Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Good Book

About The Book:  The Good Book
offers a user-friendly guide to the Bible's biggest ideas.
A chapter from the Bible accompanies each chapter of the book, which helps readers understand the context and content of the Scripture passages in a way that can open the whole Bible.  Designed as a forty-day journey through forty key chapters of the Bible,  The Good Book will appeal to those who already love and read the Bible regularly as well as to those who are just beginning their Christian journey.  The Good Bookis a great evangelism tool for explaining the major themes of Scripture to those who want to know more about God, Jesus, and the core beliefs of Christianity;  gives new believers an overview of the Bible and lays a framework to help them understand Scripture passages;  helps longtime Christians rediscover the basic themes of Scripture and experience these truths in a new way; and encourages Scriptural literacy as it pushes readers to read both one chapter of the book and one chapter of the Bible each day for forty days. The Good Book is great for individuals, and it can also be used by small groups in an eight-week church-wide program or a forty-week journey that focuses on one Bible chapter each week.  The Good Book will help people understand and live by the transformative truths of the Bible. 
About The Author: 

Deron Spoo is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over the past 16 years, Spoo has guided the church as it transitions from being simply a downtown church to a regional church committed to urban ministry. Church members describe him as "down to earth" and "authentic." His television devotionals, "First Things First," reach 100,000 people each week. Spoo is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Paula, have three children.  Find out more about Deron at
My Thoughts On This Book:  As a pastor I found this book to be a great resource and a must in a pastors/churches library.  If you want to get a better understanding of the Bible this book is for you.  is a resource which will be helpful for many who seek to understand the Bible more fully. I loved the way Spoo set up individual chapters and then followed each one with reflection questions and ways for the reader to become more fully engaged in the Bible. 
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from the Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hodge Podging on the Last Day of School

Thanks for stopping by today, and welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge on Thursday! This is Graduation week and it is crazy around here.  So......If you've answered this week's questions, add your link at the end of my Joyce's post, then leave a comment for the person linking before you. It's the neighborly thing to do here on a Wednesday or Thursday. Let's dive in-

1. May 17th was National Pack Rat Day.   Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.
I'm a pack rat and get it honest...but do not have trouble parting with stuff.  There are things I have trouble parting with. .What do I hang on to? Books, photographs, guitars and other musical instruments, things my students have given me, cards and notes I've been sent that mean something to me...not a lot really. 

2. What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't? Play the mandolin proficiently and Play the piano (Every pastors wife should be able too).  They are on my list of 26 things to do when I finally retire.

3. Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.  Do I crave sugar? I like sugary things...but tend to be drawn to breads and salty things. I have not eliminated sugar from my diet, but I don't think I go overboard either. My goal this summer is to do away with sodas this summer.  I like honey in hot tea and don't add sugar to iced tea or coffee.  I do however drink creamer in my coffee.   Dessert at a restaurant is a maybe.  It depends on what the offerings are and if I am still hungry, then I will share it with the table.   I love to cook desserts and make them for church and family functions.  The only time there is dessert at the house is if something fails.  

4. What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?
I had a hard time switching from REAL books to Ebooks.  I love Ebooks now...still prefer a real book though...there is something about the smell.

5. What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.
Chattanooga Choo Choo.  It was Kats favorite song to be rocked too and when she was two she and my mom were at a friends country store.  The train would stop and get snacks there every day.  Well, Kat leaned out the window and said to the engineer, "Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo."  The railroad guys loved it.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Do you like watching birds.  Do you feed the birds where you live? We love to feed them and watch them all fight and carry on over the food.  I have a bluebird next in my front porch fern.  The fern is probably going to die because I am not going to mess with those sweet babies. We have a hummingbird feeder and several bird houses.  I also have a book with the different species....Love the birds.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Notes On Mother's Day

My scripture comes from Proverbs 31:10-31.

Today is the day when Moms get the special treatment, right? You know, breakfast in bed; homemade Mother’s Day cards and gifts from the kids; flowers from your husband; lunch at your favorite restaurant; and absolutely no house cleaning! I know that is going to happen at my house.  Yeah right.  Frank’s response is…..You are not my mother….and that is true.

But….today is your day and you deserve it. I mean, being a Mother is one of the most important, most influential, most difficult and yet is sometimes the most thankless role a person can ever have. So today we say “Thanks you Moms” for all you do.

Listen to how God describes what a virtuous woman is like; what a great Mom is like. [3]

[Read Proverbs 31:10-31.]

Now that’s a good Mom. But even though we can see what it means to be a good Mother, it’s still a challenge. Being a good Mom is hard!  You’ve got to be a housekeeper, a taxi driver, a cook, an appointment manager, a nurse, a judge, a referee, a teacher, a counselor, a beautician, a friend, a disciplinarian, and a loving ear when you kids need to be heard.

Being a Mom is tough. Even though being a Mom can be the greatest and most rewarding privilege there is, it’s still tough. So this morning God wants to give you some encouragement. This morning, God wants to give you a Mother’s Day card just from Him.

In your bulletin is an insert that can be used to write down God’s message of encouragement. And even if you aren’t a Mother, maybe you know of someone who could use these words, so take notes. Then you’ll be able to turn to these Mother’s Day cards from God when you need some encouragement. Especially:

When you feel discouraged:  Discouragement can come to a Mother at any given time.

- When your kids act up and do the same things you’ve told them over and over not to do.

- When you can’t get a break from the kid’s sicknesses or accidents or both.

- When you feel an emotional distance between you and your kids.

- When you feel like your husband isn’t helping you with parenting as much as he should be.

- When others look down on you because of the way you choose to parent.

Discouragement can be a very real force in a Mother’s life. But when that discouragement comes and tries to steal your joy, remember that God is with you and will help you with what He’s called you to do.

Listen to what it says in Isaiah 41:10.  “So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God is here and will help you to be the Mother He’s called you to be. Turn to this insert when discouragement comes and read God’s Message to you.

You can also turn to these cards:

When you feel angry.  Now you’ve never gotten angry with your kids have you? Why, our kids are so precious and perfect that there’s never a need for anger in our household. “Okay!”  Kids can make us angry!  “You used my eyeliner to draw a picture!”  “You did what to the cat?”  “Why did you try and cut your own hair?”  “Son, you know you can’t wear the same underwear three days in a row!”

Now, anger is a normal emotion that can be used for good – that’s as long as we don’t let our anger control us to the point that we cause harm to others. Anger out of control only causes more problems. So when you feel angry, open up this card and read God’s Message to you from Ephesians 4:26-27.

"In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Anger out of control can give Satan an opportunity to drive a wedge in your family’s relationships. Out of control anger can create emotional scars that take a lot to heal. Mom’s, anger is normal and even expected under certain circumstances. But let God help you control it instead of it controlling you. Look at this card when you feel angry.

Also, look at this card: When you need wisdom

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do as a Mom. So many decisions that need to be made. Important, life-changing and life-altering decisions. Questions about our kid’s education, our kid’s moral issues, health concerns, paying for college, when they should start dating, (never), and all other kinds of things. Things as simple as, “How can I get my kids to go through one day without fighting?” Or things as crucial as, “How can I help my kids understand that God loves them even when life is hard.” But always remember, God will give you the wisdom you need to be the best Mom you can be. Look at what is says in James 1:5.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Now this doesn’t mean you’ll always have just the right answer for the questions of life. But it does mean that the Lord will help you know how to handle the situations that He allows to come into your life. When you need wisdom remember these words.

Along with needing wisdom, a Mother also might need some encouragement: When you feel alone

Now that might not seem like a legitimate need to some people. I mean, you’ve got your kids with you all day. You aren’t alone, you’ve always got someone to talk to. But even though a Mom can have her kids around her all day long, there are times when she can still feel alone. A Mom can feel alone when:

- Her husband works so much that he’s either mentally gone even physically gone most of the time.

- Her kids are too young to have an adult conversation with them.

- Her kids are the only ones throwing a temper-tantrum in a crowded restaurant.

These are just a few of the things that can cause a Mother to feel alone. So

when those times come remember that you aren’t alone.

- In John 14:18 Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”

- God tells us in Hebrews 13:5“I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.”

- When Jesus left this earth to return to His Heavenly Father, He left this promise for you in Matthew 28:20, “And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

You are not alone! Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life you will never, ever, ever be alone. In those times we must remember that Truth. God is with us and within us in such a way that we are never alone.

Call out to Him in those times and ask Him for reassurance; Ask Him for comfort; Ask to sense His presence. He is with you and always will be.

Isn’t that great? I’m so glad that I don’t have to walk through life alone. God is with us. So remember that when you feel lonely. This card can also be referenced:

When you feel tired

Now men let me ask you a question. Have you ever said to your wife something like, “Just why are you so tired?” “I worked all day. What did you do?”  You know what happened right? You found yourself on the losing end of an hour long argument of comparing your job with her life and just who should be tired around here. Who should be tired? Probably both parents! Work is tiring. Mothering is tiring. Just because a woman isn’t punching a clock in the factory doesn’t mean she shouldn’t get tired.  You see, not only is a Mother doing lots of manual labor called housework, she’s also dealing with emotions and decisions and relationships that all take energy.  So Moms, instead of brewing another pot of coffee or gulping an energy drink, go to the Lord when you need some strength. Isaiah 40:29-31 reads: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Our God wants to give you the strength to do all that you need to do. So when your strength is failing, and there’s nobody around to give you a break, rely on our all-powerful God who will give you the strength to carry on.  And finally, something that most Mothers can relate to, you can go to this card for some encouragement:

When you’re worried

I think Mothers tend to worry because they care so much about their kids. They laugh when their kids laugh. They cry when their kids cry. They hurt when their kids fail. They rejoice when their kids triumph. Moms want their kids to have the best and be the best.  But sometimes Moms worry when things don’t go as planned. Sometimes Moms worry when they see problems and pain coming for their children. Worry comes when things seem like they’re out of our control and going badly.  But ladies, you don’t have to be the perfect Mom for your kids to turn out okay. You can and will make mistakes. Trying to be the perfect Mom isn’t a realistic goal. But what you can be is the Mom that God’s enabled you to be. Stop comparing yourself with your neighbor, with someone you saw on tv, or someone you read about in a book. Be the Mom God’s created you to be, do your best, and leave the results up to Him. And when worry comes, remember Philippians 4:6-7:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   When you’re worried, go to God who will calm your heart and give you peace.

I don’t know about you….but Isn’t God good? I mean, we can go to Him when we feel discouraged, when we feel angry, when we need wisdom, when we feel alone, when we feel tired and when we feel worried. Keep these Mother’s day cards handy and refer to them often. Mom’s, being a Mother is a high calling, and God wants to and will help you as you seek to love your children into adulthood. God is here for you!   God is with us and will help us with life if we’ll simply have faith.

Mother’s Day Notes
A Mother’s Day Card From God
Proverbs 31:10-31
1.        Being a Mom is ___________________. 
List jobs you find yourself tackling
A.                                                            E                                              I                                               M
B.                                                            F                                              J
C.                                                            G                                             K
D.                                                            H                                             L
2. Being a Mom is ____________________________
Mom’s need encouragement when they feel ____________________, when the kids ____________________, when you can’t get a ___________________, when they feel emotional _________________________, when they are ___________________ down upon, when their husbands do not _____________________.  When you feel _____________.  Discouragement can steal a Mom’s ___________. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
2.        Mom’s need ________________________.  James 1:5, “If any of you lacks _______________, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
3.       Mom’s need some encouragement when they feel ________________.  John 14:18 tells us “I will not leave you _____________________; I will come to you.”  Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never _________________you.  I will never forsake you.”
4.       Mom’s need help when they feel _________________.  Isaiah 40:29-31 – He gives strength to the __________________ and increases the power of the _______________...They will soar on wings like ______________; they will run and not grow _______________, they will walk and not be ___________________.”
5.       Mom’s do not need to ___________________.  God has got this.  Philippians 4:6:  “Do not be ______________________ about anything…..

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Kids And Their Mom's

Today for Mother’s Day I want to encourage you guys to Show your love by your actions
My Scripture is from I John 4:9-11, 21:  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 

I am sure that all of you know what today is….. it is Mother's Day. Did you give your mother a card or a present for Mother's Day? This Mother's Day card says, "Mom, I love you!" Do you think your mother likes to hear you tell her that you love her? Of course she does! But do you know what your mother would like even more? She would like for you to show her that you love her.

What are some ways you can show your mother that you love her? Well, you might help out around the house. You could clean your room or empty the trash. You could show her that you love her by obeying her when she tells you to do something. You can show her you love her by getting along with your brothers and sisters. It is easy to tell your mom that you love her, but if you really love her, your actions will show it!

Do you think that God likes to hear us tell Him that we love Him? I know He does. But He likes it even better when our actions show Him that we love Him. How do we do that? The Bible tells us that, "God showed his love for us by sending His one and only Son so that we might live through him." It goes on to say that, "since God loved us so much, we ought to love one another." One of the best ways to show our love for God is to love one another. Yes, God likes to hear us say, "I love you," but He would rather see us say, "I love you."

As we celebrate Mother's Day, let's tell Mom that we love her, but more important, let's remember to show her that we love her. And as we worship today, let's tell God we love him, but more important, let's remember to show him we love him by loving one another.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Wednesday Hodge Podge Running On Empty

Welcome to the new and improved Wednesday Hodgepodge! Less questions, more fun! For Joyce anyway. teehee Thanks for playing along today. If you've answered the questions add your link at the end of my post by clicking here, then go say howdy to your neighbor. Here we go-
From this Side of the Pond

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother. If you're a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother's experience.
All my mother stories are not good ones.  Some of my memories are sad and filled with bad feelings.....BUT....when I was young just like Joyce, my most favorite memory of my own mom is sitting snuggled up beside her on the living room couch or in my bed while she read to me....or I read to her.....or we just both read.  Reading was a big thing in my family.  Another memory was Thursday night board game night.  It was just the three of us and so much fun. I also remember her teaching me how to sew.  She could see a dress, cut a pattern using a brown paper bag and produce something that was amazing.  Oh the stories I could tell.  I read to my children too and they read....I am not say they all love it as much....but they do it.  I am blessed that the last six years of my mom's life were with me and a lot of the hurt feelings from childhood were dealt with.....there was a lot of forgiveness happening then.  I wish I could have one more Mother's Day with her.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.
I teach.  My daughter was an Early Childhood Special Ed teacher(a double whammie in my books) and easy to appreciate. She was an amazing teacher.  She and her husband, Brian are now missionaries through Stella's voice in Moldova.  She still loves to substitute when she gets a a school in Moldova.  My granddaughter, her husband, my aunt, my cousin....and several more are all nurses.  I admire them for what they do. 

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad...which would you go for if all three were on the menu? On bread or a bed of lettuce? If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich?  I would choose the combo meal that had all three.  I like them on bread and on crackers.  I like all bread I am set either way.

4. Do you have a desk? Is it organized? If so, share your secret to keeping it that way. If you don't have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business? Where do you normally sit to blog? I have a desk  at work and at home and it's organized for me.  I sit wherever when I blog.  If I am at school I blog at my desk....but at home I will blog inside, outside, at my desk, on the couch....anywhere.

5. When I was nine years old....I got a Schwinn bicycle for Christmas, my brother died, I read, I loved the beach and we went almost every day, I loved swimming, I loved roller skating, I played with dolls, I took piano lessons and hated every minute, I loved to sing, I went to church, I learned to play guitar.  I was in the fourth grade at Belvedere Elementary and my teacher was Mrs. Hayes. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.  My Godmother died this week.  My heart is heavy.  I loved her from the moment my mom put me in her arms when I was 18 months old.  The picture below was on my Christening Day at Comer Methodist Church.   Did you have Godparents when you were a child?