Sunday, March 30, 2008

God Has A Purpose!

"Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" Exodus 4:11

It doesn't matter if your child has/is:

*ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
*ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
*ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
*CF (Cystic Fibrosis)
*CP (Cerebral Palsy)
*DD (Developmental Delays)
*DS (Down Syndrome)
*LD (Learning Disability)
*MR (Mental Retardation)
*SB (Spina Bifida)
*Blind, deaf, mute, handicapped
or just plain BAD (what I call needing Beyond Average Discipline) :-)

God made your child exactly how he wanted him to be. He didn't make any mistakes or say "Opps, I messed up that time!" God wanted your child like he is so "that the works of God might be displayed in him to display His glory" (John 9:3). No matter how minor or severe your child's needs are, NOTHING will hinder God's purpose for him. The Word says, "The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands" (Psalm 138:8). God's purpose may be very different than what we would have preferred. But His purpose will ALWAYS be better for us and our children. "God is good and He does good" (Psalm 119:68)! May we, as parents, submit to God's will for our children and do our part in the unfolding of God's purpose for their lives.

So, click on the video below to check out an example of God's goodness & purpose in a young man's life and his dedicated father by his side.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Living Beyond Yourself

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

I just finished up my 1st Bible Study at my new church. I love Bible Study! What can beat studying God's Word for yourself and then coming together with other sisters in Christ and sharing what the Lord has taught each of us. It's definitely life changing! Well, this study was probably the best one I've done. We studied Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself - "Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit". It was Very Bible-saturated, Very real, & Very convicting! I just wanted to share some key characteristics of each fruit of the Spirit.

* LOVE - "Agape (divine love) always flows from what is right and best. It is not as much a feeling as it is a response. It is not fueled by the desire of its recipient; it is fueled by the need" (p.59).
* JOY - "Defiant joy is a joy that defies circumstances. Few conditions are more unique to a believer's experience and peculiar to the world than a joy that defies our pain" (p.93).
* PEACE - "The key to being filled with the Holy Spirit so that God's peace may be released within is a mind focused on Him. The peace of God sustains abundant life" (p.112).
* PATIENCE - "The practice of patience helps complete something lacking in us." As we patiently wait for difficult circumstances or people to change, God is working His likeness in us. "Convenience never produces character" (p.134).
* KINDNESS - God is right there in your suffering, grief, & despair. "You are richly loved, do not give up. Once you've had a true glimpse of God's tender heart, you will begin to understand that if the Savior says "no" to your cry, it is because He's saying "yes" to eternal kingdom profit" (p.139 paraphrased).
* GOODNESS - "The most foundational truth about God is that He is good. What God does is good because of the good it does" (p.155). He calls us to do good and to serve others so that they can experience God's goodness through us.
* FAITHFULNESS - "Faithfulness is believing the reality of a sovereign God. God created us to bring Him pleasure. Our calling is to please Him--to wake up every morning saying, "Yes, Lord." then live through the day to discover His questions" (p.157, 162).
* GENTLENESS - "The Greek word for gentleness is praotes. It describes the complete surrender to God's will and way in your life. It basically means to stop fighting God" (p.178). It's about having a teachable, humble, and submissive attitude.
* SELF-CONTROL (Definitely the most challenging for me!) - "The key to self-control is the refusal to allow our enemies (the flesh, the world, or Satan) to rule or hold us captive in any way. Self-control is the decision to remain within the boundaries of victory! (p.201,202)

Only in Christ, are we able to live beyond ourselves by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pic of the Week!

Never A Care

Taken on 4.22.06 outside my Houston house.

Scripture it reminds me of - "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Matthew 6:26

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Steadfast Love

I had one of those long mommy nights last night. Carysse is having a rough time with teething. This is all new to me because Christian went through teething with ease. I was up with her until 2:45AM. I'm one tired mama this morning, but Praise God for His steadfast love and presence to fill me with His strength and energy today.

Through the Bible plan that I'm going through, I'm currently at Psalm 36. For the past few Psalms, I've been circling all the verses about the Lord's steadfast love for His people. Within 6 chapters (Psalm 31-36), His steadfast love was mentioned 10 times! By this repetition, the Lord really wants to emphasize the need for us to fully accept, meditate on, & trust in His steadfast love for us. These verses ministered to me this morning, so I wanted to share them with you. No matter what you are going through, they can definitely be food for your soul.

* Psalm 31:7 - I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.
* Psalm 31:16 - Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!
* Psalm 31:21 - Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
* Psalm 32:10 - Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
* Psalm 33:5 - He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
* Psalm 33:18 - Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.
* Psalm 33:22 - Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
* Psalm 36:5 - Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
* Psalm 36:7 - How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
* Psalm 36:10 - Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!

May His steadfast love be your delight today!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Not Guilty!

I just woke up from a crazy dream. It was so weird. A few people that I have admired throughout my life were making a joint effort in falsely accusing me of something. They were diligently trying to find something to promote their case. I couldn't believe their ridiculous efforts, but others were starting to get involved because my accusers were so adamant about it. It looked so hopeless for me. Right before they were to take me to be officially prosecuted, I woke up...Thank God!
As soon as I woke up, I thought about how guilty I used to be before the Holy God. My thoughts and my actions were dominated by sin because I had a sin nature (Romans 3:23). These sins were filthy & disgusting and everything God accused me of was true. Because He is a Righteous God, He had to punish me. I deserved His punishment, His wrath, and eternity in Hell (Romans 6:23).
BUT GOD! He knew I was in a hopeless state, so He sent His son, Jesus, to pay the price for all my sins and your sins. He died in our place on the cross. He did this because He loved us (Romans 5:8). So, by God's gift of grace, we are justified through the redemption that is Christ Jesus... (Romans 3:24). We cannot earn this gift, all we must do is accept it (Romans 10:9-10).
Are you ready for more good news??? He didn't stay in the grave! He rose and He lives in each believers' heart, and He will one day come back for us.
Halleluiah! There is no better news on this Good Friday! Just because you may have celebrated many Easters in the past, don't let these truths go by nonchalantly or let the things of this world distract you or your children. The bunny, the eggs, the candy, the baskets, the fancy outfits, the family gatherings, the feast can never top Jesus. So, don't let them! May Jesus be our focus and delight this whole weekend.

Have a Good Friday & Eternal-focused Easter!

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:30

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Seasons of Life

This picture was taken this morning. The interesting thing is that most of the snow had melted a couple of days ago. Things were looking like spring in MN, then I got up and saw this! However, I love the change of seasons because it reminds me of the many spiritual seasons that a believer has in their life.
Spring blossoms as a season of anticipation and new beginnings. It could be considered a season of spiritual growth. Then Summer’s warmth brings relaxation and excitement. You’re excited about all the blessings that God has given you and all that He has taught you. Fall breezes in and things may not be as exciting. You notice that you’re not doing the things that you were previously doing. Your morning quiet times don’t seem the same. The Lord may not seem as close and it may be harder for you to hear from Him. Then the coldness of Winter brings many bitter trials. It may be so hard to bear them that you just want to hibernate until it’s all over. On the contrary, this season can be a time to reflect on the God that has taught you about Himself in the Spring, gave you many blessings in the Summer, and caused you to seek hard after Him in the Fall. If you keep your focus on Him, winter can actually be the season when you see Him more clearly and draw near to Him more closely. So, if it wasn’t for winter, I don’t think we could truly appreciate the other seasons. May the Lord give us a heart of contentment and gratitude in whatever season we are in (physically or spiritually).

The seasons will always change, but our God will never change!
(Heb. 13:8)

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace…11He has made everything beautiful in its time… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11a

Sunday, March 16, 2008

From Mardi Gras to Ministry

Today marks the 13th Anniversary of the day Jesus Christ came in and wrecked Kempton's sinful life for a total spiritual transformation. Kempton was approached in Mardi Gras by a street evangelist (Praise the Lord for street ministry!). On the spot, he repented of his sins and asked the Almighty Savior to have dominion of His life. Soon after that, the Lord spoke to Kempton and told him to preach & proclaim His name to the world.

Thirteen years later, by God's grace, Kempton is still in love with Jesus and lives his life to share the good news of the Gospel & minister to God's people.

What a joy to be married to a man of God who loves Jesus more than He loves me! The love that he has for the Lord overflows onto me and our children and I couldn't ask for anything better.

So on today, my sweetie, I give God all the Praise for what He has done in you & through you.

I pray that these will be your words at the end of your journey; before the Lord takes you HOME...
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7

I Love You!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Attack of the Tickling Daddy

video

Praise Jesus for 10 months my sweet, giggling baby!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The God of Extremes

After giving birth to Christian, a friend visited me in the hospital and said, “Nothing happens normally for The Turners; but God gets the most glory that way.” Wow, was she ever right!

I think I was set up for an Extreme Life from the start, I...
* Was an American baby of African descent born on Japanese land.
* Lived in Europe ¼ of my childhood.
* Married my childhood sweetheart after having no contact for over 6 years.
* Had my first born child at 25 wks gestation (3½ months early).
* Have a non-verbal 5 yr old with a cognitive development of a 1 yr old.
* Have a 9½ month old who catches everyone’s eye.
* Just moved from one boarder of the U.S. to the other.

But, did you know that we, believers, serve a God of Extremes?!?!

He commands us to…
1) Trust in God at ALL times! Psalm 62:8
2) Pray at ALL times! Eph 6:18
3) Love at ALL times! Proverbs 17:17
4) Do Righteousness at ALL times! Psalm 106:3
5) Bless the Lord at ALL times! Psalm 34:1

None of us are perfect and no one will at ALL times live up to these standards. However, we have a God of grace who helps us in striving to live an Extreme Life for His glory. Praise God for His mercy!

Monday, March 10, 2008

It’s time to BOG on the Blog!

Christian had his 1st neurology appt in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago. The doctor was speechless & impressed by Christian's progress. Remember when his Houston neurologist was speechless by all that Christian was able to do and especially that he could walk into his office?!?! Well, this doctor was as surprised. Christian had an EEG done and it showed no signs of current seizure activity. He said that his development is exceptional with the type of syndrome & brain delays that he has. For those of you who don't know, Christian has Sturge-Weber Syndrome (http://www.sturge-weber.org/). He has bi-lateral involvement (covers both sides of the brain) of the syndrome which is medically the most severe type. According to the medical world, he shouldn't be doing anything that he's able to do especially walk. Also, by the look of his brain, he medically “should” be having seizures every day all day. By the grace of God, Christian hasn't had a seizure since Sept '07 and that was because he had pneumonia and had a fever of 104. No one can medically or logically explain his progress, but we know who can and we're giving Him ALL the Glory for it.

May the Lord provide many opportunities for you to BOG today!

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! Psalm 22:22-23

FYI: BOG means BRAG ON GOD!!!

When There’s A Pause

My babies are sick :-(. I think they caught the flu bug that’s going around. I have to admit that I can be really selfish when my kids get sick. Many times, I would immediately think, “Oh no, now I won’t be able to go …, or do…, or have…” It was all about how their sickness was going to put my life on pause for a week or two. Praise God that He’s changing my heart. This time I’ve been considering it a joy to be able to serve my children through the grace that I’ve been given. This “pause” in my routine is from the Lord and I must use it for His glory. In the book that I’m currently reading, Praise Her in the Gates by Nancy Wilson, there’s a chapter all about, “When the Kids are Sick”. She says, “When children are ill, it is a wonderful opportunity for teaching. You can model patience and cheerfulness to them when you get up in the night to comfort and minister to them. Sickness is a good time to teach them about compassion and mercy, as well as about the frailty of life. Use all these times for spiritual profit” (34). So, my prayer for myself and all moms that have to care for sick children short or long-term, is that we would look to God for the grace needed and cherish these times to minister to our children as the Lord ministers to us.

Use the “pause” for His Glory!
“…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Life in a Fishbowl

When we first moved into our house, someone said, “You probably want to get your window treatments up right away because you wouldn’t want to live in a fishbowl.”

Ever since then, I’ve pondered that thought, “Life in a fishbowl”.

Recently I was talking with a friend who also has a son with special needs and she shared that she was tired of living in a “fishbowl”. She said, “I wish people would stop looking at me and just jump in with me.” I then told her that, “They can’t jump in because they can’t swim in that water.” God has specifically chosen her for that fishbowl.

I’ve lived in a “fishbowl” for most of my adult life; first, as a Minister’s wife and then a Pastor’s Wife. For the last five years, a Mother to a child with significant special needs.

I used to think my life was on stage for the world to see, but that’s not true. It’s more like a fishbowl. The difference is a person gets to choose what they show the world if they’re on stage; all that is not “normal”, less desirable, or difficult to bear stays backstage and they show the world what they want them to see. In a fishbowl, all is seen…the strengths, the weaknesses, the joys, the sorrows, the abilities, the disabilities, and so forth.

So, this Blog is all about the defining moments in my “fishbowl”. It is about how God is teaching me to embrace being in it as His sovereign will and helping me to surrender to His eternal agenda for my life.


Be Blessed!