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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

As promised...pics from Cornerstone Baptist Day

I am going to TRY and load a video summary of the pictures...in case it fails...here are a couple pics!











video


The video appears to be failing miserably...so I will throw in a few more pics =)











As you can see...the girls worked hard and had awesome fellowship!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Exciting Women's Ministry Recap!!

It seems like forever since I posted anything! And for once…there has been some exciting true Women’s Ministry stuff to report on (as opposed to my normal crazy ramblings!)! lol =)

Some of the GA’s and Acteens and several women went to Cornerstone Baptist in Four Oaks to help with lunch on Friday (4/22) for the volunteers working in the tornado stricken area. We had an absolute blast! The girls worked hard deboning chicken and separating pastry. After all of the cooking was done they provided an impromptu concert that lit up the place! It was awesome! I will try and post pictures soon. It was especially neat to get to serve our own (wmbc) crew that was working in the heat. Some of us ladies even went back on Saturday to help again…because once you participate…you cannot stay away. Mr. Dave has said that a lot of times about volunteering with the Baptist Men Disaster Relief Team, but I guess I thought he felt that way because he was “called” for it while I was not. I know that I am called to Women’s Ministry and mentoring. BUT…oh my goodness…he is SOOOO right! My calling has not changed, but I will absolutely JUMP at the chance to volunteer with Baptist Men again. The feeling from helping someone is that overwhelming…you cannot wait to feel it again.

And I cannot tell you the absolute humbling feeling when volunteers who are tired and worn out from cutting trees, hauling debris and Lord only knows what else…thanks you for a cold drink and a meal. I mean really…we were just pouring tea but they were so grateful! It brought tears to my eyes (surprise surprise). It truly puts a lot of things into perspective! My 10 year old, Peyton, made the comment that every child her age should come see the destruction because then they would surely appreciate what they have at home. And she is right… we are so blessed and personally I feel like I take so much in life for granted! I echo her statement that even all the “children” MY age should go see! Not to gawk or stare in any kind of disrespect but to realize how temporary this life we live truly is! I tell my children all the time that this life and everything in it is temporary and they better focus on the prize in heaven because at the end of the day that is the ONLY thing that matters. It is easy to say that but much harder to live it out daily. I would love prayers in this area! =)

In Four Oaks and the other surrounding areas there will be much work to rebuild in the future once the immediate effort is complete. I am sure we will all have plenty of opportunity to serve. I encourage you to seek that opportunity whenever possible. If your church does not participate…I can hook you up with our church to serve. Just let me know if you are interested.

SPEAKING OF SERVING…well maybe not exactly serving…but more giving sacrificially and with a cheerful heart… =) We need desperate help with Backpack Buddy food!!! I didn’t say this in the mass email sent on Monday although I really wanted to. You see, Sunday we celebrated the fact that Jesus is ALIVE because we know that the tomb is empty. Well here is the thing….unfortunately our Backpack Buddy bins on Sunday looked just like the tomb…EMPTY!!!!

Please please please bring Backpack Buddy food ASAP.

Here is a list of weekly items we need:
Chef Boyardee type cans
Ramein Noodle type packs (i.e. Oodles of Noodles)
Individual Fruit Cups or applesauce
Individual boxes of cereal
Boxes of Individually packaged Oatmeal or Grits
Granola bars, pudding cups, gummy snacks
Juice Boxes

Thanks for all you do to support our church mission projects! Being the hands and feet of Jesus is hard at times and not very rewarding on earth, but the reward awaits us when He calls us home or returns. And I feel so humbled and blessed to be living at “a time such as this”... serving in His Name alongside of you all!!! Praise Him!

In Him,
Kristy =)

PS - We still need scarves if anyone can crochet or knit them. They are for the cancer center. Many of you know my friend Tammy that has pancreatic cancer and one of the chemo drugs requires her to keep a scarf handy in case she encounters cold air or cold fluids. She has to wrap her throat up to prevent the sensation of it closing in. (Or something like that…sorry but I am not very medically inclined!) So if you can make scarves…PLEASE DO! If you want to learn, I think the next class at church is the first Sat in May…I will ask Denise to run in the bulletin for certain.

Be a blessing today….and remember IT IS CHURCH NIGHT!!!!!! Woohoo!!!! See ya there =)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

OT Glimpses of God's Nature - P.S. it wasn't supposed to get this long... =)

If you have free time tomorrow (Fri) and Saturday, we are sending teams to volunteer in the Four Oaks area. They are meeting at the church at 7am. Or if you are a late riser or can’t commit to a day of hard labor, you have an opportunity to help with lunch. We are meeting at the church at 9:30am tomorrow (Fri) morning. We will make sandwiches and deliver them to Four Oaks for the volunteers and victims. The GA’s and Acteens and Teen Boys classes baked cookies and bagged them last night. They did close to 200 bags! And I was THRILLED to get to help eat the scrap cookies that did not make it! haha …Ran out of weight watcher points for the day…but the taste was worth it! I’ll run it off tonight =) It was the strangest recipe…cookies from cake mix! I will include it if you are interested in mass producing cookies at a low cost…

1 box of cake mix (chocolate or vanilla or any flavor really)
1 egg
¼ oil
¼ water
1 cup of whatever you want to mix in…m&m’s, pecans, white choc chips, peanut butter chips, etc. (the m&ms were my favorite)

Mix well and drop onto greased pans and bake (I guess at 350).
They were SOOOO good!!!


If you are visiting this site from another church or if you do not have your own “home” church…we welcome you to come along to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Just contact me and I can hook you up with details.

It is so hard to understand mass destruction and devastation in times like this. I stumbled across a scripture that gave me peace and comfort. I wanted to share it but first to preface it with a disclaimer…I am a firm believer that we are living as the New Testament Church and therefore are covered by promises in the New Testament only. I don’t believe we can claim a promise in the Old Testament because we are not bound by the OT Covenant. (Praise Him for Jesus!) But I do believe that we can claim promises about God and His characteristics from the OT. Because God is never-changing…He is the same God from Genesis to Revelation…He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So I believe anything the OT says about God or His character we can absolutely claim. So anytime I “claim” something OT…please know that I am not claiming it for me…but claiming it about God or His nature. Before I get to the scripture I have an example that might be clearer…or maybe just rambly…cause y’all KNOW that I have A LOT of WORDS!!!!!

Jer 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. A lot of people claim this as a promise to them from God…and I did too for a while. But now when I recall this verse (cause I memorized this one…*wink*) I believe it is telling me about the nature of God…not a direct promise to me. The Lord was speaking to the Exiles in Babylon, not to New Testament saved by Grace believers. I absolutely believe this verse tells us that God’s nature is not to harm but to give hope…and to me we can claim that as part of His character and His nature. Does that make sense to anyone? Maybe not…maybe I am missing something big…but it is what I believe in my heart.

So anyway…a few weeks ago I stumbled on Lam 3:31-33 which is an OT poem written in mourning of the fall of Jerusalem due to sin. I think it was God’s perfect timing that I stumbled on it before the weekend disaster. Normally I don’t spend any time in Lamentations other than the once a year reading through the Bible because honestly, it is kind of depressing and poetry has always been difficult for my “small town, country girl self” to understand...you see, I am not very well rounded…but I make some mean homemade jam! =) ask my kids!

Lam 3:31-33 “(31) For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. (32) Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. (33) For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”
I get peace of mind from that scripture. Peace because I know through ANY grieving that His nature is to show compassion because His love is unfailing! Here is how I break it down:

Verses 31 and 32 are OT verses I can hold onto to give me a glimpse into the nature of God and how He loves and cares for His people during grievous times (I think we can say “His people” because the book of Lamentations is written to the people of Jerusalem who were God’s chosen people)!

And going further with that…since I am one of God’s people under the NT Covenant, I see this as possibly pointing to the Savior coming to redeem me so I will not be cast off from the Lord forever because verse 31 says that “not casting off His people forever” is part of His nature! In fact it makes me think to a NT promise that I claim daily!!! John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand”. Praise Jesus that one is for me! Learn that one girls…that one is important to have in your arsenal to fight satan!

I wanted to leave this last verse in my break down so you would not think I was picking and choosing the feel good scriptures and ignoring the sobering ones! You must remember that Jerusalem has been punished for their sins, so I don’t believe you can apply verse 33 to a natural disaster or anything other than a clear direct result of sin (which I do not believe is always the case with the mass devastation of a natural disaster). But to me verse 33 gives us a glimpse of another part of God’s nature, it implies He will absolutely punish for sins… not because it is necessarily His will and enjoyment to do it but due to our free will to sin and need punishing!!! I think it implies that His will is for us to remain blameless and pure and therefore not need punishment! (see Phil 2:14-15) Again…Praise Him for JESUS!!!!

So in short (hahaha like that will ever happen) taking this segment of scripture and wholesale applying it to today’s world and circumstances to me would be incorrect, but taking this scripture and learning from it pieces of God’s nature is ok…I think that is what He intended when He formed together His complete Word for us to use as a guidebook – to learn all we could about His ways and characteristics. How else can we imitate Him? When you find nuggets in the OT that show you glimpses of God’s nature and character…write it down…and share it with me…I am such a nerd that I absolutely LOVE making these types of discoveries in the OT!!! I never thought I would be an OT girl…but I can’t get enough!

Ummm…yeah so I really meant to keep this short…but if you read often you know…it just ain’t in me! lol Sorry to be so long winded and I am sure incoherent…it’s just the way my brain jumps around! Sometimes I cannot even make a clear sentence I am so hyped up! But I love Jesus and I love God’s Word…and I know He can make anything transparent if He chooses! And if He chooses not…maybe you at least got a giggle in here and there =)

Be a blessing today…love you girls! Holler if you want to meet up with us and help in Four Oaks.

In Him
Kristy =)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

His Words

I hope all of you are having a blessed week. As usual…it is crazy busy around the Gardner homestead. Travis has been volunteering (with the Baptist Men) until way past dark since Saturday so me and the kids have been running rampant until way past dark! lol Maybe tonight we will get in bed before too late! Mornings have been bumpy due to lack of sleep! And then I have to wake the kids up…haha

How was your weekend? I cannot wait to get my copy of the Easter Drama from Sunday. I missed it because I was in nursery. I hear it will blow my socks off…so I will be sure to watch it barefoot! If you missed it too, let me know and I will pass along my dvd when I finish watching it.

I also cannot wait until this Sunday! My little one, Caleb, is getting baptized! Praise the Lord! What makes it even more special is if you have been coming to church for over a year then you are aware we all wrote down three initials and have been praying for their lost souls this entire time. And we were supposed to invite them on Easter Sunday to the service where they will hear the Gospel preached. Well…I was worried that my 3 would not come mainly because it was a holiday service and every time we invite them to a special service it is very long and they complain. So I prayed earnestly for God to make a way for them to come even though the service will be longer than normal. Can I tell you that the day Caleb accepted Christ, God whispered “done” to me???? My 3 are all coming to see Caleb!!!! If not for the baptism I am certain they would not do it! Praise Him for His timing!

And of course Easter Sunday will be complete with Beth singing My Redeemer. My favorite part of that amazing song is at the end when she sings “and I know that I know that I know that I know”. Part of that “knowing that you know” is from a relationship that you cultivate with Jesus. Salvation is so much more than a walk down the aisle for fire insurance. The relationship that evolves over time is priceless. And I just don’t know how to get that through to people. There are so many church goers that I am afraid have missed out. They went through the motions of salvation without a change in their heart. And while they may have eternal life…I don’t think they will have it “to the full”.

So many people attend church but never go deeper. They are surface Christians at best. They never cultivate that relationship to know Jesus intimately. Part of that process is spending time in His Word. In Bible Study Sunday night…Beth Moore said something that I almost squealed over. She said “Do you know the Word of God, or do you KNOW some of His words?” Because…by now y’all know that I think there is a HUGE difference!

Are you in His Word???? Do you KNOW some of His Words????

Bless someone this week…if you don’t know anyone to bless, go to Four Oaks to Cornerstone Baptist and tell them to put you to work. I hear that Micro has a lot of help but that Four Oaks needs people…

Pray for our service on Sunday...pray for lost souls to come to know my Jesus!

In Him,
Kristy =)

Friday, April 15, 2011

SMC - April 15th

Good Morning! Happy Friday!!!! Can I get an amen? What a week! I am so ready for the weekend…mainly because I love the tea party!!! Don’t forget 10am tomorrow and you are ALL invited!

I went back and forth between several but finally decided that my scripture memory verse this time is 1Cor 15:58 from the NIV. “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Mainly because today I need reminding to give myself fully to the work of the Lord…it is so easy to forget that command. Sometimes we give PART of ourselves to the work of the Lord. Sometimes we give NONE of ourselves. And then sometimes we give ALL. And wow is the blessing different in proportion to the amount we give ourselves!

I get caught up in the trap of looking at what other folks “do” for our church and community and that is a dangerous, skillful, hunting tactic in which the enemy sets up for us. All it takes is a little seed that the enemy plants that you can look around and ask yourself “if no one else is giving themselves fully to the work of the Lord, why should I?” And at that moment…sin creeps in. You become half-hearted, or complacent, or defiant, or lazy, or whatever…but not FULLY devoted! And you lose blessings. We must STAND FIRM!

Sometimes I wonder if there is a storeroom in heaven that says ‘Kristy’s missed blessings”, kind of like a warehouse but larger than you can imagine. And what if when I stand for judgment (as the Bible tells us everyone will), God shows me the blessings that I missed out on because I disobeyed, served half-hearted, etc. Because I believe a form of punishment is withholding of blessings! For that moment I will grieve what cannot be undone. Then Jesus will stand in front of me so that God only sees only Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb. And I will enter heaven (redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb who was slain for my sins) where grieving does not exist (Praise Him!).

So I am learning this verse so it can remind me…stay FULLY devoted to the Lord’s work…no matter what anyone else is doing…stay FULLY committed! I am only judged for myself...not myself compared to others! hallelujah!

Let’s hear your verses! Feel free to use mine!

In Him,
Kristy

And remember the disclaimer…the words in this blog do not necessarily represent the beliefs of the staff at WMBC! And I am quite certain these words are never stated as eloquently as the staff would state them…haha =)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You can't make this stuff up!

Warning…this post is going to have very little to do with women’s ministry…but it might just give you a laugh…and allow you to thank God for your blessings! I felt like I should share so you see that my life has days just like everyone else’s…the good, the bad, and today was just plain ugly!

I learned a valuable lesson from God today...no matter how ugly you melt down over your situation…eventually you have to stop crying long enough to Praise Him in your circumstance so He can show you how blessed you are despite the current situation. Normally I can see past my current circumstance by putting the needs/situations of others first and knowing that every situation is temporary and that I will survive it or see Jesus but either way I will be just fine. Normally I keep it together and in perspective fairly well…but this morning…I failed…miserably!

My mom and sister went to Duke yesterday for a doctor appointment. Mom called at 3:30 to tell me the appointment went well but the car would not crank in the parking garage. I tried to rent them a car from Enterprise but they would not let me pay on the phone…hello? I mean, really, you let people pay on the internet but in a crisis will not accept phone payment! I was stressing…I had to deliver supper to someone that had surgery and get my kids squared away since my hubby was out of town but would be able to leave Smithfield in about an hour. Mom decided to call my uncle to go get them because he was at home and did not have a family to tend to and she was ready to come home! While he is not exactly responsible, he was willing and able and she was happy he could leave right then! So he left at 3:45.

I dropped the meal off, got the kids and headed to my mother-in-law’s for supper…on the way at 6:15 I called to check on Mom thinking they should be almost home…but they had not seen my uncle yet!!! (Yes, we are getting him a track phone for his birthday in case you are wondering why we didn’t just call him to check on him). So I headed to Durham at 6:20. Turns out my uncle could not find them and finally gave up after 2 hours and went home...poor thing was exhausted and worried sick! Anyway We made it back in town to get Mom and my sister supper and pick up the kids by 8:45. The kids were fed, homework done and baths accomplished…have I mentioned I have the BEST in-laws ever???? And life was smooth again…

Until this morning…the kids and I decided to cheat and eat Bojangles on Wed (in addition to our Friday morning ritual)…but when I turned the key…nothing…my truck would not start! Seriously???? All of my neighbor’s were already gone so I called my mother-in-law (the Saint!!!) and she came to the rescue (again). Thankfully Travis had left his jumper cables in the barn this trip so together we hooked up the cables (talk about blind leading the blind) and the truck cranked right up! She offered to take the kids so I could get on to work.

But…when I started moving the gauges went crazy…like something out of Poltergeist…lights flashing and needles swinging. So when my hubby called to check on me he told me to either go back home or try to make it to the dealership. If you know my stubborn self you know I tried to make it. But at the stop sign getting on 70…it cut off and would do nothing…in the middle of the road (not the middle of 70 but bad enough to me)! So I called my mother-in-law squalling like a 2 year old and she came. I had just fallen slam apart…I could not even think straight.

The dealership towed the car in and I took my mother-in-law’s car to work. I got almost to Clayton and had to go back to Princeton to get Peyton…sick…hurting stomach…I am sure it was nerves because she normally does not see her mamma come unglued! Or maybe the expired milk in the fridge…but really…today???

At that point I realized…get over yourself and be thankful…Praise God I made it home from Durham before the car died…that would have been a bigger mess. Praise God I have a Saint for a mother-in-law. Praise God I am healthy and could have run home or even to Smithfield if I needed to (thanks running partner!!!). Praise God my work is so flexible to allow me to take vacation at an instant and to work at home as needed. Praise God for friends checking on me. Praise God for the two Hispanic men who got my car out of the road and made sure I was ok. They were so sweet. Praise God it was a beautiful day to stand beside the highway…not a cloud in the sky! And Praise God for good credit and for our little tax refund that was designated to clothe me with something that fits but can instead pay for towing and repairs (or at least I hope it covers it all!!) =)

So all I can say today is…praise Him ladies…big or small…praise Him in your current circumstance!

Praise Him if you have a car because I read somewhere (probably Radical) that you are more wealthy than like 90 something percent of the world…whether it runs or not! Praise Him if you can read this and you are healthy enough to laugh with me (or at me…I don’t care which…I have done both today myself). Praise Him if you are reading from work (we won’t tell) because you are employed and have a paycheck. Praise Him in all circumstances…so He doesn’t have to remind you…like He did me! Takes me back to my very first memory verse…

Ps 150:6 “Let EVERYTHING that has breath Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”

Praising Him,
Kristy =)

*Please continue lifting up my friend Tammy in your prayers!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Recap and OT Lessons on Leadership

Ok so last night we missed church at WMBC. BUT…we went to our old church, Sanders Chapel UMC, to hear our friends Lance, Brian and Beth sing. They call themselves Sonrise…but I think they should be “Two Guys and a Girl with a really really BIG voice”! If you have never heard the three of them sing together…you need to hear it to believe it! It just makes the tears flow and the hands go up in praise to our King! I want them so badly to cut a cd!! You should absolutely book them at your church if you are visiting this site!

Also, I wanted to let you know that the BBQ Chicken Fundraiser turned out excellent! We still have money coming in but it looks like we will clear over $10,000 for our outside storage building fund. It was so much fun…the Holy Spirit showed up and things were harmonious…thank you for praying! It was very evident that prayers were sent up! I just LOVE that day each year!

This Sat at 10am is our annual Ladies Tea Party. It is my other favorite event! Not so sure why I was CRAZY enough to schedule them back to back…but such is life in the fast lane of serving God! Anyway…you are ALL invited…church member or not. We would love for you to come. Our guest speaker is from New Hope Pregnancy Center and I hear that her testimony is very touching. I can’t wait! And the food will be EXCELLENT! Mainly because I am not involved in the cooking…haha! Seriously…come and fellowship with us! There is no cost…just bring yourself and a guest if you’d like! Dress is anything you want it to be. Some folks dress up…I usually wear capris and sandals =) except last year when I was Lottie Moon and dressed Chinese! Don't you hate you missed that??? So come this year...you never know what could happen at the Tea!

In other exciting news (well, probably not really exciting to you but humor me) I am reading in Joshua for the next week or so. I absolutely LOVE the book of Joshua! I know I say that about every other book of the Bible it seems…but I really like this one because it is such a lesson in leadership. Joshua turns out to be an excellent leader for God’s people. And when you think of the stress of that position…I mean Moses has been the leader basically FOREVER and ended up not being allowed to enter the Promised Land because the Israelites provoked him to sin in his anger at their disobedience and grumbling against the Lord. And now poor Joshua gets thrown in charge of these “challenging” people…can you imagine? It is hard enough to be the first leader…but to follow in the footsteps of another leader…and especially a GREAT leader…is absolutely mortifying! I know this one because I have lived it many times! And I wasn’t always nearly as successful as Joshua! But boy have I learned a lot about being humble and putting God first in EVERYTHING you do no matter the size from those experiences!! lol

Makes me wonder how many opportunities have I missed because I do not want to follow a great leader. I mean seriously…it is very intimidating to take over a position that someone has done very well. It is much easier to assume a position that did not exist or that someone did poorly because any amount of effort would be an improvement. =) Or at least that’s my thinking…haha

Fear of failure can be immobilizing. But how do we move passed it? You guessed it…SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION…haha Maybe not what you guessed…but it has proven true to work for me!! Hard to be scared when you are constantly repeating things like Jer 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for *Kristy* declares the Lord, “plans to prosper *Kristy* and not to harm *Kristy*, plans to give *Kristy* hope and a future!” or Isa 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of *Kristy’s* right hand and says to *Kristy*, Do not fear; I will help you”. Etc…

So praise Him for His Word today…and then on Apr 15th…pick you out a verse and join us in the awesome blessing of scripture memorization!

Please say a special prayer for my friend Tammy and her family. She is facing chemo round #2 tomorrow at 9am! Thanks girls!

In Him,
Kristy =)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beware...It's all about chicken and dogs!

It’s all about chicken…the next two days…are all about chicken! If you don’t have plans to attend the BBQ Chicken Fundraiser tomorrow…you’d better! It is a wonderful day of fun, fellowship, work, and good food! It all starts tonight…be at the church around 6pm to help out! We need lots of hands because despite the perception…it doesn’t just happen…haha! It takes a lot of prep work to prepare for cooking and serving 2600 chicken plates! But did I mention it is so much FUN???? I know that sounds stupid…but honestly, it is a long, hard day of unity and harmony. I just love it! And this year is going to be extra special…as I mentioned earlier this week…we have invited all our backpack buddy families to be our guests! I want you to join me now in praying that lives are touched through this experience. That the Holy Spirit will bless those 125 families and they will come and eat and see the love of Jesus shining so bright that if they don’t know Him…they want to!

Speaking of praying…my last scripture memory verse before I started posting them on here again was Phil 2:14-15 “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Today and tomorrow please pray this scripture over our church (and me specifically!). That tonight and tomorrow when the stress and the chaos ensues…we can do everything without grumbling and arguing and be the light of Jesus to any lost souls that He places in our path! We have always had such a Spirit-filled day in BBQ chicken land…and I want us to pray this year is no exception! We know satan is prowling (because 1 Peter 5:8 tells us!) seeking to destroy. Let’s be prayed up so that satan has no foothold in our harmony!

In other news (well not “news”…because most folks will not care)…I planted part of my garden so if you have been reading long you KNOW that will spark all grades of rambling about spiritual growth and other random thoughts from my head over the next several weeks…poor you…haha. This year I get a BIG garden (well not really but compared to my two 3x5 raised beds last year…it is HUGE! ha)! And I still plan to plant my precious tomato plants in the raised beds…I worked too hard digging out to level those suckers to let them sit idle!!!

But to make my new garden serene and peaceful the way I like it…I am going to have to buy something to deter barking from my neighbor’s dogs! They are driving me crazy! =) But they did make me think of walking with Jesus…I know it is a stretch…stick with me…how often do people hear me and it sound like a harsh, annoying, barking Doberman Pincher or Bulldog or Mutt (yes they have like 5 different breeds of them!!!)? I came to realize last night standing in my backyard wearing my brown rubber swamp boots with my green watering can and flashlight at 9:30…sometimes having a bunch of words to say is just like a barking dog that drives your neighbor crazy as she speaks to her strawberry plants in a loving tone and splashes water on them. (hmmmm…maybe I see who is already CRAZY…lol)

And if you haven’t noticed….I HAVE A BUNCH OF WORDS TO SAY!!!! So how do you draw the line between annoying or uplifting? Overbearing or encouraging? I mean for one example…a blog is completely about words…but do I use too many? And then there is normal conversations…do I use too many words then? I know my hubby thinks I use too many words at times! He said so at church last night! =)

So I pray this morning…Lord, show me how many words are just enough. Let me discern when to hush so I don’t sound like a barking dog!

Be a blessing, ladies and if you have any insights on the right amount of words…please share =) At least if you don’t want to hear me bark…you can hit the little x in the right top corner…haha

In Him,
Kristy =)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What are you doing with your redemption?

I am reading Acts right now in my Daily Bible reading. It is one of my favorite books…mainly because in the beginning Peter gets his chance at redemption. If you have been reading this blog long…you know I absolutely LOVE a good redemption story!! (See Michael Vick post for the most recent example) And what better way to encourage women in their daily walk with Christ than to remind them of those stories!

The last time we see Peter before the book of Acts he denies Jesus 3 times and feels like the scum of the earth. Or maybe lower than that resulting in the “ugly cry” depicted in Luke 22:62. “And he (Peter) went outside and wept bitterly”. I have had a few ugly cries myself when I have realized things I have done that broke the heart of God. And I have even had the nerve to try to blame God for not stopping me! The conversation went something like this in my head…”WHAT WAS I THINKING?????” Followed by “Lord, why didn’t you STOP me??? You know you could have...how can you ever forgive me for being so stupid??”. And then the answer goes something like…”Kristy, child, I give you free will and I also give you an escape route…YOU MISSED THE narrow OPEN WINDOW because you were too caught up in your sin while going through the wide door! Now repent and move on child of Mine!”

But I am encouraged because Jesus reinstates Peter (see John 21:15-19). And praise His name that is what he does with us! And then LOOK what Peter does with the 2nd chance in Acts!!! He gives basically the first Christian sermon we see in scripture (by someone other than Jesus of course), he heals people, he baptizes people, he risks life and limb to tell people what Jesus has done in his life, arrested and freed by an angel, arrested some more and freed again.

What do I do with my 2nd chances? When I mess up and repent do I lead others to Jesus so they can avoid my mistakes? Do I shine so bright that others want to? Do I love on people the way Jesus did and the way Peter did? Last night I read about Peter going to Cornelius’s house and converting the Gentiles and the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10) Peter showed love to them because God changed his mind about the Gentiles being a lower class and unworthy of Jesus’ redemption. Have I allowed God to change my mind about people who are “different” than me? Do I show them the love of Jesus the same way I show it to my family and friends?

At our church we have an opportunity that many folks do not get to show love to people not like us. We participate in a program near and dear to my heart called Backpack Buddies. Each week we provide a limited amount of food for 125 children at Wilson’s Mills Elementary that may or may not have food on the weekend. I say “may or may not” because I do not know. Nor do I honestly care. Whether the parents signed up for the service out of need or just to “abuse” the system is completely irrelevant in my eyes. The only thing I see with my eyes are children’s faces…God’s children. Hungry or not…they know that some people at a church they may never attend sends them food and snacks for no other reason except love and maybe a feeling of responsibility to the community.

This Friday we are stepping out and broadening our commitment to them. We have accepted donations for BBQ Chicken plate tickets to provide our Backpack Buddy families. Four tickets per family…a total of 500 tickets. Our church body (and some other gracious folks) came together and provided out of sacrificial love and obedience $3,500 to pay for these tickets. I have never felt more excitement over what God will do with this obedience. 125 families touched. They may or may not come to eat on Friday…but they have seen love and provision from our God. And to be a part of something like that is an unimaginable blessing.

Be a blessing today…I say that a lot and I don’t say it out of habit. I truly mean it. Be a blessing today. In life there are really only two options…to bless or to curse. Which are you choosing? If you aren’t sure…look at yourself through someone else’s eyes…and see what they see.

In Him,
Kristy =)

PS – Spread the word about the Chicken Fundraiser THIS Friday!!!! Eat in, Take out, or Delivery for 10 or more plates…$7/plate Serving from 11 until 7pm or we run out! And if you can take off work and HELP!!! Be there around 8:30am in the kitchen! =) Not that I would BEG for help or anything…lol

Friday, April 1, 2011

SMC - April 1 2011

Good Morning everyone!

I am so excited to be starting back the Scripture Memory Challenge posts. If you want to participate it is very easy. Just post the scripture that you will be learning and your name. Then learn it before we post another one on the 15th of the month! You do NOT have to be a member of our church to memorize scripture with us! And there is no shame or condemnation allowed on this blog! If it takes more than one cycle for you to learn...that is perfectly fine...just keep trying! I will be praying for the Lord to do a mighty work in your life surrounding your verse. You will NEVER waste a single minute on scripture memory...He will bless your obedience!

I will never forget my first memory verse...Ps 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!". I have remembered it many times when I did not feel like praising...but through it God reminded me...EVERYTHING must praise the Lord! And my spirit lifted immediately!

For those of you that know me well know that I feel VERY strongly about putting God's Word in your head and your heart! How many times can you quote something your "momma used to say" or your "children always say"? The reason you can quote them is because you spend (or spent) large amounts of time talking with them and listening to them. One could ask that if you truly "love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30 if you are wondering...hehe)...are you investing appropriate time in building a personal relationship with Jesus? A more personal relationship than with your spouse, children, parents, etc! Do you know things that "Jesus used to say"? And do you apply them in daily life? Ouch...

So my verse this time is:

Phil 2:3 (NIV)
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. "

Let's hear your verses! And be a blessing to someone today!

In Him,
Kristy =)