Faith, Obedience

100 Things for My 100th Post!

 

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My 100th post! I cannot believe I’ve posted that much. A lot has happened in my two years of blogging. I want to start by saying “thank you!” to each and every one of you. Thank you to each of my followers. Thank you for your support. It means everything to me.

Thank you to every person who has liked and commented on any of my posts. Your feedback is a huge blessing to me. Thank you to anyone who has dropped in and read a post. Thank you!

Here are a few fun facts about my blog.

There have been 71,057 words written on my 99 posts.

I have recieved 1200 likes and 939 comments.

People from 86 countries have visited my site. Places like Sri Lanka, Botswana, Cameroon, Macedonia, Pakistan, and Israel, to name just a few.

I started this blog because I wrote a kids book, Joey Flynn’s Extraordinary Tale. The link is on my home page. I didn’t know what I was doing, or what exactly I was supposed to blog about. I stepped out in faith, trusting that God would equip me, and He did.

I have learned a lot, written a lot, met all kinds of great people, and gotten stronger in my faith in the process. My goal is still the same, “to encourage kids and adults“. I say kids because of my book, and future kids books. I always write from the perspective of my faith and share the truth about the Bible, and Jesus to the best of my ability.

Every post has been prayed over, studied, researched, and written with care to bless you.

Here is my first blog ever Unqualified

Thank you for coming along on this blogging journey with me. I pray that you have been encouraged in some small way by my writing. I am so grateful for you! I’m just getting warmed up. I’ve got lots more to write about.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

For fun, I’ve put together a list of 100 random things about me. They are in no particular order. Enjoy!

  1. I’m addicted to coffee.
  2. I love Cobb salad.
  3. My dream job is to be a pastry chef.
  4. My other dream job is to be a farmer.
  5. I don’t drink soda very often.
  6. The first thing I do in the morning is grab my Bible.
  7. I make coffee before I do anything else. (Refer to #1)
  8. Bible, coffee, and prayer start my day.
  9. I love being outside.
  10. I’m obsessed with the sky.
  11. I’m always looking at clouds.
  12. I’m also obsessed with the night sky.
  13. I love the moon.
  14. I see God everywhere in nature.
  15. I love to laugh.
  16. I find so many things funny.
  17. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts.
  18. I dream of going to Israel.
  19. I also dream of going to Italy.
  20. My childhood dream was to be a fashion designer.
  21. I was always drawing as a kid.
  22. Baby animals make me smile.
  23. Birds are incredible.
  24. Rainy days make me want to bake, read books, and watch movies.
  25. I love architecture.
  26. I love old churches and cathedrals.
  27. I love the old Spanish Missions.
  28. The beach is one of my happy places.
  29. I’m happiest barefoot.
  30. I have naturally curly hair.
  31. I usually straighten my hair.
  32. I would cry as a little girl when my mom combed my thick, tangled hair.
  33. I hate large bugs.
  34. I screamed the first time I saw a huge cockroach in Texas. (They are BIG here)
  35. I Love being on the water. Ocean, lake, stream, pool; it doesn’t matter.
  36. I swim often in our swimming pool.
  37. My favorite season is summer.
  38. Impressionism, naturalism, and realism are my favorite styles of paintings.
  39. I don’t like clutter.
  40. I love post-it notes and use them a lot.
  41. Hurting, broken people are my people.
  42. I wanted to be Wonder Woman as a child.
  43. I hate horror movies.
  44. I enjoy Indie movies. (good ones)
  45. I love documentaries.
  46. Biographies and history are my favorite types of books.
  47. I don’t enjoy novels. 
  48. A pet peeve I’ve got is back massages during church. It’s creepy and distracting.
  49. I’m a teensy bit claustrophobic.
  50. I love antiques.
  51. I love a bargain.
  52. I love to dance.
  53. I love the smell of fresh cut grass.
  54. Peanut butter M&M’s are the best ones.
  55. My favorite ice cream is peanut butter chocolate from Baskin Robbins.
  56. Lilacs and hydrangeas are two of my favorite flowers.
  57. I do not like public speaking.
  58. I love hiking trails.
  59. Working in my garden is therapy for me.
  60. I am a task-oriented person.
  61. I teach a cooking class to middle school and high school age kids.
  62. I’m about to start my 17th year of homeschool. 
  63. I love to cook.
  64. I love to try new recipes and force my family to eat them.
  65. Italian food is my all time favorite.
  66. I don’t like to fold and put away laundry.
  67. My favorite movie candy is Junior Mints.
  68. I love sweet tea.
  69. My favorite preacher is Charles Spurgeon. 
  70. I greatly admire Joan of Arc.
  71. One of my favorite colors is teal.
  72. Elijah and Moses are two of my favorite Bible people.
  73. I keep most cards I’ve been given.
  74. I love Christmas.
  75. I go overboard with Christmas decorations.
  76. I love big coffee mugs. (refer to #1)
  77. I love getting a pile of cookbooks from the library and getting inspired.
  78. I love getting a pile of history, art, and gardening books from the library.
  79. I love to watch America’s Test Kitchen.
  80. I love to watch The Great British Bake Off.
  81. I love to take pictures of pretty much everything.
  82. Most of the pictures on my blog are mine.
  83. I plan on writing a second book.
  84. I may even write a third book.
  85. I never dreamed of being a writer.
  86. I love to encourage people.
  87. I sing loudly and badly in my car.
  88. I love to travel.
  89. I love exploring new places.
  90. I love 80’s music.
  91. Worship music is my jam.
  92. I love hanging out with my husband and sons.
  93. My husband and sons make me laugh and fill me up.
  94. I am blessed with incredible Godly women whom I call friends.
  95. I never met a stranger.
  96. I keep my circle of people small.
  97. I have 4 siblings.
  98. My little sis is one of my people.
  99. I love to entertain and plan parties.
  100. I love to put gifts together for others.

 

 

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

God, Obedience

The Potter

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Ceramics was one of my high school electives. It was only for a semester and I wasn’t very good at it. I did give it my best try and actually enjoyed making ceramics. The pottery wheel was exciting and very difficult. If you didn’t get your clay exactly at the center of the wheel the pottery was not going to work. Then there was the enormous challenge of shaping the clay. The entire process had to be started over if any part went wrong.

God is The Potter. He made each of us. Shaping us with His mighty hands. Vessels to be used for His glory. 

In the ancient world pottery was an important part of almost every aspect of life. There were storage jars, oil lamps, and cooking pots all made from clay. The earliest pottery was formed by hand.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
    We are the clay, you are the potter;
    we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8, NIV 

When the clay goes bad or something goes wrong in the process, the potter crushes it down and starts again. The potter never throws the clay out.

God will never throw us away. We are the clay in His powerful hands. We must trust what He is doing.

Trust God when everything is falling apart.

Trust God when you are being crushed.

Trust God when the cracks are getting bigger.

Trust God when He reshapes you into something beautiful.

The Potter does not want to destroy us, though we may think that at times. Especially when we are being crushed. God loves us beyond anything we can humanly comprehend. He is our Maker and knows what is best for each and every one of us.

Clay pots look strong, but we can easily break and chip. Many factors contribute to our cracks. What are we filling ourselves with? What are we thinking on? What are our priorities? Clay pots are designed to be containers.

We are not meant to be empty vessels. We are designed with eternity in mind by The Potter. If we allow God to mold us, and shape us, and use us for His glory than we are fulfilling our purpose. Yes, sometimes we will be crushed back down into a lump. Sometimes, we do it to ourselves and the cracks appear and ultimately we crumble.

God never throws the clay away.

No matter how many cracks, and broken pieces are in your life, He can make beauty out of your brokenness. Trust God.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer just drop me an email from my contact page.

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

 

Obedience, Prayer

Speak Lord, Your Servant is Listening

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There are so many voices in our lives telling us who we are, what to believe, what to do, and what to think. Social media, news, podcasts, Youtube, movies, shows, and every form of media give us dozens of different messages every single day.

Like this

Don’t like this

I’m right

You’re wrong

How dare you

You’re not good enough

You’re too good

Your views are wrong

Your views are right

You’re bad

You’re good

You don’t care

You care too much

Do more

Do less

Buy more

Buy less

And it just goes on, and on, and on. 

We are being bombarded in our connected world, with other people’s opinions. Most of these people we do not personally know. Yet, they have influence, and can be quite persuasive. We start to believe everything we read, or hear, or watch on the news about ourselves, and the world, and our future. We need to be very careful what we allow in our head. Of course be informed, watch the news–if that’s your thing. But go to the source, God, before you make a decision on who, or what, or where, or why.

How much time do we spend listening to God? How much time do we spend listening to all the other voices? What influences us and our decisions? If you are a Christ Follower, there is one voice that needs to be the loudest, the Lord’s. 

Many years ago there was a child, who listened to God’s voice, and did what He said. Samuel was just a boy when he first heard the Lord’s voice. According to the historian Josephus, Samuel was around 11 years old. God spoke directly to a kid. He was no ordinary kid though. Samuel was set apart for the Lord’s purposes.

Hannah, Samuel’s mother, had prayed for years to have a child. God answered her prayers by giving her Samuel. Hannah gave Samuel back to the Lord. 

She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” 1 Samuel 1:22, NIV 

Hannah brings her very young child to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. She then hands Samuel over to Eli, the high priest, to raise him. (1 Samuel 1:24-28)

Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 1 Samuel 2:19, NIV 

Samuel only sees his mother once a year. She must have loved him dearly to leave him at the temple with Eli. I bet Hannah took great care in making those robes each year. 

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. 1 Samuel 2:21b, NIV

And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people. 1 Samuel 2:26, NIV

Samuel keeps growing both physically and spiritually before the Lord. He’s just 11 years old when something remarkable happens. Samuel hears the Lord’s voice. 

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 

2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 1 Samuel 3:1-7, NIV

Samuel hears the voice a third time and goes to Eli again. Finally, Eli realizes that the Lord was calling the boy. Eli tells Samuel to go lie down and if he hears the voice to say, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. Then the Lord stood there and called, “Samuel! Samuel!”.

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:8-10, NIV)

I love Samuel’s eagerness. He ran to Eli the first time he heard the Lord call him. Samuel didn’t say he was too tired, or just ignore the voice. Samuel ran to Eli. He didn’t know it was the Lord at first, yet Samuel was obedient. 

God is personal when dealing with us. He called Samuel by name, twice. I can picture the Lord smiling at Samuel as He called for him. God loved Samuel deeply, and He loves you and I deeply too. 

Years later, Samuel will anoint a young shepherd boy, David, as the King of Israel. Jesus comes from the line of King David. (Matthew 1:1)

It’s pretty easy to take for granted that God wants to speak to us and actually use us in His plan. He sees the big picture. God sees the entire picture from beginning to end. (Isaiah 46:10) What may seem small to us could be one tiny part of something big God is doing.

God wants to speak to us today. Every Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has the gift of the Holy Spirit inside of us. (1 Corinthians 6:19) We also have God’s Word, the Bible. 

The Lord has something to tell you today. Seek Him. Spend time with Him. Run to Him, like Samuel did. Make His voice the loudest in your world. Listen to His voice.

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

Heavenly Father,

You are awesome, Holy God. Thank you that you still speak today. May we hear your voice loud and clear above the noise of the world, above the lies, above the distractions. Speak Lord, for your servants are listening.

In Jesus name,

Amen 

 

Bible, Faith, God, Obedience, Uncategorized

A Talking Donkey

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This amazing mule takes people up and down the steep, winding trails of the Grand Canyon. On an early morning walk during our vacation, I came across the mules getting ready to make their trek for the day. They are lovely. I can’t help but admire and respect what they do. Mules are the unsung heroes of the animal world. I have to believe that animals go to heaven, especially all the ones that have helped us humans.

A mule is the result of a male donkey and female horse. Mules are tough, sure-footed, intelligent, and instinctively cautious. Those traits come from their donkey DNA. They have been around for centuries and haul everything from people to supplies. Both mules and donkeys are mentioned in the Bible.

There’s an unusual event recorded in Numbers where a donkey speaks.

The Israelites camped along the Jordan River. The Moabites were terrified because of what the Israelites had done to the Amorites, and there were many Israelites. (That’s a lot of “ites”) The king of Moab, Balak, sends for Balaam to curse the Israelites. (Numbers 22:1-5)

“A people has come out of Egypt; they cover the face of the land and have settled next to me. Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land. For I know that whoever you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse is cursed.” (Numbers 22:5b-6, NIV)

At first, God tells Balaam not to curse the Israelites because they are blessed. Balak sends princes with a very attractive offer for Balaam that he will be rewarded handsomely, and the king will do whatever he says. God finally gives Balaam the OK to go. (Numbers 22:7-20)

But God was really angry with Balaam. (V. 22)

Balaam is riding his donkey to Moab when an Angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. The donkey sees the angel with a sword drawn and turns off the road into a field. Balaam beats the donkey. The Angel of the Lord appears again on a narrow part of the path with two walls. The donkey pressed against the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot. He beats her a second time. The Angel of the Lord appeared a third time on the path, that was narrow, with no room to turn. The donkey lay down under Balaam and he beat her again. (v. 22-27)

28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.  (Numbers 22:28-25, NIV)

What’s the point, right? Is this just one of those odd stories in the Old Testament? No, it’s not. Yes, the circumstances are strange. A talking donkey is not ordinary. It wasn’t normal then, it’s not normal today.

Balaam was foolish and prideful. He didn’t even pay attention to his own donkey that knew to stop. Balaam was driven by greed. He was tempted.

“Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the Lord my God. 19 Now spend the night here so that I can find out what else the Lord will tell me.” (Numbers 22:18-19, NIV)

Balaam says he won’t go outside of what the Lord wants, but he makes sure the princes of Moab stay for the night.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that you ignored all the warning signs that God gave you? I have.

Balaam beat his donkey and forced her back on the path three times. Have you ever forced something to happen, that in your heart you knew was out of God’s will? I have.

God allowed Balaam to go on the path to Moab, yet warned him three times to stop. God knew Balaams heart. God knows our hearts too. Sometimes God allows us to feel the sting of our bad choices.

The hero in this story is the donkey. A simple creature that saw the Angel of the Lord and responded appropriately.

God can speak to us any way He chooses. Are we listening? God spoke through a donkey to Balaam. God speaks through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, people, circumstances, nature. I see no limit to how God speaks. He will never compromise His Word, the Bible, when He speaks to us.

I pray that I am more like the donkey, a willing servant of the Lord.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

 

Jesus, Obedience, Uncategorized

Take Up Your Cross

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Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Matthew 16:24 

 

The cross means freedom to me. Jesus paid my sin debt in full. It is finished. I am free. My home is in heaven, because of the cross. I have full access to God, because of the cross. I have hope, because of the cross. I am forgiven, because of the cross. Jesus’ perfect work on the cross brought the end to death, sin, and shame.

A Roman cross means one thing, death. When Jesus tells us to take up our cross we are to die to self. The NIV, NASB, HCB and several other translations say, “he must deny himself.” We must. That is not a suggestion. That implies it is required, shouldn’t be missed. I can ignore Jesus’ words and go my own way and never pick up my cross. Then it’s all about me. Jesus won’t let me stay there. Everything changed when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. He’s calling me to something different.

Jesus saving me was the easy part. I like the saved from Hell part. But what about the cost? There is a cost to following to Jesus. Do I let it cost me? Do I stay comfortable? Am I willing to lose family, friends, comfort, reputation, and security for the sake of following Jesus? What about my life?

25 “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25, NASB)

Taking up our cross does not mean:

I am poverty stricken, that’s my cross.

I am stuck in a dreadful job, that’s my cross.

I am in a bad marriage, that’s my cross.

Taking up our cross daily means death to our own selfish desires. Following Jesus no matter the cost to us. It’s about obedience and surrender to the King of Kings.

26 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26, NASB)

Nothing in this life is worth keeping if it means losing your soul for all eternity. The cost is great on this side of heaven to follow Jesus. Are you willing to pay the price? Some are not. They aren’t convinced. The price is too high. Jesus paid our sin debt in full with his shed blood. He asks for us to surrender fully to Him, no matter the cost. But, there are rewards waiting in heaven.

27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” (Matthew 16:27, NIV)

What if you gained every single thing the world has to offer? Money, fame, houses, vacations, and any material object you could want. Yet when you die you go to Hell because you rejected Jesus. Our souls are at stake. Life is short. Eternity cannot be measured or even grasped. Let’s make our lives count.

We are to daily take up our cross. Every single day we are to die to self. We have a choice to make. For the Christian, to surrender fully to Jesus and follow Him. For the non-believer, it’s time to make a choice. Please don’t forfeit your soul for the temporary. You can choose Jesus today. He already chose you.

The cross was a humiliating, painful means to death. As Christ followers we must daily take up our cross and follow Jesus. The cost to us is everything. We give Jesus all of who we are and all that we have. I struggle with this. I want to get to full surrender. I have moments, but they are rare. I want my comfort. I want what I think is best. I don’t want to let go. Jesus is loving, and patient. He knows what I need and He knows what is best.

May we all take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Lord,

Thank you Jesus for saving us on the cross. Please help all of us who follow you to take up our crosses daily. It is not easy and we need your help to live surrendered lives. Equip us to do your will. We want to serve you and make a difference for your Kingdom. I lift up any non-believers reading this. You love them so much Lord. Draw them to you.

Amen

 

 

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