We are so casual with our words and do not even really think of the meaning. Think of the word awesome.  That you would stand in awe of someone.   That someone or something would have to be totally beyond any other words.  Almost breath taking, to stop and have to stand and be amazed and wondered at the totally wonder.  The pictures of the universe could be one of those things I might stand in awe of or even the night sky on a clear night up in the mountains when the stars are so bright and seem so close you could reach up and touch them.  A sunset with the many colors, the paintings of God.  For truly only a creative marvelous God can create the starts and sunsets. 

And then I do something as mundane as getting conference rooms set up for a 6 month team and the manager says “thank you, your awesome”.  Or after helping a co-worker accomplish something on the computer they were having trouble with they say “Thanks your awesome, K”.  I cannot receive that high of a compliment, because I am nothing that someone would “stand in awe of me”.  So, I have made my reply to be “no there is only One who is awesome”.  What is even special is that now my supervisor hears someone say that and he even says “no, only one is awesome”.  I love it.  There are so many other words you can tell someone, “your amazing”, “your wonderful” are some examples.  We should save the word Awesome for the one and only one who is truly AWESOME.  I woke up this morning and aske the Lord to help me write this and the chorus to the song we used to sing come up in my spirit.  I stand in awe of you.  If you are not familiar with with the song I suggest you find it and listen to it. I have included the words at the end of today’s blog. Listen in the quite where you can truly experience the awesome presence of God as you worship.  Only one is Awesome.

I Stand In Awe of You

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp you infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you

 

We, humans, think we are the center of everything.  A baby is born totally helpless and dependent on his parents. As children grow they begin to play with other children and and soon are saying, “mine”.  We are totally self centered as we come into this world.  My granddaughter at a young age would not be able to get over not getting to do what she wanted to do.  If it was a restaurant  choice or an activity.  It would get stuck in her head and she would become very emotional about the disappointment. 

That is a place we have to grow from, self-centeredness.  Actually, when you think of the “Big Story of  the World” we are not the center.  God is the center.  Only when we accept the gift of life from Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection can we change our center.  We must become God-Centered. 

And yet, even Christian Born Again Spirit Filled Adults have these same challenges as my granddaughter did.  So it is good for us to change our focus and put on solely on Jesus.  In the book of Hebrews it says to focus of Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God.  So trusting God is the most important lesson to learn.  Without “In God We Trust” marked on our hearts, we can not have faith and we will be full of fears.

Eternity is outside our time scale.  We think in terms of our hours and days and years, but eternity is on the outside of our time; both before and after.  Wow! That is hard for my finite mind to grasp.  That is where God lives.  Our lives, our 90 or 100 years is just a blip on the eternity timeline.  We are a speck on the Blue Marble (Earth) orbiting the Sun.  And our Sun is just one of the stars in the galaxy.  We live in one of the universes that God has created.  These are all terms that cause us to pause and wonder with awe.  And with all His greatness God is mindful of us.  He has thoughts of you that is more than the sands on the sea shores. And in Matthew  it says he knows the count of hairs on your head.  He is faithful and can be fully trusted His love is everlasting.

So we don’t have to be self protecting and self centered, if we are fully trusting that this Awesome Great God is on our side; and He is.  Then we can give up our rights to plan and go with God’s flow.

Scriptures: Hebrews 6:4, 12:2, Matthew  10:30   

Day after Kids Camp at Discovery Camp - Texas.

It was a great camp experience.  There were a lot of firsts.  For several it was the first time at camp (including 1 leader).  Some it was the first time away from home and family (3 were 7 years old).  First horse ride, first bow & arrow shoot, and Oh the water slides!!  I am really looking forward to the testimonies they give next Sunday morning.

I had a weekend of reflection.  We went to a lot of functions at Country Camp in Columbus TX years ago.  Our kids have continued to attend camp there with other leaders through the years.  But our Youth Group have had several different camp experiences over the years of ALFC.  Back then when I did camp it was with the Youth. We went to Discovery Camp, Victory Camp in Alvin, combined some churches in the city and did our own camp and then we did some ODE camps, last year it was with a different church.  Even our Youth have returned to Country Camp.

We have returned to our roots of Country Camp.  Why?  One might ask.  The anointing is powerful, the messages are on target and age appropriate.  The activities are fun and safe; kids all enjoy the camp.  We don't have to plan each activities and all. We just go and enjoy what the Lord is doing with the TBI students and Staff.  It is worth it.  Three days for kids might be enough; but the four days or more for Teens is great.  To saturate them in the presence of God away from distractions.

The leaders have sessions too.  Years ago I attended a leaders session and we learned about the "camp experience" and why you don't get that anywhere else.  This is true of all camps; no matter where we did camp.  Camp is a place that distractions are cut off.  Phone, video games, chores, school and even jobs are all put on hold while you just focus on the Lord and what He has for you.  This is a set apart time.  We should all give some of our time to Jesus every day.  (That was the point on our last day!) Pastor Rachel said it only takes 47 seconds to read the 23rd Psalm and sometimes that is all we give Him but other times it might be 47 minutes.  The greatest Gift we can give God is our time.  One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to send them to an anointed camp that glorifies Jesus.

Even adult retreats can be that same type of camp experience.  We separate ourselves away from distractions of responsibilities.  It may be time for our next Ladies Retreat rather than an in church conference.  I used to be "Retreat Queen" we did one or two ladies retreats every year.  Lately we have been having a conference here at the church or going to something like the Joyce Meyer meetings in H Town.  But these don't have the set apart experience that every person needs.

Give God the most precious gift you can... Your Time.

Today is June 29th.  Thirty-two years ago the Lord blessed me with a daughter.  A baby girl.  Leslie Renee McMullin Bailey

Leslie means from the valley (it is in the valley where there is beauty and growth, it is in the valleys that people live and reside)  Leslie is one who brings beauty and growth out of people.  Renee means "Reborn"  She has been reborn in the Spirit and has new life in Christ Jesus.  McMullin is the name of her heritage.  Bailey is where she lives in covenant union with Israel.

Through the years she has been a blessing and today she is one of my very closest friends.  She is a wonderful mother to my 3 grandchildren and a supportive wife to her husband.  I know that her children rise up and call her blessed and her husband has no fear in him because she is beside him.  She is a Proverb 31 woman.

Her daddy and I have shot the arrow and the Lord has directed the landing.  She is a shining light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Has a heart for people and comes and goes in missions where she extends the Love of the Father to the nations.

I am proud to call Leslie my beloved daughter!

This is the day Lord made and i will rejoice and  be glad .  Today is full to the max so as walk through all the stuff i will keep  my eyes on Him and  focus on his ways. Isaiah 26:3 says God will keep me in perfect peace when my mind is stayed on Him.

The MIND. God gave us a mind for thought; it is part of the Soul area. The Soul is your mind, will and emotions. Your thoughts will control your will. When you don't want to do something but you know you should your minds tells your will to do it. When my kids were little I would tell them to set their will on wanting what I said was going to happen like you would change a dial on the stove to set the temp. Our mind/thoughts set the will.

Then there is the emotions. Someone says; I can't control my emotions. And they rant and rave and get angry or sad. But then there are people who work in the ER, or in war where their friends are killed, or an EMT who comes on the horrible scene of a wreck. They tell themselves (thoughts) stay focused for the task at hand. They can't fall apart or they can't help. So it all happens in the mind.

In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says that we can cast down strongholds, arguments and imaginations that don't line up with the Word of God and then take our thoughts into the captivity of Christ.

Think about what you think about and be sure your thoughts are in agreement with what God says. If not find the scripture you need and quote it, speak it out loud and even memorize it. Meditate on it. Let the Word of God be food to your mind and your soul would be stronger for it.

Psalm of Praise and Thanksgiving


Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.  His faithfulness is forever.
Declare His mighty works

He moved our small Bible Study to the Fire Station in Matagorda,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He filled our group with praise and His word,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He move us to 521 at 60 debt free,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He saved, healed and delivered many people,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He raised up an army of young people and they ministered in puppets, mime and drama,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

Many were baptized and He showed Himself strong in their lives,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He moved us to Bay City and filled the church to overflowing,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He brought us out of the wilderness into a land of hurting people,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He has filled our Food Pantry to feed the multitude,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He has provided through us to reach the needs of the homeless,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He has sent us to Head Start Children and the elderly too,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He has filled ALFC with praises and stringed instruments,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

He sends us to Mexico to love on the children,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

His mercy endures forever.  His grace fills us with His ability,
Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

 

ALFC's Spring Women's Conference is coming up soon. April 25 - 26

2 Corrinthians 4

6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this
all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

The theme was planted in my heart during our first 20 year celebration in January.  As Dennis Goldsworthy-Davis talked about seeing ourselves through God's vision and not the glasses of our past and how when Peter walked past people they were healed by his shadow.  God placed a burning desire in me to be so close to Him that I would shine in all circumstances. (I am sure I don't measure up to that goal yet.)  This scripture so says what is in my heart for we are only jars of clay filled with the treasure of light to shine His love.  I am so looking forward to hearing Billie Hunt bring the 3 messages for our conference.

"Billie Hunt is the founder and president of Billie Hunt Ministries. The ministry was founded in 1983 and is active across the United States.Billie has been healed of cancer, a childhood back injury and arthritis. Her home has been restored after marital separation and she has faced the trauma of multiple miscarriages prior to giving birth to her daughter, Christie. Prior to going into full-time ministry, Billie faced the pressures and challenges of building a successful real estate business.

Billie has been involved in ministry since she was a teen. She has served as worship director and minister of music for several churches, as well as working in the district office of a major ministry as an administrative assistant. She traveled with Marilyn Hickey for several years, leading worship, ministering in special music and occasionally teaching. She and her husband, Art, were members of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas over 20 years. There she has taught in various classes and Lakewood Bible Institute, as well as led worship.  She teaching was on TV seven years with Daystar and TBN.

Currently, Billie is on staff at The Ark Family Church as Associate Pastor, Adult Ministries.  She continues to minister in Bible Studies and conferences.

Billie's practical style of teaching makes the Bible come alive! She will be a great blessing for our first Women’s Conference at AFLC.  We look forward to having her with us once again."

We are planning a superwoman retreat which will be in a few weeks.  The Chayil Woman of God.  What is Chayil you ask,  That is the Hebrew word used in Proverbs 13:10, Who can find a virtuous woman? Her worth is more than rubies.

Chayil is also mentioned in Ruth to describe her as "virtuous". All in all chayil is used almost 300 times in the Old Testament, other times it is for men and is more like valor or courageous.

Well women, we are also courageous and as we read Proverbs 31 there is a lot there about who we are.

A Chayil Woman:

Does her husband no harm.

A Chayil Woman:

Speaks with skillful and Godly Wisdom

A Chayil Woman:

fills her mouth with the law of kindness

A Chayil Woman:

Watches over her household

A Chayil Woman:

Laughs at the future.

A Chayil Woman:

Reverently Worshipfully Fears the Lord.

My prayer is that all the ALFC women will attend and even bring friends.  Betsy McDaniel will be our speaker on the Chayil Woman of God.

I have been thinking of making a list of the 10 things I have learned during the Crazy Love Study. (by Francis Chan)

What is your 10?

1.   God is more grand and marvelous than I could even imagine.

2.  Consider what in the Universe you are doing.... wow in the universe... makes ya think.

3.  Life is but a vapor.  Enjoy the ones you love and do the things to please God because you LOVE Him.  We are only passing through (eternity is a really long time compared to our short life).

4.  Life is NOT about ME.  Most of us walk this journey checking the mirror to be sure we are on our track.  We need to check the mirror of the Word to be sure we are on HIS track.

5.  We all have areas of our lives that are lukewarm.  Perhaps I can heat up areas and be more committed to His will than mine.

6.  Lukewarm people want to play it safe, they want to stay in control.  Luke warm only want to do what it takes to not feel too guilty.  (Attend church just enough, give just enough, pray every once in a while.etc)

7.  God assesses our lives based on how we love.  What does that mean?  1 Corinthians 13:4 - 8, 13

8.  Jesus wants ALL of us.  Don't give Him leftovers.

9.  Something is wrong when Our life makes sense to unbelievers.  Walk by faith (Heb. 11:17 -19 our examples)

10.  When people gladly sacrifice their time or comfort or home, it is obvious that they trust in the promises of God.

Father God / Jesus / Holy Spirit - loves us with a Crazy Love.  A love that can not be removed, from you.  He loved us when we were soooo unlovely.  Let's love him with crazy love and live for Him every day.

Life is short and it is lived out as represented in the dash printed on every tombstone.  It is the legacy of our life, what we did.  After my father died we had a double head stone built for my parents and on my mother’s side it just read; 1918 – blank.  That is what yours and mine would look like.  By definition living in the dash is the time between birth and death.  This time is a gift from God to those around us.  We are given talents and gifts and abilities to make something of our lives.  What we do depends on the decisions we make.

God has had a plan for our lives from the beginning. Psalm 139 says, 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it.  15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!”  We have choices to make finding and knowing God’s plan for our life.

There is an appointed time to die, a time that the dash is closed.  In Hebrews 9:27 it says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once,” Yet, the decisions we make may bring untimely death.  Unhealthy eating habits, drinking too much alcohol, or doing drugs, or even working in dangerous places that were not God’s plan can bring death too soon. There is an enemy of God that is out to stop God’s plan for your life.  Satan will tempt you to take drugs, get drunk and then drive, and if you don’t cut your life short, you could cut someone else’s life short.  There is an appointed time to die.  Babies die, teens die, old people die.  We never know when our last day will be.  But we do know this; we can know the one who has the plan and seek to do his will and to be a blessing to our family and friends.

Every life is for a purpose.  Even if God knew and maybe even ordained for it to be a short life there was a purpose.  Lives of the family and friends are touched by the life of the one who has passed and purpose was accomplished.  Their life was a gift of God to us. We must cherish the memories.

When our hearts suffer because a loved one has passed from this life to the next, we need to seek the comfort of the Lord God Almighty.  He is there.  He desires to comfort you in your grief; according to Isaiah chapter 53, which is a prophetic description of Jesus on the cross.  Isaiah 53:4 “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.  5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”

As you process through your grief, turn to the cross for the comfort of the Lord will be there for you.  Make a memorial for your loved one who has passed.  Write a poem, plant a tree, design a website, make a scrapbook.  These activities will allow you to remember your loved one with fondness and express your love in a tangible way.  Life goes on.  It is necessary to continue with filling the dash of your own life even when you are processing through your time of grief.

I suggest that you tell your story to your children and your grandchildren.  Writing it down is even a good idea.  When my grandmother died, my uncle talked about a lady I never knew.  I am one of the youngest of the grandchildren and only remembered her wonderful cooking and her sitting in a rocking chair.  How much of her dash is forgotten.  So I encourage you to tell your story and ask others about their story.

You have been given abilities and talents to use to write your life story so that it may be told one day when your dash finally closes.  Let it be said that you followed the plan of God and did all you did to His glory.  1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Targeted prayer

Scatter shot prayer or on target well aimed prayer which is effective? In James 5:16 it says; The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and produces wonderful results.  We all want our prayers to be full of power producing great results.

If a hunter is not after the kill but only to move nuisance animals away he might use a scatter shotgun. When dinner on the table is the goal then a more specific well aimed approach is taken; aim small miss small.

Prayer is much the same; we should aim at our target and be specific.  Keeping our prayers in line with the Word of God we will experience 1 John 5:14 – 15.  When we pray in agreement with His word we know He hears us and if He hears us then we know we will have our petition.

We could say let’s pray and agree that God heal all the little children.  But the effective power producing prayer will call the name of a child who is on our heart and maybe even the specific ailment and the root cause the child is suffering with knowing that it is God’s will to heal.  Jesus healed all that were brought to him.  So we can be sure that it is His will to heal.  There are sometimes other blockages to prayer which we may or may not be aware of, but our faith must be based on the Word of God and not wishy washy.  Pray in faith and accepting God’s ways.

Recently I have been praying for an area of finances and that God would meet the need.  Someone asked me the total amount of that need and I did not know.  My answer was WAY off.  I was glad she had asked because it made me realize that I was praying scatter shot and not really exercising my faith for the specific amount, total pay off and monthly payment.  Nothing is too big for my God and I am now wrapping that big amount with my faith.

What are you believing God for, but in a vague way?  Put some specifics around it, find supporting scriptures and believe God.  Then we will see our prayers become the powerful result producing prayers we and our loved ones need.

This evening I mowed our back yard.  As I walked behind the self-propelled mower I considered the difference in the grass.  Some of the grassy areas were lush, tall and bright green.  Other areas were dry, short and then there were the brown crusty spots.  Some of those were hard to even tell where I had mowed, there was not much change after the blades sliced across the blades of grass that were not tall enough to be cut.  

These different types of grassy areas made me think of the different areas of our lives.  Life is made up of so many areas.  I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, co-worker, teacher, cook, seamstress and gardener.  Not all at the same time, thank God!  There are different areas of my Christian life, walking in faith, knowing who I am in Christ, prayer, trusting God in different areas; marriage, health and healing, finances, prayers for others and knowing I am forgiven.  Just like the grass being so different due to lack of or plenty of water.  The different areas of our heart will grow depending on the amount of water we apply.  In Ephesians, Paul wrote that Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word.

 

With little effort we can bring brightness into our daily lives just by changing the expression on our faces.  Joseph Addison said, “What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.  They are but trifles, to be sure, scattered along life’s pathway.  The good they do is inconceivable.”   When someone says the word “mother”, do they think of a haggard worn out angry lady who is tired and exhausted from chasing little ones and cleaning up messes?   When someone says the word “dad”, do they see a man who is always away at work and barely home on weekends only to be off again to work a second job or go fishing?


Are there smiles in our lives?  Smiles tell people that we are glad to see them.  Smiles say we are proud of that basket ball shot or that tumble on the mats.  We should learn to greet our friends with a smile; they carry enough frowns of their own to be bothered with ours.  Have you ever noticed that smiles are contagious?  If you smile at someone they will smile back even if you don’t know them.  Smiles know no language barrier.

 

I went to a conference called "Choices" last week.  One thing that stands out to me was when they discussed having a Dream Board.  There was not much discussion because many of the people there had heard our speaker on the idea of a Dream Board.  There were even testimonies of several people who had set up a Dream Board and had accomplished several items on the.  Only problem may have been that they did not replace the accomplishments with new Dreams.

This discussion made me think about Habakkuk 2:2 & 3,  Then the LORD replied:  “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. though it linger, wait for it;  it will certainly come and will not delay.".

We have used this scripture for years to post on the refrigerator our "dream" or "vision".  I remember one was about "preaching the word, praying for the sick"  and now we pastor a church and do just those things.  Yet, now I can't say that I have a Dream Board posted anywhere.  I have been thinking about that and what I need to put on it.

Still Thinking.... I'll let you know in another post.

Jesus came to give Life and Life abundantly.  The enemy Satan comes to steel, kill, and destroy, (John 10:10)  We were first born in our sin as heirs of Adam and Eve.  We were lost and without hope in the world. (Ephesians 2:11 – 13) The end of this passage says, but now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  It is in the new birth (John 3:3), accepting what Jesus did at the cross-His blood shed for us that we are transformed into a new creation.  Being born again gives us a new life start; we become a new creature/creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus did not only die on the cross to free us from our sin nature and give us a ticket to heaven where we can live victoriously in peace and splendor.  But we are now set free from the law of sin and death by the greater law of love in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 -3) (I love Romans chapter 8 – suggest meditating on all of it.) If we walk in the spirit and not in the flesh (which must be possible or God’s word would not tell us to do it) then we will live in the victory of the Cross.

15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, —1 Thessalonians 5:15-17


4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.—Philippians 4:3-5

How do we “rejoice always”.
Most people are somewhat pessimistic, seeing the glass half empty, or even mostly empty.  “O woe is me” is the song we sing so much of the time.  Grant it I am not usually that way, I usually see the fuller side and rejoice in what I have.  But is it that I have learned to rejoice always, to praise the Lord in all circumstances and not because it is my “personality”.  If it is just the personality, then those without that "happy go lucky" bent is off the hook to obey these scriptures.   Not so easy those of you who naturally see life in the half empty view point.

"To 'Learn to' have a rejoice always attitude or what I'll call a Worshipful attitude was new idea for me.  It came from my devotional last week that said 'Worship is a learned art.  It is an attitude of the heart that continually acknowledges God and values His character.  It is the ultimate reflection of reality in the mind of the believer.  And it is the key to blessing." Chris Tiegreen

The other day I had a very difficult day, one full of adversity to overcome and I was exhausted on my way home.  As I drove down Buckeye road to Bay City I reflected on a teaching I had just completed the day before and began to “Hallowed by thy Name”.  I went through each of the Jehovah names of God and thanked him for each benefit that Jesus give me.  (handout of these are available).

We need to learn to praise him in our daily lives.  How do we do that?  To learn anything requires effort.  To learn anything requires that we think it will benefit us some way to learn it.  To do anything requires more effort and continuously DOING something about it.

INSIGHT for the Day

“Throughout the Bible, God becomes more and more intimate with His people. By His official title, El Shaddai, God made Himself known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But then He tells Moses His name: Jehovah. Then in the Gospels, God becomes even more personal-as Jesus becomes incarnate. And in Acts and the Epistles, we discover that God comes to live in our hearts in the person of the Holy Spirit. The final act of intimacy will be when God brings us home. Then we can fellowship with Him face to face and forever.”

It is quite special to me that El Shaddai; the Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth who set the stars in the sky and gave them names is the same one who has given us the Jehovah name also.  Jehovah is his covenant name, typed “Lord” in the Bible.  God’s names reveal who he is.  For example, Jehovah-Jira is the Lord who is more than enough; provider.  Today we have the Name of Jesus, the name that encompasses all the covenant of El Shaddai.  His Name, Jesus, is not only who he calls himself to us and we can call on him.  But He has also given to us the authority to use this name in the Earth.  It brings the authority of Heaven to Earth when we speak His Name; may His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

It is a great day to be off work and just do life with my hubby.  We spent the day going to appointments and having a delicious lunch in Houston at our favorite restaurant.  Then to visit with Mimi for the afternoon.

We brought home about 15 boxes of slide pictures for the Pyramid Project.  We are scanning the pictures to the computer.  Family get ready to see some pictures that you have not seen before or it has been years.

Tests!  Ugh! Most of us don't like tests.  I know I don't.  Even if it is an exam that I know I should know all the answers to.  The word "TEST" makes some me tremble.  There is annual training I do in my job and it pops up in the computer based training area.  It is the basic same thing every year; the questions are about things that are familiar.  We even have review material before the test. And still I dread the day I sit down to do it and then hold my breath while it is graded.  I have to pass.

Now be honest, I am not alone with this phobia.  Multiple choice questions are always the easiest; those fill in the blank really tests your knowledge.

Even God sends us tests.  He lets us go through situations that tests our choices.  Which choice will we take the one that lines up with His word and will or the one that lines up with the flow of the world around us.  God is not testing your knowledge but your heart.  Actually, He knows your heart; the test is more for us to see what is in our heart.  So we can deal with it.

In 2 Corinthians 13:5 Paul says we are to examine ourselves to whether we are in the faith.  It is always better to self identify problem areas rather than to have someone else point them out when the more public "tests" bring issues to light.  So, we should examine our spiritual life to see where we are in the faith.

1.  Is there a hunger in you for the Word of God.  It is meat for our spiritual growth.

2. Do we desire fellowship of the Holy Spirit?  Desiring Him to bring enlightenment to your spirit and mind.

3.  Do we love fellowship of other believers?  To worship together in the congregation or to play and have dinner together.  People of like mindedness spend time together.  Who are you spending time with?

4.  Ask with the Psalmist in Psalm 139; Dear Lord search my heart and know my ways and if there is anyway in me that does not please you, show me the everlasting way.

Be a self examiner and you will be more prepared for the testings that come and have peace with the results.

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