Monday, January 30, 2012

It's All About JESUS

"Paul never glamorized the gospel! It is not success, but sacrifice! It's not a glamorous gospel, but a bloody gospel, a gory gospel, and a sacrificial gospel! Five minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more, wept more, bled more, grieved more, loved more, prayed more, given more!!!"
~quote from Leonard Ravenhill

It’s all about JESUS
We are accountable to God, our creator
We have sinned against God and will be judged
Christ died making it possible to be saved
Be truly repentant and turning from sin in heart and action
Receive forgiveness
Take hold of the free gift of eternal salvation
Faith in JESUS
Believing that he is the son of God
Fruits of the spirit (evidence of) will follow genuine transformation

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Menu Monday Weeks 13 &14

Weeks 13 & 14  (click to open pdf) Suzie M.
Monday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Tuesday: Cheesy Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti
Wednesday: Salmon Teriyaki
Thursday: Skillet Ziti
Friday: Quesadillas
Monday: Taco Soup
Tuesday: Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Wednesday: Healthier Fried Chicken
Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
Friday: Winter Chicken Salad

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Corner

Secrets to Getting More Done in Less Time
By: Donna Otto
Donna Otto is a gifted speaker who loves the Lord and loves helping other women.  In this book she gives great tips on how to organize your entire life, with time left over to have fun and do what you really want to do.  Donna used to be a disorganized mess, she’s even hid her dirty dishes in the dryer when company came over.  Now she doesn’t go anywhere without her planner and encourages women to empower themselves with wonderful tools within her book to help you get organized.  Numerous tips and pages you can copy right out of the book to make your own planner.  Sit down with a highlighter and get ready for a makeover.

Simplify Your Life

Are you always late?  Do you think you are organized?  Do you have piles of paper in the kitchen or “office”?  This is another great book with so many stories of women just like you with real issues and real solutions.  Marcia Ramsland gives you helpful steps to simplifying your life.  Her tips have been found in many organizational magazines and appearances on TV.  She too talks about creating a “planner”.  You can answer a few simple questions to evaluate if you really are an organized person.  Best of all she ends each chapter with a simple prayer.

Both of these books are must haves if you want to declutter and simplify your life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2 Cute Tuesday - Valentine Chair Backers

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching!  Use this tutorial to make each of your kids or students one of these cute chair backer to put sweet notes in or their Valentines.

Unity in Your Community

Unity in Your Community
Biblical Priority #6 Love One Another
by Suzie M.

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:1-3, NIV

Maintaining unity in my relationships has been somewhat of a struggle for me as an adult.  In college, I was the girl who “told it like it was.”  I thought nothing of belittling, making fun, or even going off on someone.  As I entered the workforce, it didn’t get any better.  I was ruthless and I thought I was always right.  I still told people the “honest” truth, no matter how ugly it was and I did not sugar coat anything.  My marriage looked about the same.  Fortunately, God used the birth of my first child to change my ways.

Once I recommitted my life to Christ and began living out my faith, I began to produce gentleness and patience and love.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments.  However, through the grace and love of God, I am becoming the woman God created me to be.

God created all of us to be relational.  We have an inner desire to have relationships with people.  Our first relationship should be God, our spouse next, then children, and finally everyone else.  Sometimes we let our sinful nature take over and we have disagreements with one another.  God does not want this for his body of believers.  We are to make every effort to live in peace in our relationships.  This is how we are “one” body of Christ.

More people leave the church over relational issues than any other.  I think this is so sad.  We are a family.  We are one body with many parts and yet sometimes we don’t think twice about cutting off an “arm” or a “leg."  People want you to listen, encourage, serve and be a friend to them.  We have to take off our selfish ambition and put others first.  We are called “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV

If you have an issue with anyone, you need to address it today.  It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, but it is wrong to not be unified.  It’s wrong to be creating discord.  Your family of God must be a part of your life.  They are your brothers and sisters in Christ.  I John 1:6 says, “But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.“

Challenge:  We are all sinners, no one is perfect.  Extend grace and patience and love and be united with your “family."  Resolve all conflicts today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Line in the Sand

The Line in the Sand
Biblical Priority #5
By Amy Gentry

A new year, a new you and a New Year's resolution.  I cannot tell you how many times I have made the same resolutions: stop doing this, start doing that, grow closer to God, spend more quality time with my husband and children, get in shape, lose weight, lose 20 pounds, lose 60 pounds…  Do you know how many times the New Year's resolutions have actually become a part of a new lifestyle for me?  Zero.  Why???  Maybe because I was making resolutions based on what I wanted fixed.  Maybe there is someone else I should take into consideration when deciding what area of my life needs to be surrendered.

A resolution as defined by Google is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”  The following  scripture pops into my mind when I hear this definition. “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,…  But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 NIV  The thought of “serving the LORD” can seem like a daunting task. However,  when I read this verse, the term ‘serving’ or ‘serve’ seems to be in reference to the authority under whom you are living. Therefore, when I reread this verse I can interpret it as: “if being under God’s leadership seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day who or what will be influencing you,… But as for my family, God is our Ruler“ (interpretation mine).  This verse, to me, seems to be about drawing that line in the sand, that says “From now on, from here on out, I want to live the kind of life that is consistent with God’s desires for me as described in His Word.
But what is important to God?  "If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15 NIV  It is all about RESOLVE and making that firm decision.

CHALLENGE: Choose for yourself this day to whom you will submit.  Draw a line in the sand and declare whom you will serve and why.  Then write down your commitment in your Bible and date the entry.

Further reflections: Am I going to live by the standards of everyone around me or am I going to live by God’s standard?  In what way am I letting the media determine what is normal in my home?  How am I experiencing pressure to compromise my beliefs?

From the book The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer

“I DO solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment.

I WILL champion God's model for womanhood in the face of a post-feminist culture. I will teach it to my daughters and encourage its support by my sons.

I WILL ACCEPT and celebrate my uniqueness and will esteem and encourage the distinctions I admire in others.

I WILL LIVE as a woman answerable to God and faithfully committed to His Word.

I WILL SEEK to devote the best of myself, my time and my talents to the primary roles the Lord has entrusted to me in this phase of my life.

I WILL BE a woman who is quick to listen and slow to speak. I will care about the concerns of others and esteem them more highly than myself.

I WILL FORGIVE those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL NOT TOLERATE evil influences even in the most justifiable form, in myself or my home, but will embrace and encourage a life of purity.

I WILL PURSUE justice, love mercy and extend compassion toward others.

I WILL BE FAITHFUL to my husband and honor him in my conduct and conversation in order to bring glory to the name of the Lord. I will aspire to be a suitable partner for him to help him reach his God-given potential.

I WILL DEMONSTRATE to my children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and will train them to respect authority and live responsibly.

I WILL CULTIVATE a peaceful home where everyone can sense God's presence not only through acts of love and service but also through the pleasant and grateful attitude with which I perform them.

I FULLY RESOLVE to make todays decisions with tomorrows impact in mind. I will consider my current choice in light of those who will come after me.”

Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Things First - Guest Blogger

We are excited to introduce to you Meredith M. our guest blogger this month.  Meredith is the Preschool Minister at North Richland Hills Baptist Church and is involved with Mom's Touch.
Priorities – That word is something that I personally have dealt with over the past 10 years and I know that I will continue too. I have been married to my husband, Mark for 10 years. We have been blessed with three precious children; Maggie, Mollie Grace, and Micah. I am the Minister to Preschool at North Richland Hills Baptist Church and have been for almost 8 years. WOW! I truly believe that as women we make a conscious effort everyday to layout how we are going to prioritize our lives.

The first thing is to always put God first. He gave us life, called us to this earth to be a woman committed to him. We were given life to serve him in all that we do. To be a woman of God and putting him first we have to commit to grow in him and through him and that can be done through prayer and spiritual growth in God’s word. 

For me the next area that I have to focus on is my husband and our marriage. We are to work as a team in our home listening to where God directs us and his overall plan for our lives. The Lord has then called me to be a mother of three precious children. These children are his; he just gave me the incredible joy of raising them. For my children I want them to see that I serve God in all that I do. I want them to also know they are loved and important in my eyes.

After my children comes my family and precious friends.  I have a handful of precious friends that are walking down this road with me, called life and motherhood. I truly count on them to be Godly examples in my life and they have always helped me in the decisions that need to be made. 

My calling on life as a Minister of the Church is next.  That is a huge undertaking, but God has a plan greater than anything that I am aware of. I have tried to raise my kids to be servants. My husband also knew when we married that this calling was on my life and that is where our family would go. So, it is a family commitment with God at the top and center of what we choose to do.

I know that I am not perfect, that there are days when life seems “crazy.” I don’t think I would be a “woman” if it wasn’t that way. But, I do know who loves me through my faults and still carries me in his hand and that is our great Lord. I strongly encourage you as you begin a new year to sit down and look at what God has given you. List out the incredible blessings in your life and then prioritize how they should be each and every day. It is a day at a time process. Who has God placed in your life for a “purpose?” For me I know that I need to always put God first and everything will fall into place. Start 2012 with your priorities in check ready to face what God has called you too this year.

Mom's Touch
Every other Monday at 9:30AM

Mom’s Touch wants you to be a part of a network that encourages, teaches and let’s you share the experiences of Motherhood! Come see what's in store for Mom’s all year! Mom’s Touch is a Ministry designed for Mothers with Preschoolers. You will find encouragement along with time to connect with fellow moms. We will be doing crafts, hearing speakers, and having discussion times with our tables and mentor moms. Mentor moms work with each table to lead and encourage their group of Preschool Moms.

We would love to have you join us for the Spring 2012 Semester of Mom's Touch. Our meetings begin on Monday, January 23rd and will meet every other Monday through April 30th. Sign-up ends Wednesday, January 11th.  Call 817.284.9206 for more information.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Q & A

Q: Why is the word Lord in the Bible sometimes written as “LORD”?
A: LORD is God’s holy covenant name; the name of a faithful God who enters into agreements/promises with his people.  Throughout history, this name is thought of as too holy to be spoken aloud, YAHWEH (Yahweh is a modern pronunciation), it is the most frequent usage of his name in the scriptures, used about 6,800 times. 
Q: How can this knowledge help you understand what you are reading in your Bible? 
A: When you are reading a passage in the Bible and you read the word “LORD” you should pause and ask God, “Is there a promise to your people in this passage?  What is it?  Is this a promise you are making to me?  How does this promise apply to my life?"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Standard of Grace, Not Perfection

Standard of Grace, Not Perfection
Biblical Priority #4 Home
by Stephanie H.

Genesis 1:28 (KJV) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

We were made to be God’s keepers of what He has made; to wisely and progressively take care of it according to Him.  This should not be viewed as a task, but rather a blessing.  We should also see that this is very important to Him and that He has entrusted this priority to us.

Do you put guilt or unrealistic expectations on yourself?  The home is an area that I struggle with unrealistic expectations of myself.  I convince myself that I have to do it perfectly and when my outcome isn’t perfection (and it never is), then I have failed.  Trying to reach perfection robs me of my Joy. God’s purpose for us is to see and experience His splendor and perfect life.  He wants me to see His perfect life, not my perfect life.  Hebrews 2:11 (NLT) says, So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.  He who died for you is not ashamed of you.  I find freedom in the home knowing that Jesus is not ashamed of me.  He loves me!  He loves you!  He offers us grace.
CHALLENGE: Seek God’s direction about how you “keep” your home and hold yourself to a standard of Grace not Perfection.

Menu Monday Weeks 11 & 12

Weeks 11 & 12 (click to open pdf) - Stephanie H.
Monday: Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
Tuesday: Baked Ziti w/ Marinara Sauce
Wednesday: Baked Potato Soup
Thursday: Shortcut Chicken Cordon Bleu
Friday: Chili Mac
Monday: Cheesy Spirals
Tuesday: Peppy Pizza Pasta
Wednesday: Creamy Chicken Pasta Soup
Thursday: Meatballs
Friday: Easy Cashew Chicken

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prioritizing Your Child's Heart

Prioritizing Your Child's Heart
Biblical Priority #3 – Children
by Carri P.

I have a confession to make.  I have allowed other things to come before the Godly instruction of my children.  It’s easy to do, isn’t it? Sports, dance, school work, friends, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, all very worthy pursuits!  All important!  But, are these more important than God?  Then again, there is a little Sunday School here, and a little Veggie Tales there, and I do throw in a prayer at dinner, so I’m good, right?

To be quite honest, God has recently revealed to me that this is just not enough.  He has convicted me deeply within my spirit that He wants so much more for them.  He wants to know them and have an intimate relationship with them as He does with every child of God.  He wants our children to live a Holy life.  They are, after all, HIS!

Our Heavenly Father has entrusted these three amazing creations into my care.  He has entrusted your beloved children to you.  He is watching those of us who call ourselves parents, aunts, or grandparents. He is looking to see how we are handling this responsibility.  You may be doing an unbelievable job at building a relationship between God and your children.  I am not.  I am definitely lacking in this area.  However there is the Great Hope!  The Holy Spirit lives in all of us who call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!  When we ask the Holy Spirit, He will give Godly Wisdom.  He will give us Mighty Power.  He will give us Hope.  He will enable us to produce Godly children.

Therefore, as this new year of 2012 begins, I invite all who have the desire to build an everlasting relationship between your children and your God to take a vow to make it a priority to instruct our children as God desires us to.  “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying Your Word.  I have tried to find You – don’t let me wander from Your commands.  I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:9-11 NLT

Let us teach our children how to live a pure and holy life as God has called all of His children to live.  We can do this by modeling our desire to make God the Number One Priority.

This year I will be posting (on the Titus 2 facebook page) Daily Thoughts, Weekly Devotionals, Monthly Memory Verses, Occasional Teachable Moments and Holiday Instruction for our children for you to use and enjoy with your children.  I look forward to an exceptional 2012 of teaching our children together to love God and put Him first.
“Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your hearts desires.” Psalm 37:4 NLT

Happy New Year!

Challenge: Take a vow as this New Year begins to use this year to teach your children to make God their number one priority.  Check the Titus 2 facebook page for items you might want to use.  Post your comments and suggestions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2 Cute Tuesday

Gutter Book Shelves
made by Suzie M.
I saw a book shelf on a favorite blog of mine and asked my husband to put some up in our schoolroom.  He went to our local Home Depot and purchased these plastic gutters, they come in one size (normally 10ft in length).  You also need mounting brackets (we did every 24 to 36 inches on the studs) and end caps to complete the finish out.  A quick cut to length, find the studs and screw them to the wall.  I love them and so do my children.  It’s a great level to see all the wonderful books to read and they put them back!!  An easy and quick project.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Avacado & Corn Salsa

Avacado  & Corn Salsa
2 1/2 cups of frozen whole kernel corn (thawed)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice from 2 limes
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
4 small chopped avacados
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except avacado.  Gently stir in avacados.  Cover & chill for 2 hours.  Serve with tortilla chips, fish, chicken...etc!!
Makes 6 cups.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Two Shall Become One

Two Shall Become One
Biblical Priority #2 – Marriage
By Jenn V.

Mark 10:7-9 NIV  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

January starts a new year with new goals, missions, and resolutions.  It’s a time to reflect on the past year and evaluate the things we want to change for the coming year.  It’s a time for looking and reevaluating the priorities in our lives.  Marriage is priority #2.  That’s a pretty high priority that comes right after God.  Are we making our husbands a high priority in our lives?  I constantly have to ask myself this, not just in January, but all throughout the year!  With children, our home, a part-time job, church, ministry involvements, and PTA, it’s hard for me to keep everything in the correct order that God intended.  My calendar and To Do List can get in the way and try to separate me from my husband - what God joined as ONE.  We separate ourselves from our husbands when we are too busy with life. As busy multi-tasking women, we can leave our husbands out in the cold.  But when I do keep the priorities in order of God, Husband, Children, Home, Service and Others, my life runs so much more smoothly. I’m reconnected with my husband just the way it was meant to be when God joined us together on our very special wedding day.
Challenge:  Take a look at your days and weeks ahead and make sure your husband really is the #2 priority in your life.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Time to Start Cleaning House

Time to Start Cleaning House
Biblical Priority #1 - God
by Kim H.

"God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart"  1 Samuel 16:7

Have you ever gone to someone’s house and complimented them on how nice everything looks and then they reply, “Thanks, but don’t open a drawer or cabinet.” Or, have you said that yourself?  We work so hard for everything to appear great and perfect, but is it really? Underneath the surface, is there a real problem that has been stuffed in or covered up.  All the “clutter” definitely hinders. Scripture says, "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts." 1 Corinthians 4:5

What are you holding onto that needs to go out with the trash? This New Year, as you go through your house and clean out all the secret places, take time to search your heart as well. Ask the Lord what is in your heart that you need to release to Him? In your home, what does not glorify God that needs to be trashed? In your heart, are you holding onto unforgiveness? Bitterness? Pride? Lust? Doubt? Fear? Unbelief? Control?  When we hide all the clutter, the load is too heavy to carry and you were never meant to bear that burden. Jesus paid every price for us on the cross, it’s His burden to carry. Lighten your load TODAY and lay down all that has been in the dark.  "For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."  Ecclesiastes 12:14

Challenge: Ask the Lord, as David did, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is a wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Priority Bag Tag

This is FREE to you, we just hope that you will leave us a comment here and spread the word to your friends! (email, facebook, twitter, etc!)

1. Download the priority bag tag
2. Print on plain white paper (for bag tags) or sticker paper (for labels)
3. Trim and Fold (for bag tags)
4. Laminate for bag tag version at your local office supply or copy store - super easy and cheap!)
5. Hang it on your purse, rear view mirror or keys and be reminded daily to keep your priorities in order.

Menu Monday - Weeks 9 & 10

Menu Monday

Weeks 9 & 10 (click to open pdf) - Carri P.
Monday: BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, and Salad
Tuesday: French Dip Sandwiches and Tater Tots
Wednesday: Pesto Chicken, White Rice, and Broccoli
Thursday: Taco Soup
Friday: Ziti Pasta Casserole and Salad

Monday: King Ranch Chicken
Tuesday: Chicken Piccata
Wednesday: Orange Chicken
Thursday: Swiss Steak Crockpot Supper
Friday: Taco Skillet