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Showing posts from 2015

Mercy

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I am feeling the need for a little bit of a break. So, I will take a blog vacation, until my batteries are recharged. It is best for the encourager to be encouraged herself. In the meantime, I will post reruns of some of my favorite posts and some multimedia in the coming weeks. Thanks, friends.

Merry Christmas, Friends!

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Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.



Why Was Jesus Born in a Barn?

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Luke 2:7 (KJV) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.


Everyone knows Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, but did you ever wonder why? Sure, there was no room in the inn, but God had His choice of anywhere on this earth for His only Son to be born. Why pick a barn?

Kings are born in palaces. Lambs are born in barns.

John 1:29 (KJV) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.


It must have been pretty confusing. Everyone expected a Messiah--a king. Instead, they got a newborn. When the angels announced the birth of Christ, whom did they tell first? Shepherds. Who better to spread the news of the birth of a Lamb?

In Bible times, a lamb had to be sacrificed to cover the sins of the people. Christ's mission on earth was to shed His own blood and wipe out all sin--forever.

Our Savior was born …

Welcome To Our World

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Tears are falling, hearts are breaking, How we need to hear from God You've been promised, we've been waiting Welcome Holy Child, Welcome Holy Child.
Hope that You don't mind our manger How I wish we would have known But long-awaited Holy Stranger Make Yourself at home, Please make Yourself at home.
Bring Your peace into our violence Bid our hungry souls be filled World now breaking Heaven's silence Welcome to our world, Welcome to our world.
Fragile fingers sent to heal us, Tender brow prepared for thorn Tiny heart Whose blood will save us Unto us is born, Unto us is born.
So wrap our injured flesh around You, Breathe our air and walk our sod. Rob our sin and make us holy Perfect Son of God, Perfect Son of God. Welcome to our world.  This song has been haunting my brain for the last several weeks. It is one of five songs the Missionary Baptist Church choir will be performing at our Christmas celebration on Sunday, December 20. 
It seems I am a sucker for the simple lullaby, but these words ar…

Lawbreakers

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The Hubster said something stunning in Sunday School yesterday.

We can't break God's laws. 

Wait, what? Did I hear that right? I always thought when we committed a sin, we broke one of God's laws.

Our Savior's statutes are absolute--like the rules of nature or science. (He created those, too.) Think of it this way, can we break the law of gravity? When I trip over my own feet, do I fall down, or hang suspended in mid-air?

When we were children, our parents had household rules because they wanted us to be safe. Breaking one of these laws could cause adolescent heartache and perhaps even mortal peril.

God's laws work the same way. We will be happy and safe when we keep them, and life will be hard and dangerous when we don't.

Do I really think that His rules are that flimsy and brittle? Hope you ruminate over this for a few days, just like I am.

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Notable Quote:

Psalm 119:44-48 (KJV) So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty…

My Way or His Will?

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Luke 22:42 (KJV)Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.


Growing up, our family's pet was a Boston terrier named Bootsy. Most of the time, he was a perfect gentleman...until you let him get a hold of the end of a rope or rag. Bootsy's jaws would lock onto that thing and never let go. He was one determined doggie. 

Do I want God to wrestle control from my clenched hands, or do I want to hand the reins over to Him willingly?


Get closer to God. The better you know Him, the more you trust Him. And the more you trust Him, the easier it is to give up control. Developing a relationship, a friendship with the Savior, will reap long-term (eternal!) rewards.


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Thanks to everyone who purchased Tupperware during my Relay For Life fundraiser last month. Because of your generosity, I have a check for $66.60 to send to the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. Hooray for cancer fighters!


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Notable Quote:


"The …

What's In Your Bag?

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Several weeks ago, I attended an elegant luncheon for non-profit agencies at the downtown Hyatt hotel in Wichita. There was a large group of Rainbows employees in attendance, all smartly dressed. I rode across town with several lovely young ladies, and as we entered the ballroom, our president greeted us warmly. Deb commented on our dressy attire and then pointed to my friends' handbags. "Michael Kors and Coach!" she exclaimed.

At this point, I had a choice. Make a really fun, albeit snarky comment about my own cheap bag, or remain silent and "safe."

I really wanted hold up my bag and say, "Dress Barn. Free with any purchase," but I chickened out. (I do that often).

My purse is pretty important in my daily life. I carry all the things I might need to get by for a day or two away from home. Since I commute, I never know what the day may bring. This makes for a pretty heavy bag.

Handbags are so pretty on the outside, and able to carry so many necessary…

Call To Worship

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2 Timothy 4:3 (KJV)For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 

Worship...you get out of it, what you put into it.

The member who does their nails, plays with their phone, or carries on conversations with others during church time, cheats themselves out of the opportunity for spiritual growth.

"Playing church" is becoming an all-too-familiar pastime. We show up for the programs, dinners, and activities, hopeful for entertainment. Our eyes, our senses, even our minds crave diversion. Busyness helps us avoid thinking seriously on holy things.

We must look inward and examine our motives. Why are we attending church, if not to learn about the person that is Christ? Our souls should ache for communion with the Beloved One.

Matthew 5:6 (KJV) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

To paraphrase a line from the musical Aun…

High Anxiety

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1 Timothy 1:15 (KJV) This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

This blog post is all about me.

Just in case you start thinking I'm trying to get all "preachy" on you, I wanted to make you understand. The following is a lesson for myself.

1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Sometimes, it seems I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. And then I remember, that's not my responsibility. It belongs to God.

Jeremiah 10:23 (KJV) O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

There are nights, as I struggle to fall asleep, that my brain recites a litany of failures and worries. And yet, my last resort is prayer. I know that my Heavenly Father is able to meet all my needs, why don't I have more faith in Him?

Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall dire…

Doing Time

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Time change was last weekend. Time to "fall back." All summer long, I've been getting up when it is still dark and returning home as the sun sets. As the leaves drop and the earth begins its winter slumber, we all reset our clocks.

I have a dear friend that will celebrate her birthday this month. She's not too excited--thinks she's getting "too old" for birthdays. Plus, my friend has had a rough year. All this adds up to her dreading her birthday. I encouraged her to consider this a chance to reset her clock.

Our lives are all about resurrection. Each morning, season and new year, we get another chance to begin again, and refresh our faith. When we commit our lives to Christ, we have the opportunity to become new people.

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Notable Quote:

John 3:3 (KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

I Quit!

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After much prayer and deep contemplation, I have decided that it would be best for everyone if I resigned...


...as Supervisor of Way Too Many Things.


I have fooled myself into thinking that the world will not turn unless I make it. That's not my job. It's God's job. And it is time I let Him do what He so capably can.

Telling myself I want to be helpful, I take too much on my plate. Embarrassing to admit, my problem is pride. God's love and salvation is not based on performance, though. He wants us to accept Him, and to assure us that He accepts us...just as we are. 

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Notable Quote:

Proverbs 11:2 (KJV) When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

Something New

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I felt like trying something new tonight, so I created this Scripture picture. All. By. Myself.

(Okay, The Hubster helped a bit.)

Sharing Our Burdens

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Galatians 6:2 (KJV) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Our church celebrated its 70th anniversary yesterday, with special services, a picnic and games. We talked and laughed and enjoyed each others company. It was a good day.

Last Sunday, during Sunday School, The Hubster shared a very personal burden we are facing with the class. At the time, my face burned with shame. Later, friends expressed sympathy for our situation and assured us of their prayerful support.

While it was a risk to make our burden known, it now seems lighter, because it is shared. When you make your personal concerns known, it is not whining about your troubles. It is admitting to your humanity and failures; the ones that are common to us all.

There is always a fear of judgment, when exposing your problem to others. As strong women, there is a perception that we should be able to handle anything on our own. God didn't design us to lead solitary lives, however. He urges us to h…

Immature or Just Childish?

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1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:


Imagine a church full of people in diapers, with baby bottles. Horrifying, right? Once we become followers of Christ, it is vital that we grow and develop our faith. I'd much rather chew on a steak, than a rubber nipple.

I'm not the same person I used to be; I've changed. If you're a Christian, that's the goal...to become spiritually mature. The path to divine advancement is paved with stones of devoted prayer, Bible study and soul searching.

If you want to want to have a grown up faith, you have to step out of the playpen and walk with God.

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Female in Motion News Update:  I am hosting a Tupperware online fundraiser for Arkansas City's chapter of the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. All this month, you can shop for really fun and useful kitchen goods, all while putting 40 percent of purchases into a great cause--fighting cancer! Here's the lin…

The Death of a Rare Flower

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             Psalm 116:15 (KJV) Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 

A beautiful rose has faded away. She was too rare a creature to live on this earth, and now she will take her place in Heaven's glorious garden.

Quiet and humble are the characteristics most often attributed to our former pastor's wife. She was a gentle soul, a wonderful listener, incredibly thoughtful. Although she probably never knew, I studied her life and watched how she carried herself with such grace and dignity.

Her remarkable strength, under the pressure of the leadership of a small congregation, was epic. Never a doormat, she demonstrated a servant's heart, and led by example. While her husband shepherded our church, this Rose managed the family, made a comfortable and hospitable home and supported the man of God.

No matter what stresses the day held, she spoke no harsh words. Her patience and even temper with others was legendary. Although I was a poor student, I will f…

God Has A Bad Memory

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Psalm 103:11-12 (KJV) For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

God is all-knowing. This means that we keep no secrets from our Heavenly Father, even the ones we don't tell ourselves. His memory is perfectly clear, yet he can wipe out any of our repented sins.

What's really cool is that our Savior separates our sins from us. We are no longer tainted by that mistake.

God is omniscient.
He has total recall.

God is merciful.
He cannot remember our repented sins.

All we have to do is ask.

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Notable Quote:

"God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination."--Augustine

Ripe Peaches

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Ephesians 1:10 (KJV) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

When I was a kid, one of my favorite late summer activities was going to the peach orchard near Haysville, KS. The peaches were warm and perfectly ripe for picking.  As we filled our baskets, I couldn't resist taking a big bite of that juicy fruit.

It wouldn't have done much good to go peach picking in January. They don't ripen until August. When our pastor brought a lesson this Sunday on "the fulness of time," I just knew I had to cherry-pick. *ahem*

The fullness of time is a Biblical phrase that relates to God's perfect timing. When you pray, have you noticed that the Father says yes, no, or not now?

While Christ walked this planet, He was sometimes questioned as to His timing. When Jesus was summoned to heal a dying Lazarus, he delayed two days, until his friend was dead …

You DESERVE A Break Today

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Labor Day 2015...a well-deserved holiday for those who keep America running. We all put in long, hard hours at work daily, so a three-day weekend to rest, relax and enjoy is something we deserve, right?

Um, not so much.

Exactly what is it that we deserve? Some would have you believe that Christians should have rainbows and puppies every day, and if you don't, you're not doing it right.

We work and save and buy a nice place, a few cars, some nice vacations. But do we deserve the blessings we receive? How about the hard times? What warrants those?

Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

God asks that His children conform to His moral code, and when we fail to meet that standard and confess our sin, our Heavenly Father dispenses His mercy with abundance. Since He's the one that meets our needs and dispenses our blessings, why not thin…

My God vs. The World's God

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I've heard some really weird ideas that people have about God and what He likes and dislikes. Here's a few comparisons:

The world says God doesn't listen.
I know He loves to hear from me.

The world says hell will be a party. (It won't.)
I know God is preparing a beautiful place in heaven just for me.

The world says God has too many rules.
I know He has given me freedom like I've never known before.

The world says you have to be perfect before you walk into a church.
I know God loves me just as I am.

The world says God is intolerant.
I know the only thing God hates is sin--not sinners.

The world uses prayer like a genie in a bottle.
I know God will supply all my needs.

The world says that being a Christian is "too hard."
I know He gives me strength to face whatever challenges life gives.

The world says He disapproves of their lifestyle.
I know God loves all of us so much He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins.

The world says they've done too many ba…

Amazing Grace

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Grace begins with Jesus Christ. He IS grace, but it is not limited to Him. As Christians, we can, and should show grace to others, too.

When I think about the grace that God has shown me, how He lavishes favor on my life, it makes me want to pay it forward. How can I demonstrate grace to others? I want to start by being less critical of those around me, and more tolerant of others' choices.

If I listen more, and have compassion, I can mirror the grace our Heavenly Father gives. Those folks that are hard to look at, ministry begins there. Instead of running or looking away, I need to meet people where they are, while telling them my salvation story. We've all been there.

By modeling Christlike attributes, I will mature my faith. Like Noah, Moses and the apostles, I want to find grace in the eyes of the Lord.

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Notable Quote:

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should l…

Little Children

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Matthew 18:2-5 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.


Tonight, my heart is heavy at the loss of one of God's little children. She was only four years old, but I learned many lessons from this powerful teacher. And now, as I try to live a life that honors her memory, I invite you to lift prayers of comfort and mercy for the grieving family.

Good night, little Sunshine! Until we meet again.

Number Eight!

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Today is Female in Motion's eighth blogaversary! After reading my first blog entry, I can't believe: a. that anyone still reads this, and b. that my writing was so atrocious.We've all come a long way, friends.

Eight years ago, I was 45 years old, working a business from home and exercising at the new gym in Ark City, Fit Zone.

Today, I'm 53 years old, commuting daily to a job in Wichita, a cancer survivor and just starting to exercise again after a long time away.

Monday's blog theme was gratefulness, and I want to continue on that subject. Since our business closed, The Hubster and I have had to learn how to live lean again. We know God is blessing our efforts to pay off old debt and medical bills and teaching us how to be content with what He gives.

We all are surrounded with things. Our possessions seem to possess us, rather than the other way round. I feel more safe when I have all my stuff around me, but am I? No. Objects are no substitute for a Savior.

Open…

Grateful

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Wow, the last four days have gone by in a whirlwind! I traveled to north central Missouri last weekend to attend a family reunion. My mother's family, the Ballews, meet every two years to eat, laugh, talk, play games, hang out, share memories and generally love on each other. We're a big, happy, crazy, fun family and really enjoy being together.

Tonight, I am grateful for family. Mine, The Hubster's, and the one we created.

Rainbows United held their All-Staff In-Service Day today. It started early at the beautiful Botanica, with inspirational speeches, service awards and a yummy breakfast. This afternoon, we broke into departments for more training, team-building exercises and an equally delicious lunch. Fun at work!

Tonight, I am grateful for my job. The work, the people and the mission.

This week, Female in Motion will celebrate its' 8th blogaversary. To mark the occasion, I will post a second entry this week on Thursday. Please read!

Tonight, I am grateful for fai…

Marked By God

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Our youngest cat family member, Buddy, came to us from the Cowley County Humane Society. We celebrated his third birthday last month. Yes, we mark these occasions.

Before Buddy joined our family, he was fitted with a microchip by the CCHS staff. This bit of hardware identifies us as his parents and informs others how to get in contact should we become separated from our beloved tabby boy. Simply put, Buddy belongs to us and the microchip proves it.

When I was 20, and invited Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior, I was marked by God. From that point on, I was identified as belonging to my Heavenly Father. I am not in bondage, however, this adoption was freely entered into by both parties.

One day, if we haven't already made that decision, we will be required to choose teams, if you will. A mark, you WILL have. I don't want anyone to have that hanging over them, so why not make your travel plans now and avoid the rush?

Jesus wants you for His very own. When we are marke…

Recipe For A Great Day

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Yesterday, I taught my Sunday School class about the fundamentals of prayer. This is the framework for a simple prayer.

*Praise God
*Confess Your Sins
*Thank God
*Pray For Others
*Pray For Yourself
*Closing

As I was going through the steps for my students, I shared with them my morning meditation. "My Heavenly Father (Praise God), I'm sorry I forgot to read my Bible Study this morning (Confess Your Sins). At this, McKenzie stopped me. "You forgot to read your Bible?" she asked, in horror. "I know, right? My whole day is messed up!" I replied.

It's important to start my day right. Eat breakfast, drink plenty of water, exercise, shower and take time to read some Scripture and pray. It's my Power Prescription for a great day.

Try starting your day with prayer and Bible study. It will never be a waste.

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Notable Quote:

Ephesians 6:11 (KJV) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Overcommitted

I got home from work at 6:15 this evening and went straight to church to help with Vacation Bible School. Got home at 9, and ate a bite of dinner. Now I have to make my lunch for tomorrow, lay out clothes and prepare a game for Tuesday's VBS. Did I mention that today my sweet Hubster and I have been married 34 years? I'll be lucky if I see him for five minutes. *sigh*


Blog post later this week, friends!

My Prayer is Bigger Than Your Prayer

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1 Kings 8:28 (KJV) Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:


Is there such a thing as a big prayer request, or a small prayer request? Is there any petition too large for God? Or too tiny for him to mess with?

In my younger days, I would say to myself, "I won't bother God with this small matter. I'll just take care of it myself."

Our Heavenly Father doesn't weigh and measure our prayers, selecting some as "top priority" and others further down the list. Every one is important to Him.

In Jeremiah 32, God asks the ultimate question, "Is anything to hard for me?" Perhaps we need to change our mindset on prayer. They are not "favors" we beg from the Savior.

When we limit, or quantify, our requests, we create mortal constraints on God. He is limitless...infinite...immortal. Allow Him to show you all…

Box of Chocolates

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John 6:60 (KJV)
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

In the movie, Forrest Gump, Forrest's mother tells him that life is like a box of chocolates. In the experience I've had with a box of Russell Stover's, I pick and choose my favorites and leave the others behind.

The Bible is NOT like a box of chocolates.

I don't have the right or the luxury to cherry-pick the bits of Scripture I agree with, and disregard those that I don't. There are "hard things" in the Bible, but it is God's Book, not mine. I cannot edit or rewrite Scripture to suit my interests, or the current culture.

In studying the Word, I understand more about the mind of God, but I will never complete the class. Graduation day is when I arrive in Heaven. Then all those difficult sayings will be made clear.

Until then, I will take Him at His Word.

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Female in Motion Health Update: The Hubster will receive his first 2nd o…

The Legend of Two Water Pitchers

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Two-Minute Alchemy
by Paulo Coelho
(Author of The Alchemist, one of FIM's favorite books)

A legend tells of a man who used to carry water every day to his village, using two large pitchers tied on either end of a piece of wood, which he placed across his shoulders.

One of the pitchers was older than the other and was full of small cracks; every time the man came back along the path to his house, half of the water was lost.

For two years, the man made the same journey. The younger pitcher was always very proud of the way it did its work and was sure that it was up to the task for which it had been created, while the other pitcher was mortally ashamed that it could carry out only half its task, even though it knew that the cracks were the result of long years of work.

So ashamed was the old pitcher that, one day, while the man was preparing to fill it up with water from the well, it decided to speak to him.

"I wish to apologize because, due to my age, you only manage to take hom…

Share Your Gifts

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The Hubster and I belong to a small church in a small town in a "vastly unpopulated area of the country," according to The Weather Channel. We are a friendly bunch and greatly enjoy each other's company. The most significant thing about our congregation, however, is that we share with each other what God has given us.

1. Baked goods
2. Oil changes (and other mechanical fixes)
3. Bill paying
4. Sitting with the sick
5. Babysitting
6. Pet sitting
7. House sitting
8. Computer repair
9. Use of car/truck
10.Trips/Vacations
11. Sharing their homes
12. Lawn mowing
13. Haircuts
14. Music lessons
15. Out-of-town towing and car rescue
16. Sewing/crafts/decorating
17. Rides to doctor's appointments/cancer treatments


The best part about all these gifts, is that our membership shares them with everyone...not just amongst ourselves. Another interesting fact is that the majority of our folks are retired and living on fixed incomes. You don't need a lot to be generous, just pos…

Let's Light This Candle

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The Hubster and I have been getting a lot of questions lately. We know people are curious. Why is God putting so much on them?  How come they both got cancer? They're wondering...and they're watching.

As Christians, we all stick out. We're called to be a peculiar people; some of us more than others. Whether we like it or not, we are examples, like the light of a candle in the dark.

How did we become candles? When we invited Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives, He lit the wick of our souls. Don't put your candle under a basket, set it up on a candlestick, so it will light the whole room.

Revelation 22:5 (KJV) And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.


Can't wait to get to Heaven, where I won't need my candle any more.

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Female in Motion Health Update: The Hubster is busy filling out paperwork for short-term disability, Social Security and …

A New Journey

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Psalm 62:8 (KJV) Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. 

The Hubster learned from his oncologist last week that his cancer has progressed and it is time for him to begin treatment. There are only a handful of hospitals in the United States that do the type of specialty treatment that he requires, so we will be seeking second opinions and praying for God's guidance.

We know that God will be with us each step of the way, and only He can provide our needs. In the flesh, I  don't see how this can work, but I know that our Heavenly Father will not abandon His children.

Now, just because I know that God is with us, that doesn't mean my emotions haven't been all over the map this week. I have been scared, shaken, sick to my stomach...and numb. God seemed so far away. And then I realized it had been five days since I had read my morning devotions and other than "Have mercy, Lord!", I hadn't spent much …

Fiery Furnace

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King Nebuchadnezzar was a pretty weird dude. He had a giant gold statue of himself made, and then ordered everyone in the kingdom to bow down and worship it. Ick!

There were three young guys who weren't having it--Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Wait, did you think I was going to say Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego? Those were the names they were given when they were taken as slaves from Judah to Babylon. I prefer their Hebrew names.

These youths had the audacity to defy the king's order. They refused to bow down, even though they knew it meant certain death. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah told Nebuchadnezzarin Daniel 3:17-18, If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.


Did you notice that? They were sure God could spare them death by the furnace, but even …

Duck Face

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One day last week, as I started my day at Rainbows, I heard a ruckus coming from the Toddler room. Tiegan had just been dropped off by her mommy and was crying, inconsolable. As I walked past, I saw the little one, her wet face pressed against the window in the door to the room. Tiegan and Lia, her mommy, are two of my favorite people at RUI. Lia is a Case Manager just down the hall.

My heart went out to the young tot, and I bent down to look at her. Tiegan looked so sad, I knew I needed to do a little encouraging. I smiled, I said her name, I talked to her...nothing. So I made my duck face. And it worked.

As you know, I have no problem looking silly, or acting crazy. It's just what I do.

Tiegan's tears stopped, and she looked puzzled at first. Then I made another face, and she laughed out loud. Soon all the toddlers in the room were gathered around the window, watching me make faces, giggling, and trying to duplicate my facial gymnastics.

There is no more complete joy, or se…

What's Ahead?

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As I left town this morning, on my way to work, thick fog enveloped my car. My eyes strained to see the road ahead, and the Hyundai's headlights did little to cut the gloom.

God is in control.

The fog reminded me of the season I am going through in my life. There are many unanswered questions, and I can't seem to see very far ahead.

God is in control.

I continue to study His Word, attend my church, and seek the Lord in prayer. Even though my heart is heavy, my spirit is filled with hope.

God is in control.

When my vehicle reached the crest of the hill on 166, the sun parted the curtain of fog and a beautiful morning was spread out ahead of me.

He is in control.

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Notable Quote:

"The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man's business but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real tr…

Female in Motion Branches Out

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My first blog post on the Rainbows United website debuted today! I'm so excited to be sharing my passion for my work. 

Here's the link. Thanks for reading!

Give Me Jesus

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This song has been running through my heart for the last couple of months. My life is very stressful now, and when I get to feeling low, the words to this tune give me hope. I'm praying it will touch you, too. Have a good week, dear readers!

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Notable Quote:

John 14:27 (KJV) Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

A Simple Prayer

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Psalm 4:1 (KJV) Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.



Tonight, instead of offering words to you, I want to offer a prayer to our Savior.


Heavenly Father, I am so grateful for the blessings and mercy You shower down on my life and the lives of those I love. Thank You for surrounding me with so many wonderful friends and family members.

Please forgive me for my failings and guide me in Your straight path. 

My heart is heavy today, God, because so many I love are hurting. Many of my friends are caring for elderly and ill parents, spouses with serious and chronic diseases, or children that are gravely sick. There are empty places at our tables tonight, Lord. We miss our loved ones who have gone before us to Heaven. Cancer is cutting down our best and brightest souls. There are race riots, terrorist attacks and violent crimes in all our communities.

We are struggling. Jesus, we need Your help.

Dra…

Listen Up!

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Me and my big mouth. It gets me in trouble sometimes. It gets me noticed sometimes. I usually have a lot to say. Even in prayer, I can get pretty chatty. There are times, though, when it is vital for me to hush and listen carefully to what God is trying to tell me. He's the Teacher, and I need to be quiet in the classroom.

I had a teacher in high school that made an important point about listening one day. He distributed a three-page essay-only test, and then proceeded to tell us to ignore all the written instructions and only write our name and the date at the top of the page and hand it in. Some students worked the full hour, sweating over the entire examination, but those of us who were listening to his instructions were done in mere seconds.

When I'm having a conversation, am I just waiting for the other person to shut up, so I can say something else, or am I really listening? When my ears are open, my mouth should be closed.

I need to be an active listener. Don't si…

When God Seems Far Away

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Some days, you just want to run away and hide. Your emotions get the best of you and things aren't going right and you're squeezing back the tears until you can be alone with your fears, your regret, your failures. These are the days when God feels removed and far away.

Is He really?

I sometimes let my emotions get the best of me. It's not a woman thing; it's a me thing. When more and more negative events and problems occur, I get the feeling they are defensive linemen and I am a tiny quarterback with the coveted football. Everyone pile on! Are you there, God?

Yes, He is.

Times like these, I have to get out of my head, out of my own way, and get real with God. He's not picking on me, He's trying to teach me to depend on Him alone.

Life will let you down. God won't.

***

Notable Quote:

Psalm 69:16-17 (KJV) Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. And hide not thy face from thy servant; for …

Death and Taxes

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"Nothing is certain except death and taxes."--Benjamin Franklin
Last night, Pastor Chris taught on death, but it wasn't a maudlin subject. The title of the sermon was "Moving Day." His premise was that we must be prepared to leave this earth. No, not collecting boxes and cleaning out closets, but winning souls to Christ and clearing the sin out of our lives.

Death is not something to be dreaded. We were born to die. It's the living in between that is crucial. Let's live while we're living and thank God for the chance to get it right.

Are your reservations made?

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Notable Quote:

Psalm 116:15 (KJV)
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Mission Minded

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My department supervisor came into the office last week, and asked if we all knew the Rainbows mission statement. After a rather long pause, we all admitted ignorance. Since then, I've been working a few minutes every day to commit the mission to memory. I do love a challenge!

These words are simple and to the point:

Rainbows United Inc. enhances the lives of children with special needs and their families by bringing together community resources and providing customized services.

Personal branding is not just for big business any more. Our church's mission statement is "A Place to Be: Believe, Belong, Become." Restaurants, boutiques and even convenience stores have their own objectives. I'm starting to see more ministries and families stating their goals.

Female in Motion has its own mission statement:

My faith simply wraps itself  around everything I write  and I consider it my mission  to encourage women around me  to seek God's will for their lives. We all h…

Redemption Road

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This Sunday is Easter. I like to call it "Resurrection Day," because it suits better. Whatever you call it, this day is all about forgiveness. As Christians, we celebrate the day Jesus paid for all of our sins with His life.

We perfect the cause of Christ when we forgive. That's why He came to Earth. Our ultimate goal as Christians is to be more Christ-like. We carry on His work as we strive to become better, more loving people. That includes forgiving others, even when it's hard.

The road to redemption is paved with small stones of progress. This progress is made up of consistent, deliberate decisions for the faith.

Jesus paid off the mortgage on my soul and I'm forever grateful.

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Notable Quote:

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

A Tale of Two Churches

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Revelation 3:17 (KJV) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

 In 2011, I had the opportunity to tour Savannah, GA. The city was warm, historic and beautiful. I couldn't get enough of the stately homes with their grand furnishings. We saw notable cathedrals, too. One in particular struck me...the towering edifice, massive marble columns and soaring steeple. The interiors were equally impressive, with alabaster floors, gold and silver icons, loads of stained glass.

As we returned to our hotel after dinner one night, we passed a small clapboard building. It was a historic church, too, but much less elaborate; no fancy spires or columns. A simple wooden sign out front gave the information about when the church was built and the congregation that inhabited it. Most people would think these two churches had nothing in common, and they'd be right.

Wh…

One Pearl of Great Price

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Matthew 13:45-46 (KJV) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.


Someone special to me lost a young friend to suicide this week. She had been tortured by bullying, and lost hope. My heart cries out to anyone who feels they have no alternative to the pain they have endured.

There's an old story about a college professor that taught his class an important object lesson by removing a crisp $20 bill from his wallet.When he asked who wanted it, every student's hand was raised. The instructor crumpled the bill into a tiny ball. "Now, who wants it?" he asked. Every hand came back up. Finally, the wise man threw it on the floor, grinding it with his heel, until it was covered with dirt. He asked, "Anyone still want it?" Every hand remained in the air.

No matter what kind of life it has lead, a $20 bill still has value. Just like us…

A Stone Heart

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Psalm 78:38-39 (KJV) But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

My brother and I were best buddies growing up. We did everything together and got along great. There were times, though, when we argued. I would stomp out of the room, vowing, "I'm never speaking to you again!"

Within the hour, we were hanging out again, closer than ever. We never could stay mad.


There are times in life when others hurt us. We moan and wail, incredulous that anyone would want to cause us such pain. And then, we light upon the perfect solution. The best way to punish that mean person is to hold in the suffering they made you feel, for the rest of your life.

That makes no sense at all.

A heart that is hard and stony, full of bitterness, has no room for anything of beauty. In order to fee…

It's Not Fair!

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The Hubster and I raised two great daughters. When they were small, we tried to be equitable with gifts and treats. If one got a new toy, the other girl got the exact same plaything. If only one cookie was left, it was cut in two identical pieces. As their parents, we wanted to be fair.

 We couldn't have been more wrong.

Life isn't fair. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. This world is not a safe place and there is little equity in it. Other applicants get jobs that were perfect for us. The wrong guy gets the girl. Your brand-new car gets a big dent.

Some friends have said it's "not fair" that I was diagnosed with cancer while The Hubster was battling multiple myeloma. That's the point. It was my turn. Nothing in life is perfect, or right, or fair.

This old world is broken, but we have Heaven ahead. If Earth was idyllic, why would we need Heaven, and a Savior to guide us?

***

Female in Motion Health Update: All this snow an…

The Good Girl's Guide to Social Media, Part 2

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Two of my favorite blogs are Lemon Drop Pie and the Mayor of Crazyville. Ginny Marie and The Mayor are my trusted friends. We've developed a good relationship over the last few years, helping each other with ideas for posts, sharing problems, pondering kid issues.

I posed a question to my blogger buddies this morning: What's your best tip on internet safety for young people? Here's their wise words.

"Only friend people you know in real life," said The Mayor.

Ginny Marie advises parents, "This is hard these days, especially with homework needing to be done online, but we don't allow devices that can go online in the girls' bedrooms."

Smart ladies. My big thing is accountability. The Hubster has complete access to everything I do online. He knows all my passwords and can take a look whenever he wants (and vice-versa). Some couples and families have a single Facebook or Pinterest account. 

"Be careful little eyes what you see," is a …

The Good Girl's Guide to Social Media

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Last Friday night, we had a Princesses of the King party at Missionary Baptist Church. As you can see from the photo, the girls weren't the only ones to have a good time!

During the party, we had some time to talk to the young ladies about being a woman of faith. Jana talked about table manners, Patty shared some tips on hygiene and Melissa brought a lesson on modesty. After some videos, dress up time, pizza and manicures, the girls agreed this night was fun.

Since we all had a good time, I'm thinking about next year's agenda. So many young people are online now. They seem to be savvy about Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and all the others, but are they really?

The World Wide Web bears a striking resemblance to an Old West town with no sheriff. Lawlessness abides. Christian youngsters, and the not-so-young, need to think before they go online.

Before you post, tweet, pin, or leave a snarky comment, think about this:

1. Is it helpful?
2. Is it true?
3. Would God "like&qu…

#RAKWeek2015

It's National Random Acts of Kindness Week! If you've never heard of it, here's the link.

Following are some ideas for service:

*Mentor someone
*Buy coffee for the person in line behind you 
*Bake brownies for your neighbors
*Tell your pastor thank you
*Buy something from a local store
*Volunteer in your community
*Pick up trash at a city park
*Buy lunch for a police officer/firefighter

And here is what I'm going to be working on:

1. A big smile and good morning to the front desk person at my office.
2. Send valentines cards to folks I know won't get one.
3. Pass out special treats to the kids at church on Sunday.
4. Send someone a check who isn't expecting it.

Also, I'm open to taking suggestions, if anyone has one, put a comment on this post, or message me on Facebook.

I want all of our children to see us making a difference in our communities and in the lives of others. Our example matters to them.

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Female in Motion Health Update: After 10 days of su…

Share the Word

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There's a new convenience store opening up just down the street from my office in Wichita. It's huge, with many gas pumps, fancy coffee machines and a full-service bistro. It's a far cry from the small station in the town where I grew up, with its' double gas pump and ICEE machine.

My weekly allowance was fifty cents at that time, and my brother, Dave, and I would ride our bikes down the hill, after Saturday morning chores, to purchase Archie or Marvel comic books, candy and ICEEs. Dave was partial to beef jerky and Pixie Sticks, while I was faithful to peanut M&Ms. We couldn't wait to see what selection of candies the store had that week.

The point is, we couldn't wait to spend the money. It burned in our hands. Our allowance didn't last long; we wanted to turn it into something we could really use!

I want my Bible study to reap those kind of rewards. When I glean a truth or something that encourages me, it should burn in me until I have the opportuni…

A Refuge in the Time of Storm

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Joshua 20:1-6 (KJV) The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his …

Growing in Grace

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I belong to a wonderful cancer support organization, called WhatNext. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this group provides encouragement and information to all types of cancer patients and survivors.

A member, who recently had a double mastectomy, attended an important meeting at the insurance company, where she works. A loud and completely rude woman commented that my friend would no longer be able to check "female" on the gender box of the enrollment form.

Crushed, the WhatNexter shared her horrifying experience with our group. Unlike the cretin from her office, we supported her...and showed her grace.

Grace begins with Jesus Christ. He IS grace, but it is not limited to Him. We can show grace to others, too.

According to Finney's Systematic Theology, growing in grace takes two important ingredients: knowledge of the Bible and intense passion for the subject. These two seeds will germinate to produce the lovely fruit of grace in our lives.

When I am less cri…