Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ballerina Party.

My precious little girl turned another year older this year and we had to celebrate with lots of pink! I used almost everything I had on hand to decorate with, including lots of chalkboards! I had tons of pictures of the little one for all the family to see and had each person write something special about the birthday girl and place it in a glass bowl.


I'm linking this to:

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Exposing our Idols.


Idols in our lives are basically invisible in our hearts. They lie covered never wanting to appear and be exposed for who they are and what they want. Who they are is something that you think you need in order to be happy. Well behaved children, a husband that is the perfect spiritual leader, a completely organized house or even freedom from trials. They exist because you think you must have them.


May I be a voice of reminder to what you already know, only Christ can give you happiness. I'm talking about after conversion. After we become adopted and heirs with Christ we must fight to have our complete happiness in Christ. In order to not waste your life, you must grab ahold and grip this reality to rid yourselves of idols and to truly experience happiness, joy and freedom.

Elyse Fitzpatrick has an amazing set of questions which helps us to discover the root of an idol. "Our idolatrous beliefs become evident as we find ourselves habitually sinning in some particular way." Think of a specific sin you struggle with, anger when critizied, easily frustrated, self-improvement, and think through the following specific questions.

  • "What do I believe about the source of true happiness in this circumstance?

  • What do I believe about God in this circumstance?

  • What do I believe about myself--my rights, my goals, my desires?

  • What am I trusting in?"

These questions are really helping me to diagnose my idols and deal with them before they act out as a behavior. May we be ladies who are not lazy with our sin, who joke about our little sins that we hold on to, but be women who are not ok with idols in there lives nor content to allow their live to pass them by. Be women who love Jesus supremely, who treasure Him and fight to be happy!

The questions and quote was taken from Elyse Fitzpatrick's book Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What Part of the Gospel Is Optional?

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Idols we don't see.



Our desire for something can become so strong that they twist our thinking. Think of one thing today that you've desired very strongly. Maybe it was something you wanted your spouse to do, maybe it was a certain behavior you wanted your children to display, whatever it is I'm certain that if the outcome wasn't what you wanted you became frustrated and angry.

Having your children behave well isn't in and of itself a sinful desire but, when your children don't respond the way they should it shouldn't rock your world. If your continually frustrated and angered when the response isn't whats needed is then a bigger idol is being exposed in your heart.

Perhaps the Lord uses difficult trials in your life to expose idols in your heart. This week has been a week full of exposing things that I treasure above Jesus. Oh, it's so tempting to say we love Jesus, He's my treasure, I serve only Him, but, we foolishly don't understand our own heart. This is when the Lord graciously begins to shed light in the dark corners of our heart that harbor and breed idols. The things that I hold onto and grasp for and believe I have to have to be happy.

If you believe that there is anything you have to have other than God to be happy then that has become your idol/god. So many idols in our life go unnoticed, untended to, unreached. We think that our desire to have a nice home, well behaved children, a pleasant church to attend, friends to trust and family to live near are normal and pleasing to the Lord and these desires at at some level. At some point however, I believe most of the mentioned things become idols that need to be dealt with.

A good test to see if something is an idol is by imaging yourself without it. If the Lord called you to move what would be your reaction? Would you willingly and delightfully obey the Lord, leaving your family, friends, leaving that nice comfortable home that you have finally decorated just right? Most of us would not do so. I've been around so many people lately who have casually said, "NO way would I ever move away from my mom, or my {grown} children, or grandchildren. My inward response is, "Why not?"

Do we not have a God who has promised that He will work everything for our good {Romans 8:28}? Do we believe that God + our family, friends, nice home = happiness? Ladies, I believe most of us have bought into the 'American Dream' but of course put a Christian spin on it such as no drinking, smoking and make sure we attend church and our kids are in Awana. May we not be fooled, may we seek the Lord to expose idols in our hearts so the Lord can change us to derive all our security from Him.



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Friday, January 13, 2012

Joy.


Often I find myself going days without blogging because either I have so much I want to say and not enough time or because I'm learning a lot of new things and want to make sure I totally agree and understand it before I blog about it. Today is a day when I have so much to say but don't have the time to completely articulate everything, so instead of just skipping another day of I want to just give you a short paragraph on a topic that I've been discovering so much about, JOY.

Source: etsy.com via Annie on Pinterest



Our joy can't be situational or conditional. It can't be conditioned on circumstances, moods or situations, which are constantly changing and never as {we think} they ought to be. Our joy must be completely rooted in Christ. We must learn, re-learn and remember over and over that Christ is the only thing that will satisfy our hearts. It is only Christ which can bring true and lasting joy and happiness.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Homemaking Party #34




New Year and new linky party. The holidays have made my blog and this fun linky party non existent but, we shall begin the fun once again, every Monday!

I'm linking you to a few of my posts due to the fact that we haven't had a homemaking party in 4ever and I have nobody to feature :(!

Written to share my thoughts and desires for this upcoming year... don't miss the part about our adoption processing planning to be complete this year!

I posted this back in the summer and I've found a lot of my family w
anting to get on the band wagon of making their own laundry detergent. If you've never tried it, you really should, super easy and super cheap!

A 'classic' post that describes a passion for teaching on not wasting your homemaking.

Get ready to party {Homemaker's style}. If your a blogger...
Please copy the code under the 'Unwasted Homemaking Linkup Party' to the right of this post and place it somewhere on your blog. {I want to make sure we continue to grow this party :)} IF NOT I will have to deleted your link! I hate to do this but, I put alot of effort into making this party grow and if anyone links they need to use my button.
Keep it related to Homemaking... which only excludes a few things. Any recipe, family tradition, devotional on homemaking/mothering, cleaning tip, craft etc

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Prayer to be Prayed.


The Lord is teaching me much about prayer. It's the very thing that sparked a gospel awakening in my heart. It is the means by which things around me are changing. Changed hearts, changed affections, changed desires, and creating a new life for me. Prayer is being held in high regard at my church and we have began to pray fervently for issues in the church; it has began to produce a unity and a fresh vision and passions for Christ.

Yesterday I remembered a great book of prayers in my husband's library, "The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions." These prayers have helped me to focus my personal prayers and have articulated different needs so accurately, drenched in God honoring theology. The following prayer is an excerpt from the prayer titled, "Need of Jesus" what an amazing prayer to start our week off with!

"LORD JESUS,
I am blind, be thou my light,
ignorant, be thou my wisdom,
self willed, be thou my mind.
Open my ear to grasp quickly thy Spirit's voice,
and delightfully run after his beckoning hand;
Melt my conscience that no hardness remain,
make it alive to evil's slightest touch;"
-The Valley of Vision, Need of Jesus.
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Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas.

My kids loved playing with this very kid friendly nativity. Rubber ducks turned Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and all the other characters of Christmas. Hobby Lobby only a few bucks.



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Friday Funnies.



I think all of the worry by Christians over the Mayan calendar is funny, sorry, but it's really funny to me.
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Performancism.

Our Performancism.

if we succeed we receive pride.

if we fail we receive despair.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The Bible makes it clear that the gospel's premier enemy is legalism, or in another uncommon word performancism. Performancism displays itself when "what we need to do, not what Jesus has already done, becomes the end game."

The ultimate end of legalism, moralism, performancism is slavery. The issue becomes about us and what we have to do to earn our identity "instead of resting in Jesus and what he accomplished to establish for us." It grabs us, and forces us to slave under the master of earning God's favor, acceptance and justification.

Most readers, I assume, would rightfully announce that they are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. They would uphold that their salvation was completely based upon Jesus' life and not merits or works completed by themselves. All of the above are true. magnificent. beautiful. and something to be in awe of.... everyday. but, how do you view your Christian life?

Life after salvation is spent as if we must earn God's love, be justified by Him, work to be a child of His. This is called peformancism. It is not the Gospel. It's not the way of the Christian.

We are accepted because of Christ.
We are justified because of Christ.
We are loved because of Christ.
We are chosen, beloved because of Christ.
We are declared righteous and holy because of Christ.

The Christian life isn't 'get to work' to earn anything from God, it is 'it is finished.' When we rest in this reality we will begin to have peace, joy and freedom that we have never experienced. This will in return spur us on to live lives that are marked with radical generosity, radical selfish-less and lives continually being poured out for the Gospel. The first is motivated by earning favor and being accepted by God the second is motivated by the Gospel.

The concepts I'm learning and the above quotes are from my current daily reading regime of



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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Time.

"For our time is just an instant
it is here and then it is past
so I hold my breath to try and
slow it down and live this
moment for a while."
-Sheila Walsh



My daughter received the most
beautiful cd full of lullabies. I have uploaded it to my computer so I can listen to it all day. It causes me to stop and think about time. Everyone has the same amount of time. So many people speak of wanting time to hurry, they want the 5 to reach the clock so they can get off of work, or the days to pass quickly until the weekend or a special holiday. I don't want to live this way. I want to enjoy, savor and learn what God is teaching me in each moment.

The words to the song, "Live for this moment" by Sheila Walsh is moving me to take time and enjoy each moment.

May I seize each moment to delight in God. To take time slowly and use each moment to think and reflect on the Gospel and be fueled to radical selfless living, for my children, my husband, family, church, neighbors and everyone in-between that the Lord would be made much of through this life.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year.


A new year means so much to me. It means new beginnings, fresh starts, new visions, new focus.

2012 has promised to bring the words 'Fowler' to the end of my children's name. What blessing, what hope, what justice, grace and mercy that act will bring to my family. Answered prayers, tears, rejoicing and delighting in God will be accompanied by this upcoming planned event.

Gospel wakefulness is my prayer for this new year. May God continue to create and sustain a gospel wakefulness in my life. A deep affection for the Gospel that will fuel all acts of obedience, service and surround each area of my life. May my thoughts continually be on the realities that I have no condemnation, God is declared me just, forgiven and many more beautiful things.

May God continue to expose my legalism, moralism and performanism as a means to gain favor and acceptance in His eyes. May He replace it with JOY and FREEDOM because that is the reality of the one who trusts in Christ.

May God teach my heart that the reality of my life is not what I have believed for the past five years. It's not condemnation and wrath, it is love and approval because I now have Christ's righteousness. I don't begin to say I understand all the out workings of these beautiful truths but, I know that the Lord has been doing an amazing thing in my life these past few weeks. I have found joy and freedom that I haven't had in years.

I hope to continue to share these things I'm learning as I understand them clearer and live them fuller. May God give you new beginnings, fresh delights for Him and an awakening that your acceptance from God as a Christian isn't dependent on your works. May your mind and heart be at rest knowing that you are loved, accepted, declared righteous based on the life that is in your account, Jesus. May these wonderful realities fuel and spur you on to obedience, radical generosity and radical selfless living.
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