Freedom in the Graveyard-

Today happens to be Halloween. Halloween is a very dark, demonic “holiday” when evil spirits and demons are more active than any other day of the year. Participating in Halloween is worshiping the enemy, Satan. Halloween is often paired with horrendous costumes of witches and decorations of tombstones, etc.

Today I want to talk about another type of death. Death to the old man  brings freedom through the blood of Jesus and a relationship with Him. I want to talk to those who have already named Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Often times after coming to Christ, we find ourselves struggling with things like are marked on these tomb stones found in a tour of someone’s Gospel garden. These things will eventually bring spiritual death.

“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1

What does it mean to set aside these things? They often masquerade as something more pious. We need to lay ALL ourselves on the altar.

The way of the cross, leads HOME!

Today; my friends, instead of worshipping the god of this world. May you find yourself finding freedom in the graveyard of putting to death the old man and walking in true liberty in Jesus Christ!!!

Ephesian 4:22 & 24

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt
according to the deceitful lusts;…And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
true holiness”

For more info:

Ephesians 5:7-12, Deuteronomy 18:10-12,

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/halloween.html

http://www.biblebelievers.com/jmelton/Halloween.html

Excuses….

“I need to go to the bathroom!”

“I need a drink.”

“You forgot to tuck me in like a cocoon.”

“I forgot to say your goodnight prayer with you.”

“I spilled my cup.”

“I didn’t give you a goodnight kiss.”

“My dirty clothes needed picked up off the floor because they don’t belong there.”

“I had a really bad dream (although I’ve never gone to sleep yet).”

“I am scared.”

Children are masters at coming up with multiple excuses for not going to bed and staying there when it is bedtime!My mom used to sing a song that went to this effect, “Excuses for none”.

Are you and I guilty of excuse making? We even try to make bargains with God just like the Israelites! God if you give my husband a raise, we will give more in the offering. God if you make my day go good, I’ll have a whole half hour in Your Word. God, if you allow me to get a nap, I will be cheerful. God if You….fill in the space. The parable of the feast in Luke 14 is a classic example of people who made excuses. I can’t come I’ve got me a wife. 🙂 I think that one takes the cake! For all he knew that man’s wife may have loved a good party.

What kind of excuse are you making today? If someone made the same excuses you are making to you would you be happy? Here is something to think about. Are excuse ever legitimate and good? I wonder. What do you think? Especially if excuse is meaning to justify.

Peak Into My Life…Coffee Shop Photo Journey

Life has a way of moving at lightning speed! I thought today I would simply give you a picture journey into my life this past week. I had the privilege of going out for coffee with two friends. One on Monday and the other on Saturday. What is better than a cup of coffee with a good dose of girlfriend connection?

An elegant coffee shop in the heart of a historic town.

Which would you choose?

The coolest Asian lady owned this shop! She came bouncing in while my friend and I were there. Although she was quite disheveled, appearing as though she had just hopped out of bed; she had a dynamic personality. She spilled sunshine on everyone she came in touch with! I want to be like her! 🙂

My coffee fix-organic, single-origin, french-pressed coffee from Sumatra! It had a 95 rating out of 100 so it was considered a specialty coffee. Did you know Starbucks is rated at a 44 out of 100?! French pressing the coffee gives it a very smooth taste. Try it some time!

The morning chocolate cravings-fulfilled! 🙂

“Upside Down!”

Matthew 23:11-12

King James Version (KJV)

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Those verses don’t make sense!  Just like the picture at the right doesn’t make sense. It is wacky. Upside down. Skewed.

People love to be noticed! They want to be known as someone who is great, rich, funny, passionate, or a million and one other things. To be a servant?! Our selfish nature cringes at this. Who wants to serve, when it looks more glamorous to be out front? I want to be  known as a great baker. But alas, I flop can flop a straight forward chocolate chip cookie recipe! I want to be known as a great teacher but where the chocolate coats the candy is at home in the daily grind. I would like to have a large readership on my blog but what will that matter if those 1,000 people don’t remember a thing I wrote? I would like to have people see me as having a well of wisdom but does the well exist  if my husband and family are not touched by it?

We’ve got ads “Cuteness is Our Thing”(clothing, Zulily), “Empowering People” (computer, Acer), “The Power to Do Your Best” (computer, Apple), “When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It” (airlines, Braniff Airways), “Have It Your Way” (fast food, Burger King), “Image is Everything” (camera, Canon) and the list goes on. How many of these things fit in the verses above? How many can truly fulfill what they are promising? We live in a “ME” centered world. Entertain “ME” centered relationships. Spend “ME” centered money. And often, (sadly), attend “ME” centered worship services.

What if there was more to life? What if what we thought was important, really wasn’t? What if we were teaching, what doesn’t matter? According to Matthew 23, this is the case. To be great, one must humble themselves and serve. To be exalted, one needs humility. It is SO upside down! Don’t we admire those who are open about their needs? I do. Don’t we find honor easier when someone is humble? I do.

Today, what does it look like to live an upside down life? What does it mean to serve? Are you okay with laying self at the altar?

Will you look through your glasses like everyone else or will you choose to embrace the different? Christ’s glasses?

Mental Health Awareness Day

Today October 11, is national mental health screening day. This is a subject that comes close to my heart as I personally have walked a mental health journey. Depression isn’t easy. Mental illness isn’t easy. There are several different types of clinical depression. Major depression is lower mood levels as well as loss of pleasure that last over several weeks and interferes with one’s normal functioning and can include physical symptoms. Dysthymia, often called melancholy, is a less severe form of depression that often lasts for several years that include bouts of feeling normal. Bipolar disorder is severe depression alternating with elation called mania. Seasonal Affective Disorder is depression caused as a result of fewer daylight hours. Also called the winter blues. It can be severe. Psychotic depression is when depression and hallucinations and delusions occur at the same time.The sufferer loses touch with reality. You can take a several tests: www.mentalhealthscreening.org

What are some causes of depression? Some of the main causes are biology, genetics, gender, age, health conditions, trauma, grief, changes, stressful events, drugs, and substance abuse. Another cause of depression, which you won’t find scientifically documented, is sin. If there is sin in one’s life this can cause the depression. 1 Timothy 1:19 In my personal battle with depression a lot of it is the fight to embrace Phil. 4:8&9 In God’s Word, He commands us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”. Yes, change, stressful events, genetics, grief, and trauma have also been key components but embracing God’s Word and believing in faith has been the biggest help.

Let’s look at some helps for depression. PRAY! The community of Christian believers is priceless. Here are a few more helps.

  • Talk to one person about your feelings.
  • Help someone else by volunteering.
  • Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
  • Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly.
  • Accompany someone to the movies, a concert, or a small get-together.
  • Call or email an old friend.
  • Go for a walk with a workout buddy.
  • Schedule a weekly dinner date.
  • Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club.
  • Confide in a counselor, therapist, or clergy member.

Remember that depression is serious! It does not normally go away by its self. Remember that each person’s symptoms and triggers and cure will look differently.

For further info:

http://www.adaa.org

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/depression/article_em.htm

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/facing_crisis/dealing_with_depression/depression_reject_the_guilt_embrace_the_cure.aspx

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/cbnTeachingSheets/Depression.aspx

Tippy Tuesday-Mother/Daughter Dates

Finding time for each little person in a mom’s life can be difficult at times. I am finding that especially with school starting it is even more that way. Connecting with your child can range from simple to dramatic. Here is a peek into my life with my six-year-old.

 Love that smile! She was thrilled about hanging out at Dairy Queen with Mom!

We were having a blast trying to take our own pictures while eating our ice cream! Oh, the silly faces we made! And I simply could not keep my eyes open on the pictures! We still talk about the fun time we had here! And all it took was a few dollars spent on ice cream and a camera!

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On a simpler note, last night I laid in bed with a tired little lad on one side and my daughter on the other. Instead of trying to hurry her off to sleep we laid there and talked and talked and giggled. It wasn’t anything really profound although we tried to decide if a cow burps or not. We were both convinced that monkeys probably due and we KNOW Daddy does for sure 🙂

These are the things that I think have profound impact. I could have had me-time and though that isn’t all bad I would have missed connecting with my daughter.

How will you connect with loved ones in your life today? I’d be thrilled to hear from you, my readers!

I am a coupon cutting mom. In fact, I love getting a good bargain. This week when I stopped in at CVS I couldn’t find my $1.00 off coupon. “Oh,” I said to the cashier, “I did have a coupon but I think I must have left it in the vehicle.” So she said I should go check. I did. I went and dug around trying to find it to no avail. So I come in and pay and my total was $0.53. As I finished paying I spied my coupon. I was not very happy about that. Then I went to Giant and was looking for another coupon I’d not put away properly and AGAIN I couldn’t find it! I was doubly unhappy then! That one was for a free pack of cookies up to $1.99. Things were not going my way and I was upset. I trot past the bakery and how I wanted to buy a big box of doughnuts to comfort eat! I began complaining quietly to God. “WHY!? Why did this happen to me? I could have saved some more money. So on and so forth!” Then it “hit me between the eyes” so to speak. Who was I to demand that God find me my coupon I carelessly misplaced? Who was I to speak like that to an almighty God who always does what is best for His children? Who was I insisting that God be my slot machine, pressing the right button and out pops what I want?

Do you ever comfort eat? Do you demand things of God? Do you ever complain about what life has handed you? Maybe you are not like me. My pride stank! I don’t want to serve a god that is only as big as me! I needed to realize ALL the doughnuts and chocolate candy and chips in the world wouldn’t take away my feelings. That it would only give me more negative feelings like guilt. My actions reminded me of the Israelites in their wilderness wonderings. “In Egypt, we had the leeks and the garlics, the melons…”

In those moments, I had a choice was I going to be grouchy because things didn’t go MY way? Or was I going to choose the high road? The one of releasing it to God and asking Him to help me choose joy and peace. Was I seriously going to let $3.00 ruin my day? Or was I going to rejoice in that I had the $3.00 extra?

I managed to take God’s way and ended up enjoying the rest of the day. Today, which road will you choose?

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For more on saving with coupons, check out my sister-in-law’s site! I’ve found this one to be best for my local deals!

http://couponcuttingmom.com/