Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Officially Official!

On October 19th, I became an official Licensed Minister of the Assemblies of God!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Reflection

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time with my family and this year was no exception. I love the
warm colors, the smell of roasting turkey, the feel of cozy hugs, the taste of cinnamon in my mulled cider and the sounds of children giggling in far off rooms away from the eyes of parents.

I hope and pray you had a pleasant Thanksgiving with your family. I hope you remembered to be thankful for all that God has given to us. He is truly good!

The table was set...

The food was made...

My first pumkin pie!!!!

Yummy pumkin cookies with frosting, recipe below.

Kids at the Kid Table...

and Enjoying family!

For fun I let the girls take my camera and take as many pictures as they wanted to...here is Thanksgiving through their eyes...

Great time had by all and made for very sleepy babies!!!

Pumpkin cookie recipe
4 cups of all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1 t allspice ( I've never used it in mine so far)
2 cups vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
1 can (15oz) Libby's Pure Pumpkin
2 large eggs
4 t vanilla extract, divided
2 cups raisins(I don't ever use this!)
1 cup nuts (I also never use this)
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 t rum extract ( I only use a drop, really it's not necessary)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Nestle carnation evaporated milk

Preheat over to 350f. Combine flour, baking pwder, soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice in medium bowl. Beat shortening and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl for 30 sec. Add pumpkin, eggs and 2 t vanilla extract; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture at low speed until combined. Stir in raisins and nuts (if you choose to do so:) Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or intil edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2min; remove to wire rack to cool completely. Spread each cookie with frosting.

For the frosting:)
Beat butter, rum extract and remaining vanilla in medium bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar and evaporated milk until smooth. The frosting will be thin.

Enjoy!!! This recipe makes probably 40ish cookies. Don't eat them all in one sitting like I probably could. Pace yourself. Maybe only make a 1/2 recipe.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lazy Wednesday's Walk ~ Try Not To Explode!

So for Wednesdays walk I am participating in this

Lazy Wednesday's Walk

So click here to read my Lazy Wednesday's Walk!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

2010 Ornament Reveal!

Every year our family picks out our yearly Christmas ornament. My first year blogging about it was last year and you can see our 2009 picks here. So drum roll please...

pa rum pum pum pum...... rum pum pum pum (a drum roll in the spirit of Christmas)

My 2 year old son's...
My 7 year old daughter's... My 10 year old daughter's choice... My Hubby's ugly pick (notice my Uof M ornament in the top right hand corner an little higher)...

My pick for this year....
Decorating for Christmas is so much fun and helps me.....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Colossians 4 ~ Be Found Diligent!

The Goodwin Family

Don't forget to visit my dear friend Jenilee and her thoughts on Colossians 4!

Colossians 4

Chapter Breakdown

Masters to do their duty towards servants. (1)

Persons of all ranks to persevere in prayer, and Christian prudence. (2-6)

The apostle refers to others for an account of his affairs. (7-9)

Sends greetings; and concludes with a blessing. (10-18)

What God Wants To Show Me Today

The letters we have study over the last 20 days have been simply amazing. Paul's heart has been so clearly defined in all of them. We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to be watchful of false teachings that creep into the body of believers. We are to continue to grow in Joy of Christ and become more like Him. It is God's deepest desire that we would be reconciled unto Him.

I love Paul's last challenges in Colossians 4....

2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

5 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity

6 Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

If we can do these three things be devoted in prayer, live wisely, be gracious conversation and practice them then surely we will be true Christ followers.

Today is the last day of our Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians & Colossians GEPC study (tear) and I have enjoyed every minute it of it. It has been hard to write about it each chapter everyday...very time consuming...but priceless in so many ways. Thanks Jenilee for allowing me partner with you on this journey through Paul's epistles. Thanks to all of you who have blogged with us and made it that more enjoyable.

Find people in your life that encourage your walk with Christ and remember this verse....

Proverbs 27:17 (New Living Translation)
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.

Paul's Letter from Crossroads Community Church on Vimeo.

If this video does not work here...please, please, please go check it out here it is a nice way to end our GEPC series.

Grace be with you!

Shout out to my freind Peter Flaherty for the beautiful Paul picture. Thanks!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Colossians 3 ~ Get Dressed!

The Goodwin Family

Don't forget to visit my dear friend Jenilee and her thoughts on Colossians 3!

Colossians 3

Chapter Breakdown

The Colossians exhorted to be heavenly-minded; (1-4)

to mortify all corrupt affections; (5-11)

to live in mutual love, forbearance, and forgiveness; (12-17)

and to practise the duties of wives and husbands, children, parents, and servants. (18-25)

There are some really practical things throughout this chapter that really help us live a life that follows Jesus. I love verses 1 and 2 tell us to set our hearts and minds on things above. We need to keep ourselves pointed in the right direction...remember life is like a marathon. Verse 3 says we are hidden with Christ in God. I blogged about being Under His Feathers it really helped me understand how God protects us not only from harm but by His cleansing blood I am protected from eternal death.

I love the practical list of things to get rid of....

sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greedy, idolater, anger, rage malicious behavior, slander, dirty language & lying.

Well...I am sure we can find a couple things on this list that we need to get out of our lives if not all of them.

What God Wants To Show Me Today

But I love, love, love the next portion of scripture. You know me Mrs. Visual....I love the image of "You must Clothe yourselves...." I think of getting dressed for Michigan snow! You need a hat, scarf, earmuffs, mittens, warm socks, snow pants, warm coat and boots to brave the cold. I love how you are completely covered and wrapped up in your nice warm snow outfit just like how we need to clothe ourselves spiritually.

So what do we need to clothe ourselves in as Christ followers??

Tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, make allowance for each others faults, forgiveness, peace, thankfulness and above all LOVE!

When we put on God's clothes we will truly be able to be a beautiful example of a Christ follower. We will be a light in our relationships, our homes, our work place, our schools, our church, our community. As we daily get ready and put on our physical clothes lets be mindful of the spiritual clothes we need to put on that will glorify Christ.

Verse 17

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Colossians 2 ~ The Picture of Christian Living!

The Goodwin Family

Don't forget to visit my dear friend Jenilee and her thoughts on Colossians 2!

Colossians 2

Chapter Breakdown

1. The apostle expresses his love to, and joy in believers. (1-7)
2. He cautions against the errors of heathen philosophy; also against Jewish traditions, and rites which had been fulfilled in Christ. (8-17)

3. Against worshipping angels; and against legal ordinances. (18-23)

What God Wants To Show Me Today

I love how Paul uses earthly ideas to help us understand the spiritual truths here in Colossians 2. There is so much theology jammed packed into this little chapter. I see so many things in my mind as pictures. Some of the phrases that stuck out to me where.....

Knit Together (vs. 2)

Don't you just love this image??? Knitting is so complicated to me. The string is so entwined with itself. I can never figure out where the string goes half the time. A perfectly square baby blanket it is hard to see where the string began and where it ended. I have never knit; but I have done some crochet. When that string gets knit/crocheted to itself it becomes a strong item like a blanket or scarf that keeps you warm and snuggly.

Paul describes wanting us believers to be like something knit together. It is a beautiful picture of us being knit together in love, working together for a purpose and having confidence together in knowing who Christ is and His plan. The Church is to represent this picture....working together in love to fulfill His purpose!

Roots Grow Down & Be Built on Jesus (vs. 7)
Rooted down in Christ is such a powerful image in my mind. A tree that is firmly rooted will not fall even in the strongest of storms. Roots also tend to much bigger than the tree itself. I want my life to be so deeply rooted in Christ that when tough times come and strong winds blow I will not be moved. As I grow in Him my faith will be strengthened and I love the end of verse 7...

and you will overflow with thankfulness!

Being built on Jesus, who is our chief cornerstone (Matt. 21:42), is so important to our growth in Him. I like this from Wikipedia...The cornerstone (or foundation stone) concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

I want Christ to be my cornerstone in which all other aspects of my life will be set in reference to Him, thus determining the position of my whole life!

Let No One Capture You (vs. 8)
Ooooo when I saw this phrase this picture totally came to mind. When we begin to allow ourselves to listen to false teachers we are lead away from Christ. We become prisoners if we are not careful.

This is exactly what Satan wants to happen to us. Satan is liar and wants to deceive us so that we can become his prisoner. Notice at the end of verse 8 that Paul speaks of him. He will use false teachers to do it!

Stand firm in your faith! Keep rooted in Christ and build on Him! Be freed by the power of Jesus and the cross. We no longer have to be bound to the things of this earth. Christ has ransomed us!

Spiritual Circumcision (vs. 11-12)
Now the picture I picked was because I think baptism shows what Paul was expressing and appropriate for a blog. LOL

When we believed in Christ we were "Spiritually Circumcised", our sin was removed. Baptism represents this so well. As we go down into the water it represents that sin being washed away. We have died to our old sinful nature...as verse 12 says "For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized." When we come up out of the water it represents our new life in Him. God made us alive! He forgave us and cancelled all charges against us! I love, love, love verse 14!

He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

We Are the Body of Christ (vs. 19)
I love this picture of my church and my church family. I think it shows that we are one body; but see the cross above us all, that represents who we are living for.

Once again we see reference to Christ being the head of the body (Church). Paul goes a little further and also describes Christ as the joints and ligaments that hold us together. Paul says that false teachers are not connected to the body. We must remember that we answer to Christ alone. We look to Him for our help, our nourishment. We look to Him to help us work out our own salvation. He is our leader, no one else. The Church is our encourager our support system...it does not define our salvation only Christ does!

The Body of Christ is beautiful in what it does. We work together to do His will and that is to go out and preach the Gospel to the world!

Let's keep these images in our minds as we.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Colossians 1 ~ Christ Is Our All!

The Goodwin Family

Don't forget to visit my dear friend Jenilee and her thoughts on Colossians 1!

Colossians 1

Theme: Redemption fully in Christ

"In the first two chapters the apostle tells them what they must believe, and in the two last what they must do; the doctrine of faith, and the precepts of life for salvation. "-Matthew Henry

Chapter Breakdown

The apostle Paul salutes the Colossians, and blesses God for their faith, love, and hope. (1-8)

Prays for their fruitfulness in spiritual knowledge. (9-14)

Gives a glorious view of Christ. (15-23)

And sets out his own character, as the apostle of the Gentiles. (24-29)

What God Wants To Show Me Today

Ohhhhhhh, I love how in verses 15-20 Paul preaches the "Good News"! Christ is God, Living, Eternal, Powerful and Ready to Save!

Christ Is Supreme

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation

16 for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

18 Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.

19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,

20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Paul goes on to remind us that we were all dead in our sins; but because of Christ sacrifice we are redeemed. Our souls have been purchased through faith. When we believe, Christ's blood makes us pure so that we can have eternal life through Him. What an awesome passage to use to share the salvation message.

Paul also reminds us to stand firm and to hold on to the truths we have learned. We must be watchful for false teachings. Everything we learn about our faith needs to line up with the Word of God! Let's continue to vigilant in our faith and not become lazy.

Christ is our All!

Lazy Wednesday's Walk!!!!!

So for Wednesdays walk I am participating in this

Lazy Wednesday's Walk

So go here to read my Lazy Wednesday's Walk!

Scary Dances and Dangerous Pants!
Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Philippians 4 ~ Joy!

The Goodwin Family

Don't forget to visit my dear friend Jenilee and her thoughts on Philippians 1!

Philippians 4

Chapter Breakdown (Matthew Henry)

1. The apostle exhorts the Philippians to stand fast in the Lord. (1)

2. Gives directions to some, and to all in general. (2-9)

3. Expresses contentment in every condition of life. (10-19)

4. He concludes with prayer to God the Father, and his usual blessing. (20-23)

The grand finale of Philippians, chapter four! This little tiny chapter continues to be one of my favorite chapters of the Bible simply because I love so many of the verses in them, so much so, that I have blogged about them more than once. Paul is pretty much wrapping up his letter, exhorting the Philippians and blessing them. But, tucked in this conclusion are some pretty powerful verses on how we can live a content life, free of worry and full of JOY!

How many of us worry and feel discontent? If everybody was truly honest we probably struggle with one or both of these problems weekly if not daily on various levels. But here we find some verses that give these problems a 1..2...3...knockout!

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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

3. How To Be Content! (and I wrote about it here too!)

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Do you want peace & joy in your life???? Repeat steps 1, 2, & 3 over and over!

What God Wants To Show Me Today

One verse really stood out to me today! I am impressed by the Church in Philippi. They were a very caring and attentive church. They understood Paul's needs and did their best as fellow co-laborers to help him.

15b......not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.

Wow, this really challenged me! In this chapter, we learn how to not focus on our own problems and give them to the Lord. Why? So we can meet the needs of others. Specifically, here they meet the needs of Paul their leader. Practically speaking, do we know the needs of our pastor? Are we so consumed with our own problems that we don't minister to him or those in real need? Are we missing JOY because we are consumed with worry and discontentment?

I find time and time again that when I get my focus off of myself I find JOY in serving others...hummmmm funny how God works that all out. Matthew Henry had a great statement in his commentary....

"Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow."

Ooooooooo soooooooooooooo GOOD, especially for the holiday season coming in the next few days!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Philippians 3 ~ Where Is Your Treasure?

The Goodwin Family

Don't forget to visit my dear friend Jenilee and her thoughts on Philippians 1!

Philippians 3

Chapter Breakdown
1. The Value of Knowing Christ (vs. 1-11)

2. Pressing Toward the Goal (vs. 12-21)

The Value of Jesus!

Verses 1-11 remind me of what we learned in Galatians. Paul tells the Church of Philippi to remember we are saved by grace not by anything we do. He reminds them to be watchful and keep away from anyone who preaches anything different.

What is the value of knowing Christ??? We learn that when we have faith Christ righteousness makes us righteous. Because of His work on the cross we can have new life. The value is that my soul can be free from the curse of sin because of Jesus. Knowing Christ means that someday I will be forever with Him. The value is that Jesus Christ paid my debt!

Anything I could ever do is simply this (vs. 8) ...Garbage! Strong Words...Strong Visual our efforts are like this picture.....useless and smelly!

The Goal

I love last part of the chapter. Paul teaches about regeneration which basically means that followers of Christ are all in a process of becoming holy. When Christ comes in He begins the process of making us new. I love verse 13 & 14

but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Remember life is like a marathon race. We must train hard and press on toward the finish line. When conflicts arise, seek God. Hold on to any progress in your life. Look for godly examples in your life to help you reach the goal. Watch for pitfalls or teaching that may cause you to stumble or get off the path completely. Keep your eye on the prize....heaven!

Wow, I love how this chapter seems to sum up everything we have been learning so far in our bible study!

What God Wants To Show Me Today
In kid's church today, I taught the kids about following Jesus. We are faced with many paths in life that we can follow. We may strive for wealth and riches. We may chase after great careers. We may try to live just a good life. But God wants us to follow Him! This was our memory verse....

Matthew 6:20-21 (New Living Translation)
20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be

Paul closes this chapter looking at those who are enemies of the cross and those who are citizens of heaven. Enemies only think about their life here on this earth, their treasures are earthly. However, followers of Christ lay up their treasures in heaven. We are heavenly minded and the things of this earth are of little value. Our desires will be a good litmus test of the condition of our heart. Earthly or heavenly desires will be evident in our lives we live out.

20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.

What is valuable to you? Is it a big house, fancy cars, wealthy friends? Or is knowing Christ the most valuable thing you possess? Are you running hard towards Him or are you running as fast as you can away from Him? Where is your treasure, is it here on earth or in heaven? Do you desire the things of this earth or God?

Press on toward the goal and ....