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Showing posts from October, 2011

He did it ALL for you

"Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance. Nothing to attract us to him." Isaiah 53:1-2
Jesus made Himself available to us. He was approachable. Do you think you would have been able to pick Him out of a crowd? Jesus didn't come from money. He didn't have great lands to share. He wasn't beholding of grand beauty so that He stood out among all others. He was a simple man.
He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care." Isaiah 53:3
Jesus wasn't that popular guy everyone wanted to be friends with. Most didn't want to be seen with Him. If so, that could have very well meant their death as well. We often feel so alone and rejected in our own way. Je…

Can Halloween be a day to let our light shine for Jesus?

If you were to ask me a year ago what my thoughts were about Halloween I would have said, "Evil, evil and more evil." My family has not celebrated this day for many years. Now, I still do not like anything about this day or what it represents, but my thoughts are changing with time. I love it when the Lord opens my eyes to new ideas. When we grow with Him the possibilities are endless!
I can read verse after verse about staying away from all evil. I have researched the meaning of this day and it's origins. So close to this day are the celebrations of All Saints Day and Day of the Dead. There are celebrations of all kinds at all times of the year. It seems if you place a date on a calendar for a celebration people are going to celebrate.
Where do you stand on this day? This is one of those days of the year that seem to bring people face to face with their convictions. We seem to want our children to be happy. We don't want them to feel left out. So, what do you do? Do …

What does Jesus look like?

If you were asked to paint a picture of what you thought Jesus looked like just what would you paint? Our imaginations can take us away on a dream cloud of just what Jesus might look like, but do we really know? I think we do.
Look at that sweet baby in your arms today. The grandmother laying in room 201 down corridor 3 in the nursing home. The soldier fighting on the battle lines of Afghanistan. The pastor humbly reading from God's Word. The mother feeding her child the last piece of bread. The daddy working in the lumber yard late hours to provide for his family. The child watching veggie tales giggling with all her might. The homeless woman begging for a dollar. The nurse caring for the young mother breathing her last breath as cancer steals away her life. The youth that goes in late to church and sits in the last pew. The boy who stays after school to help a classmate with homework.
All those sunrises and sunsets. The billowing clouds and the starlit nights. The mountains that…

Love like a mother hen

Don't you love verses that remind you that there is a place of safety? Safety in the arms of Jesus. He will protect us. He will cover us. He stands guard over us. He is that warm place where we can find shelter. Just like a mother hen loving her chicks, Jesus is loving us. He forever has His eye on us. Sure, we might trail off just a bit, but He knows exactly where we are. He will go to any cost to bring us back into His fold. Isn't that what He did on the cross?
Walk into a chicken pen where there is a mother hen with newly hatched chicks and you better watch yourself. She isn't going to allow you to get close to her chicks. She will take you on no matter how big you are. You can come at her with everything you have and she is going to stand there as if to say, "Bring it on, bring it on! I'm ready to go!"
We can understand this kind of love. This is the kind of love we have for our own children. I believe just about everyone knows not to mess with my childre…

Is that pew feeling comfortable?

Today my son and I visited a new church. I must say, when we woke up we were excited about our new adventure to this new church. I am sure if you looked close enough you could see a little skip in our walk.
As we entered the church, a church we have been in before, it was as though we were a fish out of water. You know that feeling. Your totally out of your comfort zone. Everything is new. Kind of exciting, but you would love to feel some comfort about now. Kind of like that love for down home country food. No matter how your feeling, when that plate is set in front of you, you are feeling warm love, my friend.
We felt nothing of the sort. There was one man who spoke to us as we entered the sanctuary.  Not one person even noticed we were visitors..or did they? Now, let me move ahead just a bit. The pastor was awesome. The message was amazing. Made me think outside the box and I LOVE that. But the thing that was missing was almost the one thing your hoping to receive. Warmth..love..fri…

Just simply be you

It doesn't take us long to look at another person and decide if they are real or fake. Think about it. We spend a lot of time trying to be someone we aren't. Just what if we spent our time seeking God for who we were created to be? Being the REAL you is so much better than being the FAKE you.
It seems we can see the heart of a person if we look close enough. So what about you? What is your heart saying? Do you think your not good enough so you must become someone else? Are you trying so hard to fit into the crowd you lose all sense of who you are to be? It's easily done when we look to the world for who we should be.
We often just think of girls as trying to fit in, but young men struggle with this as well. For some reason we are an insecure people. We are forever changing ourselves. Now, there is nothing wrong with improving ourselves. We are after all a work in progress. But when we begin to think we are not good enough or there is something wrong with us, there lies the…

The sweet spot

If you have played baseball or softball you know that when you are up to bat you have one of two choices. Stand and wait for a good pitch or swing at anything that comes by. Now, when we swing at anything there is always the problem of striking out. Missing that pitch all together. So, we take our chances with each swing.
But what happens if we just wait with patience for that perfect pitch. You know the pitch I am talking about. The one where you see the ball coming into the zone and you know it's your pitch. The one you have been waiting on to sail into your bat. The ball hits that sweet spot of the bat and you are off and running as the ball is soaring through the air.
Many times in our quickness to swing we hit the ball and feel the sting in our hands. When you feel that sting you know you should have waited. Hind sight seems to give us a sting sometimes, doesn't it? We want everything in our timing. We also want everything our way. We must remember we are not the one doin…

Painted

(This is an article I wrote March 10, 2009. I wanted to share this post with you again. It was one of the first posts I had written here in my Nest. I hope it will be a blessing to you today. Maybe just a reminder that it's not what is on the outside, but all about what is on the inside.)
Painted
I believe this is the year of my firsts. I have learned to crochet, to sew, and now to paint. Last night I got to paint with two amazingly, talented woman who are such a blessing to me. (Betsy and Ms. Joy) I am not quite sure if they really know how much they mean to me or just what they have brought into my life. The example they lead with and the loving wisdom they share with me opens my heart wider to all the Lord has for me as I grow in Him. Don't you love how He places people in your life that teach you? People who make an impact on your life by just being present.
We are doing a painting project, and when it is finished it will look so grand. As we were painting last night, I noti…

Shaving cream, fried eggs and basballs

Some little girls watch their mamas in the kitchen. I sat in the bathroom watching my daddy shave. He woke up every morning at 4:00am to ready for work. I would hear the alarm and I was up. My mom would make him breakfast and make him a few extra fried egg sandwiches to take for lunch. Dad would sit down at the table and I was there right next to him eating away at an egg sandwich covered in mustard.
I was just a little thing, but old enough to crawl up on the bathroom counter. I would grab my dad's shaving cream, you know, that cool blue kind, and smear it all across my face. I would then pretend I was shaving. Dad never let me use his razor, but he would hand me his little comb and that would be my pretend razor.
A few years later he would be throwing baseballs at me. I would hold my glove up high, ready to catch the ball. Dad always said, "If you want to learn how to play softball, we are gonna learn baseball first." So, there was never a softball in our house. I re…

New love

Remember that new love feeling? Your on top of the world and nothing else seems to matter. Just the sound of his voice makes your toes wiggle. To see his face makes butterflies take flight in your tummy. Oh, to hold his hand or feel his arms around you brings such a safe feeling, doesn't it?
My son is newly in love. Yes, his first real love. I have always taught my son, "Never date a girl your not thinking of marrying." Some might think, what in the world, but it's true. Why waste your time or her time? If your not going to give all your heart, why give any? In love, you just can't hold back. It's one of those things where you can't protect your heart. You love with all the love you have. Isn't that the kind of love our Savior has for us?
Now, don't get me wrong. You don't just dive in with your eyes closed. You take each step slow and enjoy the love that is blossoming. Sometimes it isn't love, but a spark that ignites feelings we are only…

Best Friends Forever

Friends come and go in life, don't they? If we are blessed with one good friend in this life, well then, we are blessed indeed. A friend is one to treasure. They are to be held dear to our hearts. While reading this morning I found myself in 1 and 2 Samuel. What a life David lived. I mean, he was a man after God's own heart. He was not perfect in any way at all, but the thing that is of treasure here, is that he tried to live for God. Sure, he made mistakes. He faltered more than a few times. But each time, he knew. He knew what God had for him and he chose to do it his own way. But each time, God lead him right back to where he was to be.
Have you been there with David a time or two? Your trying with all your heart to walk in faith and then out of no where, you make a choice that effects the rest of your life? Not only your life, but the life of another? David was blessed with a friend like, Jonathon. Jonathon was ready and willing to stand with David no matter the cost. He w…

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY HOME by KATHI MACIAS

Kathi Macias, brings us a story of two women. Very different women. One settled here in the states who loses her husband working border patrol. The other a woman living beyond the border, seeking a way here. I wondered how two women could be so different, but yet have so much in common. These women are searching for the same thing, peace and understanding. When we are desperate, God has a way of showing up just when we need Him the most.
I love how Kathi brings a story alive and makes it so real. When you begin to turn the pages of a Kathi Macias book get ready because you are going to be looking deep into our own heart. What can I take away from this beautifully written story? We are often so quick to judge. We see things as only black and white. Our lives are not black and white. We must begin searching beyond what something looks like and search for the story within.
We all put up such borders around our hearts.  Borders to keep people out. That way we don't have to feel or gi…

THE CROSSING by SERITA ANN JAKES

Ten years has passed and the tragedy of a shooting is as real to today to those who experienced as it was then. A gunman takes a life and by all appearances, life doesn't just carry on. One woman might be dead, but to those involved and witnessed what happened, their lives are forever marred. We see the scars that are left behind and we ride this journey with these characters fighting to find today. The murder case is now being reopened after all these years. 
Betrayal is alive in this book. We have murder, suspense and the seeking of the truth, but there are so many secrets to be uncovered. We see just how are demons can keep us from really living in God's abundant grace. Faith is something that I expected more of in this book by Serita Jakes. I would say this book is more secular than Christian.
I must say this book didn't really grab my attention. I wanted to enjoy it, but it just didn't happen for me. You may pick up this book and totally love it. For me, it was ju…

THE COLOR OF RAIN (How Two Families Found Faith, Hope & Love In the Midst of Tragedy) by MICHAEL AND GINA SPEHN

This is one of the most poignant and raw books I have had the pleasure of reading. Real and remarkable. This true story takes you into the depths of heartache. We are given the real image of what cancer and death do to a family. I must be honest and share with you, this was a hard read for me. It was deep and I mean deep for the reasoning that you see into the rooms of the dying. I think it was so hard for me, because cancer took my dad at a young age. So, I have seen this evil first hand and these pages brought me back to those days and made it all too real for me again.

This story is written by Gina and Michael, who both lost their spouses to cancer. Their spouses were high school friends. Gina begins sharing in the first chapter and then Michael shares. I love how the book goes from each of their lives. This would be the saddest book I have ever read, but it doesn't stop there. Both Cathy Spehn (Michael's wife) and Matt Kell, (Gina's husband) knew exactly where they wer…

Something new is coming to the Nest!

Hey there friends, I am hoping all of my readers are having a day filled with treasures of all kinds. Even in the midst of our troubles, it doesn't take us long to find a blessing. Something that stands out among the sorrow. God has a way of sending His hope to light the way when we least expect it. He has filled me with a the idea of a new journey. Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. One of those gifts that so many enjoy is the gift of writing. Penning life changing words. Words that inspire and make us ponder new thoughts. I was doing the segment called, Lets Chat Friday, where I interviewed guests. Oh, that was such a blessing to hear from such wonderful women changing this world with their passion for the Lord.

I wanted to share a new treasure coming to the Nest. On Tuesday and Thursday you will now see a guest post written by other writers, speakers and encouragers who light up this world by using the gift of words. This new segment will begin on Tuesday, November 1. It will…

SOFTLY AND TENDERLY by SARA EVANS with RACHEL HAUCK

Wow! Wow! Wow! Okay, after reading the first book, "The Sweet By and By", I was hooked! I couldn't wait to begin turning the pages of, "Softly and Tenderly". Now although this book will bring you great  blessings, I suggest you read, "The Sweet By and By" first. It is the backbone of this series. It brings you to the heart of Jade and her past. I love the character of Jade Fitzgerald. She is so believable. She is broken and searching. I feel so connected to her. Maybe because I was that girl once. That girl searching for real.

In Jade's world, everything is broken. She wants to escape her real and find solace for just a while. Her husband, her marriage, her in-laws and her own family are struggling. Everyone seems to have secrets, even Jade. The secrets these characters are holding are not only hurting themselves, but their relationships with one another.

Jade is devastated as her mother is dying. A mother she has had a love/hate relationship wi…

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by TODD BURPO with LYNN VINCENT

Okay, I didn't like this book. I know what your thinking, "But why didn't you like it? I loved it." I think people will either love it or not. One thing I can walk away with from reading this book is a deeper thirst for heaven. I want to dive in more and read God's Word. I want to be so saturated in God's Word that I find myself washed in His goodness until I meet Him on the other side of heaven.

Now, this is the story of a little boy who went under for surgery and a few weeks later begins sharing what he saw while visiting in heaven. Part of me thinks this is one sweet story and I want to believe, but the other part is really skeptical. Lynn Vincent is an AWESOME writer. Yes, I said, AWESOME! She blew me away with, SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT.

Mr. Burpo is a pastor who has a deep faith. I guess I just wanted to hear more about this little boy and his thoughts today. Does he still remember? Praise God for this little boy and his precious life. No doubt, the Lord…