A Good Reminder

I woke up this morning at 5 am, a time much earlier than I would ever choose to get up, but I knew I needed to get some things done. My mother in law is coming this weekend, so I wanted to finish up some cleaning and get the crock pot meal prepared before I headed off to work.
As I was darting from place to place, the Lord stopped me and spoke to my heart. In the past there have been many times that I have pushed snooze on my alarm when I should have gotten up to get into God’s word and soak in His truth unrushed and unhurried. But so many times I have continued sleeping just to get a few extra minutes before work and either missed my time with the Lord altogether or had to rush through my reading due to a lack of time. Yet, here I was at 5:00 in the morning willing to get up to make our house look presentable…..to people please.
Now, our family has never required that we clean our house before they arrive or anything, don’t get me wrong. But, I am a people pleaser to a fault, and because of this I put a lot of pressure on myself to makes things the best I can make them for others. While it is not wrong to have a clean home and a presentable room for guests to stay in, what is wrong is putting others before the Lord. And this is something I’ve been realizing that I do far too often.
Why am I willing to sacrifice sleep for  others, but I am not willing to sacrifice sleep for the Lord? The Lord is most important and time with Him is of the utmost importance!
Exodus 20:3 says “You shall have no other gods before me”.
Too often, and I think most of the time unknowingly, I make pleasing others my “god”, when the Lord clearly states that we should have NO other gods before Him. Now, “gods” can take on many different forms. For some is it popularity, social media, wealth, addictions, shopping, their time and the list could go on and on. But this is not how the Lord intended for us to live our lives. He is to be the central focus of all that we do and all that we are.
The Lord truly challenged my heart this morning and reminded me that He should always be first and foremost in my life and He is worth it! Is there anything that you are putting before the Lord today? I would encourage you to surrender it to the Lord and let Him take control over those areas of weakness.
Advertisements

Steady Heart

I heard this song today and it was exactly what I needed to hear. It’s a reminder that even though I don’t always know what is in store for me or how things will end up, I serve a God who I can trust and who is reliable. A God who can carry me through storms and lead me into the clearing. A God who is steady, forgiving, loving, always by my side and faithful to the end! Thank you Lord for who you are!

 

Steady Heart
Written by: Steffany Gretzinger & Amanda Cook

I can’t see
What’s in front of me
Still I will trust You
Still I will trust You

Steady heart that keeps on going
Steady love that keeps on holding
Lead me on
Steady grace that keeps forgiving
Steady faith that keeps believing
Lead me on

Though the sky is dark
And the wind is wild
You’ll never leave me
You’ll never leave me

Though the night is long
There is a coming dawn
The light is breaking
The light is breaking

Steady heart that keeps on going
Steady love that keeps on holding
Lead me on
Steady grace that keeps forgiving
Steady faith that keeps believing
Lead me on

And as the dawn breaks
And the clouds clear
In an open space
Together we will run

Resolve Series Now Available

I am so proud of my amazing husband! Today Download Youth Ministry published one of Emmanuel’s sermon series!

The series is about Daniel and the resolve he made to follow after the Lord. Below is the summary of the series:

Today, many Jesus loving, Bible quoting, youth group going students head to a strange new land called their “College years” (a land without parents, where students can do whatever they want) and they trade in the things of God for the things of the World. In the Old Testament, Daniel was in the same situation. He was in a strange new land without parents yet, he Resolved to continue to walk with the Lord. In this series, your students will discover what Daniel did to be faithful in a foreign land. My hope is that this series will give students a goal, plan, and desire to live for God throughout junior high, high school and college.
This series explores Daniel 1:1-8:

Week 1: RESOLVE to honor God

Week 2: RESOLVE to be connected to others

Week 3: RESOLVE to make God’s Word your standard

Resovle

If you are a pastor or youth pastor looking for a new sermon series, I would highly recommend that you check this series out! It is well written and packed with God’s truth!

You can find it here: http://downloadyouthministry.com/shop/resolve-3-week-series/

Check it out! 🙂

Our Houston Adventure

This past weekend Emmanuel was asked to be the guest speaker for First Methodist Houston’s Disciple Now and I had the privilege of going with him! The drive to Houston was absolutely beautiful especially when we got around the Brenham area. There were so many beautiful fields with wild flowers and pretty houses. It was really peaceful and we enjoyed getting to spend some time together!

2 3 4 5

On our way we stopped at Buc-ees. If you’ve never heard of Buc-ees it’s basically just a gas station but their store’s are super nice and are unique to Texas. This one had a gift shop, a grocery store, a candy store and was also a gas station.

IMG_1795

Finally after a long drive we made it to Houston. Driving downtown Houston was definitely an experience and a little bit crazy at times, but it was also beautiful at the same time. The church was right in the middle of it all with skyscrapers all around and the city train right next to the church. It was a beautiful church and we were excited to be there. Just to give you perspective, in the picture below, the church is on the far right and is the tan brick building.

IMG_1805IMG_5010

We loved getting to meet all the students and other small group leaders, as well as see an old friend. Emmanuel spoke 4 times throughout the weekend and did a fantastic job each time! I am so proud of him and honored to have him as my husband.

IMG_5033 IMG_1863

God truly showed up and students lives were transformed. There were students who said that they were ready to step up and be leaders in their schools and students who found the Lord for the first time! It was such a blessing to be a part of such an awesome weekend!

While we were in Houston I also had the opportunity to see my sister, brother in law, and nephew. It is always fun to see them and I enjoyed getting to spend more time with my cute little nephew. He even showed me some of his new tricks! I also got to see their new house that they just bought! It was so pretty and they have already done so much to make it their own. I’m happy for them and their new adventure as home owners!

8 9

The weekend went all too fast, but we had a great time being together and praising the Lord with students  in Houston!

If you are ever in need of a terrific guest speaker feel free to contact me, I know a guy! 😉

 

 

From the rooftops I proclaim That I am Yours

I stumbled upon this video today and it is so good! These boys are truly talented and I love that they are using their talent for the Lord! Enjoy!

“Rooftops” by Jesus Culture

Here I am before You, falling in love and seeking Your truth
Knowing that Your perfect grace has brought me to this place
Because of You I freely live, my life to You, oh God, I give
So I stand before You, God
I lift my voice cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours

All the good You’ve done for me, I lift up my hands for all to see
You’re the only one who brings me to my knees
To share this love across the earth, the beauty of Your holy worth
So I kneel before You, God
I lift my hands cause You set me free

So I shout out Your name, from the rooftops I proclaim
That I am Yours, I am Yours
All that I am, I place into Your loving hands
And I am Yours, I am Yours

Here I am, I stand, with arms wide open
To the One, the Son, the Everlasting God

The Value of Discipline

discipline

I’m typically not a big reader, but recently I have stumbled on some pretty good books. I just started reading “Disciplines of a Godly Woman” by Barbara Hughes and so far it is great! In reading the first chapter today, I was really challenged by it and thought I would share an excerpt with you in hopes that it will be as encouraging and challenging for you as it was for me.

         Years ago when I was in my early thirties and the busy, flabby mother of four, a friend and I made up our minds to get in shape and exercise a little physical discipline. We donned ratty old tennis shoes and weather beaten t-shirts and shorts and set out to run around the block. To our dismay, we made it only as far as the first corner, nearly fainting with that much exertion. But we didn’t give up. Every morning we tried again. The day we made it to the half-mile marker, we were so happy we celebrated with donuts! That morning workout eventually lengthened to three miles, then to five-always ending with the prize, a donut! We got fit, but we didn’t take it too seriously. We understood that some disciplines are more important than others.

           The apostle Paul links this idea of necessary training or discipline with the spiritual life. First Timothy 4:7 says, “Train yourself to be godly.” That word train is derived from the very ancient Greek word from which we get the English word gymnasium. By New Testament times it referred to exercise and training in general. In a sense, Paul is saying, “Gymnasticize yourself for the purpose of godliness.” He’s calling for a spiritual workout.

            It’s this spiritual workout that Paul deems so much more important than a morning jog around town. He goes on to say, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

            I’m nearly sixty now- a soft grandmother of sixteen youngsters. I don’t jog anymore, though I regularly make the most of my occasional bursts of energy by using the few pieces of high-tech exercise equipment stashed inour basement. The older I get, the more I understand Paul’s exercise priorities: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4: 16).

 After reading this I was challenged. Too often I focus on perfecting the things of this world, things that will some day pass away. Since I am a runner this hit home even more for me because when I think about jogging for 30 minutes I find that to be somewhat easy, yet when I try to daily spend 30 minutes reading God’s word I can at times find it challenging. While working out and running are good things, they are things that someday will fade away and when I am 60 + I’m sure working out and running will have much less importance to me. But how my relationship with the Lord is will matter greatly, because that is something that will last forever.

 Training can often be challenging, whether you are training for a marathon, a test, a game, etc… yet in the end, the training was worth it because of the end result you receive. The same is true about spiritual discipline and training…it will be hard at times and there may be days where you don’t want to do it, but in the end it will be completely worth it!

John Wesley once said:
O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may love nothing but for Thy sake and in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I may love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience under all Thy chastisements, and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by every word of my tongue, by every work of my hand, by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.

 I too want this to be the cry of my heart! I don’t want to look back on my life and only remember the hours I spent training for races or wasting time doing things that don’t matter for eternity. Instead I hope and pray that at the end of my life I will see all the ways the Lord continually was moving in my life and how I was earnestly seeking Him with all that I am. But in order to have such results, it must start today.

 So I challenge you too…how is your relationship with the Lord? Are you giving your all to Him even when things are hard? Are you willing to discipline yourself for the sake of the cross?

Lord, draw my heart and draw the hearts of those who read this today. Make us more like You. Give us discipline and a desire for you Lord. And help us earnestly seek You with all that we are.

 **Excerpts were taken from the book “Disciplines of a Godly Woman” by Barbara Hughes. Check it out, it’s good! 

Persevere

Recently I’ve been seeing various workout tanks that are really cute! So while in Wal-Mart the other day I picked one up and decided to create my own. Since I work as a graphic artist I have access to equipment that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to which is quite a nice perk! I first began by debating what the tank should say. Since I enjoy running I figured something along those lines would be best. I then thought of this verse : Hebrews 12:1 ” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” This verse seemed just right. I then laid out my design and pressed the vinyl onto my tank. I’m very pleased with the outcome!

1 3 4

This verse not only encourages me to run with perseverance when I am getting physically worn out and tired on my jogs, but it also is an encouragement to me to endure and persevere when life is hard.

I want to encourage you also to cling to this verse and truly throw off every sin that so easily tries to pull you down and persevere, clinging to the cross!

Persevere when the world seems against you
Persevere when  you are tempted
Persevere when you feel lonely
Persevere when you are sad and/or depressed
Persevere when nothing seems to go your way

PERSEVERE!!!

The list could go on and on, but you get the picture. When your world seems to be falling apart, cling to the one who holds the world in His hands!