Saturday, July 31, 2010

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON? by Dr. David Jeremiah

Is the current economic and political crisis actually prophesied in the Bible?
If so, what are we to do about it? It is hard to piece together all this information in a way that gives a comprehensive picture of what the end times will look like. That's why so many theories abound. And that's why Dr. David Jeremiah has written What In the World Is Going On?, a unique book that cuts through the hundreds of theories to identify the essential 10 most important bible prophecies. There is no other book like this. You'll find it the ultimate study tool for understanding the future. You'll have a greater sense of comfort that, even in these crazy times, God is indeed in control. If bible prophecy as always been a mystery to you, Dr. Jeremiah's book will help you solve the mystery. At last, bible prophecy can make sense, and make a difference. What In the World Is Going On? is shocking and eye-opening but essential reading in these turbulent days.
I love Dr. David Jeremiah. His writing style captivates you and he gives accurate information that is detailed and easy to read. So much is coming, so much is behind us, but throughout this book it gives new insight and helps us prepare and be awakened to all that is going on. Dr. Jeremiah shares with us information we cannot ignore. He gives valuable information about what has been prophesied and what has already occurred. This is a book you will read in one sitting. It is enthralling to read these pages and come to realize the truth in what he is speaking. We have nothing to fear about our future when we know Christ as our Savior. But we need to be prepared and ready for what is to come.

This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for it's review.


Are you looking for an accurate account of our history? Our constitution? Our founding fathers? If so, Original Intent is the book for you. I have heard many history lovers say this is their favorite book outside the bible. I now see why. This book contains everything one would desire to know about our constitution. It's the hows, whys, whens and wheres of those who built this country with faith and determination. Did you know there were fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence? We not only read of those names that are well known, but those we are not familiar with. One thing that stands out for me is the humility of David Barton. He shares that although his name is on the cover, there are countless people who helped bring this book alive. This book holds valuable detail about those who helped bring this country we call home to fruition. It is our responsibility to know about our country, our courts, our documents that are so often taken out of context. David Barton takes us on a ride through history and to our present day. This is one book we should be honored to read and go back to for information. In order for us to move forward, we must look back to where we came from. And that is exactly what David Barton does here within these pages. Articles, amendments, and the original intent of our constitution is covered throughout this book. This is the "Bible" of our country. This would also be a great addition to your home school collection of books, even a study among those who love history and want to know more.
This book was a gift from David Barton for it's review.

You can find out more about Original Intent, and David Barton by linking on here:


Loved. Loved. Loved it! I found myself admiring Annie Weaver and mesmerized by the characters around her. This is a book about searching, family, faith and letting go. Each character binds this book together. Annie Weaver is a young Amish woman staying with her aunt in the city, during he Rumschpringe. She is not out searching the world, but finding herself in the nursing she has found so fulfilling. She is in love with the children she is caring for. Annie is a woman of mercy and grace. As Annie is living in the city her father has an accident that brings her back home. Home where she knows she belongs. We see the closeness of family and the bond they carry for each other. It is a strong bond of love. This family knows each other. They don't just pass one another in the day, but they spend time with each other and that is a value we can all learn from. Samuel Reed is a man who has watched Annie grow up and is trying to let go of his painful past. Letting to day by day, his heart is making room for Annie. The cover of this book is simple. It is beautiful. Just as the book itself. We see Christmas isn't about material things, but love and the importance of family. It's those things of the heart that matter. We see our Savior shine throughout this book as He moves through each character. This book is lovely. It not only held my attention, but I couldn't wait to see what each choice Annie made brought to her life.

This book was a gift from Abingdon Press for it's review. Available October 2010.

Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta is a multi-award winning member of Romance Writers of America and holds a B.A. and M.A. in English. She currently teaches in the Texas hill country, where she lives with her husband. A Simple Amish Christmas is her debut novel. Visit her on the web at

Waiting for Morning

This morning as I drove to my mom's house this song came on and I just felt the Lord wash over me. I felt His assurance and promise. I do feel as though I am in a tunnel. Tears just flow so easily as I write. I feel as though this tunnel is closing in on me. Sleep? It doesn't come. When I do have a chance for sleep, the stress overtakes my mind. I am so very tired and restless.

My mom is sleeping as I write this on Friday. Either I give her all these medications or she is in severe pain. So what do you do? Do you give her relief or do you watch as her mind escapes?

I have helped care for my mom for years now, but never anything like this. I would do her laundry, shopping and some cleaning. This journey is all new. Shingles has changed her life. My whole family is trying to adjust to these changes, but it is anything but easy. We are praying for light at the end of this tunnel.

Yesterday I gave my mom a bath. I think this was not only humbling for my mom, but for me as well. I don't think she even realizes what is happening. She just knows family is taking care of her.

She has had changes also in her mood. As she hallucinates, she can yell at me. Say mean things and it breaks my heart. I know this is not really her speaking, but the medication through her. But it still hurts. I still cry. Her confusion is breaking my heart.

Today we will go to the doctor with the help of my son, Jake. My daughter, Whitney will do some shopping for us. I pray he has some answers. I pray he can help her. I hate seeing my mom in this way. As our parents age, what else are we to do but care for them?

Nursing home? That is not even an option at this point. I made a promise to my dad before he died. He asked me to promise to care for my mom and I intend to keep that promise. I do this not only for him, but for my mom. The mom who never stops giving.

I long to see her smile. Have a moment of clarity. To be pain free. I dream of just going shopping with her for an afternoon or out to lunch.

In these moments I think I can't do anymore I call my husband or daughter. I give my son a call just to hear his voice. They seem to always know exactly what to say to lift me up and give me encouragement to make it through another hour.

As a storm takes over the sky today and the rains fall, it is just another reminder that later today the rains will end and the sun will shine once again. God's promises are true and steadfast. He controls the storms in the air just as He does those storms in our lives.

I set this song as my ring tone today. So now every time it rings I can hear, "There is light at the end of the tunnel for you!" I may feel like I have to squint to see it now or that it's far away, but I know it is there and in sight.

Dear friend, I don't know where you are today. You may be taking care of your parents, your children. You may have a totally different circumstance. A storm of your own. Know that you are not alone. Surround yourself with music that is uplifting. Get in God's word and allow Him to wash His healing words over you. Reach out to others for encouragement. We were never meant to carry these loads alone. Stay on your knees until you have the strength to get back up. Reach for Christ and He will hold you up. How do I know? It's the only way I am making it each day. Focus on the light. Focus on the beauty and see your service as love. See your love as honor. And see your honor as character. You are a child of the King. He is bigger than any Goliath we will face today. Hold that Rock within your hand with the confidence of knowing God is there. Feel His strength and courage fill you today.

Philippians 4:13 "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

Romans 5:3-5 "We can rejoice, too, when we fall into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation, and this hope will not disappoint. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love."

Psalm 91:1-2 "Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust in Him."
Psalm 85:6-7 "Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; Hear my urgent cry. I will call to You whenever I'm in trouble, and You will answer me."

Friday, July 30, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Carlena Matthews

Today Carlena Matthews is stopping in! I am just tickled pink that she took the time to chat with me. To share her heart for you and I. She is just so beautiful, sweet and has a kind spirit. I pray you are encouraged through our chat. With each lady who stops in the Nest, it just brings more blessings to this girl that is having such a blast getting to know these amazing ladies better. I know you are excited as well, so let's get chatting girls!

(Robin) Carlena, tell me a little about yourself . . .
(Carlena) I am a small town girl who loves Jesus more than anything. I'm a preacher's daughter. A mother, a grandmother, a sister, a friend, a songwriter, a photographer, and an artist. Every talent I have is a gift from God. I love children and am currently working as a Vision Therapist. God has put me in many interesting places! And, there is nothing I love to share more than Him, because there is nothing greater! The most important role I will ever have is being His daughter, and His servant!

(Robin)Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Carlena) I endured a lot of abuse as a child, so in my teenage years and early twenties, I didn't want anything to do with church, but I never gave up believing in God, I sometimes didn't understand why He allowed some of the things He did, but in the end have seen His great love for me, and His promise that He will use everything we go through for our good, to be absolutely true.

(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Carlena) I think when my brother was dying I had several of those kind of moments with God, where He showed me how real He was in the depth of sorrow. But, that would be too long to share. So, I’ll say one time when I was in a small church visiting . . . they were dancing, playing bongo drums, somebody almost hit me in the head with a tambourine, it was great! I was full of joy and enjoying every moment, though I had never been in a church like that! And, then they slowed it down and played a beautiful song called “Somebody Prayed For Me” . . . as I thought of my mother praying for me through the years and so many others . . . God was reminding me of some of the places I’d been in those wayward days, and what He had done to protect not only me, but my very life; and I know He spoke into my heart and said, “If I loved you then, when you were doing the worse things you’ve ever done, how much more do I love you now, that you are living your life for Me?” I was so moved by the Holy Spirit . . . I think about 7 people came and handed me paper towels! Not Kleenex’s, paper towels!!! I had on a borrowed white shirt from my sister, I surely didn’t want to cry all over . . . but I’m telling you what, I did. It was then, that I truly realized how much God loved me, and it wasn’t about anything I’d ever done, or could do. He just did. It was a powerful moment, since I had been raised to think almost everything was going to send me to Hell. It is truly the love of God that changes our lives and inspires us. From that day on, I have wanted to love Him more, serve Him more, please Him more. Even though I was already living my life for Him and had been for years. He was taking me deeper and continues to, to this day. If our hearts are just open and surrendered, He will show us more of Himself, and there is nothing greater than to know God! And, He truly does speak to us through the power of the Holy Spirit if we’ll just let Him. His word says all wisdom comes from Him, and I believe it. I think some people just take the credit.

(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Carlena) You can be sure when trouble comes, and it will for everyone. I am either on my face before the Lord, or on my knees, and I am in His word. I really do love His word and believe it is the best book ever written! I usually pray for the Holy Spirit’s leading, but I think God often reminds me of Joseph in many situations that I go through. And, Isaiah 61 is very comforting. I love so many songs, since I’m a songwriter. Usually any praise or worship song, that will take my mind off my problems and get my eyes on the God that has all the answers! I do love “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me, because I love to imagine what it will be like when I finally see the one I love most!

(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Carlena) Their faith in God. My mom said something all through my life that is never very far from my mind . . . “You can only trust someone as far as they trust God”. My prayer is that anyone who ever knows me will know that I love Him, and desire to help make Him real to the ones who only know Him by name, or don’t acknowledge Him at all.

(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Carlena) I am usually encouraging them to read the Bible more than anything, but have recommended “Become A Better You” by Joel Osteen to many friends, because I think we should always be growing and maturing in our walk with the Lord.

(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Carlena) I truly get alone with The One who has loved me from the beginning and seek His face. He is the only one who really does stick closer than a brother and can be counted on to be faithful. Almost everyone in our lives will let us down at some point, but in my opinion God never will. Even when I don’t understand Him, I know He is perfect, and it’s my lack of faith, wisdom, trust, obedience, or whatever it is, that keeps me from having the joy He says will be our strength, even in hard times. So, there is always a lesson to be learned. And, I am the only one I can change, so I have to be open to hear and willing to make the change.

(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Carlena) The Holy Spirit in me. 

(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Carlena) The presence of God, His anointing, His love, His peace, His people. Anything He has created, especially flowers.

(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Carlena) My deepest passion is to love well, and to fulfill the purpose God created me for . . . to love Him, to draw people to Him through sharing life experiences or what I’ve learned . . . through a song, a photograph, a painting . . . or a conversation with someone whose heart is hurting. Helping them to see how important His word is, it is the living word, and the only true source to knowing God. Even what we believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to us, it needs to line up with the word of God. As long as I get to the end of my life and He says, “Well done my good and faithful servant” . . . then, everything in between will have had value.

(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Carlena) My mother said to read at least one verse of Scripture a day and make a habit of it. And, as I began to, I read more and more. And, now I love it as much as she did. The other wise advice she gave me was to listen to God. That if I heard something in my conscience and it wasn’t wrong, it was probably God. What a nugget of gold that was!

(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Carlena) My love. After my brother died, I had a dream where he seemed more real to me than he ever did in life, and he said, “I just came back to tell you, the most important thing we can ever do here, is learn to love” and he was gone. It was a soul-moving experience. Somehow, I knew as it was happening that he went through a lot to get the message to me and how important it was. Almost as if it were a warning of sorts.

(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Carlena) I an currently working on my photography and artwork, and getting ready to shift gears back to the songwriting, since one of my song's was released last September by Kris Ballerini. It's now available at itunes. It was produced by some of the guys from Sonic Flood at Zodlounge and Stormie Omartian's husband Michael Omartian played on it and helped with the production also. What an answer to prayer! But more importantly am trying to get my heart lined up with the will of God. And, keep my eyes on what’s more important to Him, when I tend to dream those big dreams and He’s put someone right before me with a hurting heart, He expects me to love. It’s sacrificial to serve God. The proof of that in one word is “Jesus”. I wish I could say I love well, but the truth is when you love, people can hurt you. And, sometimes it’s hard to understand that hurt and not take it personally, and to be brave enough to do it again. To open yourself up to what loving may bring. This seems to be a continual thread running throught the life of a believer, atleast it is for me.

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Carlena) For me, success is truly having done something that pleased God or that brought someone closer to Him. Because everything in this life will pass away, but every soul is eternal. So, we need to use our influence wisely. He is my Creator, as far up the ladder as I can go, so if I please Him, I have done my best! And, that will be my greatest success!

See, I told you she was a blessing! Carlena, your words of encouragement cover my heart today as I am in such need of it as my mother is ill. Love is one thing I pray I too leave behind in my legacy. If we don't have love what do we have? Thank you for stopping in Carlena. You touched my heart and filled me with your words of love. You are such a sweet spirit. The Lord is doing a mighty work through you. And what a work it is my sweet friend. God bless you!

If you would like to see all that Carlena is doing just follow these links:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Waiting for Morning

Last night was one of those never ending nights. It seemed morning would never come. Needless to say, no sleep. There are those moments you get to close your eyes, but you are just waiting to get up once more.

I have never seen my mother suffer so badly. The pain seems to overtake her body and the medications are overtaking her mind. Last night I had to take one pain medication away. The side effects were devastating for her. It's so heart breaking to watch your mother just seem to grow smaller and further away. There are those moments of clarity, but others she doesn't even know the day.

Heart medications, nerve medications, pain, eye, the list goes on and on. Shingles is one of those illness' that is so very painful. Nothing can take the pain totally away. I write, I keep track of her medications throughout the day and night.

When she is sleeping I find myself beside her bed watching her chest rise and fall. It takes me back to my dad's hospital room, and that is not a place I want to be. I just keep praying for one more breath and hoping the next one will be even stronger.

When we are going through a trial we always think it is the hardest of all and that we won't make it through. This is by far the hardest trial yet. I am exhausted. This has been a life changing week for me and I am afraid it is a road that will take a while. Although the journey is a long one, we are not making it without the Lord. He is right there every inch of the way.

I am praying for this storm to pass. The rains will stop and a new day will dawn. I feel myself growing tired and weak. I just want to close my eyes for a bit, knowing she is okay.

Still fighting those demons of selfishness. Still thinking about all I must do. All I enjoy doing. I miss my husband. I miss my son and I miss Daisy snuggled up next to me. I just miss home.

But then I hear the Lord again, "Your life is not your own." I must put everything else on hold and care for my mom who is having the hardest time of all. She is a fighter. She is strong. I pray that sparkle of joy returns to her eye. I can't wait for her to be able to enjoy her morning coffee while she watches the news. And if you know my mother, well, she never misses the news or her soap operas.

I know the Lord is doing a powerful work in me. He is teaching me to die to self. For the first time in my life I understand that meaning clearly. I see the impact and the power of letting go of my flesh and allowing God to totally use me for His glory and honor. I need to be that willing vessel always, not just when I want to be. Not just when it's easy and not just when it's fun.

Yesterday my husband brought me a gift. I first books!! Yay for me. But it was something much better. It turns out my cousin sent me an Irish cross. It came at just the right time. Another reminder of the Lord showing me He was here. It's encouraging to have such great family. Family who loves me and is willing to go the extra mile to encourage me through this. My husband calls me about every hour checking on my mom and me. He is worried, but I know his faith is strong. My son stops in just to say hello, but he cannot stay all night. My mother is hallucinating and it is just too much for his young heart to take. My Pastor leaves me an encouraging message of hope to carry with me. Our Youth Pastor calls with an encouraging prayer. Knowing you have those who really care, those who are reaching out means the world when you are going through a difficult time. Whenever I wonder where the Lord is, I can just look around and see Him through all those encouraging me and my family. Whenever I need strength I think of the words of Jeremy Camp's song, "I Still Believe." The Lord is mighty. He is strong. He is compassionate, and I know my mom is in His hands. He is watching. He is her strength and in that I still believe. Hope is the light that keeps me going even throughout the night.

Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever."

Psalm 116:1-2 "I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath."

If I am to take and hold all the good days He gives, should the bad be any less of value? Each day, good or bad, the Lord has in His hands. Trust in Him. Believe in Him. Know that He is God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:7 "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."


Colossians 3:20 "Children, always obey your parents, for this please the Lord."
Ephesians 6:1-3 "Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do." Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth."

As I sit down at my mother's house this morning, away from my home, my computer, I sit here writing for Thursday's Scripture. As I read God's word about honoring your parents this just speaks volumes to me today.

As my mother went to the emergency room last Thursday, and then again on Friday to finally be admitted, my life completely did a 180. I could even say a 360! My life completely belongs to taking care of her right now. Nothing else is above that for me. Everything I do ends and my focus is shifted to her. Now, before you go thinking, "How sweet. What a wonderful daughter", I must be honest and share I struggle in selfishness. Those selfish thoughts just enter in and seem to want to make a bed and stay there over night. I find myself thinking of all the things I need to do, all the things I want to do and all the plans I have. I think we all struggle with our flesh daily, right?

The Lord forever is teaching me that my life is not my own. I belong to Him, therefore, I serve Him in every way, every area of my life. That includes giving up myself to serve my mother. It has been a long weekend and here as I write this I am tired, weary and even scared. My mother cannot be left alone for one minute. Twenty-one medications to give her. Twenty-one! She sleeps, she wakes in pain and everything is a struggle for her.

Praise the Lord my daughter, Whitney, is able to help. She is going to school, working and planning a wedding,as well as building a house, but she is there when she can be and that is a great help. I know if I am not well, if my Fibro takes a hold of me or a migraine comes from being overly tired, I will not be any good for my mom. So it's important for me to try to take care of myself.

It's funny, our parents sacrifice and care for us. They care for our every need growing up. From protecting us deep within the womb, to the day we leave to go venture out on our own. But even then their care and love does not end. My mother continues to give and love daily without even thinking about it. But here I am now. The tables are turned. I am now sacrificing for my mom, just as she did for me. I have dropped everything to be by her side. This may take a week, a few months, or even a year, but I am here, doing what I can.

Sometimes it feels like a lot and others not enough. I pray for her healing. I pray for strength. But then anything I pray for love. I want my mother to know she is loved. She is not a burden. I want her to know how special she is. I want the best care for her. Doesn't she deserve that? I want her to be honored and treated with dignity. She is such a humble woman. She has let go of any pride she once carried. She is totally dependent on others. I know that must take much away from her. That is why it is important to be joyful and refreshed when I am with her. I ant her to know it is an honor and a privilege to care for her.

I know there was much in her life she gave up for me. I know there were days out or evening planned that without a doubt or hesitation she canceled for me. Should she have any less from the daughter she raised?

In Ephesians and Colossians God calls us to honor our parents. He calls us to obey our parents. If I am honoring and obeying Him I too will honor and obey my mother. I find it beautiful that this is the first commandment with a promise. God calls us to honor, obey and serve our parents. But God takes that command even further. He adds a promise. 3"If you honor your father and mother, things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth." Isn't it just like God to bless us just for obeying? What a great and mighty God we have.

When I see this verse and take in all in means, to me, it says love. It doesn't mention life to be perfect for us, but well. when we love our parents and honor them it leaves us filled with love. It covers us with a feeling of peace and contentment. I am not sure if that means we will live to be one hundred years old. I gotta be honest and say, "I pray the Lord returns before this body turns one hundred!!" To me, I carry away that in my relationship with my mother life will be well. No matter how long or short the time we have together will be blessed. When we not only obey God, but our parents, it seems love is everlasting. We are adding to a legacy. Their legacy. Love covers all. If I am good with the Lord, have peace with my mother, no matter what life brings I have the promise that all will be well, and life on earth no matter how long will be fulfilling and one with no regrets.

So, I will continue to honor and care for my mom as the Lord teaches me to die to myself daily.

Thank You Lord for giving me the mother and father You chose just for me. I praise You for each day I had with my dad and each one left with my mom. Watch over her. Keep Your hands upon her, bringing healing, comfort and washing her with Your everlasting grace.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Can you imagine being the plain sister? The sister that doesn't catch the eye of others? The older sister who feels overlooked? That is how Leah felt. She is the daughter of Laban, sister of Rachel. Rachel who is captivating. Younger and the girl everyone wants to have their own.
Can you imagine the jealousy? I think these two sisters have quite a struggle to say the least and now out of no where, here comes a young, handsome man into town, Jacob.

See this picture? Here is Jacob, the man who just catches your eye. The Brad Pitt of town. Here he is, walking into town and who do you think he has his eye on? Wouldn't you know it. Rachel. She is there to greet him, smiling away.

This makes me think of Leah now. The sister back home. The one left at the house. Can you see her face as they come walking home? I imagine Leah as looking out the window (As if they had windows. Just go with me here.Lol) and saying, "Are you kidding me? Really?"

Jacob falls for Rachel and wants to marry her. Her father tells Jacob,"Sure, you can marry her, but you must work for me for seven years first." Well, Jacob is so in love he goes for it. Jumps on this idea. Being in love makes time go by faster, right?

Now, it's wedding night and Jacob is expecting Rachel to come in. But as the morning light shines in, it is not Rachel he sees, but Leah! Needless to say, Jacob did not take this well. He was down right ready for a fight. He goes to Laban and Laban tells him he must marry the older daughter first. If he still wants Rachel he must work another seven years! Now, some might be focused on poor, poor Jacob, but I am seeing Leah here. Can you imagine the pain she is feeling about now? She is in love head over heals with this man and he wants nothing to do with her, but insists on having her sister and will work another seven years just to have her! Yikes, talk about a love triangle made for the movies.

I imagine Leah has spend a many days now in tears trying to figure all this out and asking herself, "What is wrong with me? Why won't anyone just love me? Why does it always have to be Rachel?" This is becoming an intense rivalry between sisters. I am sure there is no love loss between them at this point as they battle it out for Jacob's attention.

Well, now the tables are turned a bit. Jacob has now worked his seven years to acquire Rachel and Rachel just cannot have his child, while Leah on the other hand just keeps popping those sons out for him to enjoy. Rachel is furious with Jacob, just almost blaming him. But he quickly shouts back that he is not God. He cannot change this. So Rachel now gets her maid, Bilhah. Wouldn't you want to be her about right now? Sheeh! She tells Bilhah to be with Jacob and sure enough, she is pregnant with a son and then another and another. Rachel now feels vindicated. She is now feeling worthy.

Imagine this. Could Rachel have felt insecure in her beauty this whole time? Was she the sister admiring Leah? Things are not always as they seem.

So time carries on and Rachel, Leah and their maids give Jacob many sons and a daughter. Rachel finally gives birth herself and has Joseph and then Benjamin. This has become one large family. Talk about his, hers, mine and yours? I thought it was hard to keep up with five!

There is much throughout this story taking place between Laban and Jacob. There is anger, and misunderstanding, but there is peace to follow.

I gathered this story from Genesis chapters 29-35. This story is fascinating to me. When we really take the time to read and take each person and picture the circumstances we get a better glimpse of what is going on, and for me, I can see the Lord teaching us through these two sisters. I don't think we just have to be blood sisters to have jealousy and battles. It happens to us daily as we look to others and envy what they have and what we are lacking. It is one of those things women battle as a whole.

In this story it is Leah who just leaps off the pages for me, as well as Rachel. I don't think Rachel has it all together either. The Lord shows us much about sisters, family and struggles here. This is many of our lives on paper.

Jealousy, competition, acceptance, value. These two sisters shared all these experiences. Sometimes the shoe was on the other foot and at times it didn't fit as well as the other thought it would. We can take away much from the names of their children. As Leah named her son Reuben, we can see the meaning is, "He has seen my misery." His birth gave Leah hope for Jacobs love and consolation for her suffering.

There is Simeon, which means, "He who hears." She was feeling the Lord was finally hearing her cries. Levi comes along, which means, "Being attached." Leah was hoping her husband would become attached to her.

When Rachel finally has a child through her maid she names him Dan. Meaning, "He judged." Rachel was now vindicated and felt worthy. Naphtali came along, which means, "My struggle." The lives of these woman were not easy. There were times they were at war, but others they struggled within. Not at all different from today. Are we any different? Trying to find ourselves in a man and this world? Feeling as though we are not good enough? Asking ourselves what is wrong with us? May we learn from these women. May we know we are beautiful. We are loved. We are accepted. We can find our worthiness in the Savior who gave all for us. May we rise above our circumstances and not be defined by them. May we be the women God has called us to be instead of trying to be another. May we not look to this world or those in it to bring us love and acceptance. We will always fall short of finding it. But may we understand with all our hearts we are made perfect and complete in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


As I sit here in this dark hospital room, looking out the window, watching the traffic go by, I wonder if she will ever leave this room. Tears fall as I am tired and weary. It breaks my heart to see my mother hurt so badly. She suffers through the night, moaning in pain and crying out as these shingles overtake her body.
I now know why I am not a nurse. The nurse I dreamed of being. My heart aches for those lining this hallway in rooms hurting and searching for healing. Some are crying out as other are silently hurting, holding it all in, suffering in silence, with no one present to hold their hand. My mother has me here with her, but I often wonder if I really am any help at all as I am falling apart inside.

I must be honest, as I wonder where God is in all this. Where is He when I am crying out for healing for my mom? Where is He is in her deepest pain and unsureness of tomorrow? I sit here looking out as the world continues on. Does anyone care? Does anyone know? It kills me to see my mom shrinking in this bed as pain medications drown out the present as she falls off into a rest finally. Finally she is getting rest after being awake for days, suffering inside.

But then I see Him. I see Him in the soft whisper of those comforting my mom. I see Him in the nurses who walk these halls, going from room to room. I see Him in the doctors who sit by her side trying to figure out ways to bring healing and relief. I see Him in my daughters. Daughters who love their grandmother and want to help. I see Him in my husband who drops everything to come. I see Him in that lovely worker who stops to ask, "Are you okay honey?" She reaches out to give me a drink, and hugs away my tears. I see Him in the scripture verses that line the hallways and in the small chapel where you can kneel to pray. I see Him all around me. He is here. We are not alone. In the silence of the night I can hear His whisper telling me, "I am here daughter".

Finally as my mother closes her eyes to rest for the first time in days as her eyes slowly close, sleep finally comes. I am finally able to rest also for short periods of time. But I find myself watching her. Praying over her. And I can see God's presence in all this.

My mother calls out my name in the night making sure I am there, as I call out for Jesus, making sure He is here. We each here a whisper of, "Yes, I am here". I am honored to sit beside her bed for however long it must be.

Sleep is calling me, but I cannot find it. Instead I lay here silently praying in the dark to a God who I know is right here.

We often wonder if God is in all around us, in this crazy world we live in. We try to seek Him and ask why. We cannot understand. I cannot understand, but I do not have to. My faith is enough. My hope in Him is enough. His love is sufficient for me. It must be. It has to be. Christ knows this pain. He too carried pain. His pain held out hope for us. It brought us hope for today and faith for tomorrow.

As my mother traveled by ambulance from one hospital with no relief, I began to wonder. But as an ambulance carried her to another hospital, the Lord knew exactly where she needed to be. He placed her in hands of healing and of a loving spirit. He placed kindness all around her. He surrounded her with grace and mercy. Her pain is now slowing. Healing is coming. I must believe God has a plan through all this. I must believe there are blessings beyond this storm.

This is to be Encouragement Tuesday. I hope you are not wondering, "where is the encouragement Robin?" It is here, within this pain, within the unknown, within my words. I pray you walk away knowing I made through each night turning to a God who knew my thoughts and prayers. I laid my mother at His feet in prayer and in faith, knowing He was her healer. However long the night we can make it to morning with the Lord. In seeking. In asking and wondering, we can find Him. He shows Himself through others and in deep within our hearts in prayer. He calms us. He comforts us. He lifts us up and gives strength where we have none.

Colossians 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth."

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Philippians 4:19 "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

2 Corinthians 12:9a "And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Romans 5:3-5 "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Monday, July 26, 2010


Jeremiah 29:11 " For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

God is forever teaching me my life is not my own. My life belongs to Him. This song and this verse have carried me through a weekend that is life changing and no matter what happens I ALWAYS know He is there with me. He can use our life to bring change to others. He can use our lives to bless others and to give encouragement.

This verse allows me the hope for tomorrow, knowing however long the journey, whatever the road brings, He is ALWAYS going to show me the way if I seek Him. He knows my thoughts before I say them. He knows my prayers before I speak them. This is one of those verses that gives me strength to carry on. I pray this verse and this song bring you hope for today and encouragement for tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with Kathi Macias

Well look who stopped by the Nest today. It's Ms. Kathi Macias! What a pleasure it is to have her, the easy-writer herself. Kathi is just a great lady who is full of wisdom and is such a gem. It is an honor to have her stop in at my blog and spend a few intimate moments with us as friends. When interviewing Kathi that is exactly how she makes you feel. She is warm, inviting and gifted. I had the pleasure of reading Kathi's book, "No Greater Love." It was one that captivated me and is in my quickly growing collection of books. Well, let's get started with our chat..

(Robin) Kathi, tell me a little about yourself...
(Kathi) I’m a Southern California girl, born and raised, though I’ve spent a few years in Texas, Colorado, and Washington. Always seem to end up back here though! My children are all grown, and we have seventeen grandchildren and two great grandchildren. My 89-year-old mother lives with us, and when I’m not involved in some sort of writing/speaking activity (which isn’t often!), my hubby and I escape on his Harley—hence, my “road name” of Easy Writer!

(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Kathi) Oh, absolutely! Many times, in fact. It wasn’t that I questioned God or His Word, nor did I really doubt my faith. It was a struggle with myself. I’ve always been hard on myself and overly responsible—first-born, type A, high achiever stuff—so it’s tough for me to forgive myself or cut myself a bit of slack now and then. (No problem doing so with others!) I hope I’m getting better as I get older.

(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Kathi) Again, more than one, but the biggest one was on July 5, 1974, when I first received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In that very instant I suddenly understood that everything I had ever believed was wrong, and I had to relearn it all. I didn’t really know what that meant, but once again, being that type A personality, I set sail immediately to find out!

(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Kathi) Like many people, I often turn to the Psalms in times of trials and testings, but most often I ensconce myself in the minor prophets. Over and over in those amazing little books I find examples of human failings, followed by God’s overwhelming grace and mercy. The theme seems to be redeeming love, and that can carry us through anything!

(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Kathi) At the top of my list is someone with a tender heart but a no-compromise faith. I don’t want a friend who rubberstamps everything I say or do, but rather one who challenges me (both by word and example) to draw closer to the Father’s heart, and never to settle for less than God’s best.

(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Kathi) I have an entire room full of them—literally! There’s scarcely room to walk in there, despite the fact that I’ve given away many over the years. At the top of my list of all-time favorites is Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (though if I gave that one away I would immediately have to replace it with a new copy!) and Abba’s Father by Brennan Manning. The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming by Henri Nouwen would also be at the top of that favorites list.

(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Kathi) I read the Scriptures, pray, and sing—a lot! “Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” is a verse I practice often. The Bible promises to keep us in perfect peace if our mind is fixed/focused on Him, and what better way to keep our mind where it needs to be than by communing with Him? Apart from Him I have no strength, but the joy of the Lord is my strength, and that joy is found only in His sweet presence. Everything else fades into the “fluff” that it is when we stay hidden under the shadow of the Almighty.

(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Kathi) My passionate pursuit of Truth and unflappable determination to grasp as much of it as God has purposed. I know God has birthed that passion in me, so I don’t feel arrogant making such a statement.

(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Kathi) Peace. Quiet. Worship music. Children. Alone time with God and/or my husband. The sound of ocean waves breaking on the shore. Flowers that tease my memories with meaningful fragrance. Really good books that beckon me to enter their world.

(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Kathi) The Father’s heart; Jesus’ life as a template for mine; God’s Word (both studying and teaching it). On a more temporal level, books (of course) and worshipful music. Unrushed, uncluttered time with my family.

(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Kathi) I was 26 and a brand new Christian. A wise old pastor took me aside and said, “Kathi, devote yourself to reading God’s Word and using that as your guideline for developing your list of what you’re willing to die for. Never compromise on anything on that list—but keep it short.” He was indeed a wise man! I have learned in the 36 years since that there really are only a few things that need to be on that list, and that they should not be compromised at any cost. However, all else is negotiable.

(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Kathi) When people remember me, above all I hope/pray the first thing they say about me is, “She loved Jesus.” I pray that far outshines any books or speaking/teaching I leave behind.

(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Kathi) I have just started a new three-book fiction series for New Hope Publishers, which will begin releasing in Fall 2011, though I still have one stand-alone historical (Valeria’s Cross) from Abingdon and two more books in the current Extreme Devotion series from New Hope to come out before that.

(Robin) How do you define success?
(Kathi) Deuteronomy 8:1 proclaims, “Every commandment which I command you today you must be faithful to observe, that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land.” If I am obedient to God TODAY, in whatever He calls me to do, then at the end of the day I will be found faithful, and I can call myself a success.

Kathi Macias (; is an “occasional radio host” and an award-winning author of more than thirty books. A popular speaker at women’s retreats and writers’ conferences, Kathi lives with her husband, Al, in Homeland, CA, where the two of them spend their free time riding Al’s Harley—hence, her “road name” of Easy Writer.

If you would like to follow all Kathi is doing or contact her please follow these links:

Kathi, it has simply been a pleasure learning more about you as you share your heart with us. What an amazing wise Pastor to share such value with you to carry you through your walk with Christ. That is a gold nugget I too can carry with me now. Blessings to you sweet lady. I pray you have continued blessings in your writing, speaking and teaching as you bring such beauty into the lives you touch each day.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

God is mighty! God is strong!

I just want to share some of my favorite songs. Those songs that lift me up and remind me of God's power and might. We gain our strength through Him. We will fall. We will slip. But we do not have to stay there. God will lift us up out of that pit and set us on dry ground. It is my prayer that as you listen you will be reminded He is always with us. Nothing is too big for God. This world has nothing to hold us down. Live in your faith. Trust in your Redeemer. And hope in the God of today!

The Wedding Announcement of My Baby Girl

Boschert to Wed Pelton

Kenton and Vicki Boschert, Troy, and Steve and Robin Prater, Lonedell, accounce the engagement of their daughter, Whitney Boschert, to Nick Pelton, son of Steve and Carla Pelton.

Whitney is a 2008 graduate of St. Clair High School and is attending St. Louis College of Health Careers for an LPN degree. She is employed by St. Clair Nursing Center.

Nick is a 2008 graduate of St. Clair High School and joined the U.S. Air Force the same year. He is employed by Home Systems, St. Clair.

The couple plan an August 28, 2010, wedding at Villa Ridge Baptist Church.

It is an honor to announce my daughter's wedding. It will be an honor to walk down the aisle being her mother. Being Whitney's mother has been one of my greatest joys in life. She is beauty. She is love. She is a gift. This day I pray she and Nick will have a life filled with Christ. A life where all their dreams come true. A home where love will always be. A family that will forever be a steady source of encouragement. I pray peace for them as they bring many families together. It is a privedge to see my daughter grow, dream and reach for the stars. As love has entered her heart with another, I pray she and Nick get to share many years growing old and watching the stars together. It is my wish she has no regrets and has a pocket full of memories big enough to add many more to come.

Blessings my sweet daughter. May life always be kind and may you find all you need in Christ. May your life be blessed as you have blessed mine.You will forever be our baby girl. You have been a source of love, joy, laughter, and so much more in our home. A home that you filled with your presence in each corner of every room. The sweetness you carry is like no other. As you and Nick create your new home, I pray the Lord's presence is strong and steady. As good times will bring joy and trials will bring sadness, you can always be sure Christ will see you through. Congradulations Whitney and Nick. May life be all you dreamed it would be.
1 Corinthians 13:13 "Three things will last forever-faith, hope, love-and the greatest of these is love."

Remembering Home

My back yard is where I learned to do back flips, hand stands and cart wheels. It's where I prepared for the Olympics. My drive way is where learned how to play hand ball against the house. My bedroom is where I dreamed about my future. It's where I wrote all those notes to those boys I had crushes on. Out my window is where I gazed at the stars. My room is where I danced to my favorite songs, wrote poems and played school with all those stuffed animals. The river by our home is where I learned to explore and catch and release. Mostly catch with my dad and fry those catfish up for dinner. I learned to ride a bike down a gravel road and play ball in my small town. Growing up with the smell of corn growing and beans sprouting makes a girl part of the country.

It's where I caught frogs and butterflies. Turtles, dragonflies and more. It's where I learned to drive in my dad's pick up truck, and where I dressed for prom. It's where I first fell in love and had that first heart ache. It's where my mom would tell me I didn't need a man, and where my dad taught me to stand on my own. It's where I got that first spanking and where I learned right from wrong.

It's where I saw my dad come home from work with a big hello and hug for my mom. It's the place my mom filled with love with all her special decorating. In the kitchen is where my mom would sing as she cooked dinner and where my dad would sing to my mom making her smile. It's the place where all seemed right. Just a simple time really. A place where I felt safe and thought would always be.

My childhood home is no longer there. No place to go home to revisit, but I still hold those memories. I can see a certain color, smell a certain scent and it takes me right back home where I grew to be me. It's the place where my parents gave their all so I could be all. I wish I could just go back and take it all in again once more.

It's where I sat after my father died, and where his ashes are scattered. It is the place that brought such laughter and carried many tears. It is the place I learned to love and learned to let go. Home seems to hold so much, especially when your searching for who you are. It seems you can find a piece of you in all those memories past. It's like a little nugget of gold in your pocket, to bring you back, to let you remember just where you came from and how you got to where your going. Our home is a part of us. It is a part of who we are. I can still see my child hood home. I can still see the pictures on the wall and feel my warm comforter on my bed. I can see my mom doing laundry, my dad cutting grass and me watching cartoons until noon.

Where is home for you? Are you seeking who you are today? Go back. Take a look. Open that window of yesterday and let it lead you to today. I know the home of my past and also the home of my future. My future home is heaven. The place I now long for. The place my Savior is preparing for tomorrow. We cannot move forward until we look back. Many times we find our answers in our past as we dream about tomorrow.

This song speaks straight to my heart. I hear it and just think of home. It takes me back and oh, how I would love to go back, just for a bit. Just to soak in all those memories once more that have been forgotten over time. Memories that have made this girl who she is today.

Fill your home with love. Fill your home so your children will again dream of yesterday when they are old and gray. Memories to carry on, taking them to another time and place when all seems alone. May your house be a home that always brings your children back to a special place and time. One of no regrets, but one of kind.


Matthew 5:1-11 "One day as He saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around Him, He began to teach them.3 'God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.4God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.5God blesses those who humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.6God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.7God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.8God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.9God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.10God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.11God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.12Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.'"

Instead of these being called the beatitudes, they could be called "My attitudes". This is such a beautiful picture for me. Here Jesus is and He sees people coming, crowds of people. They are following Him. They want to hear what He has to say. As He sees them coming can you imagine what He is thinking? What a blessing for our Lord to have those follow Him and really want to hear His words. More so, can you imagine what the people are thinking? We get so excited about things we are about to do and be part of, but this group of people gathering were about to see Jesus! They were about to hear Him speak! Can we really fathom that?

So, Jesus begins speaking and He shares the beatitudes with them. He is speaking of being poor, mourning, humbleness, justice,mercy, pureness, peace, and persecution. Think these are things Jesus knows about? Jesus never had an earthy home of His own. He never owned property. He never held anything of material value. Jesus also knew about mourning. He mourned for the loss and He also mourned for His friend Lazarus. Jesus mourned with those who came to Him. Jesus was humble. He was never proud and pious. Jesus wanted Justice. He walked in righteousness. Jesus was mercy. He was our mercy. Jesus was pure in all He was. Jesus walked in peace. Jesus was also persecuted. He was persecuted during His ministry until His time upon the cross. We could even state that His name is still persecuted today. Jesus knew of the things He was speaking of. He lived them. He wasn't asking any more of us than of what He was willing to give Himself. These are attitudes we should carry as Christians. These are attitudes our Savior carried.

Jesus doesn't just share these are qualities we should hold, He goes on to share how those who carry them will be blessed. Those who are poor will realize their need for Him. Those who are hurting will find comfort in Jesus. Those who are humble, they will inherit the whole earth. When we walk in justice we will be satisfied. When we show mercy we will be given mercy. When our hearts are pure we will see the face of God. When we live in peace we will be called His children. And when others mock and persecute us we will inherit heaven. Heaven! Is there anything better than receiving heaven? Jesus is showing us that it is all worth it! There is nothing here on this earth that can take away what we will one day inherit in Him, heaven!

Then Jesus not only is sharing how we should live in this way, and what our reward will be for doing so, but He tells us to be happy about it! And also that those who were here before us went through the same things. They too knew this path, but they knew walking in this way would not only bring great reward it would bring glory and honor to God. When we walk in this way others see something different in us, they do not see the world, they see Jesus.

Our walk will not be an easy one. Jesus never tells us this, but he does say we will be blessed. He is there for us. He walked the road before us and it is paved with His grace and honor. It is paved with His love. And with His presence. It is the road that leads to Heaven and on this journey we walk, He will forever be there leading the way. So, put on those Beatitudes today. Make them My Attitudes and wear them well!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Lovely Day at the Spring

A few weeks ago my husband and I went to Alley Springs located in Eminence, Missouri. It is only about a four hour drive from our house and it is a place we go every summer. You can find Jacks Fork River there, where many float, swim and camp out. There is a huge bluff where our children have jumped off each summer during their childhood times. It is a place we go when we just want to get away and relax. A place that feels like home and just seems to bring a smile to your face. The sights and sounds fill your heart with such beauty. It is not only a familiar place to us, but we have family who live near in Summersville, another quiet town, filled with sweet people. During our visit here we got to visit with our Aunt Ileen and this was such a sweet time with her. We always love going to her home.

This is the place where my husband and I spent just a few hours and walked hand in hand, taking it all in. We laughed, and spoke of the beauty around us. Here you are able to imagine the days of old. Here at the mill you can see how it worked and take a closer look at all the pictures, seeing the faces of those who worked this area, lived here finding peace among the spring.

It was a wonderful day, not too hot so you could just enjoy the walk. Along our walk we were even able to catch a glimpse of a muskrat. He was just sitting there at the edge of the water eating watercress, enjoying each nibble.

It's like the Lord just shines His glory here in this spot. You can look around and see all His creation and soak it all in. It is a lovely place to spend the day or even stay for a week or more. It is a family spot where we escape the world and come here seeing a whole new perspective on life. We lose our perspective at times don't we? We lose sight of what is really important. It is good to just take time away. Take a break and just seek our purpose, and all that God has for us. We can get off track so easily and this is a place for us where everything becomes clear.

It is a day I will never forget as my husband I am just got to spend time together. It is just nice to get away for a while and find yourself in the company of someone you love, leaving behind all the stress. On the drive there you are always anticipating the beauty before you. And as you leave, you really don't want to say goodbye. It is that special place that just grabs your heart. Walking along you can see much wildlife and as you pass others walking, they wave, they say hello and you find yourself surrounded by friendly people like you just taking in all the surroundings.

There is something magical holding your husbands hand through the coolness of the spring. As you look at the history and dream of what it would be like to live here taking it in everyday. Would you take it for granite? Would you lose the love for it in seeing it everyday? I don't think that would be possible. It is impossible to look around and not see God's hand in this beauty. His creation is something for us to praise Him for. We can see Him through everything that is good.

You can see the dragonflies, hear the birds chirping and if your really blessed you can see a deer off in the grass just coming out in the evening to eat. It is one of those places you just don't walk through, but you experience each moment as though it was something new. You inhale and you can take in the fresh smell of the spring. It's like your senses come alive in a new way. You look down into the crystal clear water and see fish swimming. You reach down to touch the water and you feel the coldness that just seems to wake you.

You can look up, down and all around and see something that catches your eye. Flowers creep along the spring bringing beauty with each step. This place is just too beautiful to keep to yourself, you just want to share it with everyone.

Pictures just do not capture the complete beauty. There is nothing like stopping in one spot and looking around, climbing through the small caverns and you cannot help but praise God for His creation. It is all so breathtaking. As you see this clear water, the spring, and how the water flows it makes you realize the importance of the Living Water we find only in Christ. As deep as this spring is, the love of Christ is deeper. As clear as this water is and refreshing, the love of Christ is everlasting. With Christ we don't have to hop in our car and drive to have an experience with Him. We can be washed in His beauty just by calling His name.

John 7:37-38 "On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, Anyone who is thirsty may come to Me! Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the scriptures declare, Rivers of living water will flow from his heart."

Psalm 92:1 "It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High."
On our way home we shared ice cream and long talks. I am more in love with my husband today than the day we married. Each moment I am blessed to spend with him puts a smile on my face. I am thankful for this day that was given to us. And thank you Aunt Ileen for being so inviting, so loving and making us feel right at home! We love you.

We can praise Him all day!

We could praise Him all day long and we still couldn't praise Him enough! God is just so good. Isn't He? He just continues to give, to bless and encourage us through His word and His creation. I pray today you can praise Him through all that touches your life. My words could never capture all I feel for the Lord. I pray this song is a blessing to you today. What a way to begin the day!


Joshua 2:1-21 brings me to Wednesday's Woman. She was a Canaanite woman. She was an innkeeper along with a prostitute. Know who she is yet? She is listed along with Moses, David, Samson, and Samuel as examples of faith and good deeds.(Heb 11:31 "It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies." She is also mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.(Matthew 1:5 "Salmon was the father of Boaz(whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed(whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse." Rahab also came to faith in believing in God after following the god of Baal. (2:11 "No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. for the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.")
Who knew a scarlet rope could mean so much? Here Rahab is living life in the inn. She is seeing what is happening in Jericho. This is a fearful time and Rahab knows this. She has been living her life worshipping the false gods of Baal and Asherah(the mother earth goddess). She is not exactly living in faith. One night here come two men, spies from Israelite camp in Acacia Grove.(Joshua 2:1) They were sent to scout the land on the other side of the Jordan River and Jericho. What a better place for them to hide where no one would expect them to be, an inn. Not just any inn, but the inn of Rahab.

I love putting these pictures together in my mind. Seeing Rahab in the night and here are two men. Men was something she expected at the inn, but these men were different.I am sure she heard their accent was different than hers. They were men of God, and without a doubt God sent them exactly where they needed to be. They end up here with Rahab and she begins to question as to why they are here. These men to do not hide anything from her. They are honest and through that she sees the God they worship.

I can even see fear in her as someone finds out and the king of Jericho sends someone to her house looking for them. They want her to bring the men out, but she tells them that the men indeed were there, but left. She even points them in a direction for them to follow. What Rahab didn't say was she had hid them on her roof. Which was a perfect place for them to look out throughout the land. Why would Rahab do this? She wasn't a woman of faith. Why would see risk her life? I think she was intrigued and she must have seen something special in these men.

In verse 8 we see that before the men go to sleep that night, Rahab speaks of the Lord. She says, "I know the Lord has given you this land, she told them. We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror." Rahab also asks the men to spare her and her family. And they do. They give her their guarantee of protection. They share with her if she follows their directions they will be safe, but if not, it will not be their fault. The men share with Rahab to hang the scarlet rope off the side of the building. As they climb down to escape, leave it there. She needed to bring her family inside the house. If she did these things her whole family would be protected. She not only accepted their offer, but she was willing to help. She was willing to serve and give to these men.

This story leads Joshua and the Israelites to cross the River Jordan into safety. The river bed dried up so they could cross as they carried the Ark of the Covenant. This story continues and we see Joshua become a great leader. But what I find amazing is, Rahab played a big part in this. It was Rahab that made is possible. Without her help could this have happened? God used Rahab in a big way. Did she know this at the time? Probably not. Usually it is not until later after we have served that we see the blessings of our service. Rahabs life was just beginning here. She became the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz, which married Ruth! Rahab was Ruth's mother in law. Rahab was not an Israelite, she was a Canaanite. This is important in this story. She was adopted into the family of Israel. Rahab showed strength and courage here. She was not only concerned with herself, but wanted her family to be safe. In this small story, just in these few scriptures we see mighty things happening and Rahab was part of God's plan.

God can use anyone for His glory. God can change anyone. God can move through us to reach others. Can you imagine Rahab's family when she tells them this story as they enter her house? Just maybe her family comes to faith, seeing God before them as He protects them. In our smallness God can do great and mighty things. All He needs are willing vessels and Rahab was one of those vessels that freely gave.

There is much to Rahab. She was a woman with a past. She was a woman living in sin, but she was so much more. She was a woman willing to give, risk, and serve. I think all she needed was a chance. She just needed an opportunity, and God gave her that. This one scarlet rope stood for faith. A new faith that Rahab now held.

Listen to Romans 8:15-17 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him Abba Father. For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His sufferings."

Galatians 4:5 "God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children."

Ephesians 1:5 "God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."

Just as Rahab was adopted into the Israelite family, we too were adopted by God into His family. No matter our past. No matter our name or where we came from, when we accept God through faith we are His. We belong to His family. We can see this clearly through Rahab. This is why she is today's Wednesday Woman.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Do we think about our legacy?

I simply wanted to share one of my favorite songs. One that speaks volumes to me. One that makes me ponder about life and not only the here and now, but what I am leaving behind. I don't want my life just to be about today, but about what I leave behind for others. I want others to see Jesus in my life. I want to leave behind a legacy that makes a mark on this earth that reaches all the way to heaven.

Do you think of your legacy? Do you think of the impact we have on others? Just one smile, one hug, one word, makes an impact. Giving and sharing creates love that lasts forever. As you listen to this beautiful song it is my prayer that you are blessed. That you indeed think just as I about what our life says. About how far our life reaches others for the kingdom of God. Each life contains beauty, contains purpose. Our life can reach into the hearts of others pointing them to Jesus. It is my prayer that my life is shouting the sweet love of Christ.


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