times of craziness though.  I felt his hand and his guidance through the week and feel like he heaped on his grace to help me give it to others. 

In our bible study on Wednesday nights, we have been talking about the Spirit of God. One of the topics we ended up discussing was the fruit of the Spirit. But it sent me on a hunt for more of the gifts of the Spirit of God. Take a look at some of what I found. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galations 5:22-26

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 
Exodus 31:1-5

Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. 
Judges 14:5-6

The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
1 Samuel 10:6

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and of might,
    the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord

Isaiah 11:2

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:2-4

I think we often think of the fruit of the Spirit as something that we need to work toward. But I have begun to see it more as something that is evidence of the Spirit. Just like a tree bares fruit so do we when we the Spirit dwells in us. 

There are so many other things that the Spirit of the Lord brings. Wisdom and understanding, counsel, strength and might, tongues, and skills, to name a few. The Spirit of the Lord brings freedom. Freedom from sin and death. 

When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:15-17

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Who is My Neighbor?

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10:25-37 

We have been in our new home for five months now and I have yet to meet a single neighbor. My dad has chatted with the neighbor to my left but I have yet to actually meet her.  

In our previous home we knew the people to either side of us and talked with them frequently. We never really got that close to them since we were all at different stages of life and with young kids we were very busy and also very protective of our children. 

If this passage was strictly just talking about loving the person who lives beside us, I would be failing. 

In this passage, Jesus shows us how everyone is our neighbor, even those we hate.  So now, I am not just failing a little bit, I am a horrendous failure at being a neighbor. 

It is so easy to get caught up in our own lives and to ignore the lives of those in need around us. 

I often use the fact that I have children as an excuse to take it easy with ministering to those in need. But really, I have an excess of opportunities to show God's love and mercy to those struggling around me, I just happen to have my kids there sharing in the experience. 

There is no better way to show our children the loving nature of the Father than by showing them his hand moving you to show his love to others.  

If we want our kids to see God's love, then we need to be God's love. And they need to be right there with us. 

If we want our children to be compassionate, we need to act out God's compassion in front of them. We need to actively show them God working through us, using us to do his works and bring him glory.  It is okay for them to see that it is not easy for us, that we don't always want to do it, and that it makes us uncomfortable. It is the best for them to see that it isn't always going to be easy, but that it is worth it in the end. 

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared forthe devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Matthew 25:31-46

Friends of our family just went down to Mexico with there two boys. They went there and showed the love of God.  They built a home for a family in need, they loved on kids in an orphanage, and they helped out feeding children at a lunch program. 

Their family was blessed by going. They saw the love of God and were blessed in being His hands and feet.  Their boys were touched, they had an amazing opportunity to see God move and to be used for his works.  
What a wonderful thing to do with your family. 

Today, I am asking God, "Who is my neighbor? Who should I be showing your love to today and this week? And how can my family be involved together doing your work?"