God’s not dead

*warning VERY long blog post*

so on our way to Life Group the other night me and Geno had the most interesting conversation. it sprung from a conversation i had with another person about faith and God himself.

it went as followed.

Me: geno, I have a question to ask you.

Geno: okay….

Me: how do you know God is real? 

*he thought a little on every answer. He didn’t just say the first thing that came to his mind every time*

Geno: because I learn about Him. 

Me: you learn about him. well okay lets pretend i’m a friend and i’m asking you these question what would you say? —-How do you know that what you are learning is real?

Geno: because it is in the bible.

Me: the bible? how do you know the bible is real and not fiction? 

Geno: because the people in the bible were real people and they wrote stuff down. 

Me: okay, but how do know that what you are learning is truth and not some lies people are teaching you. 

Geno: because I praise him.

Me: you praise him? 

Geno: yeah, like when we worship that’s what I mean.

Me: well that’s something you do if you believe in something but how do you know?

Geno: God gave us Jesus. He died on the cross for our sins.

Me: OH! so you believe in Jesus. how do you know Jesus is real? like- You praise him and believe Jesus died in your place because you’ve…..fill in the blank

Geno: Hmm…i’m not sure

Me: well did you see something or feel something? like how do you know God. is. real?

Geno: MIRACLES!

Me: miracles? like what?

Geno: like food, water, and heat!

Me: well, doesn’t your mommy and daddy work hard to provide all those things?

Geno: yeah but like first God did, like I think it was just water and then everything else….

Me: oh so like you believe He created the whole world

Geno: yeah!

Me: okay so what would you say to me if I was your friend and I said, ” how do I believe in this Jesus too?”

Geno: You can come to my church and you say a prayer and ask Jesus into your heart.

Me: well can I do it? can you help me say the prayer?

Geno: kinda…I don’t know all the words.

Me: well can you just say the same prayer you said with your mommy or daddy? can you help me say what you remember?

Geno: yeah, i’ll try.

Me: so what do I do?

Geno: first you fold your hands…

Me: okay… 

Geno: okay “dear Jesus, (I repeated after him) come into my heart. I want to be a follower of you…..”ahhh….. I don’t know the rest

Me: (being mom) okay maybe say then- please forgive me of all the bad stuff I did and help me do better from this moment on!

*he repeated and then said amen*

Me: amen!

Geno: but there’s one other thing you gotta do.

Me: there is??

Geno: you gotta get baptized.

Me: baptized…whats that?

Geno: its went you become a new person.

Me: did you get baptized?

Geno: no not yet.

Me: well why?

Geno: because I’m kinda still thinking about it.

Me: well why do you want to?

Geno: because I want all the old me and all the ‘bad’ stuff washed away and I want to be a NEW ME!

Me: who do I ask about being baptized?

Geno: mommy I don’t know that one…

Me: okay well you probably should talk to Pastor tell him you want to be baptized and he’ll set a date for it. 

 

that’s basically when we pulled into the church. but I was totally astonished with the answers he was giving me. Mind you, he’s ONLY 7 so he never really answered my question of how he knows God is real.  the answer I didn’t really want to get was, “because you and daddy tell him he’s real” never once did he say anything like that during the conversation.

I suspect a few things….He knows that God is real but he can’t explain why beucase he has the mind of a 7 year old. He just knows. you know that, “I know that I know” feeling or He really hasn’t had any ‘experiences’ to really anchor his faith yet.

of course… HE’S ONLY SEVEN!!!!!

part of me was wondering if I should even be having this conversation with a 7 year old. but at the same time this is honestly a normal conversation I would have with him, even though he is little. I always challenge him in his faith and make him think about what God could be saying. He knows that its a safe place and a safe conversation because i’m not going to make him feel ashamed if he doesn’t have the answers or even if he doesn’t hear anything or see anything.

raw moment here:

Jonathan and I have seen our friends and youth in church grow up to become adults and fall away. what ever happened to “train up a child??”

We are left with wonder and questions… mainly we question why are we different than the rest. we have doubts just like anybody else. why do we still believe? I don’t want this to happen to Geno. I know there’s really nothing I CAN do. Its Geno’s choice and God’s the only one who can change hearts and minds.

maybe at certain points in life you need to stop and have this conversation with your kids. Don’t just assume they understand or even believe just because they are going to church every sunday or even their WHOLE lives!

always point to God first. yes- we work hard to put food on the table, but the Lord is the ultimate provider and I do believe that Geno understands that.

what do you think? let me know your thoughts. give me some encouragement!

 

when love came down

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from pikachu! 

i’ve been kinda amiss lately and i have a very good excuse (not that i need to give you one) but work has taken 90% of my time lately and the rest of it obvisously goes to my family so writing blog updates goes to the way side. however- in the bussiness of life i never stop thinking and i never stop learning. 

in lue of happy heart’s day, where some see it as a halmart holiday, i chose to spread love where it needs it.  Jonboy and i recently did something very unconvental to show someone we love, oh so dearly, how much she was loved and it left some scratching their heads. Now i’m not going to go into details because thats not the point and also i don’t feel the need to explain myself because in the end Jonathan and i accomplished what we set our hearts out to do but i was thinking….. 

 Jesus often did things unconventally. He regularly baffled and confused society. He wasn’t ashamed of doing so.  if it affected one heart, if it spread the good news so others can see the joy,he did it! he always goes after the one. and it wont ever leave you the same.

i’ll take my cues from Him. The best Valentine’s day gift of all. 
anyways those flowers in the picture above are from my little boy. he was out with his dadee and asked if he could get flowers for his momma.(he is so good to me).

pan handle trail

love should always be in their air- you never know who’s watching.

…happiness and cheer…

I’ve been a little MIA as of late. Its just that time of year, but I wanted to stop and thank everyone who reads, or follows, or comments, or even shares this blog.

it is truly an honor! For people who may not know me personally to take the time to read it and follow me. I do look forward to seeing your  name pop up on my phone or my computer.

and I think its amazing to see all the different countries represented on the world map when I check my stats. THATS SO cool to me! blows my mind however that any one would want to follow little ol’ me and even take interest in what my mind may say or wonder too.

The Advent season is coming to an end and my church is wrapping its advent teachings all entitled “With Us” we did some AMAZING things for “JOY-With Us” which included balloons and dancing and KIDS!

When I think about joy there are a few things that come to mind.

  1. my kids. or any kid at that matter. they are such a blessing to me and so innocent. They don’t worry about what we adults worry, they just simple…be.
  2. colors. I think about how some days, my daughter is nothing sort of a rainbow…. like this morning she had SO many colors on in an array of so many different patterns it made me so happy.
  3. laughter. I always said that an outward sign of joy was laughter. like a baby’s laugh. that unbridled laugh when something is just SO funny! Don’t hold back.

We recently had a DIY photo session. Probably one of the most fun times I’ve ever had. it brought this VERY busy family together for a few short hours and we did nothing but simple be together and my dear friend caught it all on her phone.

Well I did bring some props and a few photo ideas in mind but really I just wanted it to be genuine and real life. I believe that’s exactly what I got.

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And you know what, these photos give me SO much joy when I think of how we went to our favorite park and played around in the snow.

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however it’s all fun and games until someone falls on the ground or gets plastered in the head with a freak snowball hit.

(see slide show below)

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anyways. Since I probably won’t post much until after the new year. I just wanted to thank you all and from the bottom of my heart I hope you have a very merry Christmas and very happy new year!

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Peace

i am doing a daily devotional on Youversion called Advent Adoration. todays devo, was SO good!! it really touched my heart. 

Peace= trust in God. its not something you strive to do, you get peace by simply just…………….

trusting. 

peace. 

The Hebrew word for “peace” is the word “shalom.” It means “to be safe, sound, perfect, complete, nothing lacking.” Shalom signifies the presence of well-being and harmony, both within and without. It also signifies the absence of anxiety or stress. Biblically, it is a future-orientated word. 

One would think the birth of the prince of “shalom” must have been peaceful. 

One would think. 

Matthew 1:18-25 

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 

We know very little about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. He is a carpenter. He’s a blue-collar artisan who works with his hands. He’s not an academic, not a business man, and not a priest. He’s an “honest day’s work for an honest day’s wage” kind of guy. 

When his fiancé gets pregnant (by the Holy Spirit, though he doesn’t know it yet), his response is exemplary. Despite what was most likely deep hurt, he is “unwilling to put her to shame” and decides to deal with the situation quietly, no fuss. He wants to guard her from the shame he knows could come. Joseph is temperate, and he repays what he presumes to be evil with good. In other words, he is a good man. 

At this point in the story, he is most definitely not at peace. 

Matthew 1:20a

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

Joseph is “considering these things” well into the night. Even his dreams are dominated by the situation. He’s mid-stress-dream when an angel shows up, in his dream, with a job. 

Matthew 1:20b-25

Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel

Angels figure prominently in the birth story of Jesus. They come in a dazzle of brilliance and are notorious for bringing “good news of great joy!” But for Joseph, while this news is indeed good, the implications for him in the here and now are heavy. 

Joseph is to proceed with the marriage. She and her son are very important. Mary is the one of whom the prophet testified. Jesus will save people from their sins. Those are gigantic destinies. 

But what about Joseph? Interestingly, there is nothing about his own life, his own impact. It’s as if his legacy is to be bound up in the life of these two: the virgin and her son. 

“Don’t be a hero, Joe” — I can imagine his friends saying. “It was just a silly dream.” 

Matthew 1:24-25

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

God commands Joseph to do something, and he intends to do it. Through discomfort, trial, anxiety, challenge and shame (read: non-peace), he will raise the Prince of Peace. 

If I were Joseph, I would have a few follow up questions. But Joseph doesn’t ask a thing. He trusts God and obeys. 

In fact, of all the characters in the early part of Jesus’ life, Joseph gets the most face-time with heavenly messengers. Repeatedly, angels show up with a difficult job. Repeatedly, Joseph trusts and obeys. See for yourself…

Matthew 2:13-14

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt. 

Matthew 2:19-20

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 

We try so hard to manage our own impact, our own legacies, our own peace . So much anxiety, so much stress, so little peace comes from trying to conjure something eternally meaningful from fleshly strength. God doesn’t ask us to part the sea, but to walk through it. God doesn’t ask Joseph to explain his marriage and family to the world — he asks Joseph to trust and obey. 

Trust and obedience are how we let God make good on His promise. In so doing, as Joseph did, we find peace. 

Philippians 3:13-14; 4:7

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This Christmas, resolve to entrust your destiny to God, and like Joseph, bind up your legacy with the Prince of Peace. 

Prayer:

God give me your peace. Help me trust and obey

Practice:

What are the ways you have tried to squeeze eternal significance from fleshly strength? 

What are some areas in which God is calling you to trust and obey him, even though it’s difficult? “

my story

so lately I’ve been thinking about my story.

My testimony.

A few weeks ago we had a special guest speaker at church and he said, among many other wonderful things, “your testimony is the most powerful thing you can share with someone.”

so it got me thinking what is my story? and then it got me depressed cause my story isn’t all that grand. Actually when I first thought about it I didn’t even know my story because nothing exciting ever happened to me. I’ve lived in the same area of Pittsburgh all my life never traveled out of the country, never won anything. nothing

Pastor’s sermon on Sunday, was about sharing your story and how yet again, it is the most valuable thing God has given us and how our story was never to be a one character story. He also said your story is never boring cause it has Jesus in it. Pastor’s sermon inspired me and had me look at my story in a whole different light.

#shareyourstory

 

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My story begins at an early age. In Sunday School in Mrs. Mack’s class I asked Jesus to come live inside my heart. At. age. 5. I got baptized soon after and never looked back.


As a teen I got a long with most and had very close friends and very connected to the youth group and leaders.

At an Acquire the Fire convention  I felt the tangible love of God during worship and sobbed like a little baby. I finally make the decision to love God and follow after him for myself. You see, up until that point I was just going cause my parents made me.

I always knew God I always knew God was there. I believed in him and loved him, but from that moment on I understood what he did for me and I never wanted to be the same.

My view point as a teenager was, if you can do it. I can do. I picked out some people in my church who I thought were great examples and observed them and their lives. I thought if they can do it why can’t I do it? what’s holding me back?


As a teenager the number one thing I thought that holds them back is, fear. Disappointment. getting something wrong.

when it come to speaking in tongues, to giving encouraging words, to prophesying, worshiping, praying over some one, and so many other things-I watched, listened, and learned from those in my church. Of course I failed and got it wrong at times but I just knew it was a part of learning.

Now I’m an adult (i think) and I still attend the same church I got saved in. The people of New Life Fellowship are my family, they all watched me grow up, get married to some one with a very similar story, AND from the very same church. I serve in the children and youth ministry and my husband and I are raising my children at the very. same. church.

After listening to Pastor’s sermon I now see how my story might have a slow uneventful beginning, but the things God has been doing in my life now are exceedingly beyond the most exciting I’ve ever had the pleasure of being apart of.

MY STORY IS JUST GETTIN’ GOOD.

whew! MAN! I’m done. Sweet baby Jesus, I need a moment to compose myself.

My story isn’t over, the good part is just beginning and the good new is, I’m still learning and watching and stepping out in faith. I’m excited to see what will happen next. where will God take me? what will He show me?

My story isn’t meant to look like yours and your story isn’t meant to look like mine. My story reaches other people your story can’t and your story touches other people that mine will never know. Don’t be afraid to share your story with the people you know. You never know who you can inspire by just sharing it.

what’s your story?