Click SMC Intro (under Labels) to learn about the Scripture Memory Challenge - and then look for posts on 1st and 15th of each month!

Monday, May 24, 2010

TV Challenge

Several of you have asked me why I essentially gave up the majority of my tv watching. It's kind of a funny story. It happened several years ago when Vicki Brown and I attended a retreat. It was literally at the "end of the earth"...the 4 lane highway stopped and there was a field...I kid you not...I still laugh about hearing Vicki on the phone with Tim saying "Kristy has brought me to the end of the earth...literally the end of the earth" Anyway, the trip got funnier throughout. When we got to the small church there were all of 40-50 people in attendance (I had told her it was a huge conference...I am so naive!)and the youngest person next to us was probably 60 or better. We got some funny looks when we entered the building! But the speakers were clearly delivering a God sent message directly to ME!
TW Hunt spoke...he had to be 70. He was good, but I don't remember much of his speech. And Chris Schofield spoke...that was the first time I heard him and he made a lasting impression. I have driven many miles to hear him speak since then. But it was Gregg Frizzell who won the toe stomping award. He delivered a powerful message and then dropped the bomb shell...he said "if you cannot watch a tv program with the pastor in the living room without blushing, then you should not be watching it at all". I will never forget it. It was like the proverbial 2x4 had whopped me in the head. I know it should not have been that impressive. We are told over and over in the Bible to live our lives knowing that Jesus sees every move we make...but there was something about the pastor that made it more real at the time. It was partly my spiritual immaturity that made it so shocking to imagine and probably because as the time I had NEVER read the entire Bible...but whatever the case...IT WORKED!
I won't lie to you...there are VERY few tv programs I could watch with Billie or Tim and not blush or twitch. I immediately gave up most everything except ESPN Sportscenter! My friends thought I was from outer space...still do I would imagine! And sometimes I try hard to sit in the living room with my family on occasion but most nights I end up leaving after a few minutes of tv surfing and grab a book. I just get so convicted. Some of you know I am an avid reader. but what NONE of you probably know is that I did not used to fact I hated reading in school. But ever since that sermon I started reading every Christian Living book I could get my hands on. I wanted desperately to make Jesus smile instead of shake His holy head in aggravation. And I truly believe it has to be a never ending process. In fact, I hope I read Christian Living books until He returns or calls me home! I figure if I keep my nose in a book I will stay out of trouble...just like our children...if they stay in school and study they are less likely to fall in with the wrong crowd and get in trouble.
Currently, I am reading Chase the Wild Goose (or something like that) by Mark Batterson and he said he took a 40 day fast from tv when his spiritual life got into a rut. He said it was life changing for him. Most folks say " I don't have TIME to read". I argue that you don't have TIME to NOT read!! Mark Batterson says "it's amazing how much time you have to read when you turn off the tv".
So I challenge you...take just a 7 day fast from tv. You don't have to go anti-tv, fanatic, crazy like fact I don't recommend it because people will think you are very WEIRD! Seriously, just set aside some time each day to give up something on tv and read something Christian related will be AMAZED at the perspective you gain. I have a Bible Reading Guide if you are interested in trying 15 minutes a day in God's Word (to read the Bible in a year), or I have tons of Christian Living books that have blessed my socks off and I would love to share! Either way...try it...what do you have to lose? If you don't feel closer to Christ or receive a blessing, you can ALWAYS catch the re-runs this summer...hahaha
Happy Reading!
Kristy =)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Believing God

I read a book last week that EVERY single Christian needs to read. Pastor Billie mentioned it in one of his sermons...The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist by Craig Groeschel. Honestly, I did not have high expectations for the book. The last one Billie recommended made me depressed and I only made it half through and I had to put it

But this one...oh my is unbelievable. Billie has redeemed his highly favored book suggestion status!! It is very easy to read. (Well, for me it was kind of hard because for whatever reason my sony book reader left all of the apostrophes and commas out of the punctuation. So I had a challenge reading were vs we're...haha) But the guy is hilarious and very straightforward and just easy to read. I highly, highly recommend the book! However I warn will need steel toed shoes on because one night I was sitting in the chair crying and Travis came in and was like...what is wrong with you?...and I said "my toes are bleeding profusely from reading this book...and I may never walk the same again". I was so convicted. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. And I literally prayed that God would never let me WALK the same again!

Ten years ago I would have fought you tooth and nail if you told me I did not believe in God. In fact, I can never remember NOT "believing" in God. But when I read James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder"...suddenly my heart hurts. If I had read this book 10 years ago I would have balked at it and not been so convicted, but Jesus has brought me to a new place with Him. And He has shown me the HUGE difference in "Believing IN God" and "Believing God"!

Jesus showed me that you don't "Believe God" without a relationship with Him. I spent many years as a Christian who believed IN God but did not trust God enough to "Believe Him" because although I was well aware of the Bible character named Jesus...I did not KNOW Him. In my worldly mind, Jesus was kind of like Mary Lou Retton (work with me)...I knew she existed and I knew what she did, but I've never developed an intimate relationship with Mary Lou Retton to really KNOW her. I only know OF her. Having the personal relationship makes the world of difference. I am ashamed at the time wasted without understanding it that way. The label from the book makes so much sense..."Christian Atheist"...I would describe it as being saved by God's grace but living a self centered life with an occasional "amen" and "praise Jesus" thrown in the mix to be religious.

I pray I never forget the broken place I landed before Jesus picked me up and "took hold of my right hand and said to me, Do not fear; I will help you" Isa 41:13 (paraphrased by me). I pray that I never walk the same again...ever. Henry Blackaby says in Experiencing God something to the effect of..."you cannot stay the same and go with God at the same time". He was referring to going with God where He is at work but I think it applies to your "walk in Christ" as well. 2 Cor 5:17 tells us we become a new creation in Christ...I think it is probably a brighter, more glowing creation as His Spirit becomes a lamp in us. I believe you cannot walk the same and contine growing closer to Christ...your walk will be brighter as the "Light" in you grows stronger.

May your "walk" not stay the same...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Update! I am apparently blog challenged! I posted "Out Giving God" from my drafts and it actually put it on May 11th which was when I wrote you'll have to scroll past the Scripture Memory Challenge to find it! Happy scrolling! =)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Scripture Memory Challenge - May 15th

Hi Ladies,
I can't believe it is already the 15th of May (well tomorrow anyway)! Where does time go? Baseball season is in full swing and dance has ended for the year! The garden is growing and bringing me much joy. And overall things are slowing for a laid back summer break! My kids are ready (and I am too)! But today we have business to attend!

"But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Psalm 86:15 NIV

This verse gives me a speaks to me telling me that I need to be more compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of love! Hopefully committing it to memory will help me keep these characteristics in the forefront of my mind and allow me to behave this way more often! I know my house will be more peaceful if I am more loving and slower to anger!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Kristy =)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Out Giving" God...

Happy Monday! Hope your day is going wonderful! Personally, I am trying to catch up from a busy weekend...but I thrive on chaos so it's all good. I wanted to add a disclaimer before I actually published this post. If you were at church yesterday, you need to know that I wrote it on May 11th (last Tuesday). And that I was not in either service yesterday because I was in nursery. From what I have heard about the sermon topics yesterday...Billie and David may have copied my unpublished blog post...haha! God is so awesome! I am constantly amazed at His way of giving several people the same words to say when He is trying to make a point! I can't wait to watch the dvd's from the services yesterday and see what He was saying through the pastors.
I want to introduce you to something I frequently refer to as trying to "out give" God. I know it sounds absurd but I want to challenge you to try it. It will build your faith in a way you could NEVER imagine. Whether it be time, grace, love, money, kindness, compassion, etc. See if you can give above and beyond what God would give...and then sit back and receive His blessing. The blessing is ALWAYS bigger than what you gave in the first place. I have a couple of personal examples to share and I hope some of you will share as well:
Example 1: Time - Jan 2007 I decided it was time to read the Bible through in a year. I had never read the Bible from cover to cover and I felt God pushing me to do it. So I prayed for God to guide me, and most importantly MAKE me find TIME to sit and read it every night. Those of you who know me well...know that time is of the essence in my crazy life! ha And you also know that I do NOT get up early!!! So I decided to give God my BEST (as commanded in the Bible)time...which for me personally is 9pm at night after the kids are tucked in. Well, that year if I skipped a night, I felt so convicted until I caught back up...and if I was exhausted one night my calendar would unexplainably "free up" the next night. I never got more than a day or two behind before time became available to catch up. And then as if to affirm the reading...Billie or Tim would preach the same chapters I was reading at odd times of the preaching from the Old Testament Micah in December instead of New Testament Jesus's birthday!!! It was an amazing journey! And happily in 2010 I am doing it again for the THIRD time!!! I plan to read the Bible each year until the Lord tells me to stop! You see, I gave Him time and he blessed me back with more time and more energy and more commitment to Him.
Example 2: Money - The subject no one wants to discuss giving away...haha About 7 or 8 years ago we decided to get serious about tithing. We felt God pushing us to trust Him and give consistently. We had always thrown a $20 in the plate here or there, but never a substantial amount of our income and never consistently. So we started cold turkey with 10% of our pay check before any other dime was spent...we wrote a check to the church. It was VERY hard at first and we did have to make some minor lifestyle changes but the funny thing is...we've never been short on a bill since. Now don't get me wrong we've had times where we needed to cut back on eating out and things like that or have put less in savings than recommended or had to wait to buy things we wanted until we could save up, but overall we've always had mysterious money show up just in time to meet our basic needs. The last time was a couple months ago. Every time we get paid I immediately write a check to church first, record our draft payments in the register, and then pay anything else that we owe. The checkbook had been out of balance for several months by $298.97 to the good (which made me DOUBT the accuracy...haha) was driving me crazy trying to find the error. Then...I got an unexpected hospital bill for Peyt's broken wrist which I was certain I paid in 2007!!! I called the bank to research and they had no way to prove it because I had no clue when I paid or to who or anything. So I was going to have to either pay a fortune in research fees ($165) with no guarantee or suck it up and pay it again (around $100). I was out of money for the pay period...but then I remembered the check book error. When I added the $298.97 into my checkbook I had enough to cover the bill and have some spare for eating out!
Example 3: Compassion - And those of you who know me well...know that compassion and mercy are NOT two of my spiritual gifts! God is working on me in this area of life, but I am such a slow learner that I fear He will give up! just kidding! I know "He will never leave or forsake me" regardless of my compassion level...Anyway recently my neighbor's sister died from cancer. Can I first say that I hate cancer??? Well I called the morning she died to see how she was because she had been in ICU and Chris told me the news. So against my better judgement I stopped by before work the morning she died to speak to Cheryl. Y'all know how easy I cry...well needless to say I stood in the doorway and boo hoo'ed with her. Make up smeared everywhere. And I had no words, just tears. And then I came to work smeared make up and all. Yesterday Travis went over to see Cheryl and she is still a wreck, but she is so thankful that we have been supportive. And her thankfulness just gives me a strange peace. Normally I would have not stopped in to speak to her in a million years, but God told me to go and be late to work. And it was a priceless God moment to be there to cry with her.

The common thread in these examples is to GIVE...whatever you have...GIVE it away! I love the Operation Christmas Child motto and song last year..."Give this Christmas Away" (you can see the video on you tube).

So I challenge you to GIVE today away...and be a blessing to someone! He will give it back to you tenfold! You CANNOT out give God! Praise Him!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day all you Mama's out there! Here's a few of my favorite things about moms...being one and also having one! Feel free to share yours whether you are a mom or not!
  • Mom always knows where the object being frantically searched for can be located regardless of the last time anyone else "touched" it.
  • Mom can do math homework, fold clothes, wash dishes and cook supper all at the same time.
  • Mom can walk 3 miles for exercise, do back flips on the trampoline and then beat a 6 year old roller blading the length of the 2 hours flat :)
  • Mom is scared to death of a mouse but will kill a poisonous snake with a shovel to protect her children.
  • Mom knows who is telling the truth by the look on their face!
  • Mom deals out punishment and then loves on you!

In short, Mom can be everything to everyone and never get tired of it...but at 9pm don't mess with Mom until the Bible closes!

Have a great weekend!