Cast Your Cares on Him–Not Control Them

Cast Your Cares on Him–Not Control Them

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
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Cast Your Cares or Control Them?

I Peter 5:7 says, “…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  I have read that verse so many times that I have memorized it.  We are supposed to give everything over to God, but that is so much easier said than done (especially for a control freak like me).  I knew I had to give my worries over to God, but I didn’t know how to do that.  After hearing the song “Cast My Cares” by Finding Favour on the radio so many times, I would cry when I heard it because I knew God was talking to me and I knew I was not obeying Him.

When my husband had his heart attack, I was so distraught.  I was trying to do everything and control everything.  I was having a very difficult time dealing with all that was going on in our lives.  It was at that time that I ran into a strong Christian friend.  (Funny how God does that.)  We started talking and I broke down.  She reminded me that I needed to give it over to God.  

What Does Casting Your Cares Look Like?

I looked at her and said, “I know I’m not supposed to worry, but I don’t know what that is supposed to look like.”

I could not believe that those words came out of my mouth.  Of course I knew what God’s word said.  So many times, I had quoted that scripture, 1 Peter 5:7, but I did not know how to live it.

Many times in my life I thought I had given my problems to God, but I had either given them to Him temporarily or not at all.  I would hold on to it.  I did not know what I needed to do to achieve this.  We are not being obedient to God if every time we pray and “give” him a problem, we turn around and five minutes later “pick it up” and start worrying about it again.  We are telling God that we do not need Him and we do not have faith that He will take care of us and provide for us.

i-looked-at-her-and-said-i-know-im-not-supposed-to-worry-but-i-dont-know-what-that-is-supposed-to-look-like

Do You Pray About Your Cares?

Pray without ceasing!  1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)

Prayer is always the answer.  If we are praying and talking to God about our problems, then we cannot be worrying about them.  This is a constant struggle.  When we go to God with our problems, we should not just say a prayer and move on.  Ask Him to take them away.  Then in five minutes, when you want to “pick that problem” back up, pray again.  Continue to do this until you stop “picking it back up.”  God is bigger than all of us.  He can handle all of our problems.  (Of course, I say all this as I write this at 4:00 a.m.)

I will not say that I am at a point where I cast my cares on Him and am immediately over it.  That is going to be very difficult for a control freak like me.  I am working on it, though.  I have made great strides within the last few weeks.  It becomes easier each day.

 

Is there a care that you are not giving over to God?

Are you holding on to past struggles?

Are you ready to cast your cares on Him?

cast-your-cares-on-him-pinterest

 

It’s Not Over Yet!  {Music Monday}

It’s Not Over Yet! {Music Monday}

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Have you ever had one of those moments in life where it feels like you’re being beaten down from all sides? It might have passed within a shorter period of time like a month or so, or could have lasted years.

Many times we start down these paths knowing we are walking with God but the path He has us walking is NOT an easy one to follow.

Satan does not want us to successfully follow God so he will place discouraging circumstances and people in our paths to deter us from walking across the finish line with God. (Satan did this with Job.  He tried to find a way to get Job to renounce God.)

Some times, God will have us walk through difficult times to teach us to lean on Him and not rely only on ourselves.  (As the Israelites wandered  the desert for 40 years, he taught them in who they needed to place their trust. Jesus’ whole life is a walking illustration of this point.)

As long as we are walking this Earth and we are walking in God’s purpose,we have to remember that “It’s Not Over Yet”and we can’t give up!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

In these times, we have to stay focused on Jesus.  Keep our eyes fixated on our Lord and Savior and not let the discouragement of the situation beat us down. We have to let our faith in what is not seen keep us running for the finish line, wherever and whenever that might be.

Throughout this past year anytime my husband and I didn’t feel like we could make it one more step, he would crank up the song It’s Not Over Yet by For King and Country and we would be reminded that God has us on this path and He will help us finish it.  So we cry out for help from our Lord and Savior instead of giving up.

Surely, you have heard this song, but in case you haven’t here are the lyrics that shout out to keep going…

“This goes out to the heaviest hearts

Oh, to everyone who’s hit their limit,
it’s not over yet, it’s not over yet-et,
and even when you think you’re finished,
it’s not over yet, it’s not over yet-et, 

Keep on fighting,
out of the  dark and into the light (it’s not over),
hope is rising,
never give in, never give up, it’s not over”
It’s Not Over Yet  by for King & Country

Lord, for all of us who feel beaten down and discouraged or that we’ve reach our limits, we ask that you will fill us with your strength, your peace and your promise of hope!  We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to remind us of your hope and to help keep us running strong until we’ve completed the course you’ve set out for us and run into your arms one day! We thank you that we don’t  have to wait for heaven to have you near because you choose to dwell in us daily and be a God who is close to us and guides us as we walk this Earth too. Thank you for loving us this much.  In the One who endured such opposition from sinners, so that we will not grow weary and lose heart – Amen!

It's Not Over Yet! pinterest

 
Bible Journaling Workshop #2

Bible Journaling Workshop #2

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

Mark your calendars! We are so excited to announce our 2nd Bible Journaling Workshop!

When:

February 20, 2016

Time:

9:30am – 12:00pm Central Standard Time

Where:

South Yukon church of Christ
11700 NW 10th St.
Yukon, OK  73099

or

From Your Living Room (if you’re not local)

Cost: (3 Options)

Option 1 – $20

Attend the workshop & receive a goodie bag filled with supplies!
We are getting the supplies at a discounted rate so you will really get some bang for your buck. Bring your own Bible.

Option 2 – $5

If you already have your own supplies or just want to join in on the fellowship and fun, then come along.  You will get your own journaling pen. We will also have some supplies to share like colored pencils, stamps, and practice paper.  This is also a great option to add another family member and share supplies.

All that are able to attend the workshop, will be gifted a Chick-fil-A coupon card for a FREE meal.  McKenzie will teach you a special way to apply paint to your Bible pages with the cards and then you can clean it off and use it for a free meal! Thank you to Chick-fil-A at Yukon for your generosity!

Option 3 – Free

Your own Living Room via Periscope @Create_GreatDay

What is Periscope?  It’s a live video feed that you can watch via your computer or if you download the phone app, you can watch and comment!

Follow us on Creating a Great Day’s Facebook page where we will share the link or follow us Periscope – periscope.tv/Create_GreatDay

Gather some of your friends and join us from wherever you are!

You will need to purchase your own supplies. This is a basic supply list.  We will use a few different items in this workshop than last, but this basic list will work.

@theLetteredLight (1)
A sample of McKenzie’s work.

Our very own McKenzie will be instructing us on how to get started Bible Journaling.

Find more of McKenzie’s work to purchase at her Lettered Light Etsy Shop!

So if you have been inspired by her Bible Journaling Posts, then you will love how she will walk us through step by step the process of connecting with God’s Word on a different level, which is really what Bible Journaling is all about.

Sure, there is some creativity involved but she will show you some of the tips and tricks and best of all you will walk away with an appreciation that anyone can Bible Journal.  It’s not just for the artistically inclined!

Space is limited so register today!

Bible JournalingWorkshop#2!February 20,20169-30am - 12-00pm

Who will you bring to the event?

Bring another friend or family member!

Need more info?  Read about our 1st Bible Journaling Workshop!

Or feel free to ask questions.

 

I Am Resolved…

I Am Resolved…

Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
Latest posts by Toni D (see all)

As the new year arrived, most of us started thinking of our New Year’s resolutions.  As I was thinking of mine, this song came to mind.  Have you read the words to this old hymn? Really, read the words.

I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight;
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

Refrain

I will hasten to Him, Hasten so glad and free,
Jesus, greatest, highest, I will come to Thee.
I am resolved to go to the Savior, Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true one, He is the just one,
He hath the the words of life.

Refrain

I am resolved to follow the Savior, Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living way.

Refrain 

I am resolved to enter the kingdom, Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
Still will I enter in.

Refrain 

I am resolved, and who will go with me?  Come, friends, without delay;
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We’ll walk the heav’nly way.

Refrain

We all have made a resolution before.  Some resolve to lose weight, be healthy, go back to school…the list goes on.  How many of us resolve to make changes in our relationship with God?  Do we hasten to Him?  Do we take everything to God first or do we wait until we are at the end of our rope?

I know I do not always take things to God first.  I am a sinner and I sin (probably every day).  Our goal as Christians is to be like Christ.  To run from sin.  This will not always make us popular with “friends”.  I do things without praying for guidance all the time.

Of course, when something happens, I turn to God.  My family has been through so much this past year, from my son’s horrific car wreck to my husband’s heart attack to my own health scare to my oldest son going off to college.  Through all those things, I turned to God first.  I remember not being able to pray when my husband had his heart attack, but I asked everyone to pray.  I could feel God’s presence the entire time.  I knew that even if I couldn’t pray, others could pray for me.

We usually pray about the “big” things, but what about the “small” things ? God cares about everything that we do.  I remember when my children were little and I had two in a stroller and a five year old.  Going to the mall was a nightmare.  I had a lady tell me that she always prayed for a good parking space at the mall.  I then started praying about that and God answered those prayers.  That may sound trivial, but for me it was huge.  (I no longer pray for parking because I figure another mom with small children needs it more.  Besides, I could use the exercise.)  Remember, if it is important to us, it is important to God.

I Am Resolved (2)

Prayer is not the only way to put God first.  A quiet time in the morning helps to set the tone for the day for me.  I like to spend time in His Word in the morning.  I can tell when I don’t have my time with the Lord.  Quiet time does not always have to be quiet.  I feel such a deep feeling of worship when I play the old hymns on my piano.  There are times that I play and tears just stream down my face.  The words and music just touch me so deeply.  Sometimes, I sing in the car (when I’m by myself because nobody wants to hear that.)  There are so many ways to spend time with God throughout the day.

We should also be sharing the gospel.  This can be scary.  It is easy to talk about Christmas with fellow Christians but sometimes it’s difficult to share Christmas with non-believers.  If we remember that salvation is a gift that God gave us, then we should share that gift with others.  All they have to do is accept His gift of salvation.  We should want to share it.

So this year, I am resolved to focus more on God and take everything to Him first and share His gift of salvation.

What is your New Year’s resolution for this year?

What are some things you do to stay close to God?

Do you find it difficult to share Christmas with others?

What are some ways that you use to share the gospel? 

This Year I will be a Warrior

This Year I will be a Warrior

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I moved to OKC after quitting my jobs as a teacher and YouthIntern to pursue the call into ministry. I started as a non traditional student at Oklahoma where I met my husband. He was a non traditional student working on a 2nd degree after moving from Poland to pursue a degree in Ministry. We dreamed together of serving the Lord in Europe. Now we are blessed to be witness to the awesome way that God works all over the world. We live in Vienna, Austria with our3 kids. We work with Eastern European Mission. We provide Bibles and ethics materials in native languages of Eastern Europe. That means we get to seeGod's hand and providence all over Europe. I am Publishing Assistant at EEM and a fitness trainer. I fill my days caring for my family, teaching gym classes and designing book covers and working on details to provide quality materials to those who need God's word. In my free time I paint, cook, make jewelry and run 2 blogs.
Tamika R
Latest posts by Tamika R (see all)

A New Year. It is like a blank page, full of promise, opportunities, and potential. This past year was like a roller coaster for me. I had a good year personally, but so many times and events were lows that I struggled a great deal spiritually.

I am starting 2016 with a strong resolve to awaken the warrior inside of me. I noticed that the main reason for my spiritual lows was a matter of perspective. I got lazy. I sat down on the job. I stopped looking up, and was too caught up in what I saw as I looked around.

The last several months it has been easy to think about the many what-ifs in life. What if wolves sneak into our churches, countries, and neighborhoods disguised as lambs? What if my child’s teacher leads her astray? What if they don’t like me? What if I never feel settled, loved, accepted, respected? What if I stumble, what if I fall, fail, or someone figures out I am not perfect? I drowned in fear this year. That is very uncharacteristic of me. So I had to stop and look around. How did I lose my way?

I let urgency take the place of importance. Have you ever done that? Let the urgent things in life overshadow what really matters to the point that you forget what is actually worth fighting for?

Where I have been feeling helpless in regard to challenges at my daughter’s school, I noticed I had been complaining instead of petitioning God to help me see the things and people involved through his eyes. While watching Satan attack the Church repeatedly this year I begged him to make it stop. I should have asked him to teach me to fight his way. During the times that stress prevailed and peace seemed far from home, I felt hopeless, when I should have felt empowered because the Lord of hosts is the Lord of my home as well.

I ended the year by standing up to take my place in the Lord’s Army. I am taking the life God gave me back. I have a better perspective now. I have remembered whose side I am on and that we are fighting battles. The war is won. He is victorious. This year I will remember that I fight from a place of victory. I don’t need to fight to win. I need to fight to engage in the battles that the enemy places in our path to cause us to stumble.

How about you? Is there anything you would like to do differently this year? I would love to know about it!

May you be blessed in 2016.

May you know that whatever arrows come your way, the Lord stands by to give you the strength you need to hold up your shield against them.

May you focus on the way the rocky paths build your character.

 

A Nightmare that became a Blessing

A Nightmare that became a Blessing

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

5 years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare.  A nightmare that eventually came true, but turned out to be a major blessing instead of a nightmare.

How did a nightmare turn into a blessing?  Good question. I believe it only turned out that way because we were obedient to God’s calling!

It all started in the Summer of 2010

We came across a book called Walking with God by John Eldredge and it completely changed our prayer life. Between this book and scripture, we saw how God really wants us to pray. Instead of stating to God our plans and asking him to bless them or close the door, we started asking God what all he had planned and how to follow them.  Once we started doing this, our life literally turned upside down and it has been an amazing ride.

December 2010

I woke up in the middle of the night convinced my husband didn’t have a job.  It felt so real. My husband had to calm me down and convince me that he indeed had a job and nothing was on the horizon that he could see that would indicate otherwise.

January 2011

My husband came to me and said through prayer, he believed God wanted us to sell our house, get out of debt, and buy some land.  It would be an understatement to say I was shocked by this.  I was 5 months pregnant, we lived in the house we brought all our children home to and once we purchased this house, I did not plan on moving….obviously, my plan, not God’s.

I never intended to move from the house, we brought our kids home to, but God had different plans.

I never intended to move from the house, we brought our kids home to, but God had different plans.

Ironically, for the previous 2 years God had been working on me in the area of submission.  I wish I could say that I immediately agreed to submit to God’s plan but that didn’t happen.  I actually fought it! I tried to convince my husband that God just wanted us to get our financial house in order instead of actually selling the house.  Thankfully, my husband wasn’t convinced.

June 2011

I called my husband at work and let him know that a real estate agent would be coming that Friday to look at the house.  Needless to say, he was shocked and this was our conversation:

My husband: “Why?”

Me:”You told me God told us to sell the house, right!?!

My husband:  “Yes, but I never thought you would agree to it.”

Me: “I know.  I’m sorry.  She is coming on Friday.”

JULY 2011

With a 3 month old, a 2 year old & a 3 year old, our house officially went on the market on July 15.  Within a week, we had a cash offer. with a stipulation…they wanted our dining room table and my clock collection.

I felt like someone punched me below the belt.  First, I lose my house and now I’m supposed to give up the only thing I collect?!?

This first real big test of listening to God was an eye opening experience.  We prayed about this cash offer and what we heard was not “yes” or “no” but “It doesn’t matter.” We truly didn’t understand what that meant until months later.

At the time, I came to terms with the fact that it truly didn’t matter.  These were just things. Physical. God was calling us and even though I didn’t want to loose my stuff, I figured he had a good reason, if for nothing else to teach me to put Him first, so we agreed to the offer and then I cried.  I never dreamed I could be so attached to stuff.  It was heartbreaking from that realization alone, but I was thankful for God to help me realize it.

October 2011

Month after month went by and we kept getting excuses as to why the closing had to be pushed back. Then finally we learned that the couple did not actually have the cash in hand.  They were waiting for a pay out they had not yet received.

It Didn’t Matter! God was so right that “It doesn’t matter,” because in the end that couple didn’t end up purchasing the house.  Once the house was back on the market, we received another offer.  This time they only wanted the house.

December 15, 2011

4 years ago today, we signed the paperwork and handed the keys to the house over to a wonderful couple. We were excited to see where God would lead us but truly had no idea where or when this would take place.

We did know that with less money tied up in a big house, we could pay off the debts we had been trying to pay off much faster.

Dave Ramsey

We’re DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Summer & Fall of 2012

During the summer of 2012, using the Total Money Makeover plan, we paid off all our remaining debt, saved up 6 months of income (thanks to my husband’s bonuses), paid cash for a celebratory trip to Disney world & then did our debt free scream on the Dave Ramsey show.

By this time, God decided to challenge us in other areas of our lives too like where we were attending worship. We had never prayed about it and once we did, we realized, He again had a different plan than we did. Get all the amazing details to this story here.

Disney

Celebratory vacation to Disney World!

Fast forward a few years to 2015 – present

We now have four kids instead of three and we are officially land owners.  We were able to purchase a piece of property that not only answered our prayers but also matched our pocketbook! The amazing part is we found the land in January, 4 years after my husband listened to God’s calling to sell our house, pay off debt and buy land!

We found a piece of land in January. 5 years after God told my husband to sell the house, pay off debt & buy land.

We found a piece of land in January, 4 years after God told my husband to sell the house, pay off debt & buy land.

Then after changing companies due to divisions being sold or companies being acquired, my husband found himself without a position.  It was the biggest blessing that could have happened.

If it hadn’t of been for the Holy Spirit urging us to sell our house almost 5 years ago, we would have been stuck in a nightmare situation with a big house payment and barely anything in savings. My husband would have been forced to take the first job that came along just to make the house payments or we would have had to sell the house and lots of stress would have been felt from many different angles.  It would have been a nightmare situation instead of a blessing.

As it is, my husband has been able to care for his grandparents, who had some serious issues pop up this summer, find them the proper care they needed and take his time in finding a position that suited him best, one where he can glorify God most and use the talents God has given him to benefit the company too.  We are still actively waiting on where God will place him but trust in His timing.

Loving Grandparents

What a blessing!

Throughout this past 5 years our faith and trust in God has grown tremendously.  We have learned to rely on His plans and not on our own.  I’ve learned to submit to my husband and my God (the majority of the time) and because of our obedience we see his blessings in our life that we didn’t dream of 5 years ago.

Psalm 145 is what my heart has clung to during all these years:

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, LORD;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all the people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
Psalm 145:9-13 (NIV)

How have you experienced God’s blessings because of your obedience?

Has he ever used something you feared to bring you closer to him in a glorious way?

 

 

 

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