Monday, July 28, 2008

Memorizing Monday

This Week's Memory Verse:
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Over the weekend I found myself having a little pity party of sorts. My daughter is gone for three weeks and loneliness has set in a little. Why hasn't God brought a man, a partner, a help mate into my life? I have questioned this all weekend. I picked up a magazine late one night and read the statement "God won't bring singles someone to marry until they learn to be content in their circumstances."Wow! Was God talking directly to me or what! Paul didn't say God gave him contentment. He said he "learned" to be content.

I think about the word learn and it brings several images to my mind. I think of a child learning to walk and how they stumble and fall numerous times before they finally have the whole walking thing down pat. I think about learning a hard subject like math or science and how without a calculator I would be lost! Learning is not always easy and although I pray for contentment God is telling me through Paul's letter that I am to "learn" to be content. Well, wonderful! In fact, Paul felt so strongly about using the word "learn" that he turned around and used it again in the next verse "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12) Wait! Did Paul say there was a secret? Ah ha! Paul knows the secret! How do we learn to be content? He tells us in verse 13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength".

Now I'm feeling better! God wants me to learn to be content in all circumstances, but He doesn't expect me to do it in my own strength! Hallelujah! So this week let's memorize and begin learning to be content in all circumstances, but not through our strength.....through "Him who gives me strength"!

I promise more posts will be coming soon! Life has been crazy busy and writing has had to take a back seat! Thanks for understanding. Have a blog filled day!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Memorizing Monday

This weeks memory verse:
Deuteronomy 6:7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

For parents, this verse should be our daily mantra. We should be looking for teachable moments to talk to our children about God's truth. These moments don't have to be planned out devotions, but yet just simple everyday moments where God's truth can be made real in our lives.

If you are feeling extra confident abut your memorizing ability, try memorizing versus 5-9:

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Chronciles of the Whiny Voiced Creature

Two things that really shouldn't go together: single parents and strong willed children! I have often questioned why God would give a strong willed child to a single parent. If God knew I would end up single why oh why did He give me a child with that kind of strong-willed, I'm-gonna-do-it-my-way, till-it-causes-you-to-lose-your-mind personality!

I suppose maybe God is preparing me to write on the very subject of single parents parenting their strong willed children. But, of course before I could write on such a subject I will have to live through it first! And, some days living through it seems highly unlikely! Take this morning for example:

We had a lovely morning. We were both in a happy mood. Life seemed good. Until we got to grandma's house and it all went down hill from there. Grandma so kindly suggests to Hannah that maybe they could go to the batting cages today. Hannah has her last softball game tonight and because we are going to concentrate more on dance next year, this may truly be her LAST softball game. Hannah has turned out to be one of the best hitters on the team. But at grandma's kind suggestion came that high, whiny voice that said "I don't wanna go to the batting cages". "Oh but Hannah, you could practice and maybe hit a home run tonight" continued grandma. Again, in the high whiny pitched voice that only my child seems to have, Hannah answered "I SAID, I don't WANNA go to the batting cages".

Okay that's where I jumped in. "Hannah you just crossed the line into the land of disrespect and now you have lost computer privileges". "Oh, please give me one more chance mama, please, please!" came the begging plea of my oh-so-talented-at-the-manipulation-game child. And, what do I do. I agree! One more chance. "Go sit back in that chair and let's start all over" I so kindly say. "I WASN'T sitting in the chair" Hannah says. HELLO....I just gave this child one more chance and she starts by pointing out a technicality of how she was or was not sitting in the chair. "CHANCE LOST" I say!

More begging and pleading came until my head was spinning. I just don't understand the whole strong-willed personality. It seems to me that life would just be so much easier for both of us if she would just listen and obey! So, I ended this morning's tirade with wise and sound words as I left for my work day...."grandma will decide if you can have computer time back"!

And so goes another episode of the single parent and her strong-willed daughter! You might think to pray for my mom. I think it could be a long day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Memorizing Monday

This week's memory verse:
Matthew 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Our memory verse for this week is from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is instructing his disciples how to live a life sold out to Him! In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells the disciples that they are salt and light to the world.

Matthew 5:13-16 "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

When I was a little girl I loved singing the song "This little light of mine". I loved singing this song because it had motions attached to it. It was so much fun to pretend to hide the light under the bush and then shout "OH NO I'm gonna let it shine". And the second verse was even more fun as I would pretend to keep Satan from blowing out my light! But now I'm all grown up and I have to admit there are times that I'm tempted to "hide my light under a bush." Do your co-workers and non-Christian family and friends know of your faith in Jesus? Does the life you live reflect His love through you? Are your works a testament to your faith?

I am reminded of the illustration of the road raged driver:
The driver of the van was clearly in a hurry, weaving in and out of traffic. The driver honked the horn at the other drivers while yelling and gesturing in anger. A police offer pulled the van over and quickly checked the driver's license and registration. He then came up to the driver and told her, "ma'am I'm sorry I pulled you over, but I saw the Christian fish attached to the back of your van along with the follow me to Sunday School bumper sticker and assumed the van had been stolen!"

Father God I pray today that your light will shine through me in everything I say, think and do. I pray that others will see You in my life; that my actions will be in line with my words and that all I do will bring glory and honor to You. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen

Monday, July 7, 2008

Memorizing Monday

I wish I could just rattle off scripture any ole' time I need it! I can usually fudge my way through quoting scripture, not word for word of course, and rarely with the reference attached. It usually goes something like this "Paul said, in one of his letters. I'm not sure which one, but it was definitely a letter Paul a church I think, anyway he said something about not being anxious, but we should pray with thanksgiving and give God our requests and His peace will fill us." Okay, that is not a good example because I actually do have that set of verses memorized word for word and even know the reference (Philippians 4:6-7). But I'm sure you get my point.

Parenting with scripture is an awesome thought! Your child comes to you with a problem and immediately you know what God's word says about said problem! That would be my desire. For example, let's say your lovely teenage daughter came to you and said some of her friends were making bad choices and were pressuring her to do the same. I'm sure there are many verses we could point her to, and if I had more memorized I would have more than one example. But, we could gently tell her that in 1Corinthians (a letter Paul wrote to a church!), Paul warns "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." But unless you had memorized 1Corinthians 15:33 you would not be able to point her to this particular truth; a truth that relates to her very relevant situation.

Or as you and your adolescent daughter are arguing about appropriate clothing, you could remind her that according to 1Timothy 2:9 a godly woman should "dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes". But again, if you did not have it memorized, the teachable moment would be lost.

WARNING: These are just for example, I do not begin to know how to actually parent teenagers yet!

So I thought I would memorize scripture via my blog. First it will keep me accountable and second, if any of you would like to join in please feel free to memorize my Monday scripture on your own! The plan is that every Monday I will post my weekly memory verse. I hope that by the end of the week it is committed to memory. There are lots of memory programs out there, but the one I like is to make a memory key ring. You put each scripture on a small card or piece of paper and hang them on a key ring. Carry the key ring with you and as you sit in traffic or at the doctor's office practice your verses from your memory ring!

The first official Memorizing Monday scripture is:

Psalm 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

I thought this would be a great verse to begin since we are actually told to "hide His word in our hearts"! Happy Memorizing Monday!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

5 Sure Signs It Was The 4th of July

Our tradition on the 4th of July is to hang out with family and friends. Every year we go to my sister-in-law's parent's house. They have a huge 4th of July party complete with bbq ribs, brisket, chicken, and more food than should be legal at one party, a beautiful swimming pool and lots of land to set off our share of fiery fun. We get our own personal fireworks show that rivals even the best of firework displays.

Sign #1: Sparklers

Sign #2: Family Togetherness

Sign #3: Red, White and Blue clothing!

Sign #4: Swimming and Swimming and Swimming!

Sign #5: My world famous Petite Cherry and Blueberry Cheesecakes. Okay, they're not really world famous, but they are good!

Hope Everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!