Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I hope you have some fun things planned for the month and if you don't, you stopped at the right place!

February Articles:

JESUS-I am Loving My Husband
JESUS-Add Your Comment Here
OTHERS-By Faith...Author Interview with Lisa Tawn Bergren
OTHERS-Helping in the Harvest...Foster Family
YOU-Red, Hearts, and Food

My prayer for you this month is that you will feel God's love covering you.
Remember how great His love is for you.
Watch this video of "How deep the Father's love", as you are thinking of His love for you!

The JOYauthors,
Mandy and Rachel

I Am Loving My Husband…

I Am Loving My Husband…
Do you love YOUR husband? Do you look for ways to do things for him? Do you dress for him? Do you live your life for him?

Now you are probably wondering why I am asking you if you love your husband and if you are encouraging him. You are thinking, “I don’t have a husband yet, I am not married, and for that matter, I don’t plan on being married for a long time yet”. Are you thinking those things? Well, good.

So since the title of this article is called, “ I am loving my husband”, you might also ask, “Is she married?”. The answer is no, I am not married and furthermore, I am not dating or in a relationship with anybody either. So, how am I loving my husband now? And better yet, why am I starting now?

The How

For as long as I can remember, my parents have told me that they are praying for my siblings and me. And they have also told us that they are praying for our spouses, whether we are married yet or not. My parents praying for me and my spouse has always told me that they are already, even before I knew it, helping me with my marriage someday by setting a foundation for it. So when I was a young, young girl, I too would occasionally pray for my husband. I am sure some of them were silly prayers, but they were still prayers for him. Way back then, I was praying for him and I still am today. 1 Thess. 5:17

A few years back, I was going to a multi-generational Sunday school group for women. We were studying the book, “Lies Young Women Believe”. One of the chapters was on “guys”. One of the single ladies was asked to talk about guys. When she came to talk to us, she brought a box with her. She told us the box is for her husband. Inside this box are cards and letters and other things that are for her husband. On her wedding night (whenever that is), she will present this box to her husband along with her purity. This “box” inspired me. I have now started my own box for my husband. I have letters in there; prayers written down, Bible verses on index cards, and a Christmas ornament.

These two examples are part of how I am loving my husband. I am also doing it through the way I dress. I am dressing modestly now, to save my body for my husband and so as not to tempt other brothers in Christ. I am also doing it through learning now what it means to be a wife, by watching my mother and other women I respect in their relationships with their husbands. One more thing I am doing is making the commitment to save my purity for my husband.

The Why

The greatest gift of love I can give my husband is my respect and faithfulness(as well as my love!). I am being faithful to him even now as I make the commitment to stay pure for him. I want to present myself to him on our wedding night as his and his alone. I have chosen to dress modestly so that the gift of my body will also be for him at that time. I show my respect for him by honoring him now by these commitments even before I meet him! I am learning to be a good wife from those older than me. (Titus 2:4,5)

Books I would recommend:
The Princess and the Kiss - Jennie Bishop
Lies Young Women Believe – Nancy Leah DeMoss and Dannah Gresh
One I am reading now: Preparing to be a Help Meet – Debi Pearl

By Mandy H

Add Your Comment Here - February 2011

JESUS - Add Your Comment Here - February 2011

I see God's love for me in/through...

This is the part where you help us. Finish the sentence above by "Adding Your Comment Here".

For Example:
...in the ways that He works. He had perfect timing and is perfect at opening and closing doors. I also see God's love for me in the people that help me out. My family, friends and other Christians who are there for me. I see it in an open door, a hug, or a prayer for me.
~Mandy H.

Helping in the Harvest: Foster Families Part 1

OTHERS-Helping in the Harvest: Foster Families Part 1

I have often taken for granted the fact that I have a nice home and a loving family. I forget that many people, especially children, do not have that. Since my family became a foster family, I’ve learned that there are many children in the U.S. alone who need to feel the love of God and the good news of what He has done for us. Being a foster family is a great way to share God’s love with people who really need it.

Foster Care is a fairly wide category, but it usually refers to the temporary care of children who can’t live at their own home (mostly because of their parent’s neglect or abuse). The children are taken into the legal custody of the state and, if not able to live at relative’s home, are placed with a licensed foster family. Foster families take in these children and treat them as their own children. Most of the time, the children go back home after their parents have proven they can now take care of them, though occasionally fostering a child may end in adoption.

A Christian foster family has a unique ministry. My Grammy, who was a foster parent for 13 years, said this: “Just the fact that we are willing to share our lives, our love, and our home with those children in need is an example of Christ's love for others.” This example of Christ’s love is evident to the children a foster family takes in, the child’s parents, and even the social workers involved.

Pouring out love on a child that is hurting can be a difficult job. Foster families need people around them who are praying for them and are willing to lend a hand when needed. Try to take time this month to get to know a foster family near you.

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Mark 9:37

How To Help
I mentioned that my grammy and papa were foster parents for 13 years. They took in many foster kids and even adopted one, so you may consider them experts on the topic. My grammy gave me some ideas of how to pray for foster families. Next month I’ll share more of her advice as well as how to get started as a foster parent.

-that the foster families/parents have the strength to cope with all the disturbing circumstances that they might end up in/with,
-that they get enough sleep!
-that they do not neglect their own health/well being,
-that they always remember that they are serving God as they serve the children,
-that the biological children will enjoy their new family members and enjoy this new time their family’s life.
-and for any other specific needs that the foster families may share with you.

Give your time to a foster family in your area. It is often too easy to assume a foster family’s needs are already met. Get to know the family and let them know that you are willing to help. Be available to simply go over and talk or help out around the house. Even little things you do can be a big blessing for a foster family!

In Your Community
My grammy listed ‘just a few’ ways that you can support a foster family: being a praying support, a non-judgmental listening support, offering used clothing and items needed, stepping in to help out where needed, just being around to help them cope with problems, do errands, take the family's own kids out for special treats, treating the foster kids like normal kids, encouraging the foster parents, giving the kids (non-foster) in the family the opportunity to talk about things, encourage the foster families to share what their needs are so others can help...

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:35

Red, Hearts, and Food

YOU- Red, Hearts, and Food

In my family, we have lots of traditions, especially for holidays. And Valentine’s Day is no exception. We decorate the house with paper hearts and sometimes we even hide them and then see who can find the most. We also dress up. Sometimes we just wear the colors; red or pink, but sometimes, we even wear clothes with hearts on them. One year my mom made me and my two cousins matching dresses. They were the same style and the same print (hearts all over it). But each one was different, one had heart buttons on the front, one had a fabric heart on it and the oth­er one had three hearts on it. I loved those dresses!

So those are some of the ways that we go all out for holidays, but one of our favorite ways to go all out for holidays is with the FOOD!

1.      Heart shaped pizza - Form the pizza crust into a heart, add favorite toppings and you have yourself a Valentine’s Day Pizza!

2.      Red, heart-shaped jell-o – Either pour the jell-o into a heart shaped pan or use cookie cutters to cut finger jell-o with.

3.      Red spaghetti or pasta – Simply add red food coloring to the boiling water and the pasta will change color.

4.      Heart-shaped sandwiches -  Use store bought bread, the one with the 2 lumps on top, then cut the 2 bottom corners off and you get a heart.

5.      Heart-shaped cake – Either use a heart shaped pan or if you don’t have that, bake one round cake and one square cake. Cut the circle in half and then connect.

6.      Red drinks – when you are setting the table, put one drop of red food coloring in each cup. Then when their drink is poured, it will turn color

7.   We often make heart shaped sugar cookies to eat and to give away!

These are some of the things my family has done over the years. Have fun with these and post or email us your own ideas for fun Valentine’s Day food!