Thursday Thoughts: Words of Grace

Dear God,

Where do I begin to offer my thanks for all you have done for me? It makes sense for me to start at the cross…for there would be no more to my story (or your story) without your sacrifice at the cross. Thank you! What a blessing my family has been to me since I was a little girl. I am so thankful to have a loving Mom and Dad who support me and a brother and sister who I can lovingly call friends! In exactly 5 days, I will be celebrating my 8th wedding anniversary to the best husband and friend a girl could ever ask for! Thank you for two amazingly smart, funny, and endearing little boys who always are good for laughs, smiles, and cuddles! Thank you for loving in-laws and great friends.

I know I want to thank you for the hard times and challenging times throughout the years, too. It has been through these trials that I have had to completely rely on you. These times have shaped my faith and my character. Thank you for the activities from youth camps to mission projects that I have been involved in that have given me glimpses of your glory. Thank you for the gifts and talents you have blessed me with and for the patience afforded me as I stumble through your perfect will for my life.

God, thank you for desiring to create us…your children. Thank you for a beautiful world where we can see your handiwork. Thank you for never giving up on me! I love you!

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.    ~ Psalm 139:14

 

Challenge:

Take your thank you note and verbally (or by typing) thank the people you mentioned as blessings in your life this week!

 

~ Tiffany Moore

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Thursday Thoughts: Words of Grace

For the past four days my phone has been telling me the year is 2556. I couldn’t help but to think how different the world would look 543 years in the future. Would people be living on the moon or other planets? Would doctors have discovered cures for every known illness? Would the experiences of the Star Trek Officers on the USS Enterprise be common day occurrences? Would Christ have returned?  In some ways, I think some things would be exactly the same. If Christ has not yet returned, scientific advancements would not negate the need for a Savior or a Cross. The passage of 5 ½ centuries would still have humans experiencing feelings of fear, joy, self-doubt, and confidence.

 

History validates this hypothesis. Let’s stick with Elijah to examine this thesis. Elijah (one of my favorite prophets by the way) ministered in 875 BC which is approximately 2,888 years in the past. I Kings 18 records the account of God allowing Elijah to victoriously demonstrate the power of the one true God over 850 prophets of the pagan god Baal with fire and water. There is the human feeling of joy….how could you not be a deliverer of a God-sized miracle and not feel joy! However, three verses later in I Kings 19:3 Elijah experiences feelings of great fear as he runs and hides for his life after receiving a death threat from Queen Jezebel. Fear, self-doubt, joy, confidence….this cycle of emotions is the human experience whether in the past or the future. However, the greatest constant in the human experience that my heart desires for you to focus on is not an emotion but a man. You know where I am going with this – Jesus! In Revelation 1:8 Jesus says “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” God was present in 875 BC in the midst of Elijah’s ministry and He is present today in 2013 in the midst of your ministry and He will be present in 2556.

 

Challenge:

Are you allowing Jesus to be the constant in your human experience? Through all your life experiences that have led to fear, joy, self-doubt, confidence, and many other emotions have you allowed yourself to see God’s hand at work in your life? Take time this week and write God a “Thank You Note” for the ways He has sustained you and “been present” during your human experience….You will see my note next week.

 

PS – A very nice man named Craig from Apple was able to fix my phone. So, I am back in the right year!

 

~ Tiffany Moore

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Meltdowns

A good piece of advice for all of us!

 

Meltdown

by Carla Foote, mom of two

I was hanging out with some mom friends and a few of the kids started to have meltdowns. The moms were apologizing, but actually, the kids were behaving normally for their age and the situation. While meltdowns aren’t welcome, they are part of life with young children, and are a signal that some aspect of life is out of balance at the moment.

While I don’t like to admit it, I have meltdowns too – those moments when I don’t behave quite as well as I think I should, because something is amiss in my life.

In a bit of reverse mentoring, my 22-year-old daughter taught me an acronym that she uses for checking in with herself – it also works with children, but I find it helpful for my own attitude, and perhaps you will find it useful as well. It is used in some addiction recovery programs.

HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired

When I feel a meltdown coming on, or am in a funk, I can stop and check in with myself – HALT – and ask myself, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired?”  If I am lashing out at myself, my children, my spouse, a co-worker or a neighbor, perhaps there is some root cause that I can take care of to put myself in a better frame of mind to face the challenges of my day.

Hungry? I try to keep a banana or some almonds at the ready for times when I feel my energy sagging. While I would love an order of French fries, they don’t actually solve problems for me. Good food helps me face life with more energy.

Angry? Am I reacting to my spouse because I am actually angry at another person, but I am reacting to the person closest to me? Identifying my anger doesn’t fix it, but it can help me direct it and deal with it.

Lonely? Maybe I am in a funk because I need some positive social interaction. Community is important to us as moms, and to our children and spouses. One of my favorite children’s songs was “Four Hugs a Day” by Charlotte Diamond – kids and moms and dads all need hugs.

Tired? Go to bed, take a nap, or at least lie down for a few minutes and close your eyes.

Halting won’t solve all your problems or make your children behave perfectly, but it just might increase your resilience when you are having “one of those days”


Dear God, thank you that you are with me in my good days and my bad days, and that you love me through all my emotions and meltdowns.

Carla Foote is Executive Editor and Publishing Manager at MOPS International. She is also the MOPS Mentor for her church’s MOPS group. She enjoys learning from her young adult children in this season of life.

 

When you feel a meltdown coming on, what do you do?

  • Lock myself in the bathroom
  • Take a deep breath
  • Text a friend for help
  • Meltdown and then apologize

Click to see what other moms are saying

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Thursday Thoughts: Words of Grace

One of the great prophets of Israel was Elijah. He boldly preached God’s word to some very hard-headed and hard-hearted kings and queens. However, the faith that he demonstrated toward the call God placed on his Grace-Filled life stands as a testimony to all of us. I Kings 17:9-16 tells Elijah’s interactions with the widow from Zarephath. God had revealed to Elijah that his physical need for food and drink would be met by this woman.

 

The drought was taking its toll on the land. The widow was in the midst of preparing a final meal for herself and her son with the small amount of remaining flour and oil that she had. Elijah encouraged her to bravely do as he asked – to prepare a meal for herself, her son, and for him. Because of her faithfulness, a sustaining blessing was bestowed on her by Elijah. Before he departed, he promised that her supplies of flour and oil would not be depleted until rains fell on the earth once more. The widow and her son would not go hungry!

 

The widow’s faith in God’s providence brought not only a blessing of food but a sustaining blessing of food that would not run out. Her willingness to put aside the needs of herself and her family resulted in abundant blessings. God continues to bless his children today who live and minster based on faith.

 

Challenge:

Who or what is a sustaining blessing in your life? Is it a friend who continues to pray for you? Is it a parent who provides the support you need at various stages of your life? Is it a job that allows you to meet your physical needs? Examine your life this week and identify your sustaining blessing….if possible, show your appreciation!

 

~Tiffany Moore

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Getaway 4 a Day!

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Women’s Ministry is planning a time for ladies to get away by attending 4 sessions that will include practical ways to help you learn how to grow stronger and closer to God each day.

 

Saturday September 28, 2013 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Wyndham Virginia Crossing Hotel & Conference Center

1000 Virginia Center Parkway

Glen Allen, VA 23059

http://www.wyndhamvirginiacrossing.com

Registration has already started, and runs through September 22nd.

Early Birds (before August 25th) $45.00

from August 26th – September 22nd – $55.00

You can register at the 4-D (Deepen) table in the church lobby by filling out the form on the back of the flyer and drop it, with your payment, in the lock box on the wall OR you can register online at http://www.fbcwoodbridge.org  (for a small convenience fee).

For more information, or to help with this event, please contact Adria Wilkins at adriawilkins@ymail.com

“A Cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones”.  Proverbs 17:22

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Thursday Thoughts: Words of Grace

It is amazing to see the evidence of an individual living a Grace-Filled life behind the cross. It is an even greater blessing to see the evidence in the life of your friends. In just a few days my good friend, Margaret Pfaff, will leave for a mission trip to Moldova. I didn’t even know this country existed until two years ago when she went on her second mission trip there. Just so you will be smarter than I was, the country of Moldova is in Eastern Europe and used to be part of Russia and is known for farming. Margaret is literally following the Great Commission given by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 when Jesus told his disciples that 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Short-term mission trips, like Margaret’s to Moldova, are amazing ways for individuals to minister to people in different countries and cultures.  While in Moldova two years ago, she was able to share God’s love with four orphan boys named Stefan, Mihai, Iulian, and Sergiu. In one week’s time, Margaret will once again get to see the boys she so loved as she taught them about Jesus. Now they are all teenagers and still involved in church! Hope Hill Church and FBC’s Early Learning Center Camps are currently helping to collect new Sunday clothes for the boys. Some of your hands may be actively helping Margaret to minister on her trip…what an Amazing God We Serve! On her last trip to Moldova, Margaret met a 12 year old girl named Laurissa who bullied other children and did not often engage in conversations. All week Margaret and her team demonstrated grace to Laurissa by loving her, praying for her, and telling her about Jesus. By the end of the week, Laurissa had started to pray to Jesus, pray with others, and began to treat others nicer.

This summer the Moldovan orphans, gypsies, and others will be greatly blessed by Margaret’s willingness to obey Jesus’ call for her to serve as a short-term missionary. It is often a large commitment, both financial and time, on the part of the short-term missionary to travel overseas yet it is also a time of great personal blessings.  Margaret was able to experience God’s hand moving and working up close and personal! She was able to share the love of Jesus with children and adults and was blessed to see them respond. Perhaps God is calling you and your family to serve as short term missionaries or calling you to minister to a friend, neighbor, or family member. Oh, What A Mighty God We Serve!

 

Challenge:

Pray for Margaret and her mission trip to Moldova. Pray that she will impact all she comes in to contact with in a mighty for God. Pray that she will see lives changed by the redemptive grace-filled message of the cross.  

 

– Tiffany Moore

 

 

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Dreary Days

When the weather gets you down, and the rain makes you feel gloomy and grouchy…what lifts your spirits?  Post back and maybe you’ll help to  brighten someone’s day. 

Rainy_Days_by_doorstopPhotos

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