Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Woman's Center

In June of 2009, Yolanda Garvin-Williams, a nursing assistant, was on her way in to work at Parrish Medical Center. She was going to help a pregnant mother bring a new life into this world.

Yolanda had been in a violent domestic relationship but no one saw what happened that night coming. Yolanda had previously filed complaints with the Titusville, Florida Police Dept and they were looking to arrest the perpetrator. 

In fact, Eyewitness News learned that during her last month, the mother of four asked for a restraining order and said she was leaving him. Yolanda Williams wrote, "He told me if I filed for an injunction that I will never live to make it to court."

So during that fateful early morning, while she was heading into work, her estranged husband shot her four times, twice in the head, once in the arm and once in her chest. She was rushed into the Emergency Room at Parrish but they were not able to save her.

This is not the first story of domestic violence in Titusville. It’s all over. It’s in your neighborhoods, in your moms’ groups, even in congregations in churches around town. It’s sad, sick and godless.

God teaches husbands to LOVE their wives. In Ephesians 5:25 it says “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"  Christ did not take life. He gave it. He loved us so much that HE GAVE HIS LIFE for us, so that we could live. What love!

After Yolanda passed away, her family contacted the Woman’s Center in Melbourne and asked them to start a center in Titusville. This is how the Woman’s Center in Titusville came to be.  There are many women in this area who have already been blessed by this program. The Woman’s Center has lots or resources including a safe house, for these ladies to escape to.

So how can we as a church and as a community help?

We must first pray! Pray for these ladies as many of them need Jesus. They can escape their past but if they don’t have Jesus, they will have an even worse future. They need the Comforter and “the Perfect Man”, to come inside and lead them and LOVE them.
There are Christians that are in abusive relationships. We must continue to pray for them ,as well, and if you know one, give her the encouragement and resources to escape.

You can donate lots of different items to the center. These donations go to run their safe house as well as help the ladies start a new life. When these ladies escape, many times they leave with only the clothes on their back.

Donation Ideas are…
1.     Toiletries
2.     Non-Perishable Foods
3.     Children’s Clothing – All sizes
4.     Paper Goods (Toilet paper, Tissues…)
5.     Cleaning Supplies, Detergent…
6.     Plastic Goods (Freezer bags. Trash bags…)
7.     Over the Counter Medications
8.     Gift Cards (Walmart, Payless, Gas Stations…)
9.     Towels, Sheets…
10.  Diapers (all sizes but especially 4&5)
11.  Baby Items
12.  School Supplies

Just think, anything disposable that you would need in your house, they will most likely need as well.

Do you do something well that you can teach these women to do? The Woman’s Center is open to us coming in and teaching these women how to work, survive and start a new life.
1.     Maybe you’re a banker and you could teach them how to save money and keep a check book.
2.     Maybe you’re a mechanic and you could show them how to change a tire.
3.     Maybe you’re a cosmetologist and you could offer to give free haircuts.
4.     Maybe you’re a good cook and could teach them tricks on cooking on a budget.

Anything that could help these ladies grow and have a productive life is helpful.

LADIES, last but not least, you can also volunteer at the Woman’s Center. They have different projects as well as need help in their office.

If you don't live in this area, then look in your area. What can you do to help woman like these? - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Healthy" Is Not A Certain Number

I'm no health expert but I do enjoy the benefits of eating right and staying in shape. I have also experienced the results of not eating right or exercising. Here's my story...

When I got married, I put on the "happy 10." I fluctuated after that, but, by the time I found out that I was going to have a baby, I was a little over my healthy weight. My pregnancy had it's ups and downs. I had a LOT of nausea so I snacked constantly to keep it in check. By my 2nd trimester I was sick of eating and had to encourage myself to eat. 

I only gained about 20 lbs the whole pregnancy and I gained it all in front. If you know me, you know I have a small frame. At 4 1/2 months pregnant, I looked like I was 9 months pregnant.(This is January, baby wasn't born till almost June) 

But the facts are... I didn't actually gain any weight after my 5th month until my last couple weeks of pregnancy. At every appointment I would either be the same, or would have lost a pound or would have gained one back. It was pretty funny. So for 5 months (I went 42 weeks) I got these questions...

Them: Oh, so are your due any day?
Me: No, I have 5 (4,3,...) months
Them: *GASP* Wow, are you having twins?
Me: *smile* Nope!
Them: Have you checked?

...and on and on it would go...

After a while, I started getting a complex. In fact, I remember crying about my weight to Jeremy multiple times. 

I'm a VERY social person but I started hating to go out. I would avoid talking to people and their questions. It really hurt! 

Once I had the baby and lost the weight, it felt like a relief. I lost it pretty quickly. All I was doing was breastfeeding, but I lost more weight then I had gained during the pregnancy. I gained 20 and probably lost about 35lbs.  I felt vindicated. "You all teased me about my weight and look at me now." I started enjoying wearing size 4s then size 2 and then size 0. It was great to be so skinny. 

Now, I never starved myself but I didn't encourage myself to eat as much as I should. So baby A got all of my nutrients and fat, and I depleted myself. I would get so busy that I would forget to eat and I never did anything about it. I enjoyed the fact that I was staying "skinny." 

It wasn't attractive though. Even my husband gently commented that I needed to gain some weight. But wasn't I healthy? I was skinny. I was wearing 0's and 2's. Didn't that make me healthy?

Absolutely NOT. I was depleted. I didn't have any fat on me, good or bad. I started seeing the effects through fatigue and all sorts of things. Then I got pregnant with T.  I was so depleted, I had a miserable pregnancy. I got sick so much that I wonder how I made it through the pregnancy. The last month of my pregnancy. I had a HORRIBLE upper-respiratory infection that I fought for 3 weeks prior to T's birth and a couple weeks after. 

I'm still not healthy, BUT I am trying now. I am consciously eating, consciously drinking and trying to throw some exercise in there. I also take vitamin supplements as well as my prenatal vitamin. 

I have lost a lot of weight again due to breastfeeding and to being so sick BUT this time I am determined to fatten myself up to a healthy weight. It's not about size. It's not about numbers. 

I know girls, due to their frame size, that would be anorexic in a size 8 and others that would be above their healthy weight in a size 8. So don't look at charts, get off that scale, rip out your tags. healthy. 

Find a healthy lifestyle of living for you... 

  • That may mean, cutting down on carbs. 
  • That may mean exercising daily.
  • That may mean eating more then you eat now.
  • That may mean eating less then you eat now.
  • That may mean being a higher weight number then what society tells you. 
The point is to be healthy.  For me that means I need to eat, drink and exercise. If that means I gain a ton of weight or I'm not wearing the size I want to be wearing, I'm ok with that. I'd rather just be healthy. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 27, 2014

Taking the NOah approach

"Yeah, well, you just don't understand" 

"You don't have to work where I work."

"It's too difficult."

"Maybe, if I worked in a Christian environment, I could live right.”

“It’s never been as bad in the world as it is now.”

I’m sure we have all heard these statements, maybe even said them. I get it. It is hard sometimes to keep our heads above the murky waters. Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by horrible evilness and, well, I am really. This is the devil's world. He is the prince and I have to remember, I’m just passing through.

So, what should we do? Just blend in? Should we just survive this life? I mean LOOK AROUND. There is so much sin; could it be worse?

Great question! I want to point you back to a man in the Bible who lived in terrible times, but he said NO to the world and yes to God. His name was NOah. (How fitting.)  :)

We read about his world in Genesis 6:

Gen 6:1-6 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

We see a world with great wickedness. In fact it says that these men’s hearts were on thoughts of evil ONLY. Can you imagine such a wicked heart and wicked mind? I mean I’ve had dark times where I got away from the Lord but I can’t say that my mind was CONTINUALLY on evil. I had other thoughts as well. These men were so wicked that is ALL they thought about. 

It goes on in Gen. 6:11  The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” 

It was a dark, violent, corrupt world and Noah was called by God to make a way of escape for those who wanted a way out of the wicked world. Noah was called by God to build an ark.

Noah didn’t just build this ark in his backyard and hide from everyone. He didn’t just survive this storm he called life. NO! He THRIVED. Yes, in 2 Peter 2:5 it tells us that he was a preacher. He didn’t just try to blend in, but he preached, he lived that life of righteousness.

You can do it too! Yes, this world is evil but you can thrive. Why, because we have Jesus. We have our heavenly Father who sees and takes care of our problems and our needs. He saw the wickedness that took place in NOah’s day. He sees the wickedness today and He will take care of it. In fact, friend, He will take care of you.

Say NO to the World and say YES to God. Let God keep your heart and mind captive. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Phil 4:8

He will help you. He will guide you. He will help you not to just survive but to THRIVE. – Rejoicing in the Present.

A special thanks to Beth Moore’s Living Beyond Yourself who has brought these thoughts to light and to my heavenly Father who pricks my heart and guides me along the way. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

If ONE Child...

I must admit I favor one of our ministries. I've always had a heart for children that were not raised in Christian homes. 

I love church kids.  I do. But their parents bring them to church. They teach them about Jesus and they hear a lot of about God because of that. These other children don't have hope unless we tell them and teach them about a God who loves them.

Our church has a program that goes and picks up children like these and brings them to church. We have struggled with everything, including low numbers, rowdiness, volunteers to help and so on. So, we've been praying and thinking on what to do. 

I was talking to one of our teachers recently and he made a statement that reminded me what we do and why we do it. He said "If ONE child gets to know Jesus, it's worth it. We can't stop, because there might be that one child and if we can save that one child from Hell, then it's worth it." 

Friends, this is OH SO TRUE. Heaven is a real place and, sadly, so is Hell. We need to live like they are both real. We have to do all we can to help pull as many out of the fire as can.  "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire" - Jude 23 

When we get die, someday the ONLY thing that we will take to heaven is our soul and the souls of others. Why do you do what you do? 

If my child...

If your child... 

If ONE child... 

...would you?

"And of some have compassion, making a difference: "- Jude 22
-Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Journey Update -> The Surgery

I wanted to give you the latest news about our sweet girl. This is a little late in coming--I wanted to share with my family first and then I haven't had the time to write down what went on. 

Feel free to skim through and pick out bits and pieces, some of you (ladies) will want all the info, some of you just the bare bones :-)...

It just so happened, due to the fact that it is extremely hard to get an appointment with the surgeon, that my husband had to be away during this appointment for a missions survey trip. So, my "adopted Haitian" sister was able to come along to support me. She was a BIG blessing and always is. Thanks, Jordy!

After the preliminary part of the visit (paperwork, time with the nurse and so on) we started off with x-rays. I got suited up and held her. She did a FABULOUS job! She just cooed at everyone! She is such a sweet girl. Then after waiting a while, we finally met again with our orthopedic surgeon. 

We first talked about the hands. He showed me the x-rays and where he would cut. He said it was going to be an easy slice. The fingers have bones but, thankfully, they are not connected.

However, when he pulled out the x-rays of the feet, he showed me a couple problems. 
1. Her bones (on her right foot) are growing toward the left and pulling her foot in. 
2. Her 6th toe is connected to the bone and the bone goes all the way down to the tendon. 

So the surgery for her foot will be much more intensive. They will have to slice the sides of each foot from the toes to the heel, cut bones, then detach the tendon and then re-attach the tendon. Hopefully, the tendon will pull the bones back properly where they need to be. 

As a result, we are looking at a 3-hour surgery for all the work. If everything goes well, we will hopefully take her home that same day. Her feet and hands will be wrapped for about 5 days. There will be no physical therapy but there will be, of course, follow-up visits.  We will check back over the next year and see how she is developing and decide whether any more surgeries are needed. 

The next step was scheduling. It is difficult to get an appointment just to see the doctor, let alone to do surgery. We were told that our surgeon is also the chief director of the hospital, so he is pulled on every side. I guess people all over the world come to this hospital to have him work on them. We were hoping to have the appointment soon so it's before she starts pulling her self up and trying to stand, then walk. Long story, short. The earliest appointment was Dec. 23rd.

That is the update. She is such a sweet gift from God and we have been blessed to have her, exactly as she is!

Thanks again for your prayers and support. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Will Carry You

If you never have heard the story of Audrey Caroline, you need to. Todd (singer from the group of Selah) and his wife Angie Smith found out early on that the baby Angie was carrying was "incompatible with life." This meant that the baby would not be able to live outside the womb. In fact, the baby should have only lived one second before grasping for breath and passing away. They were encouraged to abort the baby right away. In fact, the doctors planned for an abortion the very next day.

The Smiths were shaken but Angie said. "My Jesus is the same as when I walked in here."  They decided to keep the baby and give her the most life she could have. They took her to Disney World to see the castle and had many other sweet life experiences with her. When she was born, Sweet Audrey lived for over 2 hours. The family got to hold her, kiss her and love all over her. They said it was one of the most peaceful days they ever had. God's grace surrounded them.

Angie started a blog called Bring the Rain to track her journey and then eventually wrote a book called "I Will Carry You." There is an interview below, which is a MUST see. Todd also wrote and recorded a BEAUTIFUL song called, I will carry you.

 I would encourage you to take the time to watch the clip and read her book. It wasn't an easy pregnancy but Angie choose to give their baby the most life she could have. How precious! -Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beauty Within - Part 2

Mrs. Joy...
"How far can we go in a relationship?

I hurt and so I cut. It relieves the pain.

What is modest?

It’s just one drink.

What about tattoos and body piercings?

I struggle with bulimia or binge-eating."

Over the years, I have heard many questions and comments like the ones above. I wanted to teach my teen girls on beauty but I also wanted to teach them something that was all-encompassing for many of their daily struggles. So when I remembered this powerful passage, I settled on it, quickly.

1Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

If you are God’s child that means that you were bought with a price. That price was Jesus’ blood. He gave His life for you and you are to give up your life for Him. You are not "yours" anymore. You are God’s.

Let’s talk about this… If your house is a temple…If Jesus owns your precious body, (the one He died for)…
Should you cut it all up? Is it yours to even cut up? Is it yours to give to any and everybody that wants a piece of it? Should you really take “that” into your body?  Do you have the right to mess up your body in this way?

If your house is a temple…If Jesus owns your precious body, (the one He died for)…
Who is welcome in your house? Who do you let in? Who are you letting influence that temple?  Now think… what else are you housing? Have you so dirtied up your house that He is pushed into a small corner? Where is He? Have you given Him room in your house? Is He a welcome guest?

If your house is a temple…If Jesus owns your precious body, (the one He died for)…
Are you caring for it? Are you keeping it healthy and clean? Are you eating for fun or not eating because you want to look a certain way? Are you consciously taking the time and energy to keep this gift in the best condition it can be in?

If your house is a temple…If Jesus owns your precious body, (the one He died for)…
Is your beauty pointing to the One who bought you? In other words, when I see your temple, does it say “____________'s home or does it say Jesus’ home?  Who’s residence is it? Think about it. - Rejoicing

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Beauty Within

First, can I say "YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!"  Why? Because, God made you. In Psa 139:14  David is praising God and says “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”
God made you and when you complain about how you look, your complaint is with God and His  handiwork.  But I don’t want to stop there, I want to talk about what you do with what you've got.

1. Sometimes the most physically beautiful people are the ugliest beings on the earth.

Why is that? It’s because their cover is painted nicely but their lack of inner beauty destroys the outside.

Imagine a beautiful gold cup with sewer water in it. Just because the cup is beautiful doesn’t mean we drink what’s inside. Many times though we get caught in this trap of loving beautiful things but then we see what’s inside. What’s inside can completely ruin the outside and MANY TIMES it does.

2. The beauty that matters most to God is what is on the inside…and that will be reflected by how you present yourself on the outside.

While putting this lesson together, I was snacking on some Dove Chocolate Promises. They were buy-one-get-one at Wal-Mart last week. WOOWOO!  Anyway, I opened one up and glanced at the message.  It was so apropos.  It said, “Your smile is your best asset.” AMEN, sister!

When we were dating and even after we got married, my husband has always said that his favorite thing about me is my smile or happiness.  LADIES, a smile can transform your whole face.

It not only transforms your whole face but it also shows what is in your heart! I think many times, people expect teenagers to have bad attitudes, so they do. Be different. Show the joy of the Lord and the love of Jesus on your face.

The Bible tells us to work on the inside in 1 Peter 3:3-4 “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;  But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

Also in 1 Tim 2 it says “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."

The word "modest" speaks of not bringing attention to yourself, of following the rules so that you don’t stick out. The world says to stand out to get attention. God says to stand up and point the attention to HIM. Give HIM glory. Do you do that with your clothing?

Also the words "shamefacedness" and "sobriety" bring a lot of added help to this passage. Shamefacedness literally means to keep your eyes down. It’s a behavior that shows humbleness and reverence, while sobriety means self-control.  It says “soundness of mind,” in other words, not doing crazy things. Why? Because crazy things brings attention to you. 

Did you know that your BEHAVIOR can be just as immodest as your clothing? In fact, you could be wearing a skirt down to your ankles and a shirt up to your throat and be just as immodest as the “street girl.”  Modesty is not just a type of clothing, it’s also a behavior.

So, a beautiful girl is modest in her behavior. She is working on your heart, seeking the God who can change her. She is reaching out to others with her good works. She is speaking and loving into the lives of those around her, not to bring attention to herself but to bring attention to God.

Pro 31:30  Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

3. What you believe about beauty will show by where you look
I say all the above to say this.  Facebook, Pinterest, beauty magazines, and some TV shows offer us beauty advice BUT we will never be beautiful if we look there.

I love what Courtney from WLW says “You won’t read about having a gentle and quiet spirit in the beauty magazines being sold at your local grocery store.  But as we read through the Bible cover to cover, God will transform all of us from the inside out as we lay down our ugly sin filled hearts at the foot of the cross and exchange them for what is precious in God’s sight.
Today we have a choice – what will we pursue? A steady diet of the world’s beauty secrets or a steady feast of the living bread.”

You are only as beautiful as you are on the inside, so how do you get beauty? You have to pursue it. As Courtney said “Read the Bible from cover to cover.” Study Jesus and what He did, how He responded. Study the great woman of the Bible.  Study the Proverbs 31 lady.

Pray! Ask God to clean house. Ask Him to clean up the filth and show you what needs to change and finally LOOK IN THE MIRROR. What do you see? Do you see a smile, a genuine smile? Does the joy of the Lord come bubbling out of you or is it sewer water? - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Beauty Week - I've got a secret


It feels like it's 90 degrees and friends let me tell you IT'S HOT! My hair is down and my neck is sticky and I just want to shave my head and get rid of this mane. So why don't I?

Over the years, I've had so many people, ask me "why don't you cut your hair?" or "why don't you put it up? how come you leave it down?" 

Let me ask you, have you ever seen me with my hair up? 

If so, you are part of the chosen few. 

Well, what in the world does "hair" have to do with this blog post?

What is the big deal?

Really, there is no big deal. It's just a battle I've fought for about 15 years and I'm done hiding. 

Let me start from the beginning. When I was 10 years old, my parents took me to the doctor for a normal physical. At the physical, the doctor discovered that I had scoliosis. We tried a brace, then we tried a chiropractor. We tried everything to avoid surgery. 

Just so you don't have to look it up... Mayo Clinic tells what scoliosis is: Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. Below is a picture from sierraneurosurgery, It shows you the difference between normal and not normal. 

What is Scoliosis and Adult Scoliosis

Surgery should normally happen around the time you have a 35-40 degree curve.  I didn't have surgery until I had almost a 90 degree curve.  
At that point, the biggest problem is that your spine starts pressing against your lungs and heart

Thus, I began to have problems breathing. 

So I had surgery. The end. 

...I wish! It didn't happen like that. I had surgery in 2001 and then 2003, 2004 and 2005. Kyphosis and a bone infection were among the problems that happened.

The stories and trials and blessings and problems and life in between is a whole book BUT that is not what I am writing about today. 

The spinal problem and the surgeries left a mark. It's a ugly mark. On my right side, due to the scoliosis and kyphosis, I have a large "hump." I have always been embarrassed of it. It sticks out. I can't sit comfortably in anything but a padded chair. I run into things because of it. And it looks quite horrible. The scar looks like someone took a spoon and started carving into my back. It's all really ugly.  

So 15 years ago I grew my hair out and covered it ...and I left it covered no matter what.  Even when my hair got in the way, because of sports or heat or whatever, I left it down. 

One of my biggest fears was that I would get cancer and lose my hair. Then, what would I hide behind? I used to be very focused on it. My hair had to be in the back covering me at all times. At home it was always up, but if someone came to the door, down it went. 

SO WHAT CHANGED? - a couple things...

1. I've mentally struggled for years, knowing that this was a spiritual step I needed to take. I knew I had to stop hiding behind my hair. 

So I would take little steps by wearing my hair up or when my in-laws were around or sometimes when I'm was shopping.

2. Then my beautiful little baby girl was born with something that wasn't "normal". Of course, what is normal? :-) She was born with extra fingers and toes and I knew that I would have to teach her about beauty and that REAL beauty was all on the inside. 

3. Finally, my heart was convicted about teaching our teen girls about inner beauty and I realized that, until I gave this up, I couldn't teach anyone. 

It was my husband who has helped me the most with this battle. Over the last 5 years, he has just accepted me. He's told me I was beautiful over and over and over again. He loved me. He loves what is inside. He has accepted me, all of me. He loves me!

Do you know what makes me really beautiful to him? Do you know what is his favorite thing?  

He loves my attitude and my smile. He loves the "real" me. Not the exterior. 

So, that's my secret. I'm not letting it bind me anymore. I don't want it to be a distraction anymore. If I want to wear my hair down I will, but if it's hot or if I want it out of the way, I'm going to wear it up because it doesn't matter what the outside looks like. Beauty is not the outer carcass. Beauty comes within.

I'm done letting this secret bind me. 

My beauty comes from God and if I want to be prettier, I'll go to the Bible to get my beauty rest. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Being a Winner whether You win or Lose

You might have already seen the clip, or maybe you didn't. The Florida Gator's Coach commented after winning the game against TN...

“It’s great to see all these people disappointed,” Muschamp said in his postgame interview on the field, referring to Tennessee’s fans in a checkered Neyland Stadium. “I love it.”

Now, we have all heard of sore losers but I see this as a sore winner. I was always taught that when you win at a game, you be happy and show some humility. A comment like that is just pouring salt into a wound.

My husband is big into sports but I just go along for the ride. Football is not my thing. In fact, I couldn't tell you much about that team, other then the fact, that Tim Tebow used to play for it. 

After today, I know one thing, their team does not have great leadership. See, even though Coach Muschamp won on the field, he lost today. He lost his team's testimony and good sportsmanship. 

What about you? Are a sore loser or even worse a sore winner? Check your attitude. You way win the game but lose at life. Just a thought. - Rejoicing in the Present

Monday, October 13, 2014

Turning Gossip into Glory

"The tongue can stab like a knife; 
The tongue can separate man and wife, 
Hurting a brother, wounding another, 
Killing love and spreading strife. 
Gossip, gossip hissing near, poisoning the atmosphere  Gossip, gossip get away;
Don’t come back another day! 
Don’t come back another day! "
Patch the Pirate - Praises 3

This is the chorus of a kids' song that we sing in our children's program. It has a cute little melody but the message is powerful. You know when I think of sin. I think of lying, stealing, unBiblical relationships, killing, and so on. What doesn't pop to mind right away is "gossip". However, this is such a deadly and poisonous sin that it gets overlooked. In fact, sadly, in many of our Christian churches, often, this thrives and "even gets dressed in a hat and gloves and is called a prayer request." 

In Beth Moore's book Hope, she talks about 5 different reasons we seem to gossip. I want to share them with you because I believe that we can take gossip and turn it into Glory.

1. Boredom -> Our life may seem dull, and so a little excitement in someone else's life gives us a little bit of life.
  • INSTEAD, turn your boredom into passion. A passion for Christ and His work. That will give you some excitement. :-)

2. Curiosity -> Curiosity killed the cat :-) It's always fun to hear the juicy stories but our curiosity could get us into trouble. Did you know that God created us to be curious and to get knowledge? This however is not knowledge that we need to be involved in.
  • INSTEAD, be curious about God. Let your curiosity drive you to know God.
3. Jealousy -> Stories are good especially when the story involves someone that you envy. When they are somehow in the wrong, it makes you feel better about yourself.
  • INSTEAD, develop a love and passion for others even those you don't like very much.
4. Companionship. -> Misery loves company. When you are not doing right it's nice to know that others aren't as well. Get out of there and get yourself right.
  • INSTEAD, have mercy for others and work on getting your life straightened out. 
5. Importance -> It makes us feel good to be in the know, to have the story of the hour. 
  1. INSTEAD, find your identity in Christ, not in being able to tell the juiciest story.
...and for those who have a "juicy" "prayer request", have compassion on your friend. Pray for them, and use discretion. (Proverbs 11:13; 16:28; 26:20-28) - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, October 10, 2014

A New Journey

My husband had amblyopia (lazy eye) as a child and so did his father. They both had eye surgery to correct it. The only indication that they dealt with this is that they both wear glasses.  So, since our son was born, we have watched for signs of it. 

We hadn't noticed anything until about the last month.   "A" started squinting his eye and sticking his finger in it.  He would also randomly fall. (even though he is pretty coordinated for a 2 year-old).  What really started bothering me is that he would complain of "bugs in his eye."  If his ear hurts, he says he has bugs in his ears. Bugs usually means pain or annoyance.  So, after he started saying this, I really started watching and over the last month, I noticed that his one eye would do funny things. 

So, we called my husband's eye doctor and got "A" an appointment. The appointment was not so much fun. They dilated his eyes right off the bat and after that it went all downhill. He squinted and cried and fought it all. I don't blame him though; I mean, can you imagine being two and having people pull out those metal scary tools and put things in your eyes. He was facing the unknown and it was scary. 

So the doctor diagnosed him with what we suspected, "lazy eye". He prescribed glasses and maybe patching in the future. 

"A" doesn't have his glasses yet, but he will soon. He doesn't like anything on his face, even sunglasses, so ,please pray for Him and us as we start down that road. 

I have already seen God work in big ways with this journey as well and I'm praising him for it!
  • We were able to use 2 different insurance plans and only paid $60 for the eye exam and glasses. My husband's appointment and glasses were over $400.
  • The doctor encouraged us that we had brought him early enough to give him some time to work with A's eyes as they are still "pliable" 
  • I also able to get some advice from a dear lady whose daughter had an eye condition as well. 
My sweet SIL sent me a note that NAILED IT; she said "Praying for you and your sweet boy!!! There's nothing like the power of God and the gumption of W----------s (our family name) to conquer all!!  :)  But I know it can be tough on a mama's heart to see her family have to go through stuff! Love you guys! <3"

Here is me being real. It broke my heart when I found out that now our other child will have a medical battle to deal with as well.  She was right on. It's tough on mama, BUT as she also said, there is nothing like the power of God. 

So I'm excited and nervous to see where this journey will take us. Please pray for "A" as he will struggle with this adjustment. 

If this will help him to SEE God, then it's so worth it. May he be blind to the world's ways and eyes only for the Lord. - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to Truly Encourage your Husband - By Lisa Jacobson

I love marriage articles. I think it's because, out of all my struggles, I struggle with being a godly wife the most. So please know that when I am posting these articles it's to encourage and help myself as well as share what I am learning.

A few weeks ago I posted Couple-Don'ts.  Then my mom found this blog post and sent it to me. What I like about this is that it's not just "don'ts" but it's to encourage your husband spiritually.  In this day and time, our hubbies need all the encouragement that they can get. 

So, thanks, Lisa from Club31Women.. You are an encouragement to us wives. 

I couldn’t say when I first noticed. We were in the midst of so many trials at the time that it’s hard to tell when it really began. Troubles in the church. Hardships at home. Challenges at work. So much was swirling about us that I didn’t notice how heavy it was on his soul.

But then one day I watched as he walked by with his shoulders slumped over and his stride too slow. As if burdened by some great weight and it was all he could do to carry it across the floor.
My heart went out to him. I was rather worried. and a little afraid.
I mean, what do you do when your own man is down? Discouraged? Defeated?
How to Truly Encourage the Spiritual Life of Your HusbandMaybe your husband is different than mine. But mine doesn’t necessarily want me come in and deliver a powerful sermon or even a spiritual rah-rah. He doesn’t appreciate me stating the obvious or reminding him of one more way he’s failed.
Let’s face it, pointing out to him – Doesn’t seem like you’re walking in the Spirit, dear – isn’t all that helpful.

So what can a wife do to encourage her husband?

Call out to God on his behalf. This is not an ordinary “pray for him.” This is about true supplication: a crying out to God to work in his life. To minister, convict, or encourage him—depending on the need.

I'm still learning this one. I know it's the most important one though! Pray Pray Pray!- RITP
Don’t nag or badger him. I have yet to hear a husband testify that his wife “nagged him back to church”, if you know what I mean? If anything this approach only makes things worse, so put your energies toward those things that will help.
Such as….
Notice the good things that he does. Be grateful for the small steps such as saying grace around the table or sitting next to each other at church. Appreciate any kind word or thoughtful gesture he might make. Keep in mind that when a person is down, they are often down on themselves most of all. So point out the good you can see that he might not realize.
Get rid of the spiritual list. You know, the things you think he should or shouldn’t do to be spiritual. No one one wants to live up to someone else’s personal list of what qualifies as “spiritual”. If it’s not spelled out in the Bible? Then ditch it. If it is? Then let the Holy Spirit do His job (not you).

...Another struggle! I can't be God in my husband's life. I've got to do my job (help meet) and let God does His. 
Be mindful of who you admire. It’s wonderful if you look up to your pastor, worship leader, or that Christian author, but if you often rave about him in front of your husband? To everyone around you? You might want to consider how that sounds. This can be a very defeating message to your husband and some guys give up before they ever even start trying. They know they’ll never “measure up” to that great spiritual man you find so amazing.
Last of all, don’t underestimate the power of your own testimony. You can have a tremendous impact on your husband by quietly shining the love of Christ in your home. A soft smile, a gentle word and a song in your heart can have a stronger influence than might be immediately apparent.
So shine on, sister.
He’ll be encouraged. Truly.
In His grace,
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014


When we think of abortion, many times the image that comes to our mind is a young teenager, who got pregnant with her boyfriend’s baby and now needs a way out. Yes, that happens. Yes, it’s sad that these woman feel like they need a way out.  But did you know that many times, when a lady is seeking an abortion, she's already a mom with a few children? They feel so overwhelmed that they  can’t deal with one more.

Let's think about this. Even a woman, who is married and is excited about bearing children, gets nervous when she finds out she is pregnant. Many questions go through her mind. Will she be able to really love the baby when it’s screaming? Will she know how to be a good mommy? What if the baby is born with some medical condition? Many weird questions and concerns go through a mommy’s mind, even though she is super excited that the baby is coming.

Now, think about a woman who has no support from her boyfriend, or husband. Think about a young girl who hasn’t made it out of high school or college and has her whole life ahead of her. Think about the mom who already has 3 kids and has a hard time feeding them. Think about the men in their life that are telling them to get rid of the babies. What about the world, who tells them that it’s just a fetus and not really a baby?

When it gets tough, they feel they have no way out and they end the life of these precious babies. Is it wrong? YES, but these precious woman have many side effects that the world never warned them about.

Many of these ladies struggle with depression and all sorts of emotional battles. In fact, many times you will see that the biggest outreaches that pregnancy crisis centers have is to the women after they have had an abortion. These ladies deal with their demons for YEARS and the world never told them about that.

So this is where BETA comes in. BETA is Titusville, Florida’s Pregnancy Crisis Center

 Services at the center include non-judgmental counseling, free pregnancy tests sent to a hospital lab, free maternity clothing, infant furniture, bedding, layette items, baby clothes through size T4, as well as formula and diapers on an emergency basis

Beta gives these ladies free pregnancy tests and then counsels them and encourages them to keep the baby. They help these ladies by giving them free clothing for the moms as well as the babies and clothes, formula, diaper, equipment and so on. They also hold seminars for the youth to help encourage them to make the right choices.

So what can we as a church and community do to help BETA help these woman?

Pray. First and foremost, these ladies need Jesus. Trials are going to come into their lives through out their lives. If they don’t have Jesus, they don’t have hope, now or ever.

Give: The Kids4Truth kids are collecting money in baby bottles. If you feel led to give, see one of the kids and help them fill up their bottles with change, dollar bills or checks.
Beta also collects baby clothes through 2T, diapers, formula, baby coupons, baby equipment and anything "baby".

Go: Beta also needs volunteers. “Volunteers are needed to staff our office, sort clothing, wash and mend clothing, fix furniture and other office tasks. (We have a small staff of all unpaid volunteers. We really need additional volunteers.)”

For more questions about BETA organization and how to help,  visit them @ or you can message me as well - Rejoicing in the Present