Daily Walking with God

December 2016
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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Hunter, Tim, me, Holly, and Cole. <3

Hunter, Tim, me, Holly, and Cole. <3

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

We are family.

Are we perfect? No.

Do we always get along or agree? Ha!

Do we drive each other crazy? In good and bad ways.

We may not always like each other, but we so do LOVE each other.

It thrills my soul when I have all my babies with me, and I believe I’m not the only one. Tim called me yesterday and said, “Tonight I just want the five of us home for my early birthday dinner.” I texted the kids to let them know their daddy’s wishes. As you can see from the picture, Tim got his request.

I LOVE it!

Love. Why? Because HE first LOVED us.

One of the greatest joys in my life is knowing that ALL my family have accepted Christ as their personal Savior.  We will all be together on earth AND in Heaven!!

Have a beautiful weekend.

Always enjoy soaking up The Son wherever you are.  He is everywhere and has so much to share with you.  God is love and He loves you!

Blessings,

Stephanie.

USA Flag 1992

1 Corinthians 11:19, “There must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized.”

Over the past year, it has been quite evident how divided our country is over this past presidential election. It truly saddens me. Yet, this isn’t anything new. Division happens.

Whether your experiencing frustrations, destructiveness, division, or differences of any kind, how will you be recognized in the end? Will others identify you as peaceful, perceptive, or positive, or will they detect anarchy, carelessness, or negative?

It is my prayer that when division occurs that others will observe someone who is obedient to God and strives to seek God’s approval, not man’s.

How about you?

Enjoy soaking up The Son every day. He has so much to show you.

Blessings to you and yours, and happy Friday, Stephanie

 

 

Yes, that's my broken leg, and the dislocated onto the totally opposite side ankle.

Yes, that’s my broken leg, and the dislocated onto the totally opposite side ankle.

I must find the comedy in this:

Last week when the electrician went to hang my new pendants above the kitchen island, he carefully opened the box and said, “Ut-oh, you need to see this. I haven’t moved this box and notice what’s inside.” My husband and I peered inside the delivered cardboard package and discovered that one of the glass bowls was broken. I shrugged and said, “Things break.”

It wasn’t AN HOUR LATER when I walked backwards off my porch and BROKE my right leg. “Ut-oh” wasn’t the first words out of my mouth, not even a shrug…it was more like a screaming cat lying in pain on the ground. Well…”things break”.

When you read Psalm 51 in its entirety you discover that through brokenness comes a time for: purification, renewing, restoration, willingness to obey, forgiveness, repentance, and rebuilding. Wow! What a list. I’m personally experiencing this all during this season of physical brokenness.

Physical brokenness can also bring about a spiritual brokenness and beauty.

Do you realize that Jesus was broken for you and me? No, His bones were not broken (a fulfillment of prophecy. See Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, and Psalm 34:20), but His skin was broken, bruised, and beaten for us. (Isaiah 53:5) Jesus’ skin wasn’t the only thing broken when He suffered for us. Oh no, my friend! The power of SIN was broken!

Romans 6:10, “When He died, He died once to BREAK THE POWER OF SIN. But now He lives, He lives for the glory of God.”

We must do the same…live for the GLORY OF GOD.

Hang on, I’m not done…what else can NOT be broken besides Christ’s bones? God’s promises can NOT be and have not been broken. (Joshua 23:14)

One of God’s promises is found in John 16:33. We read that we will have many trials and sorrows (brokenness), BUT take heart, because…JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!

It is my prayer that you will take your brokenness (that is all over you now or will come) and embrace this time to do as Psalm 51 claims, and know that “The sacrifice that God desires is a broken spirit. God will not reject a broken and repentant heart.” (verse 17) (Note: Emphasis changed by me from “you” to “God” because the you is God in these verses.)

Friend, “By His wounds you are healed!” (1 Peter 2:24) GLORY! REJOICE! LIVE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!

Enjoy soaking up The Son each day. He has so much to share with you. Blessings to you and yours, Stephanie.

Prayers are appreciated as my broken bones will be repaired when I have surgery on Wednesday, December 7th.  THANK YOU!  May I feel your prayers over the pain.

 

 

 

count-your-blessings-in-the-sandHAPPY THANKSGIVING, Y’ALL!

Counting our blessings need not to be something we do or talk about just this time of the year but for always. Yet, during this season of thanks our blessings are brought to the forefront of our minds and pressed on our hearts, and hopefully overflow through our words and actions.

I recently posted a journal entry title “Slow Down”. Well, I have definitely had to do that starting today and for a few weeks to come. Yesterday, as I was preparing our new home for the Thanksgiving (or so I thought) I walked backwards off my porch and broke my tibia and fibia, and dislocated my right ankle. I am so grateful for my son Cole being on top of things and getting me ice, meds, my identification, drove my car to the front door, and even grabbed my lounging pants for me (hey, I love my jeans I had on…didn’t want them cut. LOL!) while we waited on Tim to arrive to take me to the ER. Tim, has been a trooper, without any complaints. Bless him! I’m grateful for familiar faces at the hospital to take care of me, and the staff at South Florida Baptist Hospital. Then, I was completely overwhelmed by the number of messages, texts, phone calls (even when I was sounding droggy) many folks sent my way. I can absolutely feel your love and prayers. I am counting each of you as one of my blessings.

Be still and know that He is God! Rest in Him and His loving arms!

So, this holiday season in our new home may not be as prepared as I was hoping, but so what! I have my family and health.

So, my curtains aren’t hung, decorations scattered between storage, attic, and who knows where, and a few other things that “I” wanted to get done this weekend…so what! I have my faith.

Speaking of faith, in Colossians 2:7 we read, “Let your roots grow down deep into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

It is my prayer that you not only slow down and count your blessings, but overflow with thankfulness because of your faith in Him. Whether your faith is a little shallow right now or deep in Him, remember to grow strong in the truth and build your life on Christ and Christ alone. Keep growing!

When you continue reading in Colossians 2, slide down to verses 13-15 you discover the reason we are to be grateful: “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God mad you ALIVE WITH CHRIST, for He forgave ALL our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his VICTORY OVER THEM ON THE CROSS.” GLORY!!

We are all a little broken, whether it’s our life or a leg, God will heal all wounds and give us glory in the end when we trust in and put our faith in Him.

HE is the reason for us to count our blessings.

Blessings to you all! Much love and gratefulness from my home to yours.

Always enjoying soaking up The Son. He has so much to share with you. Love, Stephanie

 

new-dayGod’s gone and done it again! THANK YOU, JESUS, for putting me in my place!

Yesterday was one of those days like the children’s book I used to read to my second graders: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days, only it was “Stephanie’s Meltdown, Had Enough, No Good, So-So Bad Day”.

Yep, I had a meltdown, and said a word I shouldn’t have said (a couple of times, okay, a few times scattered throughout the day). Things were NOT going the way “I” had planned, or thought things should have gone, and my limit was tapped. (Not really tapped, but you get a picture. *wink*)

The evening did end with calmness, joy, a nice hot bath, and peace, and yea…and the Hallmark Channel.

Then, this morning God decided that the verse-of-the-day should be from Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

Okay, now let me retype this with emphasis on a few words that washed over me: “And let the PEACE that COMES FROM CHRIST RULE in your hearts. For as members of one body YOU are called to LIVE IN PEACE. And…ALWAYS BE THANKFUL!” So there was some HEAVY emphasis on a handful words, and oh-so-worth-them-all.

I recounted my yesterday and had some thoughts:

  • For those who were in my path…thank you for simply doing your job at that time, and your smiles.
  • For those five family members who knew…thank you for your text, lunch, retail therapy, ear, and just being there.
  • Things DID get done…not in my time, but in their time and in HIS.
  • Lord, I clearly don’t remember praying for patience, but thank You for the lesson…now let’s move on. LOL.
  • The sun did rise and set, just as God said it would.
  • Life did continue.
  • Troubles come, and they will pass.
  • I. Am. Blessed.
  • Count those blessings!
  • When stress occurs, baking commences. (Benefits for those around me now.)
  • Thank God for His new mercies, forgiveness, and unfailing love!
  • And as always…”This too shall pass”, “Thy will be done”, and “In His time”.

Just like the song, “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott says…”Sometimes I gotta stop and remember that YOU’RE God and I AM NOT!”

I pray that you will not be overwhelmed by what life puts in front of you today, but overcome by knowing that God is in control.

Enjoy soaking up The Son, because He is so good!! Love, Stephanie

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15

 

 

hebrews-5-12

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

One of my favorite sounds is to hear the pages of the bible being turned as one digs deeper into God’s Word.

That is exactly what I’ve been doing lately. Having little or no internet access has (at times) been an unexpected blessing from God. I didn’t realize how much I was accustomed to using the search section to study the word and research information. With the limitations of Wi-Fi I’ve resorted back to turning those pages that I love to hear. Ahhh, sweetness to my ears and soul.

Since the renovation process of our home began, and especially these last few months, I’ve been reiterating three phases: “Thy Will be done”, “In His time”, and my all-time go to “This too shall pass”. So, what I’ve started doing is digging deeper into His word to explore these phrases a bit further…page by page, not click by click. Again, sweetness to my mind and soul. I can’t wait to share with you what God has been revealing to me.

I want to encourage you to put down that electronic device, dust off your bible, and start turning those pages. Trust me, there’s just something about it, and I hope you will enjoy the sweet sounds of those pages being turned as you dig deeper into the bible. (If you accept this challenge, I’d love to hear from you about your thoughts, feelings, and experience. Message me. Yep, via that electronic device thing.)

Always enjoy soaking up The Son. He’s got much to share with you. Blessings to you, Stephanie.

 

be-still-at-amiHe says, “Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10

Well, tis the season…of busyness…I mean of counting out blessings and being grateful.

Why? Why do we get our selves all in a tizzy over trivial matters in life? We need to be reminded to slow down and do what God tells us to do in Psalm 46:10…“Be still, and know that I am God;”

I believe He was reminding me to do just that this past week. Earlier in the week I was driving down the road and thinking about how my friend JUST mentioned to me that she wanted to move off her country road (the road I was traveling on) because people go 60 mph all the time. As soon as I recollected our conversation and was about to slow my own car down, a motorcycle Sherriff caught me. I gave him my identification and told him the previous thought all the while grinning and shaking my head like “Yep, you got me”. I waited for him to return to my vehicle with a ticket. When he greeted me at my window, he gave me a verbal warning and told me to be careful, slow down, and have a nice day. Whew! From that moment on, I became aware of the speed limit, and did SLOW DOWN.

The next day I returned from work and felt my throat beginning to get a little soar. My clue to…enjoy hot tea, a bath, and SLOW DOWN.

Then, yesterday, I was on my way to taking Cole to school (BTW…driving him to school since we moved isn’t just a two-minute drive now…add anywhere from 13-20 minutes to the original time.) we got stopped by the lllooonnnggeesst train I’d been stopped by in downtown Plant City in years! We even left the house five minutes earlier than normal to enjoy our drive into town. Well, what should have taken us (on an early day of leaving) 15 minutes, turn into a 25-minute commute to school. Yes, Lord…SLOW DOWN.

be-still-beach

Well, I’m doing just that SLOWING DOWN.

I woke up this morning, not at our newly remodeled/almost done/construction zone home, yet at the beach. Ahhh, the dirt I have been walking on outside our home (until we get grass…which happens this coming Monday!!! Yay! I get grass on Monday! Y’all just let me do a little happy dance over that.) turned into a sandy walk on the beach. BE STILL! SLOW DOWN! And know that He is God! That’s what I did.

Coming to the beach in November is one of my favorite times! Why? For one reason, there’s hardly anyone here. Sweet Jesus! Just look at the miles of sand with very little footprints (yet, it was early). Peace. (Thanks, Susan, for having a place for me to rent at the beach. ;) )no-one-on-beach

 

I hope and pray that as this season of giving unfolds that you will stop, count your blessings, don’t get yourself in a tizzy, enjoy your family and friends, and BE STILL and give God all the glory.

I’ve missed y’all!

Enjoy soaking up The Son every chance you get. He’s got so much to share with you.

Love, Stephanie

shine-out-or-all-to-see

What is it about this song that just gets to me? I can remember driving to pick up one of my children from elementary school (and that’s been YEARS ago), hearing Mercy Me’s “Word of God Speak” come across my radio, and I just start singing right along with them, raising my hands (ok, one hand was on the wheel), and crying like a baby. Each time I hear that song I get choked up. Last night was no different. I’m driving down the interstate, “Word of God Speak” begins to play on The Joy FM, and I think to myself, “Stephanie, you might want to pull over.” I didn’t, but the tears still gently trickled down my face.

In the first verse of this song it says, “I’m finding myself at a loss for words, and the funny thing is it’s okay. The last thing I need is to be heard, but to hear what you would say.”

There are numerous times that I am at a loss for words. It may be due to a circumstance that has occurred in someone’s life and I am empathetic yet haven’t experienced what they are going through myself, so my words are quiet yet prayerful. There are seasons when my words are silent because God is working on and within me. Sometimes I feel that my words are unworthy to be heard for the situation at hand, so my actions will speak more volumes than I could even articulate. Or, maybe, God just simply puts His hand over my mouth to keep me in control. Whatever the reason is for my quietness, God’s always got the right thing to say and how/when/through whom to say it.

In Psalm 19:1-4 we read, “The heavens proclaim the glory of the God. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak, night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.”

The sky, day AND night, proclaim the glory of the Lord…WITHOUT speaking a word.

God created the Heavens and the earth, and guess what…He created you as well. When you are a child of God, you should have the desire to proclaim His name and share of the glorious things He has done and continues to do for you. Why? Because Christ lives in you! This gives you assurance of sharing His glory. (Colossians 1:27)

John, the apostle of love, mentioned the word proclaim three times in the first three verses of 1 John 1. He declares that Jesus IS the Word of life and IS eternal life. John proclaims this because he wants others to have fellowship with them, as his fellowship is with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Not only to have fellowship, yet so that others can share FULLY in the JOY that comes from the Lord.

Paul beautifully proclaims the Supremacy of Christ, His existence and purpose of His life, and the reason why he does so in Colossians 1:15-29. Paul does this to warn others, to teach of the wisdom of God, so that others can have a relationship with Christ. It wasn’t a bed of roses for Paul. He had many struggles during his proclamation, but he knew that he could continue sharing God’s love through the mighty power of God, not his own strength.

We too should “live to tell what the Lord has done.” (Psalm 118:17)

We too should “spread God’s fame throughout the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)

We too should “give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.” (Psalm 105:1)

We can do this without even saying a word. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us SHOW the TRUTH by our ACTIONS.”

Be a DOER of the word. (James 1:22)

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by LIVING an honorable life, DOING good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13)

“Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will PRAISE YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.” (Matthew 5:16)

I hope that I’ve encouraged you to proclaim God’s love, even without saying a word. Allow God to speak TO you and THROUGH you.

Have a beautiful, fall-crisp, weekend, and always remember to enjoy soaking up The Son in the sunshine.

Love you all, Stephanie.

 

 

god-speaks-new-homeI’ve been quiet on my journaling, but God still speaks volumes to me. (Praise the Lord!)

Renovating a home has been a process of renovating my heart as well.

We are EXACTLY one week away until we close on the sale of the home which my husband AND children were raised in. It all seems surreal, yet exciting!

As I sit here on the only chair left in the home, I am reflective on the process, and my heart and ears are wide open for God’s voice. Yes, I feel His presence and am basking in His love.

Walking through each empty room reminds me that this home is still full of memories.

I wanted to jot a little diddy down for you to know that I’m still around. I so appreciate those of you who message me wondering where I’ve been. Becoming accustomed to no Wi-Fi is interesting. Yep, you heard right…limited, if any at all, Wi-Fi. Living off the grid, folks (sort of).

Stay tune or warning…there’s much more to come. Praise God that He isn’t like Wi-Fi. He is limitless!

Grateful for the verse-of-the-day today:

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4

One of my favs!!…As you can tell by reading these journal entries: please click here.

I do pray that you have a blessed day. Go put a smile on someone’s face. Enjoy soaking up The Son in this glorious weather.

 

jeremiah-29-11STOP!

Stop trying to be someone you’re not.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

START!

Start allowing GOD to change the way you think about yourself.

Start learning, knowing, and believing that God’s will for you is perfect and best for you.

Don’t take it from me, read His breathed words for yourself:

So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27. God created you from the beginning. He created you to be like Him.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13. Yep, He’s a knitter. While you’re all snug as a bug in your momma’s tummy, God was interlacing each part of you.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8. Well, lookie there. God’s not only The Creator and a knitter, but a The Potter too. Oh, and so much more! He’s STILL molding you. Permit God continue to form you into the person He desires for you to be.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. Oh, friend, did you not only read those words but truly hear them. Reread. God KNOWS the plans that HE has for YOU. They are great! Unimaginable! Full of hope! He’s got this.

So, to wrap it all up…Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

The Message translation says, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.” FIX YOUR FOCUS ON GOD.

I pray that you will always enjoy soaking up The Son as you go about your day. Allow Him to permeate within you, and radiate through you. -Stephanie