Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Miss My Kids!

Today I was thinking about how exciting it is that Christmas will be here on Sunday. It made me think of wonderful Christmases past. This year I miss my Jason and Aubrie. It will be the first time in a long time that not all of us will be together. I am so thankful for a family that loves hanging out together.

The fact is that I saw them in August for a few hours but I miss them NOW! I would gladly exchange all of my gifts to get to have them home for the weekend.

You see, I am blessed beyond measure. I have four wonderful kids and five AMAZING grandkids and the one most over-the top bestest ever husband in the whole wide world! God has truly blessed me, so for this year I will be grateful that most of my kids will be home and the ones that won't be will be in a loving environment of their very own. I am so thankful that each and every one of my kids and grandkids know and serve Jesus, the reason for this wonderful season!

Merry Christmas and have a Wonderful New Year!

Shanin

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And Whatever You Do...

1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

This is found in Colosians 3:1-17 I love this passage! Man isn't God's word rich? I have read this passage many times and EVERY time it speaks to me. There is always more refining to do, isn't there? People in the world can be hateful and shoot Christians can be hateful but what is our response? The Lord has been speaking to me about taking on the offenses of others. Sometimes that can be the worst offense! Especially when it strikes close to our kids:) Now that doesn't mean that we let them off the hook but it is our job to handle it in a righteous manner! I think the key is in verses 15-17 Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body; and be thankful. How often do we catch ourselves being ungrateful? Or maybe not being ungrateful but just in a rut or routine? I have been caught in a routine! But the Lord says to be thankful. Verse 16 is awesome! Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. How can we know these things without letting the Word of Christ dwell in our heart? How do we get the Word of God in our hearts? Not by osmosis or fellowship or even the once a week Sunday Message but by reading the word! I think that is where we are so vulnerable. The enemy knows that if he can just get us "too busy" or distracted by whatever means ,(ie: sickness, christmas parties, dissension), then he might get us distracted long enough to break our pattern of daily devotions with our True Love. The One who guards our hearts and minds! The One who gives us the answers! The last verse, 17, says And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. If we just sensored our thought patterns, actions and the words that came out of our mouths with the thinking that we are doing this in the Name of the Lord Jesus...is it worthy material to be done in the Name of the Lord Jesus? Do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus then the last line again is reminding us to give thanks to God the Father through Him. Man we must need to be reminded to give thanks, huh? It is sure mentioned alot. So today I challenge everyone to take time, dwell in the Word, in His Presence, sensor what we do, our motives and our actions and what comes out of our mouths! Is this worthy to have His stamp of approval? Then by all means do it in His Name and have a thankful heart and countenace also! Be Blessed!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Meeting Each One for the First Time

I can remember the first time that I met each of my precious children. After only four and half hours of hard labor Amber was born into our lives. When Amber was born she didn't cry but she opened her eyes wide and looked around in the delivery room. The Dr. was surprised because it was so bright because of the lights yet she still was taking it all in. She was so beautiful. We were on cloud nine.

Then there was Jason. He came out so angry! He was mad that someone had interupted his life. Before he was all of the way out he grabbed my hospital gown, pulled himself up and screamed. He was upset and let the world know it:) He too was absolutely gorgeous. Again, we were on cloud nine.

Then there was James. James was upset when he was born but it wasn't an angry upset it was a little pooched out lip upset. He cried and cried. I remember hugging him. He was so sweet. Another big beautiful baby (10 lbs. 2 ounces and 23 1/2 inches long). Three for three. How could life get any better? We were truly blessed.

Then many years later I met my last daughter, Tammy. The first time I saw her I had no idea that she would become my daughter. She was beautiful. She was only about fifteen years old and she had long dark hair. I called her by the wrong name! (she still reminds me of this to this day lol) She was very sweet. We got to be her pastors first. God was so good. He knew that Tammy would be ours one day, even when we had no clue. He had this marvelous plan. To make a long story short, Tammy was grafted into our family. She added three beautiful grand children to our family. Looking back now I see all of the puzzle pieces being put perfectly into place. I think about it now...I got to be with her when she was fitted for her wedding dress, her sister, Amber was her wedding coordinator. We were there for the baby showers and later the hard times too but God was there because He placed us there...together.

Each of my kids were placed into our lives. Each of them were more beautiful than I could ever imagine. Each of them individuals but fit so well, just as God has intended. I am truly blessed. I am married to a wonderful husband, I have four wonderful kids with amazing spouses and last but not least I have the best grandchildren in the world! Thank You Father for all of my kids...if I had only not called Tammy by the wrong name the first time! LOL...oh well, I am not perfect but I am their mother:)

You get what you get and you don't throw a fit! HA Ha!

Shanin

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Heroine or Victim?

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:15-16 NIV

Esther, the heroine of the Jews, for her time. She had the life, right? The life of a Queen? But that wasn't her whole story. Her story began when her parents were murdered and then she was taken (by the King's guards), at a young age, from her cousin to be placed in the harem to be "trained" or prepped to see if she "was good enough" for the King to choose her to be his Queen. Oh I forgot to add that she didn't even get to keep her given name, her identity was changed too. In our world she would be considered a victim, she would spend her whole life in counseling trying to figure out why it all had to happen to "her" aka me.

Esther didn't take the victim stance. There was a purpose for her life. When the bad guy, Haman, had devised a plot to have all of the Jews killed (her people), her cousin, Mordecai, told her about the plot. She realized that if she went before the King without an invitation she could be put to death, but Mordecai reminded her in Esther 4:14, he told her that who knows but that she was placed into her position as queen for such a time as this? (Shanin's version LOL)Her response was one of responsibility, one of a heroine, not a victim...go and fast and pray for me and I will go before the King and if I die, I die...(again Shanin's translation). Esther was not a quitter. She didn't throw her hands into the air in despair. She decided to do what was right regardless of the possible consequences. She made a decision in her heart...a decision of a heroine not a victim.

The story has a happy ending in Esther. If you haven't read that book of the bible you really should. It is short and a great read!

Can we apply this to our lives today? Yes. Maybe not to the extreme of circumstances like Queen Esther but everyone has had something happen to them in their lives. How will you respond? Will you respond and live as a victim or will you choose to become victorious? Will you make a decision to do what is right or will you throw your hands into the air and yell, "I'm done! I give up!" ? If you are a christian, will you be a good witness or a bad witness? Will you choose to seek healing and see what God has planned for your life? You are chosen for such a time as this!

My life story has had some ugly chapters but let me share with you that the good has far out weighed the bad. Has it always been easy? No, but I chose to seek out healing and am I ever glad! God is my Redeemer and Deliverer! I am so glad that the Lord showed me that things could be so different for my life. I am so glad that I realized that I didn't have to live life in the pit of dispair of victim stance! He took some pretty ugly circumstance ashes and created something beautiful out of that heap.

Praying that you choose to live your life to the fullest. Your life has a purpose! You are chosen for such a time as this. Please leave the trap of being a victim behind. It is such an ugly place to live, it's like quicksand. If you want or need prayer I would be glad to pray for you. God has great plans for you and enemy would like to derail you.

It's your choice...I chose life.

Shanin

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prayer

The Lord has been speaking to my heart about prayer. He speaks to me in snippets some days. He know that I can grasp it better in snippets :) There have been a few things bothering me lately. I was thinking about going to talk to one of my friends about it and He told me to wait and pray about it. He will change the situation. He is the Healer and the Redeemer and the Restorer. So that is what I am going to do about it. I am going to pray daily over the situation and watch God take care of it. He also has been challenging to increase my prayer life. I used to pray a lot more and I saw the evidence of that investment. So I am asking for God to help me to be more diligent in praying and seeking His face. Trusting and believing.

I am excited about this because I know that He will move in a mighty way. The last time He talked to me about my heart's desires was five years ago. Wow, I had no idea how God could and would move on my behalf.

We have gone through a lot of battles since then and I can look and see the battle scars. It isn't pretty. But God can take those wounds and heal them. He can restore what the enemy plotted to destroy. I am praying. I want and desire something more. I am thankful that I serve a God that can and will give me something more :) I will share more as He moves.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Eph 6:18 NIV


Praying, watching and waiting,

Shanin

Saturday, September 24, 2011

It's the Little Things!

Somedays it is just the little things that mean so much! Today I got to take care of three of my grandkids. I got to enjoy a cup of coffee! I get to go over to some friends' house for dinner tonight! And there will be homemade mexican food :) I am thankful for jalapeno poppers that my sweet husband is making even though he already worked eight hours cooking for others! How awesome is that? Tomorrow I get to go to church and worship! I love my worship team! I really like exclamation poiints...hee hee probably a little more than I should but I get excited easily :) I am extremely thankful for wireless internet access!!! I am really getting excited for Christmas. I am getting really, reallyexcited to shop with my girls the day after Thanksgiving! Of course on Thanksgiving day we will get to do a puzzle and this too excites me. I know that none of this is in order but I just wanted to share with you some of my happy thoughts for the day. When I really should be doing homework :P

Back to Work!

Shanin

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Behold How Good and How Pleasant It Is...

For brethren to dwell together in unity! DO you remember that old song? I was thinking about it today. It is an old song set to Jewish style music. When I was a kid and singing it people would get excited and clap in beat together.

That is how it feels when we fellowship or "hang out" with our family from The Bridge! Last night I taught the kids and to hear the kids run up to one another and pat them on the back or get excited and hug each other it! I love to hear their laughter and excitement to see each other. That is how it should be whenever it is time to gather! Unity! You don't have to be someone's best friend to support one another. Sometimes it is just a prayer said or an encouraging word that will minister to a person. Sometimes it can be a smile and wave from across the room, or a hug of comfort and to shed a few tears together. But there is just something special when brothers and sisters in Christ dwell together in unity!

You are an important member of the body of Christ. Do not entertain the thought that people won't miss you! You have a place. Not only will you miss out on fellowship but you might miss an opportunity to minister to a person who NEEDS you!

So resist the urge to sit home. Get up off the couch and go. We need each other. And to meet together to worship the King...there is nothing better :)

Expecting to see you soon!

Shanin

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

To The Ends of the Earth

There is a song that we sing in church called, "To the Ends of the Earth." It goes like this,

"Jesus, I believe in You and I would go to the ends of the earth, to the ends of the earth. For You alone are the Son of God and all the world will see that You are God, You are God."

I love this song. It is done by Hillsong United. You can find it on You Tube. Anyhow...I was reading an online new article about a shooting happening in a church back east. The article was sad but not as haunting as the comments that followed. There were a few good comments reminding others to pray for the wounded and the church body and then there were the comments making fun of the people who believed in God. Their words were so filled with anger that someone believed in Deity at all. There remarks were scoffing and hateful to say the least. It wasn't the people behind the posts that upset me. What bothered me was that they scoff and ridicule the stupid people for having faith and they are the ones that are truely lost. They hurt and have no hope for anything better than life here on earth. I prayed for them. I prayed that somehow, someway that they would find the love that they are missing. The unconditional love that Jesus provides for all of us. The kind of love that I would go to the ends of the earth for...if these posts break my heart what does it do to Him? To the One who died so that they could have life and hope! I live in my sheltered world and see just a limited amount of this hurt but He sees and hears it all.

God gave this wonderful gift of free will. It is a double edged sword. You see, we get to choose to believe or not to believe. We get to choose life eternal or a death sentence. He already paid the price for this gift yet we can still choose not to accept it while the whole time cursing the very One who sacrificed to give this gift of life to us. It must cut Him deeply because the Word says that it is His desire that not even one would choose death. He provided the way for salvation for each one of us. It doesn't matter what you have said or done in the past. He died for all of that! It is called sin. Plain and simple. All you have to do is tell Him that you are sorry for what you have done and believe that Jesus is Lord, and you are saved. Done deal. He died for everyone. No one is excluded for anything. It all hinges on whether you will accept Jesus as your Savior or reject Him. That decision is yours to make. And I am praying that you choose life today.

If you ever need prayer just post me and I will be glad to pray with you and for you. You are not alone. You too can have hope and eternal life:)

Praying for you today,

Shanin

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today is the Day...

I love the Lincoln Brewster song Today is the Day! It is such a joyous song. Today is the day You have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. Today is the day You have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. And I won't worry about tomorrow I'm trusting in what You say...Today is the day!

Of course we know that the basis of this is from scripture. This is the day the LORD has made;We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

We all have days when it is easy to rejoice in the Lord and then there are those days when we have to make a choice to rejoice! Remember to start looking for the little things to rejoice over on those days! We all have things to be thankful for! Go turn on some praise and worship or some Lincoln Brewster and refocus on the King. It will place everything else into perspective.

Rejoicing with you,

Shanin

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

O Taste and See...

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!Psalm 34:8 NKJV


Have you ever sat down and ate the most scrumptious brownie or piece of chocolate cake? It was so rich and yummy...did you have to twist someone's arm to get them to try a piece? NO:)

That is the way our lives should be. Our lives should be so different from others that people would look and see that we have something that they need or want! If you live a sour, bitter life no one will want that! But if you live a rich and full life you will have the opportunity to share Christ!

So remember when you are out and about...think about that yummy, gooey chocolate dessert...and share you life with anyone who looks hungry :)

Tasting, Seeing and Trusting!

Shanin

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lightning

While we were camping last weekend on Saturday night there was a fabulous electrical storm. I could tell that there was a storm brewing earlier in the evening so I had gotten up and put everything that couldn't get wet away. When it first started to hit, our youth and a few adults went to the top of Mt. Harrison lookout to watch the storm. Jason and I stayed behind at our campsite. We had a fire going so we did not want to leave it unattended. At first we saw a few strikes followed a few moments later by a loud crash of thunder. We oohed and awed over the fantastic light show. Then one gigantic flash of lightning happened with a thunderous boom. It was so loud and happened so sunddenly that I reached out and grabbed my husband and yelped. We decided that we had better go to the truck and watch the show from a safe location. Then came the down pour. More crashes then just as fast as it started it ended. I could see another set of clouds coming quickly. We took advantage of the break in weather to run to our tent. The lightning was even more fierce in the next storm. It was too close for comfort. One strike was so loud and bright that we could see the whole forrest from the inside of our tent! WOW!

The next day we all gathered outside. We had heard that some did not wait out the storm but left for home. The majority stayed. The youth talked about how awesome the light show was from the observatory. We all talked about how some of the strikes were way too close.

I realized at how there are a some similarities between lightning and God. Lightning is so cool at a distance. We know that it is powerful and enjoy a good electrical storm every now and then but if it gets too close it makes us uncomfortable. Some people even leave the area when it gets too close.

What about God? He is powerful. We love his power and his demonstrations of power as long as He is showing his lovie dovie side but oh how we all hate discipline especially when it becomes close and personal! He makes some of us so uncomfortable because we don't want for Him to address certain areas of our lives or to put it simply we don't want to change. When God shines the bright light in those areas of sin in our lives we back away or distance ourselves from the source of power. Are you someone who runs away from God when He gets too close? What do you do when you start to feel uncomfortable? He is the safe place. What will you do when He shines His brillant light into the dark places? Even when He is exposing something that you thought that you had hidden or feel as though your world is being shaken apart run to Him! Don't run away, don't go and hide. He will walk with you. He loves you. He desires great things for you. Don't be afraid...press in.

Pressing in,

Shanin

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tom...the Believer and Follower of Christ

24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24-29 NIV


You know, I think that Thomas gets a bum rap in the christian world. He is known as "Doubting Thomas." When I read this passage what I think is that Thomas is just human. As a matter of fact let's call him Tom. Now think about it, Tom, was one of the twelve disciples. So he was one of Jesus' friends/followers. He knew that Jesus, his friend, was crucified and died a horrible death. He probably knew that they were not on the top twelve of the most popular people list either. One day his friends said that Jesus came and visited them and he wasn't dead afterall.

Okay...wait a minute...if you knew that someone was dead and you knew where he was burried (totally dead) wouldn't you be a little skeptical? I know that I would probably think, "Wow, their grief has driven them a bit crazy! They must have seen a guy who looks like Christ because I know that he is dead! I was there!" Or could it be an imposter trying to find all of the remaining twelve to cash in on a little reward money? But alive? No way, not unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side!"

Who could blame the poor guy? And how many times have you said, "Not unless I see it myself with my own eyes will I believe such in such."

But Jesus knew. He knew Tom. Jesus came and told Tom to reach right in my nail scars and touch me...believe me...it's true! I am really here! Jesus actually said, "Stop doubting and believe.” But I think that Jesus gave Tom what He knew that Tom needed. Jesus gave Tom the confirmation that yes, indeed, it is true...I have risen from the dead...it really is ME! Jesus was gracious to Tom. There have been so many people who refer to Doubting Thomas in a negative connatation but I am wondering if those very same people wouldn't have done the same thing if they were in that situation? But Jesus loved Tom enough to provide the exact evidence, of what Tom needed, to believe in Him.

After Tom touched the nail scarred hands, he immediately knew that it was true. He believed! He exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!"

Then scripture says in vs. 29 that Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We are blessed! We have never seen Jesus in the flesh and we believe! Yippy! But I am here to tell you that even if we haven't seen Jesus in the flesh we have seen glimpses of Him. We have seen miraculous provision and miracles. We have seen His love displayed through others. I am truly blessed in so many ways. Jesus knows our needs and meets those very needs. He "knows" us by name. And I am truly thankful that He doesn't know me by "Doubting Shanin." He knows me by the name of Shanin, Daughter of the Most High. You noticed He never called Tom "Doubting Thomas." He didn't label or define him by that one moment or action. His name was Thomas, one of the twelve, His friend and follower of Christ. Thomas the believer :)

The world will label you. The enemy will try and tell you that you are a doubter, you are ineffective, a loser but our Father says that you are a son or daughter of Christ! You are victorious through Him. So proudly claim what He has provided for you, salvation, the crown of righteousness. Don't let people label you a doubting Suzy or John. You are a child of the King!

Shanin
Daughter of the King of kings



Monday, August 15, 2011

Whatever You Do, Do It With All Of Your Heart!

This past weekend it was our turn to clean the church. There have been times when it was our turn to clean that I let out a sigh...you know the sigh...the one that says that you wished that you didn't have to clean that big building! Well, I was cleaning the kitchen, doing the dishes. I was thinking to myself about how many dishes there were to do this week and I would have to go home and clean my own mess. Then I actually listened to myself think these thoughts.

I got to thinking about how I should change my attitude. I started worshipping as I was wiping the tables in the fellowship hall. I was singing my lungs out, (which for those of you who know me knows that this is not an uncommon thing for me to do), and the Lord started speaking to my heart. I repented about my attitude. I then realized what a privilege it was to clean GOD'S HOUSE. Not just a church building but the place where GOD'S PEOPLE come to worship Him! I started thinking about the Levites in the temple. They were in charge of caring for the temple. What an important job yet today we look at it as an nuisance something that many "do not have time to do." What a blessing that they are missing out on! I then used that time to worship and pray for God's people. I had time to pray for our city, our school, our government. What started out as a chore to get out of the way for my day, turned out to be a blessing to me!Not only did my heart change but my cleaning changed! I didn't want to do "just what was necessary" but I wanted to clean it really good because I was cleaning GOD'S HOUSE!

Then I got to thinking about my life. If I did everything that I do with the same heart reflections as I had when cleaning God's House yesterday, how much better my life would be? So I have challenged myself to try to maintain that heart attitude and look at everything that I do as doing it for the Lord. I know that we all say that we "should" do this but how many of us really do? So I hope that this gives you some motivation to examine your everyday life. Do you do everything as an act of worship unto the Lord?

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

So whatever you do, do it with all of your heart!

Shanin

Friday, August 12, 2011

Apricots

This week, behind my place of employment, I found that the apricot tree had broke in half from being so overloaded with fruit! The landlord told us that we could pick all of the fruit that we wanted because he was going to just take it and burn it. So I picked a whole box of apricots. Earlier in the day I asked the Lord to help me with a cool craft for the kids. I then had the idea of making apricot freezer jam for our craft. I would tell them the story about the tree and link it to the bible story of burning the trees that are not fruitful. We are known by our fruit. I told them how the apricot tree was not going to be able to provide fruit any longer because that part would die. The whole time we were outside cutting the fruit up and preparing it for jam. We also talked about our orphanage in Uganda. The kids have such a heart for the kids in Uganda at Cornerstone. Then one of the kids popped up and said, "Could we send our jam to Uganda to the kids?" I explained that we couldn't mail the freezer jam but that we could sell the jam and send the money to help them in Uganda. They were so excited! They had a way to help. Our youth group did a car wash but our kids are going to sell the yummy jam that they made with their own clean hands.

The great commission says to Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every living creature. We believe that our kids can be a part of that vision now, before they are grown up. And not only do they write letters to the Cornerstone Kids and pray for them but they have found a way to make money to contribute too. I am so proud of our kids. They have a ministry!

I am thankful that God provided us with apricots! I am thankful that He gave me the craft idea that launched this endeavor. I am thankful for Laurie Dickerson who was obediant to the Lord to move to Uganda and started The Cornerstone Orphanage. I am thankful for kids who are not so consumed by themselves but know that they can be world changers for the Lord not someday but now. I am so thankful that God gives me the honor of teaching these wonderful kids and for the parents that bring them to church. I am thankful for the team that teaches with me. What a big help! The list could go on and on but for now I will just end it with this. Thank You Jesus for apricots and kids that are bearing Your Fruit :)

Loving the Fruits!

Shanin

Thursday, August 4, 2011

From Generation to Generation

This weekend is my 30th year reunion for my highschool class. I am exicted to see old classmates and friends. Just going back to our old stomping grounds is exciting in itself. Of course I won't have enough time to do everything or see everyone but it will still be a lot of fun.

In preparation for this event I have pulled out a couple of our year books trying to jog the old memory. It has been fun to be reminded of people that I haven't seen in years. But I think one of the things that I am most excited about is seeing our friends, Dan and Linda Jackson. We will be staying with them.

We have a great history with Dan and Linda. When I was a little girl Linda taught me in Sunday School. Then when Jason and I grew up and we were married we taught their boys. Whenever we needed to talk to anyone safe they would be who we would think of and call. I have to smile because Dan and Linda have been such great mentors to us. I love it because whenever we do get to stay with them Linda always says to Dan, "Honey the kids are coming home!" I love the feeling of having someplace safe with great memories to go home to. Are we related to Dan and Linda? We are in Christ. They really are a part of our family. We are so blessed. What a great legacy Dan and Linda has shown us.

We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments; Psa. 78:4-7


May we continue this blessing for many generations. Increasing our borders and the size of our families! From generation to generation sharing the love and testimony of Jesus. Telling our children of His faithfulness to all generations. Thank you Dan and Linda for loving, and teaching us. Thanks for having us over for all of those yummy dinners and evenings of games and laughs. Thanks for teaching us the practical things of life like couponing and how the store sale ads work :) Thanks for being faithful to God even when it was hard. You mean so very much to us.

Shanin

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rule Breaker

John 5:1-14 NIV
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.


I am a rule follower. I like the rules overall. If I am honest, they comfort me. But Jesus was a rule breaker, in a good way. He didn't let the "rules" confine him into a box. I think that sometimes we, as christians, let the rules confine God into a box. He is way bigger than a box! The Pharasees missed the whole blessing of that miraculous healing simply because Jesus broke "the rules" and healed the man on the Sabbath.

How often do we miss something miraculous that Jesus could do for us because we have confined ourselves or Him to the rules? I have seen God heal people that should have never walked again or by, human limitations, was to never to see again but He did it. He is GOD. He can do anything! We need to get over ourselves and step out of our box and trust Him. Let Him be God in our lives. Look for that miracle, look for the impossible. Do not let self-pity or arrogance take over and say, "He would never do that for you (me)." He would love to do more for us if we would just make room for Him in our lives! That crippled man was so desperate. He didn't tell Jesus to not heal him because it was the Sabbath and it was against the law. He got up and walked! Jesus told him to get up and he did!

So let's let God be God. Let's trust Him and look for his greatness everywhere. Do not limit His movement in your lives. Trust Him! Don't be a pharasee and miss out on something miraculous!

Be a righteous rule breaker,


Shanin

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hope

20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,for we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,for our hope is in you alone.
Psalm 33:20-22 NLT


Isn't this great news? If we place our trust and hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. I cannot tell you how this really makes a difference in my life. When things aren't always "fair" or "just" I can trust that the Lord sees it and will handle it for me. I need not to get all worked up or bitter over injustice, if I trust in Him! He can handle it without my help! And He can take care of any situation so much better than I can! Especially when I stay out of the way!

Thank You Lord that your unfailing love surrounds me and that I can place my hope in You!

Shanin

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Salt

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:50 NKJV


Have you lost your saltiness? Have you lost your zest or flavor for Jesus? Don't let the business of life drain the very flavor of your life out of you. But how do I stay full of life? Read the Word. Even when you don't feel anything, just do it! God will speak to you. He so desires for you to keep those lines of communication open with Him. The liar of this world will try to discourage you or even simply wear you down gradually, but keep you guard up! Read the Word, spend time with Him. I promise even if you don't remember what you just read for that moment it will come back to you when you need it! Ask Jesus to help you to understand and absorb it into your heart and mind.

Have salt among yourselves! Be at peace with each other! Fellowship with other christians! Work at your relationships and don't let the enemy plant seeds of division. As long as you maintain flavor and unity you will do great things! And God will do AMAZING things in your life. You will see!

Lord, help me not to becom bland! I want to be...

Full of Flavor!

Shanin

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Excited

I am excited because tomorrow I get to go worship at The Bridge. What is the Bridge you ask? It is a place where people of different walks meet together and fellowship! We like to hang out with each other even though we are all very different from each other. Why? Because we have something in common. The common factor is Jesus. He is big enough to unite us together as one big family.

If you don't belong anywhere and need a place to hang out, come visit with us! We would love to add a new family member to the Bridge. It is the place we meet where it is about connection, not perfection.

Peace Out,

Shanin

Friday, February 18, 2011

Testify

“Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them . 11 And I punished them often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities. 12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now[a] send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ 19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me . 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” 24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”
30 When he had said these things, the king stood up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them; 31 and when they had gone aside, they talked among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or chains.” Acts 26:9-31


This was Paul’s testimony, his history. He was well educated, a Roman citizen, a murderer and persecutor of Christians. A prisoner in chains but someone who was free in Christ. Redeemed and forgiven yet a prisoner, not for murder but for sharing the gospel of Christ. Amazing.

There are things that will label you a hero in America today but if you hear from God you are labeled crazy. A person can gain fame by being on a reality tv show known for promiscuity. A person can do immoral and illegal things and maintain a position of power in our Country’s government.

Are you afraid of being labeled? Will you do what is righteous even if it is uncomfortable? Are you afraid of offending someone? Do you have a testimony? Will you take a stand? If it is for Jesus I am not afraid. He is with me. I have a testimony of redemption and I hear from God. I am thankful for his forgiveness of my horrendous past. Here I stand today redeemed and forgiven because of His sacrifice.

For Him,

Shanin

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I just wanted to tell everyone Happy Valentines Day! It is my anniversary and I just love the holiday too! To me it is an opportunity to tell people that they are loved and valued. It doesn't have to be a spouse or someone of romantic interest. It can be a teacher, the produce person,the checker or your son or daughter!

So when you are out and about take time to wish someone a Happy Valentine's Day. Speak a kind word into their day and life. You might become the bright spot in their day.

23 A man has joy by the answer of his mouth,
And a word spoken in due season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23 NKJV

Happy Valentine's Day!

Shanin

Friday, February 11, 2011

God is Faithful!

God is faithful! When everything seems to not go right, I can depend on God. He is there through thick and thin. His Word is everlasting and true. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King His love endures FOREVER! Forever is a very long time. Longer than I can fully grasp. He loves me, He will love me forever! He loved me while I was being knitted in my mother's womb. He knows everything about me! He sees my heart, the good, the bad and the ugly and He still loves ME.

The good news is that He loves you too. No matter where you are now or what you have done or will do, He loves you. He will love you forever. Will you return His love? He is the only sure thing. He is our peace. He is everything.

Just call out to Him. He can hear your cries and your heart. He is just waiting for an invitation from you. Do it. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; Acts 17:26-27 Reach out to Him today. Your life will never be the same again.

Shanin

Monday, January 24, 2011

Keeping Your Eyes On Him

Have you ever had a hard time with a particular issue that seemed to rear it's ugly head at you and kind of make fun of you? I have. And at the beginning of the year I told that Lord that I was going to commit to give this certain challenge to the Lord. Then it magically got better! NOT~ it seemed to be even more in my face the first few days so I really worked hard at making this new habit of laying it at the feet of Jesus. I had this plan, whenever it got more difficult I would wear my mp3 player playing worship music. I did great for the first two and half weeks! Then last week I let it win the battle for the day. Oh how I mourned in my heart that I had lost the battle for a day but then I realized there was good news! Jesus has provided a clean slate for me to start over! I just had taken my eyes off of Jesus and let it wander back to the very thing that I was trying to give to Jesus. I was struggling for control instead of trusting Jesus to take care of me and the situation. So I prayed for help and started fresh!

So today I have victory in this arena of my life! Today I placed my mp3 player on my head and took time to read His Word and at the moment that ugly thing isn't even in my field of vision!

Is there something that you have struggled for control with in your life? Let me give you a few verses to help! At least they have helped me!
Phil 4:4-8 NIV
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things

Keep your focus on Jesus. The rest really doesn't matter and He will do such a better job of taking care of things than you ever will. You just have to surrender control to Him. Keep looking up at Him. He is faithful and on your side! He roots for us! Woo Hoo!

Got My Gaze Fixed!

Shanin

Friday, January 21, 2011

We Belong To Jesus!

There is a song that we sing in church and it is titled, "Sing To The King." I love that song! It is written by Billy Foote & Charles Silvester Horne. The lyrics are awesome! The chorus goes like this:

Come let us sing a song, a song declaring that we belong to Jesus, He is all we need, lift up a shout of praise, sing now with voices raised to Jesus, Sing to the King.

Have you ever struggled with self worth? Have you ever felt unloved? If you know Jesus you never have to feel that way again. Why? Because you belong to Him. Oh you may have those days that the enemy will throw those thoughts at you but all you have to do is spend some time with Jesus to know that you are loved.

The great part about belonging to Jesus is that once you know Jesus you are part of God's family. When you are a part of God's family, then you belong to this great body of believers aka siblings, that have your back. I came from a messed up family so I missed having a family that just loved spending time together. Now I have this great family who loves hanging out and they are there if I ever need them. They have my back!

Jesus so desires to love on you. He loves you so very much. He cherishes you! So no matter how your life has gone up to this point, just take a step of faith and enter into a relationship with Him. You will never regret it.

Loving so much that I belong to HIM,

Shanin

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Put on a Happy Face!

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Phil 2:14-16 NKJV


Last night I was shopping at a few different stores getting ready for my kid's class on Wednesday night(I taught on Jacob and Essau). Whenever one of the clerks would ask, "How are you tonight?" I would smile and say, "Awesome thanks!" I was surprised at the response at EVERY store. Each one would be taken back and then smile and say, "We don't hear that very often!" or "I wish that more people would respond that way!" Then it opened a door for conversation of what I was doing with what I was purchasing. I walked right through that open door and would tell them the story (the brief version) of Jacob and Essau. Each one was like a new kid in Sunday School holding on to every detail.

It made me think, people are hungry for life. They are sucked up in a busy world with very little or no hope. All they need is a smile and somoeone to tell them that they are great, or wonderful or awesome and then you have their attention. Somethng so small, so free and it only takes a moment of your time.

We should make sure that we shine like stars! Take a moment, take a deep breath and smile! You can do it! It will make you feel better! It can be a great habit! And an open door to minister life to someone in that brief moment. Hold fast to that Word of Life that we have access to and then share it that hope with others! It only takes a moment of your time and it is so worth the investment!

Shining Brightly for Him,

Shanin

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Dad is a Big Deal!

22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”
And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” Luke 8:22-28 NKJV


Funny how that the men that spent one on one time with Jesus and had seen Him perform miracles really wondered who He was that even the winds and the waters obeyed him however when Jesus came upon the man who was demon possessed that the demons indeed recognised who He was. They knew that He was the Son of the Most High God!

Do we know who HE really is? I spend time with Jesus yet there are days that I am still surprised when He provides miracles before my eyes! If the demons know who He is, the Son of the Most High God, when will we grasp at who HE is?

If we would fully grasp the authority He has given us just to use His Name we would be able to do so much more for His Kingdom! I love the song, How Great Is Our God, where it says, "He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide And trembles at His voice, trembles at His voice." That verse gives me so much excitement. If we were to figure out who our Dad really is we would walk around and say, "Excuse me, do you know who my Dad is? He is the King of king, the Lord of lords. He is a big deal! Don't mess with me!"

We need to spend time with Jesus so that when the enemy does challenge us that we won't shrink back but that we will say, "Excuse me but do you know who my Dad is?" We need to be confident in our Identity in Christ. We can only be confident in that identity if we have a relationship with Him.

So don't let the enemy catch you off guard. Be prepared. Invest time with the Lord. Get to know Him. Rest assured that He loves you so very much and desires for you to know Him.

Shanin