Friday, July 29, 2011

1 Corinthians 13 for Moms

We all know that 1 Corinthians 13 is called "The Love Chapter." When you really study it out, it is quite mind blowing. Patient? Kind? Doesn't envy? Doesn't brag? Doesn't think about itself? Rejoices in truth? Never fails? etc. etc. etc.

THAT'S love? Boy, have I got a lot to learn then!
While reading a book today, I came across a humorous, yet rather startling "revamp" of 1 Corinthians 13 and I thought I would share it with you all. It's the "Love Chapter for Moms," I guess you can say. Though it is a bit funny, it reminded me that love - God's kind of love - endures.

I can read bedtimes stories till the cow jumps over the moon and sing "Ten Little Monkeys" until I want to call the doctor - but if I don't have love, I'm as annoying as a ringing phone.

I can chase a naked toddler through the house while cooking dinner and listening to voicemail, I can fix the best cookies and Kool-Aid in the neighborhood, and I can tell a sick child's temperature with one touch of my finger, but if I don't have love, I am nothing.

Love is patient while watching and praying by the front window. Love is kind to my teenager. It does not envy the neighbor's swimming pool or their brand-new minivan, but trusts the Lord to provide every need.

Love does not brag when other parents share their disappointments and insecurities and rejoices when other families succeed.

It doesn't boast, even when I've multitasked all day long and my husband can't do more than one thing at a time.

Love is not rude when my spouse innocently asks, "What have you done today?" It is not easily angered, even when my 15-year-old acts like the world revolves around her. It is not self-righteous when I remind my 17-year-old that he is going 83 in a 55-mph-zone, rejoices in the truth.

Love trusts God to protect our children when we cannot. It perseveres through blue nail polish, messy rooms and sleepovers.

Love never fails. But where there are memories of thousands of diaper changes and painful labors, they will fade away. But when we get to heaven, our imperfect parenting will dissappear. (Thank You, God.)

When we were children, we needed a parent to love and protect us. Now that we are parents ourselves, we have a heavenly Father who adores, shelters, and holds us when we need to cry.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Deer Wraps

Okay, so Grant and I are on a diet. He is doing Weight Watchers. I am counting calories. I have lost 3 lbs this week. He has lost....actually, I don't know how much he has lost. Maybe I should suggest we compete on who looses the most, yes? :)

So anyway, doing the diet thing is always (and I repeat - ALWAYS) absolutely horrific for anyone who enjoys me....and Grant....and anyone normal. But it hasn't been so bad for me. ESPECIALLY when you have the delicious dinner we had last night.

I was hungry for deer meat and we have a bunch in our freezer. I always cook it the same way. Fried, with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and biscuits on the side. Incredibly yummy....and incredibly fattening. So I got out of my box and did something new and at the end of the night, I was proud of myself. While the deer meat was thawing, I kept thinking, "What can I do with this that will be good for us both?" And BING! The light came on and I made Deer wraps (or Venison wraps for you northerners). Grant and I both love grilled chicken wraps, so I used the same concept,! Want the recipe? Of course you do!

6 pieces of deer meat
1 Tbls of Garlic
2 Tbls of Salt
1 Tbls Pepper
1 tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Oregano
1 1/2 cup of Italian dressing
1 half of a bell pepper
1 tomato
1 half of an onion
4 flour Tortillas

First, tenderize your deer meat then cut your meat into long, thin pieces. Then let marinate in 1 cup of Italian dressing with garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder and oregano. Prepare grill (I used our little George Forman). While grill is warming up, take your tomato, onion, and bell pepper and cut long-wise into slices. When grill is ready, cook your deer meat until fully done. While meat is cooking, warm your tortillas. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of Italian dressing in with chopped veggies. When ready, spoon veggies into the tortilla and add deer meat.


** Variation **  If you don't want to grill your meat but would rather fry your pieces, then marinate your meat in Italian dressing alone, then roll in 2 cups of flour and your seasonings. Then fry on medium heat. Also, delish!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

He Will Be Faithful To You

Four years ago, today, my grandfather (whom I affectionately called PaJim) went home to Jesus. It's hard to believe it's been four years. Sometimes it seems much longer. Anyone who truly knows me and my family can tell how much we miss him and long to see him again. He was a great and steady man of God who could speak words so simple, yet so profound. For example, he would often say "Just do right." Simple enough, right? No, it isn't always so simple to just do right, all the time. One of my favorite sayings he had was, "God is big....and He's good." Have we ever truly grasped that?? That God is BIG and what's more - He's good!

Thinking of him, months ago, I tried to write a song. I began with:

An old man lying in a hospital bed,
His family gathered in the room.
The clouds have never looked so grey,
Even with Heaven minutes away
With teary eyes, they say goodbye

The writing stopped there, unfortunately. But a few weeks ago, Grant was pickin' around on his guitar in our living room and I had been hitting my head on the wall due to writer's block. I was desperately trying to write this song but the words wouldn't come and my tunes were....shall we say....lame. But as Grant began strumming a tune, my ears perked up and I ran for my notepad. In less than 30 minutes, we had written our first song together.

Simply put. God is faithful. We often forget that. It is very hard to see at times when things are at its worst or when life is hard and trying.

When I was single and trying to wait patiently on God's timing for romance, even when I was sick to death of the sarcastic and derogatory remarks, I had to remember - He is faithful. And looking back now, after one year and three months of marriage, I can say even louder, "YES, He is faithful."

When we were experiencing the decline of health in my grandfather four years ago, watching him slowly fade away, it was hard to keep in our minds that God is still faithful. But He was. He always has been. And He still is.

Different people have different situations that are difficult and painful....

A young mom of two in a little old shack
Trying to keep the faith
Working to make her house a home
Even though she's all alone
She don't understand, she can't see God's plan...

A man and wife with mouths to feed
And a stack of bills to pay
He's out looking for a job or two
Anything that'll get them through
Trying to believe, they get on their knees...

But no matter what you're situation is, we MUST remember that our Father in Heaven, our Savior, King, and Lord is faithful. So remember.....

When you're face-to-face with mountains
That seem impossible to move
When you're on one side of Jordan
Watching the ones you love pass through
When you're tired and weak and weary
And you don't know what to do
Oh REMEMBER He will be....FAITHFUL to you

Hebrews 10:23
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"
1 Thessalonians 5:24
"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
2 Timothy 2:13
"If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Meanderings - 07/25/2011

Bible Study... Proverbs 31

Memory Verse... Proverbs 31:29
"Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Encourage him in his diet
♥ Don't wear my feelings on my sleeve
♥ Pray for him.
♥ Be his friend

Train Them Up...
* Work on "Independant Play Time"
* Work on rolling over
* Begin "Church Training"

Personal Goals...
* WORK OUT this week, for heaven's sake!
* Practice music a bit more
* Study early before Nathan wakes up
* Work on scrapbook

New Habit of the Month...
* Don't react. Think. Then act.

MUST Do...
* Get Grant's suit from the cleaners
* Go grocery shopping* Go to post office
* Make peach jam and blueberry jam
* Clean house fo Saturday

Zone...  the kitchen
* Relaxing this week
* My Arbonne party Saturday!
* Maybe laying out this week?

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. My Jesus
2. My hubby
3. My baby boy

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rejoicing in Who God Created Me to Be

This morning, I was given the honor of speaking on the webinar, Morning Motivation: Daily Encouragement for Christian Wives. For those of you who have not yet registered, please go and do so! It is free and will be running every morning until August 5, 2011. I have been greatly encouraged thus far!

To register now, click here.

Click to listen to my session entitled, "Rejoicing in Who God Created Me to Be."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harry Potter and Jesus

I am so long overdue on this subject. The final movie (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2) is out in theater.


I say "Yay!" not because I like Harry Potter. I say "YAY!" because this is the LAST and FINAL movie being made. Glory! Why am I not thrilled with Harry Potter? Why don't I read the books and line up at the movie theater? Why do I spend time writing a blog post about this subject? I will tell you....

Simply put. Witchcraft.

Yes, I know. "For heaven's sake, Kristen, it's just a book! It's just a movie! It's's just...."

How often we justify something ungodly and spiritually decapitating by using the opening two words, "It's just...."

Many use the argument that Harry Potter is just fantasy literature. Yes, it is a fictional, fantasy novel. So, what's the problem? There are two. First, our God never said that it is okay to indulge in anything contrary to His Word...and we all know that witchcraft and wizardry is not of God (more on that in a minute). Fantasy or not, it is evil and we are to flee. Secondly, if you want to plead the "fantasy case," than that line of reasoning would say that it is also okay to indulge in fantasy pornography, fantasy violence, fantasy anything.... Right? Using that defense would make it easy to defend anything else; any choice sin. Where is the line? How far do you go?

The fact is - Witchcraft is not fantasy; it is a very powerful, very sinful reality in our world.

Please, please, please let us have listening ears and opened eyes so that we may hear and see truth. Not opinions. Not preferences. Not even convictions. Just pure, Biblical truth.

The Harry Potter books are in 200 nations and are published in over 40 languages. A U.S. consumer research survey reported that “over half of all children between the ages of 6 and 17 have read at least one Harry Potter book.” That troubles me.

This series of books by the British author, J.K. Rowling, focuses on the plights of young Harry, who is selected to attend the 1000-year-old Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is an orphan boy, his parents (who practiced white magic) having been murdered by the evil Lord Voldemort. Young Harry is given a strange marking on his forehead. “Through the sacrificial goddess magic of his mother’s love, baby Harry is saved and his blood is given magical powers. Unable to kill Harry, in revenge, Voldemort sears a death curse of a lightning bolt on Harry’s forehead.” (cue red flag)

Surely.....SURELY....that paragraph alone is enough to "flee the appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)


One would think.

At this occult school, Harry Potter learns how to use witchcraft. He also learns a new vocabulary, including words such as "Azkaban", "Circe", "Draco", "Erised", "Hermes", and "Slytherin" - all of which are names of real devils or demons. Another red flag. This is fact. These are not characters of fiction! How serious is this? I say VERY serious. By reading these books and watching these movies, many millions are opening themselves up to "seducing spirits" (1 Timothy 4:1) and ignorantly putting themselves in the cross hairs of the devil.

J.K. Rowling, a graduate of Exeter University in England, is very familiar with occultic practices, using elements behind “pagan religions, celtic religions, the religions of the druids, witchcraft, and satanism. Okay. And this is author of the Harry Potter series? Yet another red flag.

Two British reports on the Harry Potter phenomenon said this: "Harry Potter has fueled a rapidly growing interest in witchcraft among children." Though it refused to admit new members under the age of 18, "it deals with an average of 100 inquiries a month from youngsters who want to become witches, and claims it has occasionally been 'swamped' with calls."

So here comes the big question. What does God have to say?

Deuteronomy 18:10-14

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

Exodus 22:18
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Obviously, the Lord is clear in Scripture that any practice of wizardry and witchcraft is an abomination in His sight. He does not distinguish between “white magic” and “dark magic.” They are both from the same source - Satan.

I am sure my words will fall in deaf ears to some. But how about a quote from a High Priest of Satanism?....    "Harry is an absolute godsend to our cause," said High Priest Egan of the First Church of Satan in Salem, MA. "An organization like ours thrives on new blood (no pun intended) and we've had more applicants than we can handle lately. And, of course, practically all of them are virgins, which is gravy."  Is this as shockingly horrifying to you as it is to me? Did you know that since 1995, open applicants to Satan worship have increased from around 100,000 to 20 MILLIONS children and young adults?! We are at war, friends.

Thankfully, there are many Christians who oppose Harry Potter, banning him all-together (which is what should be done with anything evil and anti-God). In the case of our children reading these books, I have to ask, "If you put sorcery in, what do you expect to get out?"

Simply put..... Harry Potter and Jesus do not mix.

1 Timothy 4
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Romans 12:9
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Luke 11:35
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

1 John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 Thessalonians 5:5
Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Strawberry Fig Jam

My husband LOVES figs. True to his heritage (he is 1/4 Jewish), he could eat figs every day and loves pretty much anything with figs in them. He and I both love jam. There is a tree down the road from where we live that has a ton of figs this year! So, after he so sweetly begged me to make some strawberry fig jam this year, I figured why not give it a go? So this afternoon, Nathan and I took a walk and I picked some figs and came back to try and make jam for the first time. I looked up the following recipe, deciding to start slow and easy (and next year, go with a more complicated recipe).

Happy Jamming! :)

3 c. fresh, peeled figs (mashed slightly)
2 c. sugar
2 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello
1/2 c. water
1/2 slice lemon
5 (8 oz.) jars

Mix all ingredients in large pot. Cook on high heat until mixture comes to rolling boil. Cook on medium heat 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Pour into sterilized hot jars and seal.

Simple enough, eh?

Morning Motivation

I would like to invite you all to join Morning Motivation: Daily Encouragement for Christian Wives.

Jennifer from Renewing Housewives has launched Morning Motivation this week and I am very excited about it! We all need to be encouraged! Each morning, for about 15-20 minutes, there will be a session of encouragement for the day. Guest speakers will be joining in along with Jennifer, myself being one of them.
Sessions will take place weekday mornings, July 18, 2011 through July 22nd from 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. (Central Time). And July 25th through August, 5, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. (Central Time). Those registered will be able to chat in questions live, with full access to MP3 recordings if you can't tune in for the live version. The cost is FREE!!

Some topics will include:

the need for appreciation
the need for fulfillment
doing what seems mundane over and over again
overcoming laziness
finding time to clean with small children
time management
household tasks
getting everything done each day
what to do when you're overwhelmed
.......and so much more! 

Three weeks of daily encouragement! I will be speaking Thursday, July 21 at 8 a.m. (Central Time). If you would like more information, please email Jennifer at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Meanderings - 07/18/2011

Bible Study... Proverbs 31

Memory Verse... Proverbs 31:28
"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Be tender and gentle.
♥ Cook more light, healthy meals.
♥ Try not to let little things get to me.
♥ Pray for him.
♥ Keep all snacks and goodies out of sight.

Train Them Up...
* Work on "Independant Play Time"
* Work on rolling over

Personal Goals...
* WORK OUT this week.
* Practice music a bit more.
* Study more this week than last week.
* Work on scrapbook.
* Journal

New Habit of the Month...
* Don't react. Think. Then act. (keeping this another month)

MUST Do...
* Clean the WHOLE house!
* Get these tomatoes canned
* Go to post office

Zone...  the whole house

* The Gospel Jam camp this weekend!
* Mammie's birthday party Wednesday!
* Maybe laying out this week?
* Speaking on the Morning Motivation webinar Thursday!

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. My baby boy (such a sweetie)
2. Inspiration
3. Motivation

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Three Months Old

"Baby Nathan" is - *gasp* - THREE MONTHS OLD!!

Where is the time going? Just the other day, Grant and I were lying in bed staring at him sleeping away in his cradle and Grant said, "How could we have even entertained the thought of waiting to have kids?" I can't agree more. So what's new with my little knight? Weeeeeeell......

  • Nathan has been sleeping through the night now for over a month. Glory be! He is sleeping a whopping 11-12 hours every night (at least!). We changed our bedtime routine from "bath, bottle, bed" to "bottle, bath, bed" and we put him down around 8 p.m. every night. He will wake anytime from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. It is bliss. Now if I can just get to sleep before midnight.....
  • He is **this close** to rolling over. I'm waiting for the day!
  • Sunday, July 10, he laughed out loud for the first time. He's laughed a little before, but this was a loud, giggle-like laugh. A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E.
  • Grant and I have been putting rice cereal in his bottle for about a month and he's filling up easier now and his feedings are spaced out a little bit more (depending on how much I put in his bottle. I'm planning on up-ing the amount this month).


All ready for town

Lovin' his bath! Sweet little face...

Hanging out with Poppie (in matching outfits that was not planned)

My little stud! :)

Talking to aunt Jamie

Watching "Tom and Jerry" with Daddy

With Momma!

Cuddling. :)


Look at me!

Trying to figure it out...

Silly baby
So tired after a long trip

Hanging out with Momma in the living room

I'm THREE MONTHS OLD today!! :)

Ain't he just the cutest??

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Quest || pt 1

We have all read about her. We all envy her. We all LONG to be like her. She is the ultimate role model for any Christian wife and mother.

For myself personally, she is the one who inspires me like no other.....and intimidates me beyond all reason.

For quite a while now, I have been studying Miss 31, as I will call her. As I read and reread every verse, I keep finding myself both in awe AND skeptical.

"She can't be perfect. She wasn't perfect!"

"She had to have snapped at her children or gave her husband the cold shoulder every now and then. Surely!"

"Up before dawn every day? Why right now, that would be close to 5:30 a.m.! Isn't 7 a.m. early enough?"

"She sewed too? I can't sew. I mean, I'm trying but let's face it...I don't see myself selling self-made clothes any time soon."

I have caught myself making some ridiculous remarks on how "unrealistic" such a lifestyle is. Forgetting that not so long ago, people made the same statements on my personal convictions and commitments, particularly how I chose to save my first kiss for my wedding day. Hmmm. That wasn't unrealistic. It was quite real. Could it be that THIS lifestyle - the life of Miss 31 - is attainable?? That it's real??

Yes. It's real. Yes, it is attainable. I say that NOT because I have reached the end of the rainbow. Far from it! I say it because I believe the Bible. And I believe in a God who makes the impossible....well...possible.

So I am about to embark on a quest; a Proverbs 31 study. I will go through each verse and dive as deep into it as I can. Then I will... *gulp* ...try to apply it to my life. Why? Because as much as Miss 31 intimidates me, I so desire to be like her!!

So, let's begin, shall we?

Proverbs 31:10
"Who can find a virtuous woman?
for her price is far above rubies."

That first question stands out to me.
"Who can find a virtuous woman?"
Who CAN find her, anyway? Is she lost in history? Is she hiding some place? And what does virtuous really mean?
* Virtuous - valiant, mighty in battle, strength, valour
Now, that's interesting. I used to think that virtuous meant pure and holy and modest. In most cases, it does mean just that. But here....valiant?? Mighty in battle? Strength? Valour?

This is a time when most feminists would jump up and begin to rally about girl power. But not so fast! Being a valiant woman does not mean that we are feministic in our beliefs. It does not mean that we can do everything on our own. Applying this spiritually we can see that this is how a woman of God should be: A woman of the most high God should be courageous and noble. She should not be cowardly or afraid because SHE is an ambassador of the King of Kings. She serves God as a soldier in the army of the Lord being God-fearing and reverent. As a wife, she is her husband's support and a tower of strength that he can lean on. As a mother, she oversees and carries her children's affairs. As a friend and neighbour, she is an extended hand. And yet her strength does not compromise any area of her femininity. She is strong but she is in every way a woman. In the battle of life, she should be mighty and strong. Not sitting on the sidelines, but boldly, with a spiritual backbone, fighting Satan our enemy. WOW! What a woman! Who CAN find a woman like that? A rarity she is, in these days.

Usually, we see extremes of womanhood. We either see a silent woman who keeps her head down and challenges nothing. Or we see a loud, obnoxious woman who pushes her opinions and her agenda on everyone she is around. Neither is a picture of a virtuous woman. Miss 31 is a passionate, noble woman who is a lady-warrior with honor, internal strength, and stamina.

"for her price is far above rubies."

What does price mean?

* Price - value, worth

The most precious stones have to be dug deep to be found. Reading the above description of a virtuous woman, I think I can speak for all of us when I say - it's hard to find a woman like that! It's rare. The rarity of a virtuous woman adds more value to her! Here we see that the woman described above has a worth that is above the value of rubies! What lady doesn't love jewels? And rubies? Did you know that a ruby is the most valuable member of the corundum family? Large gem quality rubies are rarer than comparably sized diamonds and are often more valuable. Did you know that rubies are a symbol of riches?

Did you know that rubies are a picture of the blood shed on the cross?
So, here we see that a virtuous woman is worth great riches and great wealth. She is rare. She is valuable. And her value is the blood of Jesus in the sight of God. What a beautiful picture!
1 Peter 1:18-19
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

Jesus had no fault. He was a perfectly cut gem. Clear. A "carat" if you will. His blood was the perfect atonement, the perfect payment for our sin. And we, as His redeemed, have that same value!

2 Chronicles 16:9 says "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."

The Lord is searching for the righteous. Might I say that He is searching for the virtuous women; the valiant women who are worth far more than the most rare and precious jewels? In the beginning, He asked, "Who can find...?"  Meaning..."Where are they?!"

As women of God, we should be found! No more sitting silently in the corner. No more hiding in the shadows, full of fear and trepidation. It is time to rise up, as noble and honorable woman, and be His mouthpiece. It is time to fight and to defend our Savior. As ladies, yes. But as ladies of the King. As women of God, we should embrace our value. We mustn't hide under clothing that displays the wrong message. We are not a piece of cheap costume jewelry – but priceless, precious rubies. And Jesus - God the Son - came and shed His perfect, saving blood on the cross....for us! We should run to His feet, thank Him, and cling to such an honor with all humility and gratitude.

I don't know about you, but I want to be a strong, valiant, virtuous woman who glories in her identity as a redeemed gem.

Proverbs 31:10
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Meanderings - 07/11/2011

Bible Study... Proverbs 31

Memory Verse... Proverbs 31:27
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."

Husband Encouragement...
♥ Thank him for the little things he does.
♥ Cook more light, healthy meals
♥ Try not to let little things get to me.
♥ Pray for him.
♥ Keep all snacks and goodies out of sight.

Train Them Up...
* Work on "Independant Play Time"

Personal Goals...
* WORK OUT this week.
* Practice music.
* Study more this week than last week.

New Habit of the Month...
* Don't react. Think. Then act. (keeping this another month)

MUST Do...
* Clean
* Clean out cabinets
* Clean out fridge
* Promote Arbonne party

Zone...  the whole house

* Arbonne party Friday night!
* Another Arbonne party Saturday at Anna's! Yay!
* Singing Sunday!
* Maybe laying out this week?

3 things I'm thankful for today...
1. Friends
2. A clean house
3. Sunshine

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Perseverance: Evelyn Brand

Acts 2:42
And they continued steadfastly…..

In the Christian life, it is so easy to become discouraged and downcast when you’re playing tug of war with the Satan and the culture around us. Being pulled from every angle, it doesn’t take much to lose focus and get our eyes off of the glories of heavenly, eternal things and, instead, cast them upon ourselves and our troubles. Ironically, we forget that God Almighty knows the storms that come our way. In fact, we fail to see that He often brings a storm to test our faith and trust. I’ve seen it in my own life, how we fret and grow faint when the winds blow and the flood rises, forgetting completely that we serve the God who walks on the sea and calms raging waters.

One thing I have noticed in reading stories of great women is that they met with their share of trials, many experienced health problems and struggled with discouragement. Many were tortured and killed. Yet through every hardship, they persevered. What makes us stop? What makes us come to a sudden halt in our walk with Christ and decide that what we’ve done is enough? What makes us give up? What makes us lose sight of the goal? What turns our head and what turns our heart? Countless women of God were ignored and forsaken, yet they kept the faith and continued along the path of Christ. Many were thrown into the group of “religious radicals” and mocked, yet they remained strong and were full of heavenly joy.

One woman in history stands out to me as a striking picture of perseverance and spiritual grit. Her name is Evelyn Brand.

Born into a large but close family of eleven children in 1879 London, England, Evelyn Harris was the daughter of a well-to-do merchant, and a loving homemaker. Saved at an early age, Evelyn became drawn to ministry work. The Harris family was actively involved in missions and charity, her mother often giving their own clothes, shoes, food, and necessities away to anyone less fortunate. Growing up in a large but happy home, revolving around the Lord and the Lord’s work, Evelyn quickly acquired a heart for expressing the message of God’s love. It began with her art, as she sketched and painted the beauty before her. Her art continued throughout the rest of her life.

When Evelyn was 30 years old, she sensed a calling to become a missionary. She heard from a young missionary, Jesse Brand, who would soon become her husband, that the people of India needed to be reached. She listened as Jesse Brand spoke of the Kolli Moloi “Mountains of Death” - a place where malaria had claimed many lives, thus earning its name. The mountains were the home of a people who were a filthy, deprived, and full of sin, desperately in need of the Gospel. She was a rich, fashionable, city girl, yet she felt compelled to go. She must go! God would help her. Though such an occupation was far from the dreams others had for her, she insisted that a God-calling must be obeyed and so, after much persisting, she finally convinced her family to let her travel to India. She journeyed to Madras in the plains of India and fell in love with Jesse, who was also assigned to Madras. They were soon after married and they set their sights on the “Mountains of Death” - five mountain ranges that were untouched by civilization and completely destitute of the Gospel. Jesse and Evelyn worked vigorously in helping build houses and aid any sick villager. Jesse preached the gospel and relentlessly tried to convert a people that were afraid to turn away from their idol gods. The Hindu priests used fear to control their people and although plenty would listen to the words Jesse preached, they would always pull back from Christianity. After years of trying, unsuccessfully, to win the village to Christ, a breakthrough came! A Hindu priest was dying and sent for Jesse Brand. Jesse ran to his aid and was with him until the priest died. Before his death, the priest entrusted his children to the Brands because, at the hour of his death, they were the only ones who rushed to his aid. The villagers were amazed that it was the Christians who were so honored by their Hindu priest. Slowly, they began to come to Jesus.
Evelyn and Jesse had two children, Paul and Connie. They played amongst the children of India and acquired a strong faith from their parents who had given up everything to serve the Lord on the “Mountains of Death.” After several years, Evelyn and Jesse sent them to England to begin their schooling. Evelyn recalls that day to be the biggest test of faith God ever gave to her. As a new mother myself, I can only imagine how her heart ached to see them go. Yet like the mother of Moses, Evelyn let go of her children, entrusting them into the hands of God, while she stayed in the mountains. She and Jesse continued to work fervently in reaching the people in the village.
Then came the summer of 1929 when Jesse came down with a severe case of malaria. Soon after, the sickness turned into black water fever - one of the most deadly complications of that disease. He died shortly after. Evelyn’s heart, of course, was broken. Alone in the mountains, she prayed that the Lord would take Jesse’s death and use it to win more souls than his life had.

Soon after Jesse’s burial, Evelyn returned to England to her children, Paul and Connie - now young teenagers. After a year spent with her son and daughter, Evelyn knew she must return back to the Kolli hills. Missionaries were scarce and somebody must go back to the mountains. The mission boards found it difficult to let her go. Evelyn was strong, outspoken, opinionated…and an elderly single, and that made it very hard for the board to allow her to go. She was a 68-year-old woman who wanted to go, alone, to the “Mountains of Death” to start a new mission work in the hills. But she and Jesse had vowed to reach those five mountain ranges with the Gospel. One range had been won. There were four more yet to be touched. Evelyn knew God was calling her to fulfill that vow. Determined, she asked the mission board to let her go back for one more year. “I promise not to make any more trouble,” she said. “At the end of one year, I will retire.” They agreed.

When her year of mission work ended, Evelyn did retire - to India! She took on independent work in the hills, despite the many objections and protests from fellow missionaries. At age 70, she journeyed back to her beloved mountains and began teaching, aiding the sick, evangelizing, and discipling. Everyone called her “Granny” but she felt young and light. When she broke bones, she healed quickly and returned to the mission work. When she was struck with fevers, she carried on. When she was hit on the head with a rock and lost most of her balance, she went from village to village, walking with bamboo canes, rescuing children, distributing medicine, and telling everyone she came in contact with about Jesus. After many years laboring, the five mountain ranges were evangelized! A mission work was planted and established on each mountain. After that victory, of fulfilling the vow she and Jesse had made, Evelyn set her sights on two more mountain ranges. Eventually, they, too, were won for Christ.
Evelyn showed love wherever she went. She painted for people in hospitals, she reached out to the poor, she ministered to the needy and helpless, she told everyone she met about the saving love of God. She did so until her death in 1974 at age 95.

Throughout the years, we have come to a point where we, as Christians, are easily persuaded to give up. In our modern culture, we are lazy and have a couch potato version of Christianity that we cling tightly to. Evelyn was certainly no spiritual couch potato. She was a force of heavenly perseverance. She kept going.
The more I read about such amazing women of God throughout history, the more I am convicted, inspired and hungry to possess the stimulating life they live. Though they are met with trials of every kind and very often fail, they press on. And me? I sometimes grow discouraged over a stack of unpaid bills! Oh how much I have to learn! Evelyn Brand’s determination and spiritual backbone is what I long to possess when life throws me a curve ball and I’m hit with the harshest winds imaginable. When she lost her husband so suddenly, she could have chosen to sink into the muddy waters of defeat and depression and give up hope. She could have chosen to trade in her Bible and missionary shoes for a hammock under the shade trees, sipping lemonade. But instead, she persisted. She pursued a vision that held more for her than anything this life could offer. Though weary, she persevered down the pathway that is stained with tears of loss and discouragement from saints throughout history. This is the kind of determination we should possess. And oh, Father God, give me such spiritual perseverance!

The following poem by Amy Carmichael captures the heart of Evelyn Brand and is my prayer for myself:

Make us Thy Mountaineers;
We would not linger on the lower slope,
Fill us afresh with hope, O God of Hope,
That undefeated we may climb the hill
As seeing Him Who is invisible.
Let us die climbing. . . .

Day 30 - 60 Day Photo Challenge

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss.

My grandfather, James Lisemby. A great man of faith. Heaven is sweeter with him there.


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