Friday, May 27, 2016

Rejoice in the LORD!

A beautiful, precious song shared with me by a 'big sister' in the Lord.  God has a perfect plan.  If we just trust and rest in Him He will bring us His perfect peace and we will be able to rejoice abundantly as we see His plans unfold and the fruit that He brings in our lives!


"Rejoice in the LORD"
by Ron Hamilton

God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice."
~ Philippians 4:4 ~

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold."
~ Job 23:10 ~

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

"O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
~ Psalm 34:8 ~

"Being confident of this very thing,
that He which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
~ Philippians 1:6 ~

May the Lord help us each to trust and rejoice in Him as He directs each little step along our way.  He is doing His perfect work!

~Brittany

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

God's Mysteries ~ Our Discipline and Direction

I was encouraged by reading this piece this morning.  The Lord has clear plans for our lives - blessings, growing experiences, and the exact purpose He created each of us to serve Him in.  We must trust Him always in and for all things.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

"Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known."
- Psalm 77:19 -

"And the sea appears to be the most trackless of worlds!  The sea is the very symbol of mystery, the grim dwelling-house of innumerable things that have been lost.  But God's way moves here and there across this trackless wild.  God is never lost among our mysteries.  He knows His way about.  When we are bewildered He sees the road, and He sees the end even from the beginning.  Even the sea, in every part of it, is the Lord's highway.  When His way is in the sea we cannot trace it.  Mystery is part of our appointed discipline.  Uncertainty is to prepare us for a deeper assurance.  The spirit of questioning is one of the ordained means of growth.  And so the bewildering sea is our friend, as some day we shall understand.  We love to 'lie down in green pastures,' and to be led 'beside the still waters,' and God gives us our share of this nourishing rest.  But we need the mysterious sea, the overwhelming experience, the floods of sorrows which we cannot explain.  If we had no sea we should never become robust.  We should remain weaklings to the end of our days.
God takes us out into the deeps.  But His way is in the sea.  He knows the haven, He knows the track, and we shall arrive!"  - J. H. Jowett (from My Daily Meditation, 1914)

"In his early days of learning the ways of the sea an old seaman tells this story on himself.  When out in a boat by himself, he got lost several times.  He was told to use his compass.  Out into the water he went again.  He soon got lost and lay overnight as usual.  Upon being found he was asked why he did not use his compass.  He said he did not dare to.  He wished to go north, and he "Tried hard to make the thing go north, but it wasn't any use; 'twould shake, shake, right around, and point southeast every time."  Many people fail to go the right direction on the sea of life for the very same reason of the mishap which befell our seaman - thy are afraid to take the Captain at His Word and follow the direction in which He points." - M. Taylor
~Streams in the Desert, Volume 2, May 24th

~Brittany

Monday, May 9, 2016

Little Man is three months old!

This little guy is such a great joy in our lives!  He is just growing up too fast!  

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Thanking the Lord this Mother's Day

Words cannot express how truly thankful and grateful we are to the Lord for blessing us with our amazing mom!  Her love, patience, faithfulness, diligence, dedication, guidance and passionate quest to train us up in the ways of the Lord and point us to Him always is the drive of her motherhood that without it, I can't imagine where we would be!  We are so thankful and so blessed!


A virtuous woman...her price is far above rubies.

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; 




her husband also, and he praiseth her.


A woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 

Amazing that each one of us her children, she has loved from the very beginning-carrying us for nearly ten long months, bringing us into the world, the long sleepless nights sacrificed for each of the demands of her babies, the many trials and difficulties of training along with the diligence it requires, the hours spent listening to the struggles in the hearts of her children and giving them the guidance and discipleship that they so need, the sleepless nights spent crying out to the Lord on behalf of the ones of her children tugging so heavily on her mommy heart.  All of these things point to a life poured out in sacrifice for others, for all eight of her children.  We are so undeserving of her, but so very thankful for her!
 
Brittany

 Breanna

Tayte

Elizabeth
Titus

Esther

Sarah
 Benjamin

All eight of her "labors of love".  Happy Mother's Day Mom!  We love you so much! 
~Breanna

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Faithfulness in the Little Things

I was very convicted by this piece this morning.  What it really comes down to is, Are we living for ourselves, or are we living for Christ?  If we would live for Christ, we must constantly die to ourselves, to our preferences, to our wants, to anything that has to do with "I".  May He be gracious to reveal our hearts and to help us to walk faithfully in the little things.  That's what really shows who we are and who we're serving.

"She hath done what she could."  - Mark 14:8

Lord, let me do the little things
Which may fall to my lot;
Those little inconspicuous ones
By others oft forgot.

If, like the Master, I can give
Myself for those I love,
Rich joy and peace shall come to me,
Sweet rest in heaven above.

I know not when the day shall close;
But when life's curfew rings
I want my Lord to find me then
Still doing little things.
-Unknown-

I'm sure that those persons who are faithful in that which is least must wear very radiant crowns.  They are the ones who tower above us when they are called upon to do the little tasks - never murmuring.  They are meticulous in the furrowed roads of drudgery.  They are the people who, when trudging up the "Hill of Difficulty," make it well.  They are the folks who win the victories amid trivial irritations.  They are as constant when they are wearing house dresses or overalls in their daily chores as when they are wearing royal purple and fine satin in the presence of the King.  They complete the most obscure piece of work as though it were to be displayed before a great assembly who will pass judgment.  Great are they who are faithful in the little things.
Little hamlets act out their dramas in small events.  Jesus lived most of His thirty years amid the insignificant incidents of the little village of Nazareth.  He toiled faithfully as a carpenter in His father's little shop.  He labored amid the humdrum, the petty cares, the trivial village gossip.  Yet He was faithful in the little things - yes, even in the least!  He wore His crown with dignity and honor.  It was forever upon His brow!
- M. Taylor
-Streams in the Desert, Volume 2, May 3rd

~Brittany

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tidbits from "The Battle Plan for Prayer"- What is prayer and what is it's purpose?

I was so blessed and tickled to be able to borrow a used copy of the book"The Battle Plan for Prayer" by the Kendrick Brothers, a book inspired by the film War Room.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, it's so worth watching!  Our family was very blessed and challenged by it.  Which is why I was so tickled to be able to get my hands on this book.  Many aspects of prayer that they are sharing I'm very familiar with and seek to practice.  But I have been challenged by having my mind refocused on what prayer is actually and what it's purpose is.  Also, I've been challenged in the ways of focusing on praise and thanksgiving.  But for this post, I wanted to share with you all tidbits from the book that most challenged me in regard to what prayer is and what it's purpose is.  We know this stuff, but I know that at least for me, I become lax and forgetful and need to be reminded of these things so I can refocus.  We can become so lackadaisical, half-hearted, irreverent and in many ways selfish in our praying.  But when we look at what prayer is and what it's purpose is, it wakes us up and reignites our hearts to seek the Lord, the true purpose of prayer.  I hope you'll be blessed and challenged as well!
~Breanna
 
 

Prayer is not about prayer...just like a cell phone is not about a cell phone.  A phone's primary purpose is not for itself but to serve as a conduit to connect us in relationships.  If held up to our ear without engagin another person with it, we're not making it do what it's been created to do.  Likewise, there are activities you can undertake that may  look and feel like prayer, but they're not really prayer if God is not truly engaged.

Prayer, at its heart, is communicating with God.  Reverently and openly.  Sincerely.  Interacting directly with the magnificent God of the universe who is really there.   

What is prayer? Prayer is communion with God in order to...
1. Intimately know, love and worship Him.
Knowing Him and loving Him leads to worshiping Him.  The natural response the the presence of God is worship.  Honor and loving adoration.  Dedication and delight.  Willing submission.

2.  Understand and conform our lives to His will and ways.
Prayer doesn't merely change things; it will change us.  As we pray, God reveals His will and ways to us, and then starts to align our hearts and minds with His.  We yield to His awesome lordship.

3. Access and advance His kingdom, power and glory.
God is unlimited in His capacity to accomplish anything.  At the same time, we don't just receive these things but we seek to advance them.  When we seek first His kingdom, that's when so many other things fall into place.  Prayer allows us the priceless priviledge to not only know Almighty God better, but to join Him in what He is already doing among the nations for His glory.

Prayer is not about prayer.  It is about a Person- God Himself.  When it becomes merely about accessing the provision or protection of God rather than knowing and pleasing the Person of God, then we are getting off track.  But when the one goal of our praying is to live in relationship with Him- one on One- He will cause prayer to also help us experience His purposes, His plans, His provision, His protection, and everything else He intends.  All for His glory.

-Tidbits from The Battle Plan for Prayer by the Kendrick brothers.  Well worth reading!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How to build up your home and family...one word at a time

Another timely and powerful encouragement from Lisa Jacobson at club31women.com!  The power of our words...this one so hits me!  I frequently stand amazed at how much effect our words have, for the better and for the worse.

 I'm sure many of you have heard this saying, but this is a favorite one in our home, especially with such a cute little rabbit as Thumper saying it. :-)...
 

It also reminds me of the prayer in Psalms 19:14

Also the prayer in Psalm 141:3


Oh that the words that proceed out of my mouth would be that which is good to the use of edifying, that it would minister grace unto the hearers! (Eph. 4:29)  I know this is the desire of all of our hearts.  May the Lord help us to set a watch over this unruly member of ours (James 3:8) that our homes, families, churches, etc. would be built up...one word at a time.  It starts today.  Each word that comes out of our mouths is an opportunity to build up or tear down. What a challenge to take into each day!



Okay...on to the article! :-)
~Breanna

How to Build Up Your Marriage, Child, and Home . . . One Word at a Time

More Than 100 Words of Affirmation to Build Up Your Home

You wouldn’t think a word could make such a difference.
But it does.
On some days, all the difference in the world.
The difference between tears or a smile.
Between slumped shoulders or a hug.
Between healing or hurt.
Between building up or tearing down.

Funny, how only a few words can turn around an entire day. Even turn around an entire heart.
I know. Because I’ve seen it happen right before my eyes.

I’ve heard my husband say to our youngest son, “I like the way God made you!” and watch that boy stand that much taller.

Then not too long ago, I told that same Man, “You are such a good daddy to our boys!” Something I figured he knew. But he almost seemed surprised to hear it. Like it was a new revelation. I guess it’s one of those things I’ve thought for a long time, but never got around to saying. Until last week.

And you could tell it meant the world for him to hear it. Coming from me. Maybe especially coming from me.

But then it was my turn to be on the receiving end.
And that really did it.

It was a weekday and I was dashing between the laundry room and the kitchen. Chopping vegetables, then sorting dirty clothes. Slicing sausage, then changing out loads of laundry. Stirring the soup, then folding clean clothes.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
He was working on his computer downstairs, but watched me from his chair.
Even in my hurry, I could feel his eyes on me.

Then I heard him say it.
He simply said, “You are amazing.” Followed by, “Do you know how amazing you are?”

And I answered him honestly, “No, Honey. I don’t feel very amazing at all.”
“But you are.” Then he went on to list out a bunch of things that he appreciated about me and, quite frankly, several things I had no idea he’d even noticed.

And I smiled.
And I hugged.
And I stood that much taller.

So yeah, our words matter. Because a kind and loving word can make all the difference in the world.
At least they do in our little world around here.

So we’re working on building up our home, one word at a time. 

Lisa Jacobson

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Come to Jesus

Come to Jesus...the greatest need of each and every one of us, in every season of our lives.  He must be our All in All!

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith...For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him..."
(Colossians 2:6-7, 9-10)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5)
 
Come to Jesus by Chris Rice
~Breanna

Friday, April 22, 2016

He's Laughing!!!

Our sweet little guy, almost 3 months now, just laughed for the first time yesterday!  There was no mistaking it, it was a true laugh.  We were all so excited!  He's getting so big so quickly and we are loving every day with our special little man!

~Breanna

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Homeschooling is AWESOME!!!

The children's writing assignment last week was writing an instructional on how to make banana splits.  They currently think writing is amazing! :-)  Got to love homeschooling!