Family Camping Trip Memories

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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

Hello everyone. Today I would like to share some memories of family trips I enjoyed when I was younger. God blessed me with a wonderful family, and although we didn’t have much money growing up, we had each other.

The trips we enjoyed the most often as children were camping trips. It was great fun for cheap. It was also a great opportunity for quality family time together, and that is so important in a household. We lack that today because all people are interested in is their electronics.

My dad worked shift work so he would get a week long break each month, and on some of those breaks during the summer, we would go camping. I remember the excitement I had when daddy popped up the camper in our driveway so mom and I could help clean it out and get it packed up with linens, cooking supplies, and paper plates and silverware. I always looked forward to those times because I knew the camping trip was just around the corner.

Our two most visited camping spots were Grayson Highlands State Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Lake Alma Campground in Wellston, Ohio. We had so much fun in the mountains. We hiked down to waterfalls to swim in the chilly mountain waters. We hiked up the mountain to enjoy the gorgeous view of multiple sates in our Country. I will never forget my daddy carrying me on his shoulders when the hike was just too hard for my little legs as a young child. My dad carried my load when I couldn’t keep going. That’s a great example of what our Heavenly Father does for His children everyday. What a beautiful thing!

Our family also enjoyed biking, and walking, and talking, and just enjoying life. I loved the campfire grilled cheese sandwiches and roasted marshmallows at night. My favorite was to eat marshmallows was set on fire, and then burnt to a crisp. I can just taste it now thinking about it! Yum! Many summers, we would go wild blueberry picking in the mountains, and it was such a joy. I remember one year it rained so much in the mountains that daddy took us on a drive to Tennesse so that we could visit a popular amusement park called Dollywood. It was a wonderful memory with a wonderful family.

When we visited Lake Alma Campground, we enjoyed biking, hiking, and swimming in the lake. My wonderful daddy actually taught me how to swim in that lake and I will never forget that. He even taught hunter safety courses for people who like the sport of hunting and the great outdoors.

One of my favorite camping memories was gathering around the campfire in the evenings and playing old gospel songs with my family as we all sang together praising Jesus for the whole campground to hear. We would strum on guitars, banjos, and dulcimers.

I will never forget these joyous memories that God allowed my family to have. I will be forever grateful. If you have or had wonderful, godly parents who took care of you every step of the way and cared about quality time and memories, thank God for them every day. It is one of the best blessings God has offered us. I loved my daddy so much and I am so very blessed to still have my precious, beautiful mother in my life to this day. She is always there for me as I rant about my struggles, and she never has a harsh word to say about anyone. What a wonderfully humble woman! I thank God for my parents and wonderful brothers! I couldn’t have asked for better!

If you have any precious family memories to share, please do so in the comments section bellow. I’m sure it will be quite an encouragement.

God bless!

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Prayers for Our World

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”
Isaiah 5:20

This describes our world today. People are calling murder good. Sexual sin that destroys lives is called good. People are praised for their sins when God is the only one that deserves praise. There are huge rallys, parades, and celebrations to celebrate evil and foolishness when the churches are having less and less revivals and services. Evil is called good. The world is calling good evil. God is good and what He stands for is good and right. The world is calling God’s Holy way and God’s children evil. God’s true children need to stand together in prayer and for what is true and right. We need to remember the perfect love that casts out fear: That is the love of Christ. Through prayer and faith in our Lord, we can see a change in the lives of others. Christ loves the world and can deliver them from sin through His sacrifice. Help us to love our neighbors , families, friends, and Coworkers enough to pray for them that their eyes may be opened to the truth. When lives are changed for the sake of Christ, the Holy Spirit moves in amazing ways!

A Big Praise to God

I want to brag on God. I have been struggling with some unspoken things inwardly in my heart. I was talking to my mom about it and she suggested that I just sit back for a minute a day and ask God to allow me to feel his sweet presence for just a moment. Thanks for the wonderful advice mom. I was taking a quick shower and listening to Pandora radio, and I asked God to let me feel him. The next song that came on the radio was “By His Wounds.” It’s a beautiful song and it is based on my favorite Bible verse of all time, Isaiah 53:5 (“He was pierced for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed). I felt God’s beautiful presence. The next song that came on immediately afterward was “Thy Will Be Done.” God was reminding me with these songs that He loved me enough to die for me and that he has a perfect will for my life. Thanks bunches to mom, Kathy Harrison for encouraging me, and the biggest thanks of all to my Savior, Jesus Christ for allowing me to feel you today and to hear you speak to me through song. Music is such a blessing from God and I am grateful.

Your Role as a Member of Christ’s Body

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Hello everyone. Above is one of the many gorgeous pictures from my trip to Florida. I just thought I’d share the beauty. So today I am going to write about our duties as members of the body of Christ.

Each and every true follower of Christ in a member of the body of Jesus, and we each have jobs to do. We are part of God’s plan, and we are the tools often used to build up the body even more. When we use our gifts and tools appointed to us for the sake of Christ, we see God’s saving hand at work. Let’s talk about some parts of the body and some things they should do.

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
The Brains
Christ is the head of the body. He is on top and should always be number one in our lives.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Colossians 1:18
God appoints some members with the brains and smarts. He gives many people high degrees of intelligence. The lost sinners often use their smarts for evil. The saved are to use the intelligence for Christ’s glory. Do you know some biblical Greek? Teach this to someone so that they may have a better understanding of the Scriptures. Did God give you wisdom to be a problem solver? Help someone with biblical sound advice. God uses smarts to save the world.
The Mouth
Some are quiet and some are outspoken. Has God blessed you with the gift of gab? Use this gift for good. It’s what you are meant to do. If you can sing, than use that gift as well. Tell others the good news about Christ. Spread the love. Don’t speak evil. Sing about God’s love in church or at a nursing home. The elderly get such joy from music. Use your mouth to spread joy and encouragement. Be a witness for Christ.
19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
Colossians 2:19
The Hands
If you were blessed with two working hands, don’t take it for granted. Use those hands. Some hands are appointed to play instruments and make beautiful music for Christ. Some hands are great cooks. Cook a meal for the needy. Feed the hungry at a soup kitchen. Some people speak with their hands using sign language. If you know sign language, use it because it is a beautiful thing. Use your hands to comfort the hurting with a hug. Lay hands on the sick and pray for them. Those hands can do many spectacular things to glorify God.
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen
Mark 16:14
The Feet 
If God gave you working feet, He did it for a reason. Use them. Take part in a walkathon for a good cause. God out and weed eat or mow someone’s yard that can’t walk well. Go out and tell the world what God has done for you and for others. God wants us to tell of His goodness. That’s the whole point. Tell about God’s grace enough, and you will see a huge change in the lives of others.
There are many members of Christ’s body. Pray for God’s guidance in showing you what your part of the body is and what you should do. Blessings will indeed come from it.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Bible Quizzing Experience

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Hi everyone. It’s been a busy few weeks. I haven’t had near the amount of time that I’d like to post more often, but here it goes.

I would like to start sharing some life experiences and things I’ve learned from them. Today I will talk about Bible quizzing.

When I was sixteen years old, I started dating a boy who went to the Nazarene church in my town. Because he went there, I went there. My two best friends attended this church as well. Through them, I was introduced to teen Bible quizzing. The Bible quiz is made up of teams competing against each other in answering different types of questions from God’s Word. The better the teams and players did in tournaments, the more places they could travel to compete.

I met so many wonderful people through this experience who were joyous and caring. One woman in particular holds a special place in my heart. She was my quiz coach and a dear friend. She showed such love for her quizzers. Her name was Carol Taylor. A few years ago, she went on to meet Jesus in heaven and many people miss her dearly. She was an encouragement and the verse she would have us quote before a tournament was Philippians 4:13.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

That scripture blessed my heart and I think of Carol to this day when I hear it.

Bible quizzing helped me to set goals. I studied hard, memorized thousands of scriptures, and I don’t regret a bit of it. Bible quizzing truly helped me to hide God’s Word in my heart, and that is the best thing I was given in my teen years. Travel was also an added bonus. I traveled to many towns in Ohio, and I even enjoyed two amazing quiz trips far away. One was to Nampa, Idaho. The other was to Orlando, Florida. These were blessed times full of fun, laughter, Bible study, and prayer. Our church van even broke down for a week in the middle of Wyoming on the way home in 2008. I sure was homesick, but I saw some gorgeous sights that the wild wild west had to offer. My loving daddy knew I was homesick, so after a week as we drove home, daddy met us halfway in Iowa. I was so happy to see mommy and daddy that day. Daddy loved me so, and my mother is such a loving woman as well. By the end of that trip, I was ready to kiss the Ohio soil when I returned home. It was an adventure.

If Bible quizzing is offered in your church, consider it for yourself or your children. If it’s not a thing at your church, ask God’s guidance in starting a quizzing program. I promise you won’t regret minute of it. God is so good!

I mentioned my two best friend earlier in this post that went to the Nazarene church. Please pray for them. They have strayed away from the church and are living worldly lives. I love them so much and want them to know God for who He is. Pray that God will show them Himself and show them the error of their ways.

I going to Florida tomorrow for vacation, so please keep me and my loved ones in your prayers as we travel.

God bless you all!

Reflections on Isaiah 53:5

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Hi friends. With Easter Sunday around the corner, I thought it might be appropriate to take a few moments to reflect on God’s perfect sacrifice of His Son. Isaiah 53:5 sums up what Jesus truly did for us on that cross, and I’m going to discuss that verse today and what that means.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

He Was Pierced for our Transgressions.

Think of what it’s like getting a body piercing without any numbing aides. Think of a needle piercing a sensitive area of your body. Jesus suffered far worse piercings. He was pierced so fiercely all over His body for lowly sinners. The piercings were deep, and not gently performed. The lashings were ferocious. Christ took that pain and humiliation so that we could live. Only the true Messiah and Savior would suffer such pain for us.

He Was Crushed for our Iniquities.

The definition if iniquity: Immoral or grossly unfair behavior.

Think about the most immoral thing you have heard on the news or seen with your eyes. God sent His Son to be crushed for people such as these. Jesus was crushed for us! We are all guilty of sins and iniquities, and Jesus cared for us anyways. Christ our Lord was crushed. His bones were broken and literally crushed for us. He sacrificed Himself for such immoral and gross people such as us. I have never had a broken bone, but I can’t imagine that pain and heartache and discouragement that it can give. Jesus had bones broken and crushed all over for us, and He did this to pay the wages of our sins. We should always give thanks for that.

The Punishment that Brought us Peace was on Him. 

We can have peace because of our dear Lord Jesus. I think about my dad and his death. I don’t think that I could have made it during that time in my life without Christ’s peace. I acknowledge that without Jesus taking the punishment for my sins and the sins of the world, I could not have that sweet peace of knowing my wonderful daddy made it to a beautiful heavenly home. Thank you sweet Lord Jesus for stepping up to the plate and taking the punishment of wounds, and scars, and broken bones, and humiliation so that us lowly humans could know what true and everlasting peace is.

By His Wounds we are Healed.

This is probably my favorite part of the verse. “By his wounds we are healed.” Think of a time when you were very sick and struggled deeply with it. Now think of the time that you had a treatment or medicine, or woke up feeling better from that terribly exhausting sickness. You were healed! You almost wanted to jump a mile high out of that bed didn’t you? It gives a person a burst of happiness, joy, and energy when they feel better after an illness. We should want to jump miles high every day as we remember Christ’s sacrifice. We are healed, but this time it is eternal. We sin daily and all fall short, but then God looks back to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and shows us that sense of peace and love that lets us know we are healed. Only by the pain and suffering of Jesus were we permitted to receive such a miraculous healing. My heart aches inside when I remember all the pain and shame that Jesus went through for me. But I just want to leap for joy when I think of the wonderful healing that Jesus gave me. I have a new heart and hope for my future, and it’s all because of Jesus that I’m alive and can live forever. Thanks be to my Lord always!

 

Have a wonderful Easter!

Ways to be a Witness

Jesus’ Cross Was the Only Wonderful Cross

Hello dear readers. I hope that everyone is having a fabulous week. Today I want to talk about being a witness for Christ and standing for what is right and biblical.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

We were called to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the earth. When we are saved by the blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with His love and we gain a desire to praise God and tell others about His grace. We feel such a strong urge to share the truths in God’s Word. Being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us the most special type of power a human can receive. We are given the power to help change lives. We share the gospel and God uses the words we say and the things we do to draw people to Himself, expanding the family of God. That’s a pretty awesome task with which you are entrusted.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Some people think that the only way to witness is to speak, teach, or preach, but that is not the case. We can be a witness simply by our actions. Buy someone a gas card when times are tough. Prepare a tasty meal for a widow. Be positive in the tough situations. Offer a listening ear when someone needs to talk. If someone asks you why you are being exceedingly kind to them, never give credit to yourself. Always give the credit to your Father God.

Some people are simply not as bold as others when it comes to speaking out. We should all ask for God’s help when we want to speak to someone about Christ. If we have not yet been given that boldness, we can use social media to glorify God. It can sometimes be easier to express your thoughts by writing or typing when we don’t know how to express these things outwardly. Share your testimony on your page or share a Bible verse. Many unsaved people might see these things. It could be a tool used to change their lives. Just do what God has called you to do, and great things will happen in the world.

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Isaiah 43:10

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Romans 1:16

Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. He died so that we could live. Embrace that wonderful grace. Doing so will surely bring forth persecutions and hardships, but it’s worth it. Christ gave it all up to us so that we could be in His family and live with Him in heaven soon. No matter how hard life gets, never deny Christ. He didn’t deny you. He is with you always. He is there in the good and bad, sick and health, rich and poor, and even on our deathbeds. He is there. He provides us with the strength that we need to love Him, witness, and endure through it all.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

Please comment and share.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Good Good Father

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Hello friends! When is God good? God is good all the time! He is good in every circumstance, welcomed and unwelcome. Today I am going to share with you some Scriptures about our Mighty God and His goodness.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8

The verse states is so clearly. Read God’s Word and let it sink in. Taste His goodness in your life. You are truly blessed when you trust God and go to Him as your shelter in every storm. God is your storm cellar in the fiercest cyclone, and He is your umbrella in the smallest of rain showers. He covers you with His grace, and that is good indeed!

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Psalm 84:11

God is our sun and shield. He is the bright light that keeps us warm and guides us. He is our shield when the devil throws his arrows at us, or when we are mocked by non-believers. Remember that God is always on our side of the battlefield fighting for us.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect! We may not always understand why terrible things happen to us, but keep in mind that it’s all a part of God’s will and perfect plan that He has in store for our future. Good things are always ahead for God’s people, and in the end of time, God wins. God’s children will always be winners right along with Him.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34

Always give thanks to God! He gave you life, breath, and loved ones. Most importantly, God gave you His Son. Because Jesus gave His life for our sins, we can live eternally with God and enjoy His steadfast love that truly never ends. Thank God for the promise of heaven! That promise shows so much goodness that God has given!

The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Lamentations 3:25

God is good! We must wait on Him. Patience is very tough when we want our prayers answered immediately, but we should always remember that He has a perfect plan. Sometimes we want our prayers answered “right now,” but God often says to us “wait.” He knows how and when prayers should be answered and we should always try to trust in that.

I have been struggling with TMJD, (a disorder in my jaw), that makes me very uncomfortable. I have been to different specialists for it. My jaw joints feel dislocated, they pop a lot, my head aches, my jaw muscles spasm, and it can be very discouraging. It often causes me to go into a depression. I have been praying to God for the seven years that I have been struggling with this pain and discomfort, and I know that through it all He is going to take care of me and be with me because He is good. Many people are praying for me as well, and I ask for your prayers. I trust that God has a plan and a reason why He has not healed me completely of this yet. He sees the big picture in my life and knows what knowledge, obedience, and strength I will gain from my experience. One day I hope to wake up with my TMJ healed and back to normal. I will do my best to always praise the Lord anyways because He knows my pain and He knows my heart. The sames applies for you guys. If you have an affliction that you have been dealing with, always go to God, he will direct your path and hold your hand the whole way! I want to pray for you guys too, so if you are dealing with a struggle, reach out to me and I will say a prayer for you.

 

Remember God’s goodness in all things my friends!

Have a great weekend!