SNOW! The first STICKING snow of the season! Yay! Yep, if you live in WI, you might as well be excited about things like snow and cold and short days and wind chills and ice and frozen pipes and frostbite and . . . . Okay, maybe not all of that! Regardless, we were thrilled to see the snow actually staying on the ground today with more expected tonight. We certainly aren't getting the nearly 2 feet of snow some places in northern WI received over the weekend, but this is a good start.
Along with snow today came venison for supper (with stuffing, rice, steamed cabbage & carrots). Mmm, another first of the season! Thanks honey for providing meat for the table!
That's Trouble, our top rooster in the pic, he's coming out of the hen house and heading to the greenhouse (can you say "spoiled chickens"?)! The greenhouse (aka the Bubble) isn't heated, but does get warm with the sun and keeps the wind and snow/rain off the chickens so they can enjoy their day. They love it, especially in winter!
Finding time for daily devotions . . .
"I don't have time to read the bible or do a devotion, I barely have time to get dressed!" Ever said those words or some like it? It's easy for us to get so involved in the world (and worldly things) that we think we can't make time for God. Spending time in His word, studying it and praying are the most important things we can do all day. Here are some ideas on fitting time with God into your already busy day (some of these came from Doorposts):
Start with small goals (don't endeavor to read a full chapter in a book of the bible, try aiming for just a paragraph or just 5 or 6 verses). Don't choose a long devotional, pick one that is short, meaningful and workable in 5 min. Don't have a devotional? Our Daily Bread (odb.org)offers an emailed or printed copy of their daily devotionals that include a short passage to read from the bible (you can even click to read it on the email version), plus a short devotion.
Put everything you need in one place so it's ready to grab when you have 5 min.
Where? Carry a small bible with you to squeeze in a little bible reading anytime you're waiting (in line, waiting to pick someone up (or waiting to be picked up), etc.). If you ride (instead of drive), that's a perfect time to read, pray, and do a devotional.
When? Have a little break at work or school, there you go! Just layed the children down for a nap, there you go! Waiting for something, there you go! You get the idea, there are 5 min. increments of time in our day to squeeze in anything.
Can you get up 5 min. earlier? Or, can you take 5 min. before going to bed? How about honoring good priorities and doing a devotion before checking your email or going online?
If you're a busy mama of little ones, how about starting a 30 min. quiet time in the afternoon where they can do anything quiet on their beds (play, read, nap), with no talking? It might take a bit of time to make it work, but eventually you will all value that special 30 min. of quiet.
If your children are old enough, have them start learning to do a devotion when you do.
Pray for wisdom in finding time to devote to God. He desires that we spend time reading and studying His Word and praying, if we pray for guidance in finding time to do that, He will help us.
Something I heard a while back may help us put perspective in this . . . do you reach for your bible as often as you do your cell phone? Do you never want to leave home without it (like you do your cell phone or purse)? Do you spend time in prayer as often as you do on your cell phone?
May the Lord help you find time today and everyday to spend with Him! "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)
As I write, a commercial airliner has been shot down in the Ukraine, Israel has launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, thousands of refugees/illegal immigrant children are pouring into the United States along with a number of undetected illegals who are taking advantage of our currently less-secured border, people around the country are fighting for their "rights" and against laws they say are discriminatory to their alternative lifestyle, our country seems to be upside down in declaring what's wrong as right and what was once known by all to be right is now said to be wrong, . . . Listening to or reading the news can be depressing or even scary, not knowing what's going to happen next.
Don't despair, there is hope. I spent last week as a counselor at a bible camp with no radio, no computer, no internet, no tv, no video games, and no newspapers. My contact with the outside world was a few text messages relaying prayer requests and one phone call to my husband on his birthday. We learned about God's creation, we spent time in personal and cabin devotion with our Lord, chapel time, games, hiking, swimming, singing, talking, walking, sharing, praying, . . . Spending time in God's creation, each responsible for kids we had never met before that week but would have given our life to protect. We prayed for them, ran with them, shared our lives with them, and took care of them. Most of all, they learned more about God that week and we learned even more than they did. Yes, I can put my complete trust in my Lord. He asked, I was willing, and He sustained me through the week. I know God planned for me to be at camp this year, He planned for each of the children to be there too.
Yes, the world is in turmoil, seemingly more every day, but we know God is in charge. Nothing surprises Him, He knows everything about us, everything going on now and everything that will happen for eternity. Psalm 139:16 says "...and in your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." God knows what He's doing, He has my life planned out for me, that's a comfort beyond measure. He allows certain things to happen in this world, we don't always understand why, but we can rest in the assurance that God is in charge. Our country will continue down this path for as long as the Lord allows, but I am not worried . . . this world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through.
Respectable words . . .
I recently read an article on words that will give you a better first (and lasting) impression. As I was reading through the article, it occurred to me that many of these words have gone by the wayside in our current "all for me" world, and that this list could easily be added to. So, I added to it, changed some and left some out . . . anyway, here's my list:
Please and Thank You . . . I know most of us teach our young children to say please and thank you, but how many of us adults remember to use the words?
You're Welcome . . . Instead of grunting, saying "Yep" or "No Problem", or giving the person some excuse for why they shouldn't have said "Thank You" to you in the first place (you know you do it, "Oh, It Was Nothing", etc.) . . . how about a simple "You're Welcome"?
Sir and Ma'am . . . I love visiting the south and hearing the politeness coming from the majority of people you meet, all using the lovely word "Ma'am" when addressing me. A sure sign of respect that has been long lost up north in WI.
I'm Sorry . . . Saying "I'm Sorry" isn't anything to be ashamed about, even to your own children. We should say we're sorry (and truly mean it) whenever we do something we shouldn't have.
What do you need? -or- How can I help? -or- What can I do for you? . . . These are pretty self-explanatory, but they really show that you care about the person you're asking. Even simply picking up something someone dropped, shows respect and care for that person.
I'll Do That . . . When's the last time you heard anyone offer to do something? Many times we hear our children say "I Didn't Do That", and we try to teach them to clean up the mess regardless, but do we utilize that same lesson in our own lives? Sometimes. How about just doing something, whether it's your job to do it or not?
Take My Seat . . . Unfortunately, in today's world, it seems a rare event to see someone give up a seat for a person who needs it (whether the person is elderly, pregnant, disabled, juggling children or packages, or simply out-of-breath and needing a little rest). It's an easy act, and a welcome relief for the person (if they are willing to take it, don't be surprised if they don't).
So, if you so desire, join me in trying to remember some of these simple acts of respect.
If you died today, where would you spend eternity? Have you ever thought about it?
That decision is the most important one you will ever make! Did you know that we are all sinners? The Bible says that "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Not one of us is good enough to get into Heaven on our own, we are deserving of His eternal punishment. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, became a man and died to pay the penalty for our sins. "God demonstrates His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment we deserve, then rose from the dead three days later.
If we put our trust in Jesus, by admitting that we are sinners and believing that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, we will have eternal life in Heaven. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Wherever you are right now, you can admit to God that you are a sinner and are truly sorry for your sins. Tell God you accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as your personal Savior; that you believe He paid the penalty for your sins when He died on the cross. The moment you accept Christ, the grace of God guarantees you eternal life in Heaven. You can have a relationship with God, He can help you turn away from your sinful life and towards Him. His gift is free, all you have to do is accept it! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Life on earth is uncertain, it can end at any time for any of us. Don't wait for the last minute to make this decision. Everyone is given a choice. What will you choose? Would you like to know more? Just ask.
The theme for tonight's debate: "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?" Each man will deliver what they believe is the best current information for their debate, followed by rebuttal and questions from the audience (moderated by CNNs Tom Foreman).
1,000,000+ people may be watching online tonight! While it's likely that this debate will probably not persuade most people to believe one way or the other, my prayer is that the information will be allowed to be given and eyes will be opened. This may be one of the only opportunities some evolutionists (or those on the fence) have to see the whole biblical picture and scientific evidence of the truth of God's Word.
A great educational opportunity for young and old!