Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Writing through the Bible


Back in February I accepted a challenge to write out scriptures each day of the month that had to do with Love. The link is here. It was life changing. Now, I will say that I enjoy writing. Not just writing as in coming up with words, but writing as in hand writing things. Most of time it is much more practical to type (which I also enjoy) but when I took this challenge, it really made me think.

I have been reading the Bible for my entire life. Although I have never managed to read it from front to back, I am sure that I have read the entire Bible in some order. However, I have often read entire chapters without really stopping to think about what I had read. So, when I had to write out each word of these scriptures, it really gave me time to think and mull over each word that God gives to us. I was able to really pray and think about each word.

So I made a decision. I started in Genesis a few weeks ago and will continue as long as it takes to write out the entire Bible. Yes, I know this sounds crazy and I anticipate it taking several years. But I can only imagine how valuable it will be for me.

Today I am in Genesis 11 and I can already see a huge difference in how I am able to think about and pray about these chapters that I have read so many times in my life.

I don't have a real purpose in writing this other than to hold myself accountable to it. Maybe every once in a while I will share something I have thought about differently or something the Lord is teaching me. For now though, maybe it's just to challenge you to come up with a way to read the Bible in  way that will change your heart. A way that will open your eyes to new things and let Him change you through it.

Have a blessed day!

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Praying With a Broken Heart

Our home bible study group is going through a Bible study on Prayer right now. It is very interesting and amazing how sometimes something as simple as praying can make us so uncomfortable and so vulnerable at times.

Last night, one of the things that we talked about was how we can pray for the things going on around us. When we don't know what to pray about, it can be as simple as reading the newspaper headlines, or walking around our neighborhood and praying for things we see. Someone also brought up the quote, "Break my heart for what breaks yours." I have heard this a million times but I just never really thought about it in terms of my prayer life.

I am often saddened by the news, worried about the world, hopeful for my children's futures...etc. But, I really don't think I have ever let God "break my heart" like his is broken from all of my sins, and the awful sinful things happening today around the world.

So last night, I decided before going to sleep (at some horribly late hour might I add), that I would look at the news with new eyes and pray for the things happening around me. I wanted to pick something local, something nationwide, and something international and pray with my heart broken for the people.

Oh my.

What a night in the news. I was only on my phone for 15 seconds and had seen three different stories that took me down hard!

A local family who had fallen into a ravine at a State Park a bit south of us....and while five people had been pulled to safety, their two young boys, ages 6 and 9 were not found. 

A mass shooting in Orlando, Florida where over 50 people were killed and more than 50 others injured.

And horrible news about the suffering that is happening in Syria. 

We are tempted at times to turn away, not look at the pictures. But, somtimes it takes looking at those pictures and trying to put yourself there to let your heart be broken for the people in all of these places.

These stories could involve topics that we all may disagree on politically and the reality is, it doesn't matter what you think about homosexuality, or muslims, or ISIS, or gun control, or war, or what families choose to do on their Saturday. People are hurting and these are all people that God created. He loves them. We need to love them.

These are only three of the headlines that I saw as I skimmed articles last night and prayed, and prayed, and prayed  while I let God break my heart in a small sampling of a way that his is broken with each of these things.

Get on your knees. Pray alone, Pray with others. Gather together. We live in a time and place where, at the moment, we are still free to do that.

Surround these people with God's grace, His mercy, His love, His comfort and His care.

Let your heart be broken and know that each and every prayer is heard.

And, when your kids ask what those pictures are on the phone, computer, and TV. Don't just shrug them off. (I am also not telling you to try to let young children see and hear things that they cannot deal with on purpose...but it happens) Teach them to pray. And if they are scared, share this quote from Mr. Rogers that I have seen flying around on Facebook.


Because....there are a lot of evil things going on in the World today...and there always have been. But, there can be a lot of good too. 

So join with me and pray. Pray for the things we see going on around us. Pray for the people affected whether you know them or not. And let Jesus break your heart and heal it in a way that only He could possibly do. 


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Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Oldest Child

Today is Keira's 8th Birthday...and if anyone in this world loves their birthday...it's Keira. She thinks about it year round and we have even had to make a rule that she isn't allowed to talk about it until March 25th each year (Janessa's birthday is March 24th) But...by the time we got to today, we had already had 3 celebrations so it was a little bit anti-climactic.

Last Sunday we celebrated a dual party with my cousin's daughter, MJ, at my Grandma's house...and...no excuses...I didn't take a single picture! Whoops!

Thursday night, we brought a treat to dance class to share...though she had landed wrong on her foot and was icing it when I got there with the cupcakes....but she absolutely loves her dance friends and teachers so she could not imagine not celebrating with them.

Friday evening, we invited a bunch of girlfriends over for a pajama party....NOT A SLEEPOVER! I don't think that a slumber party will ever happen in my home but we tried to squeeze all of the slumber party fun into 3.5 hours and then send everyone home to sleep in their own beds! We made our own pizza's, painted nails, decorated pillow cases, had cake of course and Keira received some special and throughtful gifts from her friends. What a sweet group of girls that we know from all different places!




































It kind of works out for Keira that her bithday usually falls on or around Memorial Day weekend because it really ends up making several more opportunites to celebrate than other kids might have. Parties that I don't have to plan, might I add! Saturday we went to the annual picnic at Tom's sister's house. Lot's of fun! It also happened to be Grandma McMillan's 94th Birthday so I made them each a cake and we celebrated with her and Keira together.  Everything was all set up outside and then a storm rolled in a made it more of an indoor picnic. We all enjoyed ourselves anyways and the kids eventually went out in the HOT, HUMID weather and did water balloons and sprayed each other with the hose.








After the picnic, we got to go and celebrate a friend of the family's first birthday. Happy Birthday Cody!

Whew!

So, today rolled around and we peeled ourselves out of bed so Keira could quickly open some gifts from Daddy and Mommy, fed the kiddos, threw them in the car to be at church for rehersals at 8:00am (ok...we really got there at 8:15)...and can I just say that I love our church family so much....I will try to post more on that later this week but no promises.

After church, we ate a quick lunch at home, grabbed our swim stuff and headed to my Aunt's lake house for the day on Cayuga Lake for another annual Memorial Day picnic....we pulled in there at the same time as a huge storm. All of us (and there are a LOT of us) piled in the house and made the best of it. The storm finally let up after a couple of hours and the kids ended up swimming! The water had to have been freezing but they LOVED it! What wonderful memories they will have of swimming with their cousins in the freezing water.

So, happy birthday Keira. We love you. We are so proud of the girl you are. You care deeply about people, hurt for them, love them, and (most of the time) make sure everyone feels included. You work hard to do your best at things and make us so proud. I love watching how you care for your baby sister and the looks she gives you when you play with her. You are adored by many and most of all Jesus loves you. You are an amzing gift...thank you for making me a mommy eight years ago.











Now, we are tired. Time for some rest. Staying home on the actual memorial day. My house looks like the cupboards threw up.

Good night.

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