Wake Up

My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
James 5:19,20

I fell back asleep the other morning. I couldn’t help it. It was cool out and my bed was cozy. I just didn’t want to wake up. So I shut off my alarm and laid my head down, for just a minute. The next thing I knew, Chase was shaking me and saying, “Wake up Mom. I don’t want to miss the bus.”

I have Carson to get to school after Chase and if I were to miss Chase’s bus and drive him to school, it would start a whole chain of negative reactions and my day would not go so well.

But because Chase woke me out of my sleep, all was well here at the Schneider home this morning. Breakfast was eaten … lunches packed … book bags filled. Time to spare … no stress … no pain.

I was thinking about how sometimes we doze off in our relationship with God. We don’t mean to … but life, as we know it, is comfortable for us and we don’t want to step out of that zone.

It starts out as simply missing a Sunday or two, but then it becomes so cozy relaxing at home on Sunday mornings and there is preaching on the TV, we don’t really need to go to church. And that is true. Going to church doesn’t make us right or wrong with God. It’s what’s in our heart. But God’s Word tells us to not neglect the fellowship of the brethren. We need to hang out with other Believers, for support and encouragement.

Then we start having a couple of drinks on Saturday night, cause we aren’t getting up early for church, so it will be okay. Then we start going out with our friends to the bars, it won’t hurt to go have some fun, we’re just dancing. And we start flirting with someone and the next thing we know, we’re in the midst of an affair or we’re caught up in drugs or alcohol or surfing porn sites on the Internet.

Or maybe nothing quite so dramatic … maybe we just start to withdrawal into ourselves, caught up in that web of depression that never seems to let go of us. Or maybe we keep ourselves so busy with work or our kids or _____, that we just don’t have time for God anymore.

Regardless of the situation, the result becomes the same, God is not in the picture, he’s not a part of our lives.

Then one of our good friends comes along and says, “Hey … wake up. What are you doing?”

And we stop and take a look at our lives. We realize the mistakes we made, and we get down on our knees and ask God to forgive us. Then we move forward … with Him!

Father, thank you for the amazing grace that you offer to us. If we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank you Lord for loving us, so very much.

I Love You Jesus.
   In Your Name I Pray,
   Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

It’s All Because Of Jesus!

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True Love

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

February 14th is always a day that brings to mind flowers, hearts, chocolate and love.  I woke up yesterday to a sweet card from my sweet husband. I gave my boys their own special box of chocolate.  We played the movie, Fireproof, at church.  It was definitely a special day.

I was curious as to how this all started, so I looked up the history of Valentine’s Day. There are three or four stories explaining its origin,  I like this one:

Around the year 270 AD, the Roman Emperor Claudius II, issued an order forbidding marriage. The Roman Empire was being attacked on all sides by its enemies, and the Emperor felt the men would be better soldiers, more dedicated to their task, if they did not have wives and families at home waiting on them. So … no marriages were allowed. There was a priest near Rome, named Valentine, who commiserated with these young men, and married them in secret.

When Claudius learned of the priest performing secret marriages, he had him thrown in prison. While there, he met and fell in love with the jailors daughter. Just before his execution, he wrote her a letter declaring his love for her and signed it “From Your Valentine”, a phrase that is still widely used today.

Now, this love story may or may not be true.

But I do know a love story that is true. It’s a story of a God who loves us so very much, that he sent his only son to this earth to die for us. So that we could live with him, forever.

I have two little boys. I can tell you this. I would not let my sons die for anyone. I can’t love as God loves because God is love, according to I John 4:8.

The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God’s love is unconditional, and it’s not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn’t love us because we’re lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love.

If you’ve never experienced this love – true love — maybe it’s time for you to get to know God?

Father, thank you for your love. A love that really is beyond measure. I know I cannot grasp it, but I am so very thankful for it.

In Jesus Name I Pray,
Amen
 
God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

 

It’s All Because Of Jesus!

Finish Strong

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13,14)

Whether you are a football fan or not, I hope you can appreciate the New Orleans Saints win over Indianapolis in the Super Bowl this past Sunday.  I wasn’t rooting for the Saints, but after learning their history, I have a newfound respect for them.  The Saints team was founded in 1967. They went more than a decade before they had a .500 season, two decades before having a winning season, and over four decades before reaching the Super Bowl.  Four decades … that’s 40 years before they hit their goal!  That’s a long time!

At the end of last season, the quarterback for the Saints, Drew Brees, decided to inspire his team by giving them an inspirational book called Finish Strong.  It was filled with stories about people overcoming adversary with courage.  Finish strong became the team’s mantra, and they carried it forward, not only in their life, but on the football field, overcoming much adversity to become Champions of the National Football League!

Finish strong is a challenge that is given to us over and over in God’s Word.   We can’t change our past, but we can move forward to our future.  David committed adultery, had a man killed and yet God called him a man after his own heart.  He was one of the greatest Kings of Israel and part of the lineage of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Moses got angry and killed a man, yet God used him to free the children of Israel from captivity in Egypt.  Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho, yet God used her to save her family from destruction and she was the Great-Great Grandmother of King David.  The Apostle Paul had Christians killed, yet God used him to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles and he wrote a good portion of the New Testament. Paul didn’t focus on his past, but moved forward … pressing towards the goal of Jesus!

I had a pretty rough start … drugs, alcohol, promiscuity – lots of wrong choices, but I am leaving my past behind and straining forward … pressing in … pressing on … I am finishing strong with JESUS!

Thank you Jesus that you have given us the opportunity to be new creations through you!  Thank you that we don’t have to carry the weight of our past, but can be free to move forward and to finish strong, through you!

I Love You Jesus!
   In Your Name I Pray,
   Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!
Joyce

It’s All Because of Jesus!

Yard Sale

We had a yard sale on February 6th to raise money for  Women’s Ministries!  Thank you to everyone who helped either by donating items or working to sort and tag and then helping out the day of the sale!  We raised close to $1100!! 

The youth had a bake sale that day to raise money to help Haiti … they raised $120!

My Carson set up a table selling discount restaurant cards and earned $60 or $70 towards his summer Scout Camp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a good God Day!

 It’s All Because of Jesus!

January Living Stone – Robyn Kitchen

Robyn Kitchen – January  2010 – Tree of Life Living Stone

Robyn Kitchen is an encourager.  She loves to lift others up, to help them see the Jesus side of life.  Robyn  is in charge of the card ministry here at The Tree.   When  you celebrate a special day, Robyn celebrates it with you!  Anytime an extra hand is needed, Robyn is more than willing to step up!

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
   I Peter 2:4,5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All Because Of Jesus!

Planting Seeds of Character

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 5:15

Webster defines character as: moral or ethical quality; good repute; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity.

I define it as ‘what you do when no one is looking.’

Every night, when I pray with the boys before they go to sleep, I ask Jesus to help them to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. I want Carson and Chase to be men of good character.

And those seeds have to start taking root, today. They have to be boys of good character and then teens of good character to grow into men of good character. It won’t happen overnight. And they won’t just wake up one day, when they are 30 years old and be moral men.

And it won’t happen on their own. They need God’s guidance, and our constant nurturing.

Bobby has started a garden. He’s turned part of our back deck into his own little flowering domain. He has herbs and vegetables and fruits growing. He even spent the day screening in his section of the deck, so Zeke can’t get into his plants and eat them.

Bobby is spending a lot of time with those seeds. He’s watering them and he’s protecting them and eventually, they will produce good fruit. But it will take effort and care.

Just like our little boys. What we put into them today – will produce a fruit later on. And with God’s help, those little guys will be strong trees of good repute!

Father, you give us so many examples in our daily life, to learn how to walk in your ways. Thank you for the lessons … always the lessons. And Jesus, thank you for blessing me with a family that I love so very much. And nope, we’re most certainly NOT perfect, but you love us anyway. Lord, thank you for the good seeds that are growing inside of Carson and Chase. Nurture them Lord and let them produce a harvest for you!

I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

It’s All Because of Jesus!