Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Saturday

Who said dogs only laugh with their tails?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thought for Thursday

Relax daily.  
Rest weekly.  
Reflect monthly.  

And if possible... 
 Retreat quarterly.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Fling

Well, hello there.

It's so nice to finally meet you.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Starbucks

Look what popped into Starbucks this week...

Birthday Cake Pop, Rocky Road Cake Pop and Tiramisu Cake Pop are all part of the new Starbucks Petites menu.  Eight mini treats all under 200 calories will now be available along with your favorite Starbucks drink. 

And to top of the sweetness, stop by your local Starbucks today through Saturday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and pick up a free Starbucks Petites with the purchase of any handcrafted beverage.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

For those of you that are reading the Chronological Bible we are about to finish up the book of Numbers.  Last week I wrote quite a bit in my journal after reading the passage from March 2nd.  A couple of nights ago I sat down and compiled my thoughts into a "lesson".  I'm glad I took the time to make it cohesive - it's not every day that you see your physical situation mirrored in the pages of Scripture.  And when you do, you must write it down...

This week in Numbers we see that God gives instructions, and lots of them.  He gives specific instructions on setting up the Tabernacle, who was qualified to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and how to consecrate the workers for God’s work.  All these detailed instructions were very important because after the work was completed and the Tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered it (Numbers 9:15).  The cloud was the presence of God meeting with his people.  He gave them a cloud by day and a cloud that looked like fire at night to guide them from evening until the next day.
“Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.  At the LORD’S command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped.” – Numbers 9:17-18
“On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the Testimony.  Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.  They set out, this first time, at the LORD’S command through Moses.” – Numbers 10:11-13
God gave the Israelites a visual so they would know when it was time to move.  When the cloud stayed, they stayed.  When the cloud moved, they moved.  While we as believers don’t have a physical cloud to follow when making decisions, we have something greater.  The still small voice of the Holy Spirit lives inside us and speaks to us the way in which we are to go.  Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”
So what can we learn from this passage on staying put or moving?  There are four truths we can learn from Numbers 9 and10 on when to stay and when to go.
1.) The decision to move is not ours to make; we are to wait for the Lord to speak.  Seven times in chapter 9 and 10, it says the Israelites set out “at the LORD’S command.”  We’ve already seen several examples in our chronological reading where decisions were made based on human reasoning instead of the Lord’s prompting.  Remember in Genesis 12:10 when Abram left Bethel to go down to Egypt when there was a severe famine in the land even though the Lord didn’t tell him to go? That didn’t work out so well for him and Sarai.  And neither will it for us when we make our decisions based on the flesh and not of the Spirit.
2.) When God tells you to move, it is because He desires to bring glory to Himself.  Numbers 10:35 says, “Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, ‘Rise up, O LORD! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.’”
Strong’s Concordance gives the Hebrew word for “rise” in this verse as “quwm” which is defined “to establish, to arise, to set, to come about.”   Moses wanted the LORD to receive honor and praise in their move.  Wherever they were going, he wanted His Name to be established among the people and for all His enemies and opponents to fall before the Living God.
And look at where He led them to rest in Numbers 10:12… in the Desert of Paran.  The word “Paran” means “ornamental.”  It comes from the Hebrew word “paar” which means, “to embellish, to gleam, beautify.”  When God tells you to move, it is to glorify Himself – to show you His beauty.
3.) When God tells you to stay, it is because He desires to strengthen you in your situation and empower you by His Spirit.  Numbers 10:36 says, “Whenever it (the ark) came to rest, he said, ‘Return, O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel.’”
The Hebrew word for “return” in this verse is “shuwb” which is defined as “to turn back, return, restore, recover.”  Strong’s Concordance goes on to explain it is “returning along a path already traversed – not necessarily with the idea of returning to the starting point.  The opposite of going out.  It signifies empowering or strengthening.”
When God is telling you not to make a move but to return to your situation, he is saying you will not return alone.  His power will go with you, restoring you, and strengthening you for what lies ahead.
4.) We won’t always understand God’s directions.  It says in Numbers 9:19-22, that sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days, sometimes just for a night, and other times up to a year!  Can you imagine what it was like not knowing if you were settling for just the night, a month or an entire year?
God’s instructions don’t always make sense to us.  He tells us in Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  We may not know immediately what God’s instructions mean and we many never know this side of heaven.  Iva May says, “Every puzzle crafted by the hand of God has a purpose that will one day become clear.”
We are called to obey whether it makes sense to us or not.  We can trust Him.  For God’s Word promises us in Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
O LORD, make us sensitive to Your leading.  May we dare not go without Your Presence and may we never stay when our moving would bring glory to Your Name.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

{Beauty Tuesday} Healthy Spring Skin

Now that Spring break is on my radar, I'm one happy girl.  A little bit of sunshine goes a long way - for your soul and your skin.  But even during the winter months one thing I never take a break from is my sun protection.  If I don't put anything else on, I make sure to wear sunscreen every day.  Even on overcast days the sun's rays are still making their way through to our skin.

With so many options to choose from in the sun care category, the first choice is deciding whether to combine your daily moisturizer and sunscreen in one or to use a stand alone sunscreen.  It depends on your lifestyle and if you prefer the simplicity of one application or the flexibility of picking and choosing your favorites from a couple skincare lines.  These are some of my top picks...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Little Poser

You might remember Miles' First Gig last month.  The outdoor shoot went really well and we were ready to call it a day when the photographer said he wanted to try a few indoor shots.  He began taking pictures of the model by herself when Miles started whining from behind the camera.  Next thing I know he runs up to her like "hey, aren't you forgetting something?"

I'm so glad we got this shot - it's one of my favorites and was used in the new Laurelwood Shopping Center directory.  You can pick one up this month at any of the Laurelwood stores.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Saturday

My sweet man made me breakfast this morning!  French toast stuffed with hazelnut spread and strawberries!  And you'll notice in the picture the syrup has a rich color - it's Organic Birch Syrup from Alaska.  He brought back a 3.4 oz little jar when he went to Anchorage last year and I just noticed the price tag on the back is $7.49!  It was hands-down the best syrup I have ever had - I shouldn't have poured so much on my plate!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday I'm in Love

I have been singing this song by Matt Maher all week long.  I absolutely loVe it.

See if you can listen to it without shouting these words EVERY time.

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He's alive! He's alive! 


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