Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 December Day Book

Outside my window...

...Is the dark of dawn.

I am thinking...

...Of how blessed I am by Christ!

I am thankful for...

...the work of the LORD in my husband:  who cares for the heart of God INFINITELY MORE than the opinions of men.

In the kitchen...

...The dishwasher is humming its cleansing tune.

I am wearing...

...My comfortable "around-the-house" clothes.

I am creating...

...By the total grace of God, a new schedule at home!

I am going...

...To church prayer meeting tonight.

I am wondering...

...At what God might do next in our lives.

I am reading...

...The book of Numbers in the Old Testament.

I am hoping...

...To never lose the overwhelming gratuitous heart for Christ; to never lose the awe that His grace reaches me; to never lose the amazement of living under His grace; to never forget that He hid me from God's wrath when I knelt at His cross; to never stop musing upon the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ!

I am learning...

...How utterly dependent I am upon Christ.

Around the house...

...Is cleanliness, a semblance of orderliness, and love.

I am pondering...

...Our possibilities.

A favorite quote of the day:

One of my favorite things...

...Is learning about God as my husband teaches me of Him.

A few plans:

  1. Finish up the laundry.
  2. Use the elliptical trainer.
  3. Make our dinner for tonight before leaving for service.
  4. Study.
A peek into my day:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Something To Consider...

     I really appreciate what this man is attempting to do.  I know, personally, that it is very important why you believe what you believe.  Though I still study, to show myself approved before God, I do currently hold the same belief regarding the Bible as this man.  Any thoughts are appreciated, so long as they are not vulgar and wrong-spirited.  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Not Dull...DIVINE!

     What is happening in my little corner of the world this week?  Well, I actually am feeling a bit accomplished!  Let me tell you...
     ...I finally did it!  I finally water-bath canned my first batch of I-won't-tell-you-so-as-to-keep-it-a-surprise-for-those-who-read-this-post-and-may-be-recipients-of-said-canning-delight!  HA!  Seriously, though, I am tickled.  All those worries and fears begone, and hello to a new world of preserving!
     I also have been in a "spring-cleaning" mode, though we are not in the spring season.  However, I have to acknowledge that the temperatures over here, as of late, remind me of the springs out this way.  Regardless, I did some heavier-duty cleaning than normal.  It gave a sense of peace that I enjoyed.  Now, let us see how long it lasts!
     Part of the cleaning meant going through the storage room to purge of things.  After moving in here, a lot of things that I do not immediately use went to that room, in preparation of family arriving two weeks later.  I had started going through those things a while ago; setting those things I definitely no longer need/use aside, to be taken to thrift stores or folks at church who might want/use them.  Yesterday, I finally took that small pile out of the room, and into the trunk!  Already I have disposed of two items.  I look forward to them all being gone...soon!
     One dear sister in the Lord recently sent me videos regarding organizing on a small/no budget.  Let me just tell you, I am INSPIRED.  I also am INTIMIDATED.  Now I look at my home, and think: "I need to organize like a crazy lady!"  All kidding aside, I look forward to the challenge, and the reward it brings.  I know I need not measure up to anyone else, but just follow the Lord.  I am happy for the work!
     Tomorrow I plan on tackling some of the pile of mendings I have.  I have put that pile to a dark little corner for too long.  Now, it patiently awaits me in the dining room, where I cannot avoid it.  So, unless I enjoy having an eyesore in such a conspicuous place, I need to get it done!  Hopefully I will get most, if not all of it, done tomorrow.
     I list all my "doings" to say this:  "I am thankful for my life.  I am thankful that the LORD has blessed me as He has seen fit to do.  I have a real, wonderful, blood-bought relationship with Him.  I have a deepening relationship with Dear, that continues to blossom and thrive as we work at obeying the LORD together.  I have the greatest work I could ever have been given, at this current part of my life.  It really is a 'dream come true;' though I have to say I never dreamed this big!  I get to keep our home.  I get to manage our home.  I get to love and be loved by Dear.  I get to put into use all the Bible passages regarding 'help meet; lover; friend; wife,' etc.  I get to enjoy the 'mundane' (as the world sees it).  I get to THRIVE in femininity and godliness.  I get to create an atmosphere at home wherein charity abounds, God is preeminent, hospitality smiled upon...I get to be a woman after God's own heart.  
     It comes with challenges, most definitely.  Life is not 'easy.'  There is MUCH WORK involved.  Every day is a CHOICE to yield, or not, to God's Spirit within me (He is only within me because He saved me, once I saw that I needed:  Him, His forgiveness, a new life only He could give, and was willing to humble myself before Him; realizing I could not get into Heaven, or a relationship with Him, without Jesus Christ...For, He IS my salvation!).  Every day, whether it be Satan or the corrupt body wherein I dwell, are temptations that provoke me to sin.  I have a choice to go after those lusts, or go to my Heavenly Father for deliverance from those temptations.  I have a choice to remember what the Bible says about sin, and how He would want me to live.  I have a CHOICE.
     I am always humbled, amazed, and thrilled when I see Christ living through me.  When His attitude is my attitude, His feelings my feelings, His actions my actions, and so forth, it BLESSES me. When I yield to the desires of my Saviour, my heart is at peace.  I get to enjoy, really enjoy, this life I have.
     So, even though my life may seem 'boring,' it is not.  Living according to Christ's desires is never dull.  To think that living according to Christ's will is worthless, is obviously not seeing its worth!  To find it any other way than precious and priceless is a skewed way of thinking!"

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
(Ephesians 5:22-33)

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons."
(Colossians 3)

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. The first epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens." 
(1 Thessalonians 5)

Growing Home

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Remembering To Let Go Of Self-Esteem

     I received a kind, good reminder today from God.  Actually, I would say not only a reminder, but a refreshing of the mind.  I am thankful for the "pick-me-up," for lack of a better term.

"Ministry is giving when you feel like keeping, praying for others when you need to be prayed for, feeding others when your own soul is hungry, living truth before people even when you can't see the results, hurting with others when your own hurt can't be spoken, keeping your word when it's not convenient; being faithful when your flesh wants to run away."

     I read this quote from a sister-in-the-Lord's update on Caring Bridge.  She was recently widowed, and continues to keep folks updated on her life, though her precious Dear has been with the Lord for a little while now.  I appreciate the updates; for they help me know how to pray for her and her family, encourage me in Christ, and challenge me in how I live for Him.
     This quote (of which she was quoting someone else as well), challenged me.  I cannot count the times I have given myself over to the evil thoughts of selfishness.  Instead of going to Christ with the burdensome thoughts, that give way to burdensome feelings, then burdensome acts/words, I chew on their cud.  G-R-O-S-S.
     Well, though I have to give God credit for not having that bad attitude lately, I thank Him nonetheless for giving me a gentle prod, lest I slip in the way...again.  How many times have I been on "cruise-control" in my life, forgetting why I made a certain turn?  I instinctively know which way to go, but yet my mind kind of "shuts down" as my body does what it has been trained to do. 
     Take for instance yesterday.  Yesterday, I was driving home after cleaning a lady's home for her.  As I enjoyed the somewhat sunny day, and cool air, I decided to roll down my window.  Usually, I like to roll down the opposite window, for a nice cross-breeze.  So, I did.  But, I do not remember doing it!  I remember rolling my window down, just not the other one.  I was totally in "cruise-control" mode, just like driving home.  Ha!  So often I do not even think about the turns and such to get there, because I have done so much of it.  
     Such is the way with my life.  I often do what has become more "natural" to me, if I may put it so.  Then, when something gets in the way of "cruise-control," I am jarred back to actually having to think!  This quote was a nice "pre-cruise-control" moment for me.  
     I was reminded of Scripture as I read this quote:

Galatians 6:6, 9, 10  "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things...And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

1 Thessalonians 5  "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. The first epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens."

     So, I plan on obeying, by the grace of God.  I do not wish to be disobedient to God.  I am encouraged to know that God will enable and guide me according to ministering:  to whom, for whom, how, etc.; as He wishes.  I take great comfort knowing it is not according to the will of man, but God's will, in my ministering. Amen!
     I also take great comfort to not seek after my own; again, by the grace of God.  I *know* that my Heavenly Father takes care of me.  He knows what is best for me, what will bless my heart, what I need, what I like, etc.  It is very easy for me to care about my needs/wants/desires/plans...You name it.  It becomes even easier to succumb to selfishness when surrounded by worldly thinking.  It is a constant battle against ungodly thinking.
     Esteeming ones' self more than they ought is wicked.  Of course, we all are guilty of pride.  It is right and good for folks to see themselves as the Scripture portrays them.  I have been blessed every time I look into the mirror of God's Word:  I get an accurate depiction of me, which in turn gives me an accurate depiction of Him, which then reminds me to have faith in Him, not me/man/world.
     When I esteem myself higher than I ought, it disables me.  I am ineffectual in properly ministering to others.  I am not blessing God.  I am concerned for myself, not them.  I seek my glory, not God's glory.  Granted, I am to be responsible...But not selfish.  
     I have a good Father, though!  He is quick to fix my heart and mind back to their proper disposition.  He is not willing that I go off like a spoiled brat in this life, (even subtly), carrying His name through life.  It is not right for His name's sake, my holy conversation, and the sight of others.  
     Remembering why and for whom I minister, in the first place, can snap me back out of myself and into God.  Reading quotes like this dear sister shared can do the same for me.  Listening to and observing others who are whole-heartedly following after God helps me, too.
     I have what my Heavenly Father has recorded for me in the Bible to keep me on the right path.  I only need trust in His words.  I am the better for it, every time.

Growing Home

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Heavy-Hearted Thanksgiving Preparations

     My heart is heavy at the moment, and I just needed to write about it.  I have folks that I love that may go to the Lake of Fire one day, because of their choices:  to refuse repentance, to refuse that Christ died for them and His crucifixion is the proper and acceptable sacrifice to God for them, to deny that they deserve punishment for sins against God, to deny that God does deserve to be in control of their lives; and any other host of reasons to ignore God's pleading.
     I know that tomorrow is "Thanksgiving Day."  I know that nearly everyone in the U.S.A. is making merry in preparations for it.  I, too, am thankful.  I also am heavily burdened with the souls I love, who have yet to see the most gracious, most thoughtful, most loving, most undeniably good gift ever to grace any person:  GOD HIMSELF, in the form of JESUS CHRIST, willing to save them from the penalty of breaking the law of the CREATOR.
     I wish, with all my being, I could impart some spiritual understanding, some spiritual discernment, and some God-fearing humility, to the lost.  I know I cannot bequeath it to them.  I can plead with them.  I can reason with them.  I can pray to God for them.
     I wait upon Him for the chance to bring some weary, thirsty soul to the Living Water.  I wait upon Him to see Him work miracles:  changing a stony, dead heart into a fleshy, quickened heart!  Yet, as I wait, my heart yearns for them!
     I am thankful that God wrought that same miracle in me one day, long ago now it seems.  I am thankful, that though I, for a time, heeded the lusts of the flesh rather than the desires of the Spirit, God chastised me:  making life M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E, and with some heavy consequences:  suspended license, bankruptcy, unstable living situations, broken relationships, a 2500-mile move away from all I knew...To bring me back to a Spirit-led life!  I have a GOOD FATHER!
     I cannot afford to grow apathetic, complacent, or carnal in this life.  I learned, sorely, what that sort of life can bring.  I, the recipient of grace and mercy, am learning of the abundant peace that ONLY comes through whole-hearted submission to Christ.
     Tomorrow is not promised.  All the preparations, all the desires, and the dreams, have no guarantee of fulfillment.  I cannot waste time, hoping to "build bridges," when I can not even say with certainty that I or the one whom I wish to reach will be in the tomorrow of this world!  I can only keep working to reach them while it is yet today.
     My esteem in their eyes, my feelings, are not worth the demise of their soul.  I am remembering, with a fiery fervor, that very fact.  Though my cheeks may flush with embarrassment of ridicule, though I may make them uncomfortable, though I may be ostracized, though I may be name-called; I cannot ignore, anymore, the need to share Christ, and their need of Him, to them.
     I will be given, mayhaps, opportunities tomorrow to speak on "religious" matters.  Will I skirt by them, in order to "keep the peace?"  I pray not!  I pray, with all that in me is, that I will rise to Christ's call to be a beacon in a very dark world.  I dare not lord over them, but I dare not cower to the devil, either.  I pray to be bold in Christ, unashamed of the Gospel of grace, giving HIM thanks that I am able to be used by Him in the lives of those who need Him!
     Sure, it is comfy to be comfortable.  It is pleasant to not rock the boat.  It makes digestion all that much easier.  Yet, if God wants me to, according to His Spirit (in a meek and quiet spirit), stand up for what is right, to speak up when lies are being spread, to walk away from ungodliness...Then, so be it!  At the very least I will, and others, be uncomfortable; for this present time.  At the most I may be told to leave.  For them, what will they endure?  What if they arise not the next day?
     These matters are on my heart.  Oh, to say "nay" to the call of comfort, when so many need the Comforter.  That I may confidently and humbly honor God with ALL my being...For that, I can and will be thankful!
ROMANS 10:8-16
"But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 

Growing Home

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

2012 November Day Book


Outside my window...

...Are sweet little birds enjoying the seed I gave them.

I am thinking...

...Of how blessed I am by God to do what I get to do, where I get to do it.

I am thankful...

...That I belong to God and Dear.  :)

In the kitchen...

...Is a jar waiting for the new batch of tooth powder; apples waiting to be canned (eek!); dishes needing put away; dinner needing to be made.

I am wearing...

...My nightclothes...still!

I am creating...

...A home.

I am going...

...To see the Lord do wonders in my life!

I am wondering...

...Why push, when God has closed?

I am reading...

...Leviticus:  this time 'round, I am getting a smidge more understanding of Christ's sacrifice, & loathing sin more.

I am hoping...

...That God answers some prayers that I've recently lifted up to Him.

I am looking forward to...

...Learning from my husband.  :)

I am learning...

...Not to be afraid to confront, the right way.

Around the house...

...Is work to be done, and a lady who is intimidated by some of it; BUT, it CAN be done!  

I am pondering...

...If I am really of a meek and quiet spirit.

A favorite quote for today...

..."It doesn't matter how much money you make:  it matters how much of it you keep."--Quoted from unknown radio preacher

One of my favorite things...

...Being befriended by God-fearing ladies.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

...Mendings, knittings, yard work, cooking, baking, cleaning, bill paying, CANNING, meeting with friends for Godly encouragement, handing out free Bible studies with my church, attending church services, studying...

A peek into my day...
My Laundry Pile!
copyright I Am The Clay 2012

Growing Home


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why I Am Avoiding Halloween...And Other Things

     Why do we go "trick-or-treating?"  Why do we have parties to celebrate the "fun" of Halloween, or have a substitute for it?  Here is my take on it...
     I grew up going trick-or-treating.  I was always excited to get my costume, or wrangle one together with what we had at home.  I was thrilled to get candies, to get treats, to see others' costumes, to see the decorations, etc.  Yes, a lot of it was related to death.  Yes, many were related to "harmless" things:  such as fairies, princesses, superheros, and the like.
     When I was a young teenaged-woman, I picked up a small tract from the church our family was attending regarding Halloween's history.  Boy, it was not how I saw it!  I pushed it aside as "that was the past."  I did not really heed the pricking of God regarding the roots of this traditional holy day (holiday).  I wanted to keep with the fun!
     Well, fast forward to today.  You will not see me preparing for any kind of Halloween activity.  I do not even want to give the appearance of approval or activity of it on my part.  Just because others may do so, does not mean I want to keep my head in the sand about it (or any traditional holy days that are of unholy roots);. or pretend that the roots do not matter.  If the roots do not matter, why make such a fuss about the beginnings of the United States?  It does not matter from whence we came, only how we view things today...Right?  If roots do not matter, why the consistent debating regarding evolution and creation?
     I cannot agree to such thinking.  Roots do matter!  Here is an example:

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him:  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
Colossians 2:6, 7

     I see here that roots do matter!  Paul, speaking to the Colossians, was reminding them of their holy root, thereby to live accordingly.  Even Christ, speaking to His apostles, said:  "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me."--John 15:4
     I cannot, in good conscience before the One who died for me, patronize unholy festivities, no matter the fun of them.  Believe you me, I thoroughly enjoy the fall decor, the winter decor, the spring decor...Etc.  I enjoy the camaraderie, the presents, the feastings, the merriment, the pleasures afforded in these holy days (holidays).  Yet, I am constrained by the love of Christ to avoid them, now that I know the truth of their beginnings, and their still-yet devilish influences.

     I want, by the grace of God (and by His grace alone!), the world to see Christ in me!  I want them to see the joy of being born into God's family, belonging to Christ, living like Christ, being conformed into His image by God, the new life of being a co-heir with Christ; the abundant peace and joy that comes before, during, and after following the heart of God.  There is an indescribable delight, peace, joy, happiness, and pleasure to be found in being separated unto Christ.  
     Nothing more than delving into God's Word, seeking to rightly divide the Word of Truth; seeking to understand my Saviour, Creator, and Sustainer; seeking to be purged of sin and its despicable ways; seeking His handiwork in creation; seeking ways to reach those who are still blind; etc., gives me more excitement!  The world and all its fancies, its traditions, hold no candle to God's ways.  Sure, I may enjoy some of them, but if they are not something that God would participate in Himself; if they are something He wants me to avoid, then I will most gladly separate myself.
     I still am struggling with other sins in my life:  one in particular is my health.  I enjoy food.  I am bored by rote exercise.  Yet, I know that I must take care of the temple given to me by God.  So, I strive to mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically be further and further from those sins.  
     Yet, I still struggle.  That which I desire to do I do not, and that which I desire not to do, I do.  Yet, I find that there is salvation through Christ!  He will give me victory, for He has been victorious over sin!  I need only be faithful, and not backslide.  Yet, when I do backslide, faithfully go to Him for cleansing and to be set on the right path, again.
     There are sins, it seems, that are easier to "break" than others.  Avoiding unholy "holy days (holidays)" seems easier to me than the ones previously mentioned.  I guess I just see them as non-essential to my relationship with Christ.  The way I see it, for my life, is that by participating in them would set a stumbling block for those without Christ, and those weaker in the faith.  I do not desire to do either.  I also see participation in them as participating in the principalities' of darkness' traditions.  I do not wish to participate in their doings.
     Regardless of how innocent, opportunistic, or fun a festivity may be, I will do well to take no part in it.  I am a Christian.  I do not wish to participate in religious activities that have their origins from paganism.  
     The things I have "suffered" in my separation of these "holy days" are:  no bags full of treats/candies; no presents; no big dinners; frustrated/confused loved ones; name-calling; no seasonal decor; avoidance...I cannot think of much else.  What I have received in my separation are:  peace; joy; liberty; gifts from God all year 'round; clarity; a new appreciation for the liberty in Christ to be free from previously-necessary observances.
     Since I (being a woman) am to conduct myself as the Church to Christ, I must consider her ways.  She is to be unadulterated with the way of the world; to be purged of the leaven of sin.  She is to be presented as a Bride without spot or blemish.  I know Christ is doing all of that magnificent work in her.  A question I must constantly ask myself, then, is:  "Am I willing to be molded by Christ, even if it is contrary to tradition?"
     I am not looking for a popularity contest (definitely not winning points by sharing this belief!).  I am not trying to look "super spiritual."  I am concerned with souls.  I wish to see the lost become saved.  I wish to see my sisters in Christ (and brothers) grow in their walks.
     I do not wish to force you into my way of thinking.    However, I do wish to persuade you.  I can share the reasons why I avoid Halloween, (and some other holidays), and why I believe I found the necessity to do so based in Scripture.  

**Here are some links to information regarding the roots of the other holidays from which we have separated ourselves:  ChristmasValentine's DayEaster.

Growing Home

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Great Give-Away...But, Not From Me!

     So...I stumbled upon a great give-away happening at The Modest Mom!  I really like her website, because she is of a few who actually make lovely modest clothing.  Most times, if I am looking for something modest, it is a nightmare.
     I am excited that she is now starting Deborah & Co.!  The site is beautifully done, and easy to navigate.  The clothing is quality, lovely, and done by people who seek to glorify the Lord...How wonderful!
     Why do you not go visit her site?  Not only is she a good seamstress, she also has good encouraging words in her blog.  You will not regret it!

Soul-Winning Homemaker

     It seems that the Lord is reminding me ever fervently of the most important need of all:  telling others about Him.  Though it be important that I be a good homemaker, it is not the only role He has asked me to fill.  He has also asked me, and all the saved, to be soul winners.
     Whether it be through conversations pertaining to the catching away of the saints, news reports that confirm what Scripture already said, or preaching on the matter, I cannot escape the dire need to tell those who are blindly walking in this world that there is One who is the Light!  Whatever their thoughts, religions, etc...I must tell them that Jesus is the Answer, not anyone/anything else!
     Dear and I listened to a very good sermon by a pastor in Florida.  He went to the "down and out," (though, honestly, we all are "down and out" without Christ!), sharing the good, straight-to-the-point news of Hell and Christ's ability to save them from that destination.  Whew.  Makes me pray that I will do my part!
     If you have about 40 minutes to spare, here is the video.  I pray it moves your heart to reach the lost, even as a homemaker.  But, you may ask, what can I do?
     Do not be afraid to talk to your neighbor(s) about their religious beliefs, and to listen to them.  Then, if they are contrary to the Gospel, seek a good way to point the conversation to the truths of Scripture.  Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron at have great ways to help in such matters.
     Do not be afraid to live like you believe God!  Sure, we will fail, but God's grace compels us to do right, if you let Him!  People do observe and discern (judge) our behaviours.  Do we really believe what we say?  Is God only a Sunday dress?  Or, is He our very being; our very purpose for living?  How do they know that we have been saved from Hell?
     Do not be fearful of man's rejection of our offer(s) to attend church with us.  Sure, our pride is stung.  "They said 'no' to me...I just won't do that again."  Shame on me for being guilty of such thinking.  Also, do not be afraid to bring up God to them, again.  Though they may be unhappy with us for it, and we be uncomfortable, is their soul worth the keeping of our feelings and pride?
     I say all these suggestions (and there are always more...If you have any, please share!), being guilty of giving in to pride.  I am constantly fighting against it for the Gospel's sake.  I also say all these things with the understanding that there are proper ways of approaching people, having conversations, and such.  Again, I highly recommend Ray Comfort's approach.
     As I take care of my home, my family, my church, and so forth, I also need to be mindful of sharing Christ with others.  He did not mean for me to keep such WONDERFUL news to myself!  Who really wants to live eternity burning forever in unquenchable fires?  I did not, and I know no one else who really wants to have that final destination.

Growing Home

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zealously Affected For...?

     Life has been very exciting these days!  All sorts of spiritual food is being fed to me, to my brethren in Christ...All of which thrills my soul to see!  I look forward to all the other things God has in store for us.
     Last Thursday evening marked our church's first special prayer meeting regarding our own building.  Our church has been renting a facility since its inception; things are starting to get stricter in our ability to use said facility (the group that owns the building also rents to others).  So, we are praying that God would clear our sites in what He would have us to do.
     It was evident when the hour of prayer was finished, that the Lord wanted some other things worked on prior to receiving our own building.  I was glad to see His desire made clear in that prayer meeting.  It blessed my heart beyond description, and relieved it, to see such clarity in prayer and study of His Word.
     Another blessing was on Saturday evening.  Some of us from church met at a church member's home for a coffee party.  It was not long after the festivities began, as some of us ladies were gathered around the table (the men were off together watching some political stuff online), that discussion started around politics and God...We soon realized that we needed to get together, regularly, to encourage one another; for the time draws even nearer to when Christ returns, and we need that familial support!
     Sunday saw the confirmation of the said ladies' meetings; something informal, yet open weekly.  This effort is a desire for many of us ladies.  Many of us were mentioning how we have seen Satan get busy with working us over, to hinder us from good, Godly communion.  For, many times a few of us would be stirred into action, yet something would be thrown in the tracks to stop us, discourage us, depress us, and keep us one from another.  Feeling isolated, unloved, unnecessary...Well, we simply kept to ourselves, striving to make it alone.
     However, since those few of us who are familiar with what typically happens when we seek to edify one another, provoking unto love and good works, and commune in Spirit and truth, we are ever more discerning of the enemy's attacks.  It was exciting to see a vigor amongst fellow sisters in Christ, who want to be zealously affected for the Lord's sake, who want to be mindful of Him and His Word, and who want to be an encouragement to their fellow sisters!
     Oh, and then there was last night.  Last night, after being rather ill all day with "the crud," (though I do have to praise God for it being minimal, compared to previous times), I was able to come to the living room to eat dinner (provided for by Ms. M) with Dear and watch some G-O-O-D preaching by Johnny Pope!  You can tell that he thoroughly studies God's Word, cultures of Biblical times, history, etc.  You can tell he throughly loves Christ!  The Bible simply flows out of his very being...I have never noticed him follow a set of notes, but rather keeps his Bible open and his heart humble...He is passionate, knowledgeable, and a mighty preacher by the grace of God!  Anyway, the preaching was very much appreciated by yours truly; for, I had not been able to get out of bed save for the occasional bathroom break, thus, no Bible time.
     The preaching fed my soul, and, as always, pointed me straight to my Great Saviour Jesus Christ.  It was a little over an hour long, but I would not have minded if it continued many more hours!  I am sharing it here for those of you who do not mind taking an hour to listen to this great message...Definitely worth the time!

     I pray that God's Spirit continues to have full sway of His people.  For those who are not of His flock, I pray that they soon realize how eternally important it is to belong to Him.  For those who are of His flock, I pray we realize, and act upon, the fact that we must be fully malleable by His Hands.  I may be but a simple housewife, but I cannot find a better life that one totally at His disposal! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Watching Titus 2 Unfold

     A very special lady just left my home, a little over an hour ago.  She spent about two hours with me today, showing me the joys of making my own apple juice!  But, she gave me much more than that lesson.
     I do not like to inconvenience people...generally.  Most times, if I can figure out how to do something myself, I will.  It strengthens my homemaking arsenal to have knowledge for around the home.  Sometimes, though, I need to reach out to someone who is skilled in an area too intimidating for me.  So, I reached out to her.
     This lady is well-known to be busy.  Life for her is simply that way.  To get any extra time than I already receive is a rare gift that I do treasure, but have difficulty showing.  I just have a hard time showing my elder ladies in my life the love that wells up in me, without feeling like an idiot, from their gift of time, skill, and love to me.  So, I try really hard to shove it down (silently thanking God all the while).
     I respect this lady much.  She strives to serve God as He wishes.  I have learned much from her.
     Today, as we were sprayed by apple bits, enjoying the work (at least I did!), we talked.  We were able to catch up on one another's lives.  We were able to talk about God, and so many wonderful things about Him.
     I felt as though I were watching Titus 2 play out, right before my eyes!  Here, an elder woman, (though not old), sacrificing time to teach a younger woman skills to help her in her job as a homemaker.  Effortlessly through the process of making apple juice, we were discussing spiritual matters.  All these things encouraged me in the Lord.  How precious!
     I wanted to cry out of sheer appreciation to God for an answer to prayer.  But, I could not let her see those tears.  I feel it would have made us both uncomfortable.
     This gift is another gem in my treasure box.  I received a valuable skill, being able to make my own juice! In the process of processing apples, though, I received a gift that I cannot price.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Seeking To Be Afire, Again

     Lately, I have been burdened about my prayer time with God.  I have noticed it declining, and am not pleased with myself.  I do pray throughout the day, as I go along doing whatever it is I have to do.  It seems almost like text-messaging the Lord.  I know that I can constantly be talking to Him, but I do see the need to have more in-depth conversations with Him.
     I cannot tell you when it started its decline.  I can only tell you that I have noticed it, and am purposing to change this bad habit.  Though it will mean sacrificing time, I know from experience that praying to God is worth all of it.
     I also have been burdened with my study time in His Word.  Though I seek to read it every day, I have not really studied in a long time.  There are subjects on my mind of which I seek answers, and the only answer(s) I shall find is in the Bible.
     I know that when I start up a more devoted life to Him, that I will be attacked by various angles.  It is never pleasurable, that fact is sure.  I do not like the fiery darts of Satan, I do not like being persecuted for walking with Christ, I do not like the battles with evil that ensue...But, I know they will come.  I best be prepared.
     If you would, please keep me in prayer this week, as I seek to be more vigilant in my times of prayer and study.  It is awful being complacent, stagnant, or indifferent.  It is much better being zealously knowledgeable, excited, and devoted to God; regardless the attacks that come!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 September Day Book

Outside my window...
...Is my Lazarus rose bush quickly climbing in the middle of my window.

I am thinking...
...that I am a VERY blessed woman to be married to Dear:  a man who WANTS to help me!

I am thankful for... Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved me, and wants to perfect me!

In the kitchen... cleanliness and orderliness, which creates much peace for me.

I am wearing... work blouse and jumper.

I am creating...
...ideas in my head for future yard projects.

I am going... ask Dear if we can run some errands when he gets home.

I am wondering...
...why I am the way I am.

I am reading...
...the book of Exodus, slowly.

I am hoping... be a blessing, not a burden; to be a Godly influence, not an ungodly one.

I am learning...
...that I cannot talk God's ear off.

Around the house... the desire to learn, to grow, to mature in the Lord; is the desire to become well-rounded people;
is love.

I am pondering... understandings.

A favorite quote of the day:
"Do not judge your relationship with Christ based upon your circumstances; judge your relationship with Christ based upon His Word." (Can't remember who said it.)

One of my favorite things...
...Is to be useful in the ways of the Lord:  encouraging Godliness, edifying the saints, praying to God, living a Godly life, provoking unto love and good works, etc.

A few plans:
  1. Prepare Sunday's teaching lesson for the young people.
  2. Find a way to thank Dear's stepdad for being willing and able to fix our car.
  3. Find a person willing to feed/water our ducks when we go to visit my sister-in-law and her family up north.
  4. Pray, pray, and pray some more about my burdens.
  5. Study, study, and study some more about what God's answers are to those burdens.
A peek into my day:
My miniature roses and Forget-Me-Nots growing fabulously, after a dear friend sprinkled some organic fertilizer on them!  I think once we get an arbor, that I will train those roses to grow on it...Since they seem to be wanting to come out of their pot.  :)
Copyright I Am The Clay


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Keeping At Home And Sharing Christ

     I truly enjoy doing my duty here at home.  Sure, sometimes I allow myself to become overwhelmed:  due to emotions going haywire; allowing things to get piled up so that I am catching up rather than keeping up; not focusing on the Lord, but on people; not keeping a better schedule; etc.  However, when I do what I am supposed to do, there are the sweet feelings of true accomplishment and happiness.
     It is nice to know that God is training me how to better care for my family.  Granted, it is just Dear, Meow, Bubba, Jail Break, Jade, Ruby, and Yours Truly, but that is enough creatures to keep active.  (Meow & Bubba are our two cats; Jail Break, Jade, and Ruby are our ducks.)  There are always needs to be met, that I am called to do.
     I have been learning how to clean, prepare meals, and overall, live healthier.  I have been learning how to keep at the sometimes rigorous, sometimes monotonous, always repetitive routine of keeping at home.  I get to delight in having my own schedule, having a good "boss," having a good home, having a great "workplace," having great "suppliers," and so forth.  All these things give me great pleasure that the world never offered, nor could it:  the source of my joy in all these things is Christ.
     You see, doing all these things, day in and day out, would easily wear down any person.  It gets boring; not sometimes, but a lot of times.  You do not receive a paycheck validating your time spent:  washing the dishes over and over in one day; washing the laundry; preparing the meals; cleaning the home; tending the animals; tending the yard; scheduling appointments; etc.  There are usually no thrills in folding t-shirts just so.
     There is no "value" in a woman who stays home; at least, not much anymore.  I have found it rare to hear of anyone praising God for women who stay home, with/without children, to care for the family they have.  I have found it rare for anyone to see the worth of fulfilling God's command that a woman keep at home:  loving the Lord, loving her husband, loving her children, etc.
     Yet, the Lord finds it valuable.  Dear finds it valuable.  Having the Lord value it, is enough reason for me. Having Dear value it, even more so.
     Though I am a keeper at home, I have another command from Him:  to share with others His Gospel. As I write, I seek to glorify Him.  Since I need to be at home, taking care of this place, preparing for Dear, I am not out working a job that gives me opportunity to share it with others.  So, I write. I realize many who read my blog are already saved, at least I hope so.  Maybe there are others who are not.
     I do have opportunities to share with others the Good News of Jesus Christ.  I can do it when I am running my errands.  If I am behaving myself as His ambassador, folks will recognize that I am not a citizen here.  :)  If I speak up for my King, and tell folks of Him, (not being so proud in heart that I care more of their opinion of me than of their eternal destination), I can share the Gospel.
     Since I am a woman, I am not called to preach.  I am not called to teach in the church.  I am called to go out and be a witness for Jesus Christ, though!  Being a witness for Him is no small matter!  I get to testify the truth!
     Would I be negligent to testify at a trial, as a witness to an event that would put an evildoer in prison?  Just as I pray I would not be negligent in such a duty, so I, too, must not be negligent to testify of Christ.  Though I be a woman, I can do it!
     Were not the first testifiers to Christ's resurrection women?  What a precious gift!  I get to testify of it, too. :)
     Time is only shortening, not lengthening.  Ladies, I beg you, find ways to tell of your Saviour.  If you have been born again, do not be neglect to speak up for Him!  There are many ways to share:  Gospel tracts, your own salvation testimony, your lifestyle...But you must speak!  Yes, people will be "offended."  Yes, people will be "mean."  Yes, people will not want to hear.  Should that stop your mouth?
     One day, we who have been redeemed by Christ will be caught up in the air with Him.  Whether we are still alive on this earth, or raised from the grave, we will meet Him and be transformed!  Do you not want to see as many people as possible have that blessed opportunity as well?  Or, do you wish to see them suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire?
     We do not know the hour in which He will come for us.  Do we want to be content with "living a nice life," while not telling others why we have such a "nice life?"  I used to be afraid to tell folks I was a Christian, for they teased me, were rude, scoffed, etc.  Now, by God's grace, their soul is worth more than my feelings.
     Yes, we are still sinners.  But we are sinners saved by grace.  That same Author of grace gives us grace to overcome sin.
     Yes, lost sinners will see us sin.  They will also see God pick us back up and set us on the right way, again.  They will see our hearts towards God as we live in thanksgiving for our salvation.
     Yes, they will think living the Bible way extreme.  The longer we wait for the Lord, the more "extreme" we become, for evil will wax worse and worse.  Keep living faithfully for the Lord.
     Yes, life can become, or maybe already is, or has been, rough.  I know that being in the U.S.A. has its advantages for the Christian.  There are many, many, many other places that do not allow the liberties we have to share of Jesus Christ, and not be killed...By the government, neighbors, family, etc.  Still live faithfully.
     Keep being a Godly wife, a Godly mother, a Godly woman.  How you care for your family is important.  If you have children, they are a great place to start evangelizing.  They watch, and listen, always observing.  They learn from you about God the most.
     There are people praying that someone would talk to their lost loved one.  There are people praying for workers for the fields.  I know, for at our church and in our private lives, we pray in such ways.
     Are you that lady that needs to talk to that person's sister, who happens to be your neighbor/local grocery store clerk/librarian/coffee barista/friend/enemy?  Are you the woman that needs to talk to the grumpy old man down the street?  Are you the lady who needs to tell their family member who is vitriolic towards Godly things about Christ?  Are you the lady who needs to tell the wondrous story of her marriage to those whose marriage/marriages are not heavenly?
     Look to the Bible.  Find out how God wants women to testify of Him.  Pray for courage.  Pray for protection.  Pray for boldness.  Pray for wisdom.  All the while you are praying, speak for Him.

2Co 5:1  For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 
2Co 5:2  For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 
2Co 5:3  If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 
2Co 5:4  For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 
2Co 5:5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 
2Co 5:6  Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 
2Co 5:7  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 
2Co 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 
2Co 5:9  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 
2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 
2Co 5:11  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 
2Co 5:12  For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 
2Co 5:13  For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 
2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 
2Co 5:15  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 
2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 
2Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 
2Co 5:19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 
2Co 5:20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 
2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 

Growing Home

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