Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little taste of Christmas

Debbie's cousin, Julie, got the boys these suckers this past weekend. They've been waiting patiently for a day to rip them open ever since. After opening them they were so excited and tasting each others. I tell them all the time to share, how could I tell them, "Ew, stop!" I asked how they liked them and Johnny says, "I like Joel's best." Joel says he loves his, too. And Justin told me his tastes like Christmas. I guess it reminded him of a candy cane.

I thought they would make a sticky mess, but they did not! They ate them so fast there was no time for a mess to be made. Now the sticks are their swords.

We've been studying memory verses out of this book: Sword Fighting by Karyn Henley. So I said, "Boys! Give me a verse that you've learned." Joel immediately shouts out, "God made the animals." of course that's the one he would tell me. They've been working on it all year in his PDO class. Justin chimed in with "I've hidden your words in my heart that I might not sin against you." Well, I put the actual verse, but he said it almost verbatim. I didn't know he knew the whole verse...go Justin!

Last but not least Johnny says, "I can tell you one, but I really want to hear that one Bro. Ronald told me about salvation. I love their hungry and eager little hearts! So, here it is:

"If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How much is too much?

I think by piling toys on top of toys we aren't doing our children a service. Yes it's fun to give them things and watch their faces light up. But what are we teaching them? To love worldly possessions..? a few toys just isn't enough..? They can appreciate them to the moon and back, and I hope they do!, but I want to teach them something more. Everything we do or teach them should have an eternal purpose.

We live in a me, me, me world; it's not normal to give sacrificially. We think we can't give this or that or money or our time ('that's my family time'). I think family time is an important part of life! But more importantly is giving to God.

I want to teach my children to have compassion for those less fortunate than we are, the way Jesus did. God wants us to sacrifice and give sacrificially. Whether that's giving money (that's not ours anyway), to give toys away (that God provided us the money for, so they're not really ours), or maybe it's just giving Him our time; feeding the homeless, visiting people at the nursing home, taking someone a meal....whatever it may be. God will put people in our lives to give to- if we are willing.

I'm not saying you have to give everything you own, or give your grocery money. I don't think God means for you to do without food, but maybe that last pizza we bought- we shouldn't have. Maybe that money, God wanted us to put in the plate for missions, or maybe there is someone you should have given it to. And I'm not saying He wants you to give every extra penny you have either. I'm just trying to be in tune with what God wants me to give. There was a lady in front of me at Walmart yesterday checking out, when it came time to pay she was frantic looking in her purse for her wallet and couldn't find it. I asked her if I could pay for it; I could tell she didn't like the idea and was embarrassed, but a little relieved, I think. As I started for my purse, she found her check book. Even though I didn't pay for her stuff, and even though it was only $11- I think God was using that as a teachable moment for me; To see if I would be obedient. Just the same way we do to teach our children.

I've said this in my last several blogs, and it's becoming my favorite quote:
Jesus' character set the standard!
We have to be intentional- it's hard to live according to God's word; we have to make a plan to make his goals our goals!

I'll leave you with this- in Hebrews 12:11 God's promise says, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields a peaceful fruit of righteousness."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jesus' character set the standard

I've been studying Luke 9:57-62 for some time now. Pondering it, really. I wrote this to a cousin today, and wanted to share my thought and what I finally came to realize today with you guys, too.

To me this passage is talking about being a disciple- a good follower of Jesus. He came to earth and set the standard for us. We are to love people (no matter their sin) as he loved them. Jesus didn't condemn anyone; he certainly 'did not come to destroy lives, but to save them.' vs:56

People (me included) forget our roll as a disciple. Jesus only held those accountable that followed him- like His disciples. To everyone else, He taught them about the good news. I forget that not everyone is where I am, and sometimes I need to use things as teachable moments. I'm not supposed to hold someone accountable if they're not a believer already. I mean, why wouldn't they think I'm condemning them? Even if I have the best intentions, if I'm not teaching them, then more than likely I'm turning them off. And God will hold me accountable for that.

Verses 59-61 talks about these men, who want to follow Jesus. And Jesus said then, "Follow me." Then, they wanted to go do what they wanted, or things they thought they needed to do first. That's exactly what we do to Him everyday. We put God in this little box and pick and choose what we want to do. Not allowing and trusting Him wholeheartedly. I know I'm guilty of this.

Then Jesus came back in vs 62 and said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Which to me says, "Stop putting me in this box and live for me. Don't just say you want to."

It never occurred to me until this moment, not quite like this, that I have always had God in a box. What if I let Him out, to really follow Him without turning back? What would my life look like then? I want to give God my whole heart life service, not just lip service!

It's amazing to me, that I'm still amazed by God's wonderful power and how he works. Both bible studies I'm in, Sunday School, the pastors sermons- even though none of them have talked about Luke 9:57-62 everything they've taught me keeps bringing me back here. I wish I could tell you exactly how the puzzle came together for this blog post, but I'm not even quite sure of it myself. It's been over the course of [probably] two or three months, but today it finally came together for me.

God is alive and well!! And I hope to feed your soul. Well, not me really, I'm just the messenger!

Just a warning: We are going camping tomorrow and your email boxes will probably be bombarded with pictures of my sweeties.... Have a great weekend! I know we will!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Turn passion into life service!

I think God gives us desires and it's up to us to seek if it's from Him, or if it's ourselves wanting it to be more. I have several things on my heart and not sure what that next step is, or if it's the right time. So, I've been praying about them- some for a year, others for months, and a few for weeks.

One example [of many] is a calling to elderly people. I have a heart for the elderly, and never knew what to do with it. I have been praying for months for God to help me realize what I'm supposed to do, that he would open doors, and that I would be obedient (or feel convicted until I did it). I started going with the Senior Adult Choir to sing at the nursing homes...double (triple really) whammy, right? Wrong! I love to sing (passion/gift from God), Senior Adults (passion from God), plus it's going to nursing homes (passion from God). So why do I feel he's calling me to do more?? OK God, what am I supposed to do here? You said to help with the elderly, so why am I still feeling I'm not fulfilling Your desire here?

I'm doing a Beth Moore bible study and one thing she wrote and has really stuck with me this past week was, "Free Christ to be your custom builder. Let Him tell you how He wants your house to look instead of the other way around," this next part really imprinted on my heart, "He alone has the blueprint." God spoke to my heart and told me He wants life service, not lip service. If I'm going to reach out and win souls for His Kingdom, first I have to get my heart right. It's right then that it became so clear. I need to do more for elderly people. Singing to them is great, and I will continue to because it gives ME joy. I've been feeling like I should volunteer at the nursing home for a few weeks now, but I kept saying to myself, "No, I don't have time. I have boys to raise, a house to clean, laundry to be washed and put away, it will cut into my bible study time, and so on...." Sunday during Sunday School there is a nurses aid that asked for prayers because they are short handed at the nursing homes...right here in Grand Saline. It hit me again that I needed to volunteer. And immediately I asked this woman what I would need to do to volunteer. After talking to her, though, here come all of my thoughts of why I can't do it.

Then finally! (I'm sure God is saying) last night I surrendered to the Lord, I'm going to do it- to bring joy to HIM! If that's what He is calling me to do, then he already has the details worked out for me, so I need to stop and look at the big picture. My house will still get cleaned and laundry done, and on Tuesday and Thursday's I don't have any kids. Well, duh! I guess now all I need to do is drive myself up there and talk to them....

I've been trying to teach the boys that it (life) isn't all about them. When all the time, God has probably been looking down on me, thinking "you can't teach them until you get it yourself.." We are here to glorify God and to serve one another; Jesus' character is the standard!..not culture. Maybe this will give me creative ideas to share and teach the boys...

Another thing is to teach a Dave Ramsey FPU class at church. I looked online, signed up for an information packet (which I just got a few minutes ago in the mail), and a few days ago I got a call from a 'Church Advisor' man who works with Dave himself. I thought that was neat, anyhow, I will be in prayer about this as well. Don't know how it's going to pan out, but I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Birthday boy

I wanted to do this on the computer with all the pictures I got of this cutie while on vacation, but it's not working. For some reason the power keeps cutting off...anyhow, I just took this one and I'm blogging from my phone.

Our sweet little Justin is FIVE years old today! He is such a joy and adds so much to our family. He has the sweetest soul of any five year old I know. Justin's little personality shines through; he marches to the beat of his own drum, and is quite a character. He keeps us laughing!!

So thankful God chose us to raise this little critter. He is a blessing to our Griffin clan!!