I am always amazed how the Lord puts things in my path
to remind me over and over that He is in control
ALL the TIME!!
This morning the picture below showed up on my Facebook feed.
This was after I had walked the circle,
talking to the Lord about why little things seemed to be really
bothering me this morning.
Music too loud ~ every morning we have to tell D to turn his music down
Repeating daily to L to clean his personal area and under his bed
Giving a 5 minute warning “5 minutes to leave for breakfast” and then
still have to wait on R to get his shoes on…
…little things that seemed to be mounting
and not knowing the reason why.
I began to think about the past few days ~
Sunday ~ we have talked over and over that we need to get connected to a local body of believers, yet with our schedule would going only every other week really meet our needs and could we become a part of a family only part~time? We wouldn’t know unless we tried.
A few weeks back I was going to go to Heart of Texas Cowboy Church but having a boy refusing to put on church clothes changed those plans. I had left a message on HOTCC phone and about 12:45 the pastor, Jeremy, called me. We chatted for about 10 minutes and he said to come any time we could. We would always be welcome. His phone call ministered to me and I could just feel Jesus’ love coming forth.
Working lots of overtime right now (down a set of home~parents) makes our time off even more precious. We said and knew we needed to get into a body of believers, we need to fill our soul, to be able to love on these boys in our care. So we set our alarm (both woke before the alarm ~ definitely a God thing) and got ready to go to church. As we pulled into the parking area people waved to us and walking in the door we were greeted by so many people, welcoming us, thanking us for coming. First impression was ~ yes, this feels like home!!
The same feeling the first time we walked into
Open Door Community Church in Cedar Creek, MO
we just knew it was home!!
And the same feeling we had when we walked into
that second Sunday in November 2001!
The sermon was titled “Ride for the Brand”
from my notes ~
Drag Riders ~ Adapt and Overcome
Do I dance with the designer (God) or the world?
Loving the world leads to destruction
Loving Jesus leads us to peace
It’s not about stuff! Stuff does not make you happy.
Love makes you happy
Struggles keep us faithful
Stop living for the future ~ we never know if we will make it to the future
God’s perfection is better than anything I could ever imagine!
As we drove away from HOTCC we both talked about how much we felt at home,
felt welcomed and definitely want to go back. We have made plans to go back on our next Sunday off, August 27 even though we will be up at Lake Whitney that week ~ but that’s okay, it’s just an hours drive and so we plan to go back!!!
THE BIBLE SPEAKS TO US
DEVOTION FROM THE BOOK OF ROMANS
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to
sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I
myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that
is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do
not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I
do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
The Beast Within
Trying to eat healthy food over the holidays drives me crazy, and to be honest
it drives me crazy to eat so called Healthy Foods anytime. My question is, is
there really any kind of food you don’t grow yourself that is really healthy?
But on to our Devotional today.
It isn’t that I don’t know what to eat. I know how to read food labels. I know
the difference between good and bad foods. I know how many calories I am
supposed to have in a day. I even know that I need to exercise, even though I
don’t care to exercise. But when I am confronted with a plate of Christmas
cookies or a candy dish full of M&Ms and could name many other good things, my
plan goes out the window. I know the food I should be eating, but it is not what
I end up eating. My appetite for sugar takes over. Is it too strong of a
statement to say I struggle with an unhealthy food addiction?
But here we see the apostle Paul is struggling with something much more serious
than junk food when he writes these words to the Romans. He is sharing his
addiction, an addiction we all share. It is an addiction to sin. Paul knew this
addiction first hand. He tried to stop sinning many times. He tried to be kind
and loving and compassionate at all times. He had plans to put others first and
to control his thoughts of lust, envy, greed, selfishness and anger, to name a
few. He had a great plan, but he still found himself sinning.
Yes time after time he found himself right back where he started, doing things
that he knew God hated, things that were wrong. This sin hurt his relationships
with other people, and even worse, threatened to completely destroy his
relationship with God. You see, Paul knew that he didn’t need to just work on
“self-control”. He realized that he was the problem. He had a sinful nature.
And, as a result, that sin living inside of him took over the steering wheel of
his life at times. He wasn’t trying to make excuses; he was just trying to state
reality, he was just being honest with himself. I think all of us can relate to
his misery. We end up doing the things we wish not to do, and the things we wish
to do we don’t.
The answer for sin addiction does not come from inside of us. It comes from God.
The first step to getting help is to do what Paul did. He confessed his sin and
his inability to control his life. He asked
God to help, and he did, by sending Jesus. With the seed of faith in Jesus
planted in his heart, Paul now had good inside of him – good that came from God.
And so he committed himself to the daily struggle against sin.
Please remember that sin is anything that falls short of the glory of God. Do
you have sin with which you struggle? Take heart. Jesus has won the victory, and
he offers strength to you for your daily battle. Go to Him and ask him to help
fight your battle with sin or sins.
Dear Lord, I do things I don’t want to do all the time. Please forgive me. Take
away my guilt. Give me strength to continue to struggle to do what is right. Amen.
Need to talk to God?
He is only one knee-mail away
And I could see myself and so many of my struggles
of where I do the things I don’t want to be doing
and not doing the things I need and want to do.
My prayer was that God would give me a redo ~ to start a fresh
just like God’s mercies are new every day and I try to give that grace to our boys and I need to remember that God also gives those same mercies and grace to me. To be aware of how I interact with the boys,
to speak in love and remember the little things are just that, little.
And to focus on what’s important.
Is it really a big deal if their music is a bit loud,
if it’s not bothering the other boys in their bedroom, why should it bother me,
and telling the same boy every morning to clean up his personal area
is really no different than reminding myself it’s laundry day or time to do the dishes.
And then this morning,
this showed up
And I am reminded that life is full of little things,
yes we have rules and expectations,
but doesn’t everyone?
And as I walked around the circle this morning,
I was reminded of God’s beauty, seeing the cows out in the field,
the sun shining over the pond
and how precious life really is
and I prayed for the Lord to soften my heart
a bit more, to not be so critical of the boys.
One of the new rules for the boys are no cell phones/accessories
at school ~ so Ron got a basket for those items, three of the four boys put their phones
and earbuds in the basket. Ron explained if the boys lost their phone at school they would lose it for
24 hours here at home. Three of them decided to put their phones in the basket.
One of the things I am working on is not arguing with the boys about the rules. Today is a good practice. If D loses his phone at school, it just means he doesn’t get it at home till tomorrow afternoon.
Here’s to remembering
in the big scheme of things
everything is a little thing!!