Thursday, July 31, 2008

I feel like a give-a-way!!

UPDATE: I will draw a name tomorrow for the give-a-way! I had shopping with the girls today and a a class reunion tonight and I am behind.....thanks for being patient!!

A few weeks ago we went shopping for the possibility of getting Joe a truck. Not sure of what he might be doing here in the near future because of Him leaving the company he has been working for. If he embarks on his dream I really think he needs a truck verses the SUV we have to hall his remodeling supplies. The used car lot dealer has become a friend over the years. He got us a great deal for Kelsey's car which we gave her for her 16th birthday this past weekend. She will drive the girls to school this year -they are all excited!!

We finally got the siding put on our house this month also. What a sweet makeover here too! I'm not crazy about the siding color but I am sure it will grow on me. I didn't choose white as I was afraid it would make our house look "old" and this particular siding was on another colonial house I saw. Here are the before and after pictures (excuse the construction mess):

All of this is fun but as I reflect on it...that's all it is..."fun". It doesn't assure my happiness, complete me, give me contentment or make my family love me more or me love my family more. I'm not bragging or boasting here but just sharing in my "fun". I am joyous that He has made a way for us this summer to do these things. I am thankful (as are the neighbors) that my house is no longer an 'eye sore' with those hideous shakes it had on it and I am thankful for the deals (or should I say steal) we got with the two cars. God watches over us in all things!
As I look at all that has happened over the summer I asked myself what I mentioned in my last blog entry...what brings me joy-real joy? I can say with all my heart that it is the spiritual-my God and my relationship with Him. We have been an example of how God works above and beyond to meet our needs-all our needs and none of these material things happened without His hand being in each and every one.
There's been a lot of giving in our home this month so I think I will bless my blog friends with a little giving too!! One of my favorite things is reading and I have a weakness for books. I purchased the following book this week and though I haven't read it yet I have a good feeling reading it's back cover that it will be a blessing so I bought two! I want to give one of these away!!
Next Friday (August 8th) I will draw a name for this book "The Remarkable Women of the Bible: and their message for your life today" by Elizabeth George. This book looks at how God enabled ordinary women to live extraordinary lives by turning their weaknesses into strengths, their sorrows into joys, and their despair into hope. To enter this give-a-way, leave a comment including a piece of scripture referencing one of these: a time in which God turned a weakness into strength or a sorrow into joy or a despair into hope or provided above and beyond for you as He has for my family this summer.
I probably won't be able to be back onto this blog until the end of next week. I have a Beth Moore televised conference this weekend and then a work related conference the beginning of the week in St. Louis. I can't wait to come back and read your responses!!
In Him~MrsJoeB

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yes to God Bible Study!

Lelia is leading us through Lysa TerKeurst's book "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith: Trusting God to take you to amazing places" and this week we are discussing chapters 6 and 7. Here are my reflective thoughts.

Lysa has been talking about the journey we make through famine phases of life within her chapters. Ever been there? I kind of feel like I am there now. But her words on page 65 were so encouraging "This life is not about me. its about joining hands with Jesus to fulfill whatever tasks He sets before me and to share His love with all He brings my way. Don't miss this point--though the famine phase is hard, it does not have to be void of joy. Look for the joy".

How many times do we live in the moment and allow our hearts to be harden to the pain and suffering, the darkness that may surround us. How do we see joy in those time? Do we seek to experience joy in those circumstances?

First I must ask, where does your joy come from? Start there. If joy is doing a hobby..then do it during those dark times. If joy is serving other, even though your heart cries out in pain...serve others. If joy comes from burying yourself into scripture...go there, search God out and ravish His words. I cannot count how many times my heart has been discouraged and a piece of scripture has brought joy into my being, like a candle in a dark room!

"Breakthroughs happen when we get about the business of honoring God moment by moment, step-by-step, day by day by what we do and, more importantly, with the thoughts we think while we do." (pp.66)
The heart and mind work together. You know when someones heart is not into something-it shows in their actions, in their words. So when we travel in a famine, what does our heart, ours words, and our actions reflect? Are we honoring God? If we expect to get out of the famine, this dry spell, are we seeking to honor God in these areas of the heart, mind and our actions?

For example, if you chose to honor your husband and love him as the gift that he is to you, then you reflect this in your heart and mind through your actions...even when (or should I say after) you have failed in anger. A dry spell in marriage is often cut short when one chooses to honor their mate actively in their heart, mind and actions-I have lived this, I'm sure many of you have also. I have also lived in a famine in a marriage in which I did not choose to honor my husband no matter what I was feeling or who was wrong. The famine ended in death, death of the marriage. So too is the potential in our walk with God, our walk in faith. Famine can destroy and kill the relationship but keeping focused on honoring God throughout it, seeking Him as our joy in the pain will lead us out of the famine phase.

"God is calling you, wooing you, pursuing you, inviting you to something richer with Him. May your ordinary be invaded with His extraordinary invitation to press through the famine phase and live life His way." (pp.66)
I just love Lysa's expression that God is "wooing" us. That's His love for us and that kind of love stirs such warmth and feelings of being secure (my word from She Speaks). Falling in love with Jesus-that's what it is all about...a daily falling in love with Jesus. Jesus is the way-the "only way to live with purpose now". Within every famine a vision must be held onto, a hope must be in place to reach for.

God wants us to be able to walk through our life with joy, His joy. He wants us to walk in faith, full faith that He will be all we need in all things.
"Sometimes the greater act of faith is not praying for the mountain to move instantly but rather hanging in there while God helps you to move it bit by bit." (pp. 73)
I am someone who looks for the "instant" but how much better I am, how much more I have grown spiritually in the "bit by bit". So each morning as you sit down with you Bible and your cup of coffee before you start that day you have to ask "Lord, what is my assignment today?" and be His voice...look for His path. Be satisfied in Him. Let Him be your joy in the famine.
My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him
~Psalm 62:5

My reflective thoughts for this wonderful study. Again, I have been blessed.

Joyfully In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Being Tagged?!?!?

Okay...several of you have tagged me and I appreciate the thought but it seems that we have saturated our blog grouping/ what's a girls to do?

Sweet Mari ( was the first to tag me. If you haven't been to her site I encourage you to make a visit. She has a heart of gold and spiritual insight that is such a blessing. Meeting her in person at She Speaks was so sweet!!

Rebecca ( was the second to tag me in this thing. You will find encouragement and a heavenly spirit at her blog site! She has become a prayer buddy in our "No Other God's" blog Bile study.

And then in almost the same blog breath, Heather ( tagged me!! Heather has a wonderful story of how God has worked through her life...a life that is truly a miracle. You must go read her story!!

I am blessed by these tags! But as I view all the others who have also been tagged I see all my friends have been hit...sometimes more than once so I ask again...whats a blogger to do?? I guess I will not "re-tag" to possibly cause blog chaos. Instead, please visit my friends above and give them a blog hug today!!

I suppose I should include the six random things about me required within this tag....
(1) I collect antique tea cups and saucers-I especially like those from England and Germany
(2) I have a small rose garden but hope to one day have a big rose garden that I can call my prayer garden
(3) If they drew blood and tested it I would probably be diagnosed as a coffee addict...I am...I can drink it 24/7. God forbid the day my gut wears out and I can't have it anymore.
(4) I took piano lesson from first grade to eleventh...what a shame I gave it up. I love classical/instrumental music and often play it while working at my desk.
(5) I am a is my gift. I prefer to help 0ther and not be in the limelight
(6) I am married to the most loving, devoted, godly man. I know you all think you have the perfect guy but I would argue with you on that one. I am so so blessed and thank God everyday for allowing me to have him to love! That is why I always sign using his name (MrsJoeB) as I am so incredibly proud and honored to be his wife!

Okay. I did all I think I can do with this. Thank you everyone. You are loved and appreciated!!

In Him~MrsJoeB

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fashioned After Christ

Check this out....and be amazed! It's around 8 minutes but so worth it. We are fearfully and wonderfully made...down to the tiniest molecule and this discovery is just another stamp of Christ in our creation!

Need I say more?

Thank you Shelby.

In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)

God is good....

Several of you have wanted to know how yesterday's court custody event went. I had worked nights at the hospital and had a most wonderful shift! I was texting my husband a support prayer on the way home as he was going to leave before I got there. I also texted him that I was praising God no matter what happens. He and his daughter also prayed this before they left.

When they got to court the judge felt he had too many cases and handed their case over to a new judge who had not been involved in the two pre-trial hearings they had gone through. In the pre-trial hearings the judge had been very supportive of our case and was leaning towards my husband. Our lawyer nearly panic but Joe said he stated" It will work out"...we were determine to walk in faith. We had His peace.

Long story short, we were blessed. The opposing attorney told the judge that if child support was going to change then they planned to fight for custody of the Kelsey even though she wants to live with us. The judge, thank God, read the underline message and he did not even talked to Joe's daughter...Joe received full custody. Child support is now where it should be based on incomes and the only thing we struggle with is the amount of college expense we are required to pay-though it seems high, we know that God will provide.

So we are praising God. He has provided again and again and again. Divorce is such a hard thing, especially for the kids. Joe and I try so hard to be fair, to not talk down of the other parent (even if they ave done something wrong), and to encourage relationships with the other parent (even if there is concerns). Children should not have to choose a parent to love but that isn't always the case in divorced homes-as in the home Kelsey is coming from. We can do things with my daughters father, sit together at school events...we do it for the children. I don't think that will ever happen in Joe's situation but pray about it.

Especially pray for Kelsey, Joe's daughter. She stated with tears that her mother fought for the money, not for her and she is heart broken. She doesn't want to be with her mother but we will continue encourage her to have a relationship with her mother. Tomorrow Kelsey turns 16. She has been through a lot so we are plotting a pretty big surprise. Pray for us that as parents we will build her back up emotionally, that we will support and love her in the way she needs and that we will help to draw her closer to the God we so love. She is so beautiful inside and out and she deserves better than what she has had to endure. We want to give emotionally and spiritually to her, to all of our girls, above and beyond their needs. Our home environment is a little tougher then what she is use to so there will be adjustments. She has done pretty well during the last 6 months of temporary custody.

Joe's oldest goes off to college. She has chosen not to have a relationship with her father since the divorce which has hurt him dearly. We know in God's timing that will change. His youngest wants to live with her mom because of the "freedom" she has. We have an open door policy in our house so she is over here all the time. The girls can go to the other parents house any time they choose provided supervision and the environment is right. Our house is full. We are blessed. God has worked in and through this blended family and we know He will continue to do so.

Thank you for your prayers. We were protected yesterday because of it.

In Him~Pamela (MrsJoeB)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yes to God Bible Study

I really am having a hard time putting this book down and sticking to just the chapters that are due each week...I was able to read a few chapters at camp last week and while waiting in an office yesterday. The reading is easy. It's like each chapter is a gift and I can't wait to open it to reveal God's message to me. I have saved the study questions at the end of each chapter for our assigned week. What a blessing I am receiving.
Looking back, there were so many times I thought I was walking in faith but in reality I wasn't. Daily I find God is challenging me to walk in faith, in the the little things and in the big things. We are going through some tough situations-a custody battle, change of jobs and loss of income, spiritual renewal for two teen girls after camp (which we want to keep feeding so it remains alive and real for them)...and I am living in such peace with each of these. I could choose to dwell on the stress but instead, I choose to walk in faith and let God's will be done.
In reality, I am a fixer, a doer and it is sometimes hard for me not to try and correct these situations, change them to meet my needs or desires. Instead, my husband and I are trying a new approach...walking in faith, giving it to God and waiting for His outcome. That is what chapter four is all about-Loving God more than my dream. There seems to be a famine associated with my dream and so I heed the promptings God lays on my heart and just press forward knowing God will complete the dream He has called me to, just like Abraham as referenced by Lysa in this chapter. Lysa's stories in the chapters of this book have been so encouraging for this moment of my life.
Lysa opens the next chapter, The adventure our souls were made for with the statement in the first paragraph "In this new place of sacrifice and surrender, God will take you outside your comfort zone, and you'll learn to depend on Him like never before". Boy howdy!! Or should I say Amen and amen!! She goes on to write further into the chapter "The more we really believe the truths God calls us to believe, the more we will take chances with God. We can press through pains of famine and fins comfort in knowing that God has a good plan even in our discomfort". That is my here and now as I described above. I am more aware of God and His ability to work in and through me and each circumstance I am facing. He is my provider, my comfort, my fulfillment.
"I'll not look back regardless of how hard the famine gets.
I'll focus on what is ahead and find joy knowing God will always come through" (pp.55)
I used this statement over and over last week at camp with the girls and my daughter that I counseled with. Indeed He does come through for the broken, the repentant, the blameless, the faithful. The women who walks in faith, not in and of herself, but in faith-total surrender, she knows God's presence. Oh how I wish that I would have known him in my younger years like I do now. What joy... what peace... what fulfillment.
I took the following verse from the study guide for chapter five and wrote it out on an individual card for each of the girls in my cabin. I placed it on their pillow one evening with 4 pieces of Dove chocolates. When we came back to the dorms for our DEVO's they immediately dived into the chocolate. I asked them if they could stop with just one..."NO!!" was the overwhelming response! Then I asked what feelings they experienced as they ate the chocolate..."so good"..."love"..."happy". Then I read them this verse listed below and encouraged them that scripture is be that to our souls..."so". We should feel as if we cannot get enough!! Then I reminded them that they are called by name. God has a purpose and plan for each of them and they are special. It is in spending time in prayer and in the Scripture that one builds that intimacy with God to know his plan for their life!
Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
~Jeremiah 15:16
Isn't this just a beautiful verse? I just love it! It speaks my heart and how I hunger and thirst for more of Him. Hopefully my camp girls got a glimpse of that!! Even more so...hopefully it was contagious!!
Blessings!! MrsJoeB

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We're Back

We survived youth camp! We are exhausted though. Dare I admit that my husband and I went to bed last night at 8:30 and didn't get up until 6:00 or 6:30 this morning? I almost have the laundry done too! Yahoo!!

God moved in the camp and we expected Him to. Not just for the campers but for us counselors and presentors also.There is so much pain out there with our youth today, so much pain....

We have a blessing to share until I can figure out how to download the pictures from our new camera onto this computer. Last year at camp our girls did not respond to the messages. This year, they did. On the third night of camp they went forward and prayed-we left them alone and let another counselor pray over them. That was so hard but we knew they needed their space. We tried to give them lots of that this past week-it's hard being a teenager at a camp where your parents are not only presenting workshops but also serving as counselors. The second night they went forward I followed and I prayed out loud so they could hear my heart, hear me as I admitted my failures to God as their mother and my commitment to love, support and care for them better. I am not for sure why they went forward and maybe in time I will learn but they went and I am so thankful for it. I am thankful for their tears and the heart they were presenting to God. We have been praying for them daily for 4 years. Each day I would ask God to capture their hearts and I hope my prayers have been answered.

As we have been home less than 24 hours my daughter has faced a tough situation with a unchurch, unsaved "best friend". I have been cautious with this girl since she has enter my daughters life a few years ago and this " best friend" has finally proved my intuitions and shown herself not to be a friend at all. She has even suggested my daughter cannot walk away from the life she has been living or the way she has been living. My daughter was at her fathers house and was alone when all this went down. Trust me, there is so much more here and her pain is very real at this moment. She texted me that she wanted to come home. At first I didn't want to drive the distance it would take to get her but then she said "I want to be a better Christian but it is hard when [friend] keeps telling me everything I have done wrong". I immediately texted her "I'm on my way". I was not letting this teachable, loving moment slip from my hands. I know those thoughts. She can walk away from "what she has done wrong" with God's grace-I have. I had to tell her how.

We talked openly and candidly on the drive home. I did not come down on her-I had promised her I wouldn't. She is in so much pain and rejection. She has made some bad choices and we laid them out before God. She commented, "I want to be a good Christian and I want to forgive her mom". My heart swelled and we talked about pressing forward, not looking behind except to see how far we have come from what we have been or where we have been (thank you Lysa-right from your book!). But I am also feeling a bit guilty as I do not want to forgive this "best friend" and what she is trying to do to my daughter (this girl kept texting me about my daughters faults and "sins"). I want her out of my daughters life...but .....this girl needs Jesus. Pray for us as we walk through this trial. Pray my daughter will cling to Jesus and if this "friend" finds her forgiveness and enters back into our life that we will help her find God. Pray I can approach this with the mind of Christ. Pray for good Christian friends for my girls, and your children.

My stepdaughter is also struggling. We have temporary custody of her. It is her desire to live with us. She turns sixteen on Saturday. This Thursday we go to court to finalize this custody but last week while at camp we received an e-mail from our attorney. Her mother agrees to give us custody of her but only if we agree to not change the child support. In other words, the mother wants us to pay her to have the child live with us. If we do not agree the mother will fight us in court. My stepdaughter is feeling rejected and she too is in a lot of pain. Why do kids have to choose between parents when there is a divorce. We have always been supportive of her and her time with her mother and we encourage this strained relationship. In some cases maybe that is not wise but in my view a child of any age should be able to love and visit both parents without a cost involved, without a need to take sides. Pray for my stepdaughter and pray God will work for her best in Thursday's court date. I want her to have a happy 16th birthday in her eyes. Pray her mother will change her mind and grant her wishes. She needs structure and rules and we are so thankful that she see's that and honored she chooses to live with us.

From one drama to joy to another drama...I chose to live victorious anyway!!

Thank you for the prayers~~MrsJoeB

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's Camp Time!!

My husband and I head off to youth camp Monday. We are crossing another bridge God has placed before us as we work and lead this youth ministry. Last year at camp with the youth proved to be as much of a blessing for us as the kids. We learned so much in working with them. The picture here is the bridge we cross from our cabins to the worship hall...a daily endeavor like my spiritual walk with Him!! All the pictures I am including are from last years camp.

We will be seperated as a couple this week to serve as cabin counselors (however will I sleep at night?!?!? Okay I had to whine just a little, sorry). We are now presenting two workshops:"Living with parents" and "Life in a Blender: Living in a stepfamily world". Satan has really been attacking us these last couple of weeks as we prepare for this...primarily in our role as parents in a stepfamily and in communicating with our own children. WE NEED PRAYER WITH THESE WORKSHOPS PLEASE!!

Our camp theme is "Shattered". Last night I received the cabin devo's. Usually I will spend the week before camp preparing in these but our camp leader's wife has just been diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer and has started treatment (please pray for them too!!) so I have chosen to trust God to provide in all this-but I will be honest I have had to fight off my need to know. It's the type A in me. As I looked through the topics last night fighting off the these need to know thoughts so that I could be prepared for these devotions, I am humbled. The topics for each day has been something God has been using in my own life leading up to this week. How great it is to know that God was preparing me for this time. How sweet it is to know I can enter this week fully trusting Him and allowing Him to lead...He already has proven Himself in this.

We need all the prayers you can send up for us this week. Please, please pray for us!! And also pray that every one of these youth will see God in a mighty way (especially our girls). Pray for my two younger girls who will be without me for a week-it will be hard on them and I! Pray that Joe and I will be able to nurture the boys and girls in our cabins towards a new or stronger relationship with our God.

No cell phones, no computer....just nature, God, and alot of crazy teenagers. I am excited!!

In Him~MrsJoeB

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Yes to God Tuesday!

It's blog-Bible study Tuesday!! I love this day and I love the study we are doing! Like Lelia, this chapter spoke volumes to me. My life is very similar to hers in that I have had to draw a line in the sand and step away from my ugly past. This has been a four year battle for me but I feel like I have finally let go and I am finally letting God have control. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is too big for God's grace and forgiveness and we must live in that blessing!

As Lysa stated in this Chapter "it's much safer to stay focused on the road ahead and use the rear view mirror when absolutely necessary". We can never fully walk away from the scars of our past but we do not have to focus on them. Our scars can be beautifully used by our Lord to accomplish good for His kingdom and that is the road we must focus on..the path He has ordained us to NOW travel. "We can't go ahead with God to new and exciting places if we're spending too much time looking back". Though looking back may bring feelings of remorse, it should serve as a pleasant reminder of where God has taken you in your relationship with Him. And then we choose to live in that relationship!

Lysa also stated "you may or may not have to change physical locations, but you will have to change your mind-set and your spiritual perspectives". I can speak from experience from being in the pit of darkness from my own choices that it would have been so much easier to run, move away from my sin but God had different plans. His plans were indeed to change my mind-set, to re-set my spiritual priorities. You see, I knew about God. I have known about Him and His character since I was a small child. I grew up in a Christan home, went to a private christian school but it wasn't until my journey from "the pit" that I truly came to know Christ. My passion is to live, breath, and drink Christ and I wish to inspire that in others also. I am, after 45 years of living, just learning the true meaning of dependence on God, on having an intimate relationship with Him, not just serving my faith and my religion.

One of the questions at the end of this chapter identified that we are made anew in Christ, given a new life, a new name as evidenced by these verses:
The nations will see your righteousness,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
~Isaiah 62:2-3
I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have,
so that no one will take your crown.
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.
Never again will he leave it.
I will write on him the name of my God
and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem,
which is coming down out of heaven from my God;
and I will also write on him my new name.
~Rev. 3:11-12
We were then asked to research the meaning of our name. I have known the meaning of my name but again researched for a different Bible verse than the one that is always associated with it. I guess inwardly I have disliked that I have not measured up to my name but, hopefully, that will change as I walk this journey of faith as the new Pamela God ordained me to be.
Pamela (Greek) "Sweet as honey"
Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
~Proverbs 16:24
If, like in the Old Testament, God was to re-name me, I would imagine it would be "Grace" because that word has been so evident from Him in my life. What does your name mean? Has He re-named you?
As I attempt to use this blog to minister to others, I pray that the words He lays on my heart will be sweet and healing to the souls of those who stop here. I pray the passion in my heart will be evident and contagious. I pray to inspire all my blog visitors and friends in their faith journey and in their love relationship with Jesus. Lord, forgive me for all that wasted time I spent looking back instead of looking for you. I just want to live, drink and breath you Lord!
Blessings~Mrs. JoeB

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Living Beyond the Ugliness of Life

I am reading through Deuteronomy in my quiet time. This morning I felt drawn to a couple of verses and so I have lingered here on these verses to examine them to my heart, to my walk of faith. My prayer is that one of you will find this scripture to also be sent from God within your own life. Examine Deuteronomy 10:16-18:
Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.

Sadly, as Christians we often allow other things to encapsulate our hearts and, as we know, these things can interfere in us having a heart like God. Many time religious rules dictate our faith (like with the Pharisees recorded throughout John) or sometimes it is an old habit or stronghold that can stand in the way of our testimony. All too often, we judge others based on our belief systems and in reality it may not necessarily be God's.
I looked up the Hebrew word for circumcise,- it is lwm and means "to be cut off from destruction". Those strongholds, the clutter that fills our heart and prevents us from being more like God are to be cut off, removed. Communion involves circumcising our hearts. Daily we should and can partake in communion. What do you need to remove from your life? Is it an attitude or belief? Is it a habit or sinful practice? Is it a mindset? What is encapsulating your heart?
I was even more intrigued with how "stiff-necked" was used. The Hebrew word for stiff-necked is Qashah which means "to be hard, be severe, be fierce, be harsh, to be difficult , to make burdensome". How many Christians have you known to fit this picture? How many time, if we are honest, have we looked into the mirror of our soul to find us being difficult, too harsh, to hard because of our own attitude? Can we truly love as God loves if we are stiff-neck as implied through the Hebrew translation? More importantly, is there joy in this?
Look at these verses in The Message translation:

Look around you: Everything you see is God's—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. But it was your ancestors who God fell in love with; he picked their children—that's you!—out of all the other peoples. That's where we are right now. So cut away the thick calluses from your heart and stop being so willfully hardheaded. God, your God, is the God of all gods, he's the Master of all masters, a God immense and powerful and awesome. He doesn't play favorites, takes no bribes, makes sure orphans and widows are treated fairly, takes loving care of foreigners by seeing that they get food and clothing.
We serve a God who calls us to be Holy. To be more like Him we have to examine our heart and our life and seek to remove any unholy growths-bitterness, unforgiveness, untruths, sin, and to relax enough to see God in all situations, no matter how ugly it can get. We are to live in and through God's word, making our own judgments carefully, scripturally, and with a spiritual love. It is in holding on to God and His Word that we will see amazing and wonderful things happen, even in the ugliest situations! "Ugly" is all around us isn't it? But in praising God in this ugliness, it brings out the spiritually sweet aroma of His grace and joy in our words and actions.

You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him, and to Him you shall hold fast, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen.
~Deut. 10: 20-21a (NKJV)

I choose to live beyond the ugliness that satan plants before me and to live in God's promises. How about you? Look beyond the ugliness of what is in your life and praise God for the beauty that He wants you to cling to-His Truths!~Mrs JoeB

Friday, July 4, 2008

FREEDOM in Christ

1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim FREEDOM to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
~Isaiah 61

Every year I pick a new life verse to try and live out. This year, the above verse is what God laid on my heart. After the journey I have been on, I felt it was time to move on from my restoration and on to His service. This morning as I completed my Bible study, He reminded me of the FREEDOM I have in Him. I am of ME, free of condemnation, of my past, of my failures, of my short comings. Are we not called to live in this kind of freedom and then to go out and proclaim it to those in captive?

As we celebrate living in a country that still allows us to worship in freedom, may we also be mindful of the real freedom we have in Christ. SHARE IT!!!

Happy FREEDOM day!! MrsJoeB

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Time for some blog hugs!!

Friends-when I was at She Speaks conference I met the sweetest gal. Her name is Mari, she is full of energy and never at a loss for words. More importantly, she is a women with a heart for God. She is new to blog world and I thought it would be sweet if we filled her day with some blog hugs and prayers! Go check out her site: and give her a special blessing today!!

Then would you also stop over and offer a prayer and blog hug to Amy ( who is having back surgery today, this morning, and will be bedridden for quite some time. She has a wonderful heart for God and is such a funny blogger. It is such a joy to call her friend too!! Though God is with her, she will need our support too!

Do you know do you understand that you represent Jesus to me?
Do you know do you understand that when you treat me with gentleness it raises the question in my mind that maybe He is gentle, too.
Maybe He isn't someone who laughs when I am hurt.
Do you know do you understand that when you listen to my questions and you don't laugh, I think, "What if Jesus is interested in me, too?
Do you know do you understand that when I hear you talk about arguments and conflicts and scars from your past that I think, "Maybe I am just a regular person instead of a bad, no-good girl who deserves abuse."
If you care I think maybe He cares- and then there's this flame of hope that burns inside of me and for a while I am afraid to breathe because it might go out.
Do you know do you understand that your words are His words?
Your face, His face to someone like me?
Please be who you say you are.
Please, God, don't let this be another trick.
Please let this be real. Please.
Do you know do you understand that you represent Jesus to me?
(This poem was written by a teenage girl named Sharon
when she was searching and checking out Christianity).

In Him~MrsJoeB

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Yes to God Bible Study-Chapter One-The Map

I was excited to be starting this Bible study but since we started reading this book have you noticed life is hitting us with issue's from within it's chapters? Talk about making us walk what we are studying...ouch. He is making us real ladies!

In the introduction of "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith", Lysa stated (1) in order to go to a new level of faith, you must leave the old behind-I did that in my preparation for the She Speak conference and I am living at a new and improved level of faith!! (2) when your comfort zone is gone, you'll learn to depend on God like never before-He is the one I want to depend on. My only comfort zone is my 'come to Jesus' devotion chair. My dependence is reaching a whole new level with Him and it is exciting, challenging but exciting! (3) Believing God becomes too real to deny-this walk in faith has brought God to a more personal level. All those years of knowing who He is but now I am experiencing Him in a new way-I KNOW Him. (4)Coming to the end of your ability to make things happen is the only new way to life with Him-emptying my self to allow more of is a death process, painful, yes-but holds promises in the end! (5) the real joy isn't on the dream itself but rather in the richer faith you acquire along the way-now that is what I am after-richer faith!! The map of my life is this journey of building my faith, my relationship with my Lord.

"Though I still didn't know HOW God could possibly use me, I knew He could find a way. Though I didn't know WHEN God could use me, I knew the timing was in His hands. Though I didn't think I has much to offer, I knew God would fill in the many gaps. I simply knew God was calling me, inviting me, wooing me to something with His fingerprints all over it. And that was enough. ~Lysa TerKeurst (pp. 14)

Yes. This is where I am. God is testing my heart and mind, calling me to obedience in the small things and the big things, equipping me to serve-my husband and family, my ministry, my patients and students. I am not qualified, but He will qualify me. I am aligning my perspectives of my life to His calling, to honor Him, not redeem myself. It's not about what I can do in ministry but what God can do in and through me. Though satan comes to steal my new joy, to kill my spirit in Christ, to destroy the hope I have in my God (John 10:10), Jesus comes to give me fullness of life-completion. He fills any void I experience, He removes any emptiness that tries to steal my joy. He takes my insecurities and weaknesses and molds them into workable traits to strengthen me for His glory.

The dream? Serving in ministry, along side with my husband. Living in the spiritual-constant with my Lord.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.~Hebrews 10:35&36 (NIV)

Confidence+Perseverance=God's Promise

I, like Lelia, like you, choose to be confident in Him, to persevere in Him and to hold onto His promises. Hang on ladies...I think there is going to be more turbulence as we venture through these chapters. As satan attacks, God will be there, we will be there for each other and in the end, our walk in faith will have equipped us for that next step towards His calling in our life.

My husband and I are looking for your thoughts with a youth ministry workshop we need to give at youth camp. If you have time, please stop by my previous post and leave me your thoughts in this...and your prayers! My husband is also having some real work issues to contend with. He may be forced to resign for his own sanity. I am ready for him to do so and to pick up the extra load with my work. Please pray God will provide for us and for my husband in the awful stress he is being put in. Again, thank you! ~Mrs JoeB