Prayer Challenge


I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel, because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said over me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You God, are Holy. Your word is truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”



Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Joyfully Teaching Vacation Bible School - Day Two

Christian Cooks Rock!

I forgot to share in my previous post that our church, First Baptist Church of Belle, MO, has an evening Vacation Bible School (VBS) program. Each day of VBS starts with supper at 5:30 P.M.. Day Two started off with a great meal of BBQ chicken, cheese fries, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, beverages, and DESSERT. (Pardon the capital letters, but dessert really does make me wanna shout.) The dessert menu featured home baked, red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter cup tarts, and fruit cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Seriously, Christian cooks rock! Our VBS attendees and their parents get to eat with us every day. It is a joy to see a crowed dining room full of families eating all they want!

YouTube, a Bible Resource

Technical difficulties resulted in bible classes starting about twenty-five minutes early. However, I welcomed the chance to include more of the Day One activities and complete the Day Two bible lesson. After I returned home from Day One, I went online to YouTube to find a supplemental, attention catching video to open my Day Two lesson.

A quick search for "Apostle Paul" yielded a three part set of animated videos that covered Paul's life from the stoning of Stephen to his imprisonment in Rome. So I downloaded them on my tablet with an Android app, then put the SD card into my laptop so I could play the videos (the laptop screen is about 16" X 8.5") to reinforce the Day One and Day Two lessons. Kids and cartoons go together like peanut butter and jelly.

The Adventures of Flat Paul

Flat Paul made an appearance today and traveled to music, recreation, and crafts with the class. I was only too happy to snap one or two pictures of posing preteens happily clustered around Flat Paul at each activity. Even the adults, joined in the fun.
Flat Paul before his encounter on the road to
Damascus.

Movie Making

My evening at VBS ended around 8:15 P.M. Upon arriving at home, I fed my sweetie and then uploaded my digital pictures onto the laptop. Editing twenty-two pictures, placing them in Movie Maker, and adding music kept me occupied until Bill announced he was going to bed. My evening activities concluded with playing the movie for Bill, saving the movie, and shutting down the laptop.

Occupied and Satisfied

Being a wrench in the Lord's tool box sure keeps me occupied and satisfied! God bless you all and stay tuned for the further adventures of joyfully teaching VBS.



 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Joyfully Teaching Vacation Bible School - Day One


Vacation Bible School , or VBS, Motto
Facing Fear! Trusting God!

VBS Scripture
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
2 Timothy 1:7

Focus
Saul's conversion on the Damascus road and his journey as Paul.

Flitting Around the House Like a Butterfly 

Yesterday was Day One of VBS and my nerves kept me flitting around the house like a butterfly.  Teaching fifth and sixth graders is not new, but I never know how many students will enroll. Plus, 30 minutes is not a lot of time to teach a lesson AND have a fun activity. So, I was nervous. Finally, I shared this information with Bill and his response is, " Honey, you are organized and prepared, but let's pray about it." We did and the nerves stopped jangling with apprehension and started jingling with excitement.

Day One Begins 

As I drove into the church parking lot, I swiftly sent up an appeal to Jesus, " Let my words flow from you. Open the eyes and hearts of the young people to receive your message." The next five minutes was a flurry of activity -  parking the car, loading myself down with an overflowing Thirty-One bag of educational supplies, a computer briefcase, a large zip top bag of materials, a shopping bag, and packing it all up two flights of stairs worked out any tension that might have been left over. Upon reaching the upstairs Youth room, I paused for a couple of minutes to catch my breath. For the next fifteen or twenty minutes, I happily set up the computer, CD player, placed the Day One materials around the room, and put the empty bags in the supply closet. Okay, everything was in place and I felt the calmness of Spirit-led teaching mode flow through me.

Eagerly, I left the room on my way to the VBS Sign-In Desk in the reception/kitchen room. Six fifth and sixth grade students were signed up. I felt the quiet voice inside me say," See daughter, it will be fine. You will do well." Happiness continued to bubble up inside me. All would be well.

Blindfolded and  Struggling to Place the Puzzle Pieces

Excited giggling and horseplay filled my version of Coaster Alley. Two blindfolded preteens had two minutes to put a puzzle together by listening to the directions of their two team mates. Two minutes later, the two teams had partially placed, scattered puzzles. Without a blindfolded member, each group had a complete puzzle in less than thirty seconds. The point - Saul before his conversion, struck blind without God versus Paul, a changed man of God.

Flat Paul, The Plan

Flat Stanley was very popular about eight or nine years ago. Children carried a  picture of Flat Stanley around, took pictures, and put together a book called, "The Adventures of ______and Flat Stanley. VBS 2013 has Flat Paul as part of the lessons. My plan is to take pictures during VBS with and without Flat Paul. Then I'm going to use Movie Maker to put together a VBS movie and burn a DVD titled, The Adventures of Flat Paul, for each student.

Six happy students listened to the plan for Flat Paul, the movie. Attentively, I waited for a response. Would they like it or not? The preteens chatted about it and decided they liked the idea. Yes! I'm so happy that they decided it was a neat idea.

 I am a joyful woman as I type this post. Day One of VBS is and was a success. My pictures for Day One have been uploaded and are waiting for editing and placement. I love being a wrench in the Lord's toolbox. Have a joyful day Brothers and Sisters, and be watching for Day Two of Joyfully Teaching VBS.







 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Sallee's Six: Favorite Verses from Joshua, Psalms, and Isaiah


The scriptures I have listed below are like friends, always there when I need them. I turn to them when I need strength, encouragement, and reassurance. (When I reread the previous sentence, I caught the unintentional pun. Did you catch it?)

Joshua 1:8
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Joshua 1:9
...Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Psalm 18:28-29
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God...

Isaiah 40:11
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 43:1-2
..."Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will  not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Flowering Weed or Blooming Wildflower?





Purple flowering weed, white blooming wildflowers, and a white buttefly bush.




What is the difference between a flowering weed and a blooming wildflower?


Take a close look at the pictures. My daughter Ashley was ten or eleven when she first saw the purple "flowers" that are blooming at the corner of  my storage building. Ashley didn't see a weed, all she saw were the pretty purple blooms. In fact, she transplanted the flowers into her flowerbed and tended them with the same care that I lavish on my butterfly bush.

 I was ten or eleven when my mom taught me that the yellow centered, white blooms of this apparent "weed" in the center picture is a wildflower. These miniature, daisy-like blooms captured my heart. I let them grow in the fence rows and field that belong with our home.

The average person calls both types of plants, weeds. The baby plants usually get sprayed with weed killer, or pulled up before they are more than a few inches tall. When allowed to achieve maturity, you get tall, multi-branched, leggy plants (48" high) with unattractive leaves. The weedy plants stay that way for four to eight weeks. Slowly buds start to develop singly, or in clusters, on the tips of each branchlet. Finally, in mid July, you awake one morning to brilliant purple blooms and clusters of blossoms that look like miniature daisies. Another strike against the weed and the wildflower - no sweet scent is to be found. Only a slightly musty, weedy, nose tickling smell that makes you sneeze.

I think I've established that the difference between a flowering weed and a blooming wildflower is based upon how you look at them.  

 
God loves each one of us. He doesn't care if we are a flowering weed or a blooming wildflower. He watches us as we grow in faith and walk in the world. People around us may think we are misfits, or weeds, that don't belong in their social group. Even fellow Christians may not see the Lord at work in us. All they see is the exterior weed. However, if we trust God and let him work through us, we will be a bloom in the Lord's garden.
 

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things...

1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NIV









 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Staying Aligned With God's Word


"God Aligned in '09" was a slogan that I frequently heard at church, in 2009. I believe, then and now, my life is in alignment with God's will because I am studying the Bible. I am convinced that it is necessary to keep my life aligned with God to remain joyful and victorious. Today, my every thought and action is filtered through God's perspective, as expressed in the Bible.

The Bible is not just a lifeless, printed book; it is a divinely inspired, living text for followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Bible is a self-help book that tells us how to become a follower of Jesus and how to live a God aligned life in a world that belongs to Satan. The Bible is a personal book that should be the foundation of every Christian's life. 

Discipleship includes bible study. My bible knowledge began increasing when I purchased a study bible that contained life helps, an index, and footnotes. Ask God to show you what He wants you to learn before you begin reading. Then, expect Him to show you. The more you read, the more you will understand because the Holy Spirit will help you. The Holy Spirit connects us to God and Jesus. Expect to hear the Holy Spirit's quiet voice of wisdom during your bible study and meditation.

Psalm 119:97-99

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long; Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Is That Verse in the Bible?


Bible verses appear in TV shows and movies on a regular basis. Are they actual Bible verses? Grabbing my tablet to check out a scripture in the ebible app is an automatic action I have developed over the last two or three years. Usually, the verse is in the Bible, or part of the verse is in the Bible.

The remake of True Grit, the movie, features an example of a partial verse.

Movie verse
Screenshot taken by Sallee Bonham
 

 
 
Proverbs 28:1 is an actual verse in the Bible. The period indicates this is a complete thought. Wrong.

Complete verse
The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Proverbs 28:1 NIV

Correct version of a partial quote
The wicked flee though no one pursues...
Proverbs 28:1 NIV

I believe that the only Bible many people are familiar with, are quotes in movies. When writers quote from another media, accuracy should be automatic. Sadly, in this case, the quote is out of context and inaccurate.
We are in a spiritual battle with a foe who is a deceiver. Partial truths are a tool that our foe uses to deceive and manipulate honest people because a partial truth is actually a lie. Next time you see a verse attributed to the Bible on a TV show or movie, find it in your Bible. Is it an actual verse? Is it accurate and complete? The answers may surprise you.

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Girlfriends in God - Choose to Forgive by Mary Southerland

Girlfriends in God 

If you have ever been molested, you need to read this post,"Choose to Forgive," by Mary Southerland. Brutal honesty and sharing all in one post. Warning: It will make you cry so have a box of tissues handy before you read it.

Left click on"Girlfriends in God" read the post at Crosswalk.com

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Worrying about Work Clothes is Unproductive

Required to Dress Professionally


My job has a dress code. Employees are required to dress professionally. In the last two or three years, state and federal budget cuts have reduced my income. This income reduction means I can only buy underclothing, pantyhose, and shoes at the store. I have always liked to bargain shop, but it has been more of a hobby than a necessity. Now, I find myself bargain shopping out of necessity. 

 Clothing Worries

A couple of weeks ago, I caught myself worrying about my shrinking income, increasing expenses, and aging wardrobe. My mind kept spinning around one thought," How am I going to afford any new clothes?" I had purchased a bare minimum of work-related clothing last year, so acquiring new clothing items was unavoidable . My brain just grabbed ahold of this thought and wouldn't let go.

A Scriptural Answer

Finally, I opened up my bible to Matthew 6: 25-33,Do Not Worry, and started reading. My attention was caught by the following words:

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin...So do not worry, saying,'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'...your heavenly Father knows that you need them...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I felt humbled. How could I have let doubt and worry creep into my thoughts, again? Prayerfully, I talked with my heavenly Father and apologized for focusing on the financial problems. Prayerfully, I told him, You are in charge of my life and I am trusting you to provide for me. My brain let go of my clothing worries and became worry-free.

$1.89 Blessing

Earlier this week, on my way home from the post office, I read a sign -  Crazy Lady's Resale Shop. Happily, I stopped to see what bargains I might find in this new shop. Quickly, I looked through the clothing racks for career clothing. A tropical print blouse, in subdued blues and greens, caught my eye; I removed it from the rack. The tag revealed that it was from JC Penney's and was in almost new condition. Swiftly, I said a quick Thank-you Father and placed the blouse on the check-out counter. Returning to the clothing racks, I continued sifting through the clothes and  a pair of gray slacks appeared. My heart beat happily, I just knew these slacks belonged with the blouse I'd already found. A quick check of the label verified my guess, the slacks were also from JC Penney's and matched the blouse. At the checkout counter, the cashier announced my total,"$1.89." Wow, a two piece outfit in excellent shape for $1.89. I knew where this blessing came from. I had focused on seeking the kingdom and He was bringing me what I needed.

Two days later, I stopped at another resale shop that supports a ministry, God's Hand Extended, in Owensville, MO. Guess what I found? A brand-new, black and white cardigan from Macy's, a like-new, red and black floral blouse in my favorite style, AND a crocheted tablecloth in my favorite color, celadon. Total cost of the three items? $5.00.

I know what some of you are thinking. I would have found these bargains anyway, but there is no way of knowing that. What I do know is that I was not finding any bargains while I was letting worry dominate my thoughts. After turning my worry over to the Father and after trusting Him to take care of me, I found clothing that was in styles I liked, that matched pieces I already have, and that cost less than $8.00.  Additionally, at the God's Hand Extended store, my money was supporting a ministry.

My Conclusion

Worry is unproductive and decreases my faith. Trust in action is what the Lord wants from us. Next time worry creeps into my thoughts, I'm seeking out the kingdom by reading Matthew 6: 25-34 again.
 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday

Enjoy yourselves on the 4th of July and may God bless you with safe travel, safe fireworks, and safe circumstances.

Sallee B.
Fourth of July Bouquet