Saturday, April 30, 2011

Community Easter Program

The Saturday before Easter, we were blessed to be a part of the community Easter program.  It started out that Colin was to be an actor. Then we were asked to let Carter be Baby Jesus. That meant that Carson felt left out and was allowed to be an actor as well.  Jeffrey ended up helping video the program.  All in all, it was a wonderful program. Leslie Sanders did an amazing job putting it all together.  I appreciate her allowing us to be a part of it. And yes, Baby Jesus had his paci.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

He was 33

This year I will turn 34 years old.

As I get older, I realize more and more that my life is but vapor. I am not guaranteed tomorrow. Therefore, I must make the most of each day.

Jesus did.

When he died, Jesus was 33 years old.

My age.

He ministered for 3 years before his death.

Yet he left a legacy.

So, I pause to think about my life.

I've been a Christian for 7 years, more than double the length of Jesus' ministry. I ask the question, "If I died today, would I leave a legacy?"

Sure I want people to remember me as a good person, but more than that I want to leave behind a Jesus loving generation, people who love Him because I radiated his love to them.

Sometimes I find myself being more patient and loving toward strangers and losing my temper with my household. Sometimes I find myself caring more about my family's needs than the needs of the lost.  Sometimes I find myself totally lost in the shuffle of life, not knowing whether I'm coming or going.  At all of these times, I am convicted. 

I thank God for conviction.

It makes me STOP and look at MYSELF. 

It makes me STOP and think about HIM.

It makes me STOP and remember that I AM NOT PERFECT.

It makes me STOP and realize that I WANT DESIRE TO BE MORE LIKE HIM.

I am thankful that the conviction touches me in way that I don't run away, but run toward Jesus. That my eyes are truly opened to the fact that I messed up, that I wasn't following his lead, that I wasn't be "very Christian."

I am 33.  I am a sinner. I have a great love for my Jesus. I have a great desire to be more like him and follow God's plan for my life. I pray daily that he will make me the woman he has planned, that I would be open to his will and not shy away from what he wishes for me.

He was 33. He lived a simple life. He loved.  He was betrayed.  He was beaten. Humiliated. Crucified.  He died for me. For you.

I thank Jesus for the love he shows me all the time, not just when I do good.  For the patience he has for me (he knows I need it). 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Made 4 Praise - Above All

Our children's choir performed during our Palm Sunday service this morning.  Be sure to mute the playlist at the bottom of the page before starting the video. You may also want to turn up your volume to hear the solos.

Untitled from Natasha Grimes on Vimeo.
Thank you, Hilarie for working with our children. They always amaze me.

Spring Fever

Spring Fever is alive and well in my household.

In more ways than one.

Baseball has started up.  Jeff is coaching Colin's team again this year.  They won their first game 8-7.  GO CUBS!  Colin is playing first base and is the oldest kid on the team.  He has a big responsibility in showing the younger ones how to put forth effort and to show good sportsmanship.  There are several dads helping out with the team as well.  Carson is playing T-Ball this year.  Jeff and I are coaching his team.  I had them all to myself Thursday due to Colin's game.  One little boy told me he was "done."  I told him he wasn't allowed to be done.  Four and five year olds are so funny.  Carson is not allowed to "retire" this year.

We are on the homestretch for summer vacation. Well, we have until June 2 with all the snow days we've missed.  YUCK.  Too bad I don't have any more personal or sick days for this year.

As for the real spring fever.  Yes, it is Sunday and I am home with a sick one.  Carson got to coughing terribly yesterday. So bad that he began vomitting.  This morning he woke up early with belly ache.  Hopefully he will improve as he day goes on.  He seems to be feeling better after having some breathing treatments.  I hate that I missed  Colin's solo this morning.  The children were singing  Above All.

Blessings to you all this beautiful Sunday.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Park Hoppers

Last week was our spring break.  At first, we thought Jeffrey was going to Japan for work, so we planned on hanging around the house and possibly hitting up the local Chuck E. Cheese's.  Fortunately, his trip got cancelled and we took off to Disney World.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Days 84-90

So, I want to say thanks for waiting patiently for my final reflections. We were only vacation last week and I stored all my reflections on the iPad.

Day 84
On Carson's closet door, Colin created a scene depicting today's scripture. It is made of masking tape. When he made it, he knew the scripture behind it. Now that Carson is old enough, he asks frequently for me to tell him what the crosses mean.

I am always amazed at the "believing thief." Even at death, he believed in Jesus.  I wonder how he heard of Jesus. Was he up Gino good and overheard someone's conversation or did he sit at the feet of  Jesus once?

Regardless, he believed. Regardless, he was forgiven. Regardless, he was saved.

May we never doubt Jesus. May we never mock him.  May we stand up for him, even to the point of death.

Day 85
After reading Matthew 27:45-54, there were a couple of things that struck me. First, I think about the onlookers saying, " Let's see if He will save him." this reminded me of the thief from yesterday. Yes, this all could have been stopped. However, that was not God's plan. Without these events, this horrible death of our Jesus, death would not have been defeated, our path to salvation would have been broken.

Secondly, I think about the sadness in verse 54, "Truly this was the Son of God." I think this was sad because the guards had just realized the truth of it all. They had just crucified Christ. Imagine the unbelief of who He was, those mocking Jesus. Then all the signs of his death occurring in front of you. Oh, the heartache.

We must never stand by in disbelief. We must not wait until it is too late to believe.  The time for us to know, to believe, and to put our trust in Jesus is now.  How sad it would be to come to the end of our lives and then realize what we had missed out on.

Day 86
He is risen! What great news!

It seems I have always known the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I have never questioned it.  Yet, when I surrendered my life to Jesus, the events became so much more powerful. They have more meaning. They have made me into who I am today.

It hurts us when we lose a loved one. I have never witnessed a death, although I have been in the room shortly after. When Pa Tootsie died, I saw his lifeless body in the hospital bed. That was so difficult. The nurses asked us to leave so they could "prepare him" for us.  Then there is the pain of the first viewing of the body at the funeral home.  Sometimes, it is almost a relief.  Seeing a body that is no longer in pain.  So, I can only imagine how these women must have felt.

You see, they knew Jesus. They served Him. They learned from Him. They loved Him. They saw him crucified. They witnessed The Word come to life before their very eyes. They found his tomb empty.  What a blessing it was for them to be there and witness all of these things. How blessed that they were chosen to be the first to be told the glorious news, "He is risen!"

Day 87
I am a firm believer that we are not created equal. Now I don't mean that some people are better than others. I just mean that we are not the same. A long time problem with lots of women is that we constantly compare ourselves to other women. We want their talents, their hair, their wardrobes, their bodies. Then, we want to do things that men do.  I will be the first to admit that I am not cut out to do a man's job. I am not a wieney, but I know my limitations.

I know for a fact that I am so truly blessed to be a woman.  I get to experience so many wonderful things: the incredible aches, pains, and joys of pregnancy and child birth, the "needed" feeling from my children when only mom will do, the bond shared with other Christian women, the gift of encouragement. Being a woman is a wonderful gift.

Jesus had a special relationship with women. He gave them the love they so desired. He taught them. He gave them opportunities to serve and here, in Luke 24:9-12, he chose women to be the first witnesses to his resurrection. What a blessing!

As women, God provides us with so many amazing opportunities. We should never stand by wanting to do things that are not our responsibility, or our jobs.  We should take advantage of what Jesus has planned for us.

Day 88
I've mentioned before that my faith in Christ is growing. I trust him. I know there is a specific plan laid out for my life. I have no idea what the future holds. However, I am His. Whatever the plan, I have faith that he will keep his promises.  I don't want to come face to face with Jesus and him ask, "Why did you doubt me?"

I also don't want him to ask me why I didn't stand up for him.  You see, I think a lot of times I don't say or do things because I fear that I don't know enough about his word. I can't really quote the Bible. I remember what I read, but I can't tell where it is located. I am still learning. However, I can't use that as an excuse. Others must know what I am about now. I must speak up for Jesus now. I must live for him now. I must let him extinguish my fears now.

Day 89
Today's scripture, Luke 24:36-49, reminds me of the song I Can Only Imagine. Today, we are walking in faith. We have not seen Jesus face to face. We have heard the Word, and we have seen his works. We chose to believe in that which we have not seen.

But oh, what a glorious day that will be when we are face to face with Jesus.  Will we stand in awe? Will we fall to our knees? Will we not be able to believe our eyes? I can only imagine!

Day 90

My friend.

My redeemer.

My healer.

My protector.

My teacher.

My savior.

My life.


There is none like him. There never will be.  Became to earth to live as a human. He lived a perfect life, yet was crucified and bore the sins of all humanity.

Let me say that again.

Jesus lived a perfect life. Yet he bore the sins of all humanity.

My sins.  Your sins.

Jesus died a horrible death so that we would not have to.

He fulfilled the word of God.

I am so thankful for Jesus.  I am thankful for what he has done in my life and thankful for what he will accomplish through me.

Jesus doesn't need me. He doesn't need you.  However, we need him.  I am so glad that I opened my heart to him when I did.

Dear Sweet Jesus, how I love you.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Day 83 - The Nails

The plan is falling into place. Everything that has been prophesized is happening.

Can you imagine being there?

Can you imagine being a follower of Jesus, having met  him or heard him teach at this time in his ministry and then be a witness to what was unfolding?

When Beth Moore asked us to describe how this might feel, to know what had been taught and see it actually happen, how would that feel?

One word that I came up with was sickening

You know the feeling....

There is this big knot in the bottom of your stomach. It is wiggling and moving upward.  You break out into a cold sweat and feel faint.  You feel at any moment you will vomit.  Your mind is in total disarray.  You keep thinking, "Is this real?"  Its not that you didn't believe. Its just that you hope there was something missing.

But, it is real. This is the way it is supposed to be.  You knew all along. You thought you understood.  This is where your faith must show.  This is where you must show that you are His, regardless of your feelings. 

I picture the woman who played the Mother of Jesus in The Passion of the Christ.  There was pain in her eyes, in her face.  You could tell she wanted to stop what was going on. So many I'm sure wanted to stop it. We watch the movie and read the scripture and think how terrible it all was....the spitting, the cat o nine tails, the mocking, the heaviness of the cross, the crown of thorns, the nails, the crucifixtion.  Yes, it was terrible. It was gory. It was horrible. 

It was for us. 

On the radio one day the question was asked, "If you could go back in time to one particular moment and make a change, would would that moment be?"  A caller commented that he would go back to the crucifixtion.  How I'm glad he can't do that.  That would change God's plan. That would take away my salvation.

Jesus was held up on that cross by nails....nails of love for us.  I know it is a horrible act against another soul, but without his pain, the path to salvation and eternal life in heaven would not exist.

Dear Jesus, I can't imagine your pain and torment.  I can't imagine it at all.  But you knew Jesus, you knew what would happen when you came to earth. Yet, you chose to come anyway.  You chose to teach. You chose to live as man. You chose to die a horrible death.  And YES! You rose again!  How I praise you for that.  Thank you for chosing me.  Thank you for making a way for me.  I owe you my life. I am yours!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Day 82 - King of the Mountain

It seems that the pharisees were always trying to catch Jesus in something. They would ask him questions, and Jesus would ask them a question, making them answer their own questions. They tried to fool him into admitting he was a fake.

Are we too like this at times? Do you make God so small, that he can't provide for you? Do you put on your church face and don't really believe what Jesus is capable of doing? Do you try to convince yourself that you are fine without him? Maybe we all do at least one of these things at some point.

Regardless of how hard we try to belittle him, trying to make ourselves bigger, better, God is still the One and Only. He is all powerful, all knowing, all encompassing. There is nothing he can't do. There is no problem he can't handle.

Jesus came to earth for a purpose. God's plan of salvation was to be carried out. It could have very easily been called off at anytime. I am so thankful that Jesus carried on. We should give him the honor, glory, and praise he deserves. We should give him our all. He should be the center of our lives. We should humbly hand over our burdens. And never should doubt him.