Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Feeling in a Funk Continued

I posted not too long ago a devotion about "Feeling in a Funk"  This study was a blessing to me as I felt I was given a direct To-Do list from the Lord. During this quarantine time I want to be productive.  I want to come out of this time stablished, strengthened and settled which is exactly what it says in 1 Peter 5:10.  But in order to do this I must do the will of God. We discussed 3 things from 1 Peter that are on that list.  I thought today I would share the other 7.

Use Hospitality 1 Peter 4:9
 The basic definition of hospitality is being generous to guests.  This is talking about people that live outside of your house. We are going to have to be creative on this one since we really can’t have people into our homes. How can you be hospitable when you are quarantined?  1st step is figuring out who should be a “guest."  Who has God put into your life that you need to be a blessing to?  Home means an enjoyable, happy place where you can live, laugh and learn. It's somewhere where you are loved, respected, and cared for.  During this time we all need to be loved, respected and cared for. How can we do this without being with that person?
                   1st  Make a list (prayerfully) of those that live outside of your home that you need to show love and care to.  Ask God to show you who this is!
                2nd  Choose to be a blessing to them this week! (And not through the normal texting, messaging or email.  Be creative!
                                Call (sometimes we all need to hear someone’s voice!)
                                Send a care package
                                Write a letter.  Use a pretty color pen and stationery. 
The point is for the person to know that you took time to show them love, to respect them and care for them.  Time = Love

God Glorified in my Speech 1 Peter 4:11  

A few years ago I did a word study on speech.  I wrote down every time the Bible talks about speech, words and tongue.  Wow!  It is so convicting!! 
                Do you know that you can teach your tongue to speak right or wrong?  Jeremiah 9:5, “They have taught their tongue to speak lies.”  How powerful our tongues are!  They can cancel out a million actions of love with just one harsh word.  It is important that we train our tongues to speak right. 
  As you read your Bible this week,  notice when speech, words and tongue are mentioned.
Col. 4:6,  Psalm 39:1

Rejoice in Trials.  1 Peter 4:13

This one can be difficult. How has your response been through this trial that we are going through?  Has it been to spread worry?  Are you ready to report anything negative that you hear?  It’s easy for us to want to look horizontally and see all the difficulties around us.  It’s easy to focus on the numbers of how many are infected and how the virus is growing in our area.  It’s easy to just look at the trial.  But, God says we are to rejoice in them   Phil. 4:8, 1 Thess. 5:16 God is going to do something wonderful through all this!  Like an eagle, he is above and seeing the big picture in all of this. How do we do this? By choosing to look at the good and remember it. We too easily forget from day to day the things God is doing in our life!  Create a place that is visible to the whole family that you can write down specific blessings that have happened through this time.  We have watched our "Blessings Catcher" fill up with lots of things God is doing for us.  Things such as encouraging texts from friends, game nights on zoom and picnic table dates.  If you look for blessings, you will find them!

Clothed with Humility     1 Peter 5:5  
             That word "clothed" jumped out at me.  Do you realize that you get to choose what you are covered with?  Not just your physical clothes (like a comfy t-shirt and jean skirt), but the inward clothing of your heart. What am I choosing to cover me?  When others look at me do they see me clothed with humility?
Humility is having a humble opinion of one’s self
Paul, most likely the greatest Christian to ever walk the face of  earth said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am.”  We are the same.  If we have anything we think we should be able to brag about, it’s because of God and how good He has been to us! God will give grace to the humble.  It’s the exact opposite of what our flesh wants to do—It wants to make sure it gets the recognition it deserves, that its efforts are recognized.  BUT when we are humble, and let someone else get the praise, or we go unnoticed, God will give us grace!  And He does a much better job of rewarding us than man’s words will ever do.  So how do we apply this one?  Do something anonymous for someone this week without wanting to get any glory for yourself.  Write an encouraging note or leave flowers on someone's doorstep.  Let God get the glory.

Cares Cast Upon God      1 Peter 5:7
                             Are you casting your cares upon God or upon others and yourself?  Have you prayed about it as much as you’ve worried about it?
During Covid-19, there has been many cares that have arisen
                -started with toilet paper and making sure we are stocked up on supplies  (going to the store for flour)
                -school arrangements, online learning
                -Church services yes or no?, online, facebook live, zoom, live streaming, uploading…
                -Keeping healthy- masks, gloves, Lysol, hand sanitizer, social distancing

A lot of cares!!  Are they weighing you down? Are you panicked and worried over things you don’t have any control over?  We should be casting our care on the Lord!
             When Patrick and I were first married we would go to skip rocks into beautiful Lake Champlain.  My handsome hubby would look for the perfect, smooth, flat rock that would be perfect for skipping. Then, he would expertly throw it in the water getting many skips.  No matter how hard I tried I never could skip rocks like that!  Do you know that he never went in after the rock he had skipped?  Not once.  It reminds me of Psalm55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee;  he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."
  Our cares should be just like that rock.  Throw them with never wanting them back.   Recognize all those cares you’ve been holding onto and cast them to the Lord!

Be Vigilant   1 Peter 5:8
Keep a watch.   We are so prone to do wrong.  Or even to not do what is best.  Don’t settle for just the good.  Watch and resist the desire to settle for good.             
Why be vigilant?  We have a real enemy that wants to devour us, make us disappear.  Be careful of the entrances you allow to come into your heart and home.  What would bring Satan satisfaction?  Mothers/wives/Christians to disappear from the scene.  You may say, “I would never leave my home, my family, my church”…whatever it may be.  Maybe you are physically there, but have you “checked out” emotionally and spiritually?  Have you put up walls so you can’t be hurt anymore?  Your positive, spiritual influence has disappeared.
  When we are vigilant we are on the lookout for ways that our enemy may try to sneak in.
  Do an inventory of your home.  Are you being vigilant of the things you allow in to influence you?  Since we’ve been quarantined in our home it has been easy to let lots of news, binge watching tv shows, or just wasted time on social media.  These things are influencing you!  Be vigilant!!

Resist Satan 1 Peter 5:9

How do you resist him?  Submit to God….which is the whole point of this study, to do His Will!

Lord let us be faithful during this time to do your will.  I want the benefits of being stablished, strengthened and settled!  Hopefully this time will be over soon, but until it is, let's be committed to do the will of God!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Scavenger Hunt for VSIBC

My husband and Joshua have been very creative during these times of quarantine.  Their hearts have been so burdened for our church family.  They want to prayerfully move forward with building and growing our church.  They are so dedicated and I am so proud of them. 

They came up with idea for the church to do a "Remain-in-Vehicle" Scavenger Hunt.   They posted our VSIBC logo around town and sent out clues of where they could find the logos.  Then, they were to drive around town to find the logos, remain in their car, take a picture of the logo and send it to the preacher.  The first to find all the logos was the winner.  It was so much fun!  Many families participated and were so excited to get out of the house for a bit. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Quarantine-Style Date Night

My sweetie and I have needed some time together.  Even though we have been together bunches, it's a busy time where our brains don't seem to have a whole lot of rest.  We need quality time.  So, we decided to have a little date!  When I got to the car I saw one of my favorite flowers waiting for me, hand-picked by my hubby, a wonderful smelling gardenia.

Then, we were off!  We drove into Alachua to pick up some to-go food.

While we were gone I had Callie set up our picnic table on the front porch for us to enjoy our "date."  It was so nice.  We just talked and laughed.  So thankful for my wonderful husband!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

How to encourage your Preacher

These have been some different times for us, but especially for my husband who is the Pastor of our church.  As he has said, preaching to a camera is difficult!  He longs to interact with the people that God has called him to minister to.  He misses it so much!

One of our sweet ladies picked up on that and decided to be a blessing.  When we went to church to film the services, she had printed out pictures of the people of VSIBC.

My husband was so excited when he came in!  He can now preach with them in mind.  He misses the people God has called him to.  We all do!  We're trying to be patient and wise during this time, but we are so ready to start meeting again!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Time for Snow? Family Fun Night

We enjoyed a great Family Fun Night last week!  Even though we've been together bunches during our "quarantine" it was nice to have some concentrated, quality time together.  Micah told us about a way to make some snow that his teacher mentioned in class.  We decided it would be a great idea!

You take 1/2 cup of hair conditioner and mix it with 3 cups of baking soda.  It's so neat when you feel it because it's cold. How fun for this Florida family!!

After playing with it for a bit we decided to have a snowman competition.

It is a little messy. 

Well, maybe a lot!

The snowmen turned out super cute.

And we had a great time together and memories were made.  Family Fun Night was a success!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

God's Care

I am enjoying listening to this month's hymn, "God Will Take Care Of You."  It has been a blessing to me and a great reminder while our world faces this pandemic.  God is taking care of us.  He hasn't left us! 

I love the story behind how this hymn was written.  Mr. and Mrs. Stillman Martin were very active in the ministry and used their gifts of music to serve the Lord.  In 1904, on a Sunday, Mr. Martin was invited to preach at a church some distance away.   As they were preparing to leave, Mrs. Martin became suddenly ill.  Trying to figure out what to do and if he should keep his preaching meeting, the Martin's son spoke up and reminded them that if God wanted Mr. Martin to go preach, then God was able to take care of his Mother while his Father was away. 

With this thought in mind, Mr. Martin kept his preaching appointment and saw many people saved that day.  When he returned that night, Mrs. Martin was feeling so much better and had been putting her sons thoughts down on paper in the form of beautiful poetry.  That night Mr. Martin put those words to song and we now have the hymn, "God Will Take Care Of You."

And He surely will!  If we purposefully look, we see God's hand on every aspect of our life.  The second verse of our song says,
 "Thro' days of toil when heart doth fail, God will take care of you;  When dangers fierce your path assail, God will take care of you."

  Do you believe it?  Do you see it in your life?  God is taking care of us!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cookies with Lolli

Ever since Tabitha announced she was expecting her first baby, I knew I wanted to be a "Cookie Grandma."  I wanted to be a grandmother that would make precious memories with her grandchildren on a regular basis.  And one of those memories would be to bake cookies together.  Well, that finally happened!  Liberty came over and I asked her if she wanted to bake cookies!  Of course she was just as excited as me!  My Callie Grace loves to bake, too, so she helped us. 

You can tell Tabitha has baked with Liberty before.  She knew how to measure things out and stir.  Lots and lots of stirring!  She did very good with only a little flour on the floor (and countertop, and Liberty, and me.  You have to make messes with cookies, you know!)

Then, it was time to enjoy the fruit of our labor....Peanut Butter Cookies!  We even had enough for her to bring some home to her Mommy and Daddy.  She was very proud!

Enjoying these precious days and precious memories!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

What day is it?

Anyone else a little confused about what day it is?  I know we have been.  We've heard quite a few times around the house asking what day it is.  This quarantine has really thrown our schedule for a loop!  We've tried to be creative in our visiting, since we really can't come in contact with people.  So, visiting can be any day of the week with special drop off packages (like yummy baked bread or brownies) and singing from the front yard. 

Church is especially different since we video it the day before.

 I don't do the grocery shopping anymore since Patrick doesn't want me to be exposed to anything.  Adding Covid-19 to Myasthenia Gravis would not be a good thing.  So, I've become the driver as my girls have become the shoppers. I never knew that I loved shopping, but now I realize I would love to wonder the aisles of Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby.  Would love to!!

The only thing that has kept the same routine is the care of our little farm.  My little goat herd is doing great and within a few weeks we will be on goat watch waiting for the kids to be born!

Strange times during the quarantine, but we are making it!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Can you feel it??

We can!  It's called Summer Fever!  The temps are turning warmer.  Isn't it too soon for that?  Oh well, that's Florida for you.  We decided it was time to take the cover off the pool and start getting it ready for some swim time.  My sweetie has been treating it and cleaning it and it's almost ready.  Can't wait for a great pool party!  I think my Micah is ready, too.  He was doing school at the dining room table.  But, every time I checked on him he was looking at the pool instead of Spelling.  I think he's ready, too!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Feeling in a Funk?

During our social distancing/quarantine, I’ve heard a lot of similar statements from ladies:
                In a Funk
                Not productive
                Can’t seem to be motivated
                It's like when you have plans at 3pm and feel like you can’t do anything until “that thing” is you’re waiting around

Feel that way?  For me, I’ve been wanting to get back to quilting all year, now that I can, I haven’t sewn a stitch!

Taking this thought, I began searching the Scripture for answers.  I ended up reading in 1 Peter.  I came to 4:2 ,  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  That phrase, “The rest of his time” stood out to me.

  rest of her time  

What would I like to do for the “rest of my time” in quarantine?  What would I like to accomplish?   Peter says we should be doing the will of God during this time.  It’s so interesting because as I read chapter 4 and 5 I found lots of things that Peter says is the will of God for me to do.   It’s the answer I was looking for!  Then, I found in 1Peter 5:10 the results of doing God’s will during this time is that we will be “stablished, strengthened and settled.  It's the exact opposite of the sentiments of in-a-funk-feeling that I've been hearing. We don’t know how long this time will last.  It could be two more weeks,  It could be two more months.  But, when things get back to normal, what do we want to have said about our time?  Do we want to say we floundered, walked around in a funk and were not productive?  Or do we want to say that we have come out stronger, closer to the Lord and our family and accomplished much!?  Do we want to be stablished and strengthened?  Then, we must do the will of God.   There are many things listed in chapter 4 and 5 that are the will of God.  I picked out 10 that I would like for us to study.  But for this lesson I will focus on 3.

SOBER  (1 Peter 4:7)  Sober means to make of sound mind, to discipline or correct, to be wise.  I have to stop and ask myself, “Am I wise concerning the things of the Lord?  I read a very sad verse in my devotions Saturday.  Jeremiah 4:22 says, “they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.  How sad.  It can come so natural for us, our flesh is so strong!  But being wise concerning the things of the Lord, being sober, is going to take effort.  It doesn’t really take a lot of effort to do wrong and respond harshly, does it?  But we must be diligent to be sober and wise in the things of the Lord!

So, how’s that going for you?  Do you purpose to read God’s Word everyday BEFORE you read anything else?  It’s easy to read the news (especially right now!), social media, or anything before God’s Word.  We have to purpose that He will be 1st!
Think of a profession where someone must be very smart and well educated. It didn’t come by accident.  It took effort and diligence.  Same with being wise in the Lord!
                Do you have a Bible reading schedule?  Are you disciplined to read and study?  What about other books you are reading?  Do they point you to being sober minded?  Right now there is so much at our fingertips (books, ladies devos, sermons galore) Be diligent to use them wisely.

Homework:  Purpose to read God’s Word before anything else.  Before news.  Before social media.  Anything! Be a student of God's Word!  Get out your pen and notebook.  Take notes, jot down questions, look for correlating passages.  But, I'm warning you, it's addictive!  Studying God's Word brings so much joy that you will go back again and again for more!

WATCH UNTO PRAYER  (1 Peter 4:7)  Watch means calm and collected in spirit/fit for prayer.  If our family, our church and country needs prayer, now is the time! Is your spirit fit for prayer? Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”     I want my prayers to be heard.  I need my prayers to be heard!  But, I must have a clean heart before God and man.  Do you need to go to someone and get things right?  We tend to think that if we admit our wrong and ask someone forgiveness that it will harm our testimony.  But, do you know the opposite is actually true?  When you go to someone, admit you were wrong and sincerely ask them to forgive you, it opens the door for them to see you are real (just like them).  Especially with our children!  It opens the door to communication with them and with God!

Homework:  Pray or sing Psalm 139:23-24.  When God does show you where you need to get something right, don’t put it off.  Get things right with God and with others.

FERVENT CHARITY  (1 Peter 4:8)  Charity is a giving love.  Do those around you know how deeply you love them? Francie Taylor has said, “Loving is giving, so plan on giving up some of your ideas.”  We usually start off our day with an idea of how things should go. When we are floundering and in a funk, it’s easy to be agitated and aggravated.  And get on each others nerves a little.   It also seems that our husbands and children, everyone always need us at the same time.  Usually just when you’re relaxed, poured yourself a nice diet coke and are finally sitting down to read a chapter in a book, they all need you.  Someone has a math question, someone needs help finding something.  You may tell your family you love them, but have you shown them? A good test to see if you are showing fervent charity to others is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Put your name in place of Charity.  Is it true?

Homework:  Read through  1 Cor 13 and sincerely ask, How am I doing?  How can I improve?

3 simple things that are the will of God.  I'm looking forward to studying the next 7!  Simply put, I need the results of being stablished and strengthened! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Hymn for April ~ God Will Take Care Of You

April.  It's finally here.  I saw a quote on facebook that said March was the longest year ever.  Anyone else feel that way?  Well, April is here and I'm ready to put one foot in front of the other and make this a great month!  There will be some challenges along the way.  The stay at home order has been extended for 30 days because of COVID-19.  Many things will be different and difficult, so, I have been praying for the Lord to show me which hymn to pick for April.  I needed it to be one that would be a good reminder for me everyday.  I hadn't really been settled on which one to pick until Silas read a quote to me yesterday from the Book, Fight on, by Samuel C. Gipp.    It says:

He worked hard all of his life and became a multimillionaire.  Then, at 56 years old he lost it all...because of this he became suicidal....He even wrote a "Good-bye" letter to his family...Then one day he got up and heard someone singing "God Will Take Care Of You" and fell on his knees and trusted Christ as his Saviour.  We know him as J. C. Penney.

What a story!  And it is just the reminder I need this month!  God WILL take care of me!

Be not dismayed whate'er betide
God will take care of you
Beneath His wings of love abide
God will take care of you
God will take care of you
Through every day, o'er all the way
He will take care of you
God will take care of you
No matter what may be the test
God will take care of you
Lean, weary one, upon His breast
God will take care of you
God will take care of you
Through every day, o'er all the way
He will take care of you
God will take care of you
He will take care of you
God will take care of you

I have created a playlist here on youtube if you would like to listen to this hymn.  I have been turning on the playlist most mornings and enjoy starting the day hearing the hymn for the month.

I am also going to be memorizing Luke 12:27-31

"Consider the lilies how they grow:  they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven;  how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after;  and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God;  and all these things shall be added unto you."

Don't get weary this month.  Don't let the cares of this world put a damper on your joy.  God will take care of you!