G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Sunday Notes

As I was driving into town heading to church, I already had a joy and peace I knew was not mine alone.  Jesus was already with me.  It just feels so different when I’m in His presence. And church was amazing today!  It is always a blessed event when we share in the Lord’s Supper together as the body of Christ.  It’s often a reminder to ask God to check my heart and reveal what shouldn’t be there, in case I hadn’t done that lately.

27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood[c] of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  I Corinthians 11:27-28

These are the verses that always come to mind before receiving the Lord’s Supper. We followed this by long, deep worship.  Let me explain, I HATE crying in public.  There are numerous reasons we cry…physical or emotional pain, extreme happiness, and another for me is the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I’ve learned to not even try to control those tears, because I can’t.  And I’ve even learned to enjoy those tears, even when they are pouring out my eyes and down my cheeks in public.

I love that we are part of a church that seeks the Holy Spirit to lead our services.  And if that means worship lasting longer than ‘it’s scheduled for’, then so be it.  Worship seems to be the time I feel I can most connect with God.  When I am able to focus on Him, sing to Him and praise Him…that’s when I most hear Him.

We humans do so much to fill the empty hole in ourselves; wether it be shopping, drugs, alcohol, gossiping, crafting, sex, etc.  I too have used a few of those, but I’ve realized that peace I feel when in His presence is that exact relief I have searched so hard for in the wrong places.

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I have been going through a spiritual struggle this past year.  I think it’s been a combination of the enemy attacking and partly me fighting my growth process.  Even though I KNOW it does no good to fight against God.  It’s soooo much easier when we just listen and do as He leads from the beginning.  Seriously, He is for us, not against us!

The sermon was on the three phases of baptisms.  The first baptismal is Salvation in which we admit we are in a sinner and receive Jesus as our Savior (1 Corinthians 12:13).  God never intended for us to stop at attaining salvation.  He has so much more for us.

Then there comes the Water Baptism; which is our public declaration that symbolizes being buried and raised in Christ.  This is the one most people think of when speaking of baptisms.  Although, this is done in numerous ways depending on religion and beliefs.  I was raised that being baptized meant being submerged in water.  And as more mature (comparing myself to then, not comparing to other people) christian I believe that to be the correct way for a couple of reasons. 1) the word baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, meaning “to immerse”. 2) All examples of baptisms in the New Testament (including Christ himself) were all done by submersion.

The water baptism represents us dying to ourselves and becoming a new creation in Christ.  I may not yet be who I am called to be, but I am NOT who I use to be!  I need to remind myself of that often because otherwise I beat myself up tremendously because I am not who I feel I should be in Christ.

The third baptism is the Holy Spirit Baptism.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Matthew 3:11

Let me share with you that I was raised Southern Baptist.  I have never been one to believe something (usually) just because I was told it.  For example, my church believed dancing was a sin.  I was just never comfortable with that belief and took some slack because I did not believe the same.  Yes, you can dance in a sinful nature, but just don’t believe ALL type of dancing in sinful.  Dancing, and let me just insert musical instruments, are in the Bible as uses of worship.

Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.  Psalm 149:3

I can also say not much (at least of what I remember) was taught about the Holy Spirit beyond the God Head – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ghost).  We are taught there are Fruits of the Spirit and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the gifts were assumed to be only for biblical times.

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[b] Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.   I Corinthians 12:4-11

I say this because I don’t think I was directly taught against, we use speaking in tongues as an example, but it was something freaks did.  So as an adult when I was first around those speaking in tongues and laying hands on others, it was extremely uncomfortable!  But there was always an inner conflict I felt, so I began to read in the Bible to learn more here and there.  In 2009 we began attending a non-denominational church that did not hide the fact they believed in the gifts of the Holy Spirit; although you did not see or hear it in-your-face at all times.

One thing I could never find in the Bible was where it said those gifts were only for Biblical-time days and were no longer relevant.  And our Father is wonderful!  He does not push us to learn everything at once.  He takes us at the perfect pace.  After about 5 years of going deeper in the Word and learning more, I was finally at a point where I decided if this is from God, then I wanted it!  But it HAD TO come natural in a way I knew it was Him and not me.  It wasn’t until this year, that I received my prayer language and spoke in tongues.

The first thing I noticed was I had NO CLUE what I was saying!  I assumed if it was my prayer language that I would have some sense of what I was saying.  That has not been the case for me at least.  But I remember that night I tried to stop and speak normal and could not.  Time after time of trying to speak, I was unable to.  I thanked God for that because to me it was a sign.  That this was from Him and not me!  And I was more than okay with that.

I won’t say that speaking in tongues feels natural to me yet. I had even stopped doing it for a while because it just made me feel odd.  I’ve been assured it takes practice.  But I try to relax when it comes because I know it is the Holy Spirit praying through me to agree with God’s perfect will. Or something like that….I’m still learning.

I know I am jumping around a lot.  But these post have two purposes: 1) for me to review and meditate on what I learned and 2) not so much to teach you, but maybe give you something to think about.  God has a way of connecting us together in a way to learn and grow.

There are times I feel as if I am in stand-still in my Christian walk.  It may be God’s way of saying I’m having foundation issues.  That will cause Him to stop us from proceeding onward.

6 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.  Hebrews 6:1-3

Just as with buildings, we need strong foundations.  And the taller the building, it is that much more important to have the proper foundation.  Maybe we only prepared our foundation for a 4-story building when God wants to make a skyscraper out of us? Reflect on that!

You recall after Jesus was baptized, he went into the wilderness where Satan tempted him. In what aspect did Satan attack Jesus?  In his identity!  “If you are the Son of God…”  And he does the same to us; which is why we need a strong foundation of who we are in Christ!

I think I recognized one issue I need to learn to deal with….it’s a DAILY thing!  I tend to like to do a bunch of something at once that will last for a while.  But it’s not that way with God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  God provides all our needs for this day only!  Jesus gives us the strength we need for this day only!  We are cracked pots and need daily refilling from the Holy Spirit EACH day!

I apologize for the delay in getting this post to you.  I began it when we got home from church on Sunday, but then I realized my son needed a day with me.  And I’m sure you would agree that was more important.  We snuggled, played, watched a couple movies, I made him dinner and then we had ice cream that he so sweetly scooped into waffle cones for us.

One more thing to share…..

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This is one of the movies we watched.  I would not recommend it for small children because there is some inappropriate language and references; mainly in the beginning.  Bug gave me a few choices of movies and I chose this one because I enjoy Morgan Freeman.  His character begins out-of-character for what I expected from Freeman, but the movie did not dissappoint!  I don’t think Bug enjoyed it as much as me, so maybe it’s more of a Momma Movie?  Although there were good lessons for him to learn in it as well.

 

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Sunday Notes

I have done so much driving over the past two days, first to Ft. Hood and then yesterday to Lubbock.  Honestly, I did not feel up to driving into town today for church.I did however want to meet with the Lord, so I attending the local Baptist church here in our area.  Plus it helps to build relationship with local people that we don’t know many of.

Todays sermon was presented by the retired church pastor as the current pastor is ill and had just gotten out of the hospital.  He spoke about Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10.  Zaccheus was the richest man in town being the tax collector and am sure he was unapologetic in his ways. This in turned made him a very despised and shunned man. If I asked you to describe another attribute about him, you would probably say short, of small stature.  This who Zaccheus was in the morning when he awoke.

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His choice to be a tax collector made him go against his roots of being a Jew.  Perhaps he had been ridiculed as a child and took on the thought that if he could be rich and powerful, then people would respect him someday.  This is speculation on my part, but it is natural for us as humans to feel as if we can just have what we don’t already have, then we will finally be happy.

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him,[a] and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

It says he ‘sought to see who Jesus was’.  Was this mere curiosity?  I don’t quite think it was just that.  God seeks us first and awaits for us to answer His call.  So I would guess his curiosity came from within where the calling was growing.

Jesus had just healed a blind man at the end of chapter 15 so there was a crowd following and praising Jesus.  Zacchaeus knew this would present a problem since he was short, so he climbed into sycamore tree to be sure he would see Jesus. As Jesus passed, he stopped below the tree where Zaccheus was.  I can picture him not even looking up before calling out to Zaccheus.  Jesus calls him down so that He can stay with him.

That did not make the crowd or townsfolk happy at all.  Jesus traded the company of the whole crowd for the one who had seeked him. They just couldn’t understand why Jesus would want to be in the presence of such a vile sinner.  Ummm, hello?!?!  THAT is WHY Jesus came (See verse 10).  And current christians do that even now.  Sometimes it’s out of pride or arrogance; and other times out of ignorance.

Imagine the crowd.  At one moment they are praising God for the miracles and goodness His Son has done.  Then the next moment bashing one of God’s very children.  God commands us to love one another.  It did not say love one another if they are worthy.

Because Zacchaeus received Jesus as his Savior, he was changed.  Jesus did not change Zacchaeus’s circumstances, yet changed his heart.  By that evening, he had decided to give 1/2 of his worth to the poor, as well as repay 4x’s the amount that he may have ever cheated anyone.  Even though this could bankrupt him.  He was still short, still disposed and now without the status of his richest, but he was happy with complete joy in his circumstances.

This part reminded me of a part of an old biblical movie we watched before Hubby went back to work, The Robe.  There was a woman who had been completely bitter and angry about being lame.  Yet, after meeting Jesus, although still lame, she was filled with joy and happiness.  When the Roman soldier questioned how she could be ‘healed’ but still lame, her response touched my heart.  She said it took her a little while to realize that had he healed her physically it would have been a miracle, but the fact that she can find joy and happiness despite her circumstances shows an even greater miracle.

Have you tried reaching out to someone to share the gospel with or invite them to church? And after a while you give up on them and think it’s no use, they will never become a christian?  Why do we give up on them when God hasn’t?  Sometimes we all need this little reminder.

 

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Time Flies

I can’t even tell you where half of today has gone!?!?!?!  I remember beginning to think about having lunch at about 11:57 this morning and actually eating at 4:22 this afternoon.  No, I wasn’t abducted, but do you have those moments when you feel like you lost a big chunk of time?  I guess that’s what I get for jumping around between different projects today.

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Here’s one that I completed today.  I made the flower.  Although I think I am going to try to put a middle layer on the flower somehow.  Just seems too much blank space?  I don’t know?  I am my worst critic.  I’m not a huge fan of purple, but I think it’s cute.  I have a very girly side to me, but it does not include pink or purple.  Not sure why I hate pink, but I burnt myself out on purple when I was about 9 or 10.

It was almost time for school to start and my cousin had sent me a letter telling me about her new purple school wardrobe.  I told my mom I wanted all purple clothes when we go school shopping, but she said no.  Ha!  I won, I guess you could say.  Or purple just happened to be the biggest craze for fashion that year.  I had everything purple, including my sneakers.  I swear to you, I did not were anything purple again until I was in my late 20’s.  And even since that point, purple clothes are few and far between.b36590ab422fffbf03cc9df66adcd0ed

Christmas 2011, Bug was 7, he wanted to buy this shirt for me for Christmas.  He said, “mom, I know you don’t like purple but this saying fits you perfectly.  Will you wear it?  For me! Please!”  I couldn’t say no to that and I wore it proudly for many years!  People would stop me so they could read it.  I would just smile because those are the reasons my Hubby is a rich man!

i wish I could hang out here and catch y’all up on so much, but the house won’t clean itself (trust me!  I have been waiting for it to happen!) and crafts won’t finish themselves.

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R.I.P Dear Friend

For the past 4 days I had been planning on posting about my GGBFF’s visit here shortly after we moved in.  Had been working on my thoughts and going through pictures to post.  Oh, what does GGBFF stand for?  God Given Best Friend Forever!  She and her husband are on my mind so much for numerous reasons.  One, because we love and miss them.  They are family to us.  Two, because Glenn had been fighting blood cancer for the past year and a half.  The first time he went to the hospital was while my GGBFF was here.  You have to understand, she is one of the most devoted wives (actually, plain devoted person) I know! It was so difficult for her to not be there with him.

Yes, I used past tense because he passed away 2 days ago.  Nope, not going to be able to write this post without waterworks.  So grateful we were able to go see them in November, even if it was only for 2 days.  Although we can’t go right now for the funeral, it meant more to see him while he was still with us.  Now, he’s with Father God and looking upon the face of our sweet Jesus!  That is amazing!  No more pain…no suffering…no sadness!  I truly look forward to my time.

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R.I.P. our dear Glenn!

I love this picture of Glenn!  He was a handful at times, but he was a good man.  I was thinking this morning that I wouldn’t have met Deb if it wasn’t for Glenn, and I wouldn’t have known Glenn if it wasn’t for Deb.  Crazy little paradox there.  Deb and I met through the VWF Ladies Auxiliary; both Glenn and my husband are Veterans.  It was one of those relationships that just clicked.

I could say things to Glenn that Deb couldn’t and Deb has such a knack of suggesting decorating ideas to my hubby that he goes for.  We are family in the heart and family in the Kingdom.  Glenn was not saved in the beginning, so I will never forget when Deb called to say Glenn gave his life to the Lord!  I was in the kitchen and I darted jumping up & down, hooting and hollering to praise the Good Lord!!!  We also had the privilege and honor of watching him get baptized.

It is that precious memory that gives me comfort right now.  I KNOW where he is.  Without knowing…well, I would hate to know how bad my heart would hurt.  We face eternity, the choice is ours where we chose to be throughout eternity.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.   John 3:16

Numerous times over the years, Glenn never hesitated to let us borrow his truck.  There was just something about that old truck that I loved.  So much, that last year I had an opportunity to buy one close to the same as his.  And I did!  Ecstatically!  Sitting here smiling as I think about us trying to move a 15′ trampoline from our house to theirs, without breaking it down.  It was pouring down rain and his grandsons getting soaked while trying to keep it on the truck.  That just stressed poor Glenn out.

When we visited them shortly ago, Deb told us he told her he wanted to take her fishing one last time.  Hubby and I did our best to make that happen.  Friends of ours gave us a big watering bucket, Hubby & Bug made fishing poles from branches and we bought a bunch of minnows.  We also gave him a super big hook for when he could take her to get the ‘big one’.  Unfortunately he was so ill that day he couldn’t get out of bed.  But it still gave them a memory to cherish!

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Get the fish close to the camera!  It helps it look bigger!

We love you Glenn!  You will be missed so much!  How we couldn’t wait for you to come out to the ranch with Deb.  To enjoy the reduction in humidity, sunsets and peacefulness.  But now you enjoy so much more.  And you know there are plenty of people her to care for Deb until you are together again.

R.I.P. our sweet friend!  Forever in our hearts and memories!!

 

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Daniel Fast

Our church is doing a corporate Daniel Fast for the next 3 weeks.  That means 3 weeks of no meats and sweets. Hubby is offshore so it is just Buggy & I.  My niece and 2 great-nieces will be visiting during it as well.  Hope Mak loves my veggie chili as much as she loved my regular chili (for a little girl who eats like a bird…she went back for thirds).

I love soup and have been craving it.  Haven’t been impressed with the taste of canned soup for a long time so I went hunting for recipes.  My first go-to site is almost always The Pioneer Woman. I have yet to make a recipe of hers that I haven’t loved.  Her ingredients are ‘normal’ and they are easy to create. And can’t forget the adjective ‘hearty’.  Maybe it’s because she lives on a ranch too.  Would love to sit and have a cup of tea with her.

So, I have printed out my recipes, made my shopping list and now trying to figure out when we will go to the store. When you live 30 minutes from town (including the one you live in, lol) it takes planning.  It takes 15 minutes just to get to the ‘corner store’.

I’ve already told Bug he will be helping to cook many of these soups.  I love to incorporate real life experiences to his school days.  I remember seeing a thing on Facebook about the best test to see if you’re a control freak…bake with your children.  LOL, I FAIL!!!  I conclude I am a control freak.  I do tend to just do it myself and get it done quicker BUT my son also deserves to learn how to cook.  And as a parent, we often have to put aside what we like or what is easier for ourselves and do what is right for our children.  At least, that’s how it should be.

Just wanted to give you a heads up of what you can expect to see in the upcoming recipe reviews.

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New Challenge

On Facebook, it seems there is no lack of challenges right now.  There is the ALS ice bucket challenge where you have seen about 60% or more of the people on your friends list participate.  I have been nominated twice, but am declining the challenge.  It doesn’t make me heartless! (Am I saying that for your sake or mine?).  There are so many causes in the world that we can not (financially) support them all.  But we can pray for them, the research and healing.

I have also been challenged in the Grateful challenge, listing 3 things a day, for a week, you are grateful for.  And then challenge 3 more people each day.  I accepted that challenge because I believe being thankful brings life. Did you know taking even just 2 minutes to speak of things you are grateful for can change the atmosphere around you?

It hit me…let’s have a prayer challenge!  It may be corny, but honestly, I am ok with that.  If it can help even one person to kick-start their prayer life or help someone take their eyes off their situation…I am ok with that too! Let’s flood the Heavens with our prayers for other people.

One is struggling with grief & feels a bit lost. Another has marriage problems. The other, honestly I don’t know what it is, but Daddy God does, so that’s all that matters. Just knowing she has a heavy heart & is struggling makes my heart heavy. We should share in each other’s burdens even if we don’t know the details of the person’s situation. 

Now I challenge YOU to pray for 3 people (or groups of people) a day, for a week. They can be the same 3 for the week, or a different 3 a day. Everybody can use prayers. You don’t need to name the people if you don’t want. Honestly, I would ask you to think about if that person would want you to or not. And then I ask you to challenge 3 more people each day. This is going to be awesome!  Hmmm, I’m not real hip on the new trends, but maybe we should make a hashtag for our challenge?  #Pray4Others  #P4O   Hmmm, what do you think?

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