I read "My Utmost for His Highest" as a devotional on pretty regular basis. Yes, the picture is the copy I have, and I admit I bought it because it was pink. The last couple of days have seemed to catch me right where I am at. When this happens I tend to really listen to what I should be learning because I know that these things do not happen by accident. Since Easter I have heard several stories of people struggling with different temptations and real attacks by the enemy. Here is a what was in today's devotion.
"Beware of thinking that the areas of your life where you have experienced victory in the past are now the least likely to cause you to stumble and fall....Unguarded strength is actually a double weakness, because that is where the least likely temptations will be effective in sapping strength. The Bible characters stumbled over their strong points, never their weak ones. ". . . kept by the power of God . . ." ---that is the only safety 1 Peter 1:5"
I will be depending on God's power to protect me, my family, and friends from the "strength" we think that we have.
Last night our youngest daughter attended prom. The whole day was consumed with getting ready. She and her girlfriend had a schedule written out with timed deadlines to make sure they would be ready in time for the big event. Because Anna does not have a "boyfriend", her date was just a friend, it was the group of girls that she was going with that was most important to her. They all looked beautiful. I cannot believe we will only have one more year of this time honored event. This will be a night she will remember forever. Remember your high school prom?
Text messaging, can we really call it communication? When you use "words" like F2F, LOL, JK, L8R, POS, can this really be called communication? We have had a two year long debate in our family about text messaging. We did have it once upon a time, let me rephrase that, Jeff and I have always had it, the girls lost privileges, so to speak. Their social lives have been in the "dumpster" ever since.
As of today, text messaging is back for all the Sturmans. This will be a second chance kind of thing, maybe we will call it a "grace" period, just to be spiritual. Social lives will be restored and the new generation can begin their communication.
Rather than have a big party, our family has decided to give back in some small way the blessings that God showered on our family. Dad and Mom have decided to help a mission called Casa por Cristo. This is an organization in Juarez, Mexico that builds homes. This December my two sisters, our folks, and families will head to Juarez to build a home for a family in need. All eighteen of us, from ages 8 to 69 will participate in the project.
"Minimum wage hovers around $5.00 a day. With such limited income, it is almost an impossibility to secure adequate housing. Families are forced to construct makeshift homes made of cardboard, pallets, and other accessible materials. With the extreme temperatures of a desert climate, highs exceeding 100° in the summers, and nighttime lows in the 20’s and 30’s in the winter months, these shelters place the families at risk of heat and cold related health problems."
We are beginning to prepare for this trip and most importantly to pray for the family we will be building the home for. I am so excited to serve with my family. Maybe we can inspire our kids to be missionally minded.
The Easter services at our church were simply amazing. The theme of the entire service was how the cross represents the bridge between our sin and God. We simple have to accept the gift of the cross to bridge the chasm that keeps us from God. All of the music, drama, and message explained this wonderful gift of grace. We actually had a bridge that was shaped like a cross that covered our entire stage. People were invited to cross that bridge. In the last service, the worship team sang for 25 minutes so that all that wanted to could cross the bridge. I am sure I will think of this Sunday very time I cross a bridge. What a great reminder. YEAH GOD!!!!
A friend of mine, Belinda, wrote the "Go Deeper" section of our worship folder this week. She wrote; "I challenge you this week: do you really believe the One you are celebrating IS the King of Kings and Prince of Peace? Are you convinced enough to surrender full power over you life and circumstances and invite others to celebrate the triumphant entry of the Price of Peace into their lives?"
Then yesterday I received an email from one of the new Christ followers I talked about in my Palm Sunday post. Here is what he wrote; "In this very special week, I challenge each and every one of us to LIVE OUT and I pray we can be there for so many lost souls and hurting hearts out there!"
Wow! Two huge challenges one from someone who has been a Christ follower for years and another just as challenging from someone who has just recently found his way back to Christ. Lots to think and pray about.
Palm Sunday at our church was a phenomenal celebration. I do not think we have ever had as many people actively participating in the worship of Christ that were not on stage. To see most everybody joining in on the party was awesome. It was incredible to see some people there that have become Christ followers in the last year. They had no idea of what a Palm Sunday service was about, and for this to be their first experience was so great!!!!
I look forward to what next Sunday will be when we celebrate that HE IS ALIVE!!!!! Invite your family, friends, and neighbors they will not be disappointed.