Sunday, February 28, 2010


Onto today's FEAST
Daniel 9:3-19

So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:"O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

7 "Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.
"Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. 12 You have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing upon us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem. 13 Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us, yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. 14 The LORD did not hesitate to bring the disaster upon us, for the LORD our God is righteous in everything he does; yet we have not obeyed him.

15 "Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. 16 O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.

17 "Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. 18 Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name."

Luke 6:36-38

36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

May God's Word fill you today!

Second full week of Lent

Sit down a minute,

grab a cup of tea (unless of course you are fasting from tea!)

and FEAST with me on God's food for today!

Genesis 15:15-18

15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates-

Luke 9:28-36
28About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.)

34While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him." 36When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.

I am not a theologian by any means -- and I am sure there are great connectors for these passages -- we didn't discuss those. :)

We reminisced about great grandparents and how long 4 generations is (or short depends on your perspective!) Also about God's timing -- which is always perfect no matter what we think. Our foresight is very short sighted but God sees from Abraham's time to Jesus' to today and way past now.

Are we taking time to LISTEN TO HIM??? Are we TRUSTING IN HIS PLAN??

Are you? Turn off the music (computer,tv,phone etc!) and really be quiet and listen today.
Enjoy God's words and be filled by His Spirit today!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mom can I have lunch?

Mom "Sure you can"
son #3 "But aren't we fasting?"
Mom "We are but today is Saturday and since your brothers and sisters are at play practice we will do our FEAST on God's word later when they are home -- so you may chose some fruit, veggies and cheese"
son #3 "THANKS mom!" (I felt like I allowed him to eat a whole cake!)

It was a funny day running here and there but being able to leave the baby and youngest home with dad made it almost a treat to run around! Play practice, gymnastics, tea with a friend, helping a pregnancy help center move to a new building, library pick up, phone calls to Grandpa and Grandma :) baseball sign ups.... and somehow a roast ended up in the crock pot which was a disappointment to the children as Saturday night is usually pizza and movie night. Once we sat down however it tasted great! We did our FEAST after dinner and enjoyed a great family discussion and prayer time. Then onto haircuts, chores, showers and finally a MOVIE! (we are on a snoopy kick so it was a peanuts cartoon)

well here is today's FEAST:
Deuteronomy 26:16-19
16 The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him. 18 And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.

Matthew 5:43-48
43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

May we walk in HIS ways while we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us TODAY!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fridays FEAST

Well -- yes there is an element to fasting our lunch meal that does make life a bit easier. And I especially am finding it refreshing to not have so many dishes to clean up! however by early afternoon we are all hungry and vividly aware of our desire for earthly nourishment!!!

Today our FEAST was Ezekiel 18:21-28 21 "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 22 None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

24 "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.

25 "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed he will die. 27 But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. 28 Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die.
and Matthew 5:20-26

20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

21"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

25"Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Today after our reading we had a precious discussion about making peace with those we've wronged. The Spirit is so good at convicting my heart at just the right time --after much to harshly reprimanding one of the boys for spilling something after breakfast just this morning -- I was able to apologize. The flood that followed shocked me, why is it we don't expect the spirit to work? one child after another apologizing for wrongs they had done just this morning!

May the Holy Spirit work in your heart too, to break down any walls of sin that have begun.
Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For such a time as this

Today's FEAST:
Esther 4:6-5:3 some verses that jumped out at me ~ vs 14 "For such a time as this..." am I ready to die for Gods kingdom?
Matthew 7:7-12 vs 8 " For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds and to him who knocks the door will be opened."
(my turn to catch some of the children feasting on God in their quiet time)
digging into God's word is FILLING
when we are quiet and in a HUNGRY place -- God will meet us
God I want to be a willing vessel yet so often my earthly flesh and doubt get in the way -- like Esther I want to say "BUT...". Help me to look up to YOU not around for confirmation or direction. May I ask YOU for the desires of my heart, in seeking YOU may I find the love of my heart and LORD I knock and desire YOU to come in!

Jonah was a prophet ...

....but he never really got it.
We have watched the Veggie tale Jonah movie enough that that gets a song going in my head!

FAST Day 9: T
oday our bible FEAST were verses about Jonah.
Jonah 3:1-11 and Luke 11:29-32

One of the things we talked about was our families OBEY rule:
1. obey RIGHT away
2. obey ALL the way
3.obey with a JOYFUL heart.

We discussed how Jonah had learned that he had to obey God: Right away - he did (# 1) and all the way - he did (#2) but failed to do it with JOY in his heart (#3). How often are we living the same way? We are DOING the right thing but we have the wrong motives. Like Jonah do we expect certain results when we obey then become angry if it doesn't end the way we thought it should? I fall victim to this far too often -- obeying -- just so I can say I did it? or to look good? or to get something? or because it makes me feel better?
It seems in our modern society that we far to often have everything planned then go to God for approval instead of seeking His leading in the first place. Seems to me its pretty hard to obey God if we aren't even asking for leading but instead are making our own plans.
(the kids were pretty happy to catch ME reflecting today -- so I agreed to include it )

Our move over 3 years ago now was a HUGE "OBEY" action for our family, another OBEY act was schooling extra children last year, another OBEY choice was saying yes to fostering children. There have been days when I would ask "why", days I surely DIDN'T have a joyful heart, but overall God has used all these tests of obedience to draw our family nearer to Him and be a shining light for others to see.

May you obey
ALL the way
RIGHT away
and with JOY in your heart today!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To the courthouse...

Life with foster children is an adventure in more ways than one!
From welcoming a child into your home (and life) to all the "stuff" that comes with them.
There is paperwork -- enough to deplete way too many forests I fear!
And meetings.... (just so we all feel BUSY I think) and visits (with LOTS of people)... and Dr get the idea.
Well today we had court again for our foster baby. We don't HAVE to go, but it sure helps to know what is going on with your case from all perspectives. Being in a small town the way they work court has been an adjustment from "big" city court. First of all Juvenile court is only once a week. You are put in either morning or afternoon "docket" so your case will be heard sometime between 9 and 12 or 1 and 4. Then you sit and listen to all the cases until your is called. It's a great lesson in government, I guess.
So as I sit there reading "Lies homeschooling moms believe" by Todd Wilson (a wonderfully encouraging book by the way!) really I am trying not to listen to how sad life is for so many families. Makes me so thankful for a life of HOPE in Christ!!! Our family has plenty of shortcomings please don't hear me saying we are perfect but our faith and desire to try to love each other, forgiving when we fall short is a drastically different picture then most of the cases heard. I am so thankful for children who are willing to love even though it hurts to let go.
All that said I found myself praying for the children and their parents in each case -- that they would come to know the Lord. Thanking God for foster families who love these children for this time. And especially wisdom for the judge as the decisions made are life impacting for all involved.

We are so thankful for your prayers for our family as we love this little one. We pray for her family to come to saving GRACE in Christ Jesus and for wisdom in the judge's decisions for this case. Today was just a "check up" we continue another 3 months until the next hearing. Most of all we thank God for giving our family willing hearts, energy and love to enfold this little one.

If you want to help the many orphans of America you don't have to be a foster parent -- call your local foster care agency -- see if they need respite providers (to give foster families a weekend off!) or if you could be a CASA (court appointed special advocate) to speak on behalf of the child. And please keep praying for these children and their families! THANKS!

Today's FEAST on God's Word:
Isaiah 55:10-11
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Matthew 6:7-15
7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.a]">[a]' 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Monday, February 22, 2010

End of basketball season...

The young man in our home (he has shot right up this year and is now taller than mom! and sounds older too!) was blessed to play ball on the local homeschool team again this year. # 3 Blue

Due to only a few varsity players, some of the oldest Jr high team were able to play on both teams.

This has been an incredible experience for him!

His overall game has improved so much -- I am sure his growth spurt this year helped a bit too!

Well wanted to share a few pics along with today's FEAST!

Leviticus 19:1-18
Matthew 25:31-46

Praying you are able to spend time in God's word today!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How about you???

OK, I really didn't think this "fast" thing would last -- 5 kids plus a baby amidst a crazy schedule -- but it IS! And I am so blessed to see the children giving up something in order to more clearly hear from God. Today after church we relaxed for awhile, then when they started saying they were hungry -- "when is our fast done so we can have dinner?" they weren't complaining just asking, it was already after 3:00! I said lets FEAST on the word then we can eat :) Everyone got their bibles and journals ~ we FEASTED on Duet. 26:4-10 and Luke 4:1-13. (I'm not pasting it in today -- go get YOUR bible out!)

Lord, I desire to give you my best, yet too often I listen to the tempters voice -- who twists your words. May I rest in YOUR truth and be able to correct him with Sword of your Spirit. May I daily focus on YOU and follow the light instead of looking down and tripping over my own 2 feet in the dark. I love you Lord.

Maybe posting is holding me accountable! How about you ~ are you fasting from something? I'd love to hear how God is speaking to you today.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the loose tooth

The little guy FINALLY lost it -- his tooth that is! Both cousins beat him -- but he FINALLY pulled it out yesterday :) He was very excited.

The older ones shared with him that there really isn't a tooth fairy but if he puts it under his pillow mom will give him something -- bum deal being the youngest! All the surprises are so deflated. He was still excited to find a quarter when he woke up (thankfully - mom remembered!!!)

Between gymnastics, play practice and 2 basketball games we will fit our FEAST in somewhere! May you have a blessed weekend!

Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 "If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the LORD's holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."
The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Luke 5:27-32
27After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, 28and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
29Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
31Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday's Fast

These passages come from Personal Meditations on Lent a book by Fern Pruiksma. I first did this lent book 13 years ago!!! Its a blessing to read some of my previous thoughts and see how God has grown me-- and humbling to see God is patiently working on a lot of things that I STILL haven't learned.

Amidst a crazy day we were able to have a our lunch fast --(FEASTING on GOD'S WORD) So onto today passages:
True Fasting
Isaiah 58:1-8
1 "Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 'Why have we fasted,' they say,
'and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?'
"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD ?
6 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Matthew 9:14-15 14Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
15Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Yesterday was Ash Wednesday -- know what that is? The beginning of the season of lent.

Lent is a 40-day liturgical season that begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes at the Great Vigil of Easter. Sundays are not included in the 40-day count because every Sunday is a joyful celebration of Jesus' resurrection. Though not biblical, Lent has long been a tradition in the Christian Church, and it is thought that the tradition of the 40 days recalls the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting and being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). Lent is considered a time of penance and discipline.

We have fasted as a family from various things during lent over the years: sweets, t.v., computer, pop (aka soda). Taking the time we usually spent doing those things to instead spend time with God - reading His word and in prayer. Giving up something to grow closer to Him. This year we decided to try a meal fast. We are giving up lunches for lent this year. Instead of having food we will FEAST on God's word. Thought we would share today's "feast":

Our scripture was Duet. 30:15-20 15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

and Luke 9:22-25 22And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
23Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Finding time to be still and listen to the Lord is not always an easy thing to do -- ok its an extremely difficult thing in a house with 6 kids!!! But today was a blessed time for us all to be reflecting on God's word and praying for one another together during "lunch" time.

May this encourage you to seek God and flee from temptation today!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Remembering Lisa

I have been pondering life a lot these last few weeks. The suffering in Haiti, newborns whose lives are full of challenge or so very, very short, the selfishness of our American society and on and on. Our plan sometimes seems better than God's - however he has the big picture we only have one little puzzle piece.

This morning we took the long way to church and stopped at the cemetery first. It was one year ago today that Lisa Pettijohn was cured of cancer forever. God's hand interwove our families in a way that I could have never planned or imagined, but continue to thank Him for allowing us to know Him deeper through walking this valley with Lisa and her family. It was saying YES to something that I felt totally unprepared to do but trusted in God's strength that He would give us what we needed one day at at time. Schooling extra children is not something that was on my "to do" list. One of my girls commented how actually having 8 children instead of 5 was easier (I worried we REALLY needed to work on her math) her reasoning was that God provided helpers almost every day so the ratio of "teacher/student" was 2/8 instead of 1/5!!! When we thought we were blessing someone, God turned it around and humbled me -- often Lisa shared things that I had no experience in (she was our "french" expert for history reading)and had amazing insight into scriptures. People came out of the woodwork to bring meals, help with transportation, be teachers assistants, cleaners, you name it they came! I found myself being very humbled to have complete strangers in my house amidst the mess and help with meals, laundry, school and more. We felt the BODY OF CHRIST around us in a very real way last year. There were many emotionally draining days, but there were also days where peace poured over our time together - time memorizing the entire book of James -- so much to ponder, time in prayer together and keeping journals. The moments when Lisa did spelling with the kids -- she was always so much fun -- I have tried to learn to be more like her! Lunchtime conversations were always full of laughter as Lisa would throw out "discussion questions" that usually ended up in silliness. These are the memories we hold onto.

I know in my head Lisa is healed and dancing in heaven with Jesus NOW but there is still the missing place in our heart and I am sure so much more in each of her family members. Many days this year we have felt a void missing the extra students and teacher in our class. I cling to Christs great love and hold to the faith that we will be together again! I thank God for each day in a new way -- knowing that each day IS a gift not a given. I desire to see what else God wants us to say YES to in order to see Him glorified and participate in the body of Christ serving out of love.

May God shower the Pettijohn family with peace today.
Amy Q