Thursday, December 25, 2008

What about Joseph?

I was sitting here finishing up playing Santa, listening to a CD I burned from MP3's, and one of the songs I included is "Joseph's Lullaby" from Mercy Me. And just listening to the beautiful words of that song (look it up, it's a definite must hear), it just got the gears turning.

What about Joseph? Everyone always speaks of the Virgin Mary. The woman God trusted to bear and raise His only son. What an honor He bestowed on her, right? Of course. But seriously, where is the respect for Joseph? He took on Jesus as his own. Risked persecution from curious minds. Mary was chosen to be Jesus' Mommy, but, Joseph CHOSE to be His Daddy. Think about that a moment. What a HUGE honor is that? You KNOW that this child, who is not your own, is the SON OF GOD. You are trusted with God to be His father figure until He is of age to begin His ministry. How about this analogy? You (a man) have a fiance. She got pregnant before you were married, by, say... the President of the United States. The president is assassinated, or whatever, and can't raise the child or be in his life. So, you are faced with the choice to adopt this child and raise him as your own. Would you do it? That is a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure. I mean, would you feel like you could POSSIBLY love this child and raise him as well as his real father could? Would you ever feel worthy enough to fill those shoes?

I think that not only the fact that God chose him, but that he chose to take on that responsibility, against all odds, speaks MOUNTAINS of Joseph's character. You have to realize, that even after he took Mary as his wife, hew as unable to consummate that marriage until after Jesus was born. We're talking 9-10 months, nearly a year, before he could truly and Biblically take Mary as his wife. Jesus HAD to be born of a virgin.

I'm glad that the Lord opened my eyes to this. I am in awe of the man that Joseph HAD to be to do what he did. No doubt he is reaping his reward now with his Heavenly family :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to take this moment on a busy Christmas Eve to wish each and every one of you a Merry CHRISTmas :) Please remember the reason for this "season". I know I am, and am certainly more aware than ever this year of the 2nd reason-family. Right now I would normally be spending time with Momma and my family. So please keep me and my family in your prayers these next few days as we spend our first Christmas without her.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Closure-Self Esteem

First, let me clarify from the last post something that I posted, and didn't mean it how I posted it. We ARE saved by faith. What was meant in that post is that it is because of convictions that we turn to confess our sins and accept salvation. Through salvation, the "seed" of faith is planted within us, and as we grow in our spiritual walk, that seed (which is our faith) also grows. Are we on the same page now? Good. Let's move on....

Ok. After prayer, and shortly after, a phonecall from Dad, with tons of resources at his fingertips, and lots and lots of scriptures, I have found the scripture that answers it for me.

1 John 3:16-23 (New King James Version)

The Outworking of Love

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

So basically, what it boils down to is that if we are walking in faith, and living in the truth, and KNOW we are living in the truth, then there will be no doubt in ourselves. But even in the weakest of moments, when we do doubt ourselves, or as the scripture says, condemn ourselves, God is greater than that doubt, that insecurity. He knows our hearts better than we do. He knows my heart just as well as he knows the heart of the prideful man standing next to me. That within itself should give us comfort in who we are, and help us to be able to boldly stand and speak His name, without fear of persecution. After all, the worst that can happen is death of the flesh, and that just sends us to our Heavenly Father! How is that bad??? And of course, that boils down to having faith, and trusting God wholeheartedly to take care of us, and know that He will reward us, whether we feel worthy of that reward or not.

Paul says it best (as he always does!) in 1 Corinthians 15:9

1 Corinthians 15:9-11 (New King James Version)

9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

So, whether I feel worthy to be called a child of God, a pastor, a missionary, a teacher, or whatever God has called me to be, or not-I am what God has made me, and what He has called me to be. And that, simply put, is enough. It just doesn't matter what man thinks. God's opinion is the only one that matters :)

The seed of faith...

ok, so now it's come to my attention, and is helping me to link things together, that we are not saved by faith, but through our convictions. At the time of salvation, a seed of faith is planted. That seed is the measure of faith that He's given to us. As we grow in our walk as a Christian, so does that seed, or our faith grow. So, keeping with my interpretation of measure as "all"- what is all of my faith now, should not be all of my faith later. My faith should continue to grow. Ok, so hopefully that made sense to you? I've worked out, with some help, the measure confusion. If you are still confused, I"ll happily try to explain it to you more.

Bear with me, I think in random order! I"m trying to keep it all together here!

So now, I'm going to take a break. Do some praying, and seek God's answer for this nagging question:

When does self-esteem cross the line and become pride?

Continuing on...

let's continue on these ramblings a bit further, and see what unfolds, shall we?

Digging through the scriptures, we see faith alluded to in many "measures". There's great faith, little faith, no faith, faith of a mustard seed...

So how much is this measure? Is it a little? A lot? Just enough? How much is a little? How much is great? I mean, just a little bit of your faith may be a GREAT amount of faith for me? Right? The amount of faith you have is the amount you allow yourself to have. I just can't see from my readings that God determines how much faith we have. He has determined how much we're CAPABLE of. That was built into our very being when He created us. But, only we can decide how much faith we WILL have. So back to Romans 12:3, no, let's go back farther.

Romans 12:2
"And, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

aaaaahhhhh-it's starting to click. When we transform our mind, by reading the scriptures, we learn what is the will of God. Then we open our mind, and our put down our pride, because, this is the will of God. So then, by putting down our pride, studying the Word, living in the Word, we think soberly. We think like God. And since God did create us to have faith-we allow Him to transform our hearts and our minds to what He has built us to be. So then that "measure" of faith is simply put, ALL of our faith. Not just some of it, not most of it, but ALL of it.

So to the self esteem issue. How much is too much? Are pride and self esteem equal? We know we are to put down pride. But what is the BIBLICAL difference between pride and self esteem?

Self Esteem Take 2

Ok-so let's continue that topic. I want to pick back up with Romans 12:3. There's A LOT in that little verse, I think. And trust me when I tell you, we're picking this apart together, because I'm still trying to understand it myself.

Romans 12:3-"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith"

So, think soberly. Ok, there's that whole issue. Should Christians drink? Is it a sin? I personally don't believe that the act of drinking is a sin, but I do not believe Christians should drink. The Bible really isn't black and white on this one. No where in the Bible does it say not to consume alcohol. BUT-here, it says to think soberly. So drunkenness is a sin then? That's what I take from it. You'll have to work this topic out between yourself and the Lord, though. That's not really where I want to hover...let's move on.

What about this "measure" of faith that He's dealt to each one? What exactly IS a measure of faith? We go to Ephesians 4:7;

"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift."

There's that measure again. How much is a "measure"? Where do we find the answer to this? What is Paul referring to? Let's dig some more, shall we?

In my searches of the vast world wide web so far, I've seen one guy say that we don't get faith by ourselves. That God determines how much faith we have, and deals it to each one accordingly, using certain measures to determine how much you get. Ok... really? I can't seem to even BEGIN to believe that. If that were the case, then why does God even tell us to have faith in Him? If he's already dealt it out and knows how much faith we have, why does He test our faith? Sounds like this guy is of that predestination crowd. No thanks... I"ll keep searching my Bible.

So now what? I still don't have answers to what a "measure" of faith is? So far we have:
1. a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3)
2. a measure of Christ's gift (Eph. 4:7)

How can one word stump me so much? How is that this one word is keeping me from fully understanding this scripture, and what I need to take from it? Am I reading too far into it? I don't think so... I really feel that this "measure" of faith will help me to understand the original issue-how much self esteem is too much?

Stay tuned for more as I seek God on this. Please, feel free to add your comments/suggestions.

Self Esteem

So last night, we went to a Christmas show put on by a church at a local golf resort. So, the majority of the people there were of the economic status that most people who frequent golf resorts are. Which is well, way above mine :) Anyone who knows me WELL knows that I struggle with self esteem issues. I always have. My beautiful mother, God rest her precious soul, handed this trait down to me. You would think that seeing the huge impact she made with her service to God on this world, even though she thought she was "no one", would open my eyes. So this event was nice. REALLY nice. Get my drift? I mean, it was fun, I did enjoy the show, don't get me wrong. But I get REALLY uncomfortable around "upper class" people. It's nothing more than insecurity on my part.

So this has had me thinking all night. I mean, as a Christian, I should have better self esteem, right? God thinks I am good enough to send his son to die for me, so I must be pretty good? Right???? But really, even my precious Momma wasn't good enough for Heaven. Neither am I. Neither are you. It's hard to understand this issue. God loves us SO MUCH He'd send His son to die for us. Now, think about that, ok? As a mother, I'd die for my children in a heartbeat! But you can bet your bottom I would NOT send my son to die for you. NO WAY! I couldn't do it. Anyway...getting OT. So how am I SUPPOSED to feel about myself? Am I supposed to think highly of myself? Or lowly? How often did Paul speak of himself highly? Never, right? Time and time again we hear those we all regard as such wonderful men of God in the Bible cry out to God, and ask Him why He chose them, they're not worthy!?

Philippians 2:3 says "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself". Ok, I have the lowliness of mind down pat. What about esteeming others better than himself? I have a hard time with that. I can't STAND people who think they're better than me, yet I often feel like everyone is better than me? So where's the black/white? I'm kind of tired of living in the grey. Again, with God, it's all or nothing. There is no grey.

Romans 12:3-"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith". Ok... so don't think higher than I ought to think... so am I allotted an amount of "highly" to think of myself? Or is it just simply that I am to continue thinking of myself as lowly, and pray for others, and not concern myself with them not doing the same? Let God handle it?

I'm sure this all makes NO SENSE. These are, as always, just the ramblings of a forgiven but often times confused and searching Momma. God help me to hear what You have to say, and to trust You to lead me in the way that You'd have me to go.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


So, it's nice and stormy here tonight. I decide to use this as a photographic opportunity, and opened the door, set up the tripod and camera, set a 30 second exposure, and spent about 20 minutes taking pictures. I saved 20 pictures from that shoot, and what amazed me is that through that time, although there might have been a teenie flash of lightening here and there that didn't seem to affect the exposure, the color of the sky changed. This was not visible to the naked eye, only on the camera's sensor. It went from orange to green, back to orange, etc. I have no idea why this is. I have an email in to the local meteorologist with the pictures asking him why :) So if I get an answer I'll let you know what he says. Anyway, here are the pics. Of course this was with no flash (hence the 30 second exposure time). Some of you will understand what I"m talking about, others won't LOL. Regardless, enjoy the show :) Oh, the 2nd shot and the last shot both contained a fairly bright flash of lightening near the end of the exposure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bridge Street Town Centre

So, Thanksgiving night the extended fam and I took a stroll through Bridge Street Town Centre in Huntsville, AL. We wanted to see the decorations and huge Christmas tree. It was so mesmerizing. The beauty, and serenity that place holds is breathtaking.

Here are a few shots I took. **Warning-VERY picture heavy**


The rest can be seen here

My Crazy Life

My photo
I am a Christian wife and homeschooling mom of two precious boys. I enjoy photography and spending time with my family, along with any other hobby I can manage to dig my nails into. I'm married to PJ, God's precious gift to me ;) I'm honest, passionate, and find myself falling deeper and deeper in love with my Creator each and every day that passes. I was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic at the age of 10. I chose not to care about my health then, and am paying the price now with multiple complications including kidney damage and neuropathy. I currently reside in Florida, where God led my family in February of 2011, but my heart is, and will forever be, in Alabama.