Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"WHY" MIMI "WHY"

This past weekend I had the pleasure of babysitting two of our granddaughters, ages 2 and 4 from Nashville, TN. Upon their arrival on Thursday evening until the departure on Sunday afternoon, I was bombarded with the “Why?” word!
After several days of the “Why’s” which began as cute and I was trying to answer to the best of my ability, until they left for home, I began to feel  inadequate in some of my answers and had yet to figure out “Why” they asking all these “Why’s?”
As it turns out, (According to the Science Daily (Nov. 13, 2009)) “Curiosity plays a big part in preschoolers' lives.  Children ask so many "Why" questions conclude that children are motivated by a desire for explanation. When preschoolers ask “Why” they’re not merely trying to prolong conversation, they're trying to get to the bottom of things.  Research clearly suggests that by age 2, children contribute actively to the process of learning about the world around them.”
So see, it is not just a habit, they really want to learn!
They are going through a learning stage and it is the same from generation to generation!
I thought it was rather humorous at first then a little aggravating that even when I answered the questions, I still got anther “Why”!
I’ve also learned since their visit that one of the best ways to handle the “Why” is to answer a “why” question with another “why” question. For example,
“why do you think the we can’t eat rocks?”
By doing this we encourage children to think for themselves and explore their own ideas.  There is nothing a child loves more than having an adult who is genuinely interested in what they have to say. Kids really do want to come up with their own answers and it gives them something to think about.  It also helps them develop thinking skills. They are no different than adults, they feel important when we ask them their opinion it builds their self esteem.
There is a book called "The Why Book" that is sold at Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. The book answers all kinds of cool questions.
Why is the sky blue? grass green? chicken pox called chicken pox? freckles come from? salt in ocean water? hiccups? ???????
This book has gotten wonderful reviews! One reader had a great idea about a dry erase board in her kitchen and when she did not know the answer to the “Why” question, she would write the subject down. Once a week, they would sit down and "Google" the topics from the week. I think this is a great idea and hope to use this idea the next time the girls come to visit.
I definitely will be purchasing the book and be more prepared for the next series of “Why” questions!!

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me. Do not stop them. The holy nation of heaven is made up of ones like these.”   Matthew 19:14 (NLV)

Blessings!
Kelly

Monday, August 22, 2011

WHAT DID JESUS LOOK LIKE?

As I was driving to work this morning and listening to my favorite Christian radio station, they ask the question to listeners, “What do you think Jesus looked like?” The responses that came in were interesting, some Biblical, some not. If you attended Sunday School as a small child you continually saw pictures of Jesus with long wavy hair, olive skin tone, and a very handsome face. We all know these pictures are all artists interpretations of what they think Jesus looked like.  I decided to research it on my own using my favorite research book, The Bible.
Nothing I could find in my favorite books of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, mentioned anything about Jesus looking “different” than any other boy or man of that time. In the scripture in the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane before the Crucifixion, Judas had to point out to the soldiers which one was Jesus because they could not tell him apart from his disciples.
I do believe that He must have had a rugged appearance due to the physical labor he endured. Back in those days the building industry involved very strenuous physical labor with heavy stone and wood and of course there were not power tools, no back hoes, no tractors in which to use. His appearance would have definitely been that of a muscular, physically fit, dark from the sun, man just as any other ordinary man would have been during those days. Most of the pictures we see of Jesus is a man with long hair, however, the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:14, “if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him”, so that leads me to believe that Jesus did not have long hair because I don’t think Paul would have made such a statement.

The Bible says in Isaiah 53:2 "....He had no form or comeliness (magnificence); and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." Does that mean that physically looking he was not pleasing to the eyes? The picture above, in my dreams, when I'm praying, when I'm singing songs of praise, is my visual of Jesus. I do not believe any two people have the same visual of Jesus. Yours may be quite different.
We all know there will never be anyone “like” Jesus, but by reading and studying His word, we can understand who Jesus really was, His mind, His wisdom, His love, His humility, His courage and His goodness.
We may not have been given a physical description of Jesus because it is not important what He looked like. What is important is that we look like Jesus!
Blessings to all!
Kelly

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A STRAND

A strand (posted with permission, written by Karen Ehman P31)

By itself, not very strong.

However, if enough strands are intertwined together, they can be mighty hard to break!

I’ve noticed something in my up and down battle with my weight, among other issues in my life.
(Face it gals, we all have issues!!!) The times I seem to be on track, living life in a way that lines up with scripture, are the times I am intentionally asking for accountability in my life.

No, not those friends I see on the screen who ‘like’ my Facebook status or whose clever comment I re-tweet to the world (although there is a place for fun friendships like that and I certainly treasure my cyber friends.) I mean a fellow believer who desires to walk with Jesus.
And who helps you do the same.

Whether it is with your weight, your tongue, your attitude or actions, they point you to God and His word for solid, real answers. The only answers that really last.

My best friend from college, Kelly, is one such gal. She told me last fall about something she’d discovered. A cyber accountability group designed to help keep women consistent with their time alone with God each day and their relationship with Him. It was called Good Morning Girls.
I’d never heard of it.

A week or two later, a woman named Courtney contacted me to ask permission to share a post I’d written called Nine Doors DownWe became fast friends.  As we continued to connect, I found out about her wildly successful blog called Women Living Well, her speaking at the Relevant Conference, and being featured on the Rachael Ray show as a dying breed– a 1950′s-style housewife.

Then she mentioned something else she’d recently started– yep–Good Morning Girls.
I thought in light of my devotion today, my sharing my struggles and my need for accountability in my life—bless you Lysa And Shari. And Mary. And now Ruth. (my newest weight loss partner) that I’d tell you about this fabulous find.

I am excited to bring you my new friend Courtney Joseph as she tells us how to join a Good Morning Girls group to help keep us in the Word (and hopefully keep our issues at bay!) Read on:
Courtney blogs at WomenLivingWell.org about her faith, marriage, parenting, and homemaking .  She has been married to her high school sweet heart for 14 years, homeschools her son and daughter and is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute.

In November, 2009, she was featured on The Rachael Ray Show on the topic of marriage.

Since then she has had over 220,000 views of her youtube videos on her channel Courtneylivingwell .   Her passion to see “Women Living Well” inspired her  to start a second blog called GoodMorningGirls.  There over 1,500 women meet in tech accountability groups called “Good Morning Girls” groups, as she leads them through on-line Bible studies.

She can be followed on Women Living Well Facebook, Women Living Well Twitter , Good Morning Girls Facebook and hashtag #GoodMorningGirls on Twitter.
Now–for our little interview:

Courtney, tell us how did your Women Living Well blog begin?

I began blogging  exactly 3 years ago this September!   For over 10 years, after graduating from the Moody Bible Institute, I led women’s ministries, Bible studies, mentorships, retreats and Titus 2 Workshops.

Then I decided to homeschool my 2 children.  I wanted to continue to do ministry but move my ministry home, so I started WomenLivingWell.org .  I chose the title Women Living Well because I believe women will only live well when they drink from the living well – that is the living word of God.  So all of my blog posts on marriage, parenting and homemaking point to God’s word.

I just have to ask, what was it like to be on the Rachael Ray Show?

First, it was a huge surprise to see an email in my inbox from CBS!  I thought it was a practical joke and almost didn’t call them back!  My knees went weak when the lady answered and said she was a producer for the Rachael Ray Show and she had stumbled across my blog!
They sent a 4 person camera crew to our home to record us “in action” for 8 hours.  They videoed me cooking, cleaning, and even kissing my husband…a bit awkward!

When we arrived in New York City they had a car pick us up at the airport and take us to a hotel right in the heart of Manhattan.  The next morning, my husband and I prayed in our hotel room before walking over to the studio for hair and make-up.

There we were taken to a green room where producers came in and out –making us a bit anxious – telling us what to expect and drilling us with questions (which by the way – Rachael asked an entirely different set of questions than they prepared us for and they also edited out every spiritual comment we made).

We walked into the studio, sat down, and out came Rachael.  Our first time to see and meet her was just a minute or two before taping.  It was fast paced and we quickly went right into our segment.

We talked for over 20 minutes about our marriage (they had tagged me as a 1950’s wife) and when our segment ended they quickly ushered us out of the building.  Within 10 minutes of the taping we were standing on the streets with our luggage, baffled that it was over so quickly.
We did not get to talk to Rachael nor get a picture with her (I asked and they said no)– nor get to see the other guests.  That was unexpected.  But we were not there to meet Rachael or to be entertained –  we were there to testify to God’s truth in our marriage.  We were there to be faithful.

You also began a cyber-accountability group called Good Morning Girls. How did that come about?

I mentioned above that long before blogging I led women’s Bible studies.  I found that at times women came to Bible study with their homework pages blank or having done a week’s worth of study in one late night.  So as the leader, I decided that I would invite those who were interested to join my 6am club.

Every morning at 6am I offered to email them after I had my quiet time and then they could email me back after they had their quiet time.  11 ladies joined me for 3 months – but we discovered that 6 am was WAY too difficult for nursing mamas, or mamas of bed wetters etc.  So we changed the name to Good Morning Girls and our goal was to just get them in before 11:59am.  But we come from a place of grace and the goal is just to be in God’s word daily – so doing them during kid’s naptimes or at bedtime is wonderful too!

I shared about my Good Morning Girls group on WomenLivingWell.org and some of my readers were interested in creating their own groups and they did.

The first session had 25 groups.  The second session had over 50 groups.  Then we reached 90 groups (that’s hundreds and hundreds of ladies!)  and it was taking over my Women Living Well blog.  So last summer,  I asked my best friend from High School if she would help me start a new blog titled GoodMorningGirls.org  Together we lead on-line women’s Bible studies and help women create tech accountability groups using email, facebook, twitter or texting.  Our summer session had over 150 groups and over 1,500 Good Morning Girls – praise the Lord!

If the readers of this post want to be a part of Good Morning Girls, how can they?

Oh I hope they do because studying God’s word on a daily basis will change the entire course of their lives!!
Our fall session is JUST about to begin on’September 15th and enrollment begins September 1st!

Here’s how you start:

~ Pray and ask God to show you a couple (or a lot) of friends you can invite to join your tech accountability group.

~ Email them or facebook them and create a group and then enroll on our http://www.goodmorninggirls.org message board. Over on GoodMorningGirls.org you will find more details.

~~ PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have any friends to ask, you will find like-minded ladies on our message board who are looking for a group. God has brought together Pastor’s Wives, Military Wives, like-minded moms and missionaries around the globe on our message boards.  These ladies lives thousands of miles apart but are close at heart.

~ Next, if you start a group but don’t know where to start reading in God’s word, then print out this Fall Bible Study Plan We will be going through the book of I John and we provide a free plan, videos, blog posts and resources to help you in your study of I John.

Any advice on effective cyber accountability?

Be committed, give grace, be refreshed and refresh others.

Thanks Courtney!!

Well, I hope many of you head over to Good Morning Girls and join! Lets band together, strand by strand, as women who want to walk with Jesus and strengthen our resolve in the midst of the battles and issues we face.

And, if you are planning to join Good Morning Girls, I’d love to know. Leave a comment here on this post. I’ll be praying for us all! (Yep, I’m signing up too!)

Loved this idea and wanted to share with my friends! Yes, I need accountability when it comes to studying His word, what about you?


Blessings to all!
Kelly



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

IN THE QUIET:

Have you ever thought about what can happen if you go in a room with your Bible “in the quiet” and be quite?

I have learned,

In the quiet,

I become very relaxed, as if all my anxieties disappear.

In the quiet,

I concentrate on God’s word better and deeper than ever before.

In the quiet,

I pray, I mean really pray! Not just a passing prayer as I drift off to sleep, but real prayer.

In the quiet,

I see my own faults and I see my sins, and I ask for forgiveness because I really want to be forgiven! I become humble. I know I am a work in progress and pray for Him not to give up on me!

In the quiet,

I ask God for solutions for worries I have about my family, my job, the economy, leaders of America, and anything else that may be on my mind.

In the quiet,

I pray for my marriage, that I may become a better wife, a godlier wife, a Proverbs 31 wife.

In the quiet,

I pray for our Church and the role I have taken as ministering to the children of the church that if in my lifetime I can make a difference in just one child’s life that might remember something I taught them, then I know it will be well with my soul when I go to be with my Heavenly Father.

And then, as I sit in the quite,

I can fell the presence of the Lord our God and thank Him for giving up so much for me, His Son Jesus Christ.

All it takes is time and being “in the quite”.

Blessings,

Kelly

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Someone I Love"

Someone I love has made mistakes, and needs to remember that nothing My children do can ever separate them from Me, because My love and forgiveness is unconditional. 

Someone I love knows in their heart that they have not been walking as closely with Me as I would like, but I, in My infinite ability to love and forgive, adores them just the same.

Someone I love needs to focus on Me, and believe that I will walk them through this difficult journey, from the wilderness into the promised land, while holding them in My hands and catching every tear.

Someone I love needs to remember that through Me, their sins are washed as white as snow, because I died for them. I keep no record of wrongs.

Someone I love is hurting, feeling broken and ashamed. I long for this dear loved one to remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in My care.

Someone I love needs to trust Me, and have faith in knowing that despite their mistakes, they are a beloved child of Mine, and I will never leave them nor forsake them.

Someone I love needs to be reminded that My love endures forever, through the good times and the bad.

Someone I love needs to know that I am here, and I am listening.

Someone I love needs to believe that everything will work out according to My will, and that if they trust in Me, I can use what the devil meant for evil, for My glory.

Someone I love needs to be reminded that I have plans for them; plans to prosper them and not harm them; plans for a hope and a wonderful future, despite the circumstances that they are facing today.

Someone I love needs to believe that I am proud of them, despite their flaws.

Somone I love needs to lay their fears at My feet, and leave them there.

Maybe you are that someone today,  sweet child. That someone who needs to know how much I adore you.

Rest in knowing that I am here, and in control. It will be okay. Trust in Me.

Signed,

Your eternal Friend and Protector,

Jesus

Written by "Tracie Miles - Proverbs31 Mninstry"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WANTED: BEST FRIEND

Prospective candidate will:

·        Make me feel good about being me.


·        Affirm my best qualities (especially when I am feeling insecure)


·        Call out the best in me, and hold me accountable to the best version of myself.


·        Listen without judging or trying to fix me.


·        Give me the benefit of the doubt.


·        Extend grace to me when I am grumpy or having a bad day.


·        Remember my birthday, favorite foods, and music.


·        Know my story and love me regardless.


·        Spend time with me, just because they enjoy my company.


·        Speak well of me when I am not present.


·        Serve me with a joyful spirit and without complaining.


·        Speak the truth to me when no one else will.


·        Never shame me, diminish me, or make me feel small.


·        Become excited about what I am excited about.


·        Celebrate my victories!

 

Found him, my husband, who led me on this journey to REALLY finding God,  and,  today is his birthday!

Happy Birthday Perry, I love you very much!



Now, if I could just become that same person for him.

Do to others what you would want them to do to you” (Luke 6:31).  Seems so simple, “The Golden Rule” but sometimes so very hard to follow! However, I will not give up because I love him that much!


All my love forever and a day!

Kelly



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF POVERTY

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding   
Proverbs 9:9-10, NIV




Compassion International is an organization like no other that places the focus on equipping children and partners with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes they need to take control of their own lives, to be able to change their circumstances. Compassion sponsors give these children/families the opportunity to take what they’ve got to better their lives, to seek solutions. You aren’t just feeding a child, or clothing a child, you are changing a child – breaking the cycle of poverty!


I am an Alabama southern girl who can’t wait for the fall of the year to arrive, especially this year. This has been an extremely hot summer and it seems like all I can do is complain about the heat. I get out of bed watching the weather, complaining on how hot it is going to be today  and I go to bed at night complaining about how hot it is going to be tomorrow! I drive to work thinking about cooler days, putting the top down on my car and enjoying long drives with my husband, cooking steak on the grill and eating outside on the deck. And vacation, oh how we can’t wait until September when we are going on vacation!
But, how often do I take the time to think about the luxuries I have to be able to do these things?
Air conditioning, bed, television, car, husband, steak, grill, deck, and vacation!
And to make my selfishness worse, when it is hot, where do I go? Inside where there is air conditioning! I have NO CLUE what heat really is!
Donating to Compassion International might not give these people in poverty one tenth of the luxuries I have in life, but it can give them other things we all take for granted, like clean water, medical care, mosquito nets to help fend against malaria, school uniforms and school supplies. Family gifts can be purchased to make life a little easier and possibly start a new career for them like a chicken, a goat, or a mule.
The economy is tough for us all and if there is a place in your heart to help, but do not feel you have the financial funds to contribute monthly, there are other ways to help. You can make a one time donation or you can become a “Prayer Partner” where you can pray for the everyday needs, for their families, for their friends and schoolmates, for new mothers and babies, for the Leadership Program, for advocates and sponsors.


This will make a difference. I believe in the power of prayer, it works!



If you chose to become a sponsor, please remember, you are more than a sponsor. You are an answer to prayer, a vital helping hand, a voice of hope, a mentor and a friend.


What I have learned from the compassion bloggers that have visited these countries is,

“you are so important to these children that if you were to ask them what their greatest desire is, it would be to meet their sponsor one day. Even graduated children never forget about how they got where they are today and they still want to meet their sponsor. You are the biggest hero that is on the planet and your letters are HUGE  to them!. As a matter of fact, your child reads your letters many times and will probably read them to out their friends, relatives, you name it. It’s difficult to over estimate how important you are to that child!!!”




I live it! I have seen it happen with the little girl I sponsor, Kris Ann! Wow, I never imagined what a blessing that little girl, so far away could be to me! Thank you Lord for speaking to me, when I least expected it!



Please leave me a comment if you are interested in sponsoring a child and need more information. Trust me, you will not regret it!!
Blessings to all! 


Kelly

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