Monday, April 14, 2014

Which are you?

So the question I continue to ask myself is:
Which one am I??? 
A pond 
or
 springs of living water?  

What IS a spring of living water?  It's when we are brimming, and FLOWING, and spilling everywhere with Jesus. Our water is always refreshing and doesn't stay in one place,

John 7:38 - He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” 

Of course I want to be a spring, but it's SOO easy to get dammed up - build the rock wall bit by bit, and the water slowly grows bacteria.  Of course the enemy of our soul doesn't want us to be flowing springs of living water, so he's sneaky.

We were not created to live for ourselves, as a standing pond.

The first reaction when we realize our water is stagnant & dirty, is to "CLEAN IT UP!"  So we look for ways to fix the problem and make the water healthy.  But the simple solution is BREAK DOWN THE DAM, let the water flow.  Running water doesn't grow algae.

The 3 reasons we become dammed up are:

1. We're BUSY.  We've locked ourselves down to get our schedule accomplished.
2. We're STRESSED.  We shut down and say to ourselves, "I can't deal with any more."
3. We're OFFENDED.  We feel hurt so we build walls up to prevent further destruction.

When I get an amazing revelation of being the living springs of Jesus to either people close to me, people groups, church groups, neighborhoods...you can bet the enemy is going to push one of those buttons on me so my knee-jerked-reaction to is "dam up".

BUT WE NEED TO USE A BIGGER SLEDGE HAMMER TO BREAK THE DAM.

Push through the schedule, feelings, & hurts.

All through scripture, the answer to ALL our life problems is BUILD THE KINGDOM.  Here are just a couple references I have found, but I could list pages, and pages...

- "Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom and His righteousness, and ALLLLLLLL these things will be added to you."  Matthew 6:33
- "...Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."  Philippians 4:9

It is SOO easy to go on with our daily lives and consume ourselves with the troubles that just today brings.  But I know in my knower, and by reading the Word of God, that being purposeful in building the Kingdom of God plays a VITAL ROLE in being an over comer of our troubles.  When we are about HIS business, HE will be about ours.  So we need to be much more purposeful in being kingdom minded, using Jesus as our example, and flowing to the world around us with the Love of Christ.

Let's practice waking up, and saying, "Jesus, what can I do to work with YOU today to seek first & build the Kingdom?"

Why do we often wait for a tragedy to happen before reaching out to people we love?

SOOOOO...for the next few weeks, my girls and I are doing some servant projects. 

This week, we're going to PEEP IN on our neighbors.  
Since we just moved into our neighborhood, we're bringing these over to a bunch of our neighbors:  

Peep cakes & Neighbor Fridge Magnets!

 


 I hope you will do some with us.  Let's incorporate being the hands and feet of Jesus into our regular lives.

 If you want more information about our Neighbor magnets, you can read about them HERE.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Teaching our kids Gratefulness

Now to look at these beautiful faces, you'd think - they're perfect, polite, sweet, and beautiful, right?  I know most of the time those are MY thoughts too!

And because I love them, I want to give EVERYTHING to my girls - and I know I'm not alone!  I didn't have the childhood of my dreams, so I want to pour all I can into being sure my daughters have the amazing, and LOVING experiences I didn't necessarily have growing up.

How do we find the balance between giving our kids what they want, yet them being grateful kids?  

I had a moment where I realized I was doing my girls a dis-service by offering EVERYTHING I could to them. 

It's SOO frustrating when you sacrificially give something to your kids, and they just want more, and are not grateful for what they have.  During a time where we were extremely pinched financially, my husband took his birthday money from a family member and bought a doll one of my daughters wanted.  He was SO excited to give it to her.  At first, she was excited, but it quickly turned into her wanting more - a better doll, & more dolls.  My hubby was heart broken, knowing what a sacrifice it was to give her THAT doll.

I prayed for a creative solution - because I wanted her to be excited for what we CAN give, but for us not to feel taken advantage of when it's not what SHE thinks she deserves. 

It was near Easter time, so I told her I was going to take her shopping.  Oh boy, oh boy, was she excited.  When we got to the mall, I explained how ungrateful her attitude towards the doll her dad got her was, and pulled out scripture explaining it is better to GIVE then to RECEIVE, and this is the lesson our shopping experience is going to teach her.  And, I told her the money she got for Easter was going to be used to bless her father.  Oh my, the tears & upset; I'm sure the people in the mall were thinking I just sliced off her left arm because of how upset she was.

The reality sank in that she was getting NOTHING for Easter, rather, she was going to be the one giving this time.  Once she realized I was not going to change my mind, she pulled herself together and even got excited to bless her father.  We made sure to make a BIG deal out of what she was giving - and it was actually a lot of fun!  She even asked if she could get something for her sister too!  We spent that Easter just enjoying each others company & playing games rather than doing they typical Easter baskets & finding the Easter egg hunts.

To this day, 4 1/2 years later, she is a testimony of gratefulness & a BIG giving heart.  No matter how small the gift for her, she is overly thankful...and from her heart too. 

We need to be sure we're teaching our kids the art of giving so much more than receiving.  That's worth more than any gift we can give to them. We are called to give & serve the people around us; so that's a huge gift to our kids when we teach them the same principal.