Friday, April 26, 2013

Just In Case You're Interested

Just in Case You're Interested...

We have a photogenic three-legged dog...

Just in case you're interested...
This is one of my favorite photos of my son.

And just in case you're interested...
my oldest daughter is a snappy dresser.
It began way back.

Just in case you're interested...
I dream of bacon, specifically chocolate covered bacon.
And I can't get these images out of my mind!
Just in case you're interested, I drink my coffee every morning from a "Joe's" cup, really.
And just in case you're interested...
this is a recent picture of me.
Okay, not really...but she could be my identical twin.
Just in case you're interested...
my younger daughter wants to follow in the footsteps of her daddy
and become a vet.

He's a fantastic teacher also as you can see here where he's teaching about the heart...a cow's heart.
(notice the older daughter on the far side)
Just in case you're interested, one of my favorite places in the world is the beach and soon we'll be heading that direction again ((sighing contentedly)).
And that about wraps it up...just in case you're interested.
Blessings, Julie

Thursday, April 4, 2013

On Being Encouraged in a Fallen World

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 43:5

Some days the world can be consuming, it seems to take all I have to just get through it and the thought of getting to crawl in bed at the end of my greatest goal.
Sound depressing?
Some days can be.
Some days are filled with refereeing children's fights and dealing with attitudes that are in no way honorable or even come close to being respectable to those around.
I'm reminded daily and sometimes even moment to moment that we live in a fallen world.
The many warnings from Conservative Christian Family Research groups give credence to my concerns as I strive to bring up my children in the way of the Lord.
The world wants my children, the world desires to see my children turn from the Lord and conform to it's rebellion against our Holy God.
It's a struggle, a all out exhausting tug-a-war with forces that are stronger than I.
I must remember, I must lean, and I must trust that He will go before me.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Deut. 31:6

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
II Chron. 20:15

That's right, this battle is not mine, but God's. I must be obedient in what He has put before me and trust Him. I think of Peter, the precious out-spoken and risk taking disciple that desired to walk on water, as Jesus did! As long as His eyes were on His Lord, He rose above the very present waves of water that could consume him. Here is the account in Matthew.

Jesus Walks on the Sea

Matthew 14:22-33:

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[b] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and[c] worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Peter actually walked on the water (I LOVE IT!) towards Jesus, but it was when his focus was taken from Jesus,...he was distracted, doubted, forgot that the very One who was keeping Him above the water... that he began to sink.
I must remember that He is with me, that He directs my steps, that He is in control, and that my worry and anxious thoughts cannot change my situation nor those around me.
I must go forward with His Word encouraging me:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:6

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2

Be encouraged as you set your eyes on Him, Our Lord Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith!