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Women Living Well Blog: January 2009

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, January 30, 2009

Fasting and Prayer

So this week I have focused on taking care of your temple - your body - and today I want to address fasting - which is a spiritual discipline that feeds your soul while you starve your body - it's a mystery how it works! You replace meal time with prayer time and each time your mind signals - "I want food" - you let that be a signal to pray. So a day of fasting equals a day of fervent prayer.

Fasting is something that I rarely hear discussed in church so I had to do a little research to learn how to do it. Dee Brestin has a book titled "A Woman of Moderation" that has been very insightful if you are looking for some help in this area. Also, John Piper has a book titled "A Hunger for God" which is all about fasting and can be downloaded for free by clicking on this link.

Here's what he says on page 20: "When midmorning comes and you want food so badly that the thought of lunch becomes as sweet as summer vacation, then suddenly you realize, "Oh, I forgot, I made a commitment. I can't have that pleasure. I'm fasting for lunch too." Then what are you going to do with all the unhappiness inside? Formerly, you blocked it out with the hope of a tasty lunch. The hope of food gave you the good feelings to balance out the bad feelings. But now the balance is off. You must find another way to deal with it.

At these points we really begin to discover what our spiritual resources are. The things I discover about my soul are so valuable for the fight of faith...I almost subtitled this book: Fasting - the Hungry Handmaid of Faith. What a servant she is! Humbly and quietly, with scarcely a movement, she brings up out of the dark places of my soul the dissatisfaction's in relationships, the frustrations of the ministry, the fears of failure, the emptiness of wasted time. And just when my heart begins to retreat to the delicious hope of eating supper with friends at Pizza Hut, she quietly reminds me: not tonight. It can be a devastating experience at first.

Will I find spiritual communion with God sweet enough, and hope in his promises deep enough, not just to cope, but to flourish and rejoice in him? Or will I rationalize away my need to fast and retreat to the mediation of food? The apostle Paul said "I will not be mastered by anything." (I Corinthians 6:12) Fasting reveals the measure of foods mastery over us - or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God"

If you've never fasted before - (and you aren't pregnant, nursing or suffering from a medical condition which would not allow you to fast) then consider - one 24 hour period of fasting. When I fast I go from sundown to sundown. So I eat my "last supper" around 5pm and then I don't eat again until the next evening at 6pm. Enjoy a day of fervent prayer and allow God to be your portion and strength.

Walk with the King!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

What the Bible Says About Exercise

Only one time is physical exercise mentioned in the Bible and it is in I Timothy 4:8 - which reads "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

So the Bible affirms that "physical training is of some value". How does it benefit you personally? Do you have any ailments that you know physical exercise helps? Studies show that exercise gives us physical and mental energy, it gives us stronger muscles and bones, helps us sleep better, reduces fatigue, depression, and anxiety, fights heart disease, and generally gives you a longer, healthier life. "Physical training is of some value."

Is exercise important to you? Is it vain? At one time - vanity was attached to my exercise. But now that I've had 2 babies and my body has changed it is less about vanity and more about being healthy.

I won't list my ailments for you - but I do suffer from high blood pressure which I take medication for and also neck pain due to some arthritic changes in my neck. My neck pain literally disappears with regular workouts. But as soon as I stop exercising it returns in full force. "Physical training has some value" and without it my entire family suffers.

I value my exercise time and I have to squeeze it into my routine - BUT where you may ask? I have my quiet times in the morning - so the morning is no good! Then the day is packed full with the kids and responsibilities. So for me the best time is the worst time - at the end of my exhausted day! Often all I want to do is snuggle up in my pj's, turn on the television and grab a bag of chips - but instead I have disciplined myself to head to my basement the minute my children are in bed, - and get on the treadmill for no less than 30 minutes, 4 times a week.

Recently I have committed to running a 5K with a bunch of friends, so that has helped me to be a little more motivated. But there's no motivator like a sharp neck pain that reminds me - I need to exercise!

So I want to encourage you - if you suffer from aches and pains, fatigue, and low energy and you think - "but there's just no place to squeeze it in" - you must make exercise a priority - it has some value! It is not a waste of time - it is an investment into your life - your quality of life. Pray and ask God to help you - just three times a week to get moving for even just 15 minutes. And then live your life passionately for God - with energy!

Walk with the King!

**To find workout plans for your upper and lower body, abs and pilates - go to the strength page of:


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eat to the Glory of God

This is a subject that I humbly and openly admit that I struggle in. Since I was a child I've had a funny relationship with chips and dip - my favorite - yet my most hated food! I love them so much I hate them because I literally cannot stop once I start eating them - therefore - you will NEVER find chips and dip in my home unless we have company coming. I have a few other foods I feel this way about also. I know they are unhealthy for me - but my cravings always seem to be stronger than my self-control!

I Corinthians 10:31 says "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Even our eating habits are to glorify God. God gave us food as a gift to enjoy - but we also need to see that food is for energy - it is fuel for the body that enables us to accomplish the tasks God has for us. If we are tired and sluggish we need to evaluate what is it that we are eating? Elizabeth George has noted "The best exercise is to exercise discretion at the dining table."

Elizabeth Elliot said of Daniel "Discipline is evident on every page of the life of Daniel...The first thing that sets Daniel apart is a decision regarding food...It was the beginning of the Lord's preparation of a man whose spiritual fiber would be rigorously tested later on." Daniel was a man who paid attention to what went into his mouth and how it affected him.

And we learn from Jonathon - that we MUST eat. In I Samuel 14, Saul sent his men into battle and told them not to eat until they had finished the battle - the entire army was faint. Jonathon did not know of Saul's order and he dipped his finger in honey and ate and the Bible says "his countenance was brightened" and Jonathon says of the fainting army "How much better if the people had eaten freely today". God wants us to fuel our body with food!

So we need food - yet we need to use discretion as we "eat to the glory of God." Since I am not the best role model - I'd like to point my finger to a person who has helped me on the road to better health - my good friend Clare. She is a certified fitness instructor and she uses her passion to help women in our church by leading aerobics classes, one-on-one instruction, answering email questions and posting workout plans at Recently she journaled her eating so others could see what a regular mom and fitness instructor eats. Go here to see an example of her choices. You will not find the perfect plan for you - but you will see a woman of moderation - a woman who thinks through her bites each day. Remember as you thank God for your food - to eat to the glory of God!

Walk with the King!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are You Getting Enough Rest?

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price, Therefore honor God with your body." I Corinthians 6:19,20

"Your body is a temple - you are not your own - you were bought at a price - therefore honor God with your body". Have you ever thought through the ramifications of these verses?

God does not only care about how you care for your soul but also how you care for your body. Our bodies were designed by God to serve God - we need rest, food, and strength to accomplish all the tasks we have each day. It takes energy (which comes from rest, food and exercise) to make meals, run laundry, grocery shop, love on our husbands, clean, read stories or discipline our little ones, train our teens and serve in the church.

So let's start with sleep! Are you getting enough rest? “Since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1879, our nightly sleep has dropped from an average of nine hours to seven.” says Thomas Roth PhD of Henry Ford Hospital.

For the past 5 years I’ve been woken intermittently in the night by hungry babies, teething babies, babies that can’t find their pacifier, sick toddlers, scared toddlers, toddlers that have fallen out of bed, potty training preschoolers and wet beds! I’m positive that these new grey hairs are from the list of sleepless nights above.

Do you feel exhausted? Are you listening to your body? Or are you ignoring your body’s signals? Your body is telling you to take a nap or go to bed early. It takes discipline to put your book down, turn the television off or walk away from an email sitting in your inbox.

So the big question is – how is sleep deprivation affecting your spiritual life? The bad news is – it is. You are less likely to be able to keep your eyes open to read the Bible or pray. It is hard to display the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22) – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in the home when you are tired. Out in public we can put on a smile and be pleasant – even when we are tired. But when we walk through the doors of our home we can let that guard drop and tired wife appears. And sometimes what comes out of tired wife/mommy/friend is not so nice.

So if you are struggling to be a sweet wife, if you feel guilty for having short patience with your children, or if you keep falling asleep in the middle of your quiet time with God – repent and get some sleep!!!! This is not necessarily a spiritual problem – this is a physical one!

Tomorrow I'll talk about what we eat - but for now - get some rest and Walk with the King!


Monday, January 26, 2009

What My Mom Did Right

On my womenlivingwell site there is a section titled "What My Mom Did Right" where 10 women wrote about what their mother's did right. So today - it's my turn - because today is my mom's birthday! (Picture - Top Row - Mom, Me, My Sisters; Bottom Row - My Daughter, Grandmother, niece)

The best thing my mom ever did for me was to equip me for life by teaching me to fall in love with God and his word. Through her example and love of scriptures - I too fell in love with her Savior. She taught me how to read the word and apply it and how to always go to the scriptures first for answers in times of trouble. She taught me how to share my faith and not be ashamed. She taught me how to go against the flow in a public school and be secure in my faith.

Mom always had her colored pencils on the kitchen table where she worked hard preparing to lead her precept Bible studies. If we had a problem - mom had the solution with a verse attached and if mom said she was praying - we knew - something was going to happen - because mom's prayers were powerful!

One of my favorite memories growing up were after school snack time - not just for the snack - but the time mom spent listening to all my boring stories! Mom listened and listened and listened as my two older sisters and I told many many stories. We are a chatty bunch! But I always knew I could talk to my mom about ANYTHING!

Mom introduced me to one of my all time favorite authors - Elizabeth Elliot through the book "Through Gates of Splendor." It changed my view on life for forever. It gave me a passion to live for God and a hunger to live life to its fullest for God’s glory and it planted the seed in my heart to go to Bible college.

Mom MADE me practice piano even when I hated it and now I'm so glad I have that skill!!! She taught us girls to never quit and to always do everything to the best of our abilities. Thanks mom!

Mom is so generous - and I know she would not be pleased if I gave details on her giving - but mom and dad were always supporting many ministries or sharing with others in need. She is a gift giver and loves to give in abundance. She taught me both in words and deed that everything she has came from God and belongs to God. And that we must be good stewards - she is a great deal finder!

Mom is a woman of conviction. I am thankful that she sees things as black and white and did not let us girls settle for lukewarmness in our lives. She pushed us to righteousness and to high standards. She had strict television rules and I am so thankful now for how she protected my mind.

Mom protected my purity by not letting Keith and I stay out too late when we were dating and she always allowed us to hang at the house where she could keep an eye on us! She and dad also led Keith and I in a marriage Bible study to prepare us for having a Biblical marriage.

Mom taught me how to submit to authority. Although she raised me to be a strong girl with strong convictions – she taught me how to submit my will to authority. It has been a great benefit in my life - to know how to submit to my teachers, coaches, pastors and now husband.

And finally - mom (and dad!) gave me a childhood filled with joy, love and peace. I always knew I was unconditionally loved by them and by my heavenly Father. I cannot thank my mother enough for leading me to my rock - Jesus Christ my Savior. Thank you mom and Happy Birthday. I love you!

Walk with the King!


Friday, January 23, 2009

God is Able!

In 1946, Darryl Zanuck, an executive at 20th Century Fox said "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." Wow was Darryl Zanuck wrong!!! He could not imagine how mesmorizing television would become for America.
Do you ever do this with prayer? You pray for something but since you can't imagine how God would answer your prayer - you lose hope - assume the worst ending. My freshman year in college I had a roommate whose life verse was Ephesians 3:20 and she would periodically say "pray for an Ephesians 3:20." Recently I was praying and her words came back to me and I prayed for an Ephesians 3:20.

Do you have something in your life that you have been praying for and it seems as though the plan you told God he should do - he is not doing! Are you worried about your husband's job, disharmony in the home, a wayward child, financial troubles, a lost family member or something else out of your control? Then you need an Ephesians 3:20.

Ephesians 3:20 and 21 say "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, acoording to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

When we cry out to God - we do not need to cry out very loudly - he is nearer than we realize. And when you cry out - remember - HE IS ABLE! Ephesians 3:20 says he is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine."

Our part is in believing - that's faith - though we don't know how to ask or imagine God answering our prayers -we know he is more than able and when he does he will receive all the glory!

Now take your burden to the throne room of God and lay it at his feet - he is ABLE!

Walk with the King!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Are you a Peace Keeper or Peace Maker?

Matthew 5:9 says "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God."

I was listening to Beth Moore the other day and she asked this question - "Are you a peace keeper or a peacemaker?"

I had to really ponder that thought. She said - "Our sinful nature resists peace - we naturally hate, slander, have jealousy, fits of rage and selfish ambition according to Galatians 5:20." So we cannot blame everything on the enemy - we are all capable of these heineous sins.

But how do you pursue peace? Do you try to cover issues over and "keep peace" even though underneath you are simmering and angry? Or do you resolve issues by apologizing or forgiving your offender to "make peace"?

You see - one is from God and the other is not. If you are a "peace keeper" then you have false peace. Jeremiah 8:11 says "They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. "Peace peace," they say, when there is no peace." If you spend your life being a "peace keeper" - you are just putting bandaids on situations that require surgery. You are creating a false peace and a wound that is festering.

You may have someone that you fear and it seems better to just "keep peace" rather than rock the boat by attempting to resolve a conflict - but this fear keeps you in turmoil and you cannot live in peace. So today - I challenge you to be a "peacemaker". Romans 12 gives us a play by play manual on how to be a "peacemaker"- it says in verses 17-21:

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Be a "peacemaker" today and you will be blessed. Matthew 5:9 promises - "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God."

Walk with the King!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

$25 Target Gift Card Giveaway Has Ended

The first random winner has been chosen! I numbered each entry and then had my husband randomly choose a number and the winner is.... drum roll please....
I will be contacting you and sending you your gift card shortly!

Thanks for all who entered and check back again soon to see what next month's giveaway will be!!!

Send me your FAVORITE organizational tip for a chance to win a $25 gift card from Target and to have your tip debuted on!

To Win: Please share your favorite organizational tip! It can be one item you cannot live without, one area of your house that you have whipped into shape, a schedule that works for you, a book that has helped you or a problem spot you have conquered (ie. medicine cabinet, desk, closet etc.). Post your best tip and how it has helped you in the comment section below and you will be entered into the contest. If your email address is not connected to your ID please leave your email address with your comment or email it to me at with the subject "Giveaway".

RULES: Starts January 20th, 2009 at 7:00 a.m. Ends February 14th, 2009 at 9 p.m. Open to residents of the United States who are 18 and older. Winner will be contacted via email.

For fellow bloggers, blog about this giveaway and include a link back to this post or grab my button and then let me know in the comment section for a bonus entry!
Notice: THE CONTEST HAS CHANGED per the request of the Speers. Thank you for those of you who voted for the Speer's for an Extreme Home Makeover. If you would like to read their story go here...
The Contest will carry on with new rules to win and those who have already entered will still be entered in the final drawing with a bonus opportunity to enter again a second time following these new set of rules!


Dealing with Fear

Yesterday I blogged about "Change" - and today I'm thinking about fear. Just yesterday I was with a friend in aerobics class and she said with her eyes wide - "I'm so scared for tomorrow."

I know some of you relate. The "Change" that America voted for is slightly unknown. We don't really know what Barack Obama is going to do next. Some talk of another 800 billion dollar bailout plan on top of the previous bailout plan. How much is a billion dollars anyway? I can't even wrap my head around these figures. All I know is the nation is going into a lot of debt which is scary. Then there's the stock market and housing crisis and the threat of real enemies. How will Obama handle these volatile issues?

Did you know that over 60 times the Bible says "Fear not". Fear is the exact opposite of faith and faith is the opposite of fear. So which are you more filled with today?

2 Tim 1:7 says "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." Do you lack faith and confidence? That is not from God - you are listening to the wrong voices. God says "fear not".

If you are someone who struggles with fear and anxiety on a daily basis (or if you have a child struggling with this), you have a stronghold of fear. What I recommend that you do is read Psalm 23 every morning and every evening until you have it memorized. This discipline will comfort your soul and change your way of thinking. You must trade your fearful thoughts for comforting thoughts. You must claim verse 4 "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

Fear and faith cannot coexist. So today - walk in faith, talk in faith, eat, drink, sleep in faith! Cling to God's promises and fear has no chance! Our hope is not set in Presidents or the almighty dollar but in God. Today live out the Nike slogan "No Fear"!

Walk with the King!


Monday, January 19, 2009


In November, America voted for "Change". The election victory of Barack Obama - a first-term senator from Illinois, showed that this is what Americans are longing for. And so tomorrow - "Change" will be ushered in.

Do you like change? A recent study showed that over 600,000 Americans have heart by-pass surgery every year. After their surgery, the Dr. gives them instructions to "change". They need to change their diet, change their activity levels, change their habits - or die! And the studies show only 90% are able to make that change!

Change is actually a difficult thing for most people. When I went away to college in Chicago - in the first week- I broke out in a rash! That was strange - I had never had that happen before. But then 4 years later, as a newlywed I moved to a new city and guess what - a nasty rash! But this time I recongnized what it was from. Change! My body was allergic to change!!! But of course I had to learn how to embrace change to survive.

If you opposed Barack Obama during his campaign - as Christians we must be willing to change our attitude towards him. Tomorrow he becomes our President!

Paul told us to pray for those in authority over us and this was in the midst of Nero's harsh rule. Nero persecuted Christians and even had his own mother murdered for criticizing his mistress! So these verses would have been harder to accept for Timothy's church than for us today. In 1 Timothy 2:1,2 Paul says,"I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."

So God's word tells us to: 1) Give requests to God for those in authority. 2) Say prayers for those in authority. 3) Make intercession for those in authority. And notice - 4) we are to give thanks for those in authority.

Why??? "That we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." Yes, isn't that what we all want - to have a peaceful life filled with godliness! Then it starts here - pray and give thanks for those in authority. Change is coming - have you obeyed this command to pray? Let's not be allergic to change - but let's clothe President Elect Obama in prayer and lead godly lives!

Walk with the King!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ways to Survive Cabin Fever with Kids

You may live somewhere hot and balmy right now - but I live in arctic Ohio. Today's high is forecasted to be 3 degrees. School has been cancelled and we are all enjoying the beauty of the 8 inches of snow out our windows.

But I must admit that there's a longing for spring but for now - we want to be happy and content in our sweet home - so it's my job - the mom's - to make my home a cozy happy place!

So here's some fun tips if you are "stranded" at home with preschool and elementary kids - let's make it fun!

1. Do a scavenger hunt - my kids LOVE scavenger hunts - you can even make it a treasure hunt. Have them make coins out of construction paper (the cutting will keep them busy for a while!) and then you hide them in a room. Then give them clues: warm, warmer, HOT as to when they are close to the treasure!

2. You probably have lots of photos of your kids on holidays but have you chronicled your daily life - someday you will treasure these moments. So pull out your camera and chronicle your kids doing their favorite things at home - take a picture of them watching Curious George, eating their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or playing dress up, house or spider man. Someday you will be thankful you have photos of them not just from Christmas and Easter but from everyday life too.

3. Make cereal necklaces. That's what we will be doing today!

4. Make noodle art or cotton ball art.

5. Play balloon games - my son LOVES to play "keep it in the air" and we count how many hits before it touches the floor or we make goals and play soccer with the balloon.

6. Have a tea or hot cocoa party. This is a necessity on these cold days! I bought three bags of marshmallows at the grocery store yesterday - we are going to be making some serious hot cocoa and marshmallows this month! It's a cheap and easy thrill and the ear to ear grin is worth it!

7. Build an obstacle course or fort for your boys! This will keep them busy long after you've built it. We literally tip all of the couches in our formal living room and turn it into the coolest fort ever!
8. Have the kids look out the window and draw one thing that they see. Then have them add to it the next day.

I know you wish you had more time to do something for yourself - but this season of life will pass and a time will come when you can. Until then, enjoy these moments with your children and make them matter.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 says "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God."

Walk with the King!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oprah On Spirituality

If you watch Oprah, then you know that she is doing a series on "How to Live Your Best Life." Yesterday she focused on her - (this is a quote) "favorite subject - spirituality." Oprah has previously said that she grew up a Southern Baptist - she went to church every Sunday, Wednesday night and even sang in the choir. But around the age of 24 she had a "spiritual awakening" where she began to question organized religion.
From there she became a seeker - and through the years she has arrived at this panel of people - who are her "spiritual teachers." I listened to her "world simulcast web classroom" last night to get clarity on where Oprah is trying to lead her millions of viewers. If you are confused as to what Oprah believes (she portrays herself as a Christian at times)- let me warn you that most of her panel is Unitarian. They believe all religions lead to the same path. They do not take the Bible literally and they have no creeds.

Oprah said on her simulcast that she no longer prays to the "Heavenly Father" but she has evolved spiritually and prays to "all that is God." And when she prays she believes the "universe answers you". That's not very reassuring in my assessment! Then Oprah had a famous A-ha moment - and brace yourself for the reinvention of God's holy word. One of her "spiritual teachers" said this direct quote..."the Bible is not God's holy word - but it's the inspired word of man about God." Oprah said - "I just had an A-ha moment - say that again!"

Nope Oprah - your spiritual teacher is wrong!!! 2 Timothy 3:16 says "All scripture is God breathed" and 2 Peter 1:20 and 21 says "No scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." The Bible IS the Holy word OF God not man!

Then her panel said something that boggles my mind - they said " we are all seekers not finders, we do not know the answers." I thought - "so why are people following them?" Then they said, "Old school religion has church as it's authority, -but new school religion lets you be the authority. You are in control of your spirituality emerging. Obey your inner voices" Then Oprah said "My goal this year is to have a closer walk with me."

I hope you are seeing the flaws in all of this psychology - but in case you don't, God says in Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things". And in Noah's times - people decided to let their hearts be their own authority and in Genesis 6:5 it says "The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." They followed their hearts and ended up with the great flood!

We do not want to follow our own heart - it is inclined to evil! It will deceive us and take us away from God rather than to him if we choose to listen to it. We must let God be our authority and submit our hearts to him for both salvation and spiritual growth.

Also, her panel continually judged organized religion for being too judgemental - that itself was an oxymoron! I guess it's okay for them to judge, just not others - I sensed elitism.

I will close this blog which is getting too lengthy - by saying that Oprah said her "show is her ministry" and that is why she has changed her show. But Oprah is deceiving her audience - there is no hope offered from this fake spirituality. A woman called in who had recently lost her job, house, and mother and asked where she could find hope and her "wise" panel answered "pull on your inner power." That fell flat with me and the lady who asked the question. Basically, if you believe what Oprah does - you are all alone in this world. You are God - you are your own authority and own power. And you are left to seek forever answers to your purpose in life. Pray for Oprah that her eyes would be opened to the truth of God's word.
"There will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways." 2 Peter 2:1,2.
You are not alone - Walk with the King!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bible Memorization

If you are like most Americans you are in the process of losing your December - holiday weight gain. You may be using a few different methods - maybe you are cutting back on sweets, salty snacks or carbs. Maybe you are going for walks or joined an aerobic class or maybe you are eating smaller portions. One way or another you are focusing on your body.

Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:8: "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." It is so important that we not only focus on our bodies - but our minds! And a great way to start the new year is with a "memory verse challenge"!

Beth Moore has started a Memory Verse Challenge for 2009 and I have to pass it along to all of you.

Beth Moore has a blog where she and her daughters regularly write about their daily lives. Back in December she announced that she will be doing a "memory verse challenge" where she challenges women to memorize 2 verses a month. Last week she posted a blog with great tips on how to memorize God's word - so even if you don't join the challenge listen here as she gives you a "scripture memory mini-tutorial"

Here's what you need to do if you'd like to join:

First sign up to the challenge by clicking here.

Then you purchase a set of note cards or a notebook where you will store your verses for the year.

Then on the 1st and 15th of every month, go to her blog and write in the comments section what verse you are memorizing for those two weeks. And she will give you encouragement, inspiration and accountability.

She has over 3,900 women already participating! This is a great tool to utilize! So join in the fun and blessings of the Bible Memorization Challenge!

Psalm 119:11 declares: "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

Walk with the King!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Waiting On God's Timing

Yesterday I talked about John 11:35: "Jesus wept." There is so much we can take from this tiny verse - specifically on waiting on God's timing.

John 11 tells us that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus yet we see that Jesus hears news of Lazarus being deathly ill and he does not leave for 2 whole days! I found that strange at first but then verse 8 explains - because previously the Jews had tried to stone him! That certainly is a reason to wait!

When Jesus finally arrives He finds that Lazarus has been dead already for FOUR days! Mary sees him first and she says, "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died." Then Martha sees him and says the same thing, "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died." Do you sense their disappointment in Jesus?

His response to the women is filled with compassion: "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled." He asked to go see Lazarus and when he arrived at the grave - "Jesus wept."

Then Jesus said- "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" Then he raised Lazarus from the dead to life again! The glory of God - the power of Jesus - God in the flesh - revealed before their very own eyes!

Jesus waited for the perfect time to reveal his glory. He waited over 2000 years to come to this earth, over 30 years to start his ministry on earth, He waited 2 days to begin his travels to Lazarus and He arrives 4 days after Lazarus has died - and He's at peace while everyone around Him is in turmoil. But verse 45 explains the result - many "put their faith in Him" and the "glory of God" was revealed.

Are you waiting on the Lord right now for something? Are you at peace as you wait for God to work in your life? His timing is not ours. He has a plan larger than we can see. Peace is the absence of fear - not of pain or grief. Jesus wept. But have no fear - wait peacefully and - if you believe, his glory will be revealed in His timing - not yours.

Walk with the King!


Monday, January 12, 2009

A Verse to Memorize from Lorrain

Last night I sat in a room with over 100 women from my church and listened to Lorrain tell her story of living with inoperable cancer. When I see Lorrain in the hallway - she is always smiling - and she opened by saying - "I've been asked to share how I am able to have joy and smile in the midst of my trial and my answer is God - but I think you all want to hear more than that." - and we laughed!

About 7 years ago Lorrain battled breast cancer and won. Last year when she went in for a routine exam, she requested a chest exam where they found lung cancer. Lung cancer is rarely curable. So for the past year she has battled this mean monster. She has lost her hair - and as you can see in the picture it is back! But after chemo and radiation - this nasty cancer stuck around. She is now on a daily pill (just released in 2008) that keeps the cancer in a form of remission - but no one knows how long it will be effective. One side effect for her, is a rash that burns on her face. Lorrain has suffered a lot of blows to her vanity - and she shared how, even after losing her breasts and hair, this rash on her face has brought her to tears.

And then she said something that made me pick up my pen --she said - "I have a verse that all of you should memorize. This verse has comforted me." I heard paper rattle, pens click and I was hanging on every word and ready to hear -- what verse does someone turn to in a time such as this? Then she said it - "memorize John 11:35 " and she paused. I thought hmmmmm... John 11:35 - it's not ringing a bell - I've memorized a lot of verses but this one is not coming to me. "Jesus wept." she said.

That is not what I expected her to share - and the impact of that one line will stay with me forever. The shortest verse in the Bible "Jesus wept." has never really "spoken" to me before and now it has a loud voice. Yes, even Jesus wept. It's okay to cry. I try not to cry in life - it makes me feel weak. I am always embarrassed after I've cried. But "Jesus wept."

Then Lorrain said: "Someday we will look back at the dirty little speck we called earth and wonder why we ever asked for more time. But for now it's all we know.

"Life is a vapor."

Yes, Life is a vapor - and life really is a bowl of cherries - sometimes it's sweet and sometimes it's the pits. But Lamentations 3:22 and 23 say "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." If you too are in the midst of a trial - go ahead and cry, "Jesus wept."

Walk with the King.


Friday, January 9, 2009

What NOT to Journal!

Cracking open my fresh journal this January was exciting! I bought a simple 5 Subject Notebook with folder inserts and got busy in it. I have received emails from a few of you that you are starting journaling also this year! That's exciting and I know that you will reap benefits beyond what you can imagine from this tool (and don't be discourged if you missed a few days - just keep at it - it will grow on you!).

So there is one thing that you never ever want to journal and if you are starting new you may find yourself tempted in this area. Many moons ago, I used to journal to God complete stories of a bad situation that would have happened - like something mean someone said to me and how I felt about it or I'd have a long pity party - yuck - rereading those entries is no fun! Stuff that should be long forgotten and more importantly forgiven comes flooding back to my mind as fresh as the day the wounds were made. These journal entries litter my journal and need torn out and thrown away!

I have learned that if my husband and I squabble - the details should not be included in that days entry - I may write "Keith and I disagreed over ... ." But I leave it without emotion for two reasons: 1) someone may read these journals someday - like a child of mine, and 2)Because once we hug, kiss and make up - the subject should be dropped. I would not like it if my husband was journaling all my mistakes! This goes for children too!

Part of forgiving and forgetting in life is not allowing your mind to replay those words that sting. For some, you may think of journaling as a way to get all your bottled up emotions out - but I find it better when I'm really troubled to sit and write one verse after another after another until my heart is lifted. I know when I flip to a page that has verse after verse written over and over that something was going on that upset me and I was laying those emotions at Jesus' feet and allowing him to hold me and comfort me.

So, as you start a new year - remember that words that are written can be reread. Leave the bitterness and ugliness your heart sometimes feels out! And if you must write - tear it out and toss it when you are done!

Colossians 3:13 says "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Obey this command and you will live well in 2009!

Walk With the King!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Setting your 2009 Budget

Every year at the beginning of January my husband and I sit down together and set our budget for the new year. We use a software system where we track our receipts, bank account, credit card (we have one credit card that we absolutely never carry a balance on) and direct withdrawals. Keith always invites me to help shape the budget since I know what birthdays fall in what months. For example in April my daughter will have her birthday, so I want to be sure there is extra money in the budget for presents and groceries for a party. But there is also another holiday that month - Easter - so we'll need to budget for a Easter baskets and a new little dress.

Our budget is very detailed as we look at what month we will be traveling, needing new clothes for sports, fees for swim class, holidays, etc. If you have not gotten your finances in order - this could be your year to set a budget and live well!

At I am spotlighting a Titus 2 Woman, Sandy, on the area of finances this month. She may have some advice that could encourage you! So hop on over there and check Sandy out!

Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 and 34 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

The key to setting a good budget is living according to it. First, the budget must be within your means and then second you must discipline yourself to abide by it! That's the challenge for me - especially with all these big sales right now. Yesterday I was in the mall and passing up the sales was like passing up popcorn at the movies - the sensory overload killed me - but I managed to walk through and do my exchange without giving in - plus if you saw my closets - you would confirm that I do not need any new clothes - I simply need to get more organized with the clothes I already have!!!! But that is the topic of a blog for another day!

Walk with the King!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Loving God

Loving God - it's a hard thing to "master". There are days that I am convinced that I love God more than anything else in the world and there are days I wonder what in the world is wrong with my heart? I can be so out of balance. I dream of long quiet times using the "Bible Reading Plan" I shared yesterday and yet finding that time in my day is so difficult. It's a challenge but it comes down to what do I love more - God - or the things that take me away from time with God. It comes down to three key words for me... Love. Discipline. Balance.

Love the Lord. Not your stuff.
Love the Lord. Not your hobbies.
Love the Lord. Not your collections.
Love the Lord. Not your toys.
Love the Lord. Not your movies.
Love the Lord. Not your internet.
Love the Lord. Not your TV shows.
Love the Lord. Not your extra activities that take you away from your husband and children.
Love the Lord.Follow Him.
(Taken from Mrs. E at Homeschooler Blog - Living Sacrifice)

Matthew 22:35-38 says "One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment."

Walk with the King!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bible Reading Plans

Have you tried to read through the Bible on a Bible Reading Plan before? It can be terribly frustrating to get behind! If you are not perfectly consistent day in and day out - you eventually get off track and end up with a boatload of reading to do on a Saturday or worse - you may just quit!

I have discovered the PERFECT Bible Reading Plan and I am SO excited to share it with you all!!! Actually John Piper discovered it and I read about it on his blog. My husband printed out the plan and we are both going to do this plan together!

So you may ask - what makes it so perfect??? Each month it gives you 25 days of reading to do and then you get 5-6 days at the end of the month, to make up for any days you missed - which inevitably I always do! Or if you are someone who can keep up with no trouble it gives you extra days to study a passage more indepth. It's perfect!

The plan is titled the Discipleship Journal Plan . Just click on the link and it will take you there. If you do not have a plan for the New Year on how to tackle your quiet times - this is a great tool. Enjoy!

Walk with the King,


Monday, January 5, 2009

Guilt and Regret

When you reflect on 2008 do you have some guilt or regret? Every year when I write my new goals and reflect on the previous year's goals I go through this regret and guilt thing!

In Romans 7 Paul talks about regret - he says "I have a desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do - this I keep on doing."

Do you find yourself stuck on a hampster wheel? You want to get off and do what is right, maybe stop yelling at the children, get more organized, or eat healthy - but the good you know you should do, you cannot carry out and the thing you wish you'd stop doing you keep on doing???

Well, the solution is found one chapter later in Romans 8. Paul says in verse 37 "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." We simply cannot live in Romans 7 - in regret and guilt! We must move on to Romans 8 and be a conqueror! We must abide in Christ - it is through Him that we can conquer whatever it is that in 2008 we failed at.

Amy Carmichael said "Looking ahead if He tarry, I can see for you attack of many kinds, painful days, travail. But this I know; you will regret nothing when you look back, except lack of faith, fortitude and love. You will never regret having thrown all to the winds in order to follow your Master and Lord. Nothing will seem too much to have done or suffered when we see Him and the mark of His wounds...nothing will seem enough."

Today, do not let guilt and regret hold you back. Repent and move on and abide in the truths of Romans 8 as a conqueror. My 5th and final goal (I blogged on the first 4 last week) is to live as Amy Carmichael said - "with all thrown to the winds to follow my Master and Lord." With God's help and grace, let's make 2009 look different than 2008!

Walk with the King!

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Friday, January 2, 2009

I'm Running a 5K!

So far I have set goals for 2009 regarding my walk with God, my marriage and my parenting. Goal number four is in regards to healthy living. Looking back to 2008 my goal was to exercise no less than 3 times a week and good news - I accomplished this goal!!!

I have attended an aerobic class twice a week at church and I have been running on my treadmill in the basement with some spurts of pilates and weights added in there. So this year I have a new goal!

I hate running - BUT I have committed to running a 5K this March! I am so scared! I have never ran in a race before and my only goal is to not be last!!! I have a group of good friends from church who are doing this with me - and the accountability is inspirational!

Why am I running? Because studies have proven that exercise improves your energy, health and longevity and I want to have the healthiest body possible to serve my Lord and my loved ones! I Corinthians 6:20 says to "honor God with your body." I believe that exercise is a way to honor God with my body. I am taking care of what he has given me.

So - I'm in training mode and trying to run 3 miles a few times a week! I just did my first 3 mile run of the year last night and it was a painful run after all of my holiday eating! So it looks like my eating habits need to change too! So I have some research to do - and if you have any suggestions for beginning runners - feel free to post a comment and give me some advice! I'd love to hear any tips on how I can be ready to run in 10 weeks!

Walk with the King!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I love New Year's Day! It's a chance for new beginnings! Today all my stress of the holidays are gone and I can find time to sit and think over my plans for the new year. Last night we had our traditional "Rockin' New Year's Eve " at my house. My sisters helped me make my pigs in the blanket (or cabbage rolls) with sauerkraut this year - and everything was going perfectly until 1 hour before the guests arrived. Then my sweet little Lexi began to complain of a stomach ache and soon she was throwing up - right in the middle of the party - so sad :-( Here's a picture of her at 12:15am - she had perked up by this time!We can plan perfectly for the new year - like I did for my party. We can make goals and resolutions but we must remember that there will be unexpected situations that will happen - like Lexi vomiting in the middle of a dinner party that I had been preparing for for days! Stuff happens - but we know that God is in control. Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Growth comes in learning to accept these bumps in the road.
I still had a great time with my family and my family had an intimate time of reflection on 2008 as we built a time capsule together. Below is a photo of mom putting in her wedding invitation from 40 years ago. This year my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary!My sister Kristen put in a page of her calendar showing a "day in the life of Kristen". On the calendar were the many baseball and soccer practices of her boys along with her ministry to urban children that she does a few days a week!
And my dad put in a photo of his Corvette which he sold this year and a photo of the house the entire extended family stayed in when we went to Colorado this summer to celebrate mom and dad's 40th wedding anniversary! Great memories!
Building a time capsule gives our family time to reflect on the past year and share about what God has done in our lives. We also had the opportunity to open one from 6 years ago and be reminded of what God was doing in our lives back then. There was a note in there from a grandmother who was not with us that made me cry. There was a note from my best friend in Texas - that warmed my heart. And a note in there from a church family that is now living a few cities away pastoring a church. What a great time of remembering loved ones who have gone into the New Year with us over the years and of God's faithfulness in our lives!

In the New Year - live well by drinking from the livingwell - that is Jesus. In John 6:35 Jesus said "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

Walk with the King!