Happy Monday…it’s kinda dreary here today. But that doesn’t mean we cannot Choose to be Happy. It’s hard at times, but in the midst of hard things we can choose to be thankful. And when we have a heart of Thankfulness, happy creeps in
Breakfast time…what is on the plate this morning::::nothing
Looking around the house::::uh general straightening up. it was a long and tiring weekend
On today’s to do list:::: rest, read, write, laundry, dishes and play practice
Currently reading:::: the Bible One thousand Gifts and a few others
On the TV today::::nothing
The weather outside is::::.cold ad gray, we even had freezing rain this morning
On the menu this week::::
Monday- Cicken Noodle soup
Tuesday- Pork BBQ and potato salad
Wednesday- Beef Stroganoff and salad
Thursday Grilled cheese and tomato Soup
If I have a few minutes to myself, I will:::: begin my paper Christmas village
New recipe I tried, or want to try this week:::: no time for new recipes right now
One of my simple pleasures:::: reading by the fire in the wood stove
Favorite photo from the camera or internet::::
Praying for:::: friends and family. some going through some hard things, some making poor decisions…and the rest because I love them
Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::
Hebrews 11:32-40 NIV
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[a] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with uswould they be made perfect.
I have been re-reading some past blog posts, and do you know what I realized? I don’t blog very much about my husband!! That’s mostly because I respect his desire to not be put into the spotlight and it’s not that I am choosing to disrespect his wishes today BUT there are some days that you have to give credit where credit is due.
I was doing some prep work for a blog post for later today and I was overcome by the amazingness of my husband. The things not everyone gets to see . The things this man does and I get to support him in. The things I am sometimes guilty of taking for granted.
His Many Hats
He wears many hats and God has gifted him the ability to do them well. He and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have 4 kids ages 12,11,alomst 10, and 7. One has Autism and another has a learning disability known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder. This is a huge part of his life but the other huge part is his calling to be pastor. We have been at our current church for almost 9 years. I have watched him spend countless hours ministering to people in some very unconventional ways. He has the unique ability to meet people where they are, work side by side with them and create a relationship with them. My husband is so dedicated to his call that he is constantly seeking to grow in it, to learn and grow deeper his relationship with Christ. I have watched him pour countless hours into people, to shed tears on their behalf and still treat them with the love of Jesus when he is hurt by them. He is a real leader who can lead without an iron fist or micromanage the people he is leading. He also takes time to to fix broken things at church. He runs errands for church. he runs errands for home and as I looked at the calendar page for October I noticed there were things missing from his weekly activities
people in crisis
last minute meetings
Prep for sermons
prep for 2 Bible studies a week
And this doesn’t even begin to cover family things like convent care trips and the like.
He as a person
Though he will tell you otherwise he is intelligent and skilled in communicating the word of God. I have watched him painstakingly pour over God’s word sometimes changing his sermon multiple times to be sure to bring God’s truth, even if it stings deep within his own soul. and with that goes transparency of his heart sharing both from the pulpit and in private his struggles. He does not view himself as higher or better than another. He has strove to continue to grow in his education, that enables him to sharpen and fine tune his skills.
One of the greatest things about this man that I count as a blessing from God is his desire to do whatever it is he has set his hand to, and to do it well. Many people don’t get a chance to see this, but I count it a privilege to get a front row seat. To the countless hours counseling in person at our table, on the phone and via text message (yes that really can happen). I get to watch him wear himself thin as he goes from one meeting to the next, ones where he spends hours, days and weeks praying for and pouring over. I count it a privilege to Get to be the one who shares in his greatest joys and his deepest sorrows. I have watched him help others try to pick up shattered pieces of great disappointments.
People are important to Him
He makes time for everyone though that is rarely seen . It is done in secret to protect those who are hurting. He holds so much between him and God even I do not know all that he has been told. He drops his plans, and desires to run to the aid of another. He changes his work schedule to meet others needs and has done so, most jobs would have fired him. And this is why some days our grass is not mowed or the garbage has not been taken to the transfer station. He views our cars and home as not our own but those things belong to God, things to be used for His service. They are just on loan to us to be used for God’s work.
Care for our family
Most people don’t realize that he is the sole driver of our family. Something he committed to nearly 16 years ago when he asked me to marry him. He knew it was highly unlikely that I would never be able to see well enough to drive. So sermons are prepared as I take care of kids appointments, emails are sent and visits are made in-between all the craziness. He is an amazing multi-taskr. he uses every spare moment he can.
A week ago I posted this picture of something that is rare.
We had already
y picked up kids at 11:45
took headache medicine to the other child at school
gone to two parent teacher conferences
The poor guy had a migraine. And had about a half an hour before we had to eat dinner and leave for Awana. When I posted the picture to social media it was about the cat. She doesn’t snuggle with just anyone. She likes him a lotAnd there were very supportive comments on social media. BUT comments came outside of social media that were not so kind. And that is sad. For a man who rarely if ever takes time for himself, who pours so much of himself into others. Who seeks to build community and build others up. Who gives everything he has and then some. Who bends over backwards for anyone who asks his help.
I am truly sorry I posted it….for the flack he has taken.
So for all of this I want to take the time to thank God for all that he does both the seen and the unseen. The 80+ hours per week for church the 10-20 hours a week for his other job and the countless hours for our family. His ministry is so far deeper than most can imagine, even within the community.
I am grateful that he loves us and takes care of us. Enough to step up and provide in different ways. that he makes sure we always have working vehicles. that he makes sure that we are cared for.
I am thankful that I get to watch. I get a front row seat to his ministry, our ministry together.This also means that sometimes the seats up close see the messy things too. Those moments when people are so wrapped up in themselves to see what is really going on. Im so grateful he includes me. so many pastors and wives live two separate lives. I saw it while we were in seminary. Couples who did their own things, separately. When I am leading Bible study, he is watching the ladies kids. He helps with the RGT conference. He has mentored young men alongside me at the Pregnancy center, reaching deep into the messiness of our community.
I am so grateful to get to watch him grow into the man God always knew he would be. It’s huge blessing to see him step out and try new things to gain boldness.
To watch him give his whole life to Jesus in service. That he holds nothing back. To sacrifice.
To My Pastor
In Short during this month dedicated to showing appreciation to our pastors. I want to say a great BIG thank you.
Thank you for being a selfless example of what a godly man should be, not only for our own children but to the kids who know and love you!
Thank you for reaching me every Sunday , and every other day what the Bible teaches. I love sitting under your teaching and I learn so much.
Thank you for teaching me how to show love and grace through the good, the bad and the ugly.
AND THANK YOU for asking me to be apart of this journey with you 15 years ago. Thank you for seeing me as God does, as a women with potential NOT just as I am a broken imperfect person.
I will gladly serve with you another 15 years and until God sees fit to call us Home!
So yeah did you see that Day two thing in the title GRRRRR! It has been a rough two weeks. We have been crazy Busy a snap shot of exactly what that looks like will be in tomorrows post, but for today we are going to talk all about Jeremiah.
Jeremiah has some passages that in my own personal life have brought great peace in moments of great trial. But whenever dealing with an Old Testament book we MUST MUST MUST remember that these promises, we so often like to claim, are written for the Israelites. We have a different set of promises mapped out in the New Testament and we must be VERY careful not to try to take what was promised to Israel and claim it as out own. That is replacement theology and dangerous territory. Now that my disclaimer is over, I want you to understand that I am not addressing a promise from Jeremiah BUT it is a description. More specifically it is the description of the person who has confidence in the Lord.
A Visit with Jeremiah
Let’s talk just a minute about the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a major prophet. This does not mean he is more important than the minor prophets. it just means that the book itself is bigger than the minor prophet books. Jeremiah was often times referred to as a prophet of doom relating to the prophecies he told about the impending exile. He is also referred to as the “weeping prophet.” we have the most detail about this prophet because of his transparency through his writings. He often shares his innermost thoughts about God, his enemies and his own thoughts of himself.
First the Cursed- Jeremiah 17:5-6
Actually verses 7 and 8 are the second part of a comparison God is making.Verses 5 and 6 start the comparison by saying:
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6 That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
The Lord lays out what exactly is considered cursed.
the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
Those all come from verse 5. so then in verse 6 we see what will happen to such cursed people:
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
They will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desertin a salt land where no one lives.
We know from both history and the Bible that the Israelites lived in a wonderful promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. and yet they were about to be kicked out because of their continued disobedience to God.
Then the Blessed- Jeremiah 17:7-8
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
In contrast, God goes on to show us who the blessed one is: This in’t a promise of blessing. This isn’t a “if you do the right thing you are going to be rich” sort of thing.
So what does this blessed one look like?
They trust in the Lord
Their confidence is in Him
The analogy of a tree planted by water is not a new concept. David talks about a similar type tree in Psalm 1. This blessed person is saturated like a tree planted by the water. Saturated in the relationship with God. Their heart fully trusts Him for all of their needs. Because heat will come. Notice it does not say in the verse “if heat comes” but rather it says “when heat comes.” It is expected. And it does NOT fear the heat! It has NO worries in the year of a drought. And yet in the midst of the heat and the drought it still never fails to bear fruit.
So many times when we struggle we sit back and throw ourselves a pity party of sorts (I am so guilty of this myself).
A “woe is me” sort of attitude.
Look at how awful this is. To quote one of my favorite movies “we can’t see past the nose on our own face.” we don’t look to God and acknowledge our trust that he has this! he knows the outcome and whatever it is it’s ok with us. Instead we have to “figure things out.” “we have to find the answers.” ” we have to talk to the right people.”
So how does this apply to little ole me?
I am a fixer by nature.
I want to fix things.
I want to fix circumstances
I want to fix people
But here is the thing, and I know it’s gonna shock you all…..Ready for it….
I’M NOT GOD!! Go figure! So here is the thing.
If I give all of my junk over to God. All of the control. All of my fears. All of my worries. All of my stress. and I drink deeply from the stream of His word and I work to have this amazing relationship with Him. I will be blessed. Not because I have self-confidence, because that has fears and worries. But instead I have God-fidence which gives all of my fears and worries to Him and I live blessed, like Jeremiah, in a relationship with God.
The NIV Beautiful Words Coloring Bible -Large Print edition is published by Zondervan and has hundreds of scriptures for you to color. It contains Artwork by 7 different artists.
Jay and Kristi Smith
There is an index in the back of the Bible that lists out under each artist the page numbers that include that specie artist’s Handiwork.
The book description claims
“this Bible’s thick white paper with lightly ruled lines in the extra-wide margins provides ample space for your own artistic expressions and journaling.”
Te outside Cover is a cloth, sewn hardcover and comse in a beautiful cardboard box. That leaves the navy blue cloth spine exposed.
Outside of what I have already described. It is a normal Bible with coloring pages included. I had a lot of fun with this book review. It took some time and I made it into an experiment seeing just what new tools I could use in it. NOW I have a confession before any further. I had preconceived Notions about such Bibles and when I saw this one come available I was eager to kind of rip it apart…NOT literally though. I had the idea that they were basically a one time use Bible. What do you do with it when you have completed all the pages? Do people actually read the text next to it? Because let’s be realistic when I buy a Bible I want God’s word not fancy-ness next to it. SOOOO all of that being said we are going to go through this baby and I will give you the break down according to the basic elements.
The Beautiful Cardboard Sleeve
Now I know toy are thinking Im nuts for even including this BUT. This is HUGE. It is a tough box and it handled traveling to and from camp being shoved in a bag multiple times AND it serves a HUGE purpose, It helps to keep the light colored fabric CLEAN! With four kiddos and a veritable zoo in my house it would not take very long to ruin the cover of this Bible. So even after two months the cloth cover is still clean and Beautiful!
The Cloth Hardcover
The cloth, sewn cover is a lovely watercolor floral pattern with as I said before a Navy Cloth spine with white Script lettering. It is gorgeous but since it is so light I was constantly worried about it getting dirty. So that cardboard cover did a Dandy job protecting the light cover. I would recommend storing it in it for protective purposes
This is where things take a turn downhill. The publisher claims thicker paper and I will grant them that it is thicker than most Bible pages. However, there is quite a pit of shadowing by it’s very own ink without Clorox or pen ever being added. so much so that the faint gray journaling lines are hard to see if they happened to be opposite a thicker lined drawing.
So I ran tests on the pages using various mediums
regular graphite percils
G2 pens in .7 and 1.0
a regular old ball point pen
a flair pen
and here is what I discovered….
every single one of them including the standard graphite pencil had shadowing opposite side of the paper.
Markers, watercolor and gel pens had moderate to sever bleed through.
AND if you used pencil with medium pressure you would get indentation as far back as 6 pages. I did not use heavy pressure as I was afraid of tearing the paper.
I loved the artwork. It is pretty much all gorgeous, though I will say that if you are marketing a large print Bible you are trying to hit an audience with vision difficulties. And some of the pictures have SUPER tiny spaces and gray lines versus some of the more dark lined artwork. . Now all of that being said I have a friend who owns the original smaller version of this Bible and we compared the two. It is considerably bigger and darker. so that really earned extra points
This Bible is beautiful
and I would recommend it. I just would change (if possible) the paper quality and the issues with marketing it as large print . So for that I give it 4 art palettes out of 5!!
And a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to BookLook Bloggers for give me a copy of this book to review with no strings attached
Our life been Crazy. It’s seems like I am either late or behind on pretty much every things. We have been FLYING by the seat of our pants. Our schedules are almost non-stop in this new season of life…we will soon have 3 Tweens in our house! There are piano lessons, drum lessons and soon to be baritone lessons. Awana. and then all the other “normal” church stuff that comes with being. pastor’s family!
So this is late. Are you ready LET”S GO!
Breakfast time….what is on the plate this morning::::
I’m not really a breakfast person. oftentimes it ends up being an egg white omelette other times it’s gazing. Today it is a grazing kind of day
Looking around the house::::
I have some general decluttering that needs to be done. I need to finish adding the fall decor. I started a big project on Saturday of making everything look pretty. I am hoping to take care of some more today!
On today’s to do list::::
Blogging. Besides this post I have two more that I need to write for Write 31.
finish fixing and hanging decorations.
Declutter 3 flat surfaces in kitchen
deal with the paper piles in the alcove in the living room
catch up on reading
make J a drys appointment
And the list could go on and on and on!!
Growing Great Kids
and I will be randomly working on smoother books that I have not had a chance to finish
On the TV today::::
The weather outside is::::Crisp and cool though it will get into the 70’s today and it is very sunny
On the menu this week::::
Chicken and Biscuits
Vegetable Beef Soup
Sandwiches and chips
Burgers and Fries
If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Blog my brains out…lol
New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
Made a new beef stroganoff recipe last week that was a HUGE hit
One of my simple pleasures::::
coffee outside in the morning
Favorite photo from the camera or internet::::
Those in Las Vegas
Hard Situations in the Lives of our Friends and family
our kiddos and their schools
upcoming ministry events
the Raising Generations Today Conference
Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::
I will be sharing my thoughts today on Confidence and what that looks like according to my verse for the year which is Jeremiah 17:7-8 which says
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”