FOLLOW THE LEADER


bootcamp

 “For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.” Psalm 48:14

When I was in boot camp, we marched everywhere. It was an efficient and organized way of moving our unit from one location to the next. The key to marching in formation was following the leader, or our “guidon bearer.” The guidon bearer holds the unit’s flag, is always the most visible person in the military unit, and always in front of the formation. The guidon, or flag, represents the unit, and stays with the unit constantly. In years gone by the guidon was also a weapon.

In Exodus 13:20-22, God appeared as a pillar of a cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, to guide the Israelites. He did not leave the people. God also provided protection to the Israelites in Exodus 14:19-20:

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

God was the Israelites guidon. All the people had to do was follow the pillar of a cloud or pillar of fire. The cloud and fire represented more to the Israelites than a guide. The pillar represented God’s observable presence with His people. In addition to guiding the Israelites, the pillar was protection and a visible identification of who the Israelites were and who they belonged to.

Is God your guidon? ________  What identifies you as a child of God?

Walk in His Light,

Julie

Teaching Children About Memorial Day


MemorialDay_Cemetery

On Memorial Day last year, my husband decided to teach our children what the Holiday means. We took our children to the National Cemetery in Grand Prairie, Texas. We wanted our children to understand how many people gave up their lives to fight for the values, ideals and freedoms this country stands for.

Looking at all the graves, decorated with flags, was a powerful and somber moment for the whole family. We were thrilled that so many people were visiting the cemetery to pay their respects. We don’t know anyone buried at that particular cemetery, but it was good to remember those who so bravely fought to protect our way of life. I pray my children will remember the powerful moment.

http://www.timeforkids.com/news/meaning-memorial-day/40391

TRUSTING GOD


There are many Christians who have trusted in Christ as their Savior. They have trusted God with where they will spend eternity, yet don’t trust God when it comes to the day-to-day events of their lives. Then when events and circumstances go horribly wrong it’s hard to see where God is. It’s hard to trust in the promise of a future (Jeremiah 29:11) when we haven’t gotten to know who God is. It’s time to trust God with every aspect of our lives.

Why should we trust the Lord?

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. 2 Samuel 22:31(NKJV)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Consider who you can trust. We trust our families and friends, but we have to remember they are people, affected by circumstances just as we are. The Bible tells us we can trust in God.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10 (NKJV)

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)

But why trust the Lord? Why shouldn’t we just trust ourselves? Remember, we don’t know everything that will affect us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

We can’t do things for ourselves. We need God to help us.

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)

We can count on the One who consistently comes through for us, and those we love:

In You our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them. Psalm 22:4

Walk In His Light,

Julie

 

SUNRISE, SUNSET


sedona-sunset

Some of the most beautiful sights in nature are sunrises and sunsets. High, light clouds, fair winds and the rising or setting sun come together to create a masterpiece on the horizon.

From grade-school science, we know the earth rotates once every 24-hours, creating our day and night cycles. Therefore, we could enjoy a sunrise and sunset every day. The Bible suggests we stop to enjoy the view:

Habakkuk 3:4

His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.

 Psalm 113:3.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.

 God intended for us to enjoy His creation. Take a moment to enjoy it. Take a moment to enjoy God.

Walk in His Light,

Julie

Do We Know What “Holy” Means?


We live in a casual, familiar world. Our work attire is “business casual.” Outside of work, jeans, T-shirts and flip-flops are the norm. Dining is casual, often on the run. We are concerned with living comfortably. We sometimes fail to show respect for authority. Even our worship can take on this casual tone, if we aren’t careful.

Sometimes we approach God casually. I think I do – because it’s not possible to completely comprehend God. Rather than embrace the mystery that is God, we tend to “humanize” Him. We want to understand our Lord as we understand ourselves. This is to take away His Deity.

Exodus 15:11

Who among the gods is like you, Lord?
Who is like you— majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory, working wonders?

God is Holy. We are not. We can’t know what true holiness is because we can never be holy, apart from the work of Jesus at the cross. True worship accepts that we can’t comprehend this significant attribute of God. So we must come to God with child-like awe, constantly amazed at the majesty and holiness of our Creator. Consider all that God is, all of His attributes, as you come to Him in worship.

Walk in His Light,

Julie

From a Mother to Her Child


infant_baby_beauty-wide

I chose to be your Mother.

I married a man who would be a great Dad.

I wanted you before you were conceived.

I dreamed of how life would be like for you. I planned the home you would live in, and the schools you would eventually attend.

I loved rocking you and singing you lullabies.

I helped you take your first step. I was there for your first word, first tooth, first boo-boo and first love.

I enjoyed reading you bedtime stories and tucking you into bed.

I chose to be a room mom and enjoyed hearing how well you were doing at parent-teacher conferences.

I enjoyed taking you to soccer and baseball practice, music lessons and recitals.

I pointed you out to the other moms and told them how proud I was of you.

I taught you to cook, drive and other important life lessons.

I prayed for your future. I prayed for your friends and future spouse.

I tried to give you wisdom so you could have a wonderful life.

Now it’s Mother’s Day, and I’m the one being honored for something I wanted all along.

How blessed I am.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY


moms day boquetMost of us rarely consider the influence and impact our families have on us, and in particular, our Mothers. We start to realize that when we have a child or a loved one becomes ill, or they are gone. Our Mom’s impact us more that we really know (or want to admit). We are who we are largely because of our Moms. (For brothers, moms are critically important, but in a different way, but that’s another story.) My sisters and I decided to come up with a list of all the different ways our Mom has impacted us.  We believe most women will identify with these examples and come up with more for their own Mom.

 HERE ARE A FEW OF THE REASONS WE LOVE YOU

  1. She gave birth to me.
  2. She is my sister’s mom.
  3. She loves my Dad.
  4. She always took me to church (whether I wanted to go or not).
  5. And Youth Group.
  6. She made sure I had a nice smile (braces).
  7. She made sure the Weddings were “over the top.”
  8. She was there (holding my hands) at the birth of that first grandchild (and      more).
  9. She loves all her grandchildren and treats them all “fairly”.
  10. She loves her son-in-laws
  11. She taught me to cook.
  12. She taught me manners.
  13. She told me to always act and look like a lady, and wear lipstick.
  14. There’s always a couple of dollars in every note/card she sends.
  15. She loved me even when I was a “pain in the butt” and endured my “teenage drama” years.
  16. She’s got great decorating advice.
  17. She always knew the families before I was allowed to play with the kids.
  18. When you really care about something she will also care about it.
  19. She will always tell you that you look very pretty / nice, etc.
  20. She taught me to always write thank you notes.
  21. She thinks I am creative.
  22. She still spoils us at Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
  23. She taught me to look for a bargain, or buy “on sale”.
  24. She taught us to always take a hot meal to a new neighbor and sick friend.
  25. She taught me how to entertain friends and do it well.
  26. There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal.
  27. It’s ok to have a glass of wine.
  28. She taught me to do laundry, correctly.
  29. She made me change the sheets every week and how to do “hospital”      corners.
  30. She taught me to set a pretty table for holiday meals.
  31. Having a family dinner together (almost) every night is wonderful.
  32. Say Grace.
  33. We always had handmade Easter dresses (they were usually matching).
  34. Our Easter baskets always had a Chocolate Rabbit and at least one toy.
  35. There was always a Hidden treasure in Christmas Stockings.
  36. Always save room for dessert.
  37. Fresh bread is always the best.
  38. A little prayer sure helps.
  39. Spoil your dog.
  40. She’ll send you a postcard when she goes on vacation.
  41. Wash your hands before you eat.
  42. Eat breakfast every day.
  43. Shopping is a sport.
  44. She told us to play nice with the other kids.
  45. Always told me to be nice person (period).
  46. She gave us piano & flute lessons
  47. Swimming and gymnastics lessons too.
  48. Shoes don’t have to match your purse.
  49. Wear clean underwear.
  50. You can do almost anything with a hot-glue gun.
  51. Brush and floss your teeth.
  52. Always take a jacket, and often an umbrella too.
  53. She never forgets a birthday/anniversary or other holiday.
  54. Took me to see grandparents quite often – the trip was across country.
  55. She told me to always keep a few dollars in my pocket for emergencies.
  56. She’s proud of us no matter what.
  57. Be sure to send Christmas cards.
  58. You can never have too many photos.
  59. She always made me try new foods, and made me eat my veggies.
  60. Have a hobby.
  61. Look for the good in everything and everyone.
  62. She passed down Grandma & Great Grandma keepsakes.
  63. She taught me to darn a sock and sew on a button.
  64. She taught me to share, especially ice cream cones and M & Ms.
  65. She always found ways to surprise us.
  66. A sack lunch is great.
  67. Always make the time to have lunch with friends.
  68. We always got a little gift when she returned from trips.
  69. Carry 2 pens, someone might need to borrow one.
  70. Carry lots of Kleenex, someone will need one.
  71. She cooked over an open campfire and can pitch a tent.
  72. She took me to a dermatologist.
  73. She picked great clothes and jewelry.
  74. Be sure to get your hair done, often.
  75. She still remembers my favorite dinner and dessert from childhood and still prepares it better than I do.
  76. Photos of my kids are on her fridge.
  77. Goes overboard when we come to town.
  78. She sends cards for all occasions
  79. Her fudge and pumpkin nut bread are “to die for.”
  80. She always makes my favorite pie.
  81. She always took a picture of us on the first day of school.
  82. She made me do things myself.
  83. Plan a get-away with your spouse at least once a year.
  84. Have a savings account and don’t break into it.
  85. Take care of your skin, even when you are young.
  86. Nurture your friendships; motherhood can be very lonely sometimes.
  87. Vote.
  88. She made sure we always got to see fireworks.
  89. She pumps her own gas
  90. Know what the organization really does before you donate to them.
  91. She sent really great care packages to me when I was stationed over seas.
  92. Don’t complain.
  93. She taught us how to make a decision, there are consequences to everything.
  94. You can have a good time without spending money.
  95. Use sunscreen and chap-stick.
  96. She doesn’t understand my jokes but she still laughs.
  97. She taught me to go above and beyond in my career.
  98. Visit the gravesite of loved ones when you are in town.
  99. She backed me up when I was blamed for something that I swore I didn’t do.
  100. She put up with all my childhood shenanigans and loves to tell everyone about them.

The list could go on and on, but we are stopping at 100.  Life is a constant learning experience. Some of us are fortunate enough to have our Moms with us for most of the ride. We still learn from our Mother and so do our children. We are who we are because of her. How would our lives have been different if our Mom was not a strong, compassionate and loving woman? We’re grateful that we will never know.