Friday, September 25, 2009

Seeking whom he may devour

I have to admit, these past few weeks have NOT been easy weeks for us. It seems one thing after another creeps up to try and discourage us, bring us down, and keep us from accomplishing the goals we have tried to set in place. If you look back at my previous blog entries, you will see how, a few weeks ago, the fleas made their appearance. Shortly after that, there were behavior issues to deal with in our children and in myself. And now, this past week, we have all been sick and stuck inside the house, except for running a few necessary errands. I can’t help but wonder when it will end and when our lives can get back to “normal” again, if there is such a thing. (Sigh)

I also realize we are not the only ones experiencing struggles in our lives and, actually, OUR “problems” are very mild compared to some others I’ve heard about. But, you know what? It doesn’t really matter how big or small our problems are. What matters is that everything we go through in life is for a reason. It could be to strengthen our faith and draw us closer to the Lord. It could be to show others a witness as we “handle” things in a Christlike manner. It could be to test us for one reason or another.... Or, it could be Satan trying to discourage us from joyfully serving the Lord and making a difference in this world.

Satan knows how to hit us where it hurts. He is actively roaming around at this very moment, seeking whom he may devour. It’s true! Check out this verse....

1Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (KJV)

So, how can we survive when the devil pounces? The answer is very clear on that... Eph. 6:10-17.

Open your Bible and read it right now. Go ahead... read it! Once you've read those verses, you'll understand why there is a picture of our son here, dressed in a knight's costume. (If you can’t find your Bible, then that may be a sign right there as to why you are going through so many struggles right now. Maybe God is trying to "wake you up" and bring you back to Himself?)

Anyway, now that you’ve read those verses, take some time to PRAY and ask the Lord to give you the strength to put these verses into action. (If you don’t understand what these verses really mean, then go have a talk with a pastor or a church elder as soon as possible.)

But, also..... if you read on into Eph. 6:18, let’s not forget that we need to continue praying for and encouraging each other. We all need to stick together during these trying times.

Ephesians 6:18 - With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (NAS)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ask for Wisdom

Whenever I ask the Lord for wisdom to help my husband and I figure out what to do in a certain situation (including this past week regarding our children’s educational needs), the answer does not always come immediately. Actually, it usually takes at least a day or two before we have an answer - sometimes longer. But, God does answer this prayer. In fact, there has never been a time in my life when He has not answered this prayer.

Trust me on this one - The Lord loves to answer this prayer for us, and He always gives generously when the time is right. All you need to do is ask for it. I promise you He will listen. And, if you listen back, the answers are sure to come.

James 1:5 - But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (NAS)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Encouragement of Friends

Prov 27:9 - Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel. (NKJ)

I am so thankful for the wise counsel of good friends...

Last week was incredibly frustrating for me as I tried to motivate the children to learn some new material. I admit I was in tears a couple of times and, one day, I even raised my voice out of frustration, reacting in a manner of which I am not proud. However, since then, I have had a lot of prayer support and encouragement from several other mom friends who understand the challenges we face with our children. I received wise counsel from them and, because of their willingness to reach out to me, I believe God has given me some new ideas to try with the children. Now, instead of looking at this coming week with fear and hesitation, I am looking forward to seeing what our week has in store. Thank you to all of you who reached out to me with kind and thoughtful words, a listening ear, and a prayerful heart.

This week, as the Lord brings your friends and family to mind, think of a way to reach out to them. Maybe God has brought them to your mind for a reason. Send them a "thinking of you" card, give them a phone call to see how they are doing, send them an e-mail, or say a prayer for them, even if you don't know what to specifially pray for (and then tell them you prayed for them the next time you see them). Let's remember to encourage one another, and to be there for each other, in a world where frustrations run high.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Be Careful What You Pray For

What an interesting week we’ve had! (Life is never really boring around here anyway, LOL!) It all started because of a prayer request I mentioned at the last prayer meeting with our local homeschool group. I first asked for prayer that the kids (especially our youngest) would adjust quickly to a new school routine. Aside from that, I also told the group how I wanted to spend less time on the computer. During the summer months, I became used to sitting at the computer on a daily basis as I finished up my book about Communion and began the advertising process. It has been hard for me to break away from the computer at times. My housework, and other things, had been neglected. So, I asked that my time would be used more wisely. I don’t want to completely give up my computer time, but I DO need to start having a specific time set aside each day to be on.

Lo and behold, shortly after that prayer meeting, I found out our cats were loaded with fleas! Aaaggg! I ended up spending most of the week bathing the cats, giving them a flea treatment from the Vet’s office, and thoroughly vacuuming and cleaning the entire house. I also set up an appointment for an exterminator to come out and spray the house. We had to vacuum again thoroughly before he came, and move items away from the walls and off the floors as much as possible. Then, we all (including the cats) had to be out of the house for at least 4 hours while the treatment dried. (Thank you to my friend, Rachel, for allowing us to crash her place for a few hours!) When we got back home, the floors needed to be vacuumed once again before we could let the cats out and move furniture back into place. Ugh! What an exhausting week! Has anyone ever told you to be careful what you pray for? Well, this is a classic example of that! LOL.

Oh well.... I’m so thankful we found the fleas before all their eggs hatched and we had thousands of little hopping, biting black bugs all over us. God is good.... ALL the time.

Poor kitties.... No more going outside for recess....