Saturday, October 30

Good bye October! It's been a great month!

Goodbye October! What a great month it's been!
Here some random pics within the last couple of weeks of what all has been going on in our home. 
Above, are the pumpkin faces in my son's Mother's Day Out class. I love this picture because each pumpkin face is completely different. Not one of the faces is alike. Isn't that just how the LORD made us! Each person is unique when it comes the color and shape of their eyes, nose, ears and face. But He made us and is pleased with His creation! I love how this artwork shows that we are different!

Had a great morning last week at a local pumpkin farm. This is how we got to the pumpkin fields.

                          A few pumpkins here, and a few pumpkins there. Looking for the right one!
            Look at how the vine is providing all the nutrients needed for the pumpkin to grow. Just like how we need the LORD's word to survive each and every day. Where would we be without His word?
This lady was so kind to pose for a picture with her hoop skirt. I could not imagine wearing something like this ever! TOO much skirt!
 Me and my favorite person in the mom! We really loved the extra bright orange pumpkins!
And by the end of the week my car got hit and it had to go to the doctor to get fixed. I didn't know how much I would miss it. I am so thankful God has taken care of all the tiniest of details.

We decorated pumpkin faces on cookies with some friends. Here is my dad's decor! We are so glad he is doing well during his radiation and cancer treatments.

October has been a great month with friends and family and we are so thankful for all God has done in our lives this month. I pray you all enjoy the season of fall and that you too take time to make your own memories. Have a great Saturday!
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Friday, October 29

Good Friday morning friends! Can you believe its finally Friday! Wow! What a week we have had here! My plate has been full this week and I am looking forward to having a clean plate this weekend! In other words, a not much going on kind of a weekend!

I have not had a lot of time this week to write alot, but I have been praying for you as you visit Joy Treasure that God would use what is written to encourage your walk with the LORD. That is always my prayer.

One of the things I believe with all my heart is being a church member, particularly a Sunday school member. Some people argue, "I don't need to be involved in a church. I can have church anywhere because God is with me." True. God is with us and He will meet with us anywhere. But worshipping alone all the time is not how God intended. He intended for us to have a relationship with other believers in the church. The early church was built by being together as the body, not alone. Life is always better as a believer when you can learn with other believers. In our Sunday School lesson last week, the question in our discussion time was, "What does it mean to be a part of Sunday School.? To be a part of a church body?" Unanimously, people said the same thing saying,"Sunday School makes you feel like being home." Being a part of a small group makes a different in marriages, parenting, friendships, your children's friendships and most importantly.....serving the LORD.

I have been reading a book called, "What is a Healthy Church?" by Mark Dever, published by Crossway Books; 2005. In it Dever talks about what a mature community of believers looks like and what it doesn't. Here is an excerpt I wanted to share with you all today about committing to a church body.
"A temple has bricks. A flock has sheep. A vine has branches. And a body has members. In one sense, church membership begins when Christ saves us and makes us a member of his body. Yet his work must then be given expression in an actual local church. In that sense, church membership begins when we commit to a particular body. Being a Christian means being joined to a church. Scripture therefore instructs us to assemble regularly so that we can regularly rejoice in our common hope and regularly spur one another on to love and good deeds (Heb.10:23-25). Church membership is not simple a record of a box we once checked. It's not a sentimental feeling. It's not an expression of loyalty or disloyalty toward parents. It should be the reflection of a living commitment, or it is worthless. "
I want to encourage you to find a church where you can worship and serve their wholeheartedly to the LORD and not unto men. People fail. People have differences. And yes, there are hypocrites in the church. I have seen them all my life there. But these excuses should not keep you from being a part of a local church. Will these excuses stand before the LORD? No. For those of you who are committed to a local church, are you really committed? Do you serve God, not man, with your whole heart? Do you attend regularly or only if you will be in town that weekend? Has a brother or sister hurt your feelings either knowingly or unknowingly and that has become your excuse to not attend. Those excuses all will have to be accounted for to the LORD one day so if they won't stand before the LORD for eternity they don't stand presently. He won't say, "ok, I know such and such hurt your feelings and you didn't come to church because of that. I'm so sorry." No. He won't say that at all.

Satan has one tear up the body. And he will do that anyway he can. Don't let him.

I love my God. I love His church. I desire for others to know the true joy of being involved in serving the LORD with other believers. There is nothing better in my life. It has become one of my greatest joys in life. But I do see people in and out of church looking for everything else but God. This is not what church is. They are looking for the perfect preacher, the perfect Sunday school class, the perfect children's ministry, the perfect music.....nothing is perfect. We live in a fallen world. But the one reason we are involved, the one reason we serve with our whole heart, the one motive for coming is Jesus Christ. He is why we come, why we serve.

For those of you who live in other countries who read this blog, I pray God will use you to grow your church. Maybe even start a church in your home or community. There is no greater joy than to be living life with other believers and seeing people saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.

So to end this post, I do like what Mark Dever said about church membership. It's pretty bold but I like it. It's true. Church membership is not about a feeling. Feelings change. A life lived by feelings is sure to be like a ship tossed by the waves- unstable. Church membership is about a living commitment or it truly is worthless.

What do you think?

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Wednesday, October 27

Treasuring Christ Video

This blog exists for the sole purpose to point you to Jesus Christ, our greatest Treasure. I love what Pastor John Piper has to say about Treasuring Christ and wanted to share it with you this Wednesday morning. The question for us to consider is, "Do I treasure Christ above everything? All things?" This video is worth your time. It's three minutes long. Praying for you to consider what all Piper has to say. What can you do with the resources God has given you to further the kingdom of God? What God has given you in resources matters. Use it for Him.
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Tuesday, October 26

30 Quotes from Oswald Chambers #8

Hey all you Joy Treasure friends out there this Tuesday morning! How is your week going? Are you still thinking about Jesus, our Prince of Peace, from Monday's post? I pray you are! I also pray He is revealing Himself to you this week in a big way and that you are looking for Him in each new day. We have so much to treasure in Jesus. Remember that! Everything we need rests in Him.

I had just a few minutes this morning to share with you another wonderful quote from Oswald Chambers this week. It's a good one too! One that speaks to the very heart of learning lessons from God. How many times does it take you to learn_____________________________? (You can fill in the blank) Pray over it. Bring it to God.
Oswald says, "In numberless ways God will bring us back to the same point over and over again. He never tires of bringing us to the point until we learn the lesson, because He is producing the finished product. It may be a question of impulse, and again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to the one particular point... God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right."
(My Utmost for His Highest Journal July 31st; published by Barbour and Company)
Whatever lesson God is trying to teach you, don't resist and turn away from it anymore. Wake up to the continual point God is trying to bring to your attention. Praise Him for being patient with you. Thank Him for not giving up on you. Let Him have his way in your life. He's in the business of change not complacency. He doesn't want for us to stay the same. He desires for us to change. You may be tired of His bringing something to light in your life, but He will do it over and over until you bring it to Him and let Him make it right.
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Monday, October 25

Manna Monday- Jesus, The Prince of Peace

Good Monday morning friends! What a great day to be starting out our week by pondering one of the names of Jesus, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The only way anyone can have true peace is through the blood of Jesus Christ. That is not my opinion but God's very word as it says in the bible.

Pursue Peace
"If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels."   2 Timothy 2:21-23                                                                                                       

Peace, A Fruit of God's Spirit 
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."                               Galatians 5:21-23

Jesus, Our Peace"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,..." 
                                                                                                                     Ephesians 2:13-15

In Hebrew, the word for peace, shalom, means a couple of things. It means to "repay" or "fulfill a vow." Oftentimes it referred to the repairing of a relationship.
The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary says, "The Hebrew equivalent of the English greeting "How are you?" is "Do you have 'peace'?" (pg. 1261; 2003 Holman Bible Publishers). I love that don't you!
People we meet everyday are walking around and don't have the peace of Jesus inside their hearts. If you and I were to ask them if they had 'peace' instead of "how are you?" I wonder what their answers would tell us? They probably would tell us things they do to get peace like using positive words, going to a spa to relax, going to the golf course, doing good for other people, etc..... But the last person you probably would hear them say is the name of Jesus. He is the believer's peace. He is our wonderful Counselor as we talked about last week. Peace through Jesus is how God fixed our broken hearts. It is the repair of the greatest relationship we could ever have in our lives- the relationship with God Himself.

So what does the world say about peace? Here are a few quotes that remind us that the world's view of peace and God's definition of peace are entirely two different things.

"Peace is an inside job" Wayne Dyer, Woman's Day Magazine June 1, 2007

"Find peace in where and what you are." Christopher Paolin, Eragon
The world tells us to look within (which mind you we are sinful and are incapable of perfect peace). They tell us to find peace wherever we are and in whatever we are doing. There's no peace there. It's a fallen world. That's not biblical. Peace is not found in a place or in a hobby. It's in the blood of Jesus.

Life is hard. And there are days when I'm ready for a new one to begin because of the conflicts that have risen throughout the day. But through the blood of Jesus, I can enter into His peace and by reading His word I can find answers to my conflict and rest for my soul.

The only place we will ever find true peace for our inner soul is through the blood of Jesus Christ. He even said, "My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you" (John 14:27). Peace is turning my conflicted mind to Christ and away from myself. I can either worry about it all day, all week, all month or leave it with Him. He didn't come to bring believers new life so we could be worried, disturbed and distracted. He came to bring us His perfect peace inside our hearts.

I'm so thankful for you who read this blog. I pray you'll seek out scriptures this week to remind you about the peace of Jesus.
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Saturday, October 23

Praise God in His Sanctuary

As Sunday morning draws near, you all were on my mind. I wanted to encourage you to be mindful of giving praise to God today, this Lord's Day. He is worthy of our praise! We cannot give Him enough praise!!!!

The bible says in Psalm 148:1-6, " Praise the LORD. 
       Praise the LORD from the heavens,
       praise him in the heights above.

 Praise him, all his angels,
       praise him, all his heavenly hosts.

 Praise him, sun and moon,
       praise him, all you shining stars.

  Praise him, you highest heavens
       and you waters above the skies.

 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
       for he commanded and they were created.

 He set them in place for ever and ever;
       he gave a decree that will never pass away."

If you are having difficulty thinking about things to praise God for, scripture provides answers to help get us started. Seek more ways to be mindful of praising God today and every day.
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Everyday I am reminded that this world is not my home. Paul knew this quite well saying, "
"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
                                                                                                                               Philippians 3:19-21 

Tonight I was keenly aware, a righteous anger aware, that this world IS NOT my home. On my way to the food court at the local mall, I came face to face with the new location of Victoria's Secret. I knew something was being remodeled but was not aware that the store was moving right in front of the food court. Having not been in the mall for months, I had no idea what I was about to walk towards. With my son hand in hand heading towards the food court to meet family members when low and behold, there the images were.....all over the front of the windows, lingerie EVERYWHERE for everyone to see. Everyone!!!!! Families walking back and forth to the food court now have to pass by this provocative storefront. Little eyes of boys from toddlers to teens have to pass by and see these images of women staring them back in the face. Young girls and women of all ages have to pass by looking away from what the world says that women need to look like, dress like, be like. Why there?

Because the store brings in money. Now, a bigger storefront provides a load of money in a prime location. The mall doesn't care because the rent gets paid. The store doesn't care because all they want is more profit. And what is even worse, the store Pink, the teen store of Victoria's Secret, is right next to the main one.

So what does this tell young girls that they ought to be like when they grow up? It gets them into the habit of being in the store in hopes to one day go into the main store. You may read this post and say, "Ashley don't you think you are acting a bit harsh? Aren't you overreacting?"

NO. I am not.

I don't mind that the store was down the way in our mall. I never had to see it. If women needed something from there, they could walk down towards the end of the mall. Now, it is in the center of the mall. It is very difficult to not have to walk past it. In fact, to avoid it will be avoiding the food court. If you want to go that far. What do you think your husbands think when they pass by? When your sons pass by? When your daughters pass by? How difficult already is it to maintain a household of purity when you can't go to the mall without seeing these what I call, "might as well be pornographic photographs" all over the windows. They are the size of the windows. Not small, LARGE enough to see from my chair while I am eating Chick-Fil-A.

I filed a complaint tonight to the mall. What can one woman do? Tell her friends for sure.
I can't stop my son from being exposed to these images in his lifetime but I can become a filter for him and teach him what is pure and what is not.

Christian parenting is difficult. In fact, it's just plain old inconvenient. I will have to be mindful of where I park now and where I walk because I don't want to expose him to these kind of images. I can come to the food court but will have to enter a different way, the way I never come in.

As Paul said, we are "citizens of Heaven." This world is truly not our home.

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Friday, October 22

Parenting Together?

If you are a parent, chances are you struggle being consistent with your children. We all do!  Don't be discouraged, get answers. Pray. Educate yourself with great christian parenting books and of course READ the bible!!!!!

Consistency, I believe, is the greatest action we can apply in our parenting day by day. My parents were so consistent in their words and actions that I believed their counsel as a teen. I trusted them more than my friends. I found them to live a true faith in their daily lives. Their consistency in using words along with action further helped me to develop a heart for Jesus too. I saw He was real to them, not just something they did on Sunday at church. Their belief's about Jesus governed their daily life.

One of the difficult things about parenting is that it's two people with different personalities coming together as one to shape a child's life. One parent may do something quickly that the other one wouldn't. How do you identify those differences and come together on the same page?

I like what Dr. Gary Chapman has to say about this issue. Click on the link to his article below called "Parenting Together." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and also get some great take home advice you can apply to your parenting. Happy Friday everyone! !

Parenting Together?
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Thursday, October 21

Go on a Treasure Hunt

Take the Bible, dig deep into the scriptures and you will find more treasure than you can imagine!

Everybody struggles to open God's word. We live in a fallen world and there are always distractions, moods, emotions, excuses, procrastination, and just plain old rebellion that keep up from opening the bible. But what we're really missing when we do that is turning away from God Himself. He is His word.  His word is His Mind, his Heart, who He is. Have you ever thought about that?
Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." The more we hide God's word in our hearts, the more we are filling our deceitful hearts with truth rather than deceit.

What happens we dig into God's word and go deeper than just reading a verse or two? We go on a treasure hunt through looking up cross references, reading the entire text for context, and searching for Greek and Hebrew meanings. The more we do this, the more treasures we find that we didn't see before. The more we know God and the more our heart rejoices.

God's word is a treasure. Its more valuable than your 401K, gold and silver. It is the one treasure that will last forever. The bible tells us to "not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-20)

Take time today and open God's word. Go on a treasure hunt and see where He takes you through the reading of His word. I guarantee it will be the best way you can spend some time alone.

We've got to keep staying in God's word. It is life! Praying for you all this morning as I write this post.
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Tuesday, October 19

Should Christians Practice Yoga

This article is posted on Simply click on the title "Should Christians Practice Yoga?" above in the heading and it will take you right to the article. It is written by Dr. Albert Mohler in his response to the emails he received from his blog post "Should Christians Practice Yoga?" on his blog I believe Dr. Mohler asks the right questions and seeks to think biblically in regards to the truth about the deep roots of yoga. Quite frankly, I had not thought much about yoga before. I have not practiced it but anytime I hear someone talk about it they always tell me it is a great exercise.
Go to the article and read it. Tell me what you think about what Dr. Mohler has to say.
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Monday, October 18

30 Quotes from Oswald #7

Good TUESDAY morning friends! I pray you are drawing near to our LORD today. There is no better place to be than by His precious side. That is exactly where He wants us to be...seeking Him first in our daily life. I share this quote from Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest Journal April 18th published by Barbour and Company. It's about being ready.

"We are so busy telling God where we would like to go.  We wait for the idea of some great opportunity, something sensational, and when it comes we are quick to cry-"Here am I."Readiness for God means that we are ready to do the tiniest little thing of the great big thing, it makes no difference. We have no choice in what we want to do, whatever God's program may be we are there, ready."                Oswald Chambers
The greatest thing we can do each day is to be ready to be used by God wherever and whenever.Is it even a thought in your day? Let it be the main focus of each day. Be it helping a neighbor, praying for a co-worker, teaching a bible study, sitting with a sick family member, or teaching your child about the Bible all are important to God. It's so easy to look for the next big thing. That's how the world operates, but that is not how God operates. Whether the task is big or small, it makes no difference to Him. Each task accomplishes His purpose. Are you ready to be a part of God's program whatever the task?
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Manna Monday: Jesus, Our Wonderful Counselor

Wonderful Counselor
"For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counselor. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
Jesus is my wonderful counselor. We talk about a lot of stuff in life. But there are times that I wait to come to Him. When that happens, it is always the wrong choice. It's nobody's fault but my own. You see no matter how many times I ask others for their advice or for their opinion, there is no one who can give me greater advice than Jesus. The problem occurs when I don't open my bible. I don't hear Jesus speak to me when my bible is closed. When I don't pray and become quiet and still before a holy God, I won't hear Him speak to my heart.

You and I have the AWESOME privilege to have the King of Kings to talk to and listen to us every minute of every day. We have the ability to look at His word and hear His counsel. He has given us His word so we can know His thoughts. We can read about what pleases Him and what does not. His counsel is perfect, pure, and unfailing. Who is a friend you go to for advice that is perfect, pure and unfailing?(That's what I one!)

Look at these verses:

  • "You will guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. (Psalm 73:24)
  • The LORD of hosts......"Is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance." (Isaiah 28:29)
  • "And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor. (Isaiah 9:6)
I needed to be reminded that His counsel is "excellent in guidance."  Didn't you? I pray these verses and just the thought of being reminded of the truth that we have a Wonderful Counselor, the best counselor anyone could ever have encourages you wherever you are today.

 I don't know what you might be needing to ask the LORD today. I don't know what's on your mind that you need wise counsel about, but this I know...... that our LORD is a Wonderful Counselor.

God, thank you that your word tells us that you are our Wonderful Counselor. Forgive us when we don't come to you God. Help us listen as we come to you and speak to us through your word. I give you _______________________ LORD. Take it, and lead me to your truth when I open my bible. Show me what I am supposed to do. I love you God. Amen

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Sunday, October 17

Faith Hall of Fame- Sarah

I love the book of Hebrews. There are so many wonderful treasures tucked away verse by verse. A particular chapter I LOVE is Hebrews 11. The entire chapter looks back to the Old Testament and by name mentions those who believed God. Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."

Sarah, Abraham's wife, is mentioned in Hebrews 11:11 saying, "By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised;..."Sarah was not a woman without faults. She had some! Genesis 11:12 tells us she "laughed" when Abraham told her she was going to have a son (Genesis 11:12). When we look back to Hebrews 11:11 where scripture tells us, "she (meaning Sarah)considered Him faithful who had promised." The Greek meaning for the word, faithful in Hebrews 11:11 means 'worthy of belief.' So we know that Sarah believed God ultimately( for its recorded in Hebrews) despite her doubtful laugh that God would bring her  a son in her old age.

Genesis 21:1 says, "Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised."  The birth of Isaac reminds us that God surely does keep His promises. He brought about  the possibility for Sarah to give birth to Isaac. Sarah had nothing to do with it. It was impossible for her, but not for God.

God is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Abraham and Sarah despite their faults were still able to be used by God because they believed HIM. Their reward was a son. Our reward, was given through the birth of Isaac, for the lineage of Jesus would come through him. Because of Jesus, we could be born again through His death, burial and Resurrection. As the bible says,"For He who promised is Faithful." God can be trusted.
Believe God IS (not was) and that He will reward those who wholeheartedly seek Him.

Warren Wiersbe says from his commentary(The Wiersbe Bible Commentary,published by David C.Cook, 2007; pg.83) "God keeps His promises and gives you the power you need to do what He wants you to do. No matter how long you may have to wait, you can trust God to accomplish His purposes."
Praying for you all today that you will trust who God is and that you would seek Him with your whole heart.
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Saturday, October 16

Congregational Cardboard Testimony

I love cardboard testimonies. On one side is the person's testimony of where they were and on the other side is the testimony of what God has done to change them and restore them back to Himself.
Friends, God is still in the business of changing hearts. It is His speciality!!!!!!

A few years ago my church had a cardboard testimony time during the worship service and it was SO powerful. This video is not my church but it's one I found that I would love to share with you here at Joy Treasure. It will encourage you that God STILL CHANGES people.

We all know people running from God. They are loved ones, friends, neighbors, co-workers, ..... Instead of being discouraged that they are not walking with the LORD, pray for them today and continue praying for them to come to know the LORD.

Never stop praying.

Hosea 2:23 says, ".....And I will say to those who were not My people, You are My people!" And they will say, Thou art my God!"
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Friday, October 15

Psalm 116 1-3

 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
       he heard my cry for mercy.
 2 Because he turned his ear to me,
       I will call on him as long as I live.

I was thinking about how much I love the LORD. This verse came to mind and I wanted to share it with you all tonight. I know HE always hears my prayers. His ear is turned toward His chikdren. Tell the LORD how much you love Him tonight.
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Thursday, October 14

What's for Dinner?

Spaghetti Cups
(This is adapted from a recipe from Southern Living called Lasagna cups.)
I love this meal so much and share it with my friends all the time. They come back telling me they love it too. So I thought I would share it with you all! Hope you enjoy!

When I'm in a hurry and I don't want a sandwich but I want a hot meal but not too much to make me full, I make spaghetti cups. (There is no spaghetti in it though!) KIDS love it! Here are the ingredients you need:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  •  1 spaghetti sauce jar (16oz at least )
  • salt and pepper. touch of garlic salt
  • Pillsbury Buttermilk GRANDS Biscuits
  • Mozzerella Cheese (2 cup Bag)

1. Brown ground beef first. Drain Ground Beef and then place in a skillet and add Spaghetti sauce to meat and bring to a boil .Then turn down to low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes

                                                                 Stir together as it simmers

Turn Oven to 375 while ground beef simmers

Spray muffin pan with Pam oil and take Pillsbury Grands Biscuits and form to the muffin pan.

Place two tablespoons of meat sauce into each cup. If you have one cup empty place water in it to even out cooking of other cups.

Sprinkle cups with Mozzerella Chees so it covers to the edge. Then Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.


WALAHHHHHH! Dinner is served!!!! Serve with a salad and dinner is yummy!

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Wednesday, October 13

Spending time with your Children

(Here is something fun and free you can create with your child/grandchild. A preschooler would want to actually play with what has been created where older children might want to see what they could actually make with cardboard. Give them a theme like fall, or a bible story to create and watch them have hours of enjoyment without the television on. What you have is a great time to play and listen to each other. Older kids could display their creations on a foyer table for everyone to see when they walk through the door. It would make an interesting conversation piece.)

So how did this box become a barn? Well, we had a box, an idea and some markers. We were set. My son wanted to play with a barn and I drew it out to look like a barn. I hope you'll be encouraged to take something simple like this and play with your child. I found I enjoyed this as much as my son did.

                                                                      The Barn Door

The other side of the Barn was a window for chicken to come out of!

                                                                  HELLO CHICKEN!

Had to make a bed and pillows of course for sheep and chicken. Farmer Goat's wife is heading back to the farmhouse after she dropped off sheep and chicken and tucked them into bed.
And of course we had to make the storm clouds and the sunshine. When the storm clouds came, all the animals  had to be put inside the barn. When morningtime came, the sunshine had to be held up over the barn. Two hours later, it was time for bed. (Our real bed time around our house!) From dinner time til bedtime we played with a cardboard box that I intended to initially throw away. Not a toy from Toys R Us or a computer game. A cardboard box! So the next time you see a cardboard box and think you will throw it out, THINK AGAIN!

There's no better time to embrace a moment with your children than when they are with you. For one day, they will be out of your home building their own life. What will they remember about the time they spent with you? Ecclesiastes 3:5 says," a time to embrace and a time to refrain,..."  Embrace each moment you have with your child. They will remember you for it.

If you try this at home, please send me your pictures. I would LOVE to see what you and your family can come up with and post it on my blog!
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Tuesday, October 12

Letting Go

Good Tuesday morning friends! I've started back the quotes from Oswald Chambers! This one comes from the April 12th page of My Utmost for His Highest Journal published by Barbour and Company.
"The weakest saint can experience the power of the Deity of the Son of God if once he is willing to "let go." Any strand of our own energy will blur the life of Jesus. We have to keep letting go and slowly and surely the great full life of God will invade us in every part, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus."

Each day is a day of "letting go" of ourselves and grabbing hold of Jesus Christ. That is what we should be thinking. But letting go is probably the one thing we humans don't like to do. We like to hold on to old clothes, old pictures, keepsakes of our children....the list goes on. We are creatures who love to not let go. But letting go is simply a daily process of letting God take control of our lives. The more we try to take control of life, the less we take hold of Jesus. "Letting go" is a daily dying to ourselves and saying 'yes' to God. I love the how Oswald says, "Any strand of our own energy will BLUR the life of Jesus." Think of a strand of hair. It's not big at all. Even a little effort to handle life on our own with no thought of Jesus blurs him from being seen in our life. Approach today and say, "God, I am letting go of my life and letting you have your way." Are you willing to let go?
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Sunday, October 10

Manna Monday

So, it Manna Monday again.

I know you were looking for Psalm 139. I will finish it later but for now, I believe it is appropriate to share what I am living during this season of my life. And life has changed since an illness has come into my family a few months ago. The blog is called Joy Treasure for a reason. For as long as I can remember I have always had joy. The Joy of Christ in my heart. I received it when I accepted Him as my Savior and LORD at eight years old. I still remember sitting in Pastor Traylor's study with my mother and hearing him read the saying from a bible track "God said it, I believe it, that settles it." When I understood what Jesus did for me on the cross, I wanted to know Him. I wanted to live with Him eternally one day in heaven. I loved Him then and I have tried to stay close to His side through my junior high, high school and college years up until present.

Looking back on the tough times in my life, I came to see that through it all, I always had joy. When I had acne on my face and kids used to make fun of me in junior high, I could turn to the bible and read God's word in my bedroom at night and my heart would rejoice. When my family experienced financial difficulties and I wished it would end, I could open God's word and be encouraged that He was with us and would provide for us and we were not alone. My heart would rejoice. When all my friends were getting married and I was living a life that had to get used to being by myself, I would open my bible and talk to my heavenly Father about my desire for a husband. My heart would rejoice. And now when my family is facing cancer, I open my bible and my heart rejoices.

The joy of Jesus is inside my heart.

It doesn't mean I love going through trials. (I don't.) It doesn't even mean the life circumstance will immediately change. But God's word tells us in James 1:2  saying "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,. " We are to count it joyful that God is growing us to become more like Him.

Everyone is looking for joy. Think about it. The joy of cooking, the joy of fashion, the joy of having the perfect family with the perfect house. The joy of having a career that brings you fulfillment. It's the Joy of Jesus that believers have. It's what the world is looking for that only Jesus can provide.

So when I was thinking of a name for this blog Joy Treasure kept coming up. Joy Treasure. It has been my life testimony. I don't have any kind of radical "new man" story. Seems my testimony is the kind to many that seems quite boring. But its not. It has been one of endurance. It has been a JOY! To be learning more about Jesus each year and growing in maturity....oh the grace of Jesus. Only His grip on me has kept me from falling.

I don't know where you are in your life today. I don't even know what trials you are facing and you don't seem to know when it will end. But you can go through it leaning on Jesus and opening God's word letting your heart rejoice. Suffering produces endurance. God doesn't want us to stay the same. He wants us to mature, to grow, to become more like Jesus.

Psalm 19:8a is my blogs main verse. It says, "The precepts of the LORD are right giving joy to the heart." Only His word can do that. That is the purpose for this blog.

I love you all. I am praying for you as I write this.
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Saturday, October 9

I love Sundays! They are a time for me to meet with my church family, serve God, and come ready to listen closely as I study God's word corporately. My favorite thing about the morning is Sunday School. Why? Because it's where I live life with other believers and connect with them in the life stage I am currently in. During discussion time after the lesson has been taught we discuss the passage, ask questions and listen to each other. I always hear something I can apply from my brothers and sisters in Christ as they share what God has shown them about a passage. That is why it is so good to come together through Sunday School.

I posted a picture of the bible above because I want you to encourage you wherever you are to open it today and come ready to hear God speak. Come ready to listen. Come confessing your sin. He is a holy God. Come ready to praise His name. He is worthy of our praise. Come ready to be still. Make time to be away from distractions.

That is what I will be doing today!

"For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised." Psalm 96:4
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Welcome to all of you who dropped by Joy Treasure today! Please let me know how you are! I pray this blog is encouraging you wherever you are today! Jesus Loves you and so do I!
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Friday, October 8


I've been thinking a lot about worship lately. Its more than showing up at church and singing a few songs.
Worship is simply placing my heart and mind solely on God, His character, attributes, and truth. Each day holds limitless opportunities for me to give worship to God. Its an attitude that can be cultivated through discipline. It is my daily offering to my King. The world tells me to worship all kinds of things but which will I choose? Which will you choose?

I can worship God when I load the dishwasher (that which I don't like to do!), when I fold clothes, as I drive down the street and view creation around me. I can lead my child to worship God as we ride down the street and talk about all the wonderful things God has made for us. As I buy groceries, I can think about His attributes while I am waiting in line. There are limitless opportunities to worship God.

Here are a few verses about worship from Psalms.

Psalm 100:2
"Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs."

Psalm 29:2
"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness."

Psalm 95:6
"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;..."

How can you make time to worship God today?
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Tuesday, October 5

A Mother's Apron Strings

Every Tuesday morning my little one and I are off to the races. The race to the carpool line that is. Our favorite thing to look for every morning is to see if there's a train beneath us as we drive over the tracks.
I find myself looking for the train on my drive home after I have dropped him off. When in my life have I ever looked in anticipation for a train? It is such a delight for him to look for one every time we drive across.

This year has been difficult for me to watch my son hop out of the car in the carpool line and say, "bye momma!" Off he goes into school and I don't know what he says or what he does. All I see is his coming and going. I understand the carpool line is the easiest way to get the little ones into the building, but it leaves me as a mother feeling so empty as I see him walk off. I used to walk him in and he would run and hug me before I left. Upon my arrival he would yell my name and come running as fast as he could and jump up into my arms. I guess this is a first of many strings that have to come unattached, right? I know more will come. But I so wish I could capture this moment in time when he and I enjoy our time together. It is as if there is no one else in the world but us two as we play and talk.

So this is just my rambling about my dealings with letting go of the apron strings of motherhood. I know God will help me as more have to come unattached. But for now, I will enjoy the ones I have left and will surrender them to God one by one as them come.
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Saturday, October 2

I Can't Believe its Fall!

The LORD said in Isaiah 45:12, "I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,and I commanded all their host." (ESV)

Last week at the park, it was evident fall had clearly arrived.  Where had I been?
I knew my calendar had welcomed in the new season but for some reason it kind of creeped up on me. But this day, I soaked it up like I was a eight years old again. (SO fun!) This was one of those days when you just needed to leave the dishes in the sink, turn off the computer and gallop out into the great outdoors. And that is exactly what my son and I did.
The older I get, the more I LOVE this time of year.  

I investigated the playground for further signs of fall. They were everywhere.

The pod of a mimosa tree

Leaves changing colors
 So all this fall stuff got me thinking about enjoying a new season and savoring each moment. The problem is that sometimes I get so busy I don't plan to make time to enjoy the season I'm in. Anyone no what I'm talking about? As I played with my son and enjoyed God's creation all I could say was, "Thank you God for Fall." I kept meditating on God as Creator while the wind blew through my hair and the trees swayed in the breeze. God's very own hands made each season and I am the beneficiary of His creation. (That is an overwhelming thought for me!) Oh God, please forgive me when I fail to notice all the wonderful things you provide for my enjoyment all around me.

So to embrace the moment and remember the thought I had, I got to painting.

Back to the studio I went........AND..........

captured my thought on canvas.

The end result?

Where did I want to hang it?

In my foyer where every guest would come in. I want them to also take a moment and thank God for the wonderful season of fall. Everything about it we love, God created it. By His very own hands.
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Friday, October 1

Sing Praise to the LORD

There is nothing like worshipping the LORD corporately with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Just when I have come to choir practice feeling like its been a long day, by the time I leave, I have been so enveloped in praise I don't want to go home. It is to me what heaven must be like.
There is such a camaraderie among the brothers and sisters in our choir.
Tonight we had an extra practice for the fall worship time we lead on one Sunday night every fall. Our church comes together corporately for an hour to worship God through music. I look forward to it every year.
There is nothing like it!
There is nothing like it!
Yes, it's that good and I cannot express the passion I feel about singing in choir to Jesus in this little cyber post. You have to be there to truly experience it.

I still remember when I really began enjoying choir for the first time. I was eight years old and Ms. Jo Ann was my children's choir director. She had the best voice. She could out-sing Pavorati (don't know how to spell his name and I am not going to look it up!) any ole day. Really. I would just stare at her and think, "How does her voice go that high? that long?" But there was one thing that came through as she sang....passion. Passion for God. Passion for Music. She had my attention. At the time it was just children's choir to me. Today its my passion. I am so thankful God has given me a passion for music. A passion for HIM.

Tonight I was singing and contemplating these words in one of the songs:
"Living He loved me, dying he saved me, buried he carried my sins far away. Rising he justified, freely forever, Someday he's coming, oh glorious day...oh glorious day..."
Glorious day indeed. Beautiful glorious day.

Standing in the choir risers, my brain began to visually turn the pages of the bible and they seemed to come to life as I meditated on the words. I recalled Jesus' life. How He loved others. I then thought about the cross, the place where He took my place so that I could never know the sting of death. The tomb, where Joseph of Arimathea placed his body. The women who came to the tomb only to find it empty. The hope of his coming back again. All of this was racing through my head as I sang this chorus.

Being a part of choir fans the flame of my personal worship. As I obediently come to worship Christ and place all my thoughts upon Him, He honors that obedience every time. I can't truly explain it. Its just something I know.

(I did not take this picture.) Our Praise 150 last year.
 I pray friends you are involved in your church somehow serving the LORD with everything you have. You will recieve a blessing. This I know. Serving God is the ONLY thing that will last.
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