Monday, February 25, 2008

Mid-Terms already

I can't believe how fast these last 8 weeks have gone. It seems like this semester just started, but now its midway through. I have one class that is only 8 weeks long, so it is done on Wednesday. I finished the major part of the final project yesterday and , Lord willing, I will finish up the rest of it today and turn it all in 2 days early!!!! That would be wonderful. Now that I've given a quick update on me.....let's talk about being late.
For me, being late is NOT being 15 minutes early. I prefer to be early for everything. That's just how I am. But there are many people who are habitually late. I mean they are late for everything. I know one lady who insists she going to even be late for her funeral!! (And I believe her.)

Are you a person who just can't seem to get someplace on time? You may be one who always arrives late no matter where you go. Here is one way to solve your problem:

1) Pick one place where you regularly go, such as church or work. (By the way - many people who don't have a problem in the world being late for church who never even consider being late for work. HHHHMMMMMM - makes you wonder, doesn't it??)

2) Clock the amount of times it takes you from the time you put on your coat until you arrive inside the building. (Let's say it takes 20 minutes)

3) Add five minutes to that time, then round it up to the closest quarter hour. (Now we're up to 25 minutes, rounded up to 30 minutes) This makes calculating your times easier.

4) Subtract that time from the starting time of church or whatever it was that you timed. (If church starts at 10 a.m., subtract the 30 minutes we just calculated - that makes the time 9:30 a.m. ) This gives you the precise time you must leave -- not one minute later.

5) You must make yourself leave at the designated time, but be prepared -- your on-time arrival may give someone a heart attack.

Too many people fail to figure in the time it takes to put on your coat, open the garage and back out of the driveway, then the time it takes to park your car and walk to the destination building. You must take all this into consideration.

It all boils down to developing a system of planning, then forcing yourself to stick to the plan.

Make a chart listing your travel times to each place where you normally go, if you need to. You can do it if you really want to. It's called self-discipline. And if you're a parent, remember, you are teaching your children to be the same way you are. If you are always late you are teaching them it is okay to always be late.

Arriving on time is Scriptural.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

Here Paul is giving instructions regarding church services. "decently and in order" includes arriving on time so that you don't cause a disturbance by your late arrival. Arriving late for anything is discourteous to the others who are involved. Show the Lord you care enough to be on time. It will make a difference in your service!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Didn't Expect to Share This Today...

Another a cold day is here upon us in North Dakota. Although, it is warmer right now (at 6:30 am) than it was when we went to bed around Midnight. When we went to bed it was we’re a 7. That’s a wonderful 14 degree improvement!!!

Sometimes you just have to take a minute and find something positive in the situation your in. It’s always there, it’s just a matter of us being willing to look for it. But that doesn’t mean we won’t ever get discouraged.

Should a Christian ever get discouraged? You would like to think it wouldn’t happen – but it does!! Becoming a Christian does not automatically convert us into super-saints who are isolated in a cocoon and protected from the cruel world around us.We are still in a real world with all its problems, and mean times we are affected by them. Then there are the times that we are our own worst enemy. We let sin into our lives that will in turn discourage us and bring us down. But there are other times when we do get discouraged by circumstances over which we have no control. It's a natural human reaction.What then is the advantage of being a Christian in discouraging circumstances?

Have you ever heard someone say, "I have no one I can talk to"?

Well, as a Christian, we need not say that. We do have someone we can talk to, and we do it in prayer. God will listen to our cry for comfort. He may even sendan angel of mercy in the form of a friend who is willing to listen. We have God’s grace and mercy surrounding us, giving us a “peace that passeth all understanding.”Remember God's promise to Joshua:

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

August 22, 1999 was the hardest day of my life. Our 12 year old son, Steven, went home to be with the Lord that day. It was unexpected. I would have never imagined that when I said “I love you” as he walked out the door that that was going to be the last words he ever heard from me.

The one statement people made to Jeff and me for months (and still ask) is “I don’t know how you did it.” Well, we made it through by the grace of God – and nothing else. He was our strength (because we had none), our hope (because we had none of that either), and our peace. I don’t even want to imagine how our family would have handled that without Christ in our lives.

Through all of that the Scriptures were our comfort. More than I could ever list here – but the two that are still my strength are:

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.


Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.

God gave me Colossians and told me...those are just my Words speaking to you...those are from Steven, looking down on you and waiting for the day you will be reunited.

To get discouraged is normal. To stay discouraged -- that is a problem that needs to be dealt with, and you can do it -- turn to the Lord, let Him speak to your heart and remember....there is a silver lining in every cloud.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A New Week

I am amazed at how many hours of my day I put into my classes!! It is going to be a great thing in December, after I’ve graduated, to have anywhere from 4-5 extra hours available each day. Some of the assignments I have bee working on are quite time consuming. I worked on one assignment that only had one question ~~~ but it took me three days to complete. WOW!!!!

It’s also tax season, so that takes a chunk of time out of my week too. It is slowing down now though – so that is a blessing. I think I only have about 5 more sets of taxes to do and this year will be a wrap. (Unless some unexpected one pop up along the way.)

I thought this would be the perfect time for short devotions on “burdens” we bear. Although, don’t get me wrong – my classes and work are in no way a burden. I look at them as a blessing from the Lord. My classes gave me the ability to offer my knowledge in taxes to help preachers and missionaries by doing their taxes for them each year, free of charge. For me, it was a way to give to those who have devoted their lives to serving the Lord, just as my husband and I have done.

Numbers 11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

I can’t imagine the pressures and problems that Moses must have faced while he was leading Israel through the wilderness. Look how many times those people grumbled and whined even through God was leading them every step of the way.

By Numbers 11 Moses must have been extremely tired and frustrated. He probably felt like he couldn't stand it any longer: Moses was asking God, Why have You laid the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? I am not able to bear all these people . . . the burden is too heavy for me.'"

For us, the problem (or burdens) we bear may not be people ~ maybe they are problems, pain, pressures, or life trial and tribulations.
Maybe there are times when you feel like Jacob when he said,
“all these things are against me.” (Genesis 42:36).

But the Bible says:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Like the camel with a heavy burden, we sometimes need to kneel in the desert place and let the Lord take care of things, down to the last straw.

Every time a Christian goes through a valley of trouble, there is always a doorway of hope.

Monday, February 11, 2008

It Appears Winter Found Us

Over the last several years the winters here in Bismarck have been mild. That is not the case this year. So far in 2008 we have spent more days below zero degrees than we have above and even as I am typing this we a getting another 3 – 5 inches of that white fluffy stuff called snow.

You’d think after living here for 20 years I would have adjusted to this....but I haven’t. I don’t complain about it ~ but the California girl inside of me stills likes 70 degrees or warmer!!!!

One thing about winter is that is doesn’t last forever (although some days it feels like it will.) Before we know it the snow will melt, the trees and flowers will bloom, and we’ll see the newness of life start all over again in Spring. I love how God never leaves us in one situation forever. We truly are just passing through this life, we’re not here to stay forever.

That is why we need to make the best of each and every day we are given. Take time to rejoice in the Lord ~~ after all it is required of us in God’s Word to do just that. 9 times throughout the Bible the phrase “rejoice in the Lord” is used. And never does it tell us to rejoice “sometimes.” NO, the Bible says:

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

What do you have to rejoice about today?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Germs, Germs ~ Go Away....

Well, I think we have sufficiently passed this year's winter sickness to everyone in the house. Brett is on the tail end of it now and he was the last one. I'm not sure who had it the worst - me or Jeff. I must admit, I'm glad we got it worse than the kids....I hate to see my kids sick.

Now I need to get things back in line around here. What I would love to do is open all the windows and air the house out (but since we are still having temperatures below zero I don't think that's a good idea.) Instead ~ I guess I spend the day doing a thoroughly sanitizing of each room in the house. I always feel better once I have done that.

Elisabeth is officially babysitting now. Aundra (my grandson's mom) went back to work part time today and Elisabeth will be babysitting every Thursday and Friday. Of course, I'm here for any emergencies, but the responsibility is all hers. So far, so good!!!!

Well, I best be off now. The Lysol is calling my name. It is time to chase the germs far, far away!!!!