Friday, April 30, 2010

Counting My Blessings

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1. Karen stopped by for a quick visit with her girls.

2. All Day Saturday was spent home with the family enjoying a quiet and relaxing day!

3. A young sister in Christ went up for prayer on Sunday and Lord I am trusting that she is healed and totally free in YOU!

4. My mom surprised us with a visit early Monday morning and brought over some goodies:)

5. I spent most of Monday with my mom helping her get ready for her trip. I am going to miss her so much!

6. Went to Target earlier in the week and found some great items on clearance all for $1.11 oop!

7. Rite Aid trip was unexpected this week but with coupons in hand made a good buy!

8. Received some great coupons from Pampers this week along with these freebies in the mail this week!

9. Enjoyed seeing my mom doing her CVS transaction with coupons in hand! She is so cute:)

10. My husband found a MetroCard totalling $11.00! Lord, you are always on time:)

11. Went with my mom, Karen and her fam along with my tween for some ice-cream..pralines and cream...yummy...yummy!!

12. Michelle and John blessed us with lots of coupons! Thanks so much:)

13. My tween has been an immense help around the house without me even having to ask her!

14. My SIL shared a blessing with us this week:)

15. Narrowing down our H.S. curriculum for the fall!

16. Thank you Lord because my Pastor is strengthened in YOU!

17. Surprised my husband at work and went out for lunch.

18. To my surprised he showed me shelves he made for our bathroom.

19. He also handmade a frame for my daughter's artwork. Thanks love!

20. Lord, I pray that you continue to bless my husband with creativity for Your glory and for Your honor!

Jesus looked at them at said,
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26 NIV

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Breaking Free: Surveying the Ancient Ruins

Read Proverbs 31:10-31. I suggest reading it in as many different versions as you can. And choose one skill/area/verse you want to focus on to rebuild the ancient ruins.

I ask myself, "Does she do all of this in one day?", "Is this what her days consist of?" She is a busy woman then. It is evident that her desire is to provide for her family. To make sure that all their daily needs are met. She is anything but idle (V.27) a woman who definitely makes the most of her time. An attribute worthy of imitation.

Moving along, the verse that stood out to me:

"Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." (Prov 31: 11-12 NLT)

I strive to be the helpmate of my husband that the Lord created me to be. I want the Lord to continue to cultivate the confidence that my husband can feel free to speak to me about anything. In the beginning of our marriage my husband would confess to me certain things and I would condemn him with the Word instead of encouraging him with the Word. I have since learned that I am here to always listen but not always speak.

My sister once told me that she wants to be her husband's biggest cheerleader. And I want to be that to my husband as well. I want to be their to encourage and uplift him. I want to edify and build my home..the home and family the Lord has blessed me with.

I understand that our marriage must reflect the love the Lord has for the church.

Are we there yet?
We are striving daily.
Are we on our way?
We sure ARE!

In the name of JESUS!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It Could've Been Me...

This morning I woke up meditating on God's mercy over my life.
These few lines of a praise song came to mind and truly spoke to my heart on how the Lord is so faithful and merciful:

It could've been me
Outdoors with no food and no clothes
Left alone without a friend
Or just another number with a tragic end
But You didn't see fit to let none of these things be
Everyday by Your power You just keep on..You just keep on keeping me
And I wanna say thank You Lord for all You've done for me!
(-Song by Mary Mary - "Thank You")

Truly Lord I am thankful!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Counting My Blessings

Picture 19

1. Decided to go to Old Navy and see if I would make it to get the free reusable bag with 50% off my purchase. When I got there there was already a long line formed. However, I did get my bag and my discount!

2. Saturday evening visited my mom and had dinner with her, Karen and all the girls.

3. Our Co-Pastor preached such an anointed message on Sunday. I want to be healed LORD!

4. Shopping with Koupon Karen is certainly not dull!

5. My mom stood with the girls Monday afternoon and they had fun with grandma!

6. Wednesday did my Wag's run and scored some Pantene items with coupons and RR $1.27 oop!!!

7. After leaving Wags we bumped into Sidewalk Sunday School and received a freebie.

8. Had an edifying convo with my husband in which Holy Spirit brought conviction and we are healed in HIS name!!!!

9. I am so thankful that the Lord deals in what may seem as the littlest things in my life...I am humbled Lord by your attention to detail.

10. Received some freebies in the mail including a sample of the new Dove men's body wash. My husband will be glad when I tell him about that one:)

11. My daughter received her Elsie Dinsmore series set of books and she is so thankful. I was waiting to get a good deal on the books and I did and they actually arrived a day early for God's glory!

12. My mom blessed me with a pair of shoes and my daughter with a set of scarves. Mami always has the goodies;)

13. Holy Spirit ministered an area in my tween's life and she confessed, was prayed over and is healed in the name of Jesus!

14. My baby girl is so unique! She is a character all her own!

15. The Lord is allowing us to go back in order to move ahead in the Breaking Free study...thank you's all in the details!

Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself;
How I praise You!
I will honor you as long as I live,
Lifting my hands to you in prayer.
Psalm 63:3-4

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Breaking Free: That Ancient Serpant

What have you seen in yourself that you disliked in a parent or grandparent?

As I meditated on the question I thought about past behaviors instead of what I am currently deciding to do! If there is something from your past that needs to be all ministration. What I mean is that we should take a close look at our behavior TODAY! The here and now. Definitely, the Lord doesn't want to condemn us but rather He wants to bring correction to our lives. Do you want to be healed? I know I do!

God is so loving that He deals with me during the week I am reading the currant chapter. Even up to today actually. Which I know it was only the Lord to allow me to see that there is really a situation going on that I had to confess and correct.

I have noticed that within my family, harshness in speech manifests.
How does this reflect in me? Well, I can sometimes say things that don't exactly edify or bless. Cursing is not only the use of obscene language, it is whatever speech that instead of building up tears down. If I am not blessing with my words than the opposite is cursing. Right?

It has manifested when I corrected my oldest daughter in a way that was to harsh and I immediately hear from the Lord, "I don't correct you like that!"

If there is a driver in front of me and I think they are going to slow comments like, "Jersey driver" (Please forgive me if anyone reading this IS a Jersey driver) I know...I know...terrible. Last night, as I was waiting for a car to pass by so I can park my car, the car in front of me delayed in moving (I guess to make sure I was going to take the parking) when all of a sudden my daughter uttered, "Jersey driver". As soon as I heard her say that I cringed and felt to guilty because I know she said it because she heard me say that. I corrected her but first I apologized to her for not speaking in a Christ-like manner and explaining to her that that kind of speech does not please the Lord.

And to top it all off...I had an "incident" while shopping today. I will just say that I didn't give the best example of Jesus Christ. Uuuuggghhhh! In HIS infinite mercy the Lord was just reminding me that He is dealing with me in this area and that I NEED to have ears to hear what HE is telling me!

I definitely want to continue asking the Holy Spirit to develop in me HIS language. I want to imitate the way Jesus spoke. I want to exercise self-control and be disciplined in my speech. After all, the tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Prov 18:21)

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.

Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bar figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

James 3:1-12

Saturday, April 17, 2010

stairway to heaven Pictures, Images and Photos

As I was ending my prayer time with the Lord this morning, God gave me this verse to meditate on:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
- Matthew 23:37

The desire of my heart and the determination of my soul is to dwell in the shelter of the Most High and rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Is it your resolve to make the Most High your dwelling place?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Counting My Blessings

Picture 19

1. Went to visit my mom Friday night and Karen was there...oh the fun:) Grateful no one was hurt in the process ;)<~~Karen
2. Enjoyed a quiet Saturday at home;
3. My tween accompanied me on my run this week $0.00 out of pocket!

4. My Pastor is sooo awesome;
5. Monday afternoon took my mom shopping..we laughed and laughed and laughed on the car ride back home :) Thank you Jesus for the time I spent with her!
6. My husband is such a sweetie..he surprised me a lil something I mentioned weeks ago about wanting. He remembered!!!
7. My Geni is a trooper for God's glory!
8. By the way so is my tween...boy can she shop!
9. My Co-Pastor's wife shared some valuable info on H.S curriculum and took the time to email me some info.
10 Thursday night prayer with my husband was so refreshing to my soul...I BELIEVE!!!
11. More free samples this week!

12. Free from Walgreens: (40) 4x6 prints and (2) 8x10
13. Michelle is back from her blog-cation...Yey!
14. My sister Karen, her girls, and my mom surprised me with a visit. I enjoy so much when they stop by...etch-a-sketch..lolol ;)
15. Michelle's husband blessed my tween with a desk for homeschooling...Thanks brother! Lord you are always on time!!!!

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desire.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust Him, and He will help you.
Psalms 37:4-5 (NLT)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Breaking Free: The Ancient Boundary Stone

This chapter has us digging deep into boundaries and the importance of not stepping outside of the Lord's divine protection. Me, as a parent, I set-up rules in my home for the guidance of my children and ultimately to align their actions to God's Word since His word is ultimately the light to our path which will certainly discover any stumbling stones in our walk with HIM.

God's Word, HIS commandments are our ultimate boundary stone. If our lives are not a mirror image, a reflection of God's Word than we have left the protection of God's boundary and we are easy prey for sin.

This weeks assignment entailed answering the following questions:

Looking back at your ancient ruins, what are some boundaries you want to create for you, your marriage, your children, so that when they tour their ancient ruins they don't find what you did. You can do this individually or with your spouse. Come up with at least 5 boundaries and you might want to include why this is an important boundary for you. Pray about it and ask Holy Spirit to guide you.

1. "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." - John 14:15

The desire of my heart for my family and myself would be for us all to be able to say in truth that we love the Lord because we do obey HIS Word. I do not want it to become Christianese in us...just taught phrases that we say instead of full hearted convictions that we have and live according to what we say.

2. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." - Philippians 4:6

Don't cry about it...PRAY about it!!!!

To me, this is so crucial. In the beginning of my walk with the Lord I noticed that I was very emotional (part of my ancient ruin). Crying served as an emotional release and a way of me dealing with upsets. I have since learned that yes, it is ok to cry especially when moved by the Holy Spirit...but I'd rather pray about my situation. I'd rather spend my time focusing on the Lord than weeping as if there is no hope in my GOD.

In particular I remember an incident when my husband and I were first married, we had a disagreement. I remember being on the floor of my bedroom crying. I mean crying! I felt the Holy Spirit saddened in me. I immediately started to pray and instantly I felt such a burden lift off of me. I cried, out to the Lord this time, and I saw HIS hand immediately move and heal.

I want to instill in my children the hope their is in Jesus. When a situation arises that they may seek the true will of God and to know that we are strengthened in prayer...In HIS presence.

3. "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land." - Numbers 7:14

There is so much food in this verse that it can be a post all in it self however, for our intents and purpose:

The key word in this verse to me is humble. The opposite of humility is pride.
We know that the Lord hates pride (Prov 8:13) and surely destruction follows it (Prov 16:18). I want to be able to have a humble spirit to respect husband and delegated authorities in the body of Christ as well as secular authorities and instill these attributes in my children.

4. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," - 2 Timothy 3:16

Always revert back to God's WORD........

5. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The love of God, and of our neighbor will help us endure each others weaknesses and faults, not only for a time, but to the end. And in every step toward overcoming evil with good, it is kind and gentle. In love we should not hastily condemn any one or pass a severe sentence on a slight or sudden view of things.

I want to be able to love the way Jesus loved with the intervention on the Holy Spirit I want to instill LOVE in my children.

I know that my children are influenced more by my actions than my Words. I want to instill in them with the help of the LORD a legacy of a God fearing child that walked according to God's Word and if we do stumble and fall He is available...HE welcomes us back to HIM.

In HIM all things are possible.....I praise you JESUS!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Counting My Blessings

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1. Celebrated a vigil at church on Friday evening and a brother we love dearly preached and it was truly a confirmation from the Lord!!

2. Spent an exciting saturday afternoon with my tween running some errands...thank you Jesus there was no damage to the truck:)

3. Celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

4. My Pastor celebrated another year in the Lord..may the Lord continue to bless him!

5. My mom invited my family to a restaurant that we have been wanting to give a try...the food was really good....but spending time with my mom was even better...she has a great laugh!

6. My baby is 8 months this week! We had fun taking pictures and eating some yummy goodies, too!

7. My tween was a big help as I finally decided to put my baby's bouncer and infant car seat away...she is always up for a challenge!

8. Overcoming the at a time..but progress is being made!

9. Again, my mom invited us to dinner at her house this time...she made a yummy dish that I will be trying hopefully soon!

10. Walgreens had an awesome deal on pics and we got 40 for free :)

11. CVS and Wags deals were pretty good this thankful that the Lord opened my eyes to couponing. Help me Lord to be a good steward of what you have placed in my hands;

12. Snapped some great pictures of my baby girl showing all of her 8 teeth!!!

13. Received some more great coupons in the mail along with a free reusable bag which is so cute!

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged,
for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Breaking Free: Touring the Ancient Ruins

This week's chapter had me visit the ancient ruins of my life.

A moment ago...before I started to write this post I was viewing pictures of my trip to Ecuador back in October. I viewed pictures of my grandmother who will soon celebrate her 95th earthday God willing. As I looked at her face the Lord allowed me to get a glimpse of the long and at times hard life my grandmother lived.

Through stories I have heard from my mother and other family members there were more stories of hardships lived than loving memories made. As I sat here and recalled family tales of woes....broken hearts, failed relationships, teen mothers, almost everyone being born out of wedlock and other generational curses made me realize the blessing that all things are made new through Jesus Christ.

However, it did make me realize that I went down the same road in many ways that my grandmother and mother went down. Although, I definitely do not boost on the decisions I made I do glorify the Lord because I have been able to see how HE has used that part of my life to draw me to HIM.

Trophy case? Trash can? Well, to start, the day I accepted Jesus Christ into my life would definitely be something to proudly display in my trophy case. Passing down an inheritance to my children of the saving grace of Jesus inheritance that will never cease to end but only culminating with a ever more present relationship with our Lord is definitely trophy worthy!

Now, the trash can...ME! I don't mean that I am not worth anything but like Paul said in Philippians 3:8 (NLT), "Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ."

Anything that I may think I have acquired through my own strength in the trash...any and all idols in my heart and mind in the trash....feelings of doubt, fear, and resentment in the trash.

All generational curses...IN THE the name of Jesus!!!

I thank the Lord that the blood of Jesus broke all generational curses!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Counting My Blessings

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1. My husband accompanied me to do the monthly grocery shopping at BJ's...truly an adventure!
2. Was able to purchase some yarn to finish my crocheting my baby's cardigan for Resurrection Sunday service and my tween even had time to participate in an art project at Micheal's.
3. Sunday service was a blessing. How can someone who does not have a covenant with God threaten someone who does?
4. My mom paid us a visit and it was such a blessing for me to be able to serve her. My mom is so funny!!!!!
5. My daughter is doing great in English and we are progressing on the rest of the curriculum. I am so blessed by the Lord with the beautiful children He has given me. Thank you Jesus...they are YOURS!
6. Speaking of homeschooling, my niece did great on her test! Glory to God!!!
7. Was able to enjoy the warmer weather with my girls :)
8. Received some more great samples in the mail including a coupon for a free vitamin water!
9. Our Co-pastor blessed us with some coupons...thank you Lord!
10. My husband gave me such a thoughtful gift this week...he is so caring..thank you Lord for him.
11. My two lovely lil sisters in Christ celebrated earthdays in the Lord this week. Michelle's daughter looked adorable in her dress last night!!!!
12. Last night's service was sooo anointed. I am so glad that when purpose in our hearts to allow the Holy Spirit to take control He gives us more than we can ever ask for! Looking forward to tonight's service ;)

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in HIM, and I am helped.
Psalms 28:7 NIV