Thursday, November 08, 2007

Our New Kitty

After a lengthy search, we are pleased to announce the newest member of our family has arrived... Kindoa! I spent several weeks doing research on the web for a pet adoption agency. After the experience of having to find a home for our previous cat because she could not interact with our family after the children arrived, we were looking for an adult cat that would already be used to having kids around and love being part of a family.

Well, to make a long story somewhat short we adopted a four month old brown tabby kitten this week! She is so cute and loves us as much as we love her. She lets the kids pick her up and play with her, but when she's had enough she just goes under a chair or bed and lays low for a while. The kids love her and we're so happy she found a loving home.

If you are looking for a pet, (and you live in Phoenix) I recommend HALO pet rescue. Our agent, Nita, interviewed me on the phone to get specifically which cat would be the best fit for us and she was completely professional. When she met in person with our entire family, she had already found the perfect kitten just for us. We just had to meet the kitty to see if the chemistry was there!

We will love having Kindoa for a long time... thank you Nita!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

8 Random Things About My Kitchen

I've been tagged. I haven't done one of these in a while, but this one is a little different and might be fun to see how long it takes me to think these up...

1. Our kitchen in our new house is eerily similar to our kitchen in California. I must have really liked the layout because is just like our other house, right down to the peninsula over the sink! The only differences between the two kitchens are the placement of the fridge and range/oven are switched and we now have a pass through door into the entry which makes the floor space here a little bigger. Other than that, they are almost exactly the same. Same angles, same cabinet placement, same pantry... weird.

2. I have three sets of dishes. I have formal Noritake China that was received as a wedding gift (it has only been used once), Mikasa dinner ware that I use for company, and our everyday dishes are a set of vintage mustard colored earthenware that belonged to Dan's grandparents in Zimbabwe. The mark on the dishes is Willsgrove Ware Pottery Made in Rhodesia. Based on the color, I would guess it's at least 40 years old. I cried when I broke one of the bowls.

3. I have an under-mount kitchen sink which I absolutely LOVE! I do most of my food prep on the counter next to the sink so I can just wipe the crumbs and mess right off and wash it away. It was way more expensive to install than it should have been, but I think it's a great invention and I would recommend it.

4. We have an eat-in kitchen. (That's just the fancy new way to say we have a breakfast nook.)

5. I almost always have fresh flowers on my kitchen counter. They make me happy.

6. I have a can of salmon in my pantry that we moved here from California in 2005. I don't eat fish, so I haven't felt the need to open it. Ever. I suppose I should toss it out, but it's really difficult for me to throw canned goods away. However, since I wouldn't eat it after storing it for this long and I won't feed it to anyone else, I think it's time to just let go.

7. We eat our big meal of the day at lunch. Dan has always preferred to have a big lunch and a very small dinner, so when he started working from home I changed the meals to fit his schedule. I make traditional dinners for lunch on weekdays (stroganoff with rice, meat-loaf with baked potatoes, chicken enchiladas, etc.), small dinners (chicken and biscuits, quesadillas, grilled cheese, etc.) and then we eat leftovers on Saturday.

8. I post the menu for the week on the inside of the pantry door so when it's time to start meal prep, I always know what I'm making for each meal that day. (I make my shopping list on the other side, so I have it with me at the store to see what ingredients I need to buy... it works really well for me!)

I tag Jesica, Davina and Amber... have fun! I finished this in just under an hour, how'd I do Sara?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Funeral for a Fish

Sunset, our beautiful amber Beta Fish, has passed on. Fortunately he wasn't acting right for a couple of days before he died, so I was able to prepare K for the impending loss of her pet. She cried when we noticed he was looking pale, a sure sign he wasn't getting enough oxygen. She stood at his bowl with big silent tears, watching him struggle to "breathe". She is such a tender child, she so easily empathizes with the emotions of others so it was very hard for mommy to see her precious little girl hurting (I can't imagine what it will be like when the first boyfriend breaks her heart!)

When he finally died, we decided to burry him in the yard rather than the more traditional "burial at sea" for goldfish. K was very composed during the excavation of the grave, but she began to sob when she placed his foil coffin in the ground. It was oh so precious and very touching.

Although it was a difficult time for her, I was able to use it to discuss the plan God has for life on this earth. How all living things must die and how we never know when anyone or anything might die. We spent time talking about how much God loves us and wants His children to be with Him forever, but we have to choose to go to heaven. It was another lesson on eternity for her, but I was glad I was able to use a tragedy in her life to share about the love of God and part of His plan for her.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pediatric Cold Medicine

Today I found this article on children's' cold medicine very disturbing. Not so much that I went upstairs and threw out my Triaminic, but I will seriously consider every dose I give my children in the future. The most upsetting new information I found was that pediatric cold medicines have never been tested on children. That seems beyond irresponsible. It's like the FDA said, "Whoops... we forgot to make sure these products are safe for kids. They're ok for adults, so we just assumed smaller doses for children was the way to go. Sorry mom and dad." Now that the FDA has determined these medicines have no real effect on cold symptoms in children, it seems possible the pharmaceutical companies have been conducting tests all along, only it was on the public without our knowledge.

The timing of this article is not well received at our house as we are about to embark on the cold and flu season and with three kids under 8 years old, we have a lot of colds each year. It has also raised my uncertainty on flu shots again. I really disagree with giving my children live flu viruses, especially when the vaccine is based on the flu strains from last year. However, knowing that there won't be anything to alleviate their symptoms if they get the flu, I may just give in and have the family vaccinated.

Having children is an incredible responsibility and requires undivided attention. As I look at my precious babies right now, they are completely vulnerable and trust me for everything that is put in or on their bodies. I feel I may have failed them in not completely researching the over the counter medicines I've given them since birth. It's a scary thought, and one I might have to ask their forgiveness for if they suffer any adverse effects in their future.

Since reading this article (and calming down a bit) I've done some more thinking about the effectiveness of pediatric cold medicines. As a child, my brother had severe chronic sinusitis and my mom gave him Triaminic to alleviate his headaches. It worked. Fast forward about 30 years to my kids and a cold. The pediatrician recommends Triaminic as a decongestant and I remember, "Hey, my mom used that on us... I can't believe it's still around!" I went to Walmart and voila, there it was! So now I'm thinking, if some of these products have been around for decades and moms are still buying them, they must be doing something right!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Roadtrip, Beaches and Disneyland!

We're finally home after a wonderful week in Southern California. The weather was absolutely beautiful, the kids were amazing and no one had a melt down or was ill, which I had prayed fervently about. We spent an entire day at Disneyland from opening until they kicked us out an hour after closing! This picture is at the Small World ride with my mom, my cousin Cindy, her mom and Cindy's adorable kids.

Here's J, K and N in line to ride Dumbo.

We had a great day at Coronado Island playing in the sand and surf. J was taken down by the very first wave after we'd been on the beach for 5 minuets, but she didn't cry and she held hands with Grandma for the rest of the day!

Thank you to all who prayed for us to have a safe and fun trip. We were so blessed to get some time away with friends and family but next time we want Daddy to come too!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Infant Swimming Resource

While doing some 'catch-up' reading the other day, I went to the blog of a friend who lives in Colorado. Since their climate doesn't lend itself often to swimming pools, she had an entry about Infant Swimming Resource but she didn't elaborate much about their services.

However, I live in Phoenix where close to 50% of homes have a pool or some kind of backyard water feature. In the summer, rarely a day goes by where there isn't a news report of a child drowning somewhere in the valley. The frequency of drownings is incredibly heart wrenching and this summer our own Pastor attended a funeral for a friend who's toddler drown.

The video link above is amazing. To see a baby fall in a pool and not panic was incredible to watch. He remained calm, so much so that I noticed the water in the pool became almost still. He called for his daddy, but stopped himself from crying when he started to get water on his face. Children are born with the intelligence they will have as adults, and they can learn the techniques necessary to prevent them from drowning if they are taught.

The service is expensive, but how can you possibly compare it to the cost of losing a child, especially now that you know they can be safe around water by taking this course.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I woke up to another day
Another day to celebrate
Your beauty and Your mystery, it’s more than any eye can see
I’m not the man I was before
With You, my life is so much more
Break the chains and open doors to a world I can't ignore

Lord let me shine, shine like the moon
A reflection of You in all that I do
Lord let me be a light for Your truth
Light of the world, I wanna be used
To shine for You

As simple as a passing smile
Or listening a little while
To someone that's convinced that they are in this all alone
Here's my chance to share the news
To introduce the good that's You
Here You go again, You never cease to blow my mind


You're the love that we all need
You lift us up to our feet
You hold the key to eternity
The King of Kings alive in me

Lord let me shine, shine like the moon
A reflection of You in all that I do
Lord let me be a light for Your truth
Light of the world, I wanna be used
To shine for You

Shine by Salvador

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Here We Go Again

Tomorrow we will start our third week of school. That's right... AZ schools all start early August. I think that's crazy since we have another month of summer. This week it will be 110 again, Ugh! Even though it's a broiler here, the kids are loving school.

K is going to Montessori at Anthem this year and she is doing very well. She's an artistic right-brain thinker and she should do great with the open structure of the Montessori method. N is going to preschool three days/week but asks every day if he can go to school! He is such a neat kid... a total bundle of energy. I think that has a lot to do with just being a boy, I love it. J is too old for her age. On the first day of school she went and got a lunch box from the pantry and said, "I'm going to school". I really want to savor every moment with her, it's going by too fast for mommy!

Here's a pic from the first day of school. Next year there will be three kids in the picture, sniff!

Friday, July 13, 2007


A great song from Andy Chrisman's album One, I highly recommend it!

Don't be disturbed if I'm not melancholy all the time
Don't be surprised to find a smile upon my face a mile wide
And don't be alarmed if it's so hard for me to stand still right now
But there's something going on right here
Even as I sing this song

There's a joy I know dancing in my soul
And it comes from being with You
It's unbelievable how my heart is full
And it comes from knowing the truth
That I am complete in You

Don't be afraid to jump right in and help me sing this song
Don't be surprised to find a smile upon your face a mile wide
And don't be embarrassed if it's hard for you to stand still right now
'Cause there's something going on right here
Even as I sing this song

There's a joy I know dancing in my soul
And it comes from being with You
It's unbelievable how my heart is full
And it comes from knowing the truth
That I am complete in You

Money won't complete me
Fame won't complete me
I am complete in You
A big house won't complete me
A nice car won't complete me
I am complete in You
Yeah, yeah, yeah, no I won't do it
Nah, nah, nah, I still won't do it
I am complete in You
Well all these things yeah, they're nice things
But I am complete in You

Yeah I am complete in You
Yeah I am complete in You
Yeah I am complete in You

Andy Chrisman

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer in Anthem

So... summer in Anthem is in full swing and we're having a ball! For those who are interested, here's what our schedule has been like up to now:

Monday- Errands
Tuesday- Library
Wednesday- Arts & Crafts
Thursday- Waterpark!
Friday- Homeschool

We've been sticking pretty close to this schedule up to now. With Dan's departure to Sudan this Saturday, the kids and I will put the Summer Schedule on hold and spend some much needed time in Prescott with my parents. The weather up in the Arizona mountains is at least 15 degrees cooler than the Valley of the Sun so the kids will get to play outside for a change. We are truly blessed to be this close to my family and we take advantage of it as much as possible!

Please pray for Dan and Marcus while they are in Sudan for two weeks:
For hearts to be prepared for the message of Christ
For physical safety in the coming and going of travel
For logistics with baggage, equipment and supplies while in Sudan and Kenya
For physical health including restful sleep in their tents at night

Sam has updated the Impact Africa site with much more information about the vision of their mission to Sudan and the long-range goal to claim Africa for Christ.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our families while we pursue the lost for our Lord Jesus Christ, one step at a time.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Birthday Catch-up

I should have posted this a long time ago, but I really haven't had the time before now to go through my iPhoto library to pick the cutest photo from "the Dude's" birthday. This is from the actual birthday day, Dan has all the pics from the family party and I haven't looked at them yet.

This boy is such a doll, I can't describe the feeling I get deep down for this adorable little guy. He has been such a blessing to our family and my heart feels like it will just burst when he says "Mommy, can you hold me?"

Um, yeah!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Craft Day!

We are having a great summer. Craft day is always a big hit with the kids, although some have more patience to finish a project than others.

More summer pics coming soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Long Time, No Blog

Until now I didn't have anything to write that I wanted everyone in the world to read... until I tried Coppertone Continuous Spray sunscreen. It is amazing. The Shewmakers were boating with the Parker boys on Bartlett Lake in Tonto National Forest for 6 hours last Saturday and no one got even slightly pink. That's not a big deal for my kids that have Dan's ability to tan with ease. I, however, am Scotch-Irish and do NOT tan. I sprayed this sunscreen on when I arrived on the boat and didn't reapply it for 4 hours. When we got home that afternoon, I didn't even have a hint of a sunburn.

Now the bad news. It was expensive (the cheapest I have found it was $8, which is what I paid at Walmart) and the can won't last nearly as long as the lotion sunscreen you have to rub in. Also, you shouldn't spray it on your face as the alcohol in the spray that causes it to dry quickly can burn eyes. On our faces I used Coppertone Water Babies lotion SPF 50 for the kids and Hawaiian Tropic Oil Free Faces SPF 30 for myself. Those were my only "downs" to the spray sunscreen and they are heavily outweighed by the easy spray application (especially on the kids), it dries almost immediately, and best of all no one got sunburned!

So, hopefully there's some useful summer shopping advise on sunscreen from a mom who found one that is really convenient and really works.


Kate and Daddy in the water, thanks again Jeff!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Shewmaker Reunion

Last weekend, the Sam Shewmaker family had a short reunion before Sam and Nancy return to the mission field in Africa this September. We were blessed to have Jon and Gayle come to AZ from AR to have all the children and grandchildren together, the first time since Christmas 2005! We had a wonderful time of fellowship, food, laughter, food, playing, food, and prayer. I love each member of this family more than I can adequately express in words. If you ever have the chance to get to know any of them, you will be equally tied to them, I just get to be related!

For a family photo to commemorate the occasion, we drove to Sedona on Saturday. This picture was taken south of Sedona, as on the north side of Oak Creek we received rain and snow, which are not conducive to taking photos with small children. We did have a great time, just not much hiking around in the weather.

May the LORD continue to bless the Shewmaker and Roberts families as we follow Him in complete obedience. Although far in distance, we are ever close in heart.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Wisdom of Children

Several states have adopted laws enforcing "hands free" phone technology for drivers with the intent that it will make cell phone use while driving a car less hazardous. My own children have shown me how absurd this is. Let me give you an example of what happens in my house when I take a phone call. And mind you, I'm not driving a car. I'm just making lunch.

(phone rings)

Hello. Oh, Hi mom! Kids, Grandma is on the phone, could you please stop doing the Tarzan yell for just a minuet? Sorry about that, mom...

What was that, mom? I apologize, but I couldn't hear you over the crash of the lamp hitting the floor.

You'll have to repeat that last thing you said, your grandson just picked his sister up by her ankles and is trying to put her in the trash can.

At this point, I usually excuse myself from the phone and have a quick little talk with my children about respecting the person on the other end of the phone and that they need to be quiet while mommy is talking.

Back to the phone call:

I'm so sorry about that, but you know how kids are when you get on the phone (laugh). Anyway, you were saying...?

And as I continue in my grown-up adult conversation for a few minuets in beautiful silence, I am blissfully unaware that my kids have gone to the living room. I don't know how many of you have had that awful sick-to-your-stomach sinking feeling that it has been way too quiet for way too long, but this is definitely one of those times for me.

I run around the corner to the living room (the only real "adult conversation" area in our home, complete with antique piano and off white sofa that we purchased before we had kids) and there I behold the mayhem that has taken place while I was on the phone with the grandmother of my sweet children. What a blessing for them that I spend a lot of time in prayer asking God for wisdom in raising them to fear God and not me.

I've gotta go, mom. Please pray for my sanity and that I don't make the six o'clock news with what I want to do to myself or your grandkids.

This is some of what was on the floor:
-all the cushions, pillows, blankets and books that had been on something else
-all the Kleenex from a brand new box
-all the Spanish moss from my silk bamboo along with most of the leaves from the bottom third of the tree
-the baby's diaper that she decided needed to be changed ("change you di-po" is currently her favorite sentence)

I think my kids are genius children, however I think that they have capitalized on something rather obvious. After all, they are 2 and 3-years-old, but they know the benefit of my inability to comprehend what is going on right in the other room if I'm on the phone.

There are documented psychological studies that prove brain function actually slows down while talking on a cell phone, even with a hands free devise. You can read this as one example.

So why have some states gone ahead and made it ok to use a cell phone as long as you aren't holding it? I mean, come on, if my two-year-old has enough sense to know that she can get away with murder when mommy is on the phone (and I'm not even driving a car!), why can't all lawmakers see that driving while talking on the phone might not be a good idea regardless of where your hands are?

I found this info from cellular-news with the current list of requirements for countries and states for cell phone use while driving. Take Massachusetts, for example. They have a partial ban where drivers are required to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel while holding a phone. What?! When I was in driving school I was told I shouldn't take my hands off the 10 and 2 positions to change the radio station! And don't get me started on the ban in seven states for school bus drivers using a cell phone... they had to make that a law?

If you're still reading this and you're waiting for my opinion (just in case you haven't already figured it out), here it is...

Stop driving and talking on the phone at the same time!

Glory Defined

This song really said a lot to me today, that my faith is rooted in God and nothing will ever change that. People will disappoint, but the LORD is steadfast and unchanging by the Power of His Name. I am holding to His promise of that.

There's always a better way
There's always a bridge that needs crossings
There's always the straight and the narrow
The wide and the shallow
But I know that you're guiding me
And the best is yet to come
You've given me hope for tomorrow
And I know some day

I'll wake up to find
Your glory defined
and I will finally bow at your feet
I will lift up your name in honor and praise
when I cross over Jordan
I know that I'll be running home to you

It's always the simple things
It's always the obvious that crashes over me
It's always in front of me
It helps me to remember
This is what I live for
And I can't wait

I'll wake up to find
Your glory defined
and I will finally bow at your feet
I will lift up your name in honor and praise
when I cross over Jordan
I know that I'll be running home to you

There's never a question in your message
Never a moment without your presence
There's never a doubt in my mind

That I'll wake up to find
Your glory defined
and I will finally bow at your feet
I will lift up your name in honor and praise
when I cross over Jordan
I know that I'll be running home to you

Glory Defined
by Building 429

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Too Cute Not to Share!

Mmm... peanut butter!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


New Easter Bibles!

Both of the older kids have started asking philosophical questions of my husband and me. Our 3-year-old son has already asked us "God is Jesus. How is that?" Amazing, this is a profound mystery that scholars have wrestled with for over 2000 years!

What a blessing to have children who's questions about the LORD make me reaffirm my own faith and beliefs so I can "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Crucifixion

After Easter, I spent some personal time with the LORD in contemplation of the crucifixion of Jesus on Passover and His resurrection on the third day. The LORD spoke to my heart with some awesome insights, as I knew He would, in His love for me as His child and partner in Covenant.

I first thought about the act of crucifying the Christ on the Passover. Just as the Israelites had been commanded to sacrifice a lamb to receive a "pass over" of the angel of death, Jesus was sacrificed to deliver us from eternal death. Ok, that one I've known for a long time (it probably deserves further explanation, but that will be for another post). But, as I let the LORD speak to me further about the resurrection, I wondered if there is any significance in Christ remaining in the grave the day after He died. Surely He could have been raised on the second day, but He was not, it was the third day. Was there any significance there?

God does nothing by chance or without specific reason, so I let myself think and pray about it more. The Holy Spirit revealed profound Truth, as is every revelation from God in His Word. I heard the Spirit say, "The Christ, as God, had to remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy." There was no way that God could break this or any of His commandments, as that would negate every other commandment and what would I have then? A God who changes His character and His Word... this is impossible and not a God I would want to worship!

Exodus 20:8-11
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.

11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

I let myself imagine the "rest" God was allowing Jesus to receive. After the horrific slaughter the Christ endured as my passover lamb, God the Father allowed Jesus to spend the next day in His Holy presence; basking in His Glory, communing again with His Spirit after total and complete separation from Them both when He took my sin upon His body on the cross.

This Is Awesome! Because our LORD never changes, I can bank on His Word to reveal Truth to me every time I seek Him in His Holy Scripture. Praise God, He DID raise from the dead, and through His resurrected life, I can enter the Kingdom to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

So Long Self

My new mantra...

Well if I come across a little bit distant
It's just because I am
Things just seem to feel a little bit different
You understand
Believe it or not but life is not apparently
About me anyways
But I have met the One who really is worthy
So let me say

So long, self
Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long, self
There's just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long, self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
So long, self

Stop right there because I know what you're thinking
But no we can't be friends
And even though I know your heart is breaking
This has to end
And come to think of it the blame for all of this
Simply falls on me
For wanting something more in life than all of this
Can't you see

So long, self
Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long, self
There's just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long, self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
So long, self

Don't feel so bad (don't feel so bad)
There'll be better days (there'll be better days)
Don't go away mad (but by all means)
Just go away, go away

So long, self
Well, it's been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long, self
There's just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long, self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
So long, self
Farewell, Goodbye...

So Long Self
by Mercy Me

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bye, Bye Baby

Although she still refers to herself as "baby", she is no longer a baby. We now have a toddler. As hard as ending the baby chapter has been, I didn't cry. Well, I did shed a tear on Monday, her last full day of being a one-year-old.

May God bless our sweet girl in this new year full of discovery and wonder at His creation and may He grant my prayer to be filled with His wisdom to raise God fearing children.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beautiful Name

I'm listening to this song right now, thinking of my family that is making preparations to return to the Mission field in Rwanda. I pray daily for their safety, but above all else, that the Word of the LORD will continue to go forth in Africa brought by Godly men and women like Sam and Nancy Shewmaker.

Beautiful Name from Different Kind of Free by ZOEgirl

Your heart I seek to find
With Your hands You fashioned mine
Let me be used by You to carry Truth
To the ends of the earth
'Til everyone's heard
My mended heart will share Your words
I will tell the world that You are God

I will run
I will fly
I will live to be a sacrifice
Through it all I'll rise above
Unafraid I'll face what comes
I will run
I will fly
And for my faith I'll live & die
I'll be strong
I will press on
For the sake of Your beautiful name
Your beautiful name

Should all life cease to grow
Should chaos take control
The only hope we know is You will save us
It's worth the cost to take up my cross
As You take back what's been lost
Until all who doubt know
You are God

I will run
I will fly
I will live to be a sacrifice
Through it all I'll rise above
Unafraid I'll face what comes
I will run
I will fly
And for my faith I'll live & die
I'll be strong
I will press on
For the sake of Your beautiful name
Your beautiful name

I'm not a captive anymore
I'm gonna soar to a new place
Take on a new pace
I know what my life is for

I will run
I will fly
I will live to be a sacrifice
Through it all I'll rise above
Unafraid I'll face what comes
I will run
I will fly
And for my faith I'll live & die
I'll be strong
I will press on
For the sake of Your beautiful name
Your beautiful name

May the LORD continue to bless their labor for His Kingdom now and forever.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jesus' Example

Do you want to learn how to know and then do the will of God? There is no better model than that of Jesus himself. During His 33 years on earth He never failed to do every assignment given to Him by the Father. He perfectly completed every assignment God gave Him. He never sinned. Would you like to understand how Jesus came to know and do the will of God?

John 5:17,19,20
17 Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
19 Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these."

This is one of the clearest examples of how Jesus knew what to do. An outline of Jesus' approach to knowing and doing God's will would be:

Jesus example
- The Father has been working right up until now.
- Now God has Me working.
- I do nothing on My own initiative.
- I watch to see what the father is doing.
- I do what I see the Father already is doing.
- You see, the Father loves Me.
- He shows Me everything that He, Himself, is doing.

This model is for my life personally and for His church. It is not just a step-by-step approach for knowing and doing the will of God. It describes a love relationship through which God accomplishes His purposes. In short: Watch to see where God is working and join Him!

God Is Always at Work Around You

Right now God is working all around you and in your life. One of the greatest tragedies among God's people is that, while they have a deep longing to experience God, they are experiencing God day after day but do not know how to recognize Him. The purpose of Experiencing God is to learn many ways to recognize clearly the activity of God in and around your life. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God will instruct you and help you know when and where God is working. Once you know where He is working, you will adjust your life to join Him where He is already at work.

You will experience His accomplishing His activity through your life. When you enter this kind of intimate love relationship with God, you will know and do the will of God and experience Him in ways you have never known Him before. The study of the material in Experiencing God cannot accomplish that goal in your life. Only God can bring you into that kind of relationship.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Jesus is Your Model

Interpret Experience by Scripture

During your life you will have times when you want to respond based on your own experience or your own wisdom. Such an approach will get you in trouble. This should be your guideline: Always go to the Bible for truth (or, for the Holy Spirit to reveal Truth).

Look to see what God says and how He works in the Scriptures. Make your decisions and evaluate your experiences based on biblical principles.

When you study the Scriptures, do not base your decision on one isolated case. Look to see how God works throughout the Scriptures. When you learn how God has worked throughout history, you can depend on His working in a similar way with you. Your experience is valid only as it is confirmed in the Scriptures. I do not deny any experience that a person has had. However, they must always be interpreted according to what is in the Scriptures. Someone might say, "Well, I don't care what you say, I've experienced this."

My response is, "I do not deny your experience. I do question your interpretation of what you experienced, because it is contrary to what I see in the Word of God." Our experiences cannot be our guide. Every experience must be controlled and understood by the Scriptures. The God revealed in Scripture does not change and the Truth of Scripture will never contradict itself. You must be cautious about isolating a single experience from the context of Scripture. You will want to see how God works throughout Scripture. You will never go wrong if, under the Holy Spirit's instruction, you let the Bible be your guide.

The Bible Is Your Guide

Christians are becoming more and more disoriented to the Bible as a guide for faith and practice. Because of this, Christians have turned to worldly solutions, programs, and methods that appear to be the answer to spiritual problems. The Word of God should be the only guide to what we should be doing. Some people say, "That is not practical." They want to move away from the Bible and rely on the world's ways or on personal experience. As a Christian disciple, we cannot abandon the guidance found in the Bible. The Bible is the only guide for faith and practice.

How do you let the Word of God become your guide? When I seek God's direction, I insist on following the directives that I see in the Word of God. The previous blog post Jesus Is Your Way is an example. Does God call people to follow Him without giving them all the details up front? We know that He called Abram to follow that way. Is that a pattern consistent in the Scriptures?

Matthew 4:18-20
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Matthew 4:21-22
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Matthew 9:9
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Acts 9:1-20
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.

"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!"
"Yes, Lord," he answered.

The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."

"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."

But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."

Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

In some cases God gave more details than in others. In Moses' call, God gave him a bigger picture of the assignment than he usually gave. In every case, however, the individuals had to stay close to God for daily guidance. For Moses and the children of Israel, God provided daily guidance through the cloud by day and the fire by night. For Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, and Saul, God gave very little detail about their assignments. He basically said, "Just follow me, and I will show you."

What Is God's Will for My Life?

When people seek to know and do the will of God, many ask, What is God's will for my life? Seminary professor Dr. Gaines S. Dobbins said, "If you ask the wrong question, you are going to get the wrong answer." Sometimes we assume that every question is a legitimate question. When we pursue an answer and always come up wrong, we cannot figure out what is happening. Always check to see if you have asked the right question before you pursue the answer.

What is God's will for my life?- is not the right question. The right question is, What is God's will? Once I know God's will, then I can adjust my life to Him. In other words, what is it that God is purposing where I am. Once I know what God is doing, then I know what I need to do. The focus needs to be on God, not my life!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Jesus Is Your Way

For 12 years, Henry Blackaby pastored in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. One day a farmer said to him, "Henry, come out and visit with me at my farm." His directions went something like this: "Go a quarter mile past the edge of the city and you will see a big red barn on your left. Go to the next road and turn to your left. Take that road for three-quarters of a mile. You'll see a tree. Go right for about four miles, and then you will see a big rock..." Henry wrote all of this down and eventually got there!

The next time he was to go to the farmer's house, the farmer was along for the ride. Since there was more than one way to get to his house, he could have taken them any way he wanted to. You see, the farmer was the "map". What did the driver have to do? Simply listen to the farmer and obey him. Every time the farmer said, "turn" they turned. The farmer took them a different way than before. The farmer was the "map"; he knew the way.

When you come to the Lord Jesus to seek His will for your life, what do you ask?

Lord, what do you want me to do? When do you want me to do it? How shall I do it? Where shall I do it? Who do you want me to involve along the way? And please tell me what the outcome will be?


Lord, just tell me what to do one step at a time, and I will do it.

Isn't the first response most typical of us? We are always asking God for a detailed "road map". We say, "Lord, if You could just tell me where I am heading, then I will be able to set my course and go."

He says, "You don't need to. What you need to do is follow Me one day at a time." We need to come to the place where the second response is ours.

John 14:6
"I am the way and the truth and the life."

Who is it that really knows the way for you to go to fulfill God's purpose for your life? God is. Jesus said "I am the way."

He did not say "I will show you the way."
He did not say "I will give you a road map."
He did not say "I will tell you which direction to head."
He said, "I am the way." Jesus knows the way; He is your way.

If you were to do everything that Jesus tells you one day at a time, do you suppose that you always would be right in the center of where God wants you to be? When you get to the place where you trust Jesus to guide you one step at a time you experience a new freedom. If you don't trust Jesus to guide you this way, what happens if you don't know the way you are to go? You worry every time you must take a turn. You often freeze up and cannot make a decision. This is not the way God intends for you to live your life.

I have found in my own life that I can release the way to Him. Then I take care of everything He tells me one day at a time. He gives me plenty to do to fill each day with meaning and purpose! If I do everything He says, I will be in the center of His will when He wants to use me for a special assignment.

Abram Followed One Day at a Time
Abram (later, God changed his name to Abraham) is a good example of this principle at work in a Bible character. He walked by faith and not by sight.

Genesis 12:1-5
1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

4 So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

What did God say? How specific was He? "Leave" and "go." Go where? "To a land I will show you."

Are you ready to follow God's will that way?

Many times, as with Abram, God called people just to follow Him. He is more likely to call you to follow one day at a time than He is to spell out all the details before you begin to obey Him.

Matthew 6:33-34
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Now, spend time with God in prayer and...
... agree God is absolutely trustworthy.
... agree with God that you will follow Him one day at a time.
... agree that you will follow Him even when He does not spell out all the details.
... agree that you will let Him be your Way.

If you cannot agree to these right now, openly confess your struggles to Him. Ask Him to help you want to do His will His way. Claim the promise: "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" Phillipians 2:13.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

...Worth a Thousand Words

She even makes sand look cute!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


John 17:3
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

The heart of eternal life and the heart of Experiencing God is to KNOW GOD and to KNOW JESUS CHRIST whom He has sent. Knowing God does not come through a program or method. It is a relationship with a Person. It is an intimate love relationship with God. Through this relationship, God reveals His will and invites you to join Him where He is already at work. When you obey, God accomplishes through you something only He can do. Then you come to KNOW GOD in a more intimate way by EXPERIENCING GOD at work through you.

John 10:10
... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Relationship to Jesus Christ - a Prerequisite

The understanding here is that you already have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior and acknowledge Him to be Lord of your life. If you have not made this most important decision in your life, the rest of the Experiencing God study will have little meaning because spiritual matters can only be understood by those who have the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

If you need help with this important decision, please call on your pastor, a deacon or a Christian friend for help. They will be there for you and direct you to the relationship you seek.

Looking for More in Your Experience of God?

You may have been frustrated in your Christian experience because you know God has a life for you that you have not experienced. Or you may be earnestly desiring God's direction for your life and ministry. You may have experienced tragedy in you life. Experiencing God will help you to:
-hear when God is speaking to you
-clearly identify the activity of God in your life
-believe Him to be and do everything He promises
-adjust your beliefs, character, and behavior to Him and His ways
-see a direction that He is taking in your life and what He wants to do through your life
-clearly know what you need to do in response to His activity in your life and
-experience God doing through you what only God can do!

This is an impossible task for a Bible study course. These are things that only God can do in your life. Experiencing God will be a catalyst for your deeper walk with God.

The most important thing to remember about a relationship to God is His interest in you. As His precious child, He is infinitely more interested in your life than you or I could possibly be.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Experiencing God

One of the most important studies of the Word of God I have encountered is Experiencing God by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King. The insights I learned from this study the first time I participated over eight years ago, enabled me to grow my relationship with God to a deeper level of faith and action. I learned how to know when God was speaking, what He was saying and what I had to do to obey. I was so impressed with what I learned from Experiencing God, I felt I had to complete the study more than once. In fact, I was enrolled as a student twice, lead a study once and read the textbook.

While I am serving our church on our elder selection committee, I decided to refresh my memory with the insights I found from the Word specifically in the Experiencing God Bible study. I love the Word of God so much, I want to share some of the Truth revealed through the Holy Spirit that I learned and had forgotten, so I will post some of these wonderful thoughts here. As I go through the study each day, I hope to post some of the things I learn.

I pray that the Spirit will speak clearly to each of you as you read the revealed Truth and study the Word of God to find His answers to all of your questions.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Five Things About Me

1. I was an extra on an episode of Seinfeld and I was an audience member for three shows... that was fun!

2. I raised pigs as a high schooler in 4-H. I still remember what the 4 H's are, if you ever want to know.

3. I've known my husband for 30 years. I think that's pretty interesting since I'm only 38.

4. I've been on safari at Masi Mara, Kenya. Our oldest went too, she was 26 months old.

5. I'm 5th generation C of C.

Now, who to tag? Dan, if you ever get your blog up, it's you baby!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I've been working on this post since November. The subject of abortion and unborn life is so sensitive I actually thought about deleting this before it was finished. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I didn't delete it. I have decided to publish this post because the Holy Spirit revealed insights from the Word of God that I needed to put down for someone to read. If you read this post and decide to comment, please be sensitive to other readers and to me.

This post is taken from a radio message by Chip Ingram. You can find the podcast at Living on the Edge.

God says he has absolute truth. God created life in Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

We know human life is sacred because God created it. God had capitol punishment in the Bible, whether we agree with it or not and scripture affords the same value to a fetus, from the first cell on, as to any other human life.

The first Scripture used against abortion is often quoted by Christians.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

God was involved in plans for us before we were born, not after we took our first breath. We find examples of this in both the Old and New Testaments. (David, Jeremiah, Paul)

But... what if in Scripture, we saw the same punishment for the murder of an unborn baby as for fully developed human beings?

In Exodus 20, there is the receiving of the Ten Commandments. The following chapters in Exodus are an explanation and application of these Commandments.

Exodus 21:22-25
22 If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

God views the fetus as special, needing protection as a pre-born human being.
If we believe the Bible is truth, we can not ignore this teaching.

There are several emotional oppositions the Pro-choice movement uses to keep us from taking our stand.

The mothers' life is in danger.
This is extremely rare and exceptionally uncommon. Former US Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Coop has said that in 30 years of practicing pediatric medicine, neither himself nor his colleagues ever had to choose between the life of the mother and baby.

Pregnancy from rape and incest.
These are horrific tragedies. However, punishing an unborn human for sin committed by another doesn't solve anything. Two wrongs don't make a right. Only 0.06% of rape result in pregnancy. Due to post-rape exams and procedures performed by hospitals (i.e. D & C), rape resulting pregnancy is extremely rare. The act of abortion is much harder on the mother emotionally and physically with regret, guilt, and depression toping the list.

A return to back ally abortion.
Before abortion was legal, in 1965 only 265 deaths occurred due to illegal abortions. Abortion became legal in 1973, since that time with the advances in medicine we would expect the statistics to have become better. However, according to the CDC, the statistics for the mortality of the mother is almost exactly the same. Of all pregnancy-related complications in New York and California, 20% were due to abortions. In 1996, about 20 women for every 1,000 women aged 15-44 years had an abortion, and for every 1,000 live births, about 325 abortions were performed, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

So, where do we go from here? What do we do about Christians who are professing the word of God but teach contrary to it? First, we need to work on finding forgiveness. There has to be an accountability to take responsibility for false teaching and then establish limits. Violence is ungodly and unrighteous. Bombing abortion clinics and murdering doctors is sin and, again, two wrongs don't make a right.

Romans 16:17-19
17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

We are called to be light to the world, not heat. Light illuminates, heat drives away. It is not our place to keep others from sinning, but to bring the darkness to light and gently restore our brother in Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2
1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 18:15-17
15 If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Acting in love, we need to be sure our method matches the message of Christ. How would he approach someone caught in the middle? WWJD? The loving body of Christ's Church has to use dialogue, not condemnation, so as not to drive our brother away.

Ephesians 4:15-18
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

It is vital to address the core issue based on the word of God: is it a human being or a mass of tissue? If you are able to use these scriptures to help your brother (or sister) to understand what this means, be sure to listen to their answer and share the truth in love.

I did not post this subject as a debate on interpretation of scripture. Everything written is from the Word of God, taken in context, and has been brought with prayer and love. If you have been convicted here by the Holy Spirit, please take it to God. Study his Word, the answers to all of lifes questions are there. He is faithful and he will honor seeking his name in truth.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


While driving in my car today, the song Someday by Nichole Nordeman was playing. So rare is the time I get to listen to something other than Veggie Tales, that when I do get the opportunity to hear something for adults, I am sure that I choose wisely.

Once again, the lyrics of Nicholes songs are so poignant from the Word of God that I have been inspired to write them out to encourage you. This song specifically made me think of my dear friends who are going through a tough time right now. May you find peace in this song as its poetry speaks from the Lord.

I believe in the rest of the story
I believe there's still ink in the pen
I have wasted my very last day
Trying to change what happened way back when

I believe it's the human condition
We all need to have answers to why
More than ever, I'm ready to say that
I will still sleep peacefully
With answers out of reach from me...

Until someday
All that's crazy
All that's unexplained
Will fall into place
And someday
All that's hazy
Through a clouded glass
Will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting
For someday

We are born with a lingering hunger
We are born to be unsatisfied
We are strangers who can't help but wander
And dream about the other side...

Of someday
All that's crazy
All that's unexplained
Will fall into place
And someday
All that's hazy
Through a clouded glass
Will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting
For someday

Every puzzle's always missing a piece
Every unsolved mystery
More than half of every whole
Rests in the Hands that hold you
For someday

And someday
All that's crazy
All that's unexplained
Will be beautiful, beautiful
And someday
All that's hazy
Through a clouded glass
Will be clear at last
And sometimes we're just waiting and waiting
For someday

from Brave by Nichole Nordeman

Although the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians speaks directly on this subject (Treasures in Jars of Clay), I have only posted the last three verses here in order that they would be read. I encourage you to read the whole chapter for encouragement.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Coming Soon...

I apologize for not having a post yet for the new year. However, I have been working on an entry of a complicated and controversial topic and I have been fine-tuning it for several weeks making it ready for your enjoyment.

So do not despair, my reader. Your new installment is coming soon...