31 December 2012

Musical Monday


It is New Year's Eve.  Many use this time of year, the transition from the previous year to the new year, to look back at the past year and weigh the pro's and con's and determine what could have been done better.  Is that not the reason so many use this time of year to make resolutions for the coming year, in order to make the new year better than the last? 

This evening is a time many celebrate the change of the old to the new.  How will you ring in the New Year?  Will you spend it in thought, reflection, prayer?  Will you spend it at home with loved ones?  Will you share it with friends? Will you spend the evening by yourself?  There are so many ways to celebrate the closing of a chapter and welcome the opening of a new one.

No matter how you choose to bring in the New Year, I hope you remember Christ in your celebration and/or reflection.  May you move into the New Year with firm resolve to accomplish those resolutions.  May you leave behind the past, good or bad, allowing that no matter what that past holds He is moving you to a brighter future!

God bless you!
Happy New Year

24 December 2012

Musical Monday


On today, the Eve of Christmas, lets change things up a bit.  Below are several of my favorite Christmas songs and carols.  Please add yours in the comments section below and then share this blog with your friends and family!!!

Merry Christmas to you and your friends and families!!!  I pray Jesus is the center of your celebration, and the gift of love is the main gift shared in your homes!  Merry Merry Christmas!


















23 December 2012

Sacred Sunday~ THE Christmas Story

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived."  ~ Luke 2v 1 - 21

19 December 2012

Fortress of Faith: Study Four- Foundation of Love

"1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-13

In our first three studies, we have been speaking of love being the foundation to our Fortress of Faith. However, what does that mean? As a woman in the military, as a Christian woman, are we truly living a life of love, or are we merely doing and saying what we think we should as a Christian?

This week we are going to discuss verse 5:

 "5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."
 
Wow!  Women of Faith!  What a difficult verse this is for most of us!  At first glance, we can all just blow it off.  At first glance, we can all deny that we do these things.  Yet, if we are honest to Him and to ourselves, we can take each section of this verse and use it as a mirror reflecting how poorly we pass on the love that had been given to us.
 
For this study, I will share my own struggles with this verse.  I still struggle with dishonoring others, with being selfish, with being angry for no good reason, and with keeping a tally of all the wrongs people have done to me.  I am going to lay myself bare for you ladies, in hopes that if you can relate, you will know you are not alone, and that there is no shame here- but there IS hope!  From all my own struggles, I know that I can lean on Him, and He helps me through them with His never-ending love, grace, and mercy.... So much so that I am seeing changes in the way I react to people and how they interact with me.
 
Let me start with my struggle with dishonoring others.  First, let me share that I am an introvert.  I prefer to be on my own.  Even in social settings, I prefer to be the social stigma- the wallflower.  That is where I am happiest and most comfortable.  However, there is a part of me that wants to be in the center of the biggest crowd and feel like I belong there.  My problem is that when this desire to be included hits, I often carry it too far- saying and doing things that I think will help me be included in the group.  This would not be a bad thing if I were joining in singing and praising Him and His word, or if I was being an encourager.  However, I always seem to get sucked into a group of women bent on gossip, rumor, and drama.  Then I find myself contributing to that gossip, rumor, and drama. 
 
Since moving to our current location, I have been deeply convicted of the damage done by gossip, rumor, and drama- and by women's tendency to jump right in!  I have spent the past four years struggling, not just in coffee groups in the mornings, but also in Bible Study groups, and even in one-on-ones with close friends, to stop gossip, to pay no attention to rumor, to keep out of the drama.  I struggle with this.  It is so easy to contribute to all this- even knowing that I am hurting someone.  I may never see the effects of my additions, but every time I add to gossip and rumor, I am contributing to someone else's perspective of the person of our conversation.  I am tainting the way the person I shared this gossip with will view that person the next time they interact with them.  I am dishonoring that person AND the relationship I have with the person I shared the gossip with, just as I am dishonoring myself, and my own relationship with Christ.  As a result of the conviction I feel concerning this, I have mostly drawn myself away from those groups and those people where I struggle with this most.  I have not cut them off- it is not those women's fault.  I love them, and I know they love me.  However, until I can learn to hold my tongue and learn to steer conversations away from dishonoring others, I have pulled myself away from that temptation. 
 
If you struggle with gossip, rumor, and drama in your life, the way He wishes you to deal with this may be different than the way He is having me handle mine.  Think on this and pray about it.  How would you cut those dishonoring acts from your life? 
 
Love is not self-seeking.  Ahem.  Love is not selfish.  Oh, how easy it is to be selfish!  Society keeps telling us that we need to reward ourselves, we need to take care of ourselves first.  However, this is another fine line we women have to walk.  Women in the military especially.  You have a responsibility to put others first, whether stateside in our normal jobs, or overseas where lives could be on the line.  Military spouses also have that responsibility to put others first: their spouse who is sacrificing so much to be in the military, their children who suffer through numerous moves, deployments, and other military struggles.  We women spend so much time taking care of everything and everyone, it is natural to wonder when is someone going to take care of us?  And there lies the danger. 
 
Women, we ARE being taken care of!  We draw our strength from Him!  He is the one that helps us carry the huge burdens we have.  So long as we look at Him as we serve others before ourselves, you will notice that the burdens are not so heavy.  But pay attention!  As soon as you take your eyes off of Him, as soon as you start to dwell on society's idea that you need to put yourself first in order to take better care of others, you will feel the burdens get heavier, and you will begin to feel overwhelmed.
 
Society's take on helping others:
-you must help yourself before you can help others
-you deserve notice, accolades, and rewards for the work you have done
 
How this takes your eyes off of Him:
-you begin to desire commendation for all your hard work. 
-you begin to fall into the mentality that if you cannot do something for yourself than you won't be able to help others
 
Lately, I have even seen Bible Studies encouraging women to "take care of yourself first."  Yet, nowhere in the Bible have I seen Him say that we need to do this beyond first spending time in His Word or talking to Him.  No matter how I help myself first, I am never strong enough to offer lasting help to others on my own.  If I sink into the "help myself" attitude, I remove the love and strength He gave me from the equation.  If I seek to do things for myself first, I cannot effectively share His love with others.
 
As hard as it is, the following acronym "JOY" seems to sum up the best way to share His love and where we fall into the equation.
Jesus
Others
You
 
Remember, our rewards from Him are eternal!  Rewards from our fellow man are fleeting and will be forgotten in time.  We may never see the rewards for acting selflessly while we are here on Earth.  Yet, we are promised to see eternal life, eternal love~ is that not prize enough for acting in His Love?
 
Love is not easily angered.  Easier said than done sometimes- am I right?  When we get angry, we find it so easy to justify our anger.  If our kids only did as they were asked, if our spouses only did what they said they were going to, if our coworkers only minded their own business, if our leadership only followed through, if everyone else only never messed up- we would have no reason to get angry!  Right? 
 
Wrong.  Anger is a human emotion.  It is normal for us, as is sadness, happiness, and fear.  However, we need to learn to control our reactions to the anger we feel.  When we are filled with the love of Christ, it does not matter how often we get angry, what matters is how we channel that anger.  As we grip onto His love, we should start to see that those things that angered us do not affect us as strongly anymore. 
 
My hubby was normally a hot-headed guy.  Earlier this year, his quick temper began to put a real strain on our relationship and on his relationships with friends and coworkers.  But then early this summer, he had an awakening.  He rediscovered our Lord's love for him.  It was very surreal for me to see my hubby change so dramatically.  He used to get irate over the littlest things- I wash laundry different than he does- that drove him crazy!  Now, he still comments on our different ways of doing things, but he is no longer angry about that.  He and I are both procrastinators, to the extreme, and when we would be getting ready to go somewhere, he would get angry in the rush to find something that needed to go with us.  Now, he still rushes around, but the vibes coming from him are not angry, just rushed.  My hubby is the perfect, living example of how God's Love in our lives changes our hearts, our minds, and ultimately our actions and reactions.
 
Do you find yourself angry over the silliest things?  Do you find it hard to keep that anger from boiling over into your relationships, your workplace, your home?  As a Christian woman, can you pick a favorite Bible verse and make it a mantra?  Don't count to ten- make that verse a prayer!  Turn your eyes away from the thing that caused your anger; turn your eyes to His face and His love!  Find that love in your heart and take the bite out of anger.
 
Love keeps no record of wrongs.  Now the stereotype that men hold for most women is that men can't mess up because if they do, we will throw that mistake, plus every single thing they have EVER done wrong, right in their face.  From experience, I know that this is true.  But why do we do this?  We don't just do this with our significant others, we do this with our friends, with our coworkers, with our bosses, even with our leadership at church!  How is this showing love?  Now, I have spoken to some who claim that in the heat of the argument, when we want so desperately to be "right," we so desperately want to be "right' that we will dig anything and everything up just to gain that satisfaction.  Is this true?  I do not know.  However, I have seen how horrible the fights are that dig up every past mistake. 
 
I grew up in a home where fighting between my parents happened every single day.  I heard them both dig up every single past mistake and throw it in each other's face.  I witnessed an argument go from something that could have been resolved with a few kind words and maybe an apology, maybe some patience, to something ugly, hurtful, and down right hateful.  For many, many years, I thought my parents hated each other.  The meanness displayed in their arguing had me convinced that their marriage would never last once my sibling and I moved out.  Never once did I see one of them show love, patience, or grace toward each other when a mistake was made.  Instead, they seemed to thrive on the anger and arguing.  I made those experiences my example of what not to do in my own relationships.
 
I know how easy it is to keep a record of wrongs.  However, I know from experience, that with prayer, His Word, and His help, you can make it a practice to let those wrongs go.  This works so well, that while I can remember being upset with someone, later that day, certainly the next day, I could not tell you why I was upset with them.  I long ago decided that hurt feelings over silly mistakes are not worth the pain to me, or to the one I care about.  I learned from my parent's mistakes with each other, that there lives within me the ability, through His love, to forgive and let go before the mistake becomes a problem.
 
Can you think of someone who you no longer are around because the list of wrongs became too long that you thought you could not forgive?   Can you think of a way to still show that person you love them in Christ, even if you do not feel ready to forgive?  Remember forgiving and letting go does NOT mean to forgive and forget.  Some wrongs will never be forgotten, and some times we are hurt by people who we need to cut from our lives---in those instances, pray deeply and rely on His guidance to show you the right way to deal with those situations.  However, do not let those situations alter how you love others!
 
To wrap up- Ladies, we are attached to the military in way or another.  The Military way of life is our opportunity to share His love, grace, and mercy.  Let us show His love by honoring one another.  Let us share his love by putting Him and others first.  Let us show His patience by being slow to anger.  Let us live in forgiveness and let past mistakes be in the past, where they belong.  Let us love each other and others the way that He loves us!
 
God bless you!
~C. Borden
 
Related passages:
Psalm 62 v 5-12
Romans 12 v 9-11
Ephesians 4 v 25-32
Ecclesiastes 7 v 8-10
James 1 v 19-21
 

Copyright © 2012 C.H.Borden

17 December 2012

Musical Monday

 
Music has always had an impact on our lives. It enhances our moods. It sometimes shapes our moods. It causes us to pour out our thoughts and feelings in singing along with a song that means something to us. Sometimes it causes our feet to move, our hands to clap, our bodies to sway in time with the rhythm that really does cut through our walls and touches our emotions. 
"9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."   ~Luke 2 v 9-14
 
On the verge of Christmas, we find our country grieving in light of recent tragic events.  Our hearts cry for the families who are missing loved ones this Christmas.  The military families whose Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters, or Siblings are on deployments.  The military member that is missing family while they are gone for months at a time.  Even the civilian family that are separated from ones they love whether due to jobs, or illness, or tragedy. 
 
Recent events across our country bring awareness of what really matters to us.  For those of us who know Christ, we know hope despite the sadness.  We know peace despite the rage that surrounds us.  We know patience though we see urgency in every aspect of our lives.  Most of all, we know love that transcends the most painful moments because we know Christ. 
 
Our God allowed His Son to come live among us.  His Son, our Savior, grew up among us.  He loved us despite our sins.  He forgave us despite our condemnation.  He taught us despite our blockheadedness.  He died for us despite our selfishness.   He chose to do so- and so we know selfless love. 
 
Looking at the verses above, the glory of Christmas is in Christ.  The wonder of Christmas is in the giving of His Son.  The joy of Christmas is the hope of His love.
 
Christ IS Christmas.  So as we celebrate Christ all year round, let us make a special effort to bring Christ back into our Christmas celebrations and traditions.  Let us share Christ during Christmas.
 
God bless you!
 
 

16 December 2012

Sacred Sunday ~ Jesus IS the Word


1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
~John 1 v 1-5

14 December 2012

Urgent Prayers: Sandy Hook Elementary

Please lift up the families, teachers, staff, and students from Sandy Hook Elementary in CT.
 
No one can answer why something like this happens.
 
No one can truly know how someone can be so far gone to do this to another human let alone a child.
 
Please pray for peace, forgiveness, empathy, love, and mercy to abound in this community as they struggle through this tragedy!!!
 
Psalm 46 v 1 ~ "The Lord is [our] refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble."
 
1 Peter 5 v 7-11  ~ "7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen."

12 December 2012

Fortress of Faith: Study Three- Foundation of Love

"1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-13

In our first two studies, we spoke very generally of love being the foundation to our Fortress of Faith. However, what does that mean? As a woman in the military, as a Christian woman, are we truly living a life of love, or are we merely doing and saying what we think we should as a Christian?

This week we are going to discuss verse 4:


"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."


Fairly cut and dry.  Think of someone in your life who you truly love- your significant other, your child, your sibling, your parent, your closest friend.  It is easy to to be patient with that person, because you accept them regardless of their warts.  It is easy to be kind to someone you know and love.  It is easy to share in their successes.  It is easy to humble yourself when you are around them and put them first.  It is easy to temper your pride with facts of the matter because you know they can see the real you.

However, how do we put this into action in the Military?  If you have never been exposed to women of different beliefs, values, and ideals before being involved with the military way of life, you certainly are now.  These women come from all over the country, sometimes from all over the world.  These women may look different, may act different, may even speak different- and yet, because they are also tied to the military in some way, they are our sisters.

Being patient and kind despite differences of opinion and perspective can be a hard task.  This can be even harder if you are assigned in a chain of command where beliefs, values, and ideals clash roughly.  However, as  Christian women, doing our duty as military members and following orders, or supporting our spouses as they follow orders, it is more importantly our duty to be thoughtful of His Will with every step we take and every word that comes out of our mouths.

Today, it is the impatient and judgemental Christian that rip our churches and study groups apart pushing those that need His love in their lives away.   By acting on patience and kindness as extensions of His love, we open doors to other women who need His love in their lives. 

By tearing down those women we are jealous of- they were promoted and we were passed up, they have everything we have only dreamed of, they appear to have their lives all put together, we tear down the plan He has for us!  Instead of being jealous, be excited for the woman who has met with success.  Be enthusiastic for the woman who seems to have it all!  Be encouraging to the woman who seems to have it all together.  Just as those women have no real idea of the beauty of your soul, and have no idea what blessings and what struggles you live with, you have no idea of theirs.  Envy only breaks down the potential to have a loving and respectful relationship with that woman. 

Do not boast, and be not proud... Active Duty women will have a unique struggle with this.  Being in the military, being eligible for promotion, forces military women to keep continual accounting of all the good things they have done.  This in itself is not a bad thing.  Yet, it causes us to walk to a fine line.  When I joined, all evaluations were leadership led.  By the time I left the military, the evaluations were individual led- leadership approved.

For me, writing my own bullets was really hard, while writing the evaluations for my troops was really easy.  I would talk to friends about how they overcame writing their own evaluations, and the consensus was typical of what we see so much in society- "I did more than so and so- so I deserve________"   There used to be pride in doing the task at hand to very best of one's ability.  However, that pride in doing one's best has morphed into outdoing everyone else and making sure everyone knows it- although that may also mean a less quality product. 

This is how boasting and pridefulness are dangerous.  When we allow those things into our work ethic, they start to bleed into our character.  Our pride needs to be in a strength outside ourselves.  Our boasting needs to be in the love and faith we reside in, and in the unit and leadership who we are attached to.  Our pride needs to be in our Lord, and in our presence in a military that He has brought us to.

Can you think of a situation where your impatience or lack of kindness could have pushed someone away?  Do you have the opportunity to revisit with that person and see the situation from His eyes, and maybe change your perspective of how to interact with that person?

Can you think of someone you work with or come into contact with that you are jealous of?  What things about that person causes you to feel jealous?  In what ways can you turn that jealousy into love?

Is there anything in your career or personal life of which you are overly proud of?  Are you balanced on the fine line of tempered pride, or are you tipping over to the boastful side? 

Note: Removing pride from your life does not mean that you do not take credit for your work, or that you pay no attention to your beautiful characteristics that make you unique.  A woman's psyche is built on a need to have a strong sense of self, to have a good self-esteem.  The pride that this verse is discussing is that which builds yourself up while tearing others down- there is no love, certainly not His love, in that kind of pride.

May this week show you examples of love through patience and kindness!  May He introduce women to you that you can practice this verse with.  May He help you bite back your boastfulness and swallow your pride, that others can be lifted to His heart!

God bless!
~C. Borden

Related passages:
Psalm 37 v 1-9
Jeremiah 9 v 23-25
Colossians 3 v 11-13

Copyright © 2012 C.H.Borden

10 December 2012

Musical Monday


Music has always had an impact on our lives. It enhances our moods. It sometimes shapes our moods. It causes us to pour out our thoughts and feelings in singing along with a song that means something to us. Sometimes it causes our feet to move, our hands to clap, our bodies to sway in time with the rhythm that really does cut through our walls and touches our emotions. 

Matthew 25 v 34-40 says:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"
 
With Thanksgiving over and Christmas in our near future, we get caught up in making sure we show our families and friends how much we love and appreciate them with the little things we do for them and the special thought we put into choosing the perfect gift for them. 

Yet, how much thought do we put into those men, women, and children in our communities and around the world, that we do not know?  We have no tangible ties to them.  Still, He calls us to LOVE them!  He calls us to CREATE tangible ties!  Who would ever give to a stranger and then forget about that person?  When we love "the least of these," we are opening our hearts to them, we are showing them His love through us, and we are changing OUR own life! 
 
The following song was with a specific purpose in mind- to support a particular ministry.  If you are interested in supporting that ministry, follow the links through the youtube account the video is attached to.  However, do not be afraid to look at your base, at your chapel, at your community, at your church, or anywhere---if you become WILLING to create a tangible tie with a complete stranger to share His love, He will show you where He wants you to help. 

Remember, giving to the 'least of these' is not always in the form of money.  You creative gals can give a creation; you baking beauties can give a cake or cookies; you chef extraordinaires can make a casserole or your favorite dish; you book worms can read to children or seniors at the library!  The opportunities to give are endless!
 
I pray each of you has an amazing Monday and a blessed week gathered in His Arms!
 
 
 


09 December 2012

Sacred Sunday ~ Christ Foretold


"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this." 

                                  ~Isaiah 9 v 6-7

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be
with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. "

                                 ~Isaiah 7:14

"1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a
Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom
and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the
Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD--
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge
by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his
ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he
will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the
earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he
will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around
his waist."
                                   ~Isaiah 11:1-5
 

07 December 2012

In Remembrance of Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 is a day that will never be forgotten by our Nation and especially by our Service Men and Women.  Today, we recall the shock of war.  We remember the men and women who lost thier lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor and elsewhere across the Pacific as the Japan of that era took its leap forward to dominate.  We remember the heroic sacrifices as men and women rose up to fight back, to help others, to sacrifice themselves in the slaughter of that morning.

Today, our Service Men and Women often find themselves in the midst of terror and war.  They still choose to join.  They still choose to stand up for what they believe in.  They still choose to put our USA first and their own lives, their own families, their own dreams second.  They still choose to sacrifice.

Today, we remember Pearl Harbor and our Armed Services for the sacrifices made and the sacrifices that are still being made.

God bless our American Heroes!


04 December 2012

Fortress of Faith: Study Two- Foundation of Love

“1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-13

In our first study, I spoke very generally of love being the foundation to our Fortress of Faith. However, what does that mean? As a woman in the military, as a Christian woman, am I truly living a life of love, or am I merely doing and saying what I think I should as a Christian?

This week we are going to discuss verses one through three:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Cor 13 v 1

We all know what it is like to be around someone playing a role, being insincere, saying what they think we want to hear. We can see them sucking up to their NCOIC, or to the Commander’s wife. We feel the strain on a conversation as they overplay their exuberance or abhorrence for whatever the topic may be. Yet, sometimes, Ladies, we do the very same thing in the name of our Faith. 
 
Sunday mornings in Chapel, or Sunday School, or in Bible Study, we all want to be “good Christians.” We recite our various memorized prayers for the sake of saying them, but pay no attention to the words we are lifting up to Him. We praise Him with songs not taking the time to understand what we are saying to Him. We greet each other with hugs and kisses while secretly wishing we hadn’t come today because we have so much waiting at home. These are just examples- the way I have felt during my days of struggle in Active Duty, where I felt the fakeness rolling off of my fellow Christians when I attended Chapel or visited a local Church, and turned that inward and saw that fakeness in myself.

How I must have sounded to God? Singing praise that my heart was not in? Reciting a prayer, or bowing my head in prayer, not for an instant considering that in doing so I was supposed to be reciprocating the love He has shown me? I was not a joyful noise in His ear. I was an annoying clanging bell! 
 
Yet how wonderful is His love for us that He still pulls us to Him? No matter where our heart is, His love never leaves us!

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor 13 v 2

We, Christian women, have incredible God-given gifts. My gift is the gift of written word. My parents would call it an inherent trait as I have been a writer all my life- I was always better at writing my thoughts than saying them. Only rarely have I used this gift to glorify Him, and even more rarely have I written from love. As my parents can attest, they best saw my writing skills when I was angry at them or hurt. I could write pages and pages of self-centered, egocentric blather based on my anger, on my hurt, on my struggles. I feel a huge insecurity when writing from feelings of happiness, joy, and love. Even now, I struggle with writing this blog, making sure that I write from love, joy, and hope.

What is your God-given gift, your talent? When you use that gift/talent, is it from a basis of love? In what ways can you pull His love into your gift so that others can see that love?

What really speaks to me is the second part of the verse that speaks of faith to move mountains, and yet without love, that faith is meaningless! What?! This means, that you can have faith in Christ, you can KNOW that He loves you, but if you do not also love, that faith is meaningless! Faith without love is a faith with no foundation.

“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1Cor 13 v 3

In 1999, I was in technical school for the Air Force. One evening a friend and I were taking a walk and discussing various different subjects- among them- faith. Now, this friend was an atheist. This friend was dear to me. We got along well. We confided in each other. We enjoyed each other’s company. There I was a brand new Airman, and a wary Christian, afraid of really sharing my faith with anyone, but still so sure that nothing could rock my faith. This friend did just that with one statement: “So, as a Christian, you believe that I will go to Hell because I do not believe the same as you.” I cried as I was forced to consider that someone I cared about was not someone I would see in Eternity. I cried as I wanted so badly to lie, to choose not to believe that portion of His Word, to pick and choose just the pretty messages so I could not offend my friend.

That moment started a quest to define my faith, to understand what makes up my faith. The result- Love, like our Lord has shown for us, is the foundation to our faith. Love reciprocated to our Lord helps our foundation stay strong. Love shown in our words, shown through our gifts and talents, and shown though our actions is what separates us. 
 
As Military Women, we move around a lot. We meet other women from all aspects of life. Those women are of different cultures, different religions, and different places in their faith. We will especially find women of our own faith that differ from us greatly due to upbringing, denominations, varying levels of maturity in faith, different circumstances in their lives. We have unique opportunities to speak love, to show love through our talents, to minister with love through our actions. 
 
This does not mean that we cower or hide. 
 
Stand tall! 
 
Rest in His love, lean on His promises, but in everything you do, do it with His love cementing the basis of your faith!

God bless you!!
~C. Borden

Copyright © 2012 C.H.Borden

Pardon me for repeating this video---It just perfectly retells 1 Corinthians 13 v 1-3. Enjoy!

03 December 2012

Musical Monday


Music has always had an impact on our lives.  It enhances our moods.  It sometimes shapes our moods.  It causes us to pour out our thoughts and feelings in singing along with a song that means something to us. Sometimes it causes our feet to move, our hands to clap, our bodies to sway in time with the rhythm that really does cut through our walls and touches our emotions. 

This week, Psalms 42 v 11 says
"Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God."
 
The following song, by Third Day, speaks of the hope we can find "no matter who you are,
And no matter what you've done, There will come a time, When you can't make it on your own, And in your hour of desperation, Know you're not the only one, Prayin' "Lord above, I need a miracle." I need a miracle"
 
There are periods in our lives, Ladies, where we are faced with struggles due to the Military, and it feels like we are all alone.  There are periods where we feel like we are at our wits end, at the end of the rope.  In those times, reading the Bible, calling out to God in ernest prayer, seeking fellowship with other Christian women, and, yes, listening to positive music helps us to grasp tighter to the hopes of a fresh day, a coming out of the struggle stronger than when we started, and a closer relationship with Him who loves us more than we can imagine.

Take a few minutes to listen to the following song.  Maybe you can relate to this song.  Maybe you know someone else who can.  After listening to the song, please close your eyes in prayer speaking the words that come from your heart.

God bless you!!