His Work Was For You And Me

Over the past few weeks I’ve been substitute teaching each afternoon for a woman who’s out on maternity leave. I’ll finish out the school year as long as the kiddos don’t scare me off!

Wednesdays are still my hair day where I go to the nursing home and doll up salt and pepper colored hair, so I’m not at the school that day.

Interestingly the class I’m teaching is music class and my knowledge is slim but growing. I tell the kids I’m learning right along with them. It’s been fun. They’re fourth and fifth grade and easily humored, but can also be a handful some days.

If every day goes like this past Tuesday I’ll probably shed a few tears when it’s all said and done because I’ll miss it. I’ll miss teaching music. I’ll miss the kids.

I’d be lying if I said it’s been peaches and cream the whole time, there’s definitely been challenging days! And it’s on those days I have to take a deep breath and simply and quietly ask God for His help.

I came across Colossians 3:23 recently, which says, ‘Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people’.

I’ve been keeping this verse close at heart. It’s reminding me that even on my most challenging days, my work needs to be for the Lord.

Some of these kids come from bad situations, a horrible home life, and when they show up to school a smile from a clueless, but fun Christian music teacher could be the only love of Jesus they witness…actually the beautiful thing is, this particular school has several Christian teachers. It’s a positive place for these kids to come to, but nevertheless attitudes happen.

On the contrary, and thankfully, working with enthusiasm for the Lord can happen anytime, anywhere, anyplace…in the worst of job conditions. When our hearts are right with Jesus it makes the task of hard work seem like it serves a purpose. But when we’re oblivious to Jesus’ desire for us to be right with Him, our work seems overwhelming and impossible at times.

I’ve heard of Jesus’ crucifixion as His ‘work on the cross.’

Work….

There’s that word again.

When we consider the crucifixion in this way, it causes us to consider the way Jesus handled work, which could easily be named the ‘hardest work ever’. In the time leading up to Jesus’ destination of the cross, we read how He kept in communion with His father through prayer (Matthew 26:36-39). He remained at His Father’s will (Matthew 26:42). And in verses 52-56 we read of Jesus’ humble and faithful attitude through His difficult last hours.

Three components we too can utilize when dealing with hard work:

  1. Remain in prayer
  2. Stay in God’s will
  3. Be humble and faithful

Jesus didn’t finish His work while hanging on the cross though…three days later He rose from the grave victoriously (Matthew 28). Jesus’ work on the cross lead to the glorious resurrection and it paid for the debts of sin— for my sins, for my student’s sin, for your sin…It’s why we can celebrate Easter and it includes work through a right heart and attitude modeled by a Perfect Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter!❤️

Colossians 3:17- And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Romans 3:23- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 5:8- God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9- If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

Even If (part 2)

Part two of Even If…

After learning my daughter’s recent celiac test results came back positive, I’ve thought about how Satan could have a heyday with this, because before I knew that, I’d celebrated with a blog post (last week) on how McKenzie was better, her blood work was great the second time, and we were out of the woods praising God for healing…but then in the days since, the outcome has changed, so do we still have reason to celebrate and praise Him?

Absolutely!!

Do I still believe God can totally heal McKenzie, or that the positive test results may have shown up as a fluke deal, and that when we go to our next appointment to see the GI doctor later this month they’ll tell us she’s completely fine and to go back home?

Absolutely!!

BUT even if it’s not in God’s plan, even if our circumstances don’t change, even if McKenzie is fully diagnosed with “silly yak” disease we’re going to praise God regardless, and our faith is going to remain solid—because God is still God, He’s in control, and His ways and plans our better than ours. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

‘Even if.’

It’s the words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel chapter three as King Nebuchadnezzar threatened their lives with a roaring fire if they didn’t bow down and worship his gold statue.

Remaining true to the Lord, the three men refused to serve any such false god, and when Nebuchadnezzar taunted them, they proclaimed their faith even bolder: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

The men held onto an “even if” kind of faith, while their lives lied at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar’s hot orders.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were securely tied up and banished to the scorching furnace, while maintaining their loyalty to God.

But in amazement, the king noticed not just three men walking around in the fire, but four men, unharmed and unbound, and he declared the fourth man looked like ‘a son of the gods.’

King Nebuchadnezzar called the men out and he saw that their bodies hadn’t been touched by the fire and their clothing was completely intact, and he praised the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and acknowledged the power of God.

I have to tell you, last month when McKenzie started really looking ill, I had this mama-instinct we weren’t dealing with the flu. She needed to see a doctor, and as we sat waiting in the clinic at the start of all this—before any blood had been drawn, before any tests had been ran—my girl asked me to read her the Bible story of Queen Ester. So as we waited for the doctor to come in, we read about Ester’s bravery, and courage, and her very own “even if” faith, not knowing how much it would mean to us in the weeks to come.

When those first blood test results came back abnormal, concerns were present, and someone threw out an ugly six letter word that starts with ‘c’ and isn’t celiac and that’s why I was a hot mess.

I was struggling to carry an “even if” faith. But because I know I’m weak without God, I clung to Him through prayer and encouragement in His word, nevertheless…and strength came.

What good would faith be if all our prayers were answered immediately, on the spot?

God provides safety and an opportunity for our faith to build when the emotional fire rages around us, and He’ll carry us out if we obediently allow Him to, but it may not always look the way we planned. Even if our faith is smoldering in a bed of hot ashes, God is able to ignite that very glow and turn it into purpose, for His glory.

Knowing God makes it easy to love Him; loving God makes it easy to trust Him.  -a.m. witt

My daughter’s future may include celiac disease, but even if it does—our faith will remain strong and our hope will stand firm because of Jesus’ faithfulness to us along the way!

Romans 8:28—And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

A Quick Fix or a Worth the Wait Blessing?

I’m assuming my kids are no different and share a common enthusiasm with other like-minded boys and girls—the electronic obsession!!??

These kids of mine would eat, drink, and sleep electronics if my husband and I allowed it, but thankfully for the sake of healthy living we’ve put a cap on their amount of exposure.

As a family we circled up in the living room about a year ago to hash out a plan or schedule for electronic time. That might sound over the top, but seriously it was necessary and has actually been pretty beneficial.

Here’s what we came up with: Continue reading “A Quick Fix or a Worth the Wait Blessing?”

He’s a Chain Breaker

I’d like to think I’m not addicted to electronics as often as I harp on my kids about keeping off them…

Don’t get me wrong I think electronics can be a blessing, but at times they’re a distraction when life needs my attention, and they’re a temptation when I want to keep my distance. My husband and I have actually limited the amount of time our kids are allowed to spend on the ‘hypnotic devices’ to just a few hours a week. We’re afraid the kids would risk relying on the glossy screens to feed, clothe, shelter, and nurture them otherwise.

Having said that, last week my phone started misbehaving and I couldn’t pull up internet. ‘Mrs.-I-Don’t-Have-An-Electronic-Obsession’ was whining around because she couldn’t, for the life of her, figure out why it would be acting up. Unfortunately I’m referring to myself in this paragraph.

So I called my service provider to clear up the confusion because of course i was just sure it had to be a problem on their end!!!! *Side note: Whenever I have to make those calls I desperately dread it because I can’t always make out the broken English.

Imagine my shock and dismay when the man on the other end informed me I’d reached my data limit. For the record I had no trouble understanding him relay that piece of information…lol.

And I’m pretty sure I know what threw me over my monthly limit. I got started on a music video kick a few days before and came across some videos of Zach Williams (Gospel Christian/Rock music artist) and then it was game over from there. I just played video after video.

I couldn’t help it. Continue reading “He’s a Chain Breaker”

I’m Adding Handmade Jewelry To My Etsy Shop

So most of you reading this probably had no idea that I have an Etsy shop; I’ve actually never mentioned it on the blog.

About three or four years ago I started an Etsy shop, Simply Rustic Looks, https://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplyRusticLooks because I was making too many projects and needed somewhere to go with them. I began selling on Etsy and never got terribly involved with it, but did end up selling quite a bit nevertheless. Some of the items ranged from rustic pallet signs, crocheted scarves and hats—to chalk-painted mason jars, including customized gifts as well. Nathan helped whenever I needed more pallets for the projects, but otherwise he’d rather steer clear of a paint brush of any type!!!

In the last few years I’ve become quite a minimalist and have thinned out a lot of the materials I used to make some of those original Etsy projects I was selling, though some are still listed on the shop’s page…and in 2018 I began little by little purchasing jewelry pieces—charms, bracelets, chains, stamp blanks, leather, etc…which take up a lot less space than the projects I made in the past. Continue reading “I’m Adding Handmade Jewelry To My Etsy Shop”

Bread Doesn’t Have To Be A Weakness For Me

Since the start of this year (2019) I’ve been avidly avoiding gluten and dairy products and so far I’ve been successful.7f7f0dce-8785-40e5-811d-c8cd9cee7cd7

I have an auto immune disorder (psoriasis) and I’ve discovered if I keep my distance from the two I can manage a little better. I’ve gone on these kicks before over the past couple of years where I give special attention to my diet and more often than not I’ve failed miserably…and I’m blaming bread!!!

Bread is my weakness! I mean who doesn’t love a loaf of homemade banana bread smothered in melted butter or a warm slice of garlic bread next to a plate of spaghetti (which I also bypass now due to gluten sensitivity)…

I’m a sucker for bread of all types.

Several years ago I was down in Mexico and had eaten days worth of Mexican food (which I love) but I was craving bread after a while. As it turned out our missions team headed out for a morning of shopping and happened to spot a bakery. I made a beeline straight for that store, probably even stopped traffic on the busy streets of Tijuana just to get there. I walked in and the smell about made me black-out. It was like Subway on steroids, it was glorious—dinner rolls, pastries, biscuits—sweet superfluous loaves of bread. I thought we’d stepped through the doors of Heaven. Continue reading “Bread Doesn’t Have To Be A Weakness For Me”

Cramming Everything In (Perspective on Priorities)

Just wanted to reblog a fellow blogger’s recent post (Ann from Seeking Divine Perspective) I always love her words of wisdom🙂
Hope y’all are having a good start to the new year! Blessings and enjoy this post!…

Seeking Divine Perspective

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

The teacher stood in front of the class holding a large beaker. He  placed several  large rocks inside, and asked the class if they thought he could fit any more in, or was the beaker full? The students replied that it was full.

But then the instructor took out some smaller stones and placed them around the larger ones, and sure enough, they fit.  “Now is it full?” he asked. The students hesitated to answer.

The teacher pulled out a small bag of gravel and slowly poured it over the beaker, giving the container an occasional shake, until the gravel reached the top.

Now is it full?” he asked. The students said nothing.

Next he got out a little bag of sand and began spooning it over the beaker. As…

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