Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks for Walking Peacefully with the Lord

This past Sunday our minister gave a wonderful sermon. He called it "Contentment Brings Thanksgiving". Afterward, in Bible School, our teacher asked us to think about what we were thankful for and why.

I'm going to pose the same question to you: What are your thankful for and why?

We are thankful for so many things in our lives. We could makes lists that number in the hundreds. Are you thankful for your family? Of course. Thankful for pets? You bet. Friends? Yes. If you thought about it you could make a list so long you'd be amazed.

But, here is the bigger question. Why are you thankful for each of these things?

Is it because you love them? Because they love you? They support you? They provide you with a calmness or peacefulness?

Are you thankful for them because God put them in your life?

Nothing in your life is by chance. God knows your story. He knows all the characters in it and what the plot is and how it all works out.

God wrote your story long before you were born. He loves you. He sent His son, Jesus, to walk among the world to give peace and help others find peace.

Walk peacefully with Jesus every day. Don't be shy about praying to Him to ask Him to show you how.

Or, look in His word and He will teach you.

"The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."" -- Exodus 33:14

"The Lord gives strength to His people, the Lord blesses His people with peace." -- Psalms 29:11

When you don't know what to do. Wait. Trust in the Lord to lead you. Follow Him. Walk with Him. He will bless you with peace.

Thank Jesus frequently as you walk throughout the day. When you do this you will soon learn how to pray without ceasing. With this ability, you will have a direct connection to God at all times.

So, what are you thankful for?

And, why?

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." -- Psalms 118:24

The conclusion of our minister's sermon was this "Be content with what you have, never with who you are."

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." -- Philippians 4:11

Have a blessed day.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

God is Watching

Have you heard about the new program cities are implementing at traffic lights? They city is installing cameras at intersections that will take pictures of the license plate of any car that runs a red light.

Any car.

Then, those car owners get their ticket in the mail.

Easy. Peasy.

What's the message?

"We are watching you."

Pretty powerful image, don't you think?

Now, imagine the eye of God.

Whoa. Huh?

He is all powerful. All seeing. All knowing. He is EVERYWHERE! In your mind. In your heart. Watching you.

Do you think of God like that traffic camera? Waiting for you to do something bad?

Please, don't think like that.

God loves you. He watches OVER you. God loves you so much He can't takes His eyes off you.

He isn't waiting for you to do something wrong so He can condemn you for it.

God watches so He can find just the right ways to use your faithful heart and committed outlook in His world. He looks for those with character and faithfulness.

God's eyes are watching you today. As He sees you obeying Him, He'll continue to fill your life with His strength, power, and love.

"The Lord is constantly watching everyone, and He gives strength to those who faithfully obey Him." - 2 Chronicles 16:9

Resource: 100 Favorite Bible Verses for Women

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Suffering & Sickness - Is it Time to Vent or Repent?


We've all experienced it at one time or another.

Emotional pain.

Spiritual pain.

Today I'm venting about Physical Pain.

I am suffering with a deliberating pain. Have you heard about TMJ?

Per WebMD:

What Is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

There is also something called TMD, again thanks to WebMD: Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for  temporomandibular joint.

So, I have TMD and TMJ. Many people probably hear a click or pop in their jaw and think nothing of it. It's like the popping of a joint or a cracking a knuckle in your finger. For post people that is okay. It really means nothing.

Then there are SOME people.
Some people, like me, encounter pain with the pop. Then sometimes there is no pop, and the pain persists.

Imagine this: One day you are enjoying a great bite of steak and you chew, feeling the tasty juices seep out of the meat and flow down your throat. Chewing, not wanting to miss a single morsel. 


Your jaw won't shut.

The pain brings tears to your eyes.

You try to close your jaw, the pain pierces through you.

After consultation with your dentist and an oral surgeon, a mouth splint is molded of your bit an you are required to wear it every night, for what seems like forever, not chewing, and liquids only. You take pain medications and muscle relaxers until the jaw joint relaxes and you can close your mouth.

Recovery was slow. I never want to go through that again. I'm careful what I chew, I wear my mouth splint when I feel my jaw getting sore.

Months go by. I have similar pain. Year go by. It doesn't seem serious. Then one day, out of the blue, pain like no there pierces your jaw. It's like having a migraine, a toothache and an earache all at the same time.
What did I do?
I wear my mouth splint for 2 months. Time goes by slowly. The pain isn't better. 

So, I make another trip to the oral surgeon. Out with the old. In with the new. Previous Oral Surgeon retired, in with a new Oral Surgeon.
So, I sit through x-rays, examinations, measurements, etc. He decides to take a conservative course of treatment.
No Chewing
Liquids Only

For three weeks.

I feel better. I think the pain is going away.

Back to the Oral Surgeon.
Some slight chewing.

For three weeks.

The pain returns 100 fold.
No chewing
muscle relaxers
Liquids only

For three weeks.
"For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an an example, that you should follow His steps." -- 1 Peter 2 19:21

The pain doesn't get better. It's worse.
This time the doctor adds a does of steroids, tells me to continue with the Aleve, gives me more muscle relaxers, stay on the heat, no chewing, liquids only.
I wait.
For three weeks.
More pain. Constant pain.
Ironically, I'm given pain medications for my low back due to two recent RFA procedures. The pills manage to take the edge of the irritatingly vivid pain of my jaw. 

I pray.
"Let us then approach the approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy nd find grace to help us in our time of need." -- Hebrews 4:16
I'm frustrated. I call the Oral Surgeon. I explain how much pain I'm in. How much I need to write. How I can't with this kind of pain. I'm very frustrated. I'm loud. I'm irritated. I'm in pain. I cry.

I pray.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

This time the Oral Surgeon sends me for an MRI.
We get the results in a week. The diagnosis. Surgery.
Okay, great. Let's get it scheduled. Relief. I'm happy. But….
My Oral Surgeon says that he think's it's too complicated for him and wants me to go to the best specialist in this field at the University of Florida.
Referrals are sent. A letter written and sent to the specialist.

A letter written to my airline insurance company after having to cancel a special trip, explains why I can't fly out to see my new grandson because of TMJ and surgery. My daughter doesn't understand why I can't come and see the new baby. 

I cry.

More waiting.

More prayers.
"Behold, I will bring it health and healing: I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth." - Jeremiah 33:6

I don't wait anymore. I call UF. My appointment for an "evaluation" is February 5, 2014


No chewing. Liquids only. Heat. Pain. No Thanksgiving Dinner. No Christmas Dinner. No Anniversary dinner. Nothing. I have been beaten down.

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered." - Mark 11:22
I cry.
My jaw hurts.
I cry.
I pray.
I cry.
I seek answers. Who else can help me. 
I pray.
God sends me to my insurance company. Who, after much explaining, gives me a directory or oral surgeons in a 30 mile area of my home.
I send the list in an e-mail to my Oral Surgeon along with a lot of venting and tears.
I'm sorry I vented against my doctor. I'm sorry he had to hear and feel my anger and frustration. I'm sorry. Dear Lord, please forgive me.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

I wait.
In pain.
I cry.
I pray.

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms." James 5:13

"Please, Dear Lord, find someone who can heal me of my pain before the end of the year."

""For I will resort health to you and heal you of your wounds." says the Lord, "because they called you an outcast saying: "This is Zion; no one seeks her."' - Jeremiah 30:17


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Obediently Humble

We live in the United States. The land of freedom. The land of rights.

We have the right to

  • choose where we live.
  • choose who we live with.
  • life, liberty, and happiness.
  • read, watch tv, go to the movies.

And so many more rights than these I've listed. What we are actually saying is "we are free."

However, when seeking God, you obey Him.

Do you think obedience is too tough?

Consider Jesus. He's royalty. He sits on the throne with God and rules the Universe. One day every person will bow to him. But, when he lived here on earth he was completely obedient. Not just obedient, he was so obedient he did whatever God his Father told him to, right up and through dying on the cross for us.

For us.

Consider God.

He sacrificed His only son to get our attention and free us from a life of sin and damnation.

God wants you to obey even when it involves pain. Even it if isn't in your self-interest.

No matter the cost.

No matter WHAT the cost.

We obey how Jesus obeyed.

God values your obedience so much that he promises to exalt every person who obeys, as Jesus did, in his new heavens and earth.


Go ahead.


It's worth it.

"Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to his rights as God. he made himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross." - Philippians 2:5-8

Like I said before, obey. It's totally worth it.

Reference: 100 Favorite Bible Verses for Women

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Keeping the Trust Strong in your Relationship


It's just a little word.

But, it means so much.

I'm sure it means something different to everyone, as well.

Trust is elusive.

If you lose trust, how do you regain it?

So, we can all agree that trust is vital, right?

What about the relationship between a woman and her husband? It's VERY important to have trust, wouldn't you say?

Every woman wants her husband to trust her, to rely upon her as faithful and true. However, that kind of trust doesn't come easy.

Here are a few ideas on how a woman can become trusted by the one who is her closest companion.

1. She keeps her word. When she makes a promise, she fulfills it. Always. That way, her husband knows her word is good.

2. She is there when he needs her. When her husband is hurting, she is ready to listen as long as it takes and she is ready to comfort him. When he's in trouble, she defends him. She is his ally.

3. She can be counted on. She would never brush him off.

Do your best to keep the trust strong in your relationship. Then you'll enjoy one of God's greatest blessings on earth - a great marital relationship.

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain." Proverbs 31:10-11

Resource: 100 Favorite Bible Verses for Women 
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whatever your Gift, Give it to God

If you look deep enough, we all have a gift. Some of us can carry a tune an sing like and angel. Others can draw, paint, and create masterpieces. You may have a crafty side. Someone else may be able to sew, while another bakes. All awesome gifts.

Someone can lead. Another can be good with numbers and be a financial wizard. One of you can teach while another can create outstanding programs with computer language.

If you look hard enough, some of us have more than one gift.

And, where did these gifts come from?

Why, God, of course. He is the true giver of all gifts. And I thank God so very much for my gift to write.

Do any of you know the truest and greatest gift anyone can offer God?

I'll give you a few seconds.

tick. tick. tick. tick.

Give up?

Okay, you in the back, bouncing up and down like a kangaroo. I bet you know the answer, right?


Well, you're pretty darn close, thank you playing, you can pick up your consolation prize when you leave.

The truest and greatest gift anyone can offer God is WORSHIP.

"Mary brought in a pint of very expensive perfume made from pure Nard. She poured the perfume on Jesus' feet, and then she wiped his feet with her hair. And the sweet smell from the perfume fill the whole house." John 12:3

Mary's actions sprang from her heart, and the above scripture is a message of God's greatest desire and a woman's greatest gift to him all in one.

Joyous and sacrificial worship comes in many forms. Whatever your gift, give it to God, and let the fragrance of worship refresh him and strengthen your heart.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

God's Promise to Parents

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?" - Matthew 7:11

Though many family dynamics aren't perfect, the love a parent has for a child can be the most giving, sacrificial relationship that exists.

What would you do for your children?

What do you do for your child?

Mothers and fathers pour out time, energy and money to care for their children. They'd give their lives to protect their children. Ideal parents deal with each of their children on a personalized level, catering teaching and training to the style that most effectively helps each child.

Do you help your child dream?

Do you want the best for your child?

You also want your child to be happy, don't you?

As parents you want to love your children. You make yourselves available to comfort them, encourage them and simply have a good time with them.

The parental relationship is the basis of all earthly relationships.

Think about this: As much as you, a parent, loves your child, it's truly staggering to realize that God loves His children even more than the most perfect parents on earth.

God makes Himself available to love you, comfort you, and encourage you. He's glad to be your divine Father. Relish the closeness you can have with your heavenly Father.

Scripture from God to parents:

"Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12

"Fathers do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged." Colossians 3:21

"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart: you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Thursday, November 07, 2013

God Has a Blessing For You

Do you have a dream? Have you prayed to God for special gifts or a particular blessing?

We all have dreams and we all have desires. There is that one thing we really want and we pray to God to give it to us. 

It could be a child. A new job. A promotion. A man in our life. That pretty pair of shoes you saw at Macy's. Whatever it is. It's something special to you.

Do you remember the story of Sarah, Abraham's wife? When she reached her 90th birthday, she was still childless. I'm sure she prayed all the time for God to bless her with a child. Don't you think? Every day. Every night. Every week. Every month. All of those years, praying. Even so, do you think she got tired of praying for something she didn't think would ever happen?

When Abraham was 75 and Sarah was 65, God promised him a son. Even so, nothing happened. For years, nothing happened. No child ever came. So, Sarah tried to take matters into her own hands and make God's promise happen by having Abraham have a child with her maidservant, Hagar. They were trying to fulfill God's promise by human means, rather than spiritual means.

However, God rejected Hagar's son, and continued to promise Abraham that he'd have a son of his own through Sarah. 

Wasn't Sarah surprised when she found out she was with child! What a blessing from God. She praised God, worshipped him, and Abraham made great offerings to God. 

Think about this. Instead of asking God for the blessing you desire, give God the opportunity to bless you the way He wants to.

Your blessing may not be for a longed-for child, but if like Sarah, you look to the Lord, His blessing will come. And it will bless you in the unique way only the God of grace can imagine.

Be patient. Pray for your blessing from God. 

Let Him do the rest.

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Blog Name Change to "Living Stone Faith"

Living Stone Faith lives in the fullness of Jesus.

I love my God and I want to share Him with all of you. I hope that you find solace in what I write and that you also find hope and healing. Love is important, and I write about it a lot.

Do you remember back in the 1980's those Pet Rocks that were so popular? I do. 

Now think of this. Too many times in our lives, we've settled for imitation this or imitation that. Our world sells us PET ROCK faith as a convenient, less-messy version of what it means to walk with God. 

We were given Free Choice as humans of this world.

God always leaves the choice up to you: Pet Rock faith or Living Stone faith.

Which faith do you choose?

Pick up a rock, open your Bible, and discover what God wants to build in you.

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Book Reference: Women Opening the Word Living Stones by Casandra Martin

Worship Begins with God

"Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool upon them. Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God." - Deuteronomy 27:5-7

Altars have a very prominent place in God's word and our history as a people. Altars were the place to meet God and be changed.

The above passage from Deuteronomy shows us how God commanded the people to build the altar of undressed stone. The people used the rocks from the fields and around the mountains. It was with this simple beauty that became the frame for the majesty of God. In the unworked quality of the stones, the people were reminded that God is the one shaping them into His image.

Can you define worship?

Worship is a hard word to define. We want to define it by what we do. But, that's not the true meaning of worship.

Worship begins with God.

Worship begins with an awareness of God's presence. Open your eyes and hearts to the truth that we are entering the presence of God.

In worship, we meet God. It is the place where we come heart-to-heart with our Savior.

How do you worship?

Do you expect to be changed when you worship God?

I do.

I listen for God's voice, His guidance, and how He fills my heart with love.

Every time we worship, we should expect to walk out difference from how we arrived. Every time.

Are you willing to be changed?

I am.

Surrender is the deep call of worship. Meeting God and understanding that it is His desire to transform who we are in these moments of praise requires that we be prepared to let Him change us.

The more we look like Jesus, the richer our worship experience can become.

Why is it necessary to make a commitment to surrender as you come to worship?

I know. For me, it is to be transformed by God to look more like Jesus. And to always put His will above my own.

Worship opens our eyes to who God is. Worship opens our eyes to who we are. Each worship experience offers us the opportunity to be open to God and be willing to change.

Worship allows us to experience God's grace. The grace that He offers us has the power to transform everything about today.

Have you ever been changed by a worship experience?

Worship empowers us to surrender. Surrender is the key that opens the door to transformation. Can you surrender to God?

Worship is meant to be transformative. The opportunity to be changed is available each time we come into God's presence.

Why do you worship?

I worship to glorify God, praise Him, receive guidance, ask for His love and grace by making me a better person.

God commands us to worship.

Worship Him today and be transformed. You won't regret it.

Reference: Living Stones by Casandra Martin

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Saturday, November 02, 2013

God's Master Plan

"I say this because I know what I am planning for you." says the Lord. "I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future." -- Jeremiah 29:11

How do you interpret the verse above?

Some people think that if they love God everything in their life will be perfect.

However, that's not necessarily true.

God has great plans for you and for all that love Him. But, times may get tough occasionally. However, always remember, He has a great future full of happiness for everyone who relies on Him.

God is aware of every situation you encounter, and He can fit it all into the master plan for your life.

Sometimes unfortunate things happen in a person's life. You may hear those people say, "Well, they say everything happens for the best." Did you know they are actually quoting a spiritual promise?

We all live in a world where problems occur. Bad things strike at a moment's notice to anyone and everyone.

Just remember, no matter what happens in your life, God promises He will use it-even the tragedies-for some redeeming purpose.

He is the Lord of your life. Yes, even during the good days and the bad.

So, be patient with God. Everything that is meant to be will come at the designated time.

We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. -- Romans 8:28