Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
John 14:4Jesus is THE way. He is the one and only way to God the Father. I am so thankful I know Him.
Blessings. Linked to Thankful Thursday.
Join us on-line at 10:45 CST for a rousing 45-message from the Word of God. I am teaching through the Book of 2 Timothy. I have entitled the series Run Well, Finish Strong. It is about how to live out this faith thing in real time. The title of the message is "Practice Makes Perfect." If you want to join us click here and then click on the icon for Run Well, Finish Strong. If you cannot join us live, the message will be archived at the same location and posted in short order. We would love to have you tune in and join us.
Purchase the workbook by clicking here. It is not necessary to join in the study but it would greatly enhance your understanding of the priceless book of 2 Timothy.
Word of God speak . . .
We, at Standing Near the Cross Ministries, are exceedingly excited about our soon-to-be-revealed new website. The options it will afford us to engage the internet world and expand our ministry are unbeleivable. Standing Near the Cross Ministires is commited to encouraging and inspiring women, especially moms, with the Word of God through Bible studies, DVDs, CDs, downloadable study notes, and podcasts.
Stay tuned. Some exciting things are coming.
6. Do you prefer contemporary movies or classic? I detest the current trend towards crude humor, graphic violence that is way over the top, and the blatant sexuality and innuendos.
7. How well do you "compartmentalize" your feelings? As I walk with the Lord and grow in my faith I have learned to cast down vain imaginations and everything that would exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ. I posted a blog on this topic. Click here is you are interested in reading the full post.
8. What is the first thing that attracted you to your spouse? A kind heart and extremely polite manners-to say nothing of the blond hair and blues eyes! We will celebrate 36 years of marriage this month.
9. When was the last time your heart raced? This morning. I flipped on the light in the kitchen and a mouse (a huge one!) scampered across the floor. Oh, it is so on!
10. What are your memories of Valentine's Day at school? Never getting to sit at the cool table.
11. If you were going to receive candy for Valentine's Day, which would you prefer? Honestly, I would prefer shoes or a bag.
12. Red or pink? Red for sure.
Blessings. Linked to Random Dozen.
"Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
Amazing grace. How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
Praise the Lord for the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
Linked to Word Filled Wednesday.
Declan (our baby grand) and I made pigs in a blanket (he called them "twigs in the blanket) for his daddy and his Poppa.
Linked to Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Moms and Extraordinary Mothers and Wordful Wednesday and Jolly Mom and Go Graham Go and J. leigh designz and at Wordless Wednesday and Blessings Abound and Photo Friday. Thanks to all the great bloggers for hosting these carnivals. Thanks for stopping by. Leave me a comment and I will return the favor. Blessings.
Craig and I went to Uruguay on a mission trip. We fell in love with the pastors/wives we taught and wept bitterly when we had to leave them and return home. An added blessing was a chance to experience a tiny bit of their culture. One night we went out for pizza. It was delicious. This is a reasonable facsimile for what we had.
For a great and fast pizza at home I purchase a Boboli Pizza Crust. I put it on a baking sheet and lightly oil it with extra virgin olive oil. I slice a tomato very thin and cover the crust with the tomato slices. I add a layer of pepperoni (or whatever) and a light-handed sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. I sprinkle with sea salt (go easy for it is too salty) and dried basil. Cook according to directions. In about 10 minutes you will be sitting down to some fine pizza.
Linked to Blessed with Grace and All The Small Stuff and Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Works for Me Wednesday and Foodie Friday who has outdone herself with a beautiful visual display of a Valentine tablescape and menu.
I have been teaching a Bible Study for MOMS entitled Mirror, Mirror on the Wall on the book of James. I began collecting beautiful mirrors to use as my visual aid. I discovered this brush and mirror set in an out of the way antique mall and purchased it for my display. I think the lovely lady who once owned is pleased to know how it is being used now!
Linked to Second Time Around.
Top Ten Pictures from our recent ice storm on Jan. 30, 2010 which was followed by snow. For those of us who live in the snow, this is a rare but beautiful event.
I have pulled my back out. "How?" you ask. Because I am stressed. There I said it. I am STRESSED.
Before you remind me that I am "too blessed to be stressed," let me finish. These are stressful days. I have not worked a full-time job in 31 years. For 20 years I have been teaching a weekly Bible study that I invested serious time in preparation and studying and writing my own Bible studies for the moms. It was not usual for me to invest 14-20 hours to prepare my message and write the study. But this was (and still is) a love gift between and the Lord and the sweet mommas I got to teach. Now I am working full-time in my own ministry.
In 2005 I started publishing my Bible studies and producing accompanying DVDs. And I started up a business to handle my book sales and speaking ministry. My dear friend Ray started working for me 4 days a week. Mr. Stockdale also came to work for me part-time, turning the day-to-day operations for his business, Pine Grove Farm and Landscape, over to our boys in order to help with my ministry. Between Dec. 2005 and June 2009 I wrote 7 Bible studies, published them, produced the DVDs, and taught my moms Bible study each week. The pace has been frantic, but frankly being shut up with the Lord in my little attic office to write and study 10-12 hours a day . . . well, it is quite a gift and a great gig to boot!!
In November 2009 our little ministry, Standing Near the Cross Ministries, qualified for non-profit status. We praise the Lord for that kindness. It is not easy to come by and required jumping through a few 100 hoops, a tax attorney, and a lawyer. But I digress. With this move has come tons of paper work, many business decisions, and a new level of pressure. And frankly, on Saturday all that stress settled in my back as we plotted out the plans for this ministry in the upcoming year. I love to teach and I love to study and write. But I DO NOT like the business end that is attached to it!! It does not seem one bit holy to me!
So there I said it. I am STRESSED. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I am totally sold out to Christ and His kingdom. And I am STRESSED. That's right. You heard me. Stressed I said.
In the Christian community we like to spiritualize everything. No one enjoys that occupation more than I do. But I am reminded we often reduce Christians to cardboard cut-outs. We like to "make a good showing." We like to pretend that at times we are not totally confused about what God is doing in our lives, or how He is going to resolve an issue, or just plain irritated. And heaven forbid if you mention you are feeling stressed. Most will respond with a list of verses to shame you into acknowledging your human frailties.
So, I thought I would debunk that myth. I do not make an exception for ailments that are the result of sin. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about admitting to a physical body that sometimes shows our human condition. It is flawed. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. And at time those vessels crack and crumble. But our flawed humanity is exactly why Jesus came and died for His lost creation. I for one am exceedingly grateful.
I know my God is BIG. This stress is not the result of faltering faith. This is not rebellion, although I often have to wrestle with that issue. This is not sin. This is what faith-walking looks like. At times, it is not pretty. At time it is even stressful. And at times my "spirit man" can no longer cope and it is forced to roll the stress over into my "physical man." And my physical body responds with a ball of tension in my back. As I treat my physical pain, my spirit will once again take over and allow me to rise above the downward pull of the tension created by living in this fallen world. Until then, I am walking funny. I am still Standing Near the Cross, but I am standing at an odd angle!
So with the risk of being misunderstood, I am STRESSED. But I willl get past it. God willl speak. God willl act or God will grant the extraordinary grace that He alone provides. And then I won't be STRESSED I hope to soon be eating DESSERTS.
So here are some questions I answered.
Did you watch the Super Bowl? No. I have pulled my back out so I was in bed on muscle relaxers trying not to whine and complain.
Who were you rooting for? I had no dog in this hunt.
If not, what did you do instead? Lay in the bed and read.
If you watched it, where did you watch it? Again, I was in the bed.
What did you eat? In honor of the Super Bowl I ate some Welch's Fruit Snacks, which is a particular favorite snack food of mine.
Favorite Super Bowl Commercial? Tim Tebow-what a great testimony for the cause of Christ.
Least favorite? All the rest of them. Seriously people, we are smart intelligent and literate people you are marketing to. Is this the best you can?
What did you think of the half time show? I did not watch it but seriously, the Who?!?! Who is the intended target audience?
Who do you wish had been the half time show? I'm not a good one to ask. I am not really up on the current artist, but oh my soul, leave the 70's band off the play list!
I always enjoy meeting new bloggers and making friends. So this is linked to Friend Makin' Monday.
I DID NOT lose my power in the ice storm that swept through TN. last week. Oh wait . . . I did! We lost our power but not our joy!! Joy is in Jesus.
Craig and I live on 10 acres in a rural area. On Thursday, January 28th an ice storm blew through, coating every surface with several layers of ice. On Friday afternoon more sleet resulted in about 2 inches of solid ice. Around 4:00 I was standing at my front door, surveying the mysterious beauty of the iced landscape, when I saw a huge limb snap off a pine tree and drop to the ground in a pile of green needles and icicles. Almost simultaneously a loud explosion signaled the transformer had blown. Suddenly no power, no water (we are on a well), no internet, and no phones. My house became eerily silent. We had no way of knowing it would be Tuesday afternoon before our power would be restored. I thought you might enjoy seeing a photo-journal of the intermittent days.
Caption's Log-Friday, January 29, 2010
4:00 p.m. Power outage. Strangely, the silence that follows is both refreshing and strange. Because Craig and I suffer from terminal optimisim (although trust me, this world has doen all it can to beat it out of us-but we refuse to give it up) we assumed it would be quicly restored.
5:30 p.m. Still believing we are moments away from have our power restored. Andy and Dianne Maybee (neighbors who love us and did not lose their power) brought down piping hot beef stew and homemade cornbread. Soup-it does a body good. As does the kindness of the family of God!
8:00 p.m. Candle light illuminates the den. We use the gas logs in the den's fireplace to heat-and I use that word loosely-the house. Both boxers and our cat make an uneasy peace in order to be in the same room with the heat.
Caption's log-Saturday-January 30, 2010
8:00 a.m. Slept in. Few reasons to get up. No power. Joy intact.
9:00 a.m. The Maybees invite us to breakfast. Eat. Shower. Charge laptop. Enjoy some of the sweetest fellowship this side of heaven.
10:00 a.m. Enjoy the luxury of reading without being concerned about what else I need to do.
3:00 p.m. Enjoy a cup of hot coffee from the thermos the Maybees filled for us.
4:30 p.m. Cook hamburgers on the gas grill. Darkness falls quickly and it is hard to tell if they are undercooked or overcooked.
6:00 p.m. Watched a DVD on our laptop.
8:30 p.m. Battery dies on laptop. Time for bed. The temperature drops to 14 degrees. I wear earmuffs, scarf, and gloves to bed. Since it is so cold outside, think it is a great idea to put 1 and a half gallons of milk on the steps outside.
Caption's Log-Sunday, January 31, 2010
7:00 a.m. Decide that wasn't the best idea we've ever had.
9:00 a.m. Maybee's feed us breakfast. Hot shower feels very good. Hot coffee-yum. Sweet friends and fellowship-priceless. Church is canceled to the the weather and icy roads. We spend the afternoon reading.
4:00 p.m. Begin the process of getting ready for the evening. Once it gets dark, that's all she wrote folks.
5:00 p.m. Hamburgers on the grill. This time we compensate for the early darkness.
6:00 p.m. Start our movie on the laptop.
9:00 p.m. Battery dies. Off to bed.
Caption's Log-Monday, February 1, 2010
8:00 a.m. Wake up to no power. Joy still intact.
9:00 a.m. Return to the Maybees for breakfast, coffee, and hot shower. Blessed to peices.
10:30 a.m. Dissassemble the Standing Near the Cross Ministries desktop computer. Drive to Renae Terrell's. Set it up on the kitchen table. Craig, Renae, and I work and giggle. We dub it "Ministry on the Move." Our life is not to be beleived! Seriously!!
3:30 p.m. Return home and begin the evening preparation.
4:30 p.m. Dinner and a movie. Early to bed. Joy, not only intact, but overflowing.
Caption's Log-Tuesday, February 2, 2010
7:00 a.m. Up early. This is what I saw when I opened my eyes.
10:00 a.m. Pack up my entire vanity and half my closet. Craig and I head to Renae's. She fixes us breakfast. I shower and dress to go and speak to the Metro Conference of Children's Ministers and Directors. Renae and Craig go with me and work me book table. Had a wonderful time speaking. Met great folks who are committed to serving "the least of them."
1:15 p.m. Power is restored. We lost our power but never our joy!! Our joy is firmly rooted in the Lord Jesus Christ. And in light of the cross, this was a small inconvenience.
Linked to Not Me Monday.
Reducing my current status to 6 short words is a challenge for a person given to so many words as myself . . . but because I need the discipline to learn the writing technique of "word economy", I am playing along!
Linked to Six Words Saturday.
God is doing exciting things here at Standing Near the Cross Ministries. The Lord has crossed our path with an unbelievably gifted computer programer and designer who knows and loves the Lord. I will introduce him to your properly in the next few days. For now suffice it to say you will soon see the work of his hands on our website at www.jeanstockdale.com. The blog will soon be integrated into the website.
This new format will allow us to do some incredible things like produce a free monthly newsletter for moms. It will include profound truths from God's Word and practical tips for mothering kiddos of all ages. I will be sharing about how to Biblically raise and then release your children. The new blog will have podcasts, downloads, video clips, and teaching seminars - all designed to encourage and inspire mommas with the Word of God.
And, do you know what a brand is? Well I got me one. I cannot wait for you to see it. It is quite fabulous. We are very excited here in the ministry office.
Something wonderful this way cometh! Stay tuned for the grand reveal!