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."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD...AUTHOR OF LIFE...RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE...ETERNAL LIFE...


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I am humbled today, on many levels, to be able to share this story with you. It's a story about
  • LIFE...
  • WAITING...
  • BEING CALM IN THE STORM...
  • BLESSING THE LORD, NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES

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I have only known of the Schwamb family since the first of the year. They have touched my heart in so many ways since then. If you are a regular to this blog, you know that you can keep updated on stories of three year old Lauren Schwamb by clicking on her picture on the right sidebar... For right now, let me say that I have watched her mama, Cristi, and I see a Virtuous Woman. Last week in our Tuesday morning Bible class, we were sharing stories of virtuous women who we know and someone brought up Cristi's name. That someone has never met Cristi face-to-face, but she has been following their story and has been blessed.
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This video was made, in January, just prior to Lauren entering CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) . It's a video of BLESSING... a video of LIFE... Get a tissue box my friend... afterwards, feel free to leave a note of encouragement for the family... BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD...

video

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This can also be found at my other blog:

http://GIGATTAATTGIG.blogspot.com

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Monday, June 29, 2009

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD...HUMBLE SERVANT









MEDITATION MONDAY


I've spent alot of time meditating today...so much so that I almost did not even write this post. I haven't been exactly sure what it is, but you would have thought that I have had PMS today. It has been quite a while since menopause became a part of my life. So, why have I felt this way? Why have I felt angry, frustrated, questioning...?
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Here's what I know...
  1. Life is full of lots of cycles of balance and imbalance... mine has been extremely busy and crazy this last year... my job has required over and above for sometime now and that on top of a very busy ministry, a daughter who is in pain 24/7, a husband who has badly re-injured his back, 20-40 power surges a day in our house (working on the problem)... stress is cumulative and it has put me off balance.
  2. I took on this ladies' class and study because I felt called to do it, yet Steve was really not sure if that's what I needed to do. He tried to protect me and give me a way out. I think the topic will be much harder for me than I thought... I'll share more about that in a few minutes.
  3. My name is Patti Sikes and I know how to vent when the pressure builds up to high stress levels... it usually results in "stinkin' thinkin'" and it did today. I had to leave the house, drive myself to a nearby lake and sit for a very long time letting the tears flow and watch : water drift and swirl... the geese twirl and glide... a lady casually walk her dog and stop about every 15 yards... the two young men with tackle boxes on the picnic table trying to put on just the right bait on their hook, talking, laughing, throwing out their lines, hoping they'd get a catch... and they did.

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Oh, this afternoon was filled with the normal busy-ness. Crystal and I went shopping (grocery and other)... there was laundry to do and supper to cook...I gave myself permission not to mow today - yay! Yet, the girls and I took some time to sit together in the den and watch that horrible car chase in Dallas. Unbelieveable! Police chased a suspect for about an hour and a half before he ran a red light and was broadsided by a pickup truck. Reporters said that he was a suspected "drug handler", It was apparent that in no way did he want to be caught by the police. It seemed that he planned for nothing or no one to get in his way.

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What makes us all so different? Oh, many things! We've talked a lot about that on previous posts. What I thought about this afternoon, though, was these two young men at the lake vs. the young man fleeing from police vs. me and my "stinkin' thinkin' attitude!"

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In Matthew 5, Jesus sat on the mountain and spoke His "Sermon on the Mount". He began with,

  • "Blessed are the poor in spirit (humble), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

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Another time, great multitudes followed Him to the beach, so He got in a boat and sat down in it out on the water. From there He shared with the multitudes the parable of the Sower as recorded in Matthew 13. He said that the apostles' could understand these parables because they had been granted the blessing of being able to understand "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven." Hmmm! Does that mean because they had humbled themselves to Him?!!!??? It's what I'm meditating on right now:

  • At different times in my life I have been one of these four different soils: HARD, SHALLOW, OVERGROWN, GOOD...
  • The fleeing suspect in the Dallas chase today? HARD? SHALLOW?
  • The two young men fishing at the lake? not sure, but possibly GOOD
  • Me? OVERGROWN!
  • In our discussion in Bible class tomorrow we will take a look at The Parable of the Sower. In our workbook, The Virtuous Woman: Shattering the Superwoman Myth, Vicki Courtney says, "I must do everyhing I can to keep my heart fertile and receptive to God's truth. The key? An active prayer life and staying in God's Word daily will fertilize every type of soil to produce growth... Hearts represented by the good soil did not get there by accident but by the sovereign act of the Holy Spirit acting through persons' labor." In the book of the same title, she says,

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"I can think of several things we can do to improve our soil and make it more receptive to the seed of virtue.

  1. We need to be where the seed falls. Keep placing yourself under the teaching and preaching of the Word of God.
  2. When a truth of God sets a flame in your heart, record it in a journal or in the margin of your Bible.
  3. Don't go it alone! Find a more mature believer and make yourself accountable."

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Thank you! I'm doing better! My name is Patti Sikes and I am spending some time humbling myself...spending time in the WORD and prayer. Poor Steve! I owe my entire family an apology!

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BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD: HUMBLE SERVANT!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD








SUNDAY IN THE SON


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The very first book of the Bible tells us of our LORD who chose to BLESS Adam and Eve and has chosen to do the same to every man and woman since. He loves to heap blessing upon blessing on our lives. So, why do we resist? Why do we run? Let's talk this week about "The Woman Who Fears the LORD, Is The Woman Who BLESSES the LORD."
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

I AM ... ABOVE ALL... NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES...


KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
Catch Up and Must Do

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  • Have you ever been working alongside someone and all of a sudden said, "Oh, no! I forgot!"?
  • Have you ever gone to lunch with someone and said, "Oh, no! I forgot!"?
  • Have you ever been sound asleep and sat straight up in bed and said, "Oh, no! I forgot!"?

This week, I have done all three and then yesterday Steve had come in to lay down and rest his hurt back for awhile, fell asleep, and woke up with a jolt saying, "Oh, no! I forgot my chiropractic appointment!"
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Well, I didn't forget the prizes from our last week's birthday celebration, but our winners may think so if I don't give them their choice of prizes. Here below, are some calligraphied prints that I commissioned Cindy Grubb to calligraphy for me several years ago. If I can work out a deal with her, I may begin selling them online. But for now, each of our winners posted on the right sidebar of this blog can tell me which ONE of these 6 prints they choose for me to send to them - already framed. Prints one and two are 8x10 and Prints 3-6 are 5x7 prints in an 8x10 matte. Winners may contact me by email with their choices at
transformedminds@comcast.net
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MUST DO:

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PRINT 1:



PRINT 2:


PRINT 3:


PRINT 4: (my photo rotater is not working:)




PRINT 5:





PRINT 6:



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CATCH UP on our Virtuous Woman study:
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I am amazed by what we've talked about already this week. Our God is truly ABOVE ALL! And that is why I want to please Him and only Him!
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SUNDAY: Our God is ABOVE ALL
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MONDAY: Our God is ABOVE ALL as CREATOR, LIVING GOD, and SAVIOR.
He...made us in His image...blesses us...looks at our hearts instead of our outside appearances... He encourages us to lay up our treasures in heaven...He is the LIVING GOD...He is the SAVIOR of all men...
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TUESDAY: Our God is ABOVE ALL...our loving, forgiving, running HEAVENLY FATHER.
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WEDNESDAY: Our God, has ways and thoughts that are HIGHER than ours.He views us as being of great worth. He looks at our spiritual hearts...
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THURSDAY: Our God is TRANSFORMING! He can mold and shape us into virtuous women as He changes...
  • distrust to trust
  • evil to good
  • weaknesses to strengths
  • dishonor to honor
  • negative to positive
  • lazy to worker
  • unkindness to kindnes
  • ssadness to joy
  • foolishness to wisdom
  • cursing to blessing and praising
  • unhealthy fear of Him to a healthy fear (respect) / love for Him

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FRIDAY: Our God is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST... BROTHER... FRIEND...

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HE IS THE NAME

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ABOVE ALL NAMES!!!!

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Friday, June 26, 2009

I AM...ABOVE ALL...LORD JESUS CHRIST...

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I am humbled to be the daughter of the Creator of the Universe and the "little sister" of the LORD Jesus Christ. What a family! What a fellowship of believers! I am so blessed!
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Sadly though, there are many days that, as part of the family of God, I take my eyes off of Jesus, who is my LORD and Savior. I then become unfocused and get discouraged. Who moved? Me!

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There are other times when I don't move away and life is still full of difficult circumstances. I have witnessed and/or experienced horrific circumstances associated with pain, sickness, disabilities, disorders, clinical depression, surgeries, deaths of loved ones, loss of jobs, near bankruptcy, murder, adultery, abuse, abandonment, deception, gossip, anger, violence... you get the picture. Two little says that often come to the forefont of my brain are:

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  • Life is hard, but God is good!

  • GIGATTAATTGIG: God Is Good All The Time And All The Time God Is Good
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I'm not a kidding when I say LIFE IS HARD! Difficult circumstances come to christians and non-christians. Yet, we walk by faith and not by sight. I get my comfort from the Holy Spirit of God. I get my encouragement from how He works through His people. I am so thankful that God has given me family - physical and spiritual family! What a blessing it is that because of Jesus Christ, we can be family!

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I'd like to share with you a few "family" blessings that I have experienced this week over a little more than a 24 hour span.

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1. I made a new friend when I became an adjunct instructor at a nearby university last fall. This new friend is a baptized believer who is one of the administrative assistants of the department that I teach for. She just happens to love babies. "W" has been so encouraging to me in my new role as grandma "Gigi". She's checked the pictures on Chloe's blog and is always asking for updates. She told me that she had put together a basket of goodies for Chloe. We kept missing each other for me to pick it up.

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"W" has some severe heart troubles, is a single parent, cares for her grandson, and works full time. What?!! She had time to think of my grandbaby! Amazing! She may have physical heart problems but "W" has one of the biggest spiritual hearts I've seen. She has become one of my GIGATTAATTGIG friends. What a sister! I was in the offices on Wednesday and picked up her gift(s) for Chloe. I captured the laundry basket full of goodies on my cell phone:



2. It was also on Wednesday that I began experiencing difficulty with the ringer on my cell phone not making a sound. I kept missing calls yesterday, too. Several people called Steve or the church office trying to contact me. Steve had come home for lunch and had not been gone very long until he showed up again. He said that the head of my department at the university had been trying to contact me about a job. What?!! I had been looking for jobs elsewhere because, as a rule at this university, people who have not completed their doctorates do not get full time jobs with benefits. In talking with her on Wednesday, "DC" had told me that there would be a place for me to continue adjuncting in the fall. Yet, yesterday God answered my prayers through this fellow believer. "DC" offered me a full time position with benefits in their teacher training department, after which she said, "Patti, God is good!" Yes, He is! GIGATTAATTGIG!

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3. I haven't known the name, John Waller, for very long. Yet, now that I know about him, I love the way he uses his gift of music for the LORD. You may know "JW" as the author of the theme song in the movie FIREPROOF. Tuesday in Bible class, we were talking about God being the "running Father". Someone brought up that "JW" had a song about that. So, later that day I searched for the song online. Not only did I find the song, He Still Calls Me Son, but I have put it on this playlist as #3, right after #2 - his FIREPROOF theme song, While I'm Waiting. Both songs so intimately depict the christian life...moving away from God, moving back to God, trusting God, waiting on God...
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I know a few things about WAITING. Lately, it's become so heavy on my heart to watch our daughter Jessica continue her suffering. I will also admit that although I continued to trust God, I had begun to ask "What if I don't find a full time job?"

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Then, in the blink of an eye, a 1:56 p.m. phone call yesterday ended my search for a job for fall. I sat down at my computer around 3 p.m. to write a few thank you notes. My waiting for a full time job was over. In my inbox, I found two encouraging notes to me. The first was sent at 1:59 p.m. while I was on the phone with "DC", "W" was emailing me about the new job that I was in the process of accepting: "GIGATTAATTGIG!!!!! You will be one happy lady!!! I will pray all weekend!!! It is yours!!!!!"

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The second email in my inbox was a response to a note that I had posted to "JW" on Facebook. After the song search on Tuesday, I had written him a message that in part said:

"Praising God for your ministry to so many hearts...

my daughter waits for relief from 13 years

of almost 24/7 migraines...

my friend is in her sixth month in a hospital room

with her 3 year old who waits for a new heart...

singing... singing...

I'M WAITING ON YOU LORD... "

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What a treat! What a blessing when John responded to me, at 2:44 p.m. yesterday with encouraging words.

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4. Later in the day, I viewed a video that our oldest son, Jordan, had posted on Facebook. Although, I have witnessed "The Jesus Painter" in person before, I had never seen this. What!?? Amazing! The background music to this video is the same song that is our theme song on this blog this week: ABOVE ALL. It encouraged my spirit! It filled my soul! Coincidence? I don't think so! Jesus Christ is not only LORD, He is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved.... He is above all, in all, through all, and in Him all things hold together... .

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Before you watch this amazing video, please know this... in the same 24 hours that I experienced these 4 grace-filled blessings, difficult circumstances still abound as I wait on the LORD:

  • All of our cars have something wrong with them that must be repaired. As I type this, Steve is standing out in the driveway waiting for the tow truck to come for his pickup.
  • It seems that our refrigerator and dryer are about to go out.
  • We're having power surges in our house and blown fuses on a regular basis... some brothers in Christ will come tomorrow to see if they can find the problem.
  • Our house is a mess and we have overnight guests this weekend.
  • Steve's back injury is really bothering him this week. Last week, he was down flat.
  • Jessica just told me that her pain level is a 9 out of 10.
  • Something is wrong with my computer and it has taken me over 12 hours to post this:)

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I must remind myself continually that we are on a difficult journey that is made easy when we keep walking with our LORD, Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus, we are family! Please join me this summer as we study how to make it our goal to please Him as virtuous women!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

I AM...ABOVE ALL...TRANSFORMING...

TRANSFORMING THURSDAY

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Over the years, at church, I've taught several "Tabitha" classes. Each time, it was for middle school girls looking to their future lives as a "virtuous woman". One of the favorite activities of most was writing their "obituaries". The initial "assignment" was always met with a lot of moans and groans, yet once finished each girl was very excited to read hers to the others.

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Imagine yourself, in the funeral home, laying in your coffin and listening to the comments of those gazing over your remains. What would you hear? Oh, I know... everyone is not always honest about the deceased at the funeral home and funeral. Shame on us! What if we were honest?

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One of the highest compliments, for me, would be "I just love the way she allowed Jesus to transform her!" Wow!

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Let's look at the "heart" of the excellent, noble, and virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Any of these things said about my life, in retrospect, would be a blessing:

  • "She was someone I could trust."
  • "There was not an evil bone in her body! She was good to the bone!"
  • "Her inner strength and honor were so inspiring."
  • "She perceived the glass half-full instead of half-empty."
  • "She was such a willing worker - truly servant hearted."
  • "I never heard an unkind word come out of her mouth."
  • "Her joy was contagious!"
  • "She must have prayed for wisdom everyday because she was truly a wise woman."
  • "Have you heard the wonderful ways her children are blessing her and her husband is praising her?"
  • "I've never known a woman who feared / loved the LORD like she did!"

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I love encouraging FACEBOOK status'... I've seen many in the last 24 hours. In fact, at one point, I was away from my computer for two hours and came back and there were 94 new posts by my FB friends. There was one that really connected with what we're talking about today:

  • “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

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It is now, sister, that we are building our legacy that will remain once we leave this planet. Write the obituary that you would like to have read at your funeral. Like my "Tabitha girls", why not put it in a sealed envelope, stick it in your Bible, and don't open it for a year. Then, listen to songs #1 and #2 on the playlist as you pray for God to begin or continue your transformation today.

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NOTE: It was a year ago today that our friend, Franny Stetser, went home unexpectedly to be with the LORD. What a story! If you haven't been to my other blog and read his story, that is posted this week, it would be well worth your while: http://GIGATTAATTGIG.blogspot.com

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I AM ...ABOVE ALL...HIGHER WAYS...HIGHER THOUGHTS...



WOMEN IN THE WORD WEDNESDAY
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KING JAMES VERSION
Proverbs 31:10
"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies."

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NEW KING JAMES VERSION
Proverbs 31:10
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies."

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AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION
Proverbs 31:10
"A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies."

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NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION
Proverbs 31:10
"An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels."

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REVISED STANDARD VERSION
Proverbs 31:10
"A good wife who can find?She is far more precious than jewels."

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NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Proverbs 31:10
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

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QUESTION ONE: What kind of WOMAN is this scripture talking about?
  • virtuous
  • worthy
  • excellent
  • good
  • noble
QUESTION TWO: What is the WORTH of this kind of a woman?
  • far above rubies
  • far more than rubies
  • far above jewels
  • more precious than jewels

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It's quite possible that you've read the entire passage about this woman in Proverbs 31 many times OR maybe you read it once and said "never again" OR you've read it for the first time on this blog today.

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Whichever it is, at some point, each of us are a taken aback by this woman's work ethic and all the physical stuff she does. Many of us have been guilty of modeling WHAT she does before looking at WHO she is and WHOSE she is. Let's begin today by looking at this woman the way God looks.

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In I Samuel 16:7,

God tells us that people look at the physical

"but the LORD looks at the heart." .


In Isaiah 55:9, God says,

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts."

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You could be a "wife" and/or a "mom, but maybe you're neither. No matter! We'll be looking at The Virtuous WOMAN this summer. So, join us as we begin to think on a higher level about this woman. Let's look at what God looks at - the heart. The world has many definitions of WOMAN. In fact, the world will measure our WORTH by it's own standards. How about beginning today to look closely at God's definition and standards for His woman of excellence?!?!?!

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Oh, yeah, and while I'm pondering those heart matters today, my list includes:

  • fix breakfast and lunch for my family
  • mow the lawn
  • prune some limbs that have gotten out of control
  • clean 2 rooms
  • pay some bills online; working on the budget
  • do 3 loads of laundry
  • sew on a button (for real)
  • work for a few hours at the university
  • run by the health food store
  • email winners of last week's blog celebration
  • go to our church fellowship meal and Bible study

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GIGATTAATTGIG...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I AM...ABOVE ALL...YOUR FATHER...AND I RUN TO YOU...

As we begin our summer study of THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN: Separating Truth from Tale, please join me for the first of many weeks in thanking God for the W's!
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Father God,

We are so grateful that You have made each of us WOMAN! Thank You so much for considering us to be of great value - WORTH! We are so proud of You! You are the GREAT I AM! You are above all other gods and we know that full well. And we can call You Abba (Daddy).
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Because of Jesus, we are family,
Amen
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It's amazing to look at the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. I love the whole story...but just focus with me, starting with verse 19, for a minute:
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"And he got up and came to his father.
But while he was still a long way off,
his father saw him,
and felt compassion for him,
and ran and embraced him,
and kissed him.
And the son said to him,
'Father, I have sinned
against heaven and in your sight;
I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
But the father said..."
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Let's get started answering the question of the week:

  • "Why do so many women feel so worthless?"

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Sometimes it does reflect our upbringing...environment...personalities... For some of you, it is almost impossible to picture a loving running father. So, today it is provided here for you.

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Two "transformed moms" who come regularly to this blog, Vanessa and Cristi, worship with the Fairfax church of Christ near DC. Their church family made a video for this Father's Day weekend. Vanessa's husband and daughter are in the video. Be sure and pause the playlist above before pushing play on the video below.

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Consider the WORTH of the children pictured in this video... what is their WORTH in the eyes of their fathers? Consider your WORTH in the eyes of your heavenly FATHER.
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Monday, June 22, 2009

I AM... ABOVE ALL...CREATOR...LIVING GOD...SAVIOR



MEDITATION
MONDAY
Most of the readers of this blog are women...not always mothers. There are a few regulars who are husbands, daddies, and sons. Look around you, there are two distinctly different genders. God created it so! He created MAN! He created WOMAN! Genesis 2 tells the story, including the fact that God said, "She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."
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God has created a world full of contrasts...differences:
  • man and woman
  • ant and elephant
  • light and dark
  • summer and winter
  • springtime and harvest
  • mountains and valleys
  • joy and sorrow
  • work and rest
  • physical and spiritual

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There are a multitude of differences in this world, yet there are many similarities. Today, as we begin this Summer Series entitled THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN: Separating Truth from Tale, I ask you to meditate on a few things that apply to both man and woman. Often, in the Bible, when it uses the word "man", it is referring to MANKIND...these are statements that can be applied to MANKIND...all of HUMANITY... So, today, let's make sure that as we read and meditate on the scriptures below to notice how the word "man" is used.

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Actually, each of these words as you read along:

  1. Man / men
  2. God created
  3. Image
  4. Blessed
  5. Heart
  6. Blessed Life
  7. Treasures in Heaven
  8. Godliness
  9. Living God
  10. Savior

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  • "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over...every living thing that moves on the earth...every green plant for food...And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day." Genesis 1:27-31

In the Old Testament, in I Samuel 16, God said to Samuel,

  • "...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16

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In the New Testament, while Jesus was on the earth, He spoke to a large crowd in Matthew 5-7 on how to live THE BLESSED LIFE. We call it His Sermon on the Mount. In one part of the sermon, He said,

  • "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21

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Later, in the New Testament, after Jesus had returned to heaven ... the apostle Paul told Timothy,

  • "...have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the LIVING GOD, who is the SAVIOR of all men, especially of believers." I Timothy 4:7-10

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For those of you joining us at the Pitman church of Christ, Pitman, NJ:

  • We'll begin our study of THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN: Separating Truth from Tale, tomorrow from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. Babysitting is available, as well as classes for pre-school through elementary: Alpha-Omega Kids.

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For those of you joining us for the study on this blog, I invite you to return here each day. If you haven't had a chance to watch the videoes that I posted yesterday, I encourage you to do so. See you tomorrow!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

I AM ... ABOVE ALL...




SUNDAY IN THE SON



HAPPY FATHER'S DAY,

TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER!
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As His children, we understand that:
  • Our FATHER is above ALL things.
  • Our FATHER just is!
  • Our FATHER just was!
  • Our FATHER is not bound by time and space!
  • Our FATHER is love!
  • Our FATHER is the great I AM!
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This week, as we begin our new study of THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN: Separating TRUTH from TALE, please begin to ponder the following question as you view these two videoes:

  • As a woman who is a child of God, what is my worth?

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NOTE: You will first need to pause the playlist above. I was not able to find the first video song for the playlist, so our theme song for the week will be ABOVE ALL.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

THIS WARRIOR IS A CHILD...WHO LOVES BEING WITH HER HEAVENLY FATHER...


KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY
Catch Up and Must Do

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As we usually do each Saturday, let's enjoy each others company over a burger. Ketchup? Mustard? I do have a few things on my mind today...
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1. CATCH-UP: After two years of dreaming, praying, and preparation, we saw the France mission team off yesterday. They should have landed by the time you read this. As promised, you will find some photos NOT taken by by cell phone (like yesterdays) but taken by our church photographer in residence - Sherri. Sherri took these pictures on Wednesday night of our church family praying over the France summer mission team AND Charles and Dorothy's baptism into Christ.
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2. MUST DO: Wednesday night, Sherri also took pictures of Charles and Dorothy confessing Jesus as their LORD and then their baptism for the forgiveness of their sins. (see yesterday's comments for more detail).
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3. CATCH-UP: This week Scott McEndree developed shingles and his chemo had to be stopped in order to treat the shingles. Please continue to pray for Scott and his young family. Keep updated by clicking their family photo over on the right.
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4. CATCH-UP: I also want to wish little Maria a happy first birthday! Remember Maria? We prayed fervantly for her several months ago as doctor's determined what to do with the tumor in her chest. Actually, she's in our area this weekend for a return visit to her doctors on Monday. She will need to have an MRI every 3 months for 2 years to make sure there is no recurrence.
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5. MUST DO: And, oh BTW, do you remember that tomorrow is Father's Day? Below, you'll find a Father's Day video. To copy it and send it to someone on your email just wait until the end of the video and copy and paste the URL onto your email.
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6. MUST DO: I MUST extend my HEAVENLY FATHER an early HAPPY FATHER'S DAY....

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1. WEDNESDAY NIGHT-FRANCE TEAM LINES UP AS WE PREPARE TO PRAY OVER THEM:
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2. WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Charles and Dorothy confess that they believe that Jesus is the "Son of God" and the want to make him LORD of their lives. Then, they were buried with Christ in baptism for the forgiveness of their sins. Our church family shared a "love circle" afterwards to welcome them into the family of God.
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3. Pray for Scott and Bonita and family and keep updated via Scott's blog!


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4. HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, MARIA! Here are two pics of Maria: one with the tumor in her chest... the second, one week after her surgery.

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4. FATHER'S DAY VIDEO:





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5. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, TO MY HEAVENLY FATHER!
For this reason,
I bow my knees before the Father,
from whom every family
in heaven and on earth derives its name,
that He would grant you,
according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power
through His Spirit in the inner man;
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ
which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do
exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
to all generations forever and ever.
Amen."
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Friday, June 19, 2009

THIS WARRIOR IS A CHILD...LIVING THE BLESSED LIFE...

Most South Jersey schools are finishing up their school year this week or next. I have supervised sixteen Clinical Practice Student Teachers in Special Education from January until yesterday - all throughout South Jersey. I've driven a lot of concrete as I traveled points between Philadelphia, PA and Atlantic City, NJ and Cape May, NJ and Wilmington, DE. :
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I find that I use my trusty cell phone camera a lot lately to record "the moments". Most times, the quality of the pic has a lot to be desired. Yet, this one above is fairly clear. Sometimes I have found it hard to believe, as I'm driving along, that "here I am in the most populated state, per square mile, in the USA without a person in sight!" And, on top of that this "garden state" is gorgeous!

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While in the schools, I sometimes found opportunity to click a pic when I saw something of interest. This day was New Jersey County Cake Day. They had big sheet cakes of NJ cut up into counties that they individually decorated and then put back together in puzzle fashion. A wildly popular, sugar-filled, finger-licking good day. Ahhhh...gives me opportunity, in a public school, to connect to our LORD, pray, and hook to scripture:
  • Colossians 1:17 says that Jesus is over all things and "in Him all things hold together..." :

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The sheep in the pic below are in a 3-D bulletin board display that caught my attention at one school. I love sheep! Our living room has a theme of sheep and The Shepherd. There are so many teachable moments possible when talking about sheep. And, of course, here in another public school, I have opportunity to connect to Jesus Christ, pray, and think of scripture:

  • John 10:14-17 says, "I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd.":



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    Welcome to FAMILY FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY! A day to celebrate FAITH/FAMILY/FRIENDS! My cell phone camera can help tell the story!
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    Spending quality time with both my physical family and my spiritual family is such a blessing. Over the years, I've had many opportunities to be with the sheep of the Good Shepherd!

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    1. The week in April, when our grandaughter Chloe was born, our Tuesday "lunch bunch" met at Wendy's after Bible class. I snapped two pictures of Brenda's little Lexi (with her boy friends and girl friends) as we celebrated her first birthday. (Like the hats from Dollar Tree to celebrate the occasion?) :



    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:3-4

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    2. Then, in May, I laid my eyes on Chloe for the very first time and recorded the moment at Chicago's Midway Airport:


    • "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8

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    3. Many children struggle with good health. If you've come to this blog for any length of time, you know that we pray and give our support and encouragement to families with sick children. Little Lauren and her mother, Cristi, are in CHOP (Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia) now for their 6th month straight as Lauren waits for a heart transplant. One night when the roads around the hospital were blocked off, I recorded the many moments I spent driving around the area in circles trying to find the parking garage...reminded me of a scripture in Matthew 6:

    • "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. "

    On another visit, I was in awe of three year old Lauren's ability to name each of the meds that she must take in her I.V. I'm even more in awe of Cristi's day in and day ou patience and mercy for her daughter's challenges:
    • Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy."

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    4. Then, there was our church's surprise party for "Dan the preacherman" to celebrate his Master's degree from Harding Graduate School of Religion.



    My hubby, Steve, (and Dan's partner in ministry) honored Dan that evening with encouraging words. These two men have gift sets that compliment each other so well as they minister and teach with the Pitman church of Christ. They are both committed to model our Savior in order to draw all men/women to make peace with their Maker:
    • "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9


    5. If you noticed in the pictures above, you saw that I am around children a lot. Jesus said, in Mark 10:

    • "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all."

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    What does He mean by this? Did you notice the scripture under the kids at Wendy's? It said that those who are poor in spirit are BLESSED and part of the kingdom of heaven! Little ones are so needy for their daddies and mommies. They want to be cared for, comforted by, and to please their parents! That is truly what God asks of all those who are old enough to choose. He wants us to realize our need for Him.

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    When we are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong and we choose wrong, God calls that sin. Sin seperates us from God! We each have to make a choice to return to His family!
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    I took a picture of Steve and I celebrating with Lela and her mother Eastla on the 6 month anniversary of the day that Lela made the choice to become part of God's family. Steve had studied scripture with Lela so she could understand what she needed to do to "make it right with God":


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    This past year, a husband and wife who have been a part of different religions, including Hindu and Jehovah's Witness, have been studying the Bible with one of our life groups and also with Dan. It has been evident that they are truth seekers. Recently, Dorothy said something like this:

    • It's evident that once people in the early church believed Jesus and understood their sinfulness that they would confess Him as their LORD, repent of their sins, and hurry immediately to water to be baptized.
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    And, that's just what Dorothy and Charles did on Wednesday night. You got it! I captured the moments on my cell phone. Here, they are telling Dan, that they believe that Jesus Christ is God and that He is the only way to salvation / eternal life. They are mourning over their sinful state and with childlike hearts want to reconcile with God, their Heavenly Father!

    After their baptisms, Dorothy gets one of many "welcome to the family" hugs. (Come back tomorrow for more pictures from Sherri's "real camera"!)

    6. It is so important to be PEACEMAKERS for God to a lost and dying world. Twenty-three of our church family are leaving for France today. They plan to share God's love in many ways while there. We gathered around them on Wednesday night and "laid hands" on them and prayed for them.



        Children wanted to lay their hands on Dan who is leading the group.



      Thanks for joining us today. Please leave a comment about transformation. Then, come back tomorrow as we wind up our birthday celebration week and then next week as we begin our study entitled: THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN: Separating Truth from Tale!

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      REMEMBER: Returning to God and TRANSFORMATION begins with being childlike. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." ..... This warrior is a child! :)

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      Thursday, June 18, 2009

      THIS WARRIOR IS A CHILD...IN A BATTLE FOR TRANSFORMATION...


      TRANSFORMING THURSDAY
      Ask my husband Steve... ask our children Jordan, Jessica, Caleb, and Crystal... I'm not the same person I used to be!!! As I'm typing this, the Spirit just put on my mind a hymn that I haven't heard for years..."Sweeter as the years go by... sweeter as the years go by. Richer, fuller, deeper... Jesus love is sweeter... sweeter as the years go by..."
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      Ahhh! I'm praying that the more I allow Jesus to live in me, lead me, guide me, work through me, transform me... that my family can sing that song about me!!!!
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      "Seriously? Patricia?!???!" Those would be the words coming from my daughter's mouth when I'm attempting sarcasm or humor. After all, I am the oldest daughter of a serious army sergeant. After all, I was an only child in my early years and have many only child characteristics. And, BTW, many of my friends know that on the "Smalley/Trent Animals Temperment Test" I'm a 40 out of 40 Lion. Yet, I've come such a long way! I understand attempts at humor! I at least appreciate a good joke now and then! Some change happens slowly... some happens quickly and dramatically.
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      Over the years, I've been in classrooms or work situations or collaborative projects where teamwork was imperative. Often people have said things to me like:
      • Patti, thanks for being such an even keeled stabilizing factor throughout this project... you have such a gentle way.
      • Patti, thanks for lightening things up for us...we love your joy.
      • Patti, you were so patient with us!
      • Patti, thanks for helping us keep the peace!

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      What?!! How can they say that about a Lion Personality? How can they say that about me? My friend, it is not normal for me! Yet, when I'm walking and talking with Jesus and I allow Him to take root deep within my soul He transforms my spirit with His Spirit. Taking the lines from Caleb in the movie FIREPROOF, "Welcome to the new normal!"

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      Galatians 5 says that the fruit of the Holy Spirit of God in a person includes:

      • love
      • joy
      • peace
      • patience
      • kindness
      • goodness
      • faithfulness
      • gentleness
      • self-control
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      Does that describe you? Be aware that there is a battle going on in this life! It is a spiritual battle for your soul....your heart...your mind... There are two sides in this battle: good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, truth vs. lies, God vs. Satan... Satan would like nothing better than for you NOT to develop a relationship with Jesus. No relationship means no transformation!
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      One year ago yesterday, as I began this blog, I asked two questions:
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      1. Are you a DAMSEL in DISTRESS? Listening/Believing Satan
      2. Are you a MAIDEN for the MASTER? Listening/Believing the Spirit of God
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      There are many ways we could rephrase those two questions. Try these:
      1. Are you a Whiney Woeful Wimp?
      2. Are you a Warrior Child for Christ? (Listen to words from this week's theme song! - number 1 on the playlist above)

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      Just know that one year ago yesterday, I began this blog with a post challenging us to TRANSFORMATIONAL THINKING. Here it is again as we train ourselves to listen to the "voice of Truth" via the WORD of God.

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      Each of these lies from Satan can be counteracted with THE TRUTH that is written on the line underneath:
      • “I’m worthless!”
      • “I’m a gift of the LORD.” Psalm 12:7

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      • “I’m nothing!”
      • “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139

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      • “I’m stupid!”
      • “I give you wisdom.” James 1:5

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      Hey, seriously! If Patti Sikes is being transformed from the inside out... so can you!

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      • “I can’t figure things out!”
      • “I will direct your steps.” Proverbs 20:24

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      • “I’m not able!”
      • “I am able!” 2 Corinthians 9:8

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      • “I’m not alone!”
      • “I will never leave/forsake you!” Hebrews 13:5

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      • “Nobody loves me!”
      • “I love you.” John 3:16“

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      • I can’t forgive myself!”
      • “I forgive you!” I John 1:9; Romans 8:1

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      • “I can’t manage!”
      • “I will supply your needs.” Philippians 4:19

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      • “I’m afraid!”
      • “I haven’t given you a spirit of fear.” 2 Timothy 1:7

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      • “I’m worried/frustrated!”
      • “Cast all your cares on ME.” 1 Peter 5:7

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      • “I’m too tired!”
      • “I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28-30

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      • “I can’t go on!”
      • “My grace is sufficient.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

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      • “It’s not worth it!”
      • “All things will work together for good…” Rom.8:28

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      It's a battle sister, be sure you have on the whole armor of God!

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      "Stand firm therefore,

      having girded your loins with truth,

      and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

      and having shod your feet

      with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

      in addition to all,

      taking up the shield of faith

      with which you will be able to extinguish

      all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

      And take the helmet of salvation,

      and the sword of the Spirit,

      which is the word of God.

      With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit..."

      Ephesians 6:14-18

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      Wednesday, June 17, 2009

      THIS WARRIOR IS A CHILD...IN THE WORD...



      Have you ever sat and thought about what it must have been like for God to come to earth as a baby, live in a somewhat blended family, and submit to others? His family scenario is on my mind frequently. Yesterday, as I was driving from one clinical student teaching supervision to the next, I heard Jesus' family dynamics discussed on christian talk radio. I immediately knew what I needed to change what I had originally planned to share on this post today. Once again, I thank God for the way His Holy Spirit works!
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      This past Sunday at noon, we celebrated with our high school seniors from church at a luncheon. Steve spoke. He shared many wonderful things, one of which was part of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that he memorized in the fourth grade: PAUL REVERE'S RIDE. He recited it for us word for word over 45 years later. Amazing!
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      There is a Jewish prayer that is taught by Jewish mothers to their young children. It is actually something that Jesus said as He hung on the cross.
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      So, it is quite possible that Mary taught this prayer to her children and that it was still in Jesus heart and head almost 30 years later:
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      "Father, into thy hands,
      I commit my spirit."
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      Ahhhh!!! Mary knew how to trust God...to submit...to commit... to be humble...
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      Listen to Mary's own words:
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      • "And Mary said: 'My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave...' " Luke 1:46-48

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      I do believe that Mary modeled a deep childlike dependence on her Heavenly Father. Jesus understood. His life and death fleshed out what had been modeled and taught.

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      • "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

      • "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4

      • "And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." And having said this, He breathed His last." Luke 23:46

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      I do believe that THIS WARRIOR IS A CHILD!

      • Father God, I need Your protection...Your armor!
      • Brother Jesus, I need the shield of Your faith!
      • Holy Spirit, I need Your sword!

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      "Father, into thy hands, I commit my spirit." What wonderful WORDS to help us celebrate the first birthday of this blog for
      • COMMITTED MOMS
      • SUBMITTED MOMS
      • TRANSFORMED MOMS

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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!