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A trial, an illness, financial problems, family problems, or during any situation in life. Regardless of the situation, we can cling to these truths:

*God’s love for me is unchanging.

*God’s purpose for me is Christ-likeness.

*God’s Word is my final answer.

*God’s grace is sufficient for me.

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I just logged in today, and wow……has it really been almost 11 months since I posted something?  Life is as busy as always.  Grace is growing like a weed.  I am blessed with 47 piano students and I’m hoping to buy a house this fall.  I have one in mind, just talking to lenders to see what they have to say (and hopefully, it’s a yes!)

God is good, faithful, and amazing.  When I have a little more time, I’ll try to catch you up on where we are and what’s taken place the last 11 months.

I love what God’s been doing in my heart and life.  Constantly challenging me, changing me, and transforming me more and more into the image of His Son, and I am so thankful for that.

One of the best books I read this year (it was so good, I read it through 3 times!) is Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  WOW!  Such great perspective, so challenging, and a fantastic message.  If you haven’t read it yet, you might want to add it to your list.

 

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Here’s a great song from Mercy Me. Very short, but very powerful…..we all have trials, problems, and burdens, but this song sums it up for the Christian……we can keep smiling and going on with life because of what we have in Christ.

“All Because Of This”

Why do we do the things we do?
How can we sing when there seems no reason to?
How do we smile when there’s not much to smile about?
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout?
They wonder why we do the things we do.

It’s all because of this-
It’s all because of this-
We’ve tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness.

And they wonder why, we do the things we do.

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Good news!!!  The scale confirms it….I’ve reached my 5lb goal!  Now I only have 5lbs left until I reach my next goal!  (You can read about my weight loss goals here.)

I seemed to be on a plateau in weight loss and you know how you beat yourself up for it…….anyway, I kept telling myself…..”This is crazy….you have to get this baby weight off!”  So, in my attempt to figure out how to get the last half of the weight off, I read almost every article I could find about weight loss in women’s magazines. 

I don’t go for diets where you have to eat weird things to lose weight and I don’t go for weight loss pills, so most of the diets I read about I discarded…..then I came across a diet article that said you can lose weight by drinking tea each day.  It gave all of these great ways to get your tea consumption in.  While I was reading it, I thought to myself…”It sounds simple enough, but I’m not a tea drinker.”  (I cannot stand tea…..anyway…) so I was about to discard this diet too when I saw that it suggested that if you’re not a tea drinker, you can still use the diet by taking Green Tea Pills.

I hadn’t heard of Green Tea Pills, but I thought I’d check it out the next time I went to the store.  I also ran it by a friend of mine and she said that she takes them and thinks they help with weight loss and energy.  They’re all natural, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’m on day 2 of the green tea pills, I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks if I think they’re working.

Another encouraging thing I read about weight loss this week is that any form of exercise, even if it’s for only 5 minutes helps you burn calories.  The article said that 5 minutes of exercise a day, 6x a day is JUST AS EFFECTIVE as 30 minutes at the same time.

I like the 5 minute concept, just like I like the setting goals to lose 5 LBS at a time, it makes it not so overwhelming.

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‘Tis the season for holiday movies!!!  Here are our favorites that we have to watch every year:

*Home Alone 1&2 (These are just as funny the 100th time as they were the 1st time!)
*VeggieTales, The Toy that Saved Christmas (one of Grace’s favorites)
*The Polar Express (another one that Grace likes right now.)
*Miracle on 34th Street (the new one)
*Little Women (the new one)
*It’s a Wonderful Life (it’s not Christmas without this one!)
*Barney waiting for Santa (you can guess who likes this one 🙂 )
*The Wiggles: Yule be Wiggling

As you can see, we mostly like the classics, I’m not into the Santa Clause and some of the newer ones, they’re good, but I only have so much time every holiday season to watch movies, and these are the ones that are must haves at our house.

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As I mentioned in an earlier post about affirmations I often use the affirmation, “Lord, keep my focus on you.”  when people are getting on my nerves or are trying to upset me.  I got that simple prayer from the title of this song that I’m going to share with you.  “Lord, Keep My Focus on You” is written by Darcy Stanley and is published by the WILDS.

Lord, Keep My Focus on You 

Sometimes I live my life just as You’ve planned.
Other times I struggle to obey your commands.
Choices I make each day determine if I’ll obey,
and follow You, trusting You.
Guide me I pray.

Lord, keep my focus on You each day,
though I am tempted to go my own way.
Help me to trust in You,
to live my life to honor You.
Lord, keep my focus on You.

Trials surround me Lord, I cry in despair,
though I know you’re with me and You hear every prayer.
Open my eyes to see that You know what’s best for me.
You’re ever near. Calm my fear. This is my plea.

Lord, keep my focus on You each day,
though I am tempted to go my own way.
Help me to trust in You,
to live my life to honor You.
Lord, keep my focus on You.

Even though the theme of this song is a prayer to keep our eyes on Christ through the choices we make each day and when hard times come, I find it a very appropriate prayer when people do things that make me mad, or do and say things that are hurtful.  When this happens, I conciously forgive that person, and say “Lord, keep my focus on You.”  This helps me not to dwell on the situation all day (or all week) and brings my focus back on the Lord.

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Thanks to all of you who have written emails of encouragement and have asked questions.  The #1 question I get is “Where do I find the music for ‘Bow The Knee?'”  I purchased the sheet music from sheetmusic plus.com and if you click here it will take you straight to “Bow the Knee.”  Currently, it costs $1.65 plus shipping for the sheet music.  It’s a fairly simple arrangement, yet it is beautiful, and many people are blessed by this song.

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