Saturday, December 18, 2010

To Grammie's House We Go!

Christmas time is here! My husband and I have been reminiscing over all the Lord has done and we are truly amazed at His grace, His mercy, and His marvelous provision. I have also been hustling and bustling around my house because this year all my kids are coming over! My husband has been laughing at me as I have been preparing and getting little goodies and things for the grandkids to do. He asked me a question that caused me to think – and that is what I am sharing with you all today.

The other morning as I was telling my husband some of my plans for while the kids are here he smiled and looked at me and said, “you’re so excited that the kids are coming, aren’t you?” I replied to him that I was indeed and told him that I knew he was too! He is the one that has everyday written down, all the places he hopes to go with the kids, and a schedule of various things to do (and he was laughing at me). We are both so thrilled to have them “come” here.

When my husband asked me that question instantly I was reminded of our Lord and His plea for us to come to Him. As I pondered over the idea of how much we as parents like to have our children come to us –I realized that perhaps we have that desire to teach us and give us a glimpse of what it means to our Lord when we “come” to Him.

When I was younger I can always remember my grandparent’s first question to me when I called them was “when are you coming?” My parents, when they moved out of state purchased a large home to accommodate our family to ensure that we would “come” to visit them. Well, now our children are all grown, we are grandparents, and now its our turn – we now understand just how much it means to have our children want to come to see us.

In reality all parents like it when their children come to them – even when they’re babies. It is so precious especially that first time they extend their arms to us wanting to be held. Parents will make promises “if you come to Mommy (when they’re learning to walk), I’ll give you a cookie.” Sometimes the great lengths parents go to in order to have their children “come” to them is almost comical. The truth is, we as parents all like to have our children want to come to see us, to spend time with us because we love them so much and desire their company. This morning my daughter was telling me that my granddaughter Haylie (2 years old) got dressed, put on her sweater and her shoes and then told her that she was coming to Grammie’s house and that she was going to hold my hand…how precious is that?

And so today I would like to remind you that our God, our Saviour wants us to “come” to Him.

He tells us that we can come unto Him as children, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16

When we’re thirsty He says, “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37

When we’re burdened He says, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

In our times of need, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

And most especially He is the only One we can go to for salvation. He came to us because we needed a Saviour, and He did His part in dying on the cross to save us from our sin so that we can “ever be with the Lord'” (again showing His desire for us to "come" to Him.) When thinking about going to great lengths consider that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And today He invites us to come…

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. ” Revelation 22:17

It’s Christmas I truly hope that you’ll… “come to Jesus;” He is the reason for this wonderful season!

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Figs, Figs

This morning I was reading from the Book of Jeremiah. This book of the Bible holds a special place in my heart each time I read it because I am reminded of a very specific promise that God gave to me during the most difficult time in my life.

The specific promise to me was that God would hear me and answer my prayer, and show me great and mighty things…and that He would heal my daughter. It was shortly after my daughter had been diagnosed with cancer – in fact just a little over a week after her diagnosis she suddenly developed excruciating pain and my husband had to take her to the hospital in the middle of the night…again. I honestly feared for her life and as I prayed the Lord gently directed me to Jeremiah 33 where I read 2 verses that helped me then, and have continued to help me since that time. Jeremiah 33:3 which says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” As I continued reading verse six of the same chapter said, “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.” I was amazed that God would answer me so directly and personally – even as I remember the evening and re-read these verses I continue to be amazed by His grace!

This morning I did not read those verses, but I found a truth that I would like to share with you today. I read from Jeremiah 24 – the sign of the figs. As I was reading I saw something that I had never noticed before – I saw the Lord telling His people that He was removing them from their home land, and putting them in to captivity for their good. He was giving them a promise that He would be their God and would one day return them to their homes and that He would build and plant them. I also noticed that he said because of their captivity they would return to God with their whole hearts and would be His people and He would be their God. This was God’s action towards the good figs – those that were willing to be carried away and trust God through their captivity (i.e. difficult time).

To the evil figs – those that would not trust God, those that were turning to other sources to avoid the captivity – to them He “promised” that they would never return home – they would be cursed. He likened their lack of trust to idolatry – to turning to other Gods.

We live in uncertain times where many folks are really struggling and are being tempted as the evil figs to devise plans, use men’s devices, dream up schemes, and deceive themselves because of desperation. Jeremiah 23:23, 24, “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the Lord.” When facing trouble, those that reject God's plan view God as being far away and are in essence forgetting that God is near, or able to see.

In reality what we really need to be doing is wholeheartedly trusting the Lord; seeking Him in earnest and relying fully on Him because of what the Lord tells us Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Will you be willing to trust the Lord and let Him take you to where He wants you to go…for your own good, or will you turn away from Him and dream, devise, and deceive yourself into believing you know best? This is a tough one, I know – but I have learned by experience “…after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Remember Psalm 27:14, "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

The difference between the good figs and the bad figs?

The Good figs fulfilled Jeremiah 22:3-4, “Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.” These verses are instructing us to Trust and Obey God …do what has been judged as “right,” witness to the unsaved, be ye kind one to another, and don’t discourage anyone from turning to God for salvation by your actions; and then promises by these we’ll be blessed.

The Bad Figs = Jeremiah 22:5, “But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation.” In other words if you Trust in yourself and refuse to follow the instruction given then you will face certain destruction.

There are many times throughout our lives when we’ll face hard times, and with them comes hard choices. When we make our choices and decisions based on the Word of God – we have confidence because as John 17:17 says, “...thy word is truth.”

Are you struggling with a decision today? Are you afraid of where your journey may lead you? Place yourself amongst the good figs – God will provide and that is His promise to you!

I love you ladies, and pray that God will use these verses to help you today!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Painted, Powdered, and Perfumed

When I was a little girl – I was, from every account I have heard, very precocious! I have heard wonderful stories of many of the adventures I had as a young child from my parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

I know that I was adventurous because at 18 months old I braved the wide outdoors to sneak out of the house and cross 2 streets to visit my grandmother Nanny!

I know that I was a hostess in the making because at the full age of 2, I served my mother’s friends “tea” in my own tea set. My mother wondered where I was getting the water for my tea – and to her horror discovered that I was serving her friends water fresh from the toilet!

I also know that I was very interested in my appearance because the one story they all told me about was of my insatiable desire to wear my aunt’s make up!

My grandparent’s owned a home that was a multiple dwelling – with 2 upper levels and a basement. My grandparents, my parents, and my aunt and uncle each lived on one of the levels of the home – so we were very close. My aunt had a beautiful vanity where she kept her make-up and perfume, and I kept a keen eye on the door that led to her room so that I could get into it at any chance possible. Once I figured out how to open the door, they had to purchase a gate to keep me out. I grew up hearing the stories of my determination to get to that make up – and of their horror when they discovered that someone had forgotten to close the gate KNOWING they would find “Terrie the Terror” in her room fully painted, powdered, and perfumed!

I was reminded of these wonderful stories the other day when my husband and I were reminiscing of when we were new Christians – and how in our desire to know the Lord we would grasp for anything that seemed remotely Christian! We listened to all kinds of radio programs; we were enamored with any song that said Jesus’ name. The problem with these choices was that in many cases the biblical application of these radio programs and songs was not doctrinally sound.

I thought of how as a child I really wanted to look beautiful and smell nice just like the ladies I loved in my family, I just didn’t yet know how to apply it all. As new Christians we wanted to get the full dose of Christianity, but being babes in Christ, we didn’t know how to apply the truths of the Bible to our lives. I am thankful that in the fullness of time I learned how to apply my make-up and perfume; and I am thankful that we have through the years been taught to apply our hearts unto wisdom.

You know, as Terrie the Terror I painted my face with make-up, sealed that make-up with powder, and then powerfully perfumed myself because I wanted the right things, I just didn’t know how to apply them. I was a child and so as I Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child…” I am thankful that today I am painted by the shed blood of Christ for the remission of my sins. I am thankful that because I received Christ as my Saviour, I am powdered or sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise; and I praise the Lord that I am perfumed… “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ…”

Perhaps you have a precocious child that is like me, wanting the right things at the wrong time. Maybe you know a new Christian that is making the same childish mistakes I made because they want the right things; but they don’t know how to properly apply them. In both cases, pray for them, and lovingly train or disciple them, and remember the wisdom from Isaiah 28:9 “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” It takes time and maturity – don’t expect too much. After all, being painted, powdered, and perfumed is good thing - when it is done the right way at the right time!

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mom, Be Diligent!

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Proverbs 21:5

While reading this verse I began to think of the role of a mother. What an awesome responsibility we have to train up our children for God! If we try to rush through teaching our children to learn or understand something – we’re going to keep wanting them to learn it…but if we are diligent, we will continue to think of ways to help them understand what they need to know.

By the grace of God, my husband and I have raised four children that today are all living for the Lord, they love the Lord, and they are serving the Lord with their lives. They are all married and have children that they are now raising up for the glory of God. As I am sure every mother has noticed – all children are different – each child is an individual. As a young of mother of 4 (I was 27 when my 4th child was born) I discovered early that what worked for one child did not always work for the next.

My oldest son was very content to learn by listening. I could read to him, speak with him, watch an educational type program with him and he would soak it all up and begin to use the knowledge. When my second son came along – he had no interest in listening…he was a hands-on type of guy. When I sat with him to read a story, he was more interested in doing whatever the characters in the book were doing in the pictures! He didn't want to watch what the characters on the educational show were doing - he wanted to DO what they were doing! My 3rd child, my only daughter, learned in a very quiet way. She would sit and listen to stories…but she really was an observer – she knew the routine of my day, she knew what we were going to do next, she knew where everything belonged (not that she always put things away:) but, she observed her mommy and imitated me. This made her very independent so she tried to do everything herself…which is why she is the one that got lost in Santa Cruz at the beach at 2 years old, and why she got burned in the shower at 4 years old when she tried to “help mommy” by getting herself all ready for church. Our youngest son was a question asker, a direction reader; in many ways self-taught. He is the one that did the cool science projects like making a hover board in our garage that really hovered! He is the one I would find quietly doing his homework in his room without being asked.

Now, if you’ll notice one learned by listening, one by doing, another by watching, and yet another by inquiring – and somehow in our role as parents we needed to make sure that they all learned the same principles, the same concepts, proper manners and behavior, and the quality traits of good character. We had to make sure they understood that we loved them individually – and that we expected them to always do their best and to trust God for the rest!

Now, the natural question is “how do I do that when they're all so different?” That’s where the verse I quoted above comes in…you must be diligent and constantly think of ways to reach your children! You can’t rush through one set or plan of instructions and expect them to all learn the same way. You need to watch your children closely and observe them to see how they learn and then think of ways to get the message through to them. Jesus did that when he used parables to teach about the Kingdom of Heaven. Look at all the different examples he used:

The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto…

A man which sowed good seed in a field
A grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field
A net that was cast into the sea and gathered of every kind
Leaven which a woman took and hid in 3 measure of meal
A treasure hid in a field
A merchant man seeking goodly pearls
A man that is a householder
A certain king
10 virgins which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom
A man travelling into a far country

Jesus covered every type of person in every walk of life so they could understand what the Kingdom of Heaven was like. He then expounded that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must become as little children – fully dependent on Jesus as our Saviour!

Mom, earnestly pray and ask the Lord to help you to teach your children and to help them understand what they need to know. Be diligent in training your children – keep thinking of ways to reach them, remember it’s the "thoughts" of the diligent that tend to plenteousness (yielding abundantly, fruitful) – don’t rush things, don’t be hasty – and don’t give up!

Today our #1 son is a Christian school administrator, an author, and a college professor. Our second son pastors a church and is witnessing God’s miracles and blessing. Our daughter is fulfilling God’s will for her life at home as she is raising her 3 children, and serves the Lord teaching and singing for His glory. And our youngest son is an assistant pastor, he has written over 50 songs, plays 4 or 5 musical instruments (though we only provided lessons for 2). And all of our children have a passion to reach the lost for Christ - to God be all the glory!

I am so thankful that our children are intelligent, thoughtful, and by the grace of God are really awesome adults! I am truly blessed and thank the Lord for His work in their lives; He is deserving of all the glory. I am just a mom that by the grace of God sought earnestly to raise our children for the glory of God. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we have a source that does– go to Him, ask Him; He’ll lead you, He’ll answer you, and He will help you.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." James 1:5, 6

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Be Very Sure

Recently I was at Macy’s seeking to purchase new face powder. I know that is an expensive place to shop, but I have found that most make-ups cause me to get rashes and make my eyes water, so I have to spend a little extra to get something that will work for me. I normally use Estee Lauder powder, but the Clinique counter was having a special gift offer, so I thought I would try it and see if it would work for me. I had a very unusual encounter with the sales girl that caused me to think…and I will share that with you today.

When I approached the counter I asked the girl for a powder that would set my make up, explaining that I wanted something that would last all day. The girl said, “No, we don’t have anything like that – if you buy our powder you will have to reapply your powder all day long…it won’t last all day.” I spotted some mineral powders (loose powder) and asked about them and again she gave me a similar response saying, “You have to keep putting the powder on all day if you want your make-up to stay on.” I was surprised and as I was making sure I understood her properly repeating what she had said, another sales girl came along and said, “this powder will set your make-up and work well for what you want; if you want to make sure your nose doesn’t get shiny you can also get a compact powder to reapply throughout the day.” After that sales girl walked away, (hoping that I still might be able to get the special gift of lipstick and eye shadow), I asked the first sales girl I was working with how long the powder would last and again I was very surprised by her response when she said, “nobody knows, you have to twist the container for the powder to come up and the only way you know its gone is when the powder doesn’t come up any more.” As I continued asking her approximately how many weeks or months it might last, she simply “there is no way to know for sure.”

I decided to go the Estee Lauder counter and purchase my regular powder. When I spoke with the sales girl there she was very helpful. She assured me that the powder would do what I needed and when I asked how long it would last her answer was, “well, there is no way to tell you definitely because it depends on how often and how much you apply – but I have had mine for nearly a year.” She gave a much better and more knowledgeable answer, assuring me that my needs would be met, and she offered me some hope of how long the powder would last; I ended up making a sizable purchase at that counter. What a difference!

Now, you may be asking what in the world that has to do with anything… ok, since you asked I’ll tell you:)

Both of these sales girls were representatives. As Christians we too are representatives – now it may seem a little far fetched to compare the two, but for comparison purposes, I believe this experience can teach us some things.

1. A representative should be sure. The first sales girl didn’t seem too sure about anything. The second girl was confident! “And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” John 6:69

2. A representative must know the facts. The first girl didn’t know she had a product that would work for me; the second girl did. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15

3. A representative must offer hope. The first girl offered me no hope – if I used her product I would have to constantly keep applying the powder all day, and would have no idea how long it would be before I had to make another purchase. The second girl assured me that my needs would be met, and gave me hope that my powder might last almost a year! “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” I Peter 3:15

Now obviously, we are representing Christ and not trying to sell something as trivial as face powder, but in reality as representatives for Christ if you want to be able to reach the lost for Christ you must…

KNOW that you are saved – be sure of your salvation. “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” John 4:22

KNOW the facts. Study the Word of God, know why you believe the things you believe and be ready to give an answer.

KNOW the Reason for your Hope – Sanctify the Lord in your heart – your heart being the deep seated place of your true feelings, beliefs, and emotions, meaning that Christ is at the helm of all you believe, feel, and express – He is ever present with you…through it all!

That first sales girl was a very poor representative because she was unsure, misinformed, and offered no hope! I liked the second girl – she offered security, had the answers and gave me hope!

I like this song:

In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes, He's the One;
This Rock is Jesus, the only One!
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these I have a Savior,
In times like these I have an anchor;
I'm very sure, I'm very sure
My anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

Ladies, I hope that you are very sure. May we all represent Him well today.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don’t Take it Out on God!

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." Psalm 62:5-9

It seems that almost daily we meet people that refuse to go to church, refuse to listen to the Bible, or refuse to trust in God because of the mistakes that Christians (actual or “so-called”) have made. Many times the mistakes they are blaming for their decision are so trivial - like something said to a family member that may have been unkind; or perhaps the preacher or Christian layperson has a family member that is not holding as high a standard as the preacher - so somehow that makes them all hypocrites. Often people simply judge a preacher by his actions without knowing all the circumstances, and sometimes the preacher really has messed up and become immoral or caught doing something that proves his walk with God was not real…in any case, if and/or when any of these things happen – don’t take it out on God! In the second part of verse 9 quoted above, if we were to use a balance to weigh men against vanity – whether of low or high degree, men are lighter - lighter than vanity. To put it simply – men are just sinners – sinners with an opportunity to be saved by grace if they so choose.

We tend to put too high of an expectation on men. We look at great athletes, or actors, or people that have a lot of money, and somehow think that their talent or ability makes them better people; we look at preachers of large churches and think that means they are somehow better than other men. We expect more from them – and rightly so – they are in positions of leadership. They will ask you to follow them as they follow God, and we make many decisions based on messages we hear these men preach – however, we must also remember that they are just flesh and blood and we should not put our confidence in them! I would also add this – God too expects more from them because He says in Luke 12:48, “…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…” If God puts you in a position of leadership then more is expected of you, and you should take that responsibility as a privilege and be all the more careful to keep yourself right with God. When people that are following you see you mess up or turn away from God they may take it out on God and become tempted to undo all the good things you put in their lives.

If you are in the "follower" or church member position, when you see someone that is in a “higher” position do something that you do not agree with, or if they actually fall– it is not wise, nor is it fair to take it out on God! When people you admire or look up to fail you, it is normal to be hurt or disappointed – perhaps even to become disillusioned – but do not make it a license to turn away from your God, drop your standards, mire in depression, and burden your life with bitterness – that will not undo what they did wrong, it will only hurt you further!

How can we prevent this?

1. Make sure that you have your own walk with God

2. Make sure the decisions you make are biblically based, and if you make a vow to God – be sure to keep it! “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” Ecclesiastes 5:4 – in other words if you make a decision because of a message you heard preached and make a promise to God – you have no excuse to “undo” it just because the preacher that preached it messed up…if he messed up quit following him, don’t follow him to turn away from God too!

3. Forgive. You may ask what that has to do with it, but in reality often the reason people blame God is because they have not forgiven the one that caused the pain or hurt they felt when their preacher disappointed them. Forgiveness is vital! Matthew 6:14 & 15 teaches us this, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

4. Serve God, not men

5. Expect things from God, not from men

6. Remember that God is your salvation, your glory, your rock of strength, and your refuge is in God.

7. Trust God at all times and pour your heart out to Him! Pray for those people that have hurt you and not only will they be helped, you will be healed.

So many people are hurting because of hurting people – but please don’t take it out on God – He loves you! He gave His only begotten Son for you and “…he ever liveth to make intercession for” you. That means that Jesus pleads on your behalf, he prays for you!

I am praying this may help you! I love you and hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


When my husband and I were dating waaayyy back in the 70s, I wore an Avon perfume, Timeless. I was very impressed with my then future husband and I took great care to make sure I looked and smelled my best. I never wanted to smell like the office building where I worked with avid smokers – so I carried my perfume with me at all times. I kept the bottle in my purse and would be sure to give myself an extra spritz before we would go out.

Well, I was a teenager at the time (I was only 17, a senior in high school) when we began to date, so I probably wasn’t as careful with my things as I would be today. I am sure that I was somewhat careless with my purse and where I placed it, so of course in time the cap on my bottle of Timeless broke. To my wonderful advantage, it broke in my husband’s car leaving the broken cap hiding under the seat of his car. I say it was to my advantage because everyday when he drove his car he thought of me because he could smell my perfume...the pleasant odour filled the air in his car.

The other day my husband (now we’ve been married for 32 years) was preaching from II Corinthians 12:7 – 9, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” In this passage of Scripture Paul is talking about a weakness he was suffering. As my husband was preaching he talked about how Paul could have been considered to be broken, and how that his brokenness revealed what and who he was on the inside. The end result is that Paul discovered that in his weakness he was strong in Christ. He chose to glory in his weakness so that Christ could be exalted.

As I pondered the message throughout the day and actually weeks to follow I thought of how that when things break it reveals the contents. Just as my perfume cap breaking revealed the scent of my perfume in my husband’s car – when we have a break in any area of our life that’s when who we are is really revealed. Now, my question to you ladies is – who are you really? When something in your life is not going your way – when something breaks what is your reaction? Do you pout, do you retreat from others, do you give up, or do you hold on to it and allow bitterness to grow? I would hope not because if you are a Christian you have the Holy Spirit living within you – the Comforter that is there to help you!

When Mary voluntarily broke her most valuable treasure to the Lord the Bible says that the house was filled with the odour. “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” John 12:3. Ladies, when you are broken your insides will be revealed, and the odour will fill the house – it can be a pleasant odour that glorifies the Saviour and helps others to see the love of God working in you, or it can be a stench that is born of bitterness nurtured when you refuse to accept the will of God and comfort of the Holy Spirit.

There are three reasons we endure heart breaking circumstances.

1. Because of sin – caused by direct disobedience to the Savior on your part, or on the part of someone you love.

2. Because of Satan – as in the case of Job where Satan was trying to break him to turn him away from God.

3. Because of the Saviour – as in Paul’s case so that God’s strength could be revealed through his weakness.

In every case we can receive grace from our precious Savior.

When you realize that your life is broken because of sin – turn to the Saviour. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

When Satan throws things your way to break you down, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

And when you are suffering for the cause of Christ, or perhaps enduring broken health remember when you are weak in your flesh you must rely on God's strength which will bring glory to Him. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

When my perfume bottle broke the essence filled the air and caused my husband to think of me. Won’t you allow your breaks to remind those around of what a great and mighty God you serve, and show them the wonderful comfort His love can fulfill?

Perhaps my "Timeless" perfume break in causing my then boyfriend to think of me had a part in our relationship growing into a wonderful love that has endurd the test of time. The Love God has for you is far greater and is indeed Timeless even endless – nothing can separate you from the Love of God.

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37 – 39

I love you ladies – have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Free Indeed!

This week my husband and I have had the joy and privilege of having 6 of our grandchildren with us. Before they arrived we set a plan for each day as well as some ground rules. We gave them certain boundaries for their own protection.

When I was growing up the entire society practiced those same beliefs. We had dress standards at school, and believe me if we didn’t meet those standards we were sent home! Girls were required to wear a dress or skirt – they had to be long enough and modest…not too tight. The boys had to wear collared shirts (tucked in) and pants with a belt. I recall girls being sent home if their dresses were too short – they held strictly to their rules. The truth is that as long as we stayed within the boundaries we were free to wear what we wanted.

Sometime in the early 70’s a boy fought for “freedom” to dress as he pleased – claiming his constitutional right to have freedom of speech (or expression) – he won the case and the dress standards went away; to many folks that seemed like a great victory – now everyone had “freedom.”

Now let’s fast forward a few years…today most schools require students to wear a uniform to school. Students have NO FREEDOM to dress as they please – they must wear a specific color, type of shirt and pant. I believe this is the perfect example of the fact that boundaries and standards give us freedom and are not a form of bondage as many folks believe.

There seems to be a new generation of Christians that believe that standards are crippling their freedom to express their hearts. Christians have liberty – that is true – however those that believe liberty means no boundaries, or living just like the world are of the same mindset as those that led to the bondage of uniforms in the public school system. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.” I Corinthians 10:23, 24 In other words – as a Christian I certainly can do whatever I please – I will not lose my salvation, I will remain a child of God, and still be able to go to Heaven, however just because I CAN do things, doesn’t mean that in doing them I am doing what is best for myself or more importantly the very lost souls I am here to try to reach for Christ.

It is better for the world to see that there is a difference between the lost and the saved! And quite frankly as Christians our lives should reflect our Saviour. We should understand that we are free from the desire for those things that are not in our best interest, or that would cause the lost to stumble at our actions or behavior. It is a funny thing how that people that are not Christians always seem to know how Christians should behave!

The truth is true freedom is only found when there are boundaries and protection from harm. Think of babies – would any good parent simply allow their baby to just go outside with no restrictions at all? CPS would remove a child from the home that maintained that type of practice towards their children…so why is it questioned when the pastor wants to encourage a safe environment for the members of the church God has called him to oversee? Jesus said in John 8:31, 32, 36, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” In the Book of Psalms we see that we can be free what we seek God’s Word… “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Psalm 119:45 Our freedom is promised when we continue in God’s Word…that in itself indicates that freedom is always found when there are safeguards or boundaries that will protect us from danger!

I had this thought the other as I passed a yard with a dog that was on a chain along with another dog that had no chain. There was a fence around the yard to keep the dogs in, and to keep passers by safe! (I have not had the best experiences with dogs - bitten 3 times!). The owner said that the dogs were free to roam the yard, however the one with the chain was not content to stay within the set boundaries – so he had to be chained so that he would not jump the fence and face the certain danger of the traffic like one of his previous dogs had done that was killed by a car.

Of course we know this is true with the law, we are free to live within the law – but if we break the law we are judged and become in bondage (or imprisoned). As Christians we are free from the bondage of sin – we are free from the penalty of sin, and the boundaries that God sets forth in His Word are for our protection to keep us free from the bondage that sin will certainly bring.

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” I Corinthians 9:27

Thank God I am free, free, free
From this world of sin.
I've been washed in the blood of Jesus,
I’ve been born again.
Hallelujah, I’m saved, saved, saved
By His wonderful grace.
I’m so glad that I found out
He could bring me out
And show me the way.

Ladies, let’s remember that freedom is not found in the world’s view of freedom – life with no boundaries, but rather freedom is granted when we follow the way God has shown us to live!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Curious? Ok – well here it is for the record.

For 25 years I have been a Christian. I received the Lord on May 9, 1985. From that day to today there have been many changes in me and in my life style. There are many things I do and don’t do because of what and how the Lord has worked in my life, and lately I have had several ladies asking me questions because they were curious – so here are my answers…for the record. I will be answering one question a day as this article would be too long to give all my answers in one day!

Do I always ONLY wear dresses (skirts) and why?

Yes, I always only wear a dress or skirt because the Lord placed that conviction on my heart shortly after I got saved. You see when I first became a Christian I heard that all the answers I needed in my life could be found in the Bible. To my thinking I imagined then that the Bible was somewhat like a cookbook. I could look something up and find the “recipe.” Well, as a young mother (I was 27 at the time with 4 children ages 5 and under) I wanted the “recipe” for being a good mother; I wanted to know how to raise my children.

As I began my quest I started looking in the index of my new Bible (concordance) and couldn’t quite find a specific recipe that said, “How to raise kids.” The Lord did however lead me to several different verses and one of them was Deuteronomy 22:5 which says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

Now, when I read that verse the first thought that came to my mind was, “oh no! That means God doesn’t want me to wear pants.” I was not excited with that news especially as I had a closet full of pants! The next morning as I was getting dressed I tried to convince myself that I had surely misunderstood what the Bible said, after all I was a new Christian and almost all women wear pants all the time. Well, as I got dressed every time I saw myself in my mirror filled room (we had mirrored closet doors on one wall, my dresser with a mirror on it on another wall, and a vanity with a mirror above the sink on yet another wall) in my heart the Lord was saying “look at you, you know that is not how I want you to dress – are you really going to just ignore what you read last night?” Well after a 20 minute struggle I gave in and told the Lord I would submit to what He wanted for me. I changed my clothes and have not worn pants since that time.

I have had many women say that the pants they wear were not made for men; they are “women’s” pants, and therefore women’s clothing. I suppose that is possible however God did deal with my heart specifically and from His Word – so even if that is the case I believe that I should stand on the conviction God placed on my heart from His Word instead of moving away from it because of someone else’s beliefs. I am not being mean spirited, legalistic, or judgmental – I am just obeying what God placed on my heart. I know for a fact that God does not want me to wear pants.

I would also say that there are other reasons I believe a woman should be careful about pants, first because of what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 22:5, but then also because of various ads and articles I’ve read about pants. For the designers pants are all about making the woman’s rear look good. I have seen full page articles about how a woman’s rear is her temple; how that a woman should try on every pair of pants before making the purchase and doing various “rear” tests to make sure it shows off the shape while walking, dancing, trying to allure men, etc. To my thinking – this doesn’t sound like anything I am aiming for so why would I consider them as anything I would put on my body – which the Bible says is the temple of the Holy Spirit!

I can quote Scripture after Scripture about why I believe God wants women and men to dress differently from each other, and why He wants Christian women to dress differently from unsaved women – but the bottom line to me is that God dealt with my heart specifically and so for me it would be wrong to wear pants.

I also believe that to lower the standard of dress is an expression of what is on the inside. (The King’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.) If I love the Lord with all my heart, mind, and soul – and if “whatsoever I do” is to be for the glory of God – I don’t want my choice of clothing to be excluded from those decisions. That lowering of the standard makes a statement to those that have been watching and it says, “see, it was that church, or that religion that was forcing her to dress that way – now she’s “back to normal.” Lowering my dress standard may negate my testimony to those I have been witnessing to for (in some cases) 25 years! The change God made in me is real – it wasn’t manufactured, it wasn’t forced upon me by someone I admired – it is the working of the Holy Spirit in me as I seek to “be more like Him.”

The second part of this question would then naturally be if I hold it against or look down upon women that wear pants…and my answer would be “no.” I don’t believe a woman should be made to feel guilty and forced to my standard, or made to dress a certain way “because of rules.” Oh, I believe that a pastor has every right to require worker’s to follow specific guidelines – after all even McDonald’s requires their employees to wear a uniform at work, as do airlines which not only require them while on duty, but any time they fly! Our choices and decisions for what we do for God must come from the heart. “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:” Ephesians 6:6, 7

Ladies, what you wear and how you choose to dress is between you and God – but really make it between you and God – ask the Lord in earnest how He wants you to dress, “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” God will let you know what He wants for you and then you can with joy and full assurance know that you are “doing the will of God from the heart.”

I love you and pray that you will have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Will You Be a Ruth?

I have been heavy hearted and praying for someone that is very dear to me as she is struggling with discouragement, depression, and even leaning towards bitterness. In my prayer for her the Lord brought the book of Ruth to my mind. I began to think of Naomi who suffered through financial reversal that caused her to leave her home land. She then lost her husband, and both of her sons!

Naomi was so distraught she didn’t even want people to call her by her given name which means “pleasantness;” and requested that people instead call her Mara which means “bitter.” On one hand I can understand why she felt that way, but as a Christian we know that the bitterness she felt could do nothing to help or heal her broken heart – she probably didn’t really want to be healed, she wanted her life to be the way she wanted it – with her husband, sons, money…with everything that made her happy and met her needs.

God had a different plan for Naomi, and He brought her exactly what she needed…Ruth. Since I started looking at the meaning of names – Ruth means friend. When Naomi was struggling, God sent her a friend. Now, Ruth was Naomi’s daughter-in-law, but she was the friend she needed at the most trying time of her life.

I would like to look at what Ruth did for Naomi that made all the difference.

1. She didn’t give in to Naomi’s self-destructive requests. Because Naomi was depressed and bitter, she didn’t want anyone around her – she was sending her daughters-in-law away from her so that she could be alone to bask in her depression. Ruth refused to leave and what she said to her is one of the most quoted verses in weddings, “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” These words were spoken to let Naomi know that she was truly loved! Ruth was indeed a true friend to Naomi.

2. She took care of her and supported her. When Ruth left her own family and religion behind and moved to Naomi’s homeland she got a job so that she could take care of her.

3. She did not lose respect for Naomi. Even though Naomi was struggling with depression and bitterness – Ruth still honoured and respected her; she followed her advice about where to get a job, and how to behave towards her new boss.

4. Ruth was used of God to breathe new life in Naomi as she followed her counsel and saw that there was hope for a future family.

5. After Ruth remarried and had a child, God was praised for the outcome, and others reminded Naomi that God blessed her and took care of her. “And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Ruth 4:14-17
Naomi thought that she would never have a family and God allowed her to be a grandma and nurse to King David's grandfather!

It is my prayer that I may be used to be a Ruth to someone in need. Ladies, won’t you pray and ask God to use you as well to be such a friend that will help someone’s bitterness return to pleasantness. As Christians we know that we have such a Friend in Jesus, but we also know that God wants us to give that same help to those in need. II Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

If you are struggling like Naomi, trying to understand why things haven’t turned out as you've hoped – please consider the end of the Naomi’s story…and if I may I’ll pray that God sends you a “Ruth.”

I love you and want you to know that God loves even more!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Spare the Rice!

Its summer time! I remember as a child being so excited for summer – not having to go to school, no homework, being able to stay up later at night and sleep a little longer in the morning –but after about 2 weeks the excitement wore off. We all do better when we’re on a “planned” schedule than when we are just loafing and wandering through each day. Pretty soon the day seems too long, and well it’s easy to get in trouble when we are not occupied!

As the oldest of five children, and the only girl – I was rarely not occupied:) My brothers on the other hand were younger and had less responsibility than I did, so they definitely had too much time on their hands. This reminds me of the parable in Matthew 19. Verses 13 and 14 say, “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” In other words they didn’t want to submit to who and what was given and expected of them.

I recall one time in particular when my grandparents were staying with us and my brothers began to complain about being bored. Now, they had plenty of things to do – they could clean their rooms, they could play in the backyard, play games, read a book – numerous things…but they didn’t want to do any of those things – they chose instead to whine – bad move! My grandfather very wisely invented something to keep them occupied…he grabbed a bag of long grained rice and emptied the contents on the carpet and then said, “so, you’re bored, well this will keep you busy – pick up all the rice!”

I suppose to some of you that may sound a little harsh or at the very least wasteful – but it taught all of us some very valuable lessons.

1. If you’ve got something to do – do it!

2. Don’t complain or whine about the task at hand – you could be given a less desirable task.

3. It is better to learn to enjoy doing what you can do than to murmur and complain…you just might spend your life doing menial tasks to keep you occupied instead of accomplishing something worthwhile.

So moms, if you’ve got school aged kids at home – help them (and yourself) by making a schedule (not too rigid).

1. Have a getting up and going to bed “no later than” time. (Sometimes kids get up earlier than we wish – but don’t let them stay in bed too late in the morning.)

2. Have your meals at the same time every day

3. Read to your younger children every day – especially before nap time if they still nap, or after lunch for a cooling down time.

4. Include outside time – running around and burning all their energy! (This can be at home in the yard, going to the park, or going for a walk in the neighborhood.)

5. Give your kids incentives to get the “work” done. (for example: if you clean your room well, we will go to the park; set a timer and let them know it must be done within that time)

6. Have happy music playing and sing with your kids – while your cooking and they’re playing with “sit down in the house” toys.

7. Have Bible time and pray with your kids every day – let them hear you pray for them the things that are on your heart – and when they begin to behave in answer to your prayer – let them know how pleased you are!

Occupy - yes, be occupied and teach your kids to stay occupied…it’s a whole lot better than spending your time picking up all those grains of rice!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Has Yours Been Recorded?

Yesterday was the 4th of July – the day we celebrate the birth of our nation. We call it Independence Day because on that day we became a nation “independent” from the Kingdom of Great Britain. A great price was paid for our freedom by the founders of this great country. Our independence is recorded in the Declaration of Independence which we celebrate each year on the 4th of July.

Yesterday, I received a call from my 5-year old granddaughter Brooklynn letting me know that she got saved – meaning that she had received Christ as her personal Saviour. According to the Bible, yesterday was the day she was “born again” (John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”) Tears of joy streamed down my eyes as I heard my precious little granddaughter tell me of her great decision.

As I spoke with my son he told me all that had transpired, how that Brooklynn had told her mom in the afternoon that she wanted to get saved. Before leaving church she told her pastor that she was going to get saved when she got home. As her mom spoke with her and made sure she fully understood what she was doing and detailed the plan of salvation, my son recorded his first born daughter praying and asking the Lord to save her, trusting Him as her Saviour.

Here is the web page where you view the recording of Miss Brookie (as my husband affectionately calls her) praying with her mom; it is a special treasure for me to behold. As my husband and I were talking about how rare it is that someone would have their salvation “recorded” it struck me that truly there is a recording of everyone who gets saved…in heaven.

The Bible assures us that God records our lives in many ways...

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.” Job 16:19

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Psalms 56:8

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Revelations 20:12

Clearly every event in our life in “recorded,” but the most important recording is of the time when a person receives Christ and has their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelations 20:15

The Lord is patiently waiting for you to come to Him, to turn from your unbelief in His ability to save you to believing that indeed He is just as He said in John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2Peter 3:9

I began to ponder and realized that just as our country celebrates her birth as a nation and her freedom, our granddaughter too has been made free - free from sin. "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin..." And just as our country's freedom was purchased with a price, great sacrifice - so the freedom from sin was purchased with great price - the blood of Christ our Saviour!

We have such joy in hearts knowing that our granddaughter had her name “recorded” in the Lamb’s Book of Life, in fact there has been quite a celebration going on. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” I am praying that if your name hasn’t yet been recorded or written in the Lamb’s Book of Life that today would be YOUR day- your independence day! If you make that decision, please let me know so that we may share in that joy!

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Because, Because, Because

Because God loves me…

He sent His only Son to shed His blood, die on the cross, pay my sin debt, and purchase my pardon so that I could have eternal life!

He sealed my salvation with the Holy Spirit – that dwells in me to comfort me, teach me, prompt me, interpret my prayers to God on my behalf, fill me so that I can be used of God.

He gave me the Word of God – a love letter from God Himself! A guide map to show me the way I should go, and which ways I should avoid and the history lessons that help me to learn from other’s triumphs and mistakes.

He gives me love, joy, peace, understanding, wisdom, knowledge, strength, health, air to breathe, water to drink, a means to get food to eat, to earn money, basically – He Gave and continues to give Everything!

Because I love God…

I want to spend time with Him – in His Word, in prayer, in His house!

I show my appreciation to Him for all He has done for me

He died for me, I live for Him

I try as best I can to do what pleases Him

Because I love you…

I want you to be able to have the salvation that Jesus purchased for you

I want you to experience the joy, love, peace, blessed hope and assurance that God has for you.

I want you to have everlasting life – not everlasting death…here’s how:

The Bible Way to Heaven

First, realize God loves you. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Bible teaches that regardless of your background, age, race, or any other factor, God loves you and desires a genuine, personal relationship with you.

Second, realize everyone is a sinner. The Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” No one is perfect. We have all broken God’s commandments. This is called sin, and it separates us from God.

Third, realize sin has a price that must be paid. Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The “wage” or payment for our sin is death, which according to the Bible is eternal separation from God in a place called Hell.

Fourth, realize Jesus Christ died to pay the price for your sin. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” If we choose to accept Christ, we do not have to pay the price of death and Hell for our sins because Jesus paid for our sins when He died on the cross and rose again three days later!

Finally, pray and ask Jesus Christ to be your Saviour, and claim His promise of eternal life. In Romans 10:13 the Bible says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is a promise directly from God that if you will pray to Him, confess that you are a sinner, ask Him to forgive your sins, and accept Him as your Saviour; He promises to save you and give you the free gift of eternal life.

There is no requirement for “religion” it is an offer to receive the gift Christ purchased on the cross. If you’ll notice in John 3:16 the only “condition” is to believe in Him, not to simply believe that He exists. That means to trust Christ to receive everlasting life. There is no mention of sacraments or steps to take – it is an offer that you can accept or reject. My prayer is that you will accept His offer and His provision…John 14:6 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” God offered it to “whosoever believeth” because He loves us. I love Him because He first loved me; and because I love you I want you to receive His gift as well. Won’t you trust Christ today? You never have to tell me, but it would be a blessing if you did. I hope to see you in heaven. I love you.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This is Done Because...

On May 9, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of my salvation date. I remember that day so clearly – I remember the fear I felt when my friend started telling me about what the Bible says, and then the calm that came over me as “a still, small voice said, “its okay to listen Terrie, it’s the Bible.” I remember the “joy unspeakable” I felt as I was driving home from my friend’s house KNOWING I was on my way to heaven. So much has happened since that time – so many changes have occurred in my life and my family.

Some of the changes that have occurred obviously would have happened anyway because of time; but there are so many changes that happened specifically because of what Christ did in my life. Some of the changes the Lord has made in me – some things I have changed by decision after being convicted by the Holy Spirit. The Lord has worked and created a new heart in me; He has made me a new creature in Christ.

This morning as I was reading my Bible I read the following verse, “And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:8. After reading from that verse I thought of the many times I have been asked about why I live the way I do, why I dress the way I dress, and why I avoid things that many people embrace…and I have given the answer that I live the way I live because of what the Lord has done for me over and over through the years.

Egypt is symbolic of the “world” and when the Lord brought them out of Egypt it is a picture of salvation. God provided the salvation and those that did not believe could not enter the Promised Land, but instead wandered in the wilderness until they died. “But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:17-19. These people were all saved out of Egypt (from the world), but they refused to trust God enough to rest in Him.

Similarly today, salvation has been purchased by the blood of Christ, and those that truly believe are saved as were the children of Israel when God brought them out of Egypt. The ones that could not enter "into His rest" didn’t believe God enough to allow Him to make changes in their lives. They were the ones that didn’t trust God to give them the victory; they murmured when they couldn’t see an easy answer to their problems…they had no faith and it was evidenced by their lack of trust in God. They had just witnessed all the miracles God had done in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and yet they wanted to go back to being slaves because of the food they enjoyed and the security they had in their jobs and homes. They didn’t like the changes; they were “uncomfortable.”

Many new Christians fear the changes that Salvation may bring because they are just like the children of Israel – they want to hold on to things they have enjoyed even if it means they are in bondage. If that is you, may I say that in Christ there is fulness of joy. I don’t regret a single change that the Lord has made in our lives – I have peace that passes understanding and yes, joy unspeakable, I can rest in God's promises. I can guarantee that living a life resting in God is much more pleasant than wandering in a wilderness.

So my question and challenge to you today ladies, is what things in your life is the Lord asking you to change? What changes in your life will you say, “This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me…?” Ladies, I love you and desire that you may enjoy all that God has for you. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Feel Cool or Be Full

A couple of weeks ago we were able to visit with one of our sons on the occasion of his son’s K5 graduation, as well as our son’s birthday. While visiting we were treated to a day of fun at Disneyland! We were not exactly prepared for that type of day trip so we did not have the right kind of shoes for a day of walking. We tried as best we could to rush to the store and get what we needed so that we could be on our way.

On our way out of town we stopped to get gas for the 1.5 hour drive. We waited in the car while my husband was filling the tank. After a couple of moments he opened the door of the car to grab a Gospel tract, and then a minute later he grabbed another – this did not surprise me as my husband is an avid soulwinner:) Several moments later we watched as my husband lead the woman at the gas station to bow her head and heart in prayer asking the Lord to save her soul – Praise the Lord!

When my husband got back in the car we discussed the transaction that was made and he said that the woman told him she had heard of salvation, and wanted to know how to be saved, but that no one had taken the time to tell her. She had visited churches and had been “hungry” for the truth – and yet never satisfied:(

Today in my Bible reading I read Matthew 21:18 which says, “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” After reading that I thought of the woman at the gas station and realized that perhaps she had gone to many “fig trees” due to hunger and kept finding “nothing but leaves.” All too often we get too busy going about our own business and forget to consider those that are hungry and needy. We make sure we look good, and may even work at making people feel cool about themselves, but in fact that offers nothing that truly satisfies.

As I pondered that idea I decided to look up some facts about fig trees to see what would make the difference between a fig tree that produces fruit and one that has nothing but leaves; I can’t say I found a definitive answer or solution, but I did find one snippet of information that is very interesting.

“Figs are well suited to containers, which restrict their root growth and, in turn, make them more fruitful. In containers, figs will experience less vegetative growth and have more energy for the production of fruit. They will need to be watered more often though.”

So, what does that teach me? I’m glad you asked:)

1. Figs will produce more fruit when they are grown in an atmosphere with boundaries. To me this translates to mean that if we want to produce fruit we should live a holy, consecrated life.

2. These boundaries will restrict root growth (the root is a part of the body of a plant that develops, anchoring the plant and absorbing nutriment and moisture). Growth in a controlled environment hinders the outward (worldly) growth and secures what nutrients and moisture are being absorbed to anchor the plant. As Christians we do better when we are absorbing the nutrients within a holy and consecrated environment.

3. When the vegetative growth is hindered there is more energy to produce fruit. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

4. Growing to produce fruit in a controlled environment requires more frequent watering. As Christians we should be “watered” with the Word of God daily so that we will be holy. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Ephesians 5:26

Sure having leaves may provide shade, (make people feel cool) but bearing fruit sustains life (be full)! Ladies, today why not make sure that you are keeping yourself in an environment that gives you more energy to produce fruit - you might just meet someone that is hungry today!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hallelujah Anyhow!

Today as I sit to write this blog, I am praying that I may be able to convey to everyone that might read this all that God has placed in my heart. As you know this past six months has been indeed a life changing experience for me...and I am not talking about the "change" that occurs to women in my age group. I am talking about this wonderful adventure that we are experiencing by the grace of God.

My husband was called to plant a church in Oakdale, CA, and so here we are! We moved here believing that God would take care of us and meet our needs and He has miraculously provided exceeding, abundantly ABOVE ALL that we have asked or even thought He would do!

Right now I am sitting in my new home - at the time of my last writing I knew that God was going to provide it - at the right time - and He certainly did...without a minute to lose! We moved on a Friday morning - and as of the Thursday morning before our move, the house we hoped for (and also the only one available at the time we needed to move) was not secured. The landlord was unsure if she wanted to rent her home to a pastor that had a church of less than 3 months old. I must admit I went through a grueling afternoon on Thursday, crying and asking God what I was supposed to do...and He wasn't giving me an answer...(which was His answer)"do nothing; wait!" Finally after 5:00 pm on Thursday afternoon we received the call that the house was ours! Praise the Lord!

Yesterday we held a baptism service and we had 14 potential people that had agreed to be baptized; perhaps it was a lack of faith on my part, but I was praying that God would bless us and give us 7 baptisms (I already knew of a few folks that were unable to get baptized yesterday), and 40 in attendance for our morning service. Well, we had 35 in attendance and 1 does that mean God didn't answer my prayer? I don't think so, and here's why.

Well, let me first start by telling you a little about the day yesterday. It started off with the phone ringing...for those of you in the ministry I am sure you know that when the phone rings on a Sunday morning - it is not usually good news:) It is normally someone letting you know that they can't be in church - discouraging to say the least. Then ladies, you'll be able to understand the "pain" I suffered when after doing one side of my hair - my flat iron died! I have very curly, frizzy, hair - and my flat iron died! on Sunday morning...ugh! Fortunately, I had an old flat iron that worked well enough to finish my hair - though it did not turn out quite as I would have liked. To top that off the hose that leads to the water softener in our garage slipped out of the pipe and flooded the garage! Satan was definitely camping out on our doorstep. Well after all those things we recognized who was attacking us, praised the Lord singing "Hallelujah Anyhow...I never let my troubles get me down; When the trials come my way, I hold my head up high and say, "Hallelujah Anyhow!"

Now, after such a morning it would seem that by not having the attendance I hoped for both in the service and in the baptism tank that I would be discouraged and even charge God for not answering the way I hoped...but that is not the case at all. Philippians 4:4-7 says, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Perhaps I didn't get the exact "number" I was praying for, but I had asked that God bless us, and that He did! I am rejoicing in the Lord - He blessed us yesterday with a great service, a sweet spirit, visitors, and a baptism. If you'll notice the commandment is to rejoice, show moderation (meaning calm, patience, temperance), then we are reminded that God is "at hand," so...don't worry about anything, pray letting God know you will be thankful with the outcome He gives, and then He will give you peace to accept what you get. I am rejoicing in the many blessings He has provided, and He has given me tremendous peace:)

Some might call it a "Pollyanna" attitude, but I believe that we should pray and then trust that God's outcome is best regardless of what we think...Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Haven't discovered what good will come out of a broken flat iron yet, but I'll keep you posted...but as the song says, when your troubles come your way, hold your head us high and say, "hallelujah anyhow!" love you ladies!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exceeding Abundantly

On November 14, 2009, we packed our belongings and moved to Oakdale, CA, where God was sending us to begin a new work for His Glory. We left behind our children, grandchildren, parents, other relatives, church family, and friends in answer to God’s call. We had no promise of income, no idea of where our new church would meet, and did not know a soul – yet, we went knowing that this is what God wanted us to do, and where He wanted us to go.

As we began to attend local churches in the area (within an hour) before our Grand Opening service, we found that many folks had been praying that a church would start in Oakdale – in fact one church had nearly started a work here, but God closed that door at the time...He had it all planned for us to come to Oakdale before we had any idea.

Little by little we began to be amazed at God’s mighty provision – He provided a home in the country free of rent or utility fees for 6 months! We began hearing nearly daily from pastors of the many churches we had contacted asking for support, and we began to see souls saved…lots of them!

We had our Grand Opening service with 39 in attendance. We have had a high day of 69 on Easter Sunday, and 56 on Mother’s Day – we have seen 88 souls trust Christ as their personal Saviour since January 1, 2010; we’ve had 11 souls follow in Believer’s Baptism, and the Lord has been blessing the ministry.

On May 3, 2010, we received a phone call from our landlord informing us that on May 17, there was a group coming to stay at the house where we have been living, and that we would need to be out by May 14, (17 days sooner than expected); my husband and I were surprised, but we had complete peace that God was in control and that He would provide. We had been praying for $2500 that would be required for rent and deposit for a “new” home, but we had not received anything…yet.

Fully trusting God for His outcome and provision we began to see His hand at work to miraculously meet this need! We received a love offering (unexpected) – woo-hoo – Praise the Lord! Then we received another check from a church whose pastor we do not know! (marked “housing for pastor”); on Easter Sunday we received an email informing us of another church that would begin to support us…on top of that we had a blessed day in church with a sense that God was moving in an unusual way! On Monday, we received 2 more support checks, plus a another check for housing – now it was adding up – we had nearly half the amount we had been praying for when we realized that we would need at the very least a refrigerator, plus a washer and drier…and now down to 4 days before we must move out – and still not enough cash on hand, nor the place to “move,” yet KNOWING that God would provide and that He had it all taken care of.

We received a phone call from a college tour group asking if they could come to our church for a Tuesday night – but of course with our new ministry we could not have a service because our meeting place is booked every night; so they offered to come soul winning with us and asked if we would be willing to feed the group – by the end of the conversation my husband had promised to go soulwinning, house and feed the tour group in our “new home” and we still don’t know where that is going to be…and we have no refrigerator! (Are we nuts? Maybe, but we really believe that God is going to provide).

This morning we prayed especially that God would give us an answer before my parents (who were in town visiting) left, and as we were loading the car my husband received a phone call letting him know that we would be receiving a sizable check that would more than cover the immediate need!!! So, now we have the money for the housing, the refrigerator, the washer and dryer!! God has miraculously answered our prayers. Now, we still do not have a confirmed answer from the landlord of the house we wish to rent – but we trust the Lord and know that He has it all worked out!

We are humbled and honored that God would allow us to testify of His mighty power, and that we have the privilege to bring Glory and Honor to our Savior as we tell of His great love and provision…we are unworthy, but so very grateful.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20, 21

God is so good - trust Him and have a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moments of Grace

Today I spoke at a Mother/Daughter Banquet. I thank the Lord for the privilege and opportunity to share with others the truths He places on my heart. The theme was “Moments of Grace.” As I pondered and prayed asking the Lord what He would have me bring to the ladies, I was blessed by the awesome realization that every moment we breathe is by the grace of God.

Grace – I have heard of several meanings for that word – the acrostic


Grace: getting something good that we don’t deserve as opposed to mercy which is not getting something bad that we do deserve

Grace is the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
It is a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
It is moral strength: the grace to perform a duty.

In Ephesians 3, (3:1-13) Paul is talking to the church about the grace God had given him…the grace to learn, the grace to teach, the grace to serve, the grace to preach, the grace to make men see (another form of teaching – getting people to understand), the grace to suffer for the sake or good of others – and because of that he prayed…

Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

The many graces God gave Paul led him to desire the most important thing we would need - to know the love of Christ so that we might be filled with the fullness of God. The way to get to that love was to be strengthened by His Spirit…or the Holy Ghost.

John 14:26 "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 have said unto you."

Now you may be wondering what any of that has to do with a mother, or Mother’s Day, but the truth is there is a very close connection to the role of the mother and that of the Holy Spirit.

Isa 66:13 "As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem."

The role of the mother is likened to that of the Holy Spirit – or the comforter.
God gives mothers grace… so that we will raise our children to desire the most important thing…to know the love of Christ so that they might be filled with the fullness of God. As mothers we desire to strengthen our children (as the Holy Ghost does) so they’ll get an understanding of love - our love for them, and ultimately God's love for them. We receive this grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense) which helps us to get a glimpse of the love of God.

As mothers God give us grace…

To learn –and perhaps begin to understand, or get a glimpse of the love of God when we become mothers. As children we don’t understand love in that same way. We love our parents and are dependent on them, but we don’t comprehend their sacrificial love, their unconditional love, their tough love…as mothers by God’s grace we learn of God’s love in a new way.

To teach – as mothers we become our children’s first teacher. We teach our children whether we try to or not, because they learn by observation – so you can teach them on purpose or not – either way we are our children’s first teachers.

To serve – as mothers God gives us the grace to serve our children – we feed them, we bathe them, we change their diapers, we rearrange our schedules; and quite frankly mothers will serve their children as much as they can all their days. I am 52 years old, and my mother will still do what she can to help me – my children are 30, 28, 27 & 25 years old and I would be willing to do anything I could to serve or help them – by the grace of God being a mother has taught me to serve, and to understand what God is willing to do for me!

To preach – now I know, women are not to be pastors – but the commandment is given to preach the gospel to every creature – preaching is by definition giving earnest advice on religious or moral truths, right conduct. Every mother preaches to her kids – mother is the first one to teach her children about God – how important God is (that is dependent on how important He is to you). I can attest to this personally – I was saved when I was 27 years old – my youngest son was only 2 months old when I was saved. As the mother of 4 children and as a new Christian, I found that the best time I could read my Bible was when I was feeding the baby – with 4 little ones aged 5 and under, you can imagine that I was quite busy caring for my home and kids – so sitting and reading was not something I had in my schedule. I recall one time in particular that I sat to feed Jon and my Bible was in the other room, so I wasn’t able to read my Bible – and when my 2 ½ year old Kellie noticed, she ran into the other room and brought me my Bible…I had not even been saved 3 months and she already knew! That taught me a lesson – I had preached the importance of reading my Bible to my daughter without even saying a word!

To Make Men See…as a mother we experience the joy of seeing our children begin to understand – they understand our expressions, they understand they are safe when we hold them and rock them, when we comfort them. They understand the meaning of words as we speak to them, they understand right from wrong as we train and discipline them…these are moments of grace - and these moments help us to realize that sometimes the difficult things we endure "help us to see" God's love and plan for our lives.

All of these graces – these times we experience God’s riches are moments of grace.

There is yet one more grace…

To suffer – as mothers we willingly suffer for our children. We will go without so that our children won’t have to be without. Of course we endure the suffering of labor and delivery (unless of course you are like me who really didn’t have much pain to speak of – 11 hours of labor for all four children combined!). However, as mothers we suffer anytime our children are hurting, we suffer when our children are broken-hearted, sick, sad; troubled…all of these things we suffer with them, and would willingly suffer for them or in their place if we could. We then can better understand the love of God and the fact that He willingly suffered and died for us on the cross – because as mothers we would do the same for our children; we would die for them. When God saw that we were dead in our sins – He came to earth in the form of a man – and Jesus died for us!

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You know as mothers the only way a child is ours is if it is born to us – no child can work their way to become our children – they are either born to us, or adopted by us, but the children can’t work their way into becoming “ours.” Now remember that the role of the mother is likened to that of the Holy Spirit – so, just as our children must be born or adopted by us, Christians too must be born of the Spirit of God…

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint–heirs with Christ;”
Romans 8:14-17

Perhaps you aren’t sure if you have been saved by grace – if you have received the Spirit of adoption, meaning that you have been born again into the family of God, or if you have been saved by grace, but you can be today. You can know the love of God, receive forgiveness of your sin, and receive the gift of eternal life through Christ – because when we were dead in our sin – he paid our sin debt “the wages of sin is death…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Wouldn’t you like to be joint heirs with Christ and inherit the riches of glory – won’t you receive Him today?

All of these graces lead us to desire that our children would be strengthened in His Spirit, to know, to understand, to comprehend the love of God – so that they may know His fulness.

Moments of Grace in Motherhood – what a privilege we have to experience and truly understand the love of God – by His grace. Moms let appreciate these moments as we experience God’s riches at Christ expense – Happy Mother’s Day!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lift 'em Up!

I have always been considered by my husband (and children) to be on the picky side when it comes to restaurants, hotels, or even general places we would go for entertainment. It would not be unusual for me to go to a restaurant, perhaps get seated, and then determine that the establishment was below my "standard" for "acceptable." I always think that if I am going to pay for something, than it should be worth the time and investment.

The thing about "standards" is that they are individual because what may be acceptable to one is not acceptable to another. For example, I am not comfortable with most restaurants that have the name "pit" in them. Not because of the name, but because most of the ones I have visited have been just that "pits." My husband on the other hand usually looks around and says, "I don't see anything wrong with it." Is he wrong? No. Am I wrong? No. We have our own standards and there is no law that says that when it comes to restaurants only one standard is acceptable.

The word standard has a lot of different meanings. It can mean the customary size of something (like a standard bed - meaning double), or it can mean a rule or principle used as a basis for judgment; and it means morals, ethics, or habits established by authority. Standard is a sticky word for a lot of people because they don't want someone else's standards imposed on them. If a church has standards for its workers often the church is labeled as "legalistic." But the truth is we all have standards - whether of our own choosing, or by those that have been authority figures in our lives.

Standard has one other meaning that I especially like - and that is "a flag or emblematic figure" - the reason I like that one is because that is akin to the word "banner" and the Bible teaches us in Song of Solomon 2:4, "He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." That is a picture of when we are at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb - we will have a banner over us stating that the reason we are there is because the Lord loves us! That is a very pleasant picture in my mind, and one I look forward to beholding one day.

This morning in my Bible reading I was reading from Numbers and I found the word "standard" several times. In fact I read it 6 times in three chapters! The one verse especially that caught my attention was Numbers 2:2 "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch." This verse was saying that every person was to pitch their tent by their own standard (banner or flag)with the ensign of their Father's house. As I read this I thought of the tent as being their temporary home, like this world is for us (you know..."this world is not my home, I'm just a passing through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue..."). I further thought of the ensign of their Father, and I thought that where they lived should show who they are, and who their daddy was.

After pondering that verse I thought really that means then that a home should be set up by standards that show who the Father that is where the two standards meet together - the banner type of standard,(something set up) and also the standard that is established by my authority (my heavenly Father) - in other words I should set up my standards so that people know I am a Christian; that God is my Father! I would like to have a banner over my house that says, "I love my Father and I am trying to live in a manner that brings glory and honour to Him!"

I can't tell you what your standards should be, but I can tell you that your standards tell others who you are, and whether or not you are willing to let others know Who your Father is! Whatever standards you hold for your life - one thing is sure...we are only ever commanded to set up or lift up a ladies don't lower your standards - lift 'em up!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Today is Good Friday - Easter is this Sunday, and it will be the first time since 1979 that we haven't had any of our children with us for the holiday. We are spending the day today with our oldest son and his family, and then on Monday we will spend time with them again, as as well as with our daughter and her family; we're making the best of it:) One of the things that has been on my mind is making sure that our kids are taken care of for the holiday...I know, I know they are all grown, married, and have their own children - but a mom never stops being a mom! Thankfully the two that live close to each other are spending Easter Day together.

Yesterday I read a "tweet" from one of my sons as he was happy that one of his converts had been baptized, has been faithfully attending church, and has begun attending a discipleship class. I was blessed as I read it, and then further blessed when I saw that our other son responded to his tweet expressing his shared happiness and encouragement to his brother...truly my soul was blessed. I started thinking about how much it means to us moms to have our children love each other, get along with each other, and really share a close relationship together. I am very thankful that our children are close and though 2 of them are separated by many miles from the other 2, our children all still talk with each other, and keep a close relationship.

I am convinced that this desire is one placed on our hearts by our Heavenly Father as He too desires that we, His children, love one another. I Thessalonians 4:9 says, "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." On the other side of this, God says that if we don't love our brethren, we don't love God...that is a very strong statement. It is very painful to God when His children do not love one another - and I believe that parents hold that same sentiment - it is heartbreaking when siblings don't get along.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." Psalm 133:1-3

Thank you Danny, Genny, Jason, Mary, Kellie, Dan, Jon, & Rachel for loving each other; it is a blessing to us and joy to our family! Happy Easter!

Today's song: God's Family

And sometimes we laugh together
Sometimes we cry
Sometimes we share together
Heartaches and sighs
Sometimes we dream together
Of how it will be
When we all get to heaven, God's family

Yes, this Easter we can't all be together, but one day we'll all be together forever! Have a wonderful day!