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Lent…is that what you pull out of the dryer?

Ok so I was trying to be clever, but honestly growing up I never remember talking about lent. I remember only as a young adult seeing the ash on peoples foreheads and people saying they were giving something up. I always thought it was weird to see my friends who I didn’t know even went to church or knew God all of a sudden talk about making sacrifices. Before I go any further understand that I am giving an account of my perception and my true thoughts as a child and young adult. I am not saying I understood any ones intentions or heart behind the reasons they chose to do what they chose to do at that time.

What I know now for me is that I still don’t participate in a time of Lent as traditionally people at this time do. However, as I have been very challenged this year especially, there are changes I am making daily. I decided that it was time to not give up things per sea for a season, but to add some things for a lifetime. I am trying to teach my kids daily what it is to be a believer and follower of Jesus. I am teaching them about what life was like before Jesus, during his time here on earth as Jesus the son of God and especially during this time of Easter to teach the truth. The truth that Jesus was a righteous sin free man, the son of God and that he healed the sick, blind and possessed. That he died on the cross to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That he didn’t deserve death yet he chose that path for all of us that we might believe. That he over came death and as he foretold he was raised from the grave 3 days later showing us that we too can live forever in Heaven with him. What an amazing promise.

I am also trying to reach out to friends of past and present and really to get beyond the facebook feed and try and invest deeper. I am reaching out to not only reconnect but to invite them to join me on this journey to Uganda. I don’t just want them to pray for me, but for us to pray for each other. To learn more about what is going on in their daily lives that they need prayer for. I want to know some of the struggles and triumphs they are going through. I know that distance is hard and as I am going even further away, I don’t want to loose those opportunities to pray for each other and continue our relationships. It is a long task and I am literally going one person at a time to write to them individually, I am only going to my girlfriends and that in itself is an amazing overwhelming and rewarding process. I look forward to writing to you and hearing from you.

http://www.risingstarministries.com see how you can pray and then drop me a line as to how I can pray for you.

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Stubborness runs deep

I can remember the only concern our premarital counselor said was that we both scored extremely high in the stubborness category. Well we have made it through 8.5 years and going strong despite most of our conflict as a result of that stubborness. The good thing is that we are too stubborn to give up on anything including working through the tough spots that marriage or life can bring.

I never thought that stubborness would then trickle down to the two kids of ours. Currently Jacob is more stubborn than Parker, but I am sure that she will increasingly become just like her brother.
In Uganda they actually code the word stubborn as a kid who is hard to handle or gets in trouble. The phrase they say is “that boy is stubborn” and it generally means he gets into trouble often. Actually Matt was told by a Ugandan traffic officer (after not giving in and bribing her) that he was stubborn and I said you have no idea.
In parenting though stubborness can have its rewards. I really think that my kids would be a mess if I didn’t stand firm in what I say is what I mean. There are times that I do “pick my battles”, I am not stupid stubborn as someone once said. I am stubborn in the sense that I will not back down when I know truth is not being spoken. I will not tolerate being bullied into believing something that is not Truth. I am more that ready to stand up for Christ, that is something that is the “smart stubborn” because I have security in knowing I am going to Heaven.
My prayer is that my kids do grow up to be stubborn, but in the way that they stand up for Truth and Knowledge. That they are willing to stay strong when the going gets tough, to cling to the Truth of the Gospel of Christ.

http://www.risingstarministries.com

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Wastefullness

I am going on this journey that most Americans do and I am trying to change my eating habits. I am trying to change my thinking along with my behaviors. I had a bit of an “AHHA” moment yesterday when we were finishing up lunch. I kept telling myself, don’t eat their leftovers. This will all make sense in a little bit, I hope.

We were visiting with friends over the holiday and eating lunch with them, when our friend said he was going on a diet. We asked what would that look like for him. He said I am simply not going to eat off my kids plates. We laughed and he explained that he would factor in that he would eat what was on his plate and then he would look forward to eating all the food that his kids would not eat. He said he knew this was a big cause for his overeating.

That moment popped into my head as we were eating lunch. I have a problem with food being wasted, so in my head I would say don’t let that food go to waste. I would eat it, thinking that somehow that was not letting it be wasteful. Oh how silly, it is still wasteful because I am not filling a NEED in my body. Here is where the “AHHA” moment came. Change the proportion of what I cook and thus there will be less waste.

Having lived in a foreign country and seen the heartbreak of children who go without food, I myself have a hard problem with the amount of food and resources that are wasted. I don’t have solutions per say but I do have the ability to change the way that I live. I can only hope that I am an example to my kids and to those around me. I want my kids to always be fed, and want to teach them that they should eat good food ie breakfast, lunch and dinner (instead of snacks). I don’t want them to think they have to eat everything on their plate, even if they are full, or to not eat because they hope later they can have food they “really” want.

All I know is that it is a daily battle and a life change. Challenge yourself and think about life outside your own world. You too can make changes, you can impact the world around you. How is God leading you? Pray!

http://www.risingstarministries.com/donate

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Ecclesiastes 3 A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

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Wow this really hits the spot for me, I came to mind for me as I am again feeling like I am going through a new season in my life. I am coming up on the anniversary of two very different, but strangely similar deaths this month and in the next month. I am going through, also the hope and anticipation of some much needed success in the area of acknowledgement and financial gain for Rising Star Ministries. I am adjusting to the various stage changes that my kids are going through, and the balance that takes to foster those milestones and enjoy them for what they are.

The scripture has antonyms and at times, okay all the time, I would like to choose which one I like better at the time. But the truth is, God knows which one is best for us at that time. He understands why and the path that it will lead to. So as it was a time to die for some that I loved so dearly and of course didn’t want that time to be then, so it was. I am hoping that it is a time to uproot, a time to heal, to build, to laugh, to dance, to mend, love and peace. These are the seasons I want now, and only God will know if it is truly that time now.