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."

Friday, July 31, 2009

YOU RAISE ME UP...WHEN YOU RAISE UP OUR CHILDREN...

Crystal and I just returned from driving a van load of teens and young adults to spend the afternoon/evening visiting many of our church family at Camp Manatawny, Delaware Valley Christian Camp. It's close to a 2 hour drive east of us in Pennsylvania - on the other side of Philadelphia.
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Keeping with our theme of the week: You Raise Me Up with sub-themes of Women of Wisdom AND Transplants, let me share briefly a few things before heading off for bed. After all, by the time I finish posting, it will be long past midnight :0)
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  1. I may be a "transplant" from the Midwest to the East Coast... but church camp is church camp!!! Purpose? Raising up the next generation to glorify Jesus via a fun and spirit-filled week of camping. Thursday at Camp Manatawny 3 young people were "raised up" in baptism with Jesus. As I sit here at my computer, I have a FB message from a friend in Indiana that 5 put their LORD on in baptism at Spring Mill Bible Camp in Indiana on Thursday. It's about having a spiritual heart transplant! Every christian parent desires that for their children! (see yesterday's post) Thanks to Aaron, Kareem, Tim, and so many others for taking a week of vacation time from work to work at camp. What a family! They know to "get wisdom" one must "get Jesus"!


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  3. If you've read this blog much over the last seven months, you've probably gotten to know the Tim and Cristi Schwamb family in some small way. I am so thankful for this couples pursuit of wisdom for the journey. Tim has now posted a "post-transplant" update on his blog. Lauren's successful heart transplant on Tuesday have been an inspiration to many of us. Please connect to "Daddy's Diary" here. Oh, grab a tissue! You'll need it!

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When God "raises our children", whether spiritually or physically, our spirit's rejoice! Thank You, Jesus! GIGATTAATTGIG!

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NOTE: More camp pics here tomorrow!

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

YOU RAISE ME UP... TRANSPLANTING... TRANSFORMING...



TRANSFORMING

THURSDAY

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In 1985, I was part of the faith journey involved with a heart transplant. My brother-in-law, who had been strong and healthy, had a virus attack his heart. Transplantation was new. The choice was clear. Heart transplant or death. He prayed. We prayed. We all prayed for wisdom, asking God that His will be done!
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My Uncle John would hear the same words. Choices! Prayer! Both men went through much to receive their new hearts. Someone had to die so another could live! Now, 24 years later, my sister's husband lives a transformed life. He thrives. My uncle has since passed on.
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In December of last year, when Steve's niece Vanessa informed us that a family from their church in Virginia would be coming to CHOP (Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia) to wait for a heart for their almost 3 year old daughter... well... I knew God was calling me to be there for them. For me, it has been a rich journey of faith to become friends of Tim and Cristi Schwamb and their children these last 8 months. Lauren received her heart transplant on Tuesday morning of this week! She is doing well. Her body is accepting it's new heart! Life... healing... transformation are apparent! If her body continues to accept this new heart, Lauren will get stronger over the next days, weeks, and months. Her energy levels and lifestyle will begin to transform! We praise You God for Your grace and mercy in this life changing situation with Lauren! GIGATTAATTGIG!
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Transplant? v., -plant·ed, -plant·ing, -plants

  1. To uproot and replant a living thing. (A new heart was uprooted and replanted in Lauren).
  2. To transfer from one place or residence to another; resettle or relocate. (A living and active heart has relocated to a new residence inside Lauren).
  3. Medicine. To transfer (tissue or an organ) from one body or body part to another. (A new organ, a living and active heart, has been given from one to another).

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Transform? v., -formed, -form·ing, -forms

  1. To change markedly the appearance or form (Much of Lauren's old heart was not working; in my brother-in-law's case, they said his old heart literally fell apart when they took it out of his body).
  2. To change the nature, function, or condition of; convert. (The nature of a new heart leads to a huge improvement in the quality of life... As the body begins to accept the new heart, the person eventually feels that conversion from death to life).
  3. Mathematics. To subject to a transformation.
  4. Electricity. To subject to the action of a transformer.
  5. Genetics. To subject (a cell) to transformation.

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As Lauren's family learned more about what must be done to save Lauren, we can learn much from their diligence, steadfastness, perseverance, endurance, and trust over the last 3 and a half years. They wanted their daughter to live a full life! They prayed for wisdom, decision making, the right doctors... They immersed themselves in understanding how to help their daughter to live.

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As you join me in celebrating with the Schwamb family, please make this huge connection. When a physical heart is not doing what it was meant to do, it eventually leads to the death of the person. The story of the spiritual heart is the same.
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This week, I have heard over and over again from many of you how rich our summer study has been. Our Tuesday ladies group read in our books last week about A WOMAN OF WISDOM. Several have asked not to go on but continue this discussion - it's transformational! As you look at my posts on Sunday through Wednesday of this week, you will get a glimpse of what I mean. Once we each get a new spiritual heart and begin to give it the nutrition that it needs... we are alive... active... transformed... Let's end today with a few scriptures telling the story....

  • Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  • Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned
  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Psalm 51:10-13 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You.
  • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
  • Acts 2:37-39 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children...
  • Hebrews 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God... ...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."
  • 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."

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It's a spiritual concept we each need to wrap our arms around: Heart Transplant or Death! Which do you choose? I chose Heart Transplant with ongoing Transformation!!!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

YOU RAISE ME UP...WHEN I KNOW WHAT WISDOM DOES...

WOMEN IN THE WORD

WEDNESDAY

This week: Women in Search of Wisdom!

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We've been following Carl Brecheen's suggestion for memorizing scripture: Read 4! Quote 4! This week's scripture gives an "itemized list" of the things wisdom will do for you and me. I have seen WISDOM in Tim and Cristi Schwamb as they have waited for a heart for Lauren. WISDOM will...

  1. not let me down
  2. guard me
  3. watch over me
  4. give me understanding
  5. exalt me
  6. honor me
  7. crown me with a garland of grace
  8. crown me with a crown of beauty

Proverbs 4:6-9

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PHRASE 1:

READ IT! "Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you;" QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you;" QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you;" QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Do not forsake wisdom and she will protect you;" QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 2:

READ IT! "...love her, and she will watch over you." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...love her, and she will watch over you." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...love her, and she will watch over you." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...love her, and she will watch over you." QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 3:

READ IT! "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom." QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 4:

READ IT! "Though it cost all you have, get understanding." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Though it cost all you have, get understanding." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Though it cost all you have, get understanding." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Though it cost all you have, get understanding." QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 5:

READ IT! "Esteem her, and she will exalt you;" QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Esteem her, and she will exalt you;" QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Esteem her, and she will exalt you;" QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "Esteem her, and she will exalt you;" QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 6:

READ IT! "...embrace her, and she will honor you." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...embrace her, and she will honor you." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...embrace her, and she will honor you." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...embrace her, and she will honor you." QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 7:

READ IT! "She will set a garland of grace on your head." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "She will set a garland of grace on your head." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "She will set a garland of grace on your head." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "She will set a garland of grace on your head." QUOTE IT!

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PHRASE 8:

READ IT! "...and present you with a crown of splendor." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...and present you with a crown of splendor." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...and present you with a crown of splendor." QUOTE IT!

READ IT! "...and present you with a crown of splendor." QUOTE IT!

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Proverbs 4:6-9

"Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;

love her, and she will watch over you.

7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.

Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you;

embrace her, and she will honor you.

9 She will set a garland of grace on your head

and present you with a crown of splendor."

Thank you, God, for giving us WISDOM so graciously! Thank you Schwambs for modeling WISDOM for all of us! GIGATTAATTGIG!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

YOU RAISE ME UP... GRACE FOR TODAY AND BRIGHT HOPE FOR TOMORROW...

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1-16-10 - A NOTE FROM PATTI: If you are arriving here from a FB link sent by me, I incorrectly sent you here first. My intention was to link you to the GIGATTAATTGIG blog and then after reading it you would be linked here. Anyway, for this to make sense, you'll need to click here first and then return here after reading that. Thanks! GIGATTAATTGIG

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As I post this in the wee hours of the morning, we bask in God's grace and have bright hope for tomorrow. Three year old Lauren Schwamb has been waiting for a new heart at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. When Steve and I left the hospital at midnight, the Philadelphia team was just picking up a "perfect match" heart for Lauren in a different city. Sometime in the next few hours they will know for sure if Lauren will be the receipient. Here were Lauren's parents, Tim and Cristi, at 11:50 p.m. ecstatic with the news. They are very aware that someone had to die for Lauren to live. They have waited patiently for God's timing. GIGATTAATTGIG! If you have not seen their story, you can access it quickly on my other blog on my last June post at http://gigattaattgig.blogspot.com/
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Steve and I stayed with Lauren on Saturday while Tim and Cristi went out to celebrate Tim's birthday. Lauren is a bright and articulate 3 year old who knows all her alphabet... knows the names of all her meds and what they're for... knows her right from her left and, in fact, can look at you face to face and tell you where your right and left are. Before they took off, Cristi reminded me that my job would be to steer the IV pole as Lauren made her way around her room, the hallways, and the playroom. .

While we were together....

  • Lauren put together a giant floor puzzle.

  • Practiced some heavy duty screwing and unscrewing as she used the words "righty tighty" and "lefty loosey".
  • Made sure that we played as many of "her games" in the playroom game closet as possible.
  • Asked a million "why?" questions to her nurses, Steve, and me... including "why are these your glasses?"


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Thank you, God, for creating such a bright and beautiful little girl. You have given her much grace as she waits. Please give her bright hope for the future as you guide the doctors decisions and hands. Only You are the Great Physician and Healer. We give You the glory! We wait with thankful hearts! Because of Jesus, we can pray and be family.

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NOTE: Check back here throughout the day and the next week for updates on this post.

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7/28/09 - POSTED BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT ABOUT 3:15 a.m. - just took his brave little girl (heavily sedated) to the OR.

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7/28/09 - POSTED BY CRISTI SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT ABOUT 4:45 a.m. - As of about 4:30 this morning, Lauren has a new strong heart. God is good! We're hoping to see her sometime in the next few hours.

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7/28/09 - POSTED BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT ABOUT 5:30 a.m. - is waiting for the surgeon to give us the debrief. The surgery took about half as long as normal. That can only be very good.

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7/28/09 - POSTED BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT ABOUT 6:00 a.m. - got a great report from the surgeon. He talked to us for just a minute, then said he was going to extubate her (take her off the ventilator). We were led to believe that would happen -- best case -- a day later. We haven't even seen her yet and they're already going to try it! God is good!

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7/28/09 - TEXT MESSAGE FROM STEVE SIKES AT 7:20 a.m. - Lauren is in recovery. T and C are with her now. We've been moving their stuff to their van. Love u. GIGATT!

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7/28/09 - PATTI'S NOTE - Lauren will no longer be in the same hospital room. She'll be in isolation to stay away from all germs. Anything from her previous room... clothes, toys, etc. will have to be purified if they want it in her new room.

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7/28/09 - POSTED BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT ABOUT 10:45 a.m. - finally got to see Lauren. She's doing very well, and I'm enjoying some liquid sleep.

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7/28/09 UPDATE BY PATTI at 2:45 p.m.: Steve picked me up at the church building after ladies' class; we headed for Moe's with our lunch order for Tim and Cristi. Two couples with roots in Oklahoma, sat in the Ronald McDonald room on the 6th floor heart floor, eating our Moe's food and basking in the riches of God's grace. Lauren will remain in ICU (level 2) for several days to a week or more. Germ control precautions will be high! When Steve and I finally left the hospital, we were hoping that both Tim and Cristi would be able to get long naps! Lauren was sleeping!

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7/28/09 POSTED BY CRISTI SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT ABOUT 9 p.m. - A few minutes ago, Lauren's nurse and I were joking that she must be doing good. Our biggest concerns at the moment were finding the Bead of Courage that rolled under the bed and whether her Prom picture poster was hung up straight. GIGATTAATTGIG!

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7/28/09 COMMENTS BY PATTI AT 10:15 p.m. - What a wonderful 24 hours it has been! Tim, Cristi, Addison, Brennan, and Lauren thank you for letting us get a peak at the goodness of God because of what you have gone through the last few years. Sleep well tonight! GIGATTAATTGIG!

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7/29/09 - POSTED BY CRISTI SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK ABOUT 9:15 a.m. - A quiet night (for both of us) -- Lauren's a bit more awake this morning and is doing well.

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7/29/09 - POSTED BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK ABOUT 9:45 a.m. - got a good night's sleep and a good shower and is enjoying more time with two of his three favorite girls!

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7/29/09 - POSTED BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK ABOUT 1:00 p.m. - is glad Groundhog Day is finally over.

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7/29/09- COMMENTS BY TIM SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK ABOUT 2:00 p.m. - She still has a long road, but for now, there should be some sort of excitement every day. I think it will get old again once they move out into a hotel/efficiency to stay close for appointments, but we've cleared the first hurdle...and the rest have an ending date! :-) ... a few minutes later Tim wrote in response to "Do you know anything about the donor?" It was another child (because the size has to match), but beyond that we really don't know anything...

7/29/09 - POSTED BY CRISTI SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK ABOUT 3:30 p.m. - is watching Dora again. I thought I could put in a different movie for a change, but a certain somebody woke up for a moment and noticed.

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7/29/09- POSTED BY CRISTI SCHWAMB ON FACEBOOK AT 10:45 p.m. - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

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7/29/09 - Patti's comment to Cristi - I wonder if St. Augustine read this? Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Praise God that Tim and Cristi Schwamb believed what they could not see! GIGATTAATTGIG!

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7/30/09 - Tim Schwamb posts on his blog his "Daddy Diary" about his daughter Lauren's heart transplant ... The 204th Day! http://simplefamilycomplexlife.blogspot.com/2009/07/and-on-204th-day.html

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8/1/09 - Cristi Schwamb posted on FB in the a.m. - "Cristi Schwamb is proud of her amazing little girl. Almost all of the lines/wires are out, and she sat up in bed for quite a while this morning. She's begging to get out of bed, but I'm insisting on bit of rest first. God is good!"

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Monday, July 27, 2009

YOU RAISE ME UP...A WOMAN OF WISDOM!

MEDITATION MONDAY


I've been reading that the Virtuous Woman "...opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue."


Let's begin today by asking the question: How Can I Get Wisdom?


James 1:5-8 says to ASK GOD for wisdom...nothing doubting!

  • "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."

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Ecclesiastes 2:26 says that God gives wisdom to those who He sees as good!

  • "For to a person who is good in His sight He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, while to the sinner He has given the task of gathering and collecting so that he may give to one who is good in God's sight."

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Isaiah 33:66 says that we get wisdom from Jesus!

  • "And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the LORD is his treasure..."

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1 Corinthians 12:8-9 says that wisdom is a spiritual gift!

  • "For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit..."

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Colossians 1:9-10 says that other christians can pray for my wisdom!

  • For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding..."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

YOU RAISE ME UP

Jesus knew on that Friday that Sunday was coming and He would be raised up! He knew because God keeps His promises! So, today we can celebrate...


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SUNDAY IN THE SON







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Although I am not doing it this year, I often make a trek to Oregon in July. When I do go, it is for a re-certification for the Structure of Intellect. It involves a few days of an intensive seminar. Amazing workshop! Both the seminar and the cabin we stay in are on the McKenzie River about a half hour west of Eugene. Breathtaking!
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Sometimes on the Oregon trip, I go alone. Sometimes, Steve goes with me. When the seminar is over, we make it a tradition to head to the Oregon Coast and stay right off Pacific Highway 101. We've found a quaint little town called Yachats, Oregon that has many signs around that say "Tsunami Zone". Yet, being there is one of the places that I can truly take in a glimpse of the enormity of God.
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Several years ago, I went by myself. I rented a car in Portland and instead of following Interstate 5 all the way south to Eugene, I cut west across to Newport, on the coast, and drove south on 101. With my rental car's four windows rolled down and it's rooftop window rolled back, I put in my new CD and sang along with Josh Groban at the top of my lungs and with my whole heart - high cliffs on my left and the Pacific Ocean on my right. I do not know how many times Josh and I sang YOU RAISE ME UP, but that was one of two of my Highway 101 songs (the other was by the Oak Ridge Boys)!
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How has God "raised you up"? How has He brought you out of the pit of darkness into His marvelous light? How do you allow Him to daily sustain you? In part, I believe that it is with WISDOM...HIS WISDOM. This week, we will discuss how a Virtuous Woman, "...opens her mouth in wisdom..." Proverbs 31:26

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Here is some of the view that I saw as I drove beside the Pacific Ocean singing praises to the creator of the universe - The Great I AM. I invite you to restart the song on the playlist and enjoy the pictures as you listen and/or sing along. Also, be inspired by the video below and it's words.










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NOTE: For those of you who have a little time today and want a little extra spiritual nourishment, how about clicking this link to one of my favorites that I posted on this blog a year ago today? Enjoy the read!
http://momstransformed.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-about-them-horses.html

Saturday, July 25, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE...HE SEES YOUR WORTH....


KETCHUP AND MUSTARD SATURDAY

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There are many things that I have wanted to "catch up" on today and feel like I "must do" but I've decided that I'm going to simplify. As we leave our discussion on a "woman of worth", please know that I am aware that there is much that could still be said. The bottom line is this: IN CHRIST, I HAVE WORTH! IN CHRIST, YOU HAVE WORTH!

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The woman at the well found that her WORTH could be affirmed and sustained from the RIVER OF LIFE. She found LIVING WATER that would daily replenished her soul. We've looked at this woman's encounter with Jesus in John 4. Now, here it is again, in a different format. The video below is a chill bumper! Join me in looking one more time at A WOMAN OF WORTH. Tomorrow, we'll move on to "A Woman of Wisdom".

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Friday, July 24, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE...WHAT A FAMILY!...


Family in Christ is awesome! There is the local church family as well as church family spread all over this planet. As I grew up a U.S. Army brat, I got a first hand look at church family on different continents.
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For me, this past week has been very full. So much to do and so little time! Although I do not have pictures to document the multitudes of ways my church family has been a blessing ... here are a few from my cell phone:
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1. Because of an electrical problem in one part of our house, Rich and Garth had their crew move 100+ of my teacher boxes / materials from the storage room to my living room. They were then able to find the electrical problem and fix it.


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God knew my concerns about going through everything in that store room to figure out what should go to my new office at Rowan University. It was easy with it all in my living room to say "This goes... this stays!"

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2. At ladies class on Tuesday, Mandy volunteered to haul boxes along side of me that afternoon. So, here she is outside my office door, after loading them in my car, driving to the school, going up to the second floor to get carts, going back outside to get a load, going back up to the second floor to deposit them in...



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3. ...my empty waiting office!!!













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4. And, deposit them she did! About 40 of them... several car loads!!! My car and Steve's truck are still ladened with boxes. They'll have to wait until next week!!! Thanks, Mandy! Sister, your servant heart shines!








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5. When I returned home, Garth and his crew had transformed my storage closet into a walk-in clothes closet just because I had mentioned earlier that I sure wished that could be done. I wish I would have gotten a picture of them doing it, but here it is 24 hours later after being transformed into Steve and Patti's clothes closet. My part of the organization is still a work in progress!

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6. While I was at it, I was even able to organize the adjacent laundry room!

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7. After 24 hours of hauling, unpacking, moving, reorganizing, Mandy showed up at my door with her vaccuum cleaner (mines in the shop) to vaccuum my first floor. Shortly afterwards, her family and ours enjoyed hosting the Scott and Bonita McEndree family for a dinner cooked by my dear husband, Steve.
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What a joy! Yet, I knew our wonderful visit with the McEndree's would have never happened except for the help and serving hearts of my christian family. It is a memory that I will always treasure! Because of Jesus, a young family from Minneapolis is family with a worldwide group of believers - including this group here in South Jersey.
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The McEndree's are leaving the Cancer Treatment Center of America at Philadelphia today. They are headed home to Minneapolis by way of Niagra Falls.
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They have endeared themselves to us in the short time that they have been with us. No answers for Scott's cancer / sarcoma yet. They wait on the LORD! We will continue to pray and trust that God's great and glorious will be done. We so want Scott to have many more years on this globe. Because of Jesus, we are family!
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8. After the meal at our house last night, we went to Bible study at the church building. The teens presented the McEndree's with an enormous care package for their trip. They had spent the afternoon with Melody and Crystal buying, collecting and packaging this gift full of gifts. Scott said, "This is a care package of all care packages!" Their 4 little ones were very excited. Scott, thanked the church family for all of their many kindnesses and prayers.






















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Then, our elders prayed over Scott and family and we sang "God is so good!"



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Will you join me in prayer for Bonita McEndree, an incredible wife and mother, who is allowing God to keep transforming her throughout her husband's extended illnesses - as she ministers to him and their 4 children ages 6 and under. She is an inspiration to me!
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Please click on their family photo over on the right sidebar to read more of their story. What a family!
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This weekend, our local church has 3 families moving into new places. I am sure it will be a great opportunity for more joyful family service! What a family! GIGATTAATTGIG!
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NOTE: Several of the McEndree's pictures have disappeared off this page. Pictures in hiding! I will try to post them tomorrow!
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE... TRANSFORMING NUGGETS...



TRANSFORMING

THURSDAY


The last few weeks have been full of rich spiritual food for us at the Pitman church of Christ. On Tuesday morning, at the beginning of our Bible class, I passed out an index card to each woman. I asked that they write down a "gold nugget" that was really helping in daily transformation. I did not want them to write their name on the card. They were to choose from something that had impacted them from one of the following:
  1. Dr. Carl Brecheen's lessons
  2. Sunday's sermons that went so well together: Steve's Sunday morning sermon: "What makes the people of God the People of God?" and Kareem's Sunday afternoon sermon: "GIGATTAATTGIG: Praise Him! Thank Him!"
  3. Our Tuesday morning book/discussions

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Here are some of their transforming responses:

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1. FROM DR. CARL BRECHEEN'S VBS LESSONS:

  • Dr. Carl Brecheen talked about having God's word on our lips/heart and teaching them to our kids. We're teaching our kids the "Shema".
  • Dr. Carl Brecheen's lessons on love. His stories were so wonderful and I've been reflecting on each one.
  • Read, recite, and quote!
  • Read a chapter of Proverbs a day according to the date.
  • The 4 most important minutes of the day with a full body hug and kiss.
  • Defer to your spouse!
  • My daily quiet time
  • Keep my mouth quiet... let my family see it and not just hear it!
  • Ephesians 4:29 - Let no unwholesome talk come from your lips, only things that build others up... (this was mentioned by several).
  • Think about the impact of today's parenting on the future of your child.

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2. FROM STEVE AND KAREEM'S SERMONS ON SUNDAY:

  • The joy of finding grace!
  • Jesus is grace!
  • What makes the people of God the people of God? J.E.S.U.S - J - justified; E-exalt; S-slaves of righteousness; U- uncondemned; S-Spirit-led
  • Hebrew 4:16 - We can approach God's throne of grace with confidence to receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. I have an appointment with the KING of kings and the LORD of lords - He is waiting for me!!!!
  • Ephesians 4:29 - Let no unwholesome talk come from your lips, only things that build others up... (this was mentioned by several).
  • Be a professional praiser instead of a professional picker

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3. FROM OUR TUESDAY CLASS:

  • My worth comes from God alone, not from my family, things, accomplishments. I am worthy because Jesus/God says that I am.
  • God's definition of my worth doesn't fluctuate with changing times, fashions, weight, age, or anything else.
  • There is strength in struggle. Just as a butterfly needs to beat its wings to break out of the coccoon. So, we grow stronger in our walk with Jesus as we face our trials and come out praising Him on the other side.

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TRANSFORMING!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE...LIVING WATER... IN YOU...LIVING WATER...



WOMEN IN THE WORD
WEDNESDAY
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Yesterday, in our Tuesday Bible class, we broke off in pairs to memorize scripture using Dr. Carl Brecheen's pattern: READ 4! QUOTE 4! Yet, that's really not the order of the pattern. It's more like:
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  • Read phrase one! Quote phrase one!
  • Read phrase one! Quote phrase one!
  • Read phrase one! Quote phrase one!
  • Read phrase one! Quote phrase one!

Then, you do the same for each phrase in the verse or verses that you are memorizing.

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Karelle was my partner as we memorized Romans 12:2 together. It was powerful, then, when we all got back in a circle and quoted it to each other:

  • Romans 12:2
  • "And do not be conformed to this world,
  • but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
  • that you may prove what the will of God is,
  • that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

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We memorized this same verse on last Wednesday's post if this blog: http://momstransformed.blogspot.com/2009/07/perfect-people_15.html

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Join me today, as we memorize words said by Jesus to the woman at the WELL! Our study of the Virtuous Woman is convincing us of many things, 2 of which are:

  1. She gets her worth from JESUS
  2. She hides THE WORD in her heart

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John 4:14 is THE WORD from JESUS to hide in our hearts today...

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  • READ: "...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst..." Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst..." Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst..." Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst..." Now, QUOTE IT!

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  • READ: "...but the water that I shall give him shall become..." Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...but the water that I shall give him shall become..." Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...but the water that I shall give him shall become..." Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...but the water that I shall give him shall become..." Now, QUOTE IT!

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  • READ: "...in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. " Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. " Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. " Now, QUOTE IT!
  • READ: "...in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. " Now, QUOTE IT!

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Have you been to THE WELL? Like the Samaritan woman, have you drunk deeply Does this life giving water bubble up from your soul as encouragement for others? In that same chapter in John, Jesus refers to this water as "LIVING WATER". Then, in John 7, He says, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit..."

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We sang a song in class yesterday that has been a favorite of the Sikes family for years. It was new to many. The words are:

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"I've got a river of life flowing out of me!

Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see!

Opens prisons doors! Sets the captives free!

I've got a river of life flowing out of me!

Spring up a well within my soul!

Spring up a well and make me whole!

Spring up a well and give me that life abundantly!"

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When I know that I am IN CHRIST... when I understand His sacrificial love for me... when I begin to understand the verses that we've been memorizing or the acrostic that we learned the last few days, then we will begin to understand this LIVING WATER:

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  • "...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst...
  • "...but the water that I shall give him shall become..
  • "...in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. " Now, QUOTE IT!

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Two hinderances that keep women from defining their worth IN CHRIST and allowing this LIVING WATER to spring from within:

  • Guilt that stems from an inability or refusal to accept God’s forgiveness
  • Not believing that obedience to Jesus Christ is more fulfilling than any earthly pleasure

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May THE LIVING WATER permeate your being as He lives in you and walks beside you today!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE...A WOMAN OF WORTH...

I'm so grateful
for the WORTH
that I have...
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...IN JESUS!


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He reached out His hands and died...hands of Grace! Grace upon Grace upon Grace upon Grace upon Grace!!!!!
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J ustified by faith (Romans 3) (Trusting Him Who trusted perfectly! Just-As-If-I'd-Never-Sinned!)

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E xult in God, hope, and tribulation! (Romans 5) (Praising God because of and in spite of!)


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S laves of Righteousness (Romans 6) (Doin' what Jesus would do!)


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U ncondemned! (Romans 8) (Not blamed! Not in trouble!)


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S pirit-Led (Romans 8) (There's a "piece of The Rock" inside of me! He leads! He guides! He satisfies!)


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Who makes the people of God, the people of God?


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Who gives the people of God their worth?
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J-E-S-U-S!!!!!
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NOTE: To get a little more explanation of this, see yesterday's post!

Monday, July 20, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE...THE PEOPLE OF GOD...





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MEDITATION MONDAY
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"What makes the people of God the people of God?" That's the question that Steve says his cousin, Dr. Russ Dudrey, asks his students as he guides them through the book of Romans. Steve asked us the same question. His lessons, yesterday morning, were rich as he had us look at the book of Romans - much in the same way we have looked at other good books on this blog - he looked at the beginning and the end:
  • BEGINNING: Romans 1:5 -6 - "Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ..."
  • ENDING: Romans 16:25-26 - Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

The gospel had become so personal to Paul that he called it "my gospel". He lived Jesus! He lived for Jesus! His faith was in the perfect faith of Jesus that I talked about in my post yesterday.

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Steve gave us a five letter acrostic, one letter for each digit on your right hand, to help us in answering his question: What Make the People of God the People of God?

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J ustified by faith (Romans 3)

  • That's Grace! 3:24 "...being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus..."

E xult in God, hope, and tribulations (Romans 5)

  • That's Grace! 5:1-11 "Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly... ...11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

S laves of Righteousness (Romans 6)

  • That's Grace! 6:14-21 "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? ... ...so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness."

U ncondemned! (Romans 8)

  • That's Grace! 8:1-2 "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

S pirit-Led (Romans 8)

  • That's Grace! 8:14-15 "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."

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Who makes the people of God, the people of God?

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J-E-S-U-S!!!!!

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In the afternoon lesson, Kareem talked about our response to the grace and goodness of God: A life of praise and thanksgiving! Once we realize how much God loves us... how much we are worth to him... our life becomes a continual sacrifice of praise. After hearing the Holy Spirit connect Kareem's lesson so beautifully to Steve's, I put this scripture back in my heart yesterday:

  • Hebrews 13:15-17 "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

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Then yesterday Scott, our friend from Minnesota, who has been getting cancer treatment at Philadelphia's Cancer Treatment Center of America, wrote this on his blog. I believe that it made a beautiful ending to a rich and deep Sunday. Look how he even connects it to our theme song of the week! A lot to meditate on today!

"I love James because he tells it like it is even if it hurts.

These two verses, however, are uplifting and promising.

We can take the promises

God gives us in the Bible as gold,

for He always keeps His promises to us!

I want God near to me,

so what does it mean to come near to Him?

How do I “get to know” God?

Spending time in prayer

and reading the word He has given us.

For God to lift me up,

being humble and not boasting of ourselves

yet still boasting about His work within us.

Paul did this well, giving credit to God.


James 4:8,10


'Come near to God

and He will come near to you…


Humble yourselves before the Lord,

and he will lift you up.'"

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Meditating on these verses from Romans, Hebrews, and James are rich food for your life in Christ! I pray that you will begin to know your worth more and more as you, one of the people of God, let Him walk by your side...

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NOTES:

  • You can access Steve's blog / sermons over on the right sidebar under Sikes Family links
  • You can access Scott's blog on the picture of Scott and his beautiful family
  • I plan to talk more about what Kareem shared in a post later this week!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

BY YOUR SIDE


The faith of Christ remained strong that Friday... there would be a death... then a burial... then waiting... waiting... then, the resurrection... NEW LIFE!!!
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SUNDAY
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IN THE
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SON
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His faith had been the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen until that Sunday morning! It had been worth it!.



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Where do you place your worth? If it is in the list of things that you have acccomplished or not accomplished? Then, maybe you are feeling good about yourself and your salvation because of what you are getting done. On the other hand, maybe things aren't going so well because you can't ever seem to finish your list of good things to do. You get tired... discouraged... If this is your battle, you are not alone... I spent too many years in a works based salvation...
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Tell me again, where do you place your worth? Maybe you obey the letter of the law. Does it make you feel good because you know you're doing the "right things". You have this internal checklist of what God would want you to do to be good or acceptable... a list of rules... laws... Do you try to earn your salvation? Or, does it become so hard that you just give up? Do you say, "I can never be good enough?" I have also spent a little time in salvation based legalism...
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This week, as we look at our worth... where we get our value... how we become "right" or "acceptable" in the eyes of God, we'll look at different parts of Romans on different days. Here's something to think about from Paul's letter to the Romans in chapter 10. I hope you read it slowly and let it really soak into your heart... your mind....
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"Brethren, my heart's desire
and my prayer to God for them
is for their salvation.
For I bear them witness
that they have a zeal for God,
but not in accordance with knowledge.
For not knowing about God's righteousness,
and seeking to establish their own,
they did not subject themselves
to the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness
to everyone who believes.
For Moses writes that the man who practices
the righteousness which is based on law
shall live by that righteousness."
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In Christ's Sermon on the Mount, His first 4 principles for living a blessed life are:
  1. Be humble... poor in spirit...
  2. Be repentant over sin... mourn...
  3. Be meek... gentle... let God take the reins of your life and lead...
  4. Be hungry and thirsty for righteousness... it's your spiritual sustenance... and it's a gift...

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Does your perfection in a list of do's and don'ts determine your worth? Hardly!!! Your righteousness is a gift from Christ that you receive with a humble and repentent heart as you allow Him to live in you, sustain you, lead you, hold you, and walk beside you...
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For several months, I have fallen in love with some of this year's songs that are in the top 20 on the christian music charts. When I was at one of our local christian bookstores this past week, I learned that a member of the group that sings our theme song of this week lives nearby in Woodstown, NJ. May this song, BY YOUR SIDE, and all of it's spiritual applications bless your week as we look at our worth in Christ..

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Be sure and pause the playlist before beginning the video!



Saturday, July 18, 2009

PERFECT PEOPLE...TRANSFORMING TRANSPARENCY...

FAMILY FELLOWSHIP FRIDAY has come and gone. I didn't post, because I gave myself permission, even though I was going to post about NBF (our VBS Neighborhood Bible Fellowships). One of many things that helps in the transforming process is to be transparent...to admit that I'm not perfect!!! Okay, I'm being transparent here... I'm cranky, tired, and am exhausted from the last week, weeks, months... I need to spend some extra time in prayer and get an attitude adjustment.
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CATCH-UP AND MUST DO SATURDAY: We're all broken and scarred! There's nothing perfect about a perfectionist unless that perfectionist is saved by blood of Jesus. The woman of great worth... the virtuous woman gets her worth from being a child of God... in the blood line of the King of kings... There! Now, that was a must-do! There's nothing else that needs to be said that can't wait until tomorrow. I need some extra catch-up time in sleep and prayer. I hope you can do the same! Talk to you tomorrow~:) GIGATTAATTGIG!
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

PERFECT PEOPLE...IN-TO-ME-SEE...




TRANSFORMING THURSDAY!!!
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Life is hard, but God is good! You say that you've heard me say that before? Well let me say it this way "My life is sooooooo hard but my God is soooooooooooooooooooo good!"
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I'm thinking that this past week of my life would make for the beginning of a great novel. Okay! For those of you who have walked alongside me through the years... I hear you! "Week, Patti?" you say, "How about the last 56.5 years of your life would make a great series of novels!!!!" Sigh! LOL...
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This has been our week of VBS, I'm supervising student teachers in summer school, we continue to have a sick daughter in our home AND this week and last anywhere from 5 to 9 vehicles have been out in front of our house...


...at any one time as workers have worked on:
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  • electricity
  • a new french drain
  • a new sump pump
  • installing the new refrigerator because the other one fried
  • plumbing in multiple places
  • dryer issues
  • backyard issues
  • adding insulation
  • and, the transformer on the street that may not be up to code... hmmm... Did I say transformer????

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Let me assure you that I know a TRANSFORMER who is up to code. In fact, He is the creator of THE CODE. I hope you joined me yesterday when we memorized this scripture:

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Romans 12:2

"And do not be conformed to this world,

but be TRANSFORMED

by the renewing of your mind,

that you may prove what the will of God is,

that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

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More than ever, I realize the need for my mind to be renewed daily! I have needed the lessons that Carl and Smitty Brecheen brought to the adults and teens at VBS: Keys to a Better Life!

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Our VBS is now over! Steve took Carl and Smitty to the Philadelphia airport this morning to fly back to Abilene, TX. Dan is leading four van loads that carried some of our church plus those from West Virginia who had helped with our VBS. They'll spend the day in NYC.

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I sit here at my computer much later than I usually post, wanting to share with you something TRANSFORMING that I have been thinking about since Carl and Smitty's VBS lessons. Here it is! INTIMACY!!!
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Let's use this pronunciation of INTIMACY....(IN-TO-ME-SEE)...
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1. I need to be plugged into the blood of Jesus... be a part of His family... so that when God IN-TO-ME-SEES...He sees me perfect because of His Son...





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2. I need to be plugged into God first thing in the morning by renewing my spiritual mind via prayer, scripture reading, praise, and worship... This daily appointment with the LORD, that some refer to as their quiet time, is an offering for Him to IN-TO-ME-SEE. He needs to see that I have fed His Spirit who lives inside of me and not become spiritually anoerexic.
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3. I need to remain plugged into being led by the Holy Spirit of God, walking and talking with Him, quoting His word, allowing Him to grow fruit in me, praising and worshipping Him.... every moment... every place... every circumstance... I need to spend my days continually looking into His wants and His ways as I let Him IN-TO-ME-SEE.



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4. I need to stay plugged into my husband as I let him let IN-TO-ME-SEE... Carl referred to the 4 most important minutes of the day that can be TRANSFORMING when practiced daily. Each requires a full body hug: the first minute together in the morning, the last minute before the first one leaves the house, the first minute that you both are back at home together, and the last minute before going to bed... Of course, those four minutes are in addition to praying and studying together, and living and loving each other....
5. I need to stay plugged into the body of Christ... I need some brothers and sisters in Christ who IN-TO-ME-SEE!!! I need those who are more spiritually mature than me... those who can walk alongside of me... and those who I am "mentoring"... those who I am teaching... who can IN-TO-ME-SEE!!!


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As I stood on the 11th floor roof of the parking garage near Independence Hall the other day and looked down at the American flag that I posted yesterday, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs... F.R.E.E.D.O.M. isn't free! Someone had to pay the price for your liberty!!!
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Are you plugged in to the Savior of the world... the freedom writer? Are you plugged into the head of the church? Are you plugged into the transformer who can IN-TO-ME-SEE????? Please, sister, get plugged in today! Make the first step by going back through yesterday's post!!!
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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!