Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Faith & Works & Other Stuff

1 Corinthians 3:5-9
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Please forgive me for skipping you last week. I don’t know if I shared, but this year I would like to work on being a more responsible person. The purpose of the blog was so we could connect and discuss in real way about our lives and growing in Christ. We can’t do that if we’re not consistent. Of course, sometimes life interrupts us. So that will be my excuse – my life got in my way.

Does your life ever get in your way?

Please tell me yes so I can feel we are of one accord. 🙂

One of my first posts was about comparison. I have a sickness friends. I often compare myself to others that I have no business comparing myself to. Sometimes I compare myself and am envious. Sometimes, shamefully, I compare myself and think like a Pharisee, “Thank you God that I’m not like them.” (Yes, it’s ugly, but true.)

Today I was not feeling particularly inspired, but I was feeling convicted to share with you in some fashion. I went to biblegateway.com and looked up the topic “responsibility” – since I shirked it last week. LOL 25 different scriptures showed up. I quickly prayed for a prompting or prodding and this is where I was led. Actually, it brought up 1 Corinthians 3 in its entirety, but this part jumped out.

It spoke to me. Who am I? I am nothing but a servant with job from God and for God. I’ve got a job to do.

Most mornings, when I get up, I feel the word job is a dirty word. I want to do what I want to do. I’m really not that different from my kiddos. But in today’s passage from Corinthians, there was faith and then there was work. The faith in Jesus led them to do work for him. Because of Apollos and Paul, others were led to the Lord.

This Sunday we will celebrate the resurection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

But is that all we are celebrating?

I hope not!

It’s not just that Christ defied the grave. It’s that he gives us new life out of his sacrificed one. We are freed from eternal damnation. We are freed from ourselves and the limitations this world places upon us. We are freed to be his servant and do his bidding. Being a servant is not full of constraints as the world would have us believe. No my sweet sisters. We are privileged to be able to do our King’s bidding. He calls us his own. He has given us a home with him. We no longer have to struggle to see where our place is in this world – it is with Him! Praise God!

Can I get a BIG AMEN? AMEN! (I think I can hear you)

That’s right sisters – you are, “Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, Free at last.”

So when you feel like a slave instead of a servant while getting Easter dinner together for the family this weekend, remember it is really for Him that we celebrate – not the food, the bunny or Aunt Bessie’s famous chocolate sheet cake. Although if I had an Aunt Bessie that made I chocolate sheet cake, I’d praise Him for that too. 🙂

Thank you God for sending your son for me. And help me to realize the works you have for me to do. Amen

Now, for a few announcements. There will be a Women’s Bible Study starting this Tuesday, April 2nd, from 6-7:30pm. The book is Angie Smith’s What Women Fear. I will have books for you that night.

Also, there is a Girl’s Night IN April 19th starting at 5:30! Yes, we will be staying in the church. Not all night – just till we’ve had enough food, fun and of each other. LOL It will be a carry in so bring some good snacky food if you are able. There will be 3 tables, maybe more, of Pinterest projects. I promise you will not be disappointed! Please let Amy or I know if you plan to be there so we can plan to have enough project material for you. There will be a small fee for the projects, but we will let you know what that is at a later date.

Blessings & Hugs,
PS – Thank you again for listening to my ramblings.

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Sacrifices & Letters

Hebrews 8:10

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
We’ve been watching The Bible on the History channel.  We’ve been recording it on Sunday night and watching it while we eat dinner on Monday.  I like it.  It’s brought about a lot of discussion in our house.  It’s exciting to me because I know the boys are paying attention to what is going on and they are thinking. Quite a feat for three brothers sitting on the same couch for 1 and 1/2 hours.  The best part, so far, was when Aaron said, “There is a lot of sacrificing going on.  I see a theme.”  It gave us opportunity to talk the Old Testament pointing to Jesus.  And I got to throw in the literary term “foreshadowing”.  That also tickled my heart.
Then this morning, while I was getting ready for work, I saw a news story about George H. Bush and  letters.  A book was recently published with many of the letters he has written in his life to his wife, children, grandchildren and friends.  The story was about how he has written so many touching letters to those that matter in his life.  The letters started with love letters he wrote to Barbara during WWII to the present including letters he wrote to Bill Clinton.  Those that were shared were quite touching and heartfelt.  They are a large part of the legacy he will someday leave behind. 
For whatever reason, I tied these two experiences together in my mind. Letters aren’t written very much any more.  It seems like it is a sacrifice in our society to sit down and write a letter. Ashamedly, I belong to that group.  We are all about emails, blogs and texting, but putting pen to paper is an effort.  I often think about dropping a note to this person or that, but it rarely comes to fruition.  And even though I’m not very good at it, I love, love, love getting letters in the mail. 
There is something very personal about getting a letter.  As much as I like to talk, the written word inspires and drives me.  It’s like a little present wrapped up just for me. 🙂  And those that touch my heart, I go back and reread.  I would say letters from family and friends are some of my most cherished possessions.   There are a some from my husband that I like to break out and reread.  It is a physical reminder of what I already know.  I have letters from my dad, grandma and Aunt Dorothy I take out when I’m missing them.  They are no longer with me, but in those words they penned, it feels as though they are sitting right beside me.  My mama writes me beautiful cards that I enjoy rereading for comfort and a pick me up.  And I’ve had sweet notes from some of you as well.  I keep them all as a reminder of who I am to each of these people. 
And then there is The Bible.  This is the ultimate written word sometimes referred to as God’s Love Letter.  Look in the New Testament at all the letters Paul wrote to the Corinthians, Thessalonians, Philippians, Colossians and so on.  He wrote to them to let them know of his love for them and God’s love for them.  He wrote them because he was inspired by God.  He wrote them for us as well.
In the Old Testament, God had the prophets write things down to be passed on to generations that would come behind them.  The written word must be very important to Him.  It is how he’s chosen to communicate with us in a tangible way.  I know He communicates through prayer and the Holy Spirit, but it’s through the Bible that we are able to ingest His Word and share it with others. We can get our fill, so to speak, in a very physical way.  When we read the words, he truly enters our minds and writes on our hearts. 
Thank you God for inspiring the written word.  Thank you for giving me something tangible to hold on to.  Thank you for giving my mind and body the spiritual nourishment they so cry out for.  Thank you.
Blessings & Hugs, Elizabeth
PS  Go drop a note to someone and make their day! 🙂 It can even be hand delivered.  I’m sure they won’t mind. 
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Discipline is Not a Four Letter Word


Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding
Discipline.  The thought makes me shudder.  When I think of discipline, I think of a confined space and me stuck in it.  The word almost makes me hyperventilate.  It makes me feel restricted and bound up and I break out in a rash.
Are you getting the picture?  My mind tells me discipline is just plain yucky like boys think girls are until about 5th grade.
Do any of you have this same affliction?  There are varying degrees of it.  Not all cases are as severe as mine.

This aversion has caused me to do some thinking lately.  Actually,  I do that a lot.  I think about what I need to do to get the results I day-dream about for mine and my family’s life, but then that’s about as far as I go.  To make the changes that I know need done, well, that would take work.  Lots of work.  I’d probably have to give up some shows in the evening which means I wouldn’t be able to plop on the couch after dinner. If I’ve been at work all day, don’t I deserve to do nothing in the evening?  Why can’t the dishes and laundry take care of themselves?   I’d also have to plan ahead, like more than 30 minutes ahead. This too would mean giving up some of my guilty pleasures.  What can I say?  My flesh is sinful and likes to indulge in laziness.

I should tell you I’m a great starter, but a lousy finisher.  For years I’ve been searching for the answer.  I’ve had help and support from friends and family.  I have prayed for an instantaneous change to rid me of my weaknesses.  Boy have I prayed.  I have not yet been rescued .  I have continued on in my lack of ……what is the word I’m looking for……..ummmm OH!!!! I know!  It’s discipline.  It’s that thing I try to instill in my children.  I try to instill it in them, but it seems to evade me.  My mama tried to instill it in me.  I’m sure she still shakes her head in wonder some days.

Why is that?

Hmmmmm.  I’ll ponder some more.  Because I do that well.

Proverbs is a good place to ponder.  The verse I chose today is for me and hopefully for you too.  With discipline comes understanding.

My sisters, there are many things I need understanding about.

I have had discipline in my life, a few times.  And if you know me, stop laughing, it’s cruel.

This is what I’ve noticed when I have discipline – my life runs much more smoothly.  When there is discipline in my housekeeping efforts, I do not experience CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome…….Thank you FlyLady.)  When I have discipline in my meal planning, I don’t drive thru fast food places to get meals because I know I’m covered.  And the two times in my life I was disciplined in my eating and exercising habits, I was an overall happier gal.  When I am disciplined in my Bible study and prayer life, I have an abundance of peace and develop an insatiable hunger to know Him more.  When all of this is out of whack, I truly do despise myself.  I have an unsettled spirit.

Discipline is not the confining box I imagine it to be.  Discipline is really meant to free us and protect us.  It frees us from getting mired in ourselves and our want to do list.  It does not mean that we have a rigid schedule where there is no room for anything or anyone else.  It does mean that we are better prepared for when unexpected things happen.

I have a friend with which I have a pact regarding the state of my house and hers.  We have the understanding.  Should either one of us die, we will not grieve until we have cleaned the others house because we don’t want people coming over and seeing the state in which we live.  Yes, this is a true story.  Now really my sisters, should this be a worry of mine or hers.  The answer is no, it should not.  But, it is.

So today, in the spirit of discipline and understanding, I’ve got my boys doing a few things at home after school.  It will help me to jump-start the process.

Last weekend I did a big grocery shopping and I’ve very much enjoyed not  panicking about what we will eat for meals.

I can do it and you can to……if you need to.

Converse with me sweet sisters!  Please leave comments and share your stories.  It’s fun to have conversation.

Blessings & Hugs,  Elizabeth