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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trusting Builds Strength

When I am weak then you are strong.  Why then do I feel so weak?  Why do I feel so inadequate to accomplish the tasks before me?  It's only in this moment that I realize it's because of my weakness I rest upon your strength to carry me.  His sufficiency sustains.  My lack of focus and ability to see the super in the natural sits on the curb.  I allow the pressures of the day and the distractions of the moment keep me from fully trusting.  That is really what it boils down to.  Trust.  Simple faith expresses itself in total surrender of trusting a Mighty God who is able to do more than I can imagine.  I recognize in this moment that I am in a state of neediness so desperate for a Savior.  In rides the white horse...Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father -- he saves the day again.  In my weakness I begin to sing the song of thankfulness.  I am truly thankful for the opportunity of weakness that forces me to recognize my great need for God in my life.  I can't say it enough...in everything, give thanks!  Every obstacle becomes a tool the Master uses to shape us into His image, turning ashes into beauty and making something out of nothing. Once again I know I am just where He wants me.  Totally and utterly dependent upon Him alone for He sustains the weak.

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." James 4:6

"Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for thiers is the Kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fall Links (Ideas to Encourage You)

Ideas for a Fresh Fall

Maybe it's time to re-visit those New Year's resolutions.  Just in case you are like me I have forgotten completly about them and need a fresh start.  Fall is just a perfect time to start fresh again.. With the kids back in school I feel a sense of fresh order in the house.  Its the perfect time to clean out the basement, organize a few closets or do some painting.  No that I really have time to do all that, but the thoughts are there.  So here is a list of a few things I am pondering in my neck of the woods this Fall.

Project tips for the home

Organizing  your child's room (fun times!)

Painting Tips

Talk About Sharing (Money) Kid friendly too!

Autumn Leaves Activity Book (PDF downloadable for the kids!)

Must Reads...or read it again!

1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Why study God? An article from Focus on the Family

Improve Your Marriage (How to be Thankful)

Photos to enjoy over and over again







Scripture to meditate on always and forever

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son.  That whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life. John 3:16

Be joyful always! Pray Continually; Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
 Philippians 2:3

He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13

For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind.  He turns the lights of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth.  The Lord of heaven's Armies is His name! 
Amos 4:13

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Light of Eternity

What really matters? What are the tasks before me that, in the end will really count for something great?

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal:  "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal."  "For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." Mathew 6:19-21

In the midst of my crazy, busy and often stressful day I am bombarded with choices.  How to spend my time.  Where I give my devotion to or for.  I sense a deep pulling a tug-of-war in my soul.  Everything is pulling at me.

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Laundry
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Animals
  • Garden
  • Yard work
  • Bills
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Pinetrest
  • Netflix

It's the struggle I know Martha was too familar with.  So many tasks to do in a day.  Feeling like know one even cares or notices how many things I have to do.  Yet in the early morning, before dawn, in the silence I make a radical decision.  Yes I said radical.  Jesus was radical.  I begin my day as I listen, I wait, I ponder, I medidatate, I pray.

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

In that quiet moment I hear His voice, above the noise and distractions of my life and long to do list. My sense of direction is restored.  I am now ready for battle.  My mind, body and spirit are prepared for action.  I have laid down all those things that pull at me.  My heart has been changed.  I begin to see things differently.  Things that really don't matter - in light of eternity.

The weeds have overtaken my yard and for that matter the farm itself.  Yes at some point they may come under control, but for now they can wait.  It is far better to sit here at the feet of Jesus.

I have noticed a shift in my thinking.  It doesn't happen all the time.  But, it does happen more often.  I hear a voice and it's the Spirit prompting me to pray - to pray for others and not to focus on self.  All my wants can be surrendered.  I can trade them for the burdens of others in Christ.  This happened to me the other day, so I thought I would share...

We have been working on our sprinkler system and landscaping.  My pump for the grass is non-operational.  So for now I drag hoses around the yard and move a sprinkler to get the grass watered.  Honestly it's not that hard to do, but I have made it hard.  My attitude and heart were jaded, bitter and resentful.  As I sat the other afternoon in the the shade, breeze blowing I heard the Spirit's quiet voice speak loudly.  He said, Anna, Anna why are you so worried about many things?  You're concerned about how much water your grass is getting to stay green -- yet in other places on earth people do not have Water (Living Water) to sustain them.  What about their worries?  What can you do about that?  I was convicted.  Immediately I thought of faces of children in Sudan -- here I am bent over worried about grass.  Grass that is here today gone tomorrow and has no soul. So I close my eyes and pray.  Because that is really all I can do.  It's so much better than worrying about green grass.

Now when I I have these feelings of anxiety and stress floods my earthly tent, I am reminded that this life is short.  I have an opportunity to choose to lay up treasure in heaven or not to.  To choose to continue to seek gratification in the "perfect green lawn."  It really doesn't matter.  What matters is how my heart is.  When I choose to replace my worries with prayers for those in greater need than my self, it keeps me humble.  It takes the pressure  off and lifts the burden of those things pulling for my attention.  Amazingly I am re-energized and able to face the tasks before me with greater strength and a better attitude. Just maybe the grass will stay green.

Prayers to pray:
Lift up our Christian Brothers and sisters in the Middle East and northern Africa whose lives are threatened by Islamic terrorists.  Pray God will use Christian organizations to save lives, strengthen believers, spread the Gospel in the face of persecution.

Missionaries around the world to be encouraged and strengthened in their personal faith and relationship with Jesus.  Pray for opportunities to build relationships with the people and communities they live in.  Pray Christ is glorified in their work.  Pray also for safety for them and their families as they travel and preach the Gospel.

Pray for orphans, widows and the poor.  That God would be merciful and hear their hearts cry and send them food, resources and Hope.

Pray for America. 

Pray for teachers in our local schools.

Pray for your Pastor and his family.

Pray for your family.

Simply pray and store up treasures in heaven, for that is what matters in light of eternity.

August Joy Dare

Join me in counting gifts! View the PDF file at: August Joy Dare
633. White trim
634. Glue sticks
635. Paper plates
636. Peppers
637. Chocolate
638. Smoothie
639. Clean house
640. New table cloth
641. Cool evening breeze
642. Dogs
643. Pondering
644. Calm - Stillness
645. Peas from the garden
646. Air conditioning
647. Alphabet letters on fridge
648. Algae eater still alive in the fish tank
649. Squirt gun fight
650. Cleanses
651. Psalm 142
652. I call & You listen
653. Hebrews 12:11 fruit of righteousness
654. Late nights
655. Sleeping in
656. Popsicle's
657. In my favorite comfy jeans
658. Summer peach pie
659. Glass of fresh OJ
660. Forgiveness
661. Waiting again
662. Holy humbling
663. Spatula
664. BBQ tongs
665. Wedding ring
666. Magic of an airplane ride
667. Power outage
668. Pennies
669. Freshly mowed grass
670. Plants in my bathroom
671. Grandma's birth stone ring
672. Garden hose
673. Soccer ball
674. Tough love
675. Discipline
676. Standing together
677. Unity
678. Sharing
679. Laughing
680. Clean rugs
681. Dirty mop water - clean floors
682. Garden delights
683. Tomatoes galore
684. Who is like our God?
685. Blog writing
686. People
687. Serving people
688. The WORD preached & taught
689. Chara
690. Gratitude for the opportunity
691. Growth as a leader
692. Straight rows of sweet corn
693. Odd shaped cucumbers
694. Placing lids on canning jars
695. Sun rays early morning
696. Flashlight and batteries that work
697. Night light in kitchen
698. Nannies cedar chest
699. Photos of family
700. Iron skillet
701. Quad
702. Children playing
703. Dogs running
704. Bud vase
705. Roses
706. A child's heart
707. Sunflowers from the garden
708. Apron
709. Wrangler jeans
710. Flowers from a friend
711. Serving Plate
712. Napkins - pretty
713. Blue ribbons at the county fair
714. School to start
715. Blackberries to be ripe
716. One tea bag
717. Two eggs from the coup
718. Three dogs on the bed
719. Sweet raspberries
720. Miniature roses
721. Cherry tomatoes off the vine
722. Hay bales
723. Eating fair food & loving it!
724. Facetime