Our children are growing in God!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thought for Today: Thank you Jesus!

As I am going through my morning routine and getting ready to for the day, I often listen to music.  A song came on that I have really liked and listened to many times and the Holy Spirit just spoke to me.  I was deeply moved by the lyrics to this song and it got me thinking.  Out of those thoughts, came this devotion.

The song is “How Love Wins (Thief)” by Steven Curtis Chapman.  It is on an amazing album titled “The Story”.  The album has songs based on stories from the Bible.  Most of them are the well known stories that we teach our young children in Sunday School.  This one is slightly different; it’s about one of the thieves that hung next to Jesus as they were crucified.

In all four gospels, the thieves are briefly mentioned, but in Luke, there is a little more to the thief’s stories. 

Read Luke 23:26-38 The Crucifixion

Read Luke 23:39-43 The Theives

Notice Thief 1 (we will call him).  He reacts as some of us would in crisis by panicking and bargaining.  Thief 2, however, rebukes the first thief and says, “Look dude, we totally deserve our punishment.  We asked for this, but Jesus, He’s hanging here and hasn’t done anything to deserve it.”  Then, he turns to Jesus and asks Him to remember him when He goes back to His Kingdom.  And, in turn, Jesus says, “I’ll see ya there!”  (Paraphrased, of course)

What got me about this today was the fact that the thief, who had obviously lived a life of crime, in his most sovereign moment, asked for Jesus to save him.  He wasn’t bargaining or panicking.  He was sincere.  He had to be, or Jesus wouldn’t have forgiven him. 

So many questions came to me after thinking about this, studying it, and listening to the song several more times.  The first was, which thief would I identify with?  In crisis, do I blame God or do I turn to Him?  Do I praise Him in my suffering?  Do I run to His open loving arms like I should or do I self-soothe and self-loathe?  Do I seek earthly things to “help” me through my tough times or do I seek Jesus?  How about you?

We have all heard about death bed confessions, but we have proof that this one was legit.  Jesus could see into Thief 2’s heart and he was sincere.  This made my mind switch gears and think about my own death.  These two men knew without a doubt that their hours were limited and death was eminent.  I, at this time, don’t know when I will die.  I am not sick, it could happen at any moment.  Am I truly ready for Jesus to take me home right this second?  I don’t mean am I ready to die.  I mean, am I completely, without a doubt right with God?  Do I fulfill the reason He put me here?  Am I doing everything in my life like the Lord is watching me?  Do I consult Him before decisions?  Do I talk to Him?  Do I LISTEN to Him?  Am I living the life that God designed for me, the one He put me here for?  Are you? 

I have witnessed a few beautiful deaths of fellow Christians, who in their most painful moments, trusted and believed in God.  They had faith that got them through the toughest times.  Their families had faith that gave them peace during the suffering.  That same faith will lead them to a reunion that my mind can’t even fathom.  That unmistakable example of faith is absolutely amazing.  To watch someone you love celebrate the Lord in their most painful moments and have faith to the very end has just left me in complete awe.  Those actions and beliefs also have brought many unbelievers to Christ through their suffering.

Which bring me to Christ, to His love.  He, in His darkest human moment, saved that thief.  He put aside His own agony and saved the last soul He ever would as a man.  I encourage you to listen to the whole song, from the thief’s point of view.  I will include the lyrics at the end as well, but for now, let me share the chorus.

This is how Love wins

Every single time

Climbing high upon the tree

For someone else, to die

This is how Love heals

The deepest part of you

Letting Himself bleed into

The middle of your wounds

This is what Love sends

Standing at the door

You don’t have to be

Who you’ve been before

Silenced by His voice

Death can’t speak again

This is how Love wins


Isn’t that just the most beautiful thought?  His love conquers all of my sins, all of yours, heals us, comforts us, and becomes a part of us.  And as we breathe our final breathe, He says that we will only live again.  He silences death!  That is a-mazing!  That is the power of Christ’s love.  Not only did He conquer His own death, but He’s going to conquer mine (and yours) too!  I encourage you to just breathe in the Holy Spirit today and let Him touch you like he did me today! 

Lord, I come to you today as a humble and thankful servant.  It’s so easy to get caught up in this world and the things going on around us that I don’t spend enough quiet time with you.  Thank you for that reminder today.  Thank you for the power of music and how it spoke to me this morning.  Please help me to remember that though we may pray so hard sometimes for things to happen,  You are in control.  Everything is in Your time, not mine.  I know You are watching out for the good of all of us, that You won’t ever give us anything we can’t handle and that You never leave or forsake me.  Thank you for continuing to teach me Your ways and welcome me back into Your loving arms even when I fail You.  I am so thankful for Your plan, the one You have for me.  But most of all, I am thankful for Jesus.  Thank you for making me white as snow over and over again.  I love you and it’s in your son’s precious and holy name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sewing Fun!

IMG_6265This is an old shirt of mine,  that I UPcycled into a dress for Kenzie-Mae…I think it turned out cute!

IMG_6267One of my applique shirt creations.  There will be many more to post soon, she just hasn’t worn them yet.IMG_6270Since I cut out her face on the other two pictures, here is her precious face!  What a doll!



Friday, February 4, 2011

Blizzard 2011- North East Indiana


IMGP0695We survived the blizzard.  It was scary, loud, windy, completely white at times, and cold.  After 2 days trapped at home, today, we venture out.  We received about 20 inches, but the drifts are many feet tall.

IMG_6225Kaden & Kenzie-Mae played for a short time, but had difficulty walking in the snow.

IMGP0698Our driveway after it was plowed.


IMGP0704The front sidewalk and porch area.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

First Snow!

IMG_5823Our first snow came yesterday, very early for my taste, but none the less, it happened.  It’s all melted away and back in the 60’s thankfully today.  Since it’s been 8 years since we lived in a place where it snows, and two of our children have never played in our own snow, I figured pictures were in order.  Enjoy the photos.  I will admit it is pretty!IMG_5825IMG_5827IMG_5829IMG_5834(Kenzie has been sick with step, therefore, I would not let her go outside, so her brother, Kaden brought her a bowl of snow to eat!  How sweet!)IMG_5835IMG_5838IMG_5845IMG_5841

Love from Indiana,

The Daniels

Friday, October 29, 2010

Manna Bags

I have always had a huge heart for needy people, of all kinds.  Several years ago, a service project we did with our church, was to make manna bags.  I have made them ever since.  Let me explain.  Manna bags are zip lock bags full of non-perishable goodies, a water bottle, and a Bible verse.  You keep them in your car and have them to hand out to the homeless or people begging on the streets.

Since moving further north, I have encountered so many men holding signs like, “Laid off, need help”, “Have 3, 4, etc. babies at home, need help”, “Will work for food”.  There have been a few that I thought might not be legit, but figured it wouldn’t hurt for him to bring home some goodies to his kids, if indeed there are any.  But let me tell you, on Saturday, after shopping for winter boots for the family, we left the store.  At the stop light was a man, holding a sign that stated, “Laid off, need help”.  Kevin and I both noticed his demeanor, his lack of eye contact, and his heavy heart.  Kevin rolled down the window and said, “Sir, here you go”.  His eyes met ours, had a short glimmer of light and he said, “God bless you sir, God bless you”.  All 6 of us in the car were either in tears or nearly there.  No matter what your religious beliefs or your morals, if you are a father, you have the God-given desire to provide.  This man was ashamed and humiliated, but was willing to beg for his family.  That is so sad to me.

Being further north in the U.S., we’ve noticed so many people in need.  In the last week, we’ve given 10 manna bags to 10 different people!  That’s crazy.  I am not sure if these people are seasonal workers (don’t deal with that too much in SE Texas), or union, or if it is just the economy.  It’s really affected me more than ever.  There has to be something we can do.  Until I find out how to help these people in a larger capacity and know charities in the area and shelters, I will always have a manna bag in tow.  I absolutely can not leave someone in need empty handed.

IMG_5801My hopes are that you make some manna bags too.  With the holidays approaching, there may be more and more people in need.  The weather is cooling as well as the economy.  Here’s what we put in ours today (a family project): gold fish, granola bars, water, bagged cookies, crackers and cheese, oatmeal cookies, Chex mix, cinnamon rolls, cereal bars, and a piece of paper that reads, “For I know the plans I have for you , declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~Jeremiah 29:11 (& on the other side): May your future become brighter as our family prays for you today.  Trust in the Lord and He will give you strength”.

It doesn’t get more hopeful than that!IMG_5802

With love,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Favorites! (Free Recipe too)

I am loving the fall weather and trees here in Indiana, as I’ve said.  So, I decided to make a list of some of my fall favorites…

*Caramel Apples








*Apple Cider




*Nature Walks






*Chicken Salad

Speaking of Chicken Salad…would you like a recipe?  Here’s mine.  I came up with it years ago when I was on a diet, and we all love it.


Tiff’s Chicken Salad


3 lg. chicken breasts, cooked; or 3 cans of cooked chicken

1 sm. yellow onion, chopped

15 grapes, halved

2 gala apples, chopped

1 tsp. lemon juice

4 heaping T. of Miracle Whip

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and chill.  Serve on bread or with crackers or with my favorite….bagel crisps (from Sam’s).IMG_5745

Enjoy, I know we do!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall Photo Shoot: Outside

IMG_5592We had an outdoor photo shoot on our property today.  Here are the results…beautiful, I think.IMG_5603IMG_5610IMG_5606IMG_5644IMG_5636IMG_5631