Monday, August 29, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

Today I'm posting a link to an older post that I'm reminded of.  I'm so thankful for God's unfailing love and compassion towards me!  Click on the link below.

Happy Monday!

~Josh and Jill

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

I have a new scripture I am committing to memory, so I thought I'd share it with you today!

"Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."  Hebrews 7:25

My heart is filled with gratitude every time I think about how Jesus, my Savior, is powerful to deliver me, protect me, heal me, and even make me whole.  What a Savior!

I know this is short, because my time is short right now, but if you find a moment,  I encourage you to ponder over this scripture and what it means for your life today.  Whatever you have need, he is able to accomplish.  Remember, Jesus Christ lives to pray to the Father on your behalf, and he is powerful to....! 

You are dear to our hearts!  Have a great Monday!
~Josh and Jill

Monday, August 15, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

I've been pondering ALL morning over what to post today.  I don't plan ahead during the week for what scripture I'll post on Monday, because something I love is a FRESH word from God.  I believe He has something to speak to us daily.  How tragic that I can be so guilty of relying on yesterday's or even last week's word to be enough to sustain me when God has something EVERY DAY! 

When I felt like I finally had the verse for today, I got so excited I had to make another cup of tea. It has replaced my morning coke habit.  Praise God for victory in such a small, but big thing!

 It's Philippians 4:4-5 and it says this:

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near."

We sang a song yesterday at church with the lyrics of Rejoice in the Lord always....   I woke up this morning singing it.  I wish that being a part of the family of God meant that we would never have difficult circumstances, that tragedy would never strike in our lives or the lives of our families, that everyone would adore us, that we'd never have an enemy, that we'd certainly never be sick or face disease, that life would be full of good times.  The truth is that life is difficult, sometimes unbearably so.  Sometimes we are hated because of the very Christ that lives in us.  That's why in Philippians 3:1 Paul referred to the act of rejoicing in the Lord as a safeguard for us.  He knew we'd face incredible difficulties in this life.  He faced incredible difficulties of his own.  He understood the power of rejoicing in God even in the most adverse circumstances.  He knew that's where the victory lay.  Matthew Henry says it like this:

"God is able to furnish us with matter of joy in the worst circumstance on earth. He had said it before (ch. 3:1): Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. Here he says it again, Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say Rejoice. Joy in God is a duty of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it."

I am often tempted to let my circumstances get the best of my joy, and I sometimes cave to that temptation.  Maybe those very things that are so unfair, so hurtful, and so difficult for us to manage, are the very things that God uses to call us to rejoice.  What if instead of seeing our difficulties as hindrances in our lives, we saw a call to joy?   A call to joy.  Are you ready to accept such a call?

Keep in mind the encouragement Paul gives at the end of verse 5: "The Lord is near."  There is a day coming when Christ will return, and He will right the wrongs, and the difficulties of this life will be over.  All will be at peace.  Loved ones will be reunited.  No more sickness, no more sorrow.  The Lord is near, and until then, there is joy to sustain us!

~Josh and Jill

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Red Carpet

I read a blog post today by Courtney at Women Living Well that described best the honor we have as women in serving our families.  Thought I'd share it with you!

I am about to Walk the Red Carpet

Enjoy and be encouraged!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday

Good Morning, Monday!  Lately I've been a little inspired by following a beloved professor's facebook profile.  His name is Dr. Bartel, and although I was never privileged to take one of his classes, I've heard many things he taught from other students and I did get to hear him speak a time or two in chapel.  I've noticed several days a week on facebook he shares a little insight from his "Coffee with the Lord" in the morning.  I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do love hot apple cider.  I got up this morning inspired to brew a little cider to realize I need to put that on my next grocery list, so I made tea instead. 

I won these tea bags as a door prize at a ladies' meeting over a year ago!

Every bag has a scripture promise.

This is my tea, beloved Bible, and Bible study.

I will hang on to that little Bible FOREVER!  There was a season when the girls were both "babies" and I was lugging tons of stuff at all times!  Juice bottles for two, diapers for two, snacks for two, wipes for two... and the list goes on. Oh, and did I mention I was usually carrying them both?  One in each arm.  I know, I'm a sucker, but it's the way it was.  I felt like adding that bulky study Bible to my pack on Sundays was overload, so I found a little cheap thinline Bible, which, much to my dismay, had no study notes whatsoever.  About that time, however, ministry got tough and our lives seemed chaotic.  I began to depend on God's Word like nobody's business, and now, that little Bible is FULL of better study notes than you'll ever find in one of those big, fat ones that just sits on the coffee table unstudied.  It probably would look like chicken scratch to most, but it's a beautiful treasure to me. 

I really must hurry here.  I have so much to say, but the morning has gotten away already.  In my "tea with the Lord" this morning, I read Exodus 25:23-30, which talks about the table which held the bread of the presence in the Old Testament tabernacle.   The table represented a meal or spread that was designed for communion and fellowship with God and man.  I thought it was so ironic to study that scripture as I sat at my kitchen table with a cup of tea to fellowship with my God.  I had prepared my own table of fellowship with my Creator, Father, and Friend.  The time spent was priceless, and worth being behind on the day's tasks already.  Now I get why Dr. Bartel has "Coffee with the Lord" each morning.  I feel I'm going to be buying lots more tea and cider in the weeks to come.

I also felt a little conviction reading about the table that represents acceptance and fellowship.  At times it's tempting to keep the evening meal so simple at home we almost completely overlook it.  With Monday evenings, Wednesday evenings, many weekend evenings, and Sunday evenings, and then others mixed in between, being spent at church or church activities, it's easy to give the kids something simple, and then skip dinner ourselves.  Our kids are fed, but we miss that fellowship time at the table.  So, I'm asking God to give me creative ways to incorporate the table daily as a family in a way that's not overbearing or sending us over the edge.

Proverbs 31:27 says, "She watches over the affairs of her household..."

Lord, help me today not to overlook the needs of my family for the sake of all the good things of your Kingdom.  Bring balance to our lives and let us not overlook the significance of the table with our family and friends, but most importantly, with you!  I loved tea today, and I'm looking forward to more tea!  Love you so much.

~Josh and Jill

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mackinac Island

After virtually a month of travel, it is good to be home and back to somewhat of a normal routine. We loved our time on the road in July. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that other places in the world exist besides the little bubble we find ourselves in at times. We spent a few days on Mackinac (Mackinaw) Island celebrating my grandfather's 90th birthday, and what a way to celebrate! It was beautiful there, and I will confess, I did not take nearly the pictures that I should have, but I will share what I did take with you.

The ferry that took us to the Island.

I thought this lighthouse was so cute!

Mom and Dad sharing skittles with Kylee and Aubrey.

This was Arch Rock.  Absolutely beautiful!

Someone spelled "I Love Jesus" with rocks in the shoreline.

Kylee with her 2nd cousin, Allie.
This was their first time to meet, and they adored each other!

My Aunt Ellen, cousin Melissa, and sister, Jennifer

My dad and grandmother.

This was one of the hotels on the island.  This picture only shows
about 1/4 of it... it was huge!  Very historic and unique building.

Kylee and Aubrey liked this little chair in the foyer.

Group pic of the family on my dad's side.

We ate, and ate, and ate some more.  Now we need to diet!

Every meal was like a fancy tea party for the girls.
They loved these little desserts.  One day I am going to try
to make some like it.  Hopefully the picture will help me remember!


Little antique child's furniture in the lobby.  They LOVED it!

The entire island was this green and manicured.

We spent time in a butterfly house where the butterflies actually land on you.

He was so proud of that.

They were beautiful butterflies.

Kylee was afraid of the butterfly house, so the face painting outside was
a great relief to her!

She sat so still!


They both love face painting.


Well, that's all for now!  Hope you have found some rest and time in God's presence on this holy day!  Check back tomorrow for "Apply it to Me Monday!"

Love ya!
Josh and Jill

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Little Something I Read Today

I've had the devotional, My Utmost for His Highest for several years, and recently I decided to pull it back out and go through it again.  It's one of those you could read year after year after year, and still learn from it.  It just never gets old to me.  Today's devotion was about the purpose of prayer and the purpose of the Cross in our lives.  It was so good to me, I wanted to copy it on here for you to read incase you do not own a copy of this devotional.  I would encourage you to get this if you are looking for a new devotional!

The Cross in Prayer  by Oswald Chambers

"In that day you will ask in My name..."  (John 16:26)

"We too often think of the Cross of Christ as something we have to get through, yet we get through for the purpose of getting into it.  The Cross represents only one thing for us - complete, entire, absolute identification with the Lord Jesus Christ - and there is nothing in which the identification is more real to us than in prayer.

'Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him' (Matthew 6:8).  Then why should we ask?  The point of prayer is not to get answers from God, but to have perfect and complete oneness with Him.  If we pray only because we want answers, we will become irritated and angry with God.  We receive an answer every time we pray, but it does not always come in the way we expect, and our spiritual irritation shows our refusal to identify ourselves truly with our Lord in prayer.  We are not here to prove that God answers prayer, but to be living trophies of God's grace.

'... I do no say to you that shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you...'  (John 16:26-27).  Have you reached such a level of intimacy with God that the only thing that can account for your prayer life is that it has become one with the prayer life of Jesus Christ?  Has our Lord exchanged your life with His vital life?  If so, then "in that day" you will be so closely identified with Jesus that there will be no distinction.

When prayer seems to be unanswered, beware of trying to place the blame on someone else.  That is always a trap for Satan.  When you seem to have no answer, there is always a reason - God uses these times to give you deep personal instruction, and it is not for anyone else but you."

Lord, forgive me of using prayer as a means to get what I want.  Make me so closely identified with Jesus that there is no distinction.  The one thing I want more than all else is to know you. Help me to recognize times of seemingly unanswered prayers, as times to draw closer in relationship with you."

~Josh and Jill

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Apply it to Me Monday... On Tuesday

I had incredibly high hopes of keeping the blog going while we've been on vacation, & had certainly hoped to have the Apply it to Me Monday posted in time, but we've just stayed busier than I've expected. We've been enjoying cooler temperatures with less humidity, and I must confess, it's been nice! It was wonderful to see family and celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday. What a way to celebrate! Hopefully we'll post pictures soon. All that said, we're posting Monday's post on Tuesday.

I read a scripture a few weeks back that has stayed in my heart in a very significant way. I was reminded of it today, and thought it would be perfect to share here. It's found in Exodus 14:14 when Moses was speaking to the Israelite people at the time they crossed the Red Sea and were afraid of the Egyptian army. He said,

"The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."

How often we feel overwhelmed and it seems the enemy wants to hem us in on every side. Oh, but how wonderful when God reminds us that He will fight the battles that are too big for us, we need only to be still! What a comfort!

I love to read on to verse 19 and see God's protective nature over the Israelites. It says,

"then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel's army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long."

And the story goes on of how God brought them through the Red Sea.

The same protective nature He had for the Israelite army that day, He has for me and for you. Thank Him today for the battles He fights in our stead. Remember, you need only to be still!

Josh & Jill

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