Monday, March 25, 2013

District Music Contest 2013

This was Christian's last year to sing at District Music Contest.  He received a 1 rating which qualified him to go to State.  Here are the songs he sang...I started to tear up at the end of the second song but sucked it up in case he looked at me and thought he'd done a bad job.  It was simply beautiful.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Give-Away!

UPDATE:  I drew the winner....the winner is Lindsey!  Congrats!
Free stuff is always fun!  Follow my blog and you will be entered to win this 2-CD set.  If you are already a follower leave a comment below.  I will draw the winner on my blogoversary which is in 4 days, March 24th!
This LifeWay Women Audio CD set includes devotional segments from Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, and Jennifer Rothschild taken from a variety of women's Bible studies and live women's events. Each devotion is approximately 10 minutes in length, making them perfect for drive-time in the car. Use this to grow closer to God while you commute or pick up the kids, or give it as a gift. This double CD includes inspiring Scripture-based lessons that will offer you encouragement during your daily routine. 


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Soul-Winning Made Easy

Below is a blog post from Tim Challies; blogger, author, book reviewer.  A friend showed this post to me, we had quite an, ahem, interesting laugh conversation about it. 

Soul-Winning Made Easy - Tim Challies
Some time ago a friend sent me a little gift she knew I would enjoy. It is a small book, published in 1959 titled Soul-Winning Made Easy and subtitled (The Encounter Method). It was written by C.S. Lovett who founded Baldwin Park Baptist Church (which, strangely enough, was later renamed Personal Christianity Chapel).

This book is a guide to personal evangelism and it is one that is a classic example of technique-based evangelism. Now obviously I appreciate the man’s desire to share the good news of the gospel and to train others to do the same. But what he offers is a method and one that needs to be followed with near religious fervor. He insists that anyone who would seek to evangelize must have a plan since “Every successful operation needs a plan. … One does not dare build a house without building-plans; the walls might not meet. Why, even a trip to the market requires a planned list to insure that items are not forgotten.”

He then writes “The controlled conversation technique is something new in evangelism and represents a real break-through in soul-winning. Older methods, dealing with excuses, seek to convince a prospect of his needy condition and humble him. … The new method ignores excuses and completely side-steps the explosive area of religious debate. Modern soul-winners have discovered that it is unnecessary to change a person’s mind before introducing him to Jesus. If he can truly be made aware of Christ waiting at the door of his heart, his responsibility becomes most clear. This makes soul-winning a positive ministry requiring fewer skills. Actually, it is a new frontier which allows Christian obedience to become fun!”

From that starting-point, Lovett provides a plan, step-by-step, word-by-word. He gives not only the words, but the actions and gestures that need to go along with them. And I thought, just for fun, I’d share some of that with you. These are just a few scans from what is actually a fairly lengthy book. Enjoy!

(Here’s another of his books: Help Lord—the Devil Wants Me Fat!)


Be Still many struggles with being too busy.  I've said many times before how it's so hard to juggle everything, to keep a healthy balance between all your responsibilities.  But it's more than that...I've been so busy with so many things that haven't been focusing on Jesus, on what He really wants for me and from me.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Living Like Jesus ~ Week 8 ~ My Storm Story

My Storm Story

A challenge was issued this week, to tell your own storm story, for some it may not be a challenge at all to come up with many storms you have gone through in your life and to see how God has changed and grown you into who you are today.  I have thought about this a lot this past week, since we are a week behind the GMG I know what's coming up even though I'm doing the study with you and am really just starting week 8 today.  So I've tried to decide and think about what to write about.  Sometimes I look around and see so many hurts in the lives of others that I think I really haven't gone through anything as difficult to call a storm but I think things, circumstances, etc are different for each of us and through them God grows us in ways we can't even imagine and uses us in remarkable ways to touch the lives of others, even through, especially through telling our story.

So here goes to bearing my soul...I feel extremely blessed, my kids and husband are pretty healthy, they have found faith in Christ, we aren't even struggling financially right now.  This still isn't bearing soul kind of stuff...sorry.

I can write about all kinds of hard things, my little brother's car accident when he was 16 and never being the same again, my youngest brother having Autism, although it's who God made him to be and Cliff is awesome.  Maybe it's losing my brother-in-law, David, that was one of our family's most difficult times and still is at times.  I used to tell how God grew me through having a miscarriage a few years ago, it was really remarkable, He went before me, prepared me for it and walked beside me through it all.  Perhaps it was being moved from my church family that I loved so much to a new church which I also love and knew that was God's plan for us even though it was heartbreaking to leave.  Losing my dad...I will write about this sometime but it is not meant for today.

My storm story is my testimony, coming to know Christ in the first place, that was a long difficult process but not because of God, He made it so simple.  I grew up in church, in and out of church, but mostly went, even when my mama couldn't go herself because of Cliff or another circumstance she still sent us with people that would take us.  I remember first hearing of someone being "saved" at Grace and Glory, a church I went to when I was a child.  I'm sure I heard that term before but this is when the Holy Spirit started speaking to my little girl heart, I wondered what that was all about and it stayed in my mind until even today.  I wanted that too and prayed many times over the years to come for that in my own life, for Jesus to come into my heart.  I think sometimes we put so much emphasis on walking the aisle to the front of the church and doing this and that that we lose sight of what salvation really is and how to receive that gift.  Because it really is a gift and can only come from God, not by anything we can "do" to obtain it.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

 I remember praying a lot as a child, especially at night, I would sing songs to Jesus that weird?  I guess God put a song in my heart long before I knew I would sing for Him later on.  Fast forward to the teenage years, we began going to a little country baptist church and after a while the pastor came to our house, my sister, myself and my younger brother, Curtis, all told him that we had asked Jesus into our hearts.  We were all baptized soon following that visit.  It was also at this church that God revealed my talent for singing, they had a youth choir and encouraged us to join, Candy was the singer and I just loved playing instruments but I said sure and was awed by God's goodness in giving me this gift.  Throughout high school I sang a lot but also went forward and rededicated my life a lot, once at church camp, another time a a revival at a different church, and each time I would be "good" for a while and then fall again, never really having the peace that is promised in His Word.

Over the next several years I would wake crying and scared, worrying over not really being saved and that if I died that night I wouldn't be with my Lord in heaven. So much self-talk, "you're okay", "you did that a long time ago, remember?", "what would people think?", "your kids are saved and you're not?", and on and on.  I was in torment.  I would hear sermons and the preacher would say "know that you know", how those words echoed in my mind and heart.  I wanted a relationship with Christ, I really did, by this time I was married with two beautiful boys, we were attending church regularly, serving, and living a godly life.  But I still didn't have the peace I so desperately longed for.

One afternoon I was standing at the kitchen sink and self-talking and trying to talk to God.  I told God I would do whatever I needed to do to be His, to please just call me to the altar and I would go.  No more caring about what people would think, my pride, anything else.  So, I continued on, going to church and each Sunday waiting...  It was a few weeks later, I don't even remember what the sermon was about but at the first chord on that piano I was at the altar giving my life to Jesus.  Surrendering....that's what it's all about, surrending, giving in, dying to self.  I have never doubted since, I have that precious peace my King promised me.  The getting to this place was my storm but how God used this is even more amazing.
A few years later I chaperoned a youth camp and on the second night felt the Lord telling me to tell "my story", each night we gathered in one of our rooms and talked about what God was doing, the messages that day, etc.  I asked the youth pastor if I could share my testimony that night and he said sure.  I told those kids my story, told them how I didn't know that if I died if I would go to heaven or not and how I had struggled so much before I really knew Christ and how now I finally knew that I knew I would be with Him someday.  Christian had just finished 6th grade and he was the youngest youth on this trip, he talked to me a little later that night about he himself not being sure of his own salvation.  I really wasn't ready for this, my own child not being saved, the kid that oozed the love of Christ?  I simply told him to read his bible that night.  He was saved that week of youth camp, he was saved that very night in his motel room, he would later tell how he read in the book of John about Nicodemus and being born again.  I really didn't think how me being obedient in telling my own story impacted his life until a couple years after that even.  Fast forward again and James and I were interim youth leaders at our church.  We were preparing for a youth mission trip and had all the students write their testimonies.  Later James and I read them all, each one was precious but one really caught my was my son's and the words that touched my heart were these...
"it was something my mom said..."

How beautiful is my Jesus to grant me such a gift, to use me in drawing my son to Himself.  How important it is to be obedient to His calling, to tell your story.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Living and Leading Like Jesus ~ Beginning March 25th

This is the next online study, I am going to do this one as well, I have so enjoyed studying the first chapters of the book of Luke and I hope you have as well.  We can either do this next session like I did this one, through my blog and I will post links to all of their posts or you can go directly to GMG and sign up with them and go to their blog.  I don't mind either way, I will still post my thoughts, etc on here.  Let me know! Have a blessed day!



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