Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday's Voice - India

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9 NIV84
Please be in prayer for all believers.  Please feel free to share any prayer requests or praise requests in the comment section of the post.  I would ask that if you read this blog on a Wednesday that you take time not just to pray for those who are persecuted, but also for each other.  We may not know each other, but we can take joy in praying for each other and the power that God has when we pray globally. Blessings to you all.
INDIA: Tribal Christians Brutally Beaten
Sources: Release International, Morning Star News, Times of India

As a result of two recent attacks by Hindu extremists, more than 100 Christian villagers have been forced to flee from Tamsai (in Thane District of Maharashtra State) for "rejecting their tribal identity." Apparently, the Hindu nationalists involved in the attacks were angered that these converts to Christianity no longer practiced their traditional tribal religions. Equally alarming is the fact that about 20 police officers failed to intervene, but rather passively stood by, prompting concern of anti-Christian bias being represented by the police force. 

The first brutal assault took place on December 30th when the believers did not participate in a festival celebrating a tribal deity. Many of these victims fled from their homes after being beaten with wooden clubs. More recently, a large mob of extremists physically assaulted a group of Christians who met to worship in a private home. Prior to these attacks, local Christians were receiving unfair treatment from their neighbours by being denied access to water, firewood and their monthly supply of grains at the local ration shop. 
  • Pray that God's perfect love will drive out all fear from the hearts of these suffering tribal Christians.
  • Ask Him to bring healing and comfort to them, especially after experiencing brutal attacks of persecution.
  • May those in authority uphold and properly defend the religious rights of all citizens in this area, serving as a catalyst of peace between the different faith groups.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Caffeinated Randomness - In the Word Campaign

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Lately I've been looking to the right side of me at church.  I've been looking to the left side of me.  I've been looking to the people in front of me.  If I could, I would look behind me.  I'm not looking to see what they're wearing.  I'm not looking to see if they're listening to the sermon or sleeping.  I'm not looking to see if their kids are sitting still or wiggling around.  I'm looking to see if anyone else is opening their Bible.  If anyone else is looking at the Word while our pastor is preaching.  Has anyone else brought their own Bible and are they marking it up?  Is our "overhead" dependent society (thanks Evil Twin for that one) become so complaisant that they no longer bring their Bibles to church or even open the ones offered in the pews because it's up on the big screen?  

I'm not judging, but this is something that has been bothering me.  I mean if they are not opening their Bibles at Church are they opening their Bibles at home?  It's something that I think about.  I'm not pointing fingers and not saying because I bring my Bible to Church that am I holier than those who do not.  I never grew up in the Church.  I didn't have any one in my life that read the Bible or knew the word.  I'm surprised sometimes how I always felt called to God.  He definitely had me in the palm of His hand.  So the questions are if we aren't in the word, how do we knew what we are called to do?  How are we to learn His ways?  How are we to teach the next generation about Him and His purpose for our life?  I believe the same questions I have,  have been hanging over the leadership of our church, as well.  Our church will be participating during lent in the Saddleback church study - 40 Days in the Word.

Now I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of Pastor Rick Warren.  I participated in the Purpose Driven Life a few years ago.  There was some information that was quite good, but I did question some of His teaching.  (Don't ask me what they were, I don't remember).   This is the summary of the campaign from the 40 Days in the Word website:  

Together with Rick Warren and Saddleback Church you’ve experienced 40 days of Purpose, Love and Community. Now come along with Rick on a journey of 40 Days in the Word, a journey of eternal significance as you and your church will learn how to be not only a “hearer” of the Word, but also a “doer” of God’s Word. 

40 Days in the Word is a church wide weekly study of six principles of the Word of God. Together with Rick, the Saddleback Team and great pastors from across the country you and your church will explore the authenticity, reliability, power, comfort, interpretation and doing of God’s Word. This eight week journey, led by Rick Warren, will encourage spiritual growth in every member of your church.

I am excited though about this study.  I'm excited that our congregation is being encouraged to spend the 40 days of Lent in the word of God.  Being encouraged to study the Word daily.  That is what He wants.  He wants us to focus on His Word.  In conjunction with my Church's participation with the 40 Days in the Word campaign and my participation with it, I will be focusing Caffeinated Randomness on the 40 Days in the Word starting February 15.  I might call it the Caffeinated in the Word campaign.  It has a good ring to it.  Every week I will blog about were God has been leading me in this Campaign and probably post some of the questions from the work book.  If you would like to join me, let me know.  

Now if you still want to link in during that time with good ol'wholesome randomness - bring it on.  I love reading everyone's randomness.  I love seeing God working within you.  I, many times, learn so much from you all.  You make me laugh and cry.  

Come link into the randomness this week and share God's work in your life.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Messy Monday - Zechariah

If you have been following our messy list, you would think that this weeks messy would be Noah.  However, you would be wrong.  We are going to skip over....ok, way over to the book of Luke for our next messy, Zechariah.

Now Zechariah was a priest who lived in the time of Herod.  He was married to Elizabeth.  They both lived according to God "careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God." (Luke 1:6 Msg) (I wonder if I will ever be described this way?)  Yet, they were childless.  In fact, it states that this was Elizabeth's fault.  I always wonder in situations like this how they knew?  Did Zechariah have other children from a previous marriage or relationship?  Why blame poor Elizabeth solely?...but I digress.

According to custom Zechariah was chosen to go to the Holy of Holies in the temple and burn incense   The angel of God appeared to Him.

When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.  Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.  And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:12-17 NIV84)

Then Zechariah sealed his own fate at being called a messy in the next line:
Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” (Luke 1:18 NIV84)
Ouch!  This is actually one of the nicer translations.  The Amplified states "By what shall I know and be sure of this?"  While the Message is pretty to the point "Do you expect me to believe this?"  For a man who was supposed to know God's word, he forgot the story of Abraham and Sarah and the blessing they received in their old age.  He actually questions God's representative and in that God Himself.  As a punishment for his unbelief he lost his ability to speak.   Everyone would see how he and Elizabeth had been blessed but he wouldn't be able to tell them the whole blessing for all of them.

As God told Abraham and Sarah (Gen 18:14) and later to Mary (Lk 1:37):  Nothing is impossible with God.  God created the world from nothing.  God gave Abraham and Sarah Isaac.  God lead Israel to Egypt to provide for them during a famine.  God lead Israel out of Egypt.  God provided Israel with sage judges, leaders and prophets.  God provided Esther with the opportunity to save her people. get my drift - NOTHING!!!!  We need to make the choice of choosing to believe as Mary did or to fight and question as Zechariah did.

I have to admit that I am like Zechariah.  I want to question and argue with God a lot.  Especially in regards to my children:
Why does my son have autism?
Why is my youngest autistic as well?
Why does my daughter have to face this alone?
These are a few of the questions I have cried out to God.  I have even tried to bargain with Him before my youngest was diagnosed.

Once the infant was born, everybody was going to name him Zechariah, after his dad.  Elizabeth said no that his name was John (Luke 1:61).  They then went to Zechariah.
Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. (Luke1: 62-64 NIV 84).
Zechariah had become truly obedient and submitted to God.  He had come to believe that nothing was impossible.   He had the bouncy, puking, screaming, cute proof before him.  He was set free from the bindings for his obedience.  We too will be set free when we come to trust and obey God.  We don't need to receive a huge blessing to see this.  We can see it in the small blessings we receive   When I was angry at God about my circumstances it was because I focused too much at the people around me.  It seemed that many of my friends and family were having "normal" children.  I questioned God as to why I was the statistic and not the "norm."  I have come to realize that God just wanted me to focus on His blessings.  All of them - big and small.  I probably get more excited than other parents when my sons learn something, like putting their boots on or brushing their teeth.  I have had to learn to trust God completely and to be content in the joy He does bring.  For He will bring you blessings.  

When we obey and submit to God, we too are fully blessed.  It may not be in large things.  It may be in the small things.  Blessings you might ignore if you are waiting for something huge to happen.  

What is God calling you to do?
What are you questioning God about?
How have you been released and blessed lately?
Friday, January 18, 2013

Caffeinated Randomness - They're Back.....

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Two weeks ago I awoke to great news.  We had been anticipating the worse.  We had been waiting since the fall for some decision to be made.  Plans were canceled.  Schedules changed.  We survived Saturday nights watching movies and old reruns on Netflix.  

But all that changed.  Saturday nights are going to back to normal soon.  We'll be able to watch Coaches Corner and see the worst suits ever.  We'll be able to hear about the blue line and goalie crease.  We'll hear words like Battle of Alberta, face off and Lord Stanley.

You guessed it for this Canadian girl - HOCKEY IS BACK!!  I know there are arguments about why support the game of overpaid children having a tantrum or rich corporate greedy owners.   I really don't care about it.  I just want to see the boys playing.  I've grown up in a hockey household and have a hockey husband.  It has been weird not to hear hockey noises in the background.  The cheers when your team is doing well and the angst when they are losing.  The stress of when there is 20 seconds left, the goalie pulled and the game is tied.  

It's been very frustrating listening to my football friends talk about their teams and their favourite players and I've been silent.  I haven't got to cheer on the boys.  I haven't got to tease my Pastor when his team is defeated by my team.  I haven't got to celebrate cheering for our team while living in enemy territory.  

That has all changed.  The Boys are BACK!!!!

Is there something you have been waiting for?  What is your favourite sport and team?  Come join the other Java Junkies in the randomness today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Voice - Nigeria

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9 NIV84
Please be in prayer for all believers.  Please feel free to share any prayer requests or praise requests in the comment section of the post.  I would ask that if you read this blog on a Wednesday that you take time not just to pray for those who are persecuted, but also for each other.  We may not know each other, but we can take joy in praying for each other and the power that God has when we pray globally. Blessings to you all.
Churches Attacked on Christmas Eve 
Sources: CNN, Reuters, Release International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

While the majority of Christians around the world were peacefully celebrating our Lord's birth on Christmas Eve, vicious attacks took place during two church services in northern Nigeria that have resulted in the deaths of at least 12 innocent people. This is the third year in a row that violent attacks have been launched against Christians in Nigeria at Christmas. 

Gunmen opened fire at the Church of Christ in Nations located in a small village of Yobe state, killing a total of six people, including the pastor. The perpetrators also set the church on fire and left several congregants seriously injured. That same night, a deacon and five other Christians were killed at the First Baptist Church in the city of Maiduguri (Borno state). Although no one has claimed responsibility for this year's attacks, an Islamist terrorist group known as Boko Haram is widely suspected. Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has issued a statement promising improved security for Christian communities. 

Please lift up those who have been greatly impacted by the attacks, asking God to overshadow them with His comforting presence and perfect peace.  
Also pray that He will powerfully minister healing to the injured and bereaved that they may remain faithful in the midst of persecution. 
May He impart wisdom and courage to the country's authorities as they take necessary steps to end the violence caused by extremism.
Sunday, January 13, 2013

Messy Monday - Cain & Abel

We all know the story of Cain and Abel.  At first glance it appears to be a story of brother vs. brother.  The good brother vs. the bad brother.  We see this theme played out in multiple movies, books, and television shows (ie. Thor vs. Loki, JR vs Bobby, etc..).  The theme is so ingrained in our culture that Kevin Leman thought he should call the Birth Order book, "Abel had it Coming!"

This story is really about sin.  The messy ugly sin that can take control of our lives if we let it.  In Genesis Chapter 4, we read that Abel kept flocks, while Cain "tilled" the land.  Both brothers brought an offering to God.  Cain brought the fruits of his labour as a farmer.  Abel sacrificed one of his firstborn sheep.  God honoured Abel's sacrifice, but not Cain's offering.  Being an older sibling, I can tell you of the many times I felt this has happened to me, where it appeared that my younger sister got more than me or was favoured over me.  I have felt angry, frustrated and jealous.  I can imagine that this is exactly how Cain felt.  You're the oldest, of course you should be favoured first.  It's hard to see your younger sibling get something that yourself has not received.  

God saw Cain's frustration and confronted him on it.  He tells Cain that if he does what is good he can "hold his head high" (vs. 4-5 CJB).  But.....there is always a but.....sin was crouching at his door. Waiting for him.  Watching for him.  Isn't that the way with sin.  It waits for us and tempts us.  We can choose to hold our head high or to fall into it.  Hear that, we allow sin in our lives.  We allow it control over us.  It has no control unless we give it control.  

And of course, Cain did not heed the warning.  He led Abel to the fields and attacked and killed him.  While the bible doesn't come right and say if this was a premeditated murder, the CJB version states:  
Kayin had words with Hevel his brother; then one time, when they were in the field, Kayin turned on Hevel his brother and killed him. (Gen 4:8 CJB)
He may not have intended to kill, but He did take advantage of the situation.  He took out all his frustrations, anger,  pain and jealousies out on Abel.  I can visualize both brothers during this.  I can feel Cain's angst as I have been in this position and I can see Abel's fear and shock during the attack.   

Notice how Cain took Abel out to the field so that what ever did occur would have no witnesses.  But there was a witness.  God saw all of it.  Just as every parent does when they know their kids have done wrong and want them to confess and tell them, God questions Cain:
And the Lord said to Cain, Where is Abel your brother? And he said, I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen 4:9 AMP)
God wants Cain to repent.  He wants Cain to seek God's forgiveness and grace.  He also wants Cain to be able to hold his head high in repentance   I often wonder what Cain would have faced if he had done so.  If he had immediately admitted to his crime.  But that was not to be.  Like most of us who have been caught in our sin, we want to blame someone else for our sin and hide from it.  Cain was no different.  

But face the music we must.  God knows full well what happened and punishes Cain.  But Cain still can't accept responsibility for his sin.  He even complains about the punishment that he receives (v. 13).  I hear that from my kids a lot when they are being punished.  They don't see that the punishment fits the crime.  No criminal ever does.  They feel like they are being persecuted excessively for what they committed.   It is because they don't take responsibility for their actions.  They don't see the pain they cause and inflict.  Our sins do not just affect our lives, they affect all of those around us.  Ask a family member of an alcoholic or drug addict how it affects them.  

God wants to show us grace.  He wants to forgive us.  But we need to take responsibility for our actions and face the music when it comes at us.  When we sin, we need to immediately turn from it and ask God to forgive us and ask those around us to forgive us.  When we are around something or people that would tempt us and lead us down a path of destruction, we need to turn from it.  We need to choose to hold our heads up.  We need to walk the path of righteousness with God.  

What are is tempting you?  What sins are you fighting?  Have you asked God for forgiveness?
Friday, January 11, 2013

Caffeinated Randomness - A Review


What would you do if you lost something that should be your most important possession?  Would you search for it or would you just let it go?  
What would you do if the person who you loved the most hurt you the most?  Would you make them pay?  Could you forgive them?  
Who do you trust, the person who appears to have it all or the person who everyone tells you to stay way from?  
Would you help a stranger when everyone told you not to?
These and many more layers of messiness are explored and embraced in an authentic, yet dramatic tale by Shannon O'Donnell in "Love's Memory – The Scotts of Moutain Ridge (Book 1)."

I was privileged enough to be asked to preview this book late last year.  I struggle with many Christian Novels as I find them "fluff."  Everything is always solved in a happy ending at the end.  They seem to be no better than, dare I say it, romance novels.  Not that I don't read them.   They're the books I read when I don't want to be challenged or think.  However, this novel had me thinking.  There were so many layers to this story.  So many flawed characters who were struggling and in pain.  I was challenged to look at my own relationships and perceptions.  No one character was innately good and no one character was innately bad.  They were human.  They were honest and they were messy.

This novel is officially released on January 15, 2012 and would recommend getting it and reading it. I am now waiting for Book 2 and it can't come soon enough.

What have you been reading?  What books have pushed or challenged you?  Come and join up with the other Java Junkies this week with your randomness.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wednesday's Voice - Martyrs

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9 NIV84
Please be in prayer for all believers.  Please feel free to share any prayer requests or praise requests in the comment section of the post.  I would ask that if you read this blog on a Wednesday that you take time not just to pray for those who are persecuted, but also for each other.  We may not know each other, but we can take joy in praying for each other and the power that God has when we pray globally. Blessings to you all.

On behalf of the Voice of the Martyrs I want to thank you for your prayers on behalf of all our persecuted brothers and sisters who are fellow believers in our Lord Jesus Christ .  Please pray that there would be religious freedom in all these countries. That God may give the body of believers strength and courage to stand strong and courageous for Him, not by their own strength. That they may seek God’s council in all that they do surrendering to His ways We are thankful to our heavenly Father for the privilege of praying for them and that we may never become disheartened or numbed to the needs of the Persecuted Church world wide.

Monday, January 7, 2013

SDG - Authentic Community

You go to church on Sunday. Hurting. Struggling with the trials you face. They may be raising special needs children. They may be health issues. They may be loss of a job or loss of a family member. You carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. An acquaintance comes up to you to say hi and asks how you are doing? You answer: “Fine” with an awkward smile. LIAR! You are not fine. You are not doing ok.

From your view the acquaintance looks great. Doesn't seem to have a hair out of place. She replies, “Great, I'm doing fine as well.” LIAR. You don't know what lies beneath that facade. Broken marriage. Financial struggles. Depression.

Neither of you is being authentic with the other. Neither of you is willing to lay aside your pride and your insecurities to be honest with each other. You are not willing to admit humility and ask for help.

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. (James 5:16 Msg)

It should be our common practice to be open and honest with each other. How can we be whole? How can we be healed if we aren't honest and authentic?  Why do we allow ourselves to lie to each other when we are called to be people of the truth?  I think it is because we are spending too much time on our facades. The view that we want people to see. The view that we want people to think we are. The view we wish we were.

I am not just finding this at church, but also in the blogosphere or anywhere else I meet Christians. We all wear this facade. We don't allow ourselves to be authentic because we don't want to be judged. But then we become what we didn't want to become – judgers. We start to judge ourselves on a perception and not on a truth. We start to judge others on the same perceptions. We allow ourselves to be valued not on authenticity but on illusion. That person seems to have it all; why don't I? That person has no idea what I face on a daily basis. That person must have a housekeeper, her house can't be that clean by itself.  On and on goes the judging and the lies, until we end up like the Pharisees. Self righteous people trying to be holy and failing miserably.

It is my belief that we as Christians are not willing to embrace our own messes or others messes. It is too messy. It is too scary. Too real. What will people think?  What will people expect from us when we start being honest. I was once told by a friend that another acquaintance thought my house was immaculate. That I did not have any dirt anywhere. She told me this while we were cleaning for my move. I quickly pulled out one of the beds and revealed the dust and dirt that had been under there for 4 years. See we all have that dirt. It is just hiding.

I struggle with being authentic. I have troubles with asking for help.  I do not want to burden people with my mess.   I rarely ask for prayer.  I rarely allow people to see the real messy me. The weak me.  Most people see me as a strong individual. Someone to have fun with. Someone who can be brutally honest. But how honest am I when I don't share with those who are close to me. When I don't allow them into my messes.  Am I selling myself and others short when I don't share?  How can I expect others to share with me their brokenness and pain, as well as their triumphs, when I am reluctant to do the same.  

I just started reading "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore. It is already speaking to me. Beth suggests that some of the reasons for our insecurities come from trust issues with God. I think this is also the reason we struggle with authenticity. We don't truly trust God and we don't truly trust each other. How many friendships have we lost because of a perceived betrayal?  How many times have we been let down by people who don't meet our expectations?  How many times have we let people down?  But you see God never lets us down.   He is always with us.  He loves us just for who we are and not for what we are.   He loves us because of our messes. He wants our messes. He embraces our messes.

If we want true relationship with Jesus and each other we need to admit our weaknesses.  We need to embrace them and be authentic with each other and ourselves about them.  We need to show people that we are not doing “fine.” We need to allow Jesus to break down the facades we have built up and allow people into our messes. They may not know how to handle it. That's ok.  God does. Our friends and acquaintances may not know what to do or to say. Admit it. We don't have all the answers. God does. If we don't have the words, pray. You don't have to pray right there but let them know that you will pray for them and actually do it. Ask others to pray with you. Nothing will be solved unless we start handing God our messes and allow others to do the same.

We are meant to be in community with each other. But unless we can truly be authentic with each other, what kind of community are we building? 

I am linking up with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood this week at Finding Heaven.  

Messy Monday - The First Messy

“Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.......”

Ok, maybe not at the beginning but at Chapter 3. That's Genesis Chapter 3 to be concise. To start our journey on the messy, we need to see the start of the mess. I know we all know the story and I'm probably not adding anything to it. But before you start to strip the layers of mess around us and in us, we need to see where it started.

God had told Adam that he could eat from any tree in the garden of Eden, except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:16-17). I'm sure it was pretty easy to do. I mean there were probably hundreds of fruit trees and berry bushes and other edible plants. But isn't it always true that the one thing you long for is the one thing you can't have. If you face addictions with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, etc..... you long for it. You crave it. It seems to call you. I know when I start a diet, the sweets seem to call me.  

This time though it wasn't the fruit that called to Adam and Eve it was a serpent. He knew what they wanted. He knew what they craved and he knew just how to tempt them. He quickly deceived Eve. He said "Did God really say "You must not eat from any tree in the garden?" See how he twisted the truth. He was a good dealer.  "Just one hit won`t hurt you."   Just one drink and you can stop."   Isn`t that what happens when we are addicted to something we can`t have?  We allow the craving to control us and become easily deceived.  Both Adam and Eve were deceived.  I know Eve always gets the full rap for the deception.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining, she too some and ate it. (Genesis 3:6 NIV84)
This one sentence has sentenced Eve to take the full burden of original sin for millenia. But wait where was Adam?  Where was our hero when all this was taking place?  Was he at another part of the garden?

She also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it. (Genesis 3:7 NIV84)
He was right beside her, probably listening to everything the serpent was saying. He just didn`t say anything. He allowed everything to happen. He could have stopped Eve. He could have stopped the serpent. But alas our hero was flawed just as we all are. We all are witness to things that shouldn`t be. We all know people struggling, but instead of standing between them and what they struggle against, we enable and allow. We are silent, just as Adam was silent.

We all know the consequences of the disobedience to God. Adam and Eve were evicted from Eden. The serpent was cursed. Adam was told instead of a life of luxury and leisure, that he would now have to work for a living. Eve was told that childbirth would be painful and that her desire would be for her husband and that he would be the ruler over her. Oh the consequences...... We still suffer from those consequences. Nothing in life is easy. We face trials and heartaches. We struggle and fight to survive. We witness horrors that we should never be witness to. Children die. Friends fight for their lives from the ravages of cancer. We watch as lives are taken through addictions. Families break up. Money keeps people in servitude. People suffer from depression and can`t find hope anywhere. But there is hope.
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. (Romans 8:28 NIV84)
God loved Adam and Eve and He was sad that He had to discipline them. As parents, we know that when we discipline our children and have them face consequences, we take no joy from it (ok, maybe once in a while). It hurts our hearts to tell our children that they can`t do what they want because of their actions. It hurts to take away something they love because they didn`t heed our warnings or advice. But in all things there is grace.

God started working things out right there in the beginning because of sin. God knew he would have to make a sacrifice for his children to save them from their sins. In fact, He sacrificed some of his creation to make skins for Adam and Eve so that they would be clothed (Gen 21). However, the promise of the greatest sacrifice He would make is in the curse of the serpent.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. (Gen 3:15 NIV84)
This is the first telling of Jesus. You see, God doesn't let bad things happen. He didn`t cause cancer. He doesn`t plan for children to be killed. He doesn`t allow terrorists to kill innocents. But He is there in the bad things. He guides and supports. He gives strength and peace and healing. It may not look the way we want it, but He does bring it. When we are focused on Him; when we lean on Him; when we seek Him; He is with us. He will bring good from the bad. We are not alone when we are in Him.

It is too easy in our society to be deceived as Eve was. To close our eyes as Adam did. When we cease to focus on the Father and obey Him we will walk down the path that He did not chose for us. However, if we obey Him and focus on Him, He will give us the strength to fight temptation and lies.
Friday, January 4, 2013

Caffeinated Randomness - New Years Organization


Happy New Year!!!  I hope everyone had a great New Year's Eve celebration.  I spent the evening at my in laws with 24 other people (including kids) eating and visiting.  It was hot and oily, partially because we ate Oliebollen.  I know what you are thinking:  What is Olliebollen?  It's a Dutch dish that is like an apple fritter.  They are extremely yummy.  The day after we all went out to the local Chinese Food Buffet and again visited and ate.  Luckily it's the new year and we have goals to work on those extra calories.

I know I posted my goals last week.  I have been following the Lean pretty closely.  I'm already behind on my Bible reading (surprise, surprise) and haven't started on the house yet.  I'm still cleaning from the holiday.  I have been busy though.

It being the New Year, I know many people are focusing on organizing their lives.  I too have been working on some personal organization and family organization.  I was privileged in obtaining Kayse Pratt's ebook, "Getting It Together", this week for free.  It is a step by step book on creating your family's organization binder.  She has included free printables at the end of the book for the reader's use.  I love how she has set up the book.  It's easy to follow and a quick read.  Her printables are cute and clear.  My favourite is her Monthly Meal Plan.  She has it set up just as I set up my draft one.  I always post a calendar style one on the fridge for everyone to see, but love having one available for shopping lists.  

In reading this book, I have been inspired to create my own family organization binder.  I had one previously when I followed Fly Lady.  But gave it up as it just seemed a nuisance.  I want to simplify my binder this time.  I want to keep track of my menu plans, calendars, inspiration, passwords, etc in one easy place.  However, I will not have a section for my cleaning as I have a cleaning list laminated on my wall by laptop.  

I am inspired by so many things from Pinterest.  I love pinning the crafts and recipes (most of which I will never do).  I, for some reason, have only used the cleaning and organization tips, which could explain why my new love is my steam mop.  My cleaning sheet I have is based on this pin from Simply {Kierste} .

I however also incorporated the Time Warped Wife's list, as well, in the weekly column.

I switched around the days that work for me and so far between the merging of the two have kept my house pretty clean and organized.  I think I can safely say that out of a 10, my house is regularly a 7 or 8.  Having a day to focus on a room or areas has kept my sanity and it takes only about an hour to do the job on the room.  

I am going to continue to work on my family organization binder.  If I create any of my own sheets I will gladly share them with you or if I find any other exceptional sheets on Pinterest I will be sure to guide you to them.  

What kind of organization have you been up to lately?  Do you have an organizational binder?  How do you keep your sanity?  Come link up this week with the other Java Junkies and share your randomness.

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Alberta, Canada
I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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