Oct 29, 2009

Don't Get Burned

When I was a little girl learning to cook, I would often get careless and burn myself. I might have touched a hot pan, or stood to close to the oven door, and there you have it, I had burned myself. My mom would use this opportunity to say, "See how much that hurts? That is just a tiny taste of what it will feel like if you don't be a good girl and you go down to the devil." Okay guys, I know that is a horrible thing to say to a child, and completely un-biblical, but she did her very best as a mother. I love her more than anything for the loving parent she was despite the funny things she would say to get me to straighten up. However, this little girl grew up to believe that being a good girl was what God wanted, and would be the catalyst to get me to heaven. I asked Christ in my heart at a young age, but never really understood that it was all about a personal relationship with Christ until many years later.

At 19, I realized that I was in need of a personal savior and that it didn't matter how good I tried to be, I would never be good enough to get into heaven. I confessed I was a sinner to God, I acknowledged that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again, and believed that I would one day live in Heaven with Christ forever. At this time, even though I had began a relationship with Christ, I still lived as a person who had not really changed. Then 5 more years passed, I was married and FINALLY a light bulb went off. I knew I was going to heaven all along, but now I wanted to really know God and to have the relationship I knew He had waiting for me all along. I started studying the bible, and really reading it. It was so hard to understand and often a bit boring. Everyone around me seem to get it, but I struggled big time. I had excellent teachers and mentors who led me through the next 10 years, sharing all they knew and encouraging me along the way. I absolutely fell in love with the Word of God-I cannot get enough of it now. I have to constantly be in a study of some sort. I crave it like nothing I've ever craved before. God has allowed me to also see countless lives changed through his goodness and love during this unbelievable christian walk of mine.

Tonight as I was pulling the lasagna out of the oven, I burned myself pretty bad. My girls were both in the kitchen with me and wanted to see what the loud, "OW!" was all about. I showed them my red arm, and I actually started to smile remembering my mother's words. See my smile comes from the fact that both my girls don't hear words like I did. They both know Christ and they are having the relationship that it took me 25 years to start. I don't know why, but this experience tonight brought back to memory that scared little girl that I used to be. The little girl who didn't know if she was going to heaven when she died. She knew she had done some things that God wouldn't like, and it was always a thought for her that she might not be good enough. It also made me wonder how many of my friends reading this often feel like that scared little girl. Am I good enough to go to heaven? Friends, I once knew that feeling too, and it is not a good way to live.

You can be assured right now of your salvation forever and ever. Do what I did and turn your life over to Christ. Find a church where you can grow and fellowship with others. Don't wait and let time slip by as I did. I promise you Jesus is more thrilling and amazing than anything this world has to offer, and your life will be forever changed. God created you, he loves you, and he is anxiously waiting for you to come to Him. I'm praying for you!

Romans 10:9-10 "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

John 3:16 says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

Oct 25, 2009

Joy, Joy, Joy, Sickness, Joy, Joy, Joy

This last week's study for "Living Beyond Yourself" was all about the fruit of the Spirit-JOY. Tuesday and Wednesday were literally overflowing days of joy due to an unbelievable extended time of studying God's Word. I had been asking God so many questions and finally surrendered them at his feet. He not only gave me answers I was looking for, he gave me specifics of how to go about doing the things I had been praying about starting.

One bit of joyful news is that I will be starting a Women's Ministry at our church. We already have such great women leading Life Groups and serving in so many areas, but we haven't had a coordinator bringing them all together with focus and vision. God laid it on my heart to start this for our women. If you have been reading my blog long, and know the title story, you will say, "What?" Susie, you aren't a leader, remember? You are the one filling in for, helping, assisting, doing what is needed." Well, that is what I've always held on to and believed. However, I am a child of the Most High, and when he clearly laid it on my heart to lead this, I know he will completely equip me and strengthen me to carry on His plans. Once I said, "Yes God", he started pouring forth ideas and plans in my head. My pastor and his wife are fulling supporting me, and are excited also. I also found a talented graphics artist and blog designer to get us started with getting the word out to our women. Hopefully, later this week, I will unveil the Real Life Fellowship's Women's blog. I am so pumped to see how women will get involved not only in the new bible studies we are already doing, but in the community outreach projects, the service in our own church and the different social events and groups that will be starting in the future. Just in my own Life Group of 15 ladies, there are so many talented and potential leaders who each have amazing testimonies of life change and how God is working in their lives. I am blessed, humbled and not to mention amazed at what is to come.

Right after so many great things happening this week, Annie (my 9 yr old) came down with the flu. It hit her hard and kept us home-ridden for the last 4 days. She is on Tamiflu, but is feeling a lot better. We have her fever under control, and she is mostly just non-stop coughing. I know she will fully recover in the next day or two. We caught it very early. On a side note, I am making an appointment with my gynecologist this week. I have something that is hurting in one of my upper portion areas(okay, one of my boobs) and I want to get it checked quick. I can't feel anything like a knot or lump, but it is sore to sleep on and if I accidentally brush against something, there is pain. I am not worried at all, but I am going to get checked, just as I do each year. Keep that in your prayers if you could, and that the rest of my family would stay flu-free.

Joy is something I have come to look at so differently lately. My homework was a full 5 days worth of learning about how much we need joy and how much as believers we need to live out joy. One of the most important things that hit me was God is the true Possessor and Giver of true joy. Beth Moore says, "Fleeting moments of happiness may be experienced through other channels, but inner joy flows only from Christ." I could not agree more. The one thing she reminded me of that I constantly want to remember to never take for granted is that my greatest joy needs to be in knowing that my name is written in heaven. Now that, is definitely reason to be joyful.

Oct 19, 2009

Thought It Might Be Time for Another House Post

We have been back in our old house for the last six months, and through this time we have come to realize that as much as God has provided, this house just isn't going to work. We gave it our best shot, and have been able to keep afloat, but just barely. There are no extras in life, and it is getting to a point that we have to make a pretty big decision. We have been blessed with a job Skip loves and schools that we don't want to compromise by changing, and both of us feel the house is a way to make a big dent in our finances. Since we have already lived in two much smaller homes over the last two years, we have no problem with down sizing whatsoever. In fact, we can't even fill up the house we live in now, because there isn't extra money to do so. We had given away and sold many items thinking we were going to be in Victoria forever, and never bought new things when we moved back home to Corpus.

I have been busy today rearranging some chairs and furniture while planning to put our house back on the market. We haven't decided exactly what route we are going to take, such as putting it for sale by owner, or working out something with a builder friend of ours. I just wanted to let you all know that I would appreciate prayers as we continue to rely on God's direction for what we should do. I can honestly say that I learned over the last couple of years that a house truly does not make a home. A home is made by love and the people living together in it. My desire is to seek God's approval for our future, and I am believing He will make known to us what is best and right.

I am so thankful that God's love and provision for me has proven faithful more times than I can count. There is always going to be uncertainty in life, but His love is always a constant .

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Oct 14, 2009

Having One of Those Days, The Good Kind

I started my day with God. Turned off the distractions (in my case Facebook, radio, tv and phone) and got down to some serious QUIET time. It was the second time this week I was able to have an extended time of study. Thirty minutes into it today, I felt what I had been longing for...a REAL word from God. Who knows how we get these blessed moments out of the blue. It has been way too long since I've had one, but when I do, there is no mistaking them. I've been in God's word consistently for many years, but it is often rushed, thrown together, and half hearted a lot of the time.

Today was similar to many other days, only I really let God direct every step of my studying. If I felt I needed to stop and praise, I did. If I felt I needed to stop and confess, I did. If I felt I needed to stop and encourage someone, I did. Have you every done this? I rarely take the time, but oh was it worth it! God literally started revealing things to me that I have been praying about, and He had specific instructions for me to begin working on. It totally freaks me out a bit, but I am confident that it was guided by the Holy Spirit from start to finish. I am so excited, not so much for the outcome of all the things that God is going to accomplish and let me be a part of, but that His love for me was so REAL and apparent today. Hey, and guess what? He loves you just as much as me, and wants you to have this same special relationship with Him. So what are you waiting for? Seek Him and spend time with Him today.

Oct 7, 2009

Top 10 Things Keeping Me Away From This Blog

1. FAMILY I think that as my kids get older, we spend even more quality time together than we did when they were little. They are such fun kids! They actually want to hang out with me and Skip on the weekends and to go places with us. Hope this continues.

2. FACEBOOK Do I even need to explain to you friends? Probably should have been number one. It is my dream social networking tool. I love to connect to people, to encourage, to share what God is doing in the lives of my family and those I love. Facebook lets me do it all, and then some. Trying to stay away from anything that ends in "Ville", but it still keeps me pretty busy just the same. How fun is talking to your sweet friends from high school and to see that you all finally got back on track with God. Love it.

3. Bible Study Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself takes time. Time I LOVE, but time away from writing nonetheless. This study is one I wasn't sure about doing because it is old, and I felt it probably wouldn't challenge me as much as others I had done. Boy was I wrong. I am on a new high from all the knowledge God is pouring into these hours of study. Will I ever feel like I'm on my way, I sure hope not. And don't even get me started on my precious new bible study friends. I am humbled, completely humbled by their sweetness.

4. Hubby If I do anything right in this life, I want it to be being an awesome wife to Skip. I feel like God helps me do this because I truly seek His wisdom every day on being Skip's helpmate. I cannot believe how much I love this man, and want to see him succeed in his ministry, his fatherhood and his life.

5. Serving at the Schools If you know me, I am not a leader type. But...I will help wherever there is a need. Man, there is a ton of needs going on at our schools right now. Rummage sales, Laps for Learning, Prayer groups, bake sales, and the list goes on. I know I am beyond privileged to stay home, so I want to do what I can to serve for those who can't.

6. Talking What a joy to have a family that is only a phone call away. My family and I have been in such close contact over the last few months due to lots of struggles many of us has had to face recently. We pray together, share life, encourage each other, and laugh. I wish we lived in the same town, but I love that when we do get together, it is intentional.

7. Exercising Well, actually that was keeping me away for about two weeks, but it has unfortunately not been happening in the last week or so. Why does working out have to be such work. Ugh, I'm not good at it AT ALL.

8. Reading I don't know why I've been on such a reading kick lately. I still don't do it as much as I'd like, but I do take time each day to indulge myself.

9. Acting and Helping My Man Hehe, nothing that you would probably ever see unless you go to Real Life Fellowship Church. Skip and I have done two funny video skits for our relationship series and I secretly LOVE IT! I could never stand on a stage and speak in front of people, but somehow talking on video doesn't bother me at all. I'll try to post the videos on here in case you aren't my facebook friend. Btw, if you aren't my Facebook friend, why not?

10. Working on Some Fruit Fruit, as in Fruit of the Spirit is a main goal of mine to work on this fall season. I want to especially hone in on self-control and patience. Oh boy, can I also get some help with love. I have a tendency to be way too judgmental and I'm plain sick of it. God is helping me already, but I have a long way to go. Learning to walk in the Spirit is what the Living Beyond Yourself bible study is teaching me. Confessing what needs to be confessed first thing in the morning is my struggle right now. Often there is so much that comes to mind, it is a lot to take in. I know it is going to get easier, but for now, I need lots of prayer time.

Okay, now you know where I've been. This blog has always been a personal journal, and I'm glad I took some time to write out why I'm not writing on it. Love that I'll probably look back in 5 or 10 years and laugh at what I said on October 7, 2009. It's good to laugh. Speaking of laughing, I hear the kids doing just that in the other room. Off to see what I missed.