Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's Gotta Be in Us- Then We Can Give It To Them...

There have been so many things written on why our kids are not interested in being involved in a church and when they go to college they don't attend anymore.
I don't have any great answers but here are a few thoughts...

*Teaching kids to love Jesus starts when they take their first breath not when they are going into Junior High or High school.  As our kids grow and hit these years we begin to realize how important it is/was to take them to church and to have relationships there.  Our kids see what is important to us from the beginning.  There is so much to forming healthy habits. Having our families in fellowship at our churches and giving them the opportunity to form good relationships there is so important. It helps to mold what the rest of their lives will probably look like. 

It is NEVER too late to focus on Jesus and be in fellowship with other believers. Ever.
It is just a great idea to do it from the beginning.

The key: doing it with joy and excitement and the only way we can project that is too walk closely with Jesus and to be in the Word. If we are infected and affected by Him- they will see our genuine joy and want what we have. We want them to form their own exciting belief for Him. Their own faith.

News flash- our time to tell them and show them how to love Jesus while they are at home speeds by way too fast.
From this age-
To up and out of the house and grown up. 
A blink of the eye.

I believe the most important aspect of this is that we are saying that we are not going to be selfish and that God is greater and more important than anything that any of us wants to do otherwise.  Our lives and the lives of our children are not about how to fashion OUR wonderful story.

Our lives are about HIS story and how we fit into it and how we can make a Kingdom difference for Him.

*Another thought we have been talking about lately is how boys view Jesus differently than girls do. There is no difference of course in His love for us but the rub is in how men emotionally respond to Him. Wes has mentioned before that it is a challenge for men to show that they can be emotional about Jesus. Maybe it is just not cool or some feel it shows weakness or whatever.  It seems it is easier probably for girls/women to feel more of bond or emotional tie with Jesus. He is a sort of brother or father figure and naturally women lean on men and feel protected by them.  Maybe that is why so many men don't seem to be the spiritual leaders that their families need them to be because of how strange it might look or feel to love Him the way He calls us to. Certainly the world sees it as strange and that is a lot of pressure.

I pray with all my heart that men will be moved to see that they can lead with  joyful and open emotion about Jesus.

Please men, speak about Him, cry about Him, love like Him and be emotional about Him.

Be the spiritual leader for your wife and for your children. Don't make your wife take this role.
Show your family how to love Jesus. Bless them to see that it is more than ok to show that you have emotions about Jesus.

We encourage our boys to let their hearts be emotional about God and about what Jesus did and does for us. I have to challenge myself almost daily to measure my excitement about the things that I do get most emotional over and think about what is most important.


It is alive.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

*Intentionally surround ourselves with other people that are seeking His face.

Psalm 105:3-5
Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth…

I pray especially for our men that as you dwell in His word, that you ask Him for this change in your heart to be able to share emotion about Jesus with your families. This might just rock our church worship and world and I guarantee the story of our children and their lives will be filled with Kingdom movement and thoughts. Their path has a much greater chance of  being directed to Him if our men find their fire and emotion for Jesus and intentionally speak life into their kids. How blessed your wife will be also.

Let's let go of our story and make it all about "His story".

Have a joyful and intentional day!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Scenes From The Old Home Place...

One Bloom...

I've drawn courage from my little Christmas cactus today. I've had it for about 5 years. It bloomed the first three and last year not at all. This year it has been dying. I love this plant. The blooms are just glorious when they decide to live. There have been days in the past year I have felt like I was dying too. Physically, emotionally, and at times spiritually. I know you've probably felt that sometime too.

We took a leap of faith a year ago stepping out into our own business. I thought it was just about our livelihood but it was really all about deciding to truly trust God for all of it. I cried and protested and trembled in fear at times but He taught me to breathe and that its just one day at a time and I can fully give it all to Him. The peace I've been given through letting go has been the most powerful thing to happen in years for me. I praise Him for it!

A few days ago one little section of my Christmas cactus decided to come to life. There's one bloom. One. But, one is enough to bring joy and hope. I am so thankful for that one bloom and for the hope its glorious beauty it has given me.

There is always hope.

There is always peace to be had through Jesus.

Sometimes we have to wrestle with him through the hard, and that's OK.
Just don't stop wrestling. Just don't stop communicating with Him.

Maybe just maybe He's waiting for us to let go. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Speak Your Love...

Christmas and the holidays were/are the perfect time for sharing.  I have a  most intentional, loving sister in law named Rebecca. She wanted to bless her Dad, my Father-in-law and asked us all to write down 5 things we love about him or memories that we have with him.  Each person stood up and spoke words of love and thanks and blessing to him and for him.  It was a precious time. 
Thank you sister for planning this special time of focus. 

So, at our next Christmas stop with my parents we decided to do the same thing.  What an incredible blessing for them to be able to hear the love coming out of the hearts of their children and grand-children.  

I had the thought that these are the kind of things that you talk about at someones funeral when you are telling how they influenced your life.  

How wonderful to speak of them and bless people when they still walk on this earth. I know that these relationships will be deeper and more meaningful because of words spoken out loud in great love.  


I know that this verse is how the three of our parents feel about their children and grandchildren. May it be so...

3 John 4

 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

So Much Snowy Beauty...

Beauty in scenery and in the hearts of these people...
Christmas in the mountains at Crested Butte, Colorado.

What a blessing to be with my husband's family for Christmas.

The boys skied and we sipped hot cider and cherished the enchanting snow fall and beauty. Hey, our daughter in love is participating with God in growing another human being.
We wanted to ski, but thought her being pregnant was more important to focus on. :)
Silliness and laughter was in abundance...

The views were like this everywhere you looked.

 Out our cabin windows.
 The sweetest girls in the world.
 Our house had cozy little reading spots and fireplaces. Loved it.
 There were countless 42 games...
 And lots of puppy fun...

Thankful to our good Lord for what my eyes were blessed to behold. 
Majestic, astounding, beautiful creation by the all Mighty Living God. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

No Fear. Today Is What We Have...

Most of us are trying to hold back stark emotions and concern over the past week's events in Paris and other parts of the world.  I struggle with anger and fear and this changing world looking so frightening. It is so easy to be overcome with concern and our focus be consumed with anxiety over it all. Maybe we should just turn off the news and disconnect for a while and look outside our front doors.

All we have is today. I'm not saying to put your head in the sand and ignore the future, but truly, when we focus so much on what might come we miss out on how we can minister to people on this day. The only time we are promised.

All we have is today to affect change for God in our own neighborhood and communities. We have today to smile and care and love those around us. I have wrestled with the scriptures below over the past week. I fight against the love your enemies passage but it is truth. I am called to it no matter what.

I have to try.
Praying for people I fear and come close to hating is a great starting place.

Today, I pray. I pray for my heart to be changed and for God to change the hearts of those that are filled with hatred and a lust for killing. I pray for peace but am also thankful for the fact that disaster and fear make people look for something that truly has hope and that something is Jesus. I pray with thanksgiving for the fact that we are saved through Jesus and no matter what happens to our earthly bodies we know the end of the story and goodness- it is beautiful!!

Matthew 5:43-48Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;

 I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Fear paralyzes me. Fear stops me in my tracks. Sometimes I let fear scream louder than the strong quiet whisper of God's voice.  That is when I must stop listening to the world and quietly study what God says and wait for Him to give me peace. He says over and over not to fear. For fear to be banished I have to stop and listen and be strengthened. It makes me think of the song our children used to sing...God is bigger than the boogie man.
Yes, indeed He is.

On a lighter note- Our youngest gentle giant brought us some old screens that someone did not want. I had some fun taking off the screen part and adding chicken wire to the back to make a Christmas card display. So- I'm ready friends for your Christmas cards! Bring em on! :)

Also- we are still more than a little bit excited about our new little baby girl addition to the family. Our daughter in law (love) is the cutest and sweetest pregnant girl I have ever seen.  This pic below is of my husband and I on the beach with our oldest gentle giant when he was around two.

This one is from this past August and the announcement that our first grand baby was on the way.
What a joyful day!!
We are loving documenting the baby sightings!

Here she is sucking her thumb.
Yes, I will probably take millions of pictures of this little girl and will be unashamed to share them with you. Obviously. Ha!

So to close out this long blog post I give a look into Thanksgiving past and take a deep breath and long for next week to come fast! Hey all you kiddos...meet us at the ranch!