Monday, August 23

The secret antidote to a grumbling spirit

Brittney, "the complainer"

Is that how I would like to be known? Most definitely NOT! I'm sure we've all been around someone who complains endlessly... about their food they ordered... the way someone treated them... about the weather... about LIFE in general...? I know I have!...... Oh, wait- maybe I'm thinking of me...?

Yep... guilty as charged. I have been known to complain in the past- many, MANY times! Yesterday, my husband, very lovingly brought my grumbling to my attention. After my initial self-defense mechanism kicked in; I concluded he was correct. The subject of my gripe was exceedingly trivial... silly, even. There was really no excuse for my critical spirit.

Knowing how undesirable a trait I was developing, my brain immediately went to work to "remedy" my problem. "Why is it SO difficult to just STOP complaining!", I asked myself. And then, my mind went back to a very important lesson my mother taught me when I was young. She told me the "opposite" of being discontent was being grateful. That's why I couldn't seem to WILL myself to think more positively- because I was missing that key element... GRATEFULNESS. Whenever I begin thanking God for the good things in a situation, it is eminently more difficult for that disgruntled attitude to creep into my heart. Gratefulness simply leaves no room for unhappiness.

Helen Keller said,
"So much has been given to me,
I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied."

What an amazing attitude! Whenever I feel like complaining about "having nothing to wear", all I need to do is think of those who literally have nothing but the tattered and torn clothes on their back. How embarrasing would it be for them to hear my grosely exxagerated statement! Our late pastor Bro. Patton used to say, "Thank God for your toothbrush... some people don't have one!" He was right. We should not "be above" thanking God for those little things... it's then that we realize how vast our blessings truly are!

Whenever you are feeling a little "down in the mully-grubbs"... just start thanking God. Go ahead, TRY IT, and just see if it doesn't work for you too! Isn't it remarkable how praising and thanking God, does a miraculous inner working in OUR spirit? God created us with a void that can only be filled by giving Him thanks.

(The following are excerpts from "The Power of True Success")
"True gratefulness springs from an awareness of our total unworthiness and inadequacy before a holy and just God."

Gratefulness is defined by God as a sacrifice because it means surrendering our natural tendency to murmur.

"I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD." -Psalm 116:17

When Should We Be Motivated to Be Thankful?

1. When we remember His name- (Psalm 92:1 & Hebrews 13:15)
2. When we remember His holiness- (Psalm 30:4)
3. In a special time of worship during the night- (Psalm 119:62)
4. During gatherings with other believers- (Psalm 35:18 & Colossians 3:16-17)
5. When surrounded by evil- (II Samuel 22:50)
6. When your faith is put to the test- (Daniel 6:10)
7. When in need of a miracle- (Matthew 15:36)
8. When eating a meal- (Acts 27:35)
9. When we see growth in another believer- (II Corinthians 8:16)
10. When remembering the saints in prayer- (I Thessalonians 1:2)

Sunday, August 15

An arrow for our quiver

Many of you are already aware of our "big news", but I thought I should make an official

on my blog... so here it is:

We are expecting another baby!!!

Although I have not been to see my midwife yet, I believe I am about 5 1/2 weeks along, and due sometime next April. We would REALLY appreciate your prayers for a healthy pregnancy!

We couldn't be more excited that God would bless us with another
"arrow in our quiver".

We get the question a lot (as all couples do, I'm sure): "So, how many children do you plan to have?" Our answer to that question is: as many as God sees fit to bless us with! Sure, we could try to put a number on it and make our own plans, but let's face it: our plans NEVER work out, and God's plans are always SO MUCH BETTER! So, we are leaving that up to Him.

Children are an incredible blessing from the Lord! The Bible depicts children as "arrows in the hand of a mighty man". Picture that... as Christians we are in the Lord's army, fighting a battle in this increasingly dark world; and God wants to give us "arrows" for battle... to aim, and send out for His cause. Whenever we look at God as say, "Well, I'll take one... MAYBE two... actually, not sure if I really need any at all!" God must think, "Wow, these guys really DON'T get the concept of preparing for battle!" :0)

God's ways are so different than those of our world... OPPOSITE, in fact! His ways are so much higher, and sometimes, so hard for our minds to comprehend. Thank God He gave us a "road map" to follow! (i.e. the Bible) He wants GOOD things for His children, and He is right there to guide us all the way!

If God chooses to never bless us with another child, He will still be a GREAT GOD, but it is our prayer that He gives us a "quiver full"!

Psalm 127
"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." 


Thursday, August 12

Brightening the Corner Where I Am

When I began this blog, I didn't really understand what it's purpose would be. Perhaps to catch everyone up on our family life? Maybe sharing recipes!! (I dearly love to cook! :) Just a general "journal" for me to eventually have printed up for my children to remember me by. (Did you know there are websites that will do that? Yep, your blog can be PUBLISHED now!) Well, I hadn't a clue what God intended for my blog...

I would like to say, that if you are reading this post and are not a follower: you are not alone! It's been brought to my attention that many people have chosen to "follow" me anonymously- and that's perfectly alright by me! I have received so many emails, facebook messages, and people coming up to me in person, to let me know they were encouraged by something I wrote. And I say, "Praise the Lord for that!" It's hard for me to imagine that God would use "little old me" to exhort someone in their faith- who am I? I am hardly worthy! But, as soon as this thought entered my brain, I realized that was a lie from the devil! God can use anyone or anything! God can make SOMETHING out of NOTHING! If I don't lift my voice in praise, who will take my place? If I don't testify of His goodness, and share the treasures I've found in His Word- will someone else do it for me? Well, we know the answer to that. It's up to me. My testimony is mine and mine alone; and it is my duty and honor to share Christ with others at any opportunity that arises!

Due to the difficult situations our church family have been facing in recent years, I have been compelled to search God's Word and really DEPEND on it in a completely new way! I would not trade the lessons I am learning, for anything! Some of the topics about which I'm currently writing are quite controversial. There was a time I was scared of controversy- mostly because I was fearful to lose the approval of whomever I was opposing! But, I have found that by embracing that fear, praying, and seeking God's face; I have reached out to others who are suffering similar problems- and perhaps have no one to share them with. What a miraculous God we serve, who can use tumultuous times to draw us closer to His love and mercy- and to one another!

I have very much enjoyed following a blog this year called "One Bright Corner". This blog is written by 19-year-old twin sisters in Washington state, with whom I have found like-minded vision, and, what I call a "kindred spirit"! Their superb writing and thought provoking topics challenge me to continue seeking the LORD. One of the sisters, Mikaela, recently wrote describing the story which inspired their blog title. (Click HERE to read the post.) This interesting tale reminded me that God wants to use each and every one of us! Whether it be ministering to the masses, or comforting one lonely soul, He has a divine purpose for us each day, if we will only yield to His spirit's leading. I was encouraged to continue "brightening the corner where I'm at", knowing that God has a bigger plan for my blog than even I imagined. If something I write causes just ONE person to draw closer to their Redeemer, it will be worth it. I'm sure I will continue to occasionally post about things of no matter- throwing in a recipe or two... but, I know now that those things are just "fillers". Proclaiming the truth found in God's Word is the mission I feel bestowed on me by my Savior, and I will allow my tiny light to flicker in this gruesomely dark world- so long as my God gives me breath.

How's your corner doing?

Saturday, August 7

Pants and Earrings - Do they offend you?

Do women wearing pants and earrings offend you? If so, then the question is, why?

There is no biblical premise for saying that these things are a sin.

Last week, someone told me that I had lowered my "standard", because I now wear pants and earrings. It saddens me that some people actually believe the "standard" Christians should live by is referring only to clothing. I believe your "standards" (i.e. principles) should be rooted in God's Word, and go much deeper than outward appearance- into issues of the heart. Am I condoning any type of clothing? Absolutely not! Biblical modesty is very important. But, I believe the entire point of "covering up" our bodies to not defraud our brother. When you focus on specific clothing rules, somehow that point gets missed entirely and you lose the conviction behind the clothing choices you make.

Let's examine each of these issues individually:

women wearing pants:
The ONLY verse I've ever heard to support the teaching that women should not wear pants is Deut. 22:5:

"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

When I hear this verse used in the "women wearing pants" issue, I have to laugh- mostly because when this verse was written, men and women both wore long robe-like dresses. Knowing this fact, I always wondered at this verse's meaning. It just didn't seem to add up... Someone else prompted me to examine the original Hebrew text and translation of this verse. That's when it got really interesting.

The Hebrew word used for "man" is gheh-ber
Translation: Valiant man, Warrior or Soldier.
Geh-ber is very rarely translated as "man".

So, women should "not wear that which pertaineth unto a WARRIOR"?? Meaning, it is not Biblical for women to go to war? Hmmm...

After realizing the root of this word, and what the point of this verse was, it began to make a lot more sense to me. After all, women going to war would be a direct contradiction of everything the Bible has to say about the role of a woman.

That said, I firmly believe the Bible is clear in differentiating the roles of male and female.

They were created VERY differently and I believe they should look very different. Have you ever glanced at a person walking down the road, and did a double-take to figure out if they were male or female? Perhaps you still couldn't tell. God is not pleased with that. Women should make an attempt to not only look, but ACT feminine!

 Godly womanhood is something I am VERY passionate about. I believe that daughters should submit to their fathers, and wives to their husbands. I believe wives should be resourceful "keepers at home" (Titus 2 & Pro. 31). I detest women's lib and the feminist movement... So if you are thinking I want to wear pants so I can be more like a man, you are very mistaken! I love that God made me a woman! :)

In case you are wondering... I still wear skirts and dresses to church, when "dressing up", and sometimes just because I love to wear them! I wear pants to keep warm in the winter, for modesty when playing sports, for modesty/convenience when wrangling my 1 year old in and out of a tall truck... etc. When getting dressed in the morning, I simply consider what my day holds, and try to dress appropriately.


Several years before I got married, I did a study on earrings. You may assume I did this because I wanted to wear them. Not true. Actually, I was scared to death to have someone poke a hole through my ear lobe, and had absolutely NO intention of ever having it done. :) I stuck to clip on's!

(Note: 6 years later I got them at the request of my husband and I love them!) 

So, the reason for my study? I simply wanted to know what God thought. I knew people who considered them to be sinful. I also knew very Godly women who had them.

I just wanted the TRUTH.

In Ezekiel 16:11-12, God is speaking to His church. He says:

"I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head."

Wow! What a picture! If you saw a woman walking down the street that looked this, what would you assume her to be? A Jezebel, perhaps??
Nope... it's the Bride of Christ,

His beloved whom He plans to adorn with precious jewels. Do you still think earrings are sinful? Do you dare criticize the way God plans to adorn His church?

Interesting huh? How we've developed certain opinions about outward appearance. If you do a thorough study, you will find many occasions in Scripture where it's clear that jewels and adornment are viewed favorably by God. You will also find occasions where adornment is used to describe harlots and rebellion.

1 Timothy 2:9 says, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array"

Seem like a contradiction to the verse in Ezekiel?? What God is saying to us, is that these outward embellishments can not replace our inward character. He wants us to focus on the heart, rather than on outward beauty.

As I read this I realized that we females quite often attempt to "gain honor" or "favor" by embellishing the outward appearance. Wearing the latest fashion... making our hair look just right...  The question is, do we put as much effort into preparing our hearts with the character of Christ? Where is our focus? That is the issue at hand.

Note: While conducting my own "interrogation", I stumbled across an article written by Doug Phillips titled "Questions Concerning Piercings and Body Mutilation" (click on title to read the article.) I found this to be quite helpful in understanding what is historically pagan and what is not when it comes to piercings.

Ending Notes:

The point of this article is not to defend myself. Defending Brittney is utterly pointless. I am just a sinner saved by grace, and still make mistakes daily. Defending God and His Word, however, is definitely worth writing about. I do not claim to have it all together, and I know I sometimes falter in the area of clothing. I look to the Bible and my husband for guidance in this area. The reason I write this is to plead with you not to assume yourself better than someone who dresses differently than you. By doing that, we run people off from the Christian walk and the blood of Christ. We are not being faithful ambassadors when someone feels judged in our presence.

"The Sinner Woman"

A group of preachers sat around the table, eating and conversing with their new acquaintance. They were determined to question this man until they found out his true identify- and his agenda. They wondered at his "strange doctrine", and whispered among themselves that perhaps he was just a lunatic. From where did he get his authority? What gave him the right to come into their territory and "steal their saints"?

When the woman entered the room, all fell quiet. Although the space was dimly lit, the men recognized her immediately as a sinner. Her clothing gave that fact away. She wasn't the "sort" they mingled with. As they glared down their noses at her in contempt, the host tilted his gaze to the floor in embarrassment. His thoughts raced as he searched for an appropriate response to the situation. Before he could conjure up a reason to show her out the door, she slowly began to approach their guest. The men gasped collectively at her boldness, each of them doing little to hide their horrified expressions. As she grew closer and knelt at the man's feet, it was apparent she was weeping. With her head bowed low to the ground, her tears trickled onto the feet of the man called Jesus, washing away the dust and sand. After using her long, undone hair to wipe away the salty liquid, the woman leaned down to kiss the feet upon which she had wept. The men were silent, stunned by the scene unfolding in front of them. As the woman proceeded to pour ointment over Jesus' feet, his host, Simon, privately thought, "This man is no prophet! He is so naive that he does not even recognize this woman as a sinner. If he knew, he would never have allowed such a display!"

Of course, Jesus already knew Simon's innermost thoughts, just as He knows ours. Jesus perceived Simon's motive, and saw his heart. He also sees our heart whenever we make a snide comment about someone else's apparel. He knows our motive when we toss a sideways glance at a friend regarding a person we disapprove of.

"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." Luke 7:47

What marvelous compassion! What mercy flowed forth that day! I believe this woman's clothing gave away her sinful status, which leads me to ask myself, "Whenever I am in the presence of someone dressed inappropriately, which spirit do I have towards them? That of a pharisee, or that of Jesus?"

Jesus ate with sinners, spoke with harlots, and allowed a woman with a bad reputation to anoint Him for His burial.... and WE feel it's our duty to judge others who don't "measure up" to our standards?

Shame on me for ever thinking that way! Oh, Lord have mercy on my wretched soul!My heart is desperately wicked, oh God... but YOU... YOU can save me from myself!YOU can cleanse and purify my inward being! YOU can change my heart so that mercy and compassion flows forth from my being...

...just as it does from yours.

Wednesday, August 4

Easy Peanut Butter Pie

Easy Peanut Butter Pie

(pictured here without the whipped topping)

LOVE this pie! And LOVE how easy it is to throw together!

8 oz. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. peanut butter
9 oz. cool whip
1 graham cracker crust

Mix first 4 ingredients plue 1/2 of cool whip. Spoon mixture into crust and top with remaining cool whip. Regrigerate until set (about 3 hours.)

Note: If you prefer a firmer pie, store in the freezer. To serve, thaw for about 10 minutes.