Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bunny Bait Mistake



People have been posting A LOT of yummy looking things on Facebook lately and yesterday one caught my attention. It was called Bunny Bait and it looked good and it looked like something the kids would enjoy.

I have no idea where the recipe is or who to give credit to but here is how you make it...

6oz white vanilla flavored candy coating
1 bag popped popcorn
1 big bag of pastel colored m&ms
broken up pretzel sticks
sprinkles if you want

Put popcorn, m&ms and pretzels in a bowl. Melt the candy coating, pour over mixture and stir till coated. Spread out on wax paper and sprinkle with sprinkles.

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If you are doing sprinkles you have to do it immediately. I waited too long and none of them stuck.

I did not find any pastel colored m&ms so mine doesn't look very Eastery but man is it YUMMY! In fact... I don't call it Bunny Bait at all. I just call it crack.

My mistake... making it. :)

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Seriously you guys! This stuff is sooooo good! It won't last long. And it's super easy. The kids can help and everyone will love it!

I'm off to grab another handful of crack.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Running to His Arms






My heart is shattered.
My life a complete mess.

This world is not always a fun place to be.
I long for eternity... where there will be no more tears... where I can bask in the SON. Where I can SEE Him.

Yesterday I sat by myself, writing in my journal. Praying. As I was finishing up I just said "God, I desperately need a word from you."

And then this song started up...


Oh I'm running to your arms
I'm running to your arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to your embrace
Light of the world forever reign.

And that's where I find myself... running to his arms. Sitting in his embrace.

When my life gets crazy messy I can always count on God. He doesn't change... the same yesterday, today and forever! He can handle my mess and my emotions. He will never tell me that I am too much. 

No. He holds me. Loves me. Pours out his love. And then pours it out some more.

You are here
You are here
In your presence I'm made whole.

When I'm a mess my God is not.
He is my rock and my refuge.
I'm running to his arms.

His strength will hold me up.




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Love Must Be Sincere

I'm still working on memorizing scripture this year. I've pretty much hung with the same verse all of March.

Romans 12:9-10
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

I've struggled memorizing these two verses because my head just keep repeating like a broken record...

Love must be sincere.
Love must be sincere.
Love must be sincere.

(My kids aren't going to understand the phrase "broken record". Weird. Sorry... back to the post...)

Love must be sincere.

What would sincere love look like?

Sincere
-free of deceit, hypocrisy or falseness
-pure; unmixed; unadulterated

Unadulterated means not diluted or made impure by adulterating.
Adulterate means to debase or make impure by adding inferior materials or elements. Impure.

Love must be sincere. Love must contain no deceit. Check your motives. Sincere love has no falseness to it. It's pure.

So I find myself asking questions...

Why do I love the people I love?
Do I love because I want to be loved in return?
Do I love but only partially while pretending to love fully?
Is the love I give sincere?
Is it pure?

I know that I will not always have a perfect love. I think I'd have to be super human to get to a place where my love was always perfect. But I can always work toward purifying my love for others more and more.

I can always work at becoming more like my Savior who's love IS and always has been pure and selfless.

Love must be sincere.




Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bucket List

I see bucket lists all the time and every time I read one I think "Hmm... I've never made a bucket list. Maybe I should. Naaah."

Bucket list... a list of things to do before you die. There are websites that help you write your list. There are books telling us places we need to see and things we need to do before we die. There are numerous resources available if a bucket list is your thing.

I do have things I would LIKE to do...
make it to the Grand Canyon
sky dive
ummm... yeah I'm struggling with this kind of list.
Likely because while these things would be nice they aren't really important to me. They aren't things that drive me. They don't come out of a passion of mine. And in all honesty... when I'm dead I really won't be siting around thinking "oh my gosh! Send me back! I never got to sky diiiiive! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"

Pretty sure I'll survive heaven without those experiences... because I AM going to heaven.

Is there anything wrong with having a bucket list? No! Not at all. But I just can't get myself to write the normal kind of list.

The more I think about it the more I realize I have a different kind of bucket list and it goes something like this...

*Positively impact the lives of enough people that if the stories were collected after I die you could fill at least three books.
*Give a child a home and family. Whether that means bringing that child into my own home or paying for someone else to be able to adopt doesn't matter. I need to give a child a home and a family.
*Save a life... will happen with my involvement in pro-life organizations.
*Know God. REALLY know Him.
*Live in a way so that at the end, when I'm gone, the thing that is known about me is that I knew God.
* Buy a second home so that I can help families that hit hard times get back on their feet instead of becoming homeless.

I want to live an outrageous life!

Outrageous... passing reasonable bounds; highly unusual or unconventional; extravagant; remarkable.

The reason I want to live like this has nothing to do with me... it has everything to do with Jesus. When you meet Jesus it changes your life. It changes the reason you live. It changes how you see your time on earth. If I get to see amazing places and do things like sky dive on the way through this life that's wonderful! But those aren't the things I live for. Those aren't the things that keep me moving forward.

People are the reason I live... to show them God's love and shine HIS light.

What's on your bucket list?





Friday, March 22, 2013

Purpose

 





Purpose: the reason for which something exists, or is done, made, used, etc.

Purpose.

It's a word that has come up a lot in the past week. People are longing to know their purpose. They feel lost without knowing what it is. They look at others and decide that those other people have much more purpose than they do.

Purpose.

It's kind of a big deal.

But here's the thing... it doesn't have to be a big deal.

Let me explain myself...

So many seem to be searching for the great, overall purpose of their life. What is it that they will do with their time and talents? What is that THING that they are called to? What is their ministry? I'm finding that many seem to think that their only purpose in life lies in the answers to those questions and that can leave a person feeling pretty blah if they don't know what that big thing is that they are supposed to do.

It's in searching for that big thing that we miss out on all the little things. The things that don't seem like such a big deal.

Things like
taking a meal to a friend who is sick so she doesn't have to feed her family that night.
offering to watch someone's kids (for free) so that they can get a desperately needed nap.
helping in the nursery at church so some parents can actually GO to church.
praying for others.
giving an unexpected gift.
meeting a friend for a hot drink and conversation.
sharing honestly in your Bible study.
being a good wife even when you don't feel like it.
loving your children and disciplining them.
supporting the teachers at your school.
thanking someone for all they do... like your pastors.
leaving a big tip just to brighten someone's day.

The little things. Purpose in everything we do. When I'm able to break it down like that it doesn't all seem be so overwhelming... because it CAN be overwhelming trying to figure out what the big purpose of my life is. And if I'm honest I don't think any of us has one big purpose other than loving and obeying God... in doing that we will find purpose in each and every day.

Everyone doing their part, every day.
Your purpose... your reason for existing... is to shine God's light into the darkness. You don't have to be in charge of a growing ministry to do that. You don't have to have a stage with thousands in the audience to do that. You don't have to be a best selling author to do that. You don't have to have a blog with 10,000 followers to do that.

No... to shine God's light into the darkness... to live out your purpose... all you need to do is say YES GOD.

Every day.
Every moment.
Scared or courageous.
Whether you understand or not.

If God tells you to do something you do it... 100% immediate obedience is the goal.
If you do that you WILL find that you have GREAT purpose in each and every day that you live.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Friends and Belly Dancing

It was time for another girls night so I once again asked Mike to take the kids and stay at his parents' for the night so that I could have some friends over. My friend Sarah had been talking about having a belly dancing night so I asked her to combine with me. 

What a night!!

We invited the people and began the night with an awesome dinner. We were so stuffed that the snacks and desserts were hardly touched all night. Not normal for a group of girls! Anyways... after dinner Sarah got on her awesome belly dancing outfit and started the hilarious lessons.

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I laughed so hard I hurt! And I think the others did too. :)

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There was a whole lot of hip shakin' and shimmying. And comments like "this makes me feel like I'm going to have another baby!" 

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I got a little carried away... bells on the hips just weren't enough! I look so ridiculous in this picture but that's probably because I really DID look ridiculous trying to belly dance. But it was sooo much fun and we were all being ridiculous.

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(Thanks for the pic Kim!)

Kim agreed that more bells were needed. :)

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It's such a wonderful, freeing thing to be able to completely relax and get silly with my friends! I think it was exactly what we all needed. :)

 We also made truth cards but I want to really explain what those are and how you can make them too so they will be in a different post later this week.

What kind of fun things do you do for girls nights??? I'm always looking for fresh and fun ideas... because even though Apples to Apples is an awesome game you can only play it so many times before you need something new. :)




Monday, March 18, 2013

Stories ~ Part 3

Last week I talked about WHY we should share our God-stories. You can read part 1 and part 2 if you missed them.

Also, if you would like to share YOUR story I would love to have you be a guest on my blog. Get in touch for details. :)

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Today I want to talk about the reasons that people don't share their stories. They are all things that I heard as I asked people to share. Maybe you will hear yourself in one of them.


REASONS PEOPLE DON'T SHARE THEIR TESTIMONY

1. I don’t have a testimony because I’ve been a Christian since I was five. 
  •  I was five when I asked Jesus into my heart. I have a still shot of that moment with mom so clear in my memory. I remember once, when I was about twenty, telling someone that I didn’t think I had a testimony because I had always been a Christian. The person I had told that to definitely had a story to share and she said to me “I think the fact that you have been a Christian all your life and REMAINED a Christian is one of the greatest testimonies. I WISH I had your testimony. But don’t ever think you don’t have one because people need to know that that it is possible… to be a Christian and remain a Christian.”

 
2. I have nothing interesting to say. 
  •  I’m pretty sure that any story that has to do with God is interesting. If Jesus saved you that alone is something worth shouting about!

 
3. I don’t have anything to share that would help others. 
  • Let’s let God decide that. I know very little about most of you. I have no idea who my story might touch... and neither do you. We don't know the struggles that others have gone through or are going through right now. Your story may be just what they need.


4. Afraid that if people knew about my past they would judge me or no longer like me.

  • That’s their problem. God has forgiven you and if he tells you to share your story then you need to share it. If anything, knowing you now as a Christian and then hearing about the past you had before I knew you gives greater evidence of who God is because I find that when that situation happens I look at my friends in shock saying “NO WAY! You are nothing like that at all today! God is GOOOOOD!”


5. Shame. 
  • Psalm 32:1-2 
          Blessed is the one
            whose transgressions are forgiven,
            whose sins are covered.
         Blessed is the one
            whose sin the Lord does not count against them
            and in whose spirit is no deceit. 

        Don’t be ashamed of who you were… be proud of who you are!
 

6. If I shared my story it would scare everyone.
  • Have you read the Bible? It’s full of murder, deceit, adultery, idol worship and on and on and on. That’s the story of God’s family. He didn’t hide those stories that weren’t so pretty… neither should you!




Those are excuses I've heard over the past few weeks. What is your excuse for not sharing your God-stories?

 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Content

Content...  peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction.

Yesterday Mike and the kids headed our for the night. For me it was a  Toby Mac, Group 1 Crew, Lecrae kind of music day. Upbeat. Excitement. FUN. I was preparing for a night with friends. Filling my house with friends, fun and new memories is one of my most favorite things. Oh... and good food. :)

The night was a complete blast... full of belly dancing (yes hahah!) and crafting and laughter. A night where we were all free to be ourselves without the worries of life.

At the end of the night everyone left and I had my house to myself. I went to bed so full of peace and joy.

I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of content. My life isn't perfect but I have SO MUCH! I love my house even with it's unsanded, unfinished floors and kitchen on the back porch. I love it because already in the short six months we've been here it is home. It is full of memories. I know, without any doubt at all, that I am right where I am supposed to be. THIS is part of God's perfect plan for my family.

My friends are the best in the world. Keepers for life. People I can trust with my heart and count on to encourage me to continue becoming a better person. New friends. Old friends. I'll take them all! I am absolutely convinced that my town has the best people in the world. If you asked me why I live here it has nothing at all to do with the town... but it has everything to do with the people. The people are the reason I am still here. I can't imagine leaving. These people are also my home.

This morning I sit here with a hot cup of tea and my Bible. It's quiet because Mike and the kids are still gone. My house is clean because the kids weren't here to make their usual messes. :) It's a Kari Jobe, Jack Johnson, Sarah Groves, Norah Jones music kind of day.

I am content.

I have this feeling of fullness... like I just might burst at the seems with love and excitement. As I was thinking on that I realized that the only other time I have felt a similar feeling was when me and lightning had a little meeting.

Power.

Contentment is a powerful thing.

The past few years have been a bit rocky but I feel like I've made it to the mountaintop and it's my time to just sit and enjoy the view. The sunrise of a brand new day. A new beginning. A fresh start.

Psalm 59:16-17
But I will sing of your strength,
in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on who I can rely.

My God on whom I can rely.

I am content in life because of my God on whom I can rely.

Go have a hot cup of tea and enjoy some mellow music. :)



Friday, March 15, 2013

Stories ~ Part 2



I started this series yesterday. If you missed it you may want to start by reading part 1.

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TobyMac has a song called Stories (Down to the Bottom).  It opens with this line… “Stories… we’ve all got ‘em.” (and isn’t that the truth!)

The chorus goes on to say…


We've been down to the bottom
Stories we got 'em,
when we hit rock bottom
If you been there put your hands in the air
To let the lost know that someone cares
Cause we've been down to the bottom
Stories we've got 'em, when we hit rock bottom
If you been there put your hands in the air
And let somebody know that the Most High cares


And that is another reason why we need to tell our God-stories. So that others know that the Most High cares. To crush the lie of “I’m alone... I’m the only one who has even gone through this.” If Satan can keep us believing that we are alone he can keep us silent. And when he is able to keep us silent he wins.

But when we speak up, when we take that hard step and share our story, God will turn our mess into a message. He will take what Satan meant for bad and turn it into something good. We are to let our light shine and when we share our stories we do just that. We shine a light that shows others the way.

In John 4:1-42 we have the story of the woman at the well. Let me sum up the story instead of posting it all. 

Jesus asks a Samaritan woman to give him a drink and she's all "how can you ask me for a drink. I'm a Samaritan and you are a Jew!?" Jesus tells her if she knew who he was she would ask him for a drink and she would never thirst again. The woman says "I want that" and Jesus responds with "Go get your husband." She says "I have no husband" and Jesus tells her "You are right. You have had five and the one you are with now isn't your husband." They continue some conversation and Jesus tells her that he is the Messiah. 

And we pick up in verse 29. The woman has left the well and run back to her people...

"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?" 

Verse 39 says, 
 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."

Jesus ended up staying with them for two days and in verse 42 we read...
They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." 

They first believed because of THE WOMAN'S TESTIMONY. Then they went and heard for themselves and decided that they no longer believe because of the woman's testimony but because they have now experienced Jesus themselves. When we share our stories we give people the change to open their hearts to God so that they can then experience Him personally... and when that happens belief is solidified!

I mentioned yesterday that God has been on trial since the beginning. When we share our stories we give testimony. We are witnesses who testify.

John 4:39 KJV
And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

The greek word for testify used here  is martyreo. It means:
1.      To be a witness, to bear witness, ie to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration.
a.      To give (not keep back) testimony
b.      To utter honorable testimony; give a good report


We need to be willing to testify to what God has done in our lives!!

 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stories ~ Part 1


I've asked the ladies in my Bible study group to share their testimonies and "God stories". Over the next few days I'm going to share my thoughts on WHY we should share our stories...

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We all love stories.

The Bible is full of stories.
Libraries are filled with stories
because people write stories
because we want to be able to read their stories.
Made up stories and real ones.
We love songs that tell stories.
Movies.
We laugh at stories.
We cry because of some.
And some can even change our lives.
We watch reality tv shows like American Idol and all of a sudden we find ourselves rooting for someone not based on their singing and entertaining abilities… but based on their story. It touched us. 


Each of us has a story that is worth telling.


Story: a narration of events in the life of a person.

Someone out there needs to hear the events in our lives that point to God. Why?
Because God has been on trial since the beginning of time. 

He created the world and Adam and Eve. Then he placed them in the garden with only one rule... do not eat the fruit of THAT tree. 


Genesis 3:1-7
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' " "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 


Satan wants to convince everyone that God is a liar.
We need to tell our stories so truth can be known. People want to know if God’s words are true, if his promises are true, if he is who he says he is… if he even exists at all. If we don’t tell people about the “God stories” in our life they just might go on believing that God is a liar.

So God is on trial and we are his witnesses. We need to be willing to take the witness stand at every opportunity. Our testimony is needed.  It is NECESSARY!

Testimony:
*open declaration or profession, as of faith.
*evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof

We buy a new product based on testimony.
We use a certain doctor based on testimony.
We read a book or watch a movie based on testimony.
I’m planning a vacation and asked for testimony on good vacation spots.
I chose the person to cut my hair based on testimony.
We try a new restaurant based on testimony.

We make many decisions based on the testimony of others. We do our research, read their reviews, learn from their experiences.

We need to make sure that we give testimony about God as well because people are searching and wondering about him.

Testimony… evidence in support of a fact or statement; proof.

We need to give evidence and proof to the fact that God is real.
We need to give evidence and proof to the fact that we need his grace and salvation.
We need to give evidence and proof to the fact that his words are truth.
We need to give evidence and proof to the fact that God can change our lives.




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