Internet Cafe

Monday, March 31, 2008

Teach Us To Pray

There are many things we teach our children. From the first time we hold our newborn, we begin our important role as "teacher". We teach them to trust the sound of our voice. We hope that hearing our voice will enable them to feel calm. We teach them to make eye contact. We teach them to listen, laugh, and love. As they grow we begin to teach them to walk, talk, have good manners, be obedient...but one of the most important things you can teach your child....is to pray.

When our little grandsons come for a spend the night visit it is an honor and privilege to listen to them and to help them begin having conversations with the Father. Sometimes they pray long...sometimes very short. The length is not important...the conversation is.

Prayer is key to faith. We want them to have faith and believe in God. We want them to know that nothing in this life will ever be too great or too small to take to the Lord in prayer.

I remember last year taking Zackary home to catch the bus after a sleep over and visit with us. I was in a hurry and didn't get a chance for prayer before we left. So, as I drove through town I asked him if I could pray for him. He said I could, and I laid my hand on his head as I drove. I asked the Lord to protect him, give him wisdom, help him to be obedient and kind and for a healing touch in his body (he was sick with a cold). I could feel Zackary watching me as I prayed and drove. I don't think he had experienced the "praying driver" before.

When I finished my prayer I squeezed his hand and said "Amen!" He looked me in the eye and with all seriousness said, "What did Jesus say?"This caught me off guard for a brief second, but I quickly replied, "He said, Okay." This satisified him completely. He needed to know that somehow I felt God speak to my heart. And I do. I won't say that I feel something from heaven everytime I pray. There have been times, especially recently that my prayers have seemed to hit the ceiling and bounce back. But I don't give up. I do not stop praying. That would make the enemy the winner. And that's not happening.

2 Corinthians 4:18 says, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."

We may not "see" prayers being answered today or tomorrow, but sisters, I do not doubt for one single minute that they are being heard. So, I will not cease to pray. I will persevere. I will carry on for the cause of Christ. I fix my eyes not on what I see, but rather on what I don't see. For what I see is only temporary. It won't last long. As mother quotes rather regularly, "this too shall pass". So I fix my gaze on what is unseen. For it is eternal.

You may think that is an unusual statement, to "gaze on the unseen". It is not my "physical eyes" that need to see. It is my "spiritual eyes". As long as my focus is clear spiritually, I can face what my physical eyes must see. When the outward circumstances of our lives become literally unbearable and our human resources are completely exhausted....God's resources can come in and expand our faith by whatever means He chooses.

God will never forsake His beloved children. "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5(b)

Teach them to pray. Teach them faith. Teach them hope, love, believing in and having full confidence in Christ. Teach them by example. It's never to late to start.






I welcome your visit to my blog!

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Preparing the spirit

There has been an awful lot of talk around here this week about preparation. Our son is testing this weekend for his "Decided Black Belt." It's been a three year journey, that in some ways begins today. The word of the week has been "preparation," and it's proven to be God's way of nudging each of us around here, forcing us to ask....

"How are YOU preparing?"


I know how God works with me. He takes my daily life events and takes the opportunity to teach ME through lessons that I THINK are for others, while all along were meant for me.
Hence, preparation.

I would be an absolute FOOL to try and earn a black belt without extensive preparation, both physically and mentally. Forms, sparring, one steps, three steps, and board breaking... Why would I ever think that I can be spiritually prepared without the proper training?

This week, as Hayden was getting ready for this TEST, he broke down the components of what would be required of him. He fell short in one area, due only to a "lack of preparation."
I was frustrated, and that is when it happened.
It was in this that I could hear God clearly convicting me, and I began to examine my spiritual preparedness.
"Are you as "prepared" as you need to be Lori?"
OUCH!

Life is a series of tests, circumstances and challenges. These situations leave us with 2 options.
Wait for the test to come and deal with it THEN, or constantly work to prepare the spirit, knowing that not IF, but rather WHEN the trials come (James 1:2), I will not find myself unable to know where to go. Rather, I will be able to stand firm in the midst of the test, unwavering in faith.

~WELL, THAT'S JUST NO
T GONNA HAPPEN!~

I've gone into 'races' before without the proper preparations and quite frankly, I've ended up "flat on my face." Finding oneself in that position is much like failing a test, it leaves you humbled and vowing NEVER to allow yourself to be in that position again.

And then it happens...AGAIN~
But, gracious as God is, He finds a way to "slip" those reminders in, if we are looking.

Preparation is WORK, it's DISCIPLINE and sometimes there are other things that we would much rather be "doing," than "preparing." When everyone else is distracted, going about their own business, or even trying to convince you that preparation isn't necessary.....
It's sometimes not easy or fun....
but necessary.

Take Joseph for example, while everyone else was enjoying the feast of the plentiful harvests, 7 years worth, he was preparing for the famine that would eventually come.
I'm certain that he took some ribbing from those around him.
I can hear them now,
"Come on Joe, is all that STOCKPILING necessary...come on, let it go. Let's just live for the moment."

"As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities.....
Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph predicted. The famine also struck the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food.
Genesis 41:47-49, 54

He listened, he prepared and as a result when the TEST came (as it will for us), he was ready to meet it head on. We are challenged to do the same. No, not stockpile up canned goods, but prepare ourselves for what may come our way. Spending time with God helps me to see that HE alone will guide me through the storms of life, if I'm willing to put in the time to PREPARE.

My eight year old has been teaching himself, and us some fundamental lessons this week on being prepared, especially me. I don't know about you, I LOVE when God provides me with these life lessons. I'm just glad I was looking this time!

There really is no time like today to begin preparing. It could happen at a moment's notice, and while we never know what may happen, we can seek to develop wisdom and hopefully find ourselves "ready," knowing where to go when the test comes....


In case you're wondering....HIS TEST was today....
and he was prepared....
Am I? I'm taking a lesson away with me.

In Him,





Labels: ,

Overwhelmed!

Right after breakfast is bath time for my one-year old twins, Tanner and Tyler. There is no better time to wash oatmeal and mashed bananas down the drain than first thing in the morning. When they are finished there is a process to getting them out of the tub.


This is how it works; first I drain the tub, then I run a towel-covered Tanner to the living room carpet, and then run back to get Tyler, who is still in the (empty) tub, and bring him back for a diapering/dressing fest. Only this morning, much to my surprise, when I ran back to get Tyler out of the tub, in the 3.5 seconds I had been gone, he "did his business" in the tub! Great, I thought. Now I'll have to clean up this big mess, but no time, I've got to run back to the living room. And, yet another surprise awaited me....Tanner had "done his business" on the only square foot of carpet in the house!
At this moment I was tempted to crawl back under those covers I had left and call it a day! However, that wasn’t going to be happening, it wasn’t even 7 am yet! I still had 3 other kids to feed, clothes to wash, beds to make, and who knows how many countless other messes to clean up. I sank to the floor, feeling completely overwhelmed. How was I going to get through this day, let alone the rest of the week? I wish I could say that feeling overwhelmed is a once and done thing. However, for me, it is a near every day occurrence!

And yet, I am so thankful that I have a faithful God who lovingly whispers in my ear, “You can do it”, picks me up and dusts me off, only to do the same thing again 30 minutes later. Our God is a faithful God, and His mercies are new every morning….and every afternoon, evening, and night! Lamentations 3:23 says, “Your mercies are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness Lord unto me.” He is not only faithful to give us new mercies, but He is abundantly generous with His strength as well.


“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power,
though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble and fall. Yet
those that wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with
wings like eagles, they will run and not grow faint, they will walk and not grow
weary.” Isaiah 40:29-31

These are life giving words! Whatever tasks we face along the way (babies pooping on the floor seems pretty insignificant to the real trials of life) we can rely on HIS strength to get us through all of it. Big or small, God is there, through every overwhelming circumstance that comes our way. And He will be there again and again and again. So, I’m going to pick myself up from off of the floor, and look to Him for strength to start again…right after I get four little chubby hands out of the garbage can.

In Him......Joy
I'd love to have you visit me at my personal blog, Joy in the Journey.


Labels: , ,

Friday, March 28, 2008

Stuck In A Rut....

Ryan and I have been trying hard to pay off debt and get ahead financially. We would like to have a child of our own but at the present time we don't have the means or the room. Ryan is working 3 jobs and I am working from home to try to get ahead yet it doesn't seem to be working. For instance, we bought a shed about 8 months ago and it is still in pieces in the back yard. Ryan hasn't had the time to put it together himself and frankly when he does have time he just doesn't feel like doing more work. The man works hard. He deserves a day off every once in a while so I don't complain. But, the disassembled shed means that the garage is still full of what can go into the shed and that means we can't begin to remodel it and make it into our much needed multi-purpose room. So I took matters into my own hands.

Last week my dad and my brother came over to put the shed up. Ryan was at Job #1 so he was unable to help. We had already put the foundation together and it was on our patio but needed to be moved a few yards away to where we wanted the shed to be. My brother and I were able to move it with lots of effort (my dad has a bad back) but then my brother decided to try and move it with his truck. That is when the trouble began.

He barely got it off of the patio before the truck got stuck.


We had no idea that could happen. The ground appeared to be completely dry yet when the weight came down on the soil the tires started spinning in muddy goo.

We tried putting boards under it.

We tried placing potted soil near and around the tires to absorb some of the moisture.

We brought in reinforcement. A stronger vehicle that in otherwise good conditions would have no problem pulling this little truck but not today. Today the rope that tied them together snapped. We had no choice but to do twice as much work to get it out.

We jacked it up to get to the source of the problem.

Then we dug out all of the mushy soil from around the tires. Then we were able to put the firm foundation underneath which would aid in it's rescue.

We also laid out tarps in front of it to make sure it didn't get stuck somewhere else.

We were left with this hole. It doesn't look like much to get stuck in does it? Yet, it took us about three hours to get the truck out, a whole lot of manpower, and we had to put off building the shed because the foundation would not have been sturdy on that loose soil. My efforts resulted in sweat and tears and a longer wait.

Psalm 40:2 (NLT)
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
Such is life sometimes. We get anxious for something that God has promised to us and so we try and make it happen our way.

The truth is we could have a baby right now. We don't need all of that other stuff to happen first. But we think we do. So we try to make it happen and it continues to fail. We get stuck in a rut just spinning our wheels. We try different things to get out; we try filling the whole with other things that only camoflauge the mud and we even call on other stronger Christians to pull us out. But the truth is we must call on God to help us. Only after we invite Him to handle the situation does God come along and lift us up out of the situation and scoops out all of the dirt that has kept us captive. The He puts a secure foundation in its place and we roll right on through. He even makes provision for us.

He is good isn't He? What is the rut He is trying to help you out of?



I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Be still and know that He is God




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


This verse always makes me stop. It speaks to my soul. The Lord knows how hectic life can be and exactly what I need, to be still and realize that He is God.

As I meditate on this verse I ask the question, "What does being still look like? And just what does God want me to know about him?"

Here are some thoughts:

Quiet your mind, calm your heart, and realize that He is in ultimate control of what touches your life.

Listen to what He has to say. Really listen! Allow Him to speak to your heart.

Delight in Him. Be content and know that He is aware of all your needs even before you ask.

Wait patiently. He is working in you and through you. It may take weeks, months, and even years to complete. Don't worry! What may seem like unanswered prayers is actually His perfect timing for you and those in your life.


In everything be thankful! He is all-powerful, all- wise, loving, just, patient, and so much more. You can trust Him with your life.


"Be still, and know that I am God."



In Him...Chris

You are always welcome to join me at my personal blog Come to the Table

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Internet Cafe

welcomes

Annie from My Life as Annie!

"I can trust Him!"


Recently I had to take my ten year old daughter, Emelia, to the dentist. As we were driving across town to her appointment I could see her apprehension building. I continued to reassure her as we got closer and closer to the dentist's office. I knew that it would be fine. I knew what she would experience. I thought it through and even spoke some of it to her. I said, "They will take x-rays of your teeth. It won't hurt, but it might be a little uncomfortable." I continued with, "The dentist will look at all your teeth and maybe tap them with his little instrument." I knew there was nothing to worry about, but for her the unknown was terrifying. I remember specifically telling her to "trust" me. I'm her mom!


During a moment of silence during our drive I realized that our experience was very similar to some of my own experiences with God. I get apprehensive about the future, wondering what to expect. I have learned through so many experiences that God knows what I am going through and I can trust Him to be there with me, and for me. He brings me through trials and is there in victories. I can trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." When things seem a little bigger than I feel like I can handle I remember that scripture, and that "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Phil 4:13. It makes life a lot easier to know that I have a guide, leading me through this journey. I'm not alone. Neither are you.


Thank you Father for always being there for me. Thank you for being all knowing in all things. I trust you with my life. I rejoice in your goodness and love. Amen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Itching Ears


Do you like having your ears tickled? Not literally, but figuratively? Do you like having someone tell you what you WANT to hear, not necessarily what you NEED to hear? I think we all fall into this at times.

I can look back at various times of my life, where I was resisting obedience in my life. I wanted to do it my way or follow a path that was contrary to God's leading. Satan definitely tried to use people in my life to help my justify my decisions and rebellion. This rebellion can be on "small things" that we deem "not a big deal." Unfortunately, the great deceiver can use "small things" to bring big destruction in our lives.

The Bible warns us of the false teachers in 2 Peter 2:18-19:

For when they (false teachers) speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh; while they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
Stacy MacDonald wrote in her recent book:

If you sin, a plethora of teachers and psychologists will give you numerous reasons why it's not your fault-you can blame your childhood, your lack of self-esteem, your body image,your demanding children or husband. . . Many of these teachers claim Christ; yet, because they fear that the true teachings of Scripture are too hard for people to bear, they soften and sugarcoat the truth.
It is so tempting to surround ourselves with those who tickle our itching ears, whether it be a personal friend or Oprah! May we seek godly counsel from wise advisors and saturate ourselves in the word of God. May we "study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Shunning profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto more ungodliness (2 Timothy 2: 15-16)"



Monday, March 24, 2008

God of the Second Chance

Just as if I were starring in my own classic sitcom, I managed to back into my co-worker’s car in the parking lot last week. My gas tank cover hooked her fender, leaving her car with scratches and a nickel-sized hole and my gas tank cover twisted up like a soda can tab.

The only thing worse than the initial impact of the fender bender was the awkward moment of returning to the building to inform my co-worker, “I have some very bad news about your vehicle.”

And the consequences just kept rolling in. I had to tell my husband, face my other co-workers and re-live the incident every time I saw our vehicles.

Although I’ve always been a pretty conservative, prudent driver (read: grandma in a Camaro), I’m even more aware now that I’ve blown my one “get out of jail free” card--a first-time forgiveness insurance policy protecting me from a premium increase--and cannot afford another wreck. So every time I start my car I tell myself, “Whatever you do, don’t mess up.” That’s a lot of pressure!

Every unfortunate decision or sin has consequences. Not only should we confess to our Father, but we may also have to confess to the person we’ve wronged or to a third party who can hold us accountable in the future. Confession is humbling, but it’s the only way to start reparations.

And just like my stomach knotting up whenever I see my mutilated car and know there is no one to blame but me, remorse often mugs us with a sucker punch. Remorse snatches the peace that we were just beginning to find in the process of confession, forgiveness and accountability. When overwhelming regret condemns us again and again, we should remind ourselves that what’s past is past and that we’ve learned where our weaknesses lie, where our strength lies (in Him), and how to avoid that kind of mess in the future.

Sometimes long after the event passes, we harbor fear that we’ll trip up again. We certainly don’t want to re-live that pain--or worse--wear out God’s forgiveness policy. But God does not want us to live in constant fear of anything, including sin.

Insurance companies may not forgive us “70 x 7” because they’re not all that into holiness, grace, mercy, etc.--but God is.

It is often said that “God is the God of the second chance.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that He also has a second, third, 43rd and 1000th-time forgiveness policy?

And aren’t you glad that, “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Knowing how forgiving our Father is should make us want to live inside the circle of His best will for us. But it’s comforting to know that when we mangle our lives, He doesn’t demand that we pay a perpetual debt. Jesus paid that price once for all, and the same mercies that are brand new every morning also endure forever. We bring our wreckages to Him, and He turns ashes into beauty. It’s a crazy policy when you think about it, but that’s our God: the extravagant giver of unmerited favor, the God of infinite chances to those who know and love Him.




Please visit my personal blog at 2nd Cup of Coffee

Labels:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen!

Alleluia!

Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed!

Alleluia!

This is the foundation of our hope, fellow Christ-follower. This is the truth upon which our faith is grounded, upon which the axis of the earth turns.

If Christ had not been raised, we would be a people to be pitied. A deluded and foolish people, who believe in fairy tales, who escape into wishful thinking, and who have no hope.

But we are not to be pitied... because the tomb is empty!

The long nights of confusion and dread, as Jesus' followers wondered what had happened to the good news revolution, were undone by the shuddering thunder of a moving stone, tumbling from a tomb entrance. Roman soldiers were left helpless and fearful by the strange things that happened that morning. Grieving women were startled by an angel. The gloom of Friday and the seemingly endless Saturday were shattered by the ecstatic triumph of Sunday. Strange things after much grief.

Welcome to the resurrection. Welcome to life as we have never known or seen it. Welcome to the new thing that God is doing (Isaiah 43:19).

Streams now flow in deserts (Isaiah 35:6). Mountains made low, crooked paths made straight (Luke 3:5). Sinful hearts washed and reborn. Life is the final word. Not death (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Life.

In the Fridays and Saturdays of your life, do not be afraid. Even as the waves of despair and death surround you, and cover your head, your deliverer is coming. He who has conquered death is on his way.

Sister in Christ, we have the hope that we will, one day, be raised to new life.

Prayer: Go out now as God's chosen witnesses to testify that Christ has been raised and that we are raised with him. Set your minds on the things of God and do not be afraid, for your life is safe with Christ in God. And may God raise you from all that would entomb you. May Christ Jesus be your life. And may the Holy Spirit empower you for all that is good. Amen.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Cross...Every Day

This time of the year is especially full of messages and devotions about the cross.
The central theme in most churches this weekend will be on the power of the cross and resurrection. But, what does that really mean?

I am the kind of person that tends to say, “so?”
“So what?”
“What does it really mean to me as I walk through my day surrounded by people who I love….people who I (frankly) don’t like…and people who I’ve never met.”

So…what does the cross mean?
When the rubber meets the road, how does that change my Saturday?

I believe in the cross. I believe that Jesus died on it and then was placed in a tomb only to rise out of it ALIVE three days later. And because of this, I am forgiven and offered hope. I am offered a new life! A life that although is not always roses, has a promise of eternal life with my Savior and so much more.
Peace, for one thing. I have seen people in torment that would give any amount of money for peace, but it can’t be purchased with money, it’s already been paid for in blood.

There were years of my life that I spent trying to convince people to come to my church and get involved in our programs. Ladies Night, VBS, small groups, Harvest Carnivals and what not. All EXCELLENT things.
I spent so much time and effort getting people plugged in to church because I knew it would help them, and often times it did.
However, it occurs to me lately, that my “goal” was often to invite and get people to church where they could be ministered to by the pastor and leaders. And often times that even included myself… but for some reason I felt the need to get them to church to really minister to them.

I am now in a season of traveling often and meeting people from all over the country and I don’t have a church to invite them to because most of them don’t live anywhere near my town. After spending a few days together, I may never see them again.

The “so” of the cross to me is that I have to see every person as someone who needs to know that they are loved and forgiven. I need to live my life in a way that speaks the reason for the cross and resurrection, even if I don’t have the opportunity to share it with my words. My life should offer that peace…does it?

A look and smile, a hug to the hurting, an offered prayer, a word of encouragement or maybe a meal for the hungry.

Rom 5:10
10 For if, when we were God's enemies,

we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,
how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!
NIV
The cross is all about reconciliation.

I looked up the word reconciliation and came up with this:
RECONCILIATION
The restoration of friendship and fellowship after estrangement.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

Where is your calling you ask? What is your ministry gift? We all FIRST have the same ministry…it is the ministry of reconciliation. From world-known evangelists to the sweet mom raising her quiver full of children.

2 Cor 5:18-21
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
NIV

Start with your home…then go out into “your” world- wherever God may have that- and BE His love.

That’s the cross…everyday.

Lord, help us to see the world around us the way that You do...and in the
light of the cross and power of the resurrection. The price You paid was so
incredible, Father, I pray that you would impress it on my heart every
day.
Our hope is in You Lord!


Also, if you missed it, scroll down to March 17th, Alicia wrote a beautiful post about The Cross. You will be blessed!


Photobucket

Labels: , , ,

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Drama Unfolds

The Internet Cafe

welcomes

Christine from Fruit in Season

"The Drama Unfolds"



Cast of Characters:

Apostles: earthly-poor, weary, worn, seldom understanding, mostly faithful group of followers; these characters share friendship with Jesus, share meals; bickering over status is one of their weaknesses; at a crucial moment approaching Jesus' death, they give in to fatigue instead of showing him support; most scatter when He is killed.

Judas: greedy, attention-hungry, black sheep follower of Jesus; "the betrayer"; motives unclear, actor can make the character his own; tragic end when he realizes his mistake too late.

Caiaphas: pious, zealous, powerful high priest; used to others' deference; follows the law to the letter and allows no room for interpretation; fearful of losing his position and looking foolish; his desire to be right trumps all else.

Peter: passionate, impulsive; while a devoted follower and believer in Jesus, he often lacks understanding; sense of superiority for his commitment to Jesus; weak in follow-through; learns from his failings and becomes the "rock" on which the church is built.

Pilate: political ruler, weary of the Jews and their squabbles; recognizes Jesus' innocence but does nothing; fearful of revolt and subsequent loss of power; claims his own actions are free of guilt; sends Jesus to His death.

Crowd Member: one among many, caught up in the fervor of the crowd; does and says things he/she possibly would not say in an individual encounter; brings about the consequence of Jesus' conviction and the release of a murderer.

Simon of Cyrene: unintended participant; forced to carry Jesus' cross; fulfills his duty as commanded without complaint.

Two criminals: one is a mocker, made angry by a callous life and a sentence of public death; one is repentent, humble, seeking forgiveness; their crimes deserved death, only one sought life through Jesus.



We all play a part.



Which are you?



Edited 3/21 3:00PM

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Joanne - 1965 Part II

I wonder if the "homeless" are richer than those who turn the other way when driving by in their beautiful automobiles and hair appointments.In, Joanne's mind, she was still living in the year 1965.  Through it all she retained one truth.  She knew there was a purpose for Jesus coming, dying and living again for a fallen mankind.  To her though, Jesus, died at four years old along with her and her dreams.  I wonder what might have happened to Joanne at a very early age to end up so... lost? 

How sad. 

Nothing or no one could convince Joanne to change her way of thinking.  So, with a short but sincere prayer that God would help her soul, she was dropped off in South Carolina at the motel she originally came from.  Only God knows what has become of this poor soul. 

"As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one;  there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God; they have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known; there is no fear of God before their eyes." Romans 3:10-17

How many Joanne's have we Christians encountered?  My heart aches for her to come to repentance. The comfort we are given is that we know that His Word will not come back void.  I suppose that our "calling in Christ Jesus" was for those few moments we had with Joanne. We were told to simply plant the seed of the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus Christ and His salvation to she and indeed, all that are lost and in need of that "living water."

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!'" Romans 10:14-15

Joanne's response to our plea to consider Jesus? She mocked Him and we for following Him. In no small way, we too were all "Joanne's" at one time or another - some of us were wretched, some clothed in fine apparel but, all doomed to destruction until God decided to chose us for salvation. Truly, except for God's grace, we all are Joanne's, living in our past, not considering our future and awaiting the demise of our very souls.

Let's not take one day for granted thanking our Savior for granting us mercy and grace when we did nothing to deserve His kindness to redeem us from destruction and gift us with eternal life with Him in His coming kingdom!

My prayer for us would be, "My dear Heavenly Father, Savior and Friend.  Thank you for saving this retched soul and making me whole.  Thank you for your mercy, patience, and kindness.  I thank you for your longsuffering and for choosing me before the foundations of the world.  Thank you for knowing me even before I was born.  My dear heavenly, Father help us to share the gospel of good news with everyone we meet and not showing favoritism before even speaking.  I love you Lord and I can't wait to meet you!"

In Him,

Elaine Bateman

Labels:

We Have A Winner


I know, I know. A little late to be announcing the February winner! Better late than never is what I always say. ;) After tallying the comments and using the random number generator to select the winner, I am pleased to announce this giveaway goes to.......





Linda at
Mocha with Linda!





Congratulations, Linda! We will contact you to let you know how to claim your gift.



The Internet Cafe' would also like to thank our sponsor Mugs of Truth for the fantastic mug and music gift. Please visit their site for unique inspirational gifts as well as the latest in Christian music downloads.

Labels:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Even Billy Graham had prodigal kids

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.--Proverbs 22:6


What do you do when it all goes wrong? When, despite having done what you thought was your best, your children take the wrong path?

My recent interview with Allison Bottke about her book, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, gave me plenty of food for thought.

I have only one "child" living at home now--my 21-year-old daughter. My sons are 28 and 25, no longer living at home, gainfully employed and faithful attenders of church. All three of my children love the Lord and have given me no cause for grief to date. Thank God for that.

But that isn't always the case. I have friends who did everything "right," or at least they thought they did. And now they're struggling with grown children who have broken their hearts and caused them severe pain and grief.

I thought about Allison's book just the other day, when I saw a video about Tullian Tchividjian. Never heard of him? Neither had I...but he is a grandson of revered evangelist Billy Graham.

Tchvidgian told blogger Justin Taylor in an interview:

"I grew up in an amazing Christian home. The flavor of Christianity that was expressed by my family was not legalistic or oppressive. It was joyful, warm, inviting, hospitable, and real...however... I couldn’t figure out where I fit inside the home and so I set out trying to determine where I fit outside the home. And when you are young, immature, sinfully self-centered, and desperate for belonging, you make some pretty unwise choices—which I did. The people that I started running around with and the things I started to do began to get me in a lot of trouble. To make a long story short, at the ripe young age of 16, I dropped out of high school, got kicked out of my home (actually escorted off my parent’s property by the police) and started pursuing worldly pleasure with all of my might."


Obviously, something happened to change Tullian. He is now a pastor, and the author of a book titled Do I Know God? As I understand it, his famous grandfather ended up helping him financially through seminary.

But Tullian wasn't the first Graham progeny to rebel. Billy's son Franklin Graham, now a respected and admired ministry leader, experienced his own time as a prodigal.

My point? Even being one of the most respected and admired Christians in the world doesn't exempt you from having children who stray.

As for the questions at the beginning of my post, they don't have easy answers. But God-centered books like Allison Bottke's are a good place to start. Allison stresses that yielding everything to God is the most important step in dealing with your prodigal child.

Father, I pray for my adult children. I pray that you would keep them close to You, and that they would always put You first in their lives. Help me to deal with and interact with my adult children in the way you would have me to. And most of all...THANK YOU for giving them to me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Internet Cafe

welcomes

Alicia from Truth Portraits

"The Cross"


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3.16

Rarely do we find a cross in a church that even remotely resembles the cross of Christ Jesus. They seem to be lacking in splinters and blood. Our modern crosses are made of precious metals and polished to perfection. Symmetrical and spotless, we mount them under adoring lights or poise them atop spiraling steeples.

So it is understandable that the sight of such crosses does not bring us to our knees in gratitude to God. Understandable, but unfortunate. Jesus’ cross would have made us weep.

It was rough and rugged and merciless. It represented humiliation and rejection and failure. It tore His flesh and absorbed His blood. And through it we now know the love of God.

We cannot rest in God’s love without remembering Christ’s cross. The two are bound together, dependant on and reflective of each other. The blood-stained cross of Jesus is the clearest and most compelling evidence of God’s great love for us.

Consider what the writers of the New Testament said about the connection between Jesus’ sacrifice and the love of God:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5.6-8
When we were weak and unable to help ourselves, Jesus came to our rescue. With no guarantee that we would even care, Jesus died for us. He submitted to the cross—a punishment normally reserved for the lowest of criminals—so that sinners could experience God’s love.

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved…Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ~ Ephesians 2.4-5; 5.2

When we were spiritually lifeless because of our sins, Jesus sacrificed Himself to save us. In His rich and surpassing love, Jesus laid down His life through a humiliating death—one that the religious viewed as cursed—so that we could be become alive in Him.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ~ 1 John 4.9-10

When we were loveless toward God, God sent His Son as evidence of His unfathomable love for us. Jesus embraced unimaginable pain—through one of the cruelest forms of execution known to man—so that we could live for God.

When we were powerless, ungodly, and unrighteous, dead in our transgressions, and without love for God, Jesus died on the cross to save us!

Now that is love. That is worth living for. That is even worth dying for. And that is most definitely worthy of resting in!

Resting in God’s Truth…
  • We cannot rest in God’s love without remembering Christ’s cross.

  • Without the cross, we would still be powerless and dead in our sins.

  • The blood-stained cross of Jesus is the clearest and most compelling evidence of God’s great love for us.

_____________________________

Alicia Britt Chole is a speaker and author who lives with her fun-filled tribe of five in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Visit Alicia's blog: Truth Portraits

Labels: , , , , ,

I Know

In the great big scheme of things, I'm pretty sure that the list of things I don't know, is far longer than the list of things that I do know. I don't know, for instance, why guys need everything to be faster and louder - always. I don't know anything about brain surgery (except that I don't want to participate on any level - I know that). I don't know how cell phone conversations float through the air and land in my phone. I don't know how some birds make intricately woven nests - with . no . hands - and I can't tie a non-embarrassing bow - with two hands. I do not know how Google can give me 8 zillion answers to my question in 2 seconds. I don't know why water heater hoses only burst at 3:15 a.m. I don't know why, after 45 months of pregnancy, I still don't have one kid who looks like me. (A couple of blue eyes! How hard is that?) I don't know why the dog walking under my desk can make the internet go away. I don't know.

And, I don't know why I've worried so much about aging, because it's only now, in my more "mature" years that I have actually figured out a thing or two that I actually DO know.

I know that Jesus said that in this life, here on this earth, we will have trials. He had them, too.
I know that there will be dark times and shadows. Jesus had a dark week.
I know that at times, fear and doubt will yell much louder than my bewildered faith.
I know that sometimes we will laugh and enjoy, and sometimes we will cry . . . and wait.
I know that the reason 1 Corinthians says ". . . we will not be tempted beyond what we are able to bear . . ." , is because sometimes, parts of life will seem unbearable.

~AND~

I also know that He has plans for us. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I know that He causes all things to work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
I know that He will supply all of our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
I know that there is no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
I know that He is with me. (Isaiah 41:10)
I know that "Eye has not seen nor ear heard all the good things God has made ready and stored up for those who love Him!" (1 Corinthians 2:9)

~~BUT~~

The very best thing that I know, my most FAVORITE best thing of all - that I KNOW - has already been expressed (sung) so much better than I ever, ever could.

So . . .

Just press play and listen to the only thing we really NEED to know.
I even put the words for ya! :)

In Him . . .







I Know - Darrell Evans

Though I'm walking through the valley
Of the darkest hour I've known
Lord don't You leave me all alone
When I'm surrounded by the shadows
That seem to feed my fear
I will trust You
Though I may not feel You here


But I know that Your love is unfailing
O I know Your grace is so amazing
O I know even though my faith be shaken
O I still know that I’ll never be forsaken
‘Cause You’re always faithful
I know


When my bed has been floating
On the flood of all my tears
Seems as though my joy has disappeared
Still I will not put my hope
In what I feel or see
I will cling to You
And Trust You’re holding me


'Cause I know that Your love is unfailing
O I know Your grace is so amazing
O I know even though my faith be shaken
O I still know that I’ll never be forsaken
‘Cause You’re always faithful
I know


I worship You
I look to You
I trust You with my life
I worship You
I look to You
Come lift my head up high

Lord I don’t know where I’m walking
But I’ll take it day by day
And I’ll hold Your hand
And You will lead the way


And I know that Your love is unfailing
O I know Your grace is so amazing
O I know even though my faith be shaken
O I still know that I’ll never be forsaken
‘Cause You’re always faithful

I know

Visit Darnelle at: All Things Work Together

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Majesty



The Internet Cafe welcomes

Missy from
'It's Almost Naptime!!'

"Majesty"


On June 2, 1953, Princess Elizabeth left Buckingham Palace, her home of over 800,00 square feet, and rode to Westminster Abbey in a golden horse drawn coach for her coronation as Queen of England.


During the spring of 33 AD, Jesus made his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. He was coming from Bethany, but he was essentially a homeless man, for he had said that he had no place to lay his head. Jesus entered Jerusalem on a young donkey - the most humble animal available. Not a horse, and not even a full grown and trained donkey, but just a colt. A simple, stupid beast of burden.


A crimson coronation robe that was six yards long hung from Elizabeth’s shoulders. Made of hand woven silk velvet, it was edged with ermine and two rows of embroidered gold filigree work. Her crown was solid gold and set with 444 precious stones. She also held a scepter that contains one of the largest diamonds in the world, at 530 carats.



Five days after he entered Jerusalem, the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. (Matthew 27:27-30)

Designers and seamstresses worked on Queen Elizabeth’s coronation gown for sixteen months. The white silk was elaborately embroidered in pastel colored silks, pearls, diamonds, pale amethysts, golden crystals, gold and silver bullion and sequins.


Jesus was stripped of all his clothes and hung on a cross. He was completely nude. Naked and exposed, he was humiliated in front of his mother and all of his friends and enemies. His clothing was then gambled away by strangers.



I am a daughter of the King. Therefore, I am a princess. But what kind of princess do I really want to be? Am I striving after what the world considers royalty? Or is it my goal to exhibit my royal blood in the same way that Jesus did?


My daughter Eva Rose is 3 years old, and has recently entered her “princess stage.” She is obsessed with castles, tiaras, and ballgowns.


I’m a whole lot older than Eva Rose, but think I still retain a little of this princess attitude myself. I definitely think my husband should be Prince Charming, and can get very frustrated when he isn’t. I want my children to be perfect princes and princesses, with appropriate regal attire, and I especially want them to behave in a royal manner. (Boy, is that fantasy going royally unfulfilled.) And I want my home to be a castle, beautiful, with everything just so. Jewels and wealth and servants to do my bidding would be awfully nice as well.

But this is the worldly view of royalty. And if I want to grow in godliness, I need to Get Over It.


Our King didn’t live like that, not in the slightest. Why should I, his daughter, expect such things? How can I closer reflect his life in my life? How, as John the Baptist put it, can I decrease and Christ increase (John 3:30)?


Reviewing the events of Easter week, the word that most comes to mind is humility. The Lord of the Universe, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, humbled himself in the most degrading way possible, that I may be called a child of God, a member of a royal priesthood, an heir to his glorious inheritance.


Humility. I am closer to godliness when I am changing a dirty diaper than possibly at any other time!


Humility. I more resemble Christ the King while cleaning the toilet than if I had a 800,000 square foot palace full of servants.


Humility. I reflect the splendor of my Father more when I am gracious to a rude salesclerk than Queen Elizabeth did in all her finery on her coronation day.


Lord help to remember this, change my heart to be thankful for the opportunities to lay down my time, my pride, and my life for others.

Change my spirit that I would not be bitter or resentful of the unending chores and sacrifices.
Renew my mind that I may see them as opportunities to become more like the daughter of a heavenly King, who condescended to save me from my worldly desires.
Lord, teach me what it means to be your Princess.
Amen.


Visit Missy at her blog
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dropping the Nets


Matthew 4:18-20

Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, "Come with me. I'll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I'll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass." They didn't ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.


In 1904 William Borden, heir to the Borden Dairy Estate, graduated from a Chicago high school a millionaire. His parents gave him a trip around the world. Traveling through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe gave Borden a burden for the world's hurting people. Writing home, he said, "I'm going to give my life to prepare for the mission field." When he made this decision, he wrote in the back of his Bible two words: "No Reserves." Turning down high-paying job offers after graduating from Yale University, he entered two more words in his Bible: "No Retreats." Completing studies at Princeton Seminary, Borden sailed for China to work with Muslims, stopping first at Egypt for some preparation. While there he was stricken with cerebral meningitis and died within a month. A waste, you say! Not in God's plan. In his Bible underneath the words "No Reserves" and "No Retreats," he had written the words "No Regrets."
Have you ever thought about what it means in Matthew chapter four when it says, they didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed? The reality is that in doing this, they laid down everything familiar to them. It means they abandoned their “regular work”. They walked away from their comfort zones and their stability to follow Christ, and they didn’t even ask where they were going. They didn’t reason with Jesus or tell him that they had to gets their affairs in order first, but they quickly dropped everything and followed Him.
I believe it would be safe to say that these men followed without reservation and without retreat, as the verse says, “they didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed”. The lives they each lived from this day forward, as well as, each of their deaths, all give the clear conclusion that they also had no regrets! It ultimately cost them everything as they followed Christ through death’s door, but I know if they could testify from Heaven today, they would echo the challenging words of William Borden, “No reserves, no reservations, and no regret!”
Are there nets of comfort, familiarity, or stability that you need to drop? Are you wrestling with God on something you have clearly heard Him tell you to do? Is He calling you to follow Him down a new and unfamiliar path and you are negotiating with the questions of “where are you leading me” or “what will it end up costing me”? Why not choose today to have “no reserves, no retreats, and no regrets”?

Lord, show me today the nets in my life that I am not letting go of. Show me where I am holding back and where I am retreating from your will. Enable me to follow you, without trying to negotiate, knowing that it will be worth it all when I see you!



To read more from Tammy, you can visit her at Steps in Our Journey

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Grip Adjustment...

The Internet Cafe

welcomes

Susan fromLearning for Lifetime

"Grip Adjustment"

If you were standing in the line of a thrill ride at Epcot in April of 1999, you may have seen the amazing grip of my then five-year-old son. The car ride simulates a series of road and safety tests. Just before entering, you watch a video that recounts each test. The final “test” highlighted is the crash test. My son started to fret immediately. My husband and two older sons had chosen to go into a “single rider line” which means you can board quicker than parties that want to stay together.

I reassured my boy that we’d be together the whole time. He tightened his grip on the railing. The older boys and their Father boarded their car leaving the younger boy and I for the next car. Suddenly, my son started wailing louder than I had ever heard.

He fixed his grip on that rail and I began my quest to pry him off of it! While he screamed at glass-breaking decibels, I pried those fingers and explained that he WOULD get on the ride no matter what. It was a matter of principle.

I remember looking at the loaded cars in front of us and seeing the remainder of my family staring back at us like we were total strangers. My son quieted down to a whimper when I finally strapped him in to the car’s seat and held his hand tight for the ride.

By the time the three minute ride passed, the screams had turned to sheer joy. His favorite part circling the outside of the building at high speeds. At the end, my co-driver grinned and said, “Let’s do that again!”

While studying the life of Moses in church this past week, I was reminded of this whole Epcot episode. He took the Jewish people on quite an adventure as they exited Egypt.

After all the plagues and hardships, Pharaoh let Moses take his people out of the land but later changed his mind. In Exodus 15, Moses and the people of God find themselves at the bank of the Red Sea with Egyptian soldiers marching after them in hot pursuit. It is here that the people in “Moses’ queue line” tighten their grip. Terrified they cry out to the Lord and ask Moses:

"Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert
to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we say
to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have
been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" (Exodus 15:11-12)
While holding on tight, they announce (maybe even screamed) to their leader that they would rather turn back into slavery than to face the ride they were about to take. They were filled to the brim with anxiety and worry. And they were convinced this was not a good idea.

Moses slowly begins to loosen their grip, however as he tells them:

13 "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will
bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The
LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 15:13 - 14)

Then, with God’s help, the Red Sea parts and these terrified people walk through on dry ground!
While I don’t think they got to the other side, as my son did, and announce, “Let’s do THAT again!” I do know that they reached the other side and sang praises for God’s protection. But it required letting go.

We must trust God to lead us, by placing our hand firmly in His and holding tight, rather than gripping our own circumstances (or railing). When we really let go and step into the journey He has placed before us I am convinced that can all reach the other side grinning from ear to ear!


In His Grip of Grace,

:-) Susan

I invite you to come visit my personal blog at Learning for Lifetime

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Naked and Ashamed


We are all tempted on a daily basis. We all sin (Romans 3:23). Sometimes we can take it too far.

Today I studied the life of Eve. I know I've read it 100's of times, Genesis chapter 3. You truly do see something new each time you read scripture. Here is what I saw this time:

21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.

After they confessed their sins, God covered them. They were ashamed and God gave them cause to not be ashamed by covering them. How many times do we remove that covering and continue to bask in guilt and depression over our sins? How many times do we ignore God's covering? How many times must we nail Jesus to the cross before we realize that our sins are already covered and that we are indeed forgiven?

We women especially have this innate ability to recall an emotion, at any random time, that may be associated with a past sin. The thoughts can pop up in the car, while putting on make-up, while cooking, or even while praying. Should we bask in the emotion that has just been recalled? No. We need to hold our thoughts captive and command them to line up with God’s Word (2 Corinthians 10:5).

I know what His word says and I know we all sin and fall short, yet somehow I always feel unworthy of God's forgiveness. I always try to make it up with good deeds and lengthy prayers. Not anymore. I accept the gift Jesus died to give me. I'm happy to say that God clothed me. I am no longer naked and ashamed.

Thank you, Jesus!




I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Praying for our Husbands

It is so easy to be blinded to the blessing we have in our husbands. I am easily bogged down at times with the little things, even when it comes to praying for him. I am tempted to look at only those areas which "I" want changed.

Many years ago I was confronted head on with this issue. One afternoon I was minding my own business sitting quietly at my dining room table preparing for a bible study I was teaching when God revealed a deep issue in my own life. There were several things in my heart concerning my husband and as I sat there distracted by my thoughts, I asked the Lord to reveal to me how I should pray for him.

And this is the question (verse) God asked me that day.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Luke 6:41

Even as I write that verse out, the memory and the reality of that moment is still very fresh in my mind. I knew that I had spent too much time being irritated by the little specks in my husband's life, while I sat there with this HUGE log in my own eye.

It was a defining moment for me. A deep revelation of the condition of my own heart and life. God began to reveal to me all the things that I had held onto and all the places I had not allowed him to work through because I was too busy noticing all the little things in my husband's life.

Gary Thomas in his book, Sacred Influence shares a story that is a very visual reminder to us all that we should not let the little things that can irritate weigh us down, but instead be thankful for the husband God has blessed us with.

On the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Lisa and I watched several interviews with women widowed as a result of those attacks. "What has changed most about your perspective in the past year?" one interviewer asked. The first widow to respond said, "The thing I can't stand is when I hear wives complain about their husbands." Every woman nodded her head,and then another widow added, "It would make my day if I walked into the master bathroom and saw the toilet seat left up."Their words have a profound ring. The little things we allow to annoy us seem trivial compared to the loss of blessings once taken for granted. In the face of their enormous loss, these women no longer cared about the little irritations; instead, they had to face the big, black hole of all that their husbands had done for them, suddenly sucked out of their lives forever. (pg. 49 Sacred Influence)

This morning as I prayed for my husband, I listed all those things that I am so thankful for. I want to focus my heart on these things. I made a list to remind myself. It is amazing how many good things there are if we only would choose to focus our thoughts there.


In Him...Chris
This was originally posted at my personal blog Come to the Table

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dressing Up

One of my favorite things to do growing up was playing dress-up. This seems to have been passed on to my 6-year-old daughter. She loves to get into her dress-up clothes, as well as her regular clothes and put together endless combinations. She will dance and twirl, and of course, loves to check herself out in the mirror. The various combinations create a "persona" for her.

As women, I think we carry that love of dressing up into our adult years. Who doesn't love getting the perfect outfit together for a date with your husband? I believe the little girl in all of us loves to clothe ourselves in beautiful, elegant things. While we take such care in our outward appearance, many times this surpasses the effort we take on clothing our souls.

Luke 12:21-23 reads:
He said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing."


While I think that we should strive to look attractive for our husbands and to honor the Lord with our appearance and health, we must not make this the focus of our primary efforts. We must strive to clothe our souls and be sanctified and used for His glory!

Ephesians 6:13-15 guides us:
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.


So as you "dress-up," don't forget the most important parts of your wardrobe! Blessings!