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Showing posts from August, 2009

Praise Continually

In May 2004, my first grandchild was born! He was a miracle indeed - he is the son of my only daughter Kellie who is a cancer survivor. I praise the Lord each day for His love, grace and mercy, and for all of my precious children, and now grandchildren. Today's post is the devotion I prepared for Kellie - Mark is starting kindergarten this week!

Kellie’s Baby Shower
May 22, 2004
For Mark David Bybee
Born: 5/13/2004 at 2:27 PM
4 lbs. 1 oz, 16 inches
Born 6.3 weeks early

As I prayed and pondered what I might say today, the Lord led me to Psalm 71:6-7 “By thee have I been holden up from the womb; thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels; my praise shall be continually of thee. I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.”

As I read these verses, I thought of your life Kellie and how God has held you up. He did finally take you from my womb to be born 12 days late – so that you could be my very special birthday gift; then years later when He carried us through…

Miracles do Happen

Several years ago, during the early 90’s, there was a recession. At that time, my husband had just sold his design/build firm because he had surrendered to God’s call to the ministry. He was not on staff for any church, so he was doing freelance work for various churches—in any case we did not have a steady income, but God was certainly providing. Our daughter had just completed her 18 months of chemo-therapy, the lease on our car was up, and we had sold our home with no gain. We moved into a nice home, and one of my brothers had a car that he was not using—so we were driving what my kids dubbed “the clown car.” They called it the clown car because it was compact sized, and we were a family of six...so they imagined people watching this little vehicle pull up and then see all six of us dismounting, comical, but probably embarrassing for the kids.

My husband and I started praying for a van. We were looking and looking and praying and praying and we finally found one—we thought. …

Some Things I've Learned

When I was a young mother back in the day… I diligently sought the Bible to see what God wanted me to do so that I could raise my children the right way. That quest led me to places I never thought would make a difference in the lives of my children, but now that I am not a “young mother,” and my children are grown, there are some things I have noticed that I believe the Lord showed me to help me with regard to raising my own children. I do not claim that I am by any means an expert in raising children, or that I was a perfect mother; but I have learned a few things that I would like to share with you. These are notes from a devotion I gave to "my girls" upon the birth of one of my grandsons - it is my prayer that it will be of help and a blessing to you.

When I was first became a Christian and started reading my Bible, I earnestly believed that the Bible was like a cookbook. I thought I could look up a subject and find a complete recipe for the answers I was seeking. I …

We Should Tell Everybody About This

Many years ago when my children were all still quite young I recall an incident that happened one evening as we were on our way home from church. At that time we lived about 25 miles away from church, so especially on Wednesday evenings it seemed so late by the time we got home. On this particular evening – we ran out of gas! We were on the freeway, and I might add in not the best part of town. At that time, people didn’t carry cell phones – car phones were for James Bond, or in the movies – not something your every day family would own. Fortunately we were not too terribly far from an exit where there was a gas station. My husband had to leave our family in the car while he walked to the gas station. When my husband left we prayed for his safety and then waited. I guess I didn’t realize how terrified my oldest son was until my husband safely returned and my son said, “Wow, we should tell everybody about this – they would get saved!” In other words, he thought it was such a t…

Man Sees the Outside

When I was a little girl I had the terrible misfortune of being involved in a car accident – actually I was involved in auto accidents twice! The first one seemed to be so minor that I didn’t think I had any injury at all – until as an adult I had back problems and was questioned by doctors if I had ever been involved in an accident. The accident I am recalling today happened when I was 6 years old. My mother was driving – a man ran a light and side-swiped our vehicle. My face hit against the dash board, and I had to get stitches on my face – on the left side just below my lower lip. A few years later, when I was 9 years old I started having problems in the area where I had been stitched; apparently there was scar tissue growing that not only made my face look different, it was rubbing against my teeth and it became a problem to eat. As a result of the problem I had to have surgery to remove the scar tissue, and they did a kind of plastic surgery so that the scar would not be visible.…

His Banner Over Me Was Love

Revelation 19:9, “And he saith unto me, Write Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb…” Solomon 2:4 says, “He brought me to banqueting house…” (this is equivalent to being called to the marriage supper of the Lamb) “…and His banner over me was love.” A banner is like a flag that is lifted up or held high to stand for something. It is conspicuous or easily seen. To be called to the banquet is a blessing, but this goes further, it is saying, “I want everyone to know that you have been called and you are here because I (God) love you.

To be invited to a banquet during the time that this was written went like this…
1. A servant would be sent to invite you- Christian, we are God’s servants and we are instructed to go; to invite others to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
2. Only those that receive the invitation and accept it can come. Only those that receive Christ as their Saviour can go the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Heaven)
3. After they accept the invitati…

Turn You and Take Your Journey

As Christians, we are commanded to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. The thing about growing is that it includes change, movement, and often pain. When babies get teeth, they have a multitude of symptoms. Youths suffer through “growing pains.” And we, as Christians, if we are growing, must also endure difficulties as we grow. The biggest difference between our growing pains and those that children and youths incur is that we can choose not to grow. When things become too difficult we can, as many Christians do, reject growing and just find a comfort zone and stay there. That’s why there are so many more folks at church on Sunday mornings than on Sunday nights, its why churches all over America have just a small percentage of folks that go soul winning; its why pastors drop standards that once were held even in the public school system. If you can imagine that not that long ago things that many churches allow, even embrace, were against public school rules in t…

Trophies

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3. You know, that is one of those common verses of Scripture, the kind that people know so well they almost skim over it as they read it. As I began to pray and ask the Lord about this devotion; it became very evident to me that this is the verse God wanted me to use. As I ponder back on when my children were small and how quickly the time passed in raising them; I realize just how precious the time we have with our children truly is.

So often today women can’t stand "just staying home with the kids;" “they’ll go stir crazy” or they just can’t stand being cooped up all day…or some will say things like “this kid is driving me nuts” or other things that imply they don’t want to be with their children. There are those who don’t feel staying at home with their children is as rewarding as earning their way and place in the world. The Bible teaches us that our children are very sp…

Redeem the Time

I would like today for you to take a little walk with me down memory lane. The year was 1975 in January. It was late in the evening, and I was beginning the second semester of my senior year in school. I recall very clearly that I was on my bed, pondering my life. It dawned on me that I would soon be leaving my childhood days and approaching the reality of the adult world. I remember thinking to myself, “Okay, in a few months I will graduate- what do I want to do with my life? I began to take my school work more seriously. I was transitioning myself from child to adult. In March 1975, I was out with friends and saw my husband. I had met him during my sophomore year, but that was it. Now I was a senior, and he had already graduated. We did not talk at all that evening, we simply exchanged glances. I knew when I left that I was interested in this guy. The following day when I told my best friend that I sure thought that David Azzarello was cute, she told me that her brother asked if he…

What Every Mother Should Teach Her Son

Proverbs 31 – the Proverb about the Virtuous Woman, right? Have you ever considered or realized that this chapter in Proverbs was actually written for a man? Yes, it is King Lemuel that “wrote” this chapter, but he states right off the bat that it is what his mother taught him. She was successful – because her son did not just teach others what he learned, he attributed his knowledge to (or honored) his mother.
Proverbs 31:1-10
1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember…

Want or Need?

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The other day my husband and I had the joy of attending the County Fair with our children and grandchildren. We had so much fun just watching the grandkids giggle with glee as they rode on the various rides. When we spend time with our kids I am filled with such joy in just being with them and it reminds me of how much it must mean to God when we choose to spend time with Him, whether in prayer, meditation, reading His Word, and attending church.

As I sat and just watched our precious grandchildren, it took me back to the time when my own children were little. One of our grandsons especially reminded me of his dad when he was little – not only in his looks, but also in his behavior and spirit. As I was watching him play, and do things his dad did when he was that age – I remembered a picture I have of my own son wearing almost the exact same outfit (jeans, sweatshirt, baseball cap); and I was reminded of the following story.

When my children were young, I always took them out wi…

Words, Words, Words

In my Bible study time I have been amazed at how frequently the Bible talks about the use of the tongue and the words we say. It seems that everyday I am reading about how wisdom will help us to “regard discretion” and “that thy lips may keep knowledge.” Proverbs 5:2 instructs how the lips of the strange woman sound so smooth, but they are leading to a destructive way of living; that will lead us to sin, whose wages we know is death. All sin leads to a death of some kind. Whether it be the death of a friendship, a job, or a punishment that ends a privilege we have enjoyed.

I have also been reading in the Gospel of Matthew and have found that Jesus has much to say about our words. In Matthew 12:34-37 Jesus says, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil thi…

Arrows

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” Psalm 127:3, 4 The verses I quoted above teach us that God gives us our children and then compares our children to arrows in the hand of a mighty man. A mighty man has a sure aim and as such is effective against the enemy. This comparison teaches us that we must also determine to aim our children (or point them) in the right direction. “Train up a child in the way he should go ; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Here are a couple of other points I would like to stress with regard to a mighty man and the “arrows” he aims.

1. A mighty man knows his target and then aims his arrows directly at the target to effectively defeat the enemy. We should aim our children to be Christ honoring Christians that are trying to reach and win the lost for Christ.
As we are aiming our children to live for the Lord…

The Touch that Heals

"And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean." Mark 1:40-41
This morning as I was reading my Bible, I was pondering the “touch” of Jesus, and really all that it means and affords. I thought of the song “He Touched Me.” I noticed that it is not only when He touches us, but also when we touch Him that the healing comes. Mark 5:27 says, "When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment." Their exchange ends in Mark 5:34 which says, "And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
In my ponderings I have come to realize that when He touches us it shows His compassion; when we touch Jesus, it shows our faith. The best results come when we have both. Jesus has reac…

Be Positive!

Many mothers today are teaching their children to become negative people. How are they doing this? Children are being taught what they should not do, instead of what they should do. This causes them to see everything from a negative perspective. For example: Mom usually says, “Don’t hold your fork that way” when she could just as easily say “Suzie, hold your fork this way.” Of course there are times when you must say “no” but when you are teaching your child the correct way to do something, they will be less defensive if you simply show them the positive before the negative. The order should be “praise, correction, praise.” You might say something like “Suzie, you are such a big girl holding your own fork and eating all by yourself, how about holding it this way, it will work much better for you.” And when she tries it and does it correctly, then praise her for doing it correctly. Instead of Suzie feeling that she is being rebuked for not holding her fork properly, she has be…

Don't Let Him Be Lonely

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“And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18

In the Book of Genesis we see God’s order in creation and at the end of each day of Creation the Bible says, “God saw that it was good…” until the verse I quoted above; when God saw that Adam was alone He said, “It is not good.” We have always heard that our husbands need us, they need our help; but have you ever asked what they need our help for? Most people think it’s cooking and cleaning, laundry and ironing, or for making babies. But, read the verse again… God didn’t say- “Adam is not doing a good job at dressing and keeping the garden, he needs help.” What God saw that wasn’t good was Adam’s being alone. Eve was made to help Adam by being his companion, one that was “meet” or “suitable” for him. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 God saw that Adam’s loneliness was not…

The Wherefores

In today’s society, we as Christians may feel like strangers because what we know in our hearts to be true according to God’s Word, and what we see surrounding us are in stark contrast to each other. One of my favorite books of the Bible is I Peter. It is addressed to Christians that are strangers in this world. In I Peter 1: 1 – 7 Peter describes all that we possess as a result of our salvation: Grace, peace, mercy, hope, an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance in heaven kept by the Father, and great rejoicing; all in spite of the difficulties we face here and now. After Peter reminds of what we possess he continues to instruct us in what I call the “wherefores.”

The Wherefores
(I Peter 1:13 – 3:17)

1. Think about your salvation. (gird up the loins of your mind)
2. Be serious about your salvation (be sober)
3. Remember that because of your salvation you are God’s child—be an obedient child!
4. Be holy! Allow your salvation to separate you from this world to God!
5. Respect…

7 Ways to Delight Your Husband

“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.” Luke 12:42-44
In studying Proverbs 31, I have found that the virtuous woman is a faithful, wise, and good steward – (one who cares for another’s possessions). In fact everything we see about the virtuous woman is that what she does benefits her husband. Her actions portray an attitude of submission. She is not fighting her husband, but she is serving him and making sure that everything he needs for success is ready. The fact that the virtuous woman is giving meat to her household and considers a field and purchases it shows that he has made her ruler over all that they have. Submission is not bondage! Let me illustrate. If your area in the home is to care for the …

Be Prepared

Expect the unexpected and prepare for the unpredictable! Children do not always do what is expected of them. Often they get their clothes dirty when you don’t expect or want them to. This won’t be a problem if you have a change of clothes handy. Always pack a little more than what you think you might need. If you don’t need to use the extra diapers, wipes, or bottles, you might be a blessing to someone else in need! I remember once when Danny and Jason were just babies; in fact, they were both still in diapers. I packed the diaper bag with a normal day in mind. Well, it did not turn out to be a normal day. We were shopping with my mom for the dress she would wear for her 25th Anniversary celebration and the “natives were getting restless,” so Grandma was giving them soft mint candies to occupy and quiet the children. Well, in case you never knew this, mint can act the same way as prunes (you know what I mean). Well, I ran out of diapers, out of clothes and patience!

Lesson…

How To Walk

Today I am flat on my back. I have some arthritis (common for women that have several children, especially who carry their children low.) I am not able to stand erect, and I cannot walk properly. I have experienced this once before several years ago and it was at that time during my prayer and devotion that the Lord stressed to me the importance of walking and having the right walk with God. In my quest to discover "how to walk," the Lord taught me the following:

Matthew 9:1-8 is an account of several men bringing a man sick with the palsy (Palsy- any of several conditions characterized by paralysis) to the Lord to be healed. Jesus did heal him, but His choice of words was to tell the man that his sins were forgiven him; and when this man’s sins were forgiven, he was able to walk.
1. We cannot walk with God unless or until we trust Him and receive Christ as our personal Savior.
2. Sin can cause paralysis in our Christian life. If we harbor sin without confessing, we will be u…

A Princess and a Teacher

I recall years ago a young mother stating to me that as a child she always wished to be a princess and a teacher when she grew up. I quickly pointed out to her that her wish had come true. When she asked “how?” I explained that as a Christian, she is a child of the King, thus making her a princess; and as a mother—she had become a teacher. Mom, teaching is one your main jobs! It is you that will teach your child how to talk, how to use proper manners, healthy hygiene habits, etc. etc. etc. Remember that the role of the mother is likened to that of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah 66:13 says, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” The Comforter will do as a mother does. Therefore we know that the things that the Holy Spirit does are those things a mother should be doing. In John 14:26, the Bible says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I…

Communication is the Key

“for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen…” God is so good to us in every way—but today I am thinking especially of the way He provided a way to communicate with us. He gave us His Word, His Holy Spirit and the works of His creation so that we may see Him. Though we can’t see Him physically, we can see Him in all of His works! I especially like the fact the God made them clear. With that thought in mind—I believe that God wants the same type of communication between the man and wife in marriage. The Bible likens the marriage relationship to that of Christ and the church in Ephesians 5:31-32 which says, “...they two shall be one flesh...I speak concerning Christ and the church.” When Jesus explained things or taught things to His disciples, He spoke in parables and used several examples so that they could understand Him clearly. Often the things we think are such big problems are simply matters of miscommunication and the “bigness” of the p…

The Right Shoes

Every first and third Sunday of the month our church hosts what we call "The Baptist Cafe." The various Sunday school classes take turns to prepare the food items for the fellowship after the evening service. This past Sunday it was my Sunday School Class "For Ladies Only" turn. I spent Sunday afternoon making brownies and arroz con pollo. Because I made enough for a large quantity, the recipe took a little longer than normal and so my husband left for church before I did. I left with just enough time to be there at the appointed time to meet the ladies to set up for the fellowship before the evening service. In my hurry and scurry to get everything out the door - I forgot to change my shoes! I realized when I was just about at the church that I was still wearing my fuzzy blue slippers! I couldn't believe it. I called my husband and told him of my dilemma and thankfully I was able to borrow a pair of shoes for the evening service! (Thank you Amanda...…

Surviving a Crisis

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This posting is actually from notes I took when I spoke at a Pastor's Conference to the ladies on September 15, 1998

Surviving a Crisis
“A Trophy of God’s Grace”

I believe that before you read this I need to qualify myself – you see for someone that is going through a crisis or has lived through a difficult time it is really hard to listen to someone tell them how to go through something they have never experienced.

On September 15, 1991, the Sunday right after Pastor’s Conference my children were getting ready for bed after the evening service. The boys came out and told me that Kellie was crying because she was in some sort of pain. My husband took her to the emergency room where they took ex-rays and released her finding really nothing of great concern. That night she was up probably every 30minutes to an hour vomiting. By the next morning, she was dehydrated and extremely weak. She didn’t understand why she still had the pain. She could not dress herself, she didn’t want t…

Our Heavenly Father

The greatest example we have in parenting is what we can see and learn from our Heavenly Father. There are several things we can learn about being a parent from simply following the pattern we find in the Bible.
1. Before He placed man on this earth, He created and prepared the earth, the garden and everything that man would need.
2. When Adam and Eve were in the garden, He told them of their responsibilities and He gave them boundaries (not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil).
3. He warned them of the consequences if they disobeyed.
4. When they disobeyed, He kept His Word and banished them from the garden.
5. The Lord gave us the 10 Commandments.

He has always told us what He expects from us and what we can expect if we disobey. He also instructed the children of Israel regarding the food they should or should not eat, for their health and for their own good. With all of that He has promised to forgive, to love us with an unfailing love and has pr…

The Blue Shoes

You know, when you want something, really want it – you will look for it. I can’t tell you the countless times I have taken weeks to find that perfect sweater, dress, or pair of shoes that I “needed” to complete my outfit. I remember one time I had purchased a dress for a special occasion, and needed a pair of navy shoes to go with it. I found the perfect pair at Penney’s, but they were out of stock in my size. Well, I found that the display shoe was my size, so I asked the store clerk if I could get that one – they looked in the stock room, and it was not there; they said that it was probably somewhere on the floor in the shoe department.

I looked through every shoe display, every pair of shoes on every counter and on the floor – and finally I even looked behind the wall display to see if perhaps it had fallen behind the counter. Sure enough I spotted a shoe down there (still not sure if it was the exact one I needed) and I went to the store clerk and let them know that I though…