Monday, September 26, 2011

Update!



In July I posted the heartbreaking stories of the young lady who lost her hero...her father and my neighbor who lost his wife giving birth. Thank you to all who have called, e-mailed, asked about these two people. Thanks for praying!


Maelynn is doing ok. She was previous;y homeschooled but now is attending a school. She is loving it! I wish I could give more info. but I will leave it at please pray for her. It is a hard time for her. So much for a young girl to have to deal with at a young age. She is a sweet girl that my kids love. Please remember her. She needs our prayers......

My neighbor, Fernando, is doing as best to be expected.



Before I give an update, I would like to correct my info from my last post. It was second-hand.

The death of his wife was a difficult, tragic one.

They went to bed about 1 am, July 6th. At 3am he woke up to her having seizures in the bed. She was rushed to the hospital where they did an emergency c-section. Lisa was unconscious and he was not able to be there. Her heart was failing, kidneys, and eventually her lungs. Lisa lived for 18 hours. Which was a blessing. The condition she had, which Fernando didn't know in English, is rare. Most ladies and their babies die within 30 minutes. Instead of her fluid gushing out when her water broke, it went up. It is a condition most drs don't ever see in their practices. They only read about it.



Alicia was in PICU for a few weeks. Since returning home, Fernando has been her sole caregiver. Though he has had family with him, he has stated he wants to be the one to get up at night for her feedings, change her diaper, care for her like her mommy would have.

He has decided to sell his home and move to Pennsylvania to be with Lisa's parents. He left a week ago to live with his brother in San Antonio until his home sells.

Alicia is a doll. She is 3 months old now. She smiles, coos, has tummy time. Enjoys being outside.


Fernando...well...as you can imagine, this has been very tough on him. His heart aches. He longs to be sharing each milestone Alicia has with his beloved Lisa. He thinks of the joy she expressed about wanting to be a mother. But he is doing it alone...

Please pray for him. These days are very tough. I have seen the pain and tears in his eyes. The grief. The sadness in his voice. It is a hard journey. So many decisions to make. So many memories to be made without Lisa.

Please pray for the Lord to minister to his heart and give him a peace that can only be given by Christ. Pray for his house to sell quickly so he can be up near the resting place of his wife and surrounded by her family who supports and loves him.


I give thanks to you who has prayed on behalf of these 2 people. I do ask that you don't stop. This is just the beginning of hard journey for them. The holidays are coming up and birthdays will arrive. Times of grief will still be there.

Please pray with me that the Truth of God's Word would be made known unto them and Christ will be their strength in these great times of sadness...


Isaiah 40:18-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

PLEASE Pray For These Two Who Hurt...and Consider

This past week has been emotional.

It started on Monday, we received the news of a young girl we know, Maelynn, that her father Maxie had passed away.

9 days before he passed, he was working hard. Enjoying life. A few days later he said he hadn't fell well for a bit and decided he needed to be checked out. He went to the hospital to learn he had liver cancer. They sent him home with 2 weeks to live.

7 days later, he passed away.

My heart breaks for this young girl at the age of 16. Since I have met her she has often mentioned her love for her daddy. It was very obvious they were close.

Our family went to the wake, it was hard to look at her, walking around greeting people, giving out hugs. She seemed ok. Said she was holding up ok. I couldn't help to tear up often knowing that once these times end, reality will set in.

She will miss her daddy. She will cry out wanting to be held by him. She will grieve the loss of her hero.

After returning from the funeral on Friday, I went outside to grab my cup out of the van around dinner.

While out there I learned of some other news that sunk my heart.

Our neighbors, Fernando and Lisa, who are a young couple, have been expecting their first child. They have been excited, getting the house ready for their new blessing.

They didn't want to know the gender of their baby, wanted it to be a surprise. Her parents came in town a week before the due date to be there when the baby was born.

I talked to Lisa a couple of days before she had the baby, briefly sharing in the excitement of the upcoming birth of their baby. I offered a meal once the family left.

2 weeks have passed, I have seen many cars and family in town. I anxiously, but patiently can't wait till the family leaves to visit our neighbors and see their child. Wondering if she had a boy or girl.

Again, while out to get my cup, I learn of some dreadful news.

While in labor, the baby became distressed and they had to do an emergency c-section.

That night a precious life was brought in this world, but another was leaving.

This newest little blessing's mommy was dying.

Due to the mom and baby having some problems, they wanted to airlift them to a hospital in Houston for extensive medical care.

On the ride over in the trauma hawk, with the baby on one side, and his wife on the other, Fernando witnessed his wife die.

I am so saddened for this young man. A joyous moment he was expecting turned into a time of grief and heartache.

My heart has been hurting so much for Fernando.

I look over at our neighbors house and am so saddened.

It seems empty. Lonely.

I can not imagine what this man is going through. A time he thought he would be sharing with Lisa as new parents has dramatically changed.

The heartache he feels. He lost his best friend. In a time of grief, one would naturally turn to their spouse. Yet his wife is gone.

But life doesn't stop.

He has a little girl to take care of. A little girl who will never hear her mothers voice. Know the warm touch of her mother. She won't experience the love that her mommy already so strongly had for her.

Alicia will be discharged from the hospital Tuesday. Fernando will pick her up, strap her in her little car seat, and bring her home to the room her parents prepared for her.

He will bring her home to a house filled with many memories and have to start new ones without his beloved.

Fernando, a first time daddy, will be on his own to take care of little Alicia. Try to calm her cries, wake up every 2 hours, witness her first smile...alone.

I ask you, please pray. Pray for Maelynn who lost her daddy, pray for Fernando and Alicia. For both are greatly hurting.

Pray for our family as we reach out to serve these people. Pray that Christ would shine through us. For His glory.

And I urge you to consider...

Consider your loved ones. Do you spend time with them? Do you get mad over little things? Do you lay yourself aside to spend extra time with your child? Do you tell them you love them? Do you treasure your loved ones?

For you do not know when the last time you will see them. When they will see you.

God has a plan, and we do not know when he will take us from this earth.

You could die tonight. I could. Your loved one.

And most importantly, I ask you to consider one more thing...

If you were to die, would you know where you would go?

Most think they will go to heaven. But are you sure?

Good works won't get you to heaven. Neither will being kind. Nor trying to help those in need.

Have you ever lied?...Lusted over a lady?...Coveted someones car or life, talent...etc? Did you ever disobey your parents when you were little?

If you are honest, you will admit you are guilty. You have sinned against God our Creator by breaking His 10 Commandments. I have broken His commandments.

We all are sinners.

If you were to die tonight, based on knowing you have broken the most Holy God's commandments, do you think you would be innocent or guilty in the eyes of God?

Since God is holy, and can not be near sin, do you, based on breaking the 10 Commandments, think you would go to heaven or hell? If you have not put your trust in Christ and repented of your sins, then you will be sent to hell.

I am not trying to be harsh, but share my love with you. I care about your soul.

If you don't have a relationship with Christ, trust and believe in Him and have not asked for forgiveness for your sins, I urge you, today, to seek Christ.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Hymn

Sweet Hour of Prayer

William Walford 1772-1850

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight:
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

( to listen, please push pause on song playlist first)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Raining!!!

With the much needed rain the Lord has blessed us with the past couple of days, I thought it would be great to repost this blog entry first done in 2008.

My how the kids have grown from this picture...


Almost every morning you can find Kaylyn checking the weather on the computer after breakfast. I will pull up the site and she will tell us what if it is going to rain or not. Lord-willing. When she sees it is in the forecast to rain in 5 days, she will countdown to the day when we will have a rainy day. And if it shows thunderstorms, she anticipates the day even more.

So, when we wake up to a dark, cloudy morning, with rain falling, it is an exciting day. We love the beautiful rain God gives us. I will often see my children standing near a window, gazing out, discussing how God is watering our grass and flowers for us.

Let me ask you. Do you enjoy the rain? When you awake in the morning and see rain falling down, do you murmur what a bad day it is? Have you ever considered how amazing rain can be? The glory it brings to God?

I would like to share the following meditation by John Piper about rain. It is lengthy, but please read all of it...it will make of you think of rain in a way you have may not have considered and known before.

The Great Work of God:Rain
Meditation on Job 5:8-10

But as for me, I would seek God,
And I would place my cause before God;
Who does great and unsearchable things,
Wonders without number.
He gives rain on the earth,
And sends water on the fields.


If you said to someone: "My God great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number," and they responded, "Really? Like what?" would you say, " Like rain"? When I read these verses from Job recently, I felt, at first, the way I did on hearing some bad poetry that went something like this: "Let me suffer, let me die, just to win your hand, and even walk across the land?" Even? I would suffer and die to have your hand, and even walk across the land? As if walking across the land were more sacrificial than dying? This sounded to me like a joke.

But Job is not joking. "God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth." In Job's mind rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself ( Which is what I mean by meditation).

Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God? Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come from another source on the fields. From where?

Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea over several hundred miles, and then be poured out on the fields from the sky. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 2,323,200 cubic feet of water, which is 17,377,536 gallons, which is 144,735,360 pounds of water.

That's heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay there if it's so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That's a nice word. What's it mean? It means the water stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens.
What's that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That's small.

What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is saltwater. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up millions of pounds of water from the sea, takes out the salt, carries the water ( or whatever it is, when it is not water) for three hundred miles, and then dumps it (now turned into water again) on the farm?

Well, it doesn't dump it. If it dumped millions of pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the millions of pounds of water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough from crushing the wheat stalks.

How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh millions of pounds get heavy enough to fall ( if that's the way to ask the question)? Well, it's called coalescence. What's that? It means specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger, and when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.

I think, instead, I will just take Job's word for it. I still don't see why drops ever get to the ground, because if they start falling as soon as they are heavier than the air, they would be to small not to evaporate on the way down. But if they wait to come down, what holds them up till they are big enough not to evaporate? Yes, I am sure there's a name for that too. But I am satisfied for now that, by any name, this is a great and unsearchable thing that God has done. I think I should be thankful-lots more thankful than I am.



Isn't rain amazing!?! As the rain continues to come down upon us this day down here in the south, may we meditate on God and His greatness in the rain.

To God Be the Glory!

This meditation was found in "Taste and See' by John Piper on pages 24-26.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Math and Chocolate!

It's summer time and most are out of school, yet some of us are still schooling through the summer.

Whether you are in or out, just because I care for you ;) and don't want your brains to turn to mush, I decided to put your brain to work and give you a word problem.

Get a pencil, paper, eraser and glass of milk ready.


Problem:

What does 3 cups of melted butter


6 cups creamy peanut butter


6 cups graham crackers

4 pounds of powdered sugar



and chocolate almond bark
( picture taken from google images)


plus 6 extra large Ziploc bags equal?


Answer:

Over 200 chocolate peanut butter balls packaged and ready to serve at an anniversary party.


Bonus Question for extra points:

What does a glass of milk plus taste testers equal?



4 happy children!!!



What are you doing this summer to keep your mind fresh and your tastebuds happy?

P.S.Amy S- I know your mouth is watering...don't worry...I saved some just for you! They will be hand delivered soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Been Busy and Loving It

These past few months have been really busy for us. Some physically, some mentally, and some emotionally.

We have been camping, traveling long distances, cooking for those in need, schooling, praying through trials, been to a conference, piano lessons, and soaking in family times.

It has been busy and won't stop for another 2 weeks, but we are loving our times.

In these last few months the Lord continues to work in our lives and though we have been busy all around, He has given us much rest in Him.

This is a quick post but I wanted all to know I have not disappeared. Thank you to those who have checked on me to make sure I am ok. I hope to visit your blogs more again soon and catch up with my friends.

Though I have been absent from you here, my prayers have not been absent concerning many of you.

Have a blessed day and Lord-willing, I will be "back" soon.

Much Love In Christ,

Christine

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Hymn

"I Stand Amazed in the Presence"
Charles H. Gabriel

I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene
And I wonder how He could love me,
A sinner condemned, unclean.

Chorus:
How marvelous, how wonderful
And my song shall ever be.
How marvelous, how wonderful
Is my Savior's love for me.

For me it was in the garden He prayed,
"Not my will, but thine"
He had no tears for His own griefs,
But sweat drops of blood for mine.

Chorus


He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calv'ry,
And suffered and died alone.

Chorus

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
'Twill be my joy thro' the ages,
To sing of His love for me.

Chorus

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do you trust God? Would you ever forsake Him? Before you answer this question...take some time to meditate on this question. Search your heart. Do you have complete faith in Christ?

What if someone came to your house in the middle of the night and injured your loved ones, they were crying out in pain, you see one on the ground dead in a pool of blood, your spouse looks in your eyes with blood pouring out of their body.


For one man... this is reality.

Please read.



KURUM, Nigeria — As she lay on the ground after being shot and then slashed with a machete, Dune James Rike looked into her husband’s tear-filled eyes and asked, “Is this the end between us, so we shall not be together again?” Pastor James Musa Rike told Compass he held the hands of his dying, 35-year-old wife and told her, “Hold on to your faith in Jesus, and we shall meet and never part again.” Muslim extremists who attacked Kurum village, in the Bogoro local government area of Nigeria’s Bauchi state, had already killed two of the couple’s children in a rampage that began Wednesday (May 4) at midnight. Rike, pastor of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in Kurum, next heard the cries of his 13-year-old daughter, Sum James Rike, a few yards away. “I rushed to my daughter, only to discover that she too was cut with a machete on her stomach, and her intestines were all around her,” he said. “I held her hand and began to pray, knowing she too was about to die. She told me that the Muslim militants told her they would kill her and “see how your Jesus will save you.” The girl told her father that she responded by telling them that Jesus had already saved her, and that by killing her they would only be making it possible for her to be with Him. Pastor Rike prayed for her as she died. Shooting and setting homes on fire, the Muslim extremists killed 12 other Christians in the attack. Bauchi police reported 16 people dead – one man, three women and 12 children. Pastor Rike said that when the attackers reached his house, they tried to force their way into their bedrooms. “I opened a backdoor, and we ran out into the dark night while the militants pursued us,” he said. “They shot my wife and two of our kids as they tried to escape.” Pastor Rike said that after killing the two children, Faith James Rike and 1-year-old Fyali James Rike, the assailants cut his wife’s abdomen with a machete. “I was shocked at what I saw,” he said. “I knew my wife would not last long, and the only thing I did was to encourage her to hold on to her faith in Jesus.” The Muslim extremists set more than 20 houses ablaze before leaving the village, he said. Pastor Rike and his son survived the attack, and he said his adopted daughter, Whulham James Rike, was injured and receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Bogoro. He said five others others were also receiving hospital treatment. Among those killed, church sources said, were Murna Ayuba; Angelina Ezekiel; Dorcas Sunday; Asabar Toma; Rhoda Joseph; Dhunhgwa Zakka; Bukata Amos; Ishaku Amos; Kalla Amos; Amos Daniel; Samidah Joel; and Changtan Joel. The Muslim jihadists also stole money and the other valuables from the Christian village as they withdrew, church sources said. The area has a history of sectarian violence, and the attack follows the death of hundreds of people in Bauchi and other northern states last month after Muslims rioted over the April 16 election of a Christian, Goodluck Jonathan, as president. He defeated a Muslim candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. Saying more than 200 church buildings were burned, Christian leaders in northern Nigeria have called for a federal probe into the violence, in which Christians mounted counter attacks. Northern Nigeria climbed to 23rd place in 2010 from 27th in 2009 on Christian support organization Open Doors’ World Watch List of nations with the worst persecution. The church where Pastor Rike ministers has about 30 members and has been in existence for more than 50 years. Those killed were members of the three churches in the village – the COCIN church, St. John’s Catholic Church and an Evangelical Church of West Africa congregation. Pastor Rike said the incident has strengthened his faith in Jesus. “Whatever is the situation, I will never forsake Christ,” he said. “All human beings are created by God, and our attackers must know that they need to abandon anything that will lead them to destroy creations of God.” (CDN) (This was taken from "The Church Report" reported May 11,2011)

As I sit here, tears overflowing my eyes, I can barely speak to tell my children to pray for this man and the others affected.


What would I do if I were in this situation?


Reading this story I am quick to say I would not deny Christ. I would like to think I would have great faith and face this trial like this man...but would I? I have to question myself.

I am ashamed to say I am so weak I would probably fail. Would I deny my Christ if five men stormed my house holding my family hostage, threatening to kill them?

Oh Father, give me great faith!

This story is not alone. There are many Christians who are suffering for their belief and faith in Christ. Moms in jail, away from their children, husbands being beat in their cells, children being tortured in front of parents to "make them deny their Lord".

Oh you, Christian, please be in prayer for our sisters and brothers in Christ. They need and covet our prayers.

Wouldn't you?

If you would like to read updates, stories of our fellow brethren, if you would like to help them, please check this site out:

Voice of Martyrs

They will send you weekly updates concerning the needs.

Let's join forces and pray for them...for one day...this family...could be yours...it could be mine.


Oh Jesus, may you grow me so strong in faith that I could say without a doubt...
“Whatever is the situation, I will never forsake Christ."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY 2011

I'm not sure how this will go over, but I've hijacked my wife's blog. I've hacked into her cyber-corner to publish to the world something that she would never allow me to do otherwise. You see, her humility would prevent her from allowing me to divulge myself of this little pleasure. So forgive me for my betrayal and thievery and hear me out.

Mi Fresita (Christina Kay, Queen Christine, Tina, Mrs. America, or whatever you may know her by), is my beloved wife and blessing from God. She has been such a blessing to me and our children. I just want to take a little time to express to you what she means to me and our children.

I won't bore you with platitudes about her being perfect, for only one has ever been perfect, and that one is Christ, the beloved Savior and Lord of my wife. She is so in love with and so unwaveringly dedicated to Christ, that she has served as a convicting example to me since I met her in 1995 on a mission trip to the Bahamas. I' won't lie and tell you that she doesn't have weaknesses or faults, but I can tell you that her failures have proven to be the very things that allows Christ to shine through her. I have watched her grow in faith, and her faith has always been something about her that I admire. Her childlike faith has always been simple, but so very strong. It is evident that in her weakness, He is made strong - she exemplifies this!



If I were to go through all the things I have learned from watching her life, it would be far too much for a blog, but let it suffice to say that because of her encouragement, we have five beautiful children and a family life that I would have missed out on, if left to my selfishness. As I study in Genesis 2 and see the help that God made for Adam, meet for him and the calling God gave to him, I can honestly tell you that her life has aided me in understanding the far reaching ramifications of that. She is a beautiful fit for me, what I needed as a partner and help in living for the glory of God.



Submissiveness is what adorns a godly woman in the scripture (1Co 11:15), and she is surely shorn with subjection to me as her covering. I have felt her prayers. Even when I have failed, she has been faithful to hold me up before the Lord and pray for me. When she could have ripped me to shreds and put my faults before me, she has loved me and served me. When she could have talked to others about my need to lead our family spiritually, she gently encouraged and lovingly let me know of her desires to be one with me in spiritual things. Actually, her submissiveness has been harder at times to deal with, because it convictingly reveals to me my great need for submission to the Holy Spirit - I am responsible and my wife looks to me to lead her. Who is sufficient for these things?! But my loving wife believes in the God that can do it through me, she loves me and longs for me - WOW!


What a momma! She is so dedicated to our children. She is so zealous to see them come into a loving and trusting relationship with the almighty God. She faithfully puts the Word of God before them. We agreed to focus more on godliness and character in our home school, and she puts this priority before them consistently. She is the epitome of what it means to nurture in the admonition of the Lord. And love kids? When we met in the Bahamas she spent her whole time with the children. Her love for children has never faded. As Zechariah grows older, she longs to have another little one in our home. She looks at the joy that each of our children brings and only wants more blessing from the hands of our Lord. She is sensitive to the weaknesses and specific needs of all of our children. She talks with each of them and asks them probing questions about sin and struggles. She prays with them and for them in specifics. What a wonderful mom!



She sacrifices, she serves, she loves, she submits, she gives herself to me completely. I could go on and on, but I must stop - she will be back from the store soon and I can't get caught!

Hear from our kids:



Kaylyn - My mommy is a good mother. She loves the Lord a lot!

Caleb - Mommy is the best mom ever! She is very sweet.

Katie - I like my mommy a lot because she is such a nice mommy.

Elijah - My mommy is good!

Zechariah - MAAAAH-Mee, MAAAAH-Mee (That says it all!).

Me - Well, you've heard a lot from me, but let me add, I find her mesmerizing, beautiful, (I promised I wouldn't go there, but) hot, sweet, sensitive, and precious. She is as fragile as when I met her.

God help me to be a protector and provider for her, give me strength to lead her and grow in spiritual unity with her.

WE LOVE YOU CHRISTINE!


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

Update:

My Man,

I am shocked you posted this. Tears whelm my eyes as I read it. Such a wonderful gift you have given me by declaring your love to "the world".
I thank you for all the sweet, kind words you have said to me. Anything you or anyone sees in me is not of myself, but of the Lord, for He had not chosen me, my sinfulness would be even greater than it is and all I do would be for selfish reasons.

I count myself being the most blessed one with a godly husband like you. Your influence on me spiritually continually aids in my growing in the Lord. I thank you for all your patience through the trials I have gone through. Your gentle hand around my shoulder or on my leg, the tears staining your shirt, the cries of frustration you have endured yet you softly remind me of God's providence. The times you rejoice with me in accomplishing goals. For encouraging me when I fell like I will fail.

I DO love you MORE!!! ...It is true! ;)

Your Fresita




My Blessings, Little Ducklings,

I count it a privilege to be your mommy. Each one of you bring a smile to my heart in different ways. I never imagined being a mommy would be so joyful. God uses you to sanctify me, and show me sins I never knew I had a problem with.

Thank you for the kind deeds you do for me...picking flowers, heart shaped rocks, cards, wanting to help in the house, gently reminding me, in love, when I am not honoring the Lord with my tone of voice. Thank you for taking care of me when I become ill, for not complaining when I make vegetables ( at least most of the time), wanting to clean the toilets.

I love each of you dearly and pray daily and earnestly for you. My greatest desire is to see you grow into men and women who love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. Seek him, my precious ones, serve Christ.

I love you!!!

Your Mommy

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sobered by the Death of Osama Bin Laden

With the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden, I am sure the tv's are filled with reports, it's the talk of facebook, the death has made the headlines of all newspapers, reporters are feverishly working on an article for their next issue in magazines.


It's the "talk of the town".

I have heard people are in the streets rejoicing and celebrating over Bin Laden's death.

I am thankful for our military and the intelligences for their hard work and perseverance in finding the man who planned out many attacks killing thousands of people here in America, and other soils. I am thankful to all of their families who sacrifice their loved ones time so our country can be free.

Though his death will never bring back loved ones lost, I am sure many are thankful "justice" has been done.

This is a historic event for America, which will go down in history.

But...

I also believe this is a time to be humbled.

Humbled? Yes, you read that correctly.

Osama was a terrible, wicked person. So am I. So are you.

I know! I KNOW!!! He killed thousands of people and we haven't!

So why am I placing others on the same level as Osama?

Let me ask you a few questions...

Have you ever cheated on a test? Looked upon a person in lust?

Have you ever gone to a movie on Sunday or to a ball game?

When you were young, or even now, not listened to and obeyed your parents?

Have you ever been so mad at someone you felt hatred in your heart?

Have you ever used God's name as a curse word?

We all have been guilty of each question I asked. These questions are based on the 10 Commandments from God's Word (Exodus 20:3-17).

I am guilty of not keeping these commandments. I have broken all 10. More than once.

I haven't killed thousands of people, but I have had bitterness in my heart.

Today, Osama Bin Laden is in hell. If the Holy Spirit had not changed my heart, and I died, I would be right there with him.

Why did he choose me and not Bin Laden? Nothing but grace.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift from God; not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

If it were not for the work of God in my life...His grace...it could be me who was out there plotting evil acts upon others.

It could be you.

I know some who read this, are not christians, yet you live a "good" life. You work hard, nice to others. Giving. Trustworthy. You even might go to church once in a while. OR every Sunday.

Yet you do not trust, believe and have faith alone in Christ. Some believe Jesus came to the earth and died on the cross, but is he your Lord? Is He your everything?

Our sin is so great. Everyone of us was born a sinner. We all were born capable of the evil acts of Osama Bin Laden...and worse.


Yet because of reasons not of our own understanding, Christ has shown us mercy. Even the unbelievers.

God has restrained us by His gracious hands and has kept us from being as wicked as we could be.

Just like Osama, we sin.

We will all die one day and go before God. We all deserve the wrath and curse of God.

Only if we truly repent, turn away from our sins, seek Christ, believe and trust in him... will the blood of the Lamb cover our sins and we will be welcomed into the heavens with our dear Lord.


For those of you who do not have Christ in your life, He is not Lord, Ruler of your life...you will also come before God, Creator of all things. You will be judged......just like Osama. Good works won't help you out.

"And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God...who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of His power" 1Thessalonians 1:7-9

I am truly humbled that I am a child of God. That He has so graciously kept me from being just like Bin Laden. I am humbled I am not getting what I deserve...the wrath and curse of God...eternal punishment in hell, not only physically, but even worse...without the grace, mercy and presence of God.

May we, on this historical day of the death of Osama Bin Laden, be mindful of the grace God has shown in our own lives and be eternally grateful...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 146



Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

While I live will I praise the LORD:

I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

Put not your trust in princes,

nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth;

in that very day his thoughts perish.

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help,

whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is:

which keepeth truth for ever:

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed:

which giveth food to the hungry.

The LORD looseth the prisoners:

The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind

The LORD raiseth them that are bowed down:

The LORD loveth the righteous:

The LORD preserveth the strangers;

He relieveth the fatherless and widow:

but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

The LORD shall reign for ever,

even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations.

Praise ye the LORD!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Hymn-Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807)

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Who's Strength?

Recently, I received an e-mail asking a few questions:

"How do you know when you are trying to "do" life in your own strength? How do you draw the Lord's strength? Is it just through prayer? Meditation? Do you struggle with this?"


This is a very good question which I believe all us children of God need to examine in our own lives continually. It is so easy to fight battles in our strength but in the end...it makes things harder.

There are some things we do naturally in our strength. We pick up our food and eat, carry heavy bags of groceries in (when our husbands are not around), flip the mattress over 2 times a year (do people really do that?)

Then there is the the emotional/spiritual strength side.


So how do you tell how if you are doing it in your own strength?

During a trial or just life in general, if you experience anxiety, worry, sleepless nights, just plain ol stress, I believe you are trusting in your own strength.

Simple as that.

So, examine your heart.

When something arises, do you find yourself thinking a lot about it?

Do you lose sleep or sleep too much?

Are you angry?

So sad where your thoughts are constantly thinking of the negative?


Irritable, snapping at others?

Start to eat more to comfort yourself?

Not eat?

Watch tv to numb the thoughts for awhile?

There are a multiple of things you might do.

The problem is, when you try to "deal" with things in your own strength, I believe this is breaking a commandment.

The 1st Commandment.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
(Exodus 20:3)


Anything that comes before Christ is an idol. A god.

Whether it be your children, sports, ministry in the church, OR trusting in YOURSELF to get through trials.

We now know what trying to do life in our own strength looks like, now let's discuss... How you draw the Lord's strength.

To be strong in our Lord Jesus Christ, we must die to our flesh.

We can not be of God AND flesh (our ways) because flesh is enemy of God.

Again, if anything comes before God, it is an idol. Including self.


If you have examined your heart and find yourself trying to live in your own strength, you must confess.

Confess this sin to God. Repent.

Admit you are lost without Christ.

Tell Him, if you are sincere, that you want Christ and His strength only.

Then you begin to pursue and train in the ways of how to have strength in the Lord.

It will not be as easy as just praying. It will take some hard work.

You need to know first of all, that nothing can separate you from God.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

If God cares about the birds and the animals of this earth, He takes care of His creation, how much more will He care for us? It is a lack of faith to not trust in this (Matthew 6:25-34).Trust that our Lord God is in control of all circumstances.

Know that everything that happens in your life has been ordained by our great God for our own good.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." Romans 8:28

Every trial, though it may be hard, is for our own good. We do not see the whole picture, but we serve a great God who does and knows all things.

Once you have these truths deep in your heart and mind, begin to pursue God's strength.

How?

Pray.



Start to memorize scripture on these matters. Write them on little cards if you have to and post them around the house.


Psalms68:35 "...the God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power to His people"

Matthew 11:28 "Come unto Me, al ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you peace."

1 Peter 5:7 ""Casting all cares upon Him, for He careth for you."

there are many more but I will leave that for YOU to get into God's Word and search.

You also need to captivate your thoughts.

When you start to doubt, worry, get anxious...

Pray...
go to the verses you have looked up, meditate on God's faithfulness.

Praise God in these storms. Praise Him, even in the deepest of times, even when you don't feel it.

If you have trouble on your own, go to the Word. Look in Psalms. They are full of prayers to God in times of distress.
Read Psalms 46. Psalms 88. There are many more.


And last, wait. Wait upon Christ, with anticipation, on how He will use this trial in your life.

"He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31)

Do I ever struggle with this? Yes. I am still in training, pursuing these things, and I will be until the day when I go to be with the Lord.

But the Lord has been so gracious to teach these things to me more and more in my walk with Him.

I still fail, but I am learning to trust more and more in Christ and His strength and not my own.

I now can honestly say, in the deepest of trials, I am learning to depend on His strength.

And if trials is what it takes for me to grow in HIS strength, then I desire these times, for I desire my Lord to be my complete strength. I will count them joy and a gift from Him.

It's not easy, but I will pursue His strength.

Will you?


"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." ( Joshua 1:8-9)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sunday Hymn

"Take My Life, and Let It Be"
by Frances R. Havergal,1874

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee,
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

I could not find a song to match perfectly, but this a pretty version.
(make sure you press "stop"on playlist before playing)



Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Zechariah!

Two years and 8 1/2 months ago, AJ and I learned of our newest blessing from our Lord in my womb. It was an exciting time for us. We were overjoyed and and I was VERY sick. At my first drs. appt, they did an ultrasound to check how far along I was.

During this time, the technician and dr. noticed something unusual about my blessing. He had many problems. To read more on this and my feelings, go here.

As the months passed, we were anticipating this wonderful blessing from God. With many in the delivery room to assist in the troubles that were predicted by man, my little boy was born.


Zechariah David.

He was born healthy. Though some would say, "Praise the Lord" and that we did, we would love our Zechariah even if he was not "normal" according to our world's standards.

7 weeks later he was admitted to the hospital and later to find out he had Pertusis. Not until recently did I realize the danger and how serious this illness was for a young one at this age. He should not be alive this day, but our Great God had other plans.

This picture is not the best quality to it but it has so much meaning to me.


After Zechariah being lifeless for the day, with an oxygen level in the 60's and his life wasting away, he was litarally slowly dying before my eyes. People were rushing around, drs were being called. When things started to settle down, and he was now concious, his eyes stayed fixed on me. I will never forget it. I praised God through the whole storm, giving Him praise for whatever the outcome would be.

It was a long 6 months of concern and never leaving him alone for even a minute, but our Lord preordained for our baby to be healed. "Thank you God"

As a baby, he was more on the fussy side. Always wanting to be close to me, but I took this as a blessing, thanking God for having him by my side. Yet as he has grown older, he has become a happy baby, and now toddler.

Though Zechariah has always been considered really small for his age, he has been our biggest and chubbiest baby.

Here he is at his 1st birthday...having his first "sweet"... a banana.


Some facts about Zechariah...

His nicknames are Cracker Zech and Zecharoni (thanks Elijah A.).

He loves to make faces at us...

Hates his hair to be cut...

Loves the water...

Likes to sit and play under tables and chairs.
Likes to stand while eating...Zecharoni likes to try and keep up with his siblings at times, but other times, he rather sit and play with cars.
He already has a sense of humor...giving you a stoic face and we you turn your head...gives a sly smile.

Zechariah took his first steps at 18 months...

but he did not want me to know so he continued to do his crab crawl (when I was not around he would take a few steps...so I am told)
and began walking regularly at 22 months.

He says a few words...Mommy...E... and bye-bye.
He attempts to say look "deek", Katie Faith "Tee Tee"
and please "P".

Cracker Zech is full of character and continues to blossom and try new things each week.

His weight is around 17 pounds and

his latest new found joy is running around with his hands in the air! "Our Precious Zechariah, Daddy and I are so blessed to call you our son. We look forward to watching all the new things you will learn this next year. You are a true gift from God. We love you and look forward to see how the Lord will use you for His glory. Happy 2nd Birthday!"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Elijah!!!





We have had a good day. We started our day off with the breakfast of his choice...
homemade macaroni and cheese topped with 4 candles...

while sitting in his special chair decorated with feathers, ball stickers, balloons and streamers.

Daddy came home for lunch to celebrate it with us. Not much was done during the day except Katie Faith did school with him and he took a nap.

When daddy arrived home from work, we all piled up in the van and headed to Pizza Hut...Elijah's choice. He enjoyed his dinner and we even let him have sweet tea since it was his birthday.

When we arrived home, it was time to open presents. Each sibling took great time and care to make Elijah a card and pick out a gift for him.

Katie Faith gave Elijah her favorite blue bowl. I made sure she was ok and knew it was now going to belong to him, but she insisted she wanted him to have it since he loves blue.
Kaylyn made a card and printed out a picture of the two them. Elijah's face lit up when he saw the picture.

E also made him a card and gave him a lot of little goodies.

Now it was time for his present from mommy and daddy. We usually let the kids pick out a book for their birthdays, but we decided on something different this one time.

First, we made him close his eyes and wait...as E brought in his gift from us...

his FIRST bike!
He was very surprised and excited!!!

A few facts about our Elijah Bear...

Some of his favorite things are balls, the color blue, his froggy, pizza, and macaroni and cheese.

He loves to help me in the kitchen and follow his daddy around when he is home to help with manly duties.

Elijah is bashful, yet assertive when he "needs" to be.

He can dress himself, although he might put his pants on backwards most the time. ;)

He likes to snuggle, and he always has one hand on his pants to hold them up (not even a belt helps).
"Elijah Bear, Daddy and Mommy love you very much! You are a true joy and treasure to our lives. We pray God will give us the wisdom and knowledge to raise you for the Lord and you will become a man whose heart follows and serves Jesus Christ. Happy 4th Birthday, our BIG boy!!!!!!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday Hymn

Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
Lyrics ~ Charles Wesley, 1707-1788



Stanza 1:

Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heav'ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Stanza 2:

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!

Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!

Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!

Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Stanza 3:

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!

Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!

Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Stanza 4:

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!

Foll'wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!

Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Stanza 5:

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

Stanza 6:

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!

Everlasing life is this, Alleluia!

Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!

Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

(To Listen to song, please push pause on playlist)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Does He Amaze You?

He does me.

I am speaking of my Heavenly Father.

I sin so much. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

Yet, Christ died for me.

I am going to be honest.

If someone kept hurting me over and over, time and time again, It would be hard for me to care and love them.

But He loves me.

It is MY sin that put Christ on the cross. To be beaten, spit upon, mocked.

Yet He forgives me.

He intercedes for me.

Wow....Selah.

I don't deserve this kind of love.

Isn't Christ amazing?

I am in awe of His unfailing love to me. In spite of my self.

He tells me in His Word,He "carries me under His wings" (Ps. 91;4).

I don't deserve this.

But it is not about me.

It is about Christ and His glory.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
For great is Your mercy toward me,
You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
(Psalms 86:8;12-13)

Thank you, my Lord, for your mercy and grace. I deserve to go to hell, but you chose to save me.

I am in awe of You.

To YOU be the glory forever and ever!!!!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sunday Hymn

Be Still My Soul Hymn

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and bless├Ęd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, be leaving, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.



(Turn off music on side bar before playing video)

Sunday

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: My Prince!





I Love You More, My Prince AJ!!!

Your Fresita

"His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend."
Song 'of Solomon 5:16