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."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I AM A FRIEND OF GOD

SUNDAY IN THE SON
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PART 1:

Our Patriarchs Bible class on Tuesday mornings this year has been rich! We'll finish up this Tuesday. I love that Abraham was called "a friend of God..." and there were those who followed in his footsteps of faith: Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David...and then in the New Testament we read Jesus' words in John 15:12-15:
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"This is My commandment,
that you love one another,
just as I have loved you.
"Greater love has no one than this,
that one lay down his life for his friends.
"You are My friends, if you do what I command you.
"No longer do I call you slaves,
for the slave does not know what his master is doing;
but I have called you friends,
for all things that I have heard
from My Father I have made known to you."


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This is also our last day of Merciful May. As we look back over various posts, it is easy to see that most discussions about God's mercy include God's grace. So, as we look this month at being "friends" of God, let's continue to remember the words in Hebrews 4:16:


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"Let us therefore draw near with confidence
to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy
and may find grace to help in time of need."
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I love this video of our theme song this week. It makes me feel like I'm on a road trip with a friend. I have a feeling that is what the designer intended...I am on the journey of life with my merciful and graceful Friend who just happens to also be my Creator, Father, Physician, Counselor, Teacher, and much more... Be sure and pause the playlist before starting the video...









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PART 2:


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One of the wonderful things about having a spiritual Father is that we are made in His image and have His spiritual DNA! This merciful and graceful friend is our Daddy. He calls us to be like Him... even in mercy and grace! As the family of Christ, we have a new opportunity to minister with mercy and grace to a family from Minnesota who are in Philadelphia for cancer treatment.


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Please meet Scott and Bonita McEndree and their four young children. Scott and Bonita are part of the family of God who live in Minneapolis, MN. Scott has cancer and needs to have specialized treatment in Philadelphia for 6 weeks. We have several connections other than the fact that Scott and Bonita are our brother and sister in Christ:
  1. Steve preached at their congregation, one Sunday, in the summer of 2007

  2. Steve's brother, Stacy,who is a chaplain connected with Mayo Clinic, is a friend of Scott and Bonita's and he called to let us know that Scott will be having cancer treatments near us

  3. Bonita was a student at York College when Steve and I taught there. Steve had Bonita and some of her siblings in classes and I had her brother Brian in class.

  4. We have many friends and acquaintances in common.


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Yesterday, Steve visited the family. Today they plan on worshipping with us - the Pitman church of Christ. Please join me in ministering to this family via prayer. You may visit Scott's Caring Bridge web page here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/scottmcendree



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Saturday, May 30, 2009

MERCY CAME RUNNING...AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND...

KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY

"Catch Up and Must Do"





Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore draw near
with confidence
to the throne of GRACE,
that we may receive MERCY
and may find GRACE
to help in time of need."
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Happy last Saturday in May, my friend! Today, I plan to sing, pray, and praise God for extending me His Mercy and Amazing Grace...
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  • I HEAR! Amazing Grace how sweet the SOUND of "forgiven!"
  • I SEE! Amazing Grace...I was blind, but now I see my God who is all about life and livin'!
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A few must do's on this post about GRACE... about your encouragement... about Lauren Schwamb...
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1. GRACE...on Sunday, Steve's sermon was entitled GRACE TEACHES. I've shared a little this week. Many of you have said that one powerful sermon would forever change the way that you view God's grace. Here are a few things in summary:

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From Deuteronomy 7-9:

  • BY GRACE: God still chose Israel to be His people!
  • BY GRACE: God led, fed, humbled, and blessed Israel!
  • BY GRACE: God revealed Himself, His will, His way!
  • BY GRACE: His people bless God for His goodness

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From Ephesians:

  • BY GRACE: God had mercy and made us alive in Christ
  • BY GRACE: God raised us up and seated us with Christ in heavenly places
  • BY GRACE: God saved us through faith
  • BY GRACE: God brought us near by Christ's blood
  • BY GRACE: We are ONE in Christ through the cross and share the same Spirit...

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From Romans 5-6:

  • BY GRACE: God loved us; Christ died for us
  • BY GRACE: We have been saved!
  • BY GRACE: We are to live holy lives and become slaves of righteousness
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Maybe you've seen the game show on TV where the "cash cab" stops people on the street of NYC and asks them to hop in and play the game...answering some questions. They get $$$$ for correct answers and a little grace along the way... For instance, if they don't know one answer, they can get a "freebie" and roll down the window and ask someone on the street to help them answer the question. That's called a "shout out!" Steve encouraged us to not just "shout out" what we don't know, but "shout out" what we know about what GRACE TEACHES:
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  • shout out: WE NEED GRACE!
  • shout out: GOD GIVES GRACE!
  • shout out: WE WERE CREATED TO BE VESSELS OF GRACE!
  • shout out: GRACE SAVES!
  • shout out: GRACE JUSTIFIES!
  • shout out: GRACE TRANSFORMS!
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2. This week, whether or not my facebook and blogger friends heard Steve's sermon, I was encouraged by different "shout out's" about God this week -

  • M.C. - "Small amounts of grace are welcome spices of life. But the radical grace of God? It’s still shocking, offensive, and off-putting. Doesn’t it imply a lack of fairness and justice?...From a distance, we like to condemn the elder brother. Up close and personal, however, we secretly cheer him on..."
  • A.O. - "Our preacher spoke on God's Grace. It struck me that his grace is so awesome that I'd name a child Grace, so I'd never forget what God has done."
  • C.U. - "God is called the Author and the Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1&2) He will never start something that He cannot finish. That promise He put in your heart—that you’re going to be healed, that you’re coming out of debt, that your family will be restored—God has every intention of bringing those promises to pass."
  • C.U. - "2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare."
  • L.B. - "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11"
  • L.B. - "But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. James 3:17"
  • C.D. - ""God doesn't love me because of my performance. He loves me in spite of my performance."
  • D.O. - "God's grace is sufficient!"
  • D.A.O.- "Live in the moment because you never know how God will use the simple moments of your day for his purposes."

3. God have mercy! Christ have mercy! God have mercy! Christ have mercy! God have mercy! Christ have mercy! God have mercy! Christ have mercy! God have mercy! Christ have mercy! ...on Lauren Schwamb and her family... it's been a long 5 months in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for 3 year old Lauren and her mom Cristi. There's good news and bad news for Lauren. First the bad: Lauren has norovirus and has had to be returned to quaratine. GOOD NEWS: Lauren's little friend at "CHOP", who has been awaiting a heart since Thanksgiving got her new heart yesterday. We praise You God for Your mercy and grace on behalf of little Sarah. We ask for mercy, grace, and a new heart for Lauren soon!
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Micah 6:8
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to LOVE MERCY and to walk humbly with your God."
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Ephesians 2:1-10
"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked...we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by GRACE you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His GRACE in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by GRACE you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works..."
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May you extend fresh and new mercies to those you touch each day in the same way that Christ extends mercy to you! Be blessed!
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Hebrews 4:16

"Let us therefore draw near

with confidence

to the throne of GRACE,

that we may receive MERCY

and may find GRACE

to help in time of need."

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Friday, May 29, 2009

MERCY CAME RUNNING....AMAZING GRACE...IN THE FAMILY...


If I chronicled all the wonderful things happening in my family (church and physical) , this blog couldn't hold it all. I'd like to share a photo gallery of some of the Pitman church family at the Walkers picnic on Memorial Day. There were other events around that were hosted and attended by christians from the Pitman church. This is the one the I attended.
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The picture above shows Phyllis and Corny Walker in the center as everyone thanks them for hosting. The following pictures show one of our "Pitman Love Circles" and then everyone enjoying each others company. It's easy to enjoy those who try to "walk as Jesus did". It's easy to be around those who are great at extending MERCY and GRACE. What a blessing they are to me!
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Also, this week, I got some new pictures of Chloe by email from Jordan and Jacqueline. Jacqueline is such a woman of GRACE and MERCY...she is making a wonderful mom who is TRANSFORMED by the love of her Savior! We'll be spending a week with them soon as we go for Jordan's graduation and to help them pack boxes. After viewing the pics below, I invite you to Jacqueline's blog for more updates - http://jordandjacqueline.blogspot.com/2009/05/anniversary.html
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Love you, Chloe,
Gigi
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MERCY CAME RUNNING...AMAZING GRACE...BE STILL AND KNOW...



TRANSFORMING THURSDAY






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I have given myself permission to post this on Friday morning. To God, time looks a little different than to us. In fact, this post has been on my mind for a few days. The last few days have been soooo busy! Since I'm working full time right now at a part-time job and organizing my time is at a premium. Then, it seems there comes a time when "just one more thing" tips the scale and "overload" has arrived!
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Today, Friday, is Steve's birthday! Steve is by make-up a "solitary man" who is gifted by God with many people skills. He does not have a job that is designed for a "solitary man" and he is usually neck deep in people and their lives. Over the years, one of the best gifts to give Steve is some time away some place in a cabin for him to have alone time with God. A few months ago when someone from church offered him their condo for a few days, they did not realize that there would be roofers there roofing on those days. Steve came back home early.
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Yesterday (the day before his birthday) he woke up to this note on the bathroom mirror. It was a TRANSFORMING THURSDAY!
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Steve,
No roofers today
When you stay at Cape May.
The LaMer has booked you
With a wonderful ocean view.
Check in is at one.
It looks like you get 24 hours
of sun and fun with the ONE!
Happy Birthday!
I love you,
Patti
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We live in a hurry up society... stress all day long... Do this! Do that! Why didn't you do it this way?!? This planet seems to be spinning faster. Yet, I know that things have always been fast. God did create the speed of light. By my calculations "the speed of light" has been around since the beginning in Genesis 1:1-5. God has designed many things with speed, yet He doesn't expect us to "hurry up and do it all". In fact, He'd like us to "be still and know"...
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Psalm 46:10
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
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This week, as we look at MERCY and GRACE, I think of all the things that are going on in our world right now. For many, there is a great degree of panic. I have had several friends loose their jobs just this week. As I observe in the schools daily, I have teachers tell me that things are really different with the children. Many children are stressed to the max.
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Why does it seem that so much is out of control? Some of it has to do with living in the Information Age. There are a few sobering videos that I have watched recently that are true. Yet, the videos have left out encouragement for the discouragement or how to rein in the wild horse of information overload...the videos have certainly left out the GRACE, MERCY, LOVE, AND POWER OF OUR GOD.
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You've heard the newscasters tell us about how important it is to stay informed. Sisters, once you watch the video that I have posted below, you may find it to have to much information about information. Whew! Yet, it may put things into perspective for you or/and...
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  • you may feel overwhelmed and anxious
  • you may get on your knees and pray for God's GRACE and MERCY for this planet...
  • you may even grow in compassion for what your children go through each day at school...
  • you may get a little glimpse at what your husband is dealing with
  • you may begin to think twice about the person that cut you off in traffic or the cashier at the grocery store...

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Do we need more information? Or, do we need MERCY and GRACE!?!! I know in our family, there are several who get on information overload more quickly than others. It can add stress and zap one of energy. Just this week I've had 3 of my FB friends delete their FB pages because for them "it was too much distraction"...

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I ask you to watch this video and then take a minute afterwards to read what the apostle Peter has to say below the video. May the Spirit of God guide you in all wisdom as you ponder and pray about letting His MERCY and GRACE TRANSFORM you and your thinking today... I'll post a second video in a few days...

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2 Peter 3:8-18


"...with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
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14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in PEACE, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation;...17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MERCY CAME RUNNING...AMAZING GRACE...THEREFORE, DRAW NEAR WITH CONFIDENCE...


Hebrews 4:14-16

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Since then we have a great High Priest

who has passed through the heavens,

Jesus the Son of God,

let us hold fast our confession.

For we do not have a High Priest

who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,

but One who has been tempted

in all things as we are,

yet without sin.

Let us therefore

draw near with confidence to the
.
throne of grace,
.
that we may
.
receive mercy
.
and may
.
find grace to help
.
in time of need. "

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MERCY CAME RUNNING...AMAZING GRACE...WE'RE SO GRATEFUL...


On Sunday, after Steve's sermon on GRACE, members of our church family began to change their Facebook status. Here are three:
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"God doesn't love me because of my performance.
He loves me in spite of my performance."
- Steve Sikes.
Thank you God for your grace!"

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"Praise God for His Grace!!!
Thanks, Easy Money!
You sure can preach it, brother!
You earned it today! HA ;)"
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"If I had a daughter,
I'd name her GRACE!"
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As we focus on the words MERCY and GRACE this week, ponder these two acrostics and be thankful:
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  • .God's
  • .Righteous
  • fAvor
  • .Christ
  • .Extends

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Ministry

Extending

Righteous

Compassion in

Your favor

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Monday, May 25, 2009

MERCY CAME RUNNING...AMAZING GRACE TEACHES...

MEDITATION MONDAY
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Today has been a day of remembrance for many of us. I saw a facebook post that I tweaked a little and made my own today:
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"Ending the day REMEMBERING...
thank you friends...
thank you FRIEND...
"Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends"
- Jesus"
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Yesterday Steve shared a powerful and encouraging message on GRACE. He entitled it: GRACE: LEST WE FORGET. He used words and phrases like,
  • "Remember!"
  • "Grace is the master teacher!"
  • "We need grace!"
  • "God gives grace!"
  • "We were created to be vessels of grace!"
  • "Grace saves!"
  • "Grace justifies!"
  • "Grace transforms!"

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Two words that I see alot together in the Bible are "mercy" and "grace". Throughout this week, will share different excerpts of Steve's Sunday sermon, connect the words "mercy" and "grace", and give you bucket loads of encouragement.

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For today, let's join Steve in meditating on Ephesians 2, "lest we forget":

  1. At one time we were dead in our sins.
  2. We walked according to the "prince of the power of the air".
  3. BY GRACE: God had "mercy" and made us alive in Christ!
  4. BY GRACE: God rasied us up and seated us with Him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
  5. BY GRACE: God saved us through faith!

So, REMEMBER when we were seperate from Christ, having no hope and without God in the world (vs. 12)

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6. BY GRACE: God brought us near by Christ's blood.

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7. BY GRACE: We are ONE in Christ through the cross and share the same Spirit!

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

MERCY CAME RUNNING...AMAZING GRACE...

SUNDAY IN THE SON

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It is my prayer that as this week goes along that these two scriptures and two songs become embedded deep within our souls.


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OLD TESTAMENT:

Micah 6:8

"He has showed you, O man,

what is good.

And what does the LORD require of you?

To act justly

and to love mercy

and to walk humbly with your God."

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Ephesians 2:1-10


"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,


in which you formerly walked...


...we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh,


indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind,


and were by nature children of wrath,


even as the rest.


But God, being rich in mercy,


because of His great love


with which He loved us,


even when we were dead in our transgressions,


made us alive together with Christ


(by grace you have been saved),


and raised us up with Him,


and seated us with Him in the heavenly places,


in Christ Jesus,


in order that in the ages to come


He might show the surpassing riches


of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


For by grace you have been saved through faith;


and that not of yourselves,


it is the gift of God;


not as a result of works,


that no one should boast.


For we are His workmanship,


created in Christ Jesus for good works..."


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MERCY CAME RUNNING LYRICS: 1.


Once there was a holy place


Evidence of God's embrace


And I can almost see Mercy's face


Pressed against the veil


Looking down with longing eyes


Mercy must have realized


That once His blood was sacrificed


Freedom would prevail


And as the sky grew dark


And the earth began to shake


With justice no longer in the way


Chorus:


Mercy came running


Like a prisoner set free


Past all my failures to the point of my needs


When the sin that I carried


Was all I could see


And when I could not reach Mercy


Mercy came running to me


2.


Once there was a broken heart


Way to human from the start


And all the years left it torn apart


Hopeless and afraid


Walls I never meant to build


Left this prisoner unfulfilled


Freedom called but even still


It seemed so far away


I was bound by the chains


From the wages of my sin


Just when I felt like giving in


repeat chorus.


3.


Sometimes I still feel so far


So far from where I really should be


He gently calls to my heart


Just to remind me .


repeat chorus


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AMAZING GRACE - Chris Tomlin


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Saturday, May 23, 2009

VOICE OF TRUTH...IT IS WHAT IT IS...

KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
Catch Up and Must Do



It is what it is!!!
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I don't often do this, but today, I am going to re-post most of last Sunday's post, hoping that it helps us finish the week strong! Most people believe that there are multiple truths... each can find her own truth to find mercy... justice.... happiness... peace... salvation... I BELIEVE JESUS! He says, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no man (or woman) comes to the Father except through ME!"

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This week we've looked a little at the spiritual battle that goes on in our gray matter. Here are a few battle words that we have put forth this week:

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satan wants you to believe: "It's impossible!"
JESUS want you to know that "With, God all things are possible!" Luke 18:27


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satan wants you to say, "I can't do it!"
JESUS wants you to say, "I can do all things through Christ." Philippians 4:13
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satan wants you to say, "I'm not able."
JESUS wants you to say, "God is able." II Corinthians 9:8
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satan wants you to say, "I can't manage."
JESUS wants you to say, "God will supply all my needs." Philippians 4:19
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satan wants you to keep saying, "I can't figure things out."
JESUS wants you to say, "God will direct my steps." Proverbs 3:5- 6
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satan wants you to say, "I can't go on!"
JESUS wants you to say, "God’s grace is sufficient." II Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15.
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And then, there's been our inspiring theme song from Casting Crowns: "VOICE OF TRUTH":
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1.
Oh,what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in onto the crashing waves
To step out of my comfort zone
into the realm of the unknown
Where Jesus is, And he's holding out His hand
But the waves are calling out my name
and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win, you'll never win."


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CHORUS:
But the VOICE OF TRUTH tells me a different story
the VOICE OF TRUTH says "do not be afraid!"
and the VOICE OF TRUTH says "this is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the VOICE OF TRUTH.
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2.
Oh, what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand
But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me time and time again
"Boy you'll never win, you'll never win."
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CHORUS:
But the VOICE OF TRUTH tells me a different story
the VOICE OF TRUTH says "do not be afraid!"
and the VOICE OF TRUTH says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe
THE VOICE OF TRUTH.
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3.
But the stone was just the right size
to put the giant on the ground
and the waves they don't seem so high
from on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus singing over me
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CHORUS:
But the VOICE OF TRUTH tells me a different story
The VOICE OF TRUTH says "do not be afraid"
And the VOICE OF TRUTH says "this is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)
I will choose to listen and believe
the VOICE OF TRUTH.
I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the VOICE OF TRUTH
I will listen and believe 'Cause Jesus you are
the VOICE OF TRUTH.
And I will listen to you.. oh you are ...


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SISTER, I PRAY THAT THE VOICE OF TRUTH IS TRANSFORMING YOU...

Friday, May 22, 2009

THE VOICE OF TRUTH...MAKE SURE THE FAMILY HEARS...


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"Keep telling these stories, Patti! Our women need to hear storytelling...they need to hear testimonies! Don't stop doing it!" This is what one woman said to me after I spoke at the Bridgewater New Jersey Ladies Day last Saturday. It was a time to tell God's story of Esther... a time to share of God's faithfulness in Esther's life and in lives of those today... a time to encourage women for "such a time as this".
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I have been blessed with a myriad of opportunities to see God's hand at work. So have each of you! We need to keep our eyes open to what God is doing in us, around us, and through us as we walk with Him. Are you sharing how God was and is at work? With your family? With your daughters? With the women of your church family?
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Take time to re-read the story of Esther soon. Share it with someone! Look for modern day stories that share similar themes of hope, grace, courage, dependence on God, and mercy.
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Last Saturday's day of encourgement took a lot of planning and preparation on the part of the women of the Bridgewater church of Christ under the leadership of Avis Rivers-Yates. There were two others who also spoke last Saturday: Deborah Houston of Rochester, NY and Kimberley Hayes of New York, New York. We all connected with the powerful themes of this story as we encouraged women to look closer at:


  • individual responsibility
  • the sovereignty of God
  • seeing each of our places for "such a time as this"

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Notice a few things from the Old Testament book of Esther, chapter 4:

  • A PLAN FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWS: "6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king's gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her...
  • ESTHER NEEDED TO BE THE ONE TO GO TO THE KING AND BEG FOR MERCY FOR THE JEWS: "...and he told him to urge her to go into the king's presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people."
  • ESTHER SAID THAT SHE WOULD BE BREAKING THE LAW WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEATH: " 9 Hathach went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 "All the king's officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death. The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king."
  • A FRIEND / RELATIVE ENCOURAGED (HELPED PUT COURAGE IN) ESTHER: "12 When Esther's words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
  • ESTHER CHOSE TRUST AND DEPENDENCE ON GOD THROUGH VERY DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES...SHE CHOSE TO WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT...KNOWING THE VOICE OF TRUTH: "15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
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Thank you so much "Bridgewater" for a great time of "Family Fellowship".
  • We had time for deep spiritual thought and reflection (as you can tell from these pictures).
  • We met other christians from New Jersey and neighboring states.
  • We spent time with those from our home congregations who we had traveled with.

I was so thankful to go with Mary Lea, Noreen, and Sherri. We went up on Friday, ate out, went to the mall, and then "hung out" in our hotel room sharing stories, playing games, giving facials, and thoroughly enjoying each other. Thanks, Sherri, for the pics and driving! You made yourself available "for such a time as this!"
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

THE VOICE OF TRUTH...TRANSFORMING...

TRANSFORMING THURSDAY
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The choice is mine! The choice is yours! Listen and obey THE VOICE OF TRUTH or give in to the FATHER OF LIES! I caught myself on the way to Bible class to teach this stuff last Sunday morning. I actually repeated a few of these lies. Join me to begin today to make transforming choices about what we think and what we say! The choice is yours! The choice is mine! And part of the Good News is that when we, His children mess up (like I did on Sunday), God gives us grace and mercy !
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  • It's impossible! OR
  • With, God all things are possible!
    Luke 18:27
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  • I'm too tired! OR
  • God will give me rest!
    Matthew 11:28-30
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  • I can't do it! OR
  • I can do all things through Christ.
    Philippians 4:13
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  • I'm not able OR
  • God is able.
    II Corinthians 9:8

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  • I can't manage. OR
  • God will supply all my needs
    Philippians 4:19
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  • I can't figure things out. OR
  • God will direct my steps.
    Proverbs 3:5- 6

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  • I can't go on! OR
  • God’s grace is sufficient.
    II Corinthians 12:9
    Psalm 91:15

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  • I feel all alone. OR
  • God will never leave me or forsake me.
    Hebrews 13:5

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  • It's not worth it! OR
  • It will be worth it.
    Romans 8:28

    ,
  • I can't forgive myself or
  • I forgive you
    I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1
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  • I'm afraid.
  • I have not given you a spirit of fear
    II Timothy 1:7

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  • I'm always worried. OR
  • Cast all your cares on ME
    I Peter 5:7
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  • I'm not smart enough. OR
  • I give you wisdom
    I Corinthians 1:30

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  • Nobody really loves me
  • I love you
    John 3:16 & 34
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

VOICE OF TRUTH...TRUTh...TRUth...TRuth...Truth...tRUTH...trUTH...truTH...trutH...truth...


No matter how you dice it, truth is truth! Sometime between Saturday evening and my Sunday morning class, I changed the focus of my class to TRUTH. I can rest assured that if I have been walking and talking with God that when these last minute changes occur it is because the Holy Spirit is at work on a greater plan.
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In the class I teach on Sunday morning, I shared a little bit about what my topic had been at Saturday's retreat at the Bridgewater Ladies' Day. We talked about the voices of discouragement that take place inside of our heads. I shared it some on this blog on Sunday. We looked at some extremely powerful verses about "the voice of TRUTH" beginning back with David, then with Jesus, and then with Paul. .
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Amazingly, Dan's sermon, that was given before and after our class, was centered around the word TRUTH. Since I did not post on Monday, I 'd like to share with you a few of those powerful insights into TRUTH from Dan's lesson and then a few of the scriptures that we had talked about in class. Neither Dan nor I knew that each other's Sunday morning focus was TRUTH. GIGATTAATTGIG!
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FROM DAN'S SERMON:
  • In the 20th century, when it came to evangelism, the question being asked in America about religion was, "What is TRUTH?" Our answer was, "Here is TRUTH..."
  • In the 21st century when it comes to evangelism, the question being asked in America about religion is, "Does it work for me?" We're still trying to answer in the same way, "Here is TRUTH..."
  • We still need to teach the TRUTH, but we need to realize that we are trying to answer questions that people are not asking.
  • To listen to all of Dan's sermon, you can click the link on the sidebar. I know that many of you do listen to Dan and Steve weekly. They allow God to bless us through them!

Join me today in looking through the scriptures that were on my Sunday class handout...scriptures about TRUTH. Since Dan's sermon, I see more clearly how important it is to emphasize the other words that are other spiritual traits that are in the heart of Jesus. In fact, our MARKING FOR MEANING class put hearts at the top of each page, of our Bibles, where these scriptures were with the words inside the heart to remind us of the traits inside the HEART OF JESUS.

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It seems that we may need to get some conversations started about the question "Does it work for me?" Use the verses below and ponder what else is in those verses besides TRUTH...

  • Does doing the right thing work for me?
  • Does mercy work for me?
  • Does love work for me? What's the opposite?
  • Does grace work for me? What's the alternative?
  • Does life work for me? What's the alternative?
  • Does light work for me? Darkness? (Lies vs. Truth ???)
  • Ahhhhh...and that leads me to talking about the TRUTH!!!!!

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SCRIPTURES FROM SUNDAY'S CLASS:

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THE WORD TELLS US THAT THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO GET STARTED AT TEACHING THE TRUTH~~~~

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

VOICE OF TRUTH...VOICE OF GRATITUDE...


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You see the pictures on this blog. You've heard my stories. I am a woman most blessed! One of the great blessings that God has bestowed on me is to be a part of a church family that people drive for miles to be a part of. I live less than a mile away from the building! She's a home for the hurting, a respite for the weary, a place where people are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of the character of Christ who lives inside of them:) Oh, I could go on and on but there's something about this Bible believing, Christ following, Holy Spirit led church family that I want you to read about other than on this blog today.
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This month, the Associated Christian Press awarded the Christian Chronicle as the christian newspaper of the year. This month, the Christian Chronicle features our Pitman church family in it's series on "Churches That Work". This link will get you to the editor's blog where he talks about us, then you can link up with the actual article. Enjoy! Be encouraged! Pray for more church families who live as the living, breathing, active " body of Christ" to spring up all over this planet! We praise You, Jesus! We thank You! You are the VOICE OF TRUTH!
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

VOICE OF TRUTH

SUNDAY IN THE SON

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Psalm 40:11


"Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD;

may your love and your truth always protect me. "

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I believe in truth! Yet, satan wants you and me to hear his pack of lies. He is the father of lies! Jesus says, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no man (or woman) comes to the Father except through ME!" Sisters, join me this week in listening to JESUS, THE VOICE OF TRUTH! Here's just a little bit to get us started... some thoughts about 2 voices that we hear and our theme song for this week with it's lyrics and a video...


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  • satan wants you to believe: "It's impossible!"

  • JESUS want you to know that "With, God all things are possible!" Luke 18:27

  • satan wants you to say, "I can't do it!"

  • JESUS wants you to say, "I can do all things through Christ." Philippians 4:13

  • satan wants you to say, "I'm not able."

  • JESUS wants you to say, "God is able." II Corinthians 9:8

  • satan wants you to say, "I can't manage."

  • JESUS wants you to say, "God will supply all my needs." Philippians 4:19

  • satan wants you to keep saying, "I can't figure things out."

  • JESUS wants you to say, "God will direct my steps." Proverbs 3:5- 6

  • satan wants you to say, "I can't go on!"

  • JESUS wants you to say, "God’s grace is sufficient." II Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15

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LYRICS TO OUR THEME SONG OF THE WEEK..."VOICE OF TRUTH":

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1.

Oh,what I would do to have the kind of faith it takes

To climb out of this boat I'm in onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone

into the realm of the unknown

Where Jesus is, And he's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name

and they laugh at me

Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed

The waves they keep on telling me time and time again

"Boy, you'll never win, you'll never win."

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CHORUS:

But the VOICE OF TRUTH tells me a different story

the VOICE OF TRUTH says "do not be afraid!"

and the VOICE OF TRUTH says "this is for my glory"

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe the VOICE OF TRUTH.

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2.

Oh, what I would do to have the kind of strength it takes

To stand before a giant with just a sling and a stone

Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors

shaking in their armor

Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me

Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed

The giant keeps on telling me time and time again

"Boy you'll never win, you'll never win."

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CHORUS:

But the VOICE OF TRUTH tells me a different story

the VOICE OF TRUTH says "do not be afraid!"

and the VOICE OF TRUTH says "this is for My glory"

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe

THE VOICE OF TRUTH.

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3.

But the stone was just the right size

to put the giant on the ground

and the waves they don't seem so high

from on top of them looking down

I will soar with the wings of eagles

when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus singing over me

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CHORUS:

But the VOICE OF TRUTH tells me a different story

The VOICE OF TRUTH says "do not be afraid"

And the VOICE OF TRUTH says "this is for My glory"

Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)

I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)

I will choose to listen and believe

the VOICE OF TRUTH.

I will listen and believe

I will listen and believe the VOICE OF TRUTH

I will listen and believe 'Cause Jesus you are

the VOICE OF TRUTH.

And I will listen to you.. oh you are ...



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THE VOICE OF TRUTH IS MERCIFUL....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

HE'S STILL WORKING ON ME...MERCIFULLY...

KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
Catch Up and Must Do
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Usually on Saturday I take time to share alot of things that have come to my mind during the week that I really want to tell you about. You know...over a burger or a hot dog...by now you know I like both ketchup and mustard on mine! Today, I am on information overload! Maybe I can process it all throughout the next few days and share it concisely next Saturday! lol
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Two trips this week to speak at two "workshops", 11 new student teachers, and final grades to be turned in by Monday on top of family life have my head spinning. Steve spoke this weekend at the Camp Manatawny Men's Retreat in Pennsylvania while I was gone to Bridgewater, NJ. We decided that maybe it's not such a good idea for us to speak the same weekend at two different places. Speaking together at one place is hard enough. We're both home now and thankful for God's great mercies!
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BTW, Happy Birthday, Mama Sikes, you are one of my great heroes of faith! He's still working on me, yet it has been your example of faith over the years that has helped me to keep my eyes on Jesus. GIGATTAATTGIG!
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OKAY! Enough for now! I'll share pics later! See you tomorrow for more of MERCFUL MAY...
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Friday, May 15, 2009

HE'S STILL WORKING ON ME...IN MY FAMILY...




There are a whole lot of things to do for family fellowship! In this age of technology there is emailing, Facebook, blogging, chatting, Skype, cell phones, texting... I have connected with my immediate family in most of these ways over the last few weeks.
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After landing in Chicago, Crystal and I met Jordan and Jacqueline at curbside. They opened the car door to allow me my first experience of seeing Chloe, my first grandchild, with my own eyes. Time for a cell phone pic...








Once arriving back at the apartment, Crystal and I got to share the Gigi and Auntie fun... holding Chloe.








Of course, Daddy Jordan was already an expert at Chloe holding.








There was alot of time for Mommy Jacqueline to show Chloe off after church services on Sunday.








On Tuesday, Crystal and I flew home via the Philly airport... Crystal will be the youth intern this summer at the Pitman church of Christ and I will be supervising student teachers AND teaching our Tuesday ladies Bible class...(stay tuned)...


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Holding, rocking, picture taking, singing, worshipping, cooing, memories, eating together, traveling together....SWEET FAMILY FELLOWSHIP...


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While Crystal and I were in Chicago, I saw some FB posts of my South Jersey friends about needing to find gopher wood to build an ark. The rain just kept coming and coming... pouring and pouring... In fact, upon returning home, it was still hard to find a window of time when it wasn't dumping raining or too wet to mow. When Steve finally mowed, this is what it looked like in mid-mow....seriously...that was some TALLLLL grass.... I got in the act and helped push the mower, too...











Working together...SWEET FAMILY FELLOWSHIP....

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Yes, our family has a history of some interesting family trips. This week has been no different. I was scheduled to make a presentation at a school workshop north of NYC about the Structure of Intellect and Gifted Education. The motel and meals were paid for and since I have been having trouble with my leg, Steve drove even though he himself was not feeling well at the time. Praise God for wonderful loving, serving, self-sacrificing husbands. On the way there, we talked about my presentation and he helped me brainstorm some great additional ideas.


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We made the quick trip with several unforgetable memories and beautiful scenery!!! Traveling together, serving, loving, singing, reading scripture, praying together, disagreeing, arguing, forgiving....SWEET FAMILY FELLOWSHIP...


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I took this rare photo, at a point of little traffic, as we traveled home - south...towards Jersey.


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Right after crossing the New Jersey border, we saw the sign to a familiar town and decided to turn off. Lincoln Park, New Jersey is where Dalen, my sister Pam's husband, was raised. Once we got into town, Steve called Dalen's Springfield, MO cell phone # to tell him where we were and get directions to the old home place.






Dalen was thrilled! Steve stayed on the phone with him as I went around outside taking pics with my cell phone. Here is the old home place... then, across the street stands the church building where Dalen's dad preached for 35 years....

Across the side parking lot, I saw a cross set up in a meditative type setting...


A meditation path and stairs...
While I was enjoying the scenery, I did not realize that Steve had gone inside the building. He remained on the phone with Dalen as Dalen gave him a guided tour, even pointing out where secret doors/passages used to be.


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A group of women, who meet each Wednesday for prayer, were praying. When Steve did introduce himself, they were thrilled that he was on the phone with Dalen. Steve handed his phone to Mary so she could talk to Dalen. The women said that Dalen's family was "legend" in their congregation. Mary had so many wonderful things to say about Dalen. They talked about "the good old days".

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As we walked out the back door, I asked Mary if I could get a picture of her and I together...





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Connecting with a loved one, re-connecting with the past...seeing women on the edge of NYC meet for prayer...knowing that stopping in Lincoln Park and choosing to make a phone call to Dalen was an encouragement to him...
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...A cell phone call, pics by telephone, sharing memories... SWEET FAMILY FELLOWSHIP!!!!

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Oh, the wonders of technology...

Use them to bless your family!!!!

And, make sure while you're blessing,

that God is growing and transforming you!

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Steve and I are on the road again today - seperately. Steve is the speaker this weekend at a men's retreat at Camp Manatawny, on the other side of Philly. A number of men from Pitman are headed that way. They'll spend the night in cabins.
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A number of women from Pitman will join me to travel to Bridgewater, NJ. We'll eat out tonight, shop, and stay at the Marriott. (sorry guys!) Then, the LORD willing, tomorrow I'll be one of the speakers at a ladies day sponsored by the Bridgewater church using the book of Esther as the theme. Steve and I are both in store for some SWEET FAMILY FELLOWSHIP!




2010 Pitman WOMEN REACHING OUT IN FAITH RETREAT - Cape May, NJ

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