Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's Time to Pick!

Roslyn (left) & Renee (right)

Spring is in the air!  Can you feel it?  Longer days, shorter nights and warmer weather are just some of nature's beauty this time of year.  Roslyn & I decided to take in some of the great weather this weekend by taking the kids to pick strawberries.  Everywhere you looked there were rows and rows of strawberries (and even a few blueberry bushes).

The winter strawberry season begins in the summer.  The farmers prepare the soil to receive the strawberry plant that will require watering, near perfect weather conditions, and fertilizer.  Extra attention is given during the brief periods of frigid temperatures that can harm the crops. 

The highlight of  my day wasn't so much the harvesting component, but knowing that I could reap a bounty with very little effort on my part.  We didn't have to till the land, water the soil, or apply the fertilizer.  We just had to gently bend over, give a little tug, and reap a bounty of goodness.





Seasons of generous harvest normally follow extremely difficult periods in our lives.  Listen to what is shared in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (MSG):






~When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you're going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn't build, well-furnished houses you didn't buy, come upon wells you didn't dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn't plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don't forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt. ~

This was the promise given to the Israelites after 400 strenuous years of slavery.  Moses declared the season of harvest that was available because they were chosen and God desired to bestow blessings upon them.



Harvest Time!


Hold fast to your faith. A season of harvest will occur in your life.  No matter what you are going through, it will come to an end, and there will be victory on the other side of the journey.  Maintain your confidence in God's ability to transform your situation.  Similar to your own life, despite varying weather conditions, the strawberry plant blossomed into a sensational creation of nature! (Posted by Renee)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

REJECTED - Who Me?



Sad but true, rejection is a natural part of life.  There are many parents that might have a problem saying, "no" to their children, but eventually that child will experience the bitter sting of rejection.  In the month of February, many anxious high school seniors found out if they were accepted or denied an opportunity to attend the university or college of their choice.  You can believe there were many that were experiencing extreme happiness and some unfortunately felt the pain of being rejected.

Even as adults, we struggle to find meaning on why someone rejects us in a relationship or our workplace.  We have all the qualifications to add value to a company but they intentionally move on to another candidate.  In the midst of the emotion you will feel, realize that:

The rejection does NOT define who you are!

There is not one person, organization, club, team, competition, school or university that holds that much control over us.  My mom has always told me, "wear this life like loose clothing".  Don't become attached to your material stuff, titles or people because it can be quickly taken away.

There are stories of so many athletes that have been thrust into the spotlight and with a few weeks of unfavorable statistics those same fans are rejecting their athletic performance.

After rejection occurs, spend time focusing on where you want to BE, not where you are today.  Remain positive.  Rejection does not mean denial.  It could just mean wait until another time.  Many of you have experienced closed doors, only to now thank God for closing a door that would have led to uncertainty and just wasn't the right timing.

"Whatever you focus on today, you give permission to exist in your life tomorrow". 
~Cindy Trimm

Move forward positively, intentionally choosing not to focus on the rejection.  Focus on the many blessings that surround you - YOU are strong!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Boyfriend I Want My Daughter to Date!

It's hard to believe that in just a few short months, I will have a teenager in my house.  People always tell you to treasure every moment with your child because time flies.  I now realize....they were right.  It seems like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms for the very first time. 

Where does the time go?

At a tender age of 13, she's only five years away from adulthood.  I only have a few short years to teach her all about life and the challenges it can bring.  We've surrounded her with positive friends, taught her God's word, taken her to church, and engaged her in extra-curricular activities.  Out of all the experiences we've provided her with, my sincerest desire is that at the end of it all, she has her OWN relationship with Christ.

As parents, we must encourage our children to nurture their OWN relationships with Christ.  Their faith can't only come through us.  They have to learn how to stand on God's word and believe His promises for themselves.  They must pick up the Bible to read God's word even if they don't always understand every single word.  If they just make the first step toward Christ, He will meet them at their need.




I want her to "date" God.  A season of spending time with Him and learning more about His promises.  Through these interactions, her faith will increase and give her confidence to make the right choices even when she's pressured to do otherwise.

James shares with us in the 2nd chapter of his book that our faith makes us a friend of God. 

23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.
 
 
 
 
If I want her to have a close relationship with Christ, I must encourage it early in her life.  All relationships take time.  I must also set the example for her.  As parents, our kids need to see us reading our Bible, studying God's word, attending church, and living life surrounded by a circle of believers. 
 
Here's my question for you.....when was the last time you had a "date" night with Christ?  Have you encouraged your children to begin or maintain their OWN relationship with Christ?  When we’re alone with God, we draw closer to Him and get to know Him in a different way than we do in group settings.  He's waiting to spend time with us.  Won't you let him? (Posted by Renee Scott)
 
 
Proverbs 3:1-4 (NIV)
 
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, or they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.  Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.