Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whatever You do.......

LIfe has been relatively crazy lately. We are moving to a new home after renting apartments and townhomes for six very long years of nothing but white walls. :)  Last week, we signed papers to our first home in Colorado! It just so happens to be about two to three minutes from where we currently live. Thursday began the craziness of owning a home. I began painting in a mad rush to get the dining room done before the wood floor was to be put in that night. I did finish the dining room, living room, and bathroom before the day's end. I had a little helper (the girl I babysit). Unfortunately, she and I wore more paint than the walls! But it was fun all the same. My boys were at school being tested that day, and my sister picked them up for me so I could keep going. When she, my boys, and my nephews arrived later that afternoon, each one took one of my children to paint the boys' rooms. What a blessing that was! :) For the most part, we had five rooms finished by Thursday night. Much to my sadness, Gavin's room did not turn out so well, so on Friday, Chris' uncle and I repainted Gavin's room a different color. Dale and I busted out three rooms together. When he left, I painted all of the downstairs, including the bathroom. And that's just what I did! Chris and Russell did so much more for the house! Whew! What a busy few days! Plus, I am packing the house for the big move. :)
On top of painting and fixing things up, I am also critiquing a fellow authors work in progress, which I absolutely love doing! What a blast! Her novel is going to be amazing, and I am going to be the first one to buy it when it is published! I can hardly wait, Kristena! I am participating in another project (writing related but can't give much detail) that has a dead line of late June. That has been fun, too! Then of course, there is my own writing career that I am doing my best to market as well as finish editing my third and final novel in the Hope series. I am also trying to work on my grandparents book, too.
I am certainly not complaining about all that is going on. God has truly blessed me with being able to do so much, and I am doing my best to have a good attitude while doing it. I am excited to move into a new neighborhood where we can be used for God's glory. I have met a young man, Jack, already. He was riding his bike and stopped by the new house on Thursday to tell me contrats on the new house. I love this boy already! :)  I want to write for God's glory, too. I want to tell stories that will impact people, draw them closer to Jesus, and encourage them to keep on keeping on! I guess I am taking on the verse, "Whatever  you do, whether in word or deed, do all the to the glory of God." How about you? Leave a comment and let me know what you are doing to bring God glory. I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finishing Strong

This phrase, "Finish strong" often comes up in my household. My boys, one in particular, will start something, and then, forget half way and not complete the task at hand. Or, if he does finish it, he finishes so half-heartedly, it drives me crazy. I constantly "encourage" him to finish what he is doing, and to finish strong. The Bible tells us whatever our hand finds to do, do with all of our heart.
I have this same problem myself. I have begun many-a-projects only to fizzle out half way through it. My writing is no different. I get gung-ho about starting a new book, and then, two-thirds of the way through, I want it to be done. I am working on that even as we speak. Or perhaps I will finish the book well, but then, I don't want to go back and read it again to do the edits. I am actually battling that right now with my third and final novel in my "Hope" series.
I despise this about myself. I don't like being this way, and I desperately want to change. Then it hit me. I am like this not just with writing or certain projects, but with my faith, too. (Slap on the forehead). During most of the house buying process, I have believed God has a purpose and a plan. He has a neighborhood he desires us to be in, to impact for His glory. I still believe that. But lately, with the uncertainty of it all, I am losing it. I am tired of the ups and downs of this process. Yet, am I finishing strong? Hm. Something for me to really think about! My sister would say that I am ok if I am frustrated because now we are at an unknown stage where some of the other stuff was expected. While I appreciate that encouragement, I still believe I need to finish this process strong. Today, that is my struggle...finishing strong. Lord, I pray You will increase my faith and help me finish strong!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sacrifice

"Those who passed by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads, saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save Yourself!" (Mark 15:29-30)
Jesus could have, you know. Dying on the cross wasn't something He was looking forward to. As a matter of fact, the Bible is pretty clear He asked God to remove the cup from Him, but not His will, God's will, be done. Yet, Jesus could have come down from the cross. He could have merely looked at the nail in his right wrist and it could have burst forth, nailing some unsuspecting on-looker in the foot. He could have reached with that same hand and pulled out the other nail, allowing Himself to feel no pain. After all, He is God's Son. He could have leaned down and gently eased the last and final nail out of his feet. Falling from the cross, Jesus could have looked at His mockers, and before their very eyes, healed Himself. He healed people all of the time, why not Himself? He went as far as to raise people from the dead. Surely, He could have simply caused Himself to heal from the nail scars. He could have called down the angels from heaven, who at that very moment were probably agonizing over the Spotless One suffering, and requested they minister to His needs. As the angels ministered to Jesus' needs, He could have shot the pharisees and saducees a "I told you" look that proved He was, indeed, God's one and only Son. Jesus could have done these things. He could have escaped the shameful death and mockings. He didn't have to suffer the beatings and scorgings the Romans placed on Him. He could have been saved from it all.
But He wasn't. The simple truth of the matter is this: He wasn't saved so we could be. So I could be. He suffered the most excruciating pain ever known to man. Yes, He died on the cross, a humiliating and shameful death. But the weight of the world's sins was laid on His shoulders so I wouldn't have to taste eternal death. Oh the pain, the shame, the sadness He must have surely felt! To be seperated from His Father for the sake of the world! To be spit upon, condemned without cause, to suffer so much, for you, for me!
I often go through-out my life without contemplating what Jesus truly did for me. Oh sure, I know He died on the cross for my sins, but do I really understand the sacrifice? I'm beginning to. I am finally beginning to understand what He did, the pain He suffered, all for my sake, and for the sake of the world. As I go through-out this week, and remember on Friday, the day we celebrate His death, may I be reminded of what He experienced so I wouldn't have to. He was indeed, seperated from the Father so I wouldn't have to be. Thank You, precious Jesus, for Your sacrifice!
"..Then they led Him away to crucify Him." Mark 15:20b