Monday, August 27, 2012

When We Stop Praying

When We Stop Praying
by Suzie M.

Recently, my younger sister called me with bad news.  She wants to divorce her husband.
They haven’t been getting along for a few months now and she had come over to talk about things a month ago however, I was not expecting a “we are splitting up” call. 
The day she called me I experienced all the stages from shock to anger to sadness.  As I was replaying the conversation in my head and saying everything to myself that I wanted to say to her on the phone but the Holy Spirit would not let me talk, God slapped me over the head with this thought.  “How much have you prayed for this marriage Suzie?”
I knew there were problems, she came to me and told me.  Oh I prayed a couple of times but what God showed me today was two things: 1. That He loves everybody!  He loves all sinners!  He loves you, me, my sister, and her husband.  Every lost sheep He goes after, searching and not giving up.  2. I should have been on my knees praying for this marriage every day.  How many times do I pray for my friends, other people but my own family is far from Christ and I haven’t made them a priority on my prayer list?
As I sat in my bed about to read my bible, because that’s what I do when life throws me a curveball.  I vent a little then go to His Word.  This great song came on the radio about redemption.  The Word for You Today was also about redemption and having a repentive heart.  So my prayer is this, for my sister and brother in law to repent and for Jesus to redeem their marriage.  He is bigger than any marriage problem, bigger than any marriage.
My One Year Bible reading for that day was in Acts 12.  Peter is in prison about to be executed by Herod.  He is sleeping then is awakened by an angel of the Lord telling him to get up and get dressed.  Then he is taken out of the prison.  He thinks he is dreaming!  No Peter, you are not dreaming!  The Lord delivered him!  His friends had been praying all night long for him.  He was in what looked like an impossible situation about to die!  Nothing is too hard for God and when people are praying in agreement He shows up in a big way.
I have texted and called all my prayer warriors and I am asking you also to please pray for my sister and her marriage.  Please pray for God to get in their faces.  I am expecting God to move in a big way to bring her back to Him and her husband.
Challenge:  When someone tells you of their problems or even if they are walking in total rebellion, don’t dismiss it, PRAY for them!  Don’t stop until Jesus finishes his work.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Menu Monday

Menu Monday Weeks 17 & 18 (click to open pdf) - Jenn V.
Monday: Buffalo Chicken Stew
Tuesday: Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole
Wednesday: Creole Jambalaya
Thursday: Pork Chops with Pepper Jelly
Friday: Almond Stuffed Chicken
Monday: Easy Brunswick Stew
Tuesday: Cajun Shrimp Casserole
Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings
Thursday: Fried Lemon and Rosemary Catfish
Friday: Cashew Chicken

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Club: 7

Bikini Wars

Bikini Wars
by Suzie M.

I have always been modest in my clothing but I really had not thought about it for my daughter.  Come on, she is only a baby right?  This is the time to begin dressing your daughter modestly.  Why you say?  You have to think down the road.  Let’s take swim suits for example.  I go to the waterpark many times during the summer.  I can’t tell you how it pains me to see baby girls, toddlers, little girls, tweens and teens in these itty bitty bikinis.  The early years are the formative years.  You must begin early, training your daughters to be modest. The bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9 - "And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes." (NLT)
When you choose to disciple your children you don’t pick and choose topics out of the bible you think are important.  We are to obey all God’s commandments and we are to live in this world not of this world. 
I regularly see moms posting pictures on Facebook of their little girls and their friends in bikinis and I just want to take these moms aside and love on them and tell them the things I learned as a young mom. 
I know toddlers and babies look cute in their little swim suits and people think it’s so innocent but when do you stop?  Before you know it your cute toddler is now a little girl and if they have always been allowed to wear a bikini then why all of a sudden can’t they wear one?  All their friends are wearing bikinis.  Do you really want your little girl who is becoming a young woman to wear a bikini where boys and men alike are checking her out?  Next thing you know your daughter is a teenager and hanging out with her friends by the pool or at the waterpark and walking around innocently but her scantily clad self are driving the boys crazy.
It’s not just bikinis, we have a “Halleluiagh test” in our home, if you raise your arms up and your tummy shows you can’t wear that shirt.  Also think about what your rules will be on spaghetti straps and backless tops and dresses.  Shorts that are too short and shorts with writing across the backside.  Why would you want to draw attention to your child in that way?  The world sells s*x, advertisements, TV., magazines, everywhere the world is pushing s*xy and body image.  What healthy body image are you promoting in yourself to model for your daughters?
1 Peter 3:3-4 - "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (NIV)
I firmly believe we are raising up a generation of children who will need to be stronger in their faith and walk with the Lord than ever before.  This is not an area to brush off.   Our children need to know the why behind our decisions.  Give God the glory and dress to impress God not the world.
1 Peter 2:12 - "Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." (NLT)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

7: an experimental mutiny against excess

What is 7: an experimental mutiny against excess ???
When we heard about this book, we were quite intrigued about this challenge.  Some of us more than others!
This book is about the true story of author, Jenn Hatmaker, after being called “rich” by a child who was staying with her family in the shadows of Hurricane Katrina decided to take a closer look at what she truly valued.  Her family identified 7 areas of excess and took 7 months to systematically combat overindulgence.
Jenn took this challenge for 7 months – 1 month per area of excess, unfortunately the Titus 2 Women writers are not half the woman she is.  LOL!  Therefore, the 6 of us will be reading this book and observing this challenge by identifying the same 7 areas of excess but taking the challenge for 2 weeks per area of excess.
Food, clothing, spending, media, possessions, waste and stress!
For 2 weeks we will only be eating seven foods, then for 2 weeks we will wear seven articles of clothing, for 2 weeks spend money in seven places.  Then we will eliminate the use of seven types of media for 2 weeks, we will be giving away seven things each day for 2 weeks (watch for garage sale signs), 2 weeks worth of living green, and then we will be still in the presence of the Lord for 2 weeks by observing “seven sacred pauses.”
WHY???  To discover a greater dependence on God – to develop a simple and generous life that reflects Christ.  To be radical and to shake ourselves up.
Here is the fun part:  Every Friday, starting August 24th, on Facebook we will be sharing our battles and blessings from that week.  Pssst… Expect a little whining.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Q and A
By Amy Gentry

Q: Why is David called a man after God’s own heart?
ACTS 13:22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’”

 A:  I believe that there is a multitude of reason why David was called a man after God’s own heart.  You could write many a sermon series over this very question and still not even begin to scratch the surface.   I read the One Year Bible every year and recently I was in the books of Samuel and was struck by an attribute of David’s character that I have never noticed before.

David mourned the death of Saul, his pursuer (2 Samuel 1:11).  David blessed and showed favor to the people who buried Saul, his pursuer (2 Samuel 2:4).  David sought out any remaining descendants of Saul, just so that he could show kindness to the descendent of his pursuer (2 Samuel 9:1-13).  Then David did not punish the same descendent of Saul when he failed to join David on the battlefield (2 Samuel 19:18-29).

David extended great grace when he was not obligated to; he had every right to take revenge on his pursuer.  He was not required to bless, favor, or pardon any of the descendents of Saul.  But he did.

Maybe David was called a man after God’s own heart because, just like Jesus, he extended GREAT GRACE when it was never earned. 
To whom do you need to extend GREAT GRACE to today?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Are You a Light?

Author’s Bio: Kim Slater loves laughing after a good joke, hearing the sound of a rainstorm and attempting new recipes. Kim not only stirs it up in the kitchen, but also in the community by sharing her testimony and walk through freedom via Christian writing and blogging. You can follow her at

Are You a Light?
by Kim Slater

Lately I’ve been hearing Kari Jobe’s newest worship song on the radio. I am always so moved listening to her sing so beautifully what Jesus told his disciples, “We are the light of the world.” One day as I paid close attention to the words, I began to ask myself what exactly does it mean to be a light?

Maybe it means I should walk around with a flashlight shining it in people’s eyes, but I don’t think that is what Jesus meant when he advised his people to shine bright. He said we are not to hide our light, but put it on a candlestick where all can see. Luke 8:16

In my time of pondering what it means to be a light, God kept leading me back to my very own street. I sensed Him asked me “How do the Slater’s let their light shine upon the ones living on Hartford Road?”

We’ve lived in our subdivision for nearly six years. And while it was my mission change out every light fixture we had inside and outside our house to be bigger and brighter, I know that creating an inviting home isn’t what Jesus meant. When I really put some thought into the question, one person immediately came to mind… my spouse.

From the very day we drove our moving truck up to our house, my husband has shined bright. He is always friendly, open to meeting new people and greets others with sincerity and kindness.
The teenager boys trust that if they needed their skateboards fixed, Mr. Slater would be there to help. Scott’s loaned out our lawn equipment and taught a couple children how to ride their bike.

I have always admired my husband’s willingness to share a smile and meet someone new.  I’ll admit I am not the “welcome wagon” type because I tend to keep to myself unless someone extends an open hand first. But there came a point not long after we settled in our home that God seemed to orchestrate situations where I ran into neighbors every where I went. The more I deepened my relationship with God, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Kim, your neighbors need someone to be there for them. I choose you.”
So in the spirit of being obedient, I began preparing baked goods to bless families on our street. I prepare meals for families who have a new baby at home. I have made it my business to know what is going on and shown compassion where I can. I have prayed for many on our block when crisis arose and tragedies struck. I’ve cried with, laughed with and counseled several women on our street with Godly guidance.

In return, my neighbors have helped me through some tough times. They held me up when I grieved the loss of eight unborn children in four years. They rejoiced as we witnessed the miracle of our daughter Averey being born. In fact, the first two visitors to greet her at the hospital were two neighbors.

If you are like me, you might be compelled to ask: Who is my neighbor? 

Eight times the Bible tells us to love our neighbor we love ourselves. So clearly the question God’s wants us to ask ourselves is not “who is my neighbor?” – but is “who acted like a neighbor?”

What I have learned from our time on Hartford Road is that God doesn’t put people in your life by accident. Every encounter we have with a person has the potential to be a divine appointment.

I believe the place we choose to live is often determined by God who all ready knows how we can “light” the way for our neighbors to know God’s loving kindness by the very way we show compassion, caring and concern to them.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus command us to, “Let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father in Heaven.” I think what Jesus meant by “good works” is setting a Christian example with actions like:

• Be willing to invest in someone you might not otherwise get to know.

• Be kind and thoughtful to others.

• Be understanding and patient to those who are lost or hurting.

• Be open to sacrificing your time to help others in need.

Do you know who lives in the homes around you? I sense God is calling us into action so He can see our neighborhoods transformed by the work and miracles of God’s hands. Whatever your community is going through, you can be the “light” God calls you to be. Will you join me and commit to be all in?

All of the information contained in the guest bloggers personal blog may or may not necessarily reflect the theological views of

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can an altar be a Good Comfy Couch

Can an altar be a Good Comfy Couch

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Hebrews 11:7

Noah saved his family from destruction by listening to God.  The first thing he did when he emerged from the ark was to build an altar.  Think about that!  Noah had an altar before he had a home.  Most of us have homes, but no prayer altar.  And it shows!

Do I have a prayer altar?

What does that look like?

Do we pray as a family in our homes enough?

As I thought about the question do I have a prayer altar, I thought about my quiet times and the couches in our “formal living” room.  This room does not have a TV, so it is not used much by my family.  This is where I have my quiet times.  If I am stressed about something I tend to go to my spot on the corner of the couch and just sink in and start praying.  If I am on the phone with someone that has hard news or conflict I go to that room and get cozy in the couch so that I can listen.  I feel very close to God when I am in “position” on my couch.  I have brought several things to God sitting in that spot.  Can an altar be a couch?  I think so…  I hope you have a spot that you feel comfortable taking everything to God, a place that you can feel as if you are sitting in His lap bringing Him everything!
Challenge:  Do you have a prayer altar?  What does that look like to you?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Looking for the good in our children

Looking for the good in our children
By Carri P
“God don’t make no junk.” Queen Latifa, Joyful Noise

Every single day I struggle with how to handle my son’s behavior.  He is a wonderful boy with a very loving heart, however, he gets very easily excited and goes on to make poor choices regarding how he handles himself.

I have received comments and suggestions regarding his behavior from his teachers, principal, assistant principal, school counselor, psychological counselor, pediatrician and Sunday School teachers for the past seven years.  Although some try to be gentle, the bottom line is negative and discouraging.

A friend of mine recently blessed my spirit by reminding me that, “I praise You (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 NIV

It is refreshing to look at it from that perspective; my son is fearfully and wonderfully made.  God didn’t make a mistake.  God created him just the way He wanted him.

Influential people have been filling me with negative comments for years.  It is easy to become confused on how to handle the situation when listening to human wisdom.  The solution is to simply rely on God.  Seek God’s wisdom on how He wants you to shepherd His child to adulthood

It is time to stop feeling defeated and look at our children the way God does, as wonderfully made creations of His.  They are perfect in design.  It is time to become more positive and encourage others to look for the good in our children rather than pinpointing every poor choice they make.

“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 NIV  God is good and His creations are perfect!  Embrace the unique child God has given to you.  They are truly, wonderfully made!

Challenge:  The next time someone offers a negative comment about your child, ask them to share something positive your child did as well and tell them what a blessing this child has been to you.


Any parent that is facing the possibility of ADD or ADHD or any other behavior disability can find a wealth of information online.  We should, however, allow God to be at the center of all decisions we make while researching and seeking professional guidance.

There are quick online tests readers can take to understand if their child is a “potential” candidate for ADD or ADHD.  These are simply meant to shed a little light on your personal situation and a physician should definitely be consulted regarding any concerns.

It is easy for parents to blame themselves thinking that poor behavior is a result of poor parenting.  On a long embraced myth is discussed:

Myth: ADHD Is Caused by Poor Parenting

This myth has often created negative feelings of self blame in parents of children with ADHD. It is simply not true that poor parenting causes ADHD. What is true, however, is that positive parenting with clear and consistent expectations and consequences and a home environment with predictable routines can help manage symptoms of ADHD. Conversely, a home setting that is chaotic or parenting that is punitive and critical can worsen symptoms of ADHD. Click on Article: Causes of ADHD and Video: Causes of ADHD to learn more.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Menu Monday

Menu Monday Weeks 15 & 16 (click to open pdf) - Amy G.
Monday: Angel Hair with Meat Balls, Garlic Bread and Salad
Tuesday: Lime Chicken Tacos, Ranch Style Beans, Lipton Spanish Rice, Corn Tortillas
Wednesday: Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes, Broccoli
Thursday: Chicken Marengo, Rice, Green Beans
Friday: Chili Dogs
Monday: Baked Ziti with Meatballs and Salad
Tuesday: Lemon Chicken, White Rice and Green Beans
Wednesday: Zesty Herb Chicken, Mac and Cheese and Broccoli
Thursday: Greek Chicken, Oven Roasted Potatoes and Salad
Friday: Orange Chicken with Veggies and Sticky Rice

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pink Lemonade Pie


Read more about it at,161,146166-226195,00.html
Content Copyright © 2012 - All rights reserved.

1 graham cracker pie crust
1 sm. can (6 oz.) frozen pink lemonade, thawed (can use limeade)
1 sm. container cool whip
1 can condensed milk

Mix together thawed pink lemonade, cool whip, and condensed milk. Beat until smooth and pour into pie shell. Freeze until firm. Garnish with lemon slices and freshment. Great on a hot, summer day.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye Lazy Days of Summer!

Goodbye Lazy Days of Summer!
by Jenn V.

Proverbs 31:10, 27 & 28 (NIV) A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
I love summer!  I feel closer to God (and my husband too) in the summer more than any other season!  Why?  Well, I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off!  In the summer, I’m not band mom, cross country mom, baseball mom, football mom or PTA mom and the much missed college boys, (formerly known as) “The Built in Babysitters” are back home!  The hubs isn’t travelling as much during the summer either.  It’s family vacation time.  Ministries that I’m involved in seem more relaxed.  Paul and I have more date nights and everything slows down to my preferred pace. Everyone is home and under the same roof!  Therefore, I am also able to take it down a few notches and disembark from the Crazy Train.  The hubs loves that!  J
One morning this summer when I was looking back through my prayer journal during the school year, I found where I had got side-tracked and right there I wrote in the margin a To-Do List!  Sorry God!  [Hanging head]  I find when I put God first without any distractions; I’m able to put the rest of my priorities in order.  I’m a better wife, mother, homemaker, volunteer and friend.
They say August is the new December and if you have kids of any age, you know it’s true!  So when August and September gets nearer and nearer, I start getting tenser and tenser!  ALL ABOARD!!  I know I’m going to have to make a more conscience and purposeful effort to work on that “noble” part and keep my priorities in check and in order.
CHALLENGE:  Get prepared for the Fall Madness now by making a point to plan how you are going to combat busy-ness.  Prepare a daily and/or weekly schedule as well as scheduling date nights in advance and stick to them!  J
Need help to get organized?  We have a whole binder full of free printables to help you get started. 
Need help getting ideas for those datenights?  Go to: for more details.
 Prayerfully consider only 1 extracurricular activity per child outside of school and home.   
Go ahead now and get a launchpad set up!  Don’t know what that is?  Click on link and go to 2 Cute Tuesdays.
Go ahead and get school clothes, tennis shoes, backpacks and lunch boxes now when they first come out in stores.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Book Club

Top 10

Top 10
By Amy Gentry

Here are 10 important conversations to have with your teen:
·         Have you won your teens heart?  It is counterproductive to be a warden to your teen and not foster a heart-to-heart relationship. Relate to them by spending a QUANTITY of time together.
·         Set a standard for media. It is our roll to counter the messages the media forces upon our youth.  See what movies and TV shows they choose, discuss how important a shows moral content can be.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  (Philippians 4:8) We honor the Lord even with what we watch!  - Try Plugged-In for movie reviews.
·         Modesty, modesty, modesty -- Explain to them why modesty is so important. Girls should strive to protect the images they put into the minds of young guys (their visual rolodex) and likewise, guys should do the same for girls.
·         Let’s talk about sex. The youth of today are bombarded with images and messages that relate to sex.  Sex is not as much of a taboo subject as we would like to make it.  REMEMBER: It is our roll to counter the messages that the media forces upon our youth.  “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.  And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”  (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
·         PURPOSEFUL dating. Speak to them about the reason behind dating.  It is not to have a companion to the big dance or to have a 3-year relationship that begins in middle school.  It is to seek the person for whom God created you.  “But for Adam no suitable (complimentary) helper was found.” (Genesis 2:20) emphasis mine.  A great test for this is that if the relationship is not drawing the youth closer to Christ, then it is not the right relationship. 
·         What does equally yoked mean? Christians are not to marry non-Christians; this means they should not date them either. Dating is not intended to be a mission field.  Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.  Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.  And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
·         Accountability. Let them know they are being watched by their peers in school and at church.  The adults around them are watching, and we know what to look for – the good, the bad and the ugly. (Little brothers and sisters make great chaperones!)
·         Emotional purity.  Teach them that controlling what their heart does in a relationship is just as important as controlling what their body does in a relationship. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” (Proverbs 5:23)
·         Guard your heart. Share with them what wise boundaries are in dating relationships.  Express to them how they should guard each other's hearts by practicing mutual respect, by encouraging each other to develop strong relationships with their own family and friends, and by not planning your future on the second date.  There is freedom within boundaries.
·         Pornography. Men need to address this with their sons.  Viewing porn is mental adultery and has grave consequences.  If a young man matures while entertaining constant porn images it can lead to a failure to connect intimately with his wife in the future. “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  (Matthew 5:27-28)  (Check out getting the Safe Eyes program for your computers
Challenge:  Invest in the life of your teenager.  Openly communicate – regularly and often.  Set the standard high.  They cannot meet the standard until it is set!