Funny Friday: Cake Fails

Cake Fails

Funny Friday: Cake Fails

Apparently some of the people taking directions for these cake designs failed to listen to instructions…or rather…took them too literally!! (kind of like “Phteven”)  My friend sent me the top cake fail picture years ago.  We imagined that there was a conversation that took place…

“Hello, I would like to order a cake for a going away party.”

“What you want on da cake?”

“Put ‘Best Wishes Suzanne’ and underneath that ‘We will miss you.'”

“He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen…” John 9:27a (NIV)

Preparing for the Storms of Life

Preparing for the Storms of Life

Preparing for the Storms of Life

Last week we talked about how we can be like palm trees through the storms of life. Jesus warned us that these storms WILL come. However, He also told us to take heart because He has overcome the world. After all, even the winds and the waves obey him!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

“The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”” Matthew 8:27 (NIV)

Sometimes we don’t have advance notice when the storms of life hit. It could be a lost job, an unfaithful spouse, the death of a loved one, or a sudden illness or injury among many other possible things. Therefore, since the timing of trouble is so unpredictable, it’s important to always stay prepared and ready. We need to make preparations in advance. We can’t wait until the storm comes. At that point it’s too late.

Just like one would prepare for an approaching hurricane by boarding up windows, gathering supplies, getting gas, and taking shelter, we too need to take precautions to be able to weather the potential storms of life that could come our way. 

Take Some Practical Steps to Prepare for the Storms of Life:

  • First, make sure to build your life on the right foundation–on God and His principles and teachings.

Homes built on sand will blow and wash away when storms come. A house built on a firm foundation, a rock, will outlast the storm. God is our rock!

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2 (NLT)

  • Next, build and develop your faith.

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Be Like Palm Trees Through Life’s Storms

Be Like Palm Trees Through Life’s Storms

Be Like Palm Trees Through Life’s Storms

Over the past weekend, I’ve been watching the Hurricane Irma footage. The Weather Channel‘s Mike Bettes commented numerous times about the palm trees and how they were taking such a beating but still standing. He said this was because they were so aerodynamic. It got me to thinking…We should be like these trees in our storms of life–bending but not breaking. Then I remembered that the Bible actually compares us to palm trees.

“But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The Lord is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”” Psalms 92:12-15 (NLT)

I did a little bit of research on palm trees to study some of their characteristics and what enables them to stand and survive during some of the harshest of conditions. Interestingly, it’s a lot of those same qualities that will help us to survive and thrive too. Let’s take a look!

Strong root systems 

roots of palm trees

Palm tree roots

Palm trees have a wide network of fibrous roots that create layers in the soil. These layers hold a tremendous amount of soil and are very heavy which forms an anchor for the tree. These strong root systems enable the tree to withstand immensely forceful winds without being uprooted.

Likewise, if we remained rooted and anchored in God, we too can withstand extreme conditions and brute force attacks. We need strong roots. The Bible says we need to be rooted in God’s love. Knowing we’re loved completely, unequivocally, and unconditionally can help us to endure quite of bit. Being rooted in God, Himself, and standing firm on His promises will keep us stable and steady. Hoping in Him will anchor us through life’s toughest storms and keep us firm and secure.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 (NLT)

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” Ephesians 3:17 (NLT)

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19a (NIV)

“For they call themselves after the holy city, and anchor themselves upon the God of Israel; The LORD of hosts is his name.” Isaiah 48:2 (KJ2000)

Sturdy yet flexible trunk

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Funny Friday: Messy Kid Problems

Messy kid problems...

Funny Friday: Messy Kid Problems

A friend and I were talking the other day about our messy kid problems. I started digging through some old photos to show her just how bad my messy kid problems got at one point. So…I was cleaning out my daughter’s closet one time, and when I finally got to the bottom I noticed this little T-Rex dinosaur fossil toy.  Just as I was reaching down to pick it up I remembered, “Wait…She doesn’t have a T-Rex toy!?!?”

Yep…it was a dead mouse. Totally decomposed already. Things LITERALLY DIE in her room!!

“These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth…the mouse…” Leviticus 11:29 (KJV)

Study the Devil

Study the Devil …to become familiar with his evil schemes, tactics, and ways.

Study the Devil…to become familiar with his evil schemes, tactics, and ways.

“So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11 (NLT)

Last week I shared about a dream I had and how I felt like it meant that the devil was studying me. I gave a few tips that came up during one of my quiet time devotions about how to engage the enemy. After some more prayer and insight into my dream, I felt like God told me to study the devil.

After I heard “Study him,” I knew I was supposed to be aware of HOW he attacks and be able to recognize some of his ways, tactics, and strategies. I needed to study the devil to start paying attention to how he does things and how/when he lies and causes trouble. Additionally, I needed to think about how he has attacked me in the past.

Now that I knew the devil was studying me, I could be preemptive by turning the tables. Two could play this game!

More insight about my dream

First, I started thinking some more about my dream and some of the possible symbolism in it. I could start by attempting to study the devil in my dream. If the man in my dream was symbolic of the devil, what could I discern from his character in my dream? Here were some of my thoughts…

He disguises himself as less threatening

The man that appeared in my dream seemed fairly unthreatening (skinny, gangly, pale guy). Likewise, the things that the devil uses to come against us might not seem harmful at first glance.

“But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NLT)

He trespasses and invades into areas where he shouldn’t

In the dream I had a sense that the man was asking me questions that he shouldn’t be asking or that he might be trying to do something illegal. The devil is the same way. He tries to do things that he has no right to do. He interferes and invades in areas that aren’t his territory. The devil is an intruder.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!” John 10:1 (NLT)

He tries to make us trip, stumble, and fall

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Is the Devil Studying You?

Is the Devil Studying You? Try these 6 steps if you feel like you might be under the watchful eye (or even attack) of the devil.

Is the Devil Studying You?

A few months ago I had a weird and kind of scary dream. I remember waking up very afraid and my heart was pounding. The dream was very realistic, and I remember thinking, “This dream means something.” I don’t always think that about dreams, but sometimes you just sort of know when certain dreams do have significance of some kind. I have them from time to time. This was one of those dreams.

I purposed to remember it and then wrote it down in my journal the next morning during my quiet time. I prayed and thought about what it might mean. Over the next week or so, I slowly started getting some insight. I was also getting some practical steps to take (you know I love those!). What I’ve learned might be helpful for you too.

Let me start by sharing my dream with you…

On a mission

In my dream I was going somewhere repeatedly, back and forth. Numerous times I was having to walk around and over several boxes in my path, almost like an obstacle course. It was also like I was in a hurry too. I think I was trying to catch a plane or train or something. Additionally, I seemed to be in the process of helping others somehow or doing something on behalf of someone else.

At one point, I ran into a man. He had red hair and pale white skin and was very skinny and gangly. He was wearing a blue polo shirt tucked into khaki pants. I remember thinking that he looked like he should work at Best Buy. He was carrying a clipboard or tablet of some kind.

The man started asking me questions about the person that I was trying to help. I recall thinking that he was very nosy and that he might be trying to get information from me or do something that was illegal. It was also very frustrating because he was distracting me from being able to successfully make it through all of the obstacles that I was trying to climb over. I began tripping and started to fall. All I could think was that I needed to get away from that man. There was a strong sensation that this man was not at all friendly and might even be dangerous.

Feeling scared

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