Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Verse to Help You Quit Cussing :)


How 'bout that for a blog title?!

I'm serious as a judge, though!

I remember my spiritual "momma" once telling me that when she gave her life to Jesus Christ, He immediately took away any desire on her part to cuss. I thought that was the coolest thing in the WORLD, and wondered why I hadn't been given the same deliverance from my toilet tongue.

I've since known people who have had similar things happen to them at the moment of salvation...drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, etc....gone!

The Lord was so gracious to me when He saved me. There was so much filth in my life, that He had a lot to clean up!

However, I struggled for a long time with my language. You see, I had been taught all of my life that it wasn't a sin to "cuss". That's what we Texans call it, "cussing".

"Cursing" sounds way too proper to a Texan. :)

Actually, there were times when it wasn't even a struggle.

It was just a full-out fold. You know what I'm refering to when I say a "fold"? It's like in poker, when you just admit you're not going to win the hand, you "fold".

(How did I get cussing and poker into a post on a blog about Precept studies?!)

As much as it grieves me to say it, I would often fold rather than submit to God in this area of my life. It was like the one last hold-out in my life.

Sad, but true.

When I boil it all down, it was disobedience.

I realized a while back that I had even begun to think in curse words.

Here I was, a woman who loved the Lord and loved His Word, but because I hadn't been willing to walk in obedience in this area, now even my thought-life was being infiltrated with ugliness and sin!

A few weeks ago I was studying through 1 Thessalonians, and the Lord showed me the very verse that He wants me to quote, to memorize, and to live by in order to see permanent victory in this area of my life.

1 Thessalonians 4:7
"For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification."

Amen! and Amen! and Amen!

This verse really punches a pack for me....there is so much truth in those 14 words!

God called me.
He called me for a purpose, but it's not one of impurity.
He does not call people for the purpose of impurity.
He called me in sanctification. (to separate from profane things and dedicate to God)
If He called me in sanctification (and He did), then there is to be no room in my life for impurity, and I'm sure not supposed to MAKE room for it!

How interesting, isn't it? Even the definition of sanctification tells me that I (have been called) to be separate from the profane, the root word for profanity!


No accident in this conviction, is there?!

I've been praying this verse, and saying this verse a lot lately.

I want EVERYTHING about me to give glory to God, and I do not want to make allowance for sin in my life.

If you want to stop cussing, start quoting this verse every time you're tempted to say something ugly.

And, when you do say something ugly, immediately ask forgiveness for it. I asked a nurse at the hospital last week to forgive me for saying "Cr_p".

He said, "Cr_p?! I say much worse than that!"

But you know what, having to ask a total stranger to forgive me for that was humbling enough to make me not want to do it again anytime soon. :)

Love this verse! Love it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who is my "Crown of Exultation?" Who is yours?

I'm smack in the middle of preparation for the upcoming AZ Precept Leader Training.

(If you want details, please e-mail me and I'll give them to you. We're offering "Basics of Precept Upon Precept" for those new to inductive study, which will also qualify you to lead, and "Precept Leader Training" which is next on the leader track. Or, go to to find a training in your area.)
Oops...I launched into a marketing opportunity there, didn't I? ;) preparing, I'm studying through 1st & 2nd Thessalonians.

Oh MY are these awesome books!

I was going to hop on here and tell you all about my son's 8th birthday, and how he chose to use it to give glory to God, but then really wanted to tell you some about the 1st & 2nd Thessalonians study....and what's so cool is that now I get to do both!

In 1st Thessalonians chapter 1, Paul (and Silvanus and Timothy) are writing to "the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Paul tells them, in verses 2-4 "We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention {of you} in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, {His} choice of you;..."

(For those of you who are Precept students, did you see the list in those verses?)

Here's where it all ties in....

Caedmon had his 8th birthday party last Friday night.
I want to take a minute and tell you about this child...the Lord called Caedmon to Himself when he was 4. It was an amazing, dramatic story..and one I wouldn't have believed had I not seen it with my own eyes. (If you know me, you know I'm pretty conservative.)
He made a confession for Jesus Christ at that time, and has never backed down from it. He loves Jesus passionately, and is the only child I've ever known, personally, who can be verbally rebuked by God's Word, and thus often doesn't need anything more than that to correct him, or to make him return to walking in obedience.

Often times, if he is in disobedience, we'll tell him to go to his room and spend some time one on one with the Lord in prayer, and talk to God about his attitude. More often than not, he comes back in tears, with a repentant heart, and says, "Mommy. I talked to God, and I know I've been wrong. I told God I'd obey. Would you please forgive me?"

Oh man, this is what I want for my children more than anything else in the world...that they will know and fear and obey the Lord!
(While Caedmon isn't perfect, it is exciting to see him growing in the Lord, and maturing both physically and spiritually.)
Well, since Caedmon is now 8, he's at the age where he wanted to help plan his birthday party. We had a good time doing it, and I was blown away - by not only his choices, but his reasons behind them.

This is where the above verse comes it makes me think of Caedmon, and how he is learning to stand for Jesus Christ, in the presence of our God and Father.

First we were choosing his cake. Now, admittedly, I'm not the big "theme party momma" it was nice that he's old enough to tell me what he wants. :)

He was very clear on the fact that he wanted a cake from Costco with the baseball theme that they offer. He loves butter-cream icing like I do, and Costco's cakes are the perfect fix. (See previous post for a good giggle.)

I told him that we needed to decide how to phrase the wording on his cake. I said, "Honey, do you want "Happy 8th Birthday Caedmon" on it?" I don't really know why I even asked him, as it seems a no-brainer to me, but I guess I was just trying to include him in all the decisions.

Check out what he chose, and then I'll give you the why:

"Caedmon Loves Jesus Christ"

When I asked him if he was sure that's what he wanted on his Birthday cake, he said, "Mommy, yes! This is a time to share Jesus with my friends!"

Oh......I wanted to kiss him all over his little face! But, he's 8 now, so that's not as "cool" as it once was! :)

When I called to order the cake, the woman on the other line was very gruff. That's the understatement of the day, actually!

Yet, when she asked me what I wanted the cake to say, and I told her what Caedmon had requested, she softened immediately and said, "Wow! Wow! ......Oh, WOW! That's so nice!"

The next thing we had to decide on was party favors, and Caedmon had his mind made up about this too...he wanted to give each of his friends a Lego "guy".

We couldn't find them locally, and Caedmon said that it was really important to him for his friends to have them, so we ordered them from, and he said he'd forgo party decorations if he could have these in time for the party. (We had to make a choice between the 2, for $$ reasons, and this was his...)

Normally, I'm too tight to pay for such things, but look at the picture of what he chose, and then I'll tell you his "why", and mine too. :)

Caedmon wanted to be able to give his friends a Lego "soldier of the Lord." (He adapted Lego's soldier man to fit the description Paul gives us in Ephesians.) He was so excited to get to tell his friends about the full armor of God! (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual {forces} of wickedness in the heavenly {places.} Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil {one.} And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

"But honey," I said, "There's no belt of Truth."

"MOM! It's under the breastplate of righteousness," he explained.

OOOH! I love this boy!

This boy, who is solely repsonsible for every gray hair on my head.

This boy, who brings me to tears with his detemination.

This boy, who often makes me want to scream, "NO MORE DEBATING!"

This boy, who tenders my heart when he says, "Mommy. Thank you for teaching me God's Word. I love you, Mommy. All the way to His mighty right hand!"

This boy, whom I believe with all of my heart that the LORD God will use (and already does use) to His great glory.

This boy....who sharpens me, and is my crown of exultation.

1Thessalonians 2:19
For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation?

Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

For you are our glory and joy.

"Thank you, dearest Father, for this boy for whom I prayed. I love him dearly, and thank you for all you're doing in his life."

Brennan's journey with the Lord is much different than Caedmon's. He's working in her heart too..I'll tell you about her another day. But, just for fun, here's a picture of her from his party. :)

Have a super day!


Friday, July 11, 2008

THE ABCs OF ME (this should be good reading material if you're hoping to get to sleep quickly!)

A. Attached or Single? Yes. For life. Funny, my kids asked me last night if I'd marry again if Daddy ever passed away. I got all teary eyed and told them "no". I've never had anyone love me like Shane does, and couldn't imagine ever being with any other man.

B. Best Friend? Yes. I'm married to him.

C. Cake or Pie? Wedding know, with the thick slabs o' icing on them. Yummy! My dream cake is made completely out of butter cream icing. Wonder if I'll ever get one? :) If I do, don't ask for a piece of it, 'cause I'm not sharing! ;)

D. Day of choice? Friday, 'cause my honey gets to be home all weekend!

E. Essential item? If you've SEEN my eyebrows since the retreat, you'll know without question. My essential item is eyebrow tweezers! I look like I could open a national forrest on my forehead right now!

F. Favorite color? Green. It soothes. It buys. It proves life. It looks good on my kids. :)

G. Gummy Bears or Worms? I wouldn't eat a gummy ANYTHING if it was the last offering before starving to death! Blech!

H. Hometown? Uuuuuh.....I dunno. I've moved around so much I can't quite answer that. Oh...I know! TEXAS! No, that's not a hometown...that's a whole 'nother country!

I. Favorite indulgence? Sleeping until I wake up....even if it's mid-day. Swimming in my backyard with my family. The new Queso Blanco block 'o processed cheese from Kroger, with Rotel peppers and salty tortilla chips. MMMMMMMMMM....not good for you, though!
I know that much!

J. January or July? January. My birthday is in January. It's perfect weather time in January in Phoenix. Life is fun in January. I come close to getting my buttercream icing cake in January. :)

K. Kids? Yes.
We are.
And we do have.
Kids..we're like silly little college kids around this house, Shane and I. That's the fun in being married to a super funny guy who holds all his super-funny in and saves it up just so he can pour it out on ME when he comes home. His "Sprokets Dance" is the best kept secret in town. :)

L. Life isn't complete without? Inductive Bible Study. Did you really think you'd get anything else out of me? :)

M. Marriage Date? May .....oh, I always forget the exact'll need to ask Shane.

N. Number of brothers and sisters? One older brother. An older sister in heaven. A sister-n-law whom I love and cherish. She counts as a sister in my book. :)

O. Oranges or Apples? Under compulsion...apples.

P. Phobias? Oranges.

Q. Quotes? "Act well your part, for there all honor lies." WS

R. Reasons to smile? Currently, it's listening as my sweet little 5 year old girl is audibly reasoning through her relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father. It's the sweetest thing to listen to, and to watch, as all the pieces are falling into place in her little mind. I think God is getting her prepared for the gift of mercy. She has such a tender heart for the things of the Lord. Tonight she prayed for the North Koreans who need Jesus, and for the people in East Berlin who need the Lord. (Can you tell that we're reading "Brother Andrew" right now?) Talk about being top of mind!

S. Season of choice? Summer. I love to swim with my kiddos and my hubby!

T. Tag 5 people. Uhhhhh.....I gotta get back to you on that one!

U. Unknown fact about me? I got to spend 20 minutes one-on-one with Lynn Redgrave after a performance that she gave at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX in the early 1990s. As an aspiring actress, it didn't get any better than time with her!
She was so gracious and kind, and I'll never forget her taking that time for me.
I was on a first date, and the guy set this up for me as a surprise. was great!

V. Vegetable? Asparagus. MMM, I love it!

W. Worst Habit? Pushing myself until I break. Gotta learn to factor in some rest times. It's just that my time here is short, and there's a lot of work to be done. This drives my husband a bit nuts-o, I'm afraid. I need to rest.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? Is this the best they came up with for X?
I'm gonna change it. Those options stink.

How 'bout this: Xanthippe? No, thank you very much. She was a shrew!

Y. Your favorite food? Anything served with guacamole', spinach queso blanco, and tortillas. :)

Z. Zodiac sign? Oooooh! You hit my hot button, and here right at the end of a fun survey! There are few things I could care less about than this. A few weeks ago, someone asked me when my childrens' birthdays were, and after I told her (unknowing to what was coming) she launched right into their "sign" garbage. They looked at her like she was speaking Latin. (oh wait, even a dead language makes much more sense!)
I'm so glad that I don't base my life on creation anymore...but on the Creator.

OK...way more than you ever wanted to know about me. I gotta go REST!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

AZ Precept Retreat Blog - Check it Out! It's Great!

Hey Friends,

I'm SO excited!

I just had to share the link with you for the AZ Precept Retreat blogsite....just click to see pictures from our recent retreat, and to read comments from the ladies who attended. (C'mon lots of comments, ok?)

Thanks to Davina and PeiWen for making the blog look so super!

Thanks to Janna Arndt for graciously coming to be with us, even smack in the middle of a writing deadline! Janna, think of all the little children whose lives God is using you to impact. You are precious and we love you and thank God for you!

If you're a Precept leader in another area of the country, (or the world) and want information about how to hold an all-Precept retreat, please send me an e-mail, and I'll help you in any way I can. I'll first point you to the right people at the ministry to talk with. :)'s the link:

HUGE thanks to everyone at Precept Ministries International who helped make the retreat time so rich!

We could NOT have done it without all of you! We cherish you all, and praise God for your lives...poured out to Him. What a gift you all are! hoping to see more and more people studying God's Word inductively throughout Arizona soon!

Much love,

Precept Ministries' Fall 2008 Women's Conference

How FUN would it be to meet up at this event?

"Loving God, Loving People"
Learning to Love God’s Way

What did Jesus mean?...when He commanded us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as ourselves? Learn directly from God’s Word how this greatest commandment impacts you today. Understand for yourself how applying this timeless wisdom will not only honor God but enrich your life and the lives of those you love. Join us for an intimate weekend of warm fellowship, inspiring praise and worship, and life-changing Bible study.

Speakers for this event include:

Kay Arthur is an International Bible teacher and four-time Gold Medallion award-winning author of over 100 books and Bible studies. She founded Precept Ministries International with her husband Jack in 1970 with the vision to establish people in God’s Word. Today, Precept studies are in nearly 150 countries and 70 languages. As host of Precepts for Life, a daily radio and TV program, Kay and Precept are teaching millions around the world how to discover Truth for themselves.

Donna Otto is the founder of “Mentors for Mothers,” author of six books, and a Bible teacher/ speaker to retreats, conferences, and seminars around the world. Her messages are incredible, workable, and memorable. The books she has written reflect her love of the Bible and her desire to help women. Her articles have appeared in Virtue, Heart to Heart, Proverbs 31, and Focus on the Family. In addition to her writing, Donna is also a frequent guest on television and radio programs.

Worhip Leader :

Alicia Williamson Garcia is a graduate of Winthrop College in Rock Hill, SC, with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance. She traveled for six years with the contemporary Christian music group, TRUTH. Alicia has also been a faculty member at the Center for Worship at Liberty University and Artist-in-Residence at Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church. She is married to Richard Garcia, and they have two sons.


Friday, Oct. 17th
3:00 pm.Registration Opens
5:30 pmDinner
7:00 pmOpening Session

Saturday, Oct. 18th
7:15 amBreakfast
8:30 amWelcome & Teaching Sessions
12:15 pmLunch
1:45 pmTeaching Sessions
5:30 pmDinner
7:00 pmTeaching Sessions

Sunday, Oct. 19th
7:30 amLight Breakfast
8:45 amTeaching Sessions
10:00 amBrunch
11:00 amTeaching Sessions
1:00 pmConference Ends