New Things to Come in a New Year


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Iron sharpens iron;
so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

Friends and mentors are such a blessing!

Have you ever met someone who made an impact on your life?

Do you have anyone in your life who has influenced you over the years?

One of the many blessings I received as a missionary kid was to travel and meet new people. Our family not only served on the Navajo Indian reservation for many years, but we also visited churches throughout the United States raising support for our missionary work. At other times our family would have to travel in order for my parents to attend meetings and classes as part of their missionary work. I met many people along the way of whom I have fond memories. Each state visited would bring about new experiences. Some of my favorite childhood stories come from our time on the road.

An unforeseen blessing of meeting so many new people was the chance to build lasting friendships. Often times we would meet people, spend a weekend in their home as we visited their church, and then move along to the next meeting. However, there were times when we would meet new people who would have such an impact on our lives that they almost became like family to us. Some of these people we have been blessed to stay in contact with over the years, even after leaving the mission field.

Today I want to introduce you to a man named Frank Martin. When my brother and I met him and his wife we were small children. They were introduced to us as Uncle Frank and Aunt Sharon. The honorary titles stuck and have carried on into our adulthood. Uncle Frank and Aunt Sharon have been great influences in our lives as missionaries and still are today. We were blessed to get to stay in contact with them after leaving the mission field. That blessing continues on today as we are able to keep in touch with them all these years later.MartinPhoto.jpg

I have asked Uncle Frank to join me on Encouragement for Every Day to share some of the wisdom God has given him over the years. As he began to share on social media the messages God gave to him, he titled them Frankly Speaking. I thought it fitting to keep the name as he shares here with us.

I am in the process of adding Uncle Frank’s biography to EFED’s page so you will be able to learn more about him and Aunt Sharon. I pray you will come back and visit with us as I begin to share Frankly Speaking with you. I look forward to all the blessings God has in store for us as we share in God’s word together and continue to sharpen each other.

I want to encourage you to be that friend that today’s Scripture talks about. Be the friend that adds to the lives of those around you. I believe that one of the greatest blessings we are ever given is the gift of Godly friends.

 

 

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Put on Your Armor


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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:10-11

I often feel that I am in a battle. Trials sometimes come that I do not understand. There are days when I feel as if a war is being waged against our family. Can you relate to these feelings? If so, I pray that these words will encourage your heart today.

There are mornings it seems we awake to a battle being fought in our home. Before the first cup of coffee is poured we are under attack. Before I can get my eyes open and focused I am being hit from every side. Surely as you read this you are shaking your head in agreement because you too experience the same situations in your home. Your battle may look different from ours, but the struggle is the same. The aggravation is still there. The urge to pull the covers back over your head and wave the white flag of defeat is all too real.

Often times we are left asking, “Where is this coming from?” Is this just a figment of the imagination? Absolutely not. These battles are real. We can not see them with physical eyes because we are facing spiritual battles. There are wars being fought on a level we can not fully comprehend. My dad often tells our church if we could have our spiritual eyes opened to the world around us we would be scared to death at the war we would see being fought. Even though we can not see what is going on, we can feel the weight and strain of the fight. Often times these attacks leave us feeling discouraged and defeated. Be encouraged today, Friend. You have not been left to face these battles alone.

Paul understood these attacks all too well. With God’s prompting he penned the verses I am sharing today and many others  to encourage us as Christians. He also wrote these verses to guide us to victory. How great is our God that He did not leave us to fight alone?

I want to encourage you to daily put on the whole armor of God. Get into The Word and arm yourself for the fiery darts the devil is going to hurl at you. If you are missing even one piece of armor you will surely face defeat, but armed with your spiritual armor you are safe. God has equipped you with everything you need to face your day with boldness. He has also promised to go before you and fight for you. The battles will still come, the storms of life may toss you around, but you can rest assured that God has not abandoned you. Remember that He loves you, Friend.  With God on your side you are sure to win in the end. Let us suit up today and boldly go face the world!

Sailing Uncharted Territory


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 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Today our family will embark on a new journey.

We are headed into uncharted territory.

We are officially the parents of a teenager!! Today our oldest son, Big D turns 13 years old.

As this day has quickly approached, I have found myself filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for our family and for our son, yet on the other hand I feel a bit unsure and unprepared for what is to come.

This new time in our lives has brought me back to where it all started. 13 years ago, today, I was a 19 year old girl with no idea how my world was about to change. I was young and believed that I knew it all. (You see, teenagers think that for some reason.) I had not really considered the future to any extent and I surely had not thought far enough ahead to realize that one day I would be raising a teenager!

I was a newlywed. My head was still in the clouds.

Even as I sit here now and look back on that time, I shake my head and chuckle under my breath at the naivety. Praise God, He has carried us through all these years!

Today we celebrate this new trek of our adventure. We boldly (and prayerfully) march into an entirely new phase of life. As the shock wears off, I am more and more excited to begin this new journey. I have loved being a mom since that first day, 13 years ago, and I have enjoyed every stop of this adventure since then.

While I do understand that children do not come with an instruction booklet, I am confident in the assurance that God has given us all the instruction we will need in His word. As our children grow, I find myself holding onto God’s promises more and more. I would like to share some of these promises with you this morning.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

I hope that you have enjoyed listening to this overwhelmed Mom ramble on about a new phase in life. I also pray that it has somehow encouraged your heart. I truly believe that children are a gift straight from the Lord. As a parent you think that you are teaching your children life lessons every day, but I must say that I learn so many things from my children on a daily basis. I feel very honored to carry the title Mom to these three “not so little any more” blessings of ours, and I am thrilled to see what God has in store for our future.

Revell Book Review: A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son


*This post is a bit different from the content that I normally share with my readers. I do pray that you will enjoy it just the same. I have decided to review some books for Revell Reads. I will periodically be posting my reviews. I pray that each review will introduce my readers to encouraging, Godly books.*


 

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I have recently had the privilege of reading, ” A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son” by Rob and Joanna Teigen.

If you are a parent, then you should not be surprised when I tell you that raising kids is an adventure. If you are a parent to boys, then you also should not be surprised when I tell you that parenting boys is a completely different journey in itself. As parents we should be praying for our children every day. There are times, however, during which we are unsure of what to pray. Inside of this book I read words which encouraged my heart. I also found that I am not the only mom who feels the burden of raising Godly sons.

A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son is filled with prayers for every stage of your son’s life. I really appreciate the love and concern I hear in the words which this mother prays over her sons. Included in the pages of this book are Scriptures that go along with each prayer. There are words of encouragement and guidance from other moms as well.

One of the things I enjoy most about this book is the fact that it can be read as a whole, or it can also be used as a resource guide when you feel the need to pray specific prayers over your sons. Each chapter covers a different need and offers specific Scriptures and prayers for that need.

I would recommend this book for moms with sons of any age. It would also be a great gift for new moms or even moms-to-be. If you visit your local Christian bookstore and purchase a copy, consider picking up an extra one to share with a friend.

Reading A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son has been such a blessing to my heart. I have enjoyed the opportunity to review this book for you. I pray that you will take the time to read it as well and share in the blessings.

I Got This


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“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Oh, the joy of raising children! (any story that begins this way must be good, right?)

I must admit, there is never a dull moment in our house, especially since the kids are growing up and beginning to spread their wings just a bit. All three of them are at an age now where they are beginning to assume more responsibility. This means learning to do new things around the house. The boys, being older than sister, are the first ones to learn how to do things for themselves and to help me out when I need it. One favorite for the boys right now is learning to do things in the kitchen. (Yes, I let my boys help in the kitchen. I believe that it is good for them to know their way around. Plus, I am sure their future wives will thank me one day.) Both of our boys really seem to enjoy learning to cook, and they are pretty good at it.

Learning new tasks does not always go as planned. We have had a few mishaps along the way.

The latest adventure for the boys has been learning to “make the coffee pot” as we call it in our house. ( I think that is a southern term.) Each night before we go to bed, we get the coffee pot ready and set the auto-start for the next morning.

Last night, as I was cleaning up the kitchen and putting things away, I remembered that I still had to set the coffee pot. When I turned around, the younger of our two boys, Little D, was already there working on it. When he realized what I had come over to do, he looked up at me and with that big boy, take charge tone, he said, “I got this.”  This is something new for Little D, so I was reluctant to leave him with the task. He was so sure of himself , however, that I decided to let him do it all by himself. I went on about my business and never thought anything else about it.

This morning when I walked into the kitchen, still half asleep, I saw my husband bent down looking at the coffee pot. As I approached the scene I could see Daddy B wiping down the coffee pot and the counter top. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that coffee was all over the coffee pot and the counter. While I examined the situation, the image of little D “making the coffee pot” came back to my mind. The image of  him standing there so confident and saying, “I got this,” played in my memory. After further examination, I discovered that he had failed to replace one of the pieces. Instead of running into the pot, the coffee overflowed the filter, filled the reservoir and ran  down the sides of the machine. Needless to say we had quite a mess on our hands. Thankfully I was able to clean the coffee pot, remove most of the coffee grounds, and make another pot of coffee so that Daddy B could be on his way to work.

After everything settled back down and I had a moment to reflect on the situation, I could not help but chuckle at what had happened. After all, these are the things of  which memories are made.

As I thought more about what had happened, I could not help but hear Little D’s voice over and over in my head saying, “I got this.” He was so sure that he knew what he was doing. He wanted to prove to me that he could handle this task all by himself.

Friends, how many times do we treat God this way?

How many times do we face a task, a trial, or a new situation and say, “I got this,” to God?

You see, it is human nature to want to handle things ourselves. From the time we are just little children we want to do it ourselves. We want to do it our way. It is as if we have something to prove. As if we feel the need to be self-sufficient.

In our lives, God gives us tasks to do. He allows us to face trials, and new situations in order to teach us. He wants to help us grow through these things. Why is it then that we refuse to listen to His guidance? Why do we insist on doing things our way? What is it that makes us so confident that we say, “I got this,” to God? It is our carnal nature. It is the part of us that still believes that we can make it on our own.

So many people are stumbling through life. They are making one mistake after the other. They are failing and can not figure out why. It is because they are trying to do it themselves. They are confident that they “Got this.”

 God does not set tasks in front of us planning on failure. He is not sitting back waiting on us to fall on our faces. No, God wants us to succeed. He wants to see us grow and learn, but He knows that we can not do it without Him. He has told us over and over in His word that we need to depend on Him. God, however, is a gentleman. He will not force us to follow His will. He will not force us to depend upon Him. He will allow us to fall. He will allow us to fail. Yet, the entire time He will be calling to us. He will be whispering to our hearts, ” Let me have it. Lay your burden on me,” and He will be there waiting with open arms when we are ready to surrender our lives to Him.

I want us to realize something today. We can not make it on our own. We can not figure it out. Outside of God’s mercy and grace we are hopeless. The only hope we have in this world is Jesus Christ. If we are going to have any hope of succeeding in this world, we are going to have to learn to depend on the One who created us, the very One who spoke our world into existence. When we turn our lives over to God, when we allow Him to show us the way, life will begin to make sense. This does not mean that we will not face trials and troubles. It simply means that we will have God to lead us, to guide us, and to help carry us through even our toughest times.

God loves you, friend. He wants to see you succeed and grow. The question I want to leave with you today is this: Will you turn your life over to God, or will you say “I got this,” to Him?