Posted in My Testimony

When did God Call You?

When did God call you into a relationship with Him? Has He called you? Is He calling you now?

I remember the moment clearly. I was 8 years old when I knelt beside my Cabbage Patch comforter covered bed to ask Jesus to come into my heart. And, I remember waking up the next morning to run and tell my parents what had happened! I also remember announcing to my church what God had done in my life.

I used to think that this “way” to be saved was odd because it was just me and Jesus, but one of my former youth leaders made me feel so at special about my salvation experience – it was just me and Jesus – nobody begging me to walk the aisle, no one sending me through confirmation, no one talking me through a prayer . . . it was just me and Jesus. And, it was real.

It brought tears to my eyes when a young boy at our church on Sunday walked the aisle to tell Bro. Rick about his same “Jesus & Me” experience.

If we have been called, we have different stories. Share your story by commenting below. Share your real story. And, if you haven’t been called, if you doubt, call out to Jesus for your own “Jesus & Me” experience.

Related post – Motivations to Call

 

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Posted in Inspiration

Expect God’s Answer

When we “pray with expectation”, we must pray expecting God’s answer to be the answer that will bless our lives! Even when He doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want Him to, He does all things well with more love than we can even fathom. He runs things better than anyone on earth.

If God can bring so much redemption from death on a cross, imagine the mighty work he can do when we are following Him!

God does all things well.

 

Posted in For My Book, The Crazy Life

Accepting God’s Path for my Child

God’s plans for our children may not always be our plans for our children.

I know parents who long for their son to be a youth pastor and because he was not called by God into this profession, they tend to not be proud of the man, husband and father he has become.

Not all of our children are going to be called into ministry as a paid profession. And, that’s okay. Our children belong to God. God needs His children in every workplace. He has made His children with varying personalities, traits, likes and dislikes for a reason. God has a calling on each of our lives.

And, dare I even say this, but God may not even have in His will for each of our children to attend college. I am hesitant to even type that sentence because in our home, Nathan & I always say that each of our children will be required to live in a dorm room, do an internship and graduate college.

But, what if our plans are not God’s plans? What if the ideal future we see for our sons and daughters is not the future that will bring them joy? Should that make us less proud? No. Does that mean they are not following God? No. Does it mean that God will use them? Yes.

Let us be proud of our kiddos in whatever path God chooses for them! Let us rejoice that He has His hand on their lives!

Posted in Proverbs 31 Wife

Is Your Husband a Believer?

I talk so much about being a Proverbs 31 wife, but I am certain that is hard if you are reading this as a woman married to an unbeliever. I had failed to think about the prevalence of this situation until I read this blog post this morning.

Click the link for a great testimony from a wife who loved her husband, respected her husband and prayed for her husband despite his unbelief for 27 years.

Posted in Inspiration

Pray in Expectation

This has been a time of praying and expecting God to do a mighty work in our family. What a great way to pray knowing that God has us in His hands, He has exciting plans for us AND His will is perfect. God truly wants us to be happy, content, joyful and excited about our path. God wants to do a mighty work in our family (and your family).

But, how often do we truly expect God to do a mighty awesome work in our lives?

How often do we pray without expecting God to answer?

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice.
In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

David had a need, he had a prayer, and he had an expectation.

In our family, we have a need, we have been praying like crazy and we are expecting for God to do a mighty work!

But, we are not always praying with such readiness. We get caught up in day to day routine, we get caught up in being in control. And, while I hate not being in control, it is in these times that I truly love my communion with God . . . waiting to see His Will unfold and expecting it to be a great plan!!!

How many times do we pray for something and then forget what we have even asked of God? I need to get back to keeping a prayer journal so that I can see the cool ways in which God answers prayers.

Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his sons asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7-11)

I love the parallel to our children. We would never desire to give our children less than what they need, so why would our Heavenly Father who can give or take away anything give us less than what we need. Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us beyond measure!

I’m not saying that I’m expecting to win the lottery tomorrow (we don’t even play)!

The expectation in which I am referring to arises out of a proper orientation of the heart, focusing ourselves on the Lord.

Jesus said, If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7) 

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)

Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)

You see, this is all about Jesus — abiding in Him, being chosen and appointed by Him, asking the Father in His name. If it were all about us, our prospects would be limited and doubtful, and our heart would accuse us: “You’re not worthy.” But because it is all about Jesus, we can expect to walk in His joy, experience His fruitfulness, and have our prayers answered just as His were answered — because He is worthy!

As I close this evening, I ask that you pray for our family as I pray for your family. I am excited to share God’s mighty work in our life very soon!!

Posted in Inspiration, Proverbs 31 Wife, The Crazy Life

anybody, anywhere, anytime

Wow, God is really impressing upon my heart the importance of being intentional with our children. This is the 3rd day in a row that God has revealed more about His will for me to teach my children about a saving relationship with Him.

I love this –

“Who is Jesus? Hebrews 1

1. He is the Son of God and God the Son.

2. He is the Source of all things.

3. He is the Sustainer of all things.

4. He is the Savior of all men.

5. He is the Sovereign of the universe.

Anybody, anywhere, anytime can know His salvation.”

-Gray Allison

And, I love that this sweet mother was intentional in sharing this with her 3 year old! They do understand more than we think, and they are always listening. Their minds are little sponges. Let us fill their minds and hearts with the love of God.

Posted in Inspiration, Proverbs 31 Wife, The Crazy Life

Leading Our Children in Christ

This is another great article to follow up from yesterday’s post. Sometimes I think that as parents we must know all the answers. Knowing the answers is not the key. Knowing God as our personal Lord and Savior is the key!

Help Your Kids Put Faith into Action

Whitney Hopler

Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Karie Stadtmiller‘s book, Give Your Kids the Keys: Navigating Your Child to a Personal and Sustainable Faith, (Regal Books, 2010).

As a conscientious Christian and parent, you want to do your best to teach your kids about God. But your job shouldn’t stop at teaching. Your kids need you to help them make faith their own and live it out fully. God wants your kids to move beyond believing to putting their faith in action. When they do, God will use their lives to change the world!

Here’s how you can help your kids put faith into action:

Steer away from fear and toward engagement. Ask God to help you overcome fear that tempts you to keep your kids isolated from the world’s sin as much as possible, and commit to helping your kids engage with people in this fallen world, boldly working to change it for the better. Base your parenting decisions on your trust in God’s faithfulness to do what’s best for your kids rather than on your fears about what could harm your kids.

Replace lies with biblical truth. Read and reflect on the Bible often to absorb its truth deeply into your soul. Then you can challenge fearful thoughts with faithful thoughts that truly reflect the reality of God’s care for your kids.

Pray for visions of your kids’ futures. Ask God regularly to give you fresh visions of His future plans for your kids, test the insights you receive, and talk to your kids often about how God offers them real hope and wants to use their lives to make the world a better place.

Model the lifestyle you want your kids to emulate. Keep in mind that the way you choose to live powerfully influences your kids. If your top priority is making money or pursuing pleasure, your kids will likely grow up to make similar choices. But if you show your kids that faith is what’s most important to you, they’ll be likely to pursue God above all else.

Call your kids to live beyond themselves. Help your kids move beyond self-centered lives to serve others as God leads them. Let them know that what they do matters in God’s kingdom, even when they’re very young. Help your kids discover and develop the distinct gifts and talents that God has given them. Give your kids opportunities to put those gifts and talents to use in specific ways, serving both in your church and in the greater community. Join them in service projects when you can, such as making care packages for sick kids in your local hospital or volunteering at one of your region’s food banks.

Let God’s fire burn throughout your kids’ lives. Invite God’s Spirit to fill every part of your kids’ lives instead of trying to contain it to certain aspects, such as the time they spend in church. Talk with your kids about what God is doing in their school, their relationships with friends, and all other parts of their lives. Encourage your kids to discover how they can help fulfill God’s purposes in all of the situations they encounter. Discuss the current news together, talking about how your kids can pray for the people and circumstances they learn about from the news. Teach your kids to recognize God’s constant presence and seek His guidance at all times and in all places.

Show your kids how everyday moments are holy moments. Use everyday moments such as driving to and from school, eating meals together, and helping your kids with their homework to make your kids aware of God’s presence and communicate spiritual insights to them.

Tell stories. Just as Jesus often told stories to help His disciples learn something, use stories to teach your kids faith lessons you want them to learn. Tell them the story of how you came to faith in Jesus and what He means to you now. Tell stories about how God is working in the lives of people you know. Ask your kids to tell you stories about what God has done lately in their own lives.

Show your kids how God’s creation reflects biblical truth. Spend time with your kids outside in nature often and talk with them about how what you see reflects something about God. For example, while watching a sunrise together, you could talk about how the Bible says that God’s mercies are new every morning.

Help your kids relate to Jesus’ experiences to their own. Talk with your kids often about Jesus’ life on Earth, and how He went through much of what they face themselves in this fallen world. For instance, if other kids make fun of one of your kids at school, you can explain how other people sometimes mistreated Jesus, but He still related to them in love.

Surround your kids with faithful people while encouraging them to reach out to outcasts. Help your kids develop close friendships with other kids who are living faithful lives and invite adults you trust and respect to invest in your kids lives regularly, keeping in mind that your kids will likely grow to become like the people who surround them. But also urge your kids to reach out to struggling kids with love rather than avoiding them.

Teach your kids how to hear from God and make decisions based on His guidance. Help your kids develop spiritual disciplines such as regular prayer and Bible reading that will increase their abilities to hear what God is saying to them. During your daily conversations with your kids, ask them if they’ve heard from God lately, and what messages they think God gave them. Ask God to give your kids the wisdom they need to discern His voice speaking above all other voices they may hear in the world. Give your kids opportunities to make their own decisions in age-appropriate ways, and include them in making family decisions whenever possible, so they’ll grow into confident adults who can make decisions faithfully.

Adapted from Give Your Kids the Keys: Navigating Your Child to a Personal and Sustainable Faith, copyright 2010 by Adam and Karie Stadtmiller. Published by Regal Books, a division of Gospel Light, Ventura, Ca., www.regalbooks.com.

Adam and Karie Stadtmiller have been in ministry together for more than 15 years, serving in various organizations around the world. They currently minister at North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad, California, where Adam oversees the 30-something ministry and the Discipleship Training Center. Together, they have two daughters, Lily Kate and Lucy Joy. 

Posted in For My Book, The Crazy Life

What an Amazing Testimony

A friend from Missouri, blog follower, blog writer, fellow mommy of 3 and all around great gal who is so gracious to actually read my blog and make me feel cool (and even comments on my posts occasionally) recently shared a blog with me that I just have to share with each of you. She shared the blog after reading I Must Become Less

This blog is the journal of an amazing mother and wife who is battling a brain tumor and its side effects all while living her life as a shining example of Christ’s love.

Weekly Update #22. This is her latest blog, but I encourage you to go to the beginning of her story.

She has an amazing testimony.

What is your testimony? We talked about sharing our testimonies this morning in Sunday School. We all have such different testimonies. Some of us gave our lives to God as young children, others as teens, some as adults, and some of us can’t pinpoint a moment that we gave our lives to God. Our testimony begins with how God called us into His family. If you cannot recall that change, the change did not happen.

I always think it is so cool how God works our Sunday School conversations with the words He speaks through our pastor in the main service and God did just that again today! Bro. Rick shared a really great quote from a father who described his lost daughter,

“We had our daughter in church. We did not have our daughter in Christ.”

What a terrible revelation to come to as a parent – raising a child that never has a testimony of God’s love! Having our children in church is fabulous! (We are so thankful to be members of an amazing church that has accepted the responsibility to love, guide, pray for and teach our children.) But, it is much more important to have our children in Christ. God has entrusted them to us, it is our responsibility to teach them and grow them in Christ. He tells us this in Deuteronomy 6.

Some of our most special moments as a family are spent praying with our children and reading our nightly devotions. Once we began this, there were times that Nathan & I were frustrated with them because bedtime had been chaotic, there have been times that it was “too late”, but the girls will not accept us not praying and reading together each night – we are thankful for their accountability. I pray that their desire to grow in the Word will become more and more passionate as they grow in age.

We are by no means the home that we need to be. We are doing about 2% of what we need to be doing, so I’ve been doing some research tonight about teaching our children.

I love this interview with Kay Arthur –

Teaching Your Children to Study the Bible

This book has also been recommended to me. It’s definitely going to have to go in next month’s budget!

Big Truths for Young Hearts

Posted in Around the House, Proverbs 31 Wife

The Christmas Countdown

In my house, we begin planning for Christmas when August rolls around. I already have my list ready to go with the names of our gift recipients tagged with gifts that we would like to purchase. We really enjoy Christmas shopping!

A friend of mine is much more organized than me when it comes to Christmas. She will be finished by November, and when I say finished, I not only mean with shopping, but with wrapping, as well!  It’s a pretty smart idea – she wraps as she buys. I’m not that good.

This Christmas, as you plan a countdown for your kiddos, plan a countdown for your hubby (or your wife), too. I saw this on Pinterest tonight, and it looks like fun! I always enjoy cool gifts.

Speaking of cool gifts, comment below with cool gift ideas. Some of our recent cool gifts to give have been:

  • Discovery Flights – Midwest Aviation in West Paducah, KY offers flights over the area. In the past 2 years, we have given our fathers gift certificates to enjoy this. My dad loved it so much, he mentioned that he would like to do it again. It’s around $100 and has to be used within 90 days.
  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Junie B. Jones for my sweet Reading Pal

Christmas is so much fun we are just as excited to give as to receive!

Share your coolest gift ideas!