Tuesday, April 30, 2013

T2W'S Favorite Things

T2W’s Favorite Things

I love WD40!  I know that is a weird declaration from a woman, but I do.  Why?  Because I am a messy eater.  Still confused?  I often drop food on my shirt and then after washing it I discover a big, ugly grease stain that did not come out in the wash.  Do you know how many shirts I have thrown away due to big, ugly grease stains?  I could have single handedly clothed a moderately sized family for several seasons by now. 

Directions:  Once you have discovered the big, ugly grease stain, lay the shirt flat and then spray the front of the shirt evenly with WD40 and wash and dry as you normally would.  One more shirt saved from the landfill!
2,000 uses for WD40 (printable PDF)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Seeds of Discontent: Part 1 - Anxiety

Seeds of Discontent:  Part 1 – Anxiety
By Jenn Vaught
Matthew 13:18-23 (NIV)Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.  But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”(Emphasis mine)
Ruth Bell Graham is one of the most amazing Christian women of our time.  One of my favorite quotes from her is this, “One event at a time, one hour at a time, one step at a time.”  I have no doubt that she was and still is a busy woman.   
I struggled with anxiety for years after I got married.  I worried about the boys, about my husband, my parents, about the future, especially when things weren’t going exactly as planned.  I am a planner.  I stick to the plan!  My first plan was that I wanted to be only a homemaker, but then my parents “brainwashed” me and said I’m going to finish college first.  I’m so glad they did that.  So, I started planning some more.  I knew where I was going to college by 6th grade.  I knew I was going to major in Psychology by 10th grade.  I knew I was going to get married and have 3 boys.  (I was a tom-boy growing up and always had guyfriends, along with my girlfriends.  This made sense to me and for the most part God gave me exactly what I wanted, but the path was very different than what I expected!  I’ll save that story for another article.)     
Fast forward to my anxiety surfacing in migraines, anxiety attacks and feelings of impending doom and fatigue.  It takes a lot of energy to be anxious!    So why did I let it run my life?  Why did I worry so much about what other people thought of me or my family?  I never understood this until I realized that I was being a control-freak.  I was the problem.  I realized I wasn’t putting my trust in the Almighty, the One who Was, and Is and Is to come!  The great I AM.  (BTW, I love that song by Phillips Craig and Dean!)  It totally speaks to me!  Need a pick me up?  Click on the above video for a prescription to peace from the Great I AM!  Listen twice a day, and call Him in the morning…………  J             
CHALLENGE:  Are you fighting God for control or taking back what you’ve already given Him to take care of?  Let Him be the Great, I AM in your life today!  Don’t let the thorns of this life make you anxious and unfruitful.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Family Matters

Family Matters: Let Go and Let God

By Amy Gentry

When your child makes the decision to follow Christ it can be a confusing time for a parent.  You may feel that your child is too young to make that decision and that they don’t really understand or mean what they are saying.  Most of us know someone or have ourselves been that person who made a profession of faith because they felt pressured to.   

When your child starts singing songs about Jesus’ love and praying at night for Grandma’s big toe – take a step back.  Don’t rush them straight down the aisle at church during the next invitation to make a public profession of faith in front of the whole congregation.  Watch and see if they are producing spiritual fruit.  They may answer all of the standard questions right - that Jesus is the Son of God and he died on a cross for our sins. 

But knowing who Jesus is and appreciating what he did for humanity is not the same as:

·         grieving your sinfulness,

·         accepting Jesus’ mercy (no punishment when one is deserved),

·         accepting His grace (a blessing when one is not warranted), and

·         repentance (doing a 180 from your current sins).


Let go and let God.

Your roll in your child’s spiritual life is to give them knowledge, disciple them, model spiritual disciplines and to pray for them.  Unfortunately, God’s relationship with your child is primarily a 2 person relationship (and you are not one of the people).  As parents, we have to trust the roll of the Holy Spirit to call our child, pray for them to have open ears to hear His voice and courage to respond to it. 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39


Friday, April 26, 2013

Give Me Your Eyes

Give Me Your Eyes

Looking through our fleshly eyes will usually make us see the annoying, irritating, ugly flaws in others. When we ask God to give us His eyes, the difference is not only immediate but their beauty is amazing! Try it!

“Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

Monday, April 22, 2013

30 Days of Challenge
By Amy Gentry

One month of the hubs commuting every weekend to work in another state. One month of being a single mom Monday to Friday.  One month of being the sole child taxi driver.  One month of going back to work full time.  One month of handling car repairs, Boy Scout achievements, and protecting the homestead.    Realization???  I am not cut out for this. 
Watch sitcoms and make a list of the host of jokes poking fun of men, how men would fall apart if they had to play mom for the day.  The amount of material is immeasurable, but the truth is this is feminist propaganda.  A marriage is a partnership.  Remember in Genesis 2:18 when the “Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Husband and wife were made to fit together in perfect balance, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” (Genesis 2:24)

I hate to keep throwing out cliché marriage verses, but… “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”  (Ecclesiastes 4:9)  Husband and wife were made to do the dance of life together and succeeding at the game of life is at the heart of every woman.  

Therefore I am counting down the days until the Gentry husband and wife can again be together in the same state everyday, take turns picking up the kids from school, figuring out together how to get the car to the shop, and sitting in bed while he checks the doors and sets the security alarm before we go to bed TOGETHER each night. 

CHALLENGE: Count your many blessings to have a husband who loves you and was made in heaven for you.  Take the 30 Day Husband Challenge http://www.imom.com/tools/build-relationships/30-day-marriage-challenge/


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mocha Ice Cream Punch

Spring is here, and love is in the air.  Are you planning a wedding shower or baby shower?

Well we have the recipe for you.  This is punch is pretty famous at our church showers. 

Mocha Ice Cream Punch
1/2 quart of water
1/2 cup nestle instant chocolate milk mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup decaf. instant coffee
1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream
1/2 gallon of milk chocolate ice cream
whip cream
chocolate sprinkles

Bring water to a boil.  Remove from heat, add chocolate drink mix, instant coffee and sugar.  Stir till disolved.  Refigerate mixture over night.  30 minutes before serving take ice cream out of freezer to thaw, pour mixture in punch bowl and gradually add ice cream and mix well.  Add whip cream and sprinkles to each serving.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Club Discussion - Margin

Click on the book to see our discussion of Margin on Facebook!

Love Breeds Love

Love Breeds Love

Unforgiveness, rejection, anger, expectations or pride can kill any relationship. You can make a difference starting today. Replace all your negative talk and thoughts with prayer. By asking God to love through you all blessings will flow and you will see immediate results.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons (daughters) of God.” Matthew 5:9

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Scattering Seeds . . . The Waiting Room

Scattering Seeds . . . The Waiting Room
By Carri Pratt

It is very heartwarming for me to walk into a place of business that is playing a Christian worship over the intercom system.  It lifts my spirits and connects with my soul.  Most importantly, it is an awesome and public witness for Jesus Christ.

This was the case recently as my four year old son had a cavity filled at the dentist’s office (a wonderful experience by the way).  As I waited for my little guy I enjoyed an unexpected time of worship to my King. This time I made certain to take the time to thank the office staff for their selection in music.

A wonderful way to ‘scatter seeds’ is through the airwaves.  Who can resist “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul” by Matt Redman? Any airwaves will do, including the work place, waiting rooms, cars, homes and offices.  Anywhere there are people that can use godly inspiration.

I am so grateful to any employer or employee that chooses to share the love of Jesus to all who enter their business (their mission field).  Thank You!

“My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.” Psalm 108:1 NIV

Challenge:  Turn your radio to Christian worship music to be encouraged and to encourage others.  Take a moment to thank the staff of a local business that does the same.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Corner - For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

For Parents Only
by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice
For Parents Only blew me away, just like when we read For Women Only when T2W reviewed it last year!  I read it in about two nights.  Thank you Shaunti for writing these eye opening books!  If you have read For Women Only, then you will know what I am talking about.  Shaunti Feldhahn takes the same formula and puts it in the same book form, but about parents and teens, instead of husbands and wives.  She takes answers from questions given to teens of today and puts them in plain English or “old-fogy-parent-language” so we can all try to understand our teens and what they are going through in this fast-paced, crazy world we all live in.  Mother’s Day is just around the corner!  Do yourself and your kids a favor by reading this book!  You will be so glad you did.
For Parents Only helps parents understand how their teen or pre-teen child is wired and how to give that child what he or she needs. Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice free parents to communicate in healthier ways as they discover that understanding their kids may not be as complicated as they think.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

Retro Wednesday....or Monday


I love this prayer written by Ann Voskamp and wanted to share it with you!

Bless this nest, Lord,

of fragile things,

encircling the breakable and broken

in grace,

in the ever warmth of Your wing,

in the sheltering shadow of Your face,

us the clinging ones,

You our clutch of hope,

singing to us the song

of home.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Trail Guide

Trail Guide
by Stephanie H.

Do you ever think of your testimony as boring?  Do you hear great testimonies and wish yours was a little more…exciting?  I want to encourage you!  I was born to 2 incredibly godly parents and I had 4 incredibly godly grandparents.  I accepted Christ and was baptized at age 7.  Although I had a good beginning it does not automatically guarantee a good ending.  Just like training for a big race, training does not guarantee a win.  While the final result is going to heaven, the journey is important too.  You can make your testimony very exciting during the journey.  I want to encourage you to dream big, humbly seek God daily and pray expectantly.  God has a great plan for your life.  Whether you live your life according to His plan is up to you.

God recently laid on my heart something that seemed impossible and I had no idea where to even begin.  After much prayer I knew I needed to share the journey with others so it could start coming to life and so whatever happened I could give God all the glory.  I started by asking 3 close friends that I knew would pray for me unselfishly and wouldn’t start telling me what to do.  Sometimes we need prayer and no advice.  I didn’t want to feed my mind with ideas that weren’t of the Lord.  He showed me that even though it looked like I had a mountain in front of me, He was capable of moving mountains, carrying me over the mountain or walking right beside me on every trail until I was on the other side of the mountain.
Every time I go snow skiing I look at the trail map and plan my route.  The trail map for life is the Bible.  Meet with the Lord before you put on your shoes for the day and let Him help you plan out your route.  No matter what mountain is ahead of you on your journey The Lord is with you!
Psalm 18:29 “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall (mountain).” (Emphasis mine)
Psalm 91:11-12 (AMP)For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Challenge:  Dream big, trust the Lord, humbly seek God and pray expectantly.  He has your back!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Friday Focus

Forgiveness Will Set You Free

Start by asking the Lord where you need to forgive and close, for good, any open doors of access the enemy has into your life and home. Let go of the torment starting today and watch the blessings start to flow.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Q and A

Q and A

By Amy Gentry

Q: What do I do about a generational sin or stronghold?

A:  Adrian Rodgers once said “We can’t deal with our ancestors but we can deal with our dependents.”  Draw a line in the sand – start anew- from this day forward this sin or stronghold goes no further.  Sounds like a harsh statement???  This stronghold comes from the enemy, a very real threat, not from the Lord.  The Bible says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12   Do not allow the enemy to take you any further down his path that leads to more generational ruin.   “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Restore My Soul

Restore My Soul
By Carri Pratt

I have read the word ‘restore’ many times in my daily Bible readings assuming God was encouraging me to hang in there so He could restore me financially and make me into a great success once more. 
However, I did not really get it until I read Jeremiah 29:13-14 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” 

This verse totally altered my perspective.  As I understand this verse, God loves me so much that He will “exile” me or send me into a desert period in my life to wander around, much like the Israelites, until I finally “seek Him with all of my heart”.  Finally, I get it.  Restoration is not about my finances, but about my soul and my relationship with God. 

I realized that to seek Him with “all my heart” was much more than reading a few verses from the Bible once in a while.  It required a daily meeting with God reading His word, listening for His voice and seeking discernment.  It requires a change in lifestyle to one that truly would please Him.  It is about becoming like Jesus Christ in our attitude toward others.

It is incredible that the Almighty God of the universe is seeking a relationship with me.  Psalm 23 makes so much more sense to me now, “…He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.”

The best part is that I can always look forward to a restored relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, because He promises that when I seek Him, He will bring me back from exile.  He is faithful to fulfill His promise.  I already feel like I have traveled hundreds of miles back towards Him.  Life is a journey.  We all have daily choices to make.  My choice will be to seek Him with all of my heart and to be thankful for all He is to me.

Challenge:  Ask yourself if you are seeking God with all of your heart and allow God to guide you into making appropriate life changes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ministry - XXXChurch

Porn Addiction Recovery

“Porn addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, but XXXchurch.com is your resource online to fight porn addiction. We prevail through awareness, prevention, and recovery. Pornography addiction is threatening lives, families, and children. XXXchurch offers addiction recovery resources for men, women, parents, and couples. We have weekly articles on how to conquer difficult issues, as well as porn accountability and filtering software. If you are here because you think you have a problem or someone you know, take a minute to take the sexual addiction test.”

XXXchurch recently came to our church to speak at one of our monthly Men’s Ministry Breakfasts to do a morning seminar they called Porn and Pancakes.  It was for single men, married men, dads and their sons.  My husband took our 13 year old son because he wanted to make sure our son understood the dangers of pornography and the powerful hold it can have on someone’s life.  The earlier you talk to your teens about the dangers of porn the better, just like with anything else in this world that is destructive and dangerous.  It’s when you don’t talk about it, is when you give Satan the biggest foothold in your family!  Don’t let that happen to you!  I am so thankful to be going to a church that doesn’t mind talking about uncomfortable or “faux pas” subjects!  What surprised me about getting to know this ministry is how many women are now becoming addicted to porn!      
Granted I love technology and the convenience of today’s world, but with it, we have paid a heavy price.  Easily accessed and free pornography has lead to skyrocketing addiction problems.  Safeguard your children today!  Some of the things we do as a family to help fight this is:
1.      Knowing all ID’s, passwords and security levels for any iThings, smartphones, laptops, email or social networks our teen uses.
2.      Our 13 year old’s iThings are on MY iTunes account – Therefore he cannot download anything without coming to me first, because he doesn’t know my password.
3.      Be aware of what apps are on your kid’s iThings.  Delete whatever apps you feel necessary that could lead to viewing something questionable, like YouTube* or the Google app, for instance. 
      *Just because YouTube or anyone else “says” they monitor their website doesn’t mean we can assume it’s safe for our kids.  For instance, PG13 movies don’t always mean that it’s okay for our 13 year olds, so we should presume the same for websites.         
4.      Mobicip safe browser apps** or something else equivalent on ALL iThings that our kids touch. 
**Please note that this doesn’t control YouTube, Google or different, separate apps, it only replaces the Safari app for internet browsing.  Hence, refer back to #3. 
5.      SafeEyes or something equivalent on ALL laptops and computers.
6.     There is no privacy in our home….ever. It’s ok to require all electronics to charge overnight in mom and dad’s room.

Educate yourself and be aware at all times! Satan is prowling around your family like a lion! You must be the quiet hunter dressed in camo, with the large rifle looking for him through the scope of awareness!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Club Discussion - Margin

Click on the book to see our discussion of Margin on Facebook!

The Friday Focus

Obedience Brings the Beauty

God is in the business of restoring dead or dying things. I know that hurting marriage’s are at the top of his list. All it takes is an open heart, unconditional love & respect, faith & hope, and your obedience to him.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..”   Ephesians 3:20 NIV

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Keep Your Eyes On Him

Keep Your Eyes On Him

By Kim Hawkins

Dwelling is a very slippery slope, a lie dwelt on will become a thought

~The thought(s) usually then come out of our mouth by speaking of and complaining about

~Our words have the power of life and death, we now give that what is spoken, power and life.


“We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5b

When we start dwelling on thoughts about our problems, we start to feel the need to talk and complain. Our words give life and power to the problem and that causes us to be in agreement with the enemy.  By rejecting the plan of the evil one by deciding NOT to take the bait but instead pray and lay all our burdens at Jesus’ feet, that completely surrenders those lies to Him.

I can see now all the pain that could have been avoided if I had rejected thoughts about a few things in my life being “so difficult, hurtful, ect”. Those two things had a hold on me for years concerning problems that I gave life to by dwelling on them instead of rejecting and claiming what God’s word says.

CHALLENGE: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2