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“Here Mom” – Handing the temptation over

2015/03/img_4677.jpgTonight while all the other children were in their beds our seven year-old son came down to the kitchen. I was busy loading up freezer bags with chicken and various marinades. He stood next to me and helped me by handing me spices and sauces. We talked for sometime. Soon enough all the bags were ready to place in the freezer. I began placing them all in one by one. And then something unexpected happened. Our son came to my side as I knelt there placing another bag. He then said, “Here mom,” and he handed me these three little pieces of chocolate that must have been left from their Valentine’s Day candy. They were freezing cold so I knew he had to have seen them and then grabbed them out of the freezer while I was not aware. I looked at him and told him, “I can’t eat them.” (I have a soy sensitivity and most chocolate has soy letchin.)

What he said next surprised me, “No, I was going to sin, but I am handing them back to you.” I was speechless at first, just staring at the three little chocolates. He could have easily gotten away with it. I had no idea he had taken the chocolates. I then smiled and said, “I am proud of you. A weaker man would have given in.” To that he smiled back and said, “It is really hard not to sin when it is chocolate.” (Don’t I know it brother.)

I share all this tonight because his actions reminded me of something I had on my heart earlier to share. God’s power in a person’s life is not only seen in the way he can turn a sinful life around. His power is also seen in the way he can empower a person to live a life that turns from sin.

If you are struggling with an addiction tonight- I want you to know I am praying for you and thanking God for you. May you be filled with the power of God. May you be able to turn from that temptation and place the addiction in the Father’s hands. May the grace of God empower you to do just that. Lay it down. Walk away stronger. Be in bondage to nothing. That is truly a sweet, sweet thing.

If you are NOT struggling with an addiction tonight- know I am also praying for you and thanking God for you. May you continue to have the strength to resist temptation. May the grace of God empower you to do just that. In a world full of temptations, may you continue to hold tight to your convictions. Know I am proud of you and in awe at you… Because it is not easy. But by the grace of God it is possible.

Thank you Heavenly Father for your empowering grace.

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Praying for you

Hey friend,

I know some days are long, some problems are truly big, sometimes life throws at us a little more than we feel we can handle. We grow weary. We grow anxious. We grow heavy hearted. Sometimes we are just plain lonely.

Please know this tonight- if your day was long, if you are facing problems that seem too big, if you are feeling weary, or anxious, or lonely- know you are being prayed for right now. Know that all things truly are possible with God. Know that you are not alone. Know that the strength you need is going to arise. It is. Know the provision you need is going to be met. It is. Know that you have absolutely nothing- NOTHING- to be anxious over. Not you, child of God. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. He will keep you in perfect peace as you fix your eyes on him. And sleep well. Rest in his overwhelming love for you.

Praying for you.
– Charity

 

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While He May be Found?

So it was nearing bedtime. I gathered the children together hoping to sit them all down and read scriptures to them. In my heart I envisioned them all huddled up together, listening intently to every precious word. But it didn’t go down like that. Not at all.

Our oldest stayed focused, but the others starting quickly drifting, minds far off from me and the words I was reading. They weren’t interested. They were getting rowdy, having a blast with each other, with no regard to me or what was being read.

Put simply, they weren’t interested. No movie? No cool music? No funny YOUTube video? No silly dance or dramatic reading? Did I really think my calm voice alone could hold their attention? I had hoped. But it didn’t.

These little ones that can sit glued to a tv for an hour couldn’t hold their focus for 26 scriptures… 26 single sentences. I ended up calling it quits on the whole thing. Turned the lights off and sent them to bed. And they were upset and begging, “We want to hear! We want to hear!” But the time to hear had passed. It was lights out, and hopefully we could try again tomorrow… Hopefully.

And my mind is now drifting back to that 19th verse we read: “S: Seek ye The Lord while he may be found.”

It has always been a verse that kind of shakes me up… After all what does that mean, “while he may be found”? Isn’t God always with us? Can’t we always seek him? Well, yes… And no.

Because here is thing, if you truly believe the Bible is true, there is this one concept that you can’t quite shake (no matter how much you want to) and it is this: One day you will die and you will either be eternally with God or eternally separated from him. That’s it. It’s all said and done. The time to seek God passed. And that time to seek God is now.

And yeah, there are so many more “exciting” things to do isn’t there? Cool movies and funny YOUTube videos to watch. Your favorite football team to cheer on. Friends and family to fill that space with no problem at all. It’s all great really… Until it’s light out and then I fear, for many it will be “I want to hear! I want to hear!”

“Seek ye The Lord while he may be found.”

Yes, seek him now.

Because His gentle voice will not be around forever, for those who choose to not seek it now.

 

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Pomegranates and Bells {Touching the Hem of His Garment}

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A few weeks ago our children discovered the wonder of a pomegranate. It was a neat lesson for them, but truly, I had not thought much about it since, until early this morning while reading scripture.

Did you know that the hem of the priest’s garment was described in Exodus? It is described as a pattern of “a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.” (Exodus 28:34)

A bell, a pomegranate, a bell, a pomegranate, this uneding pattern about the hem of the garmet.

The hem of the garment…

Reminded me of another story in the Bible, the story of a woman who had an issue of blood, who broke through the crowds, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was made well. (Matthew 9: 20-22)

Wide eyed this morning, my heart fixed on this:

There is a way to “stop the bleeding.”

The pattern was laid out long ago in pomegranates and bells.

Pomegranates– fruit filled with seed, extremely time consuming to eat, as each little seed needs taken out and meticulously sucked on to savor the juice of the pomegranate. Delicious and meticulous, that is the pomegranate- and incredibly similar to this: the Word of God. In fact, Jesus said the Word of God is seed. (Luke 8:11)

Golden Bells– the sound of pure joy, the sound of pure praise.

His Word, Praise, His Word, Praise…

This unending pattern…

This royal hem that can still be touched.

What is your issue today?

Break through the crowds, draw close to God, take hold of His Word, pick it apart little by little, savor and receive into your spirit every promise. Let your heart ring his praise.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

This is what stops the bleeding.

May you touch the hem of his garment today.

– Charity

 

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Keep The Faith

I have been thinking about this faith thing- this choice to stay positive- to see the good- to trust God is with us when all hell is breaking loose.

It is a fight at times- quite frankly it is exhausting at times.

But when I consider the alternative- to wallow in frustration and sorrow, to believe (and essentially put faith in the fact that) I am weak and situations are hopeless- there is no choice really but to have faith in what has time and time again proven to be true:

That God is with me, fighting with me, moving mountains for me and strengthening me to stand.

Perhaps you need that reminder today too.

If you are weary from the battle today- I want you to know I am praying for you. I am praying that your faith would continue to be mighty and that you would be able to cast off every vicious doubt and lie that is fired your way.

And I want you to know that I, and many, many other believers in Christ, we are with you in this thing.

And you know what? We are winning. God is winning. Faith is winning. Every time we say, yes to God, the light is winning- refusing to be overtaken by the darkness. It is a fight. But we ARE and we WILL win.

Our victory is not evidenced by our health.

(Remember Jesus? He was winning. He was sinless. But it didn’t look like it he was winning on that cross, did it? And you know what else? He was praying for others! In the midst of what looked like total defeat he was praying for others.

You- dear friend, dear reader, dear brother or sister in Christ- you keep praying for others even when it looks like you are being defeated.)

Our victory is not evidenced by the amount of money in our bank account.

Our victory is evidenced when we refuse to put on self pity, and when we refuse to curse God, but instead keep putting on praise.

Yes, acknowledge the doubts and the frustrations, after all, there is no faith where there is no doubt.

But never allow Satan’s wardrobe of pity to remain on your shoulders. We are called to put on praise.

Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

And as my dear sister in Christ reminded me, “Gotta let go of the ashes before you can have the beauty.”

And ashes always come from a burning up of something.

So if you are feeling the burn, be encouraged because beauty is coming.

Beauty in fact, is already here. Because you are here, still standing, still choosing faith in the midst of every doubt and seeming failure.

You are still here and God IS with you.

Keep the faith.

That is what matters most.

 

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All They Need is You

It has been six days since our sweet baby boy was born. For those who may not know, our son was born at 36 weeks and 3 days. I cannot describe how blessed we feel to have been able to bring him home only three days after his birth. We are so thankful to the Lord for this and to all of you who were praying for him and continue to pray for him. Not once did he go into NICU, but for a relatively short time he was on oxygen.

Our son was put on oxygen for five hours in the nursery immediately after being born. By then, I was terribly missing my baby and was blessed to be feeling well enough to walk to go and visit him with my husband in the nursery.

My husband and I stood next to him, gently touching his hands and speaking with the nurses. (As I watched him, I gained a greater understanding of the many hymns we have sung in church describing God’s Spirit to the air we breathe.) After a short time visiting, one of the nurses informed us that they would bring him to me to try and nurse and so we left and waited in our room.

When the nurse brought him to me she said something so amazing I just had to share it. She said, “You know his heart rate had been in the 170s from delivery. But after ya’ll left it went right down to 130. It was like all he needed to settle down was to hear your voice.” She then handed him to me and said, “I think all he needs right now is you.”

If you are a parent, I want to encourage you today to never underestimate the impact that your presence has on your children. Visit them in their room. Reach out and touch them. Let them hear your voice and know you are there. Let them feel the presence of their Heavenly Father through YOU. Your presence in their life is what matters most and it very well may be all they need.

 

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Surprising Him

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I love to surprise my hard working hubby. (He also loves to surprise me.) Here is a picture of a little surprise I concocted up tonight for him- a few of his favorite things and then some extra little “manly” pampering gifts. (Yes, even men deserve to get pampered. Especially hard working husbands and fathers.)

I searched the racks for “manly” pampering products… which were few and far between. I found a few that I really liked- and hoped he would too. My hubby loves chili peppers and I happened to see bunches of chili peppers being sold near the roses while I was shopping at my second shopping spot. I put them in the same vase. I think together they look so great! Also picked up our favorite “kids are in bed” treat of sushi and cake.

Anyhow- I am not trying to brag on myself here, I am simply trying to get you wives out there thinking about ways that you can surprise your hubby. I challenge you to surprise yours within the next seven days…

Will you do it? That is what matters most.

 

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