Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - Final Thoughts

The Wednesday Night Ladies Bible Study at Pearson will be wrapping up Angela Thomas' "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" tomorrow night. We'll not meet the rest of July, but will kick off another great Bible Study in August. I've been thinking, "What do I hope that the Ladies remember from 'Beautiful'? What do I hope they take away from this Bible Study?"
Dear Reader, the Creator of the universe is crazy about you. The Lord God Almighty thinks you are beautiful. He knit you together in you mother's womb. He created your inmost being. He knows your every thought. He knows when you get up and when you lie down. (That and more is found in Psalm 139) He knows every detail of every day and night of your entire life. He chose the color of your eyes, the texture of your hair, and the sound of your voice. You are not a mistake. You are not a failure. No matter where you've been, no matter where you are, no matter where you think you're headed....it is NEVER too late to accept the life HE intends for you....a life with Christ as your guide, a life that is a picture of God's love and Christ's redemption and restoration.
Most times "Good Christian Women" tune out when we start talking about following Christ, but you shouldn't. This message is for you too. Enough with the pressure of being good enough, saying the right things, and being in the right place at the right time. Live in the freedom that is rightfully yours as a Child of the Most High God. Seek HIS face daily. Follow HIS lead. Let HIM be your guide. Stop worrying about what everyone else expects of you. If you decide right now to live every moment of your life to truly absolutely please your Creator, everything else will fall into line for you eventually because your focus will be on HIM and not all the others.
Please pray with me...
Oh GOD! It takes my breath away to think that You who created the mountains and the oceans and the butterflies and flowers and the beauty of creation also created me. It is hard for me to comprehend that the same One who chose the colors of the sunset also chose the color of my eyes. Your word tells me that you "knit me together"....what a tender picture. I wonder what you thought of as you knit me together in my mothers womb. What did you want that tiny baby to become? You know where I am. You know what weighs me down and keeps me from being the woman You dreamed of when You dreamed of me. Help me today to begin living every breath for You. Help me to be the beautiful woman you created.
Amen
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
Hugs!
K

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Article on FLO Ministry and Spa Day

The FLO Ministry Team was approached by our local newspaper to publish an article on the purpose of our ministry and also to announce our upcoming Spa Day with the Spa Girls. What an awesome opportunity to give a shout out for what the Lord is doing through FLO! We are each so honored and priveleged to be a part of this ministry effort. Click on the link below to be routed to our article.

http://www.rankinledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090627/FAITH/906270304&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL

We hope you have a wonderful week!

Serving Him,
The Flo Ministry Team

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You Are For Me



Stop what you're doing, get alone just by yourself, listen to the words of this song. God is for us. That's all we need to know. That's the only thing that's important. Relish in that fact. Accept that fact. He'll never forsake us, even in our weakness. God is for us and that is enough.

His Forever,
Christa


So faithful, so constant and so true
So powerful in all You do
You fill me, You see me
You know my every move You love for me to sing to You
I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come now even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

So patient, so gracious, so merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do
You fill me, You see me
You know my every move You love for me to sing to You
Lord, I know that You are for me, I know that You are for me
I know that You will never forsake me in my weakness
And I know that You have come now even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

Let my Husband run my house? You have to be crazy!

Let my Husband run my house? You have to be crazy!

Being raised in the South has great advantages. I truly could not think of a better place to be raised than in Mississippi. I love it. You guessed it; my mom was raised here too. Yes, my mom is to me, a true Southern Lady. Mississippi is known as the Hospitality State and my mom is queen of Hospitality. Anyone, from anywhere in the world would feel welcome and invited in her home.

Being raised by a mom like this has truly been a blessing and made me the woman I am today. Being taught to always say yes ma’am, no ma’am, thank you, please etc……no matter who you are talking to. One thing my mom taught me is that it is the wife’s responsibility to make her husbands life as easy as possible. It was always important to her to make sure the house was spotless clean the minute my Dad walked in from work. My mom made sure my dad always had the best meals cooked when he got home, never sandwiches and chips. My mom would get his clothes out each morning, get everything he needed for work, and have it all ready. She paid the bills, she did the shopping, she cleaned the house and yes most of the time even did the yard work. Did she have to do all of this? Of course not, but her goal was to take as much off of my dad as possible. Please don’t forget she DID work a full time job too.

Well here I am, 36 years old and following closely in my mom’s foot steps. Now I do not lay my husbands clothes out, but I find myself doing as much as possible so he won’t have to. Yes, I too, even get out there and get the yard work done, so when he gets off work he had nothing to do. I pretty much make sure our house runs as smoothly as possible (as smooth as it can with 4 children under the age of 10). I have found myself thinking what else I need to do to make it easier for him (I work full time too)J

Well all of you can imagine the shock to my soul when our preacher said that the “Man is the head of his household” and that “God did not create women to run the household”. You have got to be kidding. The Bible says this? Well, yes as a matter of fact it does. Eph 5:22-23 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.

Why is it I find it absolutely unfathomable to allow my husband to handle it all? Can he do it? Sure he can, but can he do it as good as me? Ah ha – there we go, is this a pride issue for me? I know what I am capable of, and I know that anything I do is going to be done right. Right? In whose eyes? MINE. Wow, do I have tunnel vision? Do I truly think that I can do everything better than him? Do I think that nothing will be done right if I don’t do it myself? The cold hard truth is that evidently I do feel this way.

My prayer for you, and myself, is that we as women will realize that God created man and woman so very different and for a reason. I pray that we will be able to unleash our selfish ways and realize that our husbands are as wonderful as we are, in their own way, Gods way! I pray that we find the strength, and courage, to allow our husbands to be the head of our homes, just as God created them to be. I pray that we will be able to show our husbands how much we trust them and allow them to take their God given positions in our homes. Ladies, our husbands cannot grow spiritually if we are not allowing them to be the man God created them to be. I would not do anything to hinder my husband’s relationship with God, so I must allow him to be the man God created to be. I must submit myself to him and allow him to be the true “Head of the Household”. I know that our home will truly be blessed.


Lovingly

Christie

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Paula Deen's "Cake" Ice-Cream Cones

Ingredients:
1 box favorite cake mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cooking oil
24 flat-bottomed ice cream cones

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine cake mix and 1/2 cup cold water. Beat 1 minute. Beat in eggs, water, vanilla and oil. Mix well. Place ice cream cones in muffin tins or on cookie sheet and fill each 1/2 full with batter. Bake 15 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Frost and decorate when cooled.
Enjoy,
The FLO Ministry Team

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - week 6


Well, this is it. We have spent the past few months in the Ladies Bible Study at Pearson studying Angela Thomas' "Do You Think I'm Beautiful". Next week will be our last week and I am kinda sad to put this one away. I love the daily reminder of "God thinks I'm Beautiful!" Doesn't matter if I am having a bad hair day, if my mascara makes my eyelashes clump together, if my pants mysteriously shrunk since the last time I wore them, if my face forgets that acne was supposed to be left with my memories of the Senior Prom....no matter what my mirror has told me over the past few months, this Bible study has reminded me of the truth....God made me just the way he wants me and He thinks I am beautiful!


This is my second time to do this Bible Study and I loved it more this time than I did the first. I guess it has everything to do with where I am in my relationship to Christ. The first time I did the study, I was amazed at the possibility. This time I have been amazed at the reality. God REALLY does call me beautiful!

Before I did the Bible study the first time several years ago, I read the book. As I read Angela's words, part of me was screaming "YES! That's it! That's exactly how I feel!" I found strength and comfort in knowing that I was not alone in my desire to know God Almighty and know Him intimately.

Next I did the Bible study during my quiet time. During these quiet moments with my Maker, I basked in His love for me...me personally. I realized that He'd been there all along, waiting for me to stop trying to fill the place in my heart that was created for HIM with "other lovers".

I have wanted to lead this Bible study for years now...simply because it touched me so tenderly. I wanted the women in my life to experience the same thing. It has truly been a blessing to me to talk to the ladies in our Bible study about the Lover of their souls and it has been a privilege to share "Beautiful" with you, Dear Reader, on Tuesdays.


I want to share the following excerpt from the book, "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?":

Wherever you are, however alone you may feel, don't miss the words God wants to speak to you:

You are beautiful

You are desired

You are known

You are held

You are protected

You are rescued

You are forgiven

You are pursued

You are seen

You are precious

You are MY princess

You are MY beautiful bride.

This is the heart of God for you . These are the truths of scripture written about you and about me, and therefore my friend, they are so.


Hugs!

~K~

Sunday, June 21, 2009

You want ME to submit??????


Ephesians 5:22-23 says "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior."
This is most men's favorite verse because it gives them authority and makes them the "boss". Most women bristle at the mere mention of "submitting" because they do not desire to be "weak". Both have the concept of Biblical submission all wrong.

Submission is based on trust. That trust is born out of love.
If you knew without a doubt that the man in your life loved you unconditionally, wanted the very BEST for you, was willing to do whatever necessary to meet your needs, and always gave consideration to your wants and needs before making a decision.....if you knew that the man in your life cherished you and adored you and had eyes for no other.....if you knew that the man in your life was consistently seeking God's will for his life and for his family....would you have any trouble submitting to him? Of course not. A woman in a relationship with a man like this would naturally submit because she would not feel threatened, taken advantage of, or insecure. The man described above puts the woman in his life in an environment where she can grow and flourish.

But what if your man isn't all these things? Are you off the hook? No, you're not. You must still submit....First to God, then to the man in your life.
See, God is the model for the example of the perfect man I described above. You can trust Him. You can depend on Him. When you don't understand what He is doing, you can rest in the promise that He always does what is best. You can also trust God to change your man as He changes you.

God created men to be heroes. He created men to rescue and save. He created men to be strong and sure....and he created us to desire to be rescued, to be kept safe, to be protected and provided for. God created us to naturally fit together, our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. God created us to fill in each other's gaps. We were created to be a team.


We have messed it all up. Men have stopped being the strong and sure hero because we told them we wanted them to be more tender and loving and...well, feminine. Women have stopped wanting to be rescued and protected because we have decided that we can do it better ourselves anyway. So, we have men who are not the head of the household...which is what GOD Almighty created them to be and we have women who ARE the head of the household....which is NOT what God intended them to be.

No wonder our marriages are a mess!

Over the next few weeks we will be delving into the topic of submission, but for now, Dear Reader, take a personal inventory.
This is NOT the time to put all the blame on the man in your life. This is not about him, it's ALL about you. Ask yourself the following questions....

~Who is the head of my household?
~Do I trust that the man in my life will save me, rescue me, provide for me and protect me?
~If I cannot yet trust the man in my life to be head of my home, do I trust GOD to get my home in the proper order?

Father God, submission is hard! We live in a world that consistently tells us that we must take care of ourselves. We have been raised to be independent and self-reliant women. We have been taught that if you want something done right, do it yourself. OH GOD! Help me to trust YOU. Help me to take that one step of faith. Draw me to you and sing songs over me so that I will know that you are near and that you are the lover of my soul. Help me trust you for all my needs so that I can lovingly and out of reverence to YOU submit to the man in my life. Help me to give him the proper place as head of my home so that he can be the man you created him to be.
Amen

Hugs!!!!!
K

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guest Blogger: Lisa Seal

Hey there!

This is Lisa aka "Spa Girl" and I will be seeing you in person in just a few short weeks at Pearson Baptist Church. We are looking forward to getting to know you all and sharing a little bit of ourselves with you. My family and I have just gone through a major life change and left the big city house for a quieter, simpler life in the country. I am learning from Paul, in the New Testament, to be content in whatever my situation. Actually, I am enjoying country life far more than I expected. I am now living very close to my mom and sisters and that is a great privilege for me. While my household surroundings have changed significantly, I am working hard to maintain a good attitude. In that regard, I thought I would share an entry from my blog, lisassewfun.blogspot.com :

Through the Eyes of a Five Year Old

I am proud to say that I have learned a very important lesson this week from my five year old friend. My friend and her mom came to visit me and to see the new digs, aka old farmhouse. Ok, I was a little nervous about what they would think and how they would react to the huge difference between our city house and the farm house we decided to relocate to. There are many differences and no matter how much cleaning or decorating that goes on, at the end of the day, I still reside in an old farmhouse. Of course, they really came to see me, but we all know, as women, we love to see how someone else lives and does. Anyway, here is what I learned:

A five year old will run, laugh, have a silly grin and give you a big hug no matter how much stuff needs to be unloaded from the car or how bad she might need to go to the bathroom.

Five year olds don't know or care when you last mopped the floor.

They can't see how much of the trim has not yet been painted or even installed in many places on the ceiling or floor.

They don't care that the dogs lick their face or hair even when it has just been washed and fixed.

They don't notice that the grounds are severely overgrown and the gardens are full of weeds as they look in awe for the new tomotoes that are just beginning to appear in the leaves.

They think climbing through a rusty barbed wire fence and dodging cow patties is a big adventure.

They don't notice that the house slants downward as you walk toward the bedrooms down the hall.

A five year old does not even think to look behind the curtains to see how dirty the windows or the ledges are, or that the window is cracked and patched by a metal serving tray.

They don't notice that the study is in the laundry room or that the ice maker is missing and old fashioned ice trays are constantly being emptied and refilled.

Most of all, they don't care if my hair is fixed or my makeup is on. They don't even care if I have lost or gained 5 pounds.

And most importantly, they think blackened marshmellows roasted over a tiny fire and mashed between 2 graham crackers is the best dessert ever.

I miss my friend.

So, I will continue my projects and adventures here in rural East Texas while I am getting ready to come to visit yall! See you soon!

~Lisa

Thursday, June 18, 2009

By Your Side



Why do we fight the hands that hold us? Why do we try to earn God's free gift of grace? Remember, He's always by your side, whenever you fall, in the dead of night. Stop fighting his love and his grace.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend of worship.

The Flo Ministry Team

Thursday's Thoughts


GOD THE JUDGE


We’ve spent the last couple of weeks talking about the character we’ve imagined about God. We’ve talked about God being the Dreamer who dreams about His child. We’ve also talked about misconceptions we’ve created about God…God being convenient, being a Mr. Fix It and on and on the list goes. Today, we’ll talk about the misconception of God being the Judge.

If you’ve followed my posts, you can tell that I’ve come from a very legalistic background. I’ve grown up with a list of dos and don’ts. I’ve had the belief that if I do all the right things on my list then God will bless me. I’ve also had the belief that if I didn’t do all the right things then God ‘the Judge’ would punish and unleash his wrath on me. There was a time in my past that I believed that every life occurrence, whether good or bad, was either a reward for doing all the right things or either a punishment for some horrible sin I had in my life. I totally made my salvation all about works. I remember when I was a child praying over and over every night when I got into my bed for God to save me. I prayed that same prayer every single night for close to 20 years, sometimes multiple times each night. It was a miserable cycle of unrest and insecurity.

Why can’t people break out of the binding leash of works? Nicodemus was a Pharisee. When he came to Jesus in John chapter 3, he couldn’t accept the fact that salvation was so simple. All it required of him was to believe. It was hard for him to accept that he didn’t have to DO something. It all boils down to salvation being a heart issue, a heart change, if you will. I fully believe that if a person’s heart has changed, then her actions will change and will represent the One who seeks to be glorified through her life.

Dear friend, it is my sincere desire for you to break the chains that works place on you and for you to see God as He really is, a loving merciful Savior, who desires to have an intimate relationship with you, his daughter. I lived too long afraid of God the Judge. It was a wonderful day when I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief and have my eyes opened to the unconditional love of my Heavenly Father.

His Forever,
Christa

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chocolate Delight

Ingredients:
1 c Flour
1 c Nuts – chopped
1 Stick butter – softened
8 oz. cream cheese – softened
1 c Powdered Sugar
16 oz. Cool Whip
3 c Milk
7 oz. Instant chocolate pudding mix

Instructions:
In medium bowl, combine flour, nuts, and butter; mix and press in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Cool. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and one carton Cool Whip. Beat until well combined and spread over cake layer. Refrigerate. In large bowl, combine milk and chocolate pudding mixes. Beat 3 minutes at low speed until thick and glossy. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer in pan. Refrigerate until set. Spread remaining Cool Whip on top and refrigerate. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Serving size – 16.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - week 6

The Ladies Bible Study group at Pearson has been studying Angela Thomas' "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" for about 6 weeks now. It has been a little frustrating for me to try and pick which topic to pull from the study and post about each week. This study TRULY relates to every woman, whether you think you are beautiful or not.
Since we are talking about legalism this week, I am going to share what Angela says about it. Just after sharing the story of the prodigal son, Angela explains what the "older brother" may look like today...meet "the Church Lady"....
Angela says:
"Most of my Jesus days, I have been a great Church Lady. Do you know any women like me? There are bunches of us everywhere. We smile a lot. We serve a lot.It's fun to be a church lady because it's like a little club. There is a lingo and rites of passage, and who knows, there may even be a secret handshake in there somewhere.
Once you get this Church Lady thing down, it feels like you have God figured out too.You know the appropriate times to smile, nod your head in agreement, to mummer an amen, and raise your hands in worship.
You kind of get this whole church groove going and it begins to feel like you've made it somehow. Nursery duty every month. Women's Bible Study once a week. Visitation. Outreach Projects. Youth Group retreats and fundraisers. And let us NEVER forget the creme de la creme for all church ladies......Vacation Bible School. Whew. The church lady is busy, but that means she is close to God, right?
Maybe....But maybe you've taken so many spiritual gifts surveys that you are quite tired of spiritual gifts.Maybe you're tired of serving, tired of smiling, and tired of prayer requests about Great Aunt Marge's cousin's wife's bunion. Maybe you have become a proper church lady. Theologically educated. hospitable. Quiet and gentle. But for some reason, incredibly empty.
Where is the passion, for heaven's sake? Where is the excitement? Why are Christian counselors booked solid with CHRISTIAN women who are dying on the inside?
Maybe you are like me and the first step to the answer is lying down the church-lady pretending.Now look inside your heart. anything powerful in there? Good? Holy? No. There is a want. A desire, But there is nothing in you that can make you whole. So go ahead and admit it. Empty. Desperately hungry and dying to have food that will last. You have tried, but cannot feed yourself.
The woman who realizes that she cannot fill her own soul becomes desperate for GOD to save her....the woman who does anything to get to GOD....
OH GOD! Make me an un-church lady!
Make me desperate!
Make me yours!"


A church lady not only gets tired, she can get bitter too, and can look very much like the unforgiving elder brother in the story of the prodigal son. When she realizes that she cannot fill her own soul, she realizes the same thing the prodigal did.....she needs her Father, and runs home......

Oh God! Make me an unchurch lady!
Make me desperate!
Make me yours!

Hugs
K

Monday, June 15, 2009


“Legalism occurs wherever a sinner attempts to earn God’s favor by his or her personal righteousness instead of by Christ’s transferred righteousness. Legalism demeans the value of Christ’s work of atonement by requiring sinners to perform activities that are man-centered and, in essence, man-exalting. Even subtle, unspoken legalism sets forth a course that inevitably leads to spiritual pride and eventual defeat under the weight of unsuccessfully attempted law keeping. Paul reacted against all forms of legalism with force and focus, calling for those who teach such lies to ‘be accursed’ (Gal. 1:8-9) and even wishing that those who were unsettling the Galatian Christians would ‘emasculate themselves’ (Gal. 5:12). This is strong language. But such attacks by Paul do not seem shocking when we pause to consider what is at stake. By substituting man-centered performance as the basis for acquiring righteousness, the very essence and foundation of redemptive truth is compromised.” (Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington, The Great Exchange: My Sin for His Righteousness, pp. 156-58).

Legalists want to “look good” in their religion. Their boast does not come from Christ (as Paul did, Gal. 6:14), but making believers to adhere to their expectations externally (i.e., visible form). That is why they will “compel” (Gal. 6:12) believers to conform to their standard because the basis of their boasting is inseparably linked with men’s conformity to them.

Are you suffering from a terminal case of legalism?

Are you more concerned with making sure you follow all the dos and don'ts of being a good church member than you are with spending time seeking God's face?

Are you serving Church or are you serving Christ?


Father God~
Search my heart and reveal to me any areas where I am seeking the praise of people more than I am seeking your will. Reveal to me anyone who I am judging because they are not behaving like I think a "Good Church Member" should.
Amen


Serving Him~
FLO Ministry Team

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Come Home Running

For all our Prodigals...and those that are waiting for them to come home....







Serving Him,
FLO Ministry Team

Thursday's Thoughts

A God that Dreams

There are moments that etch themselves into your very soul.

I was sitting in the car with one of the most important women in my life and my heart was absolutely shattered. Even now, thinking of that day makes my heart ache and tears stream from my eyes. As we sat in the summer heat, my mind raced. My time with her was limited. In just moments she would be gone again, out of my sight, beyond my reach…My heart screamed, “OH God! Help me know what to say!!!!!” I so desperately needed God to speak to her through me. I didn’t trust myself or my emotions because I was truly angry at her for the road she had chosen to travel. I was hurt that she did not seem to consider or care about what her choice was doing to those of us who love her...hurt and angry. What I wanted to say was “How DARE you do this?!?!” I wanted to demand that she straighten up, get herself together, and “act right”. So I prayed. I prayed with the desperation of one who knows that everything rides on the next few moments. “OH GOD!!!!!!! Help me know what to say!!!!!!”

“Do you think this is what God dreamed of when He dreamed of you?”

God heard the urgent cry of my broken heart and used me to speak to the broken woman in the car beside me for the next few moments. We sat in the front seat of her car in the scorching summer heat and I told her about the God who Dreams.

Scripture says that God KNIT you together in your mother’s womb.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm139:13

He didn’t throw you in a blender and mix you up. You are not some hap hazard mix of your parents DNA. He CREATED you. He KNIT you together. The same God who painted the feathers of the peacock and the wings butterfly chose the color of your eyes and hair. That same God sprinkled the freckles in a perfect pattern across your nose. He put the dimple in just the right spot in your chin and put the perfect amount of wave in your hair. He made your second toe longer than your first and your pinky finger slightly crooked. He chose the sound of your voice, the vibrato of your laugh, and determined just how tall you’d be. He placed in your soul the things that make you WHO you are...tender, compassionate, and giving...or strong, independent, and assertive....or any combination of these personality traits and a thousand others. Every single detail that makes you –well, YOU- was carefully, lovingly put into place by the same One who created the mountains, the oceans, the rain forests, and deserts. You are His unique creation, His child, His baby girl.

Scripture also says that He knows everything you have ever thought, said or done.
You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. Psalm 139:2-4

He knows every detail of every moment of every day and every night of your life. He knows how you REALLY feel about your co-workers. He knows all those things that you are so good at keeping hidden from the world. He knows you better than anyone else and He loves you more than anyone else. You are HIS and He is CRAZY about you.

On that hot summer day, the women in the car with me said “I know this is not what God dreamed of, but I can’t change what I am now.” I hugged her and promised her “You can’t but God can”.
As she drove away I begged God to take care of her, having no idea when I would see or talk to her again.

Years have passed since that hot summer day and that broken and battered woman is not so broken anymore. She has come to realize that she cannot fall so far that God can’t catch her. Even in her darkest hours, He is there.
Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you're there! If I go underground, you're there! If I flew on morning's wings to the far western horizon, You'd find me in a minute— you're already there waiting! Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I'm immersed in the light!" It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.
Psalm 139 7-12


God taught me something through this too. He taught me how to let go and let Him take care of things. He also taught me that the people in my life are not mine and were not created to follow MY plan for their lives…. they are HIS and they were each created to play a role in HIS plan, they have a part in HIS story.


I imagine that every woman reading this relates to my story in some way, so I ask you, Dear sweet reader,

“When you look at your life, at yourself, at this road you are traveling….Do you think this is what God dreamed of when He dreamed of you?”

And If you are absolutely dying inside because of choices someone else is making, remember, you can’t “fix” them, but God can..and they may not need as much work as you think!

Dear God,
Help me to become the woman you dreamed of when you dreamed of me and give me the courage to let you sculpt and shape the women in my life into the women you dreamed of when you dreamed of them.
Amen



Hugs!!!!
K

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lindsay's Tropical Salad


1 bag of lettuce (any variety will work)
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans (or any type of nut)
1 small can of mandarin oranges
Balsamic vinegarette


Place lettuce, cranberries, pecans and oranges in desired bowl. Lightly toss. Add salad dressing before you serve, as much or as little as you like. Lightly toss again. This is very easy and very good!


Enjoy,
Lindsay

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - week 5

The Ladies Bible Study group at Pearson is halfway through Angela Thomas' "Do You Think I'm Beautiful?" and I think we all agree that this is NOT the easiest Bible study we have done. Angela gets down to the real guts of the issues we face, the hangups we have, and the SIN in our lives that holds us captive and cripples us. Acknowledging sin is never comfortable and getting it out of your life can be absolutely painful.

One thing Angela touched on a week or so ago is the clutter we have in our lives and the clutter of sin we have in our souls. This has been something I can't get out of my head, so I want to visit that idea for a moment this morning.

The other day I picked a stray pen up off the kitchen counter and, without thought, opened up the "junk drawer" to put it away only to find that it would not fit! So, I decided that I would clean the junk drawer out "real quick". It only took about 15 minutes to get all the "junk" out of the drawer and lined up on the counter according to whose room it belonged in. No big deal. Piece of cake. I took my son's "junk" to his room and opened a drawer and .....it wouldn't fit. SO, I started in on his room. An hour or so later I was back in the kitchen getting my 4 yr old daughter's "junk" to put away in her room. Opened the toy box and.....you guessed it.....more junk.

What began as a 15 minute job turned into an all day ordeal. The more I looked, the more I found. I said, more than a few times, "WILL THIS EVER END?"

Cleaning the "junk" out of our lives and out of our hearts is very much the same. I have talked with SO many women that have been in tears, close to giving up, because they have been trying to get the "junk" out of their lives for ages and just can't understand why the junk keeps piling up.

Well ladies, just like the junk in our homes, the junk in our hearts didn't get there over night. Just like it takes time to get your house organized, cleaned out, and in order....yeah, it takes a while to get your heart in check.

We are tempted to give up and just stuff all the junk in another, less crowded place. Call it something else. Move it around. Spread it out.

It's still junk.

Angela gives us a list of "heart junk"....

~Numbing techniques of a hundred varieties
~Over scheduling yourself and your family to avoid emptiness
~Gossiping
~Isolation
~Escapism with movies, books, TV, or Internet
~Lying to yourself or others
~Believing lies you've been told
~Rebellion
~Rejection
~Driveness and Perfection
~Fears
~Envy
~Legalism
~Insecurity
~Codependency
~Depression
~Anger
~Bitterness
~A Critical Spirit
~Obsessions
~Shopping
~Body Image
~Relationships
~Lusts - physical and emotional
~Self Abuse
~Reckless Dieting
~Sabotaging your health
~Addictions
~Unforgiveness
~Unrepentence - continuing to consciously choose a known sin
The first time I read this list I was SHOCKED at how much of this garbage was stashed in MY heart!!!!!

Angela says:
"Clutter happens when an issue begins to get in the way, when your soul is stacked with emotions, thoughts, and relationships that need attention."

Perhaps it is time to clean out the junk drawer of your heart. You'll be surprised at what has been carelessly tossed in there with the intention of "putting it away" later.

If you have been cleaning out junk for what seems like forever, make sure first of all that you aren't just moving your junk from one place to another.Make sure that you aren't just taking it out, looking at it, talking about it, and then putting it back. Take all the junk in your heart to the cross and leave it there. Once you get the hang of getting rid of the junk, please don't give up until the job is done.

Imagine the room that will be open for God to come in and take up residence once all the junk is gone!

Hugs!
K

Sunday, June 7, 2009

7 Misconceptions About God

Grand Party Pooper
We don’t want to do what we feel is right, but do it because we feel like we have to (may feel miserable or disheartened)
Effects: Prayer life – pray out of obligation
God's rules are to protect us and keep us from doing things that will cause us harm or grief in the future.

Santa Clause
Conditional – must be good
Effects: Prayer life – shopping list
Our relationship with God is not "What can you do for me?", but rather "let me live for you"

Disinterested God
God only cares about wars and other large scale things, he doesn’t have time for our miniscule requests, hurt feelings, or confusion
We have to fight for attention
Effects: Intimacy with God – God cares about each minute detail of our lives
Psalm 139 says that He knit you together in your mother's womb. He knows every detail of your life.

Perfectionist
Don’t think you will ever be able to please him or get his approval
Never feel like you are living up to his standards
Legalist attitude
God only wants us to confess our sins and start anew
God’s grace is sufficient – we don’t have to perfect
God is always smiling when he is watching us

The Angry Judge
We constantly feel guilty about our actions
God doesn’t want us to live under condemnation
No need to feel like we are judged every single day

Control Freak
We feel like we are puppets
Either we have no free will of our own or
There are so many rules that limit our own actions
Putting God in the driver’s seat of our lives ‘Frees us from the tyranny of our own selfishness’

God is Religious
We rely on fitting a godly stereotype to feel like we are getting his approval
Ritualistic attitude
God values trust and obedience not rituals

We will continue to look at the character of God this week. Please take a moment and look into your life. What does your life say about the way you view God? Do any of these comon misconceptions ring true in your life? If so, ask God to reveal His true character to you in that area.

Serving Him~

FLO Ministry Team

Thursday, June 4, 2009

To YOU



Here I stand
Forever in Your mighty hand
Living with Your promise
Written on my heart
I am Yours
Surrendered wholly to You
You set in Your family
Calling me Your own

Now I, I belong to You
Lord I need
Your Spirit, Your word, Your truth
Hear my cry
My deep desire
To know You more

In Your name
I will lift my hands
To the King
This anthem of praise I bring
Heaven knows
I long to love You
With all I am
I belong to You

We hope that each of you has a wonderful weekend and an amazing worship experience in the church of your choice!

Serving Him
FLO Ministry Team

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

A Convenient God

I think that in our busy world of church, ballgames, meetings, work and anything else that consumes our time, we all fall short when it comes to “talking” to God each day. It seems that we would not dare miss any of these things, but it is easy to make God wait until we have a break in activity.

Many women (and men) have grown accustomed to the fact that they are comfortable enough with who they are and where they are in life, that they forget our creator. We all know that he created everything, we all know that he knows what we are going to say before we say it, we all know that God is the only way to our Promised Land so we tend to NOT include him in our daily life. It is comforting to know that he is always there, and many of us rely on this fact in every area of our life.

For many women, days may go by without spending time alone with God, but you let one little crisis arise and he is the first person we turn to. Why do we do this? Because we know he is listening and we know he can make it all better. Whereas this is true, that is not what God is here for. He is not sitting in Heaven waiting for our S.O.S. call. He is not a “crisis God” he is not to be called on when it is convenient for us. He is an ever loving ALWAYS present God. Yes of course, he is there when you need him the most, but he is also there when your life is running smoothly! He longs to hear your voice each day of your life. He is sitting in Heaven waiting to hear from you in the good and in the bad.

There is no reference in the Bible that supports the fact that God will fix everything wrong in our lives every time we ask. Paul wrote in II Corinthians about the grace of God given to us when we experience times of weakness in our lives. II Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he (Jesus) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

My friend, over the next few days, try to make it a point to talk with God daily. Talk with him and let him know how wonderful it is to be called his daughter. Thank him for all the great things he has done for you in your lifetime. Make a personal vow to call on him daily, not just when your life is “all messed up”.

Lovingly,
Christie

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'more Bars

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 cups milk chocolate chips (18 oz)
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.
2. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
3. Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.

Enjoy!
Shannon

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do You Think I'm Beautiful? - week 4

We have been talking about different parts of Angela Thomas' Book, Bible Study, and video series "Do You Think I'm Beautiful" on Tuesdays for about a month now. This week's thoughts will be short and sweet.
Angela talks about the voices that we hear in our hearts...the ones that cause us to doubt that God REALLY calls us beautiful.

"You'll never amount to anything"

"How could you be so stupid?"

"You're not going to wear THAT, are you?"

"I don't love you anymore"

If you and I went to a homeless shelter, the burn wing of a hospital, or to a Special Olympics event and I asked you if God thought any of the women in any of these place is beautiful, you would say "YES!" In those women you too would see beauty beyond fashion, make up, and hairstyle. If I then asked you, "Then does God call you beautiful?"
What is your answer? This is not rhetorical or hypothetical. Does God call YOU beautiful?
Well, I guess so
I hope so.
Well, sure he does....he calls all of His creation beautiful (not me specifically, but his creation in general)

Angela says:
What if you began to live as if you believed God's words-all of them? What is you just went for it and staked it all on Jesus, leaned in, gave him the load you've been carrying, and fell down on top of it? Traded what you feel for the truth of his words? Do you have anything to lose? Nothing.

And to gain? The rest of your life dancing in the arms of God."

What if you stopped listening to the voices from your past? What if you stopped believing the lies Satan has been telling you?
You aren't worthy
God forgives everyone but you
God can't fix you
You have fallen too far

What if, just what if, you took God at his word and accepted the FACT that "The King is enthralled with your beauty"?

HUGS!
~K~

Monday, June 1, 2009

Your View of God

How do you view God?

Do you see God as Judge..... waiting on you (or someone else) to do something wrong so that he can punish you (or them)?

Do you see God as Scorekeeper.....keeping a careful record of all the good and bad things you (and those around you) have done?

Do you see God as Handyman......waiting in the wings to swoop in and fix all your messes or get you out of a jam?

There are a vast number of things we believe about the character of God that simply are not true...or are only half of the truth. "Judge, Scorekeeper, and Handyman" are popular misconceptions about who God is. These are not the only misconceptions we have about God and his character that twist and limit our relationship with him.

Over the next few weeks we want to look at the true Character of God...God who loves you (yes you) and those around you (every one around you) so much that he did everything he possibly could to secure you (and all the rest of us too) a place with him in heaven.

John 3:17 God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Serving Him,

The FLO Ministry Team