Friday, November 23, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Don't you just fall over when the word of God is just new and alive? I have read this verse a thousand times and know it by heart and know full well what it means, but I must be borderline prideful for it to smack me between the eyes! ;-)
No matter what all "I'm doing" for the Kingdom of God, my salvation is not earned by what i am doing and it's not a "who does Jesus love more" contest based on what they are doing.
Yes, I give all praise to Him for what He allows me to walk alongside with Him in, but the focus isn't me...it's all JESUS! It's about what He did...not me. The beauty and fascination of the cross.
Aren't you glad you don't have to earn your way into heaven? We would either all be full of pride because of what we are doing or we would be miserable human beings because we just can't measure up.
There is freedom in Christ Jesus! Praise God and hallelujah!
He just loves us THAT much and we simply believe and receive the love of Christ.
posted by Fran at 8:14 AM
Monday, November 19, 2012
Y'all...I watched the AMA's tonight and was laughing and crying over "what in the world was that mess on tv??" Then, I flipped over to the Steelers/Ravens game and saw the Steeler's uniforms and again..."what in the world was that mess on tv?!" After enough of the back and forth shaking of the head and sounding like I'm 210 years old I decided to study 10th grade biology with my 16 year old because that would seem somewhat normal to me. Ask me anything about cells and cell membranes and a whole bunch of other words I can't pronounce....come on! I dare ya! I'm feeling so much smarter now. :)
But, first....here is bless her heart....
And then there is the bumble bee team.... AKA Pittsburg Steelers:
Biology was the only way to go folks.
Anyway...how excited are we that its THANKSGIVING WEEK??!! I'm almost one of those people who wants to put our Christmas decorations up as well as carve the turkey all at the same time. I just can't y'all. I just can't. I want to....but I can't. Help me Jesus. Pinterest is killing me.
What am I MOST thankful for this year? Only one thing?? Name the BESTEST of the BEST when it comes to gratitude? Oh gosh...this is tough. However...it all boils down to one theme I have seen over and over and over since July....and it's called "provision." Our lives began to change dramatically this past July and with every big twist and turn...HE PROVIDED. He is still providing. He will continue to provide. Whew.
Thank you Jesus for carrying me, us, them these past several months. How in the world do we even begin to think we can do any piece of this without you? I did that once...years ago...heck just yesterday I got hung up in my own provision and thought I could control and manage it all. Why, hello pride. There you are again. ;)
You are sweet to come in and remind me that this is yours to carry. Thank you again, Lord. Thank you!
Matthew 11:29-30 NIV
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I'm letting go more and more of me every single day and picking up more and more of Him instead. He will take care of me, us, them. And for that I am eternally grateful. He has us. All of us.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Goodness.....what a kind bunch of people the Internet can be. Y'all have been so kind when it comes to my sweet dad and his battle with cancer. You just ooze genuine care and concern whether it be here, facebook, or twitter. Beyond thankful for each of you. A prayer is returned to our Father on your behalf. I hope He is so good, full of love and grace, to you and your families. My dad finished his 2nd treatment a week ago and has battle the "post-chemo crud" this past week and hopefully turning the corner this weekend. We hold tightly to God during this time....trusting Him every step of the way. Thank you for caring for us.
This fall season has been a challenging one and you know what? Satan LOVES to take that season and wreck some havoc. He is so stupid. I fell for it so I guess that makes him the sneaky devil that he is. Dern.
One way he has messed with me is in the area of self confidence. So many of us suffer from self esteem issues and I raise my hand with this one. Another dern. I walk around day in and day out questioning everything from the food I'm buying at the grocery store and if its good enough for the family (yes, stupid) to the ways I'm being a wife and a mom and friend and a daughter and a woman after God. Another dern. I can question and doubt every stinking aspect of the day. That adds up to a lot of stinking aspects girls. I'm so irritated and disappointed and frustrated and KNOW BETTER. But....Satan likes to do his thing when we are overwhelmed with life and feeling afraid. DERN DERN DERN!!!
I let him win for some time and now it's time, sisters....I'm claiming my ground and my identity back and walking every single day holding onto the Word and what the bible says about who I am in Him!!!! Amen?? Amen!! You might have paralyzed me for a bit Satan....but I know your tricks and next time I will be ready...quicker.
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in HIM." Jeremiah 17:7 NIV
Let me hear your memory verse! Can you seriously believe there are only 3 more to go?
I truly can't imagine not knowing Him or His word....this life is full of trials and I can only walk through them with Him. Whew. Not my power, but His. Thank ya Jesus...
posted by Fran at 7:06 AM
Monday, October 15, 2012
Y'all.....I read something today on twitter and for the life of me I can't find it. I searched and scrolled and searched and scrolled and I can't find it!! It was just that good and exactly what the Lord has been saying to me. Yes...the Lord spoke through twitter. ;-) He is able to use whatever He wants, right? Why, yes He can.
I'm going to paraphrase what I think I read on twitter today that hit me in the gut.... "when we get to heaven God isn't going to ask how much scripture did you memorize, but what did you DO with all that truth you memorized?"
BIG FAT HELLO!!!
I have been fired up about memorizing scripture because His Word is Truth and full of life when spoken over a person or situation. There is nothing like having His Word hidden in my heart. So....I have His Word hidden in my heart, but what am I doing with all this truth? Am I loving better? Am I serving better? Am I simply the same and not growing spiritually like I would hope?
God has been telling me to GO lately. Scripture doesn't say to just pray or give monetarily. He commands us to GO (Matthew 28:19) and I don't like how I have been going. It's time to GO, people!!
The Lord has clearly been telling me to GO. I have been waiting on the neon sign in the sky and it just hasn't been there, so I have pretty much ignored Him. GASP. No more.
Its just time to agree with Him and the infamous nudge in my Spirit and find me some ways to truly serve outside my comfort zone. How are you "going" lately?? Help me Lord. Show me the way. Make this path straight because I'm ready to GO!!!!
1 John 3:18 " Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." NIV
This, my friends, is my memory verse and I hope that within the next month or so you will hold me accountable and ask me, "How's it going?" ;)
I sure do love y'all.
posted by Fran at 8:10 PM
Monday, October 1, 2012
This has been a rough week. There is so much going on around our family that I sometimes just sit back and think "What in the world, God?" If things happen in three's, I'm already praying us up to receive that 3rd thing. Just kidding. Maybe. I feel somewhat assured when someone says, "He will get you through this or He must know you can handle it." I like those sentences for a split second and then my mind goes back to the reality of life. I have said a lot lately that when you hear someone talk about a divorce (which is NOT happening here) they will say...you have no idea how divorce effects the family. And the truth is...you really don't know that road if you haven't walked it. Not a news flash, but the depth of the pain and hardship is simply too hard for anyone to truly understand or empathize with you if their shoes aren't dirty from a similar road traveled. Just the way it is.
One of our family situations, that we are experiencing, just can't be shared with here. The other involves my dad. Bless his sweet precious soul...I love him. We are cut from the same cloth. And if you really know me then you now know my dad. My sweet 74 year old daddy starts chemo Wednesday for aggressive B-cell non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Yuck. It flat out stinks. Oh the thoughts that go through your mind. We would covet any prayer you offer on my dads behalf. I will update y'all throughout this journey.
My memory verse is all about having hope. I don't know who else to cling to other than the One who is the true giver of hope. I am beyond thankful for His Word and I'm thankful to the gifted bible teacher, Beth Moore, who challenged me to memorize scripture. The enemy is defeated when we start throwing around our sword. ;)
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
My family needs someone full of hope. I need a ton of Jesus in order to share some of that hope....His hope. My natural flesh would be quick to sink into a pit of despair and exhaustion without Him. Dang this life is hard at times.
Praise Him for the promises and truth of scripture!! Amen? Amen!!
posted by Fran at 8:29 PM
Monday, September 17, 2012
Sometimes you find yourself in a season of life that you simply never saw coming. Sometimes we are blindsided by something that just takes awhile to get your mind around. Sometimes this season is a true test of what you believe about God and who He is and your only option is to buckle up and ride this roller coaster He put you on. Sometimes this ride makes you scream with complete fear and sometimes this ride makes you want to throw up and sometimes this ride even gives you a glimpse of a smile and some laughter as you throw your arms up for just a minute and experience some fun. Sometimes we ride this ride with our eyes closed and sometimes we ride this ride with eyes wide open half scared to death and are yelling "GET ME OFF THIS THING!!!!" Sometimes, life is just too much and you truly Just need to get back to the basics of your faith. A crisis will do that for ya, won't it? I have found myself asking, "Who is God and what are His promises again?" Sometimes every thing we thought we knew escapes us and the simplests of truths are not known. Sometimes we don't even know our name. It's big stuff isn't it? In several weeks time, this is what I KNOW....I mean really know.... He is FOR me...for us...for you. I walk by faith...not by sight. Plain and simple basics. Sometimes the ride with Jesus takes us back to the basics and even though these basics seems simple and routine, He may throw it your way when you least expect it and life is hard. I am recommitting myself and my TIME back to what really matters...scripture study, scripture memory, fully present for others, expecting Him more than ever, and passionate about the One who created me before the foundation of the world and loves me like no other. My memory verse this time is the shortest one I have ever picked, but months and years down the road as we celebrate the successful end of this roller coaster ride I can honestly say..."we lived by faith and not by sight and He proved Himself faithful." Praise Him!!! (2 Corinthians 5:7) Y'all....let's get back to the basics. Does anything else matter? Sure do love y'all....
posted by Fran at 7:21 AM
Monday, September 3, 2012
I sit here on this Labor Day morning with my head full of fog and crud because of a nasty cold, but some things are very clear in this muddled mind of mine today.....(thank you Sudafed)
Before I came to know the Lord, and I mean personally know the Lord, I had put myself in a deep pit of every sin under the sun it seemed. Thankfully, a beautiful family member introduced me to a Savior who would help me out of that nasty pit. Praise God for her!! You never know when you are inviting someone to Bible study just where they are and it may be the turning point of their spiritual walk! Invite someone to bible study this fall! ;-)
One step at a time and one loving Father, who was absolutely relentless, kept guiding me out of that dark pit.
Sometimes we find ourselves, possibly someone we love dearly, or someone we casually know that is in that pit and needs a rope to hold onto. They need the One who holds the rope and can gently place their beautiful feet on solid ground again...away from that darkness. Whether we put ourselves in that pit or someone pushed us there...it's still a pit and we want out and we don't know just what to do. All we see is darkness.
This promise out is Psalm 40 is what I shout in celebration when I remember coming out of the pit and one I claim for someone else as I watch them find their way out of their pit.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2 NIV)
Thank you Jesus for being the One who rescues us and gives us that firm place to stand!!! I just can't do this life without You!
My hope is in Him alone! Stay in the Word sisters!
posted by Fran at 10:08 AM
Friday, August 17, 2012
Can we go back to summer? This back to school thing we have to do has kicked.my.tail!!!! I think every year I have said something about loving a schedule and routine, but that was a big fat lie.....bring my family back to the lazy days of summer any time. That learning is nonsense until September. ;)
And, let's just pause for a minute and think about my 16 year old who is days away from having HIS OWN CAR!!! (big fat sigh) The time is flying momma's......I beg of you to truly savor every moment.
Alrighty, this next memory verse is the verse my kids school has claimed for the year so I'm going to claim it too. I didn't have to go far to find it......
Lean into Him sweet sisters. I'm so thankful to memorize His Word. It truly is life.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 ESV
posted by Fran at 6:39 AM
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent among you. (Joel 2:25 ESV)
Whatcha think about that one??!! How about a PRAISE JESUS and everybody break out some "hallelujah's!!"
I hope to one day be able to tell of the time when this promise is fulfilled in the life of someone I absolutely love and cherish, but for now....I know exactly why I want this Word hidden in my heart! I'm claiming it and believing it to be true!! I have no idea how long or what this new road will look like for my beloved sister in Christ, but I know my God wants to redeem and restore and make her whole again. And yes He can give you back those years that the stupid locust ate up!!
Bye bye locust. Bye Satan. We are done with you!!!
I love you, Lord!!!
posted by Fran at 4:33 PM
Monday, July 16, 2012
Our family is in the midst of some serious simplifying and scaling back so it's only appropriate to choose a verse that has come up in a sermon series on "revival" at out church. When you find yourself walking into the deep waters with Jesus and realize all you have is Him, your heart races, your faith increases, and you see the only way to Him is with a pair of eyes that are laser focused and a heart FULL of the Holy Spirit.
Do I believe He can do what He says He can? It's time to see just what I believe.
This season will be difficult, but I have no doubt we are where we need to be. I already thank Him for this season. It may last weeks or months, but we will persevere. He will never let us go.
I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly. (Psalm 85:8 NIV)
I will LISTEN to Him through this and I will not go into the
land of folly where I land too often.
The Word is life! Hold on tight when this life seems to be overwhelming or unsure. Oh, the power of knowing what He says to us. The Creator of the Universe speaks to us....I'm listening and holding onto His promises.
posted by Fran at 8:02 AM
Monday, July 2, 2012
Sorry for the delay...vacation traveling and sitting on the beach doing nothing yesterday caused my brain to stop functioning all together. I know you understand. ;)
Here is my verse this go around.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest in me." 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Love y'all! So proud of us for being committed to knowing His Word!
posted by Fran at 9:19 AM
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Some of you sweet souls know that some girlfriends and I embarked on a journey together, June 1st, based on the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker. If you don't know anything about the book, I hope you will check it out. It is full of funny and conviction all at the same time. The Lord has been working specifically on my prideful self the last 3 years and apparently the Lord knew accountability and some friends would be necessary for me to finally lay it down and deal with some stuff in order for this simpler lifestyle to succeed. I'm so thankful He knows all things and orchestrates these details so perfectly, aren't you? Whew. My eyes are wide open with great expectation as to where we are headed.
But....two things I know thus far......
After eating the same 7 foods for the month of June....(and yes we wrapped it up early because we really were just done with it and I was leaving town Saturday and we had to get together and discuss it all. Plus...we ended with some fabulous junk food to celebrate our success)....and no, we aren't crazy to be doing this. It really is a God thing. How can we not walk down a path He had been working on behind the scenes in all of our lives and then brought us together oh so perfectly to take this journey together? Count me in Lord. I might be scared, but I'm game. It's just time. You know.
Ok, where was I? This is what I know about 7 simple foods:
*No sugar is FABULOUS!!! I will try desperately to not put that back in my life at the levels I had been doing. Bye-bye soft drinks and gross junk. We are done. You really aren't that good. It is amazing how much better you feel when you are eating healthy and simply. Who knew? What a concept. #sarcasm
*I'm just as happy with simple foods as I am with the endless possibilities and more food choices that stared at me from the grocery, restaurant menu, or pantry than one human needs. However...I will say that I never experienced that true full feeling after I ate. Probably why I lost 8 pounds. Probably a good thing to not eat until you feel sick and explosive. That's another new concept, huh? #sarcasmagain
*Food is fabulous and wonderful and who doesn't love the to die for dessert or pasta or steak? Heck, we all do. But...my goal from this point on is healthier eating. Done with the quick convenient junk that is processed and gross and my insides are probably experiencing a slow death. Heck...why not become vegetarian? ;) I'm going fresh and healthy. I think my body will thank me in more ways than one.
*We really are spoiled and don't NEED all that we indulge in. This now becomes the bigger picture of 7. Needs vs wants and we say it all the time, but do we really want to sacrifice and become uncomfortable in a culture that screams MORE MORE MORE!!! And, what on earth am I teaching my children about excess? I think I have been teaching them more about what culture says instead of what God says. BIG FAT OUCH!! Goodness...this is why it takes time to tackle and make real life adjustments. We already know these things, but for some reason I can't just come out of a one time sermon or teaching and make the adjustment. You have to actually do it. Who knew? I have been convicted 100 times on things in regards to money and living after a sermon, but didn't really make the adjustment that was needed. These are hard adjustments.This is a journey and requires much patience. This requires patience, time, and great commitment. After all...God is the King of patience and He knows we won't make these massive adjustments without time....and accountability. Don't do this alone. I would have quit 9 hours into it.
The book has lead us through month one with food. We are moving onto month two of clothing. I'm not going into that just yet, but do want to share how God has been speaking to our family about excess...
So....in this beautiful weaving of details, God has been showing my husband and myself that we don't NEED this house we live in. Ok....it's big and nice and really...too big. There is something that defines us in regards to where and how we live. True? We make assumptions about people and where they live. If their house is big and new and nice then we assume they have money. If their house is the opposite of that then we think they don't. Plain and simple. We all do it. We have no idea though how stressed out they are about that house and know good and well they hate that house payment every month because, well, its just too much. My husband and I are going against the culture and following God and saying, "Nope...we don't need that or honestly, want it." Yep...we can afford it. However....I will not simply do and have because we can. I'm praying that God will show us the way to be financially free and not be overwhelmed and anxious through these teenage years, that are already full of stress and anxiety as parents, but show us how to live a simpler life and be very responsible with the money He has provided. I want to be free to give and go and spend and do without the stress of no margin.
Does that make a lick of sense? We have private school, cars for 3 boys upon us, insurance, gas, living, vacations, dogs, healthcare, college, clothing, food, etc etc etc. I WILL NOT go into these years anxious over a stupid house. If God chooses another route that doesn't involve selling our home, then we will be listening and ready. We are simply hoping to be faithful in the big and small.
God calls us to be wise. He never, ever says go get more and have more and have have have. He was the simplest man to ever live and my greatest desire is to be more like Him. For all of us, this journey of becoming more like Him will look different. My prayer is that we take time to examine our hearts, our motives, our deepest desires for our families....and GO WITH GOD!!!!
May we be more and more like Him in all we say and do. Follow Him. He won't lead us anywhere alone.
Eyes open and feet ready! Let's go!
posted by Fran at 11:37 AM
Friday, June 15, 2012
Well girlfriends.....here we are!!! Take a minute and let it sink in that we are HALF WAY THROUGH THE SCRIPTURE MEMORY YEAR!!!!!! Holy cow that is crazy! Whether you have 10 scriptures memorized or only 5 or only 2....you have more memorized than you did last year! Pat yourself on the back...shout out a "GO GOD!" and dig those heels in and finish the year up STRONGER than you were January 1st.
This I know...the more I say my scriptures over and over the better I know them, the more likely I am to pray that Word out loud for someone else, pass along to someone who needs a word, and simply just fall in love with His word more than ever. It's my kind of addiction.
My verse for June 15th is a shorter verse, but powerfully packed. My oldest son, Clay, has been with our high school youth group to camp and they have been learning, studying, and talking about what it means to move with God. I was able to watch their worship service from Panama City Beach this past Wednesday night and able to get a sneak peak into what they were learning. It was such a treat to see the kiddos, but more importantly get a feel for what they are learning and being challenged by. What a great opportunity to open up conversation about "moving" with God. They all were being challenged to NOT just be a fan of Jesus, but to walk it out openly and beautifully for all to see and know Christ is your Savior!
I want to desperately move with God! This is my verse..."Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works." James 2:26 NLT
Faith without action is dead and I don't wanna be dead in my faith! MOVE ME LORD!! I'm also claiming this verse over my son and all the other amazing teens and leaders who are being challenged to MOVE!
Ok....lemme hear it...whatcha got?
Love y'all and am so proud to walk this road with you! Accountability is the key!
Friday, June 1, 2012
Holy cow!!!! It is June people! JUNE!!!! And school is out! And we sing songs and praise God and dance that all the kiddos passed and are movin' on up in the fall. Whoooooo hoooooooo!!! June also means that those of us memorizing scripture are at the halfway point in this journey. I feel like we get to this point and we are energized and excited and fired up to finish strong!
When I go through my spiral I absolutely love reading through each verse and remembering why I chose that verse and how that verse has spoken volumes in my life and maybe even someone else's life. Just so cool, huh? I say it all the time, but it's true....the word of God is alive and active. ALIVE AND ACTIVE!!! And that's a scriptural fact, too. (Hebrews 4:12)
Ok, let me tell you about a little something that a couple of friends and I are about to embark on and hope to high heavens that people don't think we are flat out crazy..... Ever hear of Jen Hatmaker? She also has this book out called "7" that you may have heard of. If you know anything about this book I think I just heard you mumble something under your breath or gasp or say "no way Jose'." And, I get it. I really do. And if I'm going to be fully honest with you, let's just blame all this on David Platt and Radical a few years ago because in all reality....the problem started there. Did I say problem? I meant journey.
You see....that is what God does....He starts off with a teeny tiny seed planted in your heart and then with beautiful patience and time and a bunch of Jesus and church...BAM! He has somehow threaded a lot of events and people together and before you know it, you find yourself doing something crazy that He planted inside you way back in the day. And because of this great thing called "community" that He throws us into we actually have other crazy people He has been working on and they want to walk this road with you....and HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE!!! He's a clever fella. Oh, and there's obedience. I really am learning this...failed more than succeed, but time is ticking and I don't want to miss a thing with Him, so let's just suck it up and GO!
And, everyone pray now because it's real.
This is what Barnes and Noble says about "7." American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born. 7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence. Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.
So....we are crazy, right? 7 starts June 1st with food. I'm eating the same 7 foods for 30 days and praying that I don't die or cuss someone out because I NEED CHOCOLATE PEOPLE or a Diet Dr. pepper. I know it will be rough and uncomfortable, but surely to goodness I can handle this. Don't talk to Jesus about rough and uncomfortable, right? I mean...seriously....I know my family has more than enough food and has never known hunger or want. Food is always there. I'm learning to say less of me and my junk and more of Him and His Kingdom.
God has been working on this path for quite some time and honestly...I'm just so happy that He lets me, little ole me, walk alongside the Him, the creator of the universe. How cool is that? I think we'll be ok.
I know you are curious so here are my 7 foods for June: chicken, turkey, bread, tomatoes, corn, apples, and eggs. Sounds divine, huh? ;) I will update quite often on twitter how I'm doing...the good, the bad, the heavenly. Jesus already confirmed to me today in the most random way that me and my friends are exactly where He wants us. I cried after that tender moment. I then said to Him in my car..."I'm in, Lord. I'm in. Whatever you want to do, I'm in."
So...all this to say...He is indeed doing a new thing in my life for the remainder of the year and I couldn't think of a more appropriate verse, that I happen to love, as we kick of this journey....
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19
I'm so anxious to hear your verses!! Ready, set, go!!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I could not find the verse I wanted this time and I truly thought, "there is nothing in that bible that I'm looking for!" How ridiculous is that? What happens is, we don't want to take the time to dig and stop and think about what type of verse we truly want to know. I'll be the 1st to admit that sometimes I pick a verse because it's a "good one to know." And, yes, there are plenty of great verses that we need to know. However, this time was different.
My heart had gone into "deep mode" and I knew there was more to just picking out a verse this time. I have been walking a road with a friend who lost her son tragically just a couple of months ago. It has rocked me to the core of mothering and friendship. I have watched her walk this horrific road so very transparent and completely dependent on Jesus Christ. She truly radiates Jesus in all that she says and does even when the tears don't want to stop Jesus continues to prevail. Our hearts are woven together in a way that is hard for me to explain. It's simply a deep love for each other. It's a love rooted in Christ and solid because of the Rock we both stand on. I hope you know that type of friendship and what that feels like.
So, I knew I wanted a verse on love and something that had some depth to it and make me truly stop and think about what it's saying. I memorized a verse last year that says, "Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them." Romans 12:9. That verse was an excellent verse because I remember specifically walking through a season where I was being challenged to love people that were annoying the fire out of me. If you look up love in your concordance and scroll through the love verses, you will have heard just about all of them. We know and understand that God is love and everything He is about. We know the commands to love others and what not to love. Again...I was looking for a scripture that went deep into my heart and described this type of love for my dear friend and all that she has taught me these last couple of months.
This verse is where I landed thanks to our own Kelly Snodgrass who is memorizing with us. ;) "The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." 1 Timothy 1:5.
Read that again slowly and let it sit on you for a minute. That's how I want to love. Give me a pure heart Lord. Let me love with a good, clean conscience. Help me to be sincere, Lord, with this love. Nothing fake.
I'm so anxious to hear your verses. I just love and respect each and every one of you! It takes great commitment and dedication to stick with this memory thing. Let's spur one another on as much as we can!
Hugs and blessings~
Monday, April 30, 2012
We are finally pushing past the hump I do believe! When I completed this journey last year, I remembered quickly how hard this time of year was for me. My family is deep into spring sports.....America's game....baseball. We love it so very much and it consumes more days and nights than not. However....I am learning with time, age, and nearly 16 years of parenting, that NOTHING will come between me and my personal growth with the Lord. NOTHING. I don't say that with pride. I can say that after more times of failure than success. There are some disciplines, however, that I am finally getting right. :)
I am in love with scripture memory and seeing the fruit of knowing His Word and how to apply it, can literally stop me dead in my tracks. His Word is truly life bearing and something I find myself desperate to know.....really know. Thank you Jesus for taking this prodigal daughter nearly 15 years ago and loving me with such patience and grace. I'm YOURS!! And you are mine. There is nothing sweeter than that right there.
The verse I picked this time is Isaiah 26:4. It is simple, short, but I love a little nugget with one of the words. Here is the verse....and then I will explain.
"Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal."
The very first word, trust, actually means to "attach" in the original Hebrew language. YES!! I want to attach myself to Him...through it all....I want to be attached to Him. When I'm feeling overwhelmed or worried or afraid or insecure or prideful or walking in any sin, I hope to recall this scripture and visualize my desperate self in need of holding onto my Savior. I'm holding on Lord. I'm attached to the One who knew me before the foundation of the world and sent His son to die so I may live.
Alrighty.....share away sweet friends!!! I'm so very proud of you!
posted by Fran at 9:13 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Y'all...seriously...I think it's still February or something. IT'S APRIL!!! It's mid-April! May will be here in two days. ;) Goodness gracious the time is flying. I must be old. That's what happens right?
Before I share my memory verse I have a couple of confessions. Ok.....here we go : I didn't memorize my last verse at all. AT ALL. I will go ahead and tell you that I moved my spiral from my dashboard in my car to my purse thinking I would go over my verses more when in reality the spiral never ever ever left my purse. Ugh. Big fat hang my head low. And while I'm at it...I had to go back to my previous blog post and look what I even selected as my verse. GOOD GRIEF people. But...this is life and I got slightly off track. However, this I know....we are full of grace and love and encouragement around here and there is absolutely no condemnation when we fail or drop the ball. Thank you Jesus for showing us how to do that. I will grab my spiral out of my purse now...write down TWO verses and start fresh.
I picked this next verse because it is just all up in my business for many different reasons and it has deep meaning to me right now. This verse reminds me of how quickly we can lose ground in certain areas of our life...family, friends, work, activities, anything that brings glory to God if we don't guard or protect what we have worked for. Anything we work for can be lost. Satan can't have the people and the things that mean so much to me. He just can't.
Fran, Jackson TN "Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be fully rewarded." 2 John 8 NIV
Ok...let me hear your verse girls!! And if you are willing...why did you pick that verse? I just love y'all. .
Monday, April 2, 2012
This is definitely the time of year when I tend to slowly fade out of scripture memory. Why? Because spring has sprung, my kids are so busy with spring/summer sports, and I just get a little too lazy with the warmer weather. It is just a struggle for me to push past this busy time of year and then through the lazy days of summer.
However...Satan won't win this battle with me. I may pick out shorter scriptures, but I'm still memorizing! So there Satan. Take that!
I want to provide you the context of the single verse I chose so here goes...
Fran, Jackson TN
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philipians 1:6
I want to be obedient in ALL things. I want to walk this walk with great humility and integrity and authenticity. Jesus...I thank you that you WILL see the good all the way through. No matter where I turn or go or fall of the path...you WILL see it through.
Ok girls...fire away!!! I can't wait to read what you have chosen!
Friday, March 16, 2012
What a couple of weeks this has been....in one week, a mom to one of youngest son's lost her battle with cancer and she was buried. These 11 year old children handled this loss with such love for their classmate. This past weekend, one of my dearest friends son was killed tragically in a car wreck. Needless to say....these last 5 days have been extremely difficult. However, I watched one of the most Godly women I know carry herself through unspeakable devastation with Jesus and her faith in such a way that you stood back and in a weird sort of way wanted to watch. I have learned so much from my friend Cindy that I wish I could tell you all I saw and heard that was a blessing to others as this momma dealt with the death of her firstborn son at the tender age of 18.
Cindy taught me to pray and seek the Lord in all I do. She showed me to live life authentically and I cherish our friendship in the deepest places of my heart.
My memory verse comes out of her son's funeral and it seemed fitting to really know and remember the power of this verse as I process these last few days.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV
Oh girls....life is such a gift. Love your children well. Live for Jesus. Be as real as you can. Cindy taught me how to do these things. It matters......it matters when we can't manage to find the air to breathe. His Word is life.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Y'all...seriously...time is flying and every time I read a scripture that just grabs me I think "thats my next memory verse!" I know I'm up to probably 10 favorites. ;) However, I've chosen just one that I have read and known and seen time and time again, but it has new meaning for me right now. I meet with a beautiful group of ladies once a week and we talk about the challenges of being a mom and we pray for the pressing needs of our families every time we meet. It has become such a sweet time for us all. I can't imagine NOT doing this. We have talked recently about the courage it takes to be a mom. We must be watchful. We must be wide-eyed and alert. A Proverbs 31 woman is no wimp.
So....my next memory verse surfaced this past week two different times and I thought...YES....this is the next verse for me. And...since I'm not one to memorize long verses (wink) I may break this one up into one month to make sure I really get it. I'm going to try though.
Grab your spirals girls....It's time to write down another Truth!
Fran, Jackson TN
5" Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Ok...let me hear them!!! I can't wait to see where your heart is! There is nothing like the power of His Word! I'm so very proud of y'all! Don't forget to always go over the other verses.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Well girls....we are now up to two scriptures!!!! I love when its time to flip the card over in the spiral!!! I don't know about you, but this past memory verse has been spoken out loud over situations and NOT just for the sake of memorizing. Don't you just LOVE that??? There is absolute life in the scriptures when you begin to speak them out over a person or situation!!!
I knew my scripture would be focused around the theme "courage." Courage was a word that kept coming up for me about being a momma. It surfaced in my prayer group. It surfaced in some one on one conversations. It surfaced in my mind at a funeral last week. I just knew that courage would be my focus. It was hard to find the scripture that I was looking for though.....the word courage didn't necessarily need to be in the scripture just the theme.
Well...after much thought and prayer....God took me to the place in Proverbs 31:27 where it started for me a week ago. I was watching a parenting teaching for moms from Beth Moore out of her "Wising Up" series and she spent time on this verse. It takes courage to be alert to the things of our homes. It's not easy being a mom. There are seasons that require us to be bold and brave to do the hard thing. So.....here is my verse...lets stick with our format...
Fran Thomas, Jackson TN
"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27 NIV
I can't wait to see what you have chosen!!! It is ministering to this soul to read through each scripture as you post them.
Love y'all so very much!!!
posted by Fran at 8:10 AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Well, girls......here we are!!! IT'S TIME!!!!!!!!! (jumping up and down!!!!)
Let me just say that I am like a kid at Christmas over this one....I am so excited to see February 1st finally get here! We are going to have us some fun memorizing scripture this year, girls, so get yourself ready!!
This is what I know about scripture memory from last year. One of our beloved bible teachers, Beth Moore, challenged us to memorize 24 scriptures during 2011. That means only two scriptures a month. TWO A MONTH!!! That's it. Since we are starting February 1st, we will be memorizing 22 scriptures. Of course if you have been steady going since January 1...then that is AWESOME!!! But, I will be learning 22. I don't know if 22 scares you or excites you, but I can promise you, we will get it done! I need all the encouragement I can get too. 11 months won't come quickly. It's a marathon....not a sprint.
I highly suggest posting your scriptures here each time. I learned that when someone is expecting to see a scripture from me, then I'm being held accountable in a way. I will always post on the 1st and the 15th about scripture memory. You will find yourself knowing those dates and thinking about scripture before you know it. It will be 2nd nature to you. :)
I also know this.....the 1st year that Beth started scripture memory, I failed big time over the summer. Just flat out quit. My brain got lazy and I just didn't even try. Maybe I was overwhelmed or afraid....I'm not sure. But...I can clearly look back over last year's verses and see that I picked very short verses that spoke directly into our season of rest, peace, joy, and family. I joked over and over that I would pick John 3:16 or "Jesus wept" this past summer so I could keep at it! I DID NOT WANT TO QUIT AND BLAME IT ON SUMMER. I fell off the structured band wagon once and I was determined to not do it again. So, keep it simple over the summer if you think it will be a challenge for ya.
Finally...if you don't have note cards that are bound by a spiral or ring, grab one quick. It's so much easier to have all your scriptures right there together. I would keep mine in my car, in my purse, somewhere quick and handy and always in front of me! I got my current spiral from Office Max.
Before I share my scripture, some of you have heard me share this, but I want you to personally know what scripture memory meant for me last year. 2011 started out in a very difficult place with some things happening outside of our home, but very dear to my heart. As I looked back over that spiral and memorized and memorized, I could see God's faithfulness in all its beauty. I could see Him take me from dark to light. I could watch a movie of my life called "2011 in Scripture...the Fran Thomas story" unfold and I would just sit and stare by the time December rolled around. In my 42 years of life, I have documented record of my life through His Word that I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world. As I rattled off each scripture to my dear friend, Robyn, in Houston....I would say with just about every one a story of why that scripture was picked. It was a trip down memory lane, but most of all, a trip with God. He was so faithful to me this past year. I grew in ways I could never articulate. I just want you to know Him and experience Him as I did in 2011. Once you have that....you won't ever want to stop memorizing scripture.
Let's keep with Beth's format so we can see where we are all from as well as the translation chosen for your verse. You will love reading other girls verses and knowing what translation they are from. Ok, here is my scripture for February 1, 2011....
I chose this verse because it was the very first verse in my bible study, Duty or Delight. My goodness...how awesome this study is. Find some friends and dig into this too if you can!
Fran, Jackson, TN "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." Ephesians 1:4 NIV
Ok....let's hear it!!! Chime in! I can't wait to read the verses you have chosen.
I sure do love y'all~
posted by Fran at 6:00 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Yes!!!!! It's almost time to head to Houston next week!!! I'm so thankful to be meeting Robyn in the Mexican eating capitol of the world! Many of you that are going I have been to conferences with before and I get to see your sweet face again and hopefully spend more than 5 hurried minutes with you! Some of you I will be meeting for the very first time and I may be slightly nervous about that. ;) We always wonder.......Will she look like she does online? Will her personality match up to what I think I know about her via twitter, facebook, and blogs? And really.....it's ok if we don't all match up 100% to what we think someone should be or look like or act like. We have one thing in common that is the BEST out of it all. We are there to celebrate Him.
We are flying into Houston from all over the United States to celebrate the fact that we have memorized 24 scriptures over the past year! Y'all....that is something to celebrate!!!! Grab your party hats and horns and bibles and get ready for a mighty fine good time!! I attempted this memory work thing two years ago with LPM and our beloved leader, Beth Moore, but didn't make it one scripture past summer. The lazy days of summer apparently destroyed any ability to memorize anything. I didn't feel good about putting down John 3:16 or "Jesus wept" as my memory verses so I just quit.
So here we are and my handy dandy spiral is full of very personal scriptures that I look back over and truly see a story being told from 2011. I can start at the beginning of the spiral and imagine a movie of my life taking place as I relive each reason or event why I picked that particular verse. It is truly a beautiful thing.
The Word came to life last year and He showed Himself faithful in ways I would never be able to articulate to you. The movie that I see in my head as I look through His Word this past year is full of fear, joy, anxiety, promise, and hope. The ending is glorious. The ending is His faithfulness shining brightly and the promises of Who He is pierces my heart like no other time in my nearly 42 years. As Beth taught me through her Believing God bible study, "God is who he says he is."
I would do great harm in my desire to bear His image well if I simply patted myself on the back, had a great time in Houston, having a fabulous time with friends, returned home memorizing nothing for 2012, and not sharing the power of the gospel to others.
Why are you going to Houston? What are you going to do about all that you have memorized this past year?
The journey has just begun for me....The Word is alive and active. Pass on its power and might in 2012. Every single one of us who have memorized these 24 verses can testify to the Lord's desire and ability to show Himself faithful over a period of time in our lives.
We are called to be sowers. I pray that we sow the most important Seed we know of into as many lives as we can.
Love y'all dearly!Now.....in your best "Cool and the Gang" voices lets all sing....Celebrate good times come on!!!!
posted by Fran at 9:51 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I'm all about this new year!! I mean I'm ALL OVER THE newness of a new year. I'm thinking and dreaming and planning and hoping and praying for all manner of "NEW" in this year of 2012 for myself and my family.
New Years Day night I took my middle son to Sonic for a milkshake and low and behold our local book store was open right around the corner. And what do you think I did?? Why yes....I went into this book store after we bought milkshakes and bought me a fancy shmancy new journal. In red. :) I'm in love. This is a part of that "newness."
Yesterday I went to my journal and with it being the 1st day of school, I recorded what I wanted for my children this semester. My oldest is 15, middle is 14, and the youngest is 11. I am praying these things over my children...EVERY SINGLE DAY....NOT AS NEEDED....EVERY SINGLE DAY.....
**confidence: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him." Jeremiah 17:7
**courage: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
**peace: "He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it." 1 Peter 3:11
**goodness: "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1
These 4 topics are specific to each child, yet fit under an umbrella for the three of them. As I look back, each child has a specific reason why a particular topic came to mind as I wrote them down in my journal. Funny thing is...I didn't spend a whole lot of time wondering what the topic or theme would be. It quickly came and I had it penned in about 3 minutes.
This is what I want you momma's of younger kids to do...to develop and maintain a habit of....
Pray DAILY for specific things for your child. Pray for their day and whatever their need may be for that day, but also pray specific topics or themes over them DAILY!
If you feel your child needs prayer for self-esteem or discipline in an area, then you find you an oh so perfect scripture that meets that need and pray it DAILY for your sweet baby. Don't wait until you see a hole or weakness.
I think you get my drift here! Start praying specifics for them while they are young. Keep record of it. And commit to pray for your sweet son or daughter.....beyond what their need may be for that day.
Love y'all so~
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
When I hear the words, "sweet spot" I think of a baseball bat. Having 3 boys that play a lot of sports, I'm pretty sure that I have heard them talk about this sweet spot on a bat and that is exactly where you want to hit the ball. It's that place where the ball hits the bat and makes the hit a really good one! It's also a tricky spot to find and a tricky spot to find on a regular basis. Seems to me a lucky thing, but what do I know. The environment is never the same....the pitcher, the speed of the throw, and the type of the throw all matter when it comes to that pitch finding the sweet spot on the bat. And apparently....it's a pretty awesome thing to a kid when that ball makes contact in the "sweet spot." A kid knows when they have found that sweet spot. The fans do too.
I'm a girl. I don't play baseball. I have no clue what that feels like. But, I do know this....as I enter into this new year there is one thing that God is impressing on me that simply won't let up. It kinda makes my stomach hurt when I spend a lot of time thinking about it. A stomach ache in a good way, I guess. Maybe more of an excitement. Regardless, it's that feeling in my stomach when I know it's time to DO and quit thinking.
God is pushing me into a sweet spot with Him. My pastor calls this sweet spot in our lives the place where we are living and serving Christ with great passion for Him and the Kingdom. And wouldn't you know....this is exactly what he preached on this past Sunday. I hear ya Lord. Ummmm.....what is that "sweet spot" place of ministry for you? Where is that "sweet spot" place of ministry?? Do I even know what my sweet spot in ministry is?
I've realized in the last 24 hours that I'm desperate to serve Him well this year. I mean serve really, really well. Time to get over my sweet, cushy, sort-of serve type of lifestyle. It's time to "rise up sleeper." (Eph 5:14)
God has that sweet spot for you. Do you know yours? If you have no clue, kind of a clue, already serving in that sweet spot, I pray you spend some time talking to Him about it. I pray we all rise up and serve Him well starting NOW! The days are evil. It's time to do the thing!!!
Let's jump into 2012 thrilled, awake, excited, anxious, full on faith, no holding back, ready to ride the roller coaster and serve Him oh so well this year.
I'm in!!! No more sleeping for me!
"this is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:14-21
posted by Fran at 7:26 AM