Placing blame where it belongs

“Yes I did that. But..the devil made me do it!”

Just as we shouldn’t give glory to angels that belongs to God, we shouldn’t blame the devil for our own sinful nature.

While listening to a group of Christians speak yesterday, something odd occurred to me. A caller had asked them: Why after God kicked Satan out of heaven did He allow him to roam the earth causing us to sin. After some discussion the leader said: I really don’t know the answer.

Another member of the group spoke up. We have to keep in mind that soon Jesus will come to reign on earth for one thousand years and Satan, along with the other fallen angels will be bound. Another member then added: We also have to remember that during those thousand years while Satan is withdrawn from us, man will still sin.

Wait… What?! People will still choose to disobey God? All on our own? Without the interference of Satan and the other fallen angels? Well…I  knew that but I never really thought about what it meant. Whoa.

That very moment I truly owned my sin.

Without a thought, all these years I’ve been blaming the devil. After all, let’s face it. Spiritual warfare is very real. Satan is on the prowl to kill and destroy us. He will say anything and do whatever he can to veer us off the path leading to the Tree of Life. (Genesis 2:9; Revelation 22:2)

Just like Eve and the first Adam, I choose to succumb to his deceitful ways. But…I have a choice! No longer can I blame the devil. It is all me. All me.

How freeing this epiphany is. Seriously! I am in control of my own actions. God has promised an escape route when Satan lures us off the path of righteousness. (1 Corinthians 10:13) All we have to do is take it.

 

10 Things I learned at the Speak Up Conference

Last month I took a step outside my comfort zone.

More like a giant leap actually.

I had the privilege of attending Carol Kent’s Speak Up conference in Michigan.

They offer Speaker’s, Leader’s, and Writer’s tracks to sharpen your skills and meet with others in your field. They also offer one on one meetings with professionals.

10 Things I learned at the Speak Up Conference~ backtofamily.net

If you have ever wanted to attend a conference, I highly recommend this one.

Several months ago, I felt God calling me to attend. So, after dishing out excuse after excuse I finally ran out of excuses and registered. As the event grew closer, my nerves began to wreak havoc on my body. In an email to the conference director, I told her I was getting very excited for the conference but I had a major case of Butterflies in the Stomach. During the opening session, I was put at ease when I heard the beautiful host say these words:

“We won’t get rid of your butterflies, but we’ll help them fly in formation. A little nervousness is good.” ~Carol Kent

My butterflies were tamed enough for me to enjoy myself.  I took in  much information and received such inspiration that my mind is still spinning. I learned many, many things at the conference. Here are just ten:

  1. Writers have the best spouses in the whole world. It’s true. Mine made the drive to Michigan with me. I had a list of all the local sporting good outfitters and their locations ready for him. He didn’t mind the waiting on nights when the conference would go over. I learned that he was not the only husband to hang out in Grand Rapids for three days “waiting on his woman” as Mr. Paisley would say. Others stayed home and cared for the family and households while their spouse was away. One writer even returned home to a brand new office space created just for her by her husband.
  2. Mice do not run well upside down. I arrived at my very first workshop with laptop in tow ready to begin work on a One-Sheet (not really sure what a One-Sheet was but eager to find out). I plugged in my laptop and retrieved the wireless mouse. (Yes. I am mouse dependent. My days of being a Braillist broke me of the habit, but when I gave up brailling my habit returned.) I was nervous anyway but imagine my horror when the cursor was acting as if it were possessed. I moved the mouse right~it went left. I moved the mouse up~the cursor moved to the bottom of the screen. After a moment of panic followed by logical thought, I turned the mouse around and Voilà!
  3. God really does care about the little things. I asked Him to go before me and handpick a friend or two for me. I am an introvert, as I found out most writers are. When my husband first dropped me off at The Prince conference center, I wanted to jump back into the car. Instead, I took a deep breath and went inside. People were scurrying here and there. I took a notebook with my name on it (each one had been prayed over) and headed down a hall where I saw an open room. I sat beside a woman with a laptop plugged in. “Can I share your outlet?” Mandi was warm and welcoming. I immediately liked her. Then Peggy came and sat on the other side of me. She had a spirit of comfort and encouragement. Throughout the next three days I met many inspiring women and men. I truly felt blessed to be there! During our last meal together, as I was speaking to a new friend Sherry who was encouraging and uplifting, I found out I wasn’t the only woman in attendance who prayed for a friend or two. God answered both our prayers with many new friends that weekend.
    Continue reading~ 10 Things I learned at the Speak Up Conference »

The Mini-Van of Life

Seriously, I can’t even imagine how moms make it through the mini-van of life without God in the passenger seat!
The Mini-Van of Life~ Back To Family.net

Image Credit: http://www.momsnightoutmovie.com/

 

I mean really. I would be a complete mess. (Bigger than the mess I already am! Oh, yeah.)

Just the other day, I was having “A Moment.” Just like in the movie Mom’s Night Out.

Wouldn’t you know? My dear friend Beth decided at that very moment to send me a text.

She told me how God puts me in her path when she needs me.

What a coincidence!

He put her in my path just when I was having “A Moment.” I tried to text her back. Really! But I couldn’t move my fingers. I was “Stress Paralyzed.” (YES, it is a ‘thing.’)

I sought solace within my gardens. Sitting on the stone walk in front of the girls’ old clubhouse, now a garden shed. I let the floodgates open! Boy did the tears cascade like the great Niagara. I let God have it!

Arms flailing all around like a madwoman, eyes rolling about, shouting and screaming.

I completely pulled a David (My God, why have you forsaken me??) AND a Job (I have no peace, no quietness; no rest, only turmoil.)

Where are you God?

The Mini-Van of Life~ Back To Family.net  In the olden days, having “A Moment” meant digging into my secret stash of chocolate chips hidden in a baking powder can. And then hiding out in the bathroom. The girls were younger then, I didn’t want to venture off too far, you know.

As the girls grew, I began leaving the house and heading to the gardens. Many a day you could find me lying among the green bean rows looking up at the sky searching for peace.

As my faith grew, my boldness also grew. You could hear me yelling at God.

Reminding Him of His promises to me and my obedience to Him. Sounds pretty arrogant of me, huh? Ya think God would be might angry at the nerve of me.

Nope. Not at all. He loves me.

He loves when I go to Him. Even when I’m giving him a piece of my mind! He just wants me. He wants a relationship. And with all relationships, you get angry at each other once in a while. He’s a big God and He can handle my ranting and raving. And even through my tantrums, He is listening. And He is at work.

I firmly believe He especially listens to intercessory prayer. You know, when we pray for each other.

See, after my Moment, releasing all my bottled up fears, the second-guessing of my past decisions, not knowing what the future holds, and facing an empty nest, my stress paralyzation began to subside. I texted Beth back. Apologized for the delay as I was having a Moment and then thanked her for the free therapy!

Again that night as the past several nights had found me, I was awake for several hours. Talking to God in the stillness of the dark. Pleading for guidance. Pleading for Him to show up big time.

And show up He did!

The next day blew my mind. My day was filled with laughter and joy. Answers to unresolved decisions began to appear more clearly. Peace overflowed. My cup runneth over.

Dear friend. Listen to me. God wants this for your life as well! He wants a relationship with you. He doesn’t want you perfect and having it all together. He wants you just the way you are. Right now. Always ask God to ride alongside you, in the mini-van of life. Talk to Him. Yell if you have to.

He will answer. Through His word. Through His children.

Even through a text message.

Jase and Missy: Living Life God’s Way

Jase and Missy Robertson

“If everybody chose to do it God’s way, the world would be alot better off.” ~Jase Robertson

It is so exciting to watch how God is using this amazing family.

Their honesty and integrity makes them awesome role models.

Family values built on faith shines through from Phil and Kay all the way down the family tree to their grandchildren.

Sadie is well loved in our household.

Missy and Jase have always been my favorites. Watch and you’ll see why:

 

(If unable to see video, refresh page or click here.)

 

 

Gravity

“Nobody will mourn for me,” Dr. Ryan Stone tells herself. “Nobody will pray for my soul.”

How To Pray | BackToFamily.net

SOURCE: http://gravitymovie.warnerbros.com/#/downloads/wallpapers

Listening to In The Market with Janet Parshall, my daughter and I became intrigued with the newly released movie Gravity.

Ms. Parshall and her call-in guests raved over the Sandra Bullock film.

With great curiosity, we decided to check it out for ourselves.

The next evening, my family enjoyed movie night out and saw Gravity.

We chose to watch the budget friendly “regular” version rather than 3D. So glad we did!

My first words when the lights came back on, “If we saw this in 3D, I’m pretty sure I would’ve lost my lunch!”

Spectacular!

Lots of suspense! My palms sweaty and my body trembling throughout.

Not giving any spoilers away that aren’t seen in trailers, there was a lot of spinning.

Lots.

Hence, my losing lunch statement.

This movie fantastic, the acting superb. I was able to step right into the main character.

There were a few chuckles overheard. And tears shed.

The hands-down saddest moment in the film for me was when Dr. Ryan Stone lost all hope.

Desolate.

She muttered the following words to herself:

“I’ve never said a prayer in my life.”

Nobody ever taught me how.

I cried! How many people do I know who are in the same place?

Who have never said a prayer.

Simply because they were never taught.

Do I even want to know?

To know how many people are within my reach and have never been taught to pray.

Dear Reader,

Please know that there is no right nor wrong way to pray. No special words needed. No equipment. You don’t need to close your eyes. You don’t need to kneel. In the beginning it may feel awkward. You may question if anyone is listening. That is ok. The important thing here is that you try. You will find that the more you talk to God, the easier it becomes. Soon you will be talking to Him non-stop throughout your day. 

Speak to Him the same as you do your best friend. You can begin with  ‘Hey God,’ ‘Dear Heavenly Father,’ ‘Lord Jesus,’ ‘Father God’…however you are comfortable. Start out perhaps by thanking Him for your meals before eating. I like to finish up with ‘In Jesus’ name. Amen’

We were created to be in fellowship with God. He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to reach out to Him. Please don’t let another day go by without a conversation with Him. That is what prayer is after-all…a conversation. 

Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. ~Max Lucado

Here is a guide you can use when praying:

P – praise. Praise God for something good that happened in your life.

R – repent. Repent of something wrong that you did. Tell God you’re sorry and will try not to repeat the disobedience to Him.

A – ask. Ask the Lord for something you desire within His will for you.

Y – yield. Submit yourself to do the will of God for your life.

NOTE: If the movie trailer above is not seen try refreshing the page. You can also view the trailer HERE.

 

 

 

your hand is God’s hand

WOW!!! God is amazing. Read this Godstory! Thus began my facebook status this morning.

It quickly outgrew a facebook status and worthy of an entire blog post.

We don’t realize how much our actions (even small ones) affect others around us.

The month of October began with a goal of reading the book of Proverbs from the Bible.

I post a link to each chapter daily on facebook and pull a verse that stands out to me.

This is the verse I pulled from yesterday’s reading and posted on facebook:

Day 3
Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God’s hand for that person.-verse 27

In full disclosure, I pre-scheduled it a few days earlier.

Let me tell you what happened to me yesterday:


Continue reading~ your hand is God’s hand »

Recognizing the Voice of Truth

Looking for Truth?  Find it here.

 

Why God?

Last Sunday, my pastor gave one of his very best sermons.

Why is my life so bad if You’re so good?

I have grown in my faith enough to go beyond that question now.

Ok Lord, I appreciate how You’ve given us free will. The freedom to make our own decisions.

With that comes consequences of our choices and those of others around us.

And we live in a fallen world. I get that.

But yet,
Continue reading~ Recognizing the Voice of Truth »

When Tests become Testimonies

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

~Joshua 1:9 NIV

 

Dear friend, I awoke this morning with a different perspective on life.

Yesterday…

One phone call was all it took.
Continue reading~ When Tests become Testimonies »