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Never grow weary, there is hope…

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. ~ 2 Thessalonians 1-5

Jesus was tempted, Jesus grew weary…but His love for us was greater still. He followed the will of His Father, He made the choice for love and salvation for man. He did the hardest thing…He made the greatest sacrifice. He sacrificed himself while men sinned and forsook Him. He walked the road to the cross for the worst of us. He asks us only to follow Him. Sure, that’s not really an ‘only’—it’s a journey wrought with struggles, fears, and daily choices to stay on the path. Pray for faith for ourselves and intercede for others. He is faithful.  more »

Vents, rants, diatribes, and the musings of fools…

img_0787Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. ~Proverbs 13:3

If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer. The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is evil madness. A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, who can tell him what will be after him? ~Ecclesiastes 10:11-14

Sharing makes us vulnerable, allows others to see deep into our hearts, and opens floodgates! Sharing can build bridges and burn them down. Sharing can be a stimulus for healing or a force of destruction! What do your words on social media say about you? more »

Things I wish for my son…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Today our oldest son turned 24. It’s almost time for him to leave and cleave. In just over a month, he will be married and moving out. He will be supporting a wife, leading a home, starting a family… I wrote this six years ago as he prepared to go away to college. I echo the sentiments today. Like most mothers, I made mistakes. I am so much more imperfect than so many who’ve gone before me. My weaknesses and failures are ever before me. Still, I know that I pour my heart and soul into my children daily. I have given all I’ve had to give…all I knew how to give…all I could do, I have done. These words from my heart are for him…this is my hope for him, more than a wish, a prayer.

Things I wish for my child as he becomes an adult… more »

Owning our actions as women of God

Sally - Adversity for Action Blog

If you’ve heard me teach or read my blog regularly, you may be familiar with my love of disclaimers. They are so handy, aren’t they? I always hope they’ll avoid someone taking one thing I’m teaching and failing to understand the greater context. I have that overwhelming desire to be understood and an absolute abhorrence of being misunderstood! I know that women tend to be overwhelmed by different topics and I don’t want my thoughts to leave anyone overwhelmed or unequipped or feeling inadequate. I want us to be empowered to be women of ACTION and even more!

What do unbelievers think of us – how are we representing the God we profess to serve? What do our actions say about us in the 21st century? There was a time when godly women made quite an impact on those around them! Consider what Libanius, a pagan writer in the fourth century, had to say about the women of God in his time, “What women those Christians have!”

Before we consider ACTION, keep in mind that I am not advocating ACTION without REST!! No matter your situation, rest can improve physical health, emotional well-being and most certainly – your attitude! Rest is absolutely critical. If you are interested in my thoughts on rest, go read my blog post entitled: Seeking Rejuvenation, Energy, Serenity and Tranquility.

  • You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world. ~ Author unknown

With that caveat, let’s look at ACTION. more »

A tribute to an older woman: remembering Sara

Sally - Julia Picture 2Twelve years ago, a rather free-spirited-homeschooling-hippie-preacher’s-wife moved into a totally new culture. She met a true southern woman—perhaps this description illustrates it: Flip flops meet ladies’ suits. In spite of their different lifestyles they found an affinity. They were both outspoken. They both loved to talk. They both loved their friends and families. They both loved Christ. This was more than enough!

As I remember my precious friend,  I realize that so much of what I loved about her was related to her actions and how they impacted me and those I love. As I interact with those around me, I hope I can always remember the things I learned from Sara’s example. She was dignified, but she was real and open. She was a southern lady, but she never made me feel out of place with my not-so-southern ways. She loved her family and her friends and she loved us. She encouraged us and supported us and built us up with her words and deeds. more »

While I’m waiting on my ‘mansion’— I’d love to have a hedge

I feel blessed to enjoy this time on earth, so I can honestly be patient while I live and love and wait for my ‘mansion’ (by this I do not mean the plantation kind, mind you, but the eternal dwelling with my Lord)!

Still, while I’m waiting, what I really want is that hedge that Satan accused God of putting around Job! You know what I mean? I want that protection, that constant security—I want to be untouchable!

Job 1:1010 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. more »

Once again…Welcome to my house…

Sally - our homeDo you believe in hospitality? How much time do you spend opening your home to others? How often do you invite others to your home for meals or studies or simply to spend time building relationships? How do you feel when you are welcomed into someone’s home? Have you ever been invited into a home to eat a meal, pray, sing, or study?

  • There is an emanation from the heart in genuine hospitality which cannot be described, but is immediately felt and puts the stranger at once at his or her ease. ~ Washington Irving
  • There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. ‘Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night’s lodging. ‘Tis better to be hospitable to one’s good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion.  We must be as courteous to a person as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson more »

The beauty of intimate love in marriage: loving your husband

Sally - Burning-love

Wives are created to be helpers to their husbands to fulfill God-given needs. This study is designed for wives, not husbands. This means that, while there are a great many things God says to husbands, the focus is on what we should do as wives, whether or not our husbands are fulfilling their parts. This is written for wives, and for those who hope some day to be wives! Obviously, the subject matter is mature, but I have made every attempt to be discreet and what follows is certainly appropriate for young ladies who understand that physical intimacy is a part of the marriage relationship!

My husband needs to feel that I desire him. Sometimes experience, circumstances, hormones or health issues might make intimacy challenging. I need to communicate to my husband that I am truly on fire for him, but that fire might need some extra help being kindled. Husbands and wives need to communicate effectively to kindle that fire and keep it burning! Lighting my fire for my husband isn’t optional, it is absolutely imperative. It is part of our relationship and must be nurtured. This is true for all wives. We need to see intimacy as a beautiful gift from God.

Seeing intimacy as God designed it will help us to love our husbands as we ought to love them and as they need to be loved. Sometimes loving one’s husband and nurturing the marriage relationship comes naturally and sometimes these things needs to be taught. If you need help loving your husband, seek wisdom from God’s word and from happily married wives!           more »

Sweet to the soul and healthy to the bones

Sally - honey

I have always loved words, perhaps that is why I love to read and write. Somewhere in my head are memories of hundreds of wonderful words spoken to me by others, memories of words I’ve heard or read. I hold words close to my heart and repeat them over and over. When words are lovely and encouraging, remembering them is precious. Yet, as many times as I’ve been inspired, encouraged and admonished by words, I’ve also been wounded by words spoken carelessly (haven’t we all?). Even with our best efforts, we may remember careless words and struggle to keep bitterness from growing from the seeds of ugly words.

Isn’t it strange how a thousand beautiful words from wonderful people can be seemingly erased by a few hurtful words from a near-stranger?  In the midst of being deeply hurt by ill-informed words of a stranger, it occurred to me that I did not have it in my power to change others’ words, but I had it in my power (with God on my side) to control my own words, to use my words wisely, to remember to have the law of kindness on my tongue. Sometimes we use our words most unwisely with the ones we love them most. Our spouses and children are often the recipients of our uninhibited speech, our reactions (mostly over-reactions), our badly chosen responses — all accompanied by unkind words spoken in ugly tones. No matter how we validate our venting unkindness, it is ungodly — plain and simple!

It was after realizing how much power words had to do good or evil, that I began to make it a top priority to season my words, control my tongue, and encourage others to speak with love and kindness. It doesn’t end with word choice, either. So much is in tone. While it is difficult to illustrate with the written word, it is absolutely true that the same sentence can be uttered in a kind tone, a questioning tone, or a sarcastic tone. Kind words can be enveloped in poisonous tones that pierce the heart. Often when attempting not to raise voices, speakers can speak in vehement and angry tones that end up being even more damaging than yelling. “The quietness of his tone italicized the malice of his reply.” (Truman Capote). Consider your speech… your word choice and your tone!

Is the Law of Kindness on Your Tongue? more »

The time that is given us

Sally - hourglassAll we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~Gandalf (J.R.R. Tolkien)

In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking. ~ Sir John Lubbock

Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to’. ~ Lao Tzu

No one knows how much time they have to be with the people that are the most important. Enjoy it. ~ Balthazar Blake (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)

Every day you have T-I-M-E!

To mothers of children of all ages: you have time to pray for your children, to play with your children, to listen to your children, to talk to your children, to teach your children, to show your children the love of God, to share God’s word with your children.

To mothers of babies and toddlers: you have time to nurse and nourish your little one, to snuggle your little one, to rock your little one, to sing to your little one, to read to your little one, to play with your little one, to let your little one learn about the big world from the comfort of your loving arms.

To mothers of older children: you have time to play a game, to discuss a book, to listen to your little author’s story, to look at your little artist’s picture, to watch a YouTube video that your child wants to share, to listen to your child’s dreams, to listen to your child’s favorite new song, to hear about a new level in a game, to read a tweet, to see a status, to discuss a blog, to hear about drama at work or school or daily life.

To all mothers: You have 24 hours in every day. That is the same amount of time that every other human being has and it is up to you to choose what you do with that time. Seize the moments to love your children, to show that love by your interest in them and your genuine delight in having them near you. Make the time!

Every moment with your child is a precious gift. Make the moments count.

  • Jonathan & Sally

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