Monday, November 29, 2010

What's love got to do with it?

Love & Thanksgiving?  Maybe you're thinking love is for Valentine's day, not Thanksgiving!  Well, I've been constantly bombarded with messages of love from many different areas for many weeks now.  A friend's transformation of seeing herself as God sees her.....loved just as He created her.  Love your enemies....really?  This is a tough one!  Loving God means keeping his commandments....I have failed this one!  The Bible even says in 1 John 5:3 that it isn't difficult.  Well, some days are certainly easier than others, that is for sure!

We have been attending Cornerstone Church at Ames.  We have decided this will be our church home.  The recent message series has been from 1 John.  From the previous weeks, the following is just a few things I've written down & would like to share.
  • World = the systems of ideas, values and culture.  Satan is the God here.
  • Do not love the world.  You can't have the love of God in you at the same time.
  • What do you find your identity in?  Anything less than God is of the world (satan).
  • Let your worth & identity be only in God
  • God's wisdom brings order to your chaos.
  • God's wisdom will produce noticable transformation.
  • As we are transformed by Christ we become less like the world:
    • your complaining part is replaced by thankfulness
    • worry & anxiety is replaced by confidence
    • face challenges & transistions with confidence
    • take ownership in our actions - right or wrong - be humble
Do you feel like your world is out of control?  Are you overwhelmed with holiday shopping?  Do you find this time of year stressful because of broken relationships with family?  If you have a relationship with Jesus, let your life be an outward reflection of HIS love within you.

If you don't have a relationship with Jesus but you're tired of feeling like life is constantly hard, never fair, you can't get ahead, people are just plain stupid.....Jesus wants to help you find joy!
Romans 5:6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.   He should have given us wrath, but He gave His life for you, for me, for the world! 
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.  Romans 6:23  The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:9-10  For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confession with your mouth that you are saved.
Romans 10:13  Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!

Don't be afraid - God left our sins on the cross!  Feel true love.  Have a relationship with Jesus.  Be truly thankful, let your sins be forgiven.  Live in the outpouring love of Jesus this season.  Hillsong (click) - At the Cross

Monday, November 8, 2010

He loves us!

I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us. - David Crowder Band Oh How He Loves Us

I sit at the computer desiring to update, but conflicted at what to write.  God is telling me to share my heart, but I guess the human part of me wants to guard it.  So I guess I'll start with this.....we made a trip to Indiana this weekend to surprise my mom.  I'm filled with a wide range of emotions that have come out of this visit.

I've always thought that it would be easier to deal with the loss of a loved one if you have time to prepare.  It definitely gives you time to choose to make the wrongs right, say things that need to be said, and time to share together.  However, I'm stuggling with an attitude of fight to the end or enjoy the rest of life with a high quality of life.  I tend to lean toward a higher quality of life with whatever life is left.

When my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, I was still dealing with emotions & after effects of my own cancer treatment.  At that time, it was somewhat easy to rally the troops and have an attitude for mom of let's fight this thing.  However, as time went on, I felt better with each passing year and mom continued to find new growths, changes in current tumors, and faced ever changing treatments because the current one would lose it's effectiveness.  I began to deal with survivor's guilt.  In the past years, I've pulled away rather than get closer.

Prior to our move a month ago, mom's cancer had once again changed and treatment options were changed along with it.  At this point, I knew things were progressing and changing in ways that would be hard to control very soon.  It was difficut when mom hugged me saying "I'm gonna fight this thing, I'm not giving up" when all I'm really thinking is just stop treatment.  Enjoy what's left.  That's what I thought.  What I said was "It's gonna be o.k., mom.  We have a big God, He's the one in control.  You've got to believe in that."

So this weekend surprise visit was for me as much as for my mom.  As if to say, we may be miles away, but I'm here for you now.  While I regret the time wasted and the distance in our relationship I created, love bridges a large gap.  God's love can provide the peace and comfort needed by many.  I chose to live what's left without regret and enjoy the love of a mother who put up with a lot from her daughter, but always loved me unconditionally.  Just like Jesus.

Prayer Requests:
  • Pam & Rick Stoops - Wisdom & discernment for decisions they will be making this week
  • Doctors & nurses - Knowledge for treatment & care of mom
  • Peace & understanding for family members & friends
  • Jessi Howe - Wisdom & clarity in decisions
  • Jerod Howe - Job opportunity
  • Great Grandma Bowman - Send someone to share the gospel & God's love to her
  • Mattye & Cande - Continued healing
  • The Coulter Home to sell in Frankfort
How can we pray for you?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Prayer Requests

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:6-7

I have been feeling that I should not only use our blog to update our friends and family on our life in Iowa, but also should use it to present our prayer requests.  Particularly now, we are going through some things that, without prayer and a relationship with Christ, would be very difficult to bear.  So I ask you friends and family to pray for us as listed below.  If you have a specific prayer, I'd like to pray for you also.

  • Sickness be gone!
  • Mattye transition in school
  • Todd transition at work
  • Discernment in picking a church home
  • The sale of our home in Frankfort
  • Jessi & Jerod have discernment, wisdom, and guidence for upcoming decisions
  • My mom, Pam, enjoys peace & comfort that can only come from Jesus.  Let her be a shining light through these upcoming days.