Heart Choices: 2009-11-15

Theme Layout

Boxed or Wide or Framed

Theme Translation

Display Featured Slider

Featured Slider Styles

Display Grid Slider

Grid Slider Styles

Display Trending Posts

Display Author Bio

Display Instagram Footer

Dark or Light Style

Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ I Will Rise


It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday. Yay; I really needed this today.

Earlier this week I planned to post another song that a fellow blogger shared with me. I loved the song. However, I can't seem to get this song out of my head. I wake up to it in the morning and can't seem to shake it throughout my day.

So, I had to post it for you. It's called "I Will Rise" and Chris Tomlin sings it so well.

It is so good to be reminded that the victory has already been won. Jesus has overcome. I know the end of the story.

I will rise when He calls ...my name (Debbie).

Knowing this gives me such hope and encouragement even though for now life may be difficult.

I will rise!

I hope you will visit Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders to listen to other participating blogs on Then Sings My Soul Saturday.

Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting Heart Choices.


QuickEdit

What Brings A Smile To Your Face?


What brings a smile to your face? I immediately think of babies, puppies, family and ...God's love.

Today I decided to leave the Fitness Friday posting in the capable hands of Sandy of God Speaks Today and Sarah of All Pain ~ No Gain. BTW, they are each responding to a letter submitted by "Unfit Girl". She admits she knows she needs to start exercising but doesn't know where to begin. I love how Sandy and Sarah each answered her letter in their own unique way.

So, back to smiles. Here are a few favorite photos that make me smile.

This is my friend Jamie's daughter Mary at her first appointment with the dentist.

My niece Katie being goofy with her friends.

Karli experimenting with a new hairdo.

Jill's Noah and Naomi praying. How precious is that?

And here I am with Shanelle. She's my dad and Shari's puppy.

I hope you leave Heart Choices with a smile today.

Life can be challenging but ...we can choose how we respond.


QuickEdit

Thankful Thursday ~ Life



It's Thankful Thursday and Iris of Grace Alone is hosting. Iris is the founder of our Thankful Thursday meme so I'm very grateful and thankful for her.

There are so many times during my week when I remember to focus on what I can be grateful for. I know I will be writing about thankfulness on Thursdays so I'm on the lookout throughout my week. Iris chose the topic of life for this week.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have His Spirit within me. As I walk through this life while on earth, I can have abundant life but only as I live ...in Him.

But I have a choice to make each day and often moment by moment.

Do I choose to satisfy my own wants and desires; my flesh?

Or do I make the heart choice to live in obedience to His Spirit within me?

I can't tell you how long it's taken for me to learn this and walk it out in my life.

I'm so thankful that:

  • When I quiet myself and spend time in His Word, He speaks to my heart. Not in a loud audible voice but He speaks to me through the pages of Scripture exactly what I need to hear.
  • He provides me with all I need.
  • He chooses to use me as a vessel to impact others.
  • He loves me and has chosen me as His own.
  • He strengthens me and upholds me, no matter what life throws at me.
  • He is sufficient for all of my needs.
  • He can use my circumstances for my good and His glory.
  • He brings to my mind a Scripture I memorized just when I need it
  • He provides a way out of temptation.
  • He is my life.

Happy Thankful Thursday!

Thank you for visiting Heart Choices. Will you accept the challenge to be on the lookout for all you can be thankful for this week?


QuickEdit

Walk with Him Wednesday ~ Fear Not


holy experience

For this Walk with Him Wednesday, Ann Voskamp of @ Holy Experience has asked us to share Scripture we've been memorizing.

The older I get, the harder it is to memorize but I'm determined to not let that stop me. I need to do this now more than ever.

And besides, I've stated it repeatedly on Heart Choices ...I am a life long learner.

If I have to share one emotion that I struggle with most in my life, I would have to say it would be FEAR.

I used to listen to Zig Ziglar tapes in my car on my way to work. I well remember the acronym Zig used for fear:

F= false
E= evidence
A= appearing
R= real

As I recall things I worried about in the past, the majority of them never occurred. Such wasted moments spending precious time fearing the future unknown.

My good friend Terri has often reminded me over the years that most of what we worry about never happens. Terri is one of those people who strives to live in the moment and enjoy each day to its fullest.

Which brings me to my memory verse of Scripture:

I have this verse laminated on a card that sits right under my computer screen in my home office. This way I can easily glance down to memorize it.

The phone rings. My immediate fleshly response is ...what now?

But I glance down at Isaiah 41:10 and ...remember.

God is with Debbie. Debbie does not need to fear. He will strengthen Debbie and help her. The Lord God Almighty will uphold Debbie with His righteous right hand.

I answer the phone and continue my day knowing that ...I have nothing to fear.


QuickEdit

I Love Thanksgiving


I love Thanksgiving! But when I took a walk around my neighborhood, I couldn't believe it. The gated entrance is already decorated for Christmas. And several of the neighbors are going all out on Christmas decorations. It's still another week before Thanksgiving and I want to enjoy it.

There are many reasons I love Thanksgiving.

(Photo credit: Country Living)

I love the colors of the season. Fall is such a changing time in nature. Although I live in Phoenix and it's still in the 70's, I'm hoping for a drop in temperatures very soon. And of course, it's only a two hour drive north to Flagstaff where we can enjoy the seasons.

I love decorating the house with fall items. I picked up this special pumpkin in Boerne, Texas while visiting my friend Jamie.

I love scented pumpkin candles and taking out my copy of "Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember" by Barbara Rainey. I read this book every fall. I would highly recommend it to anyone with children who would like to teach them about the history of Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims in a fun way. I would actually recommend it to adults too.

I love having family over to the house for Thanksgiving dinner. This is Greg's family several years ago enjoying our meal.



And since we didn't have enough room at the table, the kids had fun sitting together. BTW, these photos were taken about eleven years ago. I have to laugh because Brittney and Sarah who are pictured on the left are both freshmen in high school now. And Julie is a senior in high school and Bryan is in college. LOL.

And this photo is of Greg's sister Roxann's children who are all grown up. They live on the east coast so we don't get to spend Thanksgiving with Collin, Jason and Megan. But we miss them.

Free Scripture Tags by Edie at Rich Gifts Graphics & Blog Design

Edie of Rich Gifts offered this free Scripture tag for Thanksgiving. You can get the code on her blog. She is so talented and did my Heart Choices makeover.

But I guess I love Thanksgiving so much because it is a time of thankfulness. God has been so good to us in the United States and too often we take our freedoms for granted. Let's cultivate an attitude of gratitude all year round and not just for Thanksgiving.

How about you? What do you love about Thanksgiving? Or do you enjoy this time of year? Not everyone can be with family so how do you still find ways to enjoy it?


QuickEdit

Seeking Significance


Do you long to be significant; to feel that your life is worth something?

People often attempt to seek significance through a variety of ways including:

  • Fame
  • Popularity
  • Financial success
  • Career success
  • Beauty
  • Being loved by someone
  • Marriage
  • Parenthood
  • Doing good works
  • Being an inventor
  • Curing cancer

A few of the ways I listed may be good things.

But recently it really hit me when I was listening to one of Scott Samter's Bible teachings on his blog Opening His Word Together. BTW, he's Jill's hubby of Forever N Ever N Always.

Scott asked how many people remember the names of their great grandparents. Few could say the first and last name of them. It really hit me that we are here for such a short time and yet ... we crave to be remembered.

I realized that I am significant because of who I belong to. I am not significant because I am a nice person or I can help someone. The One true living God loves me and calls me His child. He longs to spend time with me because I am in relationship with Him through Jesus.

Who am I? The words of this song have been continually playing in my head all day today. I had to post this video of Casting Crowns singing it because it is so perfect for this post. Listen to the words and let them sink in.

Our works don't save us. It's all about a love relationship with Jesus.

And out of that love relationship, good works will flow.

But they will be works that He has prepared for me using the unique gifts He has given me.

How special is that? Who am I?

I am a child of the One true God and He loves me.

And that's why ....I am significant!

QuickEdit

Monday Morning Reflections ~ Transformation


Happy Monday morning! The word I have for today is ...transformation.

I was so pleased to be back with my Sunday morning Bible Study Life Group yesterday. We've had some new people join us but most of the core group remains and for that I'm so grateful.

We're going through a study called r12: True Spirituality. The cover of our study guide reads:

A Romans 12 guide to living as an authentic disciple of Jesus Christ.

It's interesting because as a young child, my nana brought my brother Steve and me to Vacation Bible School at her church one summer. My sister Chris was still a baby at this time.

We memorized the whole chapter of Romans 12 in the KJV and it has stuck with me.

Believe me, it's so much easier to memorize as a child. Moms, remember that and don't lose the opportunities.

However, as a committed life long learner, I'm never too old to memorize Scripture even though ...it's much more challenging.

But Romans 12:1-2 has become two special verses for me during this season of my life. It really tells us how to live the Christian life. Many people claim to be believers and followers of Jesus Christ but is there transformation that others see?

I'm not pointing fingers because I was one of those people. I prayed the prayer as a child and invited Christ into my heart. I knew I had a ticket to heaven. But I didn't want to miss out on the fun in life. Or so I thought. Sin can be fun ...for a season.

I prayed when:

  • I was about to take a test
  • I was going on an airplane
  • I had a specific need

But when I think back, I doubt that anyone in my high school knew that inside I claimed to be a Christian. And to me, that is so sad.

Chip Ingram, President and Teaching Pastor of Living on the Edge teaches in this DVD r12 study.

5 practical steps of transformation:

  1. Hearing God's Word
  2. Reading God's Word
  3. Studying God's Word
  4. Memorizing God's Word
  5. Meditating on God's Word

In the busyness of your day, are you taking time to spend in God's Word?

My husband snapped another photo of me having my quiet time early in the morning recently.

I encourage you to establish a daily morning quiet time. Even if you have to set your alarm a bit early before your children awaken or if you can only spare 10-15 minutes right now; it's a start.

I can guarantee that the more time you spend in this way, the more time you'll want to spend. And transformation happens. After all, you can't spend time with the Lord and not be changed.

The byproduct is ...the fruit of the Spirit.

And even non Christians are drawn to those qualities. Who can resist love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

Will you commit to spending some time each morning in quietness before God?

If you have any specific suggestions for establishing this heart choice, please add your comments. I love to read each one of them.

QuickEdit
[name=DEBBIE PETRAS] [img=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2CDrwq9-7eo/WV6tdbP-QgI/AAAAAAACfb0/ViqQSnSVaDsMLXyz3AEEzZ5-78luBHOGgCK4BGAYYCw/s1600/Debbie%2BFace%2Bblog.JPG] [description=]