Monday, September 28, 2015

The Crisis of Pregnancy

Years ago, when I was living in Tennessee, I volunteered at a pregnancy crisis center.  While I was there I had the opportunity to train to be a counselor.  However, I was only there a year before I married and moved a thousand miles away.

When I moved to Florida, I tried to get involved with one in the new area, but it was more or less a donation center.  It's always been on my heart but I haven't had a real opportunity to get involved with a Christ-honoring program.

So, I was blessed to able to hear the speaker of the former crisis center, where I volunteered, speak in a church service recently when I was back in TN.  It brought up those same feelings and frustrations.  As I sat there I thought again about those poor ladies.  I never truly understood them until I become a mother myself.

After a year of marriage, my husband and I felt like we were ready to grow our family.  Soon after that, when I found out I was expecting, I remember being so excited yet so nervous. The nervousness quickly went away and turned into nausea.  Which in turn, turned into other "fun stages" of pregnancy.  It was really hard at times. There were many times that I wanted to turn back the clock, wishing I had not started this journey.

I was a Christian and married, very secure in both of those relationships. My husband had a job that supported our family and we were able to afford this baby. This was my first child and I was being encouraged by my family and friends in this journey, and yet, I had fears, doubts and frustrations.

So then take a woman that has a few children already with no husband who finds out that she is again pregnant.

...Or even the church-going woman that surprised by an unplanned pregnancy.

...Or that single woman or teenager whose family and/or friends will disown her if she doesn't rid herself of the baby.

...Or the one-night-stand that results in a pregnancy.

...Or maybe just the career woman ( or any other woman) who doesn't want her life to change.

There are many excuses and the world will always support them with a "morning-after pill."

My heart hurts for these women. These women are in a quandary and they feel stuck.

Commanding them to stop will not stop them. Passing laws won't completely stop them. Even holding up signs won't stop them. However, if we would care about them and give them support and love them through this time, we might be able to rescue a lot more women. Not to mention unborn babies.  This is why places like Choices Resource Center need to be supported.

Find a Christ-honoring center in your area.  Pray for them, find out their needs, donate to them, volunteer your time, and love on these woman. They need a hug and the mercy of Christ, NOT a dirty look. - Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Using your Gifts to Help Each Other

Full House has NOTHING on us.  :-)  My parents have a beautiful house in TN but it's full to capacity right now. 

A few weeks after I got married, my grandma decided to move to TN and move in with them. They sort of made a suite for her.  She has a bedroom, sitting room and full bath so she can have her own privacy.

They wanted to be able to have family visit so they then built a large area above their garage to house guests. There was always room for people to stay; then my sister and her husband decided to build a house.  After selling their old house, they came to live with my parents for a few months and have "filled" that upstairs area.

Then, just this past week, it was determined that I would need to come stay at my parents' home too, due to my daughter's lung issues and the construction being done on our house.

All that being said, 12 in the house is a little full.  :-) ...but what is SO amazing, is that we are able to work together and help out with the gifts we have.

I volunteered to do the cleaning. My sister is doing the cooking and my mom is helping do our laundry. We help watch each other's kids and we all use our gifts to help each other. It's been so neat to just come together for this time and help each other. 

Now, my parents are really the ones who are helping us, but we give back with our talents and work. I personally DO NOT like cooking. So, it's GREAT to have someone else cook. 

I don't mind dusting and cleaning and I know it helps my daughter's health to keep things clean and neat. 

I'm not a huge fan of laundry either and my mom has always had this knack for getting stains out and keeping your clothes looking fresh and clean. So having her throw my clothes in with hers is just an extra blessing.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you sell your house and buy land next to your extended family, creating a big compound.  Though, I am seriously considering it myself ...hahahahaha. :-)   HOWEVER, I am suggesting that we use your talents to help each other. 

Maybe you can trade talents. Maybe you are great at cooking and your friend is great at cleaning. Trade a meal or two for an hour of cleaning.  Or maybe you can babysit your friends' kids so they can go on a date and then vice versa.

Now sometimes we need to help even when we will get nothing back. The Bible teaches us that principle.  

Help each other! 

That's what family does. Aren't we in the family of God? 

Whether you are trading talents or giving without any expectation of return, use your gifts to better each other. You will be blessed in the end. I can promise you that. - Rejoicing in the Present :-)

If you have any suggestions on other ways to help each other, leave a comment below. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gifted To Be You

I was sitting in a mom's group meeting this past week when we all started talking about super-moms. My sister's name was brought up.  Now, my sister could be the Super-mom of all Super-moms.  She works a part time job as a teacher, schools her children part time, helps run the Wednesday Night Children's program at her church, heads up their VBS and Christmas program--and does it all with a flare. Her parties look like they are right out of Pinterest and her classroom is a cut above everyone else's.

As her family has grown, she has had to give up some of the things she had done in the past, but she is just such an amazingly giving, yet godly woman. My sister is truly gifted!  We all joked about living up to her, but really we just need to live up to "us".

Yes, my sister is gifted...but so are you. So am I. So are our friends.

Our gifts may all look different, but God has given us talents. Talents that we can use for our own glory or for His.


Back in the day, every grandma had something she was famous for.  It may have been her quilting skills or her cherry pie. People would talk about that special "thing".

"You have to taste my Granny's pie" OR "Let me show you the quilt my Grandma made".

It was always ONE really special thing. Nowadays we have gotten away from that one really good thing. It has become necessary to be all of the above. You may be really great at being organized but you are also expected to be an amazing cook, throw the most amazing Pinterest-inspired parties, AND your house needs to be spotless.

Oh, and all the decorations need to be homemade.

:-)  However, God did not make us to be Pinterest moms. He created us with different talents and different desires.  We need to find out what we do best, perfect it, and keep doing it.  It's not bad to work on the skills that we are lacking but we should not get upset if someone else does it much better. Be happy with your gift and use it to honor God and better your family. - Rejoicing in the Present

Friday, September 18, 2015

JoAnn's Testimony

My name is JoAnn E and I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior 28 years ago at the age of 23. I was born in Oklahoma and raised Catholic as a child. My mom had me in church every Sunday, even when we were on vacation.  I had a very happy childhood filled with many blessings.

 In my teen years, I did well in school, always at the top of my class, as well as a state champion tennis player, but still got involved in drugs and alcohol. As I ventured into adulthood, I moved around the country looking for just the right place to settle and start my life. My view of life was one big party and to have as much fun as possible. I lived in Taos, New Mexico; Tarpon Springs, Florida; and Breckinridge, Colorado all for a short time looking for a place to settle that would meet all my needs and make me happy. On the outside, I was a happy- go- lucky young girl that seemed to be having a lot of fun. On the inside, I was missing something. I would call my mom at all hours of the night in tears telling her how unhappy I was. She would always listen attentively. I wasn’t going to church, and even if I had been, that wasn’t going to be the answer. The reason…I believed in God the Father and Jesus Christ, but I did NOT have a personal relationship with him. I didn’t even know that was possible. All those years sitting in church gave me a head knowledge of Jesus, but not a heart knowledge. I just thought if you were basically a good person you went to heaven. After all, God knew I wasn’t any murderer.

 My search for peace continued and I found myself back in Florida at the age of 23. I met a man, by the name of David Edson, who would share with me this idea that people could have a personal relationship with the God of the Universe. At first I was skeptical, but I thought he was gorgeous so I continued to listen. He was persistent and I became increasingly receptive to all this “God talk.” I thought to myself, “Wow, I can talk to God and he is going to listen to me. How can I resist a deal like this.”  David took me to a church where the Bible was taught and I cried like a waterfall because I felt the love of God for me, personally. During this time, I also read a book about famous people who had accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and how it had transformed their lives.

 It was at this point, I truly realized what a sinner I was and how my prior thinking about me being good enough wasn’t going to get me in to heaven. Through David (who would soon become my husband) and solid Bible teaching I learned about the one true way to get to heaven and that was to ask Jesus to be Lord of my life, to cleanse me from my sin and to vow to do my best to live my life for him. I told David I wanted to say the sinner’s prayer and accept Jesus. David and I sat on the floor in my teeny, tiny apartment and he guided me through the very simple prayer. In a matter of seconds, I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I had never done anything in my life that felt more right. Praise God!!  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My Testimony

I was raised in church. In fact, I started attending 9 months before I was even born. So it’s not surprising that I realized at a young age of my need of a Savior. If we are honest, most of us would admit that we are sinners but not all of us always understand the separation between ourselves and God because of it.

So there I was at 5 years old, sitting in Sunday School one morning, when I realized that because of my sin and because God did not have any sin, I would not be able to go to Heaven.

Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death;”

But then if you keep reading that verse, you learn something what I learned that day, and that is this“ …but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I learned that day that my sin earned me a place in Hell, a place that God created for the devil and his angels, not a place for me. …but due to my sin and God’s holiness, I would have to go there.

As a remedy, God, in His grace and love toward us, sent Jesus.

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.”

If I believe in Jesus and put my faith and trust in HIM, I will receive the gift of eternal life. Heaven will be my home.

That day, I went home and told my dad what I learned. He took me into the spare bedroom and talked to me about my sin.

In Matthew 9:13 Jesus says “for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."  … He goes on to say many times “Repent and be ye baptized”

I knew that I had to confess my sin and turn away from it.  I had to choose God over my sin.

So that day, kneeling at the edge of the bed, I got down and told God what he already knew, that I was a sinner. I confessed to him my short past, and asked Him for His gift of Jesus.

Part 2
Over the years I struggled with trusting God to actually save me. I would slip in and out of different sins which would make me doubt my salvation even more.

I prayed to accept Jesus many times over those next years, just thinking that “this next time would do the trick.”  I had trust in the words that I was speaking, rather than in the Savior Who was saving.

I would confess every sin I ever sinned and then would re-ask Him into my heart. This happened until about 9 years ago. That last time, I sat crying on the porch of a friend.  I told the friend my struggle and said I just didn’t know if I was truly saved. I poured out my heart to God and asked him to save me. I knew that day that I had to trust Him and not the words I had been saying for all those years.

For those of you that are struggling with truly knowing that you are saved, here are a few tips:
First, trust Jesus.  John 3:16 says “whosoever believeth in Him” You have to believe that He will save you. Faith is about believing in Him.

You know, He has always kept His promises. He is faithful and true. In fact did you know that “faithful” is a word that describes him Deuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;”

He is trustworthy, you can trust Him to save you. Don’t put stock in your own words or in the time it happened or where it took place. Put stock in the Savior who is doing the saving.

Second, if you are struggling, get in the Word.
John 5:21-14 says
 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; This is you.  that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
Going back to that phrase These things have I written” …these “written” things are the Bible. Most of the time, the reason we are struggling is because of one of two things.
1.     There is sin and so we feel a disconnect from God OR
2.    We don’t really know the God who loves us, the God who sent Jesus to save us.
Just like any other relationship, communication IS KEY, so when we feel disconnected or “not saved”, it’s usually because we haven’t communicated with God in a while or allowed Him to speak to us through the WORD of God, the Bible.
LASTLY, if you are really just not sure, read the book of I John.  Pray through it and ask God to show you if you have ever repented and trusted in Him. He will show you. 

One thing that I have definitely learned, is that GOD LOVES ME and HE WANTS ME. He wants you, too.  So much that He sent Jesus to rescue you from Hell. He is waiting with open arms, the arms that love you so much that they were stretched out on a cross for you.
Trust HIM today.

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Dad's Testimony

Testimony of Salvation
Bruce W

Early years: I grew up in the small town of Ellis, Kansas, located about half way between Denver and Kansas City.  The town was predominately Roman Catholic as was my family.  Both my fathers and mothers families were very strong Catholics.  When I was in third grade at St. Marys grade school, I became an altar boy in the Catholic church, recited Latin verses in response to the Catholic priest and helped at the altar service.  As I started to mature and attend a local, public high school, questions about being a Catholic started bothering me.  Friends made comments and asked questions that I could not answer. 

College years:  I attended Cornell College in IowaCornell College had strong Methodist ties and many attendees and teachers were of the Methodist faith.  During my freshman year, my English teacher, Ms. Meers gave us an assignment that was somewhat unusual:  Outline the third chapter of the Book of Romans in the Bible.  Given that I had never read the Bible and instead relied on what the priests and nuns told me as well as a Catholic Catechism, this proved to be an intriguing assignment.  Did not have a Bible, so off to the college library.  Found the book and started reading chapter three.  It never occurred to me to read Romans chapters one and two, or for that matter, the gospels.

My outline was horrid, truly embarrassing.  Ms. Meers gave me a C which I did not deserve.  I ignored Gods direction in Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: and Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  However, her witness to me stuck with me and I remembered the assignment for many years.

The following summer I worked at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado.  My job was on a maintenance team, cleaning restrooms, buildings, and whatever needed to be fixed, built, painted, or cleaned.  When the teams were formed, another college student and I were picked to work for a man named Ty.   He was an older man who had a reputation as a stickler for doing the job perfectly.  His inspections of our work were precise and unyielding.  Second best was not tolerated, only your best effort was acceptable.  Throughout the summer Ty watched, corrected, and demonstrated the proper way to keep the camp in excellent shape. 

Toward the end of the camping season, Ty pulled me and the other college student aside at lunch time one day and said our attitudes were not right, we did not have the right spirit.  Ty was a Christian and let everyone know it.  He opened a Bible and read to us some scriptures.  That was the first time anyone witnessed to me directly.  I ignored Ty and the Bible, because I was very uncomfortable.  Did not understand what he was trying to accomplish and did not like what the Bible had to say.  But I did not forget Ty reaching out to me.

Post College years:  Several years after finishing school, I went to work for the US Army in St. Louis, Missouri.  I did not read the Bible, nor care about spiritual matters.  I was all about myself.  In September of 1973, the Army had a need for additional civilians in Alexandria, Virginia to work in industrial preparedness, a part of war planning.  I thought it sounded interesting so I volunteered for the assignment.  The Army accepted and transferred me to Alexandria, Virginia, and the US Army Material Command.  A large research, development, and logistics command with a worldwide presence.

I was there approximately four weeks when my boss approached me one day and asked if I was interested in going out to dinner with him and a lady friend.  This lady friend had a niece visiting from the Cleveland Ohio area and he thought that my coming along might make the evening more lively.  Besides that, he offered to pay for dinner.  I thought "why not".  I was living in an apartment with my belongings from St. Louis still largely unpacked.  A free meal sounded good to me.

That night I met for the first time the love of my life and my wife of 41 years, Janet Bigler.  I came, I saw, and I knew there was something different about her.  We started dating over a long distance since she had to travel back to Cleveland, Ohio where she worked as a bank examiner.  In the March of 1974 we were married and she moved to Virginia.

While we were dating, Janet mentioned the Rev Billy Graham a few times, but I did not pay much attention.  Janet had accepted Christ as her Savior through the ministry of Billy Graham.  I told her that I knew the Lord, but in reality, I was as lost as a person could be.  We lived for a year near Mount Vernon, Virginia.  Janet wanted to attend church and I was reluctant.  So, I proposed that we each pick a church, attend and see what happens.

I picked a Unitarian Universalist Church in nearby Mount Vernon, Virginia.  I chose this church because I knew that you could believe whatever you wanted to believe.  I would not be held accountable to a specific doctrine.  So we drove over to the church to check out the start times for Sunday, location, and travel time.  I saw a large sign on the door as I came up to the church.  It said, Closed.  The church shut down for several weeks during the summer because the church leaders were on vacation.  I turned to Janet and she said, My turn.  Those three words changed my life.  For you see, Janet picked a church, Calvary Road Baptist Church, that taught the Bible.

We attended the church for several years.  I heard the gospel for the first time in my life.  The gospel message was making an impact in my life, but I still did not put my trust in Jesus Christs death on the cross.  Remember, I had been a Catholic and I still had this false impression that going to church, reading your Bible and being involved in many church activities would somehow produce the salvation experience.  These activities are good, but they do not get you to heaven.

The Army sent me to Ft. Lee, Virginia for almost a year.  At the end of that school, a new Baptist church was starting up near our home.  Our previous church, Calvary Road Baptist, was 18 miles distant and so we started with the new church, from its inception.  The pastor, Michael Edwards, was used greatly in the new church, Heritage Baptist.  In January of 1982, Pastor Edwards preached a sermon on Sunday morning on what true salvation is.  I did not go forward at the invitation, but I was deeply troubled.  All Sunday afternoon, I grappled with the thought that I might not be saved.  I was depending on my works, my activities, my knowledge of the Bible, my church attendance.

On that same Sunday during the evening service, we had a missionary preach to us.  At the end of the service, our pastor, Michael Edwards, asked if anyone would like to come forward; my hand shot up and I ran down the aisle.  We went back to his office.  I told him I was not saved, I had been troubled since the morning service and I was still trusting in my works and not on Christs death on Calvary.  As I knelt on his office floor, I finally understood John 3:14 -18 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 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.  17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I prayed to God and confessed that I am a sinner and I needed to repent of my sins, I deserve hell, Christ loves me so much that He died for me and His blood paid for ALL OF MY SINS, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, and lastly, I must depend on these facts and these facts alone for my salvation. 

I believed and trusted on that and nothing else.  I got up from my knees, wiped away my tears, and celebrated what Christ had done for me. 

I have never doubted since!  PRAISE THE LORD!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bible Advice to a Mom

So now that we have learned from these Bible mamas, what can we do to be the moms that we were created to be?

First off, make sure that you are a follower of Jesus. There needs to be a time where you gave your life over onto Him, where you accepted His free gift of salvation and you let Him take over. 

If you are already a Christian mother, then make sure that you are in the Word. 

Psalms 1 says "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

I will never be a godly woman, let alone a godly wife, let alone a godly mother, if I am not rooted in the Word of God. 

Whether this is listening to the Bible on your phone while you are feeding your child or grabbing a few quick verses during her nap or reading the Bible to your son during cuddle time… Be in the Word. This is our spiritual food.  "Eat" as much as you can!!!!

Next, talk to Him! 

He is our Heavenly Father who wants to hear from us. You will have times in the middle of the night where there is no one around who wants to talk. Good news, God still does. Let this be a special intimate time with God the Father.

Get Biblical counsel. The Bible says in Proverbs 15:22 "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”  We tend as a generation to go to our young friends or Pinterest to get our ideas.  The Bible tells us differently.  We need to go to other mothers who have "been there and done that."  

Titus 2:3-5 saysThe aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
There are so many mamas in my church who have already "done it". Their children are all grown up and they would LOVE for me to come spend an afternoon where they can love on my sweet babies and I can pick their brain about what they did. You will get so many suggestions and tips as you sit there. 

We don't have to take all their suggestions but it's wise to listen and benefit from the lessons that they have already learned. 

Mama, you can't do it, unless you allow God to help you! He is there ready and willing.

I know how life can distract me. Wee can't let it.  We need to be in the Word, to pray without ceasing and to learn from the lessons of a wiser generation. - Rejoicing in the Present

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lessons From Moms in the Bible - Eve

I will say that, some days, I feel bad for this mom.  She gets so much bad rap, which, of course, is a lesson to us.  You are free to make your choice.  However, you are not free from the consequences of your choice.

{FREEBIE} "You are free to make your choice"/ Inspiration This mama sadly brought sin into the world.  Her sin didn't just effect herself but her children and her children's children and all the generations to come.  Her son killed his brother and the consequences that came from Eve's decision that day, daily, effect us.

Now, please, let's not think we would be any different. The devil has very tempting ways. Look at your own life and your choices. It is hard to consciously choose to follow God and His plan but we must.

Our choices effect our families. We set the tone for our family.

Especially when my children are young,  I have the opportunity to set the stage for my children. From the toys to the books to the movies to the friends that our children have in their lives, we have opportunity to keep as much "sin" out of their lives as we want.

When our children are older, we can teach them how to avoid that "Tree in the Garden."  We can teach them to run from the devil and not even stop and chat. We can teach them that God is ALWAYS right and the only truth to be found is in God.

We set the tone. We bring in the garbage. We can make the difference. Sweet moms, let's clean out our houses.  Choose God.  Don't listen to the devil and the world.  Choose purity in life, in love, in your home. 

...and pray!  We need God's help to see through the disguises of the world. 

Pray & Purge,
Rejoicing in the Present

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Lessons From Moms in the Bible - The Widow of Zarapheph

Providing for our kids is important.  I know many a mom who will go without just so that her child "has". 
At one point when my son was pretty young, we were sharing my food at dinner.  Many times, he would eat the majority of the food and I would go without.  My husband finally caught on to what was happening and made sure I made enough food for all of us. 
So, I totally "get" this mama.  She was trying so hard to provide for her child but she was at the end of her rope with nowhere left to go.  Let's look at her story and see how she provided for her child in the most unusual way.  

I Kings 17: 10 Elijah introduces us to this mom. "
 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink."
And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
When Elijah met this sweet mama, she was gathering some sticks so that she could make a last meal for her child and herself.

When Elijah asked for her food, she had two choices:  feed this prophet or feed her family.  What would you have done in this instance?  (I mean we would all love to say that we would feed the prophet.  But really?  would we really?)

She had to choose what to do and choose to trust God by trusting His servant.  She chose to give to God and that act of faith kept her family fed for "many days".

Here is what I think we can take away from this lesson:  God is the provider.  Just because I think I have to work doesn't mean I do. God can provide and if He wants you to be a stay-a- home mom, He will provide what you need.  God may have a different plan for my life. Whatever it is, we  must FIND THE PLAN and follow it, because ultimately, HE IS the PROVIDER.

What this widow taught her child was not just give to God, BUT to give until it hurt.  What an amazing lesson!  God blessed her and her family because of this act of faith.

My husband and I decided that I would stay at home after I had my first child.  We planned for it and we chose to do this.  It's not always an easy path but God has ALWAYS provided for us. 

Just to be clear, this blog post is not about being a stay-at-home mom; it's about trusting in God to provide for your family. He is the ultimate provider. - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Lessons From Moms in the Bible - Mary

Not till I was older did I realize the trials that Mary, the mother of Jesus, faced as an unwed mother. When I was younger I just thought she had the perfect life. I mean come-on, she was the mother of Jesus. However, Mary was human and she too had to work threw the thing that were thrown at her.  We see in the Bible on 3 different occasions where she is trying to work through what she is handed

In Luke 1, when the angel came to her and said "Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. "

She was like. WHAT???

It says she "…cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be."

Then we see the birth in the stable and the shepherds attending the birth. It says that "Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart"

Ponder means, to throw together, confer, dispute, come up with. I would go as far to say, "wrap your mind around." Or “fight it out in your head”

Finally the last time, we see her in a difficult situation and she is trying to figure it out. In Luke 2:33-52. When Jesus was "lost" to them and "found" in the temple, it was a scary time for them and you can see the panic in how they responded. However, it says that Mary "kept all these sayings in her heart."

Mary, mother of Jesus, was thrown some huge curve balls.  She was a virgin, Jewish girl engaged to a man and was told by a messenger from God that she would carry the Messiah.  Her baby was born in a stable.  Months later, some very rich men came and gave them very expensive gifts.  She had to flee to Egypt with her husband and child because the king killed all the babies Jesus’ age.  Which means she probably had some mom-friends and those moms may have lost their babies?  She dealt with all this, and then the day came when her boy grew up and died in His 30s.  Think of the grief, she suffered.

Mary was a human and probably had some days when she simply didn’t understand; but one thing Mary had going for her was her faith, her trust in God.

Mary’s attitude shows through in her response to the angel in the first chapter of Luke.

Verse 48 says “ And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

In other words, I am your servant, Lord. Give me ALL you have, whatever you have.

As a mom, we must repeat those same words to God.

“Lord, I don’t get this. I don’t get your design for my life. I don’t understand why you have me going through this. I just wanted to ______________. Why am I having to deal with ____________?  Lord, I’m struggling. I’m trying to wrap my head around this. BUT LORD, I AM YOUR SERVANT. GIVE ME ALL YOU HAVE FOR MY LIFE, WHATEVER YOU HAVE. BE IT UNTO ME.”

Thy will, thy way, I don’t get it, but I trust you. – Rejoicing in the Present

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lessons From Moms in the Bible - The Cannanite Woman

In Matthew 15:22-28 we read about another mama.  Let's look at the story...

"And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.  
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."
This mother was SERIOUS about her daughter's healing. We see how she cried out to Jesus about her daughter. "Have mercy on me!" She cries. 

She shows Him that she can't do it and she shows Him that she is willing to take anything, even the crumbs of His mercy. 

What faith and trust! We as moms need to have the heart that she did. 

First, we all must earnestly cry out to God about the spiritual needs of our children. 

Then, I must be willing to never give up on them. There are very dark nights when it seems like morning will never come.  I must NEVER give up!  I must fight on my hands and knees.  I must come boldly, yet humbly, to the throne room of God and beg Him for mercy!

Finally, be humble and willing for whatever God has for your child. Maybe the best thing for your child would be for God to take him home to heaven. Maybe the dark path is what will lead her to the light.

Are we willing to take what we think are the crumbs of life?

Trust God and never stop fighting for your child. - Rejoicing in the Present