Thursday, January 28, 2010

What do you covet?

Coveting. I like to think about that as something other people do. Unfortunately, the Lord is showing me that I need to think about this a little bit. What is coveting? According to yesterday's video session with James MacDonald, coveting is several things. Here's the notes from yesterday's session:

  • Those who choose murmuring as their lifestyle will spend their lifetime in the wilderness.
  • Covetousness is wanting wrong things.
  • Covetousness is wanting right things for the wrong reasons.
  • Covetousness is wanting right things but at the wrong time or in the wrong amount.
  • God hates covetousness.
  • Covetousness becomes sin when you yield to it.
  • When we dwell on desire, yielding is only a matter of time.
  • At the root of covetousness is a rejection of God's sufficiency.
  • Beware of begging God for non-essentials.
  • If you're a covetous person, enough is never enough.
  • If you're a covetous person, you'll spend your life in the wilderness.

James related Numbers 11 and the people not trusting the Lord to coveting. He ended the session with these questions:

  • Are you a covetous person?
  • Do you spend more time thinking about people to impact or things to get?
  • Are you in the wilderness?
  • Do you need to repent?

If you have some ideas about coveting, please email them to me or post them to the blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

God Winked At Me!

Ever heard of a "God wink"? It's when God does something that you know without a doubt He did. Well, God winked at me yesterday.

Before I tell you about the God wink, let me tell you about my family history. I was raised in Petal, Mississippi with my big brother, Scotty. My parents, Tommy and Cheryl, have been married for 42 years. Most of those 42 years my Dad has struggled with an addition to alcohol. Now, let me say my dad was a pretty good dad when I was growing up. He wasn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he was at my softball games. He encouraged me to do well in school and go to college. And, he was always a good provider for my family. But he drank a lot, and that became worse after I was an adult. Because of his drinking, my mom hasn't really had a companion. She would spend most nights by herself because my dad would go to bed immediately after supper. Of course, my family has spent years praying for my dad. I personally have asked God time after time to heal my dad from alcoholism. Prayer after prayer. Day after day.

About 4 months ago my dad found out he was a diabetic. Although that was upsetting to us, my dad decided to put down the beer because of his health problems. We weren't sure how long that would last, but I'm glad to say it's been over 4 months now that he hasn't had a drink. Answer to prayer? You bet it is!!!

So, last week I found out that my mom was having hip replacement surgery this week. Because I live so far away, and because of our crazy lives this month, it was virtually impossible for me to plan to be there to take care of my mom with such short notice. I started praying that the Lord would take care of my mom. I told God how bad it felt that I wasn't able to be there with her for this surgery. You see, my dad hasn't really taken care of my mom when she's been sick in the past. Plus, my brother is busy as a single parent so it was killing me that I wouldn't be able to be there for my mom. I was crying out to God with a broken heart, and prayers for healing for my mom.

God started telling me He was going to take care of my mom by having my brother's girlfriend, Wyn, call me and reassure me. Wyn told me she would be there with my dad and brother as much as possible and that was very comforting to me. But I still wanted to be there so badly.

So the surgery was yesterday. I didn't sleep the night before, and woke up sick to my stomach. I just wanted to be there with my mom, and God knew it. Around 7:30 am my dad called and said Mom was doing great and ready for surgery. He also said he would be there all day, and that my brother would be there as well. That was an answer to prayer. But then what he said next was God winking at me. He said to me, "Oh, and by the way. Your friend, Amy, is going to be your mom's surgical nurse today. She'll be with your mom all the way through surgery." Amy is a close friend of mine from high school and college.

Ok, do you know the odds of a close friend of mine being in surgery with my mom? I knew, without a doubt that God had done that. He didn't do that to take better care of my mom because He was taking great care of her. He did that to show me He loves me and wanted to comfort me as well. He wanted me to be at peace. I'm confident He did this for me. And Amy played the roll perfectly. She was the nurse that picked my mom up to take her to the OR. Minutes after getting to the OR and getting Mom under sedation, she called my brother to let him know she was doing great. She stayed on top of things for us. She even emailed me to let me know Mom was doing great. And if that wasn't enough, I found out later in the day that another high school friend of mine, Angie, was a nurse on my mom's floor last night and would be checking on her!!!! Amazing! And a second wink if you ask me!

I was praising God all day yesterday for His love for me and my family. I woke up thinking about my mom of course, and a little bit ago got a call from Dad saying she had a great night. The doctor said she is doing wonderful. And how did my dad know so early in the morning how Mom was doing? Well, he had spent the night at the hospital with her. The man that was so wrapped up in himself and his beer 1 year ago had spent the night checking on his wife of 42 years.

Long-time prayers answered. Recent prayers answered. God winked at me, and more than once! I am overwhelmed. My heart is so full of thankfulness. Praises to our King of Kings!

He hears our prayers and He is working, even when we can't see Him working, He is working.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Adios Complaining! Hola Thankfulness!

What the best way to stop complaining? According to James MacDonald, it's replace the complaining with THANKFULNESS. You know, I think he's right. In Luke 17 Jesus tells the story of 10 lepers being healed, and emphasizes that only one of them returned to Him to say thanks. How sad is that?!?!! If you had a terrible disease and were healed of it, would you be thankful? I know I would. Yet, every day Jesus blesses us with healing of all different kinds of things and in my opinion we aren't as grateful as we should be. Here are the notes from James' video second video session on "Lord, Change My Attitude". His words sure spoke to me!

  • Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living.
  • Attitude is everything.
  • Faith grows in the soil of gratitude.
  • Gratitude means to show that a kindness received is valued.
  • Thankfulness is a decision.
  • Thankfulness is a decision based in reality.
  • Thankfulness is a life changing decision.

James mentioned that he read a list of 20 things you should do to improve your health, and the #1 thing to do was to be thankful for all the good in your life! I know a lot of us start out each new year focused on improving our health. With this in mind, I think we should be talking about having a thankful attitude.

Do how do you know if you're a thankful person? Well, how do you pray? When you pray do you ask God to fix everything, or is most of your prayer telling Him thank you for what He has done in your life? How often do you just praise Him, whether in song or just simple words when you're alone with Him? When something bad happens, how do you react?

The Lord is changing me through this study. My eyes are being opened at how much I complain and how much I have to be thankful for. Here's a list of what I am thankful for today:

  • I'm thankful that my family doesn't live in Haiti. Can you relate?!?!
  • I'm thankful that I live in a country where I can vote, worship how I want to worship, and for the soldiers that help us keep our freedom.
  • I'm thankful for the ladies I do Bible study with. Each week I see Jesus in them and I learn from them.
  • I'm thankful that my kids are healthy. Praise God for this blessing!
  • I'm thankful for a husband that loves me and provides for his family and is a great father to our kids.
  • I'm thankful for friends that pray for me and encourage me.
  • I'm thankful for parents that loved me and that my kids get to know them too.
  • I'm thankful that today I have a home to clean up. That makes me think of Haiti again.
  • I'm thankful for a church that sincerely loves Jesus and tries to get others connected more with Him.
  • I'm thankful that I've finished exercising for today! (-:

If we think, we've got a lot more things to be thankful for than thing to complain about! Praises to the King of Kings!

Post your comments to the blog or send me an email and I'll post them for you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are you a complainer? I actually think of myself as a happy, fun loving gal. I don't feel like I'm a complainer...or at least I didn't until yesterday.

I started this new study called, "Lord, Change My Attitude" by James MacDonald and Barb Peil with my weekly Bible study group at Community Bible Church here in San Antonio. Well, Mr. MacDonald stepped all over my toes with his sermon we watched on video yesterday! That sucker! Since then, I've realized....or should I say God has shown me...that I do complain. As a matter of fact, I complain a lot! Here are list of a few of the stupid things I've complained about:

  • I've complained about house chores INSTEAD of praising God for a family to take care of. I remember the years without a family and kids and how I prayed for a family and kids. Why in the world am I complaining about God's answer to my prayers!
  • I've complained about people coming to check out the house that I'm trying to sell. Ok, I'm praying God will sell our home so why would I be so upset when people come by to consider buying it. Silly me!
  • I've complained about getting rain when we need the rain so bad in San Antonio.
  • I've complained about my husbands long hours at work although it's that job that provides for my family.

Ok, so this study on attitudes that I thought was for every other person in my Bible study group is apparently for me!!! I have much, much, much, improvement to do in this area. I'm seeking forgiveness from my sin of complaining and I'm asking the Lord to remind me of when I'm complaining so I can correct myself.

So, what about you? Are you a complainer? What are the consequences of your complaining? Are you willing to change?

If you're interested in finding out more about this topic, then I would encourage you to come and join us at Community Bible Church on Tuesdays from 11:30 to 1:00 pm. Books for the study are available on the weekends during service times at CBC. You can also check this blog once a week for updates. I'll be posting what I've learned.

Below is what Mr. MacDonald said in his first session. It's such good information and backed by scripture!

  • Attitude controls outcome.
  • Those who choose murmuring/complaining as their lifestyle will spend their lives in the wilderness. (Check out what happened to the complainers in Numbers 14 and what God says in 1 Corinthians 10)
  • We choose our attitude.
  • An attitude is a pattern of thinking formed over a long period of time.
  • Complaining is a sin.
  • Sin means missing the mark.
  • Complaining means "to express dissatisfaction with a circumstance which is not wrong and about which I am doing nothing myself to correct".
  • God hears our thoughts. (so even if you are complaining in your head, it's still complaining)
  • God hates complaining.
  • Go judges complaining.
  • Check out Exodus 14:12, 15:24, 16:3, and 17:3 to see what God thinks and does about complainers!
If you have questions about this study, or want to comment on this information, please post to the blog or email me at and I'll post it for you or answer your questions.