Sunday Takeaways 5-2-21

In Sunday School and church we are studying our church’s doctrinal statement. Why we believe what we believe. We are doing this for a few reasons; first, we have a number of new members, second, it’s always good to have a refresher, third, you need to be able to explain what you believe when asked.

This Sunday we were focusing on God but what really became clear to me was the subject of prayer. Have you ever wondered why we need to pray if God knows what we need anyway? Ever felt like you simply can’t pray about the same thing again? Ever wondered if your prayers sounded selfish to God? I have. I felt like Pastor Mike explained things in a way that no one else ever had Sunday and I won’t feel like that again.

Why do we pray if God knows what we need? Because God desires a relationship with us. He wants us to come to him with our needs and requests. You can’t have a relationship if you never talk to someone. So, even if you feel silly taking your most simple requests to God, he doesn’t see it that way.

Prayer is also a way to acknowledge God’s power over our lives. We can do nothing without him. Prayer acknowledges that. Prayer humbles us before God as we lay our burdens down at His feet. We are reminded that we may not be able to solve our troubles, our trials, our worries, but He can. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

We are also called to be persistent in prayer. The parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 shows us that. Verse 1 says, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Pastor gave another illustration that helped me see this another way. Matthew 7:7 says, ““Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Look at the action words; ask, seek, knock. He saw these as increasing in intensity. First, you ask, like when I ask my husband to go get something out of the kitchen for me. I ask knowing he’ll do it. I’m sure of the answer. When you seek, you’re seeking wisdom or knowledge. Maybe there is something happening in your life you don’t understand or don’t know how to deal with. You go to God and ask for wisdom or guidance or understanding. When you knock you are facing a closed door. Something you can’t open. Only God can. It’s the time when we need the most help.

What do you do if you need desperate help and you’re knocking on the neighbors door? You know they are home and you really need them. Do you stop after trying once? Or do you keep knocking until someone answers and helps you? Are you persistent in knocking until you get an answer?

For some reason all of this just really clicked for me and solved a lot of unanswered questions I’ve had for quite some time. I could really have listened to a whole sermon focused on prayer with answers like this.

What about when God doesn’t answer our prayer? When we are persistent in prayer, we are asking and seeking? God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we think He should and that can be disappointing but trust that God knows what He is doing. Trust that the answer is the best thing for you. Rest in all the other promises of scripture that tell you He has your best interests at heart. Ask Him why he didn’t answer. Seek Him with all of your heart. Keep asking him why until you understand.

One Year Bible

I’ve been reading this One Year Bible since January. 

I’ve never read the Bible in a year. I always thought, nah, that’s not for me. I think it was the fact that I had to wade through Leviticus and Numbers that put me off. (God, you put those books there just to teach us patience, didn’t you?) Whatever the reason, I never considered it.

Then I had a conversation with a lady in our church that made me think maybe I could do it. I knew my in-laws had given us this Bible for Christmas sometime ago and miracle of miracles we could find it after the move. 

What I’m liking is how reading a little bit of the Old Testament and a little bit of the New Testament reinforces the continuity of the Bible. It keeps bringing to mind facts my boys learned many years ago in AWANA. Facts Pastor reiterated yesterday as we studied why we believe the Bible is true.

The Bible was written by 40 different authors over a course of 1600 years. There are 66 books in the Bible, 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books. And yet, there’s continuity. The story the Bible tells is continuous and connected because it was inspired by God. He allowed for the authors to put their own stamp on it due to their personalities but God inspired the message. 

When you read it all together in a year you see this. You marvel at it. So his is why people read the Bible in a year! 

There’s so much more I could point out but then I’m just repeating Pastor. Go watch the Stromsburg Baptist Church YouTube channel for this week and hear it for yourself!

Anthro Diffuser Blend

1 drop Ylang Ylang 

2 drops Orange

2 drops Idaho Blue Spruce

2 drops Grapefruit 

Adjust these drops as needed for your preference. You can substitute Geranium for Ylang Ylang and Northern Lights Black Spruce for the Idaho.

This blend has power! Total power to calm me down when I feel like my emotions are taking control. The citrus is uplifting and calming. Tree oils ground you but the Idaho Blue Spruce has this warm mellow smell that doesn’t overpower you. And flower oils are joyous and uplifting. Think of blooms popping open. 

You can run around the house finding all the oils or triple the recipe and put them in a dropper bottle by your diffuser. Then it’s ready to go when you need it. Just add 5-6 drops to your diffuser, add water and ahhhh.

Check out my diffuser highlight on Instagram and watch my stories for more recipes.

Easter Sunday Takeaways

Whew! What a week! Was Easter just this Sunday?? I had a short revelation on Sunday and Pastor brought out a verse that I’ve never reflected on before.

First, my revelation. Before we can understand the gift of salvation we have to understand that we have a need for a Savior. Now, you might think, “Well duh, Monica” but hold on for the rest. If we don’t understand the severity of our sin, we don’t understand the need. Again, hang on. In a culture that is making everything all right and letting “you do you” how do we come to understand this?

I’ve never thought of it in quite that way before. As the world gets farther and farther away from using the Bible as a guiding moral compass how do we understand right and wrong? How do we know good and evil? How do we see how far from God we are if we don’t even acknowledge He exists?

Then the verse, or actually verses, Hebrews 2:1-4

“We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to His will.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
https://www.bible.com/72/heb.2.4.hcsb

The Truth has not only been spoken by Jesus, but the disciples witnessed it, the angels proclaimed it and if that wasn’t enough God used signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit to shout it. And I still have friends who believe this is all a fairytale. But with all this evidence we have no excuse for neglecting or rejecting the gift of salvation. We will not escape punishment if we do. F

Friend, have you received the gift of God’s salvation? Do you understand your need? If you are not sure, let’s talk.

Cortistop

When you experience stress in your life your body produces cortisol. If you are under stress for long periods of time you can overproduce cortisol which can lead to fatigue, weight gain and even cardiovascular problems. Cortistop from You g Living is designed to help bring a balance back to the body. Cortistop contains Fennel, Clary Sage, Canadian Fleabane, Frankincense, and Peppermint essential oils plus other essential herbs and nutrients that are known to help with this balance.

This past year we bought and sold a house the first week of shutdown, our two college boys came home from spring break and never left, I shut the library doors for 9 weeks and changed library computer systems. By June when we were living in temporary housing for six weeks I was done. I had no reserves to tap into. I’ve dealt with many hard circumstances in life and pushed through but this time it felt like I just couldn’t push through. When I talked to my counselor about how I was feeling she said all the stress had depleted my body. I needed something to calm down my stress response and give my body time to catch up. She recommended a antidepressant but was okay with me trying the natural route first. I started using Cortistop and it began helping me the very first month.

It’s recommended with Cortistop that you use it for 8 weeks and then stop for two weeks to assess how you’re doing. This is one of those supplements that’s not designed for you to take forever. The two week break helps you assess how you are feeling and if more time is needed. For me, I couldn’t make it without it for those two weeks at first-a sure sign my body not only needed it but that it was helping. I think I did three rounds total to help me level out.

After I told my counselor I had this horrible craving for potato chips and couldn’t not eat them every day she also suggested getting some electrolytes in my system. My insatiable craving was another indication of how bad my body was depleted. I immediately thought of the Vitality Drops from Young Living that contain electrolytes, but I didn’t have any on hand. My husband looked up electrolytes in a reference guide and saw that Citrus Fresh Vitality taken in a capsule was recommended. I tried it and felt so much better! My brain fog disappeared and my energy levels started coming back. I also stopped craving potato chips. Mmmm, Wavy Lay’s.

Please talk with healthcare professional if you are feeling overwhelmed, drained, run down, or depressed. Listen to them. I’m not prescribing anything here, but sharing what worked for me.

Need help getting started with Young Living? You can message me your questions and I’ll gladly answer them. Follow my stories on Instagram for daily tips on using Young Living products. Instagram.com/mrstidyman

Sunday Takeaways 2-28-21

I wanted to finish up the fruits of the Spirit as I can never remember any sermons preached on each of the fruits as Pastor Mike has.

Let’s pick up with fruit of goodness. Pastor Mike defined it as courage to do the right thing even though it is the hard thing. To speak the truth in love even though I may be criticized for it. King Hezekiah from 2 Chronicles 29:2; 31:20 was used as an example. King Hezekiah lived in a time when the children of Israel had forgotten God and worshipped other gods. King Hezekiah destroyed all those other worship places and called the people back to God. That couldn’t have been easy but he chose to do what is right in the face of much poppy.

Faithfulness. There wasn’t a definition for faithfulness, but a call to be faithful as God is faithful to us. Does your spiritual relationship dry up when things are good? Do you bail on God when things are bad? Does he bail on us? Faithfulness also involves being faithful to one another. That others can count on us when things aren’t easy. Acts 2:42 references that when it talks about the early church being faithful to one another and in prayer.

All of the other fruits of the spirit are dependent on the fruit of self-control. If we can’t control ourselves will we be faithful? Good? Loving? patient?

Gentleness is the refusal to use your power to hurt anyone. That’s not just physical. It also includes not being critical or trying to ridicule others. Being careful to not be mean. An unwillingness to act in a way that cuts others.

As a final challenge for the fruits of the spirit Pastor Mike challenged us to examine ourselves. Where are we lacking in any of these fruits? How can we do better? How can the Spirit help us? We are not intended to fight the battle against our fleshly ways and desires in our own strength. When you accept Christ as your Savior the Holy Spirit enters our lives as a Helper. When people tell you to listen to that still, small voice that’s the Spirit helping you live a life that honors God.

How do You Thieves?

Thieves Foaming Hand Soap-a family fave

How do you Thieves? When I was first hearing about Young Living I was a working mom going back to school with kids in junior high and high school. We were busy! We had no time to be sick. I also had a Type 1 Diabetic/Celiac kiddo who couldn’t take most over the counter medicines for colds and such. The ones he could take he wouldn’t because he didn’t like the taste.

So when I heard there was an oil blend called Thieves that could help support our immune systems and could be used to help fight off colds I knew I needed that! Then once I became a customer and joined our education groups I found out about all the hidden toxins in our home that might be contributing to asthma issues and guess what? There was a Thieves for that! As we switched out products in our home the respiratory issues gradually disappeared.

I’m so grateful to learn about all the products with Young Living that have changed our life and that’s why I keep sharing about them with you! What if no one had talked about them in my presence and shared their experiences? I might still be clueless! That would be sad.

Hope

Itty bitty bits of green poking up!

You’ve probably seen the memes that remind us we’re closing in on a year of the two weeks to flatten the curve. A year that has many of us shaking our heads. Political upheaval, censorship like we haven’t seen in our time, media craziness, and more. Many have been home with their children for a whole year. Newborns that have rarely seen anyone besides a family member are turning a year. Many are struggling to find hope. Some have given up hope and others say there is no hope.

But this? This green poking out of the mulch? This was buried in two feet of snow a coupe of weeks ago. Now the snow is gone, the air is warmer and the flower under there has awakened. That’s one place you find hope.

Our church had a baptism today and baptized five adults who chose to make that profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Almost a year ago we didn’t know when or if we’d have in person church again. I find hope in that. Even in the darkest of times Jesus never stops working. To quote a popular song, even when we don’t see him working he never stops.

Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, for hope. Shut off the noise. The alarmist posts, the shouting people, the talking heads, the lies, the fear and bury yourself in Jesus. Worship music, church, prayer and most especially God’s Word. I recommend the Psalms. That’s where I found myself in May of last year and that’s where I found hope.

Sunday Takeaways 2-21-21

Hello! I finally attended church again after missing three weeks. It was good to be back. I will say I was very tired after church and took a nap that afternoon though. That still happens sometimes and I’m told that can last a while so I’m being kind to myself.

We started a new series in Sunday School focused on how to share our faith with others in a good way. I’m sure we’ve all experienced someone sharing their faith in a bad way and it’s not comfortable. The series is actually going to cover several tips that can help anyone in any situation. The video series is called “Tactics” and is on the RightNow media app if you are interested.

Sunday’s lesson reminded us that we all can’t be the harvester. Most of us will only ever be gardeners. Those that plant the seed of faith in people’s life. The speaker likes to say that he’s putting a rock in their shoe, something that will make them want to investigate when he has said. I’m really looking forward to it as I have opportunities for conversations often but I freeze as soon as someone says something negative. This week’s tactic is asking questions and I see how just saying, “Tell me more” or “That’s interesting, why do you think that?” can help me learn more about the other person and not jump to conclusions.

For church Pastor Mike has been going through the Fruit of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22 and this week’s fruit was patience and kindness. Patience is the ability to hold one’s temper or a reflection that we can’t always control our circumstances but we can control our response. Kindness is a helpfulness to others prompted by having experienced God’s love to us.

A couple of points I wrote down:

“Not all fruit comes at the same time. Fruit of the Spirit is a selfless love that comes for others.”

“Church is the locker room – where we develop strategies for how to live life. We draw out the X’s and O’s in church and then go out in the world and live.” I thought that was a very good analogy for church and why people should attend. Would players go out on the field and play without knowing some basic plays? Strategy? Even pickup games have strategy that comes from playing the game before. Everyone has been taught basic offensive and defensive plays and can recognize and execute what the other players are doing. Have you ever been a novice and tried to join a pick up game? How’d that go?

Just like we have to understand the basic set up of the game, plays, and rules we must also have this same understanding to be able to live life according to God’s will. How can we gain this basic understanding? By attending church.

COVID Ups and Downs

Last Sunday I got a horrible headache-thought it was a rebound headache from my PMS migraine on Saturday. Had horrible chills Sunday night and woke up not feeling great on Monday. I was supposed to have hernia surgery on Tuesday so I already had a pre op C test scheduled. I was still shocked to have it come back positive.

Today marks day 7 at home. I’m isolating downstairs or in our bedroom. I guess you would call my symptoms mild. Some body aches and fever and a stuffed up nose. The biggest thing for me is the absolute exhaustion. I was feeling pretty good on Tuesday and I way overdid it. Lesson learned. I’m told day 5-7 can be bad and I did get a headache tonight so maybe?

One thing I’ve been told with this is there isn’t steady improvement. You don’t gradually feel better, you have good days and bad days. You have good moments and bad moments. Good mornings and bad afternoons. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’m trying to conserve energy when I feel good but also keep moving enough I don’t lose all my strength. In the bad moments I’m learning to give myself grace.

Mentally, I’m doing good. I’m a homebody that loves being a couch potato so that’s not a hardship for me. I’m also a major introvert so being by myself is grand. I know this is not the case for everyone and if you’re feeling good but still isolating or quarantined that’s gotta be worse. I don’t feel like doing much so I’m not chomping at the bit to get going. Once in a while I’ll feel good enough to do something and I try to do it but it doesn’t last long.

I’m grateful my lungs have not been affected so far-I hear that can happen in these later days too. I’m a side sleeper by nature so I’m sure that helps. I’ve also been putting all the respiratory oils in the diffuser and on my rib cage. We are parents of kids who had asthma and several rounds with nebulizers. We know what to listen for and what to do. So far, so good.

This is just an update on life and what’s happening. Also a look at COVID through a normal person’s eyes.