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Shhhhhhhh………..

February 29th, 2012

 

Every time I try to type, I feel as if God is

whispering, “Shhhhhhh…..listen, don’t speak.”

 

Wondering what He’s wanting me to hear today.

JOHN 10:27

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Praying you are listening too,

 

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These are things I was grabbing as I was running out the door this morning.

Two friends are sick.

One has lost her husband this week.

And I’d better eat a little something, so I can make it until lunch.

But I couldn’t just grab these things and run, because I love you.

And saying, “Good Morning,” is such a part of my routine that stopping to simply click a little morning message to you seemed as natural as trying to find my purse (which sadly is a morning routine too).

I took Benadryl before hopping in bed last night, because I have been dealing with some allergy issues lately.

I think the deep sleep caused me to keep pushing “snooze” on my alarm clock until I heard Maria from the living room saying, “Tammy, should you be up now?”

Yes, it’s been one of those down-to-the-wire mornings, and I need to be on my way.

But, I just had to say, “I love you” and “I’m praying for you as I head out the door and drive to work.”

Praying that your day is filled with beautiful moments where you are know God is right there with you.

May you find a penny just when you need to know He cares.

May the sunrise catch your eye in a new and beautiful way.

God is with you today, and I’m praying that just knowing that is enough for you to face today with confidence and hope!

You are loved!

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I’m sure that what I read this morning can be interpreted lots of different ways, and I’m sure that if I had time to dig deeper I may not read the verses below in the same way.

However, as I was doing my reading this morning, there was something about Lev. 26:33-35 that caused me to stop and reread it several times.

I found the whole concept of God demanding that the land be “given rest” every seven years very similar to Him telling the Israelites to rest one day a week.

And I found His promise regarding what would happen if they did not give the land the rest it deserved very interesting.

Listen to what He said would happen if they did not obey Him,

Your land will be laid waste, and

your cities will lie in ruins.

Then the land will enjoy its sabbath

years all the time that it lies

desolate and you are in the country

of your enemies;

then the land will rest and enjoy its

sabbaths.

All the time that it lies desolate, the

land will have the rest it did not

have during the sabbaths you lived

in it.

Leviticus 26:33-35

Does anyone else find the use of words like “desolate, ruins, rest, and enjoy” a kind-of strange combination?

I’ve often heard that God’s ways are opposite of man’s ways, and that things like

“the first shall be last” and “the meek inheriting the earth” are perfect examples of God’s view of what He sees as important.

So, it makes sense to me that He would see a time of desolation and ruin as a perfect opportunity for rest and relaxation.

What else would there be to do in a city, lying in rubble, that seemed to no longer have a purpose?

Maybe you’re at a place in life where things seem desolate.

Maybe you feel that what you once had now lies in ruins.

Maybe you are extremely ill and there is nothing else to do but work on getting better.

I just felt this morning as if God was saying, “now is your chance to rest.”

Enjoy this time of uncertainty as a time to regroup and restructure the tired you.

I’ve had plenty of seasons of ruin and desolation.

I find myself slipping in and out of them from time to time, and I don’t like the feelings that I have when I am there.

But there is a sense of beauty in a season when God says, “REST.”

I love that He didn’t forsake the land, He simply gave it an opportunity to be restored.

I’m praying for you this morning as I get ready for school.

Praying that no matter what season you are in this morning, you will know without a shadow of a doubt that God, the season creator, is with you in a powerful way.

He is not surprised by your condition today.

He is not surprised by what is coming tomorrow or next week or next year…….

He goes ahead of you, smoothing rough roads.

Lean on Him today,

 

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Give-Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 25th, 2012

 

I have a story in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul which will be released in mid-March.

This particular story is one I wrote through tear-filled eyes as I shared about the season of life with Nick when I was called to be “more than a mom.”

family caregivers

I have two copies of this particular book to give away!

I hope in some small way the stories in this book, shared by men and women who have walked difficult roads with family members, will bring comfort and strength to others who are on similar journeys.

Please leave a comment below sharing your name and email address if you would like to be entered in this drawing.

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Give-Away Winner!

February 24th, 2012

 

The winner of the book

GirlsUncovered:

New Research on What America’s
Sexual Culture Does to Young
Women

is

Marla!

Please email your address to tammynischan@yahoo.com,

so that I can let Moody Publishers know!

Tonight, I will be announcing my NEXT GIVE-AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Crucial Conversations……

February 23rd, 2012

 

Tim used a book in class this past semester entitled, Crucial Conversations:  Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High.

The book is sitting here next to me on the couch, and after many weeks of hearing of what an “amazing” book this is, I guess I’m going to step out and read a business class textbook.

I’m not a business woman, so I probably won’t be sitting in a board room involved in a big debate over assets and liabilities.

But I do believe God has called me (and you) to talk about some crucial issues in the days to come.

It’s no secret that our world is in a not-so-good place.

If you think about it, Christians should be having crucial conversations every day.

After all, the stakes are high in this thing called “life.”

I sometimes sit in teacher’s meeting and as the presenter goes on and on about formative assessments and summative assessments and differentiation and all kinds of other teaching strategies, I feel my mind drifting to things like “In a hundred years, how much of this will matter?”

After all, I won’t be around in 100 years and chances are, if you are reading this in 2012, you won’t be either.

So, whatever strategy I’m using to try to get a student to read more proficiently is really just a temporary strategy to help them in a temporary world.

How do we get to a place where the conversations we are participating in are “crucial?”

Life-changing.

Eternity-changing.

Those are the conversations in which I want to be engaged, and yet they are often difficult to begin.

I’ll let you know what I learn, because I believe Christians all over the world are being called to have crucial conversations daily.

 

II Tim. 4:2

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;

correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.

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Have you ever found yourself needing direction?  Longing for a Providential sign?

I seem to reach crossroads time and time again in life where I find myself sitting and waiting.

Waiting for God to show up and say something profound like, “Tammy, do this, or Tammy, do that.”

So I pray, I plead, and I read His Word.

And sometimes I get hints of direction.

Sometimes, I even get a clear Word that leaves me in goose bumps, certain that God has made very clear what He would have me do next.

Yet, other times I read, longing for an answer, and I find stories of mysterious things like Nadab and Abihu bringing an unholy fire before God and being swallowed up in a blaze.

Or I read verses and verses of what to do when an Israelite has a skin infection, and I find myself looking up and longing to know why these Words were recorded for all mankind to read.

Surely they matter or they wouldn’t be included.

Surely there’s something buried in these words that I need to hear today.

So what is it, Lord?

What are you saying today?

Here’s what I’m hearing and taking from my reading this morning,

“God is Holy.”

That’s the message.

Unholy fire was unacceptable from Nadab and Abihu.

Diseases of any kind were cause for separation from the Israelite tribe.

God is Holy and Perfect, and He demanded holy sacrifices and clean people………even in the wilderness.

I sometimes feel as if I’m in the wilderness.

Do you?

Sort-of in a wandering state, knowing there’s “something better” coming.

Maybe it’s something better here on earth, and maybe it’s just the reality that the real “something better” may not occur until we stand face to face with our Savior.

Either way, it’s coming!

And we know without a shadow of a doubt that the road we’re on is leading us there – just like the Israelites knew the Promised Land was out there, somewhere ahead of them, and they were on their way!

But until they got there, it was clear that God had some heavy expectations.

Holy fire.  Acceptable worship.

Clean lives.  Separation from things that could defile them.

I’m still processing the depth of these words this morning, but I think I’m on to something today.

God is Holy.

That’s it.

Whether He chooses to make an answer clear to me or not today or tomorrow or the next day, He wants me to know this……He’s Holy.

And if I am His, I must come to Him with holy fire and a clean heart.

No jumping ahead with my own fire, my own authority, my own motives, and my imperfections…………

God is Holy.

For today, that is more than enough for me to know.

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Wrapped in frail and molded glass, edges scalloped so,

Light has such an easy task of casting a soft glow.

olivia and light 0910091

But what happens when life shatters,

breaking promises and dreams?

How do we bounce back

from the devil’s wicked schemes? olivia and light 0880088

From every angle, it is clear—

olivia and light 0890089

What we once had is gone.olivia and light 0940094

It doesn’t take a well-trained eye

to see we’re barely hanging on.

olivia and light 0970097

And as we try to make some sense of all our loss and pain,

We realize that our light is shining brightly just the same.

 

And maybe in some special way

our glow seems much more bright,

When the wrappings of this world are gone

and all we have is

Light.

 

So, if you’re barely hanging on,

and dreams have seemed to shatter….

Know that you are not alone

And to His heart you matter.

 

Keep burning for Him through your tears,

Keep lighting up the way.

He promises that joy will come

again to you one day.

 

And as you shine through brokenness, you’re lighting up the road,

For others who have felt great loss or carry a tough load.

 

So what happens when life shatters?

Let me tell you what I think,

I think we find out what’s beneath the pretty outside shell,

Deep inside our inner self —

Who does really dwell?

 

(Special thanks to Olivia for tossing her blanket over the couch in such a way that the light globe accidentally shattered without harming the bulb.)

heartBG2

My Wish for Your Monday……….

February 20th, 2012

 

peacefulness

Wherever today leads you, I hope your journey is filled with peace.

That’s what I’m focusing on today.

A peaceful journey.

For you.

And for me.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with you all.

II Thess. 3:16

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Romans. 15:13

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Friday Give-Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 17th, 2012

 

Having raised four boys and now trying to successfully swim through the unchartered waters of raising a teenage daughter, I was overjoyed when asked to review this new book by two obstetrician/gynecologists, Dr. JOE S. McILHANEY and DR. FREDA BUSH.

 Girls Uncovered:

New Research on What America’s

Sexual Culture Does to Young

Women

book girls uncovered

In this book you will find startling statistics balanced with empowering strategies for raising your daughter to become the independent and pure young woman you desire her to be.

Truthfully, I believe ministers, teachers, grandparents, counselors, and doctors should read this book as well.  The insights into “why” kids are doing what they are doing and “how” we can help them change these behaviors are beneficial to anyone who encounters teenage girls in a role of influence.  There’s even a chapter written specifically to girls from the authors.

We live in an era when “anything goes” and kids are being influenced by their peers to believe that they have the “right” to do anything they want.

As a teacher, I see a lot of students every day who are amazing young adults.  I also see a lot of students who are lonely, insecure, and starving for good parental guidance.

Sometimes the task at hand seems overwhelming.  This book uncovers the truth about this particular generation’s view of sexual relationships using statistics and stories the authors have gathered from research as well as many years of seeing women in their offices.

Teenage girls need the covering of healthy adult relationships in order to become the strong, healthy, independent women we long for them to be.

In this book you will find facts, resources, and techniques for becoming a parent or other adult-of-influence who can triumphantly meet the needs of a generation of teenage girls who desperately long for help, support, direction, and love.

Please post a comment below if you would like to be entered in the drawing for a copy of this book Girls Uncovered.  If you do not win, I highly recommend purchasing a copy of this book so that together we can help a struggling generation of young women.  I will have the drawing next Wednesday evening and post the winner by Thursday!