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Fearless by Max Lucado September 8, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Book Review, Faith, Feelings, God.
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Living fearless. What an idea, one not really thought of on a daily basis. The more we practice living fearless the easier it becomes. Finding the many faces and facets of fear and finding the way to overcome them. To replace them with truth. Finding the way to live fearless in the verses found in God’s Word.

‘Fearless’ by Max Lucado is a book that addresses many types of fear. I love the titles of the chapters, it seems that the titles really bring into focus the message of the chapter itself. The key words in the title open the door to better understand and relate the fear that we feel to something tangible.

Each chapter is laced with scripture to counteract the fears talked about. Also he has stories that so many of us can relate too. Watch for the jokes too! Who would have thought that you could joke in a book about fear? Actually the book isn’t about fear, it is about overcoming fear. We are given the tools to fight and win the battle.

The discussion guide in the back that may be used in small group settings or for individual study. Each lesson has three parts: Examining Fear, Exposing Fear, Battling Fear. It asks some really good questions, helps us to pinpoint the fear and gives scripture to battle the fear.

I really like this book and highly recommend it. Who of us hasn’t struggled with fear at some point? This is an easy read and one to keep in the library.

Heaven and Earth May 29, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Faith, God, Music, Testimony.
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I changed my theme again and I was thinking that I liked it okay. The next day I actually looked at it and realized – the header goes perfectly with the scripture I keep in my sidebar.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps. 73:25-26 NIV

So now I really like it, and it brings to mind the song ‘Glory in the Highest’ by Chris Tomlin.  And here it is with words and pictures. Beautiful!

 

The Road Where Steven Died May 23, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Counseling, Family, Feelings, Grief, Thoughts.
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I grew up going up and down Highway 38 to the coast. So many times I’ve traveled that road, and it has always been Highway 38.

Today I realized it is not Highway 38 anymore.

Today was the first day I have traveled that road in over 2 years. I haven’t been on it since before my son Steven was in his accident. I did not go and see where it happened. I did not want to. I didn’t want to memorialize where he lost his life, to see the awful sight. I wanted to remember him in my heart.

Today on the spur of the moment we went to the coast. A few miles outside of town it dawned on me that we were on ‘the road where Steven died’. Then the turmoil in my heart and mind began. Did I want to know where, did I not want to know where?

Did I search all the way to the coast the areas where I thought it could have been from the remembered description? Yes. And on the way back did I search again? Yes. All the while not sure if I really wanted to know or not.

When Steven died my daughter in law Shyla and I requested that no flowers be put there. No markers. I feel it is so morbid. Why do that when all it brings is more grief. Then going back again and again to relive it. No thank you.

Today is a day of so many mixed emotions. Do I bust out crying or hold it in. If you know me, you know I am a master at holding it in. For over 30 years I thought that I couldn’t cry…once is enough and the mourning is over. Thankfully I did go to counseling about 6 months after Steven died and learn that is not the case. It is okay and good. I do feel a little off now, I think that is why. It’s a weird almost sick feeling, and yes I’m going to cry. Again, mourning my children; Steven and Karen who he has now joined in heaven with Jesus. I cannot say that they were taken before their time, or taken too early.  I cannot say no parent should lose a child. I cannot say no one should lose a spouse. I cannot say my children should not lose a brother. I cannot say my grandchildren should not have lost their father. Who am I to say that? Only the Lord knows if it is 1 day, 1 year or 29 years.  Psalm 139.15 All the days ordained for me  were written in your book before one of them came to be. HE knows every moment, every breath we will take. HE knows the lives we will touch, in our living and in our dying. And in that, I will trust the LORD.

The road…one of these days perhaps I’ll ask one of the people who knows where it happened and have them show me. There are only 3 in my family that know. I’m not sure yet. I’m almost afraid to know. Afraid that will become a focus when I drive down the road and I don’t want it to be. I didn’t go see the pickup either for the same reason. Why have that in my head to replay the picture.   From the descriptions at the time I already have a picture, but not so graphic and one that will fade more as time goes on.

Highway 38 is now ‘the road where Steven died’.

Seriously February 2, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, Family, Links, Ministry, Writing.
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I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (www.riggsfamilyblog.com). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues. www.seriouslifemagazine.com

I AM lesson 10 December 15, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, God, I AM...so you don't have to be.
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1. Have you ever experienced trials that were best dealt with “in the family” for either your reputation’s sake or God’s? You may still choose to leave them there, but you are welcome to share if you are comfortable.
No.
2. Have you ever found yourself in a bizarre circumstance and later were able to walk someone through the same/similar situation? Did you recognize the hand of God in it?
My mind draws a blank here. I have been in bizarre circumstances and I know that one day God will use it,  just not yet that I’m aware of or can bring to mind.
3. I was in my late twenties before I ever let myself believe God was for me instead of waiting to smack me upside the head every time I made a mistake. Do you truly believe God is on your side?
Absolutely! I let me get in the way a lot of the time, but I trust that God truly is for me.
4. If God has ever had you in the Holy Spirit Chokehold (and who hasn’t He?), how have you reacted to God’s chastisement? Were you bitter? Brokenhearted? Grateful?
Oh yeah. I think I have gone through all the stages at one time or another. Bitter and brokenhearted for removal from a situation, then brokenhearted that I was bitter for being removed, brokenhearted that God had to put me in the “Holy Spirit Chokehold”. And grateful, so grateful that He loves me enough to do that.
5. Write a brief prayer of Thanksgiving for God’s longsuffering.
Father God, I love you so much and am so grateful for your patience – your longsuffering. Some lessons I must learn time and again before they really sink in, before Your Truth really resides in me. You endure so much for me, have endured so much for me. Forgive me for my stubbornness, help me Lord to hear You, to obey You the first time. For Your glory, Your kingdom. In Jesus name, amen.

50,000 Pairs of Shoes in 50 Days Challenge November 10, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Faith, Love, Ministry, Prayer.
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The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

SOLES4SOULS™ INC., THE SHOE CHARITY, LAUNCHES LARGE SCALE CHARITY CHALLENGE USING SOCIAL MEDIA

Through the new world of blogging, emailing, twittering, and through many other forms of online media, the non-profit hopes to achieve not only the fundraising goal, but also to spread their mission far and wide. The Soles4Souls http://www.50000shoes.com charity challenge will be live on Monday, November 10, 2008 and end on Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

“A strong grass-roots effort, combined with an effective web-based social marketing platform, will allow Soles4Souls to form online community in a creative manner while being effective with raising funds and helping those in need,” he said.

“This is a huge challenge to meet a huge need. We want to virally attack the issues of poverty and make it simple for the end user to play a role in it,” Elsey stated.

Donating is easy and takes just a click and a couple of minutes. It requires no shipping, no wrapping and no trips to the post office. The monetary donation is small with $5.00 buying two pairs of new shoes. Anyone can click and give, and all donations are tax-deductible.

After 50,000 pairs have been donated, one person (with a guest of their choosing) will be selected at random to deliver the shoes they purchased to someone in need on one of Soles4Souls’ trips to Mexico!

Social networking has become a very powerful communications tool; however, no one knows when life will hit hard or where a disaster will strike. One day you have everything you need; the next you may only have your life. A pair of shoes can help people begin the rebuilding process. Shoes not only bring hope, but in millions of cases they can save lives. It is estimated that Americans have 1.5 billion pairs of unworn shoes lying in their closets while over 300 million children around the world have never owned a pair of shoes. This is an opportunity to “Step Up” and to help Soles4Souls with their mission of “Changing the World, One Pair at a Time” with “One Click at A Time.”