Life Update

Hey Ya’ll (I’m not Southern, but it sounds so inviting lol),

Sorry I have been so absent lately. I hate when bloggers do this.

In January, I got very interested in minimalism, simplifying, and decluttering. I have read books, as well as listened to audio books, watched Youtube videos, followed Instagram accounts and posts on these subjects.

My word for 2019 is “Simplify.” I wanted to get myself and the house as organized as possible before baby #2 comes in July.

I have also stepped back from leading some of my church ministries and next week is my last week teaching at the piano studio.

A lot is happening this summer for me.
Thank you for being understanding and patient.

In addition to changes, my husband’s schedule is more busy than mine this summer.

If you follow me on instagram, you’ll see more updates.

Thank you for following and reading my blog posts.

I’m still reading and studying! I plan to keep writing, just trying to keep my priorities in order.

 

-Sarah

 

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Sundays Are Not About Me

church bus

Here are some questions to start off with:

  • Are you Sundays filled with your flesh or God’s Spirit?
  • How can Sundays be different than the rest of the week?
  • What if we did not have a day of the week set aside to give priority and focus to GOD?
  • What do we owe God?

We always have our own ideas of what we want to do, how a situation should be, how others should act.

We all love slow mornings, good food, relaxing…but is that appeasing the Spirit or flesh?

I know I would love to wake up on a Sunday morning, get ready and eat breakfast without interruption.  My family would be in a good mood and arrive to Sunday school or their ministries on time.

It would be wonderful if the kids in the Sunday school, junior church and bus routes were all well behaved, and we had all the workers that we needed and they knew just what to do.

It would be Heaven if everyone at church agreed on every little detail, got along and helped each other. But is anyone perfect? Is the Earth perfect?

Now what is reality? What are Spirit-filled Sundays?

I get to focus on God and bless God today. I do not have to be influenced by the world today.

I might wake up late, but I will refuse to let that ruin my morning. I could start the day by singing and counting my blessings.

My family could be in a bad mood, but I pray specifically and help them in the way I can- even if my son throws a fit walking into church.

I don’t get to Sunday school on time, but I will work on that again next week by setting alarms and actually waking up to them, and waking my children up earlier.

One kid in Sunday school opening was being disrespectful. I try to help, pray for him and his family situation, let it roll off my back and get his bus captain;  I refuse to let it affect me or my day.

I meet a visitor who has never been to church and sit by them. How refreshing, filling and comforting the Doctrinal songs, friendly people and the Bible preaching must be for them. I put myself in their shoes. I pray that they get saved, baptized, join the church and grow closer to God. I realize that I need to sit by visitors more often.

My husband and I are busy in our ministries, covering for someone who could not make it. We genuinely love and pray for them and the people we work alongside with.

I try to make something for lunch-it is not exciting, something to post about, or exceptionally tasty, but it works.

I might not get to relax because my children needed me, but I know that is priority right now and I can listen to an audio book.

I have nursery tonight, but I will not complain. I know it does not solve anything. I try to help God’s work any little way I can.

We get home after church and hear about someone getting saved. We realize that is why we are here; this is why we serve God.

Why do we have Sundays? Jesus died on the cross AND rose from the grave for us. God created us. God loves us each specifically. Sunday is a spiritual reset for all of us.

He is the One who knows us and loves us more than we know and love ourselves.

What do Sundays mean to you? Do they mean fulfilling a duty? Catching up on jobs from the week? What is your priority on Sunday? Who or what is your FOCUS?

How do you give God glory? Worshiping Him in everything we do, NOT just singing. Sitting in the service is getting something from God; we are not doing God a favor just by sitting in a service. Are you giving to him your time, money or talents? We can all give back to God somehow. Ask God what HE wants!! We already know what we want.

How is Sunday different than all the other days of the week?

Priorities on Sundays are:

  1. Remembering what GOD did for you.
  2. A restart spiritually to your week.
  3. Telling others how to get to Heaven.
  4. Encouraging people to do right (people do not always get that at home, school or work.)
  5. Comforting hurting people. Sundays are for serving God and His children, NOT self-service.
  6. Listening to the pastor’s message and the Sunday school lesson to learn what the Bible has for us. (If you teach Sunday school, what can you learn personally from the lesson?)
  7. Giving back to GOD-through our tithe, time, talent, and by helping people know more about HIM.

Sunday is NOT just another day of the week to get something done or do what you want to do.

“There’s something different in the air, it’s Sunday! I love the preaching of the word on Sunday. I can hardly wait to be in church with those who care for me – hallelujah, amen It’s Sunday!”

1 Corinthians 16:2 – Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come

Exodus 12:16 – And in the first day [there shall be] an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save [that] which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.
Exodus 20:8-11 – Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  

John 20:1-31 – The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.

Acts 20:7 – And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Luke 24:1-53 – Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them.   

Hebrews 10:25 – Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Deborah and Jael

And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah …and the children of Israel came up to her for judgement. Judges 4:5

….. until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. Judges 5:7

Deborah (Honeybee-sweet to friends, but stung her enemies) 

Jael(wild, mountain goat)

Deborah and Jael-both of them were different women used of God at different, unplanned times and circumstances. Both were HUGE factors in what brought about victory from the Canaanites to God and His people, Israel. Did they even know each other? Jael was not even a native of Israel. Deborah made wicks for the lamps in the tabernacle. Deborah encouraged people to do right; she had discernment, wisdom and confidence in and from God. Sisera, the warrior fighting against Israel, came to ask Jael for water. She did even better- gave him milk and provided rest for him. Jael was the person God ultimately used to conquer Israel’s enemies at the time.

  1. People came to them. Deborah and Jael did not go out seeking for their own pride’s sake. People came to them for help, comfort and peace of mind. Deborah and Jael were not busybodies or gossips. They were not loud, opinionated wallflowers. They had a job to do and they did not get distracted. If people need your opinions or help, they will come to you. Deborah and Jael DID NOT overstep their BOUNDARIES! What are your boundaries?
  2. When Deborah described herself in the Bible, it mentions her husband, and it says “a mother in Israel.” Think of what a big term “mother” is. Sometimes a mother has to be a spiritual and emotional warrior for her family. Sometimes she has to clean up bodily fluids in the middle of the night­- most of the time she doesn’t get a lot of sleep or the rest she needs during the day. Sometimes she is there just listen or comfort people. Mothers go above and beyond what is asked for. Everyone needs a mother in some way or fashion. Mothers ARE leaders, do not take yours for granted. It does not just have to be your biological mother. Who is your spiritual or emotional mother?
  3. Deborah and Jael were ready to do whatever necessary for victory. They did not shy from dirty or hard work. They were courageous, strong women- but they did not take over the men’s place. God and His men need courageous strong women to do the hard and dirty work, and not to be loud wallflowers. Be the woman who will encourage and lead people to their victory, whether that victory will be spiritual, emotional, mental or physical.

We women cannot forget God or the men around us. We cannot do everything ourselves. We DO NEED HELP. Now that does not mean be lazy, but it does not mean you MUST be frazzled and overwhelmed. Deborah and Jael both had God and their husbands on their side. They did NOT go looking for extra work, it CAME to them. They could not always plan their day. They had amazing confidence in their God and the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength that HE had given them.

Do what you can do, with what you have, when you can do it. And, of course, always be constant in prayer and ask yourself who would be willing to help- whether it is my children, my spouse or my friends. The easiest and most powerful thing you, your friends and family can do is pray about “it.” Who is really going to say I can’t pray??

We can learn so much from Deborah and Jael, but we cannot give them the ultimate glory. Their situation was rare. Always remember WHO orchestrates all of our victories and WHO SHOULD get ALL of our glory. Ask God for the strength, confidence and wisdom of Deborah and Jael. (Judges 4 and 5)

 

Random other thoughts:

  • Another woman in the Bible who killed a leader-                                                    And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. Judges 9:53 

Other women leaders in the Bible

  1. Miriam
  2. Huldah
  3. Noadiah
  4. Esther
  5. Anna
  6. Four unmarried daughters of Philip the evangelist.

 

  • I love songs from the Bible –Judges 5:1-31

Psalm 46 Why Should I Worry

mount fuji

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

(verse 10) Be still, and know that I am God:

Psalm 46 became my chapter and the song, “Til the Storm Passes By/Why Should I Worry” became my song while I was about 30 weeks pregnant with my first child and I just had found out I had gestational diabetes. A whole new world for me in many ways, I was trying to prepare myself mentally to be a first time parent, figure out a low-carb diet, along with taking insulin and checking my blood sugar. Later, I also got PUPPS rash.

This verse reminded me that God can still take care of me no matter what problem seems huge to me. I was further amazed even more when talking to a friend of mine (who was also pregnant at the time) had also recently taken Psalm 46 to heart. My friend had had a traumatic labor with her first child and was worried about her 2nd labor that was coming soon.

“…Though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried…”

Though I get gestational diabetes, though I get PUPPS rash, tho I -fill in the blank…whatever happens to me, God is MY rock, My refuge My strength and MY very present help in trouble.

Looking back now my pregnancy and labor was pretty easy, and my friend’s labor was not as scary as her first.

So why should I worry?

why should I fear?

When the very same Jesus, he is always so near.

He lives in my heart and he hears when I cry,

I’ll call on his name till the storm passes by.

No matter what happens in anyone’s life, God is already there to help you and take care of you. Nothing surprises God; we just need to be aware of Him, His love, His strength and stay close to Him.

Find verses and look for instances around you to prove it to yourself and others.

Out on the water, the storms raging high.

The waters around them, they were troubled that night.

Fear filled their hearts,

they felt they would die but they

failed to remember that the master was nigh.

Then he spoke the words and the winds all stood still.

You see even the waters, they obeyed his will.

Now he calmed their storms just like he will

mine if I just remember, he lives deep inside.

So why should I worry?

why should I fear?

When the very same Jesus, he is always so near.

He lives in my heart and he hears when I cry,

I’ll call on his name till the storm passes by.

We read in the Bible when he walked with them,

brought light to the darkness when the way grew dim.

How great it would be to have his footsteps in mine and walk with the

master all of the time and when trials come and

death seems so nigh, I’ll just call on the master.

I know he’ll get there on time and when sickness comes

and my body’s in pain, all I have to do is call on his name.

So why should I worry?

why should I fear?

When the every same Jesus, he is always so near.

He lives in my heart and he hears when I cry,

I’ll call on his name till the storm passes by.

Just call on his name till the storm passes by

Hagar

well of water

Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. Genesis 16:1

I have never heard Hagar talked about in a positive light, or even much at all. Abraham and Sarah acquired Hagar as a servant when they were in Egypt. Egypt, a picture of sin in the Bible, has never been a place where God’s people should have visited. Abraham was in the wrong place, and that is where he acquired Hagar.

Hagar was Sarah’s servant; Sarah and Abraham had no children, and they did have to wait and be patient for many years before they were able to have a son. I can understand why Sarah was impatient and thought she had a quick fix to the situation; so she told Abraham to have a child with Hagar.

In that culture, it was not uncommon to have more than one wife, to have slaves, or to have children with the handmaiden. In fact, Jacob did the same thing. Solomon and David also had multiple wives…but does that make it right? Deuteronomy 17:17 – Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Nevertheless, Abraham sadly obeyed Sarah rather than God, and we are still dealing with the consequences today. Since Hagar was a handmaiden, she did not have much say in the matter, yet God still took care of her and her baby.

Unsurprisingly, Sarah and Hagar did not get along with each other after Sarah’s idea became reality. Hagar ends up running away from her home while she was pregnant. Life is hard and emotional enough while pregnant without the stress of being a runaway and not getting along with family or friends.

What I love about this part is that an angel found Hagar-he asked where she came from and where she was going. God always knows the answers to His questions, He just wants us to hear our answers to help us come to our senses. He did the same with Adam, Cain, Moses, Jonah and I am sure others.

Hagar was truthful about herself and her situation, in fact she actually gave more information than the angel asked for. God audibly promised Hagar to take care of her and her son; God told Hagar that her son had a big future. What a comfort!

God says in His word that He will take care of us, but it is even more reassuring when we personally experience God showing us that He will take care of us. Whether it’s through a loved one’s words, someone paying for your groceries, or something small- God is always showing us that He will take care of us. He won’t take the problem away, but He will see us through it.

I love how Hagar says …”Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?”

The angel told Hagar to return to Sarah and submit under her hand.

I also love how Hagar obeys and goes back to Sarah and Abraham. You can’t always leave your problems; there is not always an easy, quick fix to hard situations. Neither Sarah nor Hagar prayed about the answers to their problems.

Years later, after Isaac was born, now there was strife between Isaac and Ishmael (I find it interesting that the strife between the parents was passed down to their children).

This time God was involved with the decision making, and Hagar left Abraham and Sarah this time for good. God still saw, knew and heard Hagar’s tears. God still took care of Hagar and Ishmael and kept His promise.

Try to see God work in your life every day, especially with the little things. When hard problems come up, don’t always jump to the first solution. God is with us for a reason.

I love how God is still able to work through the problems that we create on our own, and still work them out for our good and His glory.  He is there to comfort us.

Personal Testimony Part 3/3 -Curt Hoggat is a friend and former Sunday school teacher of my husband and me.

BIG part of my failure was that I always went back to doing the things that defeated me!

Make no mistake right here, you cannot be around evil people and evil influences! Your old nature will reel you in like a fish on a hook!
Ask God to give you a hatred for the sins that kept you bound! He will!

Men, hate the dirty porn that has left you with an unclean spirit! No man is exempt from this demonic poison! Hate it!

Hate the dirty, vile music that polluted your mind and spirit! Hate it! You can’t go on listening to Country or “Christian” rocks either! GOD IS NOT IN IT!

Hate the booze and drugs that have taken you captive and ravished your life! Hate it!

Hate the dirty, vulgar talking that characterized your unclean life! Hate it!


 As I said, ask God to give you a holy hatred for those things that have kept you in bondage to the devil!
Hear me well: You’re a fool if you think you can “play” around the edges of sin and not be burned! Eph. 4:27 tells us” neither give place to the devil.” 

Yield NOTHING to the evil one! Don’t give him an inch!

5) You must CHANGE the way you THINK by RENEWING your mind!

Your thought process must be completely reversed by putting in the RIGHT thoughts. 
Proverbs 4:23 “KEEP the heart with all diligence; for out of it ARE the issues of life.”

Ro. 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Did you get that? A TRANSFORMATION must come about in your thinking as well as in your heart!
As you read and meditate in Scripture, God’s Word cleanses our minds! Friend, this Bible is a supernatural Book with the Authority and Power to renew, change, transform our thought s as well our lives!
“Unless you change the way you think, you will never change the way you act! How you think, will determine what you do.”

Did you get that?

(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh;

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Changes in our character must begin with our thought life! Changing the way we think comes from believing the Scriptures and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts! HE does the changing in us through the Word! Jesus said in John 15:3 “Now are ye clean through the word that I have spoken unto you.”
The choice is yours. You can continue to live for self and self-gratification and be MISERABLE inside with NO peace, purpose, principles, or Joy. That was my life until Thanksgiving week in November of 1973. That my friend, was 45 years ago and I have NEVER gotten over what the Lord did in my life when I gave up living for self!

Again, I ask, what about you? What are you holding on to that keeps you from the Blessings of God upon your life?
I wrote this down years ago and it’s still true today:
“HOW you live, REVEALS who you really are and what you really believe.”

Christian, where are you at with God?
Are you self-willed as I was and just doing your own thing?
What will it take for you to be a broken vessel He can use? What chastening will you have to endure to get you to follow Him?

3 weeks after I got my heart right, on my way home from work, I rounded a curve on West Jefferson to find a stack of pallets had fallen off a truck in front of me and a semi on my tail. To this day, I don’t know how I got off the road as the semi behind me plowed through those pallets. I found myself sitting on the side of the road contemplating what just happened, and I know, I didn’t do it myself, that’s for sure! Right there the Lord showed me that I would have died there on that roadway If I had refused his last call that November night!

Dear reader, the longing desire in your heart can only be satisfied by totally surrendering yourself to Christ Jesus who gives “peace that passeth all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) 
For you who read this and it rolls off of you like water on a duck’s back, if that’s
you, you probably just prayed a prayer and never got saved and gave your heart to the Lord. IF Christ came into your heart, you KNOW it!

Your false faith was in the prayer itself; you just wanted to escape hell and nothing else! You wanted to go on with your love of the world. You got religion but nothing else. 
If God has spoken to your heart, swallow your pride, admit that you are a lost, religious sinner and ask the Lord to save your wretched soul.


Romans 10:9-10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
There is a GREAT life awaiting you if you but surrender your heart and life to the Lord! I am living proof that God DOES CHANGE LIVES!
Curt Hoggatt    cbmgh@outlook.com

If this Testimony has impacted your life, I’d appreciate hearing from you.

A Personal Testimony Part 2/3

Has God ever put someone on your heart for no reason that you know of? Did you start praying for them? Did you text them and let you know that they are on your heart, and you are praying for them?

It’s sad to say, but there have been very few times that someone has told me since then that God had put me on their heart. And believe me, we have endured some very dark times as a family and I wish someone had let me know that they cared.

Sad, isn’t it? Someone may be on the verge of suicide and God has burdened someone for them and they don’t pray and contact them!

I also wrote this out in order to help those who are struggling with a serious sin problem or addiction. You, maybe like me, have almost given up. You’re so ashamed of the way you are living, aren’t you?

To my knowledge my parents, both in Heaven now, were never aware of the depths of my depravity. But I knew they were praying for me. I didn’t want them to know how much I had failed them. I was too ashamed to tell them. My prayer is that this will be a help to the one, who (like me, who lived defeated for 17 years) believes that there was no hope of ever living in victory. Today, my life is full and blessed!
The good news for YOU is that you can be free and live for the Lord Jesus Christ and have PURPOSE for living! The KEY is you WANTING to and surrendering to God’s Will for your life!

Here is the Prescription:

1) ADMIT you have a sin problem!

 

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Mark 7:21-23,”For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Romans 3:10-12, 23 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Proverbs 20:9 “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” 

Deal with it! Quit denying it

LOOK in the Mirror of God’s Word! (James 1:22-24) 

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

UNTIL you are SERIOUS about your sin, you will NEVER find the SOLUTION to your life’s troubles and afflictions! NEVER!

Before you read another word, ask God to break you, your will and your desires.

If you are NOT willing, read no further, go back to your miserable way of living! Defeated! God will not “accept” as you are! You MUST come His Way! Broken in spirit!

Psalm 51:1-4 is for you. 

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
2) Your SIN problem can ONLY be resolved at the Cross! Nowhere else are the answer found except in the Word of God! 

John 8:32, (TRUTH) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:36 (JESUS) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1 Peter 2:24: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

1 Peter 3:18: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 

Do you see that? Do you BELIEVE that? Again, if you don’t, stop reading and go back to your old life of misery and sorrow.

3) The only thing that will change your life is the TRUTH of God’s Word! 
John 6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 

John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

If you don’t believe that you have a God breathed Bible, stop reading and go back and play the games you used to play. (You know what I mean.)

4) SEPARATE yourself FROM wickedness! 


Romans 13:14:
 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11:  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

Curt Hoggatt    cbmgh@outlook.com    

If this Testimony has impacted your life, I’d appreciate hearing from you.