Friday, February 27, 2015

Update on EL's Bladder Issues

It has been a LONG wait to get EL in to see a Pediatric Urologist, but we finally saw one this week for her BLADDER ISSUES.  I previously mentioned I would give an update after we had seen the Urologist but, for privacy sake, I won't go into all the details here. I will tell you that we ended up spending a good amount of time in the Urology department and, after having several painless tests done, we finally have a plan of action to help with EL's frequent need to use the bathroom.

Thankfully, all the tests showed normal kidneys and bladder, and there is nothing seriously wrong. It will just take some time to get things back to where they should be. We will follow up with the Urology department in one month to let them know how things are going and, hopefully, that will be the end of it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

HYMN: May the Mind of Christ My Savior

This hymn was sung during our recent visit to Moody Bible Institute at the close of the Alumni Banquet. I am familiar with this hymn, but was really drawn to the words when we sang it this time. I love the words.

The hymn was written in the early 1900's by Kate B. Wilkinson, who worked with young women in London. Other than that, not much is known about the background of this song, or of the author; but, again, I love the words.

Each stanza of this hymn is like a prayer based on Scripture. You will see I have included one Bible verse under each stanza that could easily go along with the words.

May this hymn be a prayer we can all pray today, and every day...

(Click the title to hear the tune)

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

Philippians 2:5 - In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (NIV)

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

Psalm 119:11 - I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

Philippians 4:7 -  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

Philemon 1:4-5 -  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

Hebrews 12:1-2 -  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

Mark 16:15 -  He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."

Monday, February 23, 2015

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Berenstain Bears' Please & Thank You Book [Giveaway CLOSED]

Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Their son, Mike, grew up watching his parents work together to share these lovable bears with the world. Stan and Jan have both passed away, but Mike is carrying on the work they began, sharing this special bear family with a new generation of young children. 

The book I received for review is "The Berenstain Bears’ Please & Thank You Book" for children ages 2 and up. It talks about the importance of manners through gentle reminders given to Brother, Sister, and Honey as they await their milk and cookies. 

I grew up reading picture books of The Berenstain Bears, and watching some of their cartoon specials. I've always enjoyed the funny things they have said and done and, as a mother now, I  appreciate the good values their books/stories express. This new book by Mike Berenstain is no exception. It is sure to be a helpful tool in teaching manners to your little ones. 

If you would like a chance to add it to your library, enter your name and e-mail address in the giveaway box below. The entries will end at 8:00 p.m. CST on Saturday, February 28, 2015.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #8: Comfort Others

We all know someone who is hurting - either physically or emotionally.  Take some time this week to send one of these comforting Bible verses to a hurting friend:

Psalm 27:14 - "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."

Jeremiah 29:11  - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Isaiah 41:13 - For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (NIV)

Mark 5:36 - “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (NIV)

Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #7: Encourage Your Ministers & Church Leaders

I have several friends and family members who have been, or currently are, involved in full-time ministry and, if you aren't already aware of this, let me tell you that being involved in a ministry is HARD WORK! But, those who are involved in a ministry, whether full-time or part-time, are in it for a reason. They are in it because of their desire to serve the Lord, and because of their desire to help others - to help YOU. Whether they are Pastors, Deacons, Elders, Missionaries, Sunday School Teachers, or any others who lead in a Christian organization/ministry, these leaders consider it a joy to encourage you, strengthen you, and help you grow closer to the Lord. But, in order to do these things, they need us to encourage them as well. Believe it or not, these ministers and church leaders OFTEN get discouraged. The people they are serving expect to have their needs met, and if they aren't met to their satisfaction, the leaders are ridiculed. People forget that, yes, these leaders are servants of the Lord, but they are not Superheroes. They can't do it all, but are often expected to. When dealing with so many different types of personalities and situations, there is no way to completely satisfy everyone, or to be everywhere at once. So, there are times when our leaders may feel exhausted, they may feel misunderstood, they may feel alone, and they may feel like a failure.

Take a look at the verse above (1 Thess. 5:12-13). Then, also read 1 Timothy 5:17, which says, "The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching." (NAS)

Based on these two verses, if you have a minister or church leader who has done good things for you and has been working hard for the Lord, ACKNOWLEDGE his work. Hold him in high regard, and encourage him to continue serving. Our leaders NEED encouragement.

This week, take some time to encourage your pastor or a leader of your church or ministry in some way. If you need ideas on how to do this, has an article that lists 52 different ways you can encourage your pastor. Click on this link to be taken to the list:  HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR PASTOR (52 WAYS)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Running the Race

Hebrew 12:1-3:  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Last week, David and I were blessed as we attended the first two days of Moody Bible Institute's Founder's Week (a week long event filled with music and speakers in honor of the birthday of D.L. Moody, the Founder of MBI). We were there for David's 25-year class reunion, and also went to the evening sessions held at Moody Church. 

 This year's theme was "Running the Race" based on Hebrews 12:1-3. On the first night, the current president of MBI, Dr. Paul Nyquist, was the speaker. He mentioned how, as Christians, we are all running a race (the race of the Christian life), but each race is different. We can't choose the race we are in but, instead, must run the race that is "set before us." And, while we are running, we need to run with endurance. But, how do we do that? Dr. Nyquist gave 3 strategies to help us:


1.  Remember the heroes - the "cloud of witnesses" who have run the race before us. They are testimonies to us. They encourage us and show us this race CAN be done! We need to remember that, and keep on running. 

2.  Lay aside every encumbrance. In other words, drop the weights - the things that are bulky and heavy and are weighing us down. What things can weigh us down? Maybe a time-consuming hobby, or a bad habit. It is basically anything that interferes with us being fully devoted to Jesus Christ and living the Christian life we are meant to live. We need to work towards getting rid of those hindrances. Not just some of them, but ALL of them (EVERY encumbrance).

3.  Focus on Jesus. We need to be intentional about this because it won't happen automatically. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him as we run, He will help us reach the finish line.

I encourage you to watch the entire sermon HERE ON YOU TUBE.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

REVIEW: The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith

The most recent Christmas season is in the past, but I decided to choose this book from Blogging for Books because the story sounded interesting to me. It's a true story about a family (Mom and 3 kids) who experienced the devastating loss of their husband/father shortly before the holidays, and had no interest in celebrating them - at least no one except the young 10-year-old daughter who is portrayed as the positive thinker in the family. Then, a mystery developed as the family began receiving inexpensive, anonymous gifts for each of the 12 days before Christmas. Each gift coincided with the numbers in the "12 Days of Christmas" song. So, on the first day of Christmas, they received one poinsettia for the family. The second day of Christmas, they received two bags of Christmas bows. And, it goes on from there. The gifts were nothing elaborate or expensive - just a fun way to let them know they were being thought of during a very difficult time. By the time the 12th gift arrived, the attitudes of family had completely changed. They were once again excited about Christmas, and about sharing it with their family. They were also determined to find out WHO their "Secret Santa" was so they could thank them for all they had done.

This is an inspiring story that, after I picked it up, had a hard time putting it down. It kept my interest, which doesn't happen often with me. I did find I was wishing for the family to express their faith in God and share how He can and does help us through our worst days. But, since this is not a Christian/religious book, God was not even mentioned. Regardless, the content is still based around the Biblical principles of giving, sharing  and encouraging others. It is a great Christmas story, and I think it would make a great Christmas movie, too! Maybe someday we'll see it on the Hallmark channel or something like that. But, anyway, I liked it and, if you are interested, you don't have to wait until Christmas to read it. It's good to read at any time of year, just like giving and encouraging others is good at any time of year. (Note: There are several times profanity is used in the book, but I believe it was there to  give the readers a picture of the mother's discouragement. The daughter was against it, and "scolded" her mother for the use of these words.)

I received this book free from Blogging for Books for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #6 - Random Acts of Kindness Week


I hope you are having fun with these challenges. If you are, please share with me some of the things you have done!

According to The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, tomorrow is the start of Random Acts of Kindness Week. It starts tomorrow and goes through next Sunday (February 9-15, 2015).

For this week's challenge, choose something from the LIST OF IDEAS on the RAOKF website.  Some of the ideas include:
  • Smile or wave at someone.
  • Give someone a hug.
  • Rub a loved one's back or feet after a long day at work.
  • Volunteer at your local food pantry.
  • Send a positive/encouraging note to someone.
  • Pay for someone's coffee or a donut.
  • Leave some extra quarters at a laundromat, along with an encouraging note. 
  • Leave a generous tip for your waitress. 
  • Talk to a homeless person. Share a snack with him/her. 
  • Call or visit someone who is sick. 

Your challenge for this week is to choose one or two of the ideas above, and go do them. This coming Saturday is Valentine's Day, so another option is to send a card to someone special in your life, make little valentines to pass out at the local nursing home, or leave a box of candies on someone's doorstep. It can be anonymous if you like, but don't forget to include a Gospel tract or an encouraging Bible verse with your gift. Whatever you do, make an effort to show God's love to others this week.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Encouragement Challenge #5: Sharing with Others

Make something from your kitchen and share it with a neighbor. It could be a pot of soup, a casserole, a batch of cookies or muffins, some sort of quick bread, candies, or whatever you like to make. If you don’t cook or bake, then buy a package of donuts or muffins at the grocery store and share half.  Attach a simple note that says, “Sharing with you, just because we care." Include the verse above, or choose a different one.