Friday, May 29, 2009

Setting a Good Example

Few things are harder to put up with than the ANNOYANCE of a good example.”
Mark Twain (1835–1910)American writer

I have a sanctuary in my room where I do all of my Bible Study and journaling, but I usually do it behind closed doors or when everyone else is still asleep or gone because I like the quiet time. But I recently read an entry on someone else's blog about things she wished she had done while her kids were growing up, and one of them was for them to see her studying the Word of God and meeting with God more than they did. To do it as an example of what they should do... Or to use it as an opening in discussing their own personal quiet time moments with God. And I thought I would take her advice and start leaving the door open when I do my Bible Study to encourage those who want to talk to me or happen to walk by my door to know they are invited in.

As soon as I made that connection with opening my door, God is so good to test me on it. Last night we had a late night at the ballpark and didn't get home until 9pm. We ate Taco Bell takeout and I immediately went and had my bath and piled into my comfy bed to do a little of my night time reading and studying... And I'm sure you can predict what happened...

I left the door open, and one by one, the kids started coming by... First Keelea, then Leslie (a friend of Ashton's who was staying the night) then Ragan, (who put a load of clothes on right outside my door.) Of course she was in a bad mood and didn't need me for anything, just wanted to complain about having to find a job... and then Angela (she's one of my Sunday School members who's living with us for a little while)... It's amazing how involved we can be with others when we open our doors.

I set my Bible Study aside
and took a moment to just
listen... All people really need is for us to listen and sometimes they want advice but mostly they just want us to hear them.

It is so important to record the things we are experiencing in our lives so that we can remember the times that seemed so frustrating and worrisome and see that God brought us through that time. I always take a moment to jot down the people in my life that I'm praying for, their specific needs and the dreams that I feel God is laying on my heart. I encourage you to journal as well. I have neglected this little book because of what I do on line now, but I make sure to update the specific things I'm praying for. So I can remember.

I was able to share with Angela last night about a time in my life when I was waiting on God for what job he had for me, and it was this great job that I have now, but at the time of waiting, I couldn't see what God was up to until after I reflected through my journal... In one of the entries I recorded the words to a song that I still remember the lyrics to. It's called "Help is on the Way."

Some of the words are these: Don't give up the ship, even when you feel it sinking, and you don't know what to do. Don't give up your dreams, even when you may be thinking, "it'll never come true." Life has it's own ideas of how things come about, and if you keep believing, life always seems to work things out... Help is on the way, from places you don't know about today. From people you haven't met yet, believe me when I say, I know... Help is on the way.
You don't have to know, where the path you're on is leading, you just have to walk along. Praying as you go, asking for the things you're needing. You'll never be alone. If you have faith that things are happening as the should, then don't give up, they're leading you to something good.. Help is on the way, from places you don't know about today, from men you may have never met yet, believe me when I say, I know, help is on the way...
So open your heart, open your eyes, and realize that Help is on the way, from people you don't know about today. From men, you may have never met yet, believe me when I say, I know, Help is on the way.

I don't know why I felt the need to write the words of that song down, but I just remember when I heard it, how much it impressed me with the fact that God heard me and cared about me and wanted me to know it would be okay... And it was....

So just remember, that you are leaving an example to your kids and those that are watching you, and although we can't change people, we can impress them with our actions and by the example we live.

Go be an example today for someone.
I love you,
Lea Anne

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm waiting.....

I'm waiting for SOMEONE to send me some of their pictures from this past weekend in Arkansas at the Callaway Family Reunion. I didn't have a camera of my own and have to depend on my relatives to share theirs with me. This is always a great time to connect with those long lost relatives, that you really do like and want to spend more time with, but never seem to have the time to do it.

As soon as some of those fabulous people share some pictures with me I'll post them on the blog... Until then... I'm waiting...
Love you!
Lea Anne

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I commit my work to You, Lord...

I commit my work to You, Lord, knowing you will establish it (Proverbs 16:3)

Yesterday I worked a Job Fair hosted by KPLC and I was stunned to see and hear the devastation that some people are facing with job losses, corporate cutbacks, and layoffs... I am so blessed to have this wonderful job that I have and I left that Job Fair just praising God for the opportunity He gave me 9 years ago to come to work for KPLC.

We don't always have a choice about what happens to us in our jobs, but we do have a choice about the attitude with which we choose to work at our jobs... I absolutely LOVE my job and am thankful everyday for it... Do you love your job? Have you thanked the Lord today for what he's done for you? Are you living with an attitude of gratitude?

This attitude of gratitude goes into every aspect of our lives where we choose to serve others. Are you serving to get or give? I really think we need to ask ourselves why we do what we do. If for one moment we take our eyes off the focus of our service and place it on ourselves and what we receive from that service, then we will always find fault or feel ungrateful, or feel some other emotion that involves the need to be affirmed, accepted, applauded, or appreciated... This type of emotion will always give us reason to complain, criticize or become complacent in our service... Have you said, "Well, so and so does it, why can't I" or "They'll never know if I come in a little late" or "_______ likes ______ more than me. He's playing favorites!"

Don't let that happen to you...

Don't become a part of the problem... set your eyes on the One to whom we bring our praise and worship... Jesus Christ... then you can live a life that is free of emotional destruction... This kind of "What's in it for Me" Mentality is what keeps people in bondage and never free to fully serve with wholehearted abandon... We are told to "do everything as unto the Lord, remaining fervent in Spirit, don't lag in diligence (Romans 12:11) Don't do it for praise from men, but may your service always glorify the Lord.

Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men. Proverbs 22:29

Go excel in your service today!
Lea Anne

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You have put Gladness in my heart...Psalm 4:7

I am full of the joy of the Lord when I look upon these kids of mine. I am so thankful for them and wanted to take a moment to brag.

Ashton just received her Leap score and she scored mastery in three subjects and advanced in one. She gets to wear jeans every day til the end of school and I am so proud of her.

Ragan finishes her quarter and first year at La Tech this Friday. She's been on the dean's list every quarter and has grown into an independent woman since she's been away at school and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Keelea, I have to admit, is my little clone... I'm so sorry that she got most of my gene pool because this girl will be cursed with proficiency, perfectionism, and pressure to succeed her whole life... What a little genius she is and I'm amazed every day at how she handles the responsibility of life. She sets her alarm and gets up and ready for school on her own. This morning she was sitting on the couch waiting for me, having already eaten her breakfast and as we ran to the car, Ashton said, "I wish I had eaten." And Keelea had grabbed a breakfast bar and a glass of milk and said, "Here you can have this."

I mean, what other 12 year old does that?

I've had a conversation recently with one of my Sunday School students and after praying and seeking the Lord's heart I believe that He has given me a glimpse of His perspective on parenting, and instilling a little independence in my children.

My students' parents were the over-protective, over-bearing, overly-strict, over-EVERYTHING type of parents and she is really struggling with her independence and knowing who the authority in her life should be... I have had a little talk with the Lord about this particular topic and this is what I feel he's revealing to me.

God is a God of ORDER...He doesn't want our lives to be random or accidental. His will is that we "let all things be done decently and in order." (1 Corinthians 14:40) and when we pray to Him about it, He will help us do just that.

As an adult who is single, married, or divorced... God is our authority... as children, we are under the authority of our parents, but as an adult, we are under the authority of Christ. God will show us how to align ourselves under proper authority...

How does he do that, you ask?

Through our submission to Him... Submission is something we decide to do, not something that is forced on us to do. When we submit ourselves to the Lord, it is a condition of our heart... meaning we are willing to fall into proper alignment in accordance to God's will. Ask God to help you discern exactly to whom you are to be submitted and in what way. Don't just submit blindly or ignorantly. Know what you are doing. When your heart's desire is to do what's right and be in right order, God will help you find that perfect balance.

It seems so juvenile, so simple, yet so many people struggle with the submission concept... Basically, when you love God first, and others as yourself, then all your priorities fall into place and you will be in right order. Now, how do you know what your priorities should be? You ask God to show you.

If you are thinking, "This sounds crazy." I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! I just have to ask you this... Have you stopped today and given God some praise? Have you thanked God today for loving you? Have you prayed for someone you know who has a need? Have you loved God first, above all else, and then others second, and yourself last?

If all you can remember thinking about, praying about, or talking about is YOU! then your priorities are wrong... As in NOT RIGHT!

I don't mean to sound harsh or unloving, but this is how submission works... God desires that "This mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8)

Our two most important priorities come directly from the Word of God. Jesus told us about them saying, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like it; 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Matthew 22:37-39)

If you do this, I promise, that you will find yourself following the path of righteousness, and peace, and stability, and honesty, and holiness, and, of course, WHOLENESS!!!

Right standing with God and parents, and employers, and pastors, and everyone else...

Go give God some praise today...
I love you!
Lea Anne

Monday, May 18, 2009

One Proud Mama


Chantay couldn't have been more proud yesterday as DJ walked up to receive his diploma... I quit counting how many times I almost cried because the ceremony was absolutely beautiful. Something that a Christian private school can do that public schools can't is actually praise and worship the Lord, which they did in HIGH STYLE.... Wow!
What a memory... All my best goes out to you DJ...
I love you!
Lea Anne

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The LIFE CHANGING POWER of the Holy Spirit

I was praying for Ragan and she left to go back to Tech this afternoon and as I prayed I thanked God for the way he changed her life when she heard him speak to her at Student Life camp in 2005... He spoke this word to her heart

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces
them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13
When she heard the Lord speak this to her heart, she was immediately convicted of the sins of her past, and believe me, as a 14 year old then, she had A LOT of sins to confess... No child is perfect and the fact is that most 13, 14, and 15 year olds make a lot of mistakes in life as they try to figure out who they are and exactly who they want to be... Ragan was no different. But when I tell you that the summer God spoke to her and she HEARD him...WOW what a changed life she has had. So this post is about the Life changing POWER of the Holy Spirit.

What makes every other religion similar to Christianity, but what is the element that is left out of those religions? I am not that knowledgeable about other religions, because I only REALLY study the Bible, so if I'm speaking out of place, well just consider this post a random thought from an incredibly proud and happy Mom of my daughter, Ragan... but since her actions prompted this prayer and post today, I'll go out on a limb and state my claim...

We can sit in a circle and sing "Kum-ba-yah" like The Hare Krishnas(?) spelling?
Or we can go "Door to Door" with tracts and do good works like the Jehovah's Witness...
Or we can worship rocks, trees, animals and other inanimate objects like the Hindu...
We can pray and fast and travel to the Holy Land as the Muslim do...
What exactly do Buddhaist do? I don't have a clue... but I'm sure we could do it also...

There are many WAYS to worship and feel good about ourselves and our hopes to gain eternal life as I'm sure even the most atheistic person on earth has at least thought about, whether they admit it or not... But there is only ONE WAY that includes Jesus Christ in the form of the Holy Spirit who takes up residence in a persons life and because of that indwelling spirit on the inside of us, we are miraculously changed on the outside. Our lives are different because of that Holy Spirit that is GOD... He lives in us and guides us and changes us to WANT to be different...

I am a believer in once saved always saved, because once we have asked the Holy Spirit to live in us, he never leaves us... Others would like to debate that...but this isn't a debate, it's about the Life Changing Power of the Holy Spirit... And either you have it, or you DON'T...

If you are a believer, and this is ONLY for those who believe in Jesus Christ as your savior... Is your life different today than what it was before you asked Jesus into your heart? If you can say, "Yes", then thank God for the Life Changing Power of the Holy Spirit... If others around you say, "You're Different than you used to be." Then thank God for the Life Changing Power of the Holy Spirit...

If you can look at the hurting people around you and feel no compassion for them; If you haven't felt convicted about doing things that you know are wrong; if you haven't HEARD the voice of God, then I ask you to examine your life, ask a close friend in all honesty to speak up about what they think of you, if you know a Christian that you respect and who knows you well then ask them what they think about you and if the answer isn't "You're different than you used to be" then PLEASE stop right now and ask the Lord Jesus to save you and change you by the power of the Holy Spirit....

Oh my, I went off on a preaching moment, because I was actually bragging on my daughter, and thanking God for her... This weekend Ashton and Keelea were in a 50's dinner theater and Ragan came home to watch and I was so proud of their performance... They are all such Hams...(I was NEVER that way as a child, I was always so shy in front of people...) and after the show, they decided to have an impromptu party at my house... These are always better than the planned kind, because it's in the moment and all the parents are happy and they say yes to their kids coming over. We had around 30 kids and they decided to play "Capture the flag" in our neighborhood around 11pm last night. What we didn't know was that there was a party two houses down for a graduate and the parents had bought a lot of alcohol for the kids... Now we have our party with 30 from church playing and having a good time, and they had their house full of kids who were playing and having a good time (Same thing right?) Except one of the kids decided to drive drunk and almost hit one of our kids and my dog... ( I think that upset Ragan more than the kid, but I won't tell the parent) anyway, she marched up to the door and asked who the person was that drove the Silver PT Cruiser and the other kids didn't hesitate to say, "that's Matthew Meyers" and she marched right into the house and asked him to come out... He thought it was to move his car that he parked haphazardly on the street, but she said stand right here in front of me and let me tell you what you almost did. He didn't even see the kids in the street and she told him that one STUPID act like "Killing someone" would change his life forever because he chose to Drink and Drive... She said it's so simple but true, Don't Drink and Drive, you idiot... He said he was sorry and that he was giving his keys to one of his friends and she came home...

The greatest thing about that story, was there were 30 junior and senior high school kids that were watching how she handled that event... WOW, what a witness... She may have even saved a child's life by confronting that boy... Who knows, maybe he even saw something in her that would want to make him do things differently...

Again, it's back to the "WAY" we do things... We can do things differently than we used to because of sheer willpower, or we can be Changed by the LIFE CHANGING POWER of the Holy Spirit...Jesus Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE... Let GOD change us through the same power that raised Jesus from the dead... WOW... is all I can say... I'm so proud of her...

I have one more quick story of how she is witnessing to a boy at Tech. He has a couple of classes with her and he hasn't had a "Life Changed" experience yet... Oh, he thinks he's a Christian because he doesn't worship another God or anything, but he doesn't have a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ... YET! He is 20 years old, just broke up with his girlfriend and basically thinks his life is over because of that... He drinks every weekend and is basically just existing.. Ragan suggested that he hang out with her for a weekend and not drink and they did. On Thursday, she invited him to a concert on campus for extra credit in the class they both attended, and he went. A lot of kids from Calvary were there because they were music majors, including their College director... Talk about timing and intervention... You just can't help but be drawn to Kathy Nelson from Calvary... She reminds me of Paula Dean... Wonderful woman of God... Ragan invited him to church on Sunday but she had been up with Ryan all evening and night on Saturday because he had a stomach bug and she slept in on that Sunday... But this guy called her on Sunday morning and said, "Hey, are you picking me up for Church?" Oh, my goodness... It will have to be next weekend because she came home this weekend and it may have been a missed opportunity, but do you see how she is witnessing to others and leading them to Christ? It makes me so jealous, in a good way, that I want to follow her example.. I want to be that kind of Christian... One changed by the Life Changing Power of the Holy Spirit... (Sorry, didn't mean to go on again... I just get caught up in the moment...)

I didn't have a single camera at the dinner theater, but some of my friends said they would share their pictures with me, so I'll post those later of Ashton and Keelea...
I hope you've had a blessed day... I did...
Love you all,
Lea Anne

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stop trying to live by Christian Principals...

What a timely word from my devotional today...

Dear God, Thank you for being orderly and powerful and loving and understanding! I need your help. You know there are difficult people in this world. There always have been and always will be. Some people can be avoided. Some people I must see and deal with, so I need to know what to do. When they are so wrong and their sin and stupidity affects other people's lives, but they do not want help nor do they listen to reason and good sense or even Christian counsel from others who have 'been there,' there really isn't much I can do. So what I need to do is ask you to please intervene. Please help me to not react and do or say anything wrong. Please open the other person's eyes, enlighten their mind, and speak to their heart. Draw that person (or those people) to you. Fill them with spiritual wisdom, increase their knowledge and maturity, and break down the strongholds that keep them from doing what is right and following your will. Please help. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.

Stop Living By Christian PrinciplesTGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman05-04-2009

..."having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Tim 3:5).

God never called you to live by Christian principles. He calls you to live in relationship with the living God, Jesus Christ. One of the weaknesses of the Church today is that we teach people principles without the relationship.
The western church is big on ten step programs, "how-to" methods and acrostics to illustrate memorable ideas. There is a place for establishing principles to change negative behavior. However, we are not called to have a relationship with principles, but a living God.
Living by principles is the equivalent to living by the law in the Old Testament. It is rooted in the Greek system of learning and is dependent upon our strength instead of being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Principle-based living is powerless living. This makes our Christian experience a religion instead of a relationship. "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law" (Gal 5:18).
We read about principle-based followers in the book of Acts, "The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people" (Acts 5:12-14). There was a group of followers who liked being taught but never entered the game.
The prophet Jeremiah tells us about the nature of God and His desire for every believer.
This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Friend, have you been guilty of living a life based on principles instead of knowing the One who authored the principles? Invite Jesus to be Lord over your life and begin to spend time with Him every day. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through every moment of your day.

I hope this ministered to you today as it did me.
Believing God...
Lea Anne

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I don't know how else to help you...

I so needed a word from God about how I was supposed to handle a situation with my cousin this
week. I have said over and over this phrase... "I don't know how else to help you..."
and in my quiet time last night, I was reading in Galatians and Paul said this in his letter to them...

Galatians 4:20..."I don't know how else to help you."

He has been pleading with the church of Galacia to stop reverting back to the same old bad habits that they were used to before they came to know Christ, but to live in freedom.

Galatians 4:12..."I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things..."

These so-called "Laws" that we have been told that we must live by to be Christian...

What exactly are those laws?

Are they man-made, or are they biblical?

Are you struggling to live a life of freedom?

Are you bound by something that you can't break free from?

My only advise to you is to replace the bad habit that you know you are bound to, with a life-giving habit...

Do something "good" when you feel like doing that "bad" something...

I thank God that he hears our prayer and that he speaks a word to our heart when we seek him...

I feel better knowing that I don't have to know what to do about the situation with my cousin, I
just have to do what Christ would do... And that is...Love...

Easier said than done so if you could remember me in your prayers tonight, I'd appreciate it.

Believe God Today fors omething BIG!!!