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Going through it to get to it…

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Sometimes the shortest distance isn’t always best.

“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines even though it was near; for God said, “The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” Exodus 13:17

God had appointed Moses to set the captive Israelites free from the oppression of the Egyptians, and God had an appointed plan for them to walk out. The Israelites probably wondered why they had to go through the wilderness to the Red Sea, even though it seemed better and faster to go to the land of the Philistines. Besides, what were they going to do when they got to the Red Sea?

I must admit my mind can ask similar questions. If I was one of the Israelites I would walk the path but I would probably be tempted to grumble, and try to assert my ideas and suggestions. I must confess, I sometimes still do.

God has appointed Jesus Christ as the Way to lead us in the paths of righteousness and now we have unlimited access to God’s throne of grace. God has an appointed plan and specific works He has prepared for us to walk out.

I have left the slavery to sin and entered into life abundant through Jesus Christ, and yet sometimes I wonder why is He leading me through the wilderness, and how and when will the Red Sea part? However, when I remember God is love I settle down. I meditate on His word and wonder in the sovereignty and character of God. I remember His purposes and plans are not to harm, and they extend beyond my own life and what I can see.

God sets a hedge of protection around us, helping us to stay on the path. He has given us Jesus Christ as a settlement for all those times we get off the path, He has given us the Holy Spirit to convict us to get back on the path. As children of God we have all we need for this walk of faith. This path of righteousness is where we experience abundant life and joy, because we are walking in the presence of God.

Whatever wilderness God is leading you through, you must remember He knows the future, He knows the consequences, He knows your heart, He knows what’s best. Yoke yourself to Jesus Christ and He will lead you in the way you should go.

May you enJOY your journey with Jesus and continue to walk by faith, for that is how the righteous live.

*John 10:9-11 *Ephesians 2:10


Joy comes in the mourning…

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Image credit: Gracieediaz

Life without the presence of God is dark and depressing with sporadic moments of happiness birthing from our circumstances and experiences.

But circumstances and experiences are fleeting, leaving us empty and depressed once more. How do we experience a lasting holy joy?

In God’s presence is the fullness of joy.

No one can come into the presence of God the Father without an advocate for the forgiveness of sins. But there is an advocate, His name is Jesus Christ.

You must be willing to turn to God and come into the Light of Christ to allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin, righteousness and judgement. You must courageously confess and mourn for your sins against God and others.

You will see, God’s faithfulness and righteousness is demonstrated in His forgiveness of our sins. You must continue to believe the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses you from all your sin and unrighteousness…then you can enter into God’s presence and experience His Holy joy and rest through the Holy Spirit.

This joy can only come after humility and genuine sorrowful repentance for sins.

May “the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

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I saw this painting in a local coffee shop and was immediately inspired to write this post. This is a demonstration of the how the gifts and talents of the body of Christ stirs one another to love and good deeds. You can find more inspiration and stirring at the artist Graciee Diaz’s website here.


Merry CHRISTmas & Holy New Year

From my family to yours:

Merry CHRISTmas and may you have a Holy New Year! I’m so thankful for the greatest gift: Jesus Christ!

*Today we celebrate the day God became flesh and dwelt among us.

*Daily we can celebrate how He dwells in us.

*In the future we will celebrate how we dwell with Him for eternity!

The advent of CHRIST is not over…it’s just begun.

Prophecy has been fulfilled when Jesus was born and prophecy will be fulfilled when He returns! (Zechariah 14)

I’m praying for you dear reader…

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Creative Cause: A Call to Help Orphans

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Create: (Hebrew: bara’)to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject)

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.

“In the beginning God CREATED…”

Only God can truly ‘create’. It was God that created the heavens and the earth when it was formless and void, and is God who makes us new creations in Christ Jesus:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We are made in the image of God, and we have been entrusted with the talent of creativity. We write, we paint, we speak, we sing, we sew, we sculpt, we weld, we take photos, we make jewelry, videos, music…

There will be an accounting of how we used these ‘talents’. Did we invest them for God’s kingdom sharing them with others pointing them to the One who gave us this gift, or did we timidly bury them away?

Recently I discovered an opportunity to share the talent of art to help raise awareness and support for distressed orphans in Africa. Yes, the needs in the world are plentiful and it can lead us to a state of paralysis where we do nothing because we don’t know where to begin.

I am learning we begin on our knees–in a paralysis of prayer. God will show you how to be faithful where you are at, and with what He has entrusted you. If you are an ‘artist’ might you consider stewarding the talent of creativity God has entrusted you and invest it for His Kingdom through ‘Art for Orphans’?

Here’s how it works:

1. People donate their original artwork/photography.

2. People buy the artwork at afo.rethinkcreative.org.

3. We give all the proceeds to support orphans in Zambia.

More information for your prayerful consideration can be found at: http://afo.rethinkcreative.org/

May we give God the FIRST FRUITS of our creativity, believing He will do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine after all, it is according to His will:

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27


Hear O Biblical Hearted Parents: The Christian Parenting Handbook {And Lots of Give-Aways}

Deuteronomy 11:18

” Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Psalm 34:11

{This post contains an affiliate link–your support is a gift to me.}

I have written many posts about the ministry of Parenting and how God is teaching me how to raise my children in the way they should go, and how being a parent requires a lot of humility with sanctifying second chances.

I believe God has called me to disciple my children and this is one calling I am growing in grace and knowledge every day. I don’t have much time to read many books other than the Bible and I agree with Ecclesiastes 12:12 “…be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” Therefore I choose my books wisely.

My husband and I were graciously given the opportunity to review ‘The Christian Parenting Handbook” written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. The Scripture that kept being brought to my remembrance when I was reading this is:

“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” Ecclesiastes 12:11

This book is packed with wisdom with practical examples and encouragement to raise children and yet it is full of grace and freedom, acknowledging the truth that “every child is unique, and every family has its own set of dynamics.” This book helps us to fully implement and put our ‘ideas’ into practice! It is refreshingly Biblical, focusing on the heart, and the importance and profit of using Scripture to teach and train our children. I was most thankful for the Authors acknowledgment of the role and power of the Holy Spirit and how we must not depend on human traditions to raise our children. The Authors write:

“Paul warned in Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” That warning is important for parents, because our world is full of ideas, and many of them are unhelpful, resting on tradition instead of godliness. Instead, you can develop a parenting philosophy that’s based on a solid theology of God and His plan for life.”

Dear readers, if you want to be challenged to think Biblically about parenting, allow the Holy Spirit to convict you where necessary and adjust accordingly: read the Bible and read this book! I know I am not alone when I say this because the books are SOLD out at all the major retailers and Christian books stores! The only place you can get it now is here.

I could write for hours on how God has used this book to convict and redirect my parenting but I want you to be able to post this quickly so you will NOT miss out on the opportunity to get one at a discounted price AND the opportunity to get the $400 in Biblical parenting resources just for purchasing the book this week (April 29 to May 5)!

You can purchase the physical copy of the book or the eBook in order to qualify for the $400 in free gifts. Personally, I’d get the physical book since one of the gifts you’ll receive is the eBook.
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Here’s what you’ll receive as a thank you gift for buying this week:

• The Christian Parenting Handbook electronic versions for iPad, Kindle, Nook or any mobile device ($29.97)

• Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #1 Complete Package including Lesson 1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #2 Complete Package including Lesson 2 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Teach Kids to Listen and Follow Instructions on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Correction Ideas that Touch the Heart on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Addressing Bad Attitudes in Kids on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Everyday Parents CAN Raise Extraordinary Kids Session #1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• How to Use The Christian Parenting Handbook 30-minute Video ($24.95)

That’s $414.62 of biblical parenting resources for FREE. A tremendous gift as a thank you for helping with the launch.

Here’s how you receive your $400 gift:

1. Purchase The Christian Parenting Handbook during Launch Week, April 29 to May 5, 2013
2. Email, fax, or mail your receipt to The National Center for Biblical Parenting. Be sure to include your email address so that they can tell you how to obtain your free gift. Email: Gift@biblicalparenting.org Fax: 609-771-8003. Mail: 76 Hopatcong Dr. Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
In addition, you can get The Christian Parenting Handbook Companion Guide (This is a workbook with audio clips that will help you apply the material in The Christian Parenting Handbook.) for free if you purchase 5 copies or more of the book.

To claim your premium, simply forward your purchase confirmation to Gift@biblicalparenting.org and we will send you your special product code for the $400.00 package. If you purchased 5 or more copies of the book, we’ll send you the PDF version of the Companion Guide.

That’s not all…today just add a comment below with your email and I will enter you in a raffle to win ONE of the following:

  • The Honor Multi-Media Package ($59.95)
  • A set of 5 Parenting shifts e-books ($49.95)
  • One free Biblical Parenting University Online Parenting Course ($99.95)
  • 1 electronic copy of Disciplemaking at Home. ($16.99)
  • 1 Print copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook and 1 PDF copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook Companion Guide ($49.95)

*Winners will be selected and notified May 5th and I will NOT share your email with anyone other than the National Center for Biblical Parenting for you to receive your prize.

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

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As a member of The Christian Parenting Handbook launch Team, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and the opportunity to promote related giveaways and activities to my readers. All opinions are my own.


A Mother’s Anthem: “Desperate Not Defeated”

Desperate not defeated

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I want to introduce you to a humble servant of God, a mama that was willing to be transparent with her struggles so that God may be glorified in not only your lives but the lives of all you come in contact with. This mama, Sarah Mae has shared her struggles of motherhood at her blog and now by God’s hand she has written a book with a Titus 2 woman of God Sally Clarkson. Sally Clarkson is a woman of the Word that has gone before us young mamas in motherhood and is willing to share her experiences, confessions, pearls and treasures from God’s Word.

Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae are raising an anthem call, “Desperate, Not Defeated” in their new book “Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe“. They remind us the breath we need is God’s Holy Spirit gently guiding us in the plan He has uniquely designed for your family. Written unlike any book I’ve ever read we have the perspective of a young mama and a wise ‘older woman’ answering the questions most of us mamas have but are too embarassed to ask.

This book is not just for moms that stay home it is for ALL MOMS, MAMAS, MOMMAS, MOMMYS, MOTHERS! Throughout the book Sally lifts the arms of Sarah Mae and all of us mommas, encouraging us in the LORD reminding us of His banner over us ‘LOVE‘ and reminding us where our strength and help comes from: God.

I have been mobilized by Sarah Mae exhorting older moms not to forget what it’s like in the early days of motherhood:

“Let’s remember, so that we can be the Titus 2 women that our generation is so desperate for.”

This January marks three years that I’ve been staying home as a full time wife and momma. I was answering a call God had put on my life that I ignored because of my insecurities, fears of inadequacy and selfishness. This calling was Motherhood.

I want to tell you mommas out there: I remember.

I remember what it was like being a momma that worked outside the home. Yes, I know it is very hard!

I remember what it’s like to be a new stay at home momma. Yes, I know it is very hard!

For the first four years of my sons life and the first two years of my daughter’s life I worked full time. In fact, I worked so much I hardly saw my children less than fifteen hours a week and weekends (if I didn’t send them to my sister’s). I was one of the biggest persecutors of stay at home moms, thinking they were lazy and wasting their time and talent. For years, I felt this way. Then God changed me. That was the ONLY way this could happen. God.

This book encouraged me to revisit my journal entries from those early days of desperation.

Here are a few:

12-21-09 (I was still working outside the home when I wrote this):

“I am humbled in my role as a mother. I can’t do this without You God, and anything good that comes from this is from You, not anything I do or will have done.”

1-30-10 (Just a few days in this new role)

“Already I am tired. I’m trying not to look back or forward, but trying to just be present, open to hear what You (God) want to teach me.”

2-3-10

“Father, I do see my new role here…no longer working outside the home but now I am able to concentrate on shining the love of Christ to Billy, Benjamin and Annaleigh. To teach out children to love You and love one another. Help me to see each of them as You do. May this service of wife and mother be an offering and sacrifice to You God as a fragrant aroma.”

2-9-10

“I need Your help! I can’t raise Benjamin and Annaleigh without Your guidance and discernment!” God’s response to me: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 2 Corinthians 5:12-17; 1 John 3:1

2-16-10

I keep hearing negativity about being ‘just’ a stay at home mom and how hard it is, I can’t speak fully about it now because I’ve only done this for three weeks but I’d like to think I will continue to enjoy this because it is an offering for You Father and I want to raise Benjamin and Annaleigh to know You through loving them. Father, I want to be led by Your Spirit so I can obey Your Word. I accept the full power of Your Holy Spirit and release and yield myself to You as a living sacrifice.

2-16-10 Later that day…

The kids became tired and fought and I sent Benjamin to his room and he threw another fit…he doesn’t like me. He even tried to barricade the door. Help me Father, help me to hear Your Holy Spirit on how to react and what to say!

2-22-10

Today I felt so tired and I didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t make Billy’s breakfast, coffee or lunch. The kids woke up before me and wanted breakfast right away and our normal routine. I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep. I don’t know if it was warfare or me being lazy. I confessed my bad mood and tried again. Things were well until Annaleigh cried because she didn’t want her hair brushed. Now Benjamin is testing me again–not taking naps–I need Your help, I can’t do this without You! Thank You!

I sometimes feel like Moses, He had a relationship with You and was leading the Israelites to the promised land but they complained often and Moses cried out to You for help, as I do. The whining and complaining really get to me, but I suppose that’s how I sound to You right now. Sometimes I feel like the giant in Gulliver’s travels when the little people pinned down this giant and danced around…I guess like that giant I didn’t know the strength within me…but I’m learning. I’m learning to yield to the power of Your Holy Spirit and to listen to what You are trying to teach me through Your Word and through my children and current cirumstances.

These journal entries are special to me because they are cries of a mothers heart to God, asking for help.

When I read Desperate I was reminded of what God has been teaching me these past three years as a Mother and these lessons have been confirmed by a mother after God’s own heart Sally Clarkson:

“Motherhood is God’s creative and original idea, and He desires us to take joy in His intricate handiwork. He longs for us to seek Him, to rest in His love, to flourish in His acceptance of us, and to understand His ways for us with our children. When we follow the voice of God and rest in His ability to sustain us as mothers, we will find a true and lasting peace.”

“Following voices without rooting them first in the voice of God can lead to legalism, which starves the soul of grace freely given by God. Legalism is rampant amongst Christian circles today, and many children have turned away from God because of harsh and arbitrary standards set forth by people who feign to speak authoritatively, but who either have no grounding in Scripture, or abuse interpretation of it for their own agenda.”

“There is only one voice to obey, and His voice brings life, joy, and freedom. God, as the designer, knows exactly how to guide us in our parenting. He is the only one who can help us pull off our lives with grace and freedom from guilt.”

The book Desperate reminds us we may be desperate but we are not defeated! We are desperate for God’s help and must remember the battle has already been won by Jesus Christ! We must remember God’s grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in weakness(2 Corinthians 12:9)!

The first two years I stayed home as a full time mama I only read the Bible. I believe His Word is what gives life, and I choose my books and what I read wisely–through prayer. God has been teaching me He uses sanctified vessels to share His Words in many forms (like blogs and books). Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae are God’s sanctified yielded vessels full of mercy and grace and it is evident in what they write, for out of the heart the mouth speaks…and pen writes.

This book really impacted me! Not only did it confirm what God has been teaching me about being a mother but also about being a mentor, afterall I am an older woman to someone right? Let us encourage one another to love and good deeds, shall we?

I whole-heartedly recommend this book and pray you will be as blessed as I am with it!

Movement - desperatemoms.com


The Gift of God: The Spirit of Christ

Holy Fountain Consume us with You

“..if you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

We all have been given a gift of God.

I received this Gift almost four years ago and I’m STILL unpacking, meditating, savoring, pondering and rejoicing what has been given. As I unpack and discover the magnitude of this Gift, everything else in this world is fading away. Things that once mattered to me like wealth, prestige and material items have lost its lure. Conversely, things that didn’t matter to me now do. My heart breaks for the orphans and widows, for my brethren throughout the Nations who are in prison for standing firm in their faith—the same faith I proclaim to have.

My heart is rending for the lost and lonely, the physically and spiritually malnourished—for those that do not know a Gift has been given.  I have been in mourning these past few weeks, tortured by the distractions and plenty I have in this beautiful Country.  I have fought Pharisaical and prideful thoughts, angry at the misguiding distractions this world tempts to entangle me in ‘the spirit of Christmas’.  I go to my Father lamenting and pounding my chest crying out for His mercy, for only He knows my thoughts and intentions and I ask Him to help me to have a spirit of Christmas.  As I write down the words ‘spirit of CHRISTmas’ my eyes are opened:

In Spanish ‘más’ means more so to me this means: ‘The Spirit of more CHRIST’!

I am reminded that I KNOW the ‘gift of God’ Jesus Christ, and not only has He humbled Himself to be with us, as His daughter He is for me and He is IN me! I drank of the water that has been given to me by Jesus Christ and I have been given a ‘well of water springing up to eternal life’—what a Gift I have been given! To ponder on this Gift is to have a Mary CHRISTmás!

I pray you are born again and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit and your life is a Mary CHRISTmás {Spirit of more Christ}. Just ask Him for yourself…

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13

“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true. Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.  He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.  But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:13-17)

 “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” Titus 1:15

“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. John 3:34


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