05.19.19 It’s Been One of those Weeks, by Susan Adams Moffett

It’s been one of those weeks.

And it’s only Wednesday.

Hard thing after hard thing after hard thing keeps pouring into our text messages and news feeds and phone calls.

So how do we pray? How do we lift each person and request to our Heavenly Father that knows and sees all?

Boldly. Because He says we can.

Simply. Because He is faithful.

Honestly. Because He already knows.

Fully. Because we can’t fix any of it.

But some days, in some moments, the words don’t come. It’s too much. It’s not enough.

Just sit. And allow the Holy Spirit inside of you to speak and commune and intercede and stand and fight and witness and pray on your behalf.

He will. He does.

by Susan Adams Moffett, reposted with her permission

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05.02.19 The Lesson of the Burnt Biscuits

If you’re anything like me, the family dinner table played a huge part in your childhood and to our own family dinner time with our sons..

Whether we were just sharing funny or heartwarming stories about the day’s activities or playing with the family dog dinner was an extra special time to enjoy each other’s company. Gosh, I miss those times with our two sons around the dinner table.

And when I saw how this father taught his children an extremely valuable lesson over their dinner meal, I had to pass it along.

This touching story has been passed around the internet for years, with its initial writer still unknown. The story follows one family and the way they handle a tired mother’s batch of burned biscuits.

We all know how hard moms work, and the story below speaks to a larger lesson of compassion that folks of all ages can get behind. And while these aren’t my words, they are words that deeply resonate with me.

This heartwarming story has been inspiring people around the world for years:

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed!”

All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit…

He ate every bite of that thing — never made a face nor uttered a word about it!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits.

And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned.

He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s really tired. And besides — a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!’”

As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people.

I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.

But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults, and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences, is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today… That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God.

Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

As the saying goes, ‘Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket — keep it in your own.’”

So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil: it has no point.

Anonymous

Ya’ll have a Blessed Weekend – Yes It Is Almost Here!!

04.17.19 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die – ever. Do you believe this? John 11:26

Susan Adams Moffett shared this piece below on Facebook recently.  Her sister Lisa died from cancer just a few years ago.  She wrote about that in her book “My Sister,Her Cancer, and the Cross.” She says “This is the story of walking the journey of my sister’s cancer…but it’s more than that. This is the story of God’s grace because my faith is weak and imperfect, but He is so good.”   I found what she wrote in the article below to be very meaningful. I hope you do as well.

When Lisa died…
I asked Tim, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Dad, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked Mom, “What is this ‘Oh, death where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”
I asked friends, “What is this ‘O death, where is your sting’ stuff? Lisa died, and I feel that sting.”

But I knew that scriptures couldn’t be wrong.
I felt like something was missing in my understanding.
Maybe I was grieving wrong.
Maybe I had to work harder to get over it.
Maybe I didn’t believe enough.
Maybe I wanted to hold on to the sting because it’s all I had.

Then I read the story of Lazarus for the 378th time.
But it was like for the very first time.

Jesus said, “Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die – ever.”
Ever. Never. Ever. Die.

In that moment, I heard and understood. Death had no hold on Lisa.
She did not die!

She isn’t here.
That brings sorrow and loss and grief so deep.
But death has no hold on her.
Death has no sting to it. It is powerless!

Lisa isn’t here. Most of my grandparents aren’t here.
Several dear friends aren’t here.
But they didn’t die.
They are all fully alive! More alive than they ever were here.

Maybe today you have a sting.
Or a grief.
Or a maybe.

Let’s walk this week towards the cross, watching, looking, listening to the work of Jesus.
We have to walk this week, so we can deeply celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
(Spoiler…Death is about to be defeated. Keep watching.)

Ya’ll have a Blessed Holy Week!

03.27.19 A Quiet Thought, March 24, by Rev. Bob Adams

A quiet thought for this Sunday morning, March 24th, by Rev. Bob Adams

Are you a good person? I am sure you are! But what does it mean when we say someone is “good?”

Sometimes we mean the person performs at a superior level. He is a good singer.

Sometimes we mean the person is kind. She is not harsh or cruel, but sensitive to others.

Often we mean the person is morally true. This good person behaves in ways that are clean and right.

Is this what we mean when we say God is good? Our Heavenly Father is perfect in what He does, kind beyond our understanding, and morally pure.

But these definitions of “good” yet fall short of the core meaning His goodness.

The goodness of the Father is a profound care for wayward children that moves Him to pour out His life to save them in body, soul, and spirit.

He is more than perfect in His acts, more than nice in His demeanor, more than morally pure.

He is good because He infinitely and always pours Himself out for us.

Let us sing with hearts overflowing with gratitude, “God is so good . . . God is so good . . . God is so good, He’s so good to me!”

Rev. Bob Adams was our interim pastor at Trinity Baptist Church for two years.  His ministry at our church was filled with so many blessings!  It is an honor to share from time to time his quiet thought with ya’ll.

Ya’ll have a Blessed Week and Yes, God Is Sooooo Good!

03.26.19 7 things every good christian mom does, by Marisa at “Called to Mothering”

I’ve said before that I wish these types of encouraging information for Christian moms was available back when I really could have used it while my sons were growing up.  We did the best we could back then but had someone put this type of information before me I believe I would have been a better mom.  I hope all the young Christian moms I know will read this.  There are links within the article to other articles of hers about being a better mom.  They are all great and I recommend reading those as well.

There's no way to be a perfect mom, but here are at least seven ways to be a really good one! #biblicalmotherhood #christianmotherhood #momencouragement #christianparenting

What makes a good mom? If you ask 100 people this question, you’ll probably get 100 different answers.We often imagine someone who is always patient, available, and bakes cookies from scratch. Someone who never has emotional outbursts or gets irritated with her kids for making messes.

The ideal standard is hard to live up to. And Christian moms face this pressure even more. In our quest to elevate the role of motherhood and encourage one another that it is a worthy calling, we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of equating mothering with sainthood.

I can think of no mother I know who would even remotely qualify for this status. Because we’re all human. We’re imperfect, saved sinners just trying to do our best to raise children for Christ.

The good news is that there is no way to be a perfect mom, but many ways to be a really good one. Here are seven things every good Christian mom does (and none of them involve baking).

One of our most important and rewarding tasks as a Christian mother is helping our children grow in faith. It is so much more than just taking them to church on Sunday. We play a vital role in our kids’ discipleship because we are uniquely positioned to walk beside them daily in a close, loving relationship!

Reading the Bible consistently with them and teaching them how to apply verses to their everyday lives is paramount to their own walk with Christ. We should also help them establish the spiritual discipline of prayer and Bible study for themselves. Using the Scriptures to correct them and teach their hearts to obey God as you “sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” is key to your children’s spiritual development.

The other day, I flipped through a book my son had borrowed from the library. Its first chapter introduced a main character that had several negative traits such as deceitfulness and pride, as well as a plot that contained some dark fantasy elements. After I talked through the themes with him and we read Philippians 4:8 together, he decided to substitute it with a better choice.

As moms, it’s sort of our job to be nosy. It may not make us “cool”, but it will make us a great parent. We need to be aware of what our children are being taught, the kinds of media they’re consuming, and the peers they’re being influenced by. God gave us that “gut instinct” and we should listen to it! We have the power to influence and guide, and we shouldn’t allow culture to replace us.

We often get discouraged at our shortcomings and flaws, believing that we can’t reach our children because these would make us seem hypocritical. The truth is, our failures can still teach our kids, because they reveal our need for the very Savior we’re teaching them about.

They are also a great opportunity to grasp the meaning of “your grace is sufficient”. God can still be glorified, because when we admit we don’t have what it takes on our own to homeschool, or raise obedient children, or manage a home, God shows up mightily and we can give all the credit to Him!

Being a good mom sometimes means recognizing that we can’t do this mothering gig all by ourselves. The sheer amount of daily tasks is overwhelming, especially with littles. And besides, God created us to be in fellowship for a reason: to bear one another’s burdens, spiritually and literally.

Reaching out to ask a friend or your husband to take some of that stuff off your plate will allow you to decompress and relax a little. When you’re recharged, you’ll be a happier, more focused mom.

Whether it’s getting up before the kids in the morning to do your quiet time, or after they go to bed, spending time alone with God is vital to your motherhood lifeline. We can’t pour into our kids day in and day out without being refilled by the Spirit.

A good Christian mom recognizes her utter dependence on God for all the things that mothering requires of her. She knows that a habit of being in God’s Word every day will give her a renewed mind, as well as the fuel she needs to make it throughout the busy hours with her kids.

One of our biggest responsibilities is pulling out the weeds of bad behavior, and it seems like a never ending task. As soon as you prune a few, others ones grow up right in the same spot. It can become discouraging, and sometimes we end up feeling like failures (see Point #3).

But those behaviors and attitudes are actually excellent ways to point each child to Christ! When they keep disobeying and express in frustration that they can’t be good, we say “Yes exactly! That’s why Jesus came to redeem you by His death on the cross”. In those moments, we can present the Gospel very clearly to our children.

Finally, a good Christian mom knows that prayer is one of the best parenting tools at her disposal. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

Prayer brings God’s power and blessing to our kids’ lives, and it can lead them to genuine, godly repentance. It equips us to fight the spiritual battle for their hearts and minds, something the Enemy desperately wants to take over.

We can influence and impact our kids for eternity by kneeling with them and showing by example that since we trust God with our concerns, they should too. When we don’t have all the answers, we can lead them to the One who does!

 

Being a Christian mother is extremely hard.  I made more mistakes than I ever want anyone to know about.  I am now a grandmother and take that responsibility as seriously as I did being a mother. I don’t want to make the parenting mistakes I made, with my grandchildren. I want to be the kind of grandmother that takes seriously the points in the article above.  You may no longer be a child’s mother but are now a grandmother like me.   Our influence in their little lives must always direct them towards learning all about Christ.

This quote below makes a strong statement.  

Children becoming strong Christians is the most important aspect we should devote our lives to as grandparents and parents.

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

03.07.19 To the mom who keeps going, by Rachel at Finding Joy

While this is about moms who keep going in all phases in life, I hope that all of the young and older mothers at our church read this. You all just keep going and ya’ll amaze me by showing up every week at church with clean clothes on, kids dressed, probably everyone had a bath (!) and you didn’t kill or maim one of them on the way to church or in church.
There are several young children that sit in front of us at Trinity. A couple of Sundays ago when we were getting ready to pray I noticed that everyone of them bowed their heads to pray. That says a lot about you moms and dads bringing your children up to respect and know God.

I have two grown sons who were raised at Trinity so I know how hard it is getting it all together to come to church. Our lives back then weren’t nearly as complicated as young families lives are now. I won’t start naming the young ladies I’m thinking about because I’ll miss someone. You are wonderful Christian motherly examples and I hope others see that in you as well!

This is for you. Yeah, you.

You might think it’s no big deal. You might not even realize the power in your ability to keep going. But I see you. I know that strength. I know the nights of no sleep met with mornings of tired. I understand the give and the take. I know the heartbreak and the love.

And I know that sometimes it’s so easy to dismiss that we keep going.

You keep going.

That family of yours knows that you keep going. That is such a gift. A life gift. A hard thing.

It’s hard to keep going when the cards all crash in. But you keep going.

It’s challenging to keep going when relationships fail. But you keep going.

It’s scary to keep going when you don’t have answers. But you keep going.

It’s lonely to keep going when everyone else seems to have it together. But you keep going.

It’s frustrating to keep going when things keep messing up. But you keep going.

It’s tiring to keep going when you get no sleep. But you keep going.

It’s humbling to keep going when you feel overwhelmed. But you keep going.

It’s simple to dismiss it.

But you keep going.

On good days. You keep going.

On bad days. You keep going.

On great days. You keep going.

On irritating days. You keep going.

On normal days. You keep going.

On throw-in-the-towel days. You keep going.

On exhilarating days. You keep going.

On so-so days. You keep going.

On first time days. You keep going.

On last time days. You keep going.

On vacation days. You keep going.

On work days. You keep going.

On never-get-a-break days. You keep going.

On just-a-mom days. You keep going.

You keep going.

You may get to the end of this day and look at your day and wonder what on earth did I accomplish today? But you are only looking at today. You are missing all the days that got you to this day. All the days where you kept on going. All the days when you didn’t know if you would make it through. All those days. So maybe your to-do list has a hundred things checked off or maybe it has none – but it does have this – you keep going.

Sweet, sweet sister.

The weight of the world will try to tell you that you need to do more, be more, change more, love more, give more, show-up more, but sister, sometimes the world misses the most powerful part of you.

You keep going.

So hold your head high. Be proud of you. Love your days. All of them.

You know what is amazing? This story, this life, this adventure – you are such a beautiful part of it. For so many. For your friends, your children, your family.

Because you keep going.

~Rachel at http://findingjoy.net

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!

02.10.19 What to do when it all comes crashing down, by Lisa Leonard

When Ann VosKamp invites someone to her farm’s front porch its always an opportunity to learn from someone else’s walk with Christ. I share them here from time to time because they may speak to some need in your life right now.  The one I am sharing to is from Lisa Leonard.  Information on her and her new book is below.

There’s so much pressure to have it all together; pressure from social media, pressure from friends and family, pressure from ourselves. It can be overwhelming, it can be too much. Lisa Leonard has some honest, raw words to share today about her search for perfection and how it all came crashing down. In her new book, Brave Love she tells us about the birth of her boys, one with a disability, the birth of the business she built with her husband and rebirth of their marriage. I’ve known Lisa for years and I’m so glad she’s here today to tell us about some of her journey—the ups and downs. It’s a grace to welcome her to the farm’s front porch today…  by Ann VosKamp

Every marriage goes through difficult times, and about fifteen years into marriage we were in a difficult time.

Steve and I walked through difficult things in our marriage. We walked some rocky roads but now we were facing something new.

We were both making mistakes but we did not know what they were.

We were simply not connecting.

We were both trying but we could not seem to see eye to eye.

We were both hurting but did not know how to help each other.

We were both making mistakes but we did not know what they were.

During this time, we had plans to gather with friends for a celebration. I decided to make Steve’s favorite dessert, berry crumble. This was not going to be just any berry crumble—I was going to make the perfect berry crumble.

I wanted to show Steve how much I loved him.

I wanted to show him he was precious to me.

This berry crumble was going to knock his socks off.

I spent time researching the best recipe online. I gathered all the ingredients and spent a good chunk of the day making the amazing dessert. As the celebration approached, I slowly pulled the hot crumble out of the oven, wrapped it in a heavy towel and we all loaded into the car.

We parked in front of our friends’ home and I carefully get out, maneuvering the hot berry crumble to avoid a spill. I took a few steps and suddenly I lost hold of the wrapped glass dish. I watched in slow motion as my perfect crumble splattered all over the sidewalk. I felt the sting of hot tears behind my eyes.

“Hold it together.” I told myself.

But I couldn’t. The tears overflowed and once they started they wouldn’t stop. I could barely catch my breath between sobs.

This was no ordinary berry crumble; this was the perfect berry crumble. This crumble was going to show Steve how much I cared for him.

This dessert was going to save our marriage. It was going to make Steve fall in love with me again. I looked down at the berry crumble splattered all over the sidewalk and sobbed.

I tried so hard to be good enough. I tried to be the perfect wife. I tried to become less so he could be more.

But it wasn’t working. Instead I was becoming less than whole–and a relationship can’t thrive without two whole people.

I thought being perfect would bring me joy.

But I was so focused on being perfect, I was missing all the joy.

I’d clung to the belief that perfection held joy.

I’d spent most of my life believing if I could be perfect, or at least almost perfect, I would be lovable. So, I worked hard to create the ‘perfect’ life for us.

I tried to create a beautiful, tidy home. I tried to be the perfect mother—patient and fun and consistent. I tried to be happy even when I felt sad. I tried to be needless and wantless and take care of everybody else.

With four people in our family and so many differing opinions, things got complicated. I thought one way to make things less complicated was for me to be what I considered flexible or easy going. Ignoring my needs made me feel agitated and frustrated.

So, I tried to ignore those feelings—and sometimes I seemed to succeed. Other times I would explode with anger. All the things I needed and wanted, all the things I felt but ignored had to find a way out.

My good intentions to ‘take care’ of everybody were a desire to control.

If I could control everything I would be good enough. I was terrified I was not lovable, so I tried to control.

The more I tried to control Steve, our marriage and our family, the more out of control I felt. I had worked tirelessly to try to hold it all together, but we were a mess.

It was falling apart—not just the berry crumble, but our marriage too.

I was finding out, there is no berry crumble so perfect it can hold a marriage together.

Perfection is a lie. It demands more and more, never offering a moment’s rest. Perfect is never satisfied. I kept reaching further and further, thinking I was almost there, but perfection was always just out of reach. No matter how hard I tried, I could not be perfect.

I had a lightbulb moment.

There are four people in our family, and I am one of them.

There are two people in our marriage and I am one of them.

I needed to be a whole person. I needed to show up, let down my walls and be honest.

Honesty looked like me showing up and being my truest self. It looked Steve showing up and being his truest self.

It was going to take a lot more than the perfect berry crumble to fix this marriage. Marriage is two people showing up and being honest.

Honesty is imperfect and messy—but it is real. Sometimes it is more than messy; it is super ugly and dark and scary. I don’t like messy. I had been trying to make my marriage work without actually showing up and being a whole person in my marriage. I thought if I could make Steve happy he would love me, but he already loved me. He loved ME. He wanted me to be ME.

I am learning I cannot control my husband or my kids. I cannot keep my house perfectly clean.

I can’t always be happy. I am not perfect; I am just me.

I’m learning I have to let go of perfection to have joy.

I am learning I have to show up and speak up and be honest—no matter how messy.

I am learning it is the only way for us to have a marriage where we connect and truly know each other.

And I am learning the only way to be give and receive love is to be completely me—nothing more, nothing less.

This article and many more can be found on Ann VosKamp’s blog at https://annvoskamp.com/2019/01/what-to-do-when-it-all-comes-crashing-down/

Ya’ll have a Blessed week!

01.16.19 Church is Hard, by Arianna Freelen

I sat in a meeting. The discussion was heated. The conversation heavy.

Hearts were burdened. Chests were puffed. Sorrow, pain, arrogance, curiosity, humility, fear, courage, and forgiveness sat together in a single room.

As I looked around the church, I just kept thinking—

Church is hard.

Church is hard for the person walking through the doors, afraid of judgement.

Church is hard for the pastor’s family, under the microscope of an entire body.

Church is hard for the prodigal soul returning home, broken and battered by the world.

Church is hard for the girl who looks like she has it all together, but doesn’t.

Church is hard for the couple who fought the entire ride to service.

Church is hard for the single mom, surrounded by couples holding hands, and seemingly perfect families.

Church is hard for the widow and widower with no invitation to lunch after service.

Church is hard for the deacon with an estranged child.

Church is hard for the person singing worship songs, overwhelmed by the weight of the lyrics.

Church is hard for the man insecure in his role as a leader.

Church is hard for the wife who longs to be led by a righteous man.

Church is hard for the nursery volunteer who desperately longs for a baby to love.

Church is hard for the single woman and single man, praying God brings them a mate.

Church is hard for the teenage girl, wearing a scarlet letter, ashamed of her mistakes.

Church is hard for the sinners.

Church is hard for me.

It’s hard because on the outside it all looks shiny and perfect. Sunday best in behavior and dress.

However, underneath those layers, you find a body of imperfect people, carnal souls, selfish motives.

But, here is the beauty of church—

Church isn’t a building, mentality, or expectation.

Church is a body.

Church is a group of sinners, saved by grace, living in fellowship as saints.

Church is a body of believers bound as brothers and sisters by an eternal love.

Church is a holy ground where sinners stand as equals before the Throne of Grace.

Church is a refuge for broken hearts and a training ground for mighty warriors.

Church is a converging of confrontation and invitation. Where sin is confronted and hearts are invited to seek restoration.

Church is a lesson in faith and trust.

Church is a bearer of burdens and a giver of hope.

Church is a family. A family coming together, setting aside differences, forgetting past mistakes, rejoicing in the smallest of victories.

Church, the body, and the circle of sinners-turned-saints, is where He resides, and if we ask, He is faithful to come.

So even on the hard days at church—

The days when I am at odds with a friend, When I’ve fought with my husband because we’re late once again. When I’ve walked in bearing burdens heavier than my heart can handle, yet masking the pain with a smile on my face. When I’ve worn a scarlet letter, under the microscope. When I’ve longed for a baby to hold, or fought tears as the lyrics were sung. When I’ve walked back in, afraid and broken, after walking away.

I’ll remember, He has never failed to meet me there.

Church is a body, a family, a place to love God and love others through our struggles!

I love MY church!!

 

12.28.18 When God Created Woman

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day…….
An angel came by and asked. “Why spend so much time on her?”
The lord answered. “Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?
She must function in all kinds of situations,
She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time,
Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart,
She must do all this with only two hands,
She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day.”
THE ANGEL was impressed “Just two hands…..impossible! And this is the standard model?”
The Angel came closer and touched the woman
“But you have made her so soft, Lord.”
“She is soft,” said the Lord,
“But I have made her strong. You can’t imagine what she can endure and overcome.”
“Can she think?” The Angel asked…
The Lord answered. “Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate.”
The Angel touched her cheeks….
“Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her.”
“She is not leaking…it is a tear” The Lord corrected the Angel…
“What’s it for?” asked the Angel.
The Lord said, “Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride.”
This made a big impression on the Angel,
“Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything.
A woman is indeed marvelous.”
The Lord said, “Indeed she is.
She has strength that amazes a man.
She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when she feels like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid.
She fights for what she believes in.
Her love is unconditional.
Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies but she finds strength to get on with life.”
The Angel asked: “So she is a perfect being?”
The Lord replied: “No. She has just one drawback
She often forgets what she is worth.”

To all the beautiful women I’ve known in my life!  May God Bless You All!