Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jehovah Shalom

A couple of weeks ago, our pastor gave us a slip of paper with the name, "Jehovah Shalom" written on it. He had handed slips like that out to several other families within our church, all with a different name of God on it. We were then asked to find Scriptures referring to that name/character of God. This past Sunday, we each took a turn telling in our own way (whether it was to write a poem, pray, sing a song, etc) on how we've come to know and experience God (as in our case, our Jehovah Shalom) or the God of Peace.

Initially, I didn't really think I had anything to say...because in all honesty, our lives haven't been very traumatic. But on Saturday night after everyone was in bed, I sat down to write and all these examples came pouring out...

"The betrayal of a close friend. The sudden, unexpected death of my dear uncle. An unwanted phone call that threatened the possibility of ripping my family apart. A new addition to our family unit that drastically altered life as we knew it. Blood tests that have changed my daughter's health & lifestyle."

There have been others, but these were on the forefront of my mind that night. These are all instances in my life over the course of several years that initially were tainted with bits of confusion, anxiety, hurt, distrust, shock & pain. But looking back, I can see how through all of these "trials of many kinds," God has indeed been my peace.

Many people hold to the false belief that peace is simply the absence of trials and/or strife. While others live in a perpetual state of denial, fooling themselves into believing that simply because they're Christians, that their life has no problems, and that the issues at hand really aren't there. Neither of these is true. We're promised in John 16:33 that we WILL have trouble in this world...but that we can also have peace in the midst of our storms! Peace is the absolute assurance that God is in TOTAL control of ALL things at ALL times & that He is weaving every fiber of our lives together to be used for His greatest glory & our ultimate good!

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee..." Psalm 91:1 says, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."




The first two words mean "to live as a resident; reside. To continue to be in a place or condition. To fasten one's attention to something." When we choose to focus our mind and thoughts on Christ and His sovereignty, it gives us peace-knowing we can rest in Him. He also promises us a peace that transcends, or exceeds-goes far above & beyond our understanding of even the most difficult and unsettling circumstances when we take every situation to Him in prayer (as instructed in Philippians 4:6-8) and leave it in His hands.

These following verses are what I fall back on time after time...truths that I wrap around each situation I'm ever faced with. They serve as a "flagpole" of sorts-grounding me in His word, anchoring my mind to my Heavenly Father's concrete truths, while at the same time, freeing me to rest in His sufficiency & experience His peace. I pray they do the same for you.

Jeremiah 29:11-"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Psalm 32:8-"The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life..."

Proverbs 3:5-"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."

Romans 8:28-"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Psalm 33:4-"For the Word of our Lord holds true and everything He does is worthy of our trust."

Note that it doesn't say that everything that happens to us IS good...but that God will work it FOR our good!! Also, we may not understand, like or agree with everything God does (or allows) in our lives...however, we MUST trust Him!!! He has our best interest at heart!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

False Advertising!

Things are normally not as easy and simple as some people/companies/products lead you to believe! Have you discovered that for yourself yet?

Random thoughts occasionally hit me at odd times...like just now while heating myself up a late dinner. My newest addiction is microwavable soup in a can. Convenient + Cheap = Love it! When I got it out of the microwave, the words, "JUST HEAT & SIP" were staring me in the face. They make it look so much easier than it really is...NOT that it's difficult by any means; it's just that you're given only 2 steps of the entire process (and in large print on the front label). This is how it really goes (shown on the back label in tiny print, and shown here in paraphrased form):

1. Shake the can before opening.
2. Pull off the plastic cap.
3. Put it down.
4. Remove metal rim.
5. Throw away metal rim.
6. Microwave (without the lid) for 1 minute, 15 seconds.
7. Leave in microwave for an additional 1 minute.
8. Stir.
9. Put plastic cap back on.

Isn't that somewhat like life? I've heard it said before that life's not that difficult. You just live and then you die. Well, that's partially true...you do have to live before you die. But there's so much more in between!

There are hurts, hang-ups & heartaches to endure, memories to be made, victories to be won, jobs lost, weddings & births to be celebrated, lessons to be learned, funerals to attend, misunderstandings to work through, beauty to behold, loved ones to embrace, tears to be cried, forgiveness to be extended, unexpected losses to be grieved...and the list goes on.

Having lost a very dear loved one only 2 days ago, it serves as the perfect time to remind us all...life is short. Life is uncertain. Life is not always easy! We have no guarantees of what experiences lie around the next corner, or what twists & turns the roads may take. Life may not be as simple & uncomplicated as a soup label, but we CAN have peace and stability in the midst of it all, knowing that our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, is still in control!

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10

"But the Lord is in his holy Temple;the Lord still rules from heaven.He watches everyone closely,examining every person on earth." Psalm 11:4

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:7

"So do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be terrified. I am your God. I will make you strong and help you. My powerful right hand will take good care of you. I always do what is right." Isaiah 41:10

Friday, April 1, 2011

This Is No Joke!

The kids and I made these on Monday using a craft idea from Family Fun Magazine. The first time we made them (about 5 years ago), they had so much fun pranking people at school, at church, you name it! :)

As I was reading in my quiet time this morning, I came across one of my favorite verses, Psalm 5:3. "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

I have always had this visual image when I read that verse about a little boy playing a prank on a friend. I can just see him lying in wait, giddy with excitement, knowing full well that his friend is on his way.

We are also called to lay it down...lay down our requests, our needs, our anxieties and worries, our expectations, our wants...and lay them at the Lord's feet and wait in expectation...knowing full well our Lord is on His way! And that my friends, is no joke! ;)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Even in the Trivial Things...

God's Word is still applicable.

Nothing deep and theological here...but wanted to share a "funny" with you! For those of you who don't see how God's Word, the Bible, deals with & applies to everyday life, check this out. The first time I ever read this verse, I thought, "Wow! God's Word even talks about garage sales!!" Read it for yourself and tell me if you agree.

“It’s no good, it’s no good!” says the buyer—
then goes off and boasts about the purchase." Proverbs 20:14

For any of you who have ever had a garage sale, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Potential Buyer at the sale (griping about the ridiculous price you've put on the brand new, unworn, pair of jeans you bought at the Buckle for $168): "You want a dollar for these? They're not even worth a quarter!!"

Buyer later on that day : "Girl, check this out!! I bought these for a dollar! A DOLLAR!!"

Well? Ok, I'm done. Enjoy the rest of your day! :)

Measurements, Week 3

Well, this past week didn't go quite as planned. Basically, I was a slacker and failed to stick to my original T-Tapp schedule. I'm telling you, I NEED a workout partner to help keep me accountable and motivated!!! But, all in all, it still wasn't a total loss because I came away with a 1 3/4" loss! I'll take anything I can get! But, starting today I'm getting back on track! It's do or die...and I'm not ready to die quite yet! ;)

Expecting great things...

Monday, January 24, 2011


Okay, here are my measurements since last week...

Chest: -1/2"
Bust: same
Ribs: same
Waist: -1/4"
Abdominals: -1/2"
Hips: same
Rt. Upper Thigh: -1/4"
Lft. Upper Thigh: -1/4"
Rt. Lower Thigh: -1/4"
Lft. Lower Thigh: -1/2"
Rt. Calf: -1/4"
Lft. Calf: -1/4"
Rt. Arm: -1/4"
Lft. Arm: same

That's 3 1/4" lost this week alone! Making for a total inch loss of 7.5" in only 2 weeks!

I dropped another couple pounds too! :)

Today will be Day 8 in T-Tapp's Bootcamp (Basic Workout Plus and Instructional #2). On Friday when I begin working out every other day (4-5 weeks), I plan to do the Total Workout.

Have a great week!! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

T-Tapp Week 1 Measurements

Well, it was a grueling week...in regards to working out, that is! Day 1 I started off determined, but my excitement quickly waned as my legs were SO very sore the next couple of days, which made it difficult to maintain proper form throughout the workouts (much less trying to walk up & down stairs, sitting down at/standing up from the table for dinner, etc)! However, I stuck it out and completed my first week (that's an accomplishment to be proud of in & of itself)!! I did the Instructional Workout #1 to get me back in the swing of things, and starting today, I'll be doing my first day of Bootcamp (Basic Workout Plus and Instructional #2 back to back). I'll probably do this combination for the next week before moving on to the Total Workout for the remainder of my time.

Here are my results so far:

Chest: -1 1/2"
Bust: same
Ribs: -1"
Waist: -3/4"
Abs: same
Hips: -1/2"
Upper Rt. thigh: same
Upper Lft. thigh: same
Lower Rt. thigh: same
Lower Lft. thigh: -1/4"
Rt. calf: same
Lft. calf: same
Rt. arm: same
Lft. arm: -1/4"

Making for a total inch loss of...4 1/4"

The results are certainly not as breathtaking as I would like...It only took me nearly 10 years to put on this weight...SURELY it should be gone after only 1 week of working out, RIGHT?? ;) Actually, when I started using T-Tapp several years ago, by the end of my very first week, I had lost 1 1/2" off my waist alone...that got me hooked! But I'm expecting even greater things this week!

Until then, Happy Tapping!!! ;)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolutions...More Than a Week Late!

Actually, I haven't made any resolutions because I never wind up keeping them, so I figured, "What's the point?" I do however need to start exercising again. After my friend Connie & I quit working out after she hurt her foot several months ago, I just never jumped back on the bandwagon. I was reading on my friend Kara's blog, Home With Purpose, the other day and she mentioned posting her workout results (we both use T-Tapp) every week on her blog to help keep her accountable. So, I figured I would borrow her idea and attempt to do the same. I then decided to re-measure and was HORRIFIED to find that I had actually GAINED inches instead of just staying the same (not that I expected to lose anything, but to gain more?!? Come on!)! :-(

Here are my stats (in inches only...I'm NOT revealing my actual measurements):

Chest: +2 1/2"
Bust: +2 1/2"
Ribs: +2"
Waist: Miraculously stayed the same! ;)
Abs: +5 1/2" Aaaah!!! The shock, the horror!!!
Hips: +2 1/2"
Upper Right thigh: + 3/4"
Upper Left thigh: +3/4"
Lower Right thigh: ~ the same
Lower Left thigh: ~ the same
Right calf: - 1/2"
Left calf: -1/4"
Right arm: ~ the same
Left arm: ~ the same

Well, tomorrow is Day 1. Since it's been a while since I've done any exercise, I think I'm going to just do the 15 minute instructional workout and take it from there. I'll post each Monday with a new report.

Wish me luck!!! :)