Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

‎"On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame. And I love that old cross, where the dearest and best, for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I'll cherish the old rugged cross 'til my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown."

My faith is based on this Glorious Promise!! His resurrection is everything - it is real- it is true- I have confidence in knowing that I can stake everything on it because HE IS RISEN!

~Tori Miller

Monday, April 18, 2011

" I Can't Remember What it is I Forgot" guest blogger Shannon Milholland

This morning as i RECEIVED this blog from a friend i could not help but giggle as i could so relate to the "mom-nesia" condition!  i THINK IT IS OK TO GIGGLE at OURSELVES as we grow older and have more of these moments with this "condition"  but lets just use it to grow closer to Christ!  :)! Thank you Shannon for your Words of Wisdom!!!

~Tori Miller

I Can't Remember What it is I Forgot

I was on my computer feverishly working when I remembered an email I needed to send.  In the microseconds it took me to click on that tab and open my email, I couldn't remember what I was doing there.  Sadly, this isn't my first moment of temporary memory loss.  I refer to my condition as "mom-nesia".

Its' symptoms are manifested in various ways:
  • Checking the mail up to five times on a federal holiday.
  • Throwing away the "keep" pile and saving the "toss" pile.
  • Making a list and then forgetting where I put the list.
This morning I am reading Matthew 16.  This passage opens with the Pharisees pressing Jesus to give them a sign from heaven.  Jesus refuses and turns the focus of the discussion from outward signs to heart inspection.  Jesus cautions His disciples to be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees.  The ensuing talk with Jesus' followers clearly demonstrates that "mom-nesia" is not a gender specific disorder.

It's as if the disciples suddenly forget all that Jesus has taught them.  The mere mention of yeast gets their minds focused on bread.  Clearly Jesus was not referring to bread.

I sometimes have "mom-nesia" in my walk with Jesus.  I commit to doing or perhaps not doing a certain thing but out of nowhere I find myself in a place of distraction with no recollection of my original intent.  I once heard Beth Moore say, "If Satan can't destroy you, he'll distract you."  That certainly proves true for me.  I've taken many a trip to the trash can, only to keep the very thing I intended to toss or forget what I was ever doing there to begin with.

When I find myself with "mom-nesia" I can usually recover if I simply stop and reflect.  In a moment of spiritual detour I must do the same if I am to retrace my steps back to Jesus:
  • Stop - Multi-tasking is the ultimate catalyst for "mom-nesia".  I have to force myself to be still so that I can remember whatever it is I've forgotten.  The same is true in the spiritual realm.  I must first pause before I turn my thoughts to Him.
  • Reflect - If I think hard enough for long enough I will eventually remember what it was that I was doing.  As I reflect on God's faithfulness and work, He gently redirects my thoughts to Him and His purposes for me.
Jesus, it is far too easy for me to forget what I'm doing.  I get distracted and lack focus.  I become ineffective in my walk with You because I fail to remember Your instructions.  Today when I face a moment of spiritual "mom-nesia", I will stop and reflect knowing that those actions redirect my mind and heart to You.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lisa Life Lesson ~"What is this world coming to?"

What is this world coming to?

Keeping the culture out of our homes is basically impossible.  I saw a tweet post earlier in the week with a pic of tshirt on sale at Walmart.  It’s basically a maternity section in the juniors section at Walmart.  Sad?  Yes.  2011? Yes.  With the glamorization of teenage moms on tv, it was just a matter of time before it became a part of mainstream media…and yes, Walmart.  So I guess we can boycott and send letters and get all indignant, but I would propose that we tighten up the ship we steer…our homes.  We might not be able to change the world, but we can change our homes.  How?  Teach our children, discipline them, and model a godly life.  We can’t be their holy spirit, but we can teach them the ways of the Lord.  We can discuss these shows, books, movies, and have hard discussions about the direction our culture is heading.  Just because it’s out there, we don’t have to say, “Yes! Come on in to our homes and get comfy!”  Set limits, set standards, plan for godly living, don’t just cross your fingers and hope it all works out.  How?  Here are some ideas:

1)    Talk with your kids… a lot!  At dinner, in the car, at bedtime.  Ask the hard questions and be ready to not know the answers.  A listening mom is more valuable than rubies and diamonds.
2)    Set goals with your kids – if we don’t set the expectations, how can we expect our children to rise to the occasion? 
3)    Make mealtime a priority.  Don’t let their schedules, social calendar or activities dictate your family time.  Even if it’s once a week, eat together as a family.
4)    Provide them tools to grow closer to God.  Devotionals, music, bibles, books.  Then, ask them periodically, “What is God speaking to you about these days?  What’s He teaching you?  What are you learning?”
5)    Set limits on television, computer, cell phones.  THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
6)    Love them and don’t judge them.  You must remember what it was like to be a preteen and teen.  It is not easy.  Not many of us would go back to those years for all the tea in China.  No way!  Love them with everything you’ve got.  These years are precious and the sacrifices you make will be worth it.

~Lisa Clark, Sky Ranch Parenting Mentor

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Galatians 5:22-23

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 

Monday, April 4, 2011

“if i’m not praying for my children, who is?” Guest blogger Toni Margolis

I was so touched by my dear friend Toni's recent post on her personal blog about prayer and the effectiveness of prayer that I asked her to be our SkyMom GUEST BLOGGER!!!!  We as Moms have a powerful tool that we can use against the enemy
 in the power of PRAYER with PRAYING for our CHILDREN...

Thank you Toni for sharing with us ~

gayla ‘other’ sister.....gave me this little plaque a few months ago.
i keep it in the console between the seats in my car.
i just love it every time i open the lid and and get to read this and am reminded of THE MOST IMPORTANT thing i can do for my family and friends.
i heard the quote awhile back:
“if i’m not praying for my children, who is?”
and it struck me hard.
think about it.
you cannot count on a single other person in the world to pray for YOUR child by name unless you specifically ask them to.
many of you are blessed to have spouses who do, and we all certainly hope our own parents and siblings do, and would love to think that our friends and teachers do, but unless it is done out loud we can’t really know that they are. 
or that they aren’t throwing out the blanket “please watch over____” prayer.
i believe that many Christians spout off the proverbial statement “i’ll be praying for you”, but never actually take the time to do it.
and believe me, i’m not judging.
i’ve been guilty myself on more occasions than i’d like to count.
the intention is there.
the motivation is pure.
but often times i think it’s something people say, but then they go back into their own little world and on with the next thing in their day and the actual act of talking to God about whatever it is they say they would pray about never happens. 
not because they didn’t want to. 
not because they never intended to. 
not because it’s unimportant to them. 
but it just gets left undone.
part of my opinion is just that.  my opinion.
but part of it is also having conversations with friends who are willing to admit their faults. 
and to actually be able to admit that you didn’t follow though with a prayer is a hard one! isn’t it?
for some reason it’s much harder to admit that than to admit that you sometimes fall asleep when trying to pray at the end of the day. 
or that sometimes your mind wanders. 
or that a conversation in the other room, or on the TV or radio grabs your attention away.
those seem to be more like ‘frustrations’ than actually having to admit that you didn’t follow through.
at least to me it seems that way....

i was in a Sunday school class a few years ago and the leader had everyone in the room close their eyes and told us he’d like for us 
to silently pray for anything that we had on our minds for 5 minutes.
for 5 minutes!
the blink of an eye, right?
the room went totally silent as we all closed our eyes and began our own individual conversations with God.
pretty soon, however, people started to sniffle.
to cough.
to rub their hands together.
to move their feet.
to play with their watches or rings.
to rearrange the Bible in their laps. 
the A/C seemed to get louder. 
the voices in the next room less muffled. 
the door down the hall more squeaky.
the very breath of my neighbor more audible!
and then he said we could stop.
and then he asked if we thought we had made it to 5 minutes.
i doubt there was a person in the room who was surprised to hear that we hadn’t.
i don’t remember the actual amount of time, but it was nothing.
maybe 2 or 3 minutes.
and a whole roomful of grown adult Christians was kind of blown away at the exercise.
to think that of all the situations we have in our lives to pray about and of all the people we have in our lives to pray for, then to realize that we couldn’t sustain a silent prayer for 5 minutes without at the very least having our minds wander to the itch we now have on our earlobe was humbling.  at least to me it was.
we then moved into the topic of prayer and how satan does anything he can to keep us from doing it.
it is his biggest threat and he is determined to keep us from it!

i have heard at some point in my life that satan cannot read our minds....he cannot hear us when we are silently praying.  so though he didn’t have a clue what we were all praying for or about in Sunday school that morning, he knew we were praying because he heard our leader ask us to do so.
and he made more distractions in that room that i could count!!!

this leads me to another powerful exercise i was apart of in a women’s Bible study not that long ago.
we were in a large was a wonderful study that had attracted many moms....and were divided into small groups by tables.
this particular day, our leader told us that she wanted us to take the time to pray for our children. 
by name.
i have been in plenty of situations where groups of people were asked to bow their heads and pray, but the kicker in this exercise was she wanted us to take turns at our tables and do it OUT LOUD!!!!
immediately there was a palpable spike in the level of anxiety in the room, but being the dutiful moms that we were, we held hands, closed our eyes and one of the ladies at my table began to pray.
the room was quickly filled with the voices of other moms at other tables.
it was almost like an electric buzz.
the feelings that came over me were almost overwhelming.
to hear the voices of so many moms praying for their kids one by one by one was one of the powerful things i’ve ever been apart of.
though i could really only hear the prayers of those at my table, it was an amazing thing to witness.
when it was my turn, i was overcome by emotion.  
it was just so personal!
it has never been my strong suit to talk in front of others, much less pray in front of them, much less pray specific prayers in front of them, much less pray for my babies in my front them!
but it was something i was honored to do.
lift up my girls to God in front of anyone who was within earshot to hear....including satan, himself....and declare them my Savior’s!
and let me tell you....the only distractions in the room during that particular exercise were the type that are welcome.
sobs of surrender and cries for help.
tears of joy and sniffles of thankfulness.
hand squeezes of support.
hugs of love.

you see, satan couldn’t drown out the voices of those speaking to God!

never for a second when i put the ‘cool iphone pic of the day’
up at the top of this post and started to write, did i think i would say all that i just said!
God just kinda took over & what i wrote is actually what i think HE wrote!

now in reading back over it, i don’t want to change it, or rewrite it, but
please don’t get me wrong and think that i think the part about people not following through with their declarations of prayer fits everyone!
(at least not 100% of the time!)
i believe there are many many many people out there who say they will pray for you and then actually do it.
many of those people i am blessed to call my friends.
friends i seek out with specific prayer requests.
friends i trust wholeheartedly with my privacy and my requests and know they will lift up any situation without an ounce of hesitancy.
i call them my prayer warriors and am extremely thankful that God put them in my life.
in fact, i posted the above ‘cool iphone pic of the day’ on my FB page a couple of months ago with the caption:
“Cannot imagine my life w/o my friends. And those who give me the priviledge of praying for them and those who pray alongside me add an extra sparkle to my world;)”
so.....please know that if you ask me to pray for you....or if i say i am going to pray for you.....that i am fully committed to following through.
i am touched and grateful when someone prays for me and my family but i am HONORED when they give me the privilege of praying for them. 
i believe in prayer....whether or not God gives the answer WE want.
take time to pray!
~ Toni Margolis