Every time I read Daniel 3; I wonder – Would I stand? Would I stand firm in my faith? Would I stand firm for my God? Would I stand firm in obedience to God even if it might cost me my position, family, friendships, maybe even death? Would I stand with God and for God? Or would I crumble to what appears to be the power at hand? Would I give in and give up? Would I take “the mark” to “live” here on earth? I hope and pray I would stand but I guess none of us really know what we will do until we get there, do we? That’s why we must be proactive instead of reactive. If we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail.

We are certainly being tested today. Our freedoms and our faith are under attack every day. Those “in charge” are trying (and succeeding in many ways) to control us, to make us fearful, to make us dependent up on “them”. They are promoting racism in the strangest ways that if we dig a little and look at the facts, we see their lies revealed. They are trying to divide us because they know that divided, we will fall. We fall to temptation, temptation to evil. Only united will we stand. Think about those persecuted in Germany when the “brown shirts” came. They were shocked but the plan had been unfolding for a long time, beginning with propaganda (overtaking the media). Sound familiar?

Our faith is being attacked and our freedoms are being attacked. I am reminded of the song by Lee Greenwood “I’m Proud to be an American”.  Here are a few of the lyrics.

And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land
God bless the USA

Do these words ring true to us? Will we stand up for America? Will we stand up for God?

In Ephesians 6:10-18 we are told to put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD. He tells us what that is. He tells us why we need to be armed. It is so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. There we go…if we are armed, we can be confident that we will be able to stand. What is this armor God talks about? Truth, Righteousness, Readiness, Faith, Salvation, Word of God, Holy Spirit led Prayer. We are to always be alert and ready. God says that after we have done everything (put on all His armor), we are to STAND.

I plan to stand! How about you?

The Guys in My Life {7.27.16}

There are a lot of guys in my life. My Dad was the first guy I loved. My “forever love” is of course my husband, Pete. We have four sons, a son-in-law, grandsons, brother, brothers-in-law, nephews and a host of other guys who have been a part of our lives. Our only daughter and I have been outnumbered for years but that’s ok. It kind of makes us feel special and we’re surrounded by some fantastic guys.

This summer I had the opportunity to spend some time with three guys that I want to recognize. These young guys (ages 9, 10 and 11) impressed me so much that I can’t stop thinking about it and praising God for them. Each one of them have a bold, brave and humble spirit with a confidence that comes from knowing who they are, whose they are, that they are loved, and that they have a responsibility which they take seriously. They are fun-loving kids and I enjoyed spending time with each of them. However, that’s not what has impressed me the most. strong and courageous Each of them have no hesitation to pray both privately and publicly. I’m not talking about “now I lay me down to sleep” or “thank you for this food” prayers. Their prayers are heartfelt, timely and personal. They are not ashamed, embarrassed or intimidated when it comes to their faith. These guys have prayed at restaurants, in front of each other before going to sleep, whenever and wherever without hesitation. I am so proud of them I could bust! They are living out this scripture to be strong and courageous and I don’t think they even realize it! Many adults, even though they have a strong faith, still find it difficult to publicly pray to  or praise God. I know…I was once one of them. God has brought me a long way with regard to praying publicly and it all started with children. He is so gracious.

Matthew 18:4-6 “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Sam (10), I had the blessing of spending 3 days a week with you this summer. We played games, the piano, rode bikes, watched movies, went swimming, joined reading clubs at our local library and did a Bible study together. We studied Titus, Ezra and Proverbs. We read, discussed and wrote down our observations. I could not be prouder of you. You inspire me to be a better person and set a good example as you watch me live my life. Thank you for still thinking it fun to spend time with Grandma.

Jonah (9), You are new to our family but even though you spent some overnight time with us right away, you were not intimidated at all. You volunteered to ask the blessing over our food when we went out to eat. You didn’t even mind when I put you on the spot to pray with Sam at a family gathering. You are a very social person yet secure in your own skin. It is a blessing to have you in my life.

Caleb (11), I knew your parents before I knew you and then you and Sam became friends. What fun! God gives us unexpected blessings all the time. I am so thankful you were able to have a sleepover this summer with Sam. You also impressed me with your faith and bold confidence. You felt quite comfortable praying in public and in our home. I hope you join us again.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

There are many guys and girls who are just as great as the three I have mentioned above. These three just touched my life personally this summer. praying boys.jpg How about you? Are you encouraging a child? Are you leading by example? Are you praying for them? They need us – all of us.

Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

I want to encourage these guys’ parents to keep leading, keep praying, and keep teaching your children. They are our future and when I look at them, the future seems bright. The fruit you are producing in your children is visible and good. You’ve done a fantastic job but your job is not yet finished. They will encounter opposition, ridicule, etc. and need to be strong to stand firm. So, don’t stop – keep praying, keep ministering, keep walking in faith. You are their role model of what it means to be Christ-like.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

We all need to pray for the children in our families, country, and other parts of the world. Pray they all will receive love, guidance and instruction in the Lord. Pray they will not let society, peer pressure, teenage years, etc. to come in and steal their bold faith and witness. Pray for a renewed faith as they continue to grow and that they will be bold witnesses in their schools, neighborhoods, future workplaces, and communities. Prayer is powerful. It’s something we can all do and that we all need.

Thanks to all the guys in my life. You are a blessing!

Moving Mountains {2.19.16}

Do you ever feel like there is a huge mountain in your life? God tells us in His Word that through faith as small as a mustard seed, mountains can move. I’ve seen some move but often it takes much longer than I wanted. Often though, I have found that God gives me the strength to get through the mountain. This can be one of our best moments to share our faith as people watch how we deal with our mountains and wonder what it is that allows us to endure. How about you? How have you dealt with your mountains?