Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Festival Day

Our first morning in my hometown (we came for a family reunion). This is the fog that set in over the Christmas Tree Farm. I sat out on the back porch and drank my morning coffee (55 degrees that morning).

Picture of Angel Baby...don't know who took it but I thought it was pretty cute!

Waiting for the parade to start down at my dad's house. My sis was there with her two girls so there were 8 cousins all together that morning.

The 'rival' band from a neighboring town. They do all sorts of cool moves as they play and walk down the street!

The band from my high school- it's looking pretty small this year...

"Mom! I think they're throwing candy out of that car!!!!!"

The candy scramble...

I thought our southern friends would enjoy this pic. It's a 'cheese-head' driving through the parade on a 4 wheeler.

And the parade is always ended with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus... after all, it's called The Christmas Tree Festival!

After the parade we walked around to the various booths to see all the crafts. The kids all found various little treasures to bring home with them. There was lots of family around (this was also our reunion day) so we got in lots of visiting, eating and LAUGHING! Believe it or not the weather was great this year. Most times it's cold and rainy. We escaped the rain and it was pretty warm... thank goodness!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


What does the word mean to you? When I used to hear the word persecution I would think of foreign countries where the Christians are fighting to preach the Gospel. I think of people smuggling in bibles, people having bible studies underground with meer pages of a bible, people loving and living for the Lord no matter what their circumstances.

Here in America we are free to believe in God, talk about God, live for God and raise our children the way we want to raise them. We are free to stand in Walmart and talk to someone about the Lord, we are free to share the Gospel in a parking lot or anywhere we please. But, as Christians, do we? Do we take advantage of these freedoms? Or do we take them for granted and stay in a comfort zone and let someone else take the persecution or rejection for us? Do we let someone else walk through fire to try and further the Kingdom of God? What does God call us to do?

Persecution is persecution and it takes on many forms. Have you ever been persecuted for something? How have you responded? Most likely you haven't gone to jail for sharing the Gospel, most likely you haven't had your family ripped away from you for loving and living the way God has asked you too, most likely you haven't REALLY relied on the Lord for everything. Think about that for a second... what would you do in the case of Job? How would you respond in such a situation even close to what happened to him? He lost everything material (all his riches), he lost his family (that would be worse than any material possession!) and he lost his health to the point of living in absolute misery- no matter what he still loved the Lord and would not curse the Lord. Can we say the same about ourselves? Hard questions... I can only pray for half the strength and fight he had.

God gave me a strong spirit- especially the spirit to fight. Not aggressive fighting, not physical fighting...but a spirit to endure. No matter what gets thrown at me, I always respond by fighting my way back...no matter how far I get knocked down. I guess I'm like a boxer who never gets totally knocked out....I always have the strength to get up again- the fight is never over. And it shouldn't be- my strength comes from the Lord and sometimes that's all I've got. But, I continue to have that still, small voice that tells me to stand firm in the storm and to hang on. And I do, I hang on for all I'm worth. Even when I'm on the edge and praying for the strength to hang on just one more moment.... I thank God for that spirit of endurance.

So, today my gratitude journal reads, "Today I am grateful for the strength to endure."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The favor of God

Recently, we've been going through yet another trial. But, I've been trying to keep an 'outsider's view' on it- realizing that we are indeed receiving favor from God. We are still walking through this specific valley, and it may be awhile before we come out on the other side- BUT, God is showing us His faithfulness. Sometimes it's hard to see/rise above our own issues or problems. It's so easy to get caught up in the stress of our lives and let our problems overtake us. But, if we can remember to praise God in the midst of our storm- He promises to reach down and pull us out of the pit we're in!

Exodus 3:8, "So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey..." **When God came down to deliver the children of Israel, He 'came down' to them. He came right down to where they were suffering and made bare His mighty right arm on their behalf. God will also 'come down' to you, into the midst of your life, your home, and your circumstances. YES...He will come down to you, right where you are. He will manifest Himself to you. He wants to fill you and your home with His presence and His glory!

I wrote a post once about keeping a gratitude journal- an account of things you are grateful for. I've gotten away from that and I think it's time I get back to keeping a journal. I let the busyness of life get in the way and keep me from jotting down a few notes every day. Whether I write something I am grateful for, every day, or answered prayers or how I'm seeing God's favor in our life- I think it's just another great testimony to how God is ALWAYS faithful. It proves to be such a blessing to be able to look back and see how God has come to me personally in my good and not-so-good days.

So, how about you? Do you keep any kind of a journal? If not, I encourage you to jot down a few notes every day. It can be something you're grateful for (I remember one time being grateful for peanut butter and thanking God for making the peanut- HA!), something you've prayed for (and maybe received an answer for), etc. In the past I've even jotted down a single scripture that went along with what I was dealing with that day. I'm starting on my journal today, I'll be writing down how God is showing us His favor at this time in our trial. A scripture that goes along with our situation right now is Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD." There may be a weapon 'formed' but it will not prosper, praise the Lord!

Be strong in the Lord, put on your armor (Ephesians 6: 10-18) and have a great day!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Climb

Ok...so we have a 'tween' girl around here and she LOVES Hanna Montana! While she was watching the new Hanna Montana movie, I heard Miley Cyrus sing this song... it was awesome! You all know I love songs and that they really speak to me... if you haven't heard it, enjoy! Have a blessed Sunday!