Saturday, March 26, 2011


No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

This verse was in my daily devotional from LifeWay. Unfortunately, I just failed in a big way to avoid temptation. I just bought a big bag of M&Ms at the store. This may not be what you consider a sin but I know we are on such a tight budget (our income has been cut almost in half in the last few years) and that this was completely a want and not a need. And I still put them in my basket after deliberating on how bad it would be to go ahead and get them. M&Ms in and of themselves are not the problem. The temptation was buying something I knew I shouldn't. That money should go to something else.

And what makes it worse is that I ran into another friend who stopped to talk. One topic was the M&Ms. So, I had that voice of conscience (God) in my head while standing in the aisle before putting them in my basket and now I'm reminded about it again through conversation before going to the checkout. I had been given an escape, or help if you will, in building my self-control * and I didn't take it. Even knowing I would regret it later.

The notes in state that the Greek word for temptation can also mean testing. So, in essense, I just failed my test. I have been tempted, or tested, before and I know God came to my rescue. Of course the cost was considerably more than the bag of M&Ms. This time it was a digital camera. I was shopping in Costco and the camera I had been looking at was on sale. Not only was it on sale but our bank account was sitting with our income tax refund. I'm not sure how long I walked around that store trying to figure out it this was a test or a gift. In the end, as I was about to go put the camera in my basket, a friend I hadn't seen in ages stopped me, asked if I was done shopping and if so, we should go checkout and get some lunch in the foodcourt. I agreed and was saved from failing my test.

Both times, God presented me with the dilemma and each time, a friend appeared to either give me my answer or to remind me to rethink what I was about to do. I wish I had put the bag away but I didn't, even knowing I was committing a sin--- something God was telling me not to do.

I know this is a lesson and maybe I will heed God's voice in my head next time better than I did this time. Until then, my next dilemma is whether or not to eat the M&Ms. The money spent on gas to take them back to the store (40 miles) would be more than what the candy cost. So... to eat or not to eat, that is the question.

*2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hearing His voice

Have you ever been told that someone heard God speak to them? Sometimes it is through a specific verse in the Bible and sometimes it is through a friend. Or it could be His voice directly to them, whether silently in their head or otherwise.

When you heard that person say God spoke to them, did you envy them? I do… every time. But I also identify with them.

I’ve had those kinds of revelations, myself. I’ve had Bible verses jump out at me as though they were written with me, and only me, in mind. I’ve had those Whisperings in my mind giving me the answer or encouragement I needed. And, I’ve known those were His voice. I so treasure those moments when He chose to speak to me so that I could recognize Him above all else.

I can’t emphasize how much I want that ALL THE TIME!

I guess my fear is that I’m not open to receive His voice as often as He wishes to speak directly to me. I admit that I have struggled as of late to focus and understand the Bible in my (mostly) daily readings. I long to read and discover something new! I get excited at that thought.

The Bible says we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) that His Spirit dwells inside us (1 Corinthians 3:16) and that we are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

The Bible also says God answers you even before you call out to Him. He hears you speak before you even utter a sound. (Isaiah 65:24) If this is so, then the fault of my not hearing Him is on me. I’m the disconnect. And even as I recognize this I don’t always know what to do. They say to quiet your mind and you will hear Him. This is difficult to do. I know God has spoken to me through my thoughts but I sometimes struggle to know whether or not it was my voice or His that I heard.

I have heard several times that if the devil can’t get to you through doubts in your faith, he’ll come at you with “stuff”; you will either have no quiet time in your mind or you will be so busy that you have no time for God. I believe this to be true.

I long to have a more direct relationship with Him. Compared to where I was in my walk with Him years ago, I have hope that I will continue to hear Him more and more and one day I will be able to stand before Him and my wish will be true. Until then, I will continue to treasure those moments when I have no doubt I’ve been spoken to.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Unofficial Spokespeople for Christianity

Today’s LifeWay Daily Devotional (“Point to Christ” by Richard Land) spoke on how conversations about Christianity can take a turn away from the true subject at hand. He says, “Those to whom we are seeking to witness often point to the many faults of His followers. We can easily become engaged in a conversation about hypocrisy in the church.”

It seems to me that this is just about the biggest reason people are turned off from Christianity. And, unfortunately, we are all faulty, Christian or not. However, as Christians, we are kind of unofficial spokespeople for God. We don’t ask for this role and most of us will admit that we aren’t the best examples. Mark Hall of Casting Crowns once said, “I have a saved spirit but I still think with a lost brain.”

But this is not the point I want to make here. The point I want to make is that we, as flawed individual Christians, do NOT always reflect what God and Jesus try to get across to us. Yes, the Bible points out so many instances where Godly people did things that weren’t Godly. It also points out to us that sinners can still be used for God’s glory. If anything, this should be something to rejoice about! God knows we sin, will continue to struggle with sin even after we are saved, and He still loves us! We still have a place in Heaven with Him! Isn’t that awesome!

Hopefully, the next time we come up against the argument that all Christians are hypocrites, we can acknowledge with grace and humility that, yes, we are and then point them to the One who wasn’t… the One who was pure, who gave His life so that we may have a place in Heaven. He is what Christianity is all about. Not us. It is never about us. It’s all about Him. No argument about it.

Reference verses on our struggles with sin:
Romans 7:14-25
Galatians 5:16-18
1 Peter 5:8-9

Reference verses on Jesus' sinless-ness: 
Matthew 4: 1-11
Luke 4:1-13
2 Corinthians 5:21
Hebrews 7:23-28

Monday, March 7, 2011

Forgotten Password

Have you ever had a time when you lost a password to a website you really want to access? Well, that's what happened here. I've been trying to figure it out for awhile. I do believe that I may have clicked the "Forgot Your Password" link but I don't remember why I didn't follow through with it. LOL

Well, it is safely written down now and in a safe place. There has been so much happen since we've moved and I'm not sure I can write about it now that a lot of it has had so much time pass between it. So, I believe that I will do as the Flylady says and "Just jump in where I am". :)

Until next time.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A challenge against technology

Tonight my family and I went into Lowe's hardware and before I was even able to get out of the car, a man, standing at what I assume was his own car, challenged me to leave my phone in my car and pay attention to my kids. He stated he had seen me checking it as I was getting out and, obviously, he has strong feelings about the subject.

I have to say my first feeling was of defensiveness, which I think is the way most people in my place would have reacted. However, I am not one to shy away from taking a hard, critical look at myself. I told him that I have been known to leave it and thanked him for the info. My husband came to my defense and said that I am not one to be married to my phone.

A year ago, this stranger would have been right on, possibly. I may be seeing myself a little harshly but I do believe I was preoccupied more by email, Facebook and my writing position at then. Now, or at the very least, the last couple of months, I have had a definite drop in my usage of technology. Possibly not on purpose so much as a burning out. I know several people who state that they are tied to a computer all day for work and the last thing they want to do when they get home is to look at a computer screen- whether it be a desktop, laptop or iPhone. 

The last year for me has been tied to a computer screen of some sort. I've worked at writing as their Fort Worth Christian Living Examiner; I've held a major volunteer position at my son's school which had hours that, at times, were very competitive to a full-time job and I've helped plan my 20th high school reunion in a six month time span. All of these led me to put my attention away from my kids and family more than I should have. I'm not sure I would have changed much of it if I could go back and do it again simply because I believe that God led me to each of those positions. I believe it was all part of a time and season for my life; one in which I was meant to gather needed skills and experience but also in which I either ministered to others and/or impacted their lives.

This time and season of my life is shifting to another- one in which my focus goes back to my family. I believe it was coming on naturally for me even before we made the final decision to move to Colorado. My husband and I have had many discussions on how God might put something in our hearts or in our paths that might help direct us to where He wants us to go. A break from technology is one of them for me. It has been a full two days since I last turned on the computer and that was only to put together a slide-show for my son's school event I had planned. As for my phone, I will log onto Facebook about 2-3 times a day to see what is going on. Because I'm accessing FB from my phone means I spend much less time on the site. My phone pings to alert me when an email comes in which relieves the desire to continually check for new messages. All this actually allows me to stay off the computer and even mostly off the phone except when I'm actually using it as a phone and thankfully, that isn't often.

So, I suppose that in response to this stranger's challenge to me, I can say that I am on the right track. I may not be completely un-reliant on technology but I'm not as much as I was in the past. In fact, I've had to be careful in the past several months. I've left my phone on three separate occasions and not realized it until I went to call someone. I can live with that for now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking in faith regarding my son

When our children are born, we have such high hopes for them. They will live a better life than we have, have more advantages than we did and we will watch them flourish as they grow and mature. Sometimes that isn't the case and sometimes it is a little bit of both.

Both my kids have special needs. Aer's are all health related and Add's are all more centered around coping with emotional and behavioral issues that end up affecting the educational, social and esteem parts of his self.

Both of my kids were born with severe speech impediments. Aer was able to overcome hers much easier than Add, as has been the case with most things. She is so easy going and has an ability to adapt to almost any situation. She also has a great outlook on life that helps. For this I am so grateful because with her health issues, she could have taken a much different look on life. She could allow her heart defects to control her outlook rather than taking them in stride as just something she has to deal with.

Add was not so fortunate to naturally have that type of outlook on life. For him, life is difficult. For one, the speech impediment led him to be angry at me, his mother. I spent the most time with him and therefore should have known what he needed to communicate to me. When I didn't, it led my little 2-3 year old to destroy his room. When I say destroy, I mean he took his twin sized bed and had the mattress turned upside down on the other side of the room. This is just one example of his frustrations taken out in anger. Having him enrolled in speech therapy as soon as we could get him in turned things around. His anger gradually subsided and he became more the happy child I knew he could be.

Later in life, we discovered his difficulties in school. It started innocently in kindergarten. His teacher told us she thought he was ADD/ADHD. We had him tested and the tests came back negative. Honestly, I thought he was just still suffering from the death of his grandfather-figure, my mother's significant other. Both my kids had believed he was my dad (who died when I was 12) and he was a major role model in their lives. I believed that the issues showing themselves in the classroom would eventually subside and he would go back to being the happy-ish child from before. First grade brought his teacher back with the same conclusion but there were also some questions about whether or not he might have a hearing issue or possibly dyslexia. The ADD/ADHD tests came back the same as before and the hearing tests we were told were nothing more than frequent ear infections which, as he got older, would go away. They did come back and tell us that he had a form of Dyslexia called Irlen Syndrome. (In the link, my son says shaky is the way he sees print.) We have since come to find out that this is not the name recognized by doctors but it does have a website that gave me some insight into what he was seeing. Luckily, a green overlay proved to be a simply and effective remedy. It would seem that people who suffer from this type of Dyslexia can cope best with some color of transparent overlay over the text they are reading. Different people respond best to different colors. For my son, it was a double green. So, with this new knowledge, we enrolled him in a summer reading program and disregarded his teacher's suggestion that he be held back a year. We did this with the approval of the principal and ARD administrator since all of his other academic areas were fairly strong. They also assured me that we could move him back down if 2nd grade proved to be too much for him... which it did.

We didn't move him back down. We tried to identify the area that was causing his issues. His teacher once again attributed it to ADD/ADHD but she also added in laziness. He began to suffer in more ways: socially, emotionally, really low self-esteem. After talking with the teachers, having some concessions given to him, he still wasn't doing better. I fully believe his teacher was doing all she could considering she had a classroom full of other students to deal with. I was not ready to give up. I didn't feel it was time and we were holding his whole life in our hands. Whatever we did now, taking into consideration that this might be something he can't help, would affect the way he handled his future jobs, relationships, money, etc. To let him slip by now could potentially devastate his quality of life as an adult. Eventually, after reading many books and talking with many people, we were finally directed to the right person who referred us to the right place to get things started. It turned out that he did have some degree of ADD/ADHD and that he was depressed and suicidal. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I have a background in psychology; I should have seen it coming but I didn't. Regardless, this diagnosis was a God-send. Because of this, he was un-enrolled from his school and immediately enrolled at the Excel Center in Fort Worth where he would be monitored daily for several months. They would watch his interactions with others, watch his coping mechanisms, and help him to discover more acceptable ways to deal with life's challenges. I am very grateful that he never exhibited any more signs of suicide. He went through the program at the Excel Center, we worked on finding a new school for him that would take his needs into consideration and we put our family back together again.

What looks like a devastating and totally unwanted situation in life actually turned out to be a blessing. With that diagnosis, we were able to get my son out of a potentially life-threatening stage and into one in which he could be nurtured and renewed. The Hill School of Fort Worth was the solution. It is a private school for children who are intelligent but have learning differences that don't allow them to succeed in the normal classroom setting. Here, my son learned that he is smart, he could succeed and he excelled socially. At Hill School, every child has a learning difference. They are not tagged by those differences, however. Since every child at the school has come through a similar situation, they are more accepting of others and their differences- especially after the first several weeks of acclimation. They are accepted as they are, the teachers are better versed in how to teach to children who learn differently and need more specialized accommodations in the classroom.

My family is now facing a move to another state, one in which there is no Hill School. The closest comparisons are hours away from where we will be living in Colorado. Because of this, my son will be enrolled in the local public school. Mostly, I know that this move is God directed and, because of that, my son will be taken care of. My challenge now is to have faith that my son has learned ways of coping with his weaknesses by using his strengths, that he is a completely different child than he once was and that God will supply a way to meet his individual needs.

My life, and that of my family, has been a walk of faith. This time, we are walking down a different path than we expected to be at this point in time. We grew comfortable here in Fort Worth with our lives; with the schools for my kids and the doctors for my daughter. And so, I take with me the comfort that while God never promised to make us comfortable, He did promise to see us through the good and the bad. So, whatever may come our way, I know we are walking with God, which is the best place to be.