Saturday, December 25, 2010

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y, J E S U S ! ! !

If there were ultrasounds 2000 years ago... perhaps Mary and Joseph would have seen this...

Today is a Miracle Day - not only the virgin birth - but the day that God decided to send his one and only child down to earth to live WITH us... fully knowing the rough and rocky path that Jesus would face.

Want to honor Him today? Start by saying "please" and "thank you" and "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you." Remember to say "I love you" ... often. Ask about someone's day. Go the extra step... or the extra mile... to help someone else. Recognize another's pain... and act on it instead of ignoring it.

You don't have to walk on water or turn water into wine or cure leprosy with one touch to be Christlike. You just have to give of yourself: your time, your talents, your energy, your heart. Start with that... see how it feels. That's the magic of the Christ's message.

Happy Birthday, Jesus
Thank you, God!!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

A Very FaceBook Christmas...

I am a Facebook Addict... It's my Homepage... It's where I learn all the latest news. If a celebrity dies (i.e MichaelJackson...Farrah Fawcett....Patrick Swayze...), I'll see it on Facebook first. If a snow day is called for my kids, I'll likely read it on someone's post before we even get the call from the school. I play Bejeweled Blitz there - and sometimes Zuma. I love to find old friends - or see how the students I had when they were 6 and 7 have now grown up (talk about feeling O L D some days!). I love feeling "connected" to so many people - how can anyone feel alone when they can visit Facebook and chat with anyone?!! :)

So when this AWESOME video by one of my very favorite groups, IgniterMedia surfaced, I knew I had to share it:

Wow... Props to IgniterMedia - another amazing video.

And some food for thought: Can you imagine the impact God has just within Facebook?
I have many, many friends who post inspirational statuses, offer comfort to others with a Bible verse, or ask for prayers...

The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
Proverbs 15:3

Even on Facebook.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of Running, Stumbling, or Crawling...

I joke with my friends that the only "running" I do is if I'm being chased or about to be mugged. I think the "Runner's High" must be a myth... because the only thing I've felt when running is out-of-breath, hot, and sweaty. But I can appreciate the difficulty of a good race - whether a sprint or a marathon. I came across this video posted on a friend's Facebook page:

I cannot imagine the pain of a torn hamstring - or the crushing disappointment he must have felt when he realized his medal dreams were lost in this race. How determined he must have felt when he decided that injury or no injury, pain or no pain, he was going to cross that finish line one way or another. And how heartbroken his dad must have felt when he realized that not only was his son hurt, but was also being thwarted from his goals.

I love the reaction from his Dad - pushing through the crowd and security guards right onto the track to help his son... Taking on his son's weight to help him cross that finish line.

Put simply, that's what God does for you and me every day.

Jesus Christ came into the world as the ultimate demonstration of God's love.
This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
I John 4:8-10 (The Message)

In two days, we'll celebrate Christmas. We'll gather with family and friends, eat too much, (some will drink too much!), open presents, and have a merry time. Many families will feel they can "check off" the "nativity duties" by attending their church's Christmas pageant, going to Midnight Mass, or donating to some charity organization. Then they are "free" get on with the more "jolly" aspects of Christmas...

I challenge you and your family to not treat Christmas as just a check-list of "TO DO" items. Take 5 minutes on Christmas morning to reflect on the true miracle we are celebrating. Remind your kids (again!) that it's not all about Santa, the reindeer, and the presents, presents, presents.

For Unto YOU A Child Is Born...
And HE will save the world.

That's worthy of celebration!!

Merry Christmas!
:) Mags

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Has Gone To The Dogs...

Saw this post on a friend's Facebook page:

A Nativity Scene was erected in a church yard.
During the night, someone came across this... An abandoned dog was looking for a comfortable, protected place to sleep. He chose baby Jesus as his comfort. No one had the heart to send him away so he was there all night. We should all have the good sense of this dog and curl up in Jesus' lap from time to time. This is too sweet not to share...not to mention that the dog breed is a "shepherd!"

First of all, I really hope someone adopted this cute puppy!! And second of all - how powerful is this... that when you're lost, abandoned, or alone, you can ALWAYS curl up in the lap of God and feel protected.

Psalm 4:8
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Christmastime is a season of great joy and fun for many, many people... Yet, for others, it's a harder time - a time of loss, sorrow, or hardship. We pat ourselves on the back for donating a toy, or a meal, or a coat to some charity organization, but many of us really have NO IDEA what it feels like to be lost at Christmas. My hope is that everyone can take a minute to curl up in the lap of Jesus... and take a moment of comfort from whatever hard things that affect their lives.
Psalm 27:1
The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

May the PEACE of the Lord be with you this Christmas season!
:) Mags
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Found God Inside Me... And You... and You... And You...!

WATCH THIS - a video about Jordyn who was treated at St. Jude's Hospital. See if you hear about THE MIRACLE...

Did you catch what cured her?
The answer was INSIDE HER all along!!

St. Jude was able to remove her bone marrow (the same marrow that was breathed into her by God when she was formed). Scientists could then facilitate the natural "killer" cells already within the marrow to reproduce into a cancer-killing army, and they could return the enhanced army of marrow back into her. The "killer" cells, backed by millions of new helper cells, could now fight the cancer and put Jordyn into remission.

Scientists and doctors used the very material that GOD had created within Jordyn to cure her cancer. No factory-made medicine, no man-made cure - but a cure based on what God had already created. Frankly, it just gives me chills to think about it!

I've written before about God & Glue, showing that within each of us, there is a special material that is shaped like the cross. Now we have a cure for one girl's cancer - with the possibility to cure hundreds? thousands? more. Both instances where GOD was literally WITH US... for nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)

I once read an article that offered the idea that all of the "discoveries" or "inventions" of the world were hidden on this Earth by God like little Easter Eggs. With our diligence and unshakable faith, we can find them - i.e. airplanes, space flight, vaccines, cures for deadly illnesses, etc. Man has come up with nothing on his own; rather he has stumbled upon one of these little Easter Eggs whenever a new idea/concept/cure/invention/etc. is discovered. I don't know if that's true, but I liked the idea, anyway. The idea that God has ALL of the answers - we just have to have FAITH and look for them.

In the meantime, it sure looks like St. Jude's Research Center has found one awesome Easter Egg!
:) Mags
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

In A Nutshell.... SUCK IT, SATAN!

Our friends, Gary & Beth, do a wonderful job of family Bible study time with their three kids. This seems to be a regular thing for them, and I wish I was that good at incorporating God's Word naturally into activities with our kids.

I was especially impressed when they decided to let their KIDS lead a study or two. Each kid was responsible for coming up with a short lesson to share with the rest of the family.... When their third grader, Leah, had her turn, this is what Gary posted on his Facebook page:

...(I) enjoyed Leah leading our family Bible time last night. So cute seeing her ask questions, request us to look up scripture, explain God's words, then finish by exclaiming........."SUCK IT SATAN!" When asked where she heard that, Seth said "That would be from us" (referring to his brother & self). Crazy kids!

I love it when kids just "get it" - and can sum it up in their own language!

And how powerful do you feel when you gather your breath and exclaim, "SUCK IT, SATAN!"

Go ahead... give it a try. Think of a difficulty in your life that you are facing right now.... a sin or temptation you are trying to stand up against. Satan is the ultimate deceiver - instead of being swayed by his clever lies, hold your head high, and tell him off!

"Control yourselves. Be on your guard. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion.
He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow.

Stand up to him.
Stand firm in what you believe.
All over the world you know that your brothers and sisters are going through
the same kind of suffering."

1 Peter 5: 8-9

The Bible puts it a bit more eloquently, but the result is the same. Stand up to the lies, the deceit, the whispers, the sin... say "Suck it, Satan!" and remember that "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you." (Romans 16:20).

:) Mags

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Found God in Directions...

WHY is it so hard for some people to just follow the directions? Somebody spent the time to set up the directions in the first place... yet no one really wants to follow them...

My oldest son, Jack, is the "KEEPER OF JUSTICE" in our family. First born kid - he wants to know the rules and he expects EVERYBODY in his sphere of influence to follow them... or risk certain peril!

Now my younger son, Luke - finds most rules to be cumbersome and unnecessary. He views them as loosely-designed guidelines that are meant for other people -- surely not him.

Personally, I like to know what the rules ARE... so that I can find loop-holes that allow me to go around or disregard them. :)

What's YOUR stance on rules?

When people break the rules, my son, Jack is incensed that they might not get "in trouble." This is a valid concern - we see people all the time, you and old, getting away with it while the rest of us do our best to be obedient.

When Luke breaks the rules, he is annoyed that he might be in trouble - because again, he sees others getting away with it, and he wonders why he is the one who is BUSTED.... and he figures that if the rule wasn't so stupid, so many people wouldn't be ignoring it, right?!

If I can't find a loophole to get around a guideline, I'm irked that I'm trapped in the same confines as everybody else in the general population. Why can't I just go past this line?

Now, when it comes to rules or guidelines for life, God is pretty clear on a lot of things - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you... Honor your Mother and Father... Do not lie, cheat, steal, covet, commit adultery... Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, body, and mind...

In His word, God covers a variety of "hot topics" - marriage, divorce, sexuality, premarital sex, abortion, capital punishment, discipline, parenting, friendship, cheating, over-indulgence, money management, self-control, etc. His Proverbs give us words-to-the-wise on all kinds of "little," everyday issues too:

Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God's hand for that person. Proverbs 3:27

God hates cheating in the marketplace;
he loves it when business is aboveboard. Proverbs 11:1

Intelligent children listen to their parents;
foolish children do their own thing. Proverbs 13:1

Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24

When you're given a box of candy, don't gulp it all down;
eat too much chocolate and you'll make yourself sick. Proverbs 25:16-17
(I admit, when I first read this one, I was tempted to cover my ears and say, "La! La! La! I can't hear You!")

Most of His instructions leave very little "wiggle room" for us to make our own interpretations. Yet we do - we ignore His word... or we look for loopholes... or we paraphrase His Instructions to get them into "OUR" language. We twist and mutate His guidelines into what will "work" for us or what our friends think, or what the newscasters tell us. The Bible may not always be easy to understand, but we are accountable to it - regardless as to whether we've read it or not!

And Jesus said to them: You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
Mark 7:9 (NIV)

When I was in school, my mother always said that "a spelling test should be the easiest test you'll ever take... because you know all of the answers before hand!" Life is like that as well; we have been GIVEN all of the answers in God's Word - all we have to do is seize them.

Do you know God's stance on the big issues in your life?

Do you think your life might go easier if you actually followed the directions God has already set forth?

God has great plans for each and every one of us - but in order to make the most of this fabulous life, He asks that we pay attention to His teachings and follow His Word. The first step is to accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Then open His book - anywhere - you don't have to start at the beginning - just pick a spot, open it, and read. God has something great to tell you on ANY page of His Book. What don't you see what He has to say today?

:) Mags
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Monday, September 27, 2010

I Found God in WiFi...

This summer, we went on a cruise from Anchorage, Alaska to Vancouver, Canada. Both my husband and I are very "techie," and we noticed quickly, that our cell signals and WiFi connections vanished as soon as we set sail out into the deep, blue sea. Now I know most people can turn off their their cell phones on vacation, but David and I have iPhones and use ours to play games against each other -- games that require an internet connection. So when we sailed close to land, one of us would notice that the the "little bars" were back and jostle the other one so we could get quick access to Facebook, our email, and our latest game stats. Then we'd sigh as we saw our bars slowly disappear as we again sailed away from the nearest cell tower...

I was reminded of this when I passed the sign at this great little church down the street from my house; it read:
PRAYER Needs No Internet Connection

During our cruise, David and I would be holding up our cells to find even one bar of signal. Luckily, GOD doesn't need a nearby cell tower to receive our prayers! He doesn't require a Hot Spot, WiFi, Ethernet cable, or Dial-Up Modem. He doesn't even need you to speak OUT LOUD for He can hear your thoughts, desires, lamentations, and prayers from right within your heart and mind.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalms 145:18

Aren't we LUCKY that our God can get to us instantaneously?! We don't have to wait for a priest, a portal, a telephone, or a WiFi connection! We can talk, and laugh, and cry, and pray to the Lord of all directly. And God would not want us to wait until Sunday! He's available every day, every hour, every minute to each and every person on this Earth. I don't need to call the cable guy or satellite technician... God has time for me NOW and is EAGER to hear from me.

When was the last time you reached out to God...? With your thanks, your worries, your prayers? No need to wait for all 4 bars... God can hear you now.

Thinking of you today - and hoping you are enjoying the bountiful blessings God has gifted you,
:) Mags

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Karoke Tuesday: Our God by Chris Tomlin

My oldest son started playing tackle football this year. They are an expansion team: everyone is brand new to the sport and are playing other teams who have been together for 2 or 3 years. Needless to say, we've lost every game so far... haven't even scored a touchdown yet. But we're hopeful! Hopeful that they'll continue to work and practice and learn the skills necessary to be competitive... or just make one goal. :)

Sometimes we feel like this just with life... Beaten down at every turn... Defeated in every game. We wish that we had that one secret weapon that would help give us the edge over whatever is battling us on a particular day.

That's why I like this song so much! Because Chris Tomlin's "Our God," reminds us that in our everyday life, we DO have a secret weapon to help us jump the hurtles! We have the most powerful and knowledgeable teammate of all... GOD! God is on our team! And this song reminds us that

...If Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

There are a lot of fan videos on YouTube - I decided to post this one because this author matched up Bible verses with the lyrics of the song... a solid reminder that it is Biblical TRUTH, that God is on our team... every day, every hour, every minute.

Some days... are tough days. Some days are full of loneliness, or sorrow, or despair, or pain. It's on those days, especially, where you have to hold on to the FACT that God is FOR YOU. God is on YOUR TEAM. And if God is on your team... however can you lose?

Find the complete lyrics, and listen to a sample HERE.
Another great YouTube video that features the song lyrics is HERE.

:) Mags

PS - Your comments and feedback left on this blog are GREATLY appreciated!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Found God in Laundry...

When I get to Heaven, one of the first people I'd like to have a word with is EVE. I mean, REALLY?! An apple?! You caved and sent all of humanity into sin for an APPLE?! Not a chocolate bar? Or a big steak? Or an "I'll be forever thin" pill?

An apple.

Eve really needed to get her priorities in order... *wink*

I thought of this today as I was wrangling the kids to put away their laundry. Again. Because I'm always doing laundry. And they keep having to put it away.

They keep wearing clothes.
And getting them dirty.
And hence I have to wash them.
And dry them.
And we put them away.
And the cycle continues.

I tried to point out that if our whole family stopped wearing clothes then we could stop having to put away laundry... but even my 9-year old and 6-year old found this idea to be problematic (i.e. "MOM...! They won't let us into the movies without clothes!!!").

And just think, if Eve hadn't succumbed to the lure of an APPLE, of all things, we'd all be happily running around nekkid and there would be no need for laundry!

But even as my arms protest at dragging up yet another heavy basket of clean clothes, I am THANKFUL.

  • Thankful that I have clothes to launder.
  • Thankful that I have a washing machine.
  • And a DRYER (I'm still haunted by our conversation, my friend Carrie-- who lives in Scotland and doesn't use a dryer!).
  • Thankful that I have healthy kids who dirty up their clothes playing outside.
  • Thankful that I have capable kids who CAN put away their own laundry....
  • ...And sort it into lights & darks in the first place.

(We're still working on they turning things right-side out, but hey, they've got the sorting thing down!)

Because God can take even the simplest things and use it for good.

And I can count my blessings... with each fold of a shirt or pair of shorts.

What have you been complaining about lately?
And what are the blessings you should be counting instead??

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Found God in the Valedictorian...

Our local paper had a great article highlighting local valedictorians from the Class of 2000 and what they are doing now (10 years later). All of them had B I G aspirations: a surgeon, a researcher, a movie star, a psychiatrist. Many of them continued in the field they chose when they were just 18, but some found a different path altogether...

Consider the valedictorian of Ohio's New Richmond's Senior class of 2000, Ben Wilson: He started college aiming towards becoming an orthopedic surgeon... But mid-way through his freshman year, he discovered that God had a much different plan for him. Instead of leading him toward a fact-paced and high-paying profession, God put upon his heart the idea to become a minister. I can only imagine the comments he might have received from people - "You won't make any money doing that." ... "Can't you just help out your church on weekends and be a doctor during the week?" ... "You did all of that work in high school 'just' to be come a pastor?" Insulting comments...? Uncomprehending responses...? People who just didn't understand why he was forgoing a career as a D O C T O R where there was money and prestige and excitement...?

Regardless of whatever input he received from those around him, Ben became a Youth Pastor at a local church. His response to those who would question his decision not to become a doctor: "We could say that God kind of changed my life and was working there, but I discovered if I were to do this for the rest of my life, I would not be happy. Money wasn't going to make me happy."

The important thing about this story is that Ben LISTENED to God in his heart. He heard a message - radically different from his own life plan - and he LISTENED and OBEYED.

My friends Bess and Jason adopted a little girl from China a few years ago. It was nearly a 3-year adoption process. I love her testimony regarding the adoption: They already had twins and a younger son; their family could be complete. But God placed small "coincidences" all around them: Commercials about adoptions suddenly seemed louder. Their daughter brought home a book about a girl adopted from China from her school library (the kids had NO idea their parents were considering it). They met a couple at a conference who sat right behind them and shared their own adoption story... from China! The "coincidences" piled up, and Bess and Jason realized that God was audibly speaking to them - directing them to find their 4th child in China. The process was long and discouraging - China tightened up access to their orphans, and at least an extra year (and duplicate paperwork!) was tacked on to Bess & Jason's quest. But they were patient and stalwart... and God rewarded them. Their daughter, Josie, has completed their family. :)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

God has plans for each and every one of us - good plans... GREAT plans. Our job is to pay attention to His signs and obey. He "talks" to His children ALL of the time! It might be a small voice in the back of your head warning you "DON'T DO THAT!" or encouraging "YOU CAN DO THIS!" It might be in the form of specially-placed people in your life who open your eyes to a new path you hadn't considered. It could be a book, a show, a teacher - God's methods of reaching you are endless and creative. And while His ways might not make sense to you at the time, you can be sure He has your best interests at heart; you ARE one of his masterpieces, after all!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Valedictorians should be filled with knowledge... They aced their classes, absorbed all of the facts/dates/right answers... They scored the highest... Their GPA lead the curve. You should be able to say THEY HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS... THEY HAVE "THE" WISDOM.

But true WISDOM comes from God:

Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
Proverbs 1:7 (Msg)

Learn about God. Listen to God.
Hear that little voice in the back of your head.
Open your mind to the "crazy" idea that might just be the best thing for you...

Because God's plans are far better and more "exciting" than anything you can imagine. ♥
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Blog Award!!

Thanks so much to Amy over at Sensationallychic Boutique for this awesome award! What a great way to wake up this morning! It was especially exciting because I don't actually KNOW Amy so it means someone else (other than people-I-know-who-might-feel-obligated) are reading this blog!! :)

Terms of the award: List 10 things about yourself, thank the person who gave it to you and pass it onto 10 wonderful bloggers.


1. I am a former 1st grade teacher -turned- Stay At Home Mom of two boys.

2. I've been married for almost 15 years to a wonderful man, David. We met when we both worked at JCPenney's Dept. Store during the summers of college. You could say that "I picked him up in the Men's Department...!" :)

3. I am a Christian... with lots of faults... who's just trying to find God in normal, everyday places. (Hence this blog.)

4. I am a rabid Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fan... and Twilight... And Harry Potter.

5. I am a digital scrapbook designer. I have my own store at and also a freebie companion blog. I also sell at two other digi-scrap stores, DigiscrapStation & MooTwoDesigns

6. I co-run a freezer cooking site as well with a group of friends.

7. I love to read.

8. My kids crack me up.

9. I'm a pretty good laser tag player.

10. I wish I had the superpower of going INTO my computer and surfing the .net live.


Please post the badge on your blog and list the 10 things about yourself and
then share the love and pass it onto 10 more people.

:) Mags

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Come Awake!!

I LOVE IgniterMedia's videos - they are just amazing and touch your heart. Yesterday I watched their latest one, "Come Awake!" and I can't get this song out of my head:

Like the video says, "I don't know where you are.... But I know what you can become." Christ is here for each and every one of you - COME AWAKE - and let Him in. He will work miracles in your life.

Today at church, a man from our congregation stood up and gave his testimony. Included were his difficult struggles with alcohol and drugs and included more than one visit to prison. This man "looked" like you and me. And while our own demons may be different/easier/lighter/worse/deeper, everyone has times where sin gets the best of us. Everyone had times where they feel unworthy of love... or like no one can possibly understand what they are going through.... This video reminds us that there IS someone who understands. Someone who has LIVED through the human trials and tribulations, pain and suffering... Someone who not only died a painful death - but who CONQUERED death to rise from the grave.

Let Him in.

He will work miracles in your life... and the potential is endless.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Karaoke Tuesday: How He Loves

I haven't done a "Karaoke Tuesday" in a while - but I've got a fantastic one for you today! I first heard this at church - the amazing Micah sang it solo with just his guitar during communion, and I ran right home and looked it up on iTunes. :) That's where most of the featured songs come from - our rock-n-roll church service. I am lucky to have found such an amazing church!! - But I digress... :)

Do you remember the "pinch-pot?" Seems like every kindergartner or first grader makes a pinch-pot in art. You start with a blob of clay and push your thumbs into the center of it - pinching your thumb outward to your fingers to shape a small bowl. We still have my husband's elementary school pinch-pot in a lighted display case in our living room. Now, alongside it, sits both Jack and Luke's pots. They are somewhat crude, sort-of misshapen, and not even close to symmetrical. They wouldn't fetch but 5 cents at a garage sale, but the meaning behind them and the effort to make them is priceless.

I think nearly every kid is proud of their pinch pot. The first time they likely worked with REAL clay (not playdough!). When Luke brought his home earlier this year, he ran down the street from the bus stop, craddling this pot-wrapped-in-newspapers in his two hands. THIS was a masterpiece, and he couldn't wait to show it to us. He was beaming when we put it into the glass case. HIS masterpiece... something he created all by himself... was placed on the hallowed case for all to see. When he's a Dad, he can show his kids his pinch-pot... and display it proudly next to the pots they, themselves, bring home one day. Masterpieces are always treasured... no matter the flaws that might exist-- That's part of what makes something a "MASTERPIECE."

We are masterpieces from God. He shaped us - just like my son's small hands worked his pinch-pot. He knows us inside and out - He knows our fears and our flaws - He knows our strengths and our character. And despite all of this, He loves each and everyone one of us.
He loves us.
He loves us!
That's the point of today's song... that God LOVES us SO much - it is hard to imagine just how much:
"He Loves Us"

I'm so totally flawed, myself. I am "unfiltered" - which is just a clever way of saying that I don't often think before I speak and just word-vomit-out whatever is on my mind. It's a freeing thing, most of the time, but sometimes, even I cringe at what unfiltered sentence just fell out of my mouth. :) That's probably my biggest flaw... but then there's the part of me that's bossy... and the part that is selfish... Oh, and the part that has no willpower when it comes to Angel Food Cake with Pink Icing... or chocolate... or French fries... Yup, it's safe to say that I have flaws... and lots of them.
But while God wants me to work on my flaws, He loves me regardless and in spite of those shortcomings.
Because I, and you, are God's masterpiece.
And God doesn't make mistakes.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. -Ephesians 2:10
Enjoy today's song.
:) Mags
Want to give it a listen for yourself? Hear it HERE on Last.FM.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Found God In My Head...

Today is a Praise Day... Yesterday I had my yearly MRI... scanning my brain to check that there were no signs of regrowth from the tumor that was removed in January 2002. I got another "ALL CLEAR" - No signs of tumor! And the hole that was left when the tumor was removed seems to finally be closing up (new brain? more brain? shifting brain?).

It is a good day.

My doctor expected me to be more (visibly?) excited when he delivered the news - I realized that a clear scan is what I've come to expect. Tumor was there. Doctors removed it. Tumor is gone. All is good.

Sometimes it's just too easy to take God's blessings for granted, isn't it?

My family watches the show IMPACT! Stories of Survival on Discovery Health. I know, I know... most of you gather around America's Funniest Videos, or American Idol, or sports... my family bonds over the stories and reinactments of huge crashes and accidents and how a person survived and was put back together. In most of the stories, the victims end up saying how "NOW that they have survived this horrific accident, NOW they will start appreciating life and stop taking it for granted..." Yet, I wonder if, eventually, their hard-earned recovery becomes less of a miracle and more of a "given" as time goes on.

Matthew 28 says, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." It's so easy to come to God when we are in trouble... when we need help. Unfortunately, sometimes, it's just as easy to forget to offer thanks when He has blessed us... protected us... sheltered us... healed us... Psalm 188:24 says, "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." THIS day... EACH day... EVERY day.

Today is a Praise Day. I am typing on my blog, designing new scrap layouts, chatting with friends, seeing my kids off to school on the bus. I am taking the dog for a vet appointment, running laundry, and unloading the dishwasher. I am sneaking in games of Bejewelled 2 when I want to feel mindless. I am listening to The Young & The Restless in the background. I am sipping my third cup of coffee. I am healthy. My family is awesome. My husband is the best.

But really, YESTERDAY was a Praise Day too... And the day before that... And the day before that. Eight years ago, God guided the doctor's hands into my head and healed me. Because of His grace, I have had eight more years of normal, everyday life... Eight years of chatting with friends, playing on my computer, parenting my kids, going out with my husband, laughing with family, napping on the sofa with my dog... Eight more years of an already good life.

Sometimes it's just too easy to take God's blessings for granted... but I am thankful each and every day. I may forget to tell Him, but I feel it just the same. I am thankful for my blessings. Thank you, God.

Back in elementary school, when I went to Vacation Bible School, we sang this song:

This is the day. (This is the day).
That the Lord has made. (That the Lord has made.)
I will rejoice. (I will rejoice.)
And be glad in it. (And be glad in it.)
This is the day that the Lord has made,
I will rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day. (This is the day.)
That the Lord had made.
THIS day.

EACH day.

EVERY day.

Rejoice... Count your blessings... Then say thanks.
:) Mags
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Friday, January 1, 2010

I Found God In A Rock...

Remember the movie, Forrest Gump? The love of Forrest's life was Jenny - a neighbor girl who drifted in and out of his life over the course of the movie. At one point, she returns to Alabama, and, on a walk with Forrest, stops by her childhood home. This is a home in which she suffered major abuse from her own father - and as all of those reminders bubble up in her mind, she starts grabbing rocks and throwing them over and over at the house... breaking windows, denting siding, etc. until she is physically exhausted.

Watching her, Forrest remarks, "Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks."

Some people I have met have had trials in their lives that have "sucked beyond the telling of it..." (my favorite quote from Buffy...) Things in their past or present that have just made their life so hard that they are suffering from anxiety and depression, It would be SO nice to just be able to grab all the rocks they can, and T H R O W them as hard as they can to vanquish the demons that have plagued them.

But as in the movie, on your own, there just aren't enough rocks to take care of it.

My sister-in-law, Stephany is very wise. She and her husband lost their daughter, Julia, after just 6 days of life due to a chromosomal abnormality that was infused into each and every gene and chromosome in Julia's body. It has been over 3 years since Julia's death. Since then, they have struggled with infertility, employment issues, and numerous family issues. Any ONE of these elements could have turned either of them into a bitter or angry person. 3 years later, their circumstances have not changed... their daughter is still buried, economic hardships still linger from past employment struggles, family members and their neuroses still plague them.

HOWEVER... their attitudes HAVE changed...

They are not bitter... or angry... or holed up in the fetal position underneath Julia's crib. They live. They laugh. They have sad moments, sure - but they are not letting their circumstances ruin their lives. In fact, Stephany, herself, has said that they went from wailing "WHY ME, LORD?!!!" to wondering in awe, "Why ME, Lord?!" - not an angry cry for justice... but a query as to how in the world was God able to take such tragic events and enfuse them with the strength, wisdom, and fortitude to deal with everything?! God, alone, can grant you strength and peace - something that a whole wheelbarrow of rocks cannot do.

One of my kids' favorite Bible tales is the story of David and Goliath.

Goliath, a Philistine champion, is ENORMOUS - the biggest man the Israelite soldiers have ever seen. Standing nearly 9 feet tall can wearing 200 pounds of hearty chain link mail, he towers over any soldier who wishes a challenge.... especially over the young shepherd, David, who is armed only with a homemade slingshot and some rocks. David refuses to let his circumstances dictate his faith - he believes that God will empower him to best Goliath - and God does not let him down. In this case, only ONE rock was enough... ONE rock, powered by God was all that was needed.

The start of a new year is when people tend to make their New Year's Resolutions. Mark Twain once said, "New Year's is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." Most of us manage to keep our resolution for a few days (hours?) at best -then we toss them away when we realize that we aren't quite ready to commit to that particular self-improvement. But what if your resolution is to stop trying to change the circumstances around you - and to alter your attitude from the inside-out. Stop trying to FIX other people and let God work WITHIN you to change your reactions, your perceptions, your heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

The change with worth the effort... I promise.

May your 2010 be filled with knowledge, peace, and contentment,
:) Mags
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