Monday, September 28, 2009

A Different Way to Look at Suffering

Good Morning! I didn't write the following post but it does say exactly what I feel. I have been through my share of suffering in my life and I am sure that I will have more in this lifetime. I really believe that if we have this faith in God then our perspective on our suffering can be different. This Devotion is from Proverbs 31 ministries (Encouragement)the link is below the post. I Hope you Enjoy!

A Different Way to Look at Suffering
By Micca Monda Campbell

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:3 (NIV)


Jesus had a unique way of clearing up misconceptions by helping people see truth as it was meant to be. For example, in John 9 we find Jesus refuting the traditional explanation of suffering when His disciples point to a man born blind and ask, "Who sinned, this man or his parents?" In other words, they wanted to know Why did he deserve blindness? Jesus answers frankly, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

The disciples looked backwards to find out why the man was blind. Jesus redirects their attention by pointing forward and upward with a new and different perspective.

Usually, our response to challenges or suffering is determined by our perspective.
When our focus is inward on ourselves or outward on circumstances, our natural response is fear, insecurity, grumbling and despair. I know. I've been there far too often. Have you?

Yet, Jesus redirects our questions and our focus. In doing so, it causes us to see suffering in a new light that disproves the old tradition. Not all suffering is a direct result of sin. Pain has a higher purpose in our lives. It's not necessarily there because we deserve it. It's to reveal God's glory.

Suffering is meant to refine us. James says it makes us "perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (1:4b, ESV). Pain drives us to seek the heart and will of God.

Perhaps you and I have been going at it all wrong. We've been looking backwards in the rearview mirror of life asking, "Why? What did I do to deserve this?" Instead, we should look forward and up asking, "What's the purpose of my pain? What's the end result? What is God trying to do, accomplish, or teach me?"
These types of questions enable us to hold out hope for the future. They remind us our suffering can be transformed or redeemed. Tragedies and hardships like the loss of a spouse, a child, a limb, a job, or a home can be used to display God's work and make us more like Jesus.

Isn't it time you and I looked up? An upward focus brings about a supernatural response that reflects trust and confidence in God, as He brings about His glorious work in each of us.
Power Verses:

1 Peter 4:12-13, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed" (NIV).

Have a Beautiful Day!


P.S. Here's the link:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Let Go Book Review

Ok So I again and posting a review for Thomas Nelson Books. This time it's for Let Go by Sheila Walsh. This would make a great ladies study or small group book discussion. Sheila Walsh writes in a way that speaks to many. This is not a book to try and read in one weekend, I believe the author intended it to be read at a pace that will allow you to really take in what you've just read. Each Chapter starts with scripture and quotes that relate to that chapter, and ends with thought provoking questions or deliverance delivered and prayer. I love how she starts the book out in her introduction "to be delivered you have to let go" The stories and quotes she uses through out the book are fit perfectly in each chapter making this a book you could use for the specific area you are struggling with, skipping over the other chapters.

In Chapter one Fresh Baked Grace for the Spiritually Hungry, Sheila talks about Seeing God in everything. I can think back on so many times in my life that I didn't see God in the everyday kind of things. He was there I just wasn't looking

Some of My Favorite Quotes are: God's Love for us is not based on our behavior, ...It's based on his heart and his character. That's Grace"

"To Have my hands free to receive grace, I have to be willing to let go of whatever I am clinging to."

"The Ground at the foot of the cross is even. There are no podiums for those who feel most worthy. There are no pits for those who feel most worthy. There are no pits for those who feel they don't belong. The only way to break free from this dead, stale religion is with the glorious gift of fresh-baked grace every morning for the rest of our lives!"

The chapter that spoke the most to me was Living in the Past. How often do I talk to myself in a way that I wouldn't dare talk to another person? All to often. This chapter opened my eyes to some of those things that I am "holding on to" that keep me from fully allowing God's Grace to wash over me.

I would have to say that overall the book was not your typical Christian Self Help Book, Sheila Walsh makes you do the work yourself, and really look into what's going on in your life. Her thought provoking questions really make you think. If your looking for a great book discussion book or small group study this would be a great choice. I will leave you with one last quote from the book that really got me thinking.

"in Christ our very wounds and scars can be redeemed. Pain is hard: there's no doubt. But pain reminds us why Christ died. It reminds us to bring our wounds to the wounded Healer so he can make us better. In turn, we can comfort others as we have been comforted and look to a future free form hurt. We are not asked to pretend our wounds don't exist, but to let go and stop holding on to them so tightly."

So Let Go!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fearless Max Lucado Book Review

I have the privilege of reading and reviewing for Thomas Nelson Publishers, and my first review is for FEARLESS by Max Lucado. First I have to say that I have read many Max Lucado books, and loved them and Fearless is no different.

What do you fear? Loss of Job? Being Alone? Not Enough Time? What ever your facing there is a way to get out of that pit of despair and dread that fear seems to pull us all into. Max Lucado gives practical, real life, Scripture based answers to bring us out of the pits of fear. No one is immune to fear, and Max writes in a way that feels like he is speaking directly to your heart. Using real life stories scripture and his own life experiences,Max can speak to us no matter what it is we fear.

The chapters are short and yet filled with so many important tools, that anyone can use. The discussion guide at the end is great for a group study or even just on your own. The Book begins with a story about Max's brother and he writes in a way that makes you truly feel like you do know him. My Favorite chapter and probably the area I struggle most is Chapter 2 which talks about fear of not mattering. Max uses the Villagers of Stiltsville to get his point across. "We fear coming and going and no one knowing" but we don't have to Scripture tells us that we do matter, that our creator chose us. Max reminds us of these truths throughout chapter 2, and the entire book.

"Fear at it's center, is a perceived loss of control." "Fear may fill our world, but it doesn't have to fill our hearts." As 2 Timothy 1:7 says: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear." Fear is, not all bad and fear can protect you, but it doesn't need to control you. Fearless is a book that you can read in one sitting. but it's even better to read together in a group and discuss it chapter by chapter and I can't wait to do that with Fearless. You won't be disappointed, Max Lucado hits another one out of the ball park with Fearless. Great book!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Ok this worked amazingly last time so I am doing this again, and posting it for you all to see! I am doing several crock pot meals this week since the Hubby is having knee surgery Tuesday, and I am not sure what all he will need me to do to help him this week. And since I am homeschooling Michael and working a few hours a week, I need convinced food, so I searched out some yummy crock pot meals for this week. Hope you enjoy!

Monday: Cantonese Dinner (Sweet & Sour Pork) served with white rice for the family and brown rice for me (I gotta cut calories where I can)
Find the Recipe here:

Tuesday: Soup & Sandwiches (Earl requested this) we will grill the sandwiches panni style, yummy!

Wednesday: Crock Pot Meatloaf... it's so easy just make your meatloaf like you normally do and then form it into a loaf shape then place in the crock pot to cook
Yummy Yummy!

Thursday: Grilled Chicken BLT's Salad with bread machine bread
(gotta dust the bread machine off)

Friday: Chicken, Rosemary, Onions and Apples (another crock pot meal)Find the Recipe here:

Saturday: Turkey Burgers (we love these premade frozen burgers from Aldi's)

Hope you enjoy the menu...

I have to say that, knowing ahead of time what I was planning to make saved time and money at the grocery store. Yeah! Gotta Love that! I even have next weeks done, I'll post it next week! Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our Back Yard Camping in Pictures and words!

So we got the fire going, and it was good, the wind would kick up quite a bit but it continued to burn! Yeah!

The tent is up and filled with sleeping blags, blankets, and even a flashlight or two.

We roasted marshmellows. Actually I roasted marshmellows, all the while KJ and MR C caught them on fire and tried to catch each others on fire. I think I have a couple pyros on my hand here.


KJ Enjoying the night.


Even MC C and the Boyfriend came out to roast some marshmellows.

MR C and KJ I think they are trying to come up with a stratagey to turn the marshmellows into flame throwers.

MR C in the tent, this was before the rain.

MR C and I stayed in the tent until 1:47 AM. Why 1:47 am you ask?! Well that when the earth began to shake, I still wasn't asleep so I not only heard the tremendous thunder but I felt it and saw the amazing flash of light! Did I get pictures you ask? Nope sorry my first thought was to get me and MR C out of the tent and into the house before we got struck by lightning or soaked with the rain that began pouring out of the sky. KJ had decided earlier that tent camping wasn't for her and went into the house. (Smart Girl) To my utter amazement MR C slept through the whole thing. I on the other hand have had about and hour and 45 minutes of sleep. These Kansas thunderstorms don't bring me a sense of calm and peacefulness like they seem to with everyone else. So as I sit here enjoying my second cup of coffe for the day I am praying the sun will come out and dry up the flooded tents!

I almost forgot to post the best part of the evening, before the rain, we were sitting around the fire with KJ, MR C and talking and hearing thier dreams.. KJ wants some amazing thigs, like to pass a law, to have a women's baseball leauge (Not Softball), she wants women to play in the NFL, and to be the first female President. (Makes a momma proud!) The Sky's the limit! MR C wants to be involved in ministry but not sure exactly where yet, he wants to make a difference, and learn to play the guitar better. Even MC C and the Boyfriend got in on the discussion..... it's amazing what you can get your kids to talk about around a campfire in the dark. Have a Beautiful Day!


P.S. I am glad we were backyard camping and not at the lake or somewhere far from home! :)