Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Committed to Christ

Are you committed to Christ? So many people would answer that question with a loud YES. I’m not sure they really understand what that means though. When you are committed to something, you stick with it. It becomes top priority. It takes time, work, and energy. For instance, if you are committed to playing soccer, you will go to every practice, every game, and even kick the ball around on your own. If you are committed to doing well in school, you will study your homework, pay attention in class, and do as many school activities as you can. If you are committed to a person, you spend as much time with them as you can. You want to talk to them often, finding out their likes and dislikes.

So I ask again, are you committed to Christ? Is He the top priority in your life? Do you spend time studying His every word? Do you grab at every chance to spend time with Him? Do you like being around others who also are committed to Christ? How can you say you are committed to Christ if you often choose other activities above activities involving Christ?

Sports are great and are even referred to often in the scriptures. However they are often used to show comparisons to our Christian life. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27- “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”. Winning a track race will not guarantee that we will win the race to heaven. Don’t choose baseball practice over Wednesday night Bible study. Remember that your spiritual well being is more important than the physical.

Although school is very important, it is not as important as studying the Word of God. Ecclesiastes 12:12 says “of making many books there is no end and much study is a weariness of the flesh”. However II Timothy 2:15 tells us to study the Word so that we be approved by God. Which does God say is more important; His Word or our secular studies? Don’t choose homework over coming together to study Gods Word. Maybe it will mean missing a little more sleep that night, or maybe not going to that movie this weekend. Sometimes priorities must be rearranged, but God and Christ should always come first.

Being committed to Christ means that we consider Him first. Before we make a decision, we stop and make sure it is what He would want. We study the Bible to know what He likes and dislikes. This does not just apply to the big decisions in our life. No matter what we do, we turn to Him for guidance and approval. To see if you are truly committed to Christ, ask yourself a few questions.

1. Is this activity going to stop me from attending a worship service or a Bible study?
2. Is the person I am with going to help me get to Heaven? Do they encourage me to study and pray to God? Are they committed to Christ?
3. If Jesus were standing beside me, would he approve of my actions?
4. When I am faced with a difficult situation, do I turn to God in prayer?

Psalm 31:5- “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Yesterday I got to keep Hailey all day. We had so much fun! First we watched Popeye, than she took a nap, than a little more Popeye, than 3 games of Candyland. She was pretty excited that she won all 3 games, even though Nick tried to cheat. Cheating to beat a 3 year old. Sad. :) She's great!

In the last couple of days it has been decided that we get to go to Australia in October!! The downside is that Roundhouse is probably out of the picture now, since it will be so close to the mission trip...I am really going to miss that especially since its the 20th year. I know it will be a really big deal with lots of memories. Makes me very sad to miss it. But I remind myself of the greater good being to spread the Gospel and that lifts my spirits again! I have been wanting to go on another mission trip since Ukraine 3 or 4 years ago. Its so wierd that it was that long ago. And its great that Nick gets to go too!! I am excited at the prospect of doing a ladies day, although a little nervous. Mrs. Cindy Colley put that idea into my head...doing ladies days. And to be honest, it does sound appealing. A little scary. The most daunting thought is putting together adequate lessons for mature ladies. But being in front of people doesn't make me as nervous as it used to. I guess thats a good thing! I remember my chapel speech at school and I wasn't really nervous at all. More excited. Not like it was in Ukraine in front of the teen girls. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Thankfully I seem to be over that fear now!
Plus, hello! Its Australia!! Gorgeous views! Long plane ride! AAAAAAHHHH so excited!!

Poor Maxmax. He has some sort of bacteria in his skin. It gave him tons of little bumps all over his body and he is losing hair around his eyes. Strange... Hopefully all of the meds we have him on will clear it up.

I need to do another article soon. Any ideas from my readers lol?

I feel sort of productive today. (Other than sleeping rediculously late). Maybe its because the sun isn't shining today so I don't want to go lay in the yard.

Monday, April 20, 2009

catching up

I decided to try rework my chapel speech from school into an article. Since I've never written an article before, its not very good. Plus when I copied and pasted, the format got all messed up. And I didn't want to take the time to fix it. So I said all that to say, my last post was that chapel speech/article. Please leave me comments about it! I'm hoping to do some more "articles" along the same lines but using songs for other things. I haven't decided what songs but maybe soon.

The last week was very busy. My grandparents and Joseph left Monday morning. We had a blast while they were here! Friday night we had Mr. Harold, Mrs. Wanda, Hunter and Haleigh over for gumbo. Saturday we went to downtown Baton Rouge. We went to the top of the capital building and then walked down by the river. We saw the USS Kidd but didn't go on it. It was overall a very enjoyable morning since we took things slow and just enjoyed seeing what we could see without spending any money. It was great! The rest of the time we played cards or Wii. I am sad to say that my Wii fitness age is apparantly 50. Yeah....I need to start working out more. In all fairness it did make me play tennis and baseball, which I had never done before. By Monday I was so sore from all those sports. Sad, I know. But you try playing wii for hours on end.

Monday night we grilled hamburgers. Justin and Belinda came over. We played Apples to Apples. I am so glad I finally broke down and bought that game!

Tuesday night we grilled pork chops. Josh and Kelli came over. I am so glad we are starting to have people over for dinner. Its so much more fun, plus it gives me incentive to actually cook. Thanks to Josh, I'm loving cooking on his charcoal grill he let us borrow! Grilled chicken tonight, yum! Well, I hope its good anyway. I need to figure out how to marinate it or something. I don't want just plain dry grilled chicken.

Wednesday was Bible study of course.

Thursday I went walking with a "neighbor". She lives a few streets over and we actually met online. (Long story.) Anyway she and I and her baby will be walking every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Pray for me and this situation...she has visited the church a few times but did not like what she saw because of the lack of enthusiasm with the singing and lack of young people. Her g'mother took her to a church of christ when she was growing up, but based on our conversation last week, her g'mother is attending a "church of christ" right now that has just decided to allow women song leaders and just hired a female youth leader. I feel like this is an open door but I am very...nervous. Please pray that I can say and do the right things to encourage her and maybe start a Bible study.

Friday night was the start of the Gonzales Marriage Seminar with Glenn and Cindy Colley. I cannot say enough about this! It was truly an amazing weekend! Nick and I were both very encouraged and excited. I am hoping to type up my notes from the seminar and post them on here in the next few days. Maybe someone else can benefit as well!

Saturday was just as good as Friday. Or maybe better...Nick and I tied with two other couples for "Mr. and Mrs. Happily Married of Southern Louisiana". Throughout the seminar we had played a few games and Nick and I got a perfect score! Which means, he picked my earring and shoe out of a pile on the first try and we answered the same question with the same answer without knowing what the other person said. I think they judged us on some other things too. Anyway we got a little gift bag with some of the Colley's books. Which was great! It was also really good to see and visit with them again. Mrs. Cindy really is a great encourager...I will remember that when I start having children and need a pick me up!

Well, I think that about brings me up to date. Except I must say two more things.

1. I love the music of Tyrone Wells and Chris August.

2. I love Nicholas Edward Stacks more every day and I am so happy that I said "yes" on November 10, 2007 and "I do" on June 27,2008.

Dealing with Discouragment through Song

Dealing with Discouragement through Songs

Introduction: We see a lot of things in this world that could discourage us. The society we live in has openly accepted abortion, homosexuality, and easy divorce. Children grow up in single parent homes or sometimes even end up raising themselves. Crime rates are at their highest and politics are corrupt to the very core. Although these things could be discouraging for anyone, to Christians they can be even more so. We are trying to live our lives as God intended, yet are ridiculed, belittled, and rarely taken seriously by those we try to influence. And even within the church there can be problems. Personality differences and doctrinal issues pop up all the time. I want to look at how some songs that we sing can help us deal with discouragement. I think so often we just sing the songs we know and sometimes don’t even know which song we sang last. We don’t pay attention to the words as much as we should. We need to make sure that we pay attention to the message of the song. 1 Corinthians 14:15- “I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also”.

1. The first song to look at is Faith of our Fathers.

Faith of our fathers, living still, In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;Oh, how our hearts beat high with joyWhene’er we hear that glorious Word!
Refrain:Faith of our fathers, holy faith!We will be true to thee till death.
Faith of our fathers, we will strive,To win all nations unto thee;And through the truth that comes from God,We all shall then be truly free.
Faith of our fathers, we will love, Both friend and foe in all our strife;And preach thee, too, as love knows how, By kindly words and virtuous life.

Remember those who went before us. If you read Hebrews 11:35-38, you can see that Christians have never had an easy life. We are blessed to live in a country that for now, does not allow this kind of persecution to occur to Christians. In II Corinthians 11:23-27, Paul recounts many of the trials he faced while preaching the gospel. Yet in the end he was able to say “I have kept the faith.” We will probably never face the same persecution that the early Christians faced, yet they remained steadfast. We should remember their fortitude and count our blessings.
2. Count Your Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,Count your many blessings, name them one by one,And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain:Count your blessings, name them one by one,Count your blessings, see what God hath done!Count your blessings, name them one by one,*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.[*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;Count your many blessings—wealth can never buyYour reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,Do not be discouraged, God is over all;Count your many blessings, angels will attend,Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Think about the good in your life and do not focus on the bad. This song means a lot to me because of what it meant to my great grandmother. My great grandfather built roads and had to move around a lot. To keep the family together they had a tiny travel trailer that they pulled on the back of their car. My great grandparents raised 3 children in that tiny trailer. He wasn’t a Christian during the early part of their marriage yet she never missed taking the kids to worship God. My grandmother tells us that she remembers her mother singing this song all the time. My great grandmother knew that even when things seemed really tough, she had her family together and she was very blessed. That always made an impression on me. We need to focus on the good things in our life and not what is going wrong. If you think hard enough, you will always be able to come up with some way in which God has blessed you.

3. God’s Family

We're part of the family, that's been born again, Part of the family, whose love knows no end, For Jesus has saved us, and made us His own, Now were part of the family, that's on it's way home
Chorus:And sometimes we laugh together, Sometimes we cry, Sometimes we share together, Heartaches and sighs, Sometimes we dream together, Of how it will be, When we all get to heaven, God's family
Verse:And tho some go before us...we’ll all meet again.Just inside the we enter in.There'll be no more parting...with Jesus we’ll beTogether forever, God's family

One of the ways we are blessed as Christians is that we are never alone. Ephesians 3:15 refers to Christians as family. As the song indicates, family sticks together. We rejoice with each other. We help each other through problems and cry together. Even if you are facing difficult times, you can lean on other Christians. We are in this together. We are the family of God and we should act like it. As family, we should be there for each other, doing what we can to help by giving advice, just listening, and especially praying.

4. Did You Think to Pray

Ere you left your room this morning,Did you think to pray?In the name of Christ our Savior,Did you sue for loving favor,As a shield today?
Refrain:Oh, how praying rests the weary!Prayer will change the night to day;So when life seems dark and dreary,Don’t forget to pray.
When you met with great temptation,Did you think to pray?By His dying love and merit,Did you claim the Holy SpiritAs your guide and stay?
When your heart was filled with anger,Did you think to pray?Did you plead for grace, my brother,That you might forgive anotherWho had crossed your way?
When sore trials came upon you,Did you think to pray?When your soul was bowed in sorrow,Balm of Gilead did you borrowAt the gates of day?

Never underestimate the power of prayer. Ephesians 5:16 says “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”. Matthew 26:36-44 records Jesus prayer when he was faced with the most agonizing night before his crucifixion. Jesus knew the power of praying to his father. How can we take such a blessing for granted? As the song says, prayer can build a shield against temptation, help us remain calm in a crisis, and comfort us when it seems like nothing else can.

5. Trust and Obey

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,What a glory He sheds on our way!While we do His good will, He abides with us still,And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:Trust and obey, for there’s no other wayTo be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,But His smile quickly drives it away;Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,Can abide while we trust and obey.
Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,But our toil He doth richly repay;Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,But is blessed if we trust and obey.
But we never can prove the delights of His loveUntil all on the altar we lay;For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,Are for them who will trust and obey.
Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;Never fear, only trust and obey.

When all else seems to fail, simply trust and obey. When you can’t seem to beat the discouragement, when you don’t understand why things are happening the way they are, when you have no idea what is around the next corner, just trust God and obey Him. In II Corinthians 1 Paul and Timothy write about having a very hard time in Asia. Verse 8 says “we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life”. Yet they mention God’s comfort and deliverance during difficult times. They trusted in Him no matter what. When we let go of our fears and our worries and just trust God to take care of us, we can truly have peace.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Giving it a try

I am trying this out. No idea if I'm going to be any good at it. I'm not good at keeping up with things and I'm especially no good at learning how to work new websites...but we'll see.

This weekend my grandparents and brother are coming to visit. I am pretty excited about that but starting to realize I won't have time to show them everything I would like. Maybe I will take them to St. Francisville so see some plantations...or Baton Rouge to see whatever we see. I just don't know. Friday night is gumbo night, than Saturday night we are grilling out. Its going to be a party all weekend! Which is great since this past week was grandmothers birthday and their anniversary. No I can't remember how old she is or how many years they have been married.

Max is crying. He isn't allowed in the back yard by himself anymore because he loves digging waaaayy too much. So now he is upset that I won't let him go.

This afternoon I am babysitting. I'm ready for them to get here because it has been so long since I got to keep any little ones! I miss my babies like crazy!!

Ok thats enough of a start...someone remind me to come back and write more another time.