Wednesday, December 7

Just for Women Wednesdays- The Discipline of Advent

I don't want Christmas to ever feel rushed inside my home. I don't want a sense of frazzledness to be the memorable feeling felt at Christmas and the main memory I remember or my husband and son remember when we think about the Christmas' past.  The greatest gift as a woman you can give to others (including your family) during this season of remembrance is keeping things simple and staying disciplined to prepare your heart for Christmas.

I asked the question, "How can I make Christmas memorable in my home?" When our son was two and a half, our family started the tradition of Advent. I sadly regret my husband and I never celebrated Advent before our son was born. Even if your children are grown or you are a single adult, reading the Advent, meditating on Scripture and celebrating the birth of Christ can prepare your heart for Christmas.

Growing up as a Southern Baptist, I don't remember celebrating advent. I remember counting down to Christmas, but I didn't remember reading daily Scripture, just the account of Christ's birth.

What a difference it is making inside our home as well as in our hearts, especially my own heart. One thing that stands out in my mind is the discipline of Advent. It sounds good to do it. But I won't lie. It's work. It's time and energy and effort. You have to be deliberate and commit to doing it every day to truly experience and prepare your heart for Christmas. It's ok to miss a day, but if you let another day go by, you may miss a week and then another. Keeping Advent inside the home and making the most of it begins when you don't let it slip away from you. It is staying committed despite how you feel on a certain day. The obedience to honor Christ will bring about a blessing inside your heart and home. That's why I am posting it here.

Today's reading comes from Genesis 3:8-15.
As I read this passage to my son. All he heard was a bunch of words. I had to simplify them and teach him that Adam and Eve's disobedience to keep God's Word brought about sin into the world and therefore that's why Jesus came- to make a way for us to know God again.
Genesis 3:15 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible:

" And I will put enmity
   between you and the woman,
   and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
   and you will strike his heel.”
    What is so special about Genesis 3:15? It's the promise of a savior. The promise of salvation. The promise of victory for the believer. It's the reason we have joy. The reason we have hope. The reason we have new life in our hearts. The reason we can trust God- because HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES!!! (Hebrews 6:17-19)
    This is the reason for Christmas. The promise at the beginning of the Bible was delivered through the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

     I pray you will make time for Advent. Learn more about it. Commit to it not just to commit to another thing, but to commit to it because you are making time to worship Almighty God. He is worthy of our worship!

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    Wednesday, November 16

    Just for Women Wednesdays- WorldCrafters

    If you have never heard about WorldCrafts headed up by WMU (Women's Missionary Union) then you need to know about it! It is a wonderful way to get involved in missions by shopping!Yes, that's right! I said shopping! Each product is handmade from artisans across the globe and all proceeds go back to the artisan. The craft you purchase helps the artisan be able to support themselves and live free from sexual exploitation.
    Information from the WMU website explains:
    From August 2009 to August 2014, WorldCrafts will focus on this issue by highlighting some of our artisan groups that are working with women freed from sexual exploitation or women at high risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. We're calling it the Set1Free campaign, and there are multiple ways you can get involved. 
    Here are some of the items from the website. There are SO MANY!!!!

                                                              Nativity Set from Cambodia

    East Africa




    For more information specifically about the artisans and how WorldCrafts is helping them survive click on the link below.

    This Christmas, shop with a purpose.
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    Monday, November 14

    Free Art Friday Winner

    Sorry ladies! I got sick last week and felt horrible on Friday and throughout the weekend.
    I didn't post anything through the weekend nor did I get on my computer.

    Thanks to all who commented! It is a great encouragement to me. Please tell your friends about Joy Treasure and pass the word along!

    As I looked back over the ladies who entered, there was only one who made the deadline by Thursday November 10th midnight.

    Congrats to Carol Spurlock!


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    Wednesday, November 9

    Thankful for all things "A"

    Ok. So I am continuing spelling the word "thanks" this week. Today is all things "A." I am thanking God for things as a believer that I have to be grateful for.

    Being grateful keeps our focus off of ourselves and onto God. It places our hearts and minds in proper perspective. Being thankful shows we are trusting God and acknowleding Him as the giver of all things. It is looking beyond our circumstances and seeing something good in everything.

    It's easy to be ungrateful and complain.
    But it takes a deliberate focus to stop and consider things to be thankful for.

    I am so thankful that I have the ability to come before God and present my requests to Him.
    The Bible instructs me to ask:
    • “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7: 7-8 

    • "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

    You and I have the ability to ask and plead our petition before Almighty God.
    Can you wrap your brain around that truth? We are never without access to Him.

    Answered Prayers
    Throughout the Bible, there are answered prayers. More answered than unanswered. How often we forget that God answers prayers.How often we doubt that He hears and will answer. Does He always answer our every request? No. Sometimes He answers in ways we could never imagine. But He still answers!

    Adoption through Christ

    It is through being adopted into God's family that I have a new name, await a new home (Heaven) and have a new Heavenly Father (God) (Romans 8:22-24). I have a new family (the body of Christ- the church). Adoption is part of my salvation. God took me in when I was a sinner. He came looking for me and came accepting me with open arms when I was against Him. He didn't look at me and reject me because of my wretchedness. He loved me. He looked upon me with love-unconditional love. He took my brokeness and restored me. He has healed my wounds and I now live in His JOY!!! Adoption is everything for the believer.

    This Thanksgiving- thank God for all He has given you as a believer. They are the true things that will remain.
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    Free Art Friday this FRIDAY!!!!

    Free Art Friday begins today at 9:30am.
    Will run through Thursday evening November 10th at midnight.

    Must be a member of the blog to win.
    See sidebars on left side of Joy Treasure Blog to join through Facebook, yahoo, twitter or Googlefriend.

    To enter:
    Open this comment box and sign your name on the blog. I will put the names in a bowl.
    My son will draw a name from the bowl.
    I will post on Friday, November 11th by 9:30am.

    Here is the artwork I am giving away for Fall this Friday!
    It is 5X7 in size and is a mixed media painting I made. I had so much fun experimenting making a scarecrow! As usual, each painting on Joy Treasure emphasizes Scripture.
    The artwork can be placed on the wall or on a small easel on a coffee table.
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    Monday, November 7

    Manna Monday-Thankful for All Things "T"

    This week on Joy Treasure I want to share with you what I am thankful for as a believer. I pray as you read this post you, too, will consider the same things that you have to be thankful for.
    Today, I'll share all things "T" that I am thankful for.


         Taste is something we take for granted everyday. Think of your most favorite food and imagine not being able to taste it ever again. Imagine not being able to taste any food, ever!!! Everyday would be chewing on something that is merely a texture (filled with calories of course!) without any morsel of goodness. This little gift God gave us affects every aspect of our life. When God created us, He gave us the sense of taste so we could enjoy and experience life. And our ability to taste the goodness of food helps us to understand the sweetness of God's Word. Psalm 119 says, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! " Through our ability to taste food, we can understand how the goodness of God's Word is sweet to our soul. We can savor every word of God in our heart.

         A few years ago, at Christmas, I had a horrible sinus infection. It began on Christmas Eve and threw me for a loop. I couldn't taste anything on Christmas. All the goodies I had made to enjoy and for others to enjoy was miserable for me (good for them because they could taste!) but not for me. The taste of Christmas was missing. I am so thankful I get to taste things on Christmas when I am not sick.

    So today, enjoy a good meal and while you are chewing, thank God for making life sweet!!!


    I am thankful for the ability to thirst- to thirst for righteousness.
    To thirst for the good things of God. For I am filled. I am satisfied in a discontented world when I thirst for the right things of God. For He promises I shall be satisfied. Not only will I be filled, but I will be able to share the living water with others around who don't have eternal life. They thirst and are not filled. They walk around looking for something to satisfy their soul in this world and are never filled. Treasure the promises of being filled and satisfied by God today.

    "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
       for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

    "but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).


    I am so thankful for the ability to think and meditate on God's Word. I am able to fill my mind with life instead of death by reading the truth of God's Word. Each day, I am able to renew my spirit through yielding to God and listening to Him speak through His Word. I am never left alone to my sinful thoughts. They are able to change and become new thoughts that please God, consider His greatness, and change my actions. This is something we take for granted too!

    The Bible says, " On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night" (Psalm 63:6). 

     When you lie down to sleep at night, when it's just you and your mind in the dark, God gives you the ability to meditate on good things, to place your thoughts on truth and not the things that make you anxious or bring you fear. I love the fact that when my head hits the pillow, I can rest in God's forgiveness and that when I am alone with the thoughts of my mind, the truth that I read comforts me in the night. The nonbeliever doesn't have the ability to think on the things of God because they don't have God's Spirit living in their heart. When they lie down and sleep at night, they have no one to bring their anxieties or fears to. They don't live in God's forgiveness. I am so thankful for the ability to have a renewed mind. Thank God today for the ability to think about His Word.

    Ok. That's some of the "T" things I am thankful for this November.
    Tomorrow I will share the "H" things I am thankful for.

    You who visit Joy Treasure are a blessing to me. Thank you for your support. Please tell your friends about the Joy Treasure Blog. 

    I am praying for you today as I do every Monday. Blessings!

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    Saturday, November 5

    Keeping the Love Alive in your Marriage- Laughing!

    This probably is a post that I could otherwise call, TMI (Too Much Information) but I thought it was good to share and you will get a laugh off of me.

    Marriage is hard.
    For the believer, marriage is two flawed people trying to live for Jesus in a sinful world.
    So keeping the love alive is a continual process in marriage.

    My husband and I have a date night. We try to keep it once a month.
    Nothing elaborate.
    But it's usually a nice dinner somewhere quiet where we can enjoy a good meal and conversation.
    Whenever we do this, it refreshes our hearts, our marriage.

    So as our date night started out this time, my stomach began to rumble as we pulled up to the restaurant. Needless to say, when I picked up the menu, part of my belly said, "order carefully" and the other part said, "it's date night, order something good!" That was my dilemma.
    As the night went on, my tummy began to feel better until we were leaving.
    I suddenly felt an overwhelming need to purchase some Gas-X.
    So as I asked my husband to pull into the drugstore, I said, "Come in with me." He said, "OK."
    As we searched for the Gas-X, I also remembered I needed to buy Lysol toilet cleaning solution. I had cleaned my house but was out of toilet bowl cleaner and therefore, the bathrooms in my home were not entirely clean. I wasn't even thinking about the two items together.

    After our enjoyable dinner, there we were...... on the ant-acid aisle at Wal-greens.
    As I searched for what I needed, another lady hurriedly came up next to us. She didn't look at us. She simply grabbed the box and scurried off to pay for it.
    My husband and I laughed because it was awkward and we felt bad for the lady too.
    But there we were on the same aisle looking for the same product.
    My husband and I chuckled.

    As we approached the counter to pay for our items, I suddenly felt embarrassed at what I held in my hand- Gas-X and Lysol toilet cleaner. My husband and I snickered and then laughed loudly. It was hilarious to us because it was embarrassing in reality. Who buys Gas-X and Lysol toilet cleaner at the same time? I had not planned to buy these products at the same time, but I really needed to finish cleaning my bathrooms too! I threw all my feelings aside and proudly placed the products on the counter. The lady who had just reached for the Gas-X on the anti-acid aisle was in front of us and the cashier said to her, "Oh, look! It's $2.00 off. I have a coupon I will scan for you."She didn't look up. As if she didn't want to be noticed anyway!!!! Bless her heart!

    Then it was my turn.

    I got the same $2.00 off and same bubbly response from the cashier that the lady previously had received. As I looked at my two items, along with my husband's soda pop I laughed. He laughed. What a date night night! It was a far cry from our first dates!

    As we pulled out of the parking lot, we drove through the gas station parking lot behind the drugstore to get to the main street to go home. We saw a friend of ours. We rolled down the window to say, "Hello."
    She said, "aww... are y'all having a date night?" We said, "Yep, we sure are."

    Little did she know we were heading home with my Gas-X and Lysol Toilet cleaner.

    We laughed all the way home. 

    Learning to laugh together is a good for your marriage.
    Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
    If you have forgotten to laugh with your spouse, take a step back and look for the things in life to laugh about. You will be glad you did. 

     I hope you got a good laugh from my experience but more than that, I hope you laugh.
    Revive the love in your marriage through laughter.

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    Friday, November 4

    Free Art Friday

    Sorry I am just now able to post.
    My helper was with Papaw and Nana longer than I expected.

    Here we go!

    No peeking!!!
    And the winner is......
    Congrats Heather!

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    Thursday, November 3

    Just for Women Wednesdays- Seizing Unexpected Opportunities

    There are things that we as women go through in life that are different than men.
    And its through the trials we experience as women, that God uses us to connect with other women.

     Never underestimate your trial, your pain, your suffering, your sin struggle. God can use it for HIS good.

    Today I waited in the park for a friend of mine to show up for a play date. Our children were going to play on the playground. My son began riding his tricycle around the walking path around the playground as he waited for his friend. A Muslim woman was walking along the path. He passed her on his tricycle and began to talk to her. I didn't think anything about it.

    I waited for my friend.

    A few minutes later, she pulled up and came over to where I was sitting- in the pavilion at a picnic table. As soon as she sat down, the Muslim woman immediately came over to our table and sat down right beside me. The uttermost parts of the world was sitting at our table.

    We didn't have to travel to Pakistan to meet our sweet friend to tell her about Jesus. She was here and she had already heard about Jesus (the prophet - as she called Him). Of course she didn't believe He was the Messiah.

    As the conversation unfolded, she began to share her sorrows. The sorrows of a woman who had lost a child. She needed someone to talk to. My friend who sat across from her had experienced the same thing in her own life. As I sat there watching my friend be able to instantly connect with another woman from another part of the world, I thanked God. He was using my friend to share how she got through the pain of losing a child- Jesus. She lovingly shared the gospel with the Muslim woman. It was a beautiful site to see.

    As women, the things we go through in life that only another woman can understand is something God uses for His glory. It's the thing that can instantly connect us to another woman from another part of the world.

    The world is at our doorstep. They are in our parks, neighborhoods and schools. They are shopping in our malls and grocery stores. You don't have to go on a mission trip to share the Gospel.

    When you meet a someone who is not a believer, how do you continue the conversation? Love. Love like Jesus.
    1. Bring a meal.
    2. Invite the person over for dinner.
    3. Send a card of encouragement.
    4. Build a relationship.(Find ways to continue to the conversation- frequent the same place in hopes of seeing the person again.
    5. Remember the person's name.
    6. PRAY! Don't forget to pray!!!

    Below are some statistics from the International Mission Board about how the world is right at our doorstep.
    The world is here. Women around you from other parts of the world are right here. You never know how God will use your life experiences to connect to another woman.

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    Monday, October 31

    Free Art Friday This Friday!

    I have been working on some Fall giveaways. YAY! I have had so much fun! So that means Free Art Friday this Friday!

    Here's how to enter Free Art Friday.
    First, you must be a member of Joy Treasure to enter. You can join by clicking on "Follow this Blog" box under the Facebook box on the left hand column. You can also click on the blue box that says, "Join this site" and connect thru Google.

    Second, Open the comment box under this post. Leave your entire name. Your name will be taken and placed in a bowl and

    Third, Free Art Friday begins Monday October 31st at 8am and will run until Thursday evening November 4th at 10pm. I will have my son draw names from a bowl this Friday morning and will post the name by 9:30am.

    The giveaway is a mixed media painting on a 6X6 canvas. It can be placed on a small easel and placed in a guest bathroom, on the kitchen counter, on a side table in your living room. It's fun and funky but a true reminder of who we are to give thanks to- God!  Can't wait to give this one away!
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    onetimeblind - The Stool

    Love this from onetimeblind. How often do we move Jesus out of the way when it comes to the choices we make in our daily lives. The struggle is real. The Apostle Paul wrote about his sin struggle (Romans 8). BUT each day we have been given a new day to draw nearer to Jesus and give him complete control of our lives. ENJOY! (video 2 minutes).
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    Manna Monday-The Gift of 86,400 seconds

    Quote taken from (
    86, 400 seconds. That's the amount of time we have been given in each day to say "thank you" to God, to our family and friends. It's saying "thank you" to people who do little things for us like carrying out our groceries or changing the oil in our car. It's looking for the moment, the tiniest moment, to give thankfulness as a gift to someone else. Each day is a gift from our creator and life is short. And we often take the life we have been given for granted. We don't mean to. But we do. The Bible says, "You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath." Psalm 39:5. With that being said, we should be embracing life, embracing every second as if it were a gift.
     a life change. What if you woke up every morning embracing the time the day to be thankful instead of being discouraged, angry, jealous, envious, bitter, or doubting God? Imagine what could happen in your life if you embraced thankfulness instead of ungratefulness. 86,400 seconds....that's what we've been given.  Yet, we are apt to think the opposite way and say, "I don't have time" or "I will say thank you later."
    When we say "thank you" we are saying to another person, "I appreciate you. You are of value to me. What you have done for me has not gone unnoticed."

    The Bible leads us in the way of thankfulness. It instructs us what to thank God for. Psalm 118:1 says, "Give thanks to the LORD for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting." The Psalmist in Psalm 118 continues to thank God for the following:
    • "The LORD answered me and set me in a large place" (v.5).
    • "The LORD is for me..." (v.6).
    • "the LORD helped me" (v.13).
    • "The LORD is my strength and song (v. 14).
    • "He has become my salvation" (v. 14)
    • "This is the day which the LORD has made" (v. 18)
    • The LORD is God and He has given us light" (v. 27)
    An attitude of thankfulness is fostered by reading the Bible. The longer we live our lives away from the Bible, the easier it will be to become ungrateful. No doubt we will find many things in the Bible to thank God for which will in turn spill over into our living. When we thank God, we are acknowledging Him and not ourselves. When we thank God we are living in obedience. Obedience to God brings blessings. I believe we miss many blessings in our lives because we are selfish and disobedient. These are the two things that lie at the root of ungratefulness. Our greatest example, Jesus, thanked His Heavenly Father: “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me" (John 11:41-42). If He took time to thank God so can we. Embrace each day with thankfulness instead of ungratefulness. And remember:

    (Picture taken by me!)
    What will you do with your 86, 400 seconds today? Will your seconds be filled with thankfulness or ungratefulness?

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    Friday, October 28

    Favorite Things Friday

    I always love when friends share with me things they "like."
    I often find if they "like" something, I will like it too.
    So when I don't have a Free Art Friday on Joy Treasure, I will post "Favorite Things Friday."
    I will share some of my favorite things with you, my friends.
    But I want to hear from you too!
    I want to know your favorite things and share them with Joy Treasure friends.

    Here are a few of mine:

    It took almost 20 years for me to like coffee, but I caved in. Now, this is my favorite! After a friend shared this with my family, we now only buy Community Coffee. I like the coffee and chicory but I also like the breakfast blend. I have tried to go back to other coffee's but once you try it, you will agree it truly tastes better.

    I am giving up my secret- Aveda Control force hairspray! I have never been a gal who likes fancy hairspray or makeup, but once I tried this, I lost the "clumps of hairspray hair" from drugstore hair sprays. I cannot live without it. The best thing- it doesn't feel like I have hairspray on my hair. It is so light!!! Great control too!

    I bought this at Target a two months ago. It has changed my life for the better! It has a magnet on the back of it which I hang on the side of my refrigerator. I pull it off and start checking. I cannot live without it!!!

    I bought this little makeup organizer for my purse simply because it had pink on it! Got it at Target. Every time I open my purse, I can't help but smile because of the pink color under the zipper. Sometimes it only takes a small pop of color to make you feel good.

    Ok. That's it for today!

    Now it's your turn. Leave me a comment about something you like and want to share with Joy Treasure readers! I will post it in next Friday's "Favorite Things."

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    Tuesday, October 25

    Manna Monday: Seeing the Beauty of God through Fall

    Over the past few months, I have watched the seasons change right before my very eyes. Only a God of order could arrange it to take place so effortlessly, so beautifully.The older I become, the more I love the season of fall. As I consider the beauty of God as seen through the season of fall I am reminded that He is: Creator, Sustainer, Provider, All Powerful and a God of order.

    What I love about Fall
    I love the colors, smells and tastes of fall.
    I love the way the weather feels cool and crisp.
    I love how the wind rustles through the leaves making its song of praise to our King.
    I love how God reminds me He provides food for the animals (and that He will provide for me, too) when I see acorns and nuts fall to the ground.
    I love how the season brings families together outside to pick pumpkins on a farm.

    Pictures of Fall
    As I returned from the mountains last night, I wanted to share some pics I took for you all. Take time to enjoy the beauty God has created for us to enjoy and learn to look for His fingerprint over every detail.

    This is when we were coming into our destination. I couldn't resist the creativity of these bales of hay.

                                     What we got to wake up to see every morning. Beautiful, isn't it!
    I couldn't resist to take a pic of this! I love fried pies (a guilty pleasure I indulge in once a year!) This was a fresh batch of homemade apple pies just made being taken to the store. I forgot to show you mine (because I ate it!). But this is what it looked like. The same God who brings fall about also created the taste of apples, spices and bread. Thank God for giving you the sense of taste!

     The picture of trees above our car as we drove through the mountains. Couldn't be any more beautiful!!!

    God made these beautiful mountains. Breathtaking as I stand in awe of how powerful He is.
    I couldn't resist richness of this red. God is the master artist.
    A great place to have a quiet time, don't you think!!!!
    Took this picture early in the am in Cades Cove. Was thinking about how God provides for every animal He has created. If He provides every basic need for them, won't He do the same for us? YES!

    I leave you with this verse from Psalm 68:35: "God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God." The same God whose power brings about the changes of fall can powerfully work through His people. He is powerful. He is awesome. No one is like Him.

    Slow down and look around you.
    Take time this fall to consider God's incomparable beauty.
    It will fill your heart with joy!
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    Monday, October 10

    Manna Monday- Making Memories

    Manna Monday's Main Theme Verse is Psalm 118:24 which says, "This is the Day the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and  be glad in it." Manna Monday exists to encourage you to think about the LORD at the beginning of your week and what is important in life rather than all the stress and things you have to "do."

    Today I wanted to talk about:
    Manna Monday's verse for October 10th is Philippians 2:4: "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

    We have been meeting with a group of other couples in our marriage mentoring group for a couple of years now. We just finished up the book, The Disciplines of a Godly Family by Kent and Barbara Hughes. I highly recommend this book! It is so practical for daily living.
    Last night we discussed the next to the last chapter. It was on table manners which led a discussion about the memories that are made at the table.

    We live in a society that is so fast. Families today eat on the run, keep their phone on the table and are having less time for sharing a meal together because they put their children in too many activities or they themselves in too many activities. What are we doing to ourselves? To our families?

    Our mentors, an older couple in our church, reminisced over memories made at the table in their younger years. Mr. Bill told us about how his parents had big shade trees in their yard. His parents would open up their farm to welcome guests to come over after church and eat under those trees. They would set up tables and eat there. What a vivid picture he described. As I listened to him, I could picture myself there alongside him because of his passionate description. It was a memory that he cherished. It made an impact on my heart. I thought, "what kind of memories am I making for my son? For our family?" What would stand out to him as he grows up?

    Going out to eat on Sunday's is something we do as a family. But does that really make memories? I would say "no." But having people over to our home on a consistent basis and having a home cooked meal....that makes memories. Cooking a Sunday meal makes memories. It takes work. But it does make memories.

    I know life is busy. Crazy. But as I grow older, I come to see that I want to leave something behind for my son to cherish; like Mr. Bill cherished the memory of Sunday dinner at his farm.

    I am not one who likes to cook Sunday lunch, but I am convicted that Sunday is to be a day of rest. Coming home after church continues the focus on God and family, and not on other things. I can see that now. I want our family to feel like Sunday is a day that is different from the rest- a day to rest from going out. A day to be solely focused on God and family. This is what I believe is going to stand out to my son as he matures. That is a memory that I know he will remember forever. 

    So I am not saying, I have arrived! By no means! I am sharing with you what God has been laying on my heart. I admit, I can't go cold turkey and just start cooking on Sundays. There is much to do. Much to prepare. This is not something I am used to doing. But I am going to begin making an effort to prepare meals beforehand on Saturdays to eat on Sundays for lunch. My feeling is to not make lunch but to be waited upon at a restaurant. I admit it. I want to think bigger and more about others (my family and others) than just about me (that I don't want to cook Sunday dinner!). I want to think about making memories for my son on Sundays. I want to promote fellowship among the body of believers by inviting them over for Sunday lunch. These are memories.

    I would love to hear what you think about Sunday lunch. What are memories you remember from your childhood? What memories are you making on Sundays? Do you make meals on Sunday or go out to eat? 

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    Friday, October 7

    Albert Mohler talks about Joel Osteen

    This article written by Albert Mohler is quite interesting.Mohler holds nothing back.

    Click above to read the entire article.

    He cites Joel Osteen's responses to piercing questions asked on television. If we are to be a believer, that means we have beliefs based on Scripture. Because we believe God's word is God-breathed, that means we do make judgements about life based on scripture not based on our own opinions or wanting to not stir up contreversy. Jesus stirred up controversy and made judgments based on truth. That's why the gospel was so controversial that people would crucify Him on a cross.

     Everyday we make judgments. We make judgements on whether we like the chicken sandwich from Wendy's or the chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a. We make judgements as to whether our children should spend time with this friend or that one. We make judgements based on whether watching this movie will hurt our Christian walk or not. We make judgements as to whether we should spend time with people who do not encourage us in the LORD or to choose to make friendships with those who do encourage our walk with the LORD. We do make judgments. I don't want to attend a church that makes me feel good and where everything is always a good message. Sin is real. Sin is to be dealt with. Sin separates us from knowing God. It is a barrier. To make little of it hinders my relationship with God. I am so thankful my pastor holds nothing back but points me back to my sin and to the sin of the world. He doesn't just encourage me to have a positive attitude or think happy thoughts. He leads me to see truth, believe truth, live by truth and make judgements based on the truth.

    What are your thoughts about this article written by Albert Mohler. Would love to hear from you.
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    Thursday, October 6

    Random Thoughts from Ashley

    Sometimes there just isn't a big "Oh Yeah!' blog post on my mind. I've learned to be ok with that!!!
    It doesn't mean I am not searching or seeking new ideas or trying to flesh out a thought, it's just some days I just don't have a deep thought!!! Since I have been working on my writing project, the blog posts have had to take the backseat. Sometimes I have a bunch of rambling thoughts inside my mind about life. So that is what I will be sharing from time to time on:

                                                              Random Thoughts from Ashley.

                                                             Thoughts about House Cleaning
    A dear friend of mine was talking about how she was taking advice from her sister-in-law on keeping the dishes clean. In the past I would load my dishwasher and if there wasn't enough room in the washer, I would leave them in my sink and clean them the next morning. But leaving them in my sink makes me feel like there is more to do when I wake up. So then, I would stay up late and load my dishwasher for a second time. So, she told me that her sister-in- law handwashed the dishes left in her sink instead of waiting to put them in the washer. WHY didn't I think of that? Well, I did think of that. But who wants to wash dishes when you have a dishwasher? I have come to see that even with this smallest household dilemma, Proverbs 31 speaks to the issue-laziness.
    Proverbs 31:27 says,
    "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." 

    As I live a life that honors God, I want to be a woman who watches over her household and not eat the bread of idleness. So I am keeping my sink clean! And it makes all the difference when I keep the sink clean for the next day. Thank goodness for good friends who can share their simple no brainer ideas about keeping a cleaner house! What is it that you are watching over in your household? Would love to hear from you!

                                                            Thoughts about the World
    There are some things in life I can't change. The political issues going on around me. The economy. The culture. People.  If you look at the world and get fixated on the issues at hand, it will make you discouraged. That's not where I want to place my thoughts. I want to place them back on the Lord. I can do my part in voting, in being a good steward of the resources God has given me and in praying for my country. I can encourage others going through a difficult time, but there are things that are out of my hands. So, I look to the one who is in charge of ALL the changes and I place my hope in Him.

    This week when I bought groceries, a young gentlemen walked me out to put them in my car. He was telling me about all  the deaths that had been going on around him. I asked him if I could pray for him and he said, "I'm ok. I don't need it." He proceeded to tell me his friend now was, "enlightened." He said, "he now knows all the secrets of the earth." My heart sunk. He was not a believer and his heart was so cold about death and about accepting prayer. I wish I could say I did everything right at that moment. I didn't. I was busy thinking about my daily agenda and then in the middle of my day, came an opporunity to share Christ. Isn't that just how it is! What I am going to do is continue the conversation with him each time I visit the grocery store. I know this is a heart God wants me to sow seeds of truth over. Who is it that God wants you to sow seeds of truth over?

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