Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Here is what I am thankful for.
I have this neighbor who really loves his grass. I mean really loves his grass. There's one or two like this in every neighborhood. Any given evening after 5, and some part of just about every Saturday or Sunday, you can find this man working on his lawn.
The problem is about 18 months ago his grass got a disease. I know nothing about horticulture but I know that this man's grass contracted some kind of funk and desperately needed grass-antibiotics.
Poor guy. Over the past several months he has treated his grass. He has burned his grass. He has dug up his grass. He has re-seeded his grass. He has even called in professionals. And he has repeated this process. I feel so sorry for him every time I drive by.
Finally I drove by this week to see that the man has given in and just re-sodded his grass. I hope for his sake it works this time.
It makes me think about times in my life where I have had an issue or a problem and I have sought every avenue of help besides the One who can truly fix my problem.
Like the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:25-34
“A large crowd followed and pressed around Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ ‘You see the people crowding against you,’ His disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, “Who touched Me?”’ But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and knelt at His feet, and trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering’” (MAR 5:25-34)
It wasn't until she sought out the Grass Doctor that she had her body healed. I am not saying if you have a physical disease you shouldn't go to the doctor. What I am saying is that we so often run to every avenue of help for our problems except the One who can fix us.
If you want a true healing, for any problem, physical, emotional, relational, take it to The Doctor and obey whatever he tells you to do. You may not experience the immediate healing the woman in the story did. He may want to take you through a process to grow your faith. But your issue is never safer than when you take it to true Healer.
On the day that my husband and I were married, she promised to treat me like her own daughter. She has kept that promise. She is more than a mother-in-law to me. I am proud to call her one of my closest friends.
She is the best grandma to my children. You will frequently find her on the floor playing with them and singing with them. I wish she lived closer. I aspire to be like her and to raise boys like she raised.
Happy Birthday Faith Furtick. Thanks for making my dreams come true.
This weekend we wrapped up our Summer Concert Series with a battle of the bands and an amazing guest speaker.
My husband has had the past 3 Sunday’s off and we have had the best time enjoying our kids and spending time as a family. When I walked into church this morning I was so excited to be there. I just love worshipping at Elevation.
Our guest speaker this weekend was Lysa TerKeurst. Lysa is a personal friend of mine as well as a fellow Elevator. We were honored and excited for her to take the stage and minister to us.
Lysa brought a message to our church about how our reactions determine our reach. Her message was based out of 2 Chronicles 20, the story of King Jehoshaphat when he had to face a great enemy.
I love how she explained how our reactions have the power to breath life into a situation or bring criticism. This really resonated with me. All day, every day I am faced with situations where I must react. My kids are not listening, am I going to yell at them, or calmly discipline them? My husband and I have a disagreement, am I going to argue until I prove my point, or bring peace to my relationship?
Lysa also pointed out how King Jehoshphat sent out an army of praisers. There is power in praise and thanksgiving. It can change your mood, and it can change your response.
The other day I was writing a card to a friend of mine who is grieving. I was trying to write the words of encouragement and life that I knew she needed to hear. I wanted to write a scripture that would speak to her. I paused for a minute and prayed for the Lord to bring a scripture to my mind that would encourage her.
Clearly the Lord spoke the name, Immanuel. So I looked up the reference:
Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
I was able to encourage her that Jesus is with her. He is with you too. He is with you when you don't feel Him. He is with you when you don't understand Him. He is with you when you don't want Him to be. He is with you when you hurt. He is with you when you are confused.
His name is Immanuel.
I know Father's day has come and gone but I wanted to give one last tribute to the father of my babies. When I married him there were many things I didn't know about him. One was what an amazing father he would turn out to be. He truly loves his children and selflessly puts them first. He is an amazing partner to have. I love you Steven Furtick. Thanks for being such an amazing dad.
As I have said before, I am a huge fan of Focus on the Family's daily broadcast. It is a wonderful sorce for great teaching on marriage, family and spiritual growth.
A few months ago I listened to this message by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott on fighting fair. While directed at married couples, the truths they share about dealing with conflict are valuable in every type of relationship. They talk about using conflict to your advantage by allowing it to shed light on your relationship.
Here are the links to listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Our church is a fast growing church, partly because of the number of babies born in our congregation. We all do our part, it's a must for church planting. Seriously, in 2011, 10 babies will be born into the Elevation staff. Now that is a lot of baby showers!
And since having had a baby shower myself recently, I thought I would write a sequel to the post I did a few weeks ago on wedding presents.
Here are a few of my favorite baby items out right now…
Personalized paci. I am a huge fan of the pacifier. Mainly because my first child didn't use one and I wished he had. These are super cute and really unique. They make them for several different types of nipples as well. You can purchase them here, $15 for a pack of 3.
These are super cute bottle/sippy cup labels. It is a personalized rubber band that will fit on any cup or bottle. You can also put allergy alerts on them. You can purchase them here, $13 for 4 labels.
This is a Puj baby tub. I love this. Baby tubs are always awkward and bulky. This tub is made out of a type of foam, it easily hangs on the back of the door and it is made for a regular size bathroom sink. I can bathe my boys in the bath tub and Abbey in the sink all at the same time. Abbey really seems to love this. It was also super easy to take with us on vacation. You can purchase online at Target also in stores and online at Buy Buy Baby for about $40.
I love my Moby Wrap. It is the most comfortable baby wearing device I have owned. Better than the Bjorn I used for Elijah and the Seven Sling I had for Graham. The Moby is a lot of material but once you are all tied up, you are good to go! You can buy the Moby at Target for about $30. (The Seven sling is a second runner up and still a great fast option that I carry in my purse)
I loved all the clothes and accessories given to Abbey. Baby clothes are so much fun. You can never have enough sleepers. My favorites are the zipper ones from Children's Place. And you can never go wrong giving burp cloths. My last two babies have been pretty bad sitter-uppers. I love the ones that are pretty and decorative.
When I go to a shower, I love to make themed baskets. Like a beach bucket with swimming diapers, a towel and a baby bathing suit. Or a basket full of feeding accessories like bottles, cups, spoons and bowls. Or a diaper bag stuffed with diapers, wipes and the like.
I would love to hear from you, what were some of your favorite baby gifts, or what do you like to give?
Your word, LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.
Isn't it a comforting thought that when so much of life can seem out of control, always changing, we can rest assured that God's Word stands firm in the heavens. His faithfulness is established and will endure.
God is faithful. He is faithful to you. He promises to give grace when you face a difficult situation. He promises to give comfort to the hurting. He promises to lift you up when you bow low to Him. When it seems you have no one to depend on, you can depend on Him, His Word stands firm.