Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mid-Summer 2011 Update

So much has happened...

*Mother's Day I realized I was pregnant with #4 baby! Surprise!
*My 92 year old Grandpa Weber just accepted Christ as Savior! Words cannot express emotions!
*Put our house on the market.
*We moved into our "rental" just 1 mile from our "old" house. Its bigger. Lots of good work to be had tho!
*Two blessed & refreshing vacations: Santa Barbara(work/Math conference for Rob) & Branson, Mo. with kids.
*A precious friend passed away after a double lung transplant in St.Louis. Her love for her Lord Jesus impacted my life. We miss you, Shirley Maloney!
*One Girlfriend miscarried(close to my own due date), one is grieving because she cannot have anymore children, and another just had her 4th baby. Wanting to love on these women so much, my heart aches & rejoices all at once.
*My oldest went to summer camp by himself, second year & LOVED it! Found out he needs braces soon.
*My "middlest" child just lost his second tooth & can't wait to go to camp with older brother next year!
*My youngest talks all the time about the new baby in my tummy and is trying to grasp the meaning of it all:
"Daddy isn't Mommy, right Mom? Because HE can't have a baby!" One day he wants a brother and the next he wants a sister, and if he sees a baby he goes up to the mommy and asks if we could have "that one!"(no joke!)

So, while I am praying for a house to sell, a baby and 92yr old grandpa to grow safe, and comfort for precious lost ones or hurting ones, I press onward toward Christ, feeling so weak, so frail, yet so utterly blessed and thankful.

Lastly, I had my 3rd Ultrasound yesterday. 12.5 weeks! Baby was beautiful and even saluted me on the screen! Every time I see (her) I cry, for it was 2 weeks ago I thought for certain I was miscarrying. Rob rushed me to the ER late at night, a dear friend who watch the Tony Awards with me(my first time!) was able to stay with our kiddos. We prepared ourselves for the worst as much as we could, but to our surprise, a little heartbeat was steady and strong, showing herself on the screen that night. How the tears came! The ER ultrasound tech seemed to understand and felt compassion for us. She was VERY busy that night, but promised that if we waited, she would make a copy of the U/S dvd and give us pics. We waited for 40min for them, but it was worth it. We were sent away thinking a miscarriage was quite possible, and that it was a hemorrhage. But the good news was the baby was still alive. What a hope!

I was completely off my feet the next week and thankful my mother & brothers came to help out. I had another U/S a week later, and the baby was still there, growing beautifully. The Dr. said he saw traces of a hemorrhage, but that it cleared up and didn't expect it to return or for there to be more bleeding. Praise the Lord!

I still needed a formal U/S so I was able to have it yesterday. Again, thankful tears, when I saw the kicking, perfectly formed profile and form of our baby! How blessed I feel to have U/S and doctors and nurses to take care of me & my little ones! This time, though, with a more thorough investigation of the baby and the uterus, it was quite evident that I had placenta previa again, for the second time. It nearly completely covers the cervix, which poses a definite concern later in pregnancy as the baby gets bigger. Elliot was a whole month early because of Previa, but he was of course, as all my babies seem to be, big enough to come out at a decent size. This pregnancy is different in that the placenta is more so over the cervix, so lots of restrictions come with it... lets just say getting things done around the new house poses a challenge with physical restrictions.

I explain all this as sort of therapy for myself, but also to remind myself of God's goodness in all things. With His Grace, my husband's amazing willingness to take on hard things like this, and the support from family and friends in my church, I have no doubt God can and will receive glory for this pregnancy. I thank Him for this challenge, this Giant.

I will need to figure out what can be done with my limitations, and make sure I am getting the rest I need. I still need to balance raising my boys, cooking, cleaning and doing school or ministry work somehow...

It forces me to make quiet times real. To make the most of my "alone time" when on the chair or in my bed. Even though I am not on complete bedrest, I am one who could end up there quite easily. I want to delay that as much as possible...

Already, my boys have stepped up to the plate and are helping with basic chores and projects around the new house, and they feel like "little men" as they are becoming so. Lord, help me to build them up, encourage & pilot or delegate projects fitting for each of my "little men." Help me, give me the fortitude and character to keep myself from laziness and idleness as I rest around the house... I want to remain active for Your Kingdom purposes. May my children catch a glimpse of Your faithfuless in daily life as I try to live for you.

To my boys,
Darlings, you are incredible. Your precious, concerned hugs, kisses and cuddles are worth so much to me. I cherish your prayers, your growing hearts for Jesus, learning to trust Him more with each day. May our move into this new home give you a sense of ownership and build godly character as you work and play hard together. May you see work as a gift, hospitality as a gift, this new baby as a gift. You are all so excited to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl... only two months away! I am ever so thankful for my "little men."


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Walk by faith, not by sight!

The statement above, in some Christian circles, can almost be a cliche. It is a true one, nonetheless. To live this truth all day, every day would be phenomenal. But think of it! Because I am a child of God, I already have His grace and promises. By God's grace and promises, I am walking in the truth that He loves me, and because of this simple truth He loves me, I follow Him. I do it out of overflowing love for Him. Because I follow Him, I will trust Him. He has provided all I need to walk by faith and not by sight.

In his booklet, The Overcoming Life, D.L. Moody presents three points on how we can live to be overcomers and see victory in our lives:

1. "Live by faith"
Think of Galatians 2:20. "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
If God is for me, if He is Immanuel or "God with us," then I am going to overcome. Moody asks, "How do we get this power?" The answer: By faith.

How do you live? Are you deceiving yourself? Is there a lifestyle of true repentance and change, or is there an ongoing habitual lifestyle of not trusting Your Savior? Is He really first or are you first? What needs to be done to change this? Do you really want to change? Do you really care how you live?

2. "Stand by faith"
Romans 11:20 "Because of unbelief they were broken off; and you stand by faith." What an incredible gift we are given! So many Jews, the very chosen people of God, were broken off because of unbelief. BUT God had a plan all along to make a way for the rest of us to be "grafted" into the vine! Into Him! Into His promises! We STAND by faith, "on account of our belief," as Moody puts it! Beautiful!

3. "Walk by faith"
2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "We walk by faith, not by sight."
It is the simple fact that I am called to walk and to keep walking. To live, and to keep living. Not for myself, or even by myself, but WITH Him and FOR Him! But if I am so busy looking about me, checking out others, comparing, obsessing about how I might be the best, be approved, be successful, EVEN in ministry, then I do not know Calvary love and have so much to learn about faith in Christ! Moody compares the lives of some men, living by faith and living by sight. If you have spent any time in the Word, you would understand why: Joseph and Jacob. Lot and Abraham.

Our flesh wants to see in order to believe. But "Jesus makes no mistake...when He enlists a man for His service, He shows him the dark side; He lets him know that he must live a life of self-denial...Many men want a religion in which there is no cross, but we cannot enter that way. If we are to be disciples of Christ, we must deny ourselves and take up the cross and follow Him. So let us sit down and count the cost." D.L. Moody

Dear sons, may you count the cost, as much as see the victory ahead! Remember who you fight for!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Overcoming part 2 - Linked with Christ for victory!

"It is folly for any man to attempt to fight in his own strength. The world, the flesh, and the devil are too much for any man. But if we are linked to Christ by faith, and He has formed in us the hope of glory, then we shall get the victory over every enemy. It is believers who are the overcomers... through Him we shall be more than conquerors." ~ D.L. Moody
"Thanks be to God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ." 2 Corinthians 2:14

This morning, my youngest came up to me and asked me to read the storybook of Moses and the Israelites. I was pretty busy doing dishes and hadn't been able to get into my own quiet time yet... but he was so insistent about it, pulling my hands, I gave in. Elliot wanted to read nothing else. We sat on my bed as I read this story, like many times before.

Also like many times before, this simple children's book ministered and taught/reminded me today of powerful truths, just as much or more than my own child for whom it was written.

So in Scripture, Egypt represents the "old life," or "sin and slavery." As I read this particular story for my son, I was reminded of how many challenges, struggles, and hardships Moses had to endure with fortitude, patience and constant courage, like a soldier. Again and again he had to directly face Pharoah with God's command to "let My people go" from slavery. God told him to go on the offence, attack the enemy by being the mouthpiece of God to the enemy. And again and again, he seemingly faced "failure" or further hardships and had to deal with the doubting Israelites(even though the plagues were specifically for the enemy).

As I face daily life, I am faced with multiple "challenges" and "struggles" of sin in various degrees to which I am a "slave" to. The temptation is to downgrade and brush them off instead of calling them out for what they really are: sin! Last blog was about identifying the enemy. Well, I not only need to identify the enemy, but I am called to identify and call out the specific sin as well. "Take sin seriously."~ Jay Klop(my pastor) Just as Moses went on the offence, attacking Pharoah by calling out the sin of slavery in a consistent manner, so must I be, until victory is won. Eventually, it was God who did the freeing, showed His might, power and glory in it all. Imagine what would have happened if Moses just gave up and walked away!
The enemy would like nothing more than for you to walk away or hear you say,
"Nothing will ever change... it is always going to be like this. Pharoah(the enemy or my sin) is just too strong, or that's just the way I am."

May it never be!!!

The beautiful thing about Moses, was that God was continually with Him all the way... He was always there through every plague, through each challenge. Just so, because I am linked to Christ, He is with me!!!

Despite the consistent drippings of disrespect and discouragement coming directly from the people to which he was called to help save from slavery, Moses obeyed and continued to approach Pharoah until victory was won! The Israelite people reminded me so much of my flesh, easily prone to give up or give in.

May it never be!!!

Why should I take sin seriously? When I overcome temptation and sin, I become more prepared for the ministry God has for me.

We are linked to Christ for victory!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Overcoming part 1 ~ recognizing the battle

Time to get real. Be genuine. Let it out.

I want to be known as an overcomer. One who finishes strong. Does the right thing to the end. Follows Jesus all the way. No holding back, no turning back, no waywardness...

Yet I struggle daily on what this means, as I battle the flesh, my laziness, my selfishness... me.

I'm reading Dwight L. Moody's"The Overcoming Life" and I wish I could finish it! If you have ever read it, it should take but one evening to finish, its so small. But the simple fact that within its pages lie chapters on what human flesh wrestles with day to day... my flesh! I rarely say the "if only" phrase, but I will say it here: If only I could live out what little I already know to be true! What a change my life would encounter!

Read the opening from Moody:
"I found out after serving Christ for a few months, that conversion was only like enlisting in the army, that there was a battle on hand, and that if I was to get a crown, I had to work for it and fight for it. Salvation is a gift, as free as the air we breathe. It is to be obtained, like any other gift, without money and without price; there are no other terms.... It is like this: when a man enters the army, he is a member of the army the moment he enlists; he is just as much a member as the man who has been in the army ten or twenty years. But enlisting is one thing and participating in a battle another. Young converts are like those just enlisted... The Christian life is a conflict and a warfare, and the quicker we find it out the better."

Wow. That is all I can say. Not sure about you, but I'm amazed at how good-old fashioned gospel-giving churches, in addition to today's trendy seeker-churches sort of leave this out. Would you have enlisted if you heard this off the bat???

I find it interesting that it was the battle of David & Goliath that first rocked my world as a mere 6 year old and helped me to understand that God was real and that I needed Him. It was a simple message of David, a little shepherd boy, who had more confidence in his God to help defeat this big, vicious, ferocious enemy. I would have called for my daddy!

But I realized then, as a simple child, that God must be bigger than even my own daddy! I realized this, because I saw how big the "giant" was, and there was obviously a difference in stature and strength! As much as I trusted in my daddy, as much as I believed he loved me and would do anything to help me or protect me, the enemy was still bigger. The enemy could still beat him up! But NOT SO with the Big Daddy! My logic was such that I knew that in order to win a battle, I needed God on my side! I needed to trust Him to win it for me, just like David did!

It will be 28 years this summer since I "enlisted" as a soldier of the Lord. Admittedly, I had no idea the spiritual depth of it all at the time, but somehow, I knew it was a battle. David was the one who taught that to me as a 6 year old.

Over these past 28 years, I see how the Lord has taken me through so much, and I want use Moody's book as a basis for allowing me to remember, or rather, not forget past battles... those won as much as those I have lost. My desire is to blog through the book, share those victories & defeats by being real & genuine.

Thank You, Jesus, for being my Foundation, my Captain, My Lord. You are the One Who fights for me, Who fights with me, You never give up, even in all my weakness & failure. You know my heart, You know it all. Help me to recognize the seriousness of the battles in front of me... with joyful abandonment!

Monday, May 2, 2011

His Goodness... the Outward, Ongoing Journey...

His Goodness III - The Outward, Ongoing Journey

by Michelle Myers on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 3:04pm
Based on the BSF study on Romans
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Rom 15:13

Abound. Hope. Joy. Peace.
Paul was filled with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. He believed Christ was the Son of God and believed His saving power was a gift to both Jews and Gentiles. This was the mystery he revealed throughout Romans and many of his other books.

It is amazing to see Paul's life start as Saul the persecutor and finish as Paul the nurturer. I gleen from his life many things. But today I focus on the ongoing task of living life, in pressing onward; to abound in hope and to be filled with all joy and peace by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My ongoing journey as a Christ-follower started many years ago.
I did not have a dramatic roadside encounter with Christ like Paul did. What I did have was an opportunity, a choice, a descision to make to believe in Christ. I took it at the young and tender age of 6. I remember my parents and sibiliings and I were at a Christian Summer Family Camp where we did many fun activities. But the only event I can truly say I remember was the presentation of the gospel and what I chose to do with it.

I remember vividly. There was a short skit about little David defeating the enormous giant, Goliath. For some reason, it was then that I realized I needed God. I looked at Goliath who was dressed up in this huge costume which seemed to reach the tops of trees. He seemed so real. I looked at David too. He reminded me of me. Young. Short. Defensless. David seemed defensless but his courage and boldness next to such a giant impressed me. If I were David I would certainly call upon my Daddy to save me, and even fight for me, I thought. There is no way I could do it. But then again, even my own Daddy would never be a match for this giant. How then could David be so bold and courageous? David's words amazed me,

"You come to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts; the God of the armies of Israel whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands and I will strike you down and and remove your head from you...that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's and He will give you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:45-47

As a 6yr old I knew I needed a Big God to fight for me. I knew I could not do it on my own. Someday I might have to face a giant and I would want God on my side! A revelation came to me: God must be even bigger than my daddy!

As young as I was then, the whole picture of the gospel was yet to be internalized and understood. "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 But I knew the important thing. God is real and I need Him. He will always be the biggest and will always win the battle.

In my young adult life I had a few giants to fight. Some battles were won because God was there to do the work. He recieves all the glory for it! He gets all the glory for winning over the hearts of the few young girls I shared the gospel with; for winning the hearts and minds of young men and women who chose to be faithful to their future spouses when I spoke on sex before marraige in schools and youth groups(a long time ago); for healing the hearts of broken people and in need of tangible help and assistance. He recieves all the glory, for He does the work in the hearts and lives of real people. Something I could never do. It is my aim, like Paul, to glory(or boast) in Jesus Christ alone. (Rom 15:17)

But to be genuine, I did not and still do not always trust God in the battles. Rather, many times I think I have to do it on my own or call on others to do the fighting for me. I have to admit, its a good way to get out of a situation, a commitment, a challenge, but its just an easy way out. When the going gets tough and the stress of my Christian walk is tested, I can so easily feel like giving up, like throwing in the towel or like ignoring it until it goes away. This is just not right. Quit? Its just not what believers do, right? Imagine what lessons and truths I would have missed if David had given up as he observed the power of the giant. His example of hope in an even powerful God would never be there in the Bible!

Yet this is exactly the choice I face on a daily basis. To give up or press on. To let myself wither away into an ineffective, apathetic, fearful Christian, or be on the alert and ready to fight as David was. Knowing that God is doing the fighting must pull some weight on the decision, but still for many of us we have a hard time giving up complete control or final outcome. Having started out as a youthful, vibrant and ambitious believer in Christ, I still wish to be one. But I recently told my mentor I felt like a perrenial daisy just pushing through the surface on a warm spring day after a long cold winter. Knowing I had once bloomed in the past, I am now preparing for the days ahead to be ready to bloom again for the glory of God. I will never quit!

One of my pastors said some profound things last Sunday. He said we spend only a little of our life under the highlight of great achievment - even if it is for the Lord. David fought Goliath and won the battle in just one day. Most of his life was spent in the fields tending sheep. A professional violinist will spend an enitire life practicing and training with rare occasions of performance. We must focus on being the person God wants us to be wherever we are at. Its a lesson of being faithful in the little, where most of our lives are spent anyway.

This brings me back to the life of Paul. At the end of Romans he lists many names of which he wishes to greet in Christ. But they are not just names. Paul spent quality time, knew them intimately, their struggles and hardships. He really knew these people and loved them deeply. Each of these are real people who loved God and served other beilevers in the church. Many are mentioned in other books of the Bible. The point is, our lives are ment to be lived to impact others for Christ on a normal, everyday basis. Just as Paul's life and the others listed made an impact on others for Christ in the midst of daily struggles, so I should do the same. Its an ongoing, outward journey. God does the work and recieves the glory for it all.

We grow in grace. Grace upon grace, He pours out His lovingkindness. The fight, the race, the struggles will be won because of who God is, not who David is or I am or because of the ablilities we have as individuals.
All the work is to be done by God. All the glory is His. He is Goodness.

Water Study

Water Study

by Michelle Myers on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 8:25pm
JULY 2006
“Whether then you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1Corinthians 10:31

There is an opposite relationship between “hunger pains:”
Physical hunger – the longer you go without eating, the hungrier you get.
Spiritual hunger – the longer you go without feeding, the less hungry you get.
The sign of physical hunger is stomach hunger. The sign of spiritual hunger is the feeling that you don’t need to be fed – there is danger in feeling independent of God.

Psalm 1:3 “And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Proverbs 9:17 “Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
John 4:10 “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”
John 4:13,14 “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Revelation 22:17 “And the Spirit and the Bride say “Come” And let the one who hears say “Come” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes, take the water of life without cost.”

Psalm 42:2 “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…”
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
John 4:13 (See listing under WATER)
John 6:35 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Psalm 146:7 “Who executes justice for the oppressed? Who gives food to the hungry? The Lord sets the prisoners free.”
Matthew 15:32 “Jesus called his disciples and said, ‘I feel compassion on the multitude because they have remained with me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not wish to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Proverbs 10:3 “The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger. But He will thrust aside the cravings of the wicked.”
Proverbs 19:15 “Laziness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle man suffers hunger.”
Luke 6:21;25 “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied… woe to you who are well-fed now for you shall be hungry…”
John 6:35 (See THIRST)

Psalm 22:26 “The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever!”
Psalm 107:9 “For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.”
“I urge you by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect or mature.” Romans 12:1, 2

Word Study on "Cup"

Word Study on Cup

by Michelle Myers on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 8:43pm
January 10, 2007
Word Study on Cup
Inspired by Diane Vaughan

PS 116:13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation –
This whole chapter is pretty amazing to me. Talk about the cords of death and terrors of Sheol coming upon me… finding distress and sorrow! These words encompassed me for a time in my past. The words clearly describe what surrounded me. It was where I was at in mind and emotion. I’m amazed and thankful to read about David and what it was like for him and how he chose to return to the Lord with his mind and his words. He chose to focus on the character of God and remind himself of His promises:

“I love the Lord because He hears my voice and prayers!
I shall call upon Him as long as I live!
He is gracious and righteousness
He is compassionate
He preserves the simple
He saves and rescues from death and tears
He keeps my feet from stumbling”

“What can I give the Lord for all His benefits to me?
I shall lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.”

Questions to ask:
What am I to lift up? The cup.
What is the cup of salvation? My life saved by grace!
How do I “lift up?” Offer it in worship.
What is the cup filled with? Me stuff or God’s stuff?
Am I the one who chooses what it is filled with?
What does the Word say?

My cup. What is it full of?
• Abundance of blessings and promises from the Lord (Ps116)
• My desires, hopes, dreams, ambitions, aspirations, visions
• Thankfulness, praise, adoration, worship, love for Jesus

A cup is sometimes used as an illustration of judgment , but sometimes a blessing. It is interesting to note that Christ fulfilled both on the cross when He described His suffering and His life as a cup. Judgment of sin was appeased on the cross and the promise and blessing of a new covenant and future was fulfilled by Christ at the cross. He was the cup of judgment and the cup of promise and blessing.
Jeremiah 16: 7 Nor give them the cup of consolation –
The Lord is describing a serious result of sin – the sin of Israel’s forefathers and their own sin at the present time. What is it? Following other gods and serving them. Forsaking God and not keeping His law. Each one is walking according to the stubbornness of his won will/evil heart without listening to God.
Luke 22:20 The cup poured out –
“This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood…”
Jesus was talking about His own life when referring to the cup. It was His life, His will, His offering to God to restore the relationship between God and man by creating a new covenant. His life was the salvation and that salvation is in me. I drink of the cup. I believe in this new covenant. I am filled with His life, His salvation.
In this passage there seems to be an example or analogy of how we are to take the cup and lift it up…to drink and take in. Jesus disciples had no clue what meaning this Passover had for them at the time. They took of the cup, put it to their lips and drank it. I may be taking this too far but just as baptizing is a picture of being buried and resurrected into new life, could this picture of taking the cup and drinking mean that we believe (and receive or take in) and take part in the life of Christ? He wants us to taste and see not only that He is good, but that He wants us to taste what it is like to live for Him… to accept His sacrifice and take part in His sufferings? See Romans 8
The cup of salvation – does it mean our lives saved by grace? To “lift up” the cup could mean to give praise and offer up our lives in worship to the Lord.
Gen 40:11 Dream given to Joseph –
Pharaoh’s cup is filled with squeezed grapes and given to him by the chief cupbearer. The cupbearer was restored to his position in three days.
Ps 23:5 My cup overflows –
v4“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
He gives me abundance of blessing and sustains me with the food I need even in the valley and in the midst of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil and my cup runs over with bountiful blessings. He is with me in my darkest moments and I do not need to fear evil or death. He comforts, disciplines, and guides me with His rod and His staff.

My Garden...

My life can be best illustrated by the events recently and actively occuring in my backyard vegetable garden...

Somedays it looks picture perfect and other days you wish it weren't there.

No, honestly. This little 12' by 12' area can fill me with intense pleasure, reviving my spirits and even help me de-stress. But other times I am ready to bury a bomb in the middle of it and call it a terrorist attack.

Please note some disclaimers first. I love gardening and I chose to start this garden on my own initiative. So, this may sound like complaining, but I am just trying to be sarcastic while laughing at my own frustrations(my life).

Why such extreems you may ask? Good question.
Maybe its the full body poison ivy attack I got while pulling up the brush and weeds before I could start tilling the land.

Maybe its the fact that it took more than enough back-ache to till the area for weeks on end before it was ready to plant in. Not to mention the 100+ grubs my sons helped me pull OUT of the garden while tilling it. Talk about gross!

Maybe its the fact that my first try at a batch of seeds didn't sprout, so the fruits of my labor may be a bit late.

Maybe its the difficult weeding that must be done regularly (which for a 6month pregnant woman can become a pretty funny thing to watch, I'm sure!).

Maybe its the fight with an overwhelming amount of aphids that continue to destroy and eat my plants... despite the sprays I've used!

Maybe its the stupid groundhog that keeps trying to fight its way into my garden to eat what vegetables he hasen't eaten already!

OK. So, these are just a few of my frustrations with this little garden of mine. Not unusual to be sure. Most gardens have the same issues and problems. But my garden speaks volumes to me through an analogy and tells me the story of my life...

Before I knew Christ I was just a big ugly mound of dirt with weeds and poison ivy. Its a simplistic analogy but hang in here with me. I know I infected others with this poison and it wasn't fun or pretty. It was my negativism, my pride, or my ego. This poison hurt and killed friendships that barely took root and should have been given a chance to blossom.

When I met Christ, it was like He said, "This is the land I want to plant a garden in..." So He chose the land and decided to turn it into something beautiful and fruitful. It was my heart, my life.

It took a long time to pull the weeds and till the soill of my heart. It took work. Hard work. There were grubs(bad) and worms(good) mixed together in the soil. But He lovingly and diligently took the time to pick out most of the grubs and destroy them for my betterment.

The soil was ready to plant in... the seeds may have taken a while to sprout, but sprout they did. All in His perfect timing. Just like these seeds, Christ causes the growth in my life. He places seeds of love, forgiveness, hope and joy to sprout and grow in His perfect timing. I cannot rush it or make it happen earlier, but I can let Him do the work of preparing the soil so the seeds will indeed sprout.

The seeds sprouted and the enemy of my soul comes crouching in and around me in different ways. Telling lies that sound so believeable. Licking up hope and causing a drought of dispair. It can be tiresome and even pain-staking to bend over, to work on hands and knees getting dirty. So like a choking weed, or a nasty rodent, the enemy persues in order to destroy the tender and juicy shoots of God's goodness.

It is frustrating at times, thinking the varment/aphids/groundhog/enemy will never leave me alone! This might be true. They may not. But there is a promise; the fruit will come in time. The rewards will come if I remain diligent. The results of hard labor and love will be evident if I do not grow weary. God doesn't leave me to fend for myself as a garden unweeded, unprotected, and unharvested! His plan all along was to choose, change, love, protect, and cause a heap of growth! He produces a full garden of life because He IS life!

I am your exceeding and great reward...Gen.15:1
I am the Life... John 11:25; John 10:11,14
I am the Root...Rev 22:16
I am the vine, you are the branches, he who remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5
I am He who searches hearts...Revelation 2:23
I am the Lord who heals you...Exodus 15:26
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but through me. John 14:6
I am the Bread of Life...John 6:35

"Do not work for food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God has set His seal." John 6:27

Sanibel Island gardens... ahhhh. I wonder how often they pull weeds here. And no, this is not my backyard.

Our Love Story...

Our Love Story

by Michelle Myers on Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at 4:50pm
For those who were asking about our story after last Sunday's college group... here it is... It's just part of our story.

Rob and Michelle’s Love Story

What is your spiritual background?

Michelle: I’m the oldest of seven kids. I grew up in a strong Christian home, and was saved when I was young. My parents were really involved in my life, and we communicated about a lot of things.

Rob: I came from a very different background. I’m an only child, and my parents didn’t raise me in the Christian faith. I didn’t start to care about or seek out answers about Christianity until I was a junior in high school. I gave my life to Christ as a freshman in college, and began being discipled pretty soon afterward.

Did you two date a lot before you met each other?

Rob: Honestly, almost not at all. I had gone on one or two dates in high school, but it really wasn’t that significant a portion of my life at that point. Many of the friends I was around weren’t all that interested then either, so I didn’t have the external pressure. (Okay, okay, I was a nerd in high school; do you feel better now?) I’m actually very glad I didn’t; some of my friends in college that dated around a lot later told me they had a lot of experiences they regretted.

Michelle: No I didn’t. I kinda set some high standards from the beginning, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t getting to know the guys around me. There were plenty of opportunities to get to know guys and for them to get to know me. I knew I didn’t have to sit at the theatre or fake a face being alone with him at a restaurant to get to know him. I was doing my best to make my singlehood days count for God and not allow dating to distract me. Many guys asked me out, and it gave me a chance to let them know that I was waiting until I was ready and I didn’t want the pressure. Sometimes they would pressure me to just give it a chance, but they would in turn respect me all the more for my consistent stand. The question came up sometimes, “So what are you waiting for?” I would answer, “So far, the right one hasn’t surfaced, so I want to wait till I know I am more ready for marriage.” I just knew I wasn’t ready for a serious commitment, so until then, I would keep working for God and keep my eyes peeled out for a guy who encapsulates the desires of my heart.

How did you meet?

Rob: Michelle doesn’t remember; she’s already admitted that to me! But I remember the first time I saw her. I was discipled by a young man from St. Louis, along with two other very good friends of mine. The four of us went to a youth group at someone’s house one night, and when I went down into the basement, there was this really beautiful young woman standing there talking to someone else. Over the next few years, we got to know each other through group interactions and common friends.

Michelle: It was at a Teens For Christ meeting at some point. He was a freshman in college and I was a Sr. in high school. We had a tight group of friends we both knew pretty well. The whole group hung out very regularly. Whether it was going out to eat, serve in ministry opportunities in the community, at church, sit around to discuss theology, worship and pray together, or just have fun, most of us have remained good/best friends to this day and have been at or in each other’s weddings.

What attracted you to the other person?

Michelle: Lots of things. His walk with God was a biggie. He made God first, which is the way I wanted things. God first, then me if we were to be married. He was tall, dark and handsome, of course... even more so now than ever. His integrity, honor and respect for others stuck out. He had a special knack with kids too. Something about him made them attracted to him. He was smart and used his wisdom to edify, encourage and speak truth at the right time. I really liked that in him.

Rob: While I was (of course) looking for beauty and intelligence, my primary focus in a potential wife was her heart for God. I had heard from a lot of married couples how important that was. Michelle had a big heart for several ministries that she was actively involved in, including the local Crisis Pregnancy Center and the church worship team. She had a tenderness and desire to seek Christ that I didn’t see matched in too many other ladies around me.

What made you decide to start dating?

Rob: Actually, we didn’t “date,” per se. The concept of “courtship” was becoming more popular at our church at that point. I know “courtship” sounds kind of old-fashioned. Some people (including my mom!) thought that we were getting engaged! Basically, courtship is a commitment between a young man, a young woman, and their families to explore the potential for a long-term relationship. We “went out,” but only in large-group settings at first, or over to each others’ houses to have dinner or spend time with our families. Our families were a lot more involved in the process, which helped us be more ourselves. I initiated a relationship with Michelle’s dad (whom I highly respected), and sought his advice and counsel on a number of things.

Michelle: I could seriously see him as my potential husband in a lot of ways. I viewed our dating as a way to get to know each other in a more serious and down to earth way. I wanted to know who he really was, not just on the surface. We just called it courting and we involved our parents a lot more than others normally do. Also, we had a similar goal in that we wanted this experience to be the best and to make it the most God-honoring we could make it. We decided not to kiss. We wrote a ton of letters and talked a lot on the phone. We made dinner for a friend at her house so we could watch her new baby while she and her husband took a walk around the block and enjoyed a few quiet moments together. We did lots of other projects together and it was well worth the investment. My love for Rob grew more with the progress of our courtship.

Did you know that they were “the one”? If so, how?

Rob: I honestly don’t know if there is a mystical “one” out there for someone. I do know that God seemed to have brought us together, and Michelle had all the characteristics of a godly woman that I was looking for. I prayed for a while before approaching her, and prayed even harder about the decision for us to get engaged. God confirmed (through various Scriptures and the godly counsel of others) that Michelle and I should keep moving forward in our relationship. Looking back, I can definitely see better now that I could back then; God does have a plan, and now that we are married, we see how He’s created us for one another.

Michelle: I wrote in my journal, around age 15, the specific qualities in the man I’d want to marry in the future. I added to it over the years and right before I found out Rob was interested in me I started to doubt, thinking my standards were just too high. Up till then no guy I knew could quite fit the “list” I asked God for. I really did believe God would give me the desires of my heart and the things in a man that I thought were important; a heart after God, respect towards his parents and a love for children/family. Even the little things, like being tall, were on my list. Yes, I prayed for a tall husband! I also asked for him to have musical talents, specifically with the guitar. Guess what? He plays that and a romantic violin! Anyway, only Rob fulfilled ALL the qualities I had asked God for and then some! Also, my parents were always praying for my future spouse and they knew the “list.” I shared it with them often to talk about potential guys. They counseled me along with my pastor and his wife on whether or not to go for it with Rob. Obviously they thought it was a great idea.

How did you guys get engaged?

Rob: I’ll let Michelle tell this; I hear that guys leave out all of the “good parts.”

Michelle: Rob was very romantic. It was so fun. My family lived on some acreage with a pond. Rob slipped a letter on the dining table and set off to the pond to set up his surprise. I read the sweet letter which simply asked me to come to the pond. When I got there I saw a blanket laid out with wine glasses(for sparkling grape juice), roses, and Hershey kisses everywhere. But Rob was nowhere in sight. I stopped and took the scene in. My heart was already racing, and then Rob came from behind a tree wearing his tuxedo and looking so handsome. Of course I cried. He approached me and knelt on one knee and spoke many sweet somethings to me which to this day I cannot remember it all. I just melted. He had won my heart months ago but this was just the beginning… he had special plans for the whole night. That evening we dined at a John Minios restaurant, then we drove around looking at Christmas lights, then finally we wrapped up that cold, beautiful December night with a special carriage ride in St.Louis. We finished the evening by hanging out with my parents watching a movie together. I was so excited I don’t remember the movie. I just wanted to talk about the night with my sisters and mom.

Any other special things about your relationship?

Rob: Our first kiss was on our wedding day! (I’m talking, my first kiss ever, and hers as well!) Some people think that’s freaky, but we wanted to save ourselves physically until the day when God was bringing us together in a permanent commitment. I would say it helped a lot in keeping our heads during our courting days.
January 2007
Michelle's sister, Beth Jacob's wedding
Summer 2006
Penthorwood Wedding

O Little One

In response to Micah 6:8 and James 1:27

Overwhelmed at how He saves those in oppression and specifically the little ones in slavery... see, As His Own(India), and other ministries have helped open my eyes to see that there is "no greater cause" than to work in freeing people from slavery, like Christ has done for me! His mercy is new and He brings new life, Oh, how can I fully understand this?

O Little One

O Little One,

Where have you gone?

Where have you been?

What have they done?

You’ve been abused

You’re in distress

You feel alone

You have no home

What can I do?

What can I do?

What can be done?

What can be done?

I’m torn in two

I’m torn for you

They have no shame

Who is to blame?

O Little One,

By His Mercy,

By His Grace

He knows your name

Sin in the world

Love’s beauty, it has blurred

Aching in the mire

But to be loved is your desire

He Who knows

Calls His own

To be His loving arms

To open up their palms

Will I obey?

To look after the orphan,

The widow, the weak?

Or to give money they desperately need?

May I wipe your tear?

Hold your hand, hold you near?

To go, to do?

With you, walk through?

To intercede may be my gift

To pray and to lift?

On behalf who don’t know

The seeds that they sow.

Will I obey?

His commands are so good.

Not for me, for His name’s sake ~

His glory and His fame!

O Little One,

Will I, can I, point you to Him?

Who knew no sin?

Creating new life within?

O Little One,

In this justice mission

How can I start?

What is my part ?

I may not,

But in any case,

Whether I see your face,

I want to be in the right place.

O Little One,

The cost of obedience,

The cost of sacrifice,

The cost of Love.

Christ Himself, for me He emptied

He gave His life a ransom for many

Now freedom since He came

Now calls me to do the same.

Evil’s days are few.

God’s promise is true.

He seeks justice for you.

He makes all things new!

How beautiful the day

When you see His face

Joy for pain, it will replace

Your life, a tapestry of grace

Until that day

I will listen and obey

I WILL commit

And love like Christ did.

A Poem Prayer

A Poem Prayer

This is a prayer

For the unknown child

From the heart of a mother

For the meek and the mild

This is a prayer

For the unknown girl

Sexually abused

Or hurt by the world.

Father in Heaven,

You are Creator.

A Stronghold.

The Maker.

Father in Heaven,

History has told

You are Faithful and True,

You are beautiful and bold.

Father in Heaven,

Show Your strong arm.

Be the God of All Ages

Keep our children from harm.

Father in Heaven,

All riches are yours

The earth and all in it.

All Heaven adores.

Father in Heaven,

Can you be near,

Those who are scared,

Those filled with fear?

Father in Heaven,

A mother’s heart cries out,

For the comfort of those

With tears or have doubt.

Father in Heaven,

Tonight can You save them?

From the evil one’s ways

Crush him out and condemn him

May Your blessed Name be praised!


See for yourself:

55 little known facts about human trafficking CLICK BELOW

Identify TEMPTATION and weak spots!

Rob and I are in a small group at church, and our leaders just sent this to us
tonight, and thought it was such a good idea to fwd the link of Pastor Jay's
message last Sunday! Please know you are both in my prayers and I am being
completely honest when I say I pray for you daily, and I hope you will pray for
me too! So here is the message from our small group leaders...

"Hey everybody!

Hope you all had a chance to hear the sermon yesterday... it was so good! If you
didn't, here's the link to listen to the sermon.
I wanted to echo the challenge given by Pastor Jay, to IDENTIFY TEMPTATION and
WEAK SPOTS in your life. Here are a few he mentioned:
* Our mouths (gossip, sarcasm)
* Lustful thoughts
* Bad Habits (Laziness, escapism)
* Finances
* Anger
What a sobering and powerful reminder to HATE our sin and ATTACK it with prayer,
the Word, accountability. I know in my own life I tend to belittle and coddle
my sin, while still worshipping God with my mouth and body... yet I wonder why I
do not see more fruit and God moving in and through me?..."
(Our Small Group Leaders)

I would encourage you to find 1 way to memorize/continue to memorize Scripture
as one of the best ways to combat Satan and his attacks or even our own wrong
thought-patterns. If you wish to work on a chapter with me, I am currently
working on Philippians 2... fantastic chapter!

Personally, I find it extremely helpful to memorize the same way my little
National Quizzing brother, and John Piper do it: I read 1 verse 10+ times, then
close the book(or put my hand over the verse) and say it out loud 10+ times. I
review it in my head all day, emphasizing different words in the verse AND/OR if
I thinkI have it, I move on to the next verse... doesn't take long. Try to do
this first thing in the morning(or after your shower ~ lol!) and then again at
night before bed! Keep it rolling and review the previous days verse(es) on top
of the new verse(s).

Rob had a discipleship group this past semester and two guys took up the
challenge to memorize this way 24 verses, and these two guys said it was the
best part of the discipleship group this year! I challenge you to do this 1
thing over the summer... see how it changes your thought patterns as you dwell
on His Word through-out the day! Also, don't give up if you happen to miss a
day! Keep going!!!