Wednesday, September 29

Reading back through a GREAT book right now. Will post more about it later.
It's called "God-o-logy" By Christian George and published by Moody Publishers, 2009.

Love this quote from it on pg. 127: "A daily dose of solitude increases our God-capacity. The more time we spend in the high altitude presence of Christ, the bigger our reservoir for engaging Him becomes."
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God or Google?

This picture was not taken by me. It comes from an ireporter to CNN and is originally posted on CNN's living page.
"AMEN!" I said while rummaging through recent culture news online. I came across this picture from CNN's website. It is NOT a picture I took myself. I had to post this because it speaks to how technology plays a part in our daily lives. Think about it. Have a problem. Google it. Searching for a product at a cheaper price? Google it. A problem in your marriage? Google it. Looking for a fabulous vacation at an affordable price? Google it. Need a craft to amuse your child? Google it. Have an ailment that you need to diagnose? Google it. Have a crying baby and don't know what to do? Google it.

It's there. It's all there. And if it's not there, it probably will be there soon.

My introduction to google a few years ago went like this: While talking to a friend (who lives in the fast paced New York City) she said, "Ashley, just google it. You do know what google is right?" I had no idea what she was talking about at the time. So I went home and googled. Where had I been? It was the greatest thing that could happen right? All these answers at my fingertips. Why hadn't I known about it?'s really the one thing I have learned about google: it may be able to guide me to recipes but it won't put dinner on the table. (Oh, how I wish it would!)

Type in, "how to..." and the list keeps coming:
How to:
  • tie a tie
  • live on less
  • grill corn
  • kiss
  • eat healthy
  • love yourself
  • love someone
  • love God
  • to say I'm sorry
  • to say I love you
Google reminds me of the idea of a genie saying snap and it's done. On the flip side, it reminds me people are looking for answers. All kinds of answers about health and home, food and family. Answers about God too.

Like it or not we are creatures of habit. The daily practice of finding answers on google can form a routine habit of googling without even thinking about it. Just ask anybody about something these days and you'll probably hear them say, "Just google it." Please hear me, I am not against google. But I do think that the act of going to google for a quick fix can lead us to become familiar with the instantaneous. The danger I fear for believers is that we can become hooked on finding an answer so fast that it becomes our first instinct in times of trouble. God speaks truth through His word and His answers are not always instantaneous. The bible tells us wait on God.

Psalm 27:14 (English Standard Version)"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD."

Psalm 38:15 (English Standard Version)"But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer."
Psalm 130:5 (English Standard Version)"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;"

The Message (MSG)

     God, the one and only—
      I'll wait as long as he says.
   Everything I hope for comes from him,
      so why not?
   He's solid rock under my feet,
      breathing room for my soul,
   An impregnable castle:
      I'm set for life.

Ok. So I shared my thoughts about google.
What do you google?
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Friday, September 24

An Unexpected House Guest

Louie the Lizard- I might as well name him. He stayed for an hour!
  You ever just seem to be going about your day when all of a sudden something happens that makes you stop in your tracks? This happened to me a few months ago. I forgot I had taken a picture to prove to my husband that there actually was a lizard in my kitchen. It thought it was funny enough to post about on a Friday. Hope you enjoy the madness!

Here's how it went down:
"How did he get in here? How do I get him out?" were my thoughts as this little green long tailed creature made his way around my kitchen like an invited guest.
Every thing I could get my hands on started flying through the air to move him toward the door. That was my only plan at this point. If I could just move him that way, I could open the door and not have to pick him up with my hands! My bare hands were certainly NOT the plan.

ring, ring, ring,......ring.... My husband called. I told him what was going down at the Anderton home and he kind of laughed and said, "Get a paper towel and just pick him up and place him outside the door." I responded with an emphatic, "NO!!!!" He laughed and said, "Well, I guess he will be there a while until you just pick him up." I got not one ounce of sympathy!

Lets get this thing straight. I don't have a problem stepping on a spider or bee or taking a towel and picking up any other kind of bug. But I DON'T like reptiles. Any of them. Every time I see them, they remind me of the serpent in the bible.

I cringed at the thought a reptile was crawling back and forth on my kitchen table. I was just besides myself. Who was going to win? It was just me and him. Certainly not him. I was positive of that!
So I thought ok, "If I can just get to move toward the end of the table hopefully he'll get the point he's not wanted and start making his way toward fresh air."

The scene grew more intense. "Was I now talking to this lizard? Like he could really understand me!" He was quite content to crawl back and forth from one side of the table to the next. So here's what I did. I had to step up the game plan.
I opened the door and then started throwing things behind him. Not on top of him. For goodness sakes, all reptiles are God's creatures! But I did throw any item in my view that I could find in hopes he would leap off the table and run into the great outdoors.

He made his way down the back of the chair and then to the floor. As all reptiles love to crawl into a did my fellow uninvited house guest. YEP....right behind the trash can. There was no denying it. I had to confront him.  Quickly, I moved the trash can and there he was exposed. Nothing to hide behind.

Here's what worked: spoons, children's socks, markers, a train, a music instrument and of course the big one- a diaper wipes container. That was the final straw. He moved toward the door as fast as lightning.


Finally, I could rest.
ring....ring....ring...... "Hey....I got the lizard out and I didn't have to pick him up with my bare hands! YAY!"

I know. It's crazy. But true. Just another day in the life of Ashley.
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Tuesday, September 21

Hey friends! I hope you are having a great start to your week so far. There is nothing better than to be knowing more of Christ in each new day! I pray that is where you are in your life this week. Please know I am working on getting Manna Monday's and Free Art Fridays started again. Be patient with me. Since my dad's illness, I have been trying to get things rolling again. God has been so GOOD to us during this time and HE is STILL showing Himself so mighty in this time in our lives.

I don't think I posted this back in June so I thought it might be a great time to share with you all before the year gets away from me. One of the things you probably would not expect me to treasure is fly-fishing. I know, I can't believe it either! What a surprise to learn something new in my adult life! I love it because I get to spend time with my husband all day and learn something new with him. He likes to hunt and I like to paint. So most times we are doing opposite things at conflicting times. While out west one summer, we were afforded the opportunity to try our hands at something I was hooked! No punt intended! I loved it from first bite!

There is nothing like standing in the water, listening to the current and feeling the breeze on your skin. The only thing you focus on is finding where the fish are and bringing one home to the kitchen! The kitchen would be the net, not my frying pan. I catch and release the fish!

This past summer, my husband and I went on a fly-fishing trip for our anniversary. We enjoyed this area and loved the fishing. It's always fun to try a new river and see what you will find there. On this trip, we both noticed we had improved in throwing out the line from our fly-rods. What a great milestone for us! It was an awesome feeling not to feel clumsy with the equipment like we did the first day we tried our hands at it.

I was determined to get this fish!

Our fishing guide is showing me something about this rainbow trout, but I can't remember what it was! I was too excited to reel it in and see it up close!

What a beaut this fish is!

One of the things I kept thinking about all day was how we as believers are to be fishers of men. As a fisherman, you have to know where the fish are and go to them. Then, you keep throwing the flies out trying to see if they will take a bite. If they take a bite, then you set the hook. I missed A LOT of fish that day because I didn't set the hook quick enough. It didn't matter how long it took me to catch a fish, it mattered that I kept fishing. As believers we don't stay on the side of the bank and say, "See, down there, that's where the fish are." We have to go to them. We have to throw the line out. Some will take a bite and some will not. But we can't give up and stop trying. It's not us who save people, it's God. He is the one who has the power to save. We are simply to throw the line out in obedience and share the truth of Christ.
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Monday, September 20

Sweet Hour of Prayer


while driving in my car, I find myself humming this familiar hymn. The words seem to comfort my soul immediately. Why is that? Look for yourself and see:

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

I first heard this song when I was in high school. It was on one my favorite singers Hymn tape at the time. (That would be Sandi Patti!) On Sunday afternoons, I would pretend I was Sandi Patti. Literally, I would sing to the top of my lungs in my room. It was as if I was putting on a concert. I look back on that time now and just snicker. I practiced those songs hundreds of times. My parents would kindly come in and shut my door and let me be! But in reality, something very profound stuck inside my head and made its way down inside my heart. The words of that song......they still speak to me today. I would say even more than they did then.

I pray wherever you are today, you will be greatly encouraged to come before our Father's throne. Come to Him in praise. Come to Him confessing your sin. Then come to Him making known your cares. Try this: picture your burdens and name them one by one as if you were tossing them right at His very feet.

Look at these encouraging words from the Bible:

2 Kings 20:5
"Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD,

1 Kings 9:3
And the LORD said to him, "I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.

Genesis 25:21
And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

2 Chronicles 7:12
Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.

God hears our prayers. Every one of them. Bring yours to the LORD. Don't delay....PRAY!
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Thursday, September 16

Treasuring What Others Treasure

This past weekend, I decided to go down to our land and see what my husband had been up to.  A lot. That's what I discovered upon my arrival.

While walking through some of the areas that had been worked on, I couldn't believe how big this field had become. It had been enlarged to become a better field for hunting. I'd say this was quite a good size! In all my years, I can't believe I am going to say this but, "Isn't it a beautiful piece of land!" I certainly think so!

Driving toward the property, we made our way through cattle country. On every rolling green hill were hundreds of cattle grazing on an afternoon meal. A few look up at me. Well, maybe that's because I am standing right in front of them saying, "hello cow!"

I told her it was only going to be posted on The JoyTreasure Blog. Not a big deal! Still, she seemed quite aggravated!

 Every time I see barbed wire, I think back to the time I was playing with my cousin, Justin. We were running around in our grandparents field and crawling through the barbed wire to get out of the field and onto a dirt road. I still remember the wire touching my skin to this very day.  Funny how seeing something can take you back a to a memory of yesterday.

 I thought this was noteworthy enough to take a pic. Sometimes our hearts are just like need of God's word to come in and fill up the cracks. Great visual of that! 

These are my boots when I go down to the land. I like em! Somewhat fashionable but mostly durable! The road on our property was dry. Can you tell? VERY DRY! These were the cracks throughout the entire road. I now know what a farmer would feel like if he is surveying his property and seeing the need for rain for his crops. I'm not saying I'm a farmer, just understand how areas can become really dry.

All good things must come to an end. My two men on their way back to the truck. My husband scouted around 30 doves in the trees on the property. Who knew we had doves in Sept.? Exciting!

I share this day with you, my readers, because I want to encourage you to spend time with your loved ones doing things they like to do. It doesn't always have to be about what you like or don't like. So much of our time on the weekend is doing the things we want to do or making time for the things we want to accomplish on our "to do" lists. But one thing you will miss out on in marriage, is seeing what your spouse really treasures. I have not always been the best at going down to our property. But as my son grows older, he said, "It's fun when you here, mommy, My whole family is down at the land." How can I resist not coming down more often now? I can't. My son even notices the difference when I come with them.

God gives us good things. Let's take time to treasure the things that matter- time with family and friends. When we spend time with them, we learn what they truly treasure. How we show them we love them is by spending time with them embracing the things they treasure.

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Wednesday, September 15

While listening to Moody radio (which is literally everyday!), I heard a familiar pastor say something over the airwaves that literally stuck to my brain like a sticky note on a wall: Praise is the only thing we do that has nothing to do with our self.


What was he saying? He went on to say even when we thank God we are thinking about ourselves. Ungratefulness is a sin and I am not saying we should not thank God. But the way the pastor worded this truth......I had never thought about it like that before. But the way he said it, just stuck. Forever.

You know the kind of phrase that sticks to your brain forever. You hear it, you remember where you were when you heard it and it becomes a part of who you are. For me, this thought about praise was something that was not going to lose its grip in my brain.

Praise is vitally important in our relationship with God. It gives him the proper honor that is due Him.
It fans the flame of our worship. The more we know about WHO God is, the more we can worship Him fully with our whole hearts. The more we can praise Him for WHO He is.

What attribute have you praised God for today? Do you have a scripture to go with it? Finding an attribute along with a scripture is a great way to start praising God more in each day. This is a simple way to begin to pour out the praise to God in your daily life.

"Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely."                                               Psalm 135:3
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