Welcome to my blog! To get an idea of what this blog is about you might want to read the "About Me and My Family" page as a starting point. You can browse through the archives or head over to the "Articles" page to read on specific topics I've written on over the years. Keep checking back because I'll be posting new articals from time to time.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Place of Comfort

Sometimes in this life we have to go places we don't want to go to. We have to be around people we don't like being around. Sometimes we are completely uncomfortable with our surroundings to the point that we want nothing more then to just get away. Thankfully, I know I can always go home. At home I feel comfortable, I feel loved, I feel appreciated, I feel needed . . . and I can be myself without worrying what anyone will think of me! No matter how crazy or annoying I can be my family will always accept me! That alone will put a smile on my face and help me out of a bad mood I may have previously been in. There is no place like home!

Picture of our home taken by Bethany.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quit Holding Back

Today mama sent me a devotional by Mark Batterson. Mama knew what I was going through so the timing of this piece was perfect! I managed to locate it on the Internet so that I could share it with you.

Now here comes the disclaimer . . . I haven't read anything else on his blog, but from the looks of it I think I should tell you that I do not agree with everything on his web sight. I know nothing about him or his web sight.This post alone has really encouraged me. I hope it is an encouragement to you too!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What Caused Division Between My Siblings

There was once a time when Phillip and Amy got along great like every brother and sister should. They played together every day, went to places together, got over disagreements very quickly, and found common ground that they could be happy with. They were always together!

For the past few days I've noticed that they haven't been together as much. Lately Phillip has been in his room by himself while Amy is in her room alone. They no longer stick together.

In sadness I went on a mission to find out what caused division between my brother and sister. I was eager to see what made them part in such a way. Today I believe I solved the mystery. It is very clear why they are not spending as much time together.

They now have walky talkies!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Leave The Dictating to the Doctors!

Most of you know that I work in the medical field, something that God directed me to, and really enjoy. I work with two very good transcriptionist in my department who I am always going to when I need an x-ray typed. Having them there makes my job so much easier!

But they don't look at the actual x-ray film and decide what to put on the report. It is the doctors' job to examine the x-ray and verbally relay what he has found, through our phone system. This is called dictation. It is the transcriptionist job to listen to the doctor's voice and type the report as accurately as possible.

For the past several weeks I have felt like I am a trascriptionist and God is the doctor. When I write an article God has told me to write I can feel Him leading me what to write and what not to write. Sometimes God wont even let me add a few words to a sentence if it is not what He wants me to add. Interesting enough, I even found that unique words I usually wouldn't use come to mind while I am typing or writing something for my blog, my friends e-magazine, or anything else. I never knew writing could be so much fun and rewarding!

But let's think about the transcriptionist and doctor scenario again. Have you ever went to the transcriptionist and thanked them for transcribing their x-ray so well? Do you give them credit for finding a fractured bone or a mass in your stomach that could have caused potential harm to your body if it had been left undetected? Most likely not because they are not the ones who found it. All the credit goes to the doctor. In the end, the doctor is the one who God used to saved or increase your health. Not the transcriptionist.

So I cannot take any credit for the articles I write. As much as I would love to say, "Oh, thank you! It took such hard work and practice to write such articles," the truth is, the only reason my writing has changed is because I have decided to listen to God. I think the best way to get great results is to do what I am good at, and leave the dictating to the doctors!
**Just a note: Of course it does take persistence and practice to become a good writer, but what I was referring to in this post is the effect of the article. No matter how well someone writes, their product will do no good if the holy spirit is not in it. Every writer wants their writings to make an impact on other's lives. To achieve this we must follow God word by word.**

Monday, May 18, 2009

From the Eyes of Experiance

I have always loved Psalms 37:4. "Delight thyself in the LORD also; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." At first glance I feel guilty for admitting this because I am afraid those who read this might think it is selfish of me, as if I am only concerned with what God can do for me. But it is actually nothing like that.

When I was young God gave me a desire to marry a Christian man who was DEVOTED to God. I don't want a man who has shallow faith and beliefs. I want to give my heart to some one who will show our children how to be real Christians and know how to please God. That only comes from example!

At times it seemed like there weren't any young men like I just described. Some would even try to discourage me and make me think that I would have to marry whoever was "best" out of the bunch, but not necessarily the man like I wanted.

That's when I discovered Psalms 37:4! It was so sweet to my ears! I almost used this verse in defence as if to say, "See! I told you God would let me marry a great Christian man! The Bible says so!" Was I adding words in there? (. . . and he shall give thee the man of thine heart???) Of course I believed that I was delighting in the LORD.

Okay, so maybe I was using that verse to bennefit me . . . but now I feel differant about this passage of scripture. There's been a change in my heart. Some days I can't seem to read the Bible enough, a word prayer is constantly on my lips, and I find so many reasons to praise my wonderful Savior! Am I perfect? Of course not! Every day is not like this, but I have been enjoying more and more days basking in my Savior's sunshine then I use to. Which brings me back to my verse. You see, now I actually do delight in the LORD! I have discovered, from experiance, that when you are close to God you are more concerned about the first part of the scripture (Delight thyself also in the LORD) then you are the second (and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart). I've found myself telling God, "I don't care what you give me or what you do for me. You know what is best for me . . . I'll accept that." But again, keep in mind that I do not always think like this! Just recently I remember asking God, "Can't you just give me this?" But I know life is happiest when I focus on delighting in myLORD and leave my desires behind.

So that is my desire! To enjoy God's pressence in my life and forget about my wants. As long as God is in control I don't think I will have anything to worry about!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

Yesterday I mentioned in my post (My Morning) that I helped Bethany make a Fudge Truffle Cheesecake. My online friend, Under Southern Skies , asked me to share the recipe, and since it is very good I thought I would oblige her. Like most cheesecake recipes, it is very rich so a little piece will satisfy. I hope you enjoy it!

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

1 1/2 c vanilla wafer crumbs*
1/2 c 10x sugar
1/3 c cocoa
1/3 c melted butter

3 (8 oz.) cream cheese softened
1 can (14oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 c (12 oz.) simi-sweet chocolate chips melted
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine all crust ingredients and press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Chill.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add milk. Beat until smooth. Add melted chips, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into crust and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes. The center will jiggle slightly when you take it out of the oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife between crust and sides of pan. Cool for 3 hours at room temperature. Chill overnight. Serve it with cool whip if desired.

*For a home made recipe to make your own Vanilla Wafers go to my mom's blog.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Letting the Devil Win

A few months ago I posted about a great mission conferance where I heard 4 native missionaries preach and sing. The next week I wrote the missionary to Chile to tell him what an encouragement I recieved from seeing him. I knew he wouldn't be back to his country until May, but I guess I was hoping his wife would write back. Weeks passed and I heard nothing. I started to think I shouldn't write the other families until their father/husband was back. Then I started to wonder if it really mattered. Would they care that a young girl from America took the time to write them? Does a little letter make any difference in thier busy life? Don't they have more important things to do anyways? As bad as this sounds, I was starting to think this way.

At first I prayed for them every day. Sometimes I would even think about a certain family throughout the whole day, praying for them diligently. But . . . the devil slipped in once again. I got busy and my mind started thinking about other things. Although I didn't forget them, I did forget how much they had blessed me and how much I desired to be a blessing to them. I went from praying for them every day to praying for them when I thought about them.

Today while I was out side washing the van and my car with Bethany, the missionary I had wrote called from his home in Chile! I was a little dissapointed that I didn't hear the phone ring, but I did get to listen to the message he left on our answering machine. I was absolutley thrilled that he took the time to call! It was such a blessing! The letter I sent must have been a blessing to him, not what the devil had been telling me.

At the same time that I was rejoicing over this blessing from God I also felt convicted for not praying for them as I should have. Now I can't wait to write the other 3 families and try to be an encouragement to them . . . I know they'll be an encouragement to me! Praise the LORD, the devil didn't win this time!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lesson From a Bad Week

This Friday through Sunday our church had a youth revival for everyone in the community. Ever since I heard about it months ago I have eagerly waited for the days to arrive. I have looked forward to this revival more then any other revival I have been to in a long time because the last meeting (with the same preacher) was such a blessing and this time I would get to hear his son (a young man who I grew up with) preach out of the word of God.

But I don't think the devil wanted us to have revival. In fact I know for sure that he was against the whole thing! All week I have been struggling to keep my mind on God and everything seemed to be going against me. One day I was in a really bad mood, the next night I couldn't' sleep, then my back started hurting. . . I'm not trying to start a pity party for myself, I'm just making a point. The devil was fighting all week!

By Thursday (the day before revival started) I knew I needed to get through to God and let Him refresh my heart. So I went to the book of Job to see what he did when everything seemed to be going against him. Let me remind you what he went through just in the first chapter of Job. All his oxen were taken my the Sabeans, his sheep were killed by fire from heaven, (there goes everything that made him money and provided his living) the Chaldeans carried away his camels, (no more transportation) most or all of his servants were killed, and worst of all his children died. What did Job do? Did he curse God? Did he ask God "Where are you?" Did he give up on serving God? What did Job do?

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped. And said, Naked came I our of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1. 20-21

So there I sat, feeling like everything was going wrong but still realizing that my troubles were nothing compared to Job. What did I do? I worshipped. And you know what? Everything was okay after that! Blessed be the name of the LORD!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sarah's Laugh

This evening I was reminded again of Sarah's story. The story of God's faithfulness to keep His promise to her and Abraham has always been very special to me, something I hope to see in my life one day.

Tonight I read the passage where three men came to Abraham and told him Sarah would bear him a child like they have always wanted. After waiting so long for a dream that seemed would never come to pass, God has now reassured them again that they would have a child even in their old age.

Sarah laughed. I believe that she laughed not only because she and her husband were old, but because she couldn't see God fulfilling His promise. You see, Sarah and Abraham had already been told by God that she would have a son, and I believe she believed Him with everything that was within her. She wanted a child so bad she was willing to believe anything and grasp on to any little glimpse of hope. But that was long ago.

With every year that passed she began to doubt more and more. Little by little the dream she so badly wanted God to fulfill now seemed impossible. I can just imagine what the devil was telling her. "So God's going to give you a child, huh? He sure is taking his time, isn't he? How long are you going to wait? Maybe that wasn't God's voice after all." No doubt she thought about those words often. It really didn't seem like God was fulfilling His promise. Yes, I can see why Sarah laughed.

Then one of the three men said unto Abraham, "Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything to hard for God?" (Gen. 18.13) Wow! What a great question! Is anything to hard for God? Obviously Sarah's problem wasn't too big for God to take care of because Sarah did bear Abraham a child just as God had promised.

Now I doubt there are any 90 year old women reading this article that are still praying to have a child, but sometimes our problems do seem that big. Is it too big for God to handle? Are you laughing at God by not having faith in His power? Before you answer these questions think about how your actions speak, for they have already answered.

Later in this story we see that Sarah is laughing again. "And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me." (Gen. 21.6) This time Sarah is not laughing at God or because she is doubtful. This time she is laughing because of the joy God had given her. Those years of trusting, believing, doubting, struggling, seeking God with tears, and waiting, had strengthened Sarah and made the birth of her son Isaac so much more wonderful! She witnessed a very rare miracle that God performed through her! It was not an easy road to travel and Sarah and Abraham both made their mistakes, but God was faithful to fulfill His promise even when it seemed impossible, and the benefits were amazing!

If you are going through a similar situation in your own life, remember what the man asked Sarah, "Is anything to hard for God?" I know without a doubt Sarah would tell you, No! Nothing is to hard for God.

"And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Luke 18:27

Monday, May 4, 2009

Biblical Courtship

True Biblical Courtship is loving God with all your heart and He then gives you His pure love to share with someone. Infatuations is taking a little bit of your love from God and giving it to another - this is selfish love. ~ Author Unknown