Saturday, November 29, 2008

Just had to share!

We went to the Palmer Park Mall last night to go to Dairy Queen. We had a "buy one blizzard, get one free" coupon and if you are like me, you just can't let one of those coupons go to waste! I saw they had a Boscov's there and since we had a gift card to use, we went in to look around. I saw they had digital cameras on sale so I looked at them and decided to buy one that was on sale (one we could actually afford!), but they told me I couldn't use the Boscov's gift card there because the place selling the cameras is actually a Ritz Camera Store that just rents the space in Boscov's. CRUD! So I reluctantly said I didn't want it after all then and we kept looking around. We found a set of cook wear on sale, so I used the gift card on that and spent a whopping $8.00 for a 10 piece set! Bob knew how much I've wanted a digital camera though so he said as long as we could pay for the camera when the bill came, I could go ahead and buy it! So I bought myself a Christmas gift! I know there are many digital cameras better than the one I bought (Olympus FE-310), but this one fit our budget and does what I need it to do...take nice pictures! I'll have to learn more about the various functions it does because right now I just keep it on the AUTO setting! LOL!
The saleswoman actually suggested we buy rechargeable batteries for it because she said it will use regular AA batteries very quickly and that will save us some money. I also read the instructions book and saw I could use the camera without a memory card (it would just save the pictures on the camera's internal memory), but I wanted to be able to print off pictures OCCASIONALLY at Wal-mart and I'm pretty sure you need a memory card to do that. So I went to and looked at what they charge for a memory card and rechargeable batteries. I knew I had about $50 in gift certificates that I could use toward the total cost, so my price for a 2 GB memory card and 2 packs of AA rechargeable batteries (total of 8 batteries since there were 4 in a pack) came to...are you ready for this?.....NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEEHAW!! Now I can post pictures more frequently on here if I want to! Yup, that picture at the beginning of this post is one of the pictures I took today with my new camera! YEAH!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Patient Endurance"

My daughter and I have been working our way through the book of Revelation. I noticed something the other day and today seemed like the perfect day to write about it. The last sentence in Revelation 13:10 says "This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." Revelation 14:12 says "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." I guess I noticed the verse in chapter 14 because I realized it was so close to one I had just read the day before, in chapter 13. God has a really cool way of pointing things out to us when we miss it the first time!

As I've been reading about all the horrible things that the world is going to have to face during the end times, I am constantly reminded that Christians don't need to fear the end times because we know we are on the winning side! That doesn't mean the end times are going to be easy for us! The persecution and other difficulties are going to be very hard and the true Christians will be weeded out from those who call themselves Christians but haven't given their entire lives over to God. We very well may be faced with having to make the decision to die for our faith or having to watch our loved ones die for their faith. True Christians will know that no matter what happens, we need to stay faithful to God and not turn away from God when things get rough or dangerous.

It seems impossible to think of being patient during a long period of persecution, but we have the assurance that we have an awesome reward waiting for us if we successfully endure those times. No matter what happens, we know that one day we will be in heaven for all eternity with our Lord and Savior. That is something Satan cannot take from us! He may try to harm our physical bodies, but he cannot harm us spiritually. Our physical bodies may die, but our spirits will live forever with God! One day (and I belive it is going to be soon!), we are going to see our Lord! We are going to be able to bow down and worship the One who died for us so that we could live with Him in Heaven for all eternity. Now that's something to be thankful for!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Be an Overcomer!

It is truly awesome how the Lord directs us in the way we should go if we are just listening to Him! The past few months, I have been reading books of the Bible that I felt God telling me to read. First, I read Proverbs because our pastor encouraged us to read one proverbs every day. Since there are 30 chapters, he said to read the chapter that is the same as the date. I didn't actually start doing it the first time the pastor said to do this, but I finally started to do it because I just kept hearing God saying "Read Proverbs!". After I read Proverbs, I felt the Lord urging me to read the book of Psalm so I began reading there. As I finished reading Psalm, I felt the Lord tell me to read James. As you know, I learned a lot in those few chapters!! I knew as I was reading through James, I was having an urge to read the book of Revelation next. About an hour after I had read the last chapter of James, my daughter told me that she had decided to start reading Revelation because I had mentioned something to her about Revelation talking about the last days. I knew immediately that God had started working on my heart to read Revelation so that I could help my daughter understand it better! I knew if I left it up to her, she'd read it through as fast as she could and miss A LOT. So every morning we both read the same chapter in Revelation separately and then she comes into my room and I read to her what my study Bible has to say about that chapter. I'm really looking forward to what God is going to do in both of our lives as a result of doing this together!

Today we read Revelation 3 and a few verses really stood out to me. Verse 5 says "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." WOW! How exciting is that to know that Christians have the assurance that Jesus Christ HIMSELF will introduce us to GOD! I know some Christians believe in "onced saved, always saved" while others believe that you can lose your salvation. I'm not going to get into that, but I mention it because I thought of that as I read this verse. I reread it and saw "He who OVERCOMES..." and I just felt the Lord reminding me how I need to overcome whatever I have to face and be faithful in serving Him if I want to receive the full inheritance God has for His children. Near the end of Revelation 3, there is another verse that I will add bold print to, and I'm sure you'll see why! Verse 21 says "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." Another awesome promise....if you are an overcomer!! Can you imagine it?! Sitting with Jesus on his throne?! WOW! I have chills again as I type this!!

Life on this earth isn't easy, but we have an awesome promise of what is to come if we will just give our lives to God and trust Him throughout all of life's difficulties. I want to be an overcomer! I want to hear Jesus tell God that He knows me and invites me to sit with Him on His throne! I just want to SEE Jesus and say thank Him for being willing to be an overcomer as well. He didn't have to die for me, but He that I could have the chance of going to heaven too! As Christians, we are to be "like Christ". So if Jesus could be an overcomer and DIE for us, then I think the least we can do is be overcomers by doing whatever He tells us to do and trusting Him 100%.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is in Control

God is so awesome! As I listened to the election results last night, I began to have this sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach and fear for my country started to creep in. I closed my eyes and just heard the Lord say "It's going to be OK. I'm in control." I went to bed, but awoke this morning feeling anxious again about the whole thing.

I picked up my Bible and began to read the last chapter of James. I literally got chills when I read James 5:8. That verse says "You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near." I got chills again when I wrote it down in my journal, when I shared this verse with my kids this morning, and when I just wrote it down here! My Lord is coming again SOON!

That thought of course struck a little bit of fear in me because I feel so unprepared for His return. I have been struggling with my temper lately, as I have mentioned in previous posts. The cool thing is that I KNOW the Lord pointed this out to me and that He's helping me. He KNOWS I am working on it and He is being so very patient with me. It has just been such an awesome experience the past few weeks/months HEARING the Lord speaking to me and teaching me things! I know I have accepted the Lord as my personal Lord and Savior, but it just seems like Satan wants to get me to doubt my salvation. The Lord reminded me this morning as I was sitting there with a bit of fear as to whether I was truly ready that because I have accepted the Lord as my Savior, I can have the confidence of knowing that I WILL go to heaven when the Lord returns.

As if all this wasn't cool enough, the Lord has one more awesome thing to add to my devotional time this morning. I actually had gotten up a little early this morning and decided to start doing my devotions since I just felt so uneasy upon awakening. I read James Chapter 5 and was almost finished writing in my journal when the radio suddenly came on. I have my "alarm" set for 7 am and at that time the radio comes on so I can wake up to music (or occasionally the talking of the DJs) instead of an obnoxious alarm. Well, I know it was NO coincidence what song was playing when the radio came on this morning! The song that was playing was "God is in Control" by Twila Paris! I had to stop what I was writing because I immediately started to cry and praise the Lord for how awesome He is!

So take heart my friends! Our God is in control and He is coming again SOON! There may be some difficult times ahead, but we can rest in the assurance that we serve a mighty God and He knows everything that is in store for us. He isn't going to leave us. We just need to put our trust in Him and keep having faith because He knows exactly what needs to happen before He can return. I'm ready Lord!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

What Kind of Teacher am I?

Saturday morning when I picked up my Bible to do my devotions, I was a bit stunned when I read the very first verse. James 3:1 says "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." I just about stopped reading because my brain was filled with wondering whether God was telling me I shouldn't be homeschooling my kids! Luckily, God reassured me that was NOT what He was telling me, but that He was trying to teach me something. I thought to myself "OK, this is gonna hurt!", but I kept reading and then picked up my journal and started to write as God made it clear to me what He wanted me to learn.

God brought to mind the verses He had pointed out to me just a few days earlier. James 1: 19-20 says "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." I knew the other day God was letting me know that I REALLY needed to do a much better job of watching what I say and how I say it. I have been letting the daily frustrations get to me and the way I have been reacting and the things I have said have not been very nice, and they certainly were not pleasing to God. I sought God's forgiveness and renewed my desire to be a Godly example to my kids in everything I say and do, but especially when I find myself getting frustrated or angry! How will they know how to react in an acceptable manner if they don't see me acting appropriately and setting a good example for them? I know I can't do it in my own strength, which is why I'll be praying for God's wisdom and strength each day.

In light of what God had been teaching me the past few days and weeks about guarding my tongue and not being easily provoked, I was able to see where God was headed when I read James 3:1. I am going to be judged more strictly because I am having a huge influence on my kids. I am teaching them right from wrong and having a daily influence on how they should act based upon what they see and hear ME doing. I have asked my kids to forgive me as well. I have to hope and pray that they forget the things I have done wrong and only remember the good!

Lord, forgive me for the times I have allowed my frustrations to get out of control. Forgive me for the unkind things I have said during those times. Remind me when I am reaching that point, to walk away or count to 10 or do whatever it takes to get my thoughts and emotions in check before I speak even one word. I want to be a teacher that my kids remember all their lives and strife to be like! I want to hear you say to me "Well done though good and faithful servant!" and know that my kids are going to hear that too when they stand before you! Help me to be more like you each and every day so that when someone says "your kids are just like you", I can take that as the best compliment in the world!