‘Talkin’ ‘Bout My Girl’

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.

Well I guess you’d say,

What can make me feel this way?

My Girl!

Talking ‘Bout My Girl!”

Tomorrow marks the day that my sunshine came into my life! Thirty-two years ago Christina Nicole was born and nothing had ever captivated me so! My heart had never known love that pure, that innocent and that profound. No one had to tell her to be strong, she was born that way. Her Dad and I used to joke that James Dobson wrote the book, ‘The Strong-Willed Child,’ based on her! 

Her strength does not guide her to the stage, where she’s front and center. It draws her to the planning and executing of each and every little detail that goes into an event, large or small, to make it perfection in every way! Hers’ is the voice that each leader hears before they ever step foot on the stage. It draws out the plan, thinks through each and every detail, and gives them the encouragement to take the steps to the stage they were called to. She is the strength and backbone behind the scenes, that make all those out front look good! 

She is my Treasure, I value her and love who God created her to be. She is a compliment to me and to so many others!

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In a world that is still seeking the meaning of womanhood, I am so thankful that I have a girl who embodies it!

Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good and not harm, all the days of her life.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

She loves her husband with not just her words, but her deeds. She is respectful to him and shows him the honor he is due!

She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the days work for her servant girls.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

I know she wishes she had servant girls! That would make her role easier! She is up early and stays up late to make sure her family is cared for. My Girl ALWAYS has the plan, and we are all the better for it!

She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

She not only takes care of her two children she also nannies, loves and pours into the lives of the children of others, to bring in money for her family.

Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. She extends a helping hand to the poor and open her arms to the needy!”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

Her hands are busy, not idle, and her heart is always reaching out to those in need. She and her husband sponsor two children overseas, and recently just sponsored a new little one from Africa. Her heart was so touched when they heard about this child that they gave up something to sponsor her also!

She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

This one I claim about her with explanation! She is by nature a “worrier.” That is the way God designed her. But I have seen her overcome this fear and worry, time and time again as she faithfully puts her trust in God!

When she speaks her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

She is intellect beyond words. Her wisdom comes out in her instruction, but what is more obvious is her kindness, as she does not wield it out there and cause others to feel “less-than!” 

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her;”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

Her children and husband are the greatest testament to what I am sharing. They love her and speak nothing but good about her!

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There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but You surpass them all!”

Talkin ‘Bout My Girl!

Those of you that are familiar with Proverbs 31, which are the verses that I just quoted above, understand that this Proverb is not speaking of one woman alone. This proverb is speaking to the virtue that all women can attain if they commit their lives and hearts to God and His purposes alone!

My girl is my blessing, and the blessing of all those she comes in contact with; family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances etc…as she strives to live out the powerful life of a Proverbs 31 woman!

The question of Womanhood, its place, value and potential, is answered for us in the life of a Believer. Our worth is found in Christ ALONE! 

This verse does not say we have to be ALL of these things to have worth or value.

We can be any measure of these things. We are all valued by God for who we are!

If we desire to be ‘POWERFUL’ in our generation, then we will own who we are and strive to be virtuous with all we have!

A Woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:30

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A WOMAN’S GREATEST POWER IS IN FEARING THE LORD!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ‘MY GIRL!’ YOU TRULY DO BRING SUNSHINE TO ALL OF MY DAYS! 

Speak Truth Love

FAMILY

“We are family, I got all my sisters with me!”

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My sisters and I dance to this song by Sister Sledge at every family wedding! We dance with enthusiasm and joy in our hearts knowing that God has made us sisters and has made us family even though we have gone through a lot of the good, the bad, and the ugly! Every family does! But we dance because we know that God has made us family and we are sisters and we live this life doing the best we can to set an example for him and be at peace!

For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.                                                                             Psalm 122:8

This topic may draw you in and make you want to read more. It may also, make you want to push the delete button!  In either case it is bound to stir up emotions, positive and negative. We all have them, families that is. They come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. And no matter how good, bad, or ugly the make-up of our family is, there are both good and bad feelings that go along with them.

There are a few places in the bible where the word FAMILY is used.  

In the Old Testament it is primarily used in the classical dictionary definition of a unit of people. A group of people that are biologically connected to each other. In the traditional sense, they are blood related and dwelling together.

“a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered a group or unit, that dwells together and is blood related.”  Traditional Family

The scriptures we find about family in the Old Testament are all defined by this “traditional definition.”

This is the account of the FAMILY line of Esau.”                    Genesis 36:1

In the days of Joiakim, these were the heads of the priestly families; of Seraiah’s family, Mariah, of Jeremiah’s Hannah…”                                            Nehemiah 12:12

Their genealogical record listed the heads of families and 20,200 fighting men.                                                                                                  I Chronicles 7:9

Now that we have the definition down, let’s look at the point that our families present us with the “good, the bad and the ugly!”

I am going to go out on a limb here, and possibly isolate myself from some of you, when I say; I believe that is exactly the way God intended it to be! Why? Because God makes families! And through our families we experience the good, the bad, and the ugly as we live life together! We choose our friends, but God choses our families!

In the beginning when God created us, He made us to be families!

This is the written account of Adam’s FAMILY line; When God created mankind, He made them in the likeness of God.”                                            Genesis 5:1

We were created by God, to be like God and to be FAMILY!

It is not always easy, but we are challenged, molded, sharpened and strengthened, if we allow ourselves to be! I know that not all of our families are healthy and positive. But, I do believe that even out of the negative aspects of family, God does His great healing and transforming work. If we allow Him to!

We all bring our strengths and weaknesses to the FAMILY. If we allow God to strengthen our weaknesses through those in our family, and heal wounds that only He can heal, then our strengths will be heightened and we will be more like the person He created us to be!

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17

God created us with a desire and need for community. Yes, friends are important and our family of believers is essential! But to neglect God’s created purpose for biological family is wrong. 

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Today is May 14th, my sister Krissy’s birthday! This day reminds me that I am blessed by her and her tender, loving, giving heart! She is 10 and a half years younger than I am! She is a baby in my eyes! God brought her into my life when I was just old enough to realize that things with my mom and dad were not good. I did not understand the depth of all of it at the time. But, I do know that my heart was troubled, unsettled and sad. Then Krissy was born! She was pure love and goodness! She was tender and gave love freely! She still does!

God blessed me with her 48 years ago, and she continues to be my baby Sis, to this day! She loves BIG, and I am so thankful for her in my life!

She was my third sister. She rounded all of us out perfectly. Each one of my sister’s plays a vital role in my life, and they strengthen and sharpen me and help me be the person God has created me to be! I thank God for giving them to me! Alongside them come their husbands and children and grandchildren. As our FAMILY grows and increases, my life is richer and stronger. Sure, we have as many ups as we have downs, but we are FAMILY, and I truly do, “have all my sisters with me!”

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God makes us FAMILY to help make us who He wants us to be!

We need to do our part to love, honor and respect the family God made us a part of. The good, the bad, and the ugly of it. All of it is God-ordained and helps make us who God wants us to be!

Happy birthday baby Sis! You are a blessing and a gift from God! I love you and celebrate you!

Speak Truth Love

Mother’s Day

Wow, it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday!

Doesn’t it feel like we just had Easter? That’s because we did!

With Easter being as late as it was this year, Mother’s Day is already here!

If you are reading my Blog for the first time or for the hundredth time, you know that I LOVE BEING A MOM! In my life it is my complete Joy, Gift, Blessing and Calling!

 When God blessed me with my incredible husband, I thought I died and went to heaven! I think I actually might have! Why would this godly man chose me? Then three years after we were married God blessed us with our first child, a beautiful baby girl with the biggest crystal blue eyes! Her eyes were so blue that after we named her Christina, my Mom told me I named her wrong! She said, “You should have named her Crystal, because of her crystal blue eyes!”

She was right of course, as Mom’s ALWAYS are!  Two and a half years later God blessed us with our son! An equally beautiful boy with the biggest almond shaped smokey blue eyes that I had ever seen! It was then that I realized why God joined me together with that godly man!

We were both dedicated to raising a godly heritage. I realized that this was my greatest calling in life, because more than anything, I realized that the only way to do that was not in my power. It was not through any good that I could do, not through loving them more, not through reading the greatest books out there on parenting, not on listening to the strongest podcast or online teaching on parenting, and not by seeking out the most decorated counselor society had to offer. There was only one way to accomplish this harrowing task: It would take my complete and udder discipline and commitment to my God and my man!  That’s right, you read this correctly. In order to raise a godly heritage I would need to commit myself first to God and His disciplines in my life, and second, to my husband and our marriage relationship. This would cost me time, effort and saying “NO” to anything or anyone that would get in the way of these two commitments. It would mean that God, His Word, prayer, worshipping and serving Him would come before ME, MY MAN, and MY CHILDREN!

If I have confused you at this point then let me clarify. My children are blessed when I put my relationship with God first and their father next. This allows them to see in action, not just words, God’s purpose for our relationship with Him and with marriage. 

Was this an easy task? NO, absolutely not!

I take no credit for accomplishing it, I only give all the glory to God! I had to make the commitment and He had to do the work! I was called to obedience in this, and He was FAITHFUL!

I messed up plenty of times, and I still do! But my commitment has remained, and His Faithfulness has endured! 

The greatest JOYS along with the greatest pains have come in raising a godly heritage!

This is what happens when we love authentically and wholeheartedly. We hold nothing back! We trust God to fill in where our weaknesses lack. We continue to step out in faith and trust and watch Him do the work! We allow Him to accomplish what only He can, children who know Him, love Him, trust Him and follow Him! 

I realize that some of you reading these words are not biological Mom’s, but please hear me when I say, you are honored, revered, and needed as godly female influences. Children  are blessed by you, and they need you!

Happy Mother’s Day to You for the impact and example you have had in the lives of numerous children!

My favorite verse for Mom’s of all ages, stages, and descriptions is this:

Trust in the Lord with All your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”  

Proverbs 3:5-6

Step one to becoming a great Mom is to realize that you can not do it in your own strength and wisdom. You need the strength and wisdom that God gives to any of us who ask!

Then my next bit of advice is this: TRUST HIM TO GIVE IT TO YOU!

One of the best quotes I have seen lately is this one by Lisa Bevere;

“A Mother’s INTUITION is often DIVINE DIRECTION from The Holy Spirit.”

AMEN!

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Commit yourself to God, and trust in His leading, you cannot lose if you do!

Happy Mother’s Day to all women out there! You are unique, chosen and loved by your Heavenly Father!

Speak Truth Love

He is Worthy!

You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
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I am speechless and in awe of the fact that MY GOD IS WORTHY! Worthy to receive all that I can give Him: my time, my respect, and my life!

He created me and the world I live in. The air I breathe, the food I eat and the people I love are all created by Him. They are a gift from Him to me to enjoy! My heart full of gratitude and thanks is the least I can give back to Him.
Everything in the world is created by Him and all glory, honor and power are due Him!
Today, I am struck with this Truth….the sunshine I see brightening my day, the breeze I feel softly on my face and the birds I hear singing their song are all created by The Creator Himself! He hung every star, He gave every flower it’s scent and He created each and every human being with their own unique fingerprint and character. He made you and He made me and He is worthy my friend.

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Our God is worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise!

Our God is worthy of all we have and all we are!

Speak Truth Love

FRESH AND NEW

How is your day going? Did your week start off with a “BANG,” or a “FIZZLE?” Are you feeling full of the “Joy of The Lord,” after your Easter celebration, or are you feeling the exhaustion of the holiday preparations and festivities?

Regardless, God has a FRESH word for you!

Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin AFRESH each morning.”                                                                                           Lamentations 3:2

I pray that this encourages you no matter what state you find yourself in today. But, please do not miss the power this truth holds! This does not just roll off the lips of one who is having a “bad hair day!” It is not voiced by one who’s Easter outfit didn’t make the “Best Dressed List!” It’s not spoken by one who burnt their Easter dinner or woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

This claim that the “mercies of God are new every morning,” is stated confidently by one whose “peace has been stripped away,” one who has been “rolled in the dust, with face down in the gravel! By someone who has had the “good things of this world”, and has “lost all their splendor!” One who has hoped, and has witnessed that hope squashed! One who has suffered from homelessness and careless words, one who has grieved so deeply that the grief felt endless!

Yet still, in spite of the seemingly insurmountable circumstances knew that the “faithful love of the Lord never ends!”

Do you need something fresh, something new? I know I do! God is offering it to us each and every day!

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”     Lamentations 3: 2223

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His mercies begin afresh each morning!

Step into this new and fresh attitude with me friend, will you? All God is asking us to do is start each new day with Him. 

Pray, read His word, and allow His mercies to fall afresh on you!

Happy New Day!

Speak Truth Love

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

In religious circles, this week is known as ‘Holy Week.’ It is the single most important week in Christendom!

Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, two world changing events happen. Both result in one supernatural phenomenon that bridges the gap between sinful mankind and Holy Perfect God.

The first event happens in Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus finishes the Passover meal with His 12 disciples. Passover, in the Jewish tradition occurs during the full moon and represents God rescuing His people from slavery in Egypt. Jesus knew that what Isaiah had prophesied some 700 years before, was about to happen!

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”         Isaiah 53:5

So, He called His disciples to follow Him to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to His Father in Heaven.

He prays with such intensity and such agony that He sweats drop of blood!

“…He became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, (His disciples), “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” Mark 14:32,33

Jesus then pleads with His heavenly Father to take this “Cup of Suffering” away from Him.

Abba, Father’ (meaning Daddy), He cried out, ‘everything is possible for You! Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.’”    Mark 14:3536

Jesus knows that a horrible fate awaits Him, and He asks His Father to take it away. 

What is that horrible fate? Is it the physical death that He is about to endure? True, it is a painful, excruciating death, but I do not believe that is it. Other believers before Him had suffered and died a painful physical death. Physical death alone was not the reason.

Was it the attacks of Satan? Jesus had already endured and confronted and defeated the attacks of Satan in the wilderness. He had fasted, prayed and taken Satan on, and Jesus returned after 40 days strengthened by the Holy Spirit! As hard and difficult as that was, I do not believe that was the reason.

Was it the betrayal of Judas? Judas was a close friend, a disciple, one that Jesus loved and trusted. While this surly brought Jesus pain and disappointment, I do not believe it brought Him, “anguish to the point of death!”

No,  ‘Gethsemane’s Cup’ that Jesus willing drank for you and for me was the pollution of sin mixed with the punishment of sin! It was the vile, ugly, evil sin of all mankind that Jesus took on Himself. It was also the punishment for that sin that Jesus accepted for you and for me! And, ultimately, it was the separation from His Holy perfect Father, as He turned His face away from His son who took our sin on Himself!

The first world changing event is accomplished as Jesus submits His will to the will of the Father and takes on the Sin of all mankind!

THE VICTORY WAS WON IN GETHSEMANE!

Later that week, the second world changing event occurs.

A perfect, sinless, willing lamb, was nailed to a cross and put to death for the transgressions of the world.

It was nine in the morning when they crucified Him.”  Mark 15:25

As the soldiers scourged Him and nailed Him to the cross, Jesus cries out to His Father to forgive them, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

Seeing all of this and hearing the words of compassion Jesus speaks, a Roman soldier proclaims,

Surely this man was the Son of God.”

Mark 15:39

The second greatest world changing event is accomplished when Jesus pays the cost for all of mankind’s sin at Calvary!

The cross was God’s choice. In His wisdom, God decided that the cross was the way to accomplish two great world changing events at the same time: One, Sin is punished, and Two, the sinner is forgiven!

These two world changing events during Holy Week brought us the greatest gift the world has ever or will ever receive! The greatest Supernatural Phenomenon occured bridging the gap forever between sinful man and Holy perfect God, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ!

You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here!” Mark 16:6

This week we celebrate the Holy week of Jesus. Thursday night as He prayed and committed His will to the will of the Father, Friday as they scourged, beat Him and nailed Him to a cross, and finally Sunday when God raised Him from the dead!

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THE VICTORY WAS WON IN GETHSEMANE AND PAID FOR AT CALVARY.

He lives my friends! Jesus is alive! 

HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR!

Speak Truth Love

IS YOUR HEART PREPARED FOR THE GREATEST EVENT IN HISTORY?

I know you have seen the signs of Spring beginning to pop, even through the rain.

The pink buds on the cherry trees, the white puffs of “popcorn” (we call it) on the apricot trees, and the endless fields of yellow flowers covering the new green grasses of the hillsides.

You have also seen, I’m sure, the array of Easter chocolates and Easter goodies, begging to be bought to fill your Easter baskets.

This week my eye has been drawn to the baby lambs following close beside their Mommies in the fields around us. There’s also baby goats and calves laying beside their Mamas, attempting to get up and walk on wobbly, young legs. Last week I even saw two twin colts following their mother in the corral beside the highway.

It is the season of New Life! Spring is in the air, and we are ready for lighter clothing, greater exposure to the sun, and longer walks outside in the warmer air.

Do you prepare for this? I do!

I start to panic that my over indulgence of baked items during the cold days of winter, may not make a good impression in my sleeveless spring wear. I look down at my pale arms and legs and push myself out the door to allow the sunshine to hit them. I even consider a new lotion with color in it!

But the truth is, Easter is not just the time for baskets, candy and new clothes. It also, is not just the time to go to church and sing His praises. It is the time to prepare our hearts for THE GREATEST EVENT IN HISTORY!!! 

The hard thing is, the greatest event in history begins with the saddest day in history.

Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where palm branches are being waved in His honor and “Hosanna’s” are being sung to His glory. 

Hosanna to the son of David!” Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord. Hosanna in the highest heaven.”                                             Matthew 21:9

The people, like you and I, are not only cheering for Him, they are giving Him the recognition and honor He is due. They are calling Him Lord, but in a matter of days, they are shouting insults and demanding his death!

How do hearts that praise Him, turn so quickly to curse Him?

I have to believe that their hearts were not prepared. They were not fixed on His glory, His kingship, or His power. Their hearts were led by emotion and fooled by deception. They were hearts that were not grounded in commitment and prayer.

Granted, they did not yet have access to the Holy Spirit, but WE DO! How much more important is it that we prepare our hearts for this season? We need to connect ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit!

I know of no better way to do that than through FASTING. Fasting calls us to sacrifice and focus on something bigger than ourselves.

Jesus gets to the heart of the matter when He expresses His disappointment with His disciples. They had a lack of preparation as they fall asleep on Him while praying.

Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”   Matthew 26:40

The answer is No. They in and of themselves were too weak. Jesus tells them this truth,

For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”                              Matthew 26:41

God knows that if we do not prepare our hearts for Him, we will be too weak in our own strength to grasp the depths of what Easter is truly all about!

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When we fast, we exchange our power for God‘s power.

Fasting puts us in a posture to break our pride, and anything that holds us captive. It helps us to break bad habits in our lives and build good habits. Combined with prayer, fasting connects us to the Holy Spirit and His power.

Mark Batterson, in his book ‘Draw the Circle,’ put it this way:

“If we will live in a place of brokenness, (by fasting,) God will build us back up in the power of the Holy Spirit.”   pg.153

Are you willing to have your heart broken, so that it can be fully prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive all Immenseness of Palm Sunday and Easter?

You may already be preparing your hearts through this Lent season. But if you are not, would you consider a FAST in combination with prayer to prepare your heart this EASTER?

You will be amazed at what God will do in and through you if you do!

I am preparing my heart through a fast and I already can testify to the sensitivity I already feel coming up to Palm Sunday. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT GOD WILL DO ON EASTER!

He is faithful friends! Fasting is not easy. Pray first about what God wants you to fast from. It can be food, it can be social media, T.V., movies…anything at all.

Fasting is an exercise in will power! But it is so worth it as we yield our personal will power to His great POWER!

You can do it! We can do it! We can be more like Jesus on Easter as we enter that day in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us that Jesus after fasting for 40 days, “returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

My goal is to enter my church this Easter in the power of the Holy Spirit! I hope you will join me.

Blessings and prayers for strength and will power!

Speak Truth Love