Monday, August 31, 2009

Wisdom & Knowledge

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. ~~ Proverbs 2:1-6 NIV

I’ve always enjoyed learning. Even as a child, I liked school when my classmates did not. Now, I confess by the time I reached high school, my interest in school started to wane as I found other teenage interests. But most of my life, I’ve actually enjoyed learning.

I like to read and study. If there’s something I don’t know and I want to know, I’ll look it up. It is so much easier now to research with the internet in our homes as gives us a wealth of information at our fingertips. Libraries have books and periodicals available online. I read a comment of a bloggy friend who said she was going to the library to research. I thought about it and I can’t remember the last time I actually went to the library. I’m certain my library card has expired. I prefer to buy books to create my own library than borrow books.

Though I like to learn, there are certain things I’m just not interested in, such as science and math. My youngest son really enjoys math and he can’t fathom my not liking it. God likes numbers as there is a book called Numbers; He counted and talks about multiplying throughout the scriptures. He even knows the number of hairs on our head, so numbers are important. But He also created many parts to one body and we each function differently.

Therefore, I believe my part in the body is to read, write, teach and speak. That’s what I enjoy. My heart’s desire it to first seek the Lord for from Him comes wisdom. Next is to serve my family and my church. Now that I am no longer homeschooling my youngest son, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to return to school myself and complete my education.

Years (many years) ago, I served in the U.S. Air Force to earn money for college. But then the boys came along and the Lord had me set that desire aside for a season. I lost the funds I contributed to the G.I. Bill as the time had lapsed. But then I found out (through the Lord guiding me) that my state, Texas, has financial aid for veterans. The financial aid package went through very quickly, I registered and I’m again a college student! I’m now pursuing a degree in English in order to enhance my writing and editing skills.

Besides gaining understanding through college coursework, I’m researching and writing a Bible study on Hosea that I’m presenting in my community. Lord willing, we’ll see what else He wants me to do with it after this.

I thank God He doesn’t give me any time to be bored. My life is very busy, but it is a good kind of busy as I want to turn my ear to wisdom and apply my heart to understanding.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ready? Saddle up let's go!

To my friends & family,
We're on a great adventure with Christ. Let's saddle up & blaze our trails. I just love this song and it's come to my attention again this past week through my friend, Shona Neff. I want to share it with you!

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, August 17, 2009

Constant Reminders

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. ~~ Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NIV

Often I feel like a nagging mother. I’m constantly reminding my children of their chores. I’ve tried all the chore chart systems, star systems, rewards and allowances. Nothing seems to help them to remember what to do without my prompting them.

“Did you feed and water the dogs?”

“Did you remember to brush you teeth?”

“Did you put away your clothes? “

Over and over again, I’m repeating myself. I’ve thought of recording in the digital voice recorder, numbering my reminders and pressing play on the appropriate number when that particular task needs to be done.

But then I remembered the scripture from Deuteronomy 6. The Lord gives us the commandments that we’re to put upon our hearts, but then He directs us parents to “Impress them on your children.” According to, impress means “to affect deeply or strongly in mind or feelings; influence in opinion; to fix deeply or firmly on the mind or memory, as ideas or facts; to urge, as something to be remembered or done.”

How do we have something fixed deeply on the mind or memory? We must hear it over and over again. It struck me that’s how it is with our children, they must hear it over and over again. That’s why it states in Deuteronomy 6, “talk about them when. . .”

“You sit at home.” While we’re at home, we’re to teach our children the scriptures and how to follow the Word.

“When you walk along the road.” Grant it, we drive most places today. So while driving around on our errands, to and from practices, we should be giving our children instructions.

“When you lie down.” So as we put them to bed at night we need to remind them of the word of God, tell them what they do right and tell them how to correct what they did wrong.

“When you get up.” We need to model for them how to read the word and pray when they get up preparing for the day ahead.

I gather from this scripture, we’re to talk to our children all day to remind them of what to do. It’s a process to impress upon them God’s commandments. I wanted to tell them once and they remember it, but it has not happened that way for me. I think that’s why the rest of the scripture above tells us to put them on our hands, foreheads, doors and gates. We need constant reminding too. It’s a lifelong process.

If not already, let’s begin the daily process of getting in the Word of God all through out the day. We can use 3 X 5 note cards on our mirrors and refrigerator. I painted scripture in the skylight. Let’s talk about God’s commands all through out the day with each other and our children. Let’s see what a difference it will make for us. After all, we all need the constant reminders (especially when it comes to chores).

Engrafted by His Grace--

Monday, August 10, 2009

Be Persistent

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. ~~Luke 18:1 NIV

Each morning when I wake up, I sit on the couch with a cup of coffee to read the scriptures and pray. The other morning, my cat kept jumping up next to me, walking around me and meowing. This behavior was not typical, but I tried to dismiss it as I was attempting to have my “quiet time.” But she kept being persistent to the point that she jumped on the arm of the sofa, meowed, moved closer to my face, and swatted at my mouth with her paw. She gently tapped my lips whiling meowing. Not alert yet as I was still working on my first cup of coffee, I dismissed her odd behavior as cute.

However, when I got up to move about the house, she followed me to every room rubbing against my legs and meowing. I finally asked her what she wanted. (Yes, I believe we can talk to the animals and I do talk to mine.) As I walked to the kitchen to refill my coffee cup, she stopped by her water bowl and meowed. I keep the lights dim and the cat water bowl is dark blue, so I could not tell if water was available or not. Stooping over, I felt that the bowl was empty. “Oh, you need some water.” At the sound of running water, the other two cats showed up also. All that time, she was petitioning me for a drink of water. She knew what she needed and she knew who to ask.

We also have basic needs for food, water, clothing, shelter and good health. Just as the cat was persistent in asking me for her need, we need to be persistent in asking the Lord for our needs. I can’t explain the reason why sometimes He answers right away and other times He waits. He is sovereign and knows what is best. He never sleeps so He does not need the first cup of coffee. He simply knows what is best. And we’re to keep praying.

Jesus shared a parable in Luke 18 “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” A persistent widow kept asking an unjust judge for justice against her adversary. Then Jesus said in Luke 18:6-8, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Will He find people praying? If an unjust judge will grant justice to a persistent widow, why would we not believe that God, the Father, the Just Judge see to it that we’re taken care of? HE will!

Like my cat petitioned on behalf of herself and her “roommates,” I’m petitioning our Father for our country, our families, our marriages, our health, and our finances. We have an adversary that roams around like a lion seeking someone to devour, so let’s be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). Let’s be persistent in prayer—not giving up.

Engrafted by His Grace--

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Relationship Rescue & Restoration

Now that I'm a Certified Personality Trainer, I'm writing a column once a month at Take Root and Write. Here's a sample:

When my husband, Eldon and I married over twenty years ago, we promised each other that the honeymoon would never end. We wanted to always be googly-eyed and kooky with each other. However, real life happened and we went to work to support our household. Then our first child was born, and that changed everything.

What used to be a fun and exciting life, turned into work (for me anyhow). Then later baby number two came along. More work. My husband and I did not see eye to eye on how things in our home should be handled.

Off and on for twenty years, we had our highs and lows. We sought out counseling from pastors (and we so exhausted a few of them that they finally retired). Then we tried licensed professional counselors. We applied the techniques we learned from these experiences, but none of the advice ever really stuck.

But, then I was introduced to The Personalities before a CLASS (Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers Services) speaking seminar. When I heard the CD's and took the personality profile, I wanted my family to take it also. When we learned about each others personalities, we were all amazed at how accurate the profile assessments were and how much better we started to understand each other.

To read the full column, jump over to Purely Personalities on Take Root and Write where Shona Neff and I share this bi-monthly column.

If you or your organization would like more information and/or training on The Personalities, please email me at shonda (at) engraftedbygrace (dot) com. I'm available for small groups, seminars and conferences.

Engrafted by His Grace--