Saturday, March 31, 2007

Joy of the Lord #3

HOORAY!! It's Saturday. I love weekends. This weekend I am home just running a few errands, bringing Matt to a birthday party, and trying to take it easy. I wasn't home last weekend, and next weekend will be very busy as well. At least I have a week off after that. Beth is on a youth Encounter this weekend, and I am praying God will touch her in a special way.

I thought I'd post the 3rd point in the Joy of the Lord sermon. It was quite good!

#3 Receive His Word

Joy is a gift from God. You just ask for it and receive it. It works like any other type of spiritual gift or promise. We can't earn it or work ourselves up to it; we have it because Jesus paid the price for it and delights to give it to us. We just have to ask and believe in faith that we receive it. It's kind of like the gift of wisdom, or salvation, for that matter - ask for it and receive it by faith. So now in the mornings, one of the things I do is ask for joy and wisdom and then thank Him that I will have both of those this day.

God's word also says in James 1:2 to consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds. Now, that doesn't sound near as nice, does it? BUT James goes on to say, basically, that the reason we should rejoice in the trials is because God wants to develop us. If you are like me, you'd rather escape then deal with problems! The problem with that is, if we keep escaping, we never develop God's character in us, and we keep circling around the same mountain over and over. I'd rather face new mountains than carve a rut in a path around the old one!! The situation that feels like it will bring nothing but lack actually causes you to lack nothing!!

So, now, every time I deal with an irate parent (from school), or I'm having to face some issue in life, big or little, I am doing my best not to get aggravated that I have to deal with it. Instead I try to see it as a way for God to form some character in me. It's still not FUN, don't get me wrong. But if I can see some Devine purpose in it, it tends not to steal my joy.

Have a blessed weekend!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

God's Coffee

My friend, Sharon, sent me this e-mail. I thought it was too good not to share!


A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and in life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups--porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite--telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said, "If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up leaving behind the plan and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink."

He continued, "What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups...and then you began eyeing each others' cups. Now consider this. Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not definite, nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

God brews the coffee, not the cups...

Enjoy your coffee! The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything!


Ruth =o)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Joy of the Lord #2

It's been a busy few days as I've had grades due. Report cards go out Thursday, and, boy, was I behind in grading. I have cell group on both Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, so I keep plenty busy. We had a Women's Encounter at church this weekend, and it was awesome! However, while I was there, God did not grade my papers or average my grades....unfortunately. =o)

Point number 2 of the sermon is pretty short, so I thought I'd try to squeeze it in here quick. It's one we've heard so many times, but somehow it is not that easy to implement.

Point #2 - Don't Worry or Be Anxious

Luke 12:25 says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life." There are a multitude of scriptures about this topic, so apparently God is serious about it. We are to be "anxious for nothing". I always try to remind myself that nothing takes God by surprise; He is aware of everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. Everything, even the bad stuff, will work out for my good IF I give it to Him. The secret is to give it to Him and let Him keep it!! We need to take our concerns to Him in prayer....pray about them....and then leave them there and not worry or stew about it. Easier said than done, but I can sure see how that would help me keep my joy!! So, I am asking the Holy Spirit to tap me on the shoulder every time I worry about something instead of pray about it.

Have a blessed few days!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Joy of the Lord #1

I am avoiding grading papers. Once I get started, it isn't too bad, but boy, the anticipation of it is terrible. So, I thought now would be a great time to blog!! =o)

We recently talked about the joy of the Lord at church. I was in desperate need of that message and need to get the CD! It has really had a great impact on my life in the last week. One of our youth pastors, Trey Bollinger, shared with us.

Jesus was anointed with the "oil of gladness" which is why so many followed Him. He gave us 6 steps to receive joy. I guess I'll cover them one at a time so this doesn't get too long.

1. Be Thankful

Psalm 100: 4 tells us to Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. No matter what our circumstances are, we can still be thankful for the many blessings in our lives. Did you wake up today? Do you have food to eat? Are you thankful for your family? God has already done so much for us that we can't let present problems overshadow our thankfulness. After all, Paul rejoiced in his chains. We may not FEEL like being thankful, but it's the key to get out of our "funk".

There is the story of when Jesus healed the 10 lepers. They all went off to show themselves to the priest to be declared clean. Afterwards, only 1 of the lepers came back to thank Jesus. How many times has God fixed something for us....something just "happened" to work out....and we didn't even think about thanking him? I personally don't believe in coincidences. I know when I get to heaven, I'm going to be able to see everything He did for me, protected me from, etc. , and I didn't even realize it.

One thing that I am working on is even being thankful in the midst of the "unfun" stuff. Today, on the way to church, we blew a tire. Instead of getting aggravated about it, I chose to be thankful that it happened AFTER we got off the interstate, and we were right by an empty parking lot. I bet an angel was holding his finger over that hole so that when it blew, we weren't going 70 mph (ok, 65 because Josh was driving). We were safe, the kids and I were only 15 minutes late to church, and the van now has a nice, new, safe tire.

Tune in tomorrow (or the next few days) for step #2.

Ok, I've procrastinated long enough. I guess I must continue on with the never ending laundry (Thank You, Lord, that we have PLENTY of clothes to wear) and the non-stop grading (Thank You that I have a job). Have a blessed week!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

These are my precious children...Matt (7), Beth (13), and Ben (12) This picture was taken at Give Kids the World on Matt's Make-A-Wish trip in January.

Welcome to my blog!

Since I have been enjoying the posts from several friends' blogs, I decided to give it a try. I'm sure I'll figure out all the fancy stuff as I go. I've also desired to have the discipline to journal and reprocess Words I get from church and cell, but I just don't seem to have an affinity for paper and pencil. Since I enjoy being on the compter so much, it hit me that I could "blog" it, and not only would I get something out of it, but maybe somebody else would, too.

Just a brief intro. I am married to'll be 15 years in April. He is one awesome guy!! He teaches at the local high school and leads a cell group from our church. He has also written a Christian sci-fi fiction book. Our oldest child is Beth who will be 14 in April. She is finishing up her 8th grade year at Harvest Christian Academy where I teach as well. I can't believe my baby is heading to high school next year. Ben is 12 and in 6th grade. He loves playing Nintendo, thinking about Nintendo, writing about Nintendo, and dreaming about Nintendo. He is autisic but high functioning. Most parts of school are a challenge, but with accomodations and extra work on our part, he's hanging in there. He also has a heart condition that has not required any surgery at this time. We are believing for a miracle that he never will. Our youngest is Matt who is 7. He is a lot of fun and becoming more social all the time. He has a major heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). He had 3 open heart surgeries to toally rewire his heart and blood vessels his first year of life. He is SUCH a miracle. I'll tell the whole story one day. I put a website together for him at that tells a lot of his story.

As for me, I teach middle school Language Arts at Harvest Christian Academy, which is an excellent school. I am also very involved with cell groups from our church. I love to read; Lori Wick is my favorite author. I don't have much time to pursue personal hobbies, but since I check out several blogs daily, I thought I'd try to see if I can make time to blog on a regular basis.

So, welcome to my blog. Even if I'm the only person to read it, I know I will benefit by getting my thoughts concrete enough to write about them. LOL!!


Wednesday, March 21, 2007