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He Lives in YOU!

on Monday, 11 August 2014. Posted in Blog

temple

Let’s play a game. ng What do you think of when you hear the word temple? (Imagine the Jeopardy theme music playing here) Okay times up. Do you have your list?

Here is mine:

Holy

Building

Solomon

Holy Spirit

You

If you read this list the way I did, you thought yes, yes, yes, yes, and wait I’m not so sure about that last one.

1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT reminds us “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God” You do not belong to yourself” Do we live each day in awe of this fact? GOD DWELLS IN US!

Scripture tells us:

  1. God bought us at a high price. (1 Corinthian 6:20) Jesus death on the cross redeemed us and gave us access to the Holy of Holies.
  2. We can boldly stand in His presence. There we will receive the gift of grace and mercy. (Hebrews 4:16)
  3. The Holy Spirit was given to us. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  4. In turn, we need to honor God. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  5. Did you mess up? – recognize your imperfection and see #2.

You do not belong to yourself but you are in great hands. The Holy God of the universe dwells in you!

Knots

on Saturday, 16 August 2014. Posted in Blog

knots

 

Her stomach clenched in knots. Her mind ran through the scenario over and over. How did it become so twisted? Why couldn’t she get it right?

Millennials are an interesting generation. Often accused of entitlement, I have observed young Christians are performance driven.  Their worth is determined by the perfection. Anxiety nips at their heels, as they tread into adulthood. It has been pounded into them that they can achieve their dreams. Yet, they hear the whispers “Do I have what it takes?”

How can we help when performance defines their worth?

  1. Define their identity. We are not what we do. We are God’s children. We are defined by our relationship with Him not by our actions.
  2. Teach trust. Guilt and stress are NOT part of God’s plan. Look at the source of the issue, ask forgiveness if necessary, then repeat “I trust you Jesus to get me through!”
  3. Encourage and coach! They are afraid of making mistakes. Teach and encourage them through a challenging time. Remind them that we learn from these mistakes. This generation would rather quit than fail. Share your mistakes. Your life lessons help them see the journey it takes to reach our goals.
  4. Give grace, give grace, and GIVE GRACE!! This gives them permission to be imperfect. Grace must be demonstrated to be understood and received.  
  5. Teach perseverance. Remind them that dreams are achieved after multiple attempts. Life can be hard but it is worth it if we pursue God’s plan.

It has been said that each generation stands on the shoulder of the last. Our support can help relieve their stresses and launch them successfully toward their dreams.

2 Corinthians 1:12 (NLT) 12 “We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom.”

 

Knowing Yourself!

on Friday, 29 August 2014. Posted in Blog

examine

It is so easy for me to see the flaws of others, but not so easy to see mine. If I am not careful, I can get comfortable with my shortcomings.  I have worked hard to become confident in who God created me to be. Confidence taken too far, though, can ease in to conceitedness. Developing a reflective relationship with Christ will produce a clearer vision of our true selves.

I love that each morning God’s mercies are new! (Lamentations 3:22-23) This is the best time to sit before Him, before the hustle and bustle of a new day. Reflect on the previous day. Ask Him “How am I doing Lord? Am I improving here? Did I regress there? Where do you want me to work today?” Truly listen for His response. DO NOT USE THIS TIME TO BEAT YOURSELF UP. This active submission is to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in you. He does not condemn you; He wants to help and heal you.

We have to be willing to be truthful about our own condition. Perfection is not possible, but improvement can always take place. What areas of your life is God improving? Are you yielding to the Holy Spirit? Trust me: it is human to repeat the same sin over and over. It is problematic, however, when we get comfortable with that sin and accept it. We cannot help others grow in their relationship with Christ if we are not willing to grow ourselves. Self-reflection must precede mentoring of others. However, awareness of our flaws doesn’t keep us from mentoring: it keeps us humble.

Those younger than us are looking for authenticity. We can’t be authentic if we don’t know ourselves. We can’t be authentic if we aren’t willing to accept our inadequacies. We are authentic when we love ourselves and others in spite of our flaws. Honesty leads to humility. Humility leads to authenticity. Authenticity leads to effective mentoring.

Meet Someone's Need

on Friday, 30 May 2014. Posted in Blog

meet needs

Prepare your heart. Who has God picked for you? We can’t possibly mentor everyone. The world is too big, the population too vast for us to meet the need of everyone we encounter. How do you know who? With experience this gets easier. Psalm 143:10 says “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” Simply said we need to ask. Pray with expectation, He answers.

His answers have come in various ways. If you are not sure you are hearing Him. Ask yourself the following questions: Who do I already know? Is there a relationship I have that I could nurture? Who do I see on a regular basis that I don’t really know?  Alert to His direction He will show you. Make a mental list of the names that come to mind. Continue to pray for these individuals regardless of your contact with them. Be patient as you wait for the next step.

Remember God promises to lead you. Your job is to follow his lead not concern yourself with questioning if He will. 2 Corinthians 2:14 promises “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.” Trust Him, and He will show you.

No Nose or the Nose Knows

on Wednesday, 30 July 2014. Posted in Blog

Family Connection: Parenting Your Adult Child

Trust Jesus with children

 

As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have pierced ears.

“If you are going to put holes in your ears, you might as well pierce your nose.”

My Dad’s statement makes me chuckle, as that is not a threat anymore. My eighteen year old asked me this the other day.

“Mom can I pierce my nose?”

“What kind of earring”

“A stud or maybe a ring”

It was obvious to me that she was asking about a fashion choice not a rebellious act.

“You are an adult now, that choice is yours. Just promise you will keep the boogers out of it.”

She wasn’t sure how to take my response. This was not a make or break decision in her life. I know she has the tools to handle it. Therefore, I left it to her.

Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood isn’t easy for the child or the parent. Family is our most intimate community. If we fight to control our children we will lose them. We need to coach them through these years and trust God for the results.

When our child asks for our opinion, we need to look at their heart not their outward appearance.

  1. Pray: Ask God to reveal their motivation?  We need to ask “why is my child choosing this direction?”
  2. Encourage good choices but don’t dictate them. The tighter we hold on the more they will want to squeeze through the cracks. Express your opinion once and then pray for them.
  3. Dismiss thoughts concerning other’s judgments.Do not correct a behavior because it might make you look bad. Correction is always about what is best for your child and their relationship with Jesus. It is not about me. 
  4. Remember they are God’s child first. You are His stewards. Trust God.

My husband and I are two-thirds of the way to an empty nest. Parenting never ends but it does change. Letting them fly and make their own choices allows them to be the independent adults God intended them to become. 

On The Test

on Monday, 12 May 2014. Posted in Blog

patience

On the Test

“Is that going to be on the test?”  As a teacher, I hear this all the time.  I bite back a sarcastic response and answer with “study as if it will be.”  Sometimes my students forget the purpose of a test.  Tests are given to assess the student’s mastery of the material.   It is not a diabolical plan to ruin the individual’s day or even their life.  It is simply a measuring tool.

That being said, I have taken some awful test over the years.  I imagine, I may have given a few.  My goal, however, is to teach and prepare my students so that they all succeed.  Now if that is my attitude toward my pupils, how much more is God the Father toward His children?

How often have you heard; “Don’t pray for patience.  You will be tested in it.”  Isn’t that a good thing?  Trust me I don’t have a plethora of patience stored up for people.  Truly though, a patient person is a beautiful example to the rest of us. 

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:23) Patience is an attribute of love. (1 Corinthians 13:4) Patience de-stresses us and relaxes those around us.  My friend, I think praying for patience is a beautiful thing.  When the test comes together we will remind each other:

  1.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
  2. He who has begun a good work in me will complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
  3. When I am weak He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) Work through me Lord, work through me.

God tests us because He loves us.  He is simply giving us a measuring stick to see if we have progressed.  He knows where we are in our journey but sometimes we lose sight of what we can and cannot do.  A test reminds us of our strengths and our weaknesses.  I don’t like the tests, but I am thankful for them.  It is through them that I have a better understanding of who I am and what He is accomplishing through me. 

How about you are you ready to pray for patience?

 

Patience

on Tuesday, 20 May 2014. Posted in Blog

2 Thessalonians 35

Patience eludes me. Each morning I grab my first cup of coffee just when there is enough in the pot. The drip-stop feature on my Cuisinart is an act of genius.  No spills and I’m that much closer to my first cup of the day. Can you relate?

Type B by nature, I’ve learned to rush with the masses. I’ve overcrowded my schedule; surely I have time to squeeze one more event in today. Many days I stop and I wonder is it worth it? As my agenda has come to a screeching halt I have had time to analyze this busy life we choose to live.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 encourages our patient endurance. Examining the roots of that word not only are we to be patient but do so cheerfully and with hope. Not the bite your tongue so you don’t say anything stupid waiting but restful anticipation. Anchored in trust through Christ our life can be a life-long example of patience.  

How beautiful is that? No more arms crossed, foot tapping, anxious waiting. Instead it is replaced with confidence that God will complete it when the time is right.

Patience, I invite you into my life. Welcomed with open arms because with you comes beauty. I relish the idea of calm in the storm, hope in the chaos, and cheer amongst the dreary. 

 

People First!

on Wednesday, 27 August 2014. Posted in Blog

Three ways to honor others in your community.

peace1

Peace is allusive in our type A society. I searched for images that depicted peace. All of them were of nature or a person in solitude. Do you find that as ironic as I do? Peace is relatively easy when we are alone. It is when we interact with others that we struggle with it. Building peace into our community takes leadership and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Peace however is a fruit of the Spirit.

Romans 12:18 (NLT) says “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” Do ALL. ALL!?! How do we do this?  We can take some practical direction from the book of James.

1. Ask for wisdom. James 1:5 (NLT) “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” When we are in conflict with others we need to see if from God’s perspective. He sacrificed His son to regain relationship with us. What sacrifice is necessary on our part to regain relationship with others? If you were the one who injured someone it is your responsibility to seek forgiveness. If you have been injured you need to forgive. You do not need to restore the relationship but you do need to restore the peace.

2. Put relationships over issues. James 3:17 (NLT) “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” What do we need to give up in rebuilding peace? Stubbornness gains nothing. Do not miss label stubbornness and pride with perseverance.

3. Don’t argue the extraneous details. James 4:1 “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” Sobering isn’t it. We do not yield to evil; especially if the evil is in us. We may not recognize it, but if there is a wake of broken relationships behind us there is evil in us.

If you are reading this and your mind is screaming "YES BUT..." It is time to examine your situation with the Lord. There are very few exceptions to these facts. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are precious children of God. Grace is messy but necessary. Peacemakers risk rejection. We are called to live in peace. How are you embracing this today? 

Six Steps To Keep Your Cool

on Thursday, 07 August 2014. Posted in Blog

Self-control and your family.

self control

All I wanted was a family day. Nothing fancy, just time together. With adult children in the house we recognize their independence but they are still part of the family. Getting everyone together at one time is a bit like herding cats. In the process of organizing, I heard more than once: “Mom are you stressed?”

There was a time when I was in control. I managed everyone’s schedule. As they grew they took over their schedule. This is how it should be. This is how you train a child for adulthood. This is how you keep your family happily connected.

Remember the only person we can control is ourselves.

Self-control, how hard can it be? It involves ourselves and keeping it together. Simple right?  

  1. Pray: Remember the Holy Spirit gives us this fruit when we spend time with Him.
  2. Communicate: Tell everyone in your group your expectations. I have decided I am going to use a group text in the future.
  3. Be specific: Give them ALL the information: who, what, where, when, and how!
  4. Give them a responsibility. Responsibility builds ownership.
  5. Give them grace: Treat adult children like adults, even when they don’t act like it.  *Children want respect? Act in a respectful manner*
  6. Breathe, pray, and relax. I have learned not to lose my temper but my children still pick up on my anxiety level when chaos invades. I am working on going with the flow.

If you are breaking a cycle of bad behavior, give your family time to adjust.  Exhibiting self-control once will not make all your poor choices in the past go away. They may have forgiven you but they need time to trust again.  Trust takes time. Your promise of change is proven by action.

Our family had a great day on Sunday. We made foil dinners by the lake and then to a local dairy farm for ice cream. Simple fun and no need to control anyone but me.

1 Timothy 3:11(NLT) In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.

 

Stay Loyal

on Friday, 08 August 2014. Posted in Blog

Five Ways to Stay Loyal to Millenniums

loyal

Working with millenniums can feel like your loyalty is one-sided. It is difficult to stay devoted to them when their devotion seems to wane. For this generation, trust is difficult. Their lack of trust undermines their unstable loyalty. I can’t blame them we have brought them up in an unstable world.

What you may not realize is they still respect you. They may have wandered away, broken appointments, and not returned your calls. This does not mean they don’t want you in their life.

Do you want to influence the next generation?

Then stay:

  1. Fiercely loyal: Remember it is not about me. We are to be a stable influence not a wounded friend.
  2. Flexible: Give them a time range to meet or talk. Set boundaries for your own sanity but too much rigidity will imply you don’t have time for them.
  3. Available: Invite them into your life but willingly accept no.
  4. Willing: Be willing to meet with them one on one and listen.
  5. Steady: Work on your own relationship with the Lord and remember they are watching.

Caring for the next generation takes understanding. They view the world in grays; it is hard for them to know where they can find stable ground. Point them to Jesus through your loyalty.

What is a Dragonfly Woman?

on Tuesday, 15 July 2014. Posted in Blog

Dragonfly Woman

 

Do you desire a close relationship with God? Do you yearn to nurture your community? Do you value the next generation? Then you are a dragonfly woman.

Gripped by the stress of society, I strain to see God throughout my day. I turn to Jesus. Without him, life would overwhelm me. Trust in Him brings peace in a chaotic world.  Through Dragonfly Ministry I share what God has taught me about Him, His church and investing in His future leaders.

A Dragonfly woman is:

  1. Confident. Our confidence is anchored in our identity in Christ. My passion is to teach women to LIVE EACH DAY as a child of God. Ingrained in her spirit, she no longer needs reminders of who she is. She knows.  This process takes faith that is daily encouraged through a relationship with Jesus. She lives John 1:12 “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”
  2. Connected. A vibrant woman of God thrives in community. Whether her community is large or small she recognizes the need for others in her life. This does not mean she is extroverted or introverted it means she is connected. She seeks to live her life according to 1 Corinthians 13 and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
  3. Caring. Within her community, a dragonfly woman cares for the next generation. She recognizes the importance of sharing her time and attention. Our generation needs to pour into the next. Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders.”

Does this describe your desires? Join us and together we can learn to be dragonfly women. 

 

Who am I?

on Sunday, 04 May 2014. Posted in Blog

rest1

It is harder to rest than I thought it would be. Armed with novels, I restlessly tried to engage in their escape. At first my rest caused my family stress. My Momma’s heart feels that conflict. Logically, I know the importance of rest but emotionally I found myself frustrated.

Patience is required for this kind of rest. It can be difficult to be when you usually do. I had to turn back to what I already knew. I am not loved for what I do my identity is not defined by my accomplishments. I am God’s daughter that is enough.

rest3

 

There are times in our lives when He calls us to rest. “BE STILL and KNOW…” (Psalm 46:10). This Scripture has instilled in it a beautiful place of security. Wrapped in trust it inspires peace. That is a lovely place to live.

 

Blue

on Thursday, 27 March 2014. Posted in Blog

Psalm 18:30 (NLT) God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

dance in the rain

Exodus 15:20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced.

drink

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song;he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him-  my father’s God, and I will exalt him!

Bridge the Gap

on Monday, 14 April 2014. Posted in Blog

mentor2

She wants a mentor.  Someone she trusts. Someone she knows to be real, you know authentic. Not just a blind match up but someone who knows her. No one seems to fit her criteria.

mentor1

She wants to mentor. Why doesn’t someone organize a mentoring group? That was the way we did it. We were matched, than we got to know each other. Why don’t we do that anymore?

mentor3

She doesn’t want to be matched with a stranger. How can she trust just anyone? That woman over there seems to care for others but she ignores me. She’ll just wait.

She noticed the younger woman looking her way. Next time she sees her she’ll smile. Next time she will say hello. But not today, she’ll just wait.

Here we sit, on either side of the generation gap. Each one waits for the other side to move. Are you actively seeking your “Timothy”? Are you actively seeking your “Paul”?

 

1 Timothy 1:1-2 (NIV) “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Pray, risk, move.

mentor4

Cute shoes!

on Tuesday, 18 March 2014. Posted in Blog

shoes

 

Walk in peace. Trust Jesus and he delivers calm in the storm. His shoes of peace are always ready for you. However, you have to remember to put them on! Ever stylish they look good on you. His peace radiates through you no matter what circumstance you are walking through. In turn His gospel becomes part of your wardrobe. Nothing is more attractive!  

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