Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Open Up

Open Up
by Amy G.

I can remember the doctor standing over me with a long set of forceps in his hand and they had a huge wad of gauze at the end.  He began trying to pry apart my jaws so that he could shove this set of forceps down my throat to apply pressure to the rip in the back of my esophagus to control the bleeding long enough to get me into the operating room.  I would not budge.  I could not be persuaded.  I would not open my mouth.  As a matter of fact, I was quite irritated at the thought that the doctor might break my braces by the way we was pulling and tugging trying to get my mouth open.  The nurse called my parents into the room to help hold me down.  My dad held down my legs and my mom held my arms.  It was then that my mom looked deep into my eyes and said, “Open your mouth or you are going to die.”

In the operating room, I crashed.  I guess I died.  I remember two things: brightness and warmth.  Some think that this is the bodies natural reaction to extreme blood loss, but I KNOW that I was approaching Heaven.  Heaven is where I ultimately want to be one day, but that was not God’s plan for me on that day.  As I got older, I wondered how was it that I could get to Heaven one day, then the words of my mom came back to me.  “Open your mouth or you are going to die.”  I knew I had to open my mouth and pray.

Ÿ       First, you must pray and admit to God that you have sinned, that you have done things that you are ashamed of or things that you know were wrong.
Ÿ       You have to believe that Jesus was God’s Son and that he was crucified.  And during the crucifixion he took on all of the worlds sins past, present and future to make you clean of all unrighteousness.  Ask Jesus to be the Lord and Ruler of your life.
Ÿ       Finally, pray and confess, tell God about how you have sinned against Him and that you do not want to do those things anymore. 

After you have opened your mouth and prayed, then you need to tell someone about your prayer, a friend or a local Pastor of a church.  Get connected into a local church and seek God through reading the Bible.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NLT
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2 Cute Tuesday

Pearls of Wisdom Necklace
Amy made these beautiful necklaces with a step by step tutorial so you can make one as well!
1- 6 pearl beads
1- Findings loop
30 inches of 24 gauge jewelry wire
Needle nose pliers and wire cutters
Feed all 6 beads on the wire and twist into a loop with about an inch of wire overhang.
Wrap wire around beads 6 times (representing the 6 biblical priorities)
(the pearls represent the pearls of wisdom gained).
Then wrap the wire between each bead from the inside of the circle (3 times between each bead).
Then add finding and twist wire, cut with about 1/4inch long, and use needle nose to turn wire under.
 Voila, Beautiful!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Power of Prayer

Power of Prayer
Biblical Priority #6 - Love One Another
by Suzie M.

It’s the middle of the night. I wake up with my heart pounding so hard and fast it feels like it will come out of my chest.  I am sweating.  My chest is tight.  I feel faint and sick. What is happening?  Am I having a heart attack?  No, I am having an anxiety attack, also known as a panic attack.

I began having anxiety attacks about 13 years ago when my parents separated and filed for a divorce.  It took a couple of months, but the attacks subsided.  Then, this past spring, anxiety reared its ugly head again.  Only this time, the attacks were becoming more frequent.  One night, I went to a prayer room that a friend had recommended.  It was amazing!  The most powerful prayers I had ever heard were being prayed over me!  I slept so well that night. I thought I was finally free of the anxiety.  Not so.  A couple of months later, I experienced the worst anxiety yet.  The attacks were becoming more frequent and I was almost passing out, sometimes while driving. I had it during the night and during the day; I was constantly experiencing anxiety.  As I cried out to the Lord, trying to figure out the reason behind the attacks, He showed me several things.  At the prayer room, it became clear that my fears were controlling me. My fear was where my faith should have been.  So again, I went back to deal with my “fears”.   God showed me that I was not trusting Him in many areas of my life.  I am a control freak and trusting anyone is not my MO.  I have been hurt by so many people in my life. I had built up a wall that would require an army to bring it down.  Thank goodness our Father in Heaven is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! This was what I needed.  You see, Satan knows exactly where my weakest points are, and he knows yours as well.  There is a major spiritual warfare going on for you and me.  We have to use the power of prayer to fight this battle.

One particular night, during an attack, I considered calling 911. Instead, my precious husband talked me out of it and prayed with me. We prayed together and the attack stopped almost instantly.  A couple of nights later, another bad attack occurred, only this time I didn’t want to wake my husband.  (I was trying to do things in my own strength again.)  However, I cried out to my Jesus in a way I had never done before.  I literally lifted my hand and asked Him to hold it and I prayed to Him in desperation.  I prayed several Psalms back to Him and instantly the attack stopped.  I could hardly believe it!  I don’t know why He amazes me so!  The next Sunday at church, our pastor invited anyone who needed prayer to come forward.  My heart was pounding.  I knew I needed to go, but I didn’t want to.  What would people think?   I talked myself out of it.  The following Sunday, our pastor said the same thing.  My heart was pounding again.  This time I went down for prayer.  It was so wonderful!  Our sweet executive pastor talked with me. I told him what had been going on, and he prayed for me.  It was a great day!  I felt God’s grace and peace over me all day and throughout the week.  I was so thankful for his prayers; I kept thanking God.

I know I am not alone. I know there are many women who deal with anxiety.  I have been in a thankful spirit for all the people who have prayed for me throughout these past months. I started thinking about how we don’t even come close to tapping into the true power of prayer.

Please allow another person the privilege to pray for you.  God wants us to pray for one another, in thanksgiving and for ALL things.  Your pastors want to be praying for you too.   Please don’t try to handle your problems by yourself.  We were created not only to worship God, but to be the body of Christ.  We are to pray for one another.  If you need prayer, you will feel better to let someone else help you carry that burden.  If you are praying for another, you are blessed!  You will truly be thankful for another person when you are praying for them or when they are praying for you.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

CHALLENGE:  Let someone pray for you today.  Go see your pastor, a godly woman, or email us at  Let us know specifically how we may pray for you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent Wreath

Advent Wreath
The word advent is defined as the “arrival that has been awaited.” One of the ways to celebrate the long awaited birth of Immanuel, God with us, is to create an Advent Wreath. Begin with a circle of evergreens, which symbolizes God’s love for us that lasts an eternity.
·    Four Sundays before Christmas, light the first candle (purple) “CANDLE OF HOPE."  This candle represents God’s promise and hope. We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises He made to us. Our hope comes from God. (read Romans 15:12-13 aloud)
·    Three Sundays before Christmas, light the second candle (purple) "CANDLE OF PREPARATION." This candle represents His light and preparation. Preparation means to 'get ready'. "Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD!"  (read Luke 3:4-6 aloud)
·    Two Sundays before Christmas, light the third candle (pink or rose) "CANDLE OF JOY." This candle represents the angels who sang a message of JOY!  (read Luke 2:7-15 aloud)
·    The Sunday before Christmas, light the fourth candle (purple or blue) "CANDLE OF LOVE." This candle symbolizes Christ love. God sent His only Son to earth to save us, because He loves us!  (read John 3:16-17 aloud)
·    On Christmas Day, light the fifth candle (white) "CHRIST CANDLE." This candle symbolizes the incarnation, the heart and reason of the season, God giving light to the world. Its location is in the center as Christ’s light is central and radiant. This reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins!
Taken from  For more on how to help your child find Jesus within a traditional Christmas, read The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Welchel

Weekend Encouragement

Worthy Is The Lamb

Friday, November 25, 2011


Drum Roll, Please.............

The winner of our very first giveaway is amberdawn,
the very first entry!
Thank you everyone and look for future giveaways!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Am Thankful

Please welcome our guest blogger this month, Kristie!
I am thankful for my heavenly father who will never leave me nor forsake me. I am thankful for my husband and the Godly man he is. I am thankful for my four miracle children God has blessed me with despite the odds against us for being able to get pregnant. I am thankful for my eyes that can see the beautiful things God has made, my ears that allow me to hear my children laughing, my tongue that can choose to say what God wants me to say, my legs that allow me to get up and walk each day and serve my family, and my brain that can decide if my thoughts are God's or Satan's. Life is so precious. Most of all, I'm thankful for all the trials my family has gone through the past 6 years, because without those trials, I wouldn't be the God's girl I am today. Every day is a blessing!

Kristie A.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keeping It Holy

Keeping It Holy
Biblical Priority #5 - Service
by Amy G.

13“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interest on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it in delight as the LORD’S holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly. 14 Then the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV
Did you notice that verse 13 is a command and that verse 14 is a promise? The Lord has given us a command to set one day apart to worship Him. One day, not one morning, but the whole day. I do attend church every Sunday, except for times of travel and contagious illnesses. But, do I pursue my own interests the rest of the day? Let me think… yes. Am I making every effort to enjoy the day with my family by doing things that center around Christ? Uhhh… sometimes. Do I spend that day having a special time of prayer, sharing with my husband what the Lord has been refining in me, talking with my children about growing their relationships with the Lord, doing a family devotional, serving someone in need, or mentoring another woman in the church. Hmmm…. seldom. You can chalk this one up as a failure for me; I am too busy worshiping my idol of BUSYNESS. I seem to find all kinds of household projects to get done that day. Most of them don’t even include my husband or children.

The Lord also gives us a promise: After we keep the Sabbath holy, then we will delight in Him and be blessed by Him. I want that. I want to delight in Him and be blessed. I want to attend church on a Sunday morning and feel free to worship Him, spirit to spirit, because it is His day and He is worthy of it! I want to live for Christ and all He asks of me in return is that I love Him by building a relationship with Him. Done.
“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better." Philippians 1:20-21 NIV

CHALLENGE: When you go to church this week, worship like no one is watching!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Menu Monday - Thanksgiving Menu and Leftover Ideas

Enjoy these wonderful Thanksgiving recipes and leftover ideas!  We hope that you have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Don't forget about the monthly feature!

Menu Monday - Thanksgiving Menu and Leftover Ideas (click to download and print)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Q & A

Q: What is a “Quiet-Time Journal”?

A: A Quiet-Time Journal is unique. It's purpose is to keep a daily record of prayer concerns that are laid on your heart, scriptures the Spirit illuminates to you, specific written prayers, and to document how the Lord is working in your life. What a legacy to leave for your children!

“Now go and write down these words. Write them in a book. They will stand until the end of time as a witness...” Isaiah 30:8 NLT

email your questions to

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

2 Cute Tuesday

Free Printable
Download our helpful holiday calendar.  This will help you keep track of everything you need to schedule and want to schedule.

Thanksgiving Fruits a Plenty
Fill sugar cones with fresh berries for the children to snack on while the Thanksgiving meal is being prepared.

Thankfulness in the Home

Thankfulness in the Home
Biblical Priority #4 - Home
by Stephanie H.

Should we give thanks in ALL things? Even while doing laundry? Yes, even while doing laundry! God wants us to run our households in a way that is pleasing to Him in everything we do. If we focus on how much we don’t like doing certain chores it is not doing anyone any favors. Instead focus on doing things for the Lord and being thankful in all things. Colossians 3:23 (AMP) “Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for me.” It will dramatically change your perspective and the perspective of those around you.
Try turning on praise music. As you fold laundry, thank God for the clothes he has provided. As you mop the floors, thank God for the house you live in.

Pray these scriptures back to Him using A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (MSG) “Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” Lord, you have blessed me beyond measure. I am not naturally cheerful while doing my household tasks. I want to thank you throughout the day because this is where you want me to serve. Help me to be cheerful no matter what, to pray all the time, and to thank you no matter what happens. Amen

1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMP) “So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God.” Lord, you created us for your glory. I humbly confess to you that I often grumble while I am tending to our home. Thank you for providing clothes for my family, a roof over our heads, food for us to eat… Lord, I pray that our home will glorify you. Help me do everything for your honor and glory. Amen

CHALLENGE: Choose to be thankful while doing household tasks. Focus on pleasing God in everything you do.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Encouragement

Last weekend we went on a woman's retreat with our church and this song moved me to tears every time we sang it.  I wanted to share it with you this weekend so you could spend some time in worship.  Try and picture Jesus and focus on making the words personal.  ~Stephanie

Shrinking Window of Opportunity

Shrinking Window of Opportunity
Biblical Priority #3 - Children
by Carri P.

My 24 year old niece recently passed away after the fight of her life against Lupus. There is almost nothing more grievous than losing a child. To know you will never see their sweet young face again and that you will sorely miss them at future family functions is almost too much to bear. However, the very hardest part of losing a child is the realization of the amount of time that you did not spend with them helping to prepare them for their eternity. How hard would it have been for me to go over to her house to love on her and just have one or two serious spiritual discussions with her? Perhaps gently share my heart and experiences with her? The window of opportunity shrinks each and every day. We do not know how much time we have left to influence those in our circle of influence. Our children need us to speak God’s truth to them as often as possible. God’s Word tells us to instruct our children, “5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7 This passage tells us we need to be talking to our children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and other children in our circle of influence. God has given us these children as our own personal mission field. We can say thank you to God by instructing them and sharing His love with them on a frequent basis. We should feel a true sense of urgency to assist in ensuring the safety of our children’s souls and preparing them for the lies and temptations they will face each day in the world.
CHALLENGE: Have a spiritual discussion with your own children and with at least one of the children in your circle of influence.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/2 tsp Allspice Spice
3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups fresh pumpkin, strained or 1 can
Nuts to taste (optional)

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Then add the oil. Next add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Follow with water, which I reduce also if using fresh or frozen pumpkin. Finally add the pumpkin and nuts, beating after each. Pour into greased 2 large loaf pans, quarter loaf pans or muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees preheated oven. 55-60 minutes for the loaf, 25-30 minutes for the quarter loaves or 20 minutes for muffins. Till toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  This recipe makes 2 VERY large loaves (or 8-10 quarter loaves depending on how full you fill your pans.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Menu Monday

Week 5 (click to download pdf) - Jenn V.
Monday: Cornbread Chicken Casserole and Roasted Veggies
Tuesday: Hidden Spinach Lasagna, Salad and Garlic Bread
Wednesday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Salad and Baked Beans
Thursday: Nachos and Corn
Friday: LaMadeleine’s Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese

Week 6 (click to download pdf) - Jenn V.
Monday: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole w/ Garden Salad
Tuesday: Crockpot Roast w/ Red Potatoes and Baby Carrots
Wednesday: Tuna Burgers w/ Bodacious Broccoli Salad
Thursday: Thai Noodles w/ Snap Peas
Friday: Beef Stew w/ Rolls

Being Thankful - For Better or For Worse

Being Thankful - For Better or For Worse
Biblical Priority #2 - Marriage
by Jenn V.

My husband and I didn’t have a typical “honeymoon phase” because we are a blended family.  My husband’s two small boys were super cute, sweet and made the cutest ring bearers EVER!  I became a wife and mom on our wedding day.  The boys took communion with us during the ceremony and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!  What a glorious day that was!

I thought I was going to be a typical step-mom, but God had other plans.  As we lived daily life, we bonded and became our own family.  FYI - Satan likes to try and break up families.  He doesn’t want them to succeed.  He will send distractions and attacks (they can be other people or things) your way and try to separate you from God and get your focus off of Him (and your family) and onto something else.  Whether that distraction causes you anger, grief or temporary happiness, either way it’s bad when you let it start to rule your life.  When that happens, you loose sight of who you are and become someone else God didn’t intend you to be.  Eventually, you can become ungrateful and bitter.

Though our first years were hard and full of distractions, I kept seeing scripture about being thankful in hard times and in trials….seriously God?...Really?  How am I supposed to be thankful for what’s happening to us?  I just didn’t see it until later when in the midst all of this, I realized what a blessing my husband is and how thankful I was for him.  We prayed together often for our distractions and asked God to give us a supernatural love and wisdom for them.  We put up healthy boundaries and replaced bad thoughts with scripture.  I realized that our marriage bond was stronger than I would have ever imagined had we not gone through all of that.  I am actually thankful for those trials!  God taught us through those tough years that even though we are not in control, He has us and our children in the palms of his hands.  May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.  2 Thessalonians 3:5

CHALLENGE: Think about what your distractions are in your marriage this month and displace them with scripture and boundaries.  Pray with your husband about them.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Giveaway - One Thousand Gifts

Giveaway - One Thousand Gifts
We are excited to share this giveaway with you!

The publisher of the book we are featuring this month in our Book Corner, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, sent us a free copy to share with one of our lucky readers.
We wanted to take it a step further and equip one of our readers with a quiet time basket.

Basket includes:  One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, Word for you Today daily devotional, a prayer journal, a candle and a notepad.
Everyone can enter up to 3 times. Here are the 3 ways to enter:

  • “Follow” for one entry and then leave a comment below.
  • “Like” us on Facebook for a second entry and then leave a comment below.
  • "Share" this giveaway for a third entry and then leave a comment below.
Leave your name and email address in the comments of this giveaway post for each entry.

We will choose the winner 11/25 and announce the winner 11/28.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Voice of Truth

The Voice of Truth
Biblical Priority #1 - God
by Kim H.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV
From the beginning of time, the enemy of your soul has been a liar, a thief and a deceiver.

The enemy will twist God's truth into a believable deception. He will then present the deception as something you want to hear or that sounds good to you at the time, but the intention of the enemy is to steer you away from God's truth that brings life.

Staying in step with the Spirit will keep you focused on God’s desires and not yours. His voice will always line up with his Word. His voice will say, “Hang in there” when the other voice says, “Give up." His voice will say “serve another” instead of “take what’s yours.” His voice will keep you on the narrow road that few will find.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 NIV Man has a certain fleshly way of getting ourselves in trouble.

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4 NIV The word of God will always lead you correctly.

But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14 NIV. This is not the easy way but THE BEST WAY.

I have let my mind go to very dark and hopeless places in my life. Some of Evil’s best tools are doubt and discouragement. Once I started dwelling on the lies from “that voice,” the easier it was to believe them. Believing them and then acting on them almost ruined my life. That liar and thief will take your life, too, if you let him. All sin begins with a LIE! When you dwell, entertain, and then act on that lie, a holy God has to turn his face from you.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

If you are open to his Spirit, he will bring gentle conviction that should lead to repentance and confession. This act and attitude will restore your relationship with God.

CHALLENGE: Listen to the song The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns and be encouraged. Follow ONLY HIS voice! Remember: You’re serving the one you’re listening to.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Titus 2 Cute Tuesday

Family Mission Statement:
Does your family have a Mission Statement?  Print/write it out and hang it in a central area of your house.  This is a great reminder for the whole family!

Thanksgiving Tablecloth

Give Thanks in All Things
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Try this simple Thanksgiving idea: buy a light-colored tablecloth and have friends and family write what they are grateful for on it. Break it out year after year to create a priceless piece of family memorabilia.