Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Instagram and #hashtags

I have had an Instagram account for a couple of years. I really like Instagram and find it can be very encouraging and a great way to keep connected. However, I have a few “younger” friends that I follow and to be perfectly honest, I am worried. Many of these young ladies are posting pictures that often surprise me. I am not sure if they are really doing what they are posting or if they are just trying to be hip, cool or popular, but as Christians, they should really take this verse to heart…
 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  ~ Romans 12:2
One of the “fun” things about using Instagram is using #hastags. You see that when you put up a #hashtag you are linking it to other posts that have the same #hashtag. But, ladies you need to be very careful! I often check the #hashtags some of my younger friends post and have often been shocked at what they are linked to. If I see something that concerns me, I will make contact with these young ladies privately and ask them it they were aware of what they were linked to. Many times they are shocked and embarrassed as to what they see when they click on the #hastags!
 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Use this verse as a guide. Unfortunately, many times I do not see things posted on Instagram accounts that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely (from God’s perspective, not the worlds) of good report, of any virtue, or praiseworthy. These are the things we should be meditating on…and posting on social media! Is what you are posting proclaiming  your faith to the world? Are you using this opportunity to advance the Gospel or are you conforming to the world?
Ladies, please be careful. Don’t get caught up in the trends of the day only to find out you are literally linking yourself to things that are of the world. We are to be different!

 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light ~ 1 Peter 2:9

Shared at:
The Joy in the Journey

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lessons Learned

2016  is a year I will not soon forget. This year so many lessons were learned. Many were not very pleasant at the time, but through it all I experienced emotional, spiritual and physical growth that I am so very grateful for.

Lesson 1 ~ Good things sometimes come to an end. ~ This year our homeschooling journey came to an end. For the past 20 years that has been the focus of my days. My "new normal" is still a work in progress, but the Lord has graciously given me glimpses of the results of those years. Seeing the fruit of my labor in my children has been very rewarding.

Lesson 2 ~ Sometimes others choose another path.  ~ It is hard to see people you have known for many years choose a different way. It is sad to see that maybe you were not so much alike after all. But, Jesus reminds me that he is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes and neither do his ways.

Lesson 3 ~ Sometimes surgery is the only option. ~ After over 4 years of dealing with gall bladder issues, I ended up in an emergency situation. I had my very sick gallbladder removed in early September and a week later I ended up with a kidney stone. For 45 LONG days my journey with the kidney stone was not only painful, but also humbling. Through this trial, I now have so much more compassion for those afflicted. After being in pain for so long, I now have a better understanding of how people can get addicted to medication.

Lesson 4 ~ Love never fails. ~ My husband and I have been married for 31 years. We have been through many trials and losses during those years, but his care of me during my health crisis demonstrated love in a whole new way. He was my rock and was there with me every step of the way. Words can not express how truly thankful I am.

Lesson 5 ~ God's people are everywhere ~ We have had the amazing privilege to travel to many destinations this year. We were able to meet with other believers who really love the Lord. What a blessing and encouragement to me to be with others who share my faith.

Lesson 6 ~ Life is a journey ~ The older I get the more I understand that I will always be learning and growing. I have no idea what lies ahead for me in the coming year, but I do know that God is faithful.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

Shared at:  The Joy in the Journey

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

31 Years of Marriage

Happy Anniversary to the man who makes me laugh, can drive me crazy, and loves me so well. 31 years later, here we are...I can't imagine this adventure without you!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Partakers of Christ’s Sufferings ~ An Essay

     Our 18 year old son, Andrew, just found out that he won the Bible Presbyterian Publications Youth Essay Contest in the 18 - 21 age category...the topic was Persecution of Christians - Yesterday and Today 

Here is a copy of his essay...
Partakers of Christ’s Sufferings

Loss of property. Imprisonment. Martyrdom. These are just a few forms of persecution facing people around the world for one simple reason: because they believe on Christ as their savior. From the time of the apostles in the book of Acts, persecution has been an issue faced by Christian believers. Christ said in Matthew 5:10-12,

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV)
Here, we are told not only to expect persecution, but to “[r]ejoice, and be exceeding glad” when it occurs. Looking at examples from around the world, we can see just how believers are standing strong in the face of tribulation.

Before examining persecution on the global scale, we must first define it, and then see what God’s Word has to say about it. Webster’s dictionary defines persecution as: “The infliction of pain, punishment or death unjustly, particularly for adhering to a religious creed or mode of worship.” This very appropriately describes the daily issues facing many Christian brothers and sisters worldwide. God’s Word uses many terms to describe persecution: fiery trial, tribulation, railing, and reviling, just to name a few examples. To summarize, persecution is trial or suffering for faith in Christ.

The Bible also lists many different sources and reasons behind persecution. First of all, we as Christians must understand that we are in a constant spiritual battle. We are told, 

[T]hink it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
For those that have accepted Christ as Savior, we are “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 3:14): Christ is dwelling within us. This, of course, puts the world at odds with those who claim the name of Christ, as it says in James 4:4: “…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Ephesians 6:12 brings to light even more aspects of this battle: 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
To put it in my own words, persecution occurs because a world that is at odds with God will fight against Him and His servants.

The spiritual and physical threats of persecution are very real around the world. Across the Caribbean and South America, many such issues are incredibly active. In communist Cuba, professing Christians face harassment or imprisonment, and are under the constant threat of attacks by mob-violence. This stems from the totalitarian control of the Cuban dictatorship. 

Across the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, believers face a different kind of threat: violence from local Catholics. Amidst claims that Christianity threatens the local way of life (which includes numerous feast days blended from Catholic doctrine and pagan tribal beliefs), Christians in this area face many trials. These include death threats, and the potential loss of crops, homes, and land…all for claiming the name of Jesus! Additionally, because the Gospel causes people to turn from their addictions, drug traffickers across Mexico have a great disdain for Christianity. This prompts violence in the form of assassinations, murders, and assaults.

In the South American country of Colombia, a corrupt government offers little protection for believers from several threats. Among these is the terror of militant guerillas, who seek to rid the area of anyone who disagrees with them politically or religiously. In addition, the risk from drug lords is also a concern, again because of the freedom Christianity gives to those entrapped in addictions.

Across Africa and the Middle East, numerous Muslim nations greatly restrict—or outright prohibit—the practice of Christianity. Although too numerous to list specifically, Christians in many of these nations face imprisonment, fines, and even martyrdom, for “offences” a simple as possessing a Bible! 

The rise of the “Islamic State” (ISIS/ISIL) in recent years has greatly intensified persecution for Christians in Iraq and the surrounding countries. The goal of this group is to fulfill the most extreme teachings of the Koran, which instructs its followers to annihilate those who follow other beliefs (such as Christianity) and refuse to recant their faith.  As such, martyrdoms of faithful Christians are common, as well as numerous horrific brutalities by this militant group. 

In the Far East, both religious and political factions present even more threats to Christians in those areas. Anti-conversion laws in Hindu-controlled India are a growing concern, as is the official stance of humanism--“freedom from religion”--in communist China. 

In North Korea, the state pseudo-religion of Juche demands obedience to the tyrannical rule of the Kim family. Juche is a severe distortion of the true Gospel, replacing Christ with a new “savior:” the dictator. Those that turn to Christ are often arrested, tortured, and executed as a “threat to the state.”

In light of all this persecution and tribulation, how should Christians respond? In our flesh, such trials naturally cause anger, bitterness, and a desire for retaliation. These are obviously wrong; but what is the right way? How does God desire we respond to attacks because of our belief in Him? It all comes down to perspective. We must realize that persecution is not a personal attack on us, but rather an attack on the One within us: Christ. Seeing persecution this way allows us to look to Him for guidance in what to do next. Additionally, we can see ourselves as “partakers of Christ’s sufferings,” (1 Peter 3:14) and allow His love to flow through us to our persecutors. 

The Bible is very clear on what we are to do to our enemies—whether they be personal, or enemies of the Lord. Christ admonishes believers in Matthew 5:44,

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
This passage outlines some very specific steps. First, we are to love them. This takes an active relationship with Christ, to allow His love to flow through us. Secondly, we are called to “…bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…” Not only should we love our persecutor, but should also seek to be a blessing to him, and not return evil for evil. Lastly (and most importantly) we should pray. Pray for those that persecute us! Pray, not that the situation might go away, but that God might be glorified and His Will might be accomplished through the situation.

We have examined what persecution is, the reasons behind it, how it is occurring around the world, and how we should respond. There is one aspect we haven’t discussed however: the eternal consequences. In Romans 8:31 we read, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” This is where our hope can be found in times of trials for faith: Christ (Who is within us) has the ultimate victory! He has promised, 

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
The temporary sufferings and persecutions in this life pale greatly when compared to the eternal glory and reward for a faithful life. This is truly what it means to become “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (1 Peter 3:14) : to be willing to die for faith in God; trusting that He has the final victory of death, and will glorify Himself in the outcome.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A New Season


You may have noticed the name change of this blog. I will continue to blog here about our family adventures, however, I have decided to start a new website specifically for woman. I  would like to invite you to visit The Joy in the Journey.  
 This website is designed to encourage woman in every "season" of life.

The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
 Titus 2:3-5


Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Baby

Happy birthday to my Leap Year Baby. You were three weeks early and we were so surprised you were born on February 29th! You have blessed our lives more than you will ever know. When you set your mind to something, you get it done! I am so honored to be your mother and I am so glad I can call you my friend! We are celebrating 24th years today...even though your are "really" only 6! Happy Birthday Matthew!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016


 How can it be that my baby is 18 years old today. This young man has blessed our lives in so many ways. He is kind, considerate, lots of fun and ready for adventure! ~ Happy Birthday Andrew!     

Ready for adventure at Mt. Rainier
Snapping a photo at Mt. Timpanogos, Utah
The boy who loves trains!
He loves to study the weather! A visit to the weather center at News Channel 8
Competitive sailor in his happy place
Sharing the Gospel with the children at the Good News Club

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Christian Boy vs A Godly Man

I came across this excellent post over at the My Sweet Jesus website titled "Ladies, A Christian Boy vs A Godly Man". This is just too good not to share. I highly recommend  you read it and share with a young Christian lady (or perhaps a young man) you might know.

Shared at:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth