Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Blogger - David

You know, after spending time with him this morning, I realized David would have made a great blogger. And as my computer ate my blog post, I've decided to use one of David's posts from Psalms. It's short (typing on an iTouch with one finger here), but you don't always need a lot of words.

Psalm 62

(1-2)My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

(5-8)Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

(11-12a)One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving.

Couldn't have said it better myself. Be blessed today, friends:)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bookshelf Friday - Race Against Time


Race Against Time is the second book by Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse, a mother/daughter writing team. This book is also set in Alaska and continues with the same cast of characters that were in No Safe Haven. I did not read No Safe Haven and had no problem keeping up with this book, but do feel the first book would only enrich this one.

Here's a short blurb:

Anesia Naltsiine has made mistakes that have cost her-and her 13-year old daughter, Zoya-dearly. But no more. She will prove her worth as a mother and as a breeder of champion sprint racing dogs. Her kennel is so successful that buyers come from all over the world. So why does she still feel so worthless?

Zoya misses the dad she never knew. All she wants is to follow in his footsteps as a champion sprint dog racer. But when she witnesses a murder in their town of North Pole, Alaska, she finds herself thrown into dangers and emotions she can’t begin to understand.

Enter Sean Connelly, a new employee at the kennel with demons of his own. When he discovers macrochips bearing military secrets implanted in the Naltsiine's dogs, a puzzle tracing back to the murder unfolds. Then strange "accidents" start happening; clearly someone wants Zoya silenced. Anesia tells her daughter it's not safe to race, but Zoya, angry with the world- and God-takes off across dangerous Alaskan terrain alone. Anesia and Sean must race against time to save the girl-and themselves.

This book is full of mystery and fast paced. If you pick it up, be prepared to approach your characters in a different way. Each section is introduced with bold-face type telling you whose POV you're in for that scene. Another unique writing trait is the switch from 3rd to 1st person. Zoya, the daughter, is written in 1st person while the remaining characters are in 3rd person. While that took me some time to settle into, the change was unique and refreshing.

The plot is intense and deals with death, struggling faith, and new love, all with a thread of suspense woven throughout. If you can slip past the structure of the book, you'll find yourself thoroughly enjoying the Alaskan landscape and this well-written story.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keep Breathing

I stumbled across this video tonight while pulling up the praise & worship video I was looking for. I love Kerrie Roberts, she's one of my favorite singers and this is such a simple song, simple performance, and, well, simply beautiful. If you're hurting, no matter what you're going through, just keep breathing.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Falling and Jumping


So I took this past week for my "quiet and rest" as I said in my last post. I was blessed to spend it in Destin, Florida, and I definitely found my quiet moments there:) I tried to hide the car keys so Hubby wouldn't be able to take us home, but he found them, so back North we go.

While I was enjoying those quiet moments with God, He started talking to me about the difference between jumping and falling. See, there are moments where we fall--usually if our feet aren't on solid ground or we slip, or maybe even the ground suddenly opens beneath us.
In those moments I'm always amazed at the depth of His presence and how He never fails to catch me. There's a sweetness found there like no other, a trust that's built where I know that no matter what, no matter how far the fall, He's there. Those are the moments that help me when I'm called to jump.

Yes, jump. That moment when God beckons you to jump into His presence. Sometimes it's an area in your life that you've been working on, and God finally says it's time to leave it all behind--let that last little grip of it go. Maybe it's trusting Him with something so dear to you that you want to cling to it when you need to cling to Him instead. Or maybe there's a change happening in your life and you can't quite see your landing spot, but God's asking you to jump--He's already there waiting for you.


See, falling happens. We're walking along with confidence and suddenly find our feet out from under us. But jumping, well, that takes initiative. We need to leave the solid ground we're on and
jump to the place He's standing, waiting to catch us and take us deeper, farther, beyond where we've been and to the place He's designed for us to be.

Will you dare take that leap? He's there, waiting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quiet Time

Fridays are typically my Bookshelf day, but this week I'm doing something a little different-taking a break:) God keeps bringing a verse to my heart and I'm going to take the next week to listen to it:

In repentance and rest is your salvation. In quietness and trust is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

It's really hard for this girl to be quiet-reeeeaaaallly hard. But sometimes, it's what we need. To stop working a problem, to stop asking for answers, and to sit. Quietly. To listen. To rest. And trust Him for all we need.

Blessings and I'll see you in a week:)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Thing

Some days I wish I could write music, to put the words of my heart into song, but a las, I am not talented that way...God gave that talent to others, and me the restraint not to pretend I have it! (at least not in public, Hubby however has to put up with me).

I love, love, love, music. As I've said before, there's always songs running through the background of my life. And, let me tell you, I've had many different soundtracks in my life. This is one of those songs that stuck with me. It takes words right from my heart, challenges me, and pulls praise from my lips all at the same time.

So today, as you're waking up, as you're going through your day, ask yourself: Of all the things you'll see today, all the things you'll have the opportunity to spend your time or money on, what's the one thing you desire?


Monday, October 10, 2011

Growing Pains



My son is eleven and growing fast. There are times when his growth is slow and hardly measurable. Other times—like now—he stretches so quickly that he complains his entire body hurts. Growing pains. I wish I could take them on for him, but he has to go through them to become the young man he’s going to be.
Even as adults, we can still experience them, can’t we? Spiritually at least. See, God’s constantly stretching us, growing us into who He wants us to be. There are times where I think the stretching is going to break me. Times I cry over how it hurts. And times where I shy away from it. Sometimes growth is the last thing I want and I walk away from it. I fail at what He’s asking me to do.
Now, God loves us, and when we fail He forgives us. It’s grace. Something given that we don’t deserve. Yet God’s ever-present grace is not an excuse to remain unchanged. If we’re going to grow into the child of God He’s created us to be, then we need to allow for a little growing pain along the way.
Maybe you’re in a slow period of growth where it hardly seems you’re changing at all. Or maybe you’re being stretched beyond what you thought possible, and it hurts. Whichever it is, you're in His hands, not forgotten and not being broken. Simply growing into who He created you to be.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bookshelf Friday - Choosing to See


Wow--a tough read, and you'll need a box of tissue. Yet, in the end, it's a stunning picture of God's faithfulness.

My mother-in-law shared this book with me and I wasn't sure if I'd want to read it. I read it in one evening. My husband kept looking at my red, splotchy face and asking why I wouldn't just put it down. But, even through the sorrow, there was beauty. One small thing that stood out to me, yet spoke so loudly, was that even in the physical printing of this book, nothing stayed the same after the tragedy that took Maria Sue. Nothing could.

The Chapman's are still in the process of healing, and writing this book is a part of that. Mary Beth is honest in her struggle of faith, yet holding tightly to it. Choosing to See will challenge you, it will touch your heart, pull out your tears, and leave you with a beautiful picture of God standing in the midst of even your darkest hour ~ you just have to choose to see Him.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Enthusiasm


Have you ever met a Christian who doesn't smile? Whose shoulders weigh their entire body down? Yes, life can be hard, but do we need to always look like it is?

Where's our enthusiasm? See, I learned this really neat fact in Sunday's sermon. You may already know it, but this one stood out to me. "Enthusiasm" finds it's root in the Greek word "Entheos", meaning "in God". So...if we're in Him, shouldn't we appear a tad enthusiastic?

Yeah, I know, a bit simplistic for all we face in life. But, for just a moment today, praise Him like you're in His very presence. And see if that smile breaks out and your shoulders feel a little less heavy. You may even just find a bit of enthusiasm:)




Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Forget


So I keep coming back to a passage lately, Deuteronomy 6:10-12:
When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
See, there are times where we cling to God. Where we call out to Him daily to rescue us. Each day we take moment by moment, praying we’ll make it though and hoping there are no other mountains waiting around the corner that need to be scaled. We all know those times. We’ve all experienced them. They’re our Egypt. And while we don’t like being there, we grow in those times.
Then God moves us. And at times the blessings almost seem too much. Land of milk and honey. Blessings we’ve done nothing to achieve, He’s simply given them to us. That’s the nature of a blessing. You don’t have to work for it, you just get to receive it. It’s a gift. And we serve a God who loves to bless us.
The problem with being in a land you didn’t have to work for is you tend to forget where you came from. The days you couldn’t breath without the presence of God next to you. And slowly you think you’re the one who got you there. Here’s where God’s warning comes in. Read that passage again and think about you’re life as you do. Are you scaling a mountain right now? If so, remember this passage when you’ve come to the top. Or maybe you’re living the good life right now. Then ask yourself, have you forgotten that God is the one who delivered you there?
So what do we do? Lucky for us God’s got that covered. In fact, before He even cautioned us not to forget where we came from, He tells us what to do. Check out Deuteronomy 5: 5-9. It may be familiar to you, but do you do it?
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Impressing something leaves a mark. Talking helps you remember. Tying or binding them to you means letting them become a part of you--weave them through your character and your core. And writing them on your door frames? Make His commandments such a tangible part of your home that you cannot leave your house without them following you into the world.
So today, if you’re walking through land that is dry and cracked and feel like you can’t take another step, stop and impress this moment on your heart and how God is carrying you. Take a mental shot and remember it when life flourishes around you again--because it will. And if you’re living in the land of blessing, stop a moment and look around you. Then look up. Don’t forget the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. Rely on Him today. Thank Him. Love Him with all your heart, mind and soul.
Whatever you do, don’t forget.