It is GOD who BLESSES and TRANSFORMS...

This is a blog for women who:

(1) Desire to be transformed by JESUS' LOVE, HOLINESS, AND GRACE; (2) Believe that GOD'S WORD is the true Spirit food for HIS HOLY SPIRIT who lives within us; (3) Submit to GOD and walk this journey of life with HIM transforming us more and more into HIS likeness.

It's a blog about the POWER OF TRANSFORMED LIVES. Let's begin with yours and mine and pass it on... 1 + 1 + 1...

Since God's Holy Spirit lives inside a christian, let's choose to be nurtured and transformed by feasting daily on Holy Spirit food - God's Word - The Holy Bible..

Once in a while I take a hiatus from writing, but I have begun again on Easter Sunday 2013. Usually, there will be multiple blog postings each week. You are invited to use it as part of your daily quiet time. Topics may run for several months at a time. The current topic is posted over on the right side bar. Each week, I will try to connect to a song or two that goes with our current topic.

Each day of the week follows a special format: Sunday in the Son; Meditation Monday; GratiTuesday; Women in the Word Wednesday; Transforming Thursday; Family Fellowship Friday; and, Ketchup and Mustard Saturday.

There's a whole lot here! Take your time to browse. Please come back and visit often. Welcome!

Because of Jesus, we can be family,

Patti



TRANSFORMED MOMS:MOMS TRANSFORMED

Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BECAUSE HE LIVES I CAN FACE 2009!

WOMEN IN THE WORD WEDNESDAY



  1. I want you to know how thankful I am for the encouragement you gave to Steve yesterday on the blog, on facebook, and by email. Although very unexpected, I thank you for encouraging me the way you did, too. To God be all the glory! Please remember that to encourage means to "put courage in to another". May 2009 be a year when you become a reflection of JESUS in how you encourage others.

  2. We are so blessed to have three of our four children and one daughter-in-love with us this week. We are enjoying each other and are welcoming the Young Adult Life Group into our home this evening to see in the New Year.

  3. I hope that you will spend the next few days contemplating, meditating and praying on the following passage, as well as our song for this week...BECAUSE HE LIVES I CAN FACE TOMORROW...2009....

  4. I will not be posting again until Sunday morning, so until then, here is something to meditate on: The following scripture is in chapter 31, on this 31st day of December, speaking about what a woman of GOD "looks like". Be encouraged! Be challenged! Be attitude of JESUS CHRIST! Come back in 2009 and spend 3 months with me on the Sermon on the Mount (January through March).

Proverbs 31:10


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10 An excellent wife, who can find?


For her worth is far above jewels.


11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,


And he will have no lack of gain.


12 She does him good and not evil


All the days of her life.


13 She looks for wool and flax,


And works with her hands in delight.


14 She is like merchant ships;


She brings her food from afar.


15 She rises also while it is still night,


And gives food to her household,


And portions to her maidens.


16 She considers a field and buys it;


From her earnings she plants a vineyard.


17 She girds herself with strength,


And makes her arms strong.


18 She senses that her gain is good;


Her lamp does not go out at night.


19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,


And her hands grasp the spindle.


20 She extends her hand to the poor;


And she stretches out her hands to the needy.


21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household,


For all her household are clothed with scarlet.


22 She makes coverings for herself;


Her clothing is fine linen and purple.


23 Her husband is known in the gates,


When he sits among the elders of the land.


24 She makes linen garments and sells them,


And supplies belts to the tradesmen.


25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,


And she smiles at the future.


26 She opens her mouth in wisdom,


And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.


27 She looks well to the ways of her household,


And does not eat the bread of idleness.


28 Her children rise up and bless her;


Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:


29 "Many daughters have done nobly,


But you excel them all."


30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,


But a woman who fears the LORD,


she shall be praised.


31 Give her the product of her hands,


And let her works praise her in the gates.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BECAUSE HE LIVES...IN STEVE SIKES



“How God Was Great in 2008″


The years 2001-2007 were very hard years for the Steve and Patti Sikes family. I'm not saying that there weren't other very hard years...but in many ways these years were over the top! We often felt like punching bags, every time we tried to get up we'd get punched back down. Life was hard! Nothing that happened to us in those years changed the fact that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD. In fact, this is the calligraphy of my friend, Cindy Grubb, that hangs above my computer screen:
After 18 months of prayer and 40 days of fasting on my husband Steve's part, GOD brought us to a place in our lives where we KNEW He was in control. He moved us. He began to heal our family. He gave us many new perspectives of wounded healing and transformation. He had us where He wanted us - stuck on our knees. Oh, we're still on this journey of life. Life is still hard! We still have a daughter who suffers from chronic pain - now in the thirteenth year. We still have other major health, financial, and daily life challenges. The calligraphy above my computer continues to remind me.
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Today, I am grateful for how I have seen God work - up through 2008 in my marriage. Specifically, on this, the 35th anniversary of Steve and Patti Sikes, I would like you to know how God shows up in my life everyday BECAUSE HE LIVES IN STEVE SIKES. We are both children of God...made in His image.
  • I am a lion.
  • Steve is a lamb.
  • I am a living stone.
  • Steve is a wonderful counselor.
  • I am an overseer of souls.
  • Steve is a mighty prayer warrior.
  • I am a mother hen gathering her chicks under her wings.
  • Steve an everlasting father.
  • I am a creator.
  • Steve is a prince of peace.

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In yesterdays post, I made the following comments:

"We'll meditate on those

four descriptions / names of JESUS CHRIST.

I'll share some of Dan's thoughts,

some of my own, and

along the way the Holy Spirit will touch our hearts

with new and convicting thoughts

about these wonderful concepts."

.

And so, all day yesterday the Holy Spirit of GOD convicted me. I could not get off my mind how much my husband, Steve was like those names of our LORD JESUS CHRIST: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Please look back above at my descriptions of Steve to see the similarities. There is so much that I could say from my heart that would explain it more, but I'll say those things to Steve. I'd like to let 3 things tell you about this man that I am so in love with and so grateful for.

  1. The words of his own children, who at my request, yesterday afternoon and evening wrote some big things that they appreciate their dad for.
  2. The words of his co-worker in ministry, Dan Cooper, that were written in this past Sunday's bulletin at the Pitman church of Christ.
  3. The words of a song written by Alexis Carter (an amazing singer who's voice has been compared to Whitney Houston's voice). After she was stunned to learn that "her preacher" was moving, she wrote a song about him and drove many miles to a recording studio that same week to cut the CD.

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BECAUSE HE LIVES IN STEVE SIKES, our children have this to say:

Jordan - son:

  • One thing I love about Dad, is his humility. He has so much talent and giftedness, and yet he never is boastful or arrogant. He doesn't flash his diplomas, honors, and accomplishments. He doesn't parade his tassels for everyone to see. He truly works for the Lord and not for men.
  • Another thing I love about Dad, is his tenderness of heart. He feels and understands people. His ability to perceive hurts and pains in others is uncanny. I can't count the times I've seen my daddy cry. I know this is God's work at molding in him the heart of his Creator.
    .

Jacqueline - daughter-in-love:

The two things I appreciate most are:

  • I'm blessed to witness my husband's daily walk of integrity. I know without a doubt that much of who he strives to be is a mirror of his earthly dad, who is also a mirror of his Heavenly Father.
  • I appreciate that nearly every time we (or Jordy) call, whether in triumph, fear, or defeat, he takes the time to pray for us right then and there. We know you're both on your knees for our little family all of the time, and we take comfort in that.

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Jessica - daughter:

  • I love that he is able to see the good in everyone. He has the ability to make everyone feel like they are the most important person in the world. He has a truly rare gift.
  • I love his sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine and he always is able to give me the dose I need.

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Caleb - son:

  • My Dad means so much to me. He is slow to anger, quick to listen and he has a lot of love.
  • Being a son of my father, I forget that there aren't many men like my dad, who do the right thing even when it is hard, extremely hard. Thank you dad for loving all others. Yes, you love even when it seems hard, but from observation I think you just love to love.

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Krista - daughter-in-love:

  • Steve does not look at someone's past and what they were, but their future and who they are becoming.
  • His wisdom, patience, humility, abundance of love and understanding (his FAITH) - being able to observe what a true Christian father is like teaches me how to be more of a daughter of Christ to my earthly father. The outcome is my dad is growing closer to Christ because of Steve's FAITH.

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Crystal - daughter:

  • No matter how many stupid mistakes and decisions I've made, Big Guy has always been there for me. Still, to this day, I sit on Big Guy's lap and give him zerberts!
  • Big Guy is the most genuine person I have ever known. When someone is going through trials, he goes through the ups and downs with them. He has true compassion that never fails -no matter what the circumstances.

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BECAUSE HE LIVES IN STEVE SIKES, Dan Cooper had this to say:

"The Sikes are celebrating their second Christmas season with us here in New Jersey and I am still psyched about having them here with us. I simply love co-ministering with Steve. He is as passionate about ministry as I am! We are team players.

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  • Steve Sikes loves ministry, and he is really good at it.
  • He loves preaching, and his sermons always connect me to God's word.
  • He loves people, and his people skills are obvious to all who meet him.
  • He loves sharing the Good News with the lost, and he invests time and energy in truth-seekers.
  • He loves Christian counseling, and people (both Christians and non-Christians) come to see him from the north, south, east, and west. He loves teaching, and his classes are always stimulating and educational. He loves to give gifts and express appreciation, and he gives joyfully and generously.
  • He loves to sing, and his bass voice helps me to sing better.
  • Steve loves to pray, and praying with him is an experience that has deepened and enriched my personal prayer life.

.Yes, I thank God for bringing Steve Sikes to the Pitman Church of Christ. I say again, God is good - All the time. Still psyched about Sikes, Dan"

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BECAUSE HE LIVES IN STEVE SIKES, Alexis Carter had this to say in the words of the song that she wrote about him - MAN OF GOD:

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CHORUS:

How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace

and bring glad tidings of good things to them who hear the Word.

How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace

and bring glad tidings of good things to them who hear the Word.

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VERSE 1:

There's gonna come a day that all those who heard your voice will say,

"This man, he taught me how to seek the LORD,

so that I might be saved.

No other's sown what you've sown.

With the LORD, you've helped God's Kingdom grow.

You never spared the rod!

Oh, you mighty man of God!

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CHORUS:

How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things to them who hear the Word.
How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things to them who hear the Word.

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VERSE 2:

I witnessed how you submitted to the Spirit,

as God dealt with my heart.

Through you, He changed me forever.

All this, I owe my service to you.

You never strayed from the Word.

You spoke the truth.

That's what I heard.

At times, I know its hard,

Oh, you awesome man of God!

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CHORUS:

How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things to them who hear the Word.
How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace
and bring glad tidings of good things to them who hear the Word.

How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace...
How beautiful the feet of them who preach the gospel of peace..."

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Then, Alexis reads and says at the end of the song:

"Romans 10:15

'And how shall they preach unless they are sent?

Just as it is written,

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring

glad tidings of good things!'

BE ENCOURAGED!"

.

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Thank you, my children, Dan, and Alexis.

Today, I want to encourage (put courage in my husband) to ask God for another 35 years on this planet with me. I am so grateful for how God has transformed and is transforming Steve Sikes into His image!

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Today, Steve and I share the same anniversary with Steve' parents, Jack and Robbie Sikes, known to many of you as Papa and Mama Sikes. They have planted a heritage and legacy of faith, hope, and love that is rare. They just say, "Pass it on!" Thank you, Papa and Mama. Happy 61st anniversary!

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NOTE: Alexis' recording of this song is on my computer. Although I haven't figured out how to upload it to my blog, I can certainly email it to you.

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PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT FOR STEVE! If you have never left a comment on a blog before, just click COMMENTS just below here. Then, click anonymous, write your comment, do what it directs you to do, and then you can either sign your name or not. Thank you!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

BECAUSE HE LIVES: I HAVE ULTIMATE HOPE... AND HELP FOR THE JOURNEY

MEDITATION MONDAY


Yesterday, Dan Cooper preached the final sermon in a series from the book of Isaiah that he and Steve have given for several months. Dan's topic:


JESUS...OUR ULTIMATE HOPE! Isaiah 9:6

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Just know this....the first 39 chapters of Isaiah are mostly about the "gloom and doom" of God's people because they were not "walking with GOD". Yet, interspersed throughout those 39 chapters are little verses full of light to a dark world...verses of HOPE. Join me in reading one of those verses:

.

"For a child will be born to us,

a son will be given to us;

And the government will rest on His shoulders;

And His name will be called


Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Eternal Father

Prince of Peace."


Today, let's meditate on those four descriptions / names of JESUS CHRIST. I'll share some of Dan's thoughts, some of my own, and along the way the Holy Spirit will touch our hearts with new and convicting thoughts about these wonderful concepts.

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Jesus is WONDERFUL COUNSELOR!

That means that if I've gone to ten different counselors over my life and I say that this ONE is really wonderful...then, just maybe you will write His name down in your datebook or phonebook to keep for future reference. BTW, a wonderful counselor is probably a great listener, very empathetic. He has alot of practical wisdom. He can analyze your situations. He can come up with some amazingly creative insights, interventions, strategies to meet your needs. He can get you on a remarkable victorious life path. In choosing a WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, I would want Him to be my TOP ADVISOR.

Rate yourself on Dan's SELF-EVALUATION QUESTION:

I listen to and follow the counsel and advice of Jesus Christ as I make the daily decisions in the affairs of my life. Rate yourself now!

1......2.........3.......4.......5.......6.......7.......8.......9.......10

Not at all...Sometimes.....Most of the time...All the Time


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Jesus is MIGHTY GOD!

That means that even though I've heard the stuff about how "Jesus was a weakling" and "Jesus was more than a pacifist" that I can confidently say "NO!" Have you not heard that there is a war going on and I'm not talking about the one in Iraq. Ephesians 6 tells us that GOD is offering us His armor to put on. In fact, it says "put on the whole armor of GOD..." Jesus is a focused soldier...strong and courageous. The world is like a jungle and Jesus sent His disciples out to do no less than He expected of Himself:

Matthew 10:16-17


"Behold,

I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves;

therefore be shrewd as serpents,

and innocent as doves."


Or how about "as gentle as a lamb" who has on GOD's armor?

Read On:


Revelation 17:14

"These will wage war against the Lamb,

and the Lamb will overcome them,

because He is Lord of lords and King of kings,

and those who are with Him

are the called and chosen and faithful."

.

BTW, I suspect from reading scripture that a MIGHTY GOD is also a MIGHTY WARRIOR. That means that He is probably passionate about The Cause...willing to give everything...even His life for it. He is very alert and focused. He has alot of practical strategies for fighting the enemy. He can analyze the offense or defense in every detail. He can come up with some amazingly creative insights for every battle. He knows He will win the war! He is FEARLESS! In choosing a MIGHTY GOD, I would want Him to be a MIGHTY WARRIOR!


Rate yourself on Dan's SELF-EVALUATION QUESTION:
I allow Jesus Christ to fight my daily battles, trusting Him to bring the victory, instead of waging the war myself. Rate yourself now!


1......2........3.......4.......5.......6.......7.......8.......9.......10

Not at all...Sometimes.....Most of the time...All the Time
.

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Jesus is EVERLASTING FATHER!
Often when our earthly Father passes on, it leaves us with a void...hurt...unfinished business... but this Father is everlasting. Scripture says this everlasting Father is Jesus. How can that be? How can Jesus be a Father when He's the Son? Well, Jack and Robbie have a son named Steve Sikes. In 1981, Steve Sikes became a Father to Jordan. Does that mean that Steve is no longer a son? No! He just has another role to fulfill. Soon, the LORD willing, Jordan will become a Father. He will remain son of Steve and grandson of Jack. Even though it's hard to conceptualize Jesus as a Father, scripture says that it is true, so I believe it. Think about what a father is to do: protect, provide, nurture, lead, guide, teach, train, love...BTW, Jesus does say "the Father and I are One..." Jesus is willing to give everything...including the amazing love of the Father. He protects us. He is practical in showing us how to live our lives. He teaches us how to analyze our thoughts, so they will be like His. He comes up with some amazingly creative ways to provide for us, teach us, and love us. He knows how to be a Father...after all, He's already such a good shepherd for His sheep. In choosing an EVERLASTING FATHER, I would want Him to be a PROVIDER FOREVER.

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Rate yourself on Dan's SELF-EVALUATION QUESTION:

I trust in Jesus alone to both protect and provide for the needs of my family and me. Rate yourself now!

1......2.......3.......4.......5.......6.......7.......8.......9.......10


Not at all...Sometimes.....Most of the time....All the Time

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Jesus is PRINCE OF PEACE!
That means that my GOD, who is also my Father and Counselor is royalty who believes in the absence of strife. I've never met such a person! This is incredibly interesting! All that counseling, warrior, and family talk could lead me to feeling a little stressful, yet now we're talking about THE ABSENCE OF STRIFE! Whoa! BTW, a prince who is peaceful probably won't bring up my record of wrongs. He will be kind, gentle, and patient. I'm thinking that He will be practical in how He goes about blessing and ministering. He'll analyze things to better understand...not to pick apart. He'll come up with some amazingly creative ways for there to be peace on earth. In choosing a PRINCE OF PEACE, I would want Him to be my LIFE CALMER.

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Rate yourself on Dan's SELF-EVALUATION QUESTION:
I have allowed Jesus Christ to calm my life and restore my broken relationship with GOD! Rate yourself now!


1......2.......3.......4.......5.......6.......7........8.........9.......10
Not at all...Sometimes.....Most of the time....All the Time

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I hope this time of meditation has been a blessing to you!

Because my wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace lives...I CAN FACE TOMORROW! HE GIVES ME HOPE AND HELP FOR THE JOURNEY!


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Sunday, December 28, 2008

BECAUSE HE LIVES


SUNDAY IN THE SON

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I know of no other song that ministers to me like this song. As we close out 2008 and enter 2009, I pray that the song encourages you to live more in step with Jesus as you see how He lives in you, around you, and works through you.

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When my friend returned from Korea last year, she told me that on a Sunday morning her daughter took her to one of Korea's very large christian churches. They were a little late. As they walked through the doors, she was overcome with emotion as she heard this large assembly singing BECAUSE HE LIVES in a foreign tongue and yet she knew every word that they sang. HE LIVES!




.

.
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Bill Gaither's 
Because He Lives lyrics
1.
God sent His son,they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;

God sent His Son, they called Him, Jesus;

He came to love, heal,and forgive;

He lived and died to buy my pardon,

An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!



Chorus

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone;

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living,

Just because He lives!

.
2.
How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!



Lyrics Bill Gaither lyrics - Because He Lives lyrics

Saturday, December 27, 2008

IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS: IT'S NOT I WHO LIVE BUT CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME

KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY




JESUS LIVING INSIDE OF ME
GIVES ME A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE...
LEARNING TO SEE THINGS AS JESUS DOES...
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Catch Up and Must Do:


Christmas Eve night,
Stephanie was baptized into Christ
by her father at the Pitman church of Christ.
With this decision,
she chose to be clothed with Christ
and have the Holy Spirit come
and live inside of her.
..


Galatians 3:26-27
"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ."




Colossians 1:27-28
"Christ in you, the hope of glory.
And we proclaim Him,
admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom,
that we may present every man complete in Christ."


.



.


After Stephanie confessed that she believes that
Jesus is the Son of GOD,
then her dad baptized her
"in the name of The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit".


.
.


Afterwards,
those at the Christmas Eve service
made a huge love circle around the auditorium
and many spoke words of encouragement
to Stephanie and her family.


.


Stephanie will now begin her journey as a christian.
Choosing the "cross walk" is not always the easiest walk,
but it's the ONLY WAY to eternal life.


.


Jesus said,
"I am The Way,
The Truth,
and The Life.
No one comes to the Father
but through me."
John 14:6


.
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Romans 6:8-11
"Now if we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead,
is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all;
but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin,
but alive to God in Christ Jesus."


.


Galatians 2:19-21
"I have been crucified with Christ;
and it is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me,
and delivered Himself up for me."




It's about the cross!

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Welcome to the family,
Stephanie!
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Friday, December 26, 2008

IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS: FRAZZLED? FOCUSED?



















How ya' doin'?

Whatcha doin'?

Exhausted?

Frazzled? Focused?


I wanna' know what you've done this week! Has the "cross walk" during the holidays been a challenge? Are there too many days full of Family Fellowship? Too few days? How about you and I giving our stress to the LORD today? Let's start by counting our blessings...what good things have happened with you and your family fellowship this week?
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I'll start the comments rolling with the first one. Please add your comments. You can always just leave a comment and click ANONYMOUS. We just want to hear from you today...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS: THE BABY WAS BORN TO DIE!


TRANSFORMING THURSDAY!
Merry Christmas!
The story of Jesus began long before
His birth in a manger that starry Bethlehem night.
Join us today for a little clearer perspective
to the story of the babe in the manger.
The words to this post are from the
song sung on the two videos above.
This post and the two videos are our gifts to you, today!
Push play on the video above to listen
to it's music while you view this post.
Merry Christmas!



It's not just about the manger where the baby lay.


It's not all about the angels who sang for Him that day.


It's not just about the shepherds or

the bright and shining star.


It's not all about the wise men who travelled from afar..




It's about the cross!

It's about my sin!

It's about how Jesus came to be born once

So that we could be born again.

It's about the stone

That was rolled away

So that you and I could have real life someday.

It's about the cross!

It's about the cross!

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It's not just about the presents

underneath the tree.




It's not all about the feeling
that the season brings to me.



It's not just about coming home

to be with those you love.









It's not all about the beauty

in the snow I'm dreaming of.

.



.
It's about the cross!
It's about my sin!
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again.
It's about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday.
It's about the cross!
It's about the cross!

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The beginning of the story is wonderful and great.
But it's the ending that can save you
and that's why we celebrate.
It's about the cross!






It's about my sin!




It's about how Jesus came to be born once


So that we could be born again.

Note: Last night, on Christmas Eve,
Stephanie, on the left, the daughter of
Transformed Mom, Karelle, was born again
at the Pitman church of Christ.
There were many there to
hear her confession that Jesus is LORD GOD.
We watched as her daddy baptized her into Christ.
Then, we formed a very large love circle as
her new christian family.
(pics of the wonderful event will be posted soon)


It's about God's love nailed to a tree.
It's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him

when it should have been me.






It's about the stone that was rolled away.



So that you and I could have real life someday...


So that you and I could have real life someday.






It's about the cross!


It's about the cross!



.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS: IN MAN YOU DWELL

WOMEN IN THE WORD WEDNESDAY



Isaiah 7:14

"Therefore the Lord Himself

will give you a sign:

Behold,

a virgin will be with child

and bear a son,

and she will call His name

Immanuel."

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On Sunday morning, Steve focused on this verse in his sermon. Mike had spent time talking about it in class.

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Monday I posted about Mike's class, mentioning that there are many "do not be afraid" verses that also include a promise "I will be with you always". Vanessa told me that somewhere she had heard that there were 366 of these verses, enough for every day of the year including leap year. Although I have only found a little over 100, I did read on the internet that the movie "Facing the Giants" refers to one of these verses for every day of the year. Vanessa sent me a link to the 100+ which I will add at the end of this post. Two of those scriptures are independent angel visits to Mary and to Joseph before Jesus' birth.
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Tuesday (yesterday), I posted about Immanuel, on the cross, finishing the work that He had been born to do. He was born to die and then come back to life! I have learned so much from His seven statements on the cross!
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If you get nothing else from this post today, I want to emphasize that Jesus wants to come and live inside of you! Immanuel means "God with us!" Say it this way:
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In - man - u - dwell


  • Jesus, the Creator of the universe, humbled Himself to be born of a virgi

  • Jesus lived a perfect life (denying Himself - it's called the "cross walk")

  • Jesus died for the sins of all mankind



  • Jesus was resurrected on the third day from the grave to live eternally

  • Jesus lived on the earth another 40 days and then ascended into heaven

  • Jesus sent His Holy Spirit ten days after He ascended into heaven and it was on that day that Peter, guided by the Holy Spirit, preached the first sermon, which in part said, in Acts 2:36-47...


  • 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children..."

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Jesus was born to die to rise to ascend to come down and live in you!

In - man - u - dwell

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Mirror, mirror on the wall,

Do you see Jesus in me at all?


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LET THE FOLLOWING VERSES TRANSFORM YOU:



"Do not be afraid" VERSES:

Genesis 43:23

Genesis 46:3

Genesis 50:19

Genesis 50:21


Exodus 20:20


Deuteronomy 20:1

Deuteronomy 20:3

Deuteronomy 31:6


Joshua 11:6


Judges 4:18


1 Samuel 4:20

1 Samuel 22:23

1 Samuel 23:17

1 Samuel 28:13


2 Kings 1:15

2 Kings 19:6

2 Kings 25:24


Nehemiah 2:2


Psalm 49:16


Proverbs 3:25

Isaiah 37:6

Isaiah 44:8


Jeremiah 1:8

Jeremiah 40:9

Jeremiah 42:11 (2 times)


Ezekiel 3:9


Daniel 10:12

Daniel 10:19


Zephaniah 3:16


Matthew 1:20

Matthew 14:27

Matthew 17:7

Matthew 28:5

Matthew 28:10


Mark 5:36

Mark 6:50


Luke 1:13

Luke 1:30

Luke 2:10

Luke 8:50

Luke 12:4

Luke 12:32


John 6:20


Acts 18:9

Acts 27:24


Revelation 1:17

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"Do not fear" VERSES:

Genesis 15:1

Genesis 21:17

Genesis 26:24

Genesis 35:17


Exodus 14:13


Numbers 14:9

Numbers 21:34


Deuteronomy 1:21

Deuteronomy 1:29

Deuteronomy 3:2

Deuteronomy 3:22

Deuteronomy 31:8


Joshua 8:1

Joshua 10:8

Joshua 10:25


Judges 6:10

Judges 6:23

Judges 3:11


1 Samuel 12:20


2 Samuel 9:7

2 Samuel 13:28



1 Kings 17:13


2 Kings 6:16

2 Kings 17:35

2 Kings 17:37

2 Kings 17:38


1 Chronicles 22:13

1 Chronicles 28:200


2 Chronicles 20:15

2 Chronicles 20:17

2 Chronicles 32:7


Nehemiah 4:14


Job 21:9


Psalm 64:4

Psalm 78:53


Isaiah 7:4

Isaiah 10:24

Isaiah 35:4

Isaiah 40:9

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 41:13

Isaiah 41:14

Isaiah 43:1

Isaiah 43:5

Isaiah 42:2

Isaiah 51:7

Isaiah 54:4

Isaiah 54:14


Jeremiah 10:5

Jeremiah 30:10

Jeremiah 46:27

Jeremiah 46:28


Lamentations 3:57


Joel 2:21

Joel 2:22


Haggai 2;5


Zechariah 8:13

Zechariah 8:15


Matthew 10:26

Matthew 10:28

Matthew 10:31


Luke 5:10

Luke 12:7


John 12:15

John 14:27


1 Peter 3:14


Revelation 2:10


John 14:1


Acts 20:10

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NOTE: I got this list off of the internet. Let me know if there are errors!

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IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS: ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED AT THE CROSS

Even though Heavenly Homemakers is not hosting Gratituesday today, I feel compelled to be grateful anyway. I would like to start out with words from Robert Fulghum's book, All I Really Needed to Know, I learned in Kindergarten. May you be blessed.
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All I really need to know about...



  • how to live and

  • what to do and

  • how to be

I learned AT THE CROSS!

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Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there the first time that I placed myself at the foot of the cross. These are the things I have learned by listening to JESUS' words as He hung on the cross:

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  1. "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34 JESUS was caring for others! He was exhausted! He'd been beaten beyond belief. He had to carry His own cross. He was in unimaginable pain. These people had done this to Him. He was probably sleep deprived. Yet, these are His first words on the cross! He did what He had the power to do in spite of the circumstances. He wanted His persecutors to make peace with their Maker. Thank you, JESUS, for teaching me forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion, hope, self-discipline of the tongue, offering a second chance or a new beginning, self denial, love, wounded healing...
  2. .
  3. "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43 JESUS was caring for another! He wanted to make sure that the thief on the cross had eternal life. He did what He had the power to do in spite of the circumstances. He wanted the thief to make peace with His Maker. Thank you, JESUS, for teaching me forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion, hope, offering a new beginning, self denial, love, wounded healing...
  4. .
  5. "Woman, behold your son: behold your mother." John 19:26-27 JESUS was caring for His mother! He wanted to make sure it was clear who would be responsible for Mary. He did what He had the power to do in spite of the circumstances. He fulfilled the fifth commandment, "Honor your father and your mother." Thank you, JESUS, for teaching me obedience, grace, mercy, compassion, hope, priorities, self denial, love, wounded healing...
  6. .
  7. "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?" ("My GOD, My GOD, why have you forsaken me?)" Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. JESUS was caring about His relationship with His Father. He did not want anything to come between Him and His Father. Yet, His Father could not stand sin. So, as JESUS took on the sin of the world, He would be seperated from GOD. He questions...maybe even asks for reassurance as to the reason "why". Thank You, JESUS, for teaching me dependence on the Father, forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion, priorities, self denial, openess with The Father, love, wounded healing...
  8. .
  9. "I thirst!" John 19:28 JESUS was caring about His needs! He articulated His humanness. Then, again, maybe not! Maybe, just maybe, He was thirsting for the Father who He was seperated from. He was seperated from the River of Life. In spite of His circumstances, He was staying focused on His mission. Thank You, JESUS, for teaching me endurance, perseverance, finishing what You started no matter what, follow through, self denial, love, wounded healing...
  10. .
  11. "It is finished!" John 19:30 JESUS was caring about loving and pleasing His Father and loving mankind as He stuck to His goal! Thank You, JESUS, for modeling selflessness, sinlessness, forgiveness, gentleness of spirit in letting the Holy Spirit lead You, hungering and thirsting for a righteousness that only comes from above, mercy and compassion to Your fellow man, purity of heart and motive, a peace that passes understanding, peace-making betweeen mankind and their Maker, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, perfect love under horrific circumstances - persecution, wounded healing...
  12. .
  13. "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit!" Luke 23:46 JESUS was trusting fully in His Father's love. This scripture was one that most Jewish women taught as the first scripture to their little children to memorize. It's quite possible that this scripture was one that JESUS had learned from Mary. It was time to put it into action. Time for trust, hope, new beginnings, love...wounded healing...
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The cross summed up the two greatest commandments for me. Thank you, JESUS!
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Matthew 22:35-40 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."


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TWO THINGS:


1. I would love for you to share with me what you have learned from the cross by completing this sentence starter: "All I really need to know, I learned at the cross..."
2. Enjoy and learn more about spiritual things learned at Annette's post:


http://ichoosejoytoday.blogspot.com/2008/11/isnt-life-complicated-sometimes-my.html

Monday, December 22, 2008

IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS: DO NOT BE AFRAID!

MEDITATON MONDAY
It is about the cross! I thought about it yesterday...I've thought about it more today. I plan to keep the two videos posted throughout the week. What a blessing the words and pictures of this new song to me have been.
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Yesterday morning, I was so blessed to be part of the assembling of the saints at the Pitman church of Christ. The singing was amazing! The prayers and communion hit the mark! The sermon tag team by Steve and Dan was very eye opening. But for today, I want to focus on the Bible class.
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In Bible class, Mike led our focus to verses in the Bible where GOD or a messenger of GOD tells different ones not to be afraid BECAUSE GOD would be with them. It's so easy for us as christians to forget that GOD is always with us. It's so easy for us as christians to become anxious...to be afraid...
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Yet, this week as we look at the coming of our LORD to the earth, we will also look at the "cross-life" that He modeled for us and called us to live. If we focus on what He has called us to...then, it can become scarey...but if we focus on Him and His words, "Do not be afraid" and "I will be with you always" then we can keep things in perspective.
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If fear is part of your battle, then please know that I found 47 "Do not be afraid" verses in the New American Standard Bible. That's almost one a week for a year. Yet, using verses like those that say "do not tremble" or "fear not" gives you plenty for one a week for a year. Here are a few that we talked about in class:
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Deuteronomy 31:5-6
COMMAND: "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them...
PROMISE: ...for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
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Joshua 1:9
COMMAND: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed...
PROMISE: ...for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
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Isaiah 41:10
COMMAND: 'Do not fear...
PROMISE: ...for I am with you...
COMMAND: ...Do not anxiously look about you...
PROMISE: ...for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
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Isaiah 43:5
COMMAND: "Do not fear...
PROMISE: ...for I am with you..."
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Luke 1:28-33
PROMISE: "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be...
COMMAND: ...And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus....
PROMISE: ...He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."
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GOD knew that we would need this type of enCOURAGEment, so He even gave JESUS a name that means "GOD with us" to remind us of His PROMISE! Read the account:
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Matthew 1:20-2:1
COMMAND: "...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit....
PROMISE: "...And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us."
COMMAND: "...And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus."
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It's about the cross, my friend!
JESUS was born to die!
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So, join me as we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross...let's consider this, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart."
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS

SUNDAY IN THE SON

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IT'S ABOUT THE CROSS lyrics:
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Verse 1:
It's not just about the manger
Where the baby lay.
It's not all about the angels
Who sang for Him that day.
It's not just about the shepherds
Or the bright and shining star.
It's not all about the wise men
Who travelled from afar.
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Chorus:
It's about the cross!
It's about my sin!
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again.
It's about the stone
That was rolled away
So that you and I could have real life someday.
It's about the cross!
It's about the cross!
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Verse 2:
It's not just about the presents
Underneath the tree.
It's not all about the feeling
That the season brings to me.
It's not just about coming home
To be with those you love.
It's not all about the beauty
In the snow I'm dreaming of.
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Repeat Chorus
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Bridge and Different Chorus:
The beginning of the story is wonderful and great.
But it's the ending that can save you
and that's why we celebrate.
It's about the cross!
It's about my sin!
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again.
It's about God's love
Nailed to a tree.
It's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him
when it should have been me.
It's about the stone
That was rolled away.
So that you and I could have real life someday...
So that you and I could have real life someday.
It's about the cross!
It's about the cross!
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

HOLD ME, JESUS: GOD STOP! GOD'S GOLD!






KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
or
Catch Up and Must Do Saturday




CATCH-UP:
Throughout the course of this blog, I have referred to the term GOD STOP or GOD'S GOLD. These are moments when you take time to see and marvel at the evident way GOD is working in your life and/or answering your prayers. At these times, you know that GOD is gifting you with some of the great riches of heaven. This past Wednesday, my friend and christian sister, Alana had a wonderful GOD STOP post. In her post, Alana introduces GOD STOPS in this way:

  • "There are moments each day when we see Jesus and we recognize Him. I believe there are more moments in each day when we don't see Him for one reason or another. And still other moments when we CHOOSE not to see Him. I'm sad to say the latter two play more a role at times than I would like.Yesterday I made up my mind to see Him! I know I've been missing opportunities to show Christ. This has left me feeling a bit hollow and unhappy with myself. So, I hit my knees yesterday, for a good long while and poured myself out...asking God to fill me up. Late in the afternoon He answered a prayer..."
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Do you see GOD working in the moments of each and everyday? Do you see Him answering your prayers? Are you letting Him hold you until the time is right for His answer?
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GOD STOP #1: I shared with you on TRANSFORMING THURSDAY.
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GOD STOP #2: Many of you know about Jessica's 13 year battle with chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, and bouts of chronic fatigue. We've tried many treatments and therapies all over the country - both mainline and alternative medicine. Last Christmas season, Jessica was in the #1 treatment center for migraines in the world. The bill was very high and over this past year we had been getting not much help paying it from our Cobra insurance. Then, out of the blue, they paid over $7,000. We were thankful but I decided not to call and ask why that's all they paid, for fear I'd rock the boat. I just continued to pray. It was discouraging. I could not see GOD at work in this situation. But GOD has shown me once again that He's at work whether I can see Him or not. Last Tuesday, we opened a new bill to find that over $20,000 additional had been taken off our bill and all they are asking us to pay now is about $1,000. I'll tell you $1,000 looks real good compared to $30,000. I cannot thank GOD enough for this wonderful visual of His faithfulness. Through this past year, He has held me and I have held on tight!
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GOD STOP #3: This past Wednesday night, Melva updated some of us on Lily Grace after our devotional was over. She said, "I just feel the need for us to pray for this little family." We circled up, held hands and prayed. We found out the next morning that as Melva was "feeling the need", Lily Grace was being carried to heaven. Indeed her family will need comfort...need to be held...need to be carried... Read Lily's story at: http://www.lilyblessings.blogspot.com/
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MUST DO:

Many of you have family and friends gathering for the holidays. Tonight we had a Christmas program at church that was truly inspirational. Thank you to all involved. Our company spent the day in NYC going to Times Square and Rockefellar Center to see the Christmas trees....and of course, Toys R Us. When they returned home this evening and we returned home from the Christmas program, I had a home cooked meal ready for us all. Here are a few pics of the NYC trip and dinner afterwards:







I won't finish this week without the ever popular poem about when Jesus does the "holding". .. "the carrying"...

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Footprints
One night I had a dream-
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord
and across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints,
one belonged to me and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me
and I questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you would walk with me all the way,
but I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life
there is only one set of footprints.
"I don't understand why in times when I needed you most,
you should leave me."
The Lord replied,
"My precious, precious child, I love you
and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
"When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."...Mary Stevenson.
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2010 Pitman WOMEN REACHING OUT IN FAITH RETREAT - Cape May, NJ

TRANSFORMED MOM, LISA, REQUESTED PRAYERS FOR HER HUBBY: FULLY RESTORED! FULLY HEALED!