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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blessings From the Scriptures

I use to read the Bible through one book at a time, but now I read at least two and I love it! It is so neat to see how often the scriptures repeat themselves throughout the Bible.

A few weeks ago while I was trying to memorize Psalms 95 an evangelist, who was preaching a revival at our church, used Heb. 3:7-11 in his sermon . . . scriptures that are practically identical to Psalms 95! Then today I saw it again. I was in Acts 2 and verse 35-36 said, "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes thy footstool." When I finished reading the chapter I turned to Psalms 110 to pick up where I left off. Verse 1 said, "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." It was amazing not just to see that the scriptures match, but that God had directed me to read both of these chapters in my daily Bible reading! I wasn't looking for a scripture to match what I was reading . . . it was just right there in front of me. How amazing is our God!

Friday, November 19, 2010

When you feel like you've blown it.

Ever feel like you've really blown it? You feel like you've done something that cannot be forgiven or that you are too ashamed to ask forgiveness for? Maybe we've all been there, but we don't have to let that destroy our relationship with God.

That's a little bit of what was expressed in an artical called, "Don't Hang Yourself . . . Hang Around." It was such an encouragement to me that I thought about re-writing it myself to share with y'all, but instead I'll just post the link here as well as print it for my files. I really encourage you to take the time to read this short artical if you are down and out.

Click here to read it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Perfectly Fall

Today is the kind of day that makes me want to stay under my quilts a few extra minutes. It's the perfect weather for reading my Bible next to a fireplace and talking to God in the quiet of the morning. It's just the kind of day that makes me want to cook chili and try a new (and delicious) homemade cappuccino recipe. The cool temperatures is perfect for cuddling next to the fire place to watch a movie with my family. . . while drinking that delicious cappuccino! And it only seems natural to bake a homemade pumpkin pie to enjoy durring this lovely fall season. Yes, today is just perfectly fall-ish!

Check back later for a pumpkin pie recipe . . .

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Even the Stars Praise God

Recently I read an article about scientist' discovery of "singing stars." The article, Astronomers Listen In to 'Red Giant Concert' explained that giant red stars are singing in space. Instantly my mind went to the scriptures that spoke of nature worshiping and even obeying God. It only took a few minutes of research to get me excited about this finding.

In Job 38:4-7 God says, (speaking to Job) "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.  Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"  Then in another passage the Psalmist says, "Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light."

Then God brought to mind where Jesus said in Luke 19: 40 "And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these [the disciples] should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

If the stones can cry out in worship to Christ, I'm sure the stars can. With all that said, isn't that so neat to know that the stars are sing praises to the only living God? It isn't the scientific findings that proves this in my mind, but it's neat to see that science lines up with the Bible, a source I  already know and believe is true. Praise ye the LORD!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bible Study on Music

When I went to camp last July God put impressed upon my heart to do a Bible study with my family, so I put this together and really enjoyed the time I spent with God alowing Him to teach me. It was amazing how easily it came and how well the scriptures fit together. Some scriptures God gave me through my daily Bible reading when I wasn't even looking for verses. I thought I would post it on my blog for anyone else to read. Just rememeber, it's writen in a study type so it may be different than my usual articles. Also take into consideration that it is also written to my family, whose convictions I am familiar with.

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I think all of us agree that God doesn’t want us to listen to worldly music like rock –n- roll, rap, country, and such. But could any of us show a scripture as to why we believe that? A few weeks ago I would have had a hard time doing that. So the purpose of this study isn’t just to go over why we believe it’s wrong to listen to worldly music, but mostly to go over scriptures that give us this belief. All of our convictions should come from the word of God, not just what we think is logically or theoretically correct. We can defend our belief based on our thoughts all day long, but it is much easier to convince other Christians this is right if we have scriptures to show them.

The first scripture I want to look at is Eph 5: 18-20. "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" I think it’s safe to say that country, rock, and rap music doesn’t fit in this verse because none of those are spiritual songs. In verse 18 Paul is talking about not being drunk with wine, but I believe the last part of the verse “but be filled with the Spirit” can be applied to all Christians regardless if they use to drink or not. (As well, there are also scriptures in Romans 8 that talk about walking after the Spirit and not after the flesh.) We see in the next verse that to be filled with the Spirit we should speak to ourselves in psalms and hymn and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord. Notice that this verse doesn’t say just on Sundays, or just when you’re at church. We should always seek to be filled with the spirit, which means we should always be singing to ourselves with spiritual songs. By listening to worldly music we are walking after the flesh because if feels good, but it doesn’t make the spirit stronger. If you feed the flesh once, it’s easier to feed it again, and before we know it we will be pleasing the flesh so much that our spirit will be weak.

Verse 20 talks more about this. "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" One of the ways we can give thanks always is to sing spiritual songs. Most of the worldly music doesn’t give thanks to God, but rather focuses on our self. Either on our broken heart, our lost boyfriend/girlfriend, or late night parties. None of that gives thanks to God.

Next I want to look at Proverbs 14:9. "Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour." There’s not much I want to say about this verse. Most of the worldly songs make sin seem okay. They talk about having affairs, getting drunk, and doing what feels good, which is fulfilling the flesh. Some worldly music also uses cuss words, which shows they have no fear of God. That’s another reason why we shouldn’t listen to that music because fools make a mock of sin.

Last week I was reading in Deu chapter 31. It was Moses’ last days on earth so God was giving Moses his last instructions that he was to carry out before he died. God reminded Moses of all that he had done for them: how he brought them out of Egypt, made the Red sea to part, and how he brought them into the land which he promised them. God said in verse 19, "Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel." Music is a great tool to help us remember things. Do you remember in Sunday school or Bible camp how we would learn Bible verses to tunes? God was using that same method to make the Israelites remember God’s faithfulness. On the flip side, do we want to constantly be reminded of the things of the world? Even if the song may seem harmless, we need to ask our self is it something that we want to fill our mind with instead of filling our mind with the things of God.

Psalms 40:3 "And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD." This reminds me of 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." Notice it says old things are passed away. When we get saved or when we dedicate our life to the LORD we should put away old things, everything that bound our heart to the world, or is able to sway us, remind us of the old days, we should leave that and replace it with the things of God. Along with this thought goes 1 Corinthians 10:31 "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." We should ask our self, “Can I sing this song to the glory of God?” and if the answer is “no” then we shouldn’t be listening to it.

Now let’s look at1 Thessalonians 5:23. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." We are the temple of God according to I Corinthians 6:19. We should try to keep our whole spirit, soul and body pure and clean, not even spotted by the world. I always try to picture Jesus sitting right there next to me. And I think, “Does Jesus want to listen to this music? Does Jesus want to watch this movie? Does Jesus want to go to this place?” Because he sees everything we do and listens to everything we let go into our ears.

When I was studying for this I found this quote by Susanna Wesley that I thought was very good. John Wesley was the one who founded the Methodist Movement along with his brother Charles Wesley. (Back in those days I’ve been told the Methodist believed the Bible more and really wasn’t very different from Baptist, but that’s just what I’ve been told.) When John Wesley was in college he wrote a letter to his Mother asking her to give him a clear description of sin. She wrote:” Take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures [which means to darken] your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.” {Susanna Wesley, mother of John Wesley}

Someone else said, “It doesn’t matter what something is rated, or how popular it is, or how seemingly innocent it appears. If it hardens your heart toward God, if it obscures your awareness of the ugliness of sin and the holiness of God, if it takes the edge off your spiritual hunger, then it’s sin.” The more worldly music you listen to the more apt you are to think that, “Oh, it’s not too bad. “ and then you’ll be listening to music that is just a little bit worse. And then you’ll think, “Well, that movie isn’t that sinful, and it’s just a short bad part.” And because you are feeding your mind with “innocent” music written by worldly people, sin doesn’t look as ugly anymore and God isn’t quite as precious.

Along with that I think of Hebrews 12:1. "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." It’s not always easy to keep our eyes on God, especially when we live in a very sinful world. So we need to stop listening to things that take our eyes off God. And that applies to everything in our life. For example, ever since I came back from camp I’ve stopped reading all the news headlines on Yahoo and Inbox while I’m on the internet because some of the news wasn’t very clean and even if it was, it’s all worldly. It may not be a sin to everyone to read the news headlines, but it was something that got my mind off of God, so I stopped looking at it. So even if the song is harmless, like the oldies that talk about romance and blue suede shoes, it still isn’t healthy to listen to it because it gets us thinking about things that don’t really matter. With as hard as it is at times to keep our focus on God, we should try everything to keep our minds on Serving Christ. And one of the ways we can do that is by listening to Christian music that reminds us of how good God is and everything he’s done for us.

The last verse I want to read is in Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." And that sums it up perfectly!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

National Holidays . . . (the fun ones)

Several years ago our grandparents gave us a calendar with all sorts of cool stuff kids would like. It was very colorful with all the "special" days marked, usually with a picture. There were symbols that marked the usual  ggrandparent's day and earth day, but what I really liked were the squares marked "National Ice-cream Day" or "National Denim Day". I've always thought they were so fun and interesting.

So you can imagine how happy I was to hear that September is National Piano Month! While I was at Yahoo checking my e-mail I saw a headline titled, "World's Most Expensive Piano". Out of my love for anything piano I had to check it out. It was a pretty cool video with some very interesting facts about the piano and those who played it.

To celebrate the month I thought I would post links to some of the posts on the piano I have written over the years. Happy National Piano Month!

God: The Giver of all Talents

Monday, September 6, 2010

My God

I've been studying myself lately. In fact, I've been studying myself to much. I've noticed that when I am the most discouraged it is usually if not always when I am focusing on myself. I get disheartened because I see my own selfishness, my many failures, my weaknesses, and all my other sins. I'll start to feel defeated because I don't measure up. But you know what? I have a God who is longsuffering. I have a God who delights in mercy. My God is a forgiving God, and not only does he forgive my sins but he forgets them. I serve a God who will never leave me nor forsake me. I can talk to the King of Glory, the King of old. I am able to have fellowship every day with the One who created this world and all that is in it.

I may not be good, but my God is holy and righteous. And that's what really matters.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Youth Camp: 4-week Perspective

Today I was looking again at the pictures I took at camp. I look at them over and over because I want to be reminded of the great time we had and all that took place. I want to get a glimpse of the great spirit that was there all week. Pure and innocent.

It's been four weeks since we got back from camp. The first two weeks I was doing really good; many teens in our youth group were excited about serving God and it kind of spilled over into the whole church for a time. We had zeal! I wanted to hold onto that excitement so bad because I guess in the back of my mind I knew it wouldn't last forever . . . but I wanted it to. I thought that if I read my Bible enough, prayed enough, and stayed away from wickedness as much as possible then I would be eager to serve God every day and I would always be filled with an abundance of love for Christ. And I tried to do just that.

But it didn't work.

Once I was back from camp I had to go back to work. That meant I heard cussing (thankfully, it's not very often), I saw immodest dress, I saw lots of attitude, I saw coldness towards anything Godly, I heard worldly music when I went into the grocery store and restaurants, I was tempted to turn the TV on, and I was encouraged to just do what feels right. I no longer went to church twice a day, I didn't listen to 3-4 sermons within 24 hours, I wasn't around many Christians, I wasn't in an atmosphere that shunned County music and cussing, I didn't have the chance to pray with 10-60 like minded Christians throughout the day, I wasn't in a place that encouraged girls to dress modest, and I wasn't constantly reminded to read my Bible and pray. I was no longer at Bible camp and it was evident!

The first day that I didn't feel like spending 30 minutes in prayer I was discouraged. Only two weeks and already I'm slacking? But then I started thinking about an illustration a preacher once gave. Did you know that before the flood there was a canopy of water that surrounded the earth? This canopy would shield off any harmful radiation that came from outer space. This meant that people would live much longer. This makes sense when you realize that Adam lived to be 930 years old and Methuselah lived 969 years, yet after the flood the age expectancy dropped dramatically. It is also believed that plants also thrived and grew much larger and stronger all because of the environment they were in.

That's kind of how I think of camp verses the world we live in every day. At camp we are shielded from as much wickedness as possible. No TV, no secular music, no immodest dress, etc. Because we are not exposed to those sinful attractions we are free to live for God to the greatest extent. Christians should thrive in that kind of atmosphere. But once that shield is broken we have to live in a totally different atmosphere that effects every part of our lives.

But this doesn't mean that we should give into the struggles of this world and live for Christ half-heartedly. It just means that we have to try harder. Christian living isn't being given to us like it was at camp so we have to get it our self.  It isn't as easy, but it can be done. We may not be as excited, but we still need to serve God with everything that we have. We have to read our Bible and pray when we don't feel like it, we have to make our self smile when we're singing at church, and we have to go out of our way to seek what God wants us to do.

And as always . . . be reminded of the good days at camp.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Giving the Glory for Answered Prayers

Answered prayers very rarely come in the shape and form I expect them to be. Sometime I wonder if they ever turn out as I think they will. There are times when the answered prayer is greater than I could have imagined, other times I find myself thinking, "God, couldn't you have found a better way to make it happen?"

But the important thing is that God does answer our prayers. One of my favorite verses speaks of this: "I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live." Psalms 116:1-2 When God answers my prayers it makes me want to pray even more! It makes me want to give God the glory He deserves, which reminds me of a verse I was reading the other day which said, "Be thou exalted, O God, above the havens: let they glory be above all the earth." Psalms 57:11 That is a lot of glory! If I were to give Him all the glory due to him I wouldn't have time to speak of anything else. "Let thy glory be above all the earth."

Over the past several months I have seen many of my prayers answered. Some were desires that I didn't have the faith to pray for, others were specific request that I asked God to meet. Both were amazing.

A little over a year ago I stated e-mailing a girl named Katie who lives in Pennsylvania. Through the 100+ e-mails we have been encouraged through each others battles and victories and have been able to see each other grow in the Lord as we grew closer together. Ever since last October I have been planning on going to meet her and her family for the first time while they were in North Carolina on vacation. At first I was really excited, but as the time got closer I began to get nervous about driving so far with only my little sister in the car to "protect" me should disaster come. I told Katie about this and she assured me it would be okay if I didn't come, but I really wanted to meet her. I was torn between two decisions.

So I did what I've been taught to do all my life but seldom put to practice. I put it in God's hands. I believe that is the key to prayer: telling God what I need and trusting Him to supply it as He sees fit. If I were to continue to search for an answer myself or try to fix a problem on my own after I have prayed about it, I haven't really given God the chance to answer my prayer. So I didn't do that this time. I left everything up to God.

A few weeks later I heard that our church was going to Bible camp in Pennsylvania. Now honestly, my first thought wasn't "Oh, I can meet Katie while I'm there!" No, I thought the same thing that most girls of my status would. "Hmm, maybe I'll meet a nice young man up there!" Followed by, "Lord please forgive me for my vain thoughts, I know you'll send me a man right when I'm not expecting it." ☺I didn't say that I trust God all the time, now did I?

I felt God impressing on my heart to go to this camp. Without God's "nudging" I probably wouldn't have left my job for a whole week based on my own wants especially when I didn't even know if my younger sibling were going. But since I felt Got telling me it was okay to go, I signed up right away. It wasn't until the next day that I realized Katie and I might be able to meet. In a few short days we had the place and time picked and we were counting down the days!

Here's the great part: Not only did I get to spend 2 wonderful hours with Katie in Pennsylvania, but I also got to go to the most amazing Bible camp with my siblings and church family and experience God's presence in a whole new way and watch Him move in so many people's lives. I prayed for a way to meet Katie without having to travel by myself and I ended up spending a whole week going to church twice a day and falling even deeper in love with my Savior right there with my brothers and sisters who were doing the same thing!Later I found out that Katie and her family are no longer going to take vacation in North Carolina, so if God hadn't worked it out for me to go to camp I might not have met her at all this year. I expected God to give me only what I had prayed for and he more than tripled the blessing! My expectation was so low, yet he proved to me that He does answer my prayers and in a way that I could never have planned myself.

So now we're home from camp and energized more than ever! All the youth in our church are eager to see God move and God is doing just that. So Bethany and I decided to start having a Bible study once a week at home. But even in the midst of all the excitement, having that study time doesn't always look easy. We've had a three day revival last week, my room is in serious need of dusting, we were invited to a game night at a friends house, and I still haven't written in my journal about the week of camp. So this morning as I walked out the door on the way to work I whispered, "LORD, please help me find time to prepare for Bible study." Once I was at my desk answering phones, typing as fast as I could, and helping my co-workers find emergency room charts, I didn't give my hurried prayer any thought. Then mama called. None of my brothers and sisters wanted to go to our friends house for game night so mama and daddy were the only ones going and since the game we all love to play requires an even number of people, I wouldn't be able to join the fun. I was disheartened. I wanted to go, but under the circumstances the only thing I would be able to do is sit there and watch. So I said I would stay home with my brothers and sisters and let the adults have a fun night.

Then God so gently reminded me of my prayer for time. What better time to study than when mama and daddy are away and my brothers and sisters are watching a moving with brownies and ice-cream? Yes, I wanted to play games with our friends but obviously God thought I needed to stay home and study. After all, I did pray for it.

Even though that is not the way I wanted God to give me more time He should still receive the glory for answering another one of my prayers. And if he chooses to answer another (like I know He will) I will give him the glory for that one too no matter what the outcome is. For if He is to be glorified above all the earth I still have a lot of  praising to do, but plenty to praise Him for!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

God is Good!

Why is God so good?

Because he let me, my brothers and sisters and church family have an amazing week of Bible camp

He spoke to my heart in great ways

I've got to see my brothers and sisters grow in the Lord

A friend of mine got some much needed help

He lead many Christian conversations

He saved our friend in the car while we were on the way home

He lead a friend of mine to rededicate herself to the Lord

He let me meet Katie who I've been e-mailing for a year

He kept us safe

He gave us joy

He brought us closer together

He gave us zeal to serve Christ

He has blessed us beyond anything we could ever deserve

For this, God is good!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's All by Chance. . . God's Chance

The Bible is such an interesting book. Some books are written in a graceful poetic style while others bear details of astonishing wars. Some give instruction, others encouragement. Some are exciting to read . . . and some are less interesting to those who do not appreciate details. One of the things they have in common is all of them are important.

Think about this verse. "I returned, and saw under  the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." Ecc. 9:11. Read it again, but slower. This revelation, written by Solomon, strikes me as very interesting. The more I think about it the more it makes sense.

It is easy for the swift to run the race, for the strong to fight the battle, for the wise to obtain bread, for the understanding to find riches, and it is expected of the skilled to receive favour. But what if the lame were to win the race? What would people think if the weak won the battle? Who would understand if the unlearned were to obtain bread, and the ignorant to find riches? What if the untrained received the favour? That would be supernatural, something that only God could do. When that happens we can't claim all the glory because it was not done through our own strength, but through God's strength.

The end of this verse says, "but time and chance happeneth to them all." If God wants us to do something great or have great things - weather it be a ministry, a nice house, or an outgoing personality- it will happen. There is no need for us to strive after something that was never meant to be ours. So often we stress and worry ourselves because we are not what we think we should be, when maybe that's not what God wants for our individual life. Like the Psalmist said, "Be still and know that I am God." If we will slow down and meditate on God then we will see that He is able to bring whatever He wants in our lives.

But this is no excuse to sit back and watch God work. The verse before says "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." We should all work hard, but don't get discouraged when the things we want don't come about. God is in control, "time and chance happeneth to them all."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The God Who Lives Inside Me and Balance

Lately God has been showing me a lot of things. Some through scripture, through a book, my mom, and my pastor. I don't really know how to express these things, but I have a desire to share what God has been teaching me, so I'll just try to summarize everything the best way I can.

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Tonight's scripture that jumped out at me, while my pastor was preaching, was Romans 8:6. "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." So many times I dwell on selfish, worldly thoughts because I think that those are the thoughts that make me happy. But this verse clearly says that spiritual thoughts bring life and peace, something that I look for just like most other Christians.

Last night I was reading a book called "The Pursuit of God" by A. W. Tozer. He talked about the temple and more specifically, the place called The Presence of God that was separated by a veil. A. W. Tozer elaborated on how great an experience it was for the priest to go into that place once a year. That very veil that separated us from the Presence of God was rent the day of Christ' crucifixion. Now  have the privilege to spend time in the presence of God every day. Even more, He lives inside of me! The greatest, most powerful, all knowing, prince of peace, maker of all that ever was and ever will be, the wonderful savior, the beginning and the end, lives inside of me!

He wrote, "Love and mercy and righteousness are His, and holiness so ineffable that no comparison or figures will avail to express it. Only fire can give even a remote conception of it." Think about it. God appeared unto Moses as a burning bush, he lead them through the wilderness as a pillar of fire, "the fire between the wings of the cherubim in the holy place was called the 'shekinah' the Presence," in the New Testament God filled the place at Pentecost as a fiery flame, and in Revelation John says "his eyes were as a flame of fire." I had never heard those illustrations put together in such a way. I thought that was really amazing!

Lastly, I'm trying to learn how to balance my family life and church life with my work life. I know that I've been putting too much emphasis on my job because I truly feel like they need me so I want to be there. But I need to learn to do everything that is required of me to the best of my ability AND NO MORE. God did not call me to be the best medical coder in all of Georgia or the employee of the year. He called me to be a happy sister who is there for her brothers and sisters, a loving daughter who is there to help and spend time with her parents, and a faithful church member who is not too busy to cook for church dinners and sing for the sick and dying. I know easing up on my "career" is the right thing to do, which will not be easy. But with God's guidance I will learn how to balance it all in a way that is pleasing to God and still satisfactory to my employers as well. The main goal is to please God because when this life on earth is over, it will not matter how many awards I receive for being a great medical coder. God wants to see me live a life that will glorify Himself. And that's what I want to strive towards.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Unfinished Work

After I posted that I was going to stop blogging I started praying about it again. The fact is, I don't have peace about closing my blog. Even thought I may think that I have better things to spend my time on than writing a post here and there for just a handfull of people to read, God obviously thinks otherwise. I realized that if I don't have a firm place to publish my articals and occasional poems and fiction, I wouldn't write as much.

So I am going to leave my blog up, but with a different format. I have added a page where I have my articals indexed by topic. This way when someone comes to my blog they will be able to read on things they are interested in and not have to weed through all my blog posts. Along with this I won't be posting as often, only as the Lord leads.

I might make more changes so that it is more organized and more of what I want. I guess I'm leaning more towards a website feel with the blog being a bonus. So come back to see what's changing. And please comment and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amazing Song

The other day while I was looking for a new way to play "Come Thou Fount" I came across this really amazing you tube video. While I listened and watched it I could feel the holy spirit moving in their praise. The whole video seems so holy and genuine. I don't know if I've ever seen anything like it! This one is worth passing along.

"Come Thou Fount"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Something Else to Do

It was Chirstmas time and I felt overwhelmed. I had so many people to buy for, gifts to make, gifts to wrap, parties to go to and food to cook for those parties, along with everything else that goes on in life. I was ready for things to slow down.

Shortly after Christmas it was time to get Relay for Life fundraisers going. That meant brownies to bake for the bakesales, flyers to print for advertisement, carnivals to help organize, more baking to do, and lot of meetings to attend.

While in the middle of raising money for the Cancer Society a lady I work with was about to retire and I was volunteered to compile a scrapbook for her, a service that I hated to turn down. So things got even busier.

Now all of those activities are over and my life has calmed down to a slower pace . . . but not for long. The garden is already requiring some attention and before long we will be picking green beans, freezing corn, and canning tomatoes. A revival in our area is coming  up, I'm going on a 4 day trip out of town, and there is always studying to do.

I'm starting to see that life never slows down, really. Once it gets going it doesn't like to stop. I realize I'm not even close to being as busy as some people are, but for the place and time I am in life right now, this is busy.

I'm also starting to see that it's good to stay busy. When I'm busy I get more everyday things done and I'm more likely to be content with my life. When I don't have much to do I dread doing chores and I have more time to think about the negative things in my life. I also become a little selfish since I have more time to do things for myself.

So that is why I am looking forward to the projects that lie ahead and finding things to do now.

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." Proverbs 6:6-8

Friday, May 7, 2010

Desires Fulfilled

This week I've learned the difference between having my desires fulfilled and having my prayers answered. God gave me something I really wanted, (concerning work and education) but I never thought it was within my reach, so I didn't expect it. I didn't pray for it, but God knew I wanted it and he, in His infinite power, made a way. He gave me something very special to me even though I didn't ask for it.

Then God made a perfect situation seem even more wonderful. His blessings kept coming until I knew beyond a shadow of a dout that this is from God. Everything is too amazing to be coincidence. God has opened this door for me and all I have to do is walk through it. I feel loved!

"Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy ways unto the LORD; trust in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalms 37:4-5

"The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips." Psalms 21: 1-2

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Psalms 29

I'm thankful for Psalms 29. The past two days I've been slowly reading it, meditating on the meaning of the verses. "Give unto the LORD the glory due to his name;" How often do we do that? I don't think it counts when we say in prayer, "may all we do be o the glory of God." and I don't think it counts when we sing Glory to His Name writen by Elisha A. Hoffman.

When we look at a beautiful sunset do we simply praise it's beauty, or do we take the opportunity to praise the maker. When we have an answered prayer, do we go to work and tell our friends of the great thing that happend as if it was by chance, or do we tell them that we've been praying about this for a long time and our God brought it to pass? Doesn't the glory belong to God? Isn't the scripture telling us to give that glory to Him?

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mgihty, give unto the LORD glory and strenth." vs 1.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another Picture Shoot

While we were on vacation over the weekend my sisters and I couldn't resist the chance to have a photo shoot in a very pretty setting. The grass was a rich green, the cobblestone streets so quaint, the fountain so refreshing, and the houses full of southern beauty and elogence. We were so happy with the way the pictures turned out. With the help of Behtnay, Daddy made a pretty good photographer! Here's just a few we took. . .

Monday, May 3, 2010

Amusement from Mistakes (my mistakes)

Okay, today I was a little stressed. It wasn't because I had to stay late at work, nor was it because of the extensive report that had my mind in overdrive for over 2 hours. For some reason I wasn't stressed because I had to go to a baby shower even though I haven't been home very much lately, and I wasn't stressing out over not eating supper with my family. . . something I hate to miss. I was fine with all those things.

I just wasn't lining up.

Lining up with what? With others standard of a good person? With my mom's standard of a good young lady? With my own standard of a good Christian? I think it was a combination of all three! ☺ (Not that my mom puts me under pressure, but you know how it is. Everyone wants to be like their mom!)

So as I frantically looked through my nightstand for my daily Bible reading record (you know, the whole guilt thing making me think I wasn't reading enough) I stumbled across a sheet of paper with some words jotted down. For some reason I thought it was a good idea to write down some of the mistakes I made when I was giving piano lessons. That is, when I was giving piano lessons at age 15 to four children, two of which were very energetic. Boy did I think I knew it all! Now I don't think I would be so brave to tackle such an undertaking! But back to the notes. I wrote down some of the things I told my students. Things like, "Play your thumb with your 1st finger." Hugh? I told one student to "count to 4" not just one time, but four times in a row! Lastly, I (the teacher) counted to 4 when I was only suppose to count to 2. My, my. What a good teacher I was!

Now I don't feel quite so bad. I found some mistakes that I can laugh about, because everyone makes mistakes!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We Three

I love spending time with my sisters! I don't always spend as much time with them as I should, but I always have fun when I do.

We sing together . . . (espcially in the car!)
We shop together . . .

We play games with each other . . .

and of course, take pictures together! Oh, and did I mention we like to match?

To see more photos visit Bethany's blog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A New Recipe

Saturday I cooked a new meal for the family. I found the recipe in the Taste of Home magazine about a month ago but I just now got around to cooking it. The picture is what caught my attention, not the actual ingredients. The whole time I was in the kitchen I was so afraid we wouldn't like it because the ingredients aren't ones we generally use, but we all enjoyed it. It was a very pleasant surpise. I did make a few alterations which I'll type in green.

Black Bean Pork Burritos

3/4 cup thawed limeade concentrate 1/2 cup if you don't want a strong lime flavor
1 tablespoon salt, divided
1- 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 pound boneless pork loin cut into thin strips
2 cups chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded nd chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
2 cups 8 ouces shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
6 flour tortillas (10 inches), warmed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinced and drained

1. In a large resealable plastick bag, combine the limeade concentrate, oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; add pork. Seal the bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. (I only let it marinade for 10-15 minutes.)

2. For salsa, in a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, green pepper, onion, 1/4 cup cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic powder and remaining salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, cook rice according to the package directions. Stir in the remaining cilantro; keep warm. Drain and discard marinade. In a large nonstick skillet saute pork for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain.

4. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese off-centered on each tortilla. Layer each with about 1/2 cup rice mixture and 1/4 cup black beans. Fold sides and ends over filling. Serve with remaining salsa.


The directions didn't say to cook the black beans but I did anyways because I can't imagine eating hard beans! I made my mama's home made tortillas like always. We also ate ours with tacco sause and hot sause. I love meals like this, the kind of meal that you can make your own. It would be so easy to change the meat, exchange the black beans for re-fried beans, or eat it without the rice.

As we say at our house . . . this recipe is a keeper!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pictures Galore!

Over the past few weeks I've been steadily woring on a project for a lady who is retiring next week. That something is a scrapbook. I've never made one before, but I've got a lot of help so I think it will turn out great. At times it has been a little stressfull since I have to have it done by a certain date, but tonight I'm feeling good because I can finally see it coming together.

It makes me feel good to do something like this for someone else especially when I know she will really appreciate it. It not only keeps my hands busy and  pushes me learn something new, but also makes me think of others. All of these things makes the single years a little easier and more enjoyable. It's things like these that I want to take advantage of while I have the time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Your Habits Say More Then You Think

Over the past few days I've started to realize that the way people act every day doing the mundain things of life, also reflects how they act in their spiritual life. Just like those who procrastinate when completing a project for work they also procrastinate in areas like repenting or giving up a bad and sinful habit. If a person tends to hit the snooze button too many times trying to get a few more minutes of much enjoyed sleep, they most likely hit the snooze button when it comes to speaking up for Christ.

In contrast, those who rise early everymorning eager to get everything done on their "to do" list, also makes it a priority to seek Him early as the Bible commands (Pro. 8:17). People like my mother who deny themselves of things they enjoy because they know it is good for them, also deny themselves of the pleasure of giving into the flesh.

For a long time now I've known that I need to drink more water. It's not that I don't like water, but that I'm just not thirsty. From the time I was a little girl I've never taken in much liquid. I just couldn't make myself see the purpose of drinking if I wasn't thirsty  . . .  unless, of course, there was Kool-Aid in the refrigerator. But this week I finally decided that I was going to start drinking a healthy amount of water. There are so many bennefits that comes with it like, sinus relief, energy boost, detoxination, and I've read it even lessens muscle cramps and sprains. So I've started out by drinking at least 64 ounces a day. It may not be as much as I need, but it is way more then I use to drink! Now I am drinking water from the time I get up in the morning till about two hours before I go to bed. At first it comes as a habit, but after a while I began to crave the water.

But wait, did you think I was changing the subject? Let's look at how we can compare this to our spiritual life. I'm drinking water because I know it will improve my health. I know that if I spend more time with God my spiritual life will be healthier, but do I do it? Saddly, not like I should. Just like I've been drinking water by the hour, I should be seeking God by the hour. A chapter of the Bible here, a verse to think about there, a prayer to God in the morning, a meditation on his goodness in the after noon . . . and before I know it I will be thirsty for more of God. Just like my body will become healthier, so will my spiritual life.

I believe my health is worth the effort I'm putting into it, but isn't my walk with God even more important? Most definately!

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What to do When You Don't Know What to Say

Have you ever had a friend or family member go through a hard time in life? I mean, something life changing. I've often found mysef in this sittuation. In times like these it's hard to know what to say. I so baddly want to encourage them and help uplift their spirit, but what do I say? I don't know the pain they're going through and I don't know how this is going to effecting their life forever. How can I really offer encouragement in such a circumstance?

So I went to the book of Job. Everyone knows that Job went through more and lost more then we could ever imagine. But God turned my attention to his friends istead of the one who was suffering. Now truly, his friends were great indeed just for the fact that they sat and mouned with him for seven days. How many of us would do that for our friends? I believe that Job's friends really wanted to help him. They were probably very close to him and hated to see their friend so discouraged and depressed. But their encouragement and advise was full of falsehood. Even Job's counsel was wrong because God said to Job, "Whis is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?"

Now we all know that each sittuation of suffering is different, but we can all learn something from this story. What I learned was that sometimes it is better to say nothing than to speak void words. I don't want to be like Job's friends and cause them more pain by my untimely words. If God wants us to say something He will give us the words to say and make them very clear. But there are times when the best thing we can do is just love our friends and family and let them know we are there for them.

"Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:2

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lessons From Ecclesiastes

Lately as I've been walking through life I've felt like there is so much I'm trying to figure out. There are a lot of things about the work field, politics, current events, and life in general that I want to know about. I guess I can accredit that to my young age and youthful curiosity.

However, I'm constantly being reminded to "love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." So I thought thes would be a great time to read Ecclesiastes, the book full of reasonings about life. What better time then this to learn how to balance my life so that it is pleasing to God? (Pro. 11.1)

When I read Ec 1.18 I was very puzzled. "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knwledge increaseth sorrow." What?! Doesn't the Bible tell us to seek after wisdom as choice silver and to get knowledge  so that we will have understandin? Tese verses seemed to contradict each other, something I know the Bible is not capable of doing.

After I recived no answer I forgot about the verse and went on wit hmy life. On the way to work I listened to the radio, eager to learn more about this new health bill, but I also heard about abortion rights and a man facing murder charges. At work the topic of the week ahs been nothing other than the infamous health bill. Later on in my day I was informed more deeply about electronic medical records. Over and over I saw how communication between co-workers, doctor to doctor, and even patient to doctor is slipping away. Basically, what you can't do for yourself, the computer will do for you. No direct human contact needed, in some cases.

By this point I'm starting to feel a little down. But I still tuned in to the local radio station only to hear about trouble in the schools and a down sliding economy. When I got home I realized that too much news is really bad for me. All of a sudden I couldn't stand the sound of the world news playing in the next room. All negative, no possative. Every minute of it was a reminder of how quickly our nation is deteriating into a weak group of people void of the fear of God.

It was then that God gently brought my mind back to that verse. "For in much wisdom is much greif: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." Could it be that Solomon was writing about worldly wisdom and worldly knowledge?

When we become "world smart" and aware of what is going on in this wicked world, it can cause greif and sorrow. If we put too much emphasis on learning more about this world (even though it may seem inocent) our vision is turned from God to something corruptable. I can see why Paul tells us to think on good things. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

I've decided that I'm not going to stay up to date on the news, I'm not going to stress over the health care indistry, and I'm not going to frett over being unknowledgeable about a lot of things. It's not worth it. Those things are going to vanish. I'm going to set my mind on things eternal, things that really matter. I'm going to set my mind on God!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Written in August of 2009

Miserable unhappy,
Lost and confused,
Trying to keep,
Myself amused.

Doing what I please,
Going where I will,
Thinking of myself,
Trying to have zeal.

My conscience prodding,
Constantly at me,
I knew this way,
Was not all glee.

Yet I still ran,
Going astray,
But my loving God,
Would not go away.

Slowly I realized,
A Christian am I,
I must serve God,
For me He did buy.

Unhappy with rules,
Still I know,
By living right,
Fruits will show.

Turning back to God,
Forgiveness I seek,
I need His strength,
For I am weak.

Day by day,
I have a choice,
Listen to God,
Or my inner voice.

By this experience,
I now know,
What to expect,
If back I go.

Miserable unhappy,
Lost and confused,
That is my life,
When Christ I abuse.

So I’ll stay,
Close by His side,
For after all,
He is a great guide!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things That Make Me Smile

Today I'm thankful for . . .
♥ A God who forgives
♥ A mom to remind me to take the sheets off the bed and not to forget my lunch
♥ Co-workers who make me laugh even in the middle of the stress
♥ Songs that uplift
♥ A sister who says, "I'll do the dishes tonight"
♥ Clean sheets
♥ An organized room
♥ Warm weather (I didn't think it would ever come!)
♥ And long days to enjoy it all!

What made you smile today?