Monday, May 30, 2011

Counting Gifts

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15

472.  Brunch with women's Bible study group.
473.  Constant reminders that my time is not my own.
474.  Big brother singing to baby to make him feel better.
475.  Big brother reading baby books to baby.
476.  Big brother bringing toys to baby.
477.  Fresh fish caught and prepared by Hubby
478.  An afternoon shopping and finding great deals
479.  Pot Roast in the crock pot and friends to enjoy it with.
480.  Friend loving on my boys as if they were her own grandchildren
481.  Another messy eater in the house.
482.  The look on my baby's face as he figures things out
483.  Watching baby play with feet and then bend down to put them in his mouth
484.  Lunch with family.
484.  Dinner and a movie with hubby.
485.  Walks alone with my God in the beauty of His creation.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Teach me Jesus--growing hearts of service

On Thursdays, I've been working on developing our parenting philosophy.  

Going hand in hand with teaching my children compassion, I hope that our family also has a heart of service.

Grace will have to be at work deep within us to give us a heart like Jesus.  My first prayer is for God to grab hold of my children's heart that they will know Him through Jesus Christ.  I'm dependent on Him, because I know that it is only a work of God that any of us can come to Him.  In all that I teach and show them, God's Spirit must move in their lives.

If they truly do love God, service to Him and His people will be the result.  Throughout Scripture we see that to love God means to love others.  It is not a requirement to love God or get in better standing with Him.  Rather, it is evidence of the work of God in our lives.

"14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18 But some will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23 and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead." James 2:14-26

"16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

   40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" Matthew 25: 31-46

Scripture paints a very clear picture that to love Jesus, we love and serve His people.  How will I teach my children to serve others?  I will teach them about Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.  If they know Jesus, it is inevitable that they will serve others.

The Three T's:  Time, Treasure, and Talent: (not sure where I got this, but it's probably not original)

  1. Time.  To serve others we cannot count our time as our own.  We should hold our plans loosely and be willing to give our time to others as need arises.
  2. Treasure.  All of our possessions are not our own but to be shared and enjoyed and given away.
  3. Talent.  We are each gifted with different talents that can be used to serve the kingdom of God.  Whether it be art, story telling, administration, building, any gift can be used in various ways to benefit others.

Practically, there are many ways that I can see how this might look.  I hope to give opportunities for them to serve in our house, our church, our community, and our world.  

Some ideas:
  • help each other with chores around the house
  • take a meal to a neighbor or person in need
  • make cards for sick or shut in members of our church
  • volunteer in various ways at community organizations
  • offer free baby sitting
  • participate family and youth missions trips
  • organize a book or materials drive for a local organization
  • many, many others!!!

Do you have any ideas of how to raise our children to know Jesus and live for Him?  Consider linking in with us on Thursdays at:

To Show Them Jesus

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life and Death

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12: 24-26

The context of this passage is astounding.  Jesus has just told his followers, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to beglorified.” And Jesus follows the passage by speaking of the trouble in his heart, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” (v27,28)

Come see me at Life River Studios to see and read the rest!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gratitude list.

With such a busy week, I lost track of much of my list.  Note to self, mental lists fade fast. :)  Here are a few things of many that I am thankful for during the week.

461.  Godly counsel
462.  Grace for each day.
463.  Faithful friends
464.  Friends and family sharing their pools
465.  Husband home for a few weeks without travel
466.  Enjoying time with my 3 year old
467.  Play date to Oceanographic Center
468.  Low Country Boil
469.  Instillation service for our new pastor (awesome)
470.  God's obvious provision for our church
471.  Sunday naps.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Teach Me Jesus--Compassion

How do we teach compassion in a culture plagued with materialism?  When our society focuses success on how much one can obtain, I believe one of our greatest challenges is to show our kids how to build treasures in heaven.  In addition, I hope that my children will not only feel compassion, but live compassion, showing the love of Christ through their actions.

I think that in order for this to become a part of our lifestyle we need prayer, exposure, and action.

1.  First, we pray for our hearts and our children's hearts to be moved by the Spirit to have love reflecting the love of Christ.  This is not possible without God's working in our hearts.  We are sinful and selfish, but God can change our hearts.

Also, we can pray for those in need in our church, community, nation, and world.  A great resource to
pray for the nations: Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation, is a great guide of prayer, giving information about each nation and prayer lists to follow.  There is also a volume for children.  Check out the Operation World website for ideas and resources on how to pray globally.

2.  We need to expose our family to cultures that are out of our comfort zone and different from our own.  One way to do that is through children's books and other books as they grow older.  Another way is to find ways for our children to have friendships with children of other races.  Also, we can visit friends who are in full time ministry, pray for them, and support them.

Also as we study God's Word, our family will be exposed to Christ's priority to love the poor.  I believe that as our children grow in knowledge of who Christ is, they will grow hearts of compassion for His people.

3.  Compassion shouldn't just be a feeling, but a verb to show.  To take action, we can serve in our community, we can bring meals to those with various needs, we can give resources often, and as the children grow older we can go on missions trips.  There are many other ways to show compassion, from opening our home, to adopting we hope to be open to wherever God will lead us as our family grows.

Additional Resources:
More Than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel
The Mission Minded Family: Releasing Your Family to God's Destiny
Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions (Spire Books)
Don't Waste Your Life
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

What does your parenting philosophy look like?  Consider joining us every Thursday as we explore what it means to raise our children to know Christ.

To Show Them Jesus

Monday, May 16, 2011


 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1: 2-4

This week I've been going through some things I can't even begin to explain.  In it all I am learning to trust and wait on the Lord. I take joy knowing He has a purpose for each trial to bring glory to Himself.  Here are some of the graces He's given this week in the midst of much struggle.

443. Two bright eyed boys ready to begin the day.
444.  Son's eagerness to read about Jesus.
445.  Black lab named Black Jack
446.  God slays giants through little people with faith in His greatness
447.  Walking in to find a Daddy reading to two happy boys
448.  Making dinner for families in our church.
449.  Red beans simmering on the stove, reminding me of New Orleans
450.  Boy sleeping on couch after a day of fishing with Daddy
451.  Practicing swimming with Andrew
452.  The joy of a little boy opening gifts
454.  Bright setting sun
455.  Baby's morning nap allowing me time to play with my oldest son.
456.  Learning patience and trust through enduring trials
457.  Intimacy with God through trials
458.  An amazing sky--amazing sunset, bright moon, and lightning show all in one night.
459.  My God is mighty to save
460.  Constant prayer and encouragement


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When Giants stand in Your Way

This morning as Andrew and I read the story of David and Goliath, God’s Spirit spoke.  “Lisa, that giant that you fear, it is nothing to me.  I am bigger.  I am stronger, and I like to slay giants using little people of big faith all for my glory.  Take your eyes off of the giant.  Look at me.”

We see David first speak of the giant in 1 Samuel 17:26 as he interjects himself into a conversation between the soldiers.  The men have run in fear of the giant’s great size and strength.  I can imagine them, talking about the impossible battle at hand,
 “This giant surely will defy Israel.  Have you SEEN this beast?  Whoever defeats him will be the MAN of men.  The king will give him everything, all kinds of riches, his daughter, free living.  This guy will be so amazing he will be exalted.”  

David says, “WHAT?”  Surprised and off guard it seems that he can’t believe these guys have so little faith, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that He should defy the armies of the living God?”  The giant’s size unmentioned and irrelevant, David points to the living God.  

“Who can stand against Him?”

This reminds me of another passage found in my favorite New Testament chapter, Romans 8, Who should bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies…” (verse 33) 

Who or what stands against you right now?  What circumstance seems insurmountable? I have my own.  

Let’s look further:
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (verses 34,35) 

This is sounding pretty promising for us who know Jesus.  What a thought that He prays for us!  And of all the “giants” listed, nothing can take us from His love.  The promise continues making sure that we don’t miss the point:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (verses 37-39)

Our lives or filled with battles against giants.  We have them outside of us and we have them from within.  They are real and they are powerful, but held next to God, they are nothing.  May God give us the faith of David who trusted in the living God do battle for His people.   We are not able to do it, but He is more than able.

“ For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3: 14-21

 We love our Jesus Story book Bible!  I highly recommend it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Still counting!

"Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude." Simone Weil
Oh how I hope to learn this.

421.  Baby boy voicing himself in squeals.
422.  God, my hope, my rock.
423.  Husband's patience with me.
424.  An evening walk.
425.  He cares for the sparrow.
426.  A husband that helps fold the laundry.

427.  3 year old playing quietly in his room during naptime
428.  The sometimes therapeutic power of house work.
429.  The simple joy that a juice box and a pack of gummies can bring to a child
430.  Handwritten letters.
431.  A quiet afternoon at home.
432.  A friend loving on my oldest boy while I caught up on housework.
433.  A week of swim lessons for my son...He LOVED it and did great!
434.  Night out with dear friends
435.  Husband toughing it out with crying baby for an evening so I could have a night out.
436.  Being with friend as she got her first placement call as a Foster Parent.
437.  Identifying with other mom friends who have similar struggles in parenting.
438.  Being a mom.
439.  Present picked out by my son.
440.  Framed pictures of the boys from my hubby.
441.  Mother's day lunch at Long Horn...Crab stuffed, Filet. :)
442.  Friends of old who know just what to say.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teach me Jesus Thursdays--Grace Based Parenting

Holding my four month old baby up to the bathroom mirror, cheek pressed against cheek, we smile at our reflections.  I take joy at his recognition of himself and the huge grin that lights up his face.  This day, a hard day, when I'm not quite sure how to tell up from down, I just start talking to our reflections. It's easy to talk to someone that will just smile back at you no matter what you say.

"You will be three one day, just like your big brother.  I don't know what I'll do, how I can love you both rightly.  I can't do it. I'm sorry.  I don't want you to grow up with holes in your heart, because of the holes I carry in mine.  I want to... I want to...(I look for the words)... I just want to raise you, to love you, perfectly."

As the words leave my mouth, it hits me.... What did I just say?  I want perfection and am frustrated that I cannot attain it.  I sense someone speaking back to me.  I hear in my heart, "You are perfect; I see perfection; let go and live in that perfection.  Not because of anything that you've done or can do, I look at you and I rejoice in the righteousness that I see.  I see Jesus and his perfection.  You cannot live in your own, live in His.  You will find rest, I will fill your holes, and you can be free."

I know that this striving in my own strength leaves me empty and worsens the holes in my heart.  I know that in order to give grace and love to my family, I must first receive it.  My hurting places need to be filled with Him, my Healer and my comfort.

"Grace-based parents spend their time entrusting themselves to Christ.  They live to know God more.  Their children are the daily recipients of the grace these parents are enjoying from the Lord.  If you watch them in action, they appear to be peaceful and very much in love with God.  They are especially graceful when their children are hardest to love." Grace-Based Parenting, Tim Kimmel

Hardest to love. Ouch.  Loving my children was somewhat easy until my oldest turned 3, at which point everything became a power struggle.  Not living in grace, I often have felt defeated at the end of the day.
I like what Christina says at To Show them Jesus, "Parenting by GRACE is a slow method, it requires that I slow down.  I can’t be in a hurry.  I have to be intentional, thoughtful, and listen to the Spirit lead and guide me.."  I feel a little comfort knowing that other's feel the same as I do. I pray for grace to slow down.

Kimmel goes on to say:
"Their advice to their children would be a mixture of : 'You are a gift from God; go make a difference.'
    and 'You may struggle doing right sometimes, but you are forgiven.'"

I'm incapable of that kind of love in myself.  Selfishness, impatience, lack of sleep, you name it, they get in the way.  When I just live to survive the day, I have nothing to offer my children.  But when I live in the grace that is so abundant, I am filled and I can give freely.

The first step of each day, of each minute,  to raising my kids to know Christ, is to know Him for myself.

I cannot say enough about the book Grace-Based Parenting.  It has spoken volumes to me about the grace of God, about receiving it for myself and about extending that grace to our children.  I think it's time I read it again!

Do you have any ideas about raising your children to know Christ?  Consider joining us at To Show Them Jesus every Thursday.

To Show Them Jesus

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Living in the light of the Resserection

In light of the resurrection how do we live it?  Ten days after celebrating that Christ is risen, does this reality show in our lives or has Resurrection Sunday come and gone leaving a wake of chocolate bunnies, easter grass, and nice family pictures in it's wake.  Where do you find yourself on this day?

For me, the demands of the day easily eclipse the joy that Christ's offers through His victory.

Please join me at Life River Studios where I am posting today


Monday, May 2, 2011

Seeing through thanksgiving.

Remembering to give thanks, I take a deep breath as I reread and type my list for the week.  I have been down and exhausted and today (Sunday) I just want to hide in a hole somewhere and mope.  I look at all of this, my thank offerings for the week.  My heart changes at this moment, this remembering, this seeing again what God has done.  He continues to pour out grace upon grace.  Oh for the eyes to see in each moment.

388.  Ticklish baby
389.  Play date to the zoo with perfect weather
390.  Ticklish big brother
391.  Conversations with 3 year old
392.  Prayer
393.  Bedtime
394.  Worship on Pandora in my car
395.  Reminders of New Orleans
396.  Double rainbow, reminder of Faithfulness
397.  Playing cars on hand drawn maps
398.  Friends watching my boys so I could get out of the house.
399.  Girl's movie night
400.  Subs from publix with a friend
401.  Mosaic with Andrew
402.  Rain
403.  Listening to my son sing, "This is the day."
404.  Falling asleep on the couch with my 3 year old
405.  Baby boy falling asleep on my chest
406.  Son's excitement about a passing train
407.  Fresh green beans from neighbor's garden
408.  Storm clouds rolling overhead.
409.  Sandhill crane flying by as I watch the storm.
410.  My growing 3 year old in the 95th percentile for height
411.  A helping hand and playmate for my son.
412.  Borrowed steam cleaner
413.  Mostly clean carpets
414.  Scooting, rolling, splashing, kicking baby
415.  Multiple trips to the park.
416.  Sleeping Baby in swing.
417.  Dirty baby feet.
418.  Husband home after a week away.
419.  Boys playing football
420.  Church fellowship at the park

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