Tuesday, November 30

Gooseberry Patch

I'm always looking for new ideas for decorating, making gifts and adding a homestyle touch at Christmas. I wanted to share with you, my friends, some great ideas I found on the Gooseberry Patch Website and Blog.  I really LOVE it! Click here to Gooseberry Patch and you'll be connected to these ideas on their blog. These wonderful ideas are found are under the Nov. 29th "Getting in the Christmas Spirit" post.

My favorite idea was giving a gift to the mailman/lady. Who would think to leave a present in the mailbox for them? How thoughtful is that! Very! I say! I am definitely going to do that for my mail lady this Christmas.  To make it even more special, I am going to place a scripture on the sweet treat box.

Hope you enjoy their blog and special Christmas ideas.
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Monday, November 29

Manna Monday- Bearing Each Other's Burdens


Recently, I prayed with a group of believers over their greatest burdens including my own. The idea was for each person in the group to share one burden on their heart. Then, another person in the group would volunteer to pray specifically for the burden mentioned. By the end of our time every burden had been prayed over. What made it a unique prayer time was that many of us had never prayed together over personal burdens. (Some of us had, but not everyone in the group.) You could tell at the beginning of our prayer time, everyone felt a little awkward getting started. Once the burdens began to be voiced, everyone had something to share. We could have kept sharing and praying but we were out of time. It was amazing by the end of our prayer time how much each person knew specifically how to pray for others in the group.

That's why its important to come together with other believers and bear their burdens through prayer. First, you find you are not alone with the burden you bear. And second, there's an intimacy that develops with your brothers and sisters in Christ when you pray together. But what happens many times in our churches is that we walk in on Sunday, do church, and then go home. The bible talks about "bearing" one anothers burdens. Bearing one anothers burdens is how we build up the body.

I was thinking over how amazing our prayer time was together and what I would have missed if I would have entertained these thoughts:
These thoughts are not biblical. They are selfish. They are excuses to not praying together with other believers. Yet, it is so easy to entertain these ideas and let them rule our actions and lead us to not pray with other believers. We miss a blessing when we don't pray with others. We miss being a part of building up God's kingdom through prayer when we opt out of sharing and praying with other believers.
I love what The Message says in Galatians 6:1-3:
"Live creatively, friends. It someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ's law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived."
What is the greatest burden you carry deep inside your heart today?
Pray over it right now. Give it to God. Don't push the burden aside and forget about it. Pray over it. Bring it to the burden bearer- Jesus. Don't let the burden steal the life from you, give it to the life-giver, Jesus. He can carry all of our burdens.

Better yet, be intentional. Ask another believer what they need prayer over. Commit to praying for them. The more you pray for other's burdens, you'll find that your burdens don't seem so heavy.

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Sunday, November 28

Sunday Song of Worship- Christy Nockels @ PDWC 08



Good Sunday morning friends! Through Jesus Christ, we have a REASON for living!
One of my very very favorite Christian artists is Christy Nockels. I wanted to share one of her songs with you this Sunday morning. The video above is five minutes long. My prayer is that you would take time this Sunday to stop and worship Jesus, our reason for living. He is to be exalted, to be worshipped and adored. You will be blessed by listening to this song.
Love you all!
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Saturday, November 27

Decking the Halls



(This artwork comes from Houseof3blogcouture. Check out their site at)
 http://www.houseof3.com/blog-couture/blog-backgrounds.html
  Thanksgiving is over and at our house we are preparing for the Christmas season. Hooray!!!!!
Today we finished decorating our Christmas tree.  Here are some of the stories behind my favorite ornaments. Enjoy!


10 years ago my husband and I decided an artificial tree would be the way to go. He is not one to decorate nor go buy a real tree so this agreement has proved to help keep our marriage healthy! This is a real sacrifice for me because growing up, my family always had a real tree and it was something I looked forward to every year at Christmas. I am thankful for the memories of finding a tree with my dad all those years. But like Martha Stewart says, "it's a good thing." It's a good thing for our marriage! It definitely has reduced some of the stress at Christmastime.











I bought this ornament seven years ago to add to our tree because I wanted to remember the JOY of Jesus at Christmas. I was looking for a word ornament to place on our tree. I was so excited when I found it! Just looking at this word on our tree reminds our family of the true reason for Christmas- JESUS CHRIST. The joy of the birth of Jesus. The Joy of His Salvation. The Joy of the Resurrection. The Joy of one day forever living with Him in Heaven. The joy of Jesus is what I talk about a lot on this blog so I wanted  to share with you this very special ornament. Joy from Jesus is not just something I write about. It's something I want to treasure and remember that He gave me. This is a way I remember the Joy of Jesus at Christmas.

This ornament is very, very special to me. My music minister's wife from my home church, Mrs. Nell Mangum, gave this to me the first year of our marriage. (She was like a second mother to me in many ways. I have lots of second mothers from my home church that I still treasure to this day. )This ornament is ten years old. Every year Nell would give me ornaments at Christmas. I always appreciated them, but this one I treasure now even more. Years later, the book of Joshua came to mean a lot to me through intense personal study and the verse on the church, Joshua 24:15, has become the mission verse for our family. When she gave me this ornament, I had not studied the book of Joshua like I did later. So at first, it was just a pretty ornament with a verse on it. Later, when this verse became the mission verse of our family, I treasured this ornament even more. Five years ago, Nell lost her battle with cancer and I don't receive any more ornaments from her. So this ornament even has become even more special to me through the years. She and Mr. Walter never had any children but I know she loved me like her own. So this ornament is all I have left of her. I always thank God for her presence in my life and praise God I will see her again in heaven one glorious day. How I miss her Christmas presents each year.






When my son was two he LOVED penguins. He called them, "win wins." So the hunt for penguin ornaments began. He still loves them to this day. So needless to say, we have added a few more to our tree!!









A very special friend gave me this ornament. It's the best reminder of why we celebrate Christmas on my tree.







How I treasure this ornament. My son was 2 1/2 when he painted this ornament with his little finger. When he is old, I know it will mean much more to me than it does now.







My parents bought this ornament for me for my first Christmas out of college. I hang it high so it won't fall and break.
And LAST but not least....... the bell ornament I received from a family member for my son's first Christmas.
He likes to ring it now because I put his toy train around the tree. It has become the train bell now!

And the final result of the tree?....... looks much better than it did when we started!

Hope you all are getting your halls decked out for the season. Would love to hear your favorite ornament stories too!



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Friday, November 26

Good-Bye After Thanksgiving Sales!!!!!


Eleven years ago I decided never to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving again. I talked my mother into getting up early and going to the mall to hit the sales with me. She was a good sport about it all. But it proved to be a bad decision. Besides being crowded, I felt an overwhelming feeling to grab items off the rack and hold on to them for fear someone was going to buy it before I could make up my mind if I even wanted them. Looking at all the sale signs can get a girl in trouble if she doesn't have a plan! The fact was I didn't even need them and hadn't come to buy some of the items I had placed in my hands. I got caught up in the day like everyone else around me. "What was I doing?" I thought. What was the point of going shopping after Christmas? Yes, there were 'good' deals but the payoff wasn't worth the stress of pushing against all the crowds.

It didn't hit me how ridiculous the entire morning was until we decided to break for lunch at Chick-fil-A. With food trays in hand, we swarmed like vultures around crowded tables inside the restaurant as well as outside the food court. There was no place to eat. As I looked around, people were eating on the mall floor because there weren't enough tables for them to eat on. Where was the fun in that? By the time you found someone get up from a table, another person would come in and sit down at the same table not even feeling bad about seeing you wait for the table. It was so chaotic. That's when it hit me that 'Black Friday' was nothing more than an over glamorized hunt for treasures that break, get old and become forgotten.

Did you know that today, Toy's R Us opens for the first time on Thanksgiving tonight at 10pm? Other stores like Wal-mart and K-Mart open at midnight too...... on Thanksgiving!!!!!! So much for sharing time with family. I know there are people who love scouting for bargains on this monumental shopping day of the year, but I'm not going to be one. Here's just a few of the deals I heard about on commercials tonight. (60% off of men's sweaters and 50-60% off of pajamas. That's worth getting up at 4am for isn't it?)
I did like the half price on the I-Pad at one of the stores I found offering it. But, it's still not worth it to me. I want my family to enjoy the weekend together, not be engrossed in shopping.

My purpose for sharing thoughts about this day is to encourage you to turn your eyes back on Jesus this Christmas. CHRIST is CHRISTmas. He is why we celebrate Christmas and the reason we buy gifts for our families and friends. I am not against after-Thanksgiving sales. I just found it to be a day that took more from me than it gave back.

I love The Message translation of Matthew 6:19-21 saying,
"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
                                                                    Matthew 6:19-21 (The Message)

I love you my sweet friends and I pray if you do go shopping today, shop with a plan and a purpose. Don't get wrapped up in all the sale signs! Just get what you are looking for and get out of there! And most of all, while you have more time than usual during the holiday weekend... spend quality time with your family.
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Thursday, November 25

Trevor Morgan - "Rejoice in the Lord"

This is my choir at church singing one of my favorite songs called, "Rejoice in the Lord." We are accompanying Christian Music Artist Trevor Morgan who wrote the song. What a great song to be singing today as we celebrate a time of Thanksgiving. The video is three minutes long. Enjoy, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Wednesday, November 24

My Great-Grandmother's Pecan Pie Recipe

I love Pecan Pie! It is one of my favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving Day. But the one I love the most is my great-grandmother's recipe that my mom makes every year on Thanksgiving. I wanted to share it with you all. I hope you enjoy!

Great-Grandmother Snowden's Pecan Pie
(6-8 servings)
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. cornstarch
3 eggs, well beaten
2 T. milk
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

Mix sugar and cornstarch.
Add eggs; beat well.
Add remaining ingredients.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees; Continue baking for 35 minutes or until firm.

Happy cooking and a Happy Thanksgiving to you!
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Tuesday, November 23

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?



Do you really know why America celebrates Thanksgiving Day? I believe looking back on the 'why' helps us to appreciate the 'now.' So here are some basic beginnings of how Thanksgiving began.

A time for harvest
In the fall of 1621 the colonists of Plymouth held a celebration feast after their first harvest. Indian chiefs Squanto, Samoset and Massasoit joined in on the celebration along with ninety of their men during the three-day event.

On June 29, 1671 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first recorded Thanksgiving was held. It was observed by proclamation from the town's council.

A time for prayer and fasting
In the 1700s, Thanksgiving was observed as a common practice for individual colonies each year.
Back then, a Thanksgiving day was set aside especially for prayer and fasting. It was not a custom marked by loads of food as it is today. In the 18th century each state would designate a day of thanksgiving either to honor a military victory, the adoption of a state constitution or a bountiful crop.

In December 1777, a Thanksgiving celebration was held to commemorate the surrender at Saratoga of British General Burgoyne.

A National Holiday
Then, on October 3, 1863, President Lincoln called for the observance of the fourth Tuesday of November to be a national holiday.

It wasn't until 1939 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November. The purpose was to extend the Christmas shopping season to boost the national economy. (Imagine that!) After much protest, Roosevelt changed the day again in 1941 to be observed the fourth Thursday in November. That is when we celebrate it today.

But did you know what George Washington proclaimed about the first General Thanksgiving Proclamation? He said:
"WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:" (Library of Congress)

Wow! Would that be written today in 2010? I doubt it!

God was the foundation of Thanksgiving. Did you notice in the proclamation that George Washington noted Thanksgiving was also a time for prayer. Even though there will be millions of Americans who don't pray or thank God on Thanksgiving day, you and I can still give Him the thanks and take time to pray. Let us remember what the foundation was for thanksgiving and not get caught up in the fast paced eating frenzy. Make it a memorable day in your family.

What's the harvest in your home in 2010? Since most of us don't gather the harvest physically, we still gather the harvest spirtually through the reading of God's word. What truths of God have you gathered as a family in 2010? What have you prayed for this year? What are you still praying for? Share it with your family. Make it a tradition at the dinner table. It will be something your family will treasure for years to come.

I'll end on this puritan prayer from "Valley of Vision."
May I live by Thee, live for Thee, never be satisfied with my Christian progress but as I resemble Christ; and may conformity to His principles, temper, and conduct grow hourly in my life. Let Thy unexampled love constrain me into holy obedience, and render my duty my delight. If others deem my faith folly, my meekness infirmity, my zeal madness, my hope delusion, my actions hypocrisy, may I rejoice to suffer for Thy name.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Monday, November 22

Manna Monday- Thank you God



How do you thank God on Thanksgiving? It's so easy to get wrapped up in the turkey and pumpkin pie that sometimes Thanksgiving can be more about the meal than the thanks.With Thanksgiving day just around the corner, I wanted to share with you some things I am thankful for in my own life. I pray it encourages you to take time and reflect on things you have to be thankful for in your life as well. Thankfulness shouldn't be thought of only at Thanksgiving but should be continually in the mind of the believer.

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 – "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
With my father being ill this Thanksgiving season we are giving thanks during all circumstances, even cancer. God has shown us He is with all of us, including my father, as he has journeyed through cancer. We were supposed to go to the mountains for Thanksgiving, but won't be able to. Should that make me sad? No. Because Thanksgiving can be celebrated anywhere. It's who you celebrate it with that makes it special. So I am giving thanks in the circumstance and finding that the joy of the LORD truly is my strength during this Thanksgiving season ........even with a parent who has cancer.
  • Deuteronomy 8:10 – "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you."

  • After reading this scripture, I thought how a song of praise would be fitting to God after a nice family meal don't you think! I am still thinking which song would be a good one to share. Leave a comment if you can think of a good one. Maybe that could become a great tradition to start in my family on Thanksgiving day. To end with a song!

  • Psalm 75:1 – "We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds."

  • One of the things I will be thinking of this Thanksgiving is all the wonderful deeds God has revealed in the bible and even more importantly that His NAME is near to the believer. His name is like no other name. God's most common name- Jehovah. Compound names exist. They are:

    Jehovah Jireh- The Lord will provide ( Gen. 22:13-14)
    Jehovah Nissi- The Lord, my Banner (Exodus 17:15)
    Jehovah Shalom- The Lord is Peace  (Judges 6:24)
    Jehovah Sabaoth- The Lord of hosts (Psalm 68:17; 104:4; 148:2; Mt. 26:53)
    Jehovah Rohi- The Lord is my Shepherd ( Psalm 23:1)
    Jehovah Tsidkenu- The Lord our Righteousness ( Jer. 23:6)
    Jehovah Shammah- The Lord is Present ( Ezek. 48:35)
    Jehovah Rapha- The Lord our Healer ( Ex. 15:2)
    How has he showed you His name in your own life?

    Here are some things I am thankful to God for in 2010:

    My family
    My home
    My health, my family's health
    Friends, new friends, and new mom friends so my son can play with other kids his own age.
    Providing for my family through a poor U.S. economy
    My church family- whom I love dearly!
    My Sunday school family- the ability to share life with God with other believers
    New things I have learned about God and His word this year.
    My pastor and his family.
    Freedom to worship God in His sanctuary every Sunday.
    Being able to share the gospel with those of other languages.
    Witnessing the fruit of laboring for Christ.
    God's mercy on me through salvation.
    God's grace, which I continually learn more about each year.
    The ability to be used by God despite my weakness.
    Growing stronger on the inside despite the decaying of this worldly body on the outside.
    Christian mentors who show me how to live and love more like Christ.
    The access I have to God through prayer. That I can talk to him anywhere, anytime.
    That God hears and answers prayers in ways more than I could ever imagine.
    The gift of song. A voice to sing to God and be used as witness of God and His love to the body of believers.

    I've got so much to be thankful for this year. There is much more but this post has to end sometime! I pray God will use it to encourage you to reflect on everything He has done in your life in 2010. If you have time, share with me what He has done in your life. I would love to hear it!
    Blessing to you friends. I am praying for you!

    This is my prayer for you on Manna Monday: "

  • Colossians 3:17 – "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Wherever you go this week and whatever you say may you all do it in the name of the LORD Jesus. May you be mindful of Him in each day. May your love and commitment to Christ be contagious to those around you. May God grant you strength to endure difficult family situations(if you have to!) so that you may be a shining light for Him in your family.


















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    Saturday, November 20

    A Saturday Blog Vacation

    I thought since today was Saturday we could take a blog vacation! Pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax and reminisce with me over my trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It's been six years since I last visited. I look forward to the day we get to return. In my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful places in the good ole U S of A.

    If you're looking to get away from everything and be close to the most beautiful creation God has made.....Jackson Hole is the place. I would hop on a plane tomorrow if I could! I'm telling you it is gorgeous! Anyone want to buy me a ticket?

    This is a pic on a float trip down the Snake River. Saw a momma moose and her babies near the end of the trip that day. Aww.....the view. Breathtaking isn't it?  These are the chains of mountains Ansel Adams took a picture of that has become so famous. The story was told to me that he photographed his picture from the top of the road overlooking the Snake River. Let's move on we've got more to see!

    So....I got talked in to riding horses up the mountain you see behind me. I wasn't too enthusiastic about this ride. I got off. I got back on and I did ride the horse. So glad I did. You'll see why in a minute!
    Horses and I don't really get along. I like'em..... but I'm not warm and fuzzy about being that far off the ground!

    Okay, so I totally didn't ride the horse all by myself. I was led around the mountain by the guide! Give me credit, at least I stayed on it! My husband thought it was funny documented the entire ride.
    But look what I would have missed...................the view at the top of the mountain! Nothing like being able to see this view. It made the effort worth it all!






    One of my favorite mountain wildflowers- Mountain Holly cock. Isn't it a pretty shade of pink! The day, as I remember, was perfect. The weather was perfect. It's one of those days where everything around you is so beautiful all you can say is, "Thank you God." He gives creation for us to enjoy. From the massive mountains to the fragile flowers. All for our enjoyment.






    Yep. There was a traffic jam down the road. A buffalo! He didn't seem to be in a hurry. Not one bit at all!

    This was the view behind our condo every morning where I had my quiet times with God. Now you see why I loved it. Where on earth could there be a better spot to study God's word and pray?

    Well, time is up for our blog vacation. I hope you have enjoyed our destination!

    One of the things about being thankful is remembering life. The more you remember, the more you become thankful for what you have. Take time to remember everything you have comes from God. The more we remember all God has given us, the more we'll live in the contentment of Christ, because we will be focused on the giver instead of the things.


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    Friday, November 19

    The State of Marriage

    This is sad to me. Wanted to share it with you all. What do you think about this article in the USA today?
    http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/sex-relationships/marriage/2010-11-18-1Amarriage18_ST_N.htm?csp=ylf

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    Thursday, November 18

    Funny Cartoon about Thanksgiving Dinner

    Reverend Fun - Belt Pop







    http://www.reverendfun.com/?date=20051123

    This is what happens to me when I eat another piece of my great-grandmother's famous pecan pie on Thanksgiving day. Enjoy the humor!
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    30 Quotes from Oswald


    Here it is! Another quote from Oswald Chambers! (My favorite devotion!!!) Sometimes we go through difficult things in life and we wonder where God is. Sometimes He seems silent to us at first during the trial. But we have to go back to our knowledge of God and what the word says about His presence. He is omnipresent- with us all the time everywhere. He is there. That's the truth. He has not gone anywhere. He is with us through every trial. I love how Oswald connects worry to a lack of trusting that God is in control. Because God is our Father, He loves us and will take care of us. As a father, he knows what's best for us. He is in control of our lives working things out for our good. While He is working, sometimes we don't see it. But He is always working.
    Don't waste anymore time worrying today. Bring it to God and take Him at His word. HE is in control.
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    Wednesday, November 17

    What's your Thanksgiving Tradition?

    Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite holidays.

    It's a time for good eating, good fun with family and reflecting on the things in life we are to be thankful for. Thanksgiving for me has changed though. The years where my grandparents would come over and eat with us are long gone. All are present with the LORD now. How I miss them so much! Thinking back on those years of Thanksgiving memories brings a tear to my eyes. I remember their smiles and their laughter. Most of all I miss their hugs and kisses. I miss talking with them.

    The traditions I still enjoy today are my mother's famous cornbread dressing and pecan pie. Just last year, I learned something about her pecan pie which I never knew. It was my great-grandmother's recipe. Mom said she was a fabulous cook who could make the best fried chicken ever.Mom was given her recipe and has used it every Thanksgiving of my life. How I wish I could have met her! She sounded like a funny lady. She was always playing jokes on everyone so my mom tells me. But the only thing I have of her is her pecan pie recipe.Take my word for it, It's out of this world! I have tried lots of pecan pie in my time, but my great-grandmother's truly is the best. I will try to get the recipe for you guys this weekend from my mom to post.

    With my own family, we go around the table and tell something we are thankful for that year. It is always a time of great joy in sharing together. It's a tradition I want to pass along to my son so when he grows older he can pass it along to his family.

    What do you love about Thanksgiving?
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    Tuesday, November 16

    Joshua Project - Unreached Peoples of the World

    This is you. This is the person who doesn't know Jesus. See the difference!
    Joshua Project - Unreached Peoples of the World

    (The Joshua project is a great way for you to look at the unreached peoples in the world and pray for them. Click on the link above to check it out.)

    Have you prayed for the lost today? Have you asked God to open a door for you to share the gospel with a lost heart? Each day we have endless opportunities to share God's word. But we get busy with our own schedule and miss people God places in our path. Lost hearts are in total darkness. We have God's light in our hearts and are to "shine" by sowing seeds of God's word to them. We aren't the ones who save them, God is. But we are commanded to "19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,  20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt. 28:19-20)

    One thing you can do each day is pray. Pray for those in your community, nation but also pray for the nations.The Joshua Project shares why prayer helps missions. I love this and wanted to share it with you. Click on the link below and read.
    http://www.joshuaproject.net/why-pray-for-the-unreached.php

    Ask God to give you a heart for the lost and for boldness to share what Christ has done in your life. It matters. It matters for eternity!
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    Monday, November 15

    Manna Monday- The fragrance of Christ

    Hey Joy Treasure readers! Can you believe a new week has already come around again! I don't know about you but we always hit the ground running in our house on Mondays. That's why God's word has to be a priority so we can fix our minds on the things above because the things around us get crazy busy and can lead us to become easily distracted. God's word restores, refreshes and brings rejoicing throughout the week. Nothing else will do that!

    Last week we focused on the kingship of Christ. This week we will place our focus on  being a fragrant aroma of Christ to God and to those around us.

    A few years ago, I was dining at a restaurant with co-workers. One of them ordered some type of fish. When the waiter brought the entree to the table, some of the juices spilled off the plate and dropped onto my jacket. I didn't know it then. When the night ended, I got into my car and drove home. While driving, I smelled something awful. It smelled fishy and reminded me of the entree my co-worker had ordered. It was horrible! All the way home my car wreaked of a fishy aroma. I had to literally remove the oily stains from the jacket and throw it into the washer when I got home. It stunk!!!!! I couldn't seem shake the memory of it for a couple of days. Even now when I pass by that restaurant, I always remember the smell. It's funny how I can't seem to shake that feeling about the smell. Quite frankly, I have not ventured back to the restaurant because of it.

    Did you know as a believer you have a smell? You do. An aroma comes out from you to to others. It spills on to them and leaves an impression, a memory.They remember it. They might not know what it is, but they know it when they smell it. Are you radiating a sweet aroma  of Christ or a pungent odor of the world?
    I love what F.B. Meyer says from his book, "The Life of Paul" (published by Emerald Books, Lynwood Washington, 1995) on pg.75, "Is my life fragrant of Jesus? Do I remind the Father of the blessed Lord? Does He detect Jesus in my walk and speech? Is there in me the sweet savor of that daily burnt offering, that delight in God's will, that holy joy in suffering for His glory, that absorption in His purposes that made the life of the Son of Man so well pleasing to God?"
    2 Cor. 2:15 says, "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ." Believers lives are to leave a pleasant scent behind with the people they encounter. Just the thought of them should be a pleasant memory that something greater resides within their heart when the non-believer thinks about the believer. God smells our aroma too. But does our heavenly Father smell more of His son in our lives? Do we remind Him of Jesus in how we walk and how we talk?
    When I walk into a home and smell something good like a candle I want to stick around because it smells so good. It's pleasant. It's warm and inviting. Its the same with believers. When non-believers are talking with us, do they sense an inviting sweet aroma? Do they want to linger in our presence not because of 'us' but because they sense something different in our lives (Christ!). Do they sense something different from the world? Or do they smell something that wreaks and cries, "hypocrite."

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    Sunday, November 14

    A Special Thanks to You!

    Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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    This is just my way of saying thank you to all the readers of the Joy Treasure blog. You are very special to me and I thank God for all He has done and is doing through the blog of Joy Treasure. God bless.
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    Saturday, November 13

    The Enemy of Growth

    The bible talks a lot about becoming mature, and growing more like Christ. That's my desire each day, but some days I feel like I can't move forward. I feel like I am immovable where I am. Why?

    Pastor Thabiti M. Anaybwile in his book, "What is a Healthy Church Member?" states the reason for our lack of growth saying,"Chaos is the enemy of growth. Disorganization, sloppiness, and inattention generally introduce the kind of instability that weakens rather than strengthens. Where there is no order there will likely be little in the environment that sustains and nourishes. Life needs to be ordered."  (pp. 73)

    In the past, the times when I feel like my life has become chaotic has been when I didn't pay attention to my schedule. I overbooked commitments because I couldn't say 'no' to someone. I thought I could do it all sometimes even though I knew I couldn't. What happened was I end up having too many obligations and not enough time to breathe in between. No one knew I was over committed except me and my family. But that didn't make it OK. Just because I was able to keep the commitments didn't mean I was on top of everything. The lack of time I had to spend with the LORD and my family proved to stunt my growth period. Feeling overwhelmed on the inside was my own fault. No one else to blame. My inattention to my schedule and not guarding it like I should were the reasons I couldn't grow in my relationship with the LORD during those times. Because I was running, running, running, I had less time to reflect and pray and talk to God about life. Less time to be still and read His word. This is an example in my own life where I have struggled but have become much better at over the last couple of years.

    Another time I have felt this way was when my home was not in order. The laundry was too high (still struggle with this!), or the dishes were still in the sink. Nothing was in its place in the home.......I felt chaos! To remedy this situation , at then end of the day, I take 30 minutes each day to pick up things that aren't in their place. I bring peace back to my home just by putting things up. Those feelings of "aghhhhh!!!!!!!" go away because I have paid attention a few minor details I had overlooked.

    If you have too many commitments, not enough time to order your home, and spend with your family, you can't grow in the LORD nor can you grow those relationships within your family. Even worse, you will become a frazzled, frantic person that no one wants to be around because you always have too many things going on. I don't want to be like that. I don't want to be someone people don't enjoy being around because I am "too busy" or "too behind" or "too....whatever." I want to speak the life of God into others lives. To be a good listener. To be able to pour out what God has taught me to someone else in my day. That is how we grow. We spend time learning and listening to God and then we are able to flourish by pouring our lives into the lives of others.

    Your lack of growth is no one's fault but your own. Only you can pay attention to ways to bring order into your life. Look at your schedule. Your commitments. Your home. Are they ordered? Do you feel overwhelmed and stuck, or, do you feel like you can move forward each new day? Order matters. God is a God of order. After he had finished making creation, God reflected back on it. Genesis 1:31 tells us of this account saying,"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. "

    Order.
    Get it.
    Grow.

    Don't remain in chaos.
    Reflect on where you can make simple changes in your life and then do it.
    You will be glad you did!
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    Thursday, November 11

    Desire and Prayer

    As I continue to grow in my love for the LORD and His word, my desire to talk to Him through prayer continues to grow as well. Someone who has helped me to treasure the privilege of prayer more is E.M. Bounds. He was a civil war chaplain and wrote numerous books on prayer. Please don't think I know him personally because he is at home with the Lord, (has been for quite some time now!) but through the reading of his books on prayer, he has become a mentor to me in regards to prayer. I have had the book for many years and it is one I cannot live without. I go to it all the time.

    Do you have a desire to pray? A desire to talk to God? A desire for God? E.M. connects desire and prayer in such a way I had never thought of before. I pray this speaks to you this morning.
    On pg. 31 E.M says: " Not praying is the fearful sign that desire has ceased to live. That person whose desire for God no longer presses into the inner chamber, has turned from Him. There can be no successful praying without consuming desire. .....Desire is intense, but narrow; it cannot spread itself over a wide area. It wants a few things, but it wants them badly. So badly, in fact, that nothing but God's willingness to answer can bring it relief or content.....Prayer is not the rehearsal of a mere performance. Neither is it an indefinite, scattered, petition. Prayer is an essential phase of a spiritual habit, but it ceases to be prayer when carried by habit alone." (E.M. Bounds, The Classic Collection on Prayer; pp. 31. Published by Bridge-Logos. Orlando, Fl.)
    I love what E.M. says about prayer,"not praying is the fearful sign that desire has ceased to live." Wow! So the question we ask ourselves is, "Am I praying? If I'm not, what is my desire toward knowing and enjoying God? Do I really desire to know Him? Do I desire His presence, His will, His power in my life? Do I desire to pray?

    Desire in my own life looks like this: When I desire a piece of chocolate cake, I am going to do all it takes to find a piece of it or better yet, make it myself. I won't wait to eat it, I'll eat it right then because there is nothing more I want than to be satisfied by the taste of it. The texture of it. The icing, the sweetness of the chocolate. I want it. I desire it. I can't get it off my mind until I have it. We know what desire is. But is our desire for God more than the desire we have for food? for material possessions? for money? for dreams and goals in life? 

    As David said, "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD, all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple." (Psalm 27:4) He desired the LORD. He desired to seek after him, to live in his presence while on this earth. David, not without many faults, pressed in toward God through prayer. He brought his sadness, his triumphs, his fears and anxieties to God. He brought his praise and adoration to God. You can't be that honest and not desire the LORD.

    Is your prayer just a habit of words or is it a growing desire to know God and dwell in His presence? Let this be our first and most passionate desire.

    Friends, my prayer for you today is that God would illuminate your lack of desire for Him. Ask Him to give you a desire to know Him more and love Him more. For those of you who are passionate in your desire to know God and talk to Him, I pray you would continue growing in your desire more each day.

    I love y'all and thank you for stopping Joy Treasure today.  Until next time.....Joy 2 U!
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    Wednesday, November 10

    Does God?

    My son continually asks me loads of questions about God and His creation. I treasure each and every one of them. They always keep me thinking about ways to explain God's truth to his little heart. Just the other night while driving, he asked, "Does God have a big remote in the sky to turn off the sun?" I chuckled and then belly laughed! What imagination he has at his age! He knows we use a remote to turn his videos off and on. So, it would make sense to him that God would have the same thing too, especially for the sun.

    A couple of years ago, we got rid of our vehicle because it had a video player in it. Sounds extreme but I had become disgusted by the fact I hadn't thought much about playing videos while driving. (I am not against videos, but I do believe we are the ones to filter things for our children!) Lesson learned! Each time I would turn it on, I began to notice my son would stop looking around and just focus only on the video. He wouldn't talk to me or notice the things I pointed out the window anymore. I came to understand I had not filtered the world away from his eyes. Determined, my husband and I agreed the vehicle would have to go. Video's would only be seen at home. So it is today in our family. I am so glad we made the change!

    The DVD player, the main feature we "oohed" and "ahhhhhd" over, was THE reason we bought the vehicle in the first place. I can testify and say one of the blessings of not having that video player inside the car anymore is that he and I have lots of meaningful and special conversations about and life and God. These are some of what I call, "mission moments" while we drive along the road.

    So, to answer his question the other night, I responded by saying the bible tells us that, "... the sun knows when to go down." Psalm 104:19 and Jeremiah 31:35 which says, "...he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night,.." He was amazed that God could do such a thing and not have a remote!

    Listen to your children. Turn off the world's distractions and listen to their questions. You will learn much about what they think about life, friends, school and God. You will come to see you know more about God's word than you think you do.

    If you don't have children, there will be questions that come your way you won't think you have the answers to. But listen to what the person is asking and ask God to lead you to recall his scripture so you can share the truth with whoever is before you asking questions. He will do it! He will!

    Thanks for stopping by today and let me hear from you!
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    Tuesday, November 9

    "Memorize Scripture" John Piper Sermon Jam



    Love this video about memorizing scripture! I pray you all will love it as much as I do. It is 3 minutes and 54 seconds long. Memorizing scripture is a daily dying to our selfishness and seeking out the truth of God's word. It's a fight to put it to memory. We can come up with so many excuses, including me! John Piper talks about it in such a way that is convicting but yet encouraging. When I find myself memorizing scripture, I am able to meditate on it in the morning when I am fixing breakfast or in the evening when I am lying in my bed. I find myself talking to God silently as I share with Him what I learned and ask Him questions about how I can put the scripture into action in my own life. It is one of the sweetest conversations I know (when we talk about His word). When I memorize scripture, I am able to think about the things of God more and more in my day and less about my limited, selfish thoughts. (Praise God!)Like Piper says, "memorize a phrase or a verse a day"and put it in your pocket like a piece of candy and work hard to commit it to memory. Decide you will do it when there are no feelings desiring to do it. If you wait for the feeling, you will never memorize scripture for the feeling will never come. There is no excuse for us to not be memorizing scripture for the devil spoke of scripture committed to his memory while in the desert with Jesus. Ouch~! There goes any basis for an excuse to not memorize scripture! If the devil did it CERTAINLY we can hide God's word through the power of the Holy Spirit as our helper.

    Talk to me.
    Tell me how you are committing scripture to memory in your own life. I am looking to share this in a post with the Joy Treasure readers. How do you teach it to your children? How do you find ways to remember it and apply in your daily life? Leave it in the comment box and it will come right to me. I am looking for FIVE- SIX ways we all can better memorize scripture. Looking forward to hearing from y'all! Bye now!
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    Monday, November 8

    Manna Monday- Is Jesus Your King?

    Good Manna Monday morning friends! After some much needed rain around here, we are enjoying some sunshine this second day of the week. Taking a break from blogging this weekend proved to afford me some rest, but I am glad to be back with you all this morning.

    The question we're going to explore in today's post is, "Is Jesus your King?" What does it mean? What does it look like? Since many of us don't live under a government kingship we fail to understand the true meaning of having Jesus as our king. So let's get on to exploring our question.

    Here's some facts and background about kings to help us get started:
    • The bible shows us two images of kings- God as king and human as kings. The Hebrew meaning for the word king (melek) occurs almost 2700 times in the OT. In the NT the word for king (basileus) occurs more than 125 times. That's a lot of talk about kingship. Clearly, there is a biblical message woven through the fabric of the bible about kingship. There are good human kings in the bible like David, Hezekiah and Josiah and bad kings in the bible such as Jeroboam, Ahab and Manasseh and others.
    • Kings were anointed into office. They wore royal robes, had a scepter, a crown and had an ornate throne. They had massive wealth and a personal army of troops.
    • Israelite and Judahite kings were to be a contrast to the foreign nations that surrounded them.
    • Abraham was promised that kings were to come from his line (Gen. 17:6, 16; 35:11).
    Israelite kings had a few criteria to meet as established by God Himself. They were to:
    1. Be chosen by God (Deut. 17:14-20)
    2. Not be a foreigner
    3. Never accumulate horses (meaning to build up a military might and place trust in military)
    4. Not have many wives (for they would turn his heart aside)
    5. Not try to obtain wealth for himself
    6. Write a copy of the law for his use
    7. Read and obey the law
    Israelite kings were not to be under the authority of their own law, but to be subject to God's law. They were to be accountable to God and the prophets were to confront kings about their sin. They were to serve as an example of a humble servant of God that would lead the people to keep God's law. When it came to security (which was always a continual threat to Israel) they were to rely on God, their Divine Warrior. So when Israel asked for a king like the nations surrounding them in 1 Samuel 8:5, 20, what they were really saying was they didn't what God as their warrior.

    Now, when it came to the nations surrounding Israel, they had a whole different belief about kingship. Nations like Egypt believed the pharaohs were gods themselves. They were always against God's people and God's plan in the OT and NT.

    The bible connects Jesus to King David's line:

    Romans 1:3 says,"regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, ..."

    Matthew 1:1 says, "This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: ..."

    The meaning for the English word "Messiah" originates from the Hebrew word (masiah) which means "anointed one." These terms in the Greek translate to the word messias which translates as christos. Jesus the Christ is the anointed king from the line of David.

    In Mark 14:62, Jesus acknowledges his kingship saying, “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

    No other passage asserts the kingship  of Jesus as does Revelation 19:16 when He is mentioned as the "King of Kings and Lord of lords."Jesus is above all nations, all kings, and all rule today and forever.

    Brother Matthew favored the term, "kingdom of heaven" a lot. Its synonym was "kingdom of God. When Jesus talks about the "kingdom of God" in Luke 17:21 he actually is saying, "entos hymin" which means "within your grasp." God's kingdom is within our grasp through Jesus. It is within our reach each and every day. He is our king, the one we bow down to each day. The one whom everything we have belongs.

    Kings owned everything. Their people were subject to the king's law, word, and rule.

    So when we answer the question "Is Jesus my King?" we are asking ourselves "Do I rule my life (like bad human kings did in the OT) or do I let King Jesus rule my life, my day? Do I follow my own word, or follow the word and law of King Jesus? Do I consider everything I have to be 'my own' or that everything I have belongs to King Jesus? Do I obey myself and my fleshly desires or do I obey King Jesus and place myself daily under the subject of His authority. Do I trust Him as my Divine Warrior and let Him take care of all my security needs or do I trust in myself and try to work it out on my own?

    We can sum up this post in one word- AUTHORITY. (Kings were the ultimate authority in the bible.) Does Jesus have authority over your daily life? Do you let Him have authority? Does His word have authority over your choices/decisions in life? Do you let His word rule your marriage, parenting, friendships, relationships, work, etc.... Is God's word just for Sunday mornings or does it govern your life throughout the week?

    I pray this post encourages your heart, challenges you like it did me. I pray it gets you thinking about the kingship of Jesus in a way you haven't thought about before. One day, not too far off, we will forever be living under the King of kings and Lord of lords in heaven. But for now, on earth, let's turn our hearts away from ourselves toward our King Jesus.

    I am praying for you today. Write to me about this post. I want to hear from you.
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    Friday, November 5

    Hey y'all! (That's how us southerners greet each other!) I 've got a busy weekend planned so I'm not sure if I'll have a lot of extra time to write to y'all. But I do have some things on my heart to share but there's just not enough time to get it all out right now. So I'll probably share them in next weeks posts. Feel free to look around on some of the older posts on the blog. (Hard to believe I am going on my sixth month of blogging!) YAY God! He has encouraged me and placed so many things on my heart to share with you. I know He is not finished. He is just getting started!
    I want you to know I blog for two reasons: first, because I want to make much of Christ in every day life and second, to encourage your daily walk with the LORD. This is just another way I believe God would have me build up the body of Christ- through encouragement by pointing you to His word. Please know, I am praying for you this weekend. I cannot thank you enough for continuing to come back to this blog. Thank you!!!!!
    I'm so humbled God has brought me this far since I began blogging back in May and that He allows me the opportunity to write to you. 

    Last, if you have enjoyed reading Joy Treasure and it has been a blessing to you, will you encourage your friends and family to join? My prayer is for more people to join and begin a big conversation about Jesus on this blog. How cool would that be? Remember, you can join through Face book, Twitter, RSS feed, Yahoo and Google Friend. 

    I love you all! I really do! Have a great weekend! See you bright and early Monday morning with another Manna Monday!
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    30 Quotes from Oswald Chambers-#9

    Hey friends! I'm so glad you stopped by this morning! It's Friday!!!!!You know I love Oswald Chambers journal, "My Utmost for His Highest." I've got another quote from him that I absolutely love! Oswald minces no words when he talks about considering God in our daily lives. How many minutes of your day have you lost by worrying about the circumstances of life that you don't have any control over? How many days have you let your mind wander away from worshipping God and meditating on His word and instead agreed to lead yourself to become anxious about life? Bring it back to the LORD. The time is now.

    Don't fret. PRAY!

    We do nothing to promote changing the circumstances of our life when we worry and lead ourselves to become anxious. Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

    Oswald says, (January 26th page of "My Utmost for His Highest Journal," published by Barbour and Company)
    "Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life of God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the "much more," it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations."

    When we stop agreeing with the thoughts about worry and anxiety and start praying, we are surrendering our burdens over to God. Sometimes I find myself saying aloud, "Do not worry...do not be anxious... to talk to myself and focus my thoughts back on God. When we bring these circumstances to God we are treasuring Him as our provider, sustainer, and protector. We are treasuring His word by believing He will take care of us.  Matthew 6:30 says, "If God so clothe the grass of the field.....shall He not much more clothe you?"

    Since the economy has been up and down, my husband's sales have been up and down.It's not because he is a poor salesman, he is one of the best. People were just not buying like they used to. As a stay at home mom, I found myself praying for my husband in a way I never had prayed before when I was working full time. When I was working, I knew we would always be ok because we had my income coming in too. It was extra money. But when we decided together for me to stay home and care for our son, I came to understand what it really meant to depend on God as well as be dependent on someone else as an adult. In our entire marriage, I had always worked and didn't think about money. It was always there. But last year, I found myself becoming worried and anxious about how the economy had made its impact on our finances,  I started to worry. I started to get testy. One day, I read this verse and said, "Ok. I can't change it. But I CAN pray!" So I did. I told my husband I was praying for him and for his work. And God began to provide. My husband would call me and tell me about new sales that he had gotten (he never had before!) and I found us becoming stronger and rejoicing together. I would rejoice when he would tell me about his sales and then know how to pray more for his business. The point of this story is that God wanted me to grow in the circumstance I was placed in. It led me to depend on God and to believe Him that He was not lying when He said, "do not worry" I will take care of you. Now that things are better, I have not forgotten what God taught me during that time. I continually ask God's provision for our finances. My husband is still telling me about his sales and I am still praying for his business. We are still rejoicing together! What a treasure in our marriage!

    Believe God friend. Don't believe the lies. Grow in the circumstance you are in. God WILL take care of you.
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    Thursday, November 4

    My son asks me lots of questions about God. Some of them are questions I have thought about too. Some though are things I have never thought about. As I was cooking dinner the other night, he came up to me and asked this:

    "Does God have more fun than we do?"
    I had never thought about this question and I thought it was a good one. It made me smile.
    So this got me to thinking about God's humor and what the bible has to say about it.
    We often think of the bible as very serious and it is of course. But, there are some funny things that happen in it. Things that make us snicker. There are funny names in the bible such as:

    Isaac means "he laughs."
    Esau means "hairy."
    Peter means "rock" which was the last thing he was. His personality was one of instability yet that is the name God gave him and the person he would build his church upon.

    There are events that are funny too like:
    A donkey talking (Numbers 22:23-30).
    After being released from prison, Peter couldn't get into the prayer meeting where people were praying for him. Rhoda, who answered the door, couldn't believe God had answered their prayer and shut the door on Peter (Acts 12:12-17).

    Think about all the fun God has showing Himself powerful and almighty:
    Creating the universe
    Parting the Red Sea
    Speaking through a burning bush
    Answering the prayers of his children

    These are just a few of the things that came to mind this morning.
    God is holy and to be revered. But he does have a good sense of humor.
    Enjoy his humor. Look for it in the bible. There are lots more I don't have time to mention.
    Have a great day and think about the wonderful things of God!
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