Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Karaoke Tuesday: Wait and See

Consider this song called Wait and See by Brandon Heath.
(View lyrics here)

I am a work-in-progress... ever-evolving. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a volunteer, a graphic artist, a techie, a blogger. I am a chauffeur, an event organizer, a party planner. I am a referee, a C.O.O. (of our household), and a chef. I am a student; I am a teacher. I am a Christian; I am a child of God. I have held many roles - sometimes concurrently. I have succeeded... and, at times, I have failed. But continally, I am a work-in-progress.

Author, Marianne Williamson said this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I love Brandon Heath's music - and this particular song reminds me that even though I serve in specific roles, that God is not completely finished with me yet. My job(s) will continue to adjust, to grow, to change. He is constantly molding me, like a blob of clay, into a new creation that will further serve the purposes He has set out for me.

And while I travel these paths - while I serve in these different capacities, I should be confident that the Lord of all Creation, who also created ME, would want me to tackle the tasks He has set before me with the best of my abilities and the sure confidence that He does not make mistakes. I need to shine - and bring Him the glory.

What are you good at? What talents and gifts have you been blessed with? How can you use these talents to shine for the glory of the Lord? Because as Marianne Williamson also said,

"Everyone is on a spiritual path; most people just don't know it....
The spiritual path -- is simply the journey of living our lives."

So get on out there, and SHINE ON...!
Listen to this song HERE on Last.FM.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Funnies - People Recall...!!


The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed "Sub-sequential Internal Non-Morality," or more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed.

Some of the symptoms include:
1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish or violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this defect.

The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

The number to call for repair in all areas is: 8-0-0-P-R-A-Y-E-R.
Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. P atience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Believers' Instructions Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!


P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any time by 'Knee mail'.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Found God in a Happy Meal...

Those of you with small kids know how obsessive children can be with collecting the McDonald's Happy Meal toys - depending one what is being offered, my kids start begging to go day-after-day so that they can get ALL of the various toys in a particular set.

Right now, the Happy Meals contain toys from Night in the Museum 2, and when we went through the drive-thru last week, my 5-year-old was crazy-hopeful that his lunch would contain the cowboy on the squirrel and that his older brother would get General Custer on the motorcycle. The odds of getting exactly what you want are slim... sometimes we can finagle a trade to a more desireable toy, but often we're just stuck with a bunch of duplicates that end up in the next garage sale. But it's still fun to hope and see what we get, anyway.

On this particular day, with my son reciting over and over again "motorcycle - squirrel" in the back seat, we had a bit of good fortune. When we peeked inside the Happy Meals, Luke got the squirrel AND Jack got the motorcycle - EXACTLY what they had wanted (with absolutely no prodding or requesting from Mom!). Luke was stupified - "How did they KNOW, Mom?!!" he squealed on the way home. "Did they read our MINDS?!!"

At home, we said grace, but before Luke ate, he told me that he also needed to say a "thank you" prayer to God. He folded his hands and prayed, "Thank you God for picking out just the right toys today at McDonalds!"

Is that cute, or what?! :)

What I love best is that Luke gave thanks to God for his good fortune. Usually, it is only in our weakest times that we reach out to God. But, Luke served as a reminder that you can honor God with the good things too. He's not just there as Savior to help us fix our messes - but also as a Friend who wants to celebrate our little victories as well.

This Monday, I had one of the best mornings in a long time. Both kids were in VBS at our friend's church which meant I did not have to volunteer. I went shopping at Kohls: BY MYSELF for two whole hours. While shopping, I found a replacement pair of "perfect" sandals - exactly like the pair I have completely worn out - and there was exactly ONE pair left in my size. I found the lone "Go Michigan" T-shirt among a sea of Buckeye shirts... AND the shirt was exactly my husband's size. Plus, I actually fit into clothes TWO SIZES SMALLER!!! than I did last summer!

I can't remember the last shopping trip where I was actually smiling to myself the whole time, and as I walked to my car, I offered a grateful THANKS! to God for this wonderful morning.

When was your last little victory? Sometimes, they are few and far between.... so it's important to give thanks for them!!

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30:11-12 (NIV)

Here's wishing you a perfect morning really soon!
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Karaoke Tuesday: Never Let Go

--> Note to my Facebook Friends: These notes are automatically imported from my "God Blog" - to see the complete post (with the graphic that is pretty central to this particular note!), please visit http://everydayplaces.blogspot.com.
This fantastic tag was animated by Big Mick Creations.
In this picture, I love how the frog at the top of the faucet is NOT letting go of his friend. The odds are against them - drippy water... the weight of supporting a whole other being... It's just one slippery grip from becoming a disaster. But the top frog continues to hold on... no matter what.
That's God for ya'. He holds onto our hand no matter what. And He does NOT let go.
Matt Redmond does a fabulous song called Never Let Go.  Read the LYRICS here.

I love this song - the fact that God is with through the good times and the hard times is a comfort. He is steadfast; His grip does not slip. He is the one who can pull us out of the quagmires in which we put ourselves. And no matter the situation, He does not fail us.
Yesterday was Father's Day. Of course we remembered our fathers and grandfathers. But did anyone take a moment to thank THE Father for His love?
His creations?
His Son?
His sacrifice?
His faithfulness?
Our Father gave us life, a brain, and our salvation. There are no greater gifts. Thank you, God. You are appreciated.
Listen to this song HERE at Last.FM
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Monday, June 8, 2009

Email Inspirations: Finding God At Intermission

My cyberfriend, Tricia, gets these amazing daily devotions delivered right to her inbox. Then she posts them in my Scrapbooking With Faith online group. I'm snagging a few of them and posting them here as well because they are just wonderful and inspiring. I may also use "Email Inspiration" Days to post some other great devotionals that I receive as well. These aren't my words, I'm just passing on a good bit of food-for-thought. Enjoy! :) Mags

Intermission by Sharon Jaynes

A few years ago, the epic drama, Gone with the Wind, was re-released in theaters all across America. This digitally enhanced, chromatically improved icon took us back to a time in history when American was experiencing a paradigm shift. My husband and I thought it would be important for our teenage son to have the Gone with the Wind experience on the big screen so we purchased three tickets and then settled in for what we knew would be a long evening.

After about two hours, we got to the scene where a sullied Miss Scarlet, deserted by Rhett, stood on a hilltop with Atlanta burning the background, collapsed to the ground, and slowly pulled herself into an upright position. With fist held high, she declared that she would make it through this trial and "As God is my witness," she proclaimed, "I will never be hungry again!" Then the curtain fell, and Steven turned to me and said, "That was a strange way to end."

"Oh, but look," I replied. Then he saw the words "intermission" imposed over the curtain.

"You've got to be kidding," Steven said.

"Nope," we're only halfway done."

You know, I've identified with Miss Scarlett on several occasions. Sometimes life just gets so complicated and it seems as if dreams have been snatched away by some foreign rebel force. My previous way of life is up in flames in the background, my man doesn't understand, and my friends have all run for cover. What will I do? Where will I go? Is this the end!

Then as the curtain falls on this scene in my life, I think to myself, this is a strange way to end. But I look again and see God pointing to the screen as if to say, This, my child, is not the end. It is but the intermission. Get up. Take a break. Stretch if you must. But the movie of your life is not over yet.

Looking back in the Bible, many men and women came to a point in their lives where they thought it was the end, only later to discover it was merely an intermission. Elijah hid in a cave thinking his ministry was over. Moses herded sheep in the desert believing his dream to rescue the Hebrews was dashed. Jonah made his bed under the shade of a plant and lay down to die. The prophet Samuel groveled in depression after his charge, King Saul, disobeyed God and lost his reign. Each of these men thought it was the end, but in reality, it was only an intermission. God wasn't finished with the drama of their lives quite yet.

I don't know what you're facing today. Perhaps your life has taken you to an unexpected place. Perhaps, like Moses, you've made a poor decision that resulted in you running from God and from man. Perhaps like Elijah, you've allowed someone's threats to put fear in your heart and you're in hiding. Perhaps like Jonah, you've obeyed God, but feel duped because your obedience didn't bring the results you'd hoped for. Perhaps like Samuel, you're depressed because someone you oversee (a child, for example) didn't turn out like you had hoped. With your dreams burning in the background, perhaps you've stood on the hillside with fist raised in the air making declarations to God.

If you see yourself on the screen, can I encourage you sit down, take a deep breath, stretch, and regroup. The story's not over yet. Perhaps you're just at an intermission. As someone once said, we shouldn't put a period where God put a comma.....
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Found God in Punctuation...

*FYI - This will make a lot more sense if you read the post from June 1st - the Email Inspiration about God & Intermission.

I LOVE to read - always have. When I was a little girl, my mom starting paying me $1.00 per novel to read to get me interested. I believe this started around 2nd grade... and by 4th grade, she had to stop because I was depleting her of all her money...!! :) I love how I can get "IN" the book - oblivious to the outside world - lost in a tale of suspense, thrills, mystery, romance, science-fiction, magic, or whatever other genre might be housed between the cover and end-page of a particular book.

I've read some clunkers too. Books with poor plots or characters - Books that have bored me. Books that have disturbed me. But no matter the type of book - the grammar, spelling, and punctuation have got to be on point...!

Consider the period. The END, that's IT, Period. Or the exclamation point: HOORAY! BRAVO! SURPRISE!! The question mark: Wh-at? Who? HOW? And the comma... giving us pause... with the promise of more to come...

The little dot or squiggle in or at the end of a sentence conveys volumes.

Someone once said, "We shouldn't put a period where God has placed a comma..... "


High School graduation is a good example of this. A lot of Valedictorian speeches includes references to the END of an era or the BEGINNING of our lives... a form of period. But graduation is more like a comma... a pause... a transition. Not a grand finale.

Same with hardship. Sometimes we have catastrophic, awful, heartbreaking things happen to us. Things that make us sure that our life is over... Period. But God may have just placed a comma in the story of your life... not that period. God may gearing up to use that hardship for something wonderful... just you wait and see. The story of your life is not over... so don't put a period where God has placed a comma. :)

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:4-6 NIV).
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Email Inspirations: Finding God In An Invisible Fence

My cyberfriend, Tricia, gets these amazing daily devotions delivered right to her inbox. Then she posts them in my Scrapbooking With Faith online group. I'm snagging a few of them and posting them here as well because they are just wonderful and inspiring. I may also use "Email Inspiration" Days to post some other great devotionals that I receive as well. These aren't my words, I'm just passing on a good bit of food-for-thought. Enjoy! :) Mags

God & The Invisible Fence (by Sharon Jaynes)

I used to walk around the neighborhood and see signs that read, "Dog contained by invisible fence." Actually, I thought it was a joke, but after we got a dog, I learned about this incredible invention, and decided to have one installed.

The fence company dug a narrow four foot deep trench around the perimeter of our yard and buried a small wire. This wire was attached to a control box mounted on our garage wall. Ginger, our golden retriever, was then fitted with a collar sporting a special little box with two small prongs that rested against her skin. The dog trainer then placed white flags all around the yard, marking where the underground fence was buried. As Ginger neared the flags, she heard a quiet warning sound clicking from the box. If she kept going and crossed over the boundary marked by the flag, she got a shock and came back.

Now before you get upset about Ginger getting a little shock, I have to tell you, I let the trainer shock me first. It wasn't painful, but I did not want him to do it again. For twelve years, Ginger crossed over the invisible boundary only twice. Once when the fence wasn't working properly and once during her sixth week of motherhood to escape her seven nursing puppies.

After the first month of training, you didn't see any white flags decorating the perimeter of our yard. So, you might wonder, how does Ginger know where the boundary is? It is simple. For the first week, white flags lined the boundary of our yard. On the second week, I removed every other flag. On the third week, I again removed every other remaining flag. And I continued removing flags, until eventually, they were gone. The flags were gone, but Ginger remembered where the boundaries were. She also learned that the warning clicking sound was her friend and kept her from getting into a "shocking" situation.

Those flags are a great picture of the boundaries we set for our children. When they're young, we mark out clear boundaries, and as the child matures into adolescence, we begin pulling up those flags just a little at a time. As they graduate from high school and move into college, most of the flags are gone, and we pray with all our might that they will remember where those boundaries are.

Just like when Ginger heard the warning sound, I believe the Holy Spirit taps on our children's hearts, and warns them not to cross the boundaries set by their parents. Sometimes they will proceed to cross the boundaries anyway. That's when the shock comes in. It might be in the form of discipline and it might be in the form of living with some very unpleasant consequences.

In the Old Testament, God wrote the Law (the Ten Commandments) on tablets of stone, but in the New Testament, He wrote the Law of Love on our hearts. Isn't that our prayer? Yes, we have to spell out the boundaries for our children and point them in the right direction when they are young. But as they move into adulthood, we pray the boundaries will be written on their hearts.

Consider the boundaries listed below:

Be careful what you see. "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness"(Matthew 6:22, 23 NIV).

Be careful what you love. "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."(Mathew 6:24 NIV). "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." (Proverbs 5:23 NIV).

Be careful who you listen to. "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." (Proverbs 5:20-22 NIV).

Be careful what you say. "Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips." (Proverbs 5:24 NIV).

Be careful where you go. "Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." (Proverbs 5:26, 27 NIV).

Be careful whom you choose for close friends. Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).

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