If God Has A Brag Book, I Want To Be In It

I have not had time to write many posts lately with the move to our new home, our new grandbaby, and with family coming to visit, so I thought I would repost some of my favorite posts.  I love this one. It may be my all-time favorite post, because I so want God to brag on me! I would like for Him to say, “Well done, Linda” everyday. Even when I fail each day, and allow God to pick me up, I think he says, “Well done, Linda!” God is a God of mercy and compassion. He cheers each of us on each day, so we will finish well. If you are reading this post, picture God cheering you on, because He is!

baby bookI have a baby book for each of our children.  I brag about their tiny footprints, their cute little baby pictures, and their adorable toddler and childhood photos. In each baby book I have recorded their milestones; their “firsts.”

 

  • First time baby slept through the night (I really loved this one)
  • First smile (I loved this one too)
  • First laugh (and this one too…well, I loved all the firsts)
  • First time to sit up
  • First word
  • First tooth
  • First crawl
  • First food
  • First step
  • First birthday

I also recorded special moments that were dear to my heart and special hopes and prayers for our children in their detailed baby books. Each child brought so much joy to my heart. Kids say the most adorable things.  I recorded many of those cutesy things they said in their baby book, and would get their books out and read to them when they were older.  Back in the day, we had a tape recorder.  We were playing the tape recorder when our toddler son, Brandon, put his ear close to the tape recorder and said in baby talk, “There’s people in there.” 🙂

Mothers love bragging, I mean, talking about their children to others.  And…unless you have time on your hands, you don’t want to ask a Grandmother about her grandchildren. Grandma’s are so proud of their grandchildren and may even bring out Grandma’s Brag Book to show you their pictures and brag on them.

I started wondering if God has a Brag Book on His children. You know, God bragged on Job, so He just might have a brag book on his faithful children. In the Bible, this is God bragging: “Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 2:3) To me, this sounds like God is bragging.

Look at Psalm 139:14,15: God was bragging on each of us as He created us. Picture God creating you as He says, “You are:

  1. “fearfully made” which shows the extreme value God places on your
    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    life.

  2. “wonderfully made” which proves your uniqueness.
  3. “curiously wrought in the womb” which in the Hebrew means  needlepoint and embroidery, demonstrating God’s attention given to every detail of your being. Isn’t that exciting?

God took intricate measures to create each one of us within the womb with utmost delicate care. Because the Bible says so, we know God wrote these details of creating each of us in a book just like a proud parent does. “And in thy book all my members were written…were fashioned.” (Psalm 189:16) God is our Abba Father, our Daddy, our Creator. Verse 17 says His thoughts toward each of us are precious and more than the grains of sand.

If God has a Brag Book about His faithful children, I believe He enjoys:

  • Remembering our Spiritual “Born Again” Birthday.  I know my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your name is too if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You and I came to the Lord in childlike faith trusting Him to save us. I do know for a fact there is a celebration that goes on in heaven when a person is saved. It’s a Born Again Party! “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:7) I like to picture the day of my salvation and how all heaven rejoiced.
  • Remembering those steps of faith we took that seemed like the impossible. Then how we rejoiced in thanksgiving when we saw God work it out for good. (Romans 8:28,29)
  • Remembering how we, like little children, felt helpless and put our entire trust in Him.  Remembering how the going got difficult, but we trusted God to keep us going. (Proverbs 3:5,6) Like a loving Father, He carried us!
  • Remembering how we never quit on God, but kept doing what we knew pleased Him. (Galatians 6:9)
  • Remembering all of the Daily Quiet Times where we were alone in the presence of the Lord being fed like a baby desiring nourishment from His Word.
  • Remembering how we often cried out to the Lord like a child needing help in our sweet time of prayer. Remembering how thankful we were with His incredible answers to our prayers.
  • Remembering how we daily totally surrendered and said, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, LORD to Thee.”
  • Remembering how we obeyed and shared the plan of salvation to I want to be in God's Brag Book ~~others~ Remembering our beautiful feet. (Romans 10:15)
  • Remembering how we gave to others and served in the name of Jesus.
  • Remembering how we encouraged others and used our talents for the Lord.
  • Remembering how we diligently did the will of God and how we sought to please God with our lives.

I think God would have these precious thoughts about you and me recorded in His Brag Book.  I can picture our Abba Father taking His Brag Book out and saying of you and me, “Look at my faithful servant…”

“Heavenly Father, if You have a Brag Book, I want to be in it. I desire to live to make You smile.”

“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16

Unusual Gender Reveal of Twins To the Parents

I have my bags packed right now, ready for the call.  Kristen, our daughter is expecting their 5th child, and her midwife said she could go into labor any day.  We are so excited!

A childhood friend of our daughter Kristen, Heather Olsen Marx is only three days younger than Kristen. Heather is also expecting!

“I said to myself, while rubbing my huge belly, ‘It’s a miracle… truly a miracle!’ Even now at 35 weeks pregnant with twins, I am still amazed at God’s sweet answer to my prayer.” http://brianandheather.wordpress.com/2013/05/21/a-miracle-2/

Heather and Brian live in Indonesia. They have one precious son, named Ethan. Heather recently experienced a miscarriage.  She prayed, asking the Lord for twins. A month after the miscarriage, the Lord answered. His timing was perfect for her to deliver the twins while on furlough in the USA.

“So why are we having twins? GOD! I know my family history back to the 1600s. There are NO twins in my direct line. I asked God for twins and God said, ‘Okay, I’ll bless you with twins!’ Praise the Lord for our miracle babies!”

Heather and a good friend, Rachel Gastinel Palmer are both expecting twins.  Rachel was also Kristen, our daughter’s childhood friend. Our family went on a memory filled mission trip with the Gastinel family where many trusted Jesus as their Saviour.

Now, the unusual gender reveal for the parents, grandparents, relatives and friends:

Heather told me, “We asked our ultrasound tech not to tell us the gender but to just write it down in a sealed envelope. My brother in law, Bobby is the only one who saw both our envelope and Rachel’s envelope before the party… Because he is the one who filled the boxes with the correct color of balloons.”

Gender Reveal

 

Palmer twins are?

Let the celebration begin!!
Let the celebration begin!!

 

Praise God!!
Praise God!!

Heather just gave birth to their miracle twin blessings from the LORD~

Jayden & Elyse (Laura Olsen~Photography)
Jayden & Elyse (Laura Olsen~Photography)

 

Confession of Carelessness and Craigslist Deals

In the photo of the hand, one of these is not like the other. I am slowly pecking as I type today, because, I must confess I was a careless homemaker yesterday. What started out as an overly excited “me” to get outdoors in the gorgeous spring weather and trim hedges, turned out to be a disappointed “me,” who stayed indoors all day at the doctor’s office. Plus, my husband’s plans were drastically altered.

While I was using the electric hedge clippers, I clipped more than our bushes. My hand after visiting the doctorAfter 7 stitches, my fingerprint is forever changed…the underside of the last joint of my finger was badly cut. (On my pinky finger, the yellowish tint is iodine from the doctor cleaning the wound.)

We had  a nice time chatting with the doctor while she was stitching my finger up. The doctor was talking about how she was not a perfectionist with cleaning house, lining her shoes up….

I laughingly commented, “That’s alright.  Just so you are a perfectionist when it comes to sewing.”

Then the doctor told the nurse, “This lady is vain about her hands.” 🙂

After much sympathy, we were all joking about my accident and condition. Barry is so funny.  He wanted me to post the gross picture of my finger all cut up.  MEN!

Our son: “Mom, you should have first watched ‘Two Handles, Two Hands’ safety video.” 🙂

“Yes, son, wish I had. What I did is what you should not do. Let this be a lesson for you.”

My nurse friend, Pam Iraggi: “The doctor DID tell you that you may not lift a finger (any of them) til those stitches are out, right? No cooking, no cleaning, no laundry….I’m sure Barry will make sure you follow doctor’s orders!” Lol!

Barry:  “I rented her a movie, bought her dinner, and have her all comfy watching her movie….but told her the doctor said by tomorrow A.M., she should be able to get back out there and work in the yard, finish trimming the bushes, chop some firewood, clean the house, take care of my meals, and any thing else I need her to do. Pretty sure that’s what the doctor said.” : )

The truth is, oh how I wish I could go back and trim those bushes making sure I kept both hands on that electric hedge clipper.  I shudder to think about how much worse it could have been. The other truth is that my husband is treating me like a pampered princess. I am blessed. I am guarding this finger. Please pray I do not get an infection and the healing process will be good and fast. Thank you!

Confession: Lately, I have been writing much about forgiving others. On the way to the doctor’s office, I was mad. I was mad at me! Yes, I was! Barry told me I needed to forgive myself. He was right. The carelessness was done, and there was nothing I could do to change what happened. I went through the motions and forgave myself.

The doctor suggested I never ever clip hedges again. No way! I will clip hedges again. I think I will probably be the safest hedge clipper ever. Learning this lesson the hard way might not be a smart way to learn a lesson, but it is a lesson I have learned well.

Since I can only peck a little at typing, I thought I would show you some of our Craigslist deals God blessed us with. I enjoy getting bargains, and we had a nice time meeting people while finding these deals.

I love my Craigslist Chair for $150.  The lady, who owned the chair lives in North Carolina now, but graduated from LSU just as we did…small world.  We also bought the foyer table from her for $50.

Craigslist Chair~150.00
Craigslist Chair~ $150.00

 

The artist of the floral painting above the foyer table is our daughter, Melinda. When decorating, I only surround myself with what I love and need. This painting is special to me and beautiful.

Foyer Table~$50.00
Foyer Table~$50.00

 

For Barry’s Man Cave~ Roll top desk and chair~$200.00 on Craigslist

Roll top desk and chair $200.00
Roll top desk and chair $200.00

Man Cave wall hangings~ The prints were a gift, and I found the Man Cave hanging for $6. I jokingly told Barry it was just a decoration and not to take it seriously. 🙂

Man Cave Wall Decor
Man Cave Wall Decor

Melinda, our daughter shared her exciting news with me.

She exclaimed, “God loves me!”

sofa setMelinda shopped at a local furniture store. The sofa, love seat, ottoman, and throw pillows she liked the best cost over $2000. Discouraged, Melinda went home and talked to the Lord about the expensive furniture. She decided to look on Craigslist.  To her surprise, the exact furniture she wanted was for sale at half the price, and was brand new with tags still attached!  The lady had changed her mind…Melinda was in awe and so thankful to the Lord!

The key is to talk to God about our needs and little desires.  God cares about the little things that are important to us. Why? Because, you and I are important to God!

Would you like to share your story of God giving you a desire of your heart? It is beneficial to remember your story, to write it down, to never forget and to thank God.

Two Times We Should Praise God

What two times should we praise God?

1.  When we feel like it.

2.  When we don’t feel like it.

Monday, March 11, 2013: We are still unpacking and getting ready to redo some floors in our new home, Sunny House in the Country. Looking out the back window of our new home cardinal(where we live 10 minutes from our children), I saw strikingly gorgeous Mr. Cardinal sitting next to attractive Lady Cardinal. Their beauty, plus their lovely song of  “cheer cheer cheer…” brightens up any day!  I am so excited, because the cardinal is one of my “God loves me” signs.

I am hoping they are planning a nest in our backyard. I praised the Lord for being a God who cares about the little things that make me feel special.

When things are going well, it is easy to praise the Lord.  In my Quiet Time, I read about the lame man who was miraculously healed.  I don’t blame him one bit for how he praised the Lord!  “And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:8)

Being lame from Healed Beggarbirth, this was his very first time to stand, walk and leap. The people took note of him praising God.  What a happy moment for this man! God had worked a miracle in his life! This man felt like praising God.

I also thought about how Jehoshaphat praised God when his back was up against the wall (II Chronicles 20).  As a result of Jehoshaphat praising the Lord, God sabotaged the army that was about to invade His people. Praising God is drawing nigh unto God and resisting Satan. In the middle of praise, God defeats the enemy. I love that story!

Continuation of my day: I ended the post here to cook up a pot of gumbo for our daughter and her family. Our daughter was feeling a little under the weather and is expecting their 5th child.  As I mentioned before, our daughter and her family now live 10 minutes away, because we just moved to our new home…loving the closeness.  Our plan was to drive over to their house, drop off the gumbo and come right back home.

Family
Daughter, Kristen and husband, Dwayne and family

Barry and I delivered the pot of gumbo, and after many goodbye hugs from our four grandchildren, we were ready to leave. To our surprise, the truck would not start. I had the opportunity to praise God when I did not feel like praising God. I praised God anyway! There was 100% chance of rain in the forecast, but God held off the rain. When Barry and Dwayne, our son-in-law, jumped the truck off, the lights on the truck were dim. We got half-way home, and the truck died on the highway. I praise God for being our safety and refuge as cars and trucks whizzed by.

Dwayne, who had just tasted one bite of the gumbo, graciously came to our rescue again. Even though it was many hours later, I praised God for being our refuge and getting us home safely. God also held off the rain until after we were home.  I was praising God throughout the episode…our grandson was also praying for God to get us home safely.  When we made it, our seven-year old grandson said that God answered his prayers…Love it! I am thankful for the prayers of little children. While stranded on the highway (Barry had steered off to the side), Bryant told me jokes.

Bryant~Bryant: “Why did the peanut butter sandwich jump peanut butter sandwichinto the ocean?”

Me: “I don’t know why the peanut butter sandwich jumped into the ocean.”

Bryant (unable to contain his laughter): “To be with the jellyfish.”

Both of us: hahahahaha! jellyfish

 

Later that night, we received an e-mail from our son-in-law, Dwayne.

Mr. & Mrs. Hoover,

Again, thank you for the scrumptious Gumbo!!!!!! When I got back to the house, I ate a bowl–and let me say, it was FABULOUS!!! A comfort food, for sure, for my sick wife, too!

Also, please don’t feel awkward about what happened to your truck tonight. Not meaning to sing songs to a heavy heart (Proverbs 25:20), but it helps a little to think of all the misfortune God did still spare us. Just think, it could have been raining. We could have been moving you both, with a deadline to get out of the apartment tomorrow.

stalled truckWorst of all, It could have happened in a dangerous part of town. Actually, it could have happened ANYWHERE other than our home or yours–and ANYWHERE else would have been far worse!!!

Also, I know y’all would have been there for us, if the roles had been reversed and it had been one of our cars down and out! It’s that “do unto others” thing that Jesus seems so keen on all of us doing. I’m just glad that, if it were going to happen, you had close family right there to soften the impact of it (I hope we did). No one ever really plans for bad things to happen, right?

Also, those things can happen to any of us. Thus, it could have been US who were in your shoes. (There’s a blessing I can count… that both our own vehicles are running for now… I’m just saying, it makes one appreciate when they do!)

Anyway, love y’all! Thanks again for reaching out to be a blessing in sickness for Kristen (and the rest of us) by bringing a meal made with love.

yellow tulips-Gratefully,

The Pipers

I love how our son-in-law looks on the blessed side of life. I am still learning the lesson of praising God in the hard times.

Yes, things could have been worse; I am thankful. Tomorrow, we will be looking into repairing our truck. I am praying the Lord will keep the cost down for us. Fast forward to today…God answered that prayer too! Yay! So thankful!

When is the best time to praise God? All the time is the best time to praise our loving Heavenly Father!

Have you praised Him today? “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” Psalm 145:3

How to Take Control of Your Thought Life

Close your eyes and say 3 times:

  1. Don’t think about a pink giraffe.
  2. Don’t think about a pink giraffe.
  3. Don’t think about a pink giraffe.

What are you thinking about right now?

I am thinking about a pink giraffe. Are you?

And the pink giraffe looks about like this in my mind:

Pink GiraffeSo, if I say I am not going to think about something, I think about it even more.

Have you ever been wounded so badly that the hurtful thought of the wound keeps reappearing in your mind?

From the “pink giraffe” experiment, saying to myself:

“I am not going to think on ‘that thought’ anymore, ‘that thought’ becomes much more vivid in my mind, and I think on ‘that thought’ more than ever before.”

What is the answer? How do I discontinue thinking on “that thought?”

The Bible has the answer to everything that pertains to life.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”   2 Peter 1:3

In the Bible, we are taught the “Principle of Replacement.”

Principle of Replacement: When a wrong thought comes to mind, quickly replace the wrong thought with the thoughts of Philippians 4:8.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

The result of the Principle of Replacing Phil. 4:8 is in the next verse:  We will have peace of mind and peace in life because the God of peace will be with us. Phil. 4:9

nest on head

Bad thoughts will come just as we cannot stop birds from flying over our heads. But, we can stop birds from making  nests on our heads. We can control our thoughts by replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. If we don’t, we will eventually become what we think.

You remember the saying, “We become what we eat?”  Now, people don’t literally become a hamburger, a french fry or a chocolate bar, but continuously eating unhealthy foods will eventually cause ill health.

The same applies to our thoughts. We become what we think. If we think right, we will act right. Our thoughts we choose to dwell on, mirror our inner self.

We can choose to become:

“Mrs. Angry” or “Mrs. Grace and Forgiveness”

“Mrs. Doom and Gloom” or “Mrs. Encouraging”

“Mrs. Worrier” or “Mrs. Peaceful”

“Mrs. Grouch” or “Mrs. Sweetness”

“Mrs. Hypocrite” or “Mrs. Sincere”

“Mrs. Gossip” or “Mrs. Kindness”

Phil. 4:8 gives a list of thoughts to occupy our minds.

1. True thoughts: The Bible is 100% Truth. Meditate on God’s Word. (Repeat Scripture over and over in my thinking throughout the day.)

2. Honest thoughts replace thoughts of cheating and lying.

3. Just thoughts on doing what is right replace thoughts on doing wrong.

4. Pure thoughts and clean thoughts replace morally impure thoughts.

gossip5. Lovely thoughts: kind, friendly, helpful, loving thoughts replace unkind, unloving, trouble-making thoughts. Thinking of the beauty in others replaces thoughts of blemishes in others.

6. Good reports replace evil slander of others. (Remember to live my life where no evil thing can be truthfully said about me.) If someone gossips to me about another, they will probably gossip about me to another. Choose friends who see the best in others.

Merciful thoughts toward others replace harsh judgmental thoughts. Learn to accept others just the way they are. After all, Jesus accepted me when I was filthy rags.

Replace thoughts of making myself look good to making God and others look good.

Instead of dwelling on bad news, replace with good news. Speaking of news, I don’t watch evening news before going to bed…way too depressing for me.

Let us also remember to never self-criticize with thoughts of “I am stupid” or “I can’t do anything right.”  Replace self defeating thoughts with “I can do all things though Christ…” You and I are a Designer created, one-of-a-kind masterpiece, and God never made any junk. So, junky thoughts are out, and healthy thoughts are the in-thing.

7. Virtuous thoughts come from the strength we get from God to pattern our thoughts on what is good and loving. These thoughts replace thoughts of evil and hate. Humble thoughts deflecting the glory to God replace proud and boastful thoughts. Wholesome thoughts replace sinful thoughts.  Let Jesus’ way of thinking be our way of thinking. Can you imagine Jesus being angry in his thinking? Can you imagine Jesus worrying or daydreaming His life away?

dark cloud over sunshine
8. Thoughts of praise replace thoughts of ungratefulness, discontent or worry. Worry pulls the dark clouds of tomorrow over the bright sunshine of today. Prayerful thoughts...Praise God for Who He is and thank God for what He has done! Joyful thoughts replace thoughts of misery.

 

Happy Kristen!
Happy Kristen

Thankful people are happy people! Pictured to the right is one of the happiest young ladies I know; our daughter, Kristen. How does she do it?  She has learned the secret of replacement. Kristen says that there are way too many good things to occupy her mind, so why think on the negative. She has made thinking on the “bright side” her choice.

 

“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 104:33

My prayer for you and for me: “Lord, empty me of my thoughts and fill me with Your thoughts.”