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Families Again
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Merry Christmas to All
Topic: The Purple Files

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Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Luke 2:11

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Posted by tink38570 at 10:57 PM CST
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Wednesday, 26 October 2011
I Started to Fast Today...
Mood:  not sure
Topic: The Purple Files

 


 

I started to fast today. You know, the Biblical form of fasting where you deprive yourself of food. I haven't fasted a lot in my Christian life. Only a few times. Nor have a studied a lot about it. So I am by far not an expert.

I have, also, heard about other forms of fasting other than fasting from food. Sometimes there are other things that are important to you that mean more to you than food. Some people fast from TV, some folks fast from talking on the phone, I decided to also fast from playing any type of computer game today. Instead, when I thought about playing a video game, I would pray instead.

So, I was going to fast from food and from playing on the computer. I had good intentions and I started out well. Until, before I knew it, Sarah stopped and got McDonalds on her way home from therapy with our two youngest. I was two bites into the chicken sandwich before I remembered. Ah, well, I plan to make fasting a regular priority in my life, so, hopefully, I will remember. But I still had the computer game fast. I have managed to keep up with that.

It's amazing how, when you try to honor God, God will bless you as well, Today has been a wonderful time of prayer. The funny thing is, although I have been praying for the things that started the fast in the first place, those things have not been the priority.

God has brought many things to mind to pray for. My family. Our Compassion International children. A friend from Florida who is going through a particularly difficult time with her special needs child. Those have all been things that God has led me to pray for. It's really been a special time.

Not only has God led me to pray for specific things, but he has led me to some great devotional and thought provoking writings. Things for me to reflect on and think about. Things that go along with the things that I have been praying about.

God has been doing a lot of that lately. He's been teaching me to be discerning and to listen for his voice. I talked about it on the TOS Homeschool Crew forum a little bit the other day. There were several times that day that I began to comment about specific things on the forum when it was almost like God placed His hand over my hands. It was very clear that I wasn't to write those posts. It's a very humbling thing when God does that to you.

God still hasn't given me a specific answer to some of the prayer items that led me to fast today, but I know He will. If I must fast another day I then so be it. I like being led by the Holy Spirit. I mentioned that it was humbling, but in a way it is very refreshing as well.

How about you? Have you fasted before? Has God given you discernment in areas of your life? It's a special time. Pray about what God would have you to do. If it's not fasting it may be something else. I can tell you that times like these are special. 


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Posted by tink38570 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2011 10:42 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 18 October 2011
You Really Have Got to See This!
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: The Purple Files

I know I have said this before - "You have got to see this!", and I always mean it. This time, however, I really, really mean it. You have got to see this and listen to it all the way to the end. I know it's long, but it is worth it.

 

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Posted by tink38570 at 12:16 PM CDT
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Sunday, 16 January 2011
I Saw Jesus on a Garbage Heap!
Mood:  happy
Topic: The Purple Files

 

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 

I went for a walk the other day through a neighborhood that I wasn't familiar with. You would think that after all of these years I would know every part of my small town, but there was one section that I always avoided. That day, however, something compelled me to walk that way. I didn't know what it was at the time. Only that there was a reason why I had to go. So I did.

It was the kind of street that your mother always warns you about. An area where you really shouldn't walk alone. However, as I walked, I felt peace. As if it was where I should be at that moment. It was an inner peace. It had to be, because there was nothing on the outside that would convey peace at all. The houses were shabby and rundown. The lawns unkempt. It didn't get any better as I walked. The houses, if that's what you could call them, became mere shacks, and the shacks became mere boxes, hardly even livable. Junk filled the yards. Graffiti filled the walls. Still, I felt comfort. There was a voice within that said I should be there.

I walked on until there were no structures at all. Only junk. And then I saw it. The mound - no, the hill - no, the mountain of garbage. Stinking, filthy, trash everywhere. But there was something different about this trash. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on at first until it finally dawned on me what it was. It was the trash itself. This wasn't ordinary refuse that you would see on a regular garbage heap. This was different. There were no soup cans or soda bottles or cereal boxes. Instead I saw a can of discouragement, a bottle of depression, and a box of rejection. To my right there was a package of worry and a bag of fear. On my left there were scraps of disobedience.

As far as my eye could see there were large pieces and small pieces but each had the same type of label. Some labels were disgusting to my eyes - murder, pornography, abuse. Others weren't as repulsive - gossip, lies, hurtful words. All, however, were pieces of garbage. Worthless piles of waste.

I stood wondering what it all meant. Why was I there? Why was I so driven within that I had to walk that way and see that horrible site? I didn't belong there. I wasn't any of those things.

Then, something caught my eye. Was something moving? What was it? There was no wind - not even a breeze. It wasn't something moved by the air. At first I thought it was my imagination, but then I saw it again. Something, indeed, was moving slowly through the pile of trash. My curiosity got the best of me and I walked closer to see what it was. It was a person. In fact, as I came nearer to him, I recognized who it was immediately. It was Jesus!

Jesus was on the top of that garbage heap! Why was he there? Why would Jesus be in the middle of a dump? And what was he doing? At first I couldn't tell but then, finally, I saw. He reached down to pick up a piece of trash. I saw clearly what it was, it was a jar of guilt. Then, the most amazing thing happened. As he grabbed that filthy jar it became a hand. And as he picked it up, it ceased to become a piece of trash, but became a young women. And then, as she stood, she was no longer filthy, but  beautiful. Not with an outward beauty, however. It was an inward beauty. A beauty that I had never seen before. A radiant beauty that could only be given by Jesus himself. Next, he reached down for a box that said anger. Soon, there was a young father standing before Jesus, just as radiant and shining as the young women.

I watched in awe as one by one Jesus reached for garbage but instead pulled up beautiful human beings. A bottle of rejection became a young boy. A package of addiction became a teenage girl. An elderly woman came from chunks of fear and a middle aged man came from pieces of uselessness. All were as shining and beautiful as the young women and young father were.

Then they began to run. I watched until they disappeared but there was no more wonder in my mind. I knew what had happened. I knew why they ran. They were free. Free from the bondage of sin to which they had been shackled. Free from being trash in a garbage heap.

I watched with joy. I cheered them on. It was a glorious site. Until my happiness turned to tears. You see, I was still standing there. I was not running with them. Then I realized why I was there. I belonged there. I belonged in that pile of trash. As I looked at myself I was no longer me. I was a piece of filth. I could see myself and I didn't have just one label, I had many. Dishonesty, unfaithfulness, and worry were there. Guilt, selfishness and rejection were included. My list went on and on. Indeed I was nothing but garbage. Filthy, stinking garbage. There was no hope for me. I would never run. I would never be free. I felt so small. So all alone. So unworthy.

Then, it happened. He walked my way. He saw me. He saw me with all of my sins. With all of my labels. With all of my baggage. And...he looked beyond it all and he touched me. He grabbed my hand. He pulled me up. And he looked at me. He took my face and he looked at me. There was that force. The force that I had been feeling this whole time. The force that drew me to this place. It was Jesus. Jesus had called me here. Jesus had called me to himself, and, then, Jesus had picked me up and set me free. I now had the joy. I now had the hope. I now had the radiance that I had seen and so longed for in the others. I began to run. I began to run like they had. Because, now I was free. The Son had set me free, and I was free indeed.

 

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Posted by tink38570 at 6:52 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 16 January 2011 10:22 PM CST
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Saturday, 18 September 2010
A Man After God's Own Heart
Mood:  not sure
Topic: The Purple Files


Our boss came to visit us this week. Ken really isn't our boss. His title is the Southeastern Director for BCM and he is in charge of all of the missionaries that live in the Southeast, but he is more like our pastor. In fact, he calls himself the pastor to his missionaries. He comes once a year to visit, check up on our ministry, encourage us, and to challenge us.

Whenever he comes he always asks thought provoking questions of us and writes down our answers. He wants us to not only be challenged, but to know how to pray for us. Some of his questions pertain to our spiritual growth and some pertain to our ministry.

Ken is a big believer (and so am I because it's Biblical) that in order to minister, you have to keep in God's Word and make sure your spiritual life is in order. I find myself lacking in that so many times. Many times I'll be so busy with ministry (or perhaps so lazy) that I never seem to have the time for my quiet time with the Lord. However, how can I fill someone else up if I'm not filled up myself?

Our time praying, reading the Bible, meditating, and studying is very important. It should be the basis of our Christian walk, often it is the most overlooked aspect of our journey through life.

Recently, through a series of sermons from our pastor, and my experience through the Walk to Emmaus, I've been challenged by King David. Remember, he was said to be a man after God's own heart. I began asking myself some questions. Can that be said of me? Does God consider me a man after His own heart? How can I know for sure?

I decided to begin to study what it means to be a "Man after God's own heart", and what a better place to start than with Kind David himself. The study has been enlightening and challenging. It involves setting priorities - sometimes life changing priorities - in your life. In the next few weeks, I'm going to be talking about what those priorities should be on my blog. I hope you'll drop by from time to time and join me as I share what I have been learning. I know it is going to be a lot of fun.


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Posted by tink38570 at 11:06 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 18 September 2010 11:19 PM CDT
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