Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello! My name is Carolyn Judge. I'm married to a great man and have 2 awesome kids. I love to run and watch football. I teach first grade and could never see myself doing anything else (but who knows). 

When I got saved I had just finished college and I had no clue what God would be doing in my life. It's amazing to see how everything can change in an instant. I remember before Jesus how my mindset was; well I'm only hurting myself. Funny how you don't realize how your actions actually do affect those around you. I was doing all sorts of crazy stuff. There was no way that I would be able to stop any of that on my own. The moment I had Jesus in my    heart all of that just melted away. I love that!

Actually I wanted to talk about trusting God. I am one of those people that love to control things. If my husband is driving I am great passenger driver. In my mind I just think that I know a better or faster way. Now that I look back on it, it was me leading and God following. God couldn't use me until I was humbled. Well my family has been through several cases of sickness lately. This is tough for me. I can give my kids the medicine and take them to the doctor, but in the middle of the night I realized I had no control. There was nothing I could do. My daughter had pneumonia and as I was sitting with her, I gave her sickness over to God. It was in his hands. I am always amazed at God working in me. I know this should have been something I should have learned a long time ago, but I didn't. Maybe I did know, but over time I took over again. Being able to humble myself and ask God to take over was huge. I think of 1Peter 5:6-7, “Therefore humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” If I can let him take control of my sick daughter then I can definitely let him take over the lesser things in my life. When something goes awry at work I know that is God in control. When we had an almost broken water heater I knew He was in control. My daughter got sick again and I knew He was in control.

Since that time some amazing things have happened in my life, big and little. I know they wouldn't be possible if I was in charge. I don't even think as big as he does. So if you are a control freak you are only limiting God. Let him take control and watch in amazement.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My name is Marla Douglas. I have been married to my husband, Larry, for 46 years. I have three married daughters who have blessed me with four beautiful and amazing grandchildren. I have been a Christian for many, many years. I have attended church all my life; reading and hearing the Word.

As 2011 came to an end, Pastor Tom invited us (the church) to read the Bible through, along with him, in 2012. Larry and I knew immediately that we wanted to take that challenge! I cannot begin to tell you what a blessed year that was. In the past I had shied away from most of the Old Testament...not having any interest in all the wars, laws and the endless lists of "who begot who!” Not to mention my inability to pronounce all the names and cities!

This time was so different. Every morning I grabbed my Bible eager to read. Sometimes I would get so engrossed in reading that I would find myself reading into the next day's verses! To say that God planted a new excitement in me for His Word is putting it lightly! After reading the assigned passages each morning, Larry and I would have many great discussions throughout the day about what we had read. It was fun seeing phrases to worship songs that we knew and re-reading favorite scriptures. My favorite will always be John 14:1-6, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

So, what did I do once 2012 came to an end and I had completed the challenge? I started it all over again!! This time I am using The One Year Chronological Bible. And I love it!

Monday, April 1, 2013


God made a flower bed…it was full of hundreds of different kinds of flowers all unique and one of a kind. They were beautiful and glorious, all of the colors popping, and blending, and swaying in the cool breeze and sunshine! There were tall ones, short ones, some spread out and some went straight up. Blue ones, yellow, red, orange, purple, white, pink, and on and on! Some leaves were thick and dark,some were thin and light, and some were striped. It was so beautiful and it brought Him such joy to look at!!

One morning God went to look at His beautiful flowers and He smiled at their beauty, but the closer He got, something seemed odd…..they were murmuring…what were they saying? So he got closer. They were complaining! The petunia wanted to be a rose! The rose wanted to be a sunflower! The amaryllis wanted to be peonies! Oh my, All but just a few were moaning and complaining about being something different! God could not believe what He was hearing. Surely they could appreciate their own beauty and uniqueness, not one of them was just a like!! And they were all beautiful! “They will settle down and see that they are best just as they are,” God told Himself.
A few days later God again returned to admire the beautiful flowers and again they were murmuring. God was disappointed that they had not been able to recognize that they were wonderfully and fearfully made and that He loved them all the same. So he granted their wishes. “There now, perhaps they will be happy, but I had a better plan.”

Once again in a few days God returned to the beautiful bed of flowers expecting them all to be singing and laughing and soaking in the sunshine, for He had granted their requests! Instead He heard them murmuring and whining about not liking the new flower they had become. “It’s too high up here, I am getting dizzy!” "I don’t like it down here, I can’t see anything!” “This color does not compliment my complexion!” “I’ve changed my mind. I would rather be a lily not a peony or an amaryllis! Yes, a lily would be much better for me!”

“Listen to me, for I am your creator. You were all created special with certain colors and sizes and unique shapes. You were all created for a specific purpose. You can never be happy being anything but what you were designed for!” Admire each other and grow together, but be what you are and celebrate yourself! I love you and I know what I am doing.” And so with a whisper and a touch He turned the flowers back to what they were in the beginning. Oh what a relief to be in their own skin! How natural and free it felt! God smiled.

How many times do we look this way or that trying to be “something or someone”? Women are especially good at this. We look at someone and think oh I want her life…she has everything she wants and goes anywhere and drives a fancy car, etc…. I want that! We are so unhappy with our own blessings because our eyes are on someone else's, or what we think are their blessings. Truth might be, that if you were given her life with those “things” you might realize that what comes with that is a sad and lonely woman full of hurts who is covering them up with stuff. I am not saying every woman like that is sad, I’m just saying you don’t know everything, so don’t assume. What might be great for someone else might not be a good fit for you! We seem to look at and glamorize other things without realizing the reality of it. Like being a big star! Sure looks good on the outside but maybe not so much on the inside. “I want to sing like so and so, or teach like so and so, or have that career, or stay home, or on and on!” We are always looking around comparing ourselves to someone else and falling short in our own eyes, but what about our Creator’s eyes? How does He see us?

Why don’t we just find out what WE were created for and what OUR gifts are and BLOOM there?

Not only do we put awkward unreachable expectations on ourselves, but we allow others to do it as well! Several years ago, I lightheartedly asked a man in my church, “When are you going to let D___ be what God has gifted her to be and let her teach women about being mothers. She is so wise!” “I know,” he said. “But she is doing exactly what God has gifted her to do. She is my wife and the mother of our seven children, and she knows that is her calling right now and she loves it.” He was very sweet about it and I thought, “Oh wow, that is true!” And the longer I knew her, the more I knew she was doing exactly what she was supposed to and being exactly who she was supposed to – nothing less and nothing more. She was very content to be her. She understood her calling and balance. She made time for herself, her health, her God, her husband, and her children and they got the best of her. Truly she was very WISE! She is a very godly woman and full of Godly wisdom, and I saw an incredible teacher. Those were MY expectations, not God's and not at that time. She was wise enough to know it.

Do you want to be content? Be exactly who God created you to be. Find your gifts and be YOU! Want to be unhappy? Try to be someone else. Who am I? What am I like? What kind of people do I like to be around? Why? What makes me laugh and what makes me content? What an I passionate about? What are my priorities right now? Start thinking about these things and more! Pray and ask God to show you how He made you and what He made you for, and for goodness sake, LISTEN!! Don’t compare yourself to the other flowers! BE YOU! It’s the best fit and you will feel great in it!!!

 By: Libby Golden