Monday, December 30, 2013


When 2013 began, I made a vow to SHINE. That was the word I chose to live for the year. I wanted make my life one that shined the light of Jesus.  I wanted to reflect Him in all that I did.  As I take this time to reflect back on the events of the past year, I hope that I did just that....

2013 was not an easy year for me.  As a family, we experienced our first deployment.  Although it was a difficult journey, I have to say, God prepared me for it many ways.  You can never be totally prepared for what a deployment will bring, but I was able to do certain things with confidence and efficiency by journeys God sent me through earlier.  I was able to manage my household as effectively as possible. I had my family on a schedule and even had time for quiet prayer time and Bible reading for me.  I dealt with sick children and even became very ill myself.  With the help of others, through actions and prayers, we all survived the deployment. 

After Jeff came home, we began to start a new journey together as a family. We became pregnant with our fourth child.  However, the pregnancy ended in a devastating miscarriage. It has been months, but I still hurt. It is difficult when people you work with and go to church with are expecting and having babies.  I think about the one I will never know, they one I will never hold.   But again, we are surviving this heartbreak.

Regardless of the event - deployment, miscarriage, a death in the family, or daily life - we have put our hope and faith in God.  Sure I messed up along with way. I lost my temper. I slacked on chores. Supposedly, I even stuck my tongue out at my husband (I think I was just licking my lips).  I got way behind on my Bible reading.  I didn't pray like I should have. Yes, I messed up.  But all in all, I need to ask myself if I shined the light of Jesus to those around me. Did I show love? Did I show kindness and patience? Did I give of myself?  Did someone see Jesus through me?  Those are the important things. 

The further I get into my walk with Christ, the more I see that I need Him.  I am not perfect, and I won't be until I meet him in heaven.  That doesn't give me an excuse to be a slave to my sin.  As we recently talked about in Sunday school, because of my walk with Him, I am able to see my sin for what it is. I no longer try to justify it. I know that I am weak...I will fail....I will hurt....but by His grace I will have victory.

I have realized this year that I have to be real.  When I hurt, others need to know. When I mess up, others need to know.  When people would comment, "I just don't know how you do it," I knew I had to give the glory to God.  I know I can't do anything without Him.  And that is how we can all shine the light of Christ. We have to be real. So many people look at Christians as hypocrites. Some of us are, but some of us aren't.  We have to let others know that we mess up like everyone else, but we truly seek to become more Christ-like. 

2013 is about to come to an end.  However, my desire to SHINE won't.  That is a journey I will live my whole life long.  That should be the journey for each of us who love Jesus.

I pray that as you have followed me on this blog or know me in person that you can say I did something that showed you the love of Jesus.  If I didn't, I have failed, and I apologize for that.  If I have, then I know that I am doing what God desires of me.  That was the entire goal of this blog to start with, to glorify Him. I hope to do that each day of my life.

I pray blessings to you and your family this New Year.  I hope that you can reflect back to what you experienced in 2013 and turn the page to live for Jesus in 2014. 

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Church

And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message. Acts 15:31

There is this church, this building with many walls and many rooms.

There are the Sunday School rooms where relationships are built and strengthened, where God's Word is studied and life is connected to it and discussed.  There are the two nursery rooms where people volunteer to sacrifice a Sunday service to play with and love children, so their parents can listen to the preaching of the Word, sing songs of praise, and pray.  There are these rooms where children and adults gather to sing songs and hymns, praise to Jesus Christ our Lord.  There is the fellowship hall where meals are eaten, and people talk, laugh, visit, and catch up. There is the sanctuary where we listen to God's Word being preached, sing to Him songs of praise and worship, a place where we kneel to pray, where we laugh, cry, and say "Amen."

Then, there is this church.

There are people who spend time preparing lessons.  They study God's Word.  They pray. They visit those who are sick.  They visit those who have lost loved ones.  They prepare a meal. They make a phone call, send an email, or send a text message to let someone know, "Hey, you are on my mind today."

They become friends, actually they become more like a family.

They laugh together, cry together, come together.

They take in those that have nothing, those who are lost, dirty, and broken.

The love them. They pray for them.  

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. Acts 12:5

They show them God.

They leave this impression on others, making people seek that which makes them so special. 

Recently, I have seen this church, these people, come together.  Several years ago, their hearts were touched by sisters who came to visit our church.  These precious girls bore themselves a permanent spot in hearts throughout the church.  These same hearts recently ached and cried for these girls. These hearts came together to help these sisters. 

Mommies, daddies, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, heart, the heart of Jesus.

These people have the heart of Jesus, and they are the church. 

These people sacrifice themselves out of love,the love of Jesus.  I have seen them do it for these girls, for others, for me. They ask for nothing in return.  They don't brag about what they do.  They honestly, truly, love. 

When I am with the church, I am moved. I see that there is good in people. There is hope.

The church is more than just a building, it is group of believers, brothers and sisters in Christ. These people share the goal of showing the love of Jesus to others.  

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. Acts 9:31