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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pray that ye enter not into temptation

"And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation." ~ Luke 22:40
Twice at the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples to pray that they would not enter into temptation, but rather than pray, they fell asleep. I wonder how many times I have simply fallen asleep rather than pray for that which Christ laid on my heart. It's humbling....

Friday, July 26, 2013

Coffee on a Rainy Day

 
 
Hello World,
Here in Wisconsin is a beautiful rainy day.  I love days like this, especially when you can just stay home, get things done - like cleaning your house - and drink coffee. Coffee is wonderful, I'm just sayin, especially when it's made your favorite way, in your favorite mug.
 
Oh, and if you were wondering, here is my "favorite way" to drink coffee:

 2 cups, hot, freshly brewed coffee
2 Tbsps. Coconut oil
1 shake Stevia powder
2-3 shakes of cinnamon
Blend it all up in a blender till frothy and heavenly. Pour into your favoritest large mug. If you are like me and enjoy the extra touch, shake on a little more cinnamon. If you are like my Mom and prefer the plain and simple, tell your daughter not to shake on extra cinnamon. Sit down on a cool, rainy day and sip slowly, remembering to thank God for every blessed moment He has given, especially this one.

 
 
I thought I would share this song with y'all. It was such a beautiful reminder to me today of what Christ has done for me. It is so amazing to think that God has washed my filthy hands and that I now wear His righteousness! What a great and glorious God we serve!!!!! We can hide beneath the shadow of wings and find refuge in His arms. Christ's blood has cleansed us. Just let that sink in for a moment.
It's amazing.
 
 
Savor this day friends, whether it's sunny or rainy, whether you a on a mountain or in a valley, whether life seems hard or easy, savor these moments. They will not last forever.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Project - "Call Him, Maybe"

Perhaps you have heard of the song, "Call Me, Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepson. I heard it for the first time about a year ago and thought it was one of the dumbest songs I had ever heard......but, well....time went on and the song kinda grew on me. :-) Now I just wanna dance every time I hear it.

A few months ago, some of us girls were laughing about a joke that had to do with handing out business cards with Dad's phone number on them and I started singing "Call Me, Maybe," except instead of singing, "...here's my number, so call me, maybe?" I sang, "...here's my dad's number, so call him, maybe?"

Now I love parodies. I think they are simply hilarious. I just about fall over from laughing every time Tim Hawkins comes up with a new song parody. And I don't know about you, but those silly Christian pick-up lines crack me up to no end....mind you, if someone actually used one on me I'd probably walk into a wall from shock. Or just stand there and laugh hysterically. Or glare. But that's beside the point. This idea of writing a courtship themed  "Call Me, Maybe" parody has been running around my brain for long enough, so Rachel and I started re-writing the song. My gracious! We have had some great laughs over this project. Unfortunately, I am an utter fail at poetry so coming up with lines that fit the tune and actually rhyme has proven to be quite difficult.

So, I thought I might recruit a little help. For those of you familiar with the song, do you have any good ideas for some fun rhymes and lines for the song? We've got the chorus down, but we'd love to here your ideas so drop a comment below and let us know your ideas. Be warned, this will probably lead to some sever stomach pains and failure to breathe from laughing way too hard.

We'll probably be getting some help from Dad too.....he's really good at the whole rhyming thing. :-)

Hopefully in the next couple of months a new post shall appear called "New Project - "Call Him, Maybe" Music Video." Wouldn't that be epic!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Andrew Makes Cheese Toast

This is Andrew.
 
Andrew is my little shadow that follows me wherever I go with a never ending song of, "I'm hungry, I'm hungry, I'm hungry."
As soon as he is done with his meal or snack he smiles and says, "Kaila, I'm hungry."
So I decided that he was going to start helping me prepare some of his own food. 

Spaghetti was on the menu for dinner so I thought the little man would enjoy making some cheese toast to accompany the meal.
His face lit up as bright as the noonday sky when I told him that he was going to "paint" the bread for me. He was so careful and gentle as he brushed on the cheesy butter.
Haha, at this moment he is sitting next to me saying, "I just wanna eat my bread. Keeya, I just wanna eat my bread. Can I please eat my bread? Keeya, I just wanna eat my bread."


 
There is nothing like being a sister to lots of wonderful siblings. I love it! I really do. It's crazy and it's insane sometimes, but I wouldn't trade this life for anything!
Someone asked me the other day if I really wanted to have kids someday and my response was "YES!!!"
I would love to have children someday if the Lord saw fit to give them to me. I love living a life with children of all ages all around. Of course there are days when the noise is a bit much and the stress a bit high, but it's all so wonderfully worth it!
If I didn't have my siblings, I wouldn't get these precious moments like the one I just had with little Andrew.  Someday he will probably be bigger than me and I will look back on these days and laugh!  I will look back and thank God that He gave me precious moments with these little ones because they don't stay little forever.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Master Artist

 
Isaiah 40:28
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding."
 
Is it not thrilling to know that God is our Creator? That he made the entire earth? That He never tires and becomes weary? That He made us in His image and likeness?
 
As one of God's creations that enjoys creating things - namely pictures -  I think art is one of the most incredible gifts God gives us! Art is all around us! We are pieces of God's artwork, intricately created to be the perfect one He intended us to be.

 
Meet my beloved tools!
I cherish these guys. Each one of them serves a huge purpose to me in creating my pictures. God didn't need lots of tools though. His power is so great that He needed only to say a word and the earth was created. Without my tools (my pencils, erasers, blending stubs, sharpeners, paper, etc.) I would not be able to draw a thing. I would be a helpless artist....actually, I wouldn't be an artist at all! (Not that I would rank myself as an artist, I am just a person that enjoys art as a hobby.)
 
 
 
Whenever I start a new drawing, I start to get a bit thoughtful. :-) I think about how my life is like a drawing. Life starts with a blank page, then slowly lines are drawn, strange shapes begin to appear, and for a long while things can seem frustrating and confusing. Then suddenly one of the shapes becomes clear.
It's an exciting moment, but it's soon gone when you look at the rest of the page. Sometimes my siblings will look over my shoulder as I draw and frown, but I smile because I know what they don't know. As the artist, I have a greater knowledge of what I'm doing because I know what the end result will be.
 
And so, I draw. Some images become quite clear. Some just look like abstract shapes, stupidly placed. But slowly and with care the picture comes together. Suddenly the end result shows up and no one but the artist remembers the confusing shapes and the abstract lines.
 
Most people look at it and simply see a pretty picture, but an artist looks at it and sees the confusing shapes and abstract lines that made this picture what it is.
 
 
In my life, God is the artist and I am the piece of art He is creating. Sometimes I wonder why He draws these odd shapes onto my life. I wonder why He places certain people here and there. I wonder how anything beautiful can come from such confusion. But gently He shows me how He is working all these things together for good. The confusion will eventually make sense.
 
As I look back I can already see how He has made beautiful things out of the lines and shapes He has placed in my life already. I won't lie, a lot of this picture is still unknown to me, but I'm learning to trust the Artist. He is teaching me daily that He has a plan infinitely greater than what I can even imagine. My life is secure in His hands because He is the most skilled Artist that has ever been and ever will be.
 
 
 
These four guys are my most trusty helpers. I have a whole bunch of other pencils that I sometimes use, but these guys are my main quartet. And yes, I do refer to them as guys. Today I was actually trying to figure out why I always refer to my drawing pencils as "him," and I came to the conclusion that it is because they remind me of men in suits; crisp and sharp. :-)
 
 
 
Isaiah 64:8
"But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
I don't do pottery, but I love this verse because it gives us that picture of God as an artist. We are that lump of clay that He is molding into something beautiful.
We are that canvas that He brushes paint on.
We are that piece of bristol paper that He draws and erases on.
 
Someday, we will be that perfect masterpiece standing before Him in glory.





Friday, July 19, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Friends From the Lord

Once upon a time we were little girls. I was two months and she was three months when we were first introduced. When we got older we played house all the time and I was always the rich, snobbish lady while she would always my servant. We giggled and laughed and had a blast.
Now we talk till the late hours of the night.
We share our hearts with one another.
We wonder, we dream, we ask perplexing questions that we have no answers to.
We've both had our full share of life's ups and downs, and we know there are more to come.
Faithfully God has kept us together as friends for the last eighteen (almost-nineteen-can-you-believe-it) years of our lives. It has been so incredibly amazing to watch the Lord work in our lives through all of these years.
Tonight my dear, lifelong friend got baptized, and it was just an incredible moment. To see how the Lord has worked in her life over the years is just so beautiful. I am so blessed to have friends that are seeking to serve the Lord. It is a difficult world we live in. Not many young people can say that they have peer pressure from their friends to follow the Lord. He has blessed me with many friends that are seeking to serve and honor Him and that is just so amazing!
 
Proverbs 18:24
"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
 
 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

God. Is. Awesome.

"Can I go on your shoulders please?"
I look down at her sweet face and beautiful, deep, pleading eyes. My shoulders and back are sore from a day of piggy back and neck rides, but I can't resist her eyes.  
"Course you can sweetie."
I crouch down so she can climb up on top of my shoulders.
"Where to Denver?"
She giggles.
"Let's go on the playground."
We climb up the playground to the highest platform and we look out at the tent and at all the other children running and laughing.
"Kaila, do you love God?"
"Why yes Denver, with all my heart.  He saved me from my sins and gave me a new life in Him."
"Can God really take away all my sins?"
"Yes Denver, do you remember the red bead on your bracelet. It was for Jesus' blood. He shed His blood to pay the price for our sins."
 
She pauses. The wind blows around us and I can tell she's thinking.
"So, God can take all my sins and throw them all away? Like in a dumpster?"
"Yes He can Denver."
"Wow! God is amazing."
 
We climb down from the playground and I head toward the grassy field.
"So, God made the grass?"
"Yes He did Denver. All He had to do is say, 'Let there be grass,' and there was grass."
"Wow. Did God make the trees and the animals and everything?"
"Yes, He sure did! And He made you! He knew who you were before you were even born."
"You mean, He even knew my name and how to say it right?"
I laughed and began to twirl her around.
"Yes, He knew your name. He knew everything about you and He loves you! He loves you more than anyone else ever could."
She giggles and holds on for dear life.
"God is so awesome"
Her quiet voice is crystal clear.
"He is so SO awesome!"
I carry her over to our song leader with the guitar. She climbs down and waits for a turn to strum the strings of the guitar. She takes the pick and starts to strum, smiling radiantly. After being prompted by the song leader she begins to sing out loud and clear,
"Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul. Worship His holy Name. Sing like never before, oh my soul. Worship His holy Name."
All I can do is smile.
 
The first day I met Denver she was very quiet. When I saw here on my team, somehow I knew that God had something very special for this little girl. She was very, very quiet and pretty much just nodded her head the first day. I noticed that she listened very carefully as we learned about who God is and how He is our Creator. The second day that she came she was still quiet, but she smiled so sweetly when she saw me. That day, she pretty much adopted me. She became my shadow. I gave her plenty of rides that day and she never once complained when someone else wanted a turn on my shoulders. The third and final day, she was still quiet, but she would ask me questions and when it was time to sing she sang out with such a beautiful radiance that I couldn't help but praise God for this little girl. But nothing was as precious as that conversation we had at the playground. That one single conversation made the entire week worth while. Every ounce of soreness, every bit of sunburn, every tired morning. It was all worth having the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with Denver.
 
There is nothing in all the world as precious as having a child take your hand as you walk across the grass, or that moment when they see you and their face lights up as they run to give you a hug. That's the power of love. Love takes a quiet little girl and turns her in to a giggly, joyful child, lifting her voice in the praise of her Creator. The love of God and the knowledge of the Gospel changes everything. It transforms your life.
Although I will greatly miss little Denver, I have such joy in knowing that God loves her. She is being protected under the shadow of His wings. He knew her before she was ever born. He knew that I would get to meet her and spend these last three days loving on her and telling her about Him.  He knows what her future holds and He knows who she will become. He is so awesome!
He is!
It sounds so simple, but it's not.
God. Is. Awesome!
 
Once again, I was reminded of what simple child-like faith looks like.
God is awesome.
Denver had it right. It would be nice to sit here and think about all the ways that God might use my time with her to benefit her life, but the truth is, He used it to remind me of His greatness and awesomeness.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Powerful Song

This is such a powerful song. We recently started singing it at church and I thought I'd share it with y'all! I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Softening Hearts, Unclogging Ears, & Opening Eyes

Today is July 4th, 2013. We celebrate our national independence day with parades, cookouts and fireworks. We dress up festively in red, white and blue.
And somehow, it seems like every year so many people miss the whole point of this celebration.
We celebrate our freedoms, yet we ignore the ones who made us free.
 
This year, my Mom came up with the great idea to help remind all the people in our neighborhood about our Founders and the One that they believed in. We made signs with quotes from the Founding Fathers about their belief in God and in the Bible. Then we marched in our local parade. It was an awesome experience. Some people loved it, some clearly disliked us.....and then there were the ones who thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses. ;)
 
Yours Truly
 
 "Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His providence. That He ought to be worshipped."
~Benjamin Franklin

Rachel
 
 "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible"
~George Washington
 
 Nathan
 
"The Bible is the best book in the world."
~John Adams
 
 Mom
 
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The Declaration of Independence
 
 
My fabulous Dad and Mom!!!!!
 
 Kendra
 
"The Bible...is a book worth more than all other books that were ever printed."
~Patrick Henry

 Lil man Andrew
 
"God who gave us life, gave us liberty."
~Thomas Jefferson
 
 The Dad
 
"I entreat you in the most earnest manner to believe in Jesus Christ, for there is salvation is no other."
~John Witherspoon
 
 J-man......Jared
 
"I rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins."
~Samuel Adams
 
 
As I was reading my devotions this morning, this verse stuck out to me.
Matthew 13:15
"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
 
Our Nation needs God's healing. We have sadly drifted far from the foundations our Nation was planted on.  It is my prayer, and I hope yours too, that God would soften the hearts and open the eyes and ears of our Nation.
 
Happy 4th of July y'all!!!!!